Developing your ideas
Whether you’re working as a designer, writer, or video creator, there may be times when your creativity could use a little structure. When you have a great new idea for a video, consider these practical details to help get your creative process off to a good start, regardless of your project’s size.
Find some tips for turning your ideas into stories and getting comfortable in front of the camera.
Consider your intentions
Before you do anything, reflect on your channel’s mission. Why did you join YouTube and what do you hope to accomplish with your content? Successful creators often say the key to success is being passionate about what you make.
In addition to why you’re telling the story, think about who you’re targeting:
- Identify your audience. If you’re just starting out, consider whom you want to reach and their interests. If your channel has been up for a while, check out the Demographics report in YouTube Analytics.
- Tailor your communication. You want to be sure viewers relate to your videos. For example, the age, geography, or other characteristics of your audience may impact what tone and voice you use.
People create videos for all kinds of reasons. What will be your niche? This can help you hone in on what videos you enjoy making. Regardless of the genre or format, there are fundamental content strategies that can improve your chance of success.
See it in action
Know your audienceHear how Irish creator Hazel Hayes uses data to better understand her channel's audience.
Construct your story
Now it’s time to build your ideas into a story. Everyone has a different creative process, but here are a few tips you might try out:
- Brainstorm. Let your imagination run wild. Make sure you don't overly constrain your ideas. Consider jotting your ideas on a whiteboard, especially if you make videos as a group.
- Narrow it down. If you have a bunch of ideas, refine your list. Add a star next to your favorite ideas, then decide which idea (or ideas) you want to bring to life as videos.
- Build it out. Once you’ve settled on a particular concept, think about the key elements. If it’s a vlog, for example, work out the elements of the story you’re going to tell.
In many cases, you’ll want to write down what you’re going to say. Creators do this in various ways. It could be as simple as a page of “talking points” to remind yourself what topics you want to cover. You may decide to outline your story in more detail, spelling out how scenes will flow and documenting core messages to convey.
Depending on the type and complexity of your video, you may write a script. This provides specific dialogue for speakers and can include directions for crew (if you have one). If you’re looking to create a scripted video, you can find sample templates online.
It’s best to write with your own flair and voice. Everyone has their own way of storytelling, so try to put as much of yourself into it as possible. Even if you don’t have scripting experience, jump in and write from your own unique perspective.
- Visit potential locations for your story to get inspired by the environment.
- Use your YouTube community as a sounding board for new ideas.
- Experiment and settle on a format for your outline (or script) that’s right for you.
See it in action
Stories often stem from ordinary thingsSometimes the best inspiration is sitting right in front of you or—in the case of Simon’s cat—on your laundry.
Practice your delivery
Before a band gets in the recording studio, they usually rehearse. Creators often do the same, even without a camera. A rehearsal allows you to practice your storytelling so that you can iron out the kinks.
The amount of rehearsal you do depends on your video. Here are a few options:
- Read-through. If you have a script or talking points, you (and others who have dialogue) read through the lines or practice what you’re going to say from start to finish. This allows you to listen so you can tweak the lines or delivery to suit your preferences.
- Walk-through. This would focus on more of the technical aspects. For example, if you’re shooting on location, you can practice in that environment in order to uncover and fix any logistical challenges.
- Run-through. This is a full rendition of the story, with your characters and crew. Let’s say your video involves stunts. Rehearsing can help you ensure things will go smoothly during the actual shoot.
Again, you may need to rehearse a little or a lot. If it’s just you, you may be fine with simply practicing in front of a mirror and recording yourself with your phone, so that you’re comfortable on camera. Nobody has to see the footage, but if you’re looking for feedback, try asking your family or friends what they think of your practice run.
Is your creative process tied to reality?
Take a look at the resources you have and think about how you can budget better for production. If you have balanced your available resources with your objectives, you should find you’re saving money and time on your productions.
How are you developing your ideas into workable stories?
Have you created a template for noting down ideas and developing them into stories? This could help you capture all your great ideas and allow you to think about the resources and people you need to get your ideas off the ground.