TPM 32 Fiona Flyte | YouTube For Musicians

 

If you want to get more views on YouTube, then this episode is for you. Today’s guest is Fiona Flyte, the creator of the Profitable Performer Revolution and YouTube Domination. She talks with Bree Noble about understanding YouTube for musicians and how you can use SEO and metric analysis to attract more views. However, increasing your views is not all there is. You also have to engage with your subscribers. Why? Because the most successful YouTubers make most of their money from merch, not from ad revenues. Tune into this conversation to learn more! 

Watch the episode here:

Listen to the podcast here:

YouTube For Musicians: Strategies On Getting More Views And Engagement With Fiona Flyte

I am excited to be here with my friend, Fiona Flyte. I had her on the podcast before but I wanted her to come on and talk about YouTube because she’s been intentional about growing her YouTube. I get questions from musicians all the time, “How can I get more views on my YouTube? I’ve been struggling to grow my YouTube.” I’m excited to ask her questions about this because I want to know the answers as well. Before we get into YouTube though, I want her to give a little bit of background on what is her musical background, what has she done up to this point and why does she love focusing on YouTube. 

My background is in classical music. I was a classically-trained opera singer and I sang opera in musical theater, which was and is my first love. Along the way, I discovered that it was challenging to support myself fully on opera alone or musical theater performing alone. At that time, I started teaching voice. Further along the way, I realized that teaching voice wasn’t lighting me up and I was still frustrated watching all of my incredible singing students have the same challenges with making money that I had as a performer. That was the genesis for my pivoting in my business and becoming a business coach for performing artists. 

Everybody doesn't have to be a customer at the point when they find us. Click To Tweet

My mission is to help other performing artists ditch the starving artist mindset and become profitable because it is completely possible as you know and as you coach as well. It’s a huge passion for me to do that. You asked why YouTube specifically. What happened to me is I have never let go of performing. I still consider myself a singer, actor and performer. That is one of my passions. YouTube is this perfect vehicle for musicians to get their music out there but it’s also a great vehicle for coaches. As far as I’m concerned, with many musicians/teachers or singers/teachers/coaches, YouTube is such a great platform for all of us to build a seamless system for bringing people into both parts of our businesses. 

I know when you told me you were doing that, you were alternating between doing performance videos and then maybe some teaching videos. I thought that that was smart. Especially with the teaching ones, it’s easier to take advantage of SEO, which is huge on YouTube because it is a Google property. I know that you have a whole course on YouTube so you know all about the benefits of SEO. How can we take advantage of titles that people are looking for? Is there any way to do this with our music stuff? Is that why we need the other stuff so we can utilize the SEO? 

You can utilize SEO for both. There’s no reason you can’t blow up the SEO. You can go viral using SEO to drive your music videos. This is not a problem but it can be a little bit more challenging to figure out what those SEO words are. You need to have a strong strategy when it comes to covers when you are wanting to benefit from that SEO functionality as a musician. I want to point out, Google owns YouTube and YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world. Google is the first largest and YouTube is the second largest. 

That’s one reason I’ve got this strategy of putting the show on YouTube. I want to be able to take advantage of search because with podcasts, it’s not so easy. They’re trying to work it in but it’s not coming along like YouTube is. With the covers, I’m curious how that works for classical artists. Does that tend to work as well for people that are doing classical or musical theater versus singing the new hit song by Olivia Rodrigo, Taylor Swift or something like that? 

It does work for both but you have to think outside of the box and you need to get creative. For example, you want to be analyzing your own metrics. You go back in and you see which of your videos are performing the best. One of the things that I saw in the back end of my own metrics was that an American art song called Come Ready and See Me by Richard Hundley was doing well. I deduce from that, that a lot of younger singers in conservatories were looking for that song. It’s a popular song for young singers in conservatories to do you on their recitals and their juries because we have this American art song requirement. 

