Welcome to Creators on the Rise, where—in partnership with global creator company Jellysmack—we find and profile breakout creators who are in the midst of extraordinary growth.
Hannah Warling gave herself one month.
She, like millions of other people, picked up TikTok when its popularity surged in 2019. And, like millions of others, she became a casual contributor to its vast trove of videos, uploading a few occasional lifestyle clips filmed here and there. She wasn’t out to become a full-time creator–in part because she already had a career.
Subscribe for daily Tubefilter Top Stories
Warling’s interest in film and TV production came together thanks to a lightbulb moment at a 24-hour Oscars movie marathon. Up till that event, she’d struggled to pick a college major that would successfully intersect her longtime passion for photography wiht her other interests. At the marathon, she realized production and screenwriting was where she wanted to be.
By the time she joined TikTok, Warling had graduated Chapman University‘s television writing and production program, had produced a project that later sold in a development deal, and had become a development executive at indie Hollywood studio Avenida Productions.
She was set…until a video on her For You feed flicked on another lightbulb.
@hannahwarlingsave this to wear to a date night or event! ❤️🔥 ##ponytail ##ponytailtutorial ##hairstyleideas ##hairtok ##easyhairtutorials ##datenighthair♬ THATS WHAT I WANT – Lil Nas X
The video was from someone Warling knew. Someone who’d also joined TikTok casually, but was now getting millions of views and hundreds of thousands of followers on the wave of TikTok’s For You algorithm.
If they could do it, Warling thought, so could she.
One month, she decided. For one month, while still working her full-time job, she would upload two videos to TikTok every single day. At the end of the month, she’d decide if continuing to make content was a worthwhile pursuit.
Turns out, it was. The 60 fashion, beauty, and lifestyle videos she uploaded that month brought her account up to 100,000 followers. Warling says she hasn’t looked back since.
Between then and now, Warling left her production position to make content full-time. Her TikTok account has more than one million followers–but it’s her growth on YouTube that caught our attention.
When talks of banning TikTok in the U.S. were at their height and YouTube hurried its competitor Shorts out the gate, Warling (who’d uploaded some longer-form videos to YouTube before, but hadn’t seen much traction) began posting her clips there too. Only a handful per month at first; then, in June 2021, she ramped it up to 22, and 21 uploads in July. Her numbers grew accordingly, from 47,000 views in June to 454,000 in July to nearly 28 million in August, 9 million in September, 21 million in October, and 40 million in November. Her subscriber count, meanwhile, went from around 1,000 to more than 200,000.
Warling’s most popular videos center around clothing hacks that let people upcycle or restyle old or unwieldy pieces: she’s got a fix for too-long leggings (10 million views); a hack for sweatpants with no ties (9.5 million); and DIY sweatshirt cropping (9.2 million), among many, many more.
Check out our chat with her below.
Tubefilter: Tell us a little about you! Where did you grow up? What were your interests and hobbies as a kid?
Hannah Warling: I was born in Texas but grew up in Minneapolis. As a kid, I loved photography. My dad had a DSLR that I would take with me to the playground after school and take photos of my classmates. I would then go home and edit the photos in Lightroom to later be posted on my elementary school’s website (almost like a social media feed before it was popularized).
As a teen, I moved more into creating video content. My friends and I loved to shoot music videos and post them to YouTube. We never gained any traction, but it was a fun hobby, and I’m pretty sure if you dig you can still find them today.
Tubefilter: We know that outside of TikTok and YouTube, you’re a development executive, and you majored in television writing and production. How did you come to choose writing/production as a career?
HW: I actually left my development executive position this past year to pursue social media and influencing full-time; however, many of the skills I learned in college and during my career have been incredibly valuable when it comes to producing content online.
During my junior year of high school, I was struggling to decide what I wanted to major in at college. I was interested in both art and tech, but it wasn’t until I went to a 24-hour Oscar movie marathon with my family that I realized film was the perfect intersection of my interests.
I was accepted to Chapman University’s television writing and production program and went on to produce a project that later sold a development deal, as well as being hired as a development executive at Avenida Productions.
Tubefilter: When and why did you decide to start posting videos on YouTube and TikTok? When did you start viewing content as more of a career than a hobby?
HW: I started posting videos on TikTok as early as October 2019; however, I really only shot a few videos here and there.
In February of 2020, I was scrolling on TikTok and saw someone I knew personally come across my For You page. At the time, they had almost 200K followers, and I decided if they could do it, I could do it too. I made a deal with myself that starting on March 1, 2020, I would post two videos per day for the entire month. At the end of the month, I would reassess whether or not posting was worth my time.
At the end of March 2020, I had 100K followers on TikTok, and I haven’t looked back since. I started seriously posting on YouTube around August 2020, at the time there was worry that TikTok would be banned in U.S. and I really wanted to diversify the platforms I was posting on. As of right now, fashion and influencing is my full-time job and I feel so grateful to have such a creative and flexible career.
Tubefilter: Your YouTube channel has recently seen a big boost in number of views and subscribers. Do you know if there was one specific video that took off, or did numbers go up across a bunch of videos simultaneously?
HW: YouTube Shorts has been a huge part of the recent growth on my YouTube channel. While there wasn’t one specific video that took off, after about a month of posting Shorts consistently, the numbers all started to go up simultaneously. I have many Shorts with over one million views, and several with around 10 million!
Tubefilter: Have you noticed any trends in your videos that tend to get popular? Or are their topics a bit random?
HW: The content across all of my social media platforms are very similar. I try to keep my videos in the realm of fashion, hair, and style. However, all of my highest-performing videos are clothing hacks! I think it’s great that people want to find ways to reuse and repurpose the clothes that they already have in their closet!
Tubefilter: Before you became a full-time creator, you had a full-time job in development outside of making content. What was the balancing act like? Walk us through the average day!
HW: While I’m no longer working full-time outside of social media, I started posting content around the start of the pandemic, so my typical work days looked different than they would now. When I was doing both, I would generally wake up around 9 a.m., shoot and edit content, post, and have breakfast. I would sign into work at 11 a.m. and would work until 5:30 p.m. with a 30-minute break for lunch. During the 30-minute break, I would usually shoot my second video of the day. After the work day was over, I would edit the second video and post. Next, I would usually work out, have dinner, and catch up on anything else I needed to do before going to bed around midnight.
Tubefilter: Do you think you would have uploaded content to YouTube without YouTube Shorts? Or was Shorts your main reason for choosing to start making content on YouTube? What role has Shorts played in the growth of your channel?
HW: I started uploading videos to YouTube prior to knowing anything about the Shorts feature, but growth was really, really slow. I was posting consistent weekly long-form videos for a year and only gained around 1,000 subscribers despite my TikTok following. Once I learned about Shorts and started posting them consistently, my channel really took off. In the past few months, I’ve gone from 1,000 subscribers to over 200K!
Tubefilter: How long does the average video take you to make, from conception to upload?
HW: I would say my videos probably take longer than the average TikTok or Shorts creator. I usually spend a few hours once a week planning out my content, picking up any clothing I need, and prepping outfits. Each video takes an average of 50 minutes to shoot, and I film them all on my Fujifilm X-S10 camera.
I batch film my content, so I will take one day out of the week (usually Wednesdays) to film back-to-back videos, which takes about six hours for a total of seven videos. Once the videos are shot, each one takes me about one to three hours to edit, depending on the length of the video, and another hour to add text, description, and upload. From start to finish, each video probably takes around four hours despite being 15-30 seconds long.
Tubefilter: Do you have anyone else working behind the scenes with you, like an editor? Have you brought on any team members since your content started generating attention?
HW: The only other people working behind the scenes are my manager and her assistant. They do a lot for me in terms of bringing in opportunities and negotiating brand deals, and I’m so incredibly grateful for them! I will also sometimes work with photographers to shoot photos for my Instagram (as well as their portfolio).
Tubefilter: Has your recent engagement uptick changed anything for you professionally? Do you have any new plans or goals for your content career?
HW: My recent engagement has completely changed the course of my career, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Traditional entertainment tends to be slow-moving with too many hands in kitchen–it’s very challenging to control and protect your creative vision. With online content creation, I love the fast pace and having full creative control. Since I’m relatively new to the world of influencing, I can’t wait to continue to grow my social platforms and create videos that I love.
Tubefilter: Have your videos generated any revenue from YouTube’s Shorts Fund?
HW: Yes, they have!
Tubefilter: What’s your favorite thing about having a YouTube channel and TikTok account?
HW: My favorite thing is being able to inspire young girls to feel confident in themselves. Not everyone can afford to purchase the latest trends, and it’s easy for young impressionable girls to compare themselves to influencers online. Showing these girls hacks they can use to transform what’s already in their closets (so they can feel their best) really gives my content a sense of purpose and meaning.
Tubefilter: What’s next in the immediate future for you and your channel? Where do you see yourself in five years?
HW: In the immediate future, I’m excited to continue creating and inspiring others. I never thought this would be the direction my career would take me, so it’s been hard to make plans for the future with such a whirlwind pace. In five years, I would love to still be making content, as well as launch my own business and branch out into more entrepreneurial ventures. I would also love to create a foundation and donate a portion of what I make to supporting young women’s careers and education.
Jellysmack is the global creator company that detects and develops the world’s most talented video creators. The company’s proprietary video optimization technology and data drive social audience growth, unlocking new revenue streams and amplifying monetization.
Currently home to over 150 influential Creators including PewDiePie, MrBeast, Brad Mondo, and Bailey Sarian, Jellysmack optimizes, operates, and distributes creator-made video content to Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, Twitter, and YouTube. Jellysmack-managed content boasts 10 billion global monthly video views and a cross-platform reach of 125 million unique U.S. users, making it the largest U.S. digital-first company in monthly social media viewers.
Looking to grow your social presence? Let’s talk.