Five Signs You’re Not Ready for YouTube

You may have heard that nearly one out of every two people on the Internet visit YouTube every month. Put in equally unfathomable terms: that’s 1 billion unique users to the site per month. Wow!

Want a piece of that action? We bet you do! Promoting yourself on YouTube is a no-brainer.

But YouTube ISN’T right for everyone – and that someone might be you. And if it is, you’ll relate to some of the descriptions that follow, and the reasons to avoid YouTube will have you shaking your head in agreement . . . and possibly in shame.

1. You’re camera shy. Camera shyness and its unforgiving sister, fear of public speaking, usually travel together. Fortunately, most phobias can be overcome with a little effort, but you have to WANT to overcome them.

You can’t stammer, sweat, slide down in your chair or fake-smile your way through the terror when it’s time to record – unless you’re a comedian. Then you can probably make all of that unfortunate stuff funny instead of “squirm-while-we-watch-you” awkward.

Assuming you aren’t a comedian though, you’ll need to set up a camera, record yourself and then watch and learn from it. (Better you than us.) But if you just CAN’T move past whatever trauma caused this, step away from the camera and check out Pinterest or practice using Vine instead (six-second Vines are much more forgiving).

2. You’re unapologetically boring. If you have realistic hopes of attracting an uber-niche audience, anyone (yes, we’re talking to you, Suzie Stamp Collector) can find success with YouTube. But just because your niche audience exists and is hungry for your content, does not mean they’ll like what you’re cooking, particularly if it isn’t seasoned correctly.

What does that mean?

You need to spice up that stamp collection with interviews, surprise visits, rare finds, and hijinks! You need to give that audience a reason to watch your videos.

If you carefully plan an interesting two minutes of material, you just might be on to something. But if you just don’t have it in you, if the thought of where to begin is more exhausting than exciting, leave the stamp glory to those better suited to the task.

3. You’re too lazy to plan ahead. You cannot “wing it” when it’s time to record. As noted above, careful planning is key – here’s why: When you don’t take time to appropriately script your videos (from content to music, background, etc.) your videos end up looking unprofessional and hokey like local TV commercials and no one likes those.*

*Important note! This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be yourself. Top vloggers kill it on YouTube because they’re genuine.

So if you’re too busy to call your Mom on Mother’s Day, you’re too busy to devote the necessary time to YouTube. And that’s really too bad. (You only get one mom.)

4. You’re a cheapskate. Big companies test their TV spots with target audiences to see if they pop. We know you can’t devote thousands of dollars to research, but you CAN post promos on Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ groups, or maybe even Reddit, and offer particularly insightful participants – who gave constructive criticism, not blind praise – a $5 gift card to Amazon or some other small token for their input. You’d be amazed by how much good will that tiny amount can create.

Or you can ask your friends and family for meaningless kudos (seriously, you might as well just say that’s what you want when you ask for the “feedback,” as it’s ALL you’ll get).

If you’re too cheap to drop $50 for ten solid, honest opinions (and you can afford it), then you’re not ready for YouTube.*

*Caveat: If, on the other hand, you’re just broke, be generous with your time and be sure to show participants how appreciative you are of their efforts by gushing over them publicly.

5. You’re not interested. If you are being pushed to create YouTube content by your marketing folks and you just aren’t at all interested, you need to put your foot down and delegate that task to someone else (at the least).

Disinterested YouTube videos are easy to spot: They’re all of the “reasons to avoid YouTube” listed above, rolled into one. They’re sloppy, boring, too long and kind of depressing – especially when your marketing person obviously spent LOTS of time on that funky flying intro.

Save your team’s sanity and focus your efforts somewhere else. If you don’t want to listen to your team about YouTube, you’re likely difficult to work with anyway, so do the right thing and spare them this fresh hell.

And finally, remember: You may lure people into your mediocre YouTube lair once, but they’ll never, ever return if you do. Don’t waste the time and effort if the characteristics above describe you.

(Image from Shutterstock)

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