I’ve been thinking a lot about my YouTube channel recently. When I started making videos back in 2008, the whole online world was a totally different place, and I was pretty much a different person. I was a 17 year old girl from the North West who thought it was fun to show her Avril Lavigne-fan friends how she achieved that rocker look with make up, and never imagined for one second that this unusual hobby could be a job. How wrong she was…
I looked back at some of my old videos recently. In the beginning I was shy, and a bit moody – on camera, at least. In real life I was silly, happy and newly in love (with my now-fiance!) but none of that came across. Tiz used to say to me that he didn’t like watching my videos as I just wasn’t my normal self, and for SO long I didn’t understand what he meant. Looking back now, I totally get it, and put it down to my lack of experience in front of the camera.
Fast forward to around 2012/2013. I had finished a degree in Broadcast Journalism and was the total opposite of my younger self – my confidence in front of the camera was enormous. I felt – and still feel – more at home in front of a lens than in a meeting room. I’d become trained in the art of presenting and had fallen in love with it. Last night I watched a couple of my videos from that time, and you know what? Once again, I didn’t feel like my true self. There were glimpses, but I kind of felt I was reading from a script (although I wasn’t) and trying to make these perfectly polished videos that involved me ‘presenting’ rather than just chatting, which is what my channel was meant to be about.
Here’s a look back at the first ever channel trailer I made – you’ll see what I mean. Please excuse the terrible camera/lighting/set up! As the video is Unlisted, you’ll have to CLICK HERE to view it.
So I then went and looked at my most recent videos. The ones where I get ridiculously excited about my new unicorn slippers, or make up my face to look like Hello Kitty. The ones where Tiz and I talk about how we got engaged, and my reaction after I’d just done a bungee jump. That’s the real me – a bit daft, full of fun and totally candid. I’m an incredibly honest person, and I feel that comes across so much more these days. I have never, ever actively tried to have a YouTube ‘persona’, but whenever I’ve felt shy, too formal or just not comfortable one has formed around me. I really hope to avoid that from now on, and feel that the last year has been a massive turning point – I’m totally happy in my channel and video-making abilities, and you’re getting the real me!
In fact, a couple of the comments made about my new channel trailer were, “this just sums you up perfectly!”. Weirdly, that’s exactly what Tiz said. For three people – two who have never met me and one who is due to marry me – to say exactly the same thing makes me feel I’m definitely doing something right.
And here is that trailer to share with you all now!
So in short, do I have a YouTube persona? I definitely don’t. Perhaps in the past it came across that way, but I guess I was settling into my own skin first before showing myself to the world (not in that way – don’t be cheeky!). In real life I am a bit hyperactive, excitable and love nothing more than a good laugh (on more than one occasion, I have been likened to UniKitty from the Lego Movie – I took it as a huge compliment!) – I hope that’s started to come across more and more in my videos in recent times.
I’d love to know your honest thoughts on what I’ve just said, as your feedback means the world to me. Go ahead, be honest! I can take it!