How can you build a personal brand on YouTube that stands out?
YouTube is oversaturated. If you do comedy, fashion, gaming, vlogging, or any other major genre then you are competing with thousands of other channels. In order to grow you need to stand out, and that’s why it’s important to build a strong, clear, brand.
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Your Brand is Your Unique Message
Competing on YouTube is all about offering value. Viewers should be able to find something on your channel that they can’t find anywhere else. This doesn’t mean you need to bend over backwards trying to invent brand new video ideas that nobody has ever tried before – it just means you need to focus on building your unique brand. That is what will make viewers subscribe to you instead of just watching one of your videos and then clicking away.
The Elevator Pitch
If you had 20 seconds – a short elevator ride – to describe your channel in a way that would make someone want to subscribe, what would you say?
Think about if you were trying to describe your new favorite show to a friend. You wouldn’t stop at saying ‘it’s a comedy’ or ‘it’s about lawyers’ – that doesn’t really tell them anything. You would describe the style of comedy, the personalities of characters you love, and the kinds of plots the show offers.
You need to be able to do that when you talk about your channel.
What is your style of comedy?
What is your attitude towards fashion?
What will a viewer get out of watching you make pasta that they won’t get from watching someone else make pasta?
Work on developing an elevator pitch for your channel. It will help you define your brand for yourself, and it’ll be useful if you make a channel trailer.
How to Start Building Your Brand
Building a brand should be intentional. You need to be yourself, but it’s not enough to just ‘be’. You need to create yourself.
In order to figure out what unique value you’re bringing to YouTube you’ll need to pay attention to your channel stats and comments your viewers make. It can also be a good idea to ask for feedback from friends who you know will be honest with you.
You will notice patterns. There will be things you do in your video that people consistently like more and less. The way you build your brand is by cutting out the stuff that isn’t working and focusing more intentionally on the stuff that is. If people like it when you do meme humor, for example, do more meme humor and make incorporating that in your videos part of your brand.
The key to branding is consistency. People need to be able to set expectations.
For every video you do, ask yourself these questions:
Who are you?
What is your message?
What value are you providing?
Who is it for?
The answers to these questions make up your brand. They may change gradually over time – i.e. if you start making videos as a 16 year old, for other 16 year olds, then the ‘Who is it for?’ will change as you and your subscriber base get older – but in general the answers should always be the same. If your ‘message’ is positive and empowering, then it should always be positive and empowering.
When you intentionally create your personal brand on YouTube, you take charge of the message you're sending.
Shanoon Cox is a writer and a lover of all things video.