- Beauty and fashion influencer Adelaine Morin, is 22-years-old and has over 2.5 million subscribers on YouTube.
- Morin was born in Canada, and she started her YouTube channel in 2011, posting makeup tutorials and fashion videos.
- We spoke to Morin about her influencer business and the main ways she makes money, from a popular merchandise line sold on FanJoy, to a makeup palette with Tarte Cosmetics.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
When Adelaine Morin was 13-years-old, she begged her dad to let her start a YouTube channel.
"I started as a fan," Morin told Business Insider. "I started watching YouTubers like Bethany Mota and JuicyStar07, I was obsessed with them."
For Christmas that year, she asked her family for money so that she could purchase a video camera. From that point on, she would post a video to YouTube once a month as something fun to do after school.
"I feel like now-a-days, people just have it so easy," she said. "They can just use their phone and it's good quality."
Morin started her YouTube channel by posting beauty and fashion videos, like makeup and hair tutorials for prom, slowly building a following online. She later started a vlog channel, which at one point she uploaded videos to daily.
Now Morin has over 2.5 million subscribers on YouTube, and a popular Instagram page and second channel.
Business Insider spoke to Morin about how she grew her YouTube business and the main ways she makes money as a popular beauty YouTuber, from a merchandise line, to a makeup palette with Tarte Cosmetics.
How Morin got started on YouTube
Morin's YouTube business started getting serious after she finished high school, she said. While most of her friends decided to go to college, she jumped on the opportunity to build out her growing channel.
"I was doing pretty well on YouTube," she said. "College will always be there for me, but YouTube won't."
She took a year off from college to focus on YouTube, and later decided to take some makeup and beauty classes on the side as a way to help her grow creatively.
Currently, Morin splits her time between Canada – her home country – and Los Angeles. She said a lot of business meetings and events happen in LA, and she also travels often to visit and collaborate with other creators.
How much money a YouTube creator earns in a single year directly from YouTube varies depending on a number of factors, like the type of content they make, the number of views they get, and the strategies they use.
After applying for YouTube's Partner Program (you must have 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours to apply), Morin began monetizing her videos with ads placed by Google.
How much money a creator earns (known as AdSense revenue) depends on the video's watch time, length, video type, and viewer demographics — among other factors. Some top creators have ad-placement strategies to maximize their earnings. For instance, YouTube creator Shelby Church, who has 1.4 million subscribers, said she more than doubled her earnings in 2019 versus 2018 by lengthening her videos to over 10 minutes so she could include more ads.
"A lot of times on AdSense I make like $2,000," Morin said, referring to a single video. "For the amount of time that I put into YouTube, it's almost like minimum wage. I have people I'm paying, and it's a lot of stress that all of these people are counting on you for a paycheck at the end of the day. So, I like to find different ways to source income."
Morin's YouTube team consists of her manager, multi-channel network (AwesomenessTV), assistant, publicist, and video editors. Her main sources of revenue are selling merchandise, promoting brands, ads in her videos, and recently she has also started to invest in real estate.
"I think it's really smart for YouTubers to still do YouTube, but also branch out," she said. "A lot of people think that YouTubers make a lot of money, but if we only did YouTube we wouldn't."
Inside creating a merchandise shop, and collaborating with Tarte Cosmetics
Morin launched a merchandise brand with the company FanJoy in June 2018, and she sells calendars, phone cases and other branded apparel. Her merchandise is themed around the slogan "girls supporting girls," and occasionally Morin will donate a percentage of the sales to Ovarian Cancer Research.
"When I was in high school I was severely bullied," she said. "Girls would talk about me, saying rumors that weren't even true. They always thought that the only way to rise up, was by tearing other girls down. When in reality, it's the opposite. The only way girls rise up is by lifting each other."
FanJoy is an e-commerce company that handles merchandise sales for top creators like Jake Paul, David Dobrik, and Tana Mongeau. Morin said she has been able to create custom items with FanJoy, like a custom belt with the phrase "girls supporting girls" on it.
"I want to focus on launching a small amount of things and selling out, as opposed to ordering a huge amount and having to sell out of the old stuff," she said.
The process behind creating a collection is different for every launch, she said. For her most recent collection, she said she spent a day at the photoshoot, and selected a group of followers to come and model the merchandise. Once the images are picked, she sends them over to FanJoy to upload to the website.
"It's a lot of social promotion, captions, videos," she said. "I think one of my favorite products is Blue's calendar. Blue is my dog, and we had a shoot for her which we printed out on a calendar."
Morin's YouTube manager also manages her dog's Instagram account, which has 148,000 followers. So far, Blue has promoted one brand on Instagram, the dog treats company Greenies.
Sponsorships, branded merchandise, and consumer products have all proven to be lucrative sources of income for many digital creators — including Adelaine Morin — and a way for influencers to diversify their revenue streams outside of direct revenue earned off YouTube.
Morin also has a makeup palette sold through the company Tarte Cosmetics. Outside projects like these can also help a creator sustain a long-lasting career and build out their business.
"I never want to be doing the same thing," she said. "I want to keep growing, and I want to change."
For more on the business of influencers, according to YouTube and Instagram stars, check out these Business Insider Prime posts:
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