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DEEP DIVE ARTICLE TIPS & TRICKS YOUTUBE

Are VTubers Fake?

The answer to the question of are VTubers fake really depends on what you consider “real”.

We would hope that most people understand that a cutesy anime girl who plays video games is not real in the sense that, to our knowledge at least, anime girls don’t exist in the real world.

On the other hand, it is entirely possible that there is a real girl who really plays video games behind that virtual YouTube account. So, yes, it depends on what you mean when you say “real”.

Unfortunately, this also muddies the waters somewhat, since there are so many different ways to run a virtual YouTube channel and so many different types of virtual YouTuber. It would be near-impossible to make a definitive statement about all virtual YouTubers, so, in this post, we’re going to highlight a few different types of virtual YouTuber, discuss what being fake in that context might mean, as well as ways you might spot a fake virtual YouTuber where applicable.

We will also talk about whether a given virtual YouTuber being fake should be a problem.

Are VTubers Fake? – VTubers are virtual avatars or personas for online influencers who may not want to show their real identity. Some are powered by real people and some are controlled by businesses. So, are they fake as human beings – Yes. Are they fake as digital intellectual property – No.

Types of Virtual YouTuber

In this section, we are not going to be focusing on the types of virtual YouTuber in the sense of how they look or how they are created, as we have done in other posts.

Instead, we are going to look at the kind of virtual personality that is presented, and we will give you an example or two for you to compare notes with.

For each type, we will explore the ways in which they could be fake, as well as ways you might spot this fakeness.

The Camera-Shy Virtual YouTuber

This type of virtual YouTuber is typically someone who doesn’t want to be on camera for one reason or another but has opted to put a virtual avatar in their place to give you something to look at.

The thing that distinguishes this kind of virtual YouTuber from a character virtual YouTuber is that they are not presenting themselves as something other than what they are.

Whether they are giving commentary, tutorials, or anything else, they will be presenting the channel as themselves; they are just doing it with some visual aids to make things more interesting.

From a conceptual standpoint, there is no difference between this kind of YouTuber and a YouTuber who does not have an on-screen presence at all, such as someone who gives commentary over video clips.

The digital avatar is just a means to assist the YouTuber in not being on camera. They may want to avoid being on camera because they are camera-shy, they may have privacy concerns about showing their face, they could even be concerned about a backlash from the content they make and want to keep their identity separate from their YouTube account.

How Might This Kind of Virtual YouTuber be Fake?

To answer this question, we’re going to give you two examples of this kind of YouTuber.

The first is Code Bullet, who makes entertaining videos around the things he gets up with AI. He presents the videos as himself but has an animated on-screen avatar to be his visual presence.

We do not believe there is any way for a channel like this to be fake in any sense that matters.

Code Bullet could lie about his real name, for example, but that would be utterly irrelevant to the content he is making. He could also lie in his videos, perhaps by cooking the results of his AI experiments, and that would be a reason to not watch his content, but it would not be the kind of lie that had anything to do with his digital avatar since he could do that as a regular YouTuber as well. He would be fake, but not a fake virtual YouTuber specifically.

Our second example is It’sAGundam, a commentary channel that covers a variety of topics from Internet drama to strange human-interest stories and more. This YouTuber will often put a digital avatar on-screen to act as the presenter of the content, though, like CodeBullet, they are not acting as a character, but as themselves.

However, like CodeBullet, It’sAGundam cannot really be fake in any meaningful way. They are not claiming to be anything in particular so they can’t lie about it. And, while they could lie about their stories, it would once again not be unique to the fact that they are a virtual YouTuber.

Spotting the Fakery

Since there is no meaningful way to be fake on the virtual side of things for this kind of YouTuber, there is no trick to spotting the fakery.

Things like being dishonest in the content tends to have a way of coming out in time, but the only way you could spot that would be to independently verify what you are saying, such as doing your own research and fact-checking.

What Are Virtual Influencers?

