YouTube is a platform with endless possibilities for service-based business.
In this episode, I chat with YouTube star Erin May Henry about getting started on YouTube and building a personal brand to create a meaningful business online.
In this Episode:
03.04: What is personal branding and why is it important?
10.32: How Erin got started on YouTube
14.04: How you can get started on YouTube
16.54: Editing your videos for YouTube
20.33: To plan or not to plan your content on YouTube
23.15: Gaining confidence to be on YouTube
26.19: How much is too much to share with the public
Erin May Henry is an Australian influencer and digital entrepreneur, who has built a multiple six-figure online business, and an audience of well over 100,000 across her YouTube channel and social media platforms.
Motorcross, martial arts, business and video creation, Erin is a self-proclaimed multi-passionate entrepreneur on a mission to prove that when heart-driven women build powerhouse personal brands, they do incredible things for the world.
YouTube is a massive platform with endless possibilities for marketing your service-based business. Today I chat to YouTube star, Erin May Henry, about how to get started on YouTube and use this powerful platform to build your personal brand. I learnt so much on this episode and I hope you will too.
You’re listening to the Clare Wood podcast, where we talk all things business, finance, marketing, and mindset for entrepreneurs, sharing practical tips, and actionable advice to help you take your business to the next level. Introducing your host: me! I’m Clare Wood, I’m a numbers geek, a travel lover, and a reality tv addict, and I’m here to empower you to create an extraordinary business and an amazing life, because I believe you don’t have to choose between the two. Now let’s dive right in to today’s episode.
CLARE: Welcome to the podcast, Erin! Anyone who doesn’t know who Erin May Henry is, she is so inspiring and I’m excited to talk to her about the areas she is an expert in.
ERIN: Thanks for having me!
CLARE: Before we dive in, I’d love for you to introduce yourself and what you do?
ERIN: I am Erin, or Erin May Henry, to make my name exciting. Basically I’m a Business Coach and YouTuber. I focus on helping people build their brand based businesses, and I also work with those who want to build their influence on YouTube, podcasts, blogs and build a community and meaningful business in the process. I also do a lot of work with influencers who have an audience, but don’t have the business side of things.
CLARE: Who are the main people you work with?
ERIN: Two predominately. I was mainly coaching people who had started out and wanted to build their business, but recently, a lot of influencers have come to me with their audience and they are doing brand deals and relying on ad sense, but that has become so volatile that they now want to build their own business. So I coach them, not to build an audience because they already have one, but how to build their own products and services so they have a more reliable source of income.
CLARE: You touched on in the intro that personal branding is a big focus. What is personal branding? And why is it so important in building a business these days?
What is personal branding and why is it important?
ERIN: Personal branding is exactly how it sounds – the branding of the person, you being the forefront of the business. The reality is, everyone already has a personal brand, no matter if you are an online entrepreneur or the librarian in a local town. It really is your reputation, what people visualise about you, say about you. In online business, for those starting services, this is really important, because it means your brand is what people say about your business, because ultimately you are your business.
So many people are starting businesses and also wanting to build their influence, so personal branding really comes into it. I don’t teach people how to build a personal brand, because you already have one… how you speak, what you do, your values, your goals and mission, all that makes up your personal brand. What I do is help people accentuate that brand to build a platform online that attracts people that are attracted to those same values and mission, and build the business around that.
CLARE: So interesting! I know so many that hide their brand in a service based business, like a photographer or branding specialist. Do you think there is power in them stepping to the forefront of the brand?
ERIN: The reason personal branding is so powerful is because it differentiates. Two reasons actually, the differentiation because there are only so many colours and logos and brand styles, and because there is so much competition online these days, and trends go along with these styles, so how do you differentiate the Byron beachy boho style from the next? The way to do it is you. Nobody can mimic you so speak passionately like you can.
The other reason is, for human connection. More importantly at the moment from what is happening with the world, I noticed even some of the businesses I dealt with, my telco for example, now has a chat function that say “Hi, I’m Moira, how can I help?”, even if it is a robot, it has a name. So many businesses are trying to humanise the customer experience and there is nothing more attractive them interacting with other human beings.
As a business owner, it’s not the most important thing, but’s more important if you do want to build a community and influence side of your business, and it does have a lot of power in creating a human experience.
Even if someone doesn’t have an on the surface personal brand, they still have a personal brand when they interact with customers.
CLARE: What about if people are feeling scared about people not liking them? That people will think they are too young, too old, too loud? One of my insecurities is that I’m from Queensland and I worry about my accent. What are your thoughts on people feeling sub-conscious about bringing who they are to the forefront?
ERIN: It’s a great question, but the reality is, there is someone for everyone! Traditionally, when we look at beauty standards or who our famous ideals are, it is becoming common for a lot more people to be represented. So over time, I think those insecurities you are talking about will naturally start to break down, because these usually start because there is no one to look up to that are like them, look like them, speak like them, but the more people, entrepreneurs, singers, actors etc put their brand out there, the more representation is out there, and those fears will dissipate. It’s a common human fear though anyway, to worry about being rejected, it’s very biological because we are so community driven, so going against any status quo is scary.
