PlayStation's Hollie Bennett on the first thing you should do before starting a YouTube channel

After participating in this week's Social Buzz Chat, PlayStation UK community manager Hollie Bennett gave us her tips on how brands and content creators can thrive on YouTube.

For me this depends on who you are and why you are starting a channel. Chances are you are either A) a company looking to start a YouTube channel for work purposes or B) an individual or group looking to start their own independent channel.

If you’re a company looking to start a channel then having a firm sense of what you are hoping to achieve and who you are trying to reach is key. I know this sounds obvious, and it’s something most of you will think to do automatically, but it is really important and will mean that you have a clear vision from the beginning.

Other things to consider are; is this for a single brand? How much time can you invest in it? Who will populate the channel, do you have an internal team that can handle this or do you need to bring in external support? Who will be the face of that channel, should it be one person or a team of people? Is this to support a short term project or do you see it as a long term investment?

From a personal perspective, the fact that PlayStation Access is an ongoing channel with a long term vision definitely impacts on how we run and develop both the channel and its content.

Personally I always work to the motto of “Don’t start a channel if you can’t populate it” so make sure you know why you’re starting something, how you’re going to use it and what the long term plan is for it.

If you’re an individual who wants to explore YouTube as a creative outlet or as a passion project then you will have a lot of freedom to try out different things and explore different avenues which is really exciting!

While you don’t necessarily need a firm roadmap I would encourage you to do lots of research. Spend time watching lots of other YouTubers and think about what you do and don’t like about their content. Think about whether there's anything in their presentation style that you like or that perhaps you would change and consider how that might help you develop your own online persona.

Don’t be afraid of practicing either, lots of people have come to me in the past who want to explore YouTube but feel they lack the confidence. In this instance the only person holding you back, is you!

Start recording and filming yourself, make sure you watch it back (don’t worry, you get used to listening to yourself, I promise) and you’ll be surprised by how quickly your skills develop. I talk to myself a lot, often practicing how I might ask something or how I might interview someone. Your personality is key on YouTube so feeling confident in your presentation is a great foundation and a winning feeling.

Hollie Bennett is UK digital and community manager at Sony Computer Entertainment Europe. You'll be able to watch Hollie co-hosting The Social Buzz Show on The Drum next week.

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