Starting a Youtube channel sounds easy in theory but there is A LOT of work that goes behind it.
Most people tend to focus on what cameras they should buy, what mic they need to use, or how to get more views on their channel.
But there is one detail that a lot of people forget: how their youtube channel looks.
I have scrolled through thousands of channels and noticed that the appearance of people’s youtube channels is almost an afterthought.
No real logo, no banner, and no sections.
It doesn’t make a viewer want to stay on your channel, let alone binge your content.
Youtube is a POWERHOUSE these days and having a clear branding style from the get-go is going to help you build channel authority.
Which we all know the algorithm will love you for.
When you are just beginning on youtube, the growth is slow. So you want to make sure that you start off on the right foot.
So I am giving you 7 things that you can add to your youtube channel right now that will help make your channel look more professional and please your viewers.
1. Have a Short Video Introduction
This first one is more about the “feel” of your channel more than the look of it but it is still important nonetheless.
Each one of your Youtube videos should have some form of introduction or, what we YouTubers like to call, a hook. You need to say something that will actually make people want to stay on your video.
This needs to be a consistent part of your content.
Explain in one or two sentences what your video is about. You want to make it short and sweet because people tend to either skip through it or clock out completely if it is too long.
For example, if you have a gaming channel, you could try something like this:
“Well, stuff is about to hit the fan and a huge update is rolling out this week. I am going to give you ALL the details right here on Minded Gaming, let’s go!”
Something like this lets the viewer know what the video will be discussing and it isn’t so long that they want to click off the video.
There are several other ways you can do this:
- Make a quick sketch OR play out a scene.
- Use some B-roll images and add a voiceover.
- Film yourself explaining the topic in a few seconds.
- Make a cool animation in Canva and use it as your intro.
The possibilities are endless so use your imagination.
Now obviously, if you have a channel where having an intro just doesn’t fit in with your content, then that is totally fine.
Do what feels right for you.
However, this is something that really does help establish what your content is about for the viewers.
If you feel like doing an introduction for every video is a chore, you can choose to make a standard intro-phrase that introduces what your whole channel is about instead.
For example, going back to my gaming channel here, you can say:
“Hey and welcome back to Minded Gaming where I tell you all the new things that are happening in the gaming world”
This is also an effective way to hook in the viewer.
Now, let’s get into some of the more visual aspects of your youtube channel.
2. Youtube Channel Trailer
Now the next thing you want to have is a channel trailer.
This is by far one of the most neglected things that I have found from all of the channels that I have audited.
Having a channel trailer is a great way for new subscribers to get to know your channel content and figure out if you are a channel that they would like to subscribe to.
There are different ways that you can do this:
- You can make an actual trailer video where you explain your channel and your content.
- You can chose one of your already uploaded videos and use that as your trailer.
A good example of the latter is my channel.
I originally had a specific channel trailer but a few weeks into my YouTube Journey, I realize that it just doesn’t fit in with my content anymore.
So I picked one of my already uploaded videos as my channel trailer instead.
Now this choice was actually very well calculated.
I chose this exact video for a very specific reason: It was the one that got me the most subscribers. So it only made sense that I used it as the face of the channel.
If you want to know how you can find out which video is getting you the most views and use it to grow your channel, you can watch my full walkthrough video right here.
Note that you do have the possibility to choose a specific video for both new viewers and returning viewers. I go through both of them in my youtube video.
3. Youtube Channel Banner
The next must-have is a channel banner!
I go through a lot of people’s channels every day (I am a bit of a lurker). But I am still surprised at how many YouTubers don’t have a channel banner!
Your banner is almost the only aesthetic that you have control over on youtube (besides your thumbnails). So you really want to make it count! Make one that fits with your content and that is good quality and eye-catching and yet simple.
A good example of this is Brodie’s Gaming Hub.
He has a cool cartoon aspect and it is of great quality and clean. As soon as you land on his page as a viewer, you will know exactly what his content is about.
Another good example is Dr.Bee.
His approach is very simple and straight to the point. The pop of color really makes it stand out. Plus, the added bonus is that he wrote a cute little message on his banner that will stand out to the viewer.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to making a banner. However, if you want to make a banner easily and for free then I suggest using a platform like Canva. With Canva, you can create thumbnails, banners, and youtube intros completely free of cost.
I even use it for my animated video intros.
