As YouTubers grow up, so should their brands. Strawburry17 (real name: Meghan Camarena) manages to maintain relevance while evolving her YouTube presence by following a few simple tips and tricks that she shared during her VideoInk interview. We’ve compiled them to give other YouTube creators a sense of how to navigate growing up on a platform that both welcomes and hinders change.
Give back to your fans.
Camarena does this by hosting specifically fan-directed events. When it came to screening her new programming, she had “one [screening] that was mainly focused on the fans, thanking them for everything.” Showing appreciation comes along with genuinely caring about your audiences, which successful YouTube creators do.
You never know, you may discover new passions, like Camarena. “I started with a vlog talking about my day, but then I started throwing in a few skits here and there. I enjoyed that, because it was cool creative content, and there was an element of storytelling that I really could appreciate. As I gained more of a following, I started to dive into music videos.”
Stick with what the fans initially fall in love with in the beginning, but once you have a following, it can be fun (not to mention safer) to try new things in your videos. It might even reap rewards, which Camarena got in the form of major deals through her music content, a medium she did not start out with on YouTube.
Keep your channel relevant.
Becoming irrelevant on YouTube, in Camarena’s opinion, amounts to “the worst thing in the world.” She explained this means that “you’ve lost your audience…[and] have to start over front scratch.” When Vevo came along, Camarena’s music videos did become irrelevant to a certain extent. She learned to work around this and change for the better.
Take a break to herald in fresh ideas.
Embarking on “The Amazing Race” with a friend after the whole music video letdown served as Camarena’s much-needed vacation from content creation. After the break, she went “back to her roots” and started gaining 500,000 subscribers a week with her fresh content.
Maintain a schedule.
This ranks high up on the list of tips for YouTubers. Camarena accomplished it with three videos a week before she began working her way up to five. Providing your viewers with a steady stream of new content keeps them loyal to your channel. It gives them something to regularly watch for.
Connections and networking are key.
Camarena admitted, “Being a YouTuber now is so much harder. It’s almost impossible to gain exposure, even if your videos are amazing, unless you’ve been around and you know the right people…your videos aren’t going to be seen.” That’s why it’s always important to make friends in the YouTube community. Collaborate with others who share your demographic and something totally organic and beautiful may come from it.
Be open to viewer criticism…but don’t let it get you down.
Part of the magic of YouTube lies in the relationship creators have with their fans. However, sometimes it can start to feel too close for comfort. As Camarena described, “My viewers feel very entitled to tell me what they think I should be doing and how they think I should be fixing things. I’m open to constructive criticism, but it’s a little bit too much.”
Instead, maintain a balance between what your fans tell you and what you tell you (and them!).
It’s important to be open to your audience on YouTube since the platform is all about viewer interaction. What makes YouTube stars so special is that they’re not above taking into account what their fans have to say. As a creator, you just have to balance listening to their advice with taking it too literally, as fans are often slow to accept changes to a creator’s style and/or content.
Camarena presents a good example to follow on this front. “I was telling people, ‘It’s okay, don’t feel bad or get mad at me because I’m changing, because I’ll always be here, and when you’re ready for the change, maybe you’ll come around again!’”