I’ve been investing in YouTube video production for my business for more than four years now.
However, it wasn’t until my third year doing it that I got monetized on YouTube, and even better, saw real ROI begin to happen—as in, direct prospects contacting me to buy hours after watching my video. 🤯
THAT’S the trust you can build right now on YouTube.
I also have one single video that is dominating the top of YouTube for the keyword, now climbing up in views organically every week (it just blew past 70k views).
So, I know a thing or two about how to make YouTube videos for your business in a way that will seriously improve your ROI.
In today’s blog, I’m going to teach you exactly how to make YouTube videos for your business, including who I hire at different stages, what tools to get, and the steps for each part.
Ready? Let’s get into it!
How to Make YouTube Videos for Your Business: Where to Start + 6 Steps to Hitting “Publish”
Before we begin, let’s get one important detail straight:
You CANNOT jump into creating YouTube videos for your business right away. You CAN’T start with an idea for a video.
I know, I know. You’re excited and raring to start creating and publishing video content. Don’t get me wrong – that’s great!
But, diving in without a plan won’t lead to any traction.
A strategy is really, really vital here if you want your videos to stand a chance and do well. If you want views, if you want comments, engagement, and visibility in YouTube search, you have to approach making videos with a plan and a cohesive channel theme from day 1.
That leads us to step #1 for how to make a YouTube video for your business.
Step #1: Define a Theme & Identity for Your YouTube Channel Before ANYTHING Else
When you create a YouTube channel, you need a cohesive theme and identity.
This is the first big step to complete on your journey to make successful YouTube videos. Why?
Because a themed, cohesive channel is an optimized channel. An optimized channel resonates better with viewers, lures in your audience, and gives them a reason to keep watching you.
Your channel theme and identity also tell viewers what they can expect from you. What kind of videos will you be putting out? What topics will you cover? It all falls under your theme + identity umbrella.
For example, my channel’s identity and theme flow from my branded Content Hacker™ tagline: “Relevant, powerful content marketing that fuels your brand to the next level.” And, of course, that theme stems from my expertise as a 10+ year veteran in content marketing.
To make sure people know and understand my theme as soon as they view my channel page, it’s emblazoned loud and proud across my cover photo:
Other experts do the exact same thing. Examples:
Valuetainment by Patrick Bet-David (“The #1 Channel for Entrepreneurs”):
Backlinko by Brian Dean (“Higher Rankings & More Traffic”):
And Sunny Lenarduzzi (“Helping You Be Your Own Boss”):
Giving your channel a theme doesn’t just help your audience, though. It also helps YOU plan and create relevant content they’ll love.
It wasn’t until I themed my channel that I began to see a lot more success on YouTube. Coincidence? I think not.
Step #2: Script Content Topics Your Audience Cares About
Now that you have a roadmap in the form of a channel theme, it’s time to think about actually creating videos for your small business!
But, before you can turn on your camera, you need solid content topics to talk about.
I always recommend starting from a place of research and expertise.
You already tied your expertise to your channel theme. So now you need to drill down to find out what your audience wants to know under that topic umbrella. Like this:
Pssst… I teach this concept and much, much more in my Content Hacker Academy.
Don’t choose random topics that interest you – you have no idea if those topics will interest anyone else. Instead, find topics your audience cares about, specifically, ones they’ve ASKED for.
For example, my YouTube channel topics come directly from questions real people ask in the chats that come through my sites.
Two keys here are 1) research and 2) LISTENING. 👂
LISTEN to what your audience is telling you, whether that’s in customer chats, on social media, in DMs, emails, blog comments, etc. They’re your best source for content topics and ideas. Don’t ignore them!
Step #3: Map Your Content Topic to a Keyword (Use YouTube SEO!)
True or false:
With an audience-vetted content topic in hand, you’re ready to start scripting.
Before you can script, you NEED to think about YouTube SEO, keywords, and optimization.
YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world (only behind Google). It has an algorithm that looks at user signals to figure out what videos to display and when.
More than 500 hours of video content is uploaded to the platform every minute.
Every. Minute. That’s a lot of competition. 😰
To show up in YouTube search AND suggested videos, you need to be mapping your content topic to a keyword and optimizing accordingly. SO. Let’s talk about YouTube SEO. 🎉
YouTube SEO for Business: An Introduction
SEO on YouTube works similarly to SEO for your written content. After all, there are a lot of written, optimizable components to any video posted to the platform:
- The video title
- The video description
- Closed Captions (CC)
Using a good keyword in all of these places, plus relevant video content, will get you far.
