You’ve done it all.
You’ve been to the workshops – the free ones and the paid ones. You’ve been to the conventions. You’ve collaborated. You’ve matched the algorithm changes. You’ve networked. You’ve overhauled your thumbnails and channel art. You’ve signed to a network. You’ve left a network. You’ve changed the content of your videos. You’ve gotten a shout out on a bigger channel. You’ve tweeted, commented and messaged. You’ve followed all the trends.
You’ve gotten nowhere fast.
Welcome to YouTube, the most enjoyable and frustrating game there is to play.
By now we all know there is no secret formula or 11-step process that assures success (or I hope you know that, otherwise what a bombshell I just dropped!). To explain how success actually comes about and how you get discovered, I’m going to use my “Air Crash Investigation” anecdote – I’m slightly obsessed with the programme. What I’ve learnt from my binge watching is that it’s never one thing that brings down a plane. It is a multitude of coincidences that layer up on top of each other that leads to the rare situation of a plane having a major problem.
Depressing example, but bear with me.
YouTube follows the same example, but flipped so that the ending is happy. A multitude of coincidences have to layer up in order for the more and more unlikely situation (these days) of you and your channel being successful to happen. There’s a lot you can do to optimize your channel and make it more likely, but those coincidences still need to happen and it’s totally out of your control.
I know – frustrating.
“Success,” in this case meaning lots of subscribers (and hopefully some nice dosh too), nowadays it’s not really down to you. It’s someone else, usually quite a lot of someone else’s, discovering you and sharing you all at the same time. Then YouTube notices and promotes you more. And you’ll usually need to have similar or completely the same content and persona to the video which took off to back it up. After all, people like to know that they’ll get another video like the video they subscribed for.
So what does this mean for you? Well… good luck.
But in all seriousness, “YouTube success” can happen to anyone if they are lucky enough, in the right place at the right time, and that could definitely be you! Like the lottery, you have to be in it to win it.
The key is learning how to deal with both the frustrations of slow growth and the envy of watching others seemingly on their way to winning the game.
I’m happy to share that there are a few brilliant ways in which you can do that. If you’d like to read about them, click here.
In the meantime, feel free to have a good ol’ moan in the comments and let us know how things are going for you. I personally feel it’s healthy to let out the angst sometimes, especially with people who are going through it too. As long as you’re having fun most of the time and having a moan only some of the time, I reckon the balance is okay.