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What to know before starting a YouTube channel with your BFF

Image: Pexels

Do you have dreams of becoming the next Niki & Gabi, Brooklyn and Bailey or Merrell Twins on YouTube? Making a YouTube channel is a great way to do something productive and fun with your BFF, not to mention connecting with an audience. But before you click upload on what you’re sure is the next viral sensation, there are a few questions you and your friend should think about. Here’s what you need to know before pressing record.

Do you both want to do it?
While you love spending time with your bestie and supporting their ideas, you can sometimes forget your own passions in the process. Make sure you *both* are ready to put in the time and work it takes to create a YouTube channel. If one of you is pressuring the other, or isn’t comfortable making something public online, step on the brakes. A joint channel requires equal commitment and enthusiasm. Be honest if you’re not super into the idea. You can offer to help your BFF start their own channel, and even appear in a few of their videos. If you’re both prepared to take the leap together, keep reading.

Can you share the spotlight?
This connects to the last question, albeit in a different way. Say you and your pal are both ready to create a channel. Will you make all of your videos together? Or will you take turns uploading your own videos to the same channel? Maybe one of you is more comfortable behind the camera, tuned in to the latest editing software, or prefers to write scripts for the vids. That doesn’t mean the channel isn’t a joint effort. Just make sure you’re giving each other equal credit and acknowledgement in your vids. Stealing ideas is never a good look.

What will you make?
While it’s easy to look at successful bestie channels and think there’s nothing to it but talking into a camera, crafting a good video takes more than a gift for gab. Take stock of what you and your BFF enjoy doing. Are you always getting into wacky situations? A vlog channel might be your best bet. A passion for theater? Skits and comedy vids are the way to go. Cooking, playing soccer, coding—many how-to channels start with people sharing their hobbies. Knowing what kind of videos you want to make will give your channel a focus and help you reach the right audience for your content.

Do you have the time and space?
In other words, be realistic. If you and your bestie are already in four clubs, two sports, the school musical and National Honor Society, you probably won’t have time to regularly update and promote a YouTube channel. At the same time, if you’re soon going to graduate or move, or live far away from each other already, making videos together isn’t possible in the long term. Don’t rule out a long-distance collab, but don’t try to force things to work. Having time and the opportunity to meet and make content are a must to ensure the long-term success of your channel.

What do you want to get out of it?
Maybe you’re hoping to bond over your love of fashion. Or you want to inspire young girls and teach them something new. You could hustle to get tons of subscribers, or cultivate a small, loyal audience. Check in with your bestie and yourself about your vision for the channel. If you’re depending on it to pay for your college, a) that’s kind of risky, unless you hit it really big right away, and b) you’ll have to make sure your content can be monetized, want to upload more frequently, and might be interested in doing sponsored videos, whereas your bestie just wants to talk about her new cat. If your visions are too different, it bears repeating that you can always make individual channels instead.

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by Bailey Bujnosek | 7/17/2020
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