It’s not a song that has been recorded a whole lot. Maybe at this point, it’s been recorded more but when I was in school, there was no access to recordings of it to listen to. It was interesting to me that that was one of the songs that were doing well. Not a new song and not at all a well-known song but a beautiful song that was popular in a specific segment of the population. That was my ideal audience. That’s an example of using it as a classical singer. Another one that has done well is Caro Mio Ben. 

I was going to say that because when you’re in school and you have to sing in a recital, it’s the first song you do. 

It’s the first song everybody does so everybody is searching for it. There’s not a whole lot of professional singers doing it. We have that incredible Se tu m’ami CD by Cecilia Bartoli but on YouTube, you’re not going to find a whole bunch of different versions of professionals doing it. You’re going to find a lot of younger, newer singers putting it up on YouTube. This is being strategic, thoughtful and creative about what would people be searching who I want to find my channel. 

I love that because you’re thinking, “These are the people that I want to attract,” because you have a program that helps people become profitable performers. Is there any point where it makes sense to attract people for attraction’s sake and not because they’re your perfect customer? It’s because you want to get your watch hours up or you want to increase your subscribers or something. Is it always, “We need to attract our perfect customer with our videos.” 

TPM 32 Fiona Flyte | YouTube For Musicians

YouTube For Musicians: YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world.

 

We’re always wanting to grow our reach. We’re always wanting to bring in new people and bringing in somebody who’s maybe not our ideal customer. They may share our video with people who are our ideal customers. The question there is, are they our ideal followers? Everybody doesn’t have to be a customer at the point when they find us. They could be part of our cheerleading section, audience or community. From my standpoint, we’re always wanting to draw in the people who if not ideal customers, are ideal community members. 

There’s a great example of this on my channel. Unfortunately, I was thinking about what people are searching for because this is what we want to figure out. We want to get into the brains of people. What are the trending topics? What are people searching that I could create a video on? At one point, I was brought into being a brand ambassador for a new app called Firework. It’s a short-form video platform. When I was invited to participate in this program and they were going to pay me to create videos, I didn’t know if it was legit or a scam. I went to YouTube and Google to find out. I’m searching is Firework legit or a scam? I couldn’t find any information. 

I thought, “Bingo. This is a topic that I should create a video around because this is the thing I want to know and I’m searching for and there’s no answer.” Once I got into the program and I started to figure out what it was all about, I created a video on that subject and I did all the backend SEO for it. It’s my highest-performing video. Here’s the problem, people who watch that are not interested in my services as a business coach, in my music and my other videos. It’s not good. 

It’s a problem. If that happens to you, do you keep it there because it still increases your watch hours or do you delete it? 

What I did first was I created more videos on Firework because I was wanting to do what you’re supposed to do, which is look at your metrics, see what is performing the best, and then create more videos on that topic for those people. Those are among my next best performing videos. As time passed and I saw the degree to which they kept rolling and bringing in more followers, I could see that it was not an effective strategy. Did I want to delete them or keep them? I haven’t decided. They’re still there and they still bring in people. I still get comments on them that are no longer relevant since I’m no longer with that company. 

At this time, I can’t answer their questions because that company has changed a lot since I was with them. It’s a good question. For the time being, as I work towards those initial watch hours, which I don’t have yet, I am just leaving it. At the point when I accrue enough watch hours, perhaps I’ll delete them but I’m also in favor of allowing our audience and our biggest fans to see our progress. Leaving it there means that the people who listen to this podcast can go see it and go, “This is what she was talking about. This is a don’t do.” 

Allow your audience and your biggest fans to see your progress.  Click To Tweet

People that take your course, “Go to my YouTube channel and see the problem that this caused. You don’t want to go down this route. You’re taking this course so you can cut the learning curve.” 

My guess is I’ll probably leave them up for mostly the reason. I like to honor the progression and I like to let that be visible. 