The Character Virtual YouTuber

These YouTubers present themselves as real characters, meaning that the channel is run as though the digital avatar on-screen is a real person in much the same way that Kermit the Frog does not break character and reference the fact that he is a puppet.

There is a concern among some that this kind of avatar could be fake in the sense of not being human; that the account is actually a very clever AI. Of course, AIs are not that good… yet. This kind of YouTube channel could not be convincingly run by an AI without giving away its true nature. There is also the reverse version of this where virtual YouTubers that present themselves as an AI have their legitimacy questioned.

For example, AI Angel, a virtual YouTuber who claims to be an AI bot, has had apparently serious conversations about her and whether she is really a bot. As we mentioned, AI bots are not on this level yet. But more importantly, the people who consider her not being a real AI fake, or worry that other virtual YouTubers really are AIs, represent a minority.

Where more of the concerns of fakery lie is in the gender of the person behind the digital mask, though it shouldn’t. Many people seem to be put off by the idea that a virtual YouTuber who is female is being run by a male behind the scenes. In this sense, it is certainly possible for them to be fake, though we would question the importance of that. As a natural consequence of the overwhelming majority of virtual YouTubers being women, the gender of the person running the account tends to be the biggest concern.

Spotting the Fakery

If a virtual YouTuber were really an AI, it would be obvious. Stilted conversation, awkward turning of phrases, and generally not-human-like behaviour. If the virtual YouTuber were playing a character of a different sex (or race or age) and has kept their identity private, there wouldn’t necessarily be a way of finding out. You could listen closely to their voice, but that is an unreliable method as many people can speak convincingly in other voices, and vocal effects are becoming more effective at convincingly changing a voice naturally.

Agency Avatars

One way in which you could consider a virtual YouTuber fake is that there are many of them—especially among the top virtual YouTubers—that are not run by individuals as such but owned by agencies. One of the bigger examples of these agencies Hololive, though there are a lot of them and the number is growing.

There tends to be a desire for community on YouTube, and many viewers prefer their YouTubers to be individuals who they can support, rather than faceless corporations who run a virtual YouTuber production line. In truth, the setup is a little closer to a talent agency than a manufactured pop band. In any case, you can usually find out relatively easily if a virtual YouTuber is part of such an arrangement since the agency will often list the virtual YouTuber on their website.

Are VTubers Fake?

Always Assume Catfish

Catfishing, for those unfamiliar, is an Internet term used to describe the act of luring someone into an interaction under the pretence of romantic or sexual activity while presenting yourself as something other than you are. There are many ways in which this can happen, but one of the most common examples that springs to mind (if not the most common examples to happen) is that of a middle-aged man pretending to be an attractive young woman and chatting up other men online.

Now, the dynamic with a virtual YouTuber is different, of course; it is not a private, one-on-one interaction. But it helps to keep hold of the thought that any virtual being can—and often will—not be what they seem.

For the most part, this should not be a problem for your enjoyment of the content. If the cutesy anime girl example we gave at the top was run by a middle-aged woman who was not as attractive (in your opinion) as you imagined, it should not take anything away from your love of the channel; the character was always fictional, regardless of who was behind the mask.

So why, you may be asking, are we saying this? Remembering that literally anyone could be behind the digital mask can help to keep you in the right frame of mind to avoid disappointment from the reality of a channel, and prevent you from building something up in your mind that potentially isn’t there. Unless you have good reason to believe otherwise, it is better to assume everything about the virtual YouTuber is fictional.

Should Being “Fake” Matter?

Once again, it is what you mean by fake that determines the answer to this question. After all, we all know that lycra-clad heroes with superpowers don’t exist in the real world, and yet Marvel continues to rake in the money with their movies and comic books. The fact that you know a thing is fake does not necessarily mean it has to ruin your enjoyment of that thing. Rather than fake, think of it as fictional.

