Creating a marketable personal brand
Your YouTube channel’s success largely depends on you. Your hard work, your original, consistent content, your marketing efforts and your own personal brand.
Your personal brand is everything you do, say, tweet and publish. It’s who you are, or at least the impression you give of yourself to the outside world. Your task, as a YouTube creator, is to identify what you’re good at and what you have to offer and use it to build your personal brand.
Unless your YouTube channel is centred around acting, impersonations or an alter ago, a good piece of advice is to be yourself in everything you do. This is what will come most naturally, and you’ll probably find that viewers enjoy your quirks and authenticity. Of course, there’s more to building a personal brand than just that though.
Research your niche and competitors
Your first step, in a still young but rapidly growing YouTube creator community, is to learn about your chosen niche and check out what’s already being done. Whether your focus is technology, science, games, beauty, films or top 10 lists, look for the biggest influencers, as well as smaller players, watch their videos and try to identify what they’re doing well in terms of content creation, personal branding and marketing.
By researching your competitors and your specialism, you can see what is working well for other YouTubers, but also what’s missing so you can fill those gaps. Use them as your benchmarks, and aim to produce better content than what you can already find on YouTube. Set yourself some realistic goals in terms of video output, views and subscribers.
Create and name your online persona
Next comes the process of finding your own online persona, as well as choosing a name for your YouTube activities if you haven’t done so already. Take the time to think about everything from your design (thumbnails, images etc.), the location or setting of your videos, editing style and video titles. Inject your personality and USP (unique selling point) into your brand, with the onus on being original and likeable.
Choose a memorable name that sums up you or what you do. It’s probably best to use the same name for your channel, website, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social media accounts.
Consistent branding across all platforms
When building a brand, it’s important to be uniform in your online presence, connecting everything by cross-linking and cross-promoting your various platforms. Own your brand by also keeping the look and feel of your channels similar, even down to the language and tone of your posts.
This will ensure your online presence is consistent and instantly recognisable. Viewers will feel they can get to know you and trust you to be real and honest, which will in turn make them more likely to return and improve their brand loyalty.
Build influence and engage with fans
As you produce content and promote it, viewers who come across your content either organically or due to your marketing efforts may start to follow you or leave comments on your videos. Respond to them, thank them for their comments and answer their questions.
Be a source of valuable information and entertaining content, to become an influencer within your niche. Ask your Twitter followers questions about your common interests, or what kind of content they would like to see from you. Let them be a source of inspiration.
Again, be yourself. There’s only one person like you, and viewers should love you for your realness and honesty. Find what sets you apart from the rest and go with it. Perhaps it’s your unusual obsession, trademark look or a video format that only you do. It could be anything, but the more natural it is to you, the easier it will be to create a strong personal brand around it.
A recognisable and unique personal brand will make you more loveable for viewers and, in turn, make your channel more lucrative in terms of ads, company or brand buy-in, paid reviews, and so on. It will help you in the long run to nail down your brand early on.
Network with other creators
Through researching your niche and competition, you are probably well aware of the other creators operating in your chosen field. You might have already identified other YouTubers you might want to collaborate with to create videos in the future.
In the YouTube game, it pays to be forward. Reach out to other creators, getting in touch with as many as possible, in order to get your name out there. You could like or reply to their tweets and leave comments on their videos to ask them a question or tell them how much you enjoy their videos. Be friendly, not spammy.
If you have any other advice on how to build your own personal brand, leave them below as a comment.