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.
To most people outside the TikTok orbit, July 6, 2020 was an average day.
On TikTok, it was chaos.
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And for Hannah Kosh, it was a major launch point.
Kosh’s day-to-day career is in the PR side of sports. She’s worked with teams like the San Francisco Giants, the San Diego Padres, and the San Diego Seals–and it was the owner of one of those teams who convinced her to get on TikTok. He saw it was an up-and-coming thing and wanted Kosh and her coworkers to become at least basically familiar with it.
Then COVID happened, and, like many people (and many of our previous Creators on the Rise featurees), Kosh was stuck at home. With little else to do, she started scrolling her For You page, and it wasn’t long before TikTok’s algorithm started serving up videos about popular content creator collectives like Hype House and Sway House. As a TikTok newbie, Kosh had no idea who these people were, but she was intrigued.
By the infamous July 6, she was completely caught up not only on Hype and Sway and all their associates, but also on the complicated, thready dramas surrounding TikTok influencers in general. So as everything went down, she went on her account, posting video after video with updates on the situation.
Since then, she’s become a kind of one-woman, social media-specific version of E! News, covering TikTokers and prominent families like the D’Amelios and the Kardashians. Her TikTok account–which she views as a kind of chronological archive–has grown to more than 1.1 million followers, and her videos collectively generate more than 110 million views per month.
On top of growing her TikTok presence, Kosh recently launched her first podcast, Break from Reality: A Love Island Breakdown Show.
We’ll let her tell you all about it below.
Tubefilter: Who are you, where are you from, and what did you get up to before you started your TikTok account?
Hannah Kosh: My name is Hannah and I’m originally from San Diego. I worked in sports—that’s what I went to college for and got a postgrad degree in. Before TikTok was a big thing, I worked for a bunch of major league teams in southern California.
Tubefilter: What did you do for those teams?
HK: I worked in the PR and marketing side of things. I also worked on production and entertainment for the Padres. My first job in sports was at the 2014 World Series with the San Francisco Giants. And I was like, “Wow, this is really cool. This could be kind of fun.” And so I decided I was gonna try and work in the entertainment and PR side of sports.
Tubefilter: How did TikTok become a thing?
HK: The owner of our team was really encouraging us to have a presence on TikTok for our sports team. He was kind of just like, “I don’t care if you spend an hour every day trying to figure out TikTok and understanding how it works. I really think this is gonna be a big app down the line.”
So I started posting content for our branded account, for the team, and then we went into quarantine. I was drawn by what everyone else was drawn to the app for, because we were sitting at home doing nothing. And I was watching a lot of the stuff that was coming up on my For You page—the Hype House boys, the Sway House boys, that general side of TikTok.
And I ended up just having questions about what they were doing, what was going on, why they were living these crazy lives that they were living, how it all happened. And so I posted a video asking a question about why two of them were moving out and leaving, and one of their moms ended up commenting on it. So we got some answers, and people were like, “Well, maybe if you keep asking questions, we’ll get more answers that we might not have had answers to.”
So it kind of started as like a crowd-sourced mechanism for everyone to get more information because everyday media wasn’t covering, obviously, the drama between TikTokers. It’s crazy to see that they are now. But that’s kind of where it started, and it’s just rolled into what it is today.
Tubefilter: How have things evolved for you since the start of your account? What’s different now from the very beginning?
HK: The biggest difference now, I think, is that a lot of people come to me with tips or information. Before it was kind of if we all had questions, maybe we throw it out there, maybe we’re gonna get answers. Now I’ll have people send me screenshots or send me videos and send me interesting notes, things that they found. They’re like, “Oh, I think this would be so interesting, other people might find it interesting too. It’d be really cool if you were to post about this,” and things like that.
I feel like the biggest part is that there’s a community around it where everyone feels involved. We’re all trying to figure out what’s happening, so people will send me the information and other people will tag me in things. It’s become a really fun community with the information and the news being put out there.
Tubefilter: Is this your full-time gig now, or do you still work with teams?
HK: I still have a full-time job. I’m still working full-time in San Diego, and obviously I have this TikTok account too, so it’s double duty.
Tubefilter: How do you split your time, then? Like how much time do you spend per day on content?
HK: I think it varies per day. The nice part about TikTok and the way the world is now is that everything’s kind of right at your fingertips, so when things happen it’s quicker and it can be produced quicker and put out quicker. But I mean, when it comes to time, it varies by what’s going on and how much news is out there, how much actual information and things.
One of the things that I’ve found is obviously with TikTok, they want you to post as much as possible. But for me, I’ve found a nice balance of figuring out, like, I’m not just gonna post 20 times a day, even if it’s stuff that I think people will engage with or want to hear about. It’s being able to understand like prioritizing videos and content and things like that as well.
Tubefilter: Maybe a better question, then, is how much time on average goes into a video?
