It’s been 4 years since I uploaded my first video to YouTube and it’s been 1,461 days of learning.
When I created my ‘The Perfect Quiff | Hair Mousse Review‘ video, I was using YouTube as an escape from a job that I didn’t feel fulfilled in; and as an opportunity to develop my journalism and production skillset. I wanted to create, explore and push myself to achieve.
Now, I’d be lying if I said that I never thought I’d get to this point. I’ve always had a vision for my future. Even when I’ve uploaded videos that seem to have no traction or interest (it still happens!), I take it as learning and move on. There’s no point in dwelling on something you can’t change.
4 years on and I’m working full-time for Man For Himself Ltd. I’m the only employee and I’m working every hour of the day. And when I’m not working or sleeping, I’m drinking dirty martinis and thinking about work. It’s a passion project that has become my life and one which I’m excited to continue with.
My audience have always been important to me. I will never refer to myself as an ‘influencer’ or that my audience are ‘fans’. It’s not what I signed up for and it’s not a healthy way to look at it. I am a creator whose content is for the audience I serve, not the brands I work with. If it was’t for my audience I wouldn’t be here. I need to stay fresh and push the boundaries with the content I create. There’s no time to take my foot off the gas.
Here are 40 lessons I’ve learned from my 4 years on YouTube…
- Hairspray is not a styling product. It should only be used at the end of styling.
- Challenge yourself each and every day.
- Never light your hair from behind, it makes it look thin.
- Red wine and editing can be good, but stop at one glass.
- Stop trying to compete with others.
- Don’t work for free.
- Don’t work for free… unless there’s an equal value exchange.
- Keep your hair tight on the back and sides.
- Don’t be afraid to try new ideas.
- Accept that you’ll never be the ‘prettiest’.
- Use your education… you didn’t spend 5 years at university for nothing.
- Create your own formats and concepts.
- Share your feelings and emotions with your audience.
- Don’t overshare your feelings and emotions with your audience.
- Reply to comments.
- Don’t allow other people’s negativity to cloud your positivity.
- Drink as much as you want, when you want. You’re your own boss.
- Accept that you’ll never ‘have it all’.
- Understand that people whose lives appear to be perfect are never perfect.
- Allow yourself time off.
- But remember that when you’re not working, someone else is.
- Talk to your mum about your problems.
- Buy the Gucci shoes. Working your tits off needs some sort of pay back.
- Stop using hair gel. That shit makes your hair look cheap.
- Wear more blue clothing, it makes your eyes pop.
- Don’t wear red.
- Unfollow the people who kill your vibe.
- Accept that you don’t have to like everyone you work with. This is your job not a social club.
- Never believe your own hype. Work. Own. Quietly.
- Run in the morning, it prepares you for the day.
- If it’s urgent, pick up the phone.
- Don’t be afraid to say “No”.
- Be wary of anyone pushing a coupon code with their name in it.
- Don’t sell out.
- Be polite to everyone
- Don’t rush a project, video or article. If it’s not right, don’t publish it.
- Remember that nothing comes for free.
- If it’s not right, don’t do it. Be clear with brands and PRs about what you can, will and won’t do.
- Quality is far more important that quantity.
- Remember, the race is long. Pace yourself. You’re in it for the long haul.