YouTube: Brand icon v. profile pic as a vlogger

Everyone who knows me on Medium probably came from my twitter, and so probably knows I’m a vlogger.

In the slim chance this finds its way outside that circle: I’m a vlogger.

I’ve been on YouTube for six years. Five with my current and most active channel, VlogginEgan. I post vlogs and short films, I catalog my life, I play with visual media as I try to convince people I’m a filmmaker.

And for the longest time, I’ve been building VlogginEgan as a brand. It’s green, the V and E are capitalized, and it’s got that play-button-in-glasses logo.

Yeah, this guy.

This has been my profile picture on YouTube in some variation for, I think, as long as VlogginEgan has existed.

But I’m starting to wonder if that’s not hurting me.

The main reason I’m thinking this is that every one of my favorite vloggers has a profile picture that is just their face. Their own, human face. And they’re all pretty successful.

I’m not saying this is a 1:1 formula for success that will help me rake in Them Views, but it’s put an interesting bug in my brain:

People watch vlogs to see people. People are interested in watching other people’s lives. I don’t know why. It completely baffles me to the point of anger and annoyance sometimes. But this is a thing people like to watch.

And on some level it’s got to be because they want to connect with another person/other people, right? And therefore, wouldn’t a human face profile pic go a long way to showing that I’m a real person and people can come to my channel to watch my real life.

And along with that, doesn’t a logo profile pic communicate to people that I am a brand? I am a company? I am fake? I am annoying?

These are all things that pop into my head when I see someone else on YouTube with a logo profile pic. It’s not ALWAYS the case, certainly! WheezyWaiter uses a logo, pineappleboyfilms uses a logo. But still. I think it’s a thing. And I think a lot of people on YouTube might mistakenly think a logo is the way to go for their brand. And I’m worried I’m included in that, and giving people the wrong idea.

There are a few other things that go into the idea of using a logo, like I’m also trying to create shorts and videos professionally, and maybe a logo seems more professional. But at the same time, a logo is something a production company has, and I don’t have a production company. But maybe that’s a message I want to send. Not that I have a production company, but “Hey, look at me, I get it! I make good things and I’m professional!” I don’t know, there’s a lot to unpack here concerning my identity.

But the more I think about it, the more I think my human face would be a better pic to represent my YouTube channel, and all our YouTube channels, those channels belonging to us singular humans (That’s another thing, a logo is a good indicator that more than one person works on the channel).

And that thought scares me. Not only because I risk viewer confusion and brand dilution, but because I’ve spent a lot of time pushing this fucking logo.

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