LearnHow to use YouTube to get your message out


Ryan Carson
writes on February 23, 2008

If you would like to spread the word about something you’re doing, YouTube is an amazing resource that you can’t afford to ignore. Here’s a quick story to demonstrate this:

I wanted to offer folks a few tips on starting a business, while also raising awareness of our new Start-up Clinic workshop.

I spent about one hour putting together a rough script, about two hours filming and three hours editing. The result was my How to Build a Start-up video which has been viewed over 10,300 times. Not bad for six hours work!

Photo of Ryan teaching in front of the blackboard

Here are a couple things I learned from this:

Simple editing makes a huge difference

I used iMovie ’08 to add a simple intro, music and transitions. It adds credibility to the movie and makes it more fun to watch.

The content is everything

Make sure you have something valuable to say, before you hit the record button. No matter how slick the editing is, if you what you’re offering is of no value, people won’t view it or link to it.

Use variety

The first half of the video is me teaching in front of a blackboard, the second half is a simple screencast. It gives the video more substance and interest which means viewers get more value.

Focus on YouTube

I’d rather use Vimeo because it’s beautiful, but the truth is there’s a lot more people on YouTube. If you compare 90 views on Vimeo to 10,367 on YouTube there’s just no comparison.

Get a mic

Next time, I’ll spend a few bucks on a cheap lapel mic so the sound is clearer. However, if you’d like to get started today, just do it. No need for a mic initially.

Use Mousepose

When I did the screencast section, I used a simple tool called Mousepose.

If you’re showing people your screen, they obviously can’t see where you’re pointing 😉 so you need a simple way to highlight areas of the screen. If you’re not on a Mac, Dragnifier does roughly the same thing.

Let Twitter know

I used Twitter to spread the word by letting people know I had posted the video. I don’t know exactly how many views this generated but I’m sure it helped.

Share your stories

That’s it – if you’ve had success with video on YouTube, please share any tips you’ve learned.


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16 Responses to “How to use YouTube to get your message out”

  1. abarfpava on January 14, 2010 at 12:28 pm said:

    Principled testing to behold if your annotation fuctinon works, mine doesnt!

  2. The number of micro blogging websites is increasing day by day with the increasing number of internet users. Most of the internet users are joiners of any of these websites. Twitter is the most commonly used micro blogging social network. The number of its users is increasing day by day because of its ease of use and the number of benefits, it provides to its users. Some people join twitter merely to extend their work because professional related to every field can be found on twitter. Proper interaction with professionals of a specific always results in some common benefit. Sharing of information can be of a lot of help for people. Musicians especially new singers and bands find twitter very helpful if the know the exact way to market their music. A lot of new fans can be found and even by proper marketing online sale of albums is eased. To get all these benefits simple public dealing techniques should be kept in mind. Some people try to benefit themselves by using twitter but in reality they don’t because they try to influence people by using technical aspects but not the general rules for dealing people. A new musician should create his account on twitter and then start twitting. He should interact with people especially the music lovers and then by sharing some interesting information, he can become friend with them. He then can share his music with them, hence making his twitter friends, his fans. In this way the number of fans can be increased in a few days. Free mp3 songs and free CD’s can be offered to fans on the home page of twitter. This can prove the fastest way of getting famous at expense of nothing. The only thing a musician needs to do is to regularly visit his twitter account.

    Start sharing music with thousands of people on twtmuzik.com.

  3. great video for any beginner

  4. Thanks for your time and work. l have been meaning to do video on youtube but did not know how to.

  5. Hi Ryan

    The Open University have put up some of its open educational resources on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/openlearn. Over the next few months we are developing our YouTube presence to include more stuff – partly to grow awareness of the opencourseware movement and extend access to the resources (many of which are published under a CC license), partly to help our communities group around video (giving a face to a distance learning university) and partly to make it easier for people to distribute our video content reusing it in a variety of informal learning spaces. It’s interesting as a distance learning university, with our background as the University of the Air, to be considering the importance of online video and to be creating low-fi and high quality video… so watch this space. Also hoping to be at the ‘Strategies for Sustainable Access and Creative Reuse of Images and Sounds Online’ conference – what a mouthful! Will share any lessons learnt…

  6. you’re right.. even artist already use youtube to promote videos. i think promotion2.0 is coming too huh..

  7. At first I thought the video was a 10-year-into-the-past timemachine thing, because a) you, Ryan look a lot younger, than the photos I have seen of you and b) you should have bought that mic 😉

    I liked the part about stuff you don’t need. It can be amazing how much many you could spend on products that in the end will even hinder your success.

    When is part II due and what will it feature?

  8. Ryan, thanks for sharing. Have you seen this->

    it’s an iterative approach to doing cashflow predictions that forces you to acknowledge the accuracy of your last prediction and refine it. Pretty cool stuff. We’ll miss you on the SXSW panel next wk in Austin but congrats to you and wife on the baby!


  9. 10,300 times, well done sir! That has got my ears burning, I will have to try and think of some useful content to put up on YouTube. Thank you for sharing this along with the link resources and I agree with sharing stories. This is a very encouraging way of marketing a new startup business.

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