I have a few like that too. When I was unclear on what I was focused on in business or how I was going to use my channel, there’s someone there that still does wellI’m like, “I don’t want to be known for this.” It’s there and it’s fine. The times that I was putting my show up there, it’s just the static picture and not the actual video. I remember asking you, “Should I take those down? Because there’s 1 or 2 that still do well.” 

My answer is to leave them. 

You told me that and I was like, “I don’t know.” People don’t go diving back into the archives of your channel to be like, “What were you thinking?” 

The people that go into the archive are the fans. They’re the ones that are excited to see your genesis and enjoy your early content. A lot of the time, they don’t even notice that by our standards, it’s inferior to what we’re putting out because the content is still the core of you there and the fans who are excited about it. That’s where I’m at with that. 

Let’s approach this from somebody who doesn’t have anything on YouTube yet. Maybe they’re in my Academy and they see that in the foundation stages like, “You need to set up your YouTube channel.” How do they get started? What do they do first? What’s the easiest way to get some content on there? 

The first thing that I would encourage them to do is get realistic about what they can do consistently. It’s important to your new audience that you let them know, “I’m going to be here once a week,” or “I’m going to be here once a month,” but it’s a specific day. If you want to get crazy, it can be a specific time as well. It’s a specific day that you’re going to post every week or every month or whatever it is. You decide, “This is realistic for me and I’m going to commit to it.”  

For people who are starting out on YouTube, I encourage you to make a commitment to yourself or to a small group of people that will hold you accountable because YouTube is not easy. It requires a significant amount of effort. You’ve got to film a video. Over time, you’re going to want to be improving your audio, visual, technology in general, editing skills and equipment. You’ve got all of the equipment pieces. You’ve got to film it, edit it, deal with your audio then promote it. You’ve got to generate your ideas and engage with other people on YouTube to help your channel grow. There’s a lot of elements that go into it and I see a lot of people quit. 

What I would say in the beginning is to decide, “What is realistic for me?” Don’t overshoot it. Maybe it’s just one video a month but you could feel good that you did it every month. What I did in the very beginning was I reached out to a small group of people that were truly friends and family who I knew supported me. I said, “I’m adding you to an email list if you say yes.” Some of them I said, “You could say no.” Some of them like my mom and my brother, I was like, “You’re on my email list. I’m going to be emailing you every time I put out a new video and I need you to head on over to YouTube, watch it, like it and give me a comment.” I needed that support at the beginning. I get that everybody doesn’t have a core group of people to do that for them. Hopefully, you have at least one person that you could bring onto this little cheerleading squad and support this early effort. It is a big deal to put yourself out on YouTube and commit to it. 

TPM 32 Fiona Flyte | YouTube For Musicians

YouTube For Musicians: We always want to draw in the people who are, if not ideal customers, our ideal community.

 

If you’re in somewhere like the Academy or you have another group of musicians that you know and you all want to commit to, you can help each other out. That’s the best way to do it for sure. You got your little accountability group and you’ve also got your little promotional squad. All boats rise with the tide. I swear I say that once in an episode when I’m on here because it’s important to me. It’s one of my main values. One time at Clubhouse, we were talking about this. You were talking about being consistent but also being realistic. You were talking about how you started out biting off way too much more than you could chew. 

When I started on YouTube, I was producing two videos a week and understand that I had never produced videos before so that was a lot. The reason that I did it was because I knew that if I was producing the coaching content but not my music, there was a good chance that I would let the music go because I saw that was a danger and I did not want that to happen. I wanted to model for my audience that you can have this diversified income where your teaching business brings in eyes to your music business and vice versa. The two are feeding each other and as a personal brand, you can create something synergistic. 

I wanted to model this. I wanted to be an inspiration for some of my teacher or coaching followers who were still also wanting to create music, or for the musicians who wanted another stream of income but were afraid that if they started teaching, it meant they weren’t real performers anymore. It was something that I had carried in my own subconscious. I committed to two videos a week, which meant eight videos a month. It was a lot. I carried my commitment to myself and to that small group of people where it was for a full year. My husband was like, “Really? A year?” I was like, “You don’t understand. I have to make it a year or I might quit.” 

