As of writing, I sit at 353 YouTube subscribers. In March 2016 I decided try daily vlogging as an experiment. I loved it, but it took a lot of dedication and was competing for my attention with having a second child and building my own startup as a side hustle.
So I put the camera down and did the odd video here and there, but ultimately, it wasn't a priority. Now I want to revisit how I think about YouTube and challenge myself to grow to 1,000 subscribers.
How I got into YouTube
When I was 13 I used to make fun short films and skits with my friends. This was in 1993 and we could only record on VHC-C tapes. It was such a defining feature of my childhood and that secondary passion for visual creativity has never died.
Fast forward to 2016, I found myself creatively stifled where I had to suppress who I really wanted to be to fit the needs of my clients. So as a way to vent that frustration, I picked up the camera to see what would happen. I vlogged for 127 days straight. I loved it!
During that time I learned a lot about YouTube and what is required to make a successful channel. I want to get back to that, but I need to address the mistakes I've made and have a plan.
Who is my YouTube channel for?
I had a loose definition of who the channel was for when I started. Basically, someone like me, who loves to explore different creative outlets, but is trying to stay motivated and build a startup.
Sadly, it was unfocused. One video would be talking about myself, another would be educating the user. To achieve 1K subs, I need to be explicit with who the channel is for. Before I answer that, I need to be honest about what value I have to bring to YouTube and what I am prepared to do for the channel.
What talent do I have to bring to YouTube?
It's time to be open about how I see myself and my strengths. I've compiled a short summary:
I am a believer and an optimist. I naturally challenge myself to find a way to make anything possible. I fall in love with ideas that have purpose and meaning. I feel that I can share this with anyone who has a dream and is looking for permission to chase it. I want my passion to be a spark to fuel some else's ambitions.
I am a good listener. I am continually working hard to open my mind and listen to what people are really saying and explore their perspective. I find this truly fascinating. I like to listen and challenge people to think bigger and take control.
I adore tech entrepreneurship. This is my baby. This is who I am. I've been creative from a very young age and fell in love with programming at 13. I've made a great career from it and I'm pushing every single day to not just launch a successful startup, but something that becomes my legacy.
I am accelerating my self awareness and personal development. This has been the biggest improvement for me in the past 24 months. By reading and educating myself, I have explored more and more about happiness, motivation, grit and purpose. I feel happier and a better human being. I love it, and I love that I have so much further to go.
I believe in doing things right, and doing things honestly. Basically, be a decent human being and treat everyone else as equal peers of this thing we call life.
The dreaded impostor syndrome
It's hard to admit there is a fear that has been holding me back with YouTube.
I want my YouTube channel to help and inspire others, while inviting them to join in a community of like-minded individuals. But am I really of any help? After all, I'm only at the start of my 'brilliance' journey to be happy, healthy and achieve my goals. I'm still learning.
This is one of the reasons I stopped YouTube. I was fed up saying that I was gonna and actually wanted to educate on how I succeeded. I wasn't ready because I had a lot of work to do to get there.
In that time I've spent more time reading, learning and building my startup. This means I've focused on doing and sharing. I still have I have a long way to go.
It is natural to feel like an impostor when all you have are ideas and not tried and true methods of success. This is what has been holding me back and it's time to throw caution to the wind and double down on being myself for all my talents I've described above.
Why be a YouTuber?
Do I really hold the talent, dedication, charisma and professionalism to be a successful YouTuber? That's a curious question.
Let me get this straight. I don't particularly care about the celebrity appeal of YouTube. Sure at one time it would have been appealing, but it actually means I would have to sign up to being a brand which holds hostage to being who I really want to be. It means I have to produce the same type of videos over and over. That's how mass produced content works. I cannot be both mass appeal, and experimental.
But I actually have that one burning question. Is it possible for me, yes me, to gain 1,000 YouTube subscribers? Not through luck, and not through obsessive hard work, but through pragmatic analysis and patience.
It's a curious question indeed. The theory says yes as there's plenty of YouTube videos out there that will give me the tactics. But the question I have is, can I do it?
So it wouldn't be for the subscribers, the views or the fame. It would be about knowing that I had a goal in life and I could achieve it. A success that I could share with other new creators to help and inspire them. The payoff for doing this would be beneficial to my business.
So, what's the channel about and who is it for?
As a true entrepreneur, lets write a mission statement of what my YouTube channel is all about.
This YouTube channel is for creative entrepreneurs who are seeking a balance between relentless ambition and inner happiness. I'm Martin, a tech entrepreneur and mentor and in this YouTube channel I share my discoveries that can allow you to be an inspired, patient, tactical and truly happy entrepreneur.
In a way, I want to be the Gary Vaynerchuk crossed with Tim Ferris. The traits I aspire to is the unbounded passion for making the most with what you've got, combined with self awareness and patience, while having a calm and inner peace at all aspects of my life.
The new YouTube channel
I will explore what this will look like over the coming weeks. But for me to succeed at reaching 1,000 subscribers, I must work hard at the following:
- Content preparation, format, length and content style
- Content schedule (probably weekly videos)
- Channel branding (bumpers, music and thumbnails)
- Topic research so it appears in search and recommended videos
Let the fun begin.