Gaming

Annie

What Influenced A Graphics Businesswoman to Venture into YouTube.

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March 10, 2021

Who are you and what kind of content do you create?

From an early age, I have always been one to be indecisive with her dream career. I would skip around from the arts to law to medicine, never being decisive as nothing compelled me to do what I loved and still be financially independent. Currently, I am twenty years old and a part-time YouTuber in the hopes of someday making it into a full-time job to entertain kids and play around with the newest releases in technology. At the same time, I do have plenty of different interests, all parading in different categories: cars, video games, graphic arts. YouTube has always been the connector of all the things that interested me from an early age. 


Let's go down memory lane, tell us your backstory! 

You might be wondering what started it. What influenced me and fueled the fire to launch my YouTube career? Well, the answer draws back to my very own brother.

If you are familiar with the gaming industry or simply have a child or a younger audience in your life, then you would have heard of a YouTuber named MooseCraft. That gamer with the same familiar charm as me is my very own brother, standing with a couple of channels, all summing up to over 11 million subscribers. He had started his first channel back in 2012, and at every milestone, I was always there cheering him on in awe. His motivation and deduction to what he loved and his never-ending drive had still left me astonished. As much as I hate to admit it, he was my role model. As a mentor, I looked up to him how I want to live my life, happy, and doing what I loved, just like how he lived every day, but I was too young. 

At that time, I was only nine years old, lost in a world that was forcing my direction towards college and a degree that, at the time it seemed to be the only route to go in life. Going through the years in high school to even college, I was set on the idea that if I did not have a degree, then I wouldn’t make it in the world. It wasn’t until my third quarter attending Drexel University on a path to become a neurosurgeon that I realized I didn’t want to be here. I did not want to be sitting year to year attending educational facilities to learn to become someone I did not even want to be.

I went to visit my brother in Miami, and within an hour, I called my university to drop out and went to go live with my brother to pursue a career in YouTube, being a female kids gamer. From there, he introduced me to his team that to this day is growing more and more. Several video editors and social media managers assisted me daily, along with my thumbnail makers and exceptional managers. After a year of grinding every day, working sixteen hours on the computer, and pulling all-nighters, I decided to move back to Philadelphia. From there on, I started to pursue my love for cars and further expanded my graphics company, Euphoria Graphics. While YouTube, for now, is only a part-time job, It allows me to do the side hustles that I love to spend my free time doing. I run my parents’ business, along with my own graphics business.

Additionally, I am a car photographer, car model, social media manager, merchandise manager, video editor, and videographer, and I love what I do. My main interest revolves around cars, and as I plan to move down to Houston to once again be near my brother, my aspirations grow bigger. Within the next year, I hope to expand my channel and social links and even open my very own car wrapping company with my custom-designed car wraps. 

A big drive for me is the idea that life is a pursuit of happiness. I am very open when it comes to my past and mental health in general. As a kid, I moved from the Republic of Georgia and was put in a position where the department of education had little to no funding in New York school’s ESL programs. Due to the government’s lack of support in the program, I was forced to teach myself English and work twice as hard to keep up with the school’s curriculum. I knew all the effort was worth it when I graduated my high school in all AP and honors classes, as well as an almost perfect SAT score. This experience made me realize that a big dream is to reinvest into kids' lives by starting my ESL program to help kids put in the same position due to lack of government funds stagnating our education younger generation.



While moving countries’ transition was hard, my family continually moving around did not help the adapting process. As a kid going through the expected changes and social pressures of middle school and high school, I was still always known to be an outgoing and overly energetic individual, which makes up my personality. But even though I was a genuinely happy person, I did have troubles with depression, anxiety, and ADHD. While I did overcome these obstacles by realizing it was a self-constraint that you have to connect with yourself to get past, I still help others with it as I have enormous empathy for understanding what others go through. Now, even though I still have ADHD, I believe it makes up my personality and, in reality, makes me who I am. Even though I was discouraged by this when I was younger due to my inability to concentrate on the school curriculum, YouTube taught me to embrace it, and it is now one of the things I love about myself.

I love that I can think of different topics all at once and have random bursts of energy. It makes me, and I love every bit of it, and I am proud of the person I have become. I am pleased that I am a compassionate person who spreads love, positivity, and motivation in the world. I hope to spread this message through YouTube and to my audience. My channel’s goal is to entertain and spread happiness to my audience and teach all those younger people who are now in the position that I was in when I was younger that the person they are is fantastic and teach them the power of self-love and happiness. This message is what wakes me up with a fire in my soul to do what I love every day. In addition to my driving motivational factor, my favorite quote that helps me through when I have moments of discouragement is “Time is only leaving.” Those four little words’ power makes me appreciate life in every way as it shows me that all the little worries in life are not worth the time of day, do what you love and live your life to have memories instead of dreams.

