Posted on 23 January 2019
This is a scary post. Sometimes I’m all gung-ho like Woo yeah! I can do anything! and other days I’m more Really? Really, Esther? You’re seriously going to start a YouTube channel AND tell everyone about it? Today I’m feeling the latter but, well, I guess I just did it anyway.
Ta-da! Tim and I have started a YouTube Channel!!! Yep, we will be willingly exposing our far-from-perfect reality to the entire population with access to the internet. It’s equal parts crazy exciting and crazy scary (and just crazy full stop), but the timing finally feels right. We have wanted to vlog (video log) for awhile. I got a camera for my birthday two years ago with the intention of starting, but it never happened for all the reasons we still feel today, but we are choosing to push past this time. What will people think? We’ve never filmed or edited anything in our lives! Who are we to think we can do something like this and succeed?
A few things changed and they all had to do with my mindset. Firstly, I realised that anyone who has achieved what I would consider to be great did so from hard work, consistent effort and the willingness to put themselves out there, and NOT just because they so happened to be beautiful/funny/in the right place at the right time or have access to the right contacts, skills or finances to ‘make it’. Secondly, I redefined what ‘making it’ means for me. I touched on this in my last blog ‘Time’ too, because it’s so important to know what your priorities in life are. While 1 million subscribers would be any YouTuber’s dream, I shifted my idea of success from ‘we need x number of subscribers’ to ‘if we post one video every week in 2019, I would consider our channel a success!’. And so that’s what you can expect, a video a week, and so far, we’re on track! (Only just! Tim uploaded video 3 with around 30 minutes to spare on Monday night because it completely slipped our minds!)
You can also expect a lot of thrifting, behind the scenes Theo stuff, awkward silences and travel. We want to share our sustainability journey with others as honestly as possible because it’s radically changed our lives, the lives of those less fortunate and the life of our planet. This rolls into the last mindset that changed for me: I’ve finally given myself permission to be an influencer. Even typing that makes me cringe SO hard. Being the judge-y person I am (trying to change) I don’t give a lot of credit to influencers. (For those unfamiliar, influencers are influential people with a significant social following normally within a certain niche such as fashion or fitness, who are then employed/paid/gifted to promote a certain product/service. It’s basically new-age celebrity endorsement where literally anyone can be a celebrity and endorse literally any product.)
Majority of influencers lack integrity, promoting products that either don’t live up to their name (skinny tea, anyone?) or are bound by strict criteria with what they can and cannot say about the product they are representing. One of my biggest qualms about influencer marketing is that it is near impossible to give an honest review for a product you are being paid to advertise. It’s like asking Shane Warne if he actually grew his hair back through Ashley & Martin when he was paid 5 million to say that he did. There’s also the fact that if he successfully grew one single strand of hair back through their program, it would make his promotion ‘true’! (I have no idea how much he was paid or what the deal is with growing hair back, I’m just painting an analogy and obviously, marketing works.)
Flowing on from that, majority of advertisements are for products we well and truly do not need. They are things that do not enrich our lives (flashy cars, the latest gadgets, cheap fashun and even your own brand new off-the-plan home) and will never leave us satisfied or fulfilled, and I’m sick of being told that they will. Now, I only follow people that influence me in the right way, who speak with positivity and hope and inspire me to create a purposeful life with meaning (for a few recommendations read my post about 2018 Reflections). So who am I to think I can be an influencer? The truth is, all of us already are. We influence our friends and family organically with cafes we love to eat at, our latest jewellery obsession and dare I say it, clothing brands that tick all the right boxes ;) Just last night I passed on a few recipes to a friend so that she could try them out for herself, so I guess the whole influence thing is just old-school word of mouth and we just need to be careful who we’re listening to (and if they're being paid to talk).
Tim and I only know so much about sustainability, and even less about producing videos. This whole YouTube thing is a personal challenge for us but it’s also a public way to share our experiences and discoveries with you. We’ll be honest, candid and probably TMI a lot of the time, but we hope to bring an element of fun to some not-so-fun issues that we’re passionate about - sustainable fashion being a big one, of course! We are inching closer and closer to Tim’s 30th and his one and only birthday wish is to hit 1,000 subscribers. We are currently on 5! If you’ve ever wanted to repay Tim for all his Insta cameos, this is the time to do it! Click through and come with us, it’ll be freaking fun and you are the main reason we're giving this a go! Until next time,
and Tim :)