By Nic DeAngelo, President of Saint Investissement Group, a real estate fund platform.

YouTube, a place once reserved for video clips and silly comedy skits, is now a mecca for education and community development. What previously required travel to a boardroom or conference center can now be accomplished online with relative ease. Whether you want to learn to play the guitar or become an art wizard, there are hundreds of thousands of sources online that will teach you how. Self-taught professors, CEOs and experts use the Metro to help others succeed in their respective fields.

Simply put, YouTube is the perfect educational resource for growing your business. First of all, it is free to use. Because users don’t have to pay to watch (unless they want to subscribe to an ad-free account), YouTube is a profitable platform. It provides hours of content on each topic at no cost to the viewer.

Second, there are videos on pretty much any topic. As entrepreneurs, we must constantly learn and follow the latest trends, techniques and strategies. Want to learn how to find leads, analyze deals or market your investment firm? YouTube has videos covering everything.

In addition, it is social. YouTube offers a great way to interact with industry experts, influencers, and your peers. Ask questions, answer questions and browse the comments section to find out more. As with any social media site, you’re bound to meet other people with different points of view. Keep the comments section constructive, not combative.

It may take some digging to find the exact topic you are looking for from the most qualified source. If you’re not sure where to start, researching the categories below can provide great curated content for a wide range of interests, investment theses, and education levels.

1. Start by evaluating your journey and your goals.

The beauty of YouTube is that it gives viewers endless content options. However, it is important to keep your personal goals and background in mind. For example, while it may be interesting to hear from someone whom a residential real estate expert will discuss the keys to success, they may not be the best person to follow if you are looking to get more into the business side. of the company. That’s why it’s important to take some time up front to review their background and specializations.

2. Find channels that match the respective forums in your industry.

Using the same real estate example, there is a plethora of popular internet forums and websites that now have YouTube channels. Through their channels, they bring together real estate experts, newcomers and everyone else to make better investment decisions. Newbies, in particular, will find these types of channels particularly appealing, as they provide more general advice on analysis and fundraising with real successes mixed for motivation. Likewise, try to find the community in your industry to reap these benefits.

3. Follow specific opinion leaders.

While there are many YouTube channels out there, a key quality to look for is whether or not the person at the center is a reputable thought leader in the space. Examine their background, company, posts, social media, etc. are all good starting points.

Typically, thought leaders have a lot of followers in other areas as well, and their YouTube channel is where they can go to expand on points or dig deeper into topics of interest. There are many thought leaders like this when it comes to the real estate industry whose channels help real estate investors with marketing and lead generation while also giving great advice on the condition. spirit to keep the fire fueled.

The opinions expressed here by the columnists of Inc.com are theirs and not those of Inc.com.