You may not realize it, but YouTube has an extensive certification program, primarily aimed at educating interested parties in best practices for Audience Development or Digital Rights. This is a great program for individual creators or companies looking to grow their own channel or help other creators. YouTube doesn’t make any claims as to the “performance or quality of any YouTube Certified individual or company” but I can tell you from experience that working with those who have completed the training will give you an advantage over somebody who has not. Its certification courses are updated annually and have distilled the best advice from the creators who paved the way on how to succeed in online video.

A YouTube Certified Team is Key to Audience Growth youtube certified partners 320x137 Both companies and individuals can become YouTube Certified. The biggest benefit to getting certified is certainly the knowledge gained through the process, which would take many hours of hard work and trial and error to obtain otherwise. In addition, these entities get to be designated as YouTube Certified and lend credibility to the notion that they actually know what they are talking about when they give you advice or services. YouTube has also been putting additional effort into building a G+ community for those that are YouTube certified and provide “exclusive quarterly product Q&A hangouts”.

Eligibility for the program is fairly straightforward, but the course is not open to everyone. All applicants must be approved to take the course. Essentially applicants have to show that they are invested in a using YouTube’s platform or helping those that do. Applicants must also be good members of the community, meaning they follow the Terms of Service and Community Guidelines. If you think you may be eligible and want to take the course, you can get a further description of the process and apply here.

YouTube Service Provider Directory

If you aren’t inclined to take the training yourself or are just looking for advice on who to work with, the Service Provider Directory is where you should start. For those keeping score, both myself and our parent company Tubular are certified. The advice and services we give come with not only years or experience but the training to go along with it. The growing list of certified companies includes everything from analytics specialists to talent management and everything in-between.

The directory includes links to pages specific to each company that tell you not only what they do, but who their customers and clients are and why they are valuable to the work you may do. Whether you are a solo creator or part of a group, an individual certified in Audience Development or Digital Rights can help you grow your channel and expand your reach.