You already know you can’t find great keywords without an equally great keyword tool. For YouTube SEO, I recommend VidIQ.
In general, you’re looking for a keyword that ties into your topic but has low competition. That means there aren’t a ton of videos out there associated with that keyword – which gives you a better chance at ranking.
Check for low search volume (between 100 and 1k) and a low difficulty score (also called a “competition score” on VidIQ – less than 50 is a good starting point).
For more tips on finding great keywords to use in your YouTube business account, including video titles, descriptions, etc., I highly recommend Backlinko’s guide.
Besides using good keywords in the right places, another big-impact YouTube ranking factor I’ve noticed is age. This video, for example, gets 1,000 new views every week. But those views didn’t start racking up until a year after publishing. Keep that in mind as you continue creating video content.
Step #4: Outline Your Topic with Key Talking Points
Okay. You’ve got an audience-approved topic and you have keywords mapped to that topic. Time to outline what you’ll say in your video.
Starting with an outline helps you define each piece of the topic you’ll cover. It also makes scripting go much faster, and keeps your final video organized and concise (read: shorter and sweeter).
Without outlining and scripting, you might find yourself rambling in your video and unable to collect your thoughts. With a good outline, you’ll create a good script, so don’t skip this step.
In general, outlining doesn’t have to be complicated. I recommend just jotting down the key points you’ll go over in your video. List them one after another. Under each point, add a few sentences about what you plan to talk about. Will you reference an outside source? Will you need a photo or a URL displayed on-screen to help illustrate your point? Make note of that in your outline.
Here’s an example outline for reference. The topic is dog walking, but the template works for any type of content outline:
Once your key points are down on paper, add sections for your intro and your outro – what you’ll say to start your video and introduce your audience to your topic, and what you’ll say to end the video and sign off.
And that’s pretty much all you need for an outline. Simple, right?
Step #5: Create Your Script
Now that you have an outline, script the whole thing out!
Since you took the time to outline first, scripting will be as easy as filling in the blanks and fleshing out your outline skeleton.
Expand on your key points. Write down what you want to say, especially stuff you don’t want to forget to include.
If you’re comfortable in front of the camera, you might ad-lib or riff here and there on your script – that’s totally fine. The script is both a reminder and a jumping-off point. You don’t have to script every single thing you’ll say in the final video unless that helps you.
This is your content creation process – tweak it so it works for you.
Finally, when you’re ready, film!
Step #6: “Push the Damn Button!”
Here’s the thing about creating videos.
The hardest thing is to get started.
Here are my words of advice. I’m going to quote Brian Fanzo: “PUSH THE DAMN BUTTON!” 😂
You can’t do it until you, well, do it. Guess how long it took me, five years ago, when I began filming for the first time ever — to get 10 minutes of quality footage?
Eight hours of stopping, starting, stopping, and starting again.
It takes WORK to get into a rhythm. It takes WORK to get comfortable filming if you’re not used to it. It takes WORK to iron out the kinks and find your groove, especially if you’re an introvert, or if your content medium of choice has always been writing.
But you CAN do it. I did!
You’re welcome for the dose of inspiration. (Hopefully, that inspires you. No, it wasn’t fun. Worth it? Hell to the yes. 😂)
Once you’re finally in the thickets of video content creation, once you’ve “pushed the damn button” a few times, it gets easier.
That said, I have some tools and resources that will make the process a whole lot easier… including people I hire to get my videos looking sharp!
Read on ⬇⬇
How to Make YouTube Videos for Your Business: My Production Resources, Tools, & Tips
Think of these resources as “Julia’s tricks of the trade.” These are MUSTS for making YouTube videos for your business you’ll be proud of!
For even more guidance and tips on making YouTube videos for business, content creation, and more, get in G.R.O.W., my new live membership community.
1. Invest in a YouTube Filming Setup
Think of your YouTube filming setup as your “studio.” This is the place you go when it’s time to shoot. Social Media Examiner says having this space set aside will streamline your workflow, and I agree.
It will save you mountains of time and energy to have this spot ready and waiting for you whenever you need to film, so I highly recommend setting aside a small corner in your home, office, workspace, etc. JUST for filming.