You know that the cutesy anime girl is not really an anime girl, but you can enjoy the fictional character in the same way you can enjoy a James Bond movie, or your favourite zombie-based TV show.

Of course, there are other ways to be fake that do affect whether or not you can enjoy the content being produced. For example, a talking head channel that comments on political matters and tends to be quite controversial. If it turned out that the person behind that account did not hold the views they put out and was perhaps just saying controversial things for the views, it would be a huge turn off for many. People don’t mind—in fact, they even enjoy—being lied to when it comes to fictional characters, but they tend to have a deep revulsion to fakeness and hypocrisy in the real world.

Of course, neither of these examples are unique to virtual YouTubers. A regular flesh-and-bone YouTuber is just as capable of being a hypocrite on-camera as a virtual one, just as they are capable of acting a character. Some of the biggest names in entertainment, such as Sacha Baron Cohen and Stephen Colbert, rose to prominence through playing characters on-screen as though they were real people. Ultimately, it is the newness and, frankly, the strangeness of virtual YouTubers that makes people think twice. Once you get over that mental hurdle, many of these questions answer themselves.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, we’ve shown that the question of whether or not a virtual YouTuber is “fake” is not really a useful one. Even if you have established some ways in which you could consider a virtual YouTuber to be fake, none of them has a significant impact on whether you would watch the channel or not, and the types of fakery that are significant enough to put you off of a channel are rarely specific to virtual YouTubers, but apply to YouTubers in general.

Ultimately, if you enjoy the content a channel puts out, and it is genuine, there is no reason to worry about whether a virtual YouTuber is really a person, really AI, the same age/race/gender as their handler, or anything else superficial that could be called fake.

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SOCIAL MEDIA TIPS & TRICKS YOUTUBE

How to be a Virtual YouTuber

Becoming a virtual YouTuber is not the difficult task you might have imagined it to be.

As with many things in life, there are levels to what you can achieve that are largely determined by your own ability (or willingness to learn).

As a rough example, you can make perfectly good video thumbnails using a thumbnail creator, and those thumbnails can be everything you need for a successful channel… but you will never have the degree of control or the range of options with said thumbnail creator that you would have if you knew enough about graphic design software to make your thumbnails from scratch.

Of course, for those of us that are not well-versed in a particular application or skill, the question tends to become whether or not it is worth it to learn. As we said with the above example, you can make good thumbnails with a thumbnail creator, so do you need to learn to do it yourself? That, among other more fundamental aspects, is what we are going to cover in this how to be a virtual YouTuber guide. Let’s dive in!

Know What You Want to Say

The first step to creating any YouTube channel is determining what it is you want to say. Understand that we’re not talking about the literal words you say on-camera (though you will need to know that as well, of course) but the general message, or premise of your channel.

This can be quite a broad range of options. For example, you could have a very specific message such as something political, or it could just be that you want to play video games and making a channel about it is a good excuse to do so. Whatever the reason, try to establish a clear direction for your channel and stick to it. Having a specific niche that you consistently make content in will help you establish an audience. If you make videos that cover a wide range of things, you will struggle to build an audience because viewers who liked one type of video may come back for your next video, see that it’s not something they’re interested in, and not come back again.

You may want to build a personality-based channel—where the viewers are there for your on-screen persona more than the specific type of content you are making. It is true that having a specific niche is less important for this kind of channel, but it can still help to stick a particular type of content in the beginning, branching out into other areas once you have an audience. Even PewDiePie started off making exclusively gaming videos.

For many YouTubers, the interest comes before the idea to create a YouTube channel, but if you came to the decision to make a channel first, be sure to choose a subject and niche that you are interested in. For most YouTubers, the early weeks, months, and even years can be slow going in terms of channel growth, and very few channels that achieve financial independence do so in the first year. What this means is that you are essentially going to be running your channel at your expense, both in time and money, so things will go a lot easier if you are genuinely into whatever it is you are talking about.

What Are Virtual Influencers?