About five months in, my business started to grow in other areas. I started to get more clients and I started to develop my group program. At that point, I had to ask myself, “What is YouTube for? Why am I on YouTube? Am I on YouTube as some personal quest? Am I on YouTube as a distribution channel for my business?” I decided that it was the latter. At that point, I thought, “I still want to be consistent but I also need more time for these other areas of my growing business. How about if I cut it to one video a week? Which is still a lot. I’ll still go back and forth between coaching and music videos.” I did that for a while and then I realized I had other stages in my business where I thought, “I need to be flexible. It’s not some strike against me if I decide to take a break from YouTube in order to focus on something else and then I bring it back again when the time is right.” 

It’s funny because you got the results that you wanted. You did the YouTube, you kicked its butt for a while and then you’re like, “My business is growing so much probably because of all this work I put on YouTube.” We might tend to be like, “I can’t stop because then I’ll stop getting my business like I was if I pull back.” Credit to you that you didn’t give in to that fear. It’s easy to think, “If I pull back then I’ll have less business,” but on the other hand, you can’t possibly handle it because you’ve got this commitment, plus all this business that you got. 

You need to be consistent, but you need to be realistic about what consistency means to you.  Click To Tweet

It also was a mental thing. There was some fear but it wasn’t so much fear that I would lose the audience, the income or the eyeballs. It was more about something silly inside myself about commitments like, “I made this commitment and therefore, the commitment stands above all else.” That was the thing I had to look at like, “Who did I make the commitment to and for?” 

At one point, I did take almost an entire year break from my podcast because I needed to. I was burning out. Now I’m excited to do my podcast every week because I haven’t been grinding for six years. I took the break when I needed it. It’s a hard balance between consistency and giving yourself some grace. I’m going to be honest. Most of the time, the musician’s problem is consistency. I’m not letting any of you guys off the hook because if you haven’t done it for a year, you can’t take a break because you haven’t developed consistency. I’m going to kick your butt there on the consistency side, everyone that’s reading who wants to start a YouTube channel and hasn’t done it yet. 

Let’s go back to that first thing. Why did I make a commitment in the first place was because without that commitment, I wouldn’t have been consistent. The first tip was you need to be consistent but you need to be realistic about what consistent means to you. 

One of the major points of being consistent is to build your subscriber base and build up your body of work so more people will find it. One of those metrics that is hard to reach is watch hours. Do you have any ideas on how we can get more watch hours? That has been my biggest struggle. 

Let’s back up. People don’t understand this especially people new to YouTube. In order to monetize your YouTube channel, which means to allow YouTube to run ads that you would be paid for, you need 1,000 subscribers and you need 4,000 watch hours. A lot of people will hit that 1,000-subscriber mark but not have the watch hours, which is the situation you’re in. This is an important thing for people to understand as they are hopping on YouTube hoping that it’s going to be another amazing income stream. YouTube can be an amazing income stream but for few people, that income stream is going to be the ad revenue as the big driver. 

I would first ask why is this 4,000 watch hours important to someone? If they’re saying, “I want to get that ad revenue,” then I say, “It’s great to have another stream of income. What are your expectations for how much ad revenue you’re going to be getting? Is it good to make such a big impact on your business? Also, is there some kind of popularity thing going on in your head? Some vanity metrics thing where it’s like, ‘I need to be monetized. I need that 4,000 watch hours.’” It’s like, “Why? What’s going on underneath?” 

At the point when you start getting the ad revenue, hopefully, you already have stronger revenue streams in other areas of your business. When we look at the people who are the most successful on YouTube, they’re not making the majority of their money from the ad revenue. They’re making it from their merch. They’re making it from their course or whatever they’re funneling people from YouTube to. None of that changes. The ad revenue is just a little icing on the cake. 