The thing to remember is that it can be scary, but there is an audience for everyone! There are people that love my Australian/British/American accent and there are some that hate it. There are people who love that I accentuate with my hands and there are people who hate it. Naturally, there are people who don’t like the way you look, sound and speak, but there will be those who love it. That is the beauty of personal branding, it’s like food, there are so many different types of food, some we love and others will hate, but the subjectiveness of our desires is what makes us amazing. So if you are afraid, know there people with those same features and characteristics that are going to adore the fact you put yourself out there and you are representing different people to make it more common for others to put themselves out there.
CLARE: At the end of the day, there are people who aren’t going to like you and that’s cool, but if you are trying not to connect with anyone then that’s not helpful to you or your business.
You are a YouTube superstar and I’d love to dive into it more. This is a platform new to me. How did you get started on YouTube?
How Erin got started on YouTube
ERIN: Back in the day, I studied public relations at Uni. I didn’t want to get a job, classic entrepreneurial story, and I only studied public relations because I wanted to be like Samantha Jones from Sex in the City, I thought it’d be all parties and high-life, but it turned out to be more spreadsheets and media kits, than anything else!
So I had no idea I wanted to do, I saw myself as an entertainer. One day when I was at uni, there was a compulsory event (in 2015), and one of the speakers said the future of entrepreneurship is online, and you need to build an audience. So the next day I put a video up on YouTube. I had no idea what I wanted to talk about, I just spoke about how I was doing the Kayla Itsnes Bikini Body Guide, because it was trending at the time. I then went on to speak about fitness for the next 2.5 years, delved into lifestyle, then I started my business after uni when I wanted to go into business coaching and mindset and that’s have been talking about that ever since.
CLARE: Did he mention YouTube? Or is that just what you ran with?
ERIN: No, he didn’t mention YouTube. YouTube was big at the time, but nowhere near what it now. He just said get online and build an audience. Blogging was huge at the time, but I chose YouTube because I hate writing, and I didn’t know what podcasting was at the time. YouTube was just a familiar platform for me.
How you can get started on YouTube
CLARE: YouTube has a really unique way of delivering video, like the way you clip things together. If someone is getting started on YouTube do they need to be spending time to get familiar with the platform, or record and stick it up?
ERIN: Both! First record a video and stick it up, however, it does demand a little understanding on how it works. The YouTube algorithm is very much consumer focused. All the algorithm is trying to do is provide relevant content to the person watching. This being because the longer someone stays on the platform to watch a video the more ads get to be delivered to the person watching.
You or I watch something about mindset and business, then the platform is going to do its best to deliver other relevant content to that nature. So on the home screen, it’s content similar to what you watched before rather than who you follow.
You do need to have an understanding of how it works, who you’re speaking to and the content that they like, and be intentionally about that. Particular industries have particular types of thumbnails, style of videos, creating a sense of familiarity. So in my self-development industry there are a lot of natural light colours, flowy roll etc. That’s the advanced game with YouTube, what’s most important is putting content out there. But same with podcasts and blogs, you need to make sure it’s quality, relevant, interesting and succinct.
CLARE: Something I’ve noticed is with YouTube videos, the way it’s clipped together, is unique. It’s not like just a video you record and upload straight away. Do you edit your videos yourself? And for someone looking to get started, how do they master that art of editing?
Editing your videos for YouTube
ERIN: There are two particular types of videos that work well on YouTube:
- Sit down informational video – one topic, list formats, delivering information.
- Vlog style videos – that’s more like the clipped together style of video you are talking about
The easier style video is obviously the forma because the continuity and editing is a lot more difficult for the second.
When you are starting out, just sit down and talk about a topic, like 10 ways to get healthier before summer, write out a list and talk about those ways. The degree to which you edit will differ from person to person, but some editing is involved, even just the basics – edit out your umm’s, but’s and like’s and make it succinct, put some music in the background, maybe a title and end clip, that’s the bare bones basic.
YouTube itself if the best resource to learn about YouTube. I didn’t know about video editing or production and I learnt from watching tutorials and watching videos for ideas on how other people have done them.
The vlog is sometimes easier to film, however they sometimes needs editing and you have to focus on the story and keep it interesting, and provide value and be visually demanding. As your editing skills and confidence on camera grows, then you can experiment with these vlogs.
CLARE: In terms of content curation, do you forward plan or wing it?
