As part of Google’s mission to help women upskill and create livelihood opportunities through its platforms and content, YouTube held this year’s edition of its “Digiskarteng Pinay” with an online training workshop for aspiring and budding creators.
“As we strive to help more women, part of our goals at Digiskarteng Pinay is to give people more resources created by Filipinas and allies, for Filipinas,” said Bernadette Nacario, country director, Google Philippines.
Here are some helpful tips from experienced content creators and insider advice from YouTube:
Find your voice
The most important thing for a content creator to establish first is what their channel will be all about. Defining the goal will make it incredibly easier for a creator to find their way and consistently come out with content that can resonate.
“The most important thing is to know your ‘Why’ and your ‘What.’ Find your voice,” said Andrea Romualdez, strategic partner manager at YouTube. “A good first thing to consider asking yourself is how would you like to have an impact? Are you there because you want to share something specific? Do you have a passion for something, or a talent that you really want to get out there?”
YouTube has a host of options that can help creators succeed once they figure out their goals, such as content verticals that cover and classify a wide range of topics, branding elements that establish a channel’s identity, and settings that will allow creators to monetize their content and potentially sustain a livelihood, and analytics that can measure their performance and help them adjust accordingly.
Andrea’s biggest advice for creators is to be consistent, as a sustainable release schedule goes a long way in building a presence on the platform. Viewers and fans are constantly tuned in and will appreciate constant releases, and will also notice when new content is sporadic.
Make the most of what you’ve got
One of the most daunting things about starting a content creation journey on YouTube is the idea that you need the best equipment to shoot the best content. With the advent of accessible and affordable devices that can shoot in relatively high definition, however, it’s now easier than ever to use what you’ve got.
“The best equipment you can use is the one you already have,” said Lyqa Maravilla of Team Lyqa. “The thing is, you have the ability to create quality content simply because you are able to consume content right now. We all have a smartphone, and what that means is you have in your hands the power to be a content creator.”
Lyqa stressed that it is far more important to learn creative production techniques using the tools one already has, instead of seeking out top-of-the-line equipment and setups that may not make up for a lack of experience and production skill. It’s easy to learn how to shoot and edit properly with a wealth of free resources on the internet.
It’s not about the moment, it’s the movement
Once a creator starts a channel and sets up their first few videos, it may be hard to keep going and figure out what else they want to show the world.
This is why Team Tarah has stuck to a philosophy of not only planning possible content to make, but also of simply documenting everything that happens. They quote from the musical Hamilton: “This is not a moment, it’s a movement,” referring to how they don’t wait for any “shootable” moments to come around, instead, they simply record and let it all resonate.
“Sometimes it’s like, I don’t feel like making a video right now. Sarah will feel lazy. But no, it’s the movement–so record,” said Tanch. “Do it, do you. It’s hard to edit if you don’t have material, if you don’t have enough videos.”
This mindset is a way of both making sure there is content for them to upload, and also retaining the valuable authenticity and genuineness that their fans love.
“What we really do is just document ourselves, just being real. We came out, we shared our story, and we were brave to show the world who we really are, and that’s when viewers started relating to us. Eventually, we grew a family and community on YouTube. That’s the thing about content creating–first you do you, then you listen to your community,” said Tanch.
Authenticity creates opportunities
It’s also that authenticity in one’s content that can ultimately create opportunities for monetization, which is a big goal for many YouTube creators.
For relatively smaller creators, there’s no need to deliberately curate posts and content releases just to attract brands for a partnership, says Vern and Verniece Enciso, who have made the successful transition from well-known bloggers to popular vloggers on YouTube.
“Once you’re being yourself and you find your little family on YouTube, the brands will just come,” says Vern. “You don’t have to pressure yourself. When you’re just really being yourself and you’re listening to your audience and community, the brands will come naturally.
“It’s really okay to take a lot of videos, just put it out there–at the end of the day, you’re going to find the niche that would really like the content that you put out,” says Verniece. This strong engagement is also more important for potential brand partners, who will likely succeed more with a dedicated and supportive audience.
And when a creator does actually get a partnership with a brand, it’s a good practice to actually try the product or service first to form an honest opinion about it. Audiences will know if a creator promotes something they haven’t actually tried, and doing that will go against the idea of being authentic and genuine.
The life-changing power of self-promotion
A huge part of women’s success on any platform is the power of self-promotion, which can be intimidating to do. That’s why Google established its far-reaching #IAmRemarkable global initiative that empowers everyone, especially underrepresented groups, to celebrate their achievements in the workplace and beyond.
One of the most important roles #IAmRemarkable has is raising awareness of people’s roles as allies to each other, which can be very helpful in self-promotion of underrepresented groups. Google’s Global Content Manager for Pixel and #IamRemarkable Champion, Miami Cabansay, explained that there are three ways to do this: attribute ideas correctly, acknowledge accomplishments, and ask probing questions to encourage people.
“A great way for experienced YouTube creators to practice supporting up-and-coming creators is to mention them in your vlog, attribute their content, and encourage them with your own stories of how you started and what your struggles were. It will help create the culture of repeating one’s stories and magnifying them through your network of subscribers,” Miami said.