Choose Your Style of Virtual YouTuber

There a few different styles of virtual YouTuber, and the best one you choose will come down to a few different factors. Before we get to the choosing part, let’s take a brief look at those different styles.

What is an Avatar?

In this context, your avatar is your on-screen persona. It can help to think of it as similar to a puppet. You will be bringing your avatar to life through one of the methods we will describe later, and possibly acting a character out through that avatar as well. Your avatar could be a person, an animal, an anthropomorphisation of something inanimate like a paper clip, or really anything you can imagine. This freedom is a big part of the draw of virtual YouTubing.

Hand-Drawn Avatars

As the name suggests, this style involves painstakingly animating your digital avatar in the same way that you would animate a cartoon; by drawing each frame of the animations. You would obviously need to have a collection of animations ready for this style, essentially choosing from them as needed.

The only real reason to choose this style of digital avatar is for stylistic reasons. There may be a certain look you are going for that you cannot yet replicate with the other styles we are going to highlight, but that would be the only reason besides possibly not being able to afford the equipment you would need for the other styles. But arguably, the equipment needed to illustrate something by hand digitally would be more expensive. You could also pay someone to animate your avatar, reducing the time it takes but increasing the money needed.

2DLive Avatars

This style of digital avatar uses clever animation techniques to move a 2D avatar in ways that make it look natural and, in some cases, three dimensional. It requires a special kind of “rigged” avatar to work, but it essentially means you can create an avatar from a 2D image.

The limitations of this style are mainly ones of motion. There is only so much movement a part of the avatar’s body can make before it looks unnatural. If you imagine the face of a 2D character; moving the eyes slightly to the side gives the impression that the head has turned slightly, but moving the eyes a lot to the side will make them look unnatural. Still, the range of motion that can be achieved with this style is impressive, considering that it is working from a plain 2D image.

And, the fact that it is working from a 2D image means you can draw (or have drawn) whatever you like in terms of the look of your avatar.

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3D Avatars

As the name suggests, 3D avatars are rendered in three dimensions, as you would see in typical modern video game or 3D animated movie. These avatars require quite a bit more technical skill on top of the necessary artistic talent to create, as they need to be modelled in 3D, rigged for animation (which basically means having a digital skeleton created) and then textured in a way that suits the art style, with the more realistic looking avatars being harder to texture.

The more difficult creation process is the main downside of 3D avatars. The upside is that there are no restrictions to what you can do with your avatar like there are with 2DLive avatars. You can move them in any position and pose, film them from any angle, and generally treat them as though they were a real thing being filmed with a camera.

Choosing Your Animation Style

Once you have your avatar style picked, you need to think about how you are going to bring them to life. There are two main methods we are going to look at here, which do not apply to the hand-drawn avatars. For that, you will have to animate your avatar the old-fashioned way; by drawing each frame of the animation. We did say there isn’t much upside to that choice of avatar.

Predefined Animations Performed Live

With predefined animations, you will generally have a selection of motions and gestures to choose from that you will use as you record, most likely with you speaking as you do so. The combined effect gives your avatar the appearance of being active if a little wooden.

The advantages of this style are… well if we’re honest, not much. Really the only advantage is that you do not need to worry about some of the jerkiness and stuttering motion that can happen with the next method we are going to mention, but other than that, your choices of gesture will always be limited, and repeated use of the same gestures can be obvious to your viewers and break the immersion. You want them to connect with your avatar, and that will be hard if your avatar moves like a non-player character from a poorly-made video game.

What Programs do Virtual YouTubers Use? 2

Live Motion Tracking

This is the method that the overwhelming majority of virtual YouTubers use, and for a good reason.

Using the hardware of your choice (more on that in a moment) your computer or phone will track your body movements and facial expressions and have your digital avatar copy them.

This allows you to record a video in much the same way you would record any regular YouTube video where the YouTuber is on-screen, only you would be recording the result of the live animation rather than yourself. This method is by far the quickest and easiest way of animating a digital avatar, and it works with both 2DLive and 3D avatars.