Another motivational factor revolves around my puppy. As many who already follow me know, I have the cutest blue-eyed puppy in the world, Zaika. She is currently a 10-month-old pomeranian husky (pomsky) puppy. She is the light of my life and my partner going through the obstacles of life. Every morning she greets me with kisses and fuel for my motivation. We start every morning with a walk of the fresh morning air. I look after her as if she was my child and hope to get financially stable enough to one day give her a huge backyard to run around in and maybe even another furry friend to keep her company.

How do you brainstorm ideas for your content and your advice in getting the creative juice flowing.

My inspiration comes from a bunch of different factors and sources. In contrast, most of the content on the channel is content-driven with trending topics and keyword optimization. In many of the videos, I like to put my creative twist to them for the video to be unique and have the final Annie seal of approval. The creative twist also helps me keep engaged with my content as if you just keep doing the same content as everyone else is pushing, you will start not to enjoy it as much.

Keeping up to date with famous YouTubers and even varying the filters on specific searches to what is trending that week is another way to see what to push. I tend to have a brainstorming session every couple of days to keep up with YouTube curves. These trends and video ideas go onto a shared spreadsheet with my manager. We come up with content and schedule video topics on a monthly planner and thumbnail ideas and inspirations. I don’t have a specific place where I plan content. Most of my work is done at my computer setup at home as it helps to have three monitors. By playing songs that help you zone out in the background, you tend to zone out into your work, and even a change of scenery sometimes helps to get the juices flowing, like a cafe or a park. 


What are the tools and platforms you use to help with your brand?

I have been a video/photo editor for some time, and my background in the graphic art/design industry assists me with many different specifics of YouTube. While I initially started with Final Cut Pro as my editing software, I switched over to Adobe Premiere as it is the best software to have the most diversified and creative filled content. It is a software that is quickly learned through YouTube tutorials and merely playing around with the features.

Also, it is the number one software used in the professional industry of video editing. As for photo editing for socials and thumbnail creation, I use a mix of Adobe Photoshop and LightRoom. Again, these softwares are fun to play around with, and the tutorials online are easy to learn. By practicing different transitions, scenes, and effects, you start to develop your skills slowly, and you begin to see your craft professionally develop. My main content is portrayed on YouTube (AnniesWorld/Annie) and followed up with my social presence on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and Snapchat (@itslifeofannie). Our subscription does scheduled posts for a few of these socials to HootSuite. 


What were your fears starting out? How did you handle it? 

My biggest down bringing through the process was my constant sensation of feeling lost. It took me a year and a half of grinding through YouTube to realize why I am genuinely doing all this work. I loved creating content, don’t get me wrong, but I couldn’t figure out why I was truly doing it and why I should be invested. I felt lost continuously, and it would bring down my attitude and give me moments of anxiety as I thought I had no direction. When you can’t figure out why you should be motivated, it starts to bring down your judgment and displaces your drive. I was recording all these videos, and even though I enjoyed filming them.

I didn’t know why. I even had moments where I thought… Was it worth it? These discouraging thoughts would leave me to periodically procrastinate videos where I would have moments where I wouldn’t post for a few months as I did not feel a drive. I would start posting again for a few days due to a temporary movement that, in reality, was fueled by fake inspiration. It indeed wasn’t until this interview where I realized why this has all been worth it. Why the past year and a half of my life, I hustled and would live off of my brother’s living room couch.

I realized that I’m doing this to help kids find self-love and be the light and happiness in their lives and fulfill my dream of reinvesting into these kids’ futures with a custom ESL program. I swear by this statement: This interview helped me find myself again, and that feeling of being lost vanished. I truly realized my life goal and why I want to wake up every morning and press that record button, and I have never been happier and driven. I never was the one who cared what people thought of me. Even through middle and high school, I was always looked at as odd as I showed everyone I was and was seen as overly energetic. I never hid who I was as I realized that life is too short not to be who you indeed are as who you are on the inside is the most beautiful person. A self-love technique is to live your life as if it was a movie, and you're the main star. This helps to forget what people think of you and start caring about what you feel about yourself.


