These 3 Video Creators Built a Following — You Can Too

You love video—shooting, editing, and sharing. But how can you find the sweet spot of creating video content that you love and that also resonates with your would-be audience? Great question.

We’re consuming more video than ever. YouTube has over a billion users, which when you think about it is almost a third of all people on the internet. More video content is uploaded to the internet in a 30-day period than big U.S. television stations have created in over 30 years. And over 500 million people consume video content on Facebook every day, according to Forbes. Where to begin.

Aside from the obvious quality expectations that come along with creating standout video content, such as color, lighting and stability, there is so much more when it comes to catching—and keeping—the attention of your audience.

We asked three creators, Jessica Niestadt, Jeremy Clyde, and Jill Cimorelli, to let us in on their secrets when it comes to creating video content that connects with their viewers and how they really got all those followers—a whopping 872,300 YouTube subscribers combined.

Do what you love

Following your passion is a no-brainer when it comes to being inspired to create video content, and for good reason. The visuals you document come to life best when you’re inspired by them yourselves. And you want your followers to appreciate you for your content, and your eye.

Jessica told us “I originally started building my audience by creating content that I liked to make and content that I would’ve liked to have seen on YouTube. When you find what you’re passionate about, it draws in other people who have similar passions and interests as you, and that’s where you start building a community.”

“My primary goal when I started was actually just to make cool stuff. I had a lot of creativity and fun ideas up in my head, and YouTube was the first place I ever got to have the space to let it all out.”

Take off the veil

We’ve heard it before and we’ll hear it again: Content is king. But the reason why that concept remains so prevalent is because people can tell when something is genuine and real. They know when you’re being yourself, sharing what resonates best with you, and letting your authenticity shine through. It can be tempting to focus only on what is beautiful and only sharing videos that are perfect and meet your ideal brand requirements, but what about being yourself and showing up.

Jill experienced this firsthand, and told us “the content where I am most truly and deeply being myself resonates. I’m sure you hear this from creators all the time, but your audience really can tell when you’re being yourself and when you’re not. When I’m open and honest and vulnerable with my audience — the response is always fantastic. Whereas when I’m putting on a front, the video usually won’t perform as well. I even went as far as taking more than a yearlong break from one of my YouTube channels because I just wasn’t passionate about it anymore which was hurting my content. I just recently started posting there again and it’s made all the difference now that I’m passionate about the content that I’m creating for it again.”

Jessica had a similar experience, saying “the content my audience most resonates with is anything where I open up and speak candidly, especially if it’s about a struggle or problem I’m going through. Sure, a video I post sharing helpful tips and tricks can get a lot of views, but the content that I get the most feedback and abundance of kind, genuine messages on, are the videos where I share my hardships. I think this is because when one goes through any kind of hardship, often times it feels so isolating and like we’re the only ones to have ever experienced the struggle we’re going through. So when someone that they follow, someone that they feel connected to, opens up and starts sharing their own experience about something similar, it makes us feel so much less alone. Just by me sharing what I’m going through, how I’m dealing with something, or the advice I’ve gotten, that can reach someone, helping them through their tough time.”

See fans as friends

Another key with creators that gain traction with their following is the personal relationship they seem to build quite naturally. Which, in truth, takes time, commitment, and dedication. Think re-posting, replying to comments, and taking your audience’s feedback to heart—maybe even inspiring a piece of content down the road. Which is kind of how Jeremy told us he got his start.

“I started my YouTube channel not because I wanted to build an audience but rather to, simply, create content. I had just moved from the Philippines to the US and I didn’t know anyone. I had no friends and was culture-shocked and intimidated. As a result, I treated YouTube and my very small audience then as my digital friends.”

Jeremy told us “The friends I’ve gained have ultimately been my biggest surprise as a content creator. I never would have thought that people would look up to me for inspiration. I’ve been put in a position where I have the ability to use my platform as a voice for good, which I am really thankful for. I love them so much and I appreciate everything that they have done for me. I wouldn’t even be in this position without them so I give them all the credit for my blessings that I got as a content creator.”

Regardless of where you are in your creator journey—following big or small—the best thing you can do for your channels and audience is create amazing video content that you love, be as authentic as you can, and treat your followers and fans as amazing people who might just be new friends.