In an experimental panel at VidCon, audience development specialists were assigned to different tables in order to have a more intimate conversation with attendees about what it takes to grow a channel on YouTube. Panelists were pulled from a variety of online video savvy organizations and included a wide range of talent from Alloy Digital, MyDamnChannel, Machinima, Rooster Teeth and Frederator. Each speaker sat with a group of interested parties eager for more views and subscribers for 15 minutes, which allowed for each attendee to chat with 3 different specialists in an effort to improve their online presence.

So, what were the takeaways? As a group discussion ended the panel, the speakers all agreed that beginning channels need to focus on collaborations, consistency and engagement.

Collaborations aren’t exactly a new method of growing a channel, as we’ve seen countless times before (and most notably when Sarah Silverman‘s YouTube subscribers jumped by 7,400% after she appeared on Ray William Johnson‘s =3. But you know what they say. If it’s not broke don’t fix it. Also, don’t chase horses in midstream. Regardless of the idiom, start collaborating.

Consistency is key. Not only does your branding have to be consistent, but the panelists stressed how it was equally important to release content at the same time each day or week, depending on your upload schedule. It’s another basic tip, but one that many creators seem to overlook.

Engaging your audience is vital. What separates YouTubers from traditional talent is a deeper level of connection with the audience. Find new ways to reach and work with your audience to strengthen that relationship. Liz Teschler, Director of Social Media for Alloy Digital, brought up the idea of doing a Reddit AMA on a Facebook page, which would engage a channel’s fan base while also building up its Facebook presence. It’s this kind of interaction which allows a creator to form deeper ties with viewers while simultaneously growing his or her brand.

Creators starting out should follow the above advice and make sure they are also studying the YouTube Creator Playbook. The first steps to growing a channel are following the basics, while learning what works and what doesn’t work best. And remember, the road to that Gold Play Button begins with a single view.

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