Internet star Anna Akana is more than just a vlogger. She’s also an accomplished author, actress, filmmaker, and musician. However, without the hard work she put into her YouTube channel, she may not have been able to reach such impressive heights in her career.
Here’s how Anna Akana used YouTube to fund her dream projects.
She built a steady viewership.
A steady viewership is the foundation upon which a YouTuber’s career is built. Since 2012, more than two and a half million viewers have subscribed to Anna’s channel. Her videos still get hundreds of thousands of views.
Having a steady viewership gave Anna the freedom that comes with job security. Because she had a dependable source of income through YouTube ad revenue, she was able to experiment with other projects. She also already had a large audience for those outside projects.
She used YouTube to practice her filmmaking skills.
Anna didn’t set out to be an influencer. Her true passion lies in filmmaking, so she used YouTube to practice writing and directing.
In 2014, she attempted to make a short film every month. While she only made six, the skills she honed during that time empowered her to keep creating short films. Many of them, such as the one below, debuted at film festivals.
She used the exposure her channel brought to further her acting career.
The success of Anna’s YouTube channel opened up a world of opportunities for her. She continued to pursue an acting career, landing roles in everything from fellow YouTuber KickThePJ’s series Oscar’s Hotel for Fantastical Creatures to Marvel’s Ant-Man.
These opportunities didn’t always stray far from YouTube. In fact, Anna created and starred in the YouTube Red original series Youth & Consequences, which was nominated for an Emmy.
She crowdfunded her debut album through Patreon.
Most recently, Anna decided to focus on creating music. Rather than sign with a label, she decided to release her debut album track by track as a visual album.
Anna funded the album recording and accompanying music videos through Patreon. Crowdfunding enabled her audience to play an important role in the creation of the album.
Anna Akana funded her dream projects by first building a steady viewership on YouTube. Through crowdfunding, she was finally able to create an album exactly the way she wanted to.
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Kristen Harris enjoys listening to a wide range of music, from Taylor Swift to, on occasion, Celtic instrumental. She also spends her time writing, reading, and baking.