I don’t need the ad revenue. It becomes that white whale thing. I’m not sure why. I want to feel like I’m putting in the effort and I want to be at least acknowledged or rewarded for it that I’m putting on my makeup or doing my hair. I used to do my podcast just audio because it was easier and now, I’ve set up a batch system so it’s a lot easier to do the videos but I was so resistant to it. That’s probably why. I was resistant to it before and I’m like, “I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to go through all that trouble,” and now I am doing that. I do have somebody that’s producing the videos for me, at least minimally so I don’t have to do it. I am investing in that and I’m investing a little extra time, effort and all that stuff. I feel like I want someone to reward me for that. 

TPM 32 Fiona Flyte | YouTube For Musicians

YouTube For Musicians: It’s far more important that you get the handful of people who are going to hit that link, get added to your email list, and join your community versus the thousands of watches.

 

I want to head over to YouTube to look at your funnel and what you got going on over on YouTube. 

That’s the thing. Because I have only been doing this for a while, I don’t have a good funnel situation going on over there. 

What is it under? 

It’ll be Bree Noble. 

I’m looking at Bree’s YouTube channel and the first sentence of her description is, “For our free resource, Nineteen Proven Sources of Income You Probably Haven’t Considered for Your Music Business, go to,” then we have a link to FEMusician.com. That is where your income is coming from. It’s far more important that you get the hundreds versus the thousands of watches of people who are your ideal clients who are going to hit that link, get added to your email list and join your community. That is the point and you’re doing it. 

Thank you for the minicoaching moment. That is true. I do have that. I’m going to admit, I’m not over the watch hour. 

We’ll talk about what you can do to increase the watch hours. My point is that in terms of the income stream, we want to be doing what Bree is doing, which is funneling people who find us via search on YouTube to our world. We want to bring them into our world. The next thing that we want to have at the top of our description just like Bree has is some kind of entry to our world, to our mailing list. If you are a musician, you want to have what they call a lead magnet. Maybe it’s your MP3, a free song download, your lyrics, your book of poetry or whatever it is that you give away to get people onto your email list and become subscribers into your world. 

This is the primary way that almost everybody makes actual money on YouTube. It’s not via the ad revenue. It’s via our other services. YouTube is primarily a distribution platform just like podcasts. We want to distribute our content on YouTube in order to bring the people into our world, help them find us and then help them to want to dive deeper into our different offerings. There are a lot of strategies for how to increase your watch hours. There is no quick fix. There is no workaround. There’s no magic bullet or magic genie. What it takes is improving our videos. The better we make our videos, the longer people will watch them. 

There’s a challenge with something like a podcast because there isn’t that visual element. Now that you’re recording the show as videos, this is great. That’s the first step but there are other elements that you can add in your editing to make it pop more, make it more visually compelling, make people want to stick around, etc. Another thing that you want to do is analyze the videos that are doing the best. It’s probably similar to your podcast. You look at which videos are getting the most watch time. Which videos are the ones that people are interested in? You then want to create more podcasts or videos on similar or related topics. Why did they watch it? What was it about that video that made them watch longer? Recreate it so there’s a little bit of reverse engineering that needs to happen. It’s like, “How compelling can we make the videos?” 

That would require extra work and all that so it’s an investment. I have to decide as all of you have to decide where you want to invest your time and money, get an editor and all that if you want to make a play on YouTube. That’s probably what you have to do. You can’t just put up videos of you playing in your living room. You need to make them more interesting. 

