How One YouTuber Turned Her Brand Into a Business And Activism Platform How One YouTuber Turned Her Brand Into a Business – And Activism Platform 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. Lindsay Tigar Lindsay Tigar is a writer and editor in New York. Her work has appeared in Self, Refinery29, Bustle, Prevention and many more. When she's not traveling or spending time with friends, she's going to the latest boxing class, trying a new food trend or volunteering.