There are two common ways to achieve this style of animation, and like most things, they each have their advantages and disadvantages.

VR Controllers

The first method we’ll cover is using a VR headset and controllers to animate your avatar. The upside to animating things this way is that the movements are very accurate, which means your avatars motions should look more natural. You also have a full range of movement, such as being able to turn a full three hundred and sixty degrees.

The downsides, however, are that you have to wear a bulky VR headset and controllers when you film your videos, and you also have to own a VR system in the first place. There are relatively cheap VR systems available these days, but the difference in quality between those more affordable systems and the drastically more expensive systems is noticeable. This isn’t a tech blog, so we can’t give an expert comparison, but it is entirely likely that the cheaper VR headsets would not be any better on the accuracy front than our next method, which nullifies their most significant advantage.

Video-Based Motion Tracking

Certainly the most convenient method, if not the most popular, video-based tracking essentially performs the same function as the above VR-based method, but it does so using only a webcam or the camera on your phone.

The advantages of this method are relatively obvious; convenience and cost. You do not need to have an expensive and bulky VR headset to use this method, with improvements in the technology meaning that even a cheap webcam can be enough to work with. It also makes life a little easier when setting up, since you can just plop yourself down in front of your camera and get to work.

Of course, there are the downsides we promised. In the case of video-based motion tracking, there are two primary downsides, and they are accuracy and range of motion. As good as the technology has gotten, this kind of tracking is still not on a level with the VR systems mentioned above. Beyond that, inferior video quality reduces the accuracy further. This can lead to unnatural-looking movements by your avatar.

On the motion front, the tracking software is generally good at following facial expressions and body movements from a stationary angle, but if you turn the side—or turn around—it will usually confuse the software, leading to more weird looking actions from your avatar.

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Making Your Videos

Once you have your avatar made and your filming method is chosen, you are ready to start making videos. We would recommend doing plenty of test runs before you start throwing all your energy into a video. You don’t want to spend hours filming your first video only to find out that the avatar isn’t being recorded correctly.

If you are creating a full persona—where the account is run as if the digital avatar is a real person—be sure to stay in character when you are acting as that avatar, be it in a video, on a live stream, or even in social media posts. People understand that the avatar isn’t really a person, but people understand magicians don’t really pull rabbits out of hats—it doesn’t mean they don’t like the spectacle.

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HOW TO MAKE MONEY ONLINE TIPS & TRICKS YOUTUBE

What Are Virtual Influencers?

“Influencer” should be a word familiar to anyone who is venturing into the world of social media and, by extension, YouTube (don’t worry if it’s not, we’re going to explain it in a little more detail below).

But something that could less familiar to many is the term “virtual influencer”.

What are virtual influencers? – Virtual influencers are people that use digital avatars to represent themselves online. This means they don’t have to physically show their face or in some cases even exist. They can then make money with brand deals, merchandise or even traditional marketing using this persona.

A recent influx of “virtual” characters on platforms like YouTube and Instagram have created a whole new arena for creators, and that arena is producing plenty of influencers of its own. Virtual YouTubers are a new breed of YouTuber that are essentially digital beings controlled by regular flesh-and-bone people, often in much the same way that Jim Henson’s muppets are made to act as though they are real by their puppeteers.

Virtual influencers, of course, are virtual characters that have reached influencer status.

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What is an Influencer?

Let’s start with the basics. We’re assuming that most people reading this post know what an influencer is, but in the interests of providing a comprehensive answer to the question posed here, we’re going to give a brief explanation for those that don’t.

An influencer is exactly what you might think from the name; a person who influences other people. In the context of the Internet and social media, it is an almost crass term, as it relates primarily to a person’s ability to influence the purchasing decisions of a significant number of people. This, in turn, corresponds to the financial opportunities that that person can leverage. In other words, people who are influencers will have more opportunity to get paid to use their influencing power to promote things.

