The Struggle of the Artist and YouTube

In the ever-growing social media tool kit available to the public, YouTube has become a best friend and a worst enemy of new artists. Musicians, actors, filmmakers and more all utilize YouTube as a means of connecting the public to their work. On the positive side, YouTube presents an opportunity that cannot be matched anywhere else. Within hours, original content can be seen by literally millions of viewers, even surpassing some professionally produced television premieres. More realistically, the site can be used to develop a strong fan-base without requiring huge production budgets or resources. On the other hand, submitting content to YouTube can feel like throwing a needle into a haystack. With over 100 hours of video content uploaded to YouTube every day, it is easy to get lost in the sea of other users and media. For artists, this means competition is set at a ridiculously high level. Additionally, this proliferation of media on YouTube means many artists are uploading their content online but seeing little return. It is difficult enough to ensure that personal uploads are not being stolen or pirated somewhere else, let alone develop a strong enough fan-base where video monetization proves fruitful.

So what does YouTube mean for the new artist? Well, using the tool kit analogy, YouTube is essentially a hammer. It is one of the most important tools available to artists for creating and spreading their work to the public. But, you wouldn’t build a house using just a hammer, at least not a very stable one. As such, using YouTube to spread original content needs to be followed up by outreach from other forms of social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram – the list of different sites an artist can use for self-promotion goes on and on. So how does one fully utilize YouTube and other social media sites? Well, here are some basic guidelines.

  • Personal Connections: Family, friends, old gym teachers – anyone who you know personally can be incredibly helpful in reaching out to others. Don’t be obnoxious though! There’s a difference between asking a friend to share a video on Facebook and making someone your personal PR manager.
  • Keep a Schedule: At the minimum, keeping a schedule will make sure you stay organized and on top of your material. Developing a consistent pattern will also make your viewers / listeners more receptive to your work since they’ll know when it’ll be published.
  • Be Responsive – Responding to messages and comments you receive can show that you care about your fans and community. Unresponsiveness can also sometimes appear unprofessional.
  • No Negativity – There are a lot more ways negativity can hurt you rather than help when dealing with any sort of social media. Always be mindful of what you are saying and how you are saying it.

by Samir Asthana


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