Doesn’t it just chap your hide when you put time and energy into your “how-to” video, (making it beautiful, with graphics and high production value) and then some kid with a cell phone uploads a one-take, shaky cam video with bad lighting and it out performs yours? WHY DOES THIS HAPPEN?!?! You’re the expert here. You should be getting all the views! Today we are going to talk about that and how to make your content the go-to videos in your niche.

Creator Spotlight

But first, I want to introduce you to Annie. When she first came to us, she had grown to over 200K subs, but her growth was starting to decline. We really shot straight with her and told her, honestly, your videos are pretty boring. But despite the tough love, she started working closely with us through the and we were able to transform her channel by helping her connect to her audience and learn how to work effective storytelling into her how-to content. It produced massive consistent results.

Set Yourself Apart

We work with a lot of how-to channels here at Video Creators and one of the first questions we ask is “What sets you apart?” You want to be in blue ocean, not a red ocean. In a red ocean there’s a lot of blood in the water because there are lot of sharks competing. But in a blue ocean there is no blood in the water because you’re one of the only sharks in the water. Back in the day, there were a lot more blue oceans on YouTube. Now it has become more of “people don’t present it this way” instead of “no one is sharing this information.”

So be careful looking at your competition. It can seem like they do it a certain way and it’s working so you should too. However, only you can do you. You need to find your voice and your “thing” that only you can do.

Check Your Sources

A lot of creators get a couple videos with a lot of hits, but the rest of their videos are pretty dead. If that is the case for you, we recommend looking at your traffic sources. Is all your traffic coming from people searching a topic, watching the one video and then never watching another? That means you probably don’t have any personality in your video that makes them like you as a person. If they are coming to your video from the homepage and watching it because they are intrigued, that’s a different story. That means that your title and thumbnail is the draw on that video. Great! Keep up the good titles and thumbnails, but again, we need personality to keep them coming back for more.

A lot of creators try to target search traffic and that’s a bad idea. If a creator crafts a video for search, it’s going to look a certain way. It’s going to be short, snappy, have a numbered list of info and be done. That’s great for search, but it’s not going to draw in more traffic for your channel as a whole. You really want to make a video that is going to be discoverable to large groups of people. You need to create the personal connections in order to target more people.

People Connect with People Not Information

We once worked with a creator that was spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to craft their weekly videos. They had Hollywood TV producers recording in a commercial kitchen with a hired actor to make delicious looking vegan meals. Their top video only had 24 views. Meanwhile, there was a kid in his basement making the same type of videos with a webcam and he was getting millions. They were dumbfounded. But after I watched tons of their videos I realized that I didn’t even know the name of the host. They were intentionally trying to distance their videos from the actor and just focus on the food. I told them, “People connect with people not information.” After watching just 1 video of the kid in his basement, I knew not only his name but his beliefs about the food and why he was cooking vegan. Because of this, there was a community of people around him who felt the same way and had become die-hard fans because his story resonated with their story.

People often push back on this. I just want to make a video! I don’t want to show my face or share my life story – and you can’t make me! For you, I would say ok. You will probably get a video or two that help people. But don’t expect people to subscribe or stick around. It’s all about balance. Tutorials have their place, but just know people probably aren’t going to come back.


So how do you incorporate storytelling with a tutorial? First of all, realize that it doesn’t have to be some epic story. It’s just about changing your perspective. Instead of “watch me do this” make it “do this with me.” Your audience is coming alongside you to help you make the transformation happen, not just learn a process.

It can also be as simple as starting with a storytelling structure: I want ___, but there’s this obstacle, so I’m going to do this. Instead of a tutorial on how to make a dresser. You can begin the video by explaining that your wife hates her dresser. She really wants one that looks like this. She’s out of town for the weekend, so let’s see if we can make it before she comes back. Now your audience is invested. They not only want to learn how to make the dresser, but they want to see if you can do it in time and they want to see the wife’s reaction when she comes home.

Another example could be my friend says she can’t draw faces. She tries and tries, but they always look off. When I taught her this one little trick, her faces were drastically better. You can have a thumbnail showing the transformation and just adding the human element makes it so much more relatable than “How to Draw a Face.”

Embrace the Community

It’s easy to loose sight of the community aspect of YouTube. Every view is one real single person who watches your video. Think about who they are. What are their needs? How can your video help them? How can you connect with them as a person? How can you change their lives and help them change the lives of other people?

Make your story just part of the journey. Leave in some of your mistakes. It makes your content relatable. If you’re cooking and you spill something, leave it in! Laugh at yourself. Its ok! Don’t be afraid to ask for engagement. Ask what trips them up? Where are they struggling along the process? What is their why for doing this thing? Ask for their comments and engage with them.

Remember information is important. But wrapping it around your personality is just as important.

Power Tip

YouTube Studio has a quick snapshot of the most pertinent metrics on one screen in an easily digestible view per content type with

The goal is to help you more easily compare how your different format uploads are performing. You can access it in YT Studio by selecting Analytics (on the left) > Content > All

You’ll see the following broken down by content type: newly added, views, published content and typical views in the first 28 days. And now you can also see: How viewers find you, your top remixed shorts, Impressions and how they led to watch time.

This is so helpful to be able to see how many subscribers you have gained from shorts vs videos, etc.

Keep changing lives!

Tim Schmoyer

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