HK: Probably around 20 minutes, I would say. A lot of it is just gathering screenshots or videos and then being able to record it and put it out quickly. Obviously there’s some videos where, if it’s a really long kind of drawn-out storyline, there’s a lot more that goes into it. But it’s a pretty quick process and it’s cool to be able to put it out almost in real-time when things are actually going on.
Tubefilter: When it comes to balancing a full-time job and TikTok, how does that work? Like if you’re at work and you see something happening in real-time, will you wait until after work or do you quickly try to take some time and make a video?
HK: I honestly try and go as quickly as possible. What’s nice about my work and job is everyone is very supportive. Obviously they make some jokes, they’re like, “You have this alternate life you live, full-on Hannah Montana moment.”
But the funniest part is like, I will go out into the back of my car and just make TikTok videos, and so some of my coworkers will see me walking outside and they’re like, “Do you have to go make a video? I’m gonna wait on your page and actually be first.” Or they’re like, “What’s the story? Tell me the story before you go and record in your car.”
I’m like, “You just have to wait and see!”
So yeah, I go inside my car and do things. Obviously there’s meetings or things that I really need to get done, and if it’s something that’s not really important on the TikTok side of things, I will prioritize work. I’ve kind of figured out when and what the best times and places are to be able to put up content. But if things are bigger that are happening, then I’ll go outside, and they’re like, “What are you doing? What’s happening? Looks like something big.”
Tubefilter: It’s cool that your workplace is supportive.
HK: Yeah, they’re awesome. It’s been cool because obviously it started in the middle of quarantine, and we were working from home and things were a little bit more chill. As work has picked up more, and travel, we’re working full-on and back in the office, and it’s been really nice to have a community at work as well that is supportive and understanding. It’s not like I have to hide it from them and be like, “Gosh, what am I doing?” Living a full other life. But yeah, no, it’s been great.
Tubefilter: So of course you were asked to get on TikTok by your workplace, but do you think you ever would’ve started making videos without that push?
HK: I definitely tried to have a YouTube career when I was like 10 years old. It’s always been there, but the craziest thing is that, like, I wasn’t really expecting anything from TikTok or the videos I posted originally. Like I honestly was genuinely curious what Josh and Jaden were doing and why they were leaving.
I feel like I’ve looked at pop culture and been part of, like, following entertainment news, just like a lot of other people. So it’s been cool to be able to be on the other side of it and be able to use the TikTok platform and the short-form videos I never would’ve even thought would be anything to grow this account in this community.
Tubefilter: Do you have plans to try doing long-form at all?
HK: I feel like nothing is off the table. I am open to a lot of different opportunities. I’m not gonna say no to anything that presents itself. Obviously that’s not what I’m most comfortable with at this point, with the videos I’m making now. I think that’s kind of the fun part about growing and social media as a whole is that it’s all transforming. Even TikTok is evolving and creators are evolving. There’s so many opportunities, I would never rule anything out.
Tubefilter: You’re starting a podcast, though, right?
HK: Yeah! So one of the cool things about signing with Additive Creative, the management company, and with Wheelhouse as a whole is the opportunities that are presenting themselves. We were able to start this reality TV podcast circled around Love Island USA. Obviously a lot of my content is based around reality TV and influencers and that sort of lifestyle, and so this worked out perfectly to be the next step and try something new and expand my horizons and be a part of something else as well. We just started it and it’s new, but I’m really excited for the opportunity.
Tubefilter: What draws you to Love Island? What made you want to launch this particular podcast?
HK: I think the beauty of it is it’s kind of similar to TikTok. Obviously it’s edited and everything like that, but just the amount of content and the amount of access we have to the island every single day and it’s all at your fingertips. So you can kind of see the whole thing play out. It’s such a cool environment to be able to comment on it and be a part of the whole series. We’re going along across these six weeks and are be able to understand the islanders and what’s going on. And then obviously all of the fun drama and the funny things that they say, too, just makes it entertaining to put on and have throughout the summer.
Tubefilter: I feel like commentary can be kind of a dicey genre—like, you’re either really good at it or you’re not. How do you make your videos engaging?
HK: One of the biggest things I try to focus on is being non-biased, so delivering strictly the facts. I feel like that’s one of the things that people will talk to me and mention to me about a lot. They’re like, “You’re not giving your opinion all the time. You’re not making these long drawn-out videos. It’s quick and you’re giving the facts and you’re not putting a bunch of extras into it.”
I feel like being able to make it really digestible, and yes, I’ll add like a funny line or a little quirk here and there, but mostly I’m like, what I want to watch is just the facts, and I just want to know what happened. And then I want to read everyone’s comments, I’ll go to the comment section and see what everyone has to say. That’s one of the biggest things that I think kind of differentiates my account a little bit and has helped my success, is being able to stick to the facts and give everyone what they want in the quickest way possible.
Tubefilter: When did you notice your channel start growing? Was there a specific video or situation that boosted it, or has it been gradual growth?
HK: The biggest launch point I would probably say was July 6, 2020.
