Are you starting a YouTube channel from scratch, and starting at zero subscribers? Have you been wondering how you can get popular and start getting subscribers?
We know how frustrating it can be when you have zero subscribers and no followers. Maybe you just started your channel, and nobody knows who you are yet. Perhaps right now, you spend a lot of time planning, scripting, filming, and editing your YouTube videos. Then you upload them, and you were excited, until you realized hardly anybody watched it.
But guess what? Even the Dan Lok YouTube channel started out with zero subscribers and no audience. So we know what’s it like to start completely from scratch. The Dan Lok channel has now 2.54 million subscribers, and many of his followers get inspired to start their own channel because of him.
It’s not so easy when you’re just starting out. In the book publishing world, there is a common joke. How do you become a bestselling author? Well, it’s easy to become a bestselling author if you already have a bestseller. In other words, it’s easier to grow from zero subscribers if you already have some subscribers. If you’re already famous there’s a much higher chance of our content going viral.
But how do you get there when you are starting your YouTube channel from scratch? There are a few ideas and tools you could use to grow your audience faster. Be aware though, YouTube is a long term-game. Even with these tips, it can potentially take months to grow a decent following. But once you reach a certain size it becomes easier and easier. Below are our tips on how to grow from zero followers and zero subscribers:
1. Use Compelling Titles
When you have zero subscribers the last thing you want to do is to be boring. Yes, there are people who use boring titles and still have millions of followers. There are some people who break all the rules and still make it. But that doesn’t apply to most people, especially if you’re starting from zero.
You have to understand, you’re still unknown. People aren’t searching for you because they don’t know you yet. So, you have to give them a different way to find you. If you pick an interesting topic with a good title that people search for, then your video will show up in their search feed. They will likely click on it because the title is compelling.
Now, how can you create a title that people actually click on? How can you stand out from all the other YouTubers? Here’s a tip from copywriting on how you can stress-test your titles:
Would the title work in a newspaper ad? Would it be compelling enough so people would read it if they were just flipping through a newspaper? Or would they want to find out more information? If you can answer these questions with yes, then you have a pretty good title.
How To Write Headlines To Cut Through The Noise
We collected some ideas for proven headlines that work. Naturally, your headlines will get better over time, as you gain experience. But when you are just starting out, you can use try out these templates:
The “How To” Headline
You can start your headline with “how to” to catch your audience’s attention. This works well, because people go online to find out how to do something. In fact, 67% of Millenials are convinced they can find a YouTube video on anything they want to learn.
That means this is something people actively search for. Even if you have zero subscribers some people will find your video. You could also use the variation How I…For example, one of Dan’s YouTube videos that went viral was titled How I Retired At The Age of 27.
The “Secrets Of” Headline
This type of headline works because people want to hear closely-guarded secrets. Even better if you make it specific, such as, 3 Top Secrets of Instagram Influencers. If a user comes across such a video, it will likely spark their curiosity and they’ll watch it. If they like it they might subscribe.
A warning headline is something like, Don’t Do X Until You Y. Titles like this are very curiosity-driven. People like to shield themselves from pain, so they watch your video to see if what they are doing is correct. Don’t do fake warnings, however. Using click-bait in your headline won’t get you far.
For example, The Most Dangerous Animals In The World. This title was a very precise and specific payoff. Before you click on that title you’ll know exactly what you’ll get. People like it if they know what to expect. When you are very specific, you’ll also attract the right audience. You want to build an audience that is actually interested in what you talk about. There’s no point in just collecting followers for the numbers.
Headlines to Avoid:
When you have zero subscribers, don’t use titles like, My Trip To Europe. You are still unknown and therefore most people won’t care. Once you have fans who want to know what you are up to then you can use headlines like that.
In the beginning focus on topics, people are already searching for. That way you’ll grow from zero subscribers much faster.
2. Hook Your Audience With a YouTube Trailer
What does the movie companies do to get an audience excited to see a movie? They release a trailer. The trailer’s job is to make everyone want to watch the movie. They typically give you a sneak peak some of the best scenes to look forward to when the movie comes out.
You should do the same thing for your YouTube channel. So, when you have a first time visitor who goes on the homepage of your channel, what do they see? In the trailer, they already see what your channel is about.
You can create a trailer even if you don’t have a following yet. All you need are a few videos you already uploaded. Take the best scenes and create a trailer. Do this as early as you can, so the main page of your channel will be appealing.
Why do channel trailers work? You need to give people a reason why they should do something. It’s not enough to say hey my content is fantastic, you’ll love it – please subscribe. That’s not good enough. In your trailer, however, you tell them who you are, what you care about, how often you’ll upload and why they should subscribe to your channel. They get a taste of what you are about and can decide for themselves if they want more of your content.
Later, when your channel is bigger and you possibly go broader with your topics, you can always update your trailer. For now, you don’t have to get it perfect, just get it going.
How to Create a YouTube Trailer
To make it easier for you, here’s a rough script you can use for your YouTube trailer:
Hey, my name is ____. I am a ______ (entrepreneur, blogger, travel enthusiast – whatever you are). When you subscribe to my channel you’ll get X,Y,Z (What are the benefits? Why should they subscribe?). Every single week I upload X amount of videos. (Tell them your uploading schedule so they know what to expect.)
Finally, don’t forget to tell people exactly what you want them to do next. Don’t assume that they’ll naturally subscribe, even if your content is good. No – tell them exactly what button to click and to activate that bell for notifications too.
3. Fall in Love With Your Fans, Not Your Content
This is one of the biggest mistakes a lot of YouTubers make. They make videos that they want to make, instead of making videos their fans want to watch. That’s why they get stuck with a minimum amount of followers. Nobody is interested in what they produce.