Many people ask me how I handle all the negative comments from my videos. The answer is simple, people are bored, and you should not take it to heart. I read through every comment of my videos, but I read them to connect with my fans, enjoy the positivity, and ignore all the negative ones. It is a lot harder to get in front of the camera than people might think. People tend to freeze, and it does take time to get comfortable. I was always myself, but when I first began filming, I was a little awkward. I would be a little tense and tend to make weird noises. After a couple of months on YouTube, I started to get more comfortable and realized all those odd noises add to my personality and don't take away from it. People sit down and watch your videos for you, so show them the best you and go wild and be yourself. Even though I am still growing my online presence and character, I am increasing every day. Even after a year and a half on YouTube, I always tend to ramble on in videos and sometimes even get lost in the action of a video. YouTube is something that genuinely takes years to perfect, and that’s okay and normal. 


How did you build your brand to where it is now, take us through your process.

I started YouTube with the help of my brother. He would spend the night helping me come up with video ideas and help me research keywords. He even went as far as to invest money into hiring a  video editor and a thumbnail maker. Over time, I started editing my videos and making my thumbnails, which helped me develop my skills. My posting schedule revolves around daily posts that we are even debating about uploading twice a day soon. My most significant mentors in the field are my brother and his best friends: Unspeakable and SharkBoy. My inspiration comes from channels like ItsFunneh and Leah Ashe.


Starting, YouTube was the easy part. It was keeping up with it that became very difficult. I had moments where I felt lonely as I worked 16 hours a day. When you edit your videos, create your content, and create your thumbnails, it becomes very time consuming and takes up most of your day. However, this is just a part of the grind you have to push through because once you get financially dependent on YouTube, you realize all those long nights were worth it. 

Another problematic point was to find the right motivational factors and have a purpose as to why you are doing this in the first place. I would have moments where I would zone out on the balcony as I just felt lost. It takes a lot of self analyzation to figure out what drives you and fuels that fire, which can take up to years to figure out. Also, finding a nice balance between YouTube and yourself is a must. While investing yourself in your channel is a crucial factor, it is effortless to get lost. You do not want to lose yourself as sometimes YouTube makes it hard to disassociate yourself and your channel. Taking time for yourself is a must. Taking one day out of the week where you concentrate on just yourself or hanging out with some friends helps ease that tension.

Currently, my content is centered around gaming, reactions, and life videos. I play Roblox games such as Adopt Me, Royale High, and some mini-games. Additionally, I record reaction videos towards a wide array of content that ranges from trending now. At the beginning of my YouTube career, I would push out many life videos, vlogs, and challenges that were not associated with trending topics. I hope to implement that same content in my channel as I enjoyed the free-flowing nature of those videos that allowed me to choose the type of content I would push out. 

For someone who wants to get into content creation, what is your advice?

Truthfully, even through the ups and downs, I would not have done anything differently in the path that I took. All the little mistakes that I made along my career path has taught me short lessons that I cherish as they push me to work harder. It is also helpful to say that I could not have done any of it without my brother guiding me every step of the way. All of the late nights and day hustles, he spent every minute teaching me all he knew about YouTube and how to succeed in a content-driven community. If it wasn't for me to move back to Philadelphia, I might have been more significant as I did lose perspective when I moved back to my hometown. However, now I am moving down to Houston with a clear mind and set goals.

I was blindsided by my desires and want for a social life when in reality, I lost sight of the reason I was doing YouTube, to begin with, and had a period where I did not post for months. It was hard to move out to Houston, but the realization I had in Philadelphia made me see that this was a decision that I needed to make to succeed. The most important idea you must realize is that you have to surround yourself with motivated people in a location that makes you feel driven and happy, and by moving to Philly. I lost that. Now that I am relocating to Houston, I hope in my plans, and I am delighted with what I have in store for myself and my channel.

My advice to beginner content creators/entertainers is to avoid losing focus on your goals and objectives.

It might happen, as it happens to all of us, but take time out of your day to think about yourself and why you are here hustling. Suppose you are in a creative block and are struggling to come up with video ideas and content. In that case, I have a couple of suggestions for you: take a breather, step back from your tasks and just sit down in front of the computer, look at what other YouTubers are posting and try to come up with a creative twist, relocate your mind or yourself, and retarget your goals.

How did you finally commit to X platform rather than your regular day job?

