Welcome to YouTube Millionaires, where we profile channels that have recently crossed the one million subscriber mark. There are channels crossing this threshold every week, and each has a story to tell about YouTube success. Read previous installments of YouTube Millionaires here.
This installment of YouTube Millionaires is brought to you by Epoxy.
When Wendy Ayche — aka Wengie — left a six-figure marketing gig to pursue YouTube as a full-time career, it was a wager that ended up paying off in spades. Today, the Australian-Chinese beauty guru, renowned for her multicultural approach to beauty tips, has amassed more than a million subscribers three years after officially launching her flagship channel. We spoke with Ayche about her approach to working with brands, what she feels has attributed to her channel’s success, and what the million-subscriber milestone mean to her.
Tubefilter: How does it feel to have one million subscribers? What do you have to say to your fans?
When I first started, I would have imagined hitting a million subscribers as being a sublime and surreal feeling. But it happened much like a birthday: you’re extremely excited, but on the actual day, you feel pretty much the same as you did yesterday. I constantly tell my fans how much I love them and this opportunity is no exception. They are why I still make videos, and I do not take the responsibility lightly.
TF: What do you think has been the biggest turning point in your career on YouTube?
My biggest turning point was when I quit my day job to work fulltime on my YouTube channel. I was at an amazing job earning six figures, so it was an extremely hard decision to make — but one that I don’t regret at all. When you get in a position where you put everything on the line for this one dream, you treat your channel differently. YouTube became something I thought about literally every waking moment.
TF: What do you bring to the table that makes your channel unique?
I feel like being unique on YouTube is a bit overrated. I wouldn’t say I’m not unique, but my first goal for my channel is to provide my audience with the best experience I can possibly give them — whether it be entertainment, education, or inspiration. That comes before my need to be unique or perhaps it does make me unique. I’m constantly switching up my content, trying new things, and pushing myself to do better with every video, which ends up making my channel unique because of all the flavors I mix into it.
TF: How has your multicultural background influenced your channel?
Being Chinese and growing up in a Western country like Australia, which also happens to be extremely multicultural, has made me more interested in beauty trends and products from other countries — whether it’s Korea or Japan or America. I’m constantly comparing beauty trends from different countries, and this pretty much led to my first extremely popular video where I compared Korean and American makeup trends.
TF: What steps do you take to ensure you are a good influence on your young viewers?
I created a separate channel called LifeOfWengie, where I post long talks about relationships, friendships, and advice on bullying or being an introvert. I really love reaching my audience through that channel because I can share with them everything I have learned over the years as well. I also try to include book recommendations or share things I’ve learnt about health and food whenever I can.
TF: When it comes to brand deals, what approach do you take?
The most important thing is that I’m promoting something I’d actually use. Once it’s passed that test, I only take deals where they pay me what I’m worth. The reality is that YouTubers need to make a living, and if everyone is undervaluing themselves, the industry will never improve for us creators.
In my previous job, I used to look after the marketing accounts of a very big company, and I know how much marketing budgets are and how much advertising agencies get paid for their work. I also see big companies try to squeeze free or low-budget deals out of YouTubers just because they think we make videos in our bedrooms — which we do, but that’s not the point.
I’d like to see more of that budget moving toward YouTubers who deserve to be rewarded for their hard work. And I know for a fact that people that own channels work so hard. It’s not as easy as everyone seems to think it is. I even created a video called How Much Do YouTubers Get Paid? to shed a bit more light on the issue.
TF: Have you noticed any patterns emerging among the ‘hacks’ you’ve tested?
Yes — I’m more likely to stop using them after I test them out! I’m a creature of habit, and only a few hacks have really stolen my heart. That being said, I still love testing them. There is something magnetic about hacks and I just have this primal urge to watch them and try them out — must be their promise to a lazy, effortless life.
TF: Are there any other categories you’d like to explore in future videos?
I’d love to really mix comedy and stories into my beauty videos. I’ve always been a creative person and really love the film, scriptwriting, and editing side of things. So I’d love to work on more projects where I can dabble in those areas more. I would love my videos to be relatable and entertaining as well as educational.
TF: What’s next for your channel? Any fun plans?
I look forward to trying new formats and ways of expressing myself along with some more fun collaborations. I recently interviewed a K-Pop idol on my channel and that went incredibly well. I may also be well under way with a few major projects — but nothing I can mention publicly at this stage. I can’t wait to share though!
This installment of YouTube Millionaires is brought to you by Epoxy, the premier company that helps multi-platform creators and digital networks distribute videos, engage with fans, measure success, and grow their communities across the social web. Check out Epoxy’s new Sharing Studio, a place for quickly creating and distributing native social content from your YouTube channels.