Balancing your public channel with your personal life
Having a public channel on YouTube means people may start to recognize you in public and that you’re probably getting lots of comments. Get pointers on how to deal with audience interactions, manage your comments section, and maintain a private life.
Navigating fan interactions
As a YouTube creator, your fans might recognize you in public and want to engage with you. While this can be flattering and confirm that what you’re doing on YouTube is resonating with your audience, it’s also not something most people experience in their day-to-day lives. Here are some tips to help you manage fan interactions and set boundaries.
- Make sure you’re in charge! Of course, you want to be nice and if it’s appropriate, chat with them. But it’s key that you set boundaries with your audience. Steer the conversation and don’t answer anything that’s uncomfortable.
- Once you’ve given fans your time, move on. It can be useful to have a plan for how you will end the conversation.
- Think about how people perceive you. Your fans might expect you to act like you do on YouTube. This doesn’t mean you have to be that person in real life, especially if you play a character, but remember, that’s the ‘you’ they know.
- Stay safe. If you organize a meet up, make sure you have friends present who can help manage the situation if it gets uncomfortable (or security). Again, be sure you’re the one in charge of the situation and go with your gut if something doesn’t feel right. Try not to live-tweet your location because you never know when a group of fans could be nearby.
- People might feel ultra-connected to you because they are used to seeing your face on their computer or mobile in their home. Some super fans might know a lot more about you than you think they would.
- Practice with your friends or family ways you can politely end a conversation with fans.
- Establish rules with your community to help avoid awkward interactions.
Be smart about what you share and where
YouTube is a public platform so it’s important to be careful what personal details you share online. You may consider keeping intimate details of your life, like your spouse’s or kids’ names, your last name, where they work, etc. private.
Avoid showing things on your channel like:
- your license plate.
- where you live - if you do unboxing videos, be sure your address is blacked out!
- coffee shops or other places that are within blocks of your house.
Be careful about when and where you share things. Many creators don’t post or tweet in real-time and turn geo-tagging off on mobile devices and apps. If you’re sharing where you are on social media, this could draw a crowd. It’s still ok to tag your location, but consider doing so after you’ve left.
Not everyone needs to know everything. Look at your video cuts from the lens of privacy and know where that line is for you. If you’re not sure, ask a friend or family member to review.
- If you insist on letting fans send you things, use a PO Box.
- Do a google search for your name and take steps to ensure your private info is not online. Click here to learn how to report a privacy violation on YouTube
- Consider using a stage name instead of your real first and last names.
- If you have a website, it’s a good idea to make sure your domain information and home/billing address is private.
Staying zen when you get negative comments
Comments can be a positive way to communicate with your audience but there are sometimes trolls or jerks out there too who post negative things solely to get attention.
There are lots of comment moderation tools and strategies for handling this:
- You can delete comments, hold them for review, or block people on the YouTube platform.
- You can create a block list of words that are not allowed to be seen on your channel.
- You can ask someone to moderate for you. YouTube allows you to add community managers to your channel.
- You can ignore them or hold them for review. Definitely don’t read your comments if you’re already in a bad mood.
- Keep a record of all of the positive comments and stories people have sent you.
- Spread positivity in your comments. See what happens if you write something nice back to a mean comment. You can also pin your favorite positive comment to the top of the comments feed.
- If specific threats are made against you and you feel unsafe, tell a trusted adult and report it to your local law enforcement agency.
See it in action
5 tips to help you avoid getting your feelings hurtMegan Tonjes gives some advice on how to deal with cyberbullying, hate, and trolling.
Showing haters that they don’t matterJovi replies to hate with colorful and dramatic commentary.