It’s tough to become successful without a supportive community. Whether it’s a community of colleagues or industry professionals you’ve met through networking (or even better, both), these are the people who will shape the future of your career.
My YouTube network is made up of former coworkers, people I’ve met at YouTube events and hundreds of individuals I’m connected with through online YouTube forums and in-person YouTube meetups.
This guide will cover the four levels of community that will expand your professional YouTube network, both virtually and in-person (whenever the state of our public health allows for the latter).
If you’re already working in professional channel management and you want to grow your industry community, this post will give you tangible ways to network and form professional relationships with smart professionals who could help further your career (and up-level your channels).
Resources Mentioned In This Episode
- Check out my other podcast - The Video Insiders
- VidIQ Creators Group
- Video Makers & Marketers Group
- The VidPro facebook group
- My very own London YouTube Pros Meetup Group
- London YouTuber's meetup group
The YouTube easter egg from the start of today's episode is this little gem.
The Pro Channel Manager Academy is our incredible community full of incredible video courses and some of YouTube greatest minds to help you grow the YouTube channels you are working on.
A HUMUNGOUS thank you to our incredible sponsor and my favourite YouTube tool vidIQ. I use it on every single video I upload and has helped me generate BILLIONS of YouTube views. Get a free trial of one of their incredible paid plans by clicking here.
The following 4 "levels" of YouTube communities and groups are ordered from (in my opinion) least effective, to most effective, so make sure that you read all the way to the end in order to get the most valuable tips!
1) Free Facebook Groups
Meeting people in-person and communicating directly is always preferred when it comes to expanding your YouTube community. But especially during a pandemic that makes such gatherings dangerous, the internet offers a safer way to meet people quickly and conveniently. It also opens up international borders.
And what better way than through social media? Facebook groups are perhaps the quickest way to jump into a YouTube community, but there’s a catch: the large free ones are mostly for beginners. The audience for this post is less likely to find the general YouTube creator communities on Facebook valuable. That’s because they mostly cover the basics (and they don’t include many people who can back up their tips with experience), but if you want to check one out before you dive into the other options, here are the positives of being a part of a large general Facebook YouTube community:
Large enough that your question will definitely be answered quickly
Great place to learn about the latest YouTube features
The leaders are often well-known and experienced YouTube professionals
Key Takeaway: Free Facebook groups are best for beginners. If you’re interested in taking a look, opt for the groups that require you to answer questions and be approved in order to join. Your time is valuable, so make sure it’s spent with the people who are going to push you the most.
The TLDR - you get what you pay for!
2) Attend YouTube Meetups In Your Local Area
Outlets such as Meetup and LinkedIn are great platforms that will help you connect with larger YouTube communities IRL.
Although they’re not possible in many areas of the world right now, in-person meetups are the most personal way to network, and the more meetups you attend, the more faces will start to be familiar. People who become regulars at my London Meetup, for example, get much more one-on-one advice from me than I’d be able to give through a screen. These can be laces to start life-changing relationships.
When attending in-person events (one day!), here’s what you need to keep in mind:
Be aware of the people giving advice (make sure they’re credible)
Entrance is typically free, but you will likely have to pay for a beverage or food at the venue
These are often (also) geared toward beginners, so seek out events for professionals only if you can
Key Takeaway: Free meetups are the most ideal and most personal way to make new contacts, and expand your YouTube community. However, you need to make sure you’re paying attention to the fine print and avoid the ones that are too general/made for beginners.
3) Create your own YouTube Mastermind Group
Mastermind groups are regular meetings of likeminded creators and/or channel managers. Ideally, each member of the Mastermind is operating at the same level. These groups — which are usually free — should ideally be no larger than five people and they should include only those who are serious about helping one another and improving.
I first formed a mastermind group a few years ago, and it included some of the most incredible YouTube and business brains such as Christopher Sharpe (who runs Hilah Cooking and Yoga With Adriene), Caleb Wojcik, (creator of DIY Video Guy) and Thomas Frank (founder of College Info Geek). I was at the BBC at the time, and they were miles ahead of me in terms of creating a business out of running a YouTube channel, so I learned a lot from our monthly Skype calls. I made sure I was providing value in the most up to date inside YouTube news and strategy.
The most rewarding aspects of being in a mastermind group include:
Connecting with people who hold you accountable
Getting real, tangible advice
Learning from others’ mistakes
Goal-setting in a supportive environment
Encouraging each other when times get hard
Celebrating your achievements with people who appreciate them
The best way to ensure you’re entering a group (or creating one) that is worth your time is to make sure that everyone in the group is of the same skill level (a beginner can’t help an expert, for example, and you want everyone in the group to be able to help each other).
Key Takeaway: Mastermind groups are invaluable. By listening to each other’s struggles, offering advice and checking in on each other regularly to ensure you’re all meeting your goals, you can create a YouTube community of like minded professionals who push each other to be better.
4) Paid Masterminds or Membership Groups
People show up when money is involved. For example (most) people are more likely to go to the gym if they’re paying the membership fee every month. The same goes for a paid YouTube community — the membership is totally worth it because you’re more likely to engage with it once you’ve made a financial investment.
I like to call this having skin in the game. It works.
These groups are usually led by experts and include some sort of training and/or coaching element, which can take place either online or in-person (or both). The appealing part of this is the chance to get professional, expert advice, but often what keeps people coming back is the group dynamic of holding each other accountable to ensure everyone is working to achieve their goals.
The most rewarding aspects are:
The overall attitude is positive, giving and community-oriented
The barrier to entry means there is more structure and moderation
The return on investment can be in the millions
The programming, such as to-do lists, accountability journals and progress logs
Paid membership groups have a very similar structure, but are more likely to be missing the in-person element you’re likely to get with a paid mastermind group.
I started my own union of professional channel managers that will include educational video courses, live masterclasses, a VIP Facebook group, accountability programming such as progress logs and the ability to communicate daily with experts. Click here to join and be supported by some of the world's greatest YouTube minds!
Key Takeaway: If you’re willing to fork over the cash, paid mastermind and other membership-based groups are a great way to stay motivated and on track. You’re paying for it, so make it worth your money and take advantage of all the opportunities to connect with and learn from YouTube masterminds.
The doors are open now to the Pro Channel Manager Community - take your seat at YouTube's top table today!