It depends. Generally, poor production values on YouTube do not play. You could be doing it in your living room and your living room could have a dirty old couch that is falling apart. Your camera’s not very good and you have poor lighting. That’s not going to do well. You could also do a video in your living room with a beautifully painted wall, a plain color but it pops and it’s pretty. Your microphone looks cool on camera. You do your makeup and you dress to the part or whatever it is that you’re trying to get across. You’ve got some good lights and you’ve got a nice camera and good audio, then it’s fine to do it in your living room. The production value itself does matter. If we’re talking about growing, you want to look at people like Lindsey StirlingPeter Hollens and Whitney Avalon. If you’re not familiar with them, look them up on YouTube. They’re all singers. Their production values are like, “Whoa.” You see what becomes possible once you start giving yourself that creative task of, “How can I make incredible videos as a musician?” Check out those because I love them.  

When you put out those new covers, you absolutely want to make them your own. Click To Tweet

That’s some great advice and some great people to check out for sure. I love Lindsey Stirling. When you were talking about, “Look at your metrics and see what’s working,” one thing that I notice that works is when I collab on an episode with someone who’s already doing it on YouTube. They’re trying to grow their YouTube channel. They have a YouTube presence and they have people that traditionally comment on their YouTube videos. One of our best videos, our guest is somebody that clearly is paying attention to their YouTube. They’re cultivating their community there. How would you recommend that artists use that concept to do some collabs on their channel? 

That’s it. Do collabs on your channel. 

What collabs would be cool? Do you think they should perform together? Should they bring someone on as a takeover video? 

It’s interesting when it comes to collabs because you have to decide whose channel is it going to live on? Is it going to be on one person’s channel, the other person’s channel or both channels? The problem with putting it on both channels is that if we have two videos that we’re trying to get to go viral and they’re the same video, that dilutes the possibility. When you think about who you want to collab with, it’s the same as any collab. You want that person to be generous. You want that person to be someone that you know. 

Let’s say the video is your idea and it’s going to live on your channel. Let’s say you reach out to somebody with 100,000 followers who happens to be your friend or subscribers. They say yes, they’re going to do it. They’re your friend but they’re your frenemy. They don’t shout you out at all to their 100,000 people. It wasn’t living on their channel so it didn’t get sent out to their subscribers and they never shouted you out. Whereas let’s say you have met someone else with 5,000 subscribers who is collaborative, open to that exchangesuper engaged with their smaller audience and shouts you in the video out like crazy. That’s the person that you want to collab with. 

I found that to be true with any collabs I’ve done as well. It doesn’t matter how well known they are. They have a medium-sized audience and they’re excited to be collabing with you and they want to tell people about it. They’ve got an audience. That might not be as big as someone else that you had targeted but they’re getting all of their audience to see you. Whereas the other person may get none of their audience to see you. 

We go back to our funnel. We want to bring people into our world. It’s far better to have that medium-sized audience coming your way of people who are engaged and interested. Some of those people go, “I want to stick around. I want to be part of your community too.” 

We’ve covered so much. Is there anything else that we haven’t covered about best practices and do’s and don’ts of YouTube? 

There’s a lot more. 

There’s probably a ton. 

Let’s talk about your banner because a lot of the time people don’t maximize that banner space. Your channel banner is the first impression and you want that first impression to be good. You don’t want to just throw up some visual. Also, YouTube is such a visual medium so you throw up some random background picture and put up a little bit of text. No. You want to be strategic with that banner. Remember that as you’re creating it, the dimensions are weird. Whether it’s on the desktop, you have a longer amount of space and it keeps shrinking based on whether you’re looking at it on a tablet or mobile. What looks great on desktop might look bad on mobile. 

TPM 32 Fiona Flyte | YouTube For Musicians

YouTube For Musicians: YouTube is primarily a distribution platform, just like podcasts. We want to distribute our content on YouTube to bring the people into our world and help them find us.

 

You want to search on YouTube for a video teaching you how to make a good cover because they’re out there and they have templates for it. Make sure that in that center of your channel banner is exactly what you most want them to see. That should be something that gives them a great idea of why they should subscribe to your channel. What kind of music do you create? What kind of music teacher are you? What should they expect from you? When are you going to be producing your video? It’s that consistency thing. That’s why you want to immediately be able to tell your audience, “I’m here every Wednesday. I’m here every Thursday,” or whatever your thing is. 