The truth is, while I did look up to my brother as a mentor, I never pictured myself to be a YouTuber. I was told that my personality would be great entertainment as I am funny, quirky, and overly energetic. Still, I never had assumed that I would be doing anything other than attending college for Pre-Medicine on a track to become a neurosurgeon. It wasn’t until my third semester in college that I was in a position where I was depressed as I was not passionate about the path I was heading towards. I had always been a creative person interested in the arts, and having positive energy and sitting in lectures to me slowly dimmed that passionate spark I had. To save me from going down a path I was not dedicated to. I switched my Major to Communications with a Minor in Social Media Marketing. That same week my brother facetimes me and asked me to come down to visit him in Miami. I scheduled my flight and flew over two days later without telling anybody, including my friends.

My brother picked me up immediately from the airport and asked me about how life was going. That question in itself left me confused as I was in a place where I did not know where my life was going. He looked at me and uttered the three little words that I listened to so closely, “Just drop out.” He explained to me that YouTube is a better path for me and one that allows me to truly shine my potential and be my energetic, creative self. Without any hesitation, I called my college and dropped out over the phone and then continued to call my parents about what I had done. Surprisingly, they weren’t shocked as they were happy for me to choose a journey that would allow me to be closer to my brother and do what makes me happy. Two weeks later, I flew back to Philadelphia to pack my stuff and head back to Miami, and from there, the rest is history.

The next year of my life, I hustled every day and worked countless hours, which brought me closer and closer to a successful future and formed a strong bond with my brother to the point where he became one of my best friends. YouTube now is a way for me to be fully creative and myself and make a living by doing what I love, and my audience and subscribers have been the most supportive community and have helped me through a lot. They are the reason why I am here and loving life, and I could not be more thankful.


Tell us your best milestones in being a content creator.

While I have only been on YouTube for a year and a half, the place that my channel has come with a limited amount of exposure makes me incredibly proud. I admit that if I had been more consistent with my posting, I could have come further, but it's being proud of the smaller accomplishments that teach you the most significant lessons. My largest victory was waking up one day and seeing the first significant milestone in my subscriber count when I hit 25k. Just the idea of being one-fourth of the way to my dream of 100k sent me into tears, and I sat back as motivated as ever to push my channel further.


Last October, I bulked Halloween videos all night and finally saw actual results. Even though I was only at 10k subscribers at the time, my video was pushing 28k views in two days. That was a milestone I had never seen my channel surpass, and it had come at a perfect time. The night before, I was sitting on the balcony lacking self-confidence if I was even designed to be a YouTuber as I was investing so many hours and sleepless nights into a channel and not seeing any results. The morning where I saw the YouTube analytics of my recent video skyrocketing, I realized life has a funny way of being there for you when you need it the most. From there, I vowed not to discourage myself on my path and never double guess myself and my potential.


What are your marketing strategies to grow your brand?

My YouTube journey has been long, but one that will not have a finish. It was a step-by-step process to slowly figure out how to track trends, posting schedules, title formations, etc. Through trial and error, mentoring from my brother, and looking up at how larger channels strategize their videos, I slowly began to understand more and more the ways around YouTube. I do not believe anyone will fully understand YouTube, and the company changing the algorithm every six months does not help the confusion around one of the biggest social platforms. I am proud of my clean way of working hard and never doing anything unethical to get ahead of the game. It is better to take your time and learn the platform than cheat and not be fully confident in what you have created.


My channel and several of Moose’s side channels and socials make up the Moose 100 team. I am very thankful to George for the resources he has assisted me with and a fantastic team that has brought my channel to the point where it is now. We have two managers that help with video ideas, recording schedules, thumbnails, and pretty much anything I need help with, and without them, I do not know where my channel would have been. Additionally, I am thankful for my brother’s time promoting my channel, as it helped grow my community more. I have yet to do any collaborations above my brother's channel, but with growth, I hope to start to meet new YouTubers and start filming collabs. One of the things I love about YouTube so much is the ability to meet so many new people, all with the same aspirations as you!


How do you handle brand deals and sponsorships?

Big shout out to my manager as he is in charge of communicating with brands to deal with the companies that reach out. I have a couple of companies that have contacted us but have only accepted one business that manufactures custom steering wheels. The brand deal is still under the works and has yet to be publicly released, but I am beyond excited as one of my passions is cars, which would be my first official brand deal. As for the prior brands that have contacted me in the past, we politely declined as I was always taught to only agree to brands that I am passionate about and ones that do not decrease your brand’s value by undervaluing the potential of the growth of the channel. I am very excited to work with future companies and watch my channel and community grow through partnerships, collabs, and sponsorships!


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