Tubefilter: Very specific.
HK: There was a lot of drama between the Sway House and the Hype House. That was one of the biggest drama days. People to this day are still like, “Oh my god, that reminds me of July 6,” or “Oh my gosh, do you remember what happened on July 6? That was crazy.”
That day, I gained like 50,000 followers. I had maybe 20,000 to start with, so it was a huge, huge jump. That was like the day where it was like, oh my god. People were saying, “I’m refreshing your page over and over again to see if there’s an update.” Or like, “Why do you know what’s happened here?” They were asking a lot of things. And that’s when I was like, “Okay, people are relying on this information right now to get updates.” I think that was one of the turning points where I was like, “Okay, people are actually interested.”
Tubefilter: What happened July 6?
HK: Lil Huddy kissed Nessa. And then all of the Sway boys went over to the Hype House to try and go defend Charli. Then Lil Huddy had posted a long list of everyone’s dirt from the past year. He’s like, “You think I’m a bad guy with what everyone else has done?” And it blew up.
Tubefilter: It’s interesting that you take a non-biased, journalistic approach to all this.
HK: Yeah, and the cool thing is since I’ve spent a little bit of time now on this, I have an archive of all these screenshots and random videos. Some people are like, “Hey, do you remember when Josh Richard said this?” I’m like, “Oh my gosh, yeah, I have that screenshot still.” So like there’s a little bit of like—
HK: Yeah, and people are like, “Oh, well, she’s been here for a while. I recognize the voice and the style. She has these archive screenshots from years ago, from random things that happened.” It’s not just a random one-off video.
Tubefilter: You mentioned signing with Additive Creative. Is this the first management company you’ve worked with?
HK: Yeah. I just felt like this was the next step of my career in this social media world, to bring in official management. I was introduced to the Additive team and it honestly felt like a fit right away. At the time I was like, I don’t even know the difference between an agent or a manager and this is all really new to me. But I just felt welcomed immediately, and I wasn’t super overwhelmed with everything that was happening. I feel like it’s fairly easy to get overwhelmed with a lot of it. So I felt like it was just an immediate fit, and we had all the same goals and they were listening to what I had to say. We were all on the same page. So I just felt like this was the next step and this was the perfect team to take that next step with.
Tubefilter: What has working with a manager done for you so far?
HK: I feel like it opens up a lot of opportunities and there’s a lot of fun things in the work that you’re gonna be able to execute where I wouldn’t even have known where to start. When it comes to brand deals or the podcast or networking events or that sort of stuff, I just feel like the doors are opened completely. And there’s a lot of opportunity that I wouldn’t even know where, honestly, where to begin.
Tubefilter: Do you have a regular posting schedule you try to stick with? What if it’s been three or four days and nothing dramatic is happening? Do you stress about that? Do you come up with other kinds of content?
HK: I actually have like no schedule when it comes to posting or a content calendar and things like that. I know that’s different because like, even at work with my full-time job with social, I’m like, “Okay, well, we need to post this at certain times and blah, blah, blah.” But with the nature of my account it’s as things are happening.
I used to stress a lot about not posting on certain days if things were happening, just because I was like, “Gosh, what’s gonna happen if I don’t post? If nothing’s happening?” But now I’ve kind of come to this point where it’s like, it’s gonna be fine if you don’t post for a day, if nothing’s going on, or even if you need a mental health break for a weekend. Put the phone away and stop, it’s not gonna be the end of the world.
But the nice thing about the nature of my account is that there aren’t many days where nothing is going on, so there’s more than I would be able to cover some days. So I also can weigh when things are timely. If some funny anecdote can wait a day, like, I might save it in the draft and post it on another day. That’s a little bit slower. But most of the time it’s basically in the moment and when things are happening in real-time, and then not having to stress a ton when not much is going on.
Tubefilter: Yeah, it’s a tough situation to be sort of at the whims of what’s happening in order to make content.
HK: Yeah, and sometimes it’s like…There was a big thing that happened not too long ago when it was Tristan and Khloe having another baby and I was traveling all day and I was like, “Oh my god, all I wanna do is post the video right now. People need to know about this. This is really important.” So that gave me a lot of anxiety. Because my thing too is like, when I get excited about something or I’m shocked about something, I feel like that’s how everyone else is reacting as well. And I want people to be informed and up to date when I have those same sorts of reactions I imagine the rest of the world will have as well.
Tubefilter: Do you have any other future plans in the works?
HK: Yes, definitely. We all have ideas we’re bouncing off each other right now. Obviously the signing was kind of recent, so it’s not something that’s been a long time, but I feel like we have a lot of cool stuff that’s gonna be coming up. It’s been nice to be able to have Additive and the whole team to be able to take some random idea and actually make them concrete and a real type of plan. That’s been the most exciting part right now is being able to be like, “Oh, I have an idea about this.” And they’re like, “Okay, that’s possible.” That’s the best part.
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