During this week of production, I needed to change a few tasks around in order to stay on time with my project. Instead of filming and editing, I completed tasks that did not need any equipment. After a quick evaluation, I decided to focus on editing scripts, creating branding materials, and creating my YouTube channel. This unexpected change lead me to think from a different perspective. Instead of creating a thumbnail template to reflect the photo, I created a basic template that will work with any type of video. This will help me in the future if I decide to branch out with content.
At first, I found myself glancing at basic branding packages with business cards, flyers, and posters. After a quick realization, I swiftly focused on the elements that would apply only to a YouTube channel. This switched my focus to choosing a profile picture, creating a profile banner, and designing a thumbnail template.
Picking a profile picture was very easy. I wanted to keep the same profile picture as my Instagram account in order to remain consistent accross platforms. The photo remains on-brand with bookish content by showing myself holding a book. I am not too close to the camera, and I’m not too far away. The picture also looks warm and inviting, which will hopefully attract more people to subscribe.
Next, I needed to create a YouTube banner. I needed to include a quick and visual summary of what my channel is all about. I settled on four main elements to focus on; coffee, a thought bubble, a camera, and books. These are the four things that I want people to think about my channel. I then added “book reviews,” “bookish thoughts,” and “behind the scenes” to the banner as well. This provides even more content to the banner in case people are attracted to words over images. To create the banner, I used Adobe Illustrator. Most of the objects are shapes and lines with varying colors and opacities.
The color pallet is very simple and neutral. These colors represent me best because I consider myself as a simple person. From my photography, writing, and design aesthetic, I will always gravitate toward neutral and muted colors. At first, I created my own color pallet using Adobe Color, but when I started to use it, the colors didn’t match very well. To fix this issue, I used several color gradients within Adobe Illustrator.
Lastly, I needed to design a thumbnail template. Again, I wanted this template to reflect a simple tone, but still remain trendy and modern. I used Canva to create this design. After looking up the dimensions, inspiration, and how to upload them, I created an uncomplicated template for my thumbnails. The thumbnail will consist of a photo of myself with the main title on the bottom of the image. Depending on my placement of the image, I will add a subtitle using the same typewriter font. Most of the examples I saw included the video’s title and one or two elements providing further insight into the video. The thumbnail is also one of the first impressions, so it needs to be eyecatching and a good quality photograph.
After creating several branding materials, I needed to create a YouTube channel. For some reason, I was under the impression that the set up would take a while, but in reality, it only took a few minutes. Now that I have established a channel name, all I need to do is start uploading content.
According to a 42 West article showing 10 great tips for starting a YouTube channel, I will need to plan my content, gather the right equipment, look for inspiration, optimize my videos, and more. Since I have already finished planning my first four videos, I’ll need to keep looking at inspiration, new editing software, and investigating potential collaborations. This will ensure that I have plenty of potential content for the future.
Another article from Quicksprout talks about the complete guide to building a successful YouTube channel. The article talks about building an audience, SEO strategy, getting views, and how to make them count. Overall, the article points out that YouTube is a powerful marketing tool if used correctly. By establishing an audience and converting them into fans, it will increase the success of a channel at a faster rate.
Now that I have the branding materials out of the way, I can focus on recording my content. I will record four videos that focus on book reviewing best practices, critics, and how to write a critical book review. This will help transition me into posting more in-depth book reviews in the future.