YouTube is a fickle thing, with some people becoming a success practically overnight and other channels taking months to gain that first handful of subscribers. Everyone and their dog seems to have dipped their feet in to the world of YouTube recently - myself included - so when I was given the opportunity to ask YouTube mega-star Jim Chapman for some advice on starting a successful YouTube channel for River Island's Style Insider I grabbed it with both hands.
What do you think are the main ingredients for a successful YouTube channel?It’s really hard to say. I think you need to be consistent and reliable so your viewers always have something to see but it’s also impossible to say what it is about me or Tanya or any other successful YouTuber and what makes them a success. You can’t quantify because it’s our personalities. I think you just need to get out there and try it and do it for fun. Essentially it’s easy, all you need is a camera and a laptop and you’re away, but there has to be something about you that people want to watch.
Is there something that you do in particular that you think makes your videos standout?No, I don’t know what it is. I must be doing something by accident because I have no idea. I often watch my videos and think why would anyone care, but they seem to. I think it’s important to remember you can’t be a success overnight. It takes a lot of hard work and a certain degree of ‘X factor’ or likeability.
Do you think maintaining communication with your viewers is important?Yes I think a lot of people say when they watch my videos they feel like I’m talking directly to them so talking directly to millions of people is probably something that’s not that easy to do. I’m also constantly tweeting, I’m always talking to them in some capacity.
Weirdly it’s all happened so fast and been so reactive I often don’t sit and plan things so I don’t have that many problems. A lot of the time if I do, it just then becomes content because I’ll talk about it with my audience and it gets solved. There’s never been anything terrible I don’t think.
Have you had any big hurdles to overcome?
How much do you think YouTube will change in the coming years?I don’t know. I really feel like this is just the beginning. It’s taken a long time for the balance to start to tick over but suddenly we’re becoming household names. I feel like it’s becoming more mainstream now which is a good thing, as long as it maintains the makeshift nature where’s its easy and watchable as opposed to being really overproduced. I can’t only see it getting bigger and better.
Hopefully you found Jim's responses as interesting as I did - I've been slacking on the YouTube front lately, but if hearing more about it from someone who has clearly been a huge success isn't motivation then I don't know what is! For more from Jim, be sure to check out his video for Style Insider which is jam packed with fashion advice, YouTube fame and his original life plans.
Do you have any of your own advice for starting a YouTube channel?
Images by Jenn Five for River Island