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How One YouTuber Turned Her Brand Into a Business And Activism Platform

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First came message boards, then the Blogspots and the Wordpresses of the world, then MySpace and Facebook, and quick to follow was the missing media component: action. Though not a new concept these days, a YouTube celebrity is still a rather innovative concept for many to grasp. How can ‘Vlogging’ translate into a career?


As writer, actor and YouTube phenomenon Franchesca Ramsey will tell you, using your voice and your face to do more than just make people laugh, but inspire them to ignite change, is arguably one of the most powerful tools. It was through her success on YouTube that was she was able to leave her full-time gig and go full-time online, eventually bringing her talents to MTV. Here, she shares her story:

Activists Courtesy of Commons

How did you get started in this industry?

“I started making YouTube videos in 2006 after struggling to find online resources to help me style and maintain my locs. I branched out into vlogs and comedy sketches when I had a hard time booking work as an actress.

"I continued making videos while working as a graphic designer until 2012 when my video ‘Shit White Girls Say...to Black Girls’ went viral and I was able to get an agent. The rest, as they say, is history."

How do you consider yourself an activist?

"In addition to producing content around social issues, I try to use my platform to highlight important conversations and uplift the voices of people who need to be heard. I hope my audience leaves my content wanting to advocate for marginalized folks from all walks of life, in order to create a better world for everyone."

How did you get involved with MTV/Decoded?

“I pitched a tv show to MTV in 2013, which they passed on but I continued to go in for meetings about potential writing and acting opportunities with the network. In 2014 after the success of their web series ‘Braless,’ I got the opportunity to develop a sister series focused on race and pop culture with the same production company, Kornhaber Brown. We spent around 7 months developing the series and in 2015 got the green light to move forward and launched ‘Decoded’ that summer.”

Tell us about your company/brand and its purpose/mission.

"My goal from day one has been to make people laugh and make them think."

5 Youtubers to Watch

1.Hannah Hart

This comedian is about as real as it gets on her Youtube channel. Why? Because when the charcoal mask fad took up - she released this video and we died. Maybe not the best lady to go to for beauty hacks, instead visit her on the days you really need to laugh.

2.TarMar

This Irish Youtuber and blogger is a fashion go-to for all things high-street and some travel tidbits. Her channel, has 91k subscribers and is growing fast.

Look out for some city best-ofs and hauls that will save you a lot of $, and a recent corgi video that will make you squeal.

3. Grace Victory

We love a lady whose chief goal is to empower women, and that's exactly where Grace Victory positions herself amongst the Youtubers of today. She touches on issues such as body confidence, self expression, and dealing with puberty in a non-condescending and self affirming way. We love this girl.

4.Lilly Singh

IISuperwomanII is on pretty much everyone's favorite Youtube channel list, because Canadian native Lilly is seriously cool. Aside from her video editing skills, her video topics are perhaps the funniest we've seen. If you're a Game of Thrones fan, you'll want to catch her recent raps about the show's most illustrious characters.

Lilly Singh Courtesy of CDN

5. Emily Duncan

At the age of 21, Emily Duncan is already an accomplished bikini competitor in the NPC, and a popular Youtuber. With over 50K subscribers, her channel is definitely one worth visiting. Not just for exercise videos; it's also brimming with book recommendations, makeup hacks, the best workout leggings, and Instagram-worthy acai bowl recipes.

Her channel isn't just filled with exercise videos; it's also brimming with book recommendations, makeup hacks, the best workout leggings, and Instagram-worthy acai bowl recipes.

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Career

2020 is Around the Corner: Here's How To Design Your Next Decade

Personally, I am over the top excited that we are on the cusp of turning the page on not only a new year but also on a new 10-year window of opportunities and possibilities!

You may be thinking, whoa…I am just embracing the fall season…yikes… it is tough to think about a new decade!


Yet it is this groundwork, this forward thought that you put in place TODAY that will propel you and lead you into greatness in 2020 and beyond. Designing a new decade rests in your ability to vision, in your willingness to be curious, in your awareness of where you are now and what you most want to curate. Essentially, curating what's next is about tapping into today with confidence, conviction, and decision. Leading YOU starts now. This is your new next. It is your choice.

Sometimes to get to that 'next', you need to take a step back to reflect. Please pardon my asking you to spend time in yesterday. Those who know me personally, know that I created and continue to grow my business based on enabling the present moment as a springboard for living your legacy. So, indulge me here! True, I am asking you to peek into the past, yet it is only in order for you to bring the essence of that past forward into this moment called NOW.

One of the best ways to tap into what's next is to clarify what drives you. To design a new decade, ask yourself this question about the past ten years:

What worked? What were my successes?

Make a list of your achievements big and small. Don't type them, but rather use ink and paper and sit with and savor them. Move your thoughts and your successes from your head, to your heart, to your pen, to the paper. Remember that on the flip side of goals not attained and New Year's resolutions abandoned, there was more than likely some traction and action that moved you forward, even if the end result was not what you expected. Once you have a full list of a decade's worth of personal and professional accomplishments, think about how this makes you feel. Do you remember celebrating all of them? My guess is no. So, celebrate them now. Give them new life by validating them. Circle the successes that resonate with you most right now. Where can you lean into those accomplishments as you power into the decade ahead?

Now comes a tougher question, one that I used myself in my own mid-life reinvention and a question I adore because in a moment's time it provides you with a quick reconnect to your unique inner voice.

If it were 10 years ago and nothing were standing in your way, no fear or excuses to contend with…what would you do?

Don't overthink it. The brilliance of this question is that it refocuses purpose. Whatever first came to mind when you answered this for yourself is at its core a powerful insight into defining and redefining the FUTURE decade. Bring your answer into the light of today and what small piece of it is actionable NOW? Where is this resonating and aligning with a 2019 version of yourself?

Then, based on your success list and your answer to the above question, what is your 2020 vision for your business and for the business of YOU?

Designing a new decade begins as a collection of 3,650 opportunities. 3,650 blank slates of new days ahead in which to pivot and propel yourself forward. Every single one of those days is a window into your legacy. An invitation to be, create, explore, and chip away at this thing we call life. One 24-hour segment at a time.

While you have a decade ahead to work on design improvements, you have the ability to begin manifesting this project of YOU Version 2020 right NOW. Based on exploring the exercises in this post, begin executing your vision. Ask questions. Be present. Let go of 2019 and the past 10 years so that you can embrace the next 10. Position acceptance and self-trust at the forefront of how you lead you. One choice at a time.

Don't get bogged down in the concept of the next 10 years. Instead position clarity and intention into each new day, starting today. Then chase every one of those intentions with an in-the-moment commitment and solution toward living a legendary life!