From Rhonda to Brittani: Evolution of a YouTube Personality

/ Feb 17, 2014


One tactic for creating a YouTube personality means staying in character outside of your videos. YouTube partner Brittani Louise Taylor discussed her early strategy with Rhett & Link on “Ear Biscuits.”

A tried and true method for new media attention, think lonelygirl15 using an impenetrable fake persona before breaking out and informing audiences of the act. Lonelygirl15 actually served as an inspiration for Taylor, making her realize that she could parlay Rhonda, a “clueless life coach” she played on a separate internet platform, into a YouTube celeb.

Of course, being a YouTube presence is an interactive experience. Your comments on other videos can help build your viewership through networking. Taylor recognized and practiced this, commenting on other YouTubers’ work…always in character. “The best way to form a community is go out and make friends and watch stuff and be supportive,” Taylor said of her first year on YouTube, during which she admittedly watched 50,000 YouTube videos. Rhett & Link themselves, early partners who got comments from “Rhonda,” joked that she came off as a strange and potentially obsessive ‘Tuber before they learned that Taylor was not actually the incompetent life coach she pretended to be on her channel.

Though this seems like negative attention, relentless commenting can spark some helpful conversations. In Taylor’s case, Shane Dawson was so impressed when she revealed Rhonda’s annoying comments as an act that he encouraged her “to stop playing Rhonda and create a new channel.” This advice prompted the Brittani Louise Taylor channel, which freed her up to be herself and play multiple characters, showing a wider range of talent.

In other words, a good gateway into YouTube may be through a character whose skin you can eventually shed to showcase your own versatility. Acting ability has not been lost in new media, and staying in character remains an appreciated skill.

For more on Taylor’s YouTube techniques, tune into the interview podcast “Ear Biscuits with Rhett & Link.”

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