You know that saying: the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is today.
The same is true for your YouTube channel.
The best time to start creating YouTube videos was 5 years ago. But the window of opportunity is not closed. You can still stake your claim, but you have to start today.
So many people I talk to say “I’ve waited too long. The market is too saturated. It’s too hard to start a YouTube channel in 2019. I’ll wait for the next big opportunity. Maybe I’ll start streaming on Twitch...”
True, there is way more competition on YouTube than 5 years ago. But there is definitely still room for you.
YouTube is the second biggest search engine in the world, after Google. And while keywords on Google have become expensive, tons of great keywords on YouTube still have very little competition.
Do an experiment for yourself- think of the keywords and phrases your potential customers are looking for on YouTube. Now see what videos show up for those searches.
I’m willing to bet that no matter what your business does, it’s surprising how few quality videos there are. There is room for you.
And more importantly, people need the knowledge, passion, and leadership you offer. So it’s time to get your message out into the world!
It can be hard to know where to start. So in this article I’m going to lay out the 9 things every YouTube video needs.
Quick interruption: We have a fillable worksheet that goes along with this article. So when you’re done reading this and you’re ready to get started, download it here
. Fill it out and you’ll be making amazing YouTube videos in no time.
The Essential YouTube Formula
1: Instantly grab their attention
As soon as the video starts, you need to jump right into what the video is about. You only have a few seconds to catch the viewer’s attention and help them decide if they’re interested in the information.
So without any distractions, and with no fluff, give them a concise idea of what they’re going to learn. For example: “Today we’re going to talk about ______, and how you can achieve _______ even if _______.”
It only needs to be a couple sentences, so a good way to think about this like the title of your video. It’s a one-two punch that makes the viewer sit up and say “That sounds awesome, I want to learn that!” (This is a great place to use your copy-writing techniques to pique their curiosity or touch an emotional trigger.)
2: Introduce yourself
Next, tell the viewer who you are and what the channel is normally about. You want to give some context so they know they’re in the right place. “I’m your host ______ and you’re watching ______, where we help ______ like you accomplish _______.”
This helps your viewer say “Cool, I’m an entrepreneur/writer/mom/athlete/guitarist/whatever too, and I also want to accomplish that thing. I should pay attention!”
3: Ask the viewer to subscribe
Ask the viewer to subscribe and hit the notification bell so they get your updates. The average person needs to hear a Call-To-Action several times before they actually act. So it helps to repeat our CTA to subscribe, which we’ll also say at the end.
Plus, not everyone will watch our whole video, so we want to make sure they don’t miss our CTA.
“We have some amazing stuff coming up on this channel, so make sure you hit the bell so you don’t miss anything.”
This is kind of the “housekeeping” portion of the video. Now that it’s done, we’re ready to dive into the meat of the content.
4: Reintroduce the subject in more detail
In the intro, you explained the topic of the video in just a couple sentences, to grab the viewer’s attention. Now you’re going to say it again, but in more detail. This time you can include things like:
● Why is this a timely thing to talk about?
● Why is it important to learn this information?
● What does it feel like to struggle with the problem you’re talking about?
● What will the viewer know how to do by the end of the video?
The first intro is kind of like hooking a fish. This time as we go into more depth, it’s like we’re starting to reel the fish in. We’re setting the hook deeper. We’re making sure our viewer is 100% locked in, and we’re really piquing their interest so they want to keep watching and learning.
5: Teach the content
This is where we dive into the actual content of the video.
Usually I write down 5 bullet points that I want to cover.
If I’m teaching how to do something I’ll break it into five steps.
If I’m trying to convince the viewer of something, I’ll think of five supporting arguments.
If I’m telling a story, I’ll pull out five important lessons.
Depending on the amount of content, I might make five sub-points for each one.
Then all I have to do is put an iPad in front of me with a presentation on it. It doesn’t need to be in-depth, just the five points with their five sub-points that I want to hit. This makes it really easy for me to look at each prompt, talk about what I want to cover, then move onto the next thing.
It’s also really important to use examples. Each point on your outline might only be one sentence, but then you can tell a short story or give an example to bring it to life. This will make your content more memorable and powerful for your reader. And once you get comfortable with this, it also helps you make great videos fast.
6: Give a quick recap
Once you get through the content portion, you're going to go back and review the main points.
