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Rachel Ballinger is a YouTube star and personality with a more than 1.4M subscribers on her primary channel, Rachel Ballinger, and more than 470,000 subscribers on her second channel, MissRBaller. Her first channel revolved around hilarious commentary on relatable situations as well as funny DIY videos, while her second channel focuses on vlogs. Her siblings, comprised of sister, Colleen Ballinger, and her two brothers, Christopher and Trent, are also YouTube sensations. Rachel’s success has led to sponsorship by brands including Coca-Cola and Best Fiends.
Check out our exclusive interview with Rachel and how she developed her identity and career on YouTube:
Mediakix: What were you doing before you started your YouTube channel, and what made you decide to pursue your YouTube career full-time?
Rachel: Before I started YouTube, I was getting my bachelor’s degree in psychology. Immediately after I graduated, I applied to be a police office for the LAPD, but failed part of the testing process. While I was waiting for the next year to pass so I could reapply, my sister, Colleen Ballinger, suggested I start posting videos on my YouTube channel for fun.
Once I started, I couldn’t stop. It became my passion and I decided it’s what I wanted to be doing with my life. It truly wasn’t something I planned, it was supposed to just be a fun thing to pass the time and make a little money to keep me afloat.
2. How has collaboration with other YouTube content creators fueled your growth?
Collaborating is a huge part of growing your channel. It helps get new eyes on your channel that might not have found you otherwise. It’s also just good to get to know people in the community. YouTube is a new and different world, and the only people that understand it, are the people inside of it. So knowing people with the same problems, worries, passions, and goals can really help.
3. What’s the hardest lesson you’ve had to learn from developing your channel?
The hardest thing I’ve had to learn from developing my channel, is that I need to have thick skin. You can’t let negativity from other people stop you or keep you down. As cheesy as that sounds, it’s the truth. For every 100 nice comments you get, you’ll get one bad one, that’s just how the internet works. Now if EVERYONE is mad at you about something, you maybe might want to take a second look at what you posted.
4. In what ways have you grown, personally, and professionally, from YouTube?
YouTube, personally, has helped me become more confident in who I am. I never want to be fake on or off the screen, so I had to figure out who I am, and just go with it. I put myself out there every day, knowing that I’ll get some hate, but I’m okay with that, because I know who I am and this is who I want to be.
Professionally, though, it’s helped me get my butt in gear. The only way I succeed, is if I work and make my own success. If I don’t keep working, then the work won’t get done. It’s not like other jobs where you can sometimes relax and let your coworkers take the load, my channel is 100% me, 100% of the time. And if I want something new, big, or exciting to happen, I’m the one that needs to make it happen.
5. How do you choose what kinds of brands/companies to work with?
I choose what brands and companies to work with based on if I’d actually use the product or like the company. It took me a while to figure out my screening process. At first you just say “yes” to everything because you’re amazed that people want to work with you. But after a while, you learn to say “no” to things that don’t fit your brand. I genuinely love, fitness, food, phone games, and sports. So anything related to those, I’m probably going to say yes to 🙂
6. Which kind of videos do you enjoy creating the most?
My favorite kind of videos to make is anything that my mother is apart of. Filming with her is my greatest joy in life. For some reason, when we’re filming, I can’t stop laughing. Even when I watch the videos back, I still laugh. She seems to be a crowd favorite as well. That might just be because everyone knows better than to say anything negative. You don’t mess with Mama B.
7. Where do you get the ideas for “Rachel’s Random Tuesdays?”
My ideas for Rachel’s Random Tuesday videos come from a variety of different places. Sometimes I ask Twitter what they want to see, I go on YouTube and see what’s popular, check Pinterest for fun crafts or cool foods, go up and down toy aisles in stores, or I come up with ideas by just living life. There’s a lot of times when I’m having a normal day and in the middle of doing something, or in the middle of a conversation, I’ll say, “that would make a funny video,” and then I make it happen. I don’t have an exact science for coming up with ideas, it’s just whatever I stumble onto that week.
8. Your DIY cool food videos are really funny! If you had to pick one food item to eat for the rest of your life, which one would it be?
If I had to pick one food item that I’ve made in a video, to eat for the rest of my life, I’d have to choose the edible chocolate bowls. Just because you can put so many delicious things inside of them! They were amazing.
But If I had to pick any food in the whole world to eat from the rest of my life, I’d go with a veggie pizza. Delicious. Always. Don’t fight me on it.
9. What is something that your audience doesn’t already know about you?
I’m pretty open with my audience, so they already know almost everything about me. When you are constantly posting vlogs and Q&As, it’s hard to keep things private. But one thing I’ve never really talked about, is how much I love dancing and how badly I wish I could break dance. In high school, I had two left feet and it wasn’t pretty. But once I got to college, I figured out how hips work, and I fell in love with dancing. I think it’s such beautiful art, but I don’t think it’ll ever be something I pursue. It’s just fun to think about.
10. Anything else you’d like to add?
In a final note, I just want to say that I love YouTube and I love the internet. I’m so thankful for the career I have, and I’m still so amazed that people outside my family watch the ridiculousness that is my YouTube channel. And just a little tip, if you’ve never seen my videos and you decide you want to be super cool and go watch one, you might want to turn down your volume…I tend to yell a lot.