[Editor’s Note:This blog is written by Jesse Elmore, founder and editor of Hear The Music.]

So you’ve created your YouTube channel and uploaded a great portfolio of music. You’re getting decent views and people seem to be really enjoying your music, but you’re just not getting as many subscribers as you want. There are a number of things you can do to try and increase subscribers, but the most important (and easiest) way is to simply ask them!

The best place to ask them to subscribe to your channel is creating a channel trailer. It was specifically added by Google/YouTube to help channel owners encourage people to subscribe. In fact, it will only play for viewers that are not currently subscribed to your channel. That’s a really great feature. You don’t have to beg for subs before/after every video, and your current subscribers don’t have to hear it.

Just Like A Movie Trailer

If you think about it for a second, it makes a lot of sense. Think back to a movie you were really looking forward to see. How did you first hear about that movie and start getting excited about it? My guess is the movie trailer! That feeling you get after watching a trailer is exactly what you want to instill in your viewers. You want them excited to see your name pop up when you release a new piece of content. You want them asking, demanding, you cover their favorite song or release an acoustic version of a favorite original!

Wake Them Up

Many people just browse around on YouTube. Clicking from video to video aimlessly without any thought to subscribing to a channel. They may hear you ask for a subscription before you start singing, see your text box pop up, or maybe stay on your video long enough for you to ask at the end of the video, but a lot of the time those things are just noise to people. It’s something they put up with to enjoy your video.

That’s not to say that those things aren’t important, but a trailer video is simply a more focused attempt that stands out and demands they take notice. It gives them the chance to take a pause from their mindless clicking so they can hear a personal message from you. You can explain to them what you’re all about, and why they should support you with a subscription.

Put Your Best Foot Forward

This is your chance to make a great first impression to your future supporters. You want to put the best version of yourself in front of them. With that in mind, here are some things to think about when creating your first trailer:

  1. Appearance is important. Like a job interview, you want your appearance match your “job”. No, that doesn’t mean wear a suit. Wear whatever it is you would wear on a gig. Look good, feel good. Your audience will notice.
  2. Set the stage. Just like your personal appearance, make sure your surroundings look and sound good too. Pick a nice background to be in front of. Set the stage. A dirty bedroom with your roommates playing Halo in the background does not convey “professional musician”.
  3. Don’t use a potato to record it. Use a good quality camera to get an HD recording and upgrade to a good quality microphone. Get a nice mic for your vocals, and just use that.
  4. Keep it up to date. Don’t make it and forget it. Make a fresh trailer, at least every couple months, updated with current news and songs.

What Does A Good Channel Trailer Look Like?

As far as the content of the video itself:

  1. Keep it short. 15-30 seconds should be your goal. Don’t stretch it. You want viewers to be excited, not annoyed.
  2. Give them a warm introduction. Introduce yourself and express to them how happy you are that they are watching your music.
  3. Tell them what to expect. Let them know about everything you offer. Covers, originals, acoustic versions, cooking tips, whatever. Tell them your release schedule. If you don’t have one, make one. It’s important to keep your name on their minds.
  4. Ask them to subscribe! This is what all the work is for. Let them know why it’s important to subscribe, and how much it means to you. The trailer will automatically have a “Subscribe” card at the end of the video to make it easy for them.

Unleash Your Creativity

The tips above are a basic framework of how to structure your trailer. Make it your own. Have fun with it and try to really give your audience a sense of who you are, and what they will be missing if they don’t subscribe. Spend some time on it, and make sure it’s entertaining to watch. You don’t want people to be annoyed and click off before they even get to your music. Try making videos in a couple different styles and see which type results in more subscriptions.

Just Do It!

Hopefully, I’ve made clear the reasons why you need to make a YouTube trailer for your channel. It is a great tool for increasing the number of subscribers your channel gets, and it really puts a personal face on your “brand” and helps you connect with your audience. Whether you’ve been thinking about making one for a while and haven’t gotten around to it, or you’re just hearing about trailers for the first time; just do it! It will be a huge benefit to you and your channel!


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