Lets Talk YouTube: Keeping Up With The YouTube Joneses
It is easy to feel crazy inadequate on the Internet. In fact, we have placed ourselves under a microscope in a way no other generation has managed. If you want to feel bad about your looks, abilities or lack of anything you deem important, then just spend a couple minutes browsing your social media feed.
The same is absolutely true about your YouTube channel. If you have 500 subs you will pine away for 1k. If you have 1k you will be jealous of channels with 20k. It never stops. Once you reach the top, you will be worried about being overtaken by some new upstart.
Don’t compare your channel to other channels.
Most of us who have channels subscribe to other YouTubers in a similar genre. I watch a LOT of makers and woodworkers. It is easy for me to get discouraged when comparing what I do, with what they do. “That was an amazing camera angle! Mine are all the same.” “I wonder if they make as many mistakes as I do?” “That person has all the nice tools and a lot more experience than I do. I doubt I have the skill to do anything as nice as they do.”
If you spend your time comparing your channel to others you will find yourself on the straightjacket side of crazy in almost no time.
If you do this, you will quite actually make yourself miserable. You might even suck away your motivation for making videos. I know personally, there have been days I’ve thought of pulling the lever and watching the whole thing swirl around the bottom of the bowl.
Back in May of 2015, I had 60k subs and I was talking with a YouTuber who has a channel in the DIY space much larger than me. (I Like To Make Stuff) I was asking Bob for advice. “Up until now, all my builds have been sorta haphazard and not terribly professional, but now that I’m growing I want to mature my channel a bit. Make it more professional, like yours.” I remember feeling very inadequate like I didn’t know why 50 thousand people had decided they wanted to subscribe, and now that I was getting some traction I wanted to “do right” by those subscribers and fix all the things that were wrong with my channel. He looked at me sort strange and said, “I don’t know why you should change anything. Why not just keep doing what you’re doing? It seems to be working.”
He was right. I had a following not because of all the things I wished I was doing better, but because of all the things that I apparently was doing right. I have to be honest, I’m still surprised by the number of people who watch me make my crazy projects. I keep expecting to get an email from YouTube letting me know the whole thing was just a wild computer glitch.
Just as all your friends are posting (what you believe to be) their perfect lives on Facebook, the same goes for other channels on YouTbube. You don’t need to be the same as them, and you shouldn’t even try. You are the ingredient that makes your channel special. Your story, your perspective, and your videos.
Not to say you cannot learn from others, take little bits here and there, but remember why it is that people found you in the first place? Keeping up the Joneses on YouTube will make you crazy. Just enjoy what you’re doing and remember that you will grow at your pace. Try to relax and enjoy the ride, because the truth is, we have no idea how long this train will run for!
I’m just a geek with a full set of power tools and some crazy ideas I want to try out.