Entrepreneur & Biz: YouTube creator Andrea Russett

Tilt: Journey to real-life adulthood

Channels: TikTok (1.5M) YouTube (2.93M) Instagram (4.8M)

Rev Streams: TikTok, YouTube, Instagram, music, merch

Our Favorite Actionable Advice

  • Not just the rosy: Andrea knows sharing her life means sharing the positive and the negative.
  • Read contracts: A professional can be essential to ensuring you fully understand all the details in your brand sponsorships or other business contracts.
  • Don’t go for sensational: Building a business around controversy may prompt follower spikes, but it rarely is the best long-term, sustainable option. 

The Story

In a generation of new creators, some early content creators are still making waves in the entertainment industry. Andrea Russett is one of them. 

The 26-year-old YouTube creator posted her first video in 2009 as a fun pastime. Later, Andrea realized she could make a profit and grew her career. Now, Andrea makes a living entirely from her content creation. She’s the definition of a content entrepreneur

Now, the YouTube creator has turned her success into a music career and plans to release her first EP this year. Andrea just released a single titled Freezing and an adjacent music video with her unique spin on pop. 

Telling the good and bad of life

It all started on YouTube. Andrea, who grew up in Indiana, says she created fun videos with her friends as a way to beat boredom. As she’s grown as a person and a creator, though, Andrea has shown some of the harder moments in her life. She speaks openly about mental health and continues to grow her own following by offering a glimpse into her authentic life.

.@AndreaRussett created @YouTube videos as a bored teen. At 26, her content is her business. #contententrepreneur #creatoreconomy Click To Tweet

“The most rewarding part by far is being able to be that voice of honesty I wish I could have heard when I was younger,” Andrea says. “I didn’t really have anyone to talk to about mental health growing up and didn’t really know anything about it. I try to be as open and honest about my own mental health journey online in hopes that even just one person feels a little less alone.”

It’s not easy, though, sharing your personal life in a public forum. “The hardest part of course is that everyone will always have an opinion,” she says. “Over the last decade of being online, I’ve built up some pretty tough skin, and it takes a lot to truly bug me these days, but we’re all still human at the end of the day, and people seem to forget that when they’re behind a keyboard.”

We’re still human at the end of the day. People behind a keyboard seem to forget that, says @AndreaRussett. #contententrepreneur Click To Tweet

Monetizing with professional help

Early in her career, Andrea hired professionals to help her make money from her content. “Thankfully, I was able to monetize way back in the early days, thanks to help from MCN’s and management,” she says. “I think the best advice I can give to anyone looking to do the same is to READ YOUR CONTRACTS! And surround yourself with a team you can trust.”

The YouTube creator also issued a note of caution when it comes to YouTube and other platform drama. Andrea was once associated with YouTube’s legendary, now fallen Vlog Squad.

While some creators grow their followings quickly by stepping into an internet beef, it may not be sustainable. “I think a lot of people feel like the only way to stay relevant is to have controversies and drama, and that’s not the case. Most of the time, it ends up doing more damage than good. It’s never worth the 10 minutes of trending on Twitter,” Andrea says.

Stirring up drama and controversy to get followers usually ends up doing more damage than good, says @AndreaRussett. #contententrepreneur Click To Tweet

Foregoing a routine

She also speaks to her decision to forego a singular schedule for her content creation. Instead of presenting one go-to theme in her videos, her own personality and story are what bring viewers back time and time again. “I think I’m one of the creators who never really had a routine. I’ve never had one single genre of video that I upload; I’m always switching up the content, and honestly, I’ve never really had an uploading schedule,” she said. “I think that’s partially why I haven’t ‘burned out’ yet. Sometimes a routine can drive you insane and make you lose the passion for what you do. But everybody’s different, you know?”

Switching her focus to music, Andrea hasn’t yet announced a release date for her EP, but stepping into the music industry has been something she is truly doing for herself. She spoke of finding your true passion as a creator, not just taking job after job for the paycheck or because it’s what’s expected of you. 

“Two years ago, I finally got to a point in my career where I was doing things because they were placed in front of me, not because I was truly passionate about them,” she says. “I needed a challenge, and I needed to feel that excitement. So I decided I would finally go for it. I started vocal lessons and writing sessions for an entire year and a half before ever releasing anything, just to make sure I did it right. And I’m so thankful I did.”

About the author

Kelly Wynne is a journalist and creative writer living in Chicago with her pet dachshund. She's an advocate for women's rights, mental health, and chronic illness.