Every creator wants to build an online community around their content, but often miss some of the key elements that are necessary for growing an online community in the first place. If you’re growing an online community around your YouTube channel (or your blog, podcast, or artwork for that matter) be sure these 4 aspects of online community are a part of your content.

So it’s time to do some YouTube Q&A with you guys. ColesAnimals wrote and asked this. “Can you give me a tip on growing a community?”

I love talking about community development on YouTube, and let me just give you some of the main things I think you really need to believe and know and do in order to develop a community. Like the community here at “Video Creators,” I love it. You guys are awesome. I learn so much from you guys in the comments of every single video.

Value Your Community

But one of the things, like primarily, is you actually have to value community yourself. And I don’t just mean value for the sake of like, I just want a lot of people to watch my videos so I feel better about myself, or I feel more validated as an individual, or something like that. But in real life, like you have to actually value community and people.

Give To Your Community

And that kind of goes along with my second thing, is like you just can’t value what they’re going to do for you. You have to give to them. You have to value serving them. You have to just really value serving people and giving back to them more than you even get in return a lot of times.

And I know a lot of creators on YouTube, and marketers, and people in general, are just kind of they like ideas of community, but they revolve around what’s that community going to do for me? What am I going to get from that community? Oh, so I have the serve them in order to get something back? OK, I’ll serve them.

But as soon as the community stops giving to them the way that they want, like they stop serving, you know? And I think people on YouTube, and social media in general, they can smell that a mile away when they feel like, oh, that person doesn’t really care about serving me or helping me, or they don’t really believe what they say they believe. They just want to like– they’re just doing that in order to build this community.

And people like that, it just doesn’t work. You have to genuinely do it, and I don’t really have tips on– like, there’s no way to fake it, right? You just got actually believe it.

Interact With Your Community

A third thing you also have to do is once you believe it, and that’s really clear and transparent in your videos, then you actually have to interact with them, right? The way I see these videos here on YouTube, in my opinion, these videos I do here at “Video Creators” are a conversation starter. Like the real value that happens here is actually in the comments with you guys.

And that is why even though it takes me hours of my day, every single day, to try to just keep up with comments, I do it because that is the whole point of this for me. Like I am not trying to stand on a stage and talk to you guys, like you need to learn this, or whatever, about YouTube. I do that because I really do believe and feel like the community is the whole point of these videos. It’s not about Tim Schmoyer. It’s not about “Video Creators.” It’s not about any of that stuff. This is really about us learning how to master this platform so we can spread a message that hopefully changes lives and impacts people.

That’s why in every video, I point people, go read the comments down there. You will learn so much more from them than you’ll ever learn from these videos. That is true.

So don’t think of your video as the product. Like remember, people are the product. Videos are just the tool that we use to reach those people. And if you start thinking about it that way, your videos become the tool that you use to start a conversation with someone that you might not ever have a conversation with.

Build Around Shared Beliefs

I think the fourth thing I would say to you is that communities, both online and offline, they form the strongest around shared beliefs, not necessarily just around common interests. If we have a common interest, like, yeah, we’ll have something to talk about for a little while. It’d be cool. It’d be a pretty superficial conversation, pretty mediocre relationship.

But if you and I find out that we share a common belief, like a core value that drives us, and that motivates us, and it kind of drives everything that we do, now we’re like this. We’re like BFFs forever, right? I understand that BFFs forever is a little redundant, but you know what I mean.

To really build community on your channel, you have to stand for something, and it has to be some sort of value, some sort of belief, that you hold that drives you. And why you’re doing what you’re doing on YouTube in the first place, and you’re finding a community of other people who share that belief with you. And when that happens, your community grows so much stronger than it otherwise would.

So those are some initial thoughts from me, anyway. I’d love to hear from you guys in the comments below. Contribute to this community like I know you guys do all the time. It’s awesome. What advice and tips do you have for this person and other YouTubers who are watching this about how have you best formed community on your channel, and what has been the value of that for you?

And also, guys, if you’re interested in like a book that would take you step-by-step through this, of like how do I take all these YouTube views that I’m getting, and convert them into subscribers, and then how do I think these subscribers and convert them into a passionate, loyal community? My book, “30 Days To A Better YouTube Channel” is designed to give you guys a step-by-step process to do exactly that. So a link to that is in the description below if you want to check it out.

But I’m really looking forward to seeing what you guys leave in the comments below and interacting with you there. If this is your first time here, I’d love to have you guys subscribe and join this community here at “Video Creators.” Usually I’m not shooting in the dark like I am right now. But usually I’m on the road. I’m traveling right now, so this is what we got.

Every Tuesday I let you guys know what’s happening in the online video world, giving you updates on what it means for us as creators. On Wednesdays, I give you guys YouTube tips, ideas, suggestions, advice. And on Thursdays, I do YouTube Q&A just like this, because I really do believe– like my belief that drives me, guys, is that a lot of you guys do have messages that need to spread and the world needs to hear. And I just love helping you guys spread those messages and changing lives, influencing people. Guys, that is just the most rewarding thing when you start getting some of those stories. It’s awesome.

So that’s what I’m all about.