Influencers typically have spheres of influence. For example, immensely popular YouTuber, Zoella, has a lot of influence in the realm of beauty products. The fact that she has so much influence in that sphere means she is likely to be able to command a very high asking price for her services, but the focus of her sphere means she is unlikely to be approached to promote, say, a video game, or mechanic’s tools. The people she influences simply aren’t interested in those things.

The nature of successful advertising is one of accurate targeting. Advertisers like to be able to direct their advertisements at the most receptive audiences possible. This is why there are often diminishing returns on audience size when it comes to how much your influence is worth.

Take PewDiePie, for example. If we take a simplistic approach to audience size and just count YouTube subscribers, PewDiePie has somewhere in the region of ten times the audience size of Zoella. Of course, he makes a handsome amount of money from this audience, but you don’t tend to get an audience that size without it becoming unfocused and more diverse. While advertisers can be relatively confident that the people watching Zoella are interested in fashion and beauty products, they can’t have the same confidence with PewDiePie because his content is more varied. This is why an influencer can be someone with as little as a few tens of thousands of subscribers or followers; it is more about the market impact they can command than the raw number of subscribers or followers.

There are also side roads into influencer status, such as people who themselves may not have a big following, but appear on podcasts or YouTube channels that have a big audience.

What are VTubers? 2

What Are Virtual YouTubers?

So, we know what the “influencer” part means, but what about the “virtual” part? We touched on this above, but for those who are still unclear, we thought we’d best dig a little deeper. Incidentally, if you would like a more in-depth look at what virtual YouTubers are, check out this post.

Virtual YouTubers are YouTubers that run their channel from behind the guise of a digital avatar. For the vast majority of virtual YouTube channels, this digital avatar will be in the form of a Japanese anime character, though more and more alternative styles are creeping in as the channel type becomes increasingly popular.

A variety of techniques are used to bring the virtual avatar to life, but the basic premise is usually one of live motion capture where, using one of a few techniques, the YouTuber’s motions are captured and translated to the digital avatar. This allows the YouTuber to record a video as though they were recording a regular video, but the result would be of their digital avatar rather than themselves.

What are Virtual Influencers?

Being a primarily YouTube-orientated blog and channel, we have mainly focused on virtual YouTubers around here, but the premise is essentially the same whether it be on YouTube, Twitch, Instagram, or any other video platform. And there is often a lot of crossovers, with virtual YouTubers quite often streaming on Twitch, and almost anyone with a remotely high profile having an Instagram account.

Virtual influencers are influencers in the sense we discussed above who also happen to be virtual characters like the virtual YouTubers we described, though not limited to the YouTube platform. These influencers will usually present themselves as real beings in much the same way that any other fictional character would. To continue with the example of the Muppets mentioned above, you don’t see Kermit acknowledging that he is a felt puppet with a human controlling him; he acts as though he is a real frog. Virtual influencers do the same. They may present themselves as a self-aware computer program, a real girl who just happens to be animated, or they may not even reference the fact that they are digital at all, and present their content as though it were just like any other video. In any case, it is rare for virtual influencers to break the fourth wall, as it were.

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Why Virtual?

There are many advantages to being a virtual influencer. For one thing, it can be very freeing to play a character, rather than yourself.

Many actors are notoriously shy and reserved in their everyday life but have no problem getting on a stage in front of hundreds of people; it is one of the quirks of human nature.

Another reason to go virtual is that it removes a lot of restrictions on what is possible. Your avatar is not limited to things like the laws of physics, or your location in the world. If you want them to fly around, you can do that. If you want them to present a video from the surface of the Moon, you can do that. The only limitations on what you can do with a virtual avatar are those of your own ability or resources. Which is to say, if you don’t know how to do something yourself; there will always be someone you can pay to do it for you.

What’s in it for Brands?

