Imagine yourself at 13 years old, doing normal teen things — hanging out with friends, having fun pursuing your hobbies, going shopping — all while having 700,000 people watching you grow up online. This is a reality for Sophie of Sophie Michelle Says.
Sophie Michelle Says
Video Views: 68,637,849
Channel Type: Entertainment
User Created: Nov 1st, 2015
Like many creators on YouTube, Sophie of Sophie Michelle Says became hooked on YouTube just by watching videos for hours in her room. Beginning around age 7, Sophie says, “I would come home from school and watch videos for hours. I really loved the idea of creating my own videos.” And create videos she did!
Her channel now has more than 700,000 subs, but Sophie started out just playing around with video production and getting a feel for how vlogging on YouTube worked. She now laughs looking back at those early attempts. “My very first video was literally me introducing myself and in the end, I say, ‘Let’s get on with the video’ and there’s no actual video.” She used these first videos as a means of learning and practicing editing and posting videos on the platform, all to develop into the hilarious and high-quality videos she posts today.
Sophie Michelle Says relies on support from her family
Throughout this wild and unique process of creating an image for herself online, her family stood behind her the whole way. “My mom always supported me one hundred percent. She was my editor and director in the very beginning while I was still attending public school. Both of my parents knew how passionate I was, and still am, about being able to create online content, music, or anything related to the arts.”
She has grown quite a lot since her beginning on YouTube when her mom helping with editing and directing. Sophie now edits and produces her own videos with an eye-catching and humorous style that keeps her audience engaged and laughing. While she says editing isn’t her favorite part of the creation process, she loves how it makes the end product more interesting.
Sophie’s quirky side
No one could have predicted the amount of traction Sophie’s channel would get in such a short period of time. She attributes this growing success on YouTube to her passion and authenticity in her videos, saying, “I believe that when you’re really having fun in your videos, your audience connects with you on a deeper level. That’s when I started getting more views and more subscribers.”
Of all the videos she makes, Sophie says that her favorite ones to create are the comedic vlogs where she gets the chance to show her “quirky side” off to her audience. This lightheartedness and genuineness keep her connected with her viewers and gives off the aura of being more of a friend rather than just someone behind the screen.
Many of these views and subscribers come from a demographic that peaks at 9-14-year-old girls, who can more easily relate to her lifestyle and interests, ranging from her clothing hauls to makeup routines to funny challenges. But her hilarity and talent can reach viewers of all ages and genders, especially with her acting and singing abilities.
Focused on the future
With all of her interests and talents, Sophie has quite a lot on her plate! While she keeps on top of her YouTube channel, she mainly prioritizes singing and acting as her career. “These are my true passions and something I see myself doing for the rest of my life.”
Her success on YouTube has been a great opportunity for her to hone in on these skills and move forward with pursuing her passions professionally. Having moved to Los Angeles, she’s been able to take acting classes and create her own original music in a city buzzing with talent and aspirational young people. “YouTube gave me the opportunity to showcase my singing cover videos and for that, I’m super grateful.”
Among these incredible experiences for Sophie, VidCon 2018, held annually in Anaheim, California, was quite a memorable one. She vlogged her weekend at the convention and got to document her online world and IRL world collide. “It was actually my very first time here in California and it was so exciting! I will never forget!”
Positive vibes only
Being popular online is not always easy for any creator. It comes with a unique set of challenges. While many forms of media are more distant from criticism and responses, YouTube puts feedback, unfiltered, directly at the fingertips of the creator. While often times positive, there will always be negative comments on any channel with significant attention. Sophie notes that the comments section can often foster a nesting ground for negativity. She tries to look past this, saying, “I feel like this world could be a much better place if we could do it with kindness. My channel is all about positivity and love… At the end of the day, love is stronger than hate.”
I feel like this world could be a much better place if we could do it with kindness.
YouTube has recently taken initiative to disable comments on videos starring children, heavily impacting the Sophie Michelle Says channel. The main reason for this is to protect young kids from harassment and any danger that may be found online. However, this new guideline can be a hard hit for a creator who wants to foster a community around their videos. “[Commenting] is such a big part of watching a video on YouTube! Having a voice, an input … but I trust that YouTube is working hard to make the platform safer for kids.”
Other ways to connect
This hasn’t stopped Sophie, though. She makes use of what she does have to ensure that she can interact with her audience. She now uses the newly implemented “Community Tab” on YouTube, which allows subscribers to leave comments on updates the channel shares. Through this, Sophie says, “I can still have a line of communication with my audience by posting polls, asking questions and they comment there as well.”
I make videos for them, so it makes sense for them to decide what they want to see.
Her audience is not just a negligible reward for Sophie’s hard work. Her viewers are also a large part of how she cultivates creative ideas for her channel. “I make videos for them, so it makes sense for them to decide what they want to see.” She uses her fans’ input, pulls from what people say they like or want more of, and builds enjoyable content around that. She also goes beyond her audience and looks at what people are enjoying outside of her circle by taking a peek at the Trending page on YouTube.
In general, she’s inspired by everything that is around her. “Having a positive approach towards life, being grateful for all the opportunities you have. It could be a joke someone made, an old vine video I saw, a meme, a clever comment on the community tab.” She tries not to limit herself in what she’s willing to or capable of creating.
Finding balance with a skyrocketing sub count
Trying to stay on top of a channel that is gaining thousands of subscribers a month can make it difficult to balance life online and life offline. Sophie takes finding this middle ground very seriously.
“I love being online, especially connecting with my audience on YouTube, Instagram, or other social platforms, but it’s important to find a balance in your life,” Sophie explains. She makes disciplined efforts to manage her time effectively: “I currently do online school, so I spend a few hours of my day on the computer doing my online classes, so as soon as I’m done, I close my laptop and go do other activities that don’t involve being on or staring at my phone or a computer screen.”
As for future projects, Sophie has a lot in store. “I can’t say much because it’s supposed to be a surprise and I don’t want to spoil it for my fans. I love putting out cool content for them and I know they’re going to love it. Stay tuned!”
Young creators can learn a lot from the way Sophie has built a community on YouTube. She offers the advice, “Go for it! Post content that you love and be consistent. Be yourself on camera and have fun!”
From the thousands of subscribers to the opportunity to live and work in Los Angeles at such a young age, Sophie takes none of her experience on YouTube for granted. “When I look back, I feel so fortunate and grateful for everything that I learned and the opportunity I have on YouTube.”
She ends the interview with a motivating mantra, one that any aspiring YouTuber should follow, and one that she certainly exemplifies on Sophie Michelle Says:
“DREAM BELIEVE ACHIEVE.”