It’s impossible to ignore the impact and reach of vlogging. In the past few years, vloggers are everywhere and YouTube stars are going beyond the bounds of the platform. Everyone has laughed about the infamous millionaire kids on YouTube who open toys for a living (or just play with them) and Casey Neistat is pretty much a household name, with an estimated net worth of $16 million.
Beyond the outliers, many are seeing the value in creating content on YouTube that demonstrates their expertise. You don’t need to get millions of followers to reach a small dedicated group that will potentially bring you some monthly revenue from YouTube, but more importantly bolster your existing business.
Our team picked up some vlogging knowledge while working with Youtuber and founder and CEO of Luxury Bazaar, Roman Sharf. So if you’re one of those people interested in building your brand as a vlogger on YouTube, we put together a few tips of what to expect.
Check out The Office Tour Video we made for Roman
Before you start looking into purchasing cameras, audio equipment, editing software (or partnering with an editor), realize the commitment you are making. If you want a sizable following that’s hungry for your content, you better be ready to feed them and regularly. When Roman does a travel vlog, for example filming one of his trips to Dubai and Hong Kong, he’s not lazily trouncing through the airport and randomly getting shots. He’s totally focused, using the pre production shot list we agree on together and working the entire time. When he arrives in Dubai, exhausted after his long flight, the camera is on and he’s on, all the way from the airport to the hotel (that’s just to give us 30 seconds of transition content to get us from his home to the Destination). That’s the commitment we are talking about.
2. Know your audience
Everyone can have their own niche within a content category. Roman is certainly not the first to talk about watches on YouTube, but where he differentiates himself. While others were doing deep dives into nuts and bolts and features, he decided to talk about the business of watches, the brands on a higher level, and except for when he “doesn’t have his crystal ball,” occasionally make predictions on industry trends. Within your industry, find the content that’s missing or that your audience is craving and deliver it to them.
OK we are video production nerds so we couldn’t do this post without talking about gear a little bit. Be prepared to invest some serious dollars in your craft. The cost for video production equipment has come down significantly and has opened the door for many creators, but it’s still not cheap. The upside for vloggers, is that generally the expectation for quality is not too high, people are really expecting content that doesn’t distract them from the story. So if your camera shots are reasonably stable and reasonably in focus your story can still shine. Think about getting mirrorless DSLR’s with flip out LCD screens, something to stabilize your camera, and a high quality mic or two.
Many people assume that vloggers just pick up a camera and wing it. While that may be true for some, it’s not the case for most. Pre-production planning will allow you to be more efficient when you’re out in the field, and will also help control post production. More importantly though, planning will help you stay on message and tell better stories. In Roman’s case, he travels to Aruba every year. Usually something unexpected happens and we feature it in the video, but he always leaves with a plan for a story to tell. So each year even though the trip is to the same place, the story is different and keeps the viewers engaged and interested.
We alluded above that with planning you can avoid overshooting and control post production. Imagine your plan is to create 2 travel videos a month. Each trip is one week long. Even if you record just two hours a day on a seven day trip, that’s 14 hours of footage you or your Editor will have to cull through to tell the story. So while making a plan will help ensure you don’t shoot too much, having a plan for organizing the footage after, will help your editor navigate through the content and get to the heart of the story faster. Try putting clips in folders and in the order you want them to appear in the video (not necessarily the order that they occurred). Also try to differentiate between narrative clips (clips that tell the story) or b-roll (detail shots that help provide context for the story).
Looking for help with editing or getting started with vlogging? Contact us here!