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Words Can Mean More Than Numbers

May 17, 2019

It’s really easy when you’re running a new website (as we are!) to get really fixated on numbers as a measure if your “success.”  This year we pivoted more focus and attention to our YouTube channel, given that YouTube was where we were seeing the most lively growth and activity across all of our social media channels. Makes sense, given that our focus is on video!

I find it really challenging to not give into the temptation to compare yourself to similar YouTube channels.  At times, our 13k subscribers feels downright pathetic compared to other art tutorial channels that have over 500k subscribers and more, where the day a video is posted, there are over 1k views within less than 24 hours. Some days, those numbers from other channels are so intimidating that all I can do to react is to ask myself:  “What are we doing wrong?”

How to Draw Cats with Colored Pencil and Markers

You can drive yourself crazy with thoughts like that, (trust me, I’ve already done that and more) but ultimately that frame of mind can become toxic. That’s when I look at our comments feed on our YouTube channel and I realize how thoughtful, intelligent, and truly engaged our audience is compared to other art channels on YouTube. I scroll through comments on other YouTube channels with art tutorials, and frequently they are 1-3 words long:  “Cool drawing!”  “Nice!” “Whoa, this is great.” “You’re so good.”

Then I look at the comments we get on our videos,  and the difference could not be more dramatic.

“You guys are such a diverse group and at the same time together you look like a family – the online art family to everyone out there who is trying to do art lol. Love how open and bold you are! Thank you for doing this Art Prof thing … It’s a big one. I’m a fan.”

“I really like your vibe, you make painting look like so much fun. You helped me get over some road blocks I’ve been dealing with in terms of how to get organized. Thanks!”

“Part of the reason I had success applying to art school the first time around was watching your incredible portfolio reviews on the Art Prof YouTube channel. I’m a huge fan of Art Prof and all of your work!!”

How to Draw Cats with Colored Pencil and Marker

I can tell from the comments that people are engaging with our content in a truly deep manner.  They aren’t just skimming the surface of our videos, they are really taking the time to understand and absorb our content in a genuine, smart manner. To me that matters so much more than the numbers on our social media channels.

We may not have a million subscribers on YouTube, but I will admit that I could kind of care less!  Of course, numbers really do matter when you’re trying to court sponsors and in the context of other potential business opportunities because they are concrete validation of your reach and audience. By no means am I going to push less, but let’s just say that even if I dropped everything tomorrow, that in some ways, I’ve already accomplished what I set out to do.

Thank you everyone for your continued support and encouragement, this is a two way street!



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