An entrepreneur recording a video for her business.
Publishing purposeful content on a business YouTube channel is free and can help you gain customer traction. — Getty Images/PeopleImages

If you have a Gmail account, you already have everything you need to set up a free YouTube account and begin designing your channel. These five steps will help you set up your account, start creating content and grow your subscriber base.

[Read more: Pro Tips for Making YouTube Videos to Promote Your Business]

Decide on the purpose of your channel

When it comes to YouTube, clearly defining your purpose may be the difference between success and failure. If you’re making videos about topics you find interesting and know a lot about, you’re going to attract more followers.

If you’re having trouble coming up with a niche, you can browse other popular channels. This is an excellent opportunity to see what most viewers are interested in and scope out the competition.

Once you’ve settled on a niche, you can begin looking for ways to set yourself apart from other YouTubers.

Set up your free YouTube channel

Setting up a free YouTube channel is a simple and relatively fast process. You’ll need a Google account to get started, but if you don’t already have one, this is free to set up as well.

Once you have your Google log-in information, you can set up a username and password on YouTube. You’ll also verify your phone number to ensure you’re not creating a spam account. After you’ve completed your profile, you can start setting up and designing your channel.

Branding is what sets successful YouTubers apart from other content creators. Branding your channel can help your subscribers quickly identify your content and remember what you posted.

Brand your account

Branding is what sets successful YouTubers apart from other content creators. Branding your channel can help your subscribers quickly identify your content and remember what you posted.

In addition, you want to use SEO-friendly keywords in your description, so your channel comes up in search results. It’s also a good idea to create an eye-catching banner.

The banner sits at the top of your page, so it’s a great way to catch a visitor’s attention and help your channel stand out. And if you have other social media accounts, you can include links to them in your banner.

[Read more: A Beginner's Guide to SEO]

Purchase the right equipment

If you are serious about growing your YouTube channel, you want to have the appropriate gear to shoot your videos. While a smartphone can do the job, videos with a higher production quality will likely get more clicks and followers.

At the very least, you will want a tripod for your camera. You don’t want to prop up or hold your phone the entire time you’re shooting a video.

Consider purchasing a ring light and an external microphone to improve the lighting and sound quality. You can find some inexpensive equipment in the beginning and upgrade it as your channel grows.

[Read more: What to Look for in Video Editing Software]

Start posting new content consistently

It’s important to post new material on your YouTube channel consistently. YouTube allows you to schedule posts, giving you the freedom to schedule when new videos are released. You should check your analytics to see if there are specific days and times when viewership is higher.

In addition, you should try to create a stellar introduction for your channel. A video will lose 20% of its viewers after only 10 seconds if they aren’t’ reeled in from the start. Keep this in mind or you could risk losing those viewers forever.

On the same note, you don’t want your videos to be too long. Keep your content short and straightforward, especially in the beginning when you are trying to gain subscribers.

And finally, remember that the numbers don’t lie. If your videos aren’t seeing the hits you want them to, it’s time to change things up. Engage with your subscribers so you can learn more about what they like and the content they want to see in the future.

[Read more: YouTube: How to Use the Platform’s Stats to Measure Success]

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