When you are on camera, it’s very easy to forget there is another human being behind the screen watching your video. You look at the thumbs up, the follower count, the numbers, the digits. But your YouTube audience isn’t just digits. It’s a human person with feelings, emotions, and struggles. Never forget that. Never, ever treat your fans like digits.
In fact, one of the YouTube series that worked best on the Dan Lok YouTube channel is “Boss In The Bentley”. It’s a question and answers style video format, where his fans would send him questions and Dan would answer them. This kind of interaction with your followers makes a huge difference. It shows that you care about your fans.
Now, when you are starting from zero, you don’t have followers yet who ask questions. But it’s still important to be on the lookout for topics you and your followers will care about. Treat what you do as an interaction, not a TV show.
Another thing you as the YouTuber can do is to give the comments of your fans a “heart-reaction”. When you do that your fan will get a notification that you reacted to their comment. Even if your channel grows and gets bigger, never stop connecting with your fans. You won’t last long.
4. Have a CTA in Your Videos
What does CTA stand for? Call-To-Action. It means you have to tell your viewers exactly what you want them to do. Do you want them to share your video? Should they give you a thumbs up? Or maybe you want them to comment below? Whatever it is, tell them exactly what to do. Never ever assume that they will do it by themselves.
You might think it doesn’t make a difference. But it really does. We saw a huge increase in followers and subscribers after Dan started to tell his viewers to subscribe. Without a CTA you are losing a lot of potential for growth.
There are actually different ways how you can insert a call to action in your videos. You could do it before, during and after. What does that mean? For example, at the beginning of your video, you could say Hey if this is your first time you are visiting my channel, make sure you hit subscribe.
During the video, it could be something like if you want me to teach you more about this make sure you comment below and don’t forget to subscribe. Or, do it like most people do – at the end of the video. Ask them to subscribe and to turn on notifications. If they have their notification on, you’ll show up in their inbox.
It’s best to choose one or a maximum of two CTAs per video. Don’t overdo it. Don’t do all three in every single video. You will come off as desperate and needy. Needy is creepy.
5. Long-Term Consistency Trumps Short-Term Intensity
You see, most YouTubers give up too soon. They upload a few videos, don’t see much growth on their channel, and just give up. They are thinking that they’re stuck at zero subscribers, and nobody is watching their content anyway.
A lot of people who give up don’t the the patience, skills or determination they needed. We know it’s challenging, especially if you spend a lot of time and energy making videos. You pick the perfect topic, record them, edit them and you are proud of what you create. It hurts if nobody is watching it.
You have to stay consistent. Think of YouTube as a long-term game.
Nobody gets successful overnight. Imagine it like pushing a snowball uphill. In the beginning, it’s very heavy and you have to keep pushing. You push and push and it’s hardly moving. But once you reach that tipping point – you roll it over the mountain’s peak – it becomes so much faster. It’s that snowball effect.
The number of views you collected in months? You’d now get them within hours. Simply because of the snowball effect. All because of your consistency. You can’t get the snowball uphill by pushing once in a while. No, you have to do it regularly and consistently.
In fact, a simple increase like uploading two times a week instead of only once a week can already grow your channel much faster. Dan Lok’s channel exploded the minute he committed to uploading daily. Now, we aren’t saying you have to upload every single day – but it worked for us.
Long-term consistency absolutely trumps short term intensity. It’s a long term game because you are building an asset and it’s absolutely worth it. So, don’t give up to soon.
6. Use One Keyword at a Time
YouTube is actually the second-best search engine after google. Think about it. A user types something into the search bar and finds videos that fit the topic. How can you use this advantage? How do you make sure your videos get found?
YouTube offers you the possibility to add tags and keywords when you upload your video. But even the video title and the words in the YouTube descriptions function as keywords. You’ll get the most out of it if you focus on one keyword per video. Don’t slam in all possible keywords you can think about. It will become too vague.
For example, if you are a travel blogger your keywords will be travel, backpacking, travel tips and so on. Don’t suddenly make a video about fitness. It will confuse your audience. Streamline your content to fit a certain topic or niche right from the beginning and you won’t have trouble remembering your keywords.
7. Have Interesting Thumbnails
Just as your video title can’t be boring, your video thumbnail shouldn’t be either. What’s a thumbnail? The thumbnail is a small title image under which your video will show up in the search feed.
Usually, it’s best to display the title (or a variation of it) on the thumbnail. Your videos will also get more attention if you have pictures of people on the image. Most people naturally react to other humans. It’s especially powerful if the people on the image show emotion. The viewer will want to find out more.
But just as with the video title, you don’t want to use clickbait. Don’t put an image of Oprah on your thumbnail if she isn’t in the video. Show your future followers that they can trust you and that you deliver what you promise.
What’s more, keep your thumbnails in a similar design. That way people will start to recognize you and your channel by the thumbnail design. It’s your way to build up a personal brand and brand recognition. Start this from the first video, even if you have zero subscribers and nobody sees it yet.
Supercharge Your YouTube Growth
Dan Lok’s YouTube presence allowed him to go from local businessman, to international mentor of millions. YouTube played a huge role in his global success.
The tips we provided here today are only the tip of the iceberg. Dan has so many more YouTube secrets he wants to share with you. When you learn Dan’s YouTube secrets you’ll hugely benefit. By now, about 80% of all online traffic is video.
In times of crisis and uncertainty like now, a strong online presence with video could save your business from bankruptcy. Or, it’s your chance to emerge if you didn’t market online yet. Either way, we believe a YouTube presence isn’t a nice to have but rather a necessity right now.
You can get all of Dan Lok’s insights on YouTube and video by getting his online training program Tube Your Own Horn. It will reveal exactly how he succeeded on YouTube. Just check the details to see how much value you’ll get out of it. Get your long-lasting business advantage TODAY.