20.3.08

How YouTube can make you (sort-of) famous

OK, so it's been a little while since I blogged on the topic of running a crafty biz. Sorry about that! I promised ages ago that they next topic of discussion would be How YouTube can make you famous. So... here it goes!

First of all, I'll explain what YouTube is -(in case you've been living under a rock and don't know). Basically, YouTube is a video hosting site. Much like Flickr, where you can host your photos, you can use YouTube to host your videos.

As a crafter, you might post a craft tutorial or a video tour of a craft show you put on or vended in. The key is to pick something that people will want to watch. Don't forget to make sure that when you upload the video - either the video or the description of the video should link back to your web site. If people watch your video and like your style, they can go to your site (or blog) and they'll know where they can see more. If your video becomes popular, it can help to increase the traffic on your site. To top it off, if you make a good video, people will blog about it - which means more exposure for you - YAY!

So, that doesn't exactly explain how YouTube can make you famous. Unless a really well-know blog features a post about your video - then I guess you can say you're kinda famous. For instance, if you made a great craft tutorial, you can submit the link to Craft (just an example of a popular crafting blog). I don't know how many hits the site gets but I'm sure it's A LOT. People who keep up on the Craft blog will see the post about your video (assuming the contributors like your video enough to blog about it). Then you sit back and watch the hits on your site sky-rocket. Chances are, you'll gain at least a few new fans - and maybe even customers.

If you are in a different market - like entertaining - then it really is possible to become famous on YouTube. Not easy, but possible. You've all heard of those people that post videos of themselves singing or dancing or acting or telling jokes. One person watches the video and likes it enough to send to their friends and so on and so on. Pretty soon, the video becomes one of the most popular videos on YouTube and gets listed on the YouTube site as such, which makes even more people want to watch the video (gotta check out what everybody else is watching, right?). In this way, someone who may have never been given a chance has the opportunity to showcase their talent to people in the biz who can help them make their big break. And they can do all this from the comfort of their own home. Nice!

Even though crafting and DIY are all the rage right now, it's hard to imagine a craft tutorial becoming one of the most watched videos on YouTube. Most people would probably call that video boring. But not you and I! So you might not actually become famous from crafting on YouTube but you can make a name for yourself within the crafting community. And that in itself is pretty cool.

I've only covered the very basics of YouTube marketing here but if you want to learn more, Business Week has a great podcast called YouTube as Marketing Tool that I highly recommend.

Don't just sit there, go on and get those camcorders rolling!

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