How to Build Your YouTube Community for Free
So how do you really build or acquire your audience-base and nurture your entire YouTube community?
In this article, let’s talk about building your YouTube community for free that will then eventually lead to building your entire online community including in social media. I know I always talk about optimizing your videos for the search engine and for humans, so this time, we will not talk about that. I’d like to focus on the non-technical aspects of community-building.
Are you a video-kind-of-person? Here’s the video version of this article. Otherwise, please continue reading.
1. Strive to be more relatable to your audience.
The first thing you’d want to do is to strive to be more relatable to your audience by always sharing personal stories in every video. I do this all the time. I always make sure to incorporate personal stories about what I have gone through, my experiences, victories and struggles, failures, and everything that tells my viewers that I am human just like them and have definitely also gone through all the struggles they’ve probably had before.
Okay, well maybe not all struggles because I suppose we’re taking different paths here but I also have my own failures which have made me stronger and made me more committed to achieving the success I desire.
One thing I can say though is make sure that those stories are genuine. Please don’t just make things up to gain sympathy or to be more relatable on social media. The thing is.. nowadays you will see a lot of stories on social media that are very unrealistic or too good to be true. I mean, who knows if they’re real or not, but there are a lot of them that are just fabricated for the purpose of going viral on social media. I don’t think that should be the purpose of sharing a personal story.
Sharing a personal story should be genuinely inspirational and should influence your audience or other people to strive harder and take action for themselves. For example in my case, I’m aware that I am very blessed to get most of what I want and that is also because I work hard for it. There were several instances where I wanted to think of a story that I could share with my audience that hopefully they could relate with, but it’s just that I haven’t experienced it at all.
In my main channel, I talk a lot about job application. I know that a lot of my viewers have experienced rejection when it comes to looking for a job, but truth be told, I’ve only ever experienced rejection once in my entire job application journey. That was when I applied for a job the very first time and so that’s the only story I could share with them.
I do not and would not want to fabricate that story to make it sound more convincing or to make it more like a tear-jerker or a really huge struggle because right after that rejection, I already got hired. It’s really just a normal story of failing and that’s just because I did not know any better about that industry yet the first time I applied.
2. Share success stories of people in your community.
This is in relation to the first thing I mentioned above… BUT this time, it’s not only your story but also other people’s story especially if you haven’t experienced anything in a particular topic or subject, but want to make a point. You can tell a story of someone you know, even someone you barely know but you know that person’s story very well (think of famous thought leaders or influencers, or even your mom’s or grandmother’s stories).
When I say success story, it doesn’t only highlight stories of people who are already successful; it also talks about those who may not be quite there yet but are still working hard to achieve their dreams. When you share all these success stories, you’ll be able to nurture your audience even more because they’ll be able to relate with your stories.
Just like what I mentioned in the beginning of this article, storytelling is powerful. Get your viewers inspired and motivated to take action.
3. Create a Facebook Page and Group
The second thing I did to build or to acquire my audience is to create a Facebook Group and a Page as an extension of my channel. I nurture the people following my page as well as the members of my group. Obviously, we all know that Facebook is a rented land so it can disappear anytime and we’re really at the mercy of the algorithm unlike email marketing where you can basically reach your audience anytime. But we’re not here to talk about email. That’s a story for another day.
Through my social media platforms, I was able to nurture my audience by posting motivational content, sharing my videos, and some fun and relatable memes. It does work for me right now. Social media is pretty much the easiest way for you build your community so always remember to ask your viewers to follow/like your main social media pages in every video you post or even just include links in the description box.
4. Create videos that your viewers want to see.
Creating content without thinking of your audience defeats the purpose of being on YouTube because a big part of the platform is about building a community.
I know there’s always that feeling that you just want to create content you want for yourself because you enjoy creating it, but I believe you should also balance it with content that your subscribers want to learn from you even though you’re not exactly super passionate about it.
Maybe you can create two videos every month about what your audience wants to learn and answer their questions in those videos. The rest of the month, you can create videos that you truly enjoy or want the audience to learn even though nobody really asked YET. It’s a win-win!
Again, think of that balance — something that makes you happy in terms of content creation and also something that your audience needs or something you think your audience needs. When your audience knows that you’re answering their questions and you’re listening to their feedback, they will feel taken care of and they will feel nurtured because you’re showing up for them. Eventually, they will keep coming back to your channel and be loyal viewers.
5. Create a fun name for your community.
By giving your community a name, you are also creating a sense of belonging for them (as cringey as it may be for some). I call mine the Ninja Support Squad or Ninja Community. That’s how I address my viewers in most of my videos and social media posts.
Think of a name that’s fun, unique, and represents your community. Ask your audience or viewers how they feel about it. Obviously, when you’re starting, you might not have that big of a community just yet but don’t worry, you can still create your videos as if you’re speaking with a big community. Eventually, it will indeed be a big one. 🙂