Let’s talk about building a personal brand. To start, I want to look at some YouTube stars who have conquered their personal corners of the internet. While some crowds still look at YouTube as a fad, it’s now been established for some time and is only growing as a platform. Its content has evolved over the years, and with the introduction of YouTube Red, it’s tossing its hat into the arena to compete against traditional television, as well as streaming services like Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Prime.
Creators like Shane Dawson, the Paul Brothers, PewDiePie and more have excelled on the platform and created a sustainable brand because it revolves around them as content creators and not a specific product that can be replaced down the line.
Their fans love them for them–their personalities and their presence. Let’s look at Shane Dawson. This is a guy who’s been on YouTube now for probably a decade; he has close to 19 million subscribers and he just released an eight-part docu-series on Jake Paul, who I just mentioned is another huge YouTube Star. This series (in order by episode) received 22 million views, 21 million views, 16 million views, 17 million views, 18 million views, 14 million views, 14 million views, and 19 million views for the finale, which came out one week ago.
Those numbers are huge. That’s exposure you can’t affordably purchase on traditional marketing platform. A personal brand like Shane Dawson, a guy who just started making YouTube videos because he liked it–and got into video editing in high school, is such a valuable resource. I’m not saying to use them, or try to copy them, but he’s been all over the place and has built this amazing identity on an enormous platform for just doing it–not over thinking or worrying about what people have to say about him–he just did it (sorry Nike). Now he has close to 19 million people who are willing to watch whatever content he puts out.
It can be serious documentary content, it can be funny skits, he could revisit his music career, he could go back to his conspiracy theory videos, this is a guy who is able to get millions of views in a single day doing whatever he wants and it all stems from his personal brand.
There is no formula for building a brand and no guarantee it’ll work, but things I know for certain are pursuing what you’re passionate about and putting it out there, instead of focusing on where the eyes are currently should be the foundation of your brand.
So why should you consider this? It’s flexible. A personal brand will adapt to whatever project you are working on. It’s a low cost of entry, all you need is a computer and smartphone. I understand those are expensive but they’re also products most people have–or have access to today. It’s a great place to practice–as long as you have patience and don’t expect your life to change overnight, developing a personal brand gives you the opportunity to practice and focus on things your primary source of income doesn’t allow you to.
Resources I’ve used? Video Influencers