To plan or not to plan your content on YouTube
ERIN: That’s such a great question! I’m the best person to ask, because being a Gemini I change every week. I’ve done both. In the past I have hired a studio and record 10 videos in a sitting, I’ve done it that way. The reason why I didn’t like that, I go bored myself by the 7th or 9th video and didn’t want to talk about that topics anymore. We change and evolve so much, even day to day. I’m now in a state where I try to plan 3-4 videos ahead. Sometimes I get busy with my business and I find myself doing more of the sit down talking kind of videos, because I can do them myself and my partner does my editing. But, me and my audience prefer vlog style videos so I do have to map them out.
I personally believe any content platform, it’s an individual approach to planning and curating content. Some people are flowy, and think of something on the day and will put it out there, and others plan really well and do things in advance. You just have to find a way to be consistent.
Like any platform consistency is key. Experiment with how you do your programming and see what you can keep consistent with.
CLARE: You are a confident person, you said it was easy for you, but I’d love to hear your advice for anyone who has tried filming or hasn’t yet and is scared and stuck?
Gaining confidence to be on YouTube
ERIN: It’s a confidence/competence loop. Filming yourself on camera is just not natural. It’s the most unnatural thing, especially in public. However, having a conversation is natural, so try and get comfortable and forget you need to edit, upload and people are watching. Visual yourself sitting down with a best friend and having a conversation on this topic. Again it takes practice though.
In order to become ultra-confident in something, you need to build up your competency. In order to build up your competency you need to actually try the thing. No one is born a professional piano player, you have to have the confidence to start. Don’t put pressure on yourself to create the most perfect video on Day 1. Get comfortable in talking to the camera, do some practice filming, the more you do it the more competent you will become. And therefore your confidence will rise.
My very first video is still online and you can tell I nowhere near the confident to what I am now. It was like a school presentation. But I grew through my 500 videos. Get started to get started, the more you delay it, the more you will freak yourself out and the harder it will get.
CLARE: I can vouch for that, as going through that journey myself. Practice does make perfect.
I want to loop back about an Q&A you did recently on personal branding. I share a lot about my family and partner etc, but I know not everyone feels comfortable sharing.
How much is too much to share with the public
ERIN: You only need to share as much as you feel comfortable with. Even the most open, vulnerable and authentic people online, is still only a percentage of who they are. You don’t know who they are in a fight with their partner, you don’t know how they are as a parent etc. You only see a curated version of people. I know people who have powerful personal brands who are extremely private, because all that is important to show is what is going to connect with your audience – your characteristics, your values, your goals and mission, what you are tyring to do in the world, that’s what is important. The type of food, the diet you eat, the things you enjoy in the bedroom isn’t important in the brand.. some people are comfortable sharing it as a quirk to their branding, and some people aren’t.
For example I know the subject of children, some share their children online and some are absolutely private. Casey Neistat is a vlogger from America, very successful, but never shares his children’s face. Gary Vee is another one, he’ll still talk about football or his struggle at the gym, but will never show his children or wife’s face. It’s totally up to you and what you feel comfortable sharing.
I don’t think it’s important to share every juicy detail, I think it’s important to remain a little private, because that’s important for your own confidence, like when you have a bad sales month, or you get a hate comment, you need to have a building block and holisticness of experience. I’m quite comfortable answering questions about persona life, but again, that’s comfortable to me. I’ve always been a little too honest, and that girl at school that had uncomfortable conversations. You don’t need to feel pressure. Some people think they would be more successful if they were more open on YouTube, and it’s a common sentiment but it is not the case. It’s not actually how much that person is doing, it’s actually the monotony of what they are doing. Again, it’s totally up to you, don’t feel inauthentic if there are things the internet doesn’t know about.
CLARE: That’s so good and totally agree. It also I think depends on how comfortable those around you are with it too, like my partner has come on the podcast before and is happy to be involved and one of my kids loves the camera too, but then other is more reserved.
Going back to the Q&A, was that the first time you have done something like that?
ERIN: It’s something that is going around YouTube at the moment, I don’t know if it’s the most appropriate thing, but I think it’s just because people are bored. It’s like a truth or drink game, where they get their audience to ask intimate questions, and if you don’t want to answer you have to drink. Me and my partner basically made our own pub at our hose because of lockdown, and my audience are quite wholesome so the craziest things they asked were like, what kind of contraceptive are you on? The ones I’d shy away from answering is about gossip about other people, why aren’t you friends with …. anymore. I don’t want to air out mine or other peoples dirty laundry.
CLARE: I’m going to put this into the shownotes in today’s episode. I’m thinking about it and feeling nervous about it.
We have spoken about so much and I really appreciate having you on. If people want to learn more or connect with you, how can they do that?
ERIN: I am Erin May Henry on all of the internet, or you can go to the gamechangercompany.com.
CLARE: Thanks for coming on!
Thank you so much for joining me today, if you enjoyed this episode, please make sure you subscribe to receive future episodes, and I’d be so grateful for a review on apple podcast! If you’d like a copy of the show notes or any of the links mentioned today, please jump over to clarewood.com.au/podcast and remember that Clare is spelled CLARE, have a wonderful week and look forward to chatting to you again soon!