More than 100 million people lost their jobs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Valentina Victoria is one of them. She was a marketing manager for a small jewelry company. As with many small businesses, the pandemic hit and it went bankrupt.
To pass the time Valentina started making YouTube videos for fun when one went viral and launched her into the world of being an influencer. “When I first started my YouTube channel, I had very little expectations,” Valentina says. “Honestly, I had almost no expectations. I was just doing try-on hauls of the clothing that I already had in my closet. The country was in lockdown and I just did it because I quite frankly had nothing else to do.”
She had a number of her YouTube subscribers suggest she join OnlyFans and after some hesitation did.
Less than two years later, the YouTube channel that Valentina started has 622,000 subscribers and 172.5 million views. Now YouTube and OnlyFans are her full time job and she financially does not need to go back to marketing.
Finding a future on OnlyFans
Healthcare, restaurants, and retail businesses have been among those hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Because those sectors have a high number of women employees, the pandemic has left a large number of women out of work.
Valentina’s journey is not unusual for women who found themselves without jobs thanks to COVID. Online platforms like OnlyFans, where content creators attempt to sell original content like photos and videos, boomed during the pandemic. Many women tell stories of offering content on OnlyFans to try to make ends meet. Unlike Valentina, not all of them are successful.
“Starting a page on OnlyFans is something that should not be taken lightly,” Valentina says. “Just like any business, both YