Followers: 5.2 million on YouTube, 2.9 million on Instagram
Has worked with: Kohl's, PacSun, Sperry
Eva Gutowski runs "the best YouTube channel ever." Although those are her words, with 5.2 million subscribers, it’s clear her channel is extremely popular. Add her fans on other social platforms – 2.9 million on Instagram alone – and Gutowski has a combined social reach of almost 9 million followers.
Her videos, which range from comedy sketches and top 10 lists to DIY clothing advice, have surpassed 300 million hits. She’s also leveraged her popularity and fashion expertise to land partnerships with brands like PacSun and Kohl’s.
Though writing a book has been the go-to next step for many YouTube stars, Gutowski’s made a splash in the music world. Her debut single, "Literally, My Life," was the top comedy single on iTunes for 14 consecutive weeks, according to her website.
How did you get started on YouTube?
I've always had a passion for making people laugh. I started [on YouTube] back in junior high, where I would film comedy sketches on my laptop's webcam. Fast forward to my freshman year of college, I found myself with a lot of free time, since I didn't live on campus. I knew I loved making videos and creating things on my own, so I picked up my old camera and started making videos again, solely to get comfortable in front of the camera, since I was a broadcast journalism major.
The videos started gaining tons of views, and before I even knew the power of what I was starting, I just started uploading weekly. I would say my success in growing my audience was due to the immersion of myself into the community of YouTube. I took time to understand my audience, and the audience I wanted to reach and inspire. If you give your viewers what they are craving to see, you will grow. Stay consistent, stay relevant, and stay passionate about your channel – that is how success on YouTube continues.
Have you worked with any brands/sponsors?
I've worked with a good amount of brands that I love. I had an amazing experience shooting a video in Hawaii with Sperry Top-Sider, a brand that literally all of my friends and I see every day at school. I am also currently working with WallFlower Jeans, which has been an equally amazing experience!
A big part of vlogging is that viewers can see you using and reviewing products. Does working with brands cause any conflicts of interest?
Millions of people see me using products I trust daily, and they use that information to make their own decisions on what they choose to spend money on. Because of brand partnerships, people may choose to take on endorsing something that they haven't put time into using, and then that lack of organic trust they've created with their viewers begins to tarnish. People can tell when you genuinely love a product, and when you are just being paid to love it. That's why I’m very careful to only take on projects that I believe in.
What is your advice to brands that want to work with content creators?
Spend a lot of time choosing the right influencer to partner up with. Don't just look at numbers. Look at the engagement and trust level they have with their viewers. Look at their brand and see if it aligns with yours. The best brand partnerships stem from when both the brand and the influencer can get creative and make something very special that works. I would shy away from looking at it from the angle of, "who can we get with the biggest numbers?" Look [at it more] with, "who can we get who will create the best angle at this partnership?"
And what advice would you give to content creators when they are approached by a brand for the first time?
It can be really exciting when a brand contacts you and offers to pay you for a sponsored post, but this doesn't mean you should take every opportunity that comes to you. The relationship you have with your viewers is far more important than ruining it all with something you don't genuinely believe in. Hold out for the brands that you love. It is far more rewarding in the end!