Think Pieces

How To Set Up Your YouTube Channel As An Artist

Having a YouTube Channel is just as important as having a SoundCloud page. No matter what your desired field in within the music industry, publicity is important, and the best way to gain publicity to be visible on all social media platforms. In our earlier article, How To Effectively Upload Your Music To SoundCloud, we created an account as if we were Solange, coming into the music industry for the first time. Today, we’re going to create a YouTube Channel as if we are Smino. So, let’s get into it.

1. Setting Up Your Profile

Just like a SoundCloud page, your profile picture and banner should represent who you are as an artist. With that being said, your profile image should not be of you and your cousins at the family reunion cookout. The picture should only have you in it, good lighting, and it should be a clear look at your face. This profile picture is going to be what your audience uses to go and find you on other social media outlets, so it is important that they can see your face in its entirety.

Secondly, the banner image. YouTube makes it super difficult to make a banner image for your channel that will actually fit and be visible to viewers. However, you can definitely use Canva to make that tasks a little more easier for you. Your banner should include all of your social media handles so people can see immediately where they can find you on other popular social media platforms.

Above, you can see what “Smino’s” YouTube Channel looked like before customization and after, talk about an upgrade!

2. Setting Up Your About Page

In your about page your social media links should be included for the same reasons that they were included in your banner. Also, some people are lazy and want direct links instead of searching for your name. Other links that should be included is your website and any links to groups you are affiliated with. On the featured channels tab, you should have any other artists that you consistently work with listed as well. For example, Smino would have the Zero Fatigue Page, Noname and Ravyn Lenae just to name a few.

3. Upload Videos

This is the most important part of this article. Why? Because YouTube is a video sharing platform where you … share videos.

The first thing you want to do is title your videos and add a description. The title should directly reflect what a viewer will be watching, no clickbait! Clickbait is only a good marketing tactic when you have channels that focuses on pranks and couples etc. So if it’s the official audio for your new song say that! If it’s a music video, say that! Music fans don’t like to be tricked into clicking on content that they weren’t intending on seeing.

In the description, the title should be repeated. Though it’s not really a marketing tactic, it’s nice to reiterate in the caption. You should also mention any artists and/or producers involved in the creation of the track. If it’s a music video, be sure to credit those who captured and edited the footage for you. After that you’ll want to include your streaming information and social media handles. Even though this is already mentioned in your about page, you have to keep in mind that not everybody that comes across your music will subscribe to your YouTube Channel, for various reasons.

Also, don’t forget to include a thumbnail! YouTube allows you to add a custom thumbnail as long as you verify your account, which is as simple as providing a valid phone number. The thumbnail should either be the cover art for your audio file or a clear screenshot from a music video. You can go into Canva to decorate as much as you want to.

Now its time for the tags. It is important to include any tags that relate back to your upload, but that doesn’t mean random tags like the color of your shirt or the month the video was published. For our upload, we used tags like Zero Fatigue, Z4L, Bari, Smino, St.Louis and more because they directly relate to our content. You can see all the tags we used below.

For the video elements, you can use this time to advertise any other content that you may have. By adding End Cards, you can refer your viewers to more of your content after they’re finishing watching your video. That way, they’re continuously streaming your music and getting more accustomed to your discography. Unfortunately, we were not able to demonstrate that since this is a fake account, we didn’t have any previous uploads to reference.

Now on to the last step, visibility! There’s three options: Private, Unlisted, and Public. With the private option, only you and people you choose can watch this video. This means that only certain people can access your video. However, your video will not show up when searched or as a recommended video to watch. Unlisted means anyone with the link can watch but it’s not listed on your channel as an upload. And of course, Public means anyone can watch this video. There’s also a premiere feature under the public setting which means your video will launch at a certain time and there will be a live chat on the side to viewers to interact with each other.

We recommend using the public setting to receive the most viewers you possibly can, but the choice is yours. Choose wisely!

That’s it! This is how you upload all of your music effectively to YouTube, we hope this helped you with any questions that you may have.

To learn how to upload your music to major streaming platforms read our article “Streaming Your Music As An Underground Artist“.

To learn how to effectively upload your music to major streaming platforms read our article “How To Effectively Upload Your Music To SoundCloud“.

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