YouTube is a platform that has turned regular folks into some of the most recognizable faces on the planet. Whether they are discussing makeup, visiting some of the most exotic places the world has to offer, or sampling food that has been expired for over 50 years, many YouTubers have amassed a legion of fans that support them with views, donations, Patreon subscriptions, and so much more.
According to statistics from Tubics, there are approximately 22,000 channels on YouTube that have amassed over one million subscribers in total. There are many more that fall just under that total, and anyone with, say, 250,000+ subscribers could be regarded as 'YouTube famous' in their particular niche.
If you have managed to attain that type of status, congratulations are in order. There are over 37 million channels that populate YouTube, and many fail to attract more than 100 subscribers.
Yet with fame and success come many challenges – and potential rewards. To help you navigate the choppy waters of being a famous YouTuber, below is a guide for handling and thriving in this unique situation.
It is easy to let all that success get to your head. You may feel that you can create any content, turn it into a massive amount of views, and profit from that sweet ad revenue. However, you must remember why people are watching your videos in the first place. If they are there to watch you review retro video games, for example, they are unlikely to be interested if you start uploading makeup tutorials.
As a result, you must remain consistent and create videos that gained you the popularity you currently experience on YouTube. Too many channels have fallen off a cliff due to completely changing their approach and the type of content they post. If you do want to produce alternative videos, consider uploading these onto a secondary channel away from your main content.
Bring in an editor
Content creation burnout is real. Yet you cannot afford to delay your uploading schedule – you have to keep posting content weekly at least. So if you do suffer from burnout, one way of maintaining your upload schedule is to utilize a video editor.
When you have a video editor on-board, this takes a lot of the pressure off your shoulders. In essence, all you have to do is film. Then it is a case of sending this content to your editor to stitch it together and polish it up. Just remember to ensure your editor can mimic your editing style, so any new videos do not feel 'off' to your audience.
Avoid joining an MCN
If you have achieved sustained success on YouTube, there is no doubt you will have received messages in your inbox that attempt to entice you to join a particular Multi-Channel Network (MCN). While these were a popular option a few years back and have helped certain channels explode in subscriber numbers and overall viewership, it is advised by most to avoid partnering up with one in this day and age.
An MCN typically helps with arranging collaborations and managing your channel, including refined monetization and the use of SEO tactics to gain greater visibility for your videos. However, these are all things that you can do on your own without assistance. There are plenty of guides out there for how to market your videos better, and it only takes a quick message to start organizing collaborations.
Plus, you will not have to be tied up to a contract or give a portion of your channel's revenue away. There are also plenty of controversial stories about other YouTubers having poor experiences with MCNs.
Search for collaboration opportunities
Expanding on a point highlighted in the previous section, collaborations with other YouTubers can be an effective way to boost your viewership.
Even if you have over a million subscribers on your channel, this is still only scratching the surface in terms of overall YouTube user numbers. This means there are plenty of other people to try and entice to come and view your channel. It also means that, if you collaborate with a channel that has a different viewership to your own, you can suddenly be seen by a million+ different eyes.
In most cases, you want to collaborate with people within your own niche on YouTube. However, it can pay off to work with channels in completely different categories – particularly if you gel with the person and have a natural rapport.
While most people will be open to collaborating, others will want something in return. In the latter case, you could offer to appear in one of their channel's videos as a response to them doing the same for you.
Manage your reputation
You never want to be embroiled in controversy. However, it is sometimes a situation you cannot avoid. When it happens, it has the potential to cause irreversible damage to your fame and YouTube career.
Because of this, you must incorporate celebrity reputation management when the time requires it. Trying to protect your online reputation is difficult, especially because news can spread like wildfire through social media and news sites. This is why you need the right strategy – or professional assistance – to overcome the issue. A strong strategy includes having official accounts on all social media platforms, and creating reasoned, considerate content in response to any controversy.
Learn from your mistakes
Everyone makes mistakes – and celebrities certainly fall under that umbrella. You cannot log into Twitter or Facebook without being made aware of the latest scandal involving someone in the public eye.
Aside from managing your reputation, as mentioned above, make sure to use these experiences as a way of learning. Dealing with being a YouTube celebrity is always a learning experience, after all. Until you experience it first-hand, you will not know its effect on your professional and personal life.
Remember that you cannot please everyone. Just try and do what you think is best for your own wellbeing and take it one step at a time.
Branch into other areas
As of writing, YouTube is by far the biggest platform of its kind on the internet. Other options like Daily motion and Vimeo have existed during the growth of YouTube, but none have managed to make a dent in the video sharing realm's runaway juggernaut.
However, that does not mean the situation cannot change in the future. When Myspace was at the peak of its popularity, who would have expected the social networking platform to plummet in the way it did?
Admittedly, YouTube is well-established in today's world and is unlikely to disappear from public view suddenly. Yet its popularity could take a significant hit due to controversy, and a new platform might emerge that offers better features for both creators and viewers, and so on. Nobody can predict the future, including YouTube being a secure source of revenue for your successful channel.
This is why it makes sense to branch out into other areas. More and more YouTubers are popping up on live streaming platform Twitch, for example. This is a great way to connect with your audience in a more interactive and personal way, and it can also be a money-spinning venture if you have a dedicated – and generous – audience.
If the audience is willing to follow you, there is always going to be opportunities away from YouTube, whether producing other video content, publishing a book, or getting into a celebrity boxing match!