I’m looking at our banner. Should it say, “Videos are released every Tuesday?” 

Absolutely. 

We don’t have that. 

Have you tested it to see how it looks on the different devices? 

We have but I haven’t looked at it on a different device so I’ll have to do that. 

Bree has got a nice picture of herself. It could be even stronger if you popped yourself out of the picture and had you against that purple background. That would create more space for your text. I like that you have your website URL on it but it’s not clickable there. You might have a little arrow pointing to where it is clickable because Bree has sensibly added it. This is something everybody can do. You can add clickable links to your channel banner.  

Bree has got Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and her website. You can have a little arrow directing them to click on the website. You could also give them a reason, a CTA. You have your URL but it’s like, “Why do we care? What is it we’re going to get there?” You give us a couple of words CTA pointing to the website. I’d be interested to see these words on my phone. It’s a lot of text in that chunk of text, “Amplifying musician’s voices.” If there was a way to make the text bigger and fewer words but still get it all across. Do you need the “Since 2007? 

Probably not. 

That would free up space for something like, “New videos every Tuesday,” which could be centered in the middle. 

I’m loving this. This is my selfish reason to have Fiona on here so I can get personalized tips on my channel. 

By the time people see this, hopefully, your channel will already have been changed. 

Good point. 

In terms of advice for your YouTube videos, when you turn this into a podcast, this is a perfect example of where you could screenshot that banner and then have your editor insert it in the video so that they could see what we were talking about. When you created your new banner and you could screenshot that too and show the before and after. Insert that into the video. 

You’re making a lot of work for me here. 

This is exactly how we make them more watchable and we increase our watch hours. 

The only other thing I wanted to ask was the intro video. We redid ours. Do you recommend that people have that? 

Absolutely. In that intro video, you want to hit why should they follow you? What are you about? Why are you here? Why should they be here? What’s in it for them? That’s always for the new people then what replaces that for people who come back and look in that area again, they’ll see something else. They’ll see that the first time they come, and then you want to have a secondary video which is whatever other video you most want people to see. What I do is usually whatever is my most current video. 

I didn’t know that that changed for people that weren’t there for the first time. Is that the case if you subscribe or even if you don’t subscribe and you’ve been there before? 

Probably for subscribers. That’s a good question that we could Google. 

This has been a lot of information so I won’t overwhelm people. Is there anything else that you’re like, “We have to talk about this?” 

We never talked about the covers for the indie musicians, the non-classical singers. We want to hit that. A lot of people especially singer-songwriters are opposed to doing covers. They want to put out their own new music and this is great. I want to encourage everyone to put out their own new music but you have to keep in mind for YouTube that nobody is searching for your new music except your uber fans who already have found it. They’re not the first people that you’re trying to reach on YouTube. It’s reverse engineering. The people who would like my music are also listening to what? Who are the biggest names in your genre that if people like that person then they probably would like your music too? 

There are a couple of different strategies you can take. When they release a new song or new album, you do want to cover it. You want to have a strategy for your channel where maybe it’s two covers and two originals a month. You’re putting out your new music but you’re also giving new eyeballs the opportunity to find you. When you put out those new covers, you want to make them your own. A great thing is to do a cross-gender. If they like the opposite gender performer, they still would probably like my music. Why not create something completely original doing a woman’s version of a man song or vice versa? 

Another thing that can be super fun is taking someone that’s not in your genre who’s super popular like Taylor Swift or somebody and then making it your genre. What an interesting, strange mixture you might create and then bring a lot of new eyeballs. Some of them, like with my Firework video, isn’t going to be people who are going to be interested because they only want to hear that genre. Some of them are going to be like, “This is the coolest thing ever.” 