A natural follow-up question in this topic—especially if you are thinking about the financial future of your potential virtual influencer career—is what might be in it for brands. Specifically, does being virtual give you any kind of edge over the conventional way of doing things? Could it harm your chances of getting a lucrative brand deal?

Unfortunately, there are no real advantages from a marketing perspective. That is, none that are universal. For example, a virtual YouTuber might be an especially good fit for a particular niche, such as gaming, but that is more down to the specifics of that niche than the fact the YouTuber is virtual. Being virtual would not help them with other niches.

The good news is that there are no real disadvantages to being a virtual influencer when it comes to getting brand deals. Brands care about your audience and whether they consider your content appropriate for them. Whether or not you are virtual is unlikely to factor into this.

What Programs do Virtual YouTubers Use? 2

Brand Mascots

Though not necessarily much use to an aspiring YouTuber or general Internet influencer, some brands are starting to see the advantages of using virtual avatars rather than real people in their promotional material.

This isn’t new, of course; mascots have been around for centuries. Probably longer. But the advent of virtual avatars gives brands a much easier way to create a public face that can be easily managed and stay in rotation for as long as they need.

As a brand, you don’t need to worry about a virtual avatar having an off-day, getting older, dramatically changing their look, being convicted of a crime, or any number of other things that would be a nuisance at best or a PR nightmare at worst for a brand. They can also be managed by different people, meaning the brand is not beholden to a single actor or voice actor. If your current digital avatar’s voice actor quits, you can simply hire a new one with a similar sounding voice, and things carry on as normal.

As we said, this isn’t much use to your average Internet influencer—unless they are planning land a career as the person behind a brand’s virtual mascot—but it helps to understand the full landscape of virtual influencers when first venturing into this new facet of online influencing.

How to Become a Virtual Influencer

We’d love to say there are some unique tips for succeeding on your path to becoming a virtual influencer, but the truth is that things work almost identically to how they are for regular influencers, and if there was some secret sauce to that, everybody would be an influencer. There are certain tips you can follow that will at least keep you on the right path.

Pick Your Niche

As we mentioned above, it is much easier to become an influencer in a focused niche than it is with a broad audience, so you will increase your chances of reaching influencer status if you grow to prominence in a particular area. That way, brands whose primary audience is in that same niche will see you as a more compelling option when looking for influencers to work with.

Be Mindful of Your Own “Brand”

An influencer who is not working with brands to promote things and get paid is just someone who is popular, so we’re going to assume that if you are reading a post on influencers, you are interested in the money-making side of things. With that in mind, you will need to be careful with your own brand because it will affect what other brands will be prepared to work for you.

Of course, you can choose what kind of brand you want to be; there are plenty of different types of company out there, so you can certainly pick your lane, so to speak. The important part is to be consistent with that lane. As many celebrities, YouTubers, and influencers have found, even one “off-brand” slip up can be costly in terms of deals with other brands.

To give a fictional example, say you build yourself up as an influencer in the vegan niche. Even a single tweet about enjoying a beef burger from years ago could be enough to stop you getting brand deals with vegan companies.

Don’t Rush It

It can be tempting to take shortcuts—things like buying subscribers—but resist this temptation.

The nature of your audience will have a big impact on the future of your audience, and things like bought subscribers will dramatically reduce the quality of your audience. People (and certainly brands) will spot this kind of dishonesty, which will reduce the rate at which your influence can grow, if not stop it altogether.

YouTube Tips for Teachers 1

Final Thoughts

Being a virtual influencer may not be much different from being a regular influencer from the influencing side of things, though the process of being virtual is a little different.

Overall, the advantages of being virtual tend to benefit the brands that adopt them more than they benefit the influencers who are them. This is not to say you shouldn’t do it if the virtual influencer life appeals to you, but make this decision on its own merits—decide if being a virtual character is right for you without the external branding side of things—since you are not likely to be much better off as a virtual influencer than you are as a regular one.