How to Turn Your YouTube Audience into a Fanbase

Having a captive audience on YouTube is one thing, but the true power lies in having a loyal community that trusts you. This is how a brand is built on YouTube.

Winning someone over can happen in lots of ways, and personality plays a big role here. It comes down to three components that can be added to any type of video:

  • Storytelling
  • Relatability
  • Consistency

Here’s 3 quick and dirty tips to get an audience to like you:

1 Get personal.

Whatever you’re talking about in the video, add elements of your own life to it. Talk about yourself. Tell your story.

If you’re building an audience, you’ll want to make sure trust is part of it. Your videos shouldn’t be centered around you; they should be centered around the information you deliver. But you can be strategic in choosing how you deliver it by telling stories to build trust.

Whether it’s a witty comment about the fact that you grew up in the Midwest and people think you were raised in a corn field, or telling a quick story about your morning drive to Starbucks because you simply cannot function without your daily double-blended java chip frappuccino. Let people get a peak into your life even if the story isn’t completely relevant to the video.

2 Make Mistakes.

Being perfect on camera is old school. Talk about your mistakes, goals, wins, and losses. Build a trust factor with your viewers by letting your guard down and being vulnerable.  If you mess up saying something on video, don’t be afraid to leave it in.

I have multiple videos on YouTube where the lav mic fell off my shirt and I left the blooper in the video. What’s the worst that could happen? I make myself look more clumsy than I actually am?

Depending on your industry and the topic of the video, this might be easier or harder to do. If you have a story you can tell in a video, even if it’s only loosely related, tell it. You have nothing to lose.

Withholding details about yourself isn’t going to hurt a video, but adding those stories has the potential to win someone over. If you can take a regular viewer and give them a reason to like you more by talking about mistakes they can relate to, that’s one more person who could turn into an advocate for your channel.

This is a phenomenon called the Pratfall Effect. The quick summary is that when people we look up to make silly mistakes, it makes us like them more.

Pratfall effect to build a loyal fanbase audience of trust

Whether it’s about a quick goof that happened at work, or a major failure that happened along the journey in getting to where you are now, talk about it and be real, but don’t pretend.

If you have worries or anxieties about something related to what your video is about, share them.

Share your strengths and expertise on video, but don’t forget to talk about your weaknesses, vulnerabilities, and secrets. My point here is that building trust needs to be an intentional part of your strategy, not an afterthought.

3 Have a flavor.

Having flavor means giving people something other than vanilla. Vanilla is good, but is it really great?

If someone is expecting a vanilla video and you surprise them with pumpkin caramel cheesecake, some people won’t like it. But anyone who likes pumpkin is going to be immediately attracted to what you have to say.

That’s why some of the biggest companies are also the worst at storytelling and brand-building.

Why does Coca Cola dominate the soft drink industry? Because they sell every flavor. But on YouTube, trying to appeal to everyone means everyone thinks you’re good, but nobody thinks you’re great.

People choose their favorite YouTube channels by how much they like what the channel has to say and how much they relate to the person behind the camera.

This comes down to having an opinion. Wes Kao describes this perfectly as having a spiky point of view.

What the hell is a spiky point of view?

It means having an opinion that you feel strongly about that you’re willing to defend. It also means some people will disagree with it, but the people who agree with you will be even more drawn to you.

spiky point of view to gain trust and build a loyal community online

If you have a spiky point of view based on your experience and expertise in a given subject, this becomes what separates you from the crowd. It’s also pretty difficult for other people to copy because it’s your opinion.

Having a flavor doesn’t have to be controversial

You can show the audience that your passion towards something is significantly higher than normal. You don’t have to be controversial. Here are some example statements with flavor that aren’t controversial:

  • I love going to Chili’s every weekend and always get a to-go cocktail (not driving of course)
  • I own every piece of merch One Direction has ever sold
  • I text my brother a picture of every dachshund I ever see because one time he told me their long bodies make him uncomfortable

Don’t tell stories once, do it consistently

Being consistent on YouTube is important. But I don’t mean which days of the week you upload. The most important kind of consistency is in the style and quality of content you create.

All the YouTube marketing gurus like to preach the importance of having a structured content calendar for posting videos every Friday at 6pm or something.

Now, I don’t mean that video of yours should be the same and tell the same story. But if someone has watched multiple videos from you that have been really good and highly personable, they expect future videos to be just as good.

How to get better at storytelling on video

If you’re already good at sharing about yourself on YouTube, then great! If you’re like me, more introverted and less inclined to share things about yourself, I recommend planning some kind of storytelling element in each video you do. Make it part of your video structure.

Before filming the video, brainstorm things that have happened or stuff you’ve done that’s somehow loosely related to the video. When I say loosely related, I really mean loosely related.

What the story is about doesn’t matter; how you tell it matters. The goal is to include some relatable human aspect into the video, not pick the perfect story.

If you’re feelin’ fancy, you might even dare to add a gif or a meme to your content for some humor.

Why have a loyal YouTube audience?

The goal on YouTube is to build a loyal audience that not only craves your content, but they crave you.

I don’t mean that in a creepy way. Eventually your content should grow to the point where some portion of your audience watches not because you provide great value and great information but because they like you. People naturally want to do business with people they know, like, and trust.

A great way to build this trust is by showing your audience that you’re similar to them. And you can achieve that by talking about yourself, even when it feels uncomfortable or like it’s not relevant to the video.