My website is a resource for photographers and content creators, so a good portion of my viewership will not need convincing as to the merits of having a YouTube channel, especially a photography YouTube channel.
But why photographers in particular? A photographer’s bread and butter are still images, not video. So what are the merits of the video medium to the photographer.
Plenty of photographers get by without one and in some cases it would make little sense to have one. Or does it? Well there are some reasons that might convince you to create one or alternatively confirm your decision not to.
I have advocated throughout my blog articles the importance of marketing in this digital age. With the proliferation of photographic websites and social media, access to photographers is now world wide.
If someone wants to find a photographer that suits their brief, the internet is their first recourse. Obviously, if someone is looking for a photographer, their first point of call will not be YouTube.
In many cases, discoverability is how most photographers land clients. Clients find their work through search engines like Google or Bing; and portals like Instagram, Linkedin or Facebook, to make contact.
So if YouTube is the second biggest search engine behind it’s owner, Google, then not having a photography YouTube channel means any potential clients you may convert through YouTube are lost.
The Second Biggest Search Engine
YouTube initially was focused on content based on entertainment. And while entertainment is still popular, YouTube has increasingly been, for many, a recourse for information to solve problems.
How To videos and solutions to every type of problem can be found on Google and now on YouTube in visual form. And visual form can be the best way to illustrate the solution to issues as opposed to written form.
But how does that relate to a photographer? If your business is creating images for weddings for example, where is the relevance?
As I mentioned earlier, having a presence on YouTube gives you access to another market, which means more eyes. Converting views from YouTube into clients can only be done if you are on YouTube.
When you have a photography YouTube channel and you are continually creating solutions to problems people are searching to solve, you are building authority.
You don’t need to be solving problems either. Having your brand on YouTube, showcasing your skills and quality of work creates authority too. The majority of your audience will be photographers or those with an interest in photography. Which is obviously not your client base.
when a client looks to find a photographer, the quality of your authority will play a big factor in them hiring you.
If they recognize you are solving problems for other photographers or see photographers are looking to you for inspiration and knowledge, or both, you will be able to convert more clients who recognize your level of authority.
The stronger your authority the more clients you will get and the bigger the client brands will be. Businesses want to hire the best. If the search results show you ranking high up, they will recognize the strength of your brand matches with theirs.
I have advocated here why you need a website in this blog article. And the same reasoning I explained applies here. If you focused on Instagram only, which is your largest following and it disappeared tomorrow, what impact would that be to you?
Imagine if you were only focused on one platform like MySpace or Vine, or Snapchat (which is in rapid decline).
If you are constricting yourself to one platform, a platform which you do not control, algorithms which you do not write, you are at their mercy. If they disappeared or made large changes that affect your content, how do you mitigate the impacts on your ability to be discovered and convert clients?
The strategic move is to first get yourself a website, which you do control. Then the next step is to profilirate your content across multiple platforms.
How many is up to your ability to manage driving content consistently to these platforms; and continue to please the requirements of each platform.
For instance YouTube’s algorithm will favor your content if it’s over a certain length of time and if you upload at a certain frequency. This requires effort not easily afforded by an already busy schedule.
Know your limits and how much value you can provide to a platform. If you overstretch and are on multiple platforms offering little value, you are wasting your efforts.
Facebook owns Instagram. Google own Youtube. Amazon own Twitch. Microsoft own Bing and LinkedIn. Spend long enough on certain platforms and you find they will encourage you to cross platform interact.
Facebook will make it easy for you to post your Instagram posts, but make it difficult or negatively impact you if you try to post a YouTube video. Because Facebook owns the former and is in competition with the latter.
Post on YouTube and it can be found in Google search engine results, if they rank well enough.
Platforms connected will promote each other. If you have YouTube channel that creates content that can be found on Google it will strengthen your brand.
There are also many opportunities created when you have a YouTube channel. One interesting door it opens is bringing you closer to like minded individuals.
With photography and video blurring lines in many respects, content creators can use YouTube to showcase their work not just to find clients, but to find those you can collaborate with to create in other disciplines.
Photographers working with videographers, working with graphic designers, working with artists, working with chefs, and on and on. This becomes possible because of the diversity of YouTube and the ease of discoverability.
Working with others has obvious merits. Forging networks has proven to lead to more job opportunities.
Alongside that, working with talented creators will improve your own craft.
The merits of creating a YouTube channel are not immediately plain to see. But once you give it some thought, it becomes quite obvious how it can help scale your brand.
Indirectly, YouTube, if done correctly can work alongside your main platforms to help with client conversion, cross-promotion etc.
I personally will be using it for these exact reasons. By building an audience which becomes a community I can forge meaningful links to my clientbase.
Over time, by consistently providing value to my viewership, when they find they are in need of my services or I offer a service (like an eBook), there will be recognized value that they know they will receive.
I have already been working with talented creators on YouTube, which has improved my own skills, pushing me to do better and create more.
If this makes sense and you want to start a YouTube channel, every step to start a photography YouTube is explained in this blog article linked here.
And lastly if you found this article of value to you, please do check out my other blog articles and sign up to my newsletter for exclusive articles and free products I later sell in my shop.