Think of your channel banner as a nice “welcome home” sign for your viewers. Whatever you want them to feel when they land on your youtube page, let it show through your banner.
4. Video Playlists
Something else you want to have on your channel is playlists.
I can not stress enough the importance of making your content searchable, organized, but also binge-worthy!
Clumping together similar videos into playlists is a great way to do this. For example, if you look at my channel, I have several different playlists about different topics.
The idea behind this is to put similar content together and hope that the person viewing one of those videos, will want to watch the next video in the playlist and create a nice youtube session.
Putting similar content together will also help the algorithm know where to suggest your videos. So you will find that videos on the same playlist, are also put in the Suggested Videos section on the watch page.
If people see another relevant video, that is also from your channel, they tend to click on it as well.
This is how you make people binge-watch your content, which the algorithm will love and which will then, in return, push your content out more.
Which in return will get you more views on your youtube video
An important note: make sure you do some SEO on your playlists as well, because believe it or not, they do come up in youtube searches as well.
So make sure you optimize your titles and descriptions on your playlists and add the necessary and relevant keywords.
5. Channel Page Sections
Another part of the channel page that A LOT of people neglect is sections.
Adding channel sections to your channel page boosts the aesthetics of your channel so much. The last thing you want is for a viewer to land on your channel page to find it empty.
Having sections and playlists on your channel makes your channel look legit and organized. It shows that there is a method to your madness and that you put some thought behind your content.
I was a viewer way before I was a YouTuber and whenever I would land on a channel that didn’t have sections and looked empty, I would click off almost immediately.
It is unfortunate because you may actually have a lot of great videos on your channel. But an empty channel page gives the feeling of an empty channel in general.
So make sure you put your best foot forward. Add a Popular Uploads section, a Playlist section, and or a Recently Uploaded section, and fill your channel page up.
Brodie’s Gaming Hub is actually another good example of how you can add sections per topic, episode, season, game; you name it!
Whatever you want to do is up to you, just do it!
Now I know when you first start out, you just don’t have enough content to be able to do a layout like this but that is okay!
Everyone has been through it.
But once you have 10 or more videos up, start working on your layout and playlists as soon as you can.
6. Clear Thumbnail Aesthetic
This is my favorite part of this whole process.
It is also the hardest part to grasp.
Having a clear style on your thumbnails is the number one way to look more professional on Youtube. But, this is only if your thumbnails actually look good.
If you need some help in making better channel thumbnails, I suggest you watch this video here.
If you take a look at the thumbnails I have on my channel, you will notice that I have changed my style a bit in the last 6 months.
This is because coming up with your style takes time. I thought I knew exactly what I wanted when I first started out. But through trial and error, I discovered other things that worked better.
Not only did I like the style more, but my CTR grew because people were clicking on my videos more.
This does not mean that you have to have the same style on ALL of your videos. You may choose to have a certain style per series or per video topic.
Either way works fine.
Just make sure that your viewers will be able to recognize your style at some point.
If you look at a channel like Game Fidelity, you can see a clear style with every series that he does. As soon as he publishes a video, I am able to recognize that it is his content automatically.
This is a very powerful branding technique that will help you if you chose to make your content into something bigger in the future.
7. Socials and Links
Another part of looking professional on youtube is linking to your socials and other important platforms.
If you have a Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or any other social media then you should be linking it to your Youtube channel. This way, if people want to learn more about you or follow you on another platform, you make it easier for them.
You also want to make a nice description box template where you link to important affiliate products or services that you use and link to other youtube videos.
This is especially important if you own a website as I do. You want to make sure you are always linking back to your website to build a good backlink profile and build your SEO.
This is a great way to not only show that you are serious about youtube but also start making an income from your youtube channel.
Once you do this in your settings in Creator Studio, all your videos will automatically have all of your links in them as soon as you upload them.
As you can see, there is a lot of things you can do to make your youtube channel look amazing and welcoming.
These are things that I wish I knew when I first started out because it would have saved me a lot of time and energy.
I ended up completely rebranding and changing so many things 2 months into my journey. Since that point, I have seen a huge increase in both traffic and subscribers.
It is a lot of small things to set up but the payout is wonderful.
Now you may be thinking that it is a lot to set up.
It is a lot and it may take some time.
But once you have it set up, then you rarely have to revisit any of these things again.
So it is best to just set a day to get all of the grunt work done so you can get back to making great content and growing your channel.