I’m the hugest fan of covers that are done in an interesting way. I used to have a whole show on it when I had the radio station. It’s called We’ve Got It Covered. It was the most amazing show ever. I loved it because they were songs that you haven’t thought about in forever. Maybe older songs or newer songs that are done differently. You’re surprised by each one of them so that’s super fun. 

In this case, it’s who is trending. We don’t like that trending thing necessarily but you need to be aware. What are people searching for? That’s what’s trending. A pro tip is when somebody super big releases a new album, instead of doing the number one song, do the number two song. 

That is a pro tip because everyone’s going to do the number one song, or the number one song is going to be the lead single and everybody’s going to be paying attention to that video and not yours. I have one more thing I have to ask because this is important. It’s about thumbnails because thumbnails are so important on YouTube. A lot of people don’t realize how important they are because they’re not thinking about a consumer on YouTube and what draws your eye to make you click on a video. What are a couple of the biggest tips you have on thumbnails? 

This is huge and there’s a whole section on thumbnails inside my YouTube Domination course. What I do in the course is I do a search and I do a screenshot of what I find and I say, “Which one would you click on?” That’s the way in. Search for something that you would search or a topic that you’re going to create a video on and then look at what shows up and look at where does your eye go in terms of the thumbnails and titles? Both the titles and thumbnails are important. People definitely underestimate it. Some of the biggest tips for the thumbnails are simple, not a lot of text, 3 to 4 words, super compelling text that makes you notice it, visually appealing and not busy. You’re building your own brand so usually, there should be a photo of yourself but that photo needs to be high quality. The thumbnails are small so they need to have a strong impact in a small space. 

Those are some great tips for sure. The branding is important. You want them to look the same so people go, “That’s one of Bree’s videos.” 

It can evolve over time. You have several months or a year’s worth of videos and the thumbnails are similar and then you move into some new branding, and then you have another round. You can tell that this is still Bree. 

You’re not stuck. You don’t have to make the same thumbnail forever and ever. 

You do want consistency. 

We’re back to consistency again so we’ve come full circle on the consistency thing for sure. That’s where it’s at with YouTube. You’ve got to keep producing content. Even if you can only commit to one video a month, at least you’ll be producing content on a regular basis. You can start building up what you’ve got there, what we’ll bring people in and how you can get subscribers. This has been good. I probably had another million questions but we can’t get to them now. If you have questions on YouTube, go check out Fiona. Let them know where they can find you on social media. 

Instagram is my primary but I’ve diversified. Follow me and DM me over on Instagram. It’s a great place to communicate. I have a Facebook group called The Profitable Performer. This is a wonderful place for more exclusive content. I have a YouTube channel. Search Fiona Flyte and you’ll find me on YouTube where you can hear my own music and you can also get lots of videos on mindset marketing and monetization. That’s what I cover on YouTube for performing artists, musicians and singers. 

When somebody super big releases a new album, instead of doing the number one song, do the number two song.   Click To Tweet

I have my two courses. My signature course is the Profitable Performer Revolution, which teaches all about building a profitable business as a performing artist and my YouTube Domination course, which is for beginners starting out on YouTube who wants to get started right. Also, who wants that understanding of exactly what should that thumbnail look like, what does that channel banner need to have included and how do you rank in search. My videos do consistently rank in search as do my students inside YouTube Domination. 

For any of you reading, make sure you spell it right so you can find her. I know she’s active on social media so definitely connect with her. Thank you, Fiona, for sharing all of this great info. I learned a few things as usual. 

My pleasure. 

Important links: 

About Fiona Flyte

TPM 32 Fiona Flyte | YouTube For MusiciansFiona Flyte is the creator of the Profitable Performer Revolution and YouTube Domination. With over 20 years experience as a professional performer and voice coach, Fiona knows first hand the challenges facing performing artists in the digital age. Integrating a combination of Mindset, Marketing and Monetization strategies into her trademarked Profitable Performer Process, Fiona is passionate about helping her fellow artists to kick their imposter syndrome to the curb and become truly PROFITABLE performers instead!