When getting your business started on YouTube, follow these 10 simple steps to get off the ground: 1. Make a Google account. When Google bought YouTube — for whatever reason — they make you link a Google account to your YouTube channel. So, if you don’t already have a Google account, make one and remember the username and password. 2. Make your YouTube channel. Go to www.youtube.com and on the top right hand corner click “Create Account.” Simple enough right? When filling out the form, take a moment to think about your username. It should either be the name of your company or something that reflects what your company does. Don’t forget, after you make your username, you can’t change it, so choose wisely! 3. Customize your YouTube channel. Your channel reflects you and your company. Don’t let it wallow in the standard blue and grays YouTube left you with. From the tab bar that runs horizontally across the top of your account, click “Themes and Colors.” Then go to town. You can either pick one of the pre-made themes or customize your channel to fit the color scheme of your actual website. By matching your YouTube channel with your real website, you’ll bring unity to the sites, which will make them look more consistent and overall more professional. Remember: When playing with the themes and colors, keep it simple. While you might be tempted to have your logo in a repeating pattern across your page — don’t. That’ll make your page look cheesy and like you and your company are suck back in the 90’s. 4. Personalize your YouTube channel. After your channel looks the way you want it to, add some character. On the left hand side, you can add information about you and your company in the “Profile” box. Then add a photo of yourself or something that clearly represents your company. There’re few things worse than seeing that muted gray silhouette for a company’s profile. 5. Upload applicable content. Keep your business channel and (if you want to make one) your personal channels separate. Only upload video content that’s fresh, original, and most importantly: pertinent to your company. With over 500,000,000 videos on YouTube already and many more being added every minute, you can bet that someone out there is already covering topics you’re interested in. So keep it new and interesting. 6. Favorite other users’ videos selectively. While you might be tempted to “favorite” (similar to Facebook’s “like”) several other videos that are relevant to your company, do so sparingly. You should upload far more original content than what you “favorite.” Remember that your channel is about you and your company. You’re not a transitional step that sends your future clients to other companies. 7. Tag and link your videos. Like a blog or article, YouTube allows you to tag key words in your videos to help consumers search for you. Don’t tag things for the sake of tagging them. Make sure they’re applicable to each video. And always link your videos back to your actual website. It’s great if a new customer stumbles upon your YouTube, but if there’s no easy access to your actual site, chances are, they’ll never get there on their own. Unfortunately, people are lazy, and with the Internet, they’re allowed to be. Make it as easy as possible for them to find you outside of YouTube. 8. Describe your videos. After you’ve tagged your videos, use that same language in creating a description for them. When a customer is Googling something relevant to your video, having a description that’s parallel with your tags and key words will bring them to your site faster. 9. Subscribe to other channels. Subscribing to other channels is like adding friends on Facebook. It can give your channel exposure on other (relevant) channels and draw customers back to you. 10. Maintain your channel. After all that hard work, you don’t want to let your channel fester alone in the dark depths of the Internet. Keep updating it with new content. New things are always happening and it’s important to let your audience know about them. No one will visit your channel if your last video update describes how to use Windows XP. Businesses are capitalizing on videos — and not just embedded videos anymore. Having your own YouTube channel is great for branding your company. More, these videos familiarize you and your business for your potential customers, shortening the sales cycle. Instead of just embedding videos on your site, when potential clients click on the video, they’re linked back to your YouTube “channel” and that channel represents you just as much as your actual website.