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.
Fresh off hosting the Streamys Brand Awards with her BFF Alisha Marie, lifestyle YouTuber and influencer Remi Cruz is here to chat with Tubefilter about taking her YouTube channel from a high school pastime to a full-on profession.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of Cruz’s business, though, there’s news to share: This morning, Cruz and Marie launched their new podcast Pretty Basic. The podcast (which is currently No. 1 on iTunes) is meant to be like “having a sleepover with your best friends,” the pair say, and plan to share stories about their daily lives as well as tackling topics like “discussing what it’s really like to be a YouTuber” and giving behind-the-scenes looks at their videos and projects.
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Along with producing Pretty Basic, Cruz will of course continue making content for her two YouTube channels, main channel MissRemiAshten and vlogging channel RemLife, where she has 2.4 million and 1.2 million subscribers, respectively. Cruz regularly nets more than five million views per month on her MissRemiAshten channel, and between four and six million on RemLife.
Cruz’s often bright and bubbly content runs the lifestyle gamut, from trying on weirdly cheap Halloween costumes to investigating whether Instagram food trends actually taste good to honest discussions about her personal weight loss journey.
Check out our chat with her below:
Tubefilter: Tell us about your background!
Remi Cruz: I grew up in Orange County. I started my channel when I was a senior in high school, but it didn’t really take off until college, when I started uploading more frequently.
TF: What made you decide to join YouTube?
RC: Not many people know this, but I actually had at least two other YouTube channels before my current one, MissRemiAshten. I’ve always loved making videos, so I don’t remember the exact moment deciding I wanted to do it, but I do remember when it started taking off and I realized this could be a full-time job.
TF: Was there a particular kind of content you joined with the intention to make? Did you join intending to make YouTube your career, or did that happen organically, over time?
RC: I had no idea I could make a career out of creating YouTube videos. I am known for lots of cooking videos, DIYs, hauls, etc. I just always loved watching that type of content and happen to be pretty decent at it as well, so it seemed like the perfect match.
TF: When did you get your first check for online video revenue? How much was it? What about your first check outside of AdSense $? Have you done any brand partnerships or sponsorships?
RC: My first check from YouTube was actually $101. I remember getting it and thinking I had made it in life. Fast-forward to now, I’m so grateful for what this job has given me. I actually do a bit of sponsorships, and it’s such a great experience that college can’t teach you. I get to work closely with brands I’ve always looked up to and brainstorm ideas with them on campaigns — such an amazing experience.
TF: You do a wide mix of content, but one of your very, very honest series of videos has taken a body-positive look at your weight loss. What made you decide to make such honest and “real” content?
RC: To be honest, I never had a moment of thinking, “I’m gonna be more real.” It just kinda naturally happened. I genuinely wanted to share and let people in more. A lot of my friends have told me that they wished the viewers could see more of who I am, ’cause apparently they think I’m hilarious. The response has been overwhelmingly supportive and it makes me so happy.
TF: When was that Semaphore Moment for you—the first time you realized you were a professional YouTube creator?
RC: Hitting 100,000 subscribers was a huge moment for me. I remember looking at other people get their silver plaques and hoping one day I could get one.
TF: Do you have a budget for your videos at all?
RC: I actually don’t have a budget for videos. Mostly because every video varies. Sometimes I buy lots of props or food or supplies, and other times I don’t at all.
TF: Do you have a production crew or editor? What’s your production and upload schedule like?
RC: I have my friend help me film and edit, but other than that no “crew.” I like how it’s very relaxed and fun to film. I don’t want my channel to ever feel like a set. As far as uploading. I usually upload one or two times a week on my main channel and two to five times a week on my vlog channel.
TF: What’s next for you and your channel? What are you building toward?
RC: I’m actually working on a TON of super exciting projects. I can’t say too much yet, but there are big things happening, and I couldn’t be more excited.
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.