Developing your YouTube brand

Coke. Gap. Taco Bell. All well-known brands with well-known products—but what does that mean for a YouTube creator? Creating a brand is part of creating original content. Your brand is your identity—what you show the world with your YouTube channel.

Let’s say a girl named Tina watches a variety of YouTube videos daily: from fitness and health to fashion and vlogs to comedy/pranks and music. She decides, “I want to make my own channel too!” How does she begin?

The urge to pick up the camera and make it up as you go along is an easy, tempting road to take. But with so many creators on YouTube, how does Tina stand out? How does she “brand” herself?

Do some reflection

Before she picks up her camera, Tina asks herself a couple of questions. The first one is the easiest: what does she like?

Tina writes down everything—hobbies, interests, favorite music, favorite films, people she admires—all on one very long list. After leaving it alone for a day or two, she narrows it down by finding the common thread among her biggest likes. Maybe her favorite films all center on one genre: horror. Her favorite fitness videos centers on one type: yoga.

Little by little, her huge list boils down to five words that truly reflect her biggest likes: horror, yoga, dresses, and chocolate.

One step further

The next question Tina asks herself:  “What can I do that no one else can do?” It’s a tough one, but she answers this by creating another list—one void of all self-doubt and self-criticism.

This list takes longer, but Tina writes down all her skills and personality traits. In this list, she narrows it down to the following: passionate, ambitious, bubbly; a writer, an artist; knows anything and everything horror, and has the biggest dress collection ever.

Finding “the brand”

When Tina puts the two lists side by side, she finds a plethora of ideas! She could make a fitness channel performing yoga to horror soundtracks, or create yoga routines based on horror films (e.g., Texas Chainsaw Massacre yoga). She could host a baking show and all of her food is horror-themed, while wearing the dresses in her massive collection.

Whatever Tina decides will become her “brand”—her channel’s “product.” It’s easier to pick up the camera, but by dedicating time to reflecting and answering questions, a budding YouTuber like Tina has a greater chance to stand out against the crowd.