Welcome to Creators Going Pro, where in partnership with Semaphore — a creator focused family of companies providing business and financial services to social media professionals — we profile professional YouTube stars who have hit it big by doing what they love. Each week, we’ll chat with a creator about the business side of their channel, including identifying their Semaphore Moment — the moment they truly went pro.
Her full name is Marialejandra Marrero, but to her millions of followers across the English- and Spanish-speaking worlds, she’s simply Mariale — a Venezuelan beauty guru, a fashion enthusiast, and someone who’s willing to tackle pretty much any food-related challenge for the entertainment of her fans, no matter how many antacids she’ll need afterward.
Marrero, who recently became the face of Smashbox Cosmetics‘ Ablaze collection, maintains not one but three thriving YouTube channels, each with millions of subscribers: Mariale, her first channel, is in Spanish and has more than 10 million subscribers; Mar, her English channel, has nearly 2 million subscribers; and Mariale SinPatuque, her vlogging channel, has 3.6 million subscribers.
Across those three channels, Marrero regularly sees a combined 60 million views per month, with the bulk of views coming from her OG Mariale channel. Meanwhile, Mar’s been pulling in around 30,000 new subscribers each month by doing things like wearing ugly makeup to Sephora, trying on $3 swimsuits from Wish, and unboxing questionable eBay mystery packages. Marrero creates similar content for her Mariale channel (she’s spent 24 hours eating astronaut food and tried rare nail hacks), and uploads at least one video per week to each, uploading less frequently to her vlog.
With so many audience members tuning in for her often labor-intensive videos, Marrero has made YouTube her full-time job at just 27 years old. She sat down with Tubefilter to talk about how she stays happy — and sane — with such a rigorous schedule.
Tubefilter: Tell us about your background! What got you into fashion and makeup? Did you make videos before you joined YouTube?
Mariale Marrero: I’ve always been interested in fashion and makeup! I was a biologist in Venezuela, and when I was in school, a very special project for me focused on testing the growth rate of bacteria on makeup brushes. (It’s worse than you think — you don’t want to know!)
I used to make silly videos with my cousins growing up. It’s funny, because I would always want to save them but, my cousins kept deleting them… Yes, they were very embarrassing!
TF: What made you decide to join YouTube, and when did you join?
MM: I started my first channel in January 2010, when I was going through a pretty rough time. YouTube helped me escape my reality, and it was a happy place where I could talk about my love for makeup.
TF: When did you get your first check for online video revenue? How much was it?
MM: A lady never discusses the details of her personal finances, but I can tell you that I am not driven by money. When I started on YouTube, very few people were making money from it, and definitely nobody was starting to make videos to make a career. For me, this was all simply a very happy accident. Outside of AdSense, I am so fortunate to work on projects with some amazing brand partners, and all in all, I am so lucky that I get to do this for a living.
TF: How do you get ideas for videos? Your vids tend to be very on trend, with lots of current fashion and challenges. How do you keep an eye on what audiences are craving?
MM: Inspiration comes from everywhere! Sometimes it comes from real life, sometimes it comes from other creators on YouTube… Sometimes I just think, “How can I embarrass myself today?” My channel should be a bit of an escape for my viewers, so I don’t mind making a fool of myself for their entertainment! (Or giving myself indigestion by tasting the entire Starbucks menu or eating only Hot Cheetos for a day.)
TF: When was that Semaphore Moment for you—the first time you realized you were a professional YouTube creator? Did you consciously decide to make YouTube a career, or did it happen organically, over time?
MM: It is something that happened organically. I started with my Spanish channel, then started the vlog channel and then my English channel, and when I finally added the English channel, I realized I had to REALLY get organized and treat it like a business. I had to keep everything on schedule in order to make it all happen and give all my channels attention.
TF: Do you have an average budget for your videos? You do lots of shopping spree challenges, including a recent try-on of clothes from Fashion Nova. How do you plan out what you’re spending?
MM: That’s a great question, and the truth is, I don’t plan out what I’m spending. (Did you SEE my 99 Cent Store Challenge?) Sometimes I do get lucky and brands will gift products to me to feature in videos, but for the most part, that is real money being spent on fast food, butt pads, and fake Gucci on my channel!
TF: Related to that, have you partnered with any brands, like the clothing brands you feature? How did those partnerships work?
MM: I’ve partnered with a lot of brands that are always brands I would mention anyway. Usually these things are handled by my amazing manager Kimberly Perplies, she’s really the best!
TF: What’s it like to produce videos for three thriving channels? What’s your production schedule like? Do you have a team? Do you feel like your time is equally split between your channels, or does one take precedent?
MM: This is a good question! All videos on my three channels are shot and edited by me with the help of my husband, Gordo. Each channel has a different schedule and a different style. My main Spanish channel is the one most of my viewers know and love. My English channel is growing slowly but steadily, and I am having so much fun experimenting with formats that my English-speaking audience will love. My vlog channel videos are mostly in Spanish, but it’s a great way for my viewers to get a taste of what my life in America is like and what being an influencer is like. It’s hard balancing all of them, but I try my best to not play favorites.
TF: Have you developed your channels as different “brands,” or as three facets of the same? How do you tailor content for your Spanish-speaking audience versus your English-speaking one? Do you notice a lot of crossover—the same people watching both your English and Spanish videos?
MM: Some people definitely watch all of my channels. I’m one brand, really — I will always be Mariale — and if I’m able to communicate in both Spanish and English, then it’s more audience I’ll be reaching. There are many facets to my channels. It’s not strictly beauty and fashion. It’s that mixed with comedy mixed with my personal life mixed with content simply made to be entertaining. I try not to think of each channel as its own world, but all three channels offer viewers a peek into different aspects of my world!
TF: What’s next for you and your channels? What are you building toward?
MM: I always say things have turned out so much better than anything I could have ever planned or dreamed, so I just like to work hard at what I’m doing and let life do its thing!
Semaphore Business Solutions provides customized services for clients across the country, taking an all-encompassing approach to meet all your financial needs. Whether you’re a veteran YouTube entertainer or just starting out, managing your business correctly is crucial to avoiding major headaches down the road. The sooner you call us, the sooner we can help you put a plan into motion to grow, as well as to keep more money in your pocket, with advanced tax strategies. Semaphore Brand Solutions has established itself as a leading influencer marketing agency representing our exclusive talent relationships and services to the most recognized brands and agencies.