If you’ve entertained the idea of starting a YouTube channel, you’ve probably come across the beast of Imposter Syndrome. The feeling of ‘why on earth would anyone listen to me?’
This is a feeling that every YouTuber and content creator suffers from. I’ve been battling it since day 1, and I continue to fight against it everyday.
Why would I be qualified to make videos about study methods? I’m not the best student in the world.
Why would I be qualified to make videos about tech or productivity? I’m not an expert.
Why would I even make this email Crash Course about being a YouTuber? I’ve only got 1M subscribers - there are people out there who are infinitely more successful on YouTube than I am. Why would anyone read what I’ve got to say?
If this is a feeling you’ve ever suffered from, hopefully you’ll find this email useful. It’s some of the stuff I remind myself of when the Imposter Syndrome beast rears its ugly head.
The Curse of Knowledge
If you’re waiting to become an ‘expert’ (whatever that means) before you get started on YouTube, you’re approaching it all wrong. Something which isn’t said enough is that 90% of your audience will be complete beginners. Even when you’re targeting professionals (trust me, I’ve tried).
And the issue with an expert teaching a beginner, is that they’re so far gone, out-of-touch and on a different level. They struggle to remember what the experience of the beginner is like. They don’t connect well. CS Lewis called this the ‘Curse of Knowledge’.
You Don’t Need to Know a Thing to Get Started on YouTube
By still figuring things out, by being open and on a journey, even by being a bit of a mess, you’re likely to be relatable and likeable. A good mix.
You can give tips and advice the audience can immediately take away, and you can bring them along as you improve.
It’s never too early to start.
You can make a video on how you’re starting something tomorrow. On why you’re thinking of starting to learn something. A video on figuring out how to find something to start to learn.
Guide Not Guru
Another thing I keep in mind is that no matter what I ‘teach’ or explain - I put myself in the position of a Guide rather than that of a Guru.
I never paint myself as someone who’s figured it all out and is spreading his wisdom (the Guru). I’m just some guy with a camera who’s trying something out to see if it works and sharing his journey with others (Guide). If you’re the latter, it’s hard to go wrong.
And as a last point, Guru credentials really don’t matter. No one cares how many diplomas you have, they just want useful content. Although God knows I’ve played the Cambridge card to death, I’m still no expert - I wasn’t the best candidate who ever interviewed there, even though I was making videos about it. I certainly wasn’t anywhere near the best student there, even though I was making videos about how to study. But people still enjoyed learning from me, as I was figuring stuff out. Talk about what you’re figuring out, and you’ll be fine.
So those are some of the things I keep in mind to help fight Imposter Syndrome. I still get it all the time, but I’m getting better at keeping it at bay.
Hope you found that useful. As always, you can hit <reply> to this email if you’ve got any questions or thoughts.
Tomorrow we’re moving on to the ingredients it actually takes to succeed on YouTube.
Talk to you then,
Your faithful Guide 😉