I’m a big fan of the strategy: “Tell them what you’re going to tell them. Tell them. Tell them what you told them.”
This might sound like overkill, but you want to make it completely obvious what the takeaways
and the lessons are.
Plus, by summarizing the key points you can say “Alright, so the five things again are… Now you know how to _____. Isn’t that cool?!”
Instead of hoping your viewer came to the conclusion that you wanted them to, you get to plant the idea in their head that they now have new knowledge or skills. It helps solidify the value that you offered, and it establishes you as the expert.
7: Give a CTA (Call-To-Action)
Next you’re going to give a call to action. Say something like:
● “Now go put this into action.”
● “Go opt-in below.”
● “Click on the links in the description.”
It’s always a great idea to give them something to do when they’re done watching the video. You worked hard to get their attention and trust, so you want to keep the momentum going. Tell them how they can get more value from you. Give them a way to continue on the journey with you.
8: Ask them to subscribe again
It’s hard to get in front of a viewer for the first time.
Your video had to end up in their search results. Or the YouTube algorithm had to suggest one of your videos. Or someone linked to one of your videos in a Facebook post.
Now that the hard work is done, we want to make sure it’s much easier in the future. If we can get them to subscribe and click the notification bell, next time they’ll see our video as soon as it comes out.
9: Sign off
Finally, at the very end we want to say goodbye and thank the viewer for watching.
If you want, you can even give a short teaser of what’s ahead. Open a loop in their mind so they want to tune in next time.
Or you can simply say something like “See you next time” so that it plants the seed that this isn’t the last video they’re going to watch from you.
It’s a simple formula, but it’s powerful. If you follow these 9 steps you're going to have videos that are:
● Easy to digest
● Get your key points across
● Get you subscribers
● Get people to take the action that you want them to take
And all of this makes the algorithms happy so your content gets suggested more.
The Invaluable Life Hack:
As you’re filming your videos, here’s a massive pro tip:
When you create your presentation, give yourself prompts like these:
● “If you want to achieve ______, the first thing you need to do is ______”
● “One of the most common problems I see people struggle with is ______”
● “Most people have the misconception that ______, but in reality ______.”
● “A trick I discovered to accomplish ______ is to do ______.”
You don’t have to use these exact prompts- obviously there are a million variations depending on your content. But treat it like a madlib. Give yourself the beginning of a sentence so that you can fill in the blank.
The idea is you look at your presentation on the iPad, you see your bullet points for what you want to talk about, and then you have all these prompts underneath. Most people stumble through their words and make it up as they go. But you can simply read the prompt out loud to get the idea started, then finish the sentence and keep going.
This does two important things...
First, it gives you “training wheels” to help launch each concept you want to include in your video. It makes it quick and easy to speak clearly and professionally.
Secondly, and more importantly, each of these sentences is the beginning of a coherent idea. So when you repurpose this video (when you turn it into short Instagram videos or Facebook quote images), each one of these prompts is the logical beginning of a new excerpt. Each introduces a key takeaway that stands on its own.
Trust me, when you start repurposing your content, you’ll thank me for these prompts. Click here
to learn more about how we repurpose content in my business.
Jumpstarting Your YouTube Career
I want to make it as fast and easy as possible for you to start using this outline for yourself.
That’s why we created the Perfect YouTube Outline worksheet. Each of these steps has questions and examples. Just fill in the blanks and you’ll have your whole video clearly mapped out in one place.
Grab your free copy here
But What Should My Videos Be About?
This article walked you through how. But what about the what?
How do you know what to film your videos about? And what your potential viewers want to hear?
After years of helping my clients with these exact questions, we’ve developed 5 specific answers. And we reveal them in our article 5 Videos Every Business Needs In 2019
These are the first 5 videos I make with all of my clients, and I’m confident that no matter what business you’re in, these will be fantastic for you too.
Thanks for reading, and please do me a favor. Leave a comment under the video and let me know what your biggest takeaway was, or what your biggest question is.
I can’t wait to read your comments!
This article is one part of our massive guide THE “BE EVERYWHERE” CONTENT FORMULA: How To Dominate Social Media With A Cohesive Strategy, Without Having To Be Your Own Media Company. If you want to learn our A-to-Z process for figuring out what kind of content to produce, how to create great content lightning fast, and how to get it in front of potential customers everywhere, you can find the guide here