My setup is a “YouTube corner” in my house with décor that I personally identify with. (You need a “ME” corner. 😎)
I’m a content creator, so my corner includes stacks of books and a vintage typewriter. I got the lighted marquee letter J on Amazon.
What else do you need to produce clear, crisp videos? For a beginner, all you need is good lighting, your smartphone, a phone stand, and audio recording equipment.
- Lighting: Neewer Ring Light Kit
- Smartphone tripod: UltraPro 72" Inch Heavy-Duty Aluminum Camera Tripod with Universal Smartphone Mount.
- Audio: Lavalier Lapel Microphone 2-Pack Complete Set – Omnidirectional Mic for Desktop PC Computer, Mac, Smartphone, iPhone, GoPro, DSLR, Camcorder for Podcast, Youtube, Vlogging, and DJs for $14.99 on Amazon
One item you may have noticed is missing from this list: a camera.
You might be wondering, “What about a fancy camera? Don’t you need the best filming equipment your money can buy?”
Answer: NO. I’ve tried recording with a $2,000 camera and I DON’T recommend it for those who simply want to start a YouTube channel for their business and are NOT photography/videography experts. It isn’t worth the hassle.
2. Give Yourself TIME to Film Videos
I don’t recommend filming and creating videos right before you want to publish them.
Great content – including videos! – takes TIME.
Great videos aren’t rushed: I recommend a two-week timeline per video. I usually film 20-25 days minimum before my final video gets published on YouTube.
The more time you have to do everything, the better. Check out my publishing checklist and timeline, below, to see what I mean.
3. My Recommended Publishing Checklist & Timeline
For producing and publishing video content, every little detail counts. You need to ensure all your bases are covered to end up with a final video you’re proud of, and one your audience will love, too.
Start scheduling your video a week before it comes out, if possible. The checklist is so long, I find myself continually getting better at optimizing it if I come back every few days instead of rushing through it in one day.
Here’s everything you need for publishing:
- A great title, optimized with your keyword
- A custom copywritten description, also optimized with your keyword — have body copy, then a footer you can copy and use again telling people where to follow you, etc. See how I do it on my video.
- A thumbnail (always create a custom video thumbnail to stand out — I use my team at Express Writers for design)
- Pick a day/time to schedule your video (let YouTube suggest the time)
- Audience (made for kids or not)
- Tags (very important! Your main keyword should be the first tag, and your synonymous keywords the secondary tags — have 10 or 15 total)
- Upload Closed Captions, or CC — very important (use my suggested provider on Fiverr if you don’t have a transcriptionist, see next section)
4. My Personal Video Production Resources & Partners (Who I Hire!)
Great videos usually aren’t a solo endeavor. I enlist quite a bit of help with producing and finishing off my final video end-products. Here’s who I hire for that help.
High-Quality Video Production
Expect to pay $200 minimum for a five-minute video (WITHOUT scripting) for basic illustration if you want production elements like animations, well-designed text, etc. A good video producer uses top-notch tools like Adobe Final Cut Pro and will be able to handle the intricate requests you ask and pay for.
I’ve run into my fair share of unprofessional video producers that have delayed my project deadlines by over a month. Avoid unprofessional producers at all costs.
My recommended video partners:
- My video producer, on staff-full time at Express Writers ($250+ for a basic video with all the animations, effects, etc.)
- Want to manage it yourself? ntproductions on Fiverr (you’ll pay about $200 in a custom gig for a 10-minute video with all the effects, animations, etc.)
For B-Roll Footage, Creative Filmography, and More:
- Ryan Gàllego and the team at Media Pouch – Awesome local video producer here in Austin
Fiverr for Captions:
- I hire adins_design time and time again for all my captions. His gig is very accurate in transcription quality, and it’s only $5 for 10 minutes!
Hire Us for a DFY Video Script Writing, Design & Production Solution
Does all of this sound intimidating so far?
Did you know my writing agency now offers done-for-you video script writing, design, and production?
In fact, my own video content was the guinea pig for this new service. 🌟 I figured out the formula for success, which we templated and packaged into this new service for you:
- One of our writers pens the script.
- You approve the script.
- Our video producer creates your video.
- You share with the world. 🌎❤
It’s that simple.
Because, believe me, I get it…
Making YouTube videos for your business is HARD, no question. Hopefully, these tips helped clarify and simplify some of the steps for you.
And, if you need a little extra help producing professional quality videos…
Our team is one step away. Let us help you create your next video.