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 creator has a story to tell about YouTube success. Read previous installments here.
This week’s installment of YouTube Millionaires is brought to you by SuperBam, the premiere rights management company for creators.
Anna McNulty is not naturally flexible.
If you’ve seen her YouTube, TikTok, or Instagram content documenting her various impressive (and slightly terrifying) feats of flexibility, we don’t blame you for doubting us. But McNulty herself says that when she first began cheerleading at age ten, she couldn’t even do the splits. It took rigorous, regular stretching to crack into her contortionist potential–and then years of practice to turn her into a bendy, balanced expert.
The fact that McNulty had to really work for her flexibility made her ultra-aware of how hard it can be for people to get started on training their own bodies. So when followers on her first platform, Instagram, began asking how she learned to perform intimidating poses like this one, the obvious answer was to post tutorials for them. Except, at the time, Instagram only allowed 15-second videos…so the obvious answer was to post those tutorials on YouTube.
These days, McNulty makes content across both platforms plus TikTok, which has rapidly become home to her biggest audience. She has a whopping 4.6 million followers tuning in for her videos, which flow across niches from flexibility to lifestyle to beauty to dance. Her Instagram, where she has 718K followers, is a showcase of McNulty’s passion for contortion as well as her love of photography. And her YouTube channel, where we’re a bit belatedly marking her one millionth subscriber (she’s at 1.62 million), is a repository for tutorials aimed at helping even the least naturally supple among us find their inner flex.
Check out our chat with her below.
Tubefilter: How does it feel to hit one million subscribers? What do you have to say to your fans?
Anna McNulty: It’s honestly still crazy to me that over a million people have subscribed to my channel! When I first started, 10,000 followers seemed surreal, let alone a million. I am so grateful for all of my fans and would like to thank them for staying with me throughout the years and always being supportive!
Tubefilter: Tell us a little about you! Where are you from? What did you do in ye olde days before YouTube?
AM: I am an 18-year-old girl from a small town in New Brunswick, Canada. I started getting serious with my YouTube channel when I was around 14 or 15 years old, so I had never had a job before then. I have always loved stretching and photography, so before YouTube, I was already posting flexibility photos and videos on Instagram.
Tubefilter: What made you start a YouTube channel? Did you go into it intending to “become a YouTuber,” or did you end up becoming a content creator without quite meaning to?
AM: Since flexibility and photography have always been passions of mine, I was naturally drawn to sharing my flexibility photos and videos. Once I gained a small audience on Instagram, I started getting many questions about how I got so flexible. At the time, you could only post 15-second videos on Instagram, so I decided to share my flexibility tips on YouTube instead–and that’s how it all started!
Tubefilter: There are tons of workout-focused channels on YouTube, but flexibility is a pretty specific niche. How did you discover your own flexibility? Why did you decide to make this your niche?
AM: I have been a cheerleader since I was 10 years old, which is how I discovered my flexibility. Even though I am not naturally flexible (at first, I could not do the splits), after I started stretching consistently, it came very quickly to me. I definitely was not planning on my YouTube channel growing to where it is today, so I did not purposefully choose flexibility as my niche.
@annamcnulty##sunisshining ☀️ wearing: @gymshark♬ Sun Is Shining (feat. Robin Schulz) – Bob Marley
Tubefilter: Why are stretches and other oft-overlooked flexibility exercises important for a person’s overall wellness?
AM: Even though you definitely don’t have able to bend in half or do the splits to be in good health, I do think doing basic stretches daily is important. Not only does stretching help to improve flexibility, but it is also great for mental health, posture, preventing injuries, and more. For someone starting out, I recommend following along to my beginners flexibility routine [embedded below] to achieve these benefits!
Tubefilter: Is YouTube your full-time job? How often do you film? What does the average day look like for you?
AM: Yes, YouTube is my full-time job. I usually have one YouTube filming day a week, and edit throughout the rest of the week along with creating content for TikTok and Instagram. On an average day, I get up around 7 a.m. or 8 a.m., start “working” around 10 a.m., and then unintentionally don’t stop until 9 p.m. on either filming, editing, content planning, taking photos, answering emails, etc. This may seem like a long day, but since I absolutely love what I’m doing, it doesn’t seem like work to me. I almost love it too much, where I have to force myself to take a day off to just relax and hang out with friends once in a while. I also prioritize taking breaks throughout the day, whether that’s going for a walk outside, stretching, reading a book, or texting a friend. Doing these kind of things daily really helps me with staying focused when I am “working” and stops me from burning out.
Tubefilter: Do you have any strategies for growing your audience? Have you noticed any particular kind of content getting more traction than others? Do you adjust what you film depending on how your viewers react?
AM: I think listening to what your subscribers are asking for is the best way to grow an audience. Even though I only film content that I’m passionate about and not just for views, I do definitely consider videos that have been frequently requested!
Tubefilter: You also have a very large presence on TikTok. When and why did you expand to that platform? How does your TikTok content differ from your YouTube content?
AM: I was on TikTok back when it was called Musical.ly. On Musical.ly, I was able to grow my account to one million followers, but was not posting very consistently.
In September 2019, I posted a TikTok that received over 28 million views, and then began to post frequently. Since then, I have gained over 3 million followers in less than a year. My TikTok content is similar to my YouTube content, except I post a lot more “extreme” flexibility videos on TikTok.
Tubefilter: What’s your favorite part of making content on YouTube?
AM: My favourite part about making content on YouTube is definitely helping others. I have received so many messages of flexibility transformation photos, which always motivates me to make new content. In my opinion, no number of views can compare to people reaching out saying how much you’ve helped them improve.
Tubefilter: Have you expanded your content/personal brand off YouTube at all? Launched any merch, a related business, etc?
AM: As mentioned, besides YouTube, I am also present on TikTok and Instagram. I have also created my own necklace and activewear set.
Tubefilter: What’s next for you and your channel? Any plans looking to the future?
AM: Since I just graduated from school, this is my first year really going full-time on my channel. Therefore, I am working hard to expand my audience further, and am creating new content that I’m very excited about!
You can add yourself to the ranks of McNulty’s more-than-a-million YouTube subscribers here.
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