One of the most common things Her Life By Design listeners are dying to learn about is YouTube. But I must admit — I have zero knowledge about the ins and outs of the platform. This is why I am so excited to welcome Natalie Barbu to the podcast. Natalie is a YouTube influencer, host of the top-rated The Real Reel podcast, and the founder of Barbu Agency. She joins her Her Life By Design to share valuable tips on how to become a successful YouTube influencer. In this episode, we discuss YouTube growth strategies, as well as diversifying and branching out beyond your social influence.
How To Become A Successful YouTube Influencer with Natalie Barbu
Natalie started her YouTube channel at 15 years old out of sheer boredom. Unlike her peers, she didn’t have extracurricular activities after school. So she decided to use her time to create videos for YouTube. She was inspired to start her channel after watching other YouTubers’ content. Natalie found herself relating to other creators on YouTube around her age. These girls were sharing their makeup tutorials filmed in rooms that looked like Natalie’s. They were so relatable that creating content for YouTube didn’t feel intimidating at all.
Hitting Record and Starting a YouTube Channel
Natalie filmed her first YouTube video using Photobooth and iMovie. She received 3 views the day she uploaded her first video. It’s easy to get discouraged by those numbers, but Natalie was excited. This was the first time 3 people, other than her family and friends, took interest in her life and content. She embraced every part of the process. Instead of getting bogged down by the slow growth, she celebrated every win such as receiving her first comment and subscriber.
Slow and Steady YouTube Growth
Over the last 9 years, Natalie managed to grow her YouTube community to over 300k subscribers. She attributes her massive growth to consistency.
“If I didn’t stay consistent throughout those 9 years, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”
It’s no secret that consistency is a crucial part of growing a successful social media presence. But for the rare few, virality could result in explosive growth.
Natalie never had a video go viral. She reminds listeners that viral videos on YouTube are one in a million. And although the growth may seem great, virality might box your content into a very specific style or category. But don’t just take it from me. Natalie agrees that slow and steady growth will allow your audience to grow along with you.
Instead of being known for one type of video, your audience will know the scope of your content. And long-term subscribers won’t expect you to represent and recreate a single viral video.
Going Beyond Consistency
At this point, you know the important role consistency plays in the growth of your community. According to Natalie, consistency is especially important to your growth on YouTube.
“YouTube is like a TV show, you want to show up for your audience every single week.”
Natalie recommends setting a posting schedule based on the day that works best for you. For instance, if your workload is lighter on Wednesdays, prioritize posting on YouTube every single Wednesday at the same time. Setting a posting day in stone gives you accountability, allowing your audience to know when exactly to expect you. Additionally, your consistent posting schedule will inform the YouTube algorithm.
Beyond consistency, Natalie challenges listeners by asking what type of content are you going to film? She takes it a step further, advising aspiring YouTubers to avoid thinking about the types of content that will make you go viral. Instead, “think about what you enjoy watching and what is missing out there.”
A lot of people won’t execute their video ideas just because they haven’t seen it on YouTube. “If you have something you want to do that’s unique, you should definitely do it,” Natalie encourages. It’s important to remember that YouTube gets 1 billion visitors every single month. The chances that 1 of those billion people would be interested in watching your video is incredibly high. And if you really are the only one producing that specific type of content, you’ll own a space or trend that will be uniquely yours.
YouTube Growth Strategies
When it comes to the nitty gritty aspects of growing your YouTube community, Natalie advises all creators to get specific. Treat YouTube like a search engine by making your titles incredibly focused and detailed. However, the content that lives under the title could be broader and address several topics.
For instance, instead of titling your video “A Week in My Life,” Natalie suggests pinning down specifics such as occupation and area. If you were a brand manager living in New York City, your title should read “A Week in My Life as a Brand Manager in New York City.” This title is packed with specific keywords that would interest anyone who is curious about what a brand manager does. It will also appeal to anyone who’d like to know what living in New York City is like.
Once you have an idea of the type of content you’ll be filming, you want to make sure your video length is optimized for the platform. According to Natalie, a general rule of thumb is to keep your videos over 10 minutes long. This is because YouTube allows the placement of multiple ads within a video that’s longer than 8 minutes. “YouTube is a business that wants to make money, so they’re going to promote the videos that are making them the most money — which happen to be longer videos.” And if your video is making YouTube money, they’re going to continue to promote it.
In this episode, Natalie shares some applicable tips on how you can create more engaging videos for YouTube, simply by creating longer but quicker content.
Monetizing on YouTube
Once you have consistency and content under your belt, the next thing you’ll want to know is how to monetize on YouTube. AdSense is a great place to start once you’ve accrued 4000 watch time hours and 1000 subscribers. As for Natalie, she started accepting sponsors and brand collaborations when she realized how engaged her audience on the platform is. Initially, she had a few brands reach out asking her to create content in exchange for free products. And while that seemed great in the beginning, she realized her value and the amount of work that goes into creating content.
When it comes to pricing sponsored content, Natalie suggests using Social Blue Book to get an estimate. Then take it a step further and increase the rate. She also recommends reaching out to fellow influencers in the industry to get a better idea. All in all, Natalie reminds listeners that “you’re not just charging for the number of hours. You’re charging for your experience, the equipment you use, your time editing, and so much more.”
As for how to land brand collaborations for sponsored YouTube content, Natalie drops some helpful pitching tips in this episode. From crafting the perfect pitch email to keeping your message short, sweet, and to the point — Natalie’s direct approach will help you gain confidence when it comes to landing more partnerships.
Diversifying to Serve a Larger Community
Although brand partnerships and ad revenue are a great way to build a business on YouTube, Natalie reinforces the importance of diversifying. If there’s one piece of advice that multiple guests on Her Life By Design have shared before, it’s this. Natalie decided to diversify for numerous reasons.
She branched out from her YouTube channel to start a top-rated podcast called The Real Reel. As a consumer of podcasts herself, she saw that interviews with people who haven’t quite “made it” yet was missing from the space. To fill that gap, she launched The Real Reel, a podcast that showcases real people finding their path in this world. Her podcast was an opportunity for her to shine the spotlight on others who might not have an audience. It was an outlet for her to collaborate with others while challenging the idea of a highlight reel.
The Real Reel serves a larger community by relating to countless individuals. In fact, serving and providing value is the backbone of her new venture, Barbu Agency. Barbu Agency’s mission is to connect brands with their desired audience using PR and online marketing strategies. As an influencer herself, Natalie recognized that “influencers have engaged audiences, brands don’t.” In order to bridge that gap, Natalie launched Barbu Agency to help brands by customizing a social media strategy based on the brand’s specific goals.
Tune into this episode to hear all about Natalie’s tips for landing clients and building an agency. She walks listeners through her own process of offering “freemium” services, outreach, and how she utilized her network.
Growing Beyond Your Limits
Growth is at the top of everyone’s mind when it comes to starting and running a business. This episode is an eye-opener for anyone hoping to grow on YouTube and beyond. Not only does Natalie drop actionable tips for influencers hoping to establish an engaged community on YouTube, but she provides sound advice on how to grow beyond the platform. And if you’re wondering how she does it all, she dives into the reason why her team is a huge contributing factor to her success. Whether you’re hoping to grow your YouTube presence, or expand your influencer career, Natalie has you covered through sharing her own real, relatable moments that ultimately led to her success.
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Agency IG: https://www.instagram.com/barbuagency/
Natalie IG: https://www.instagram.com/nataliebarbu/
The Real Reel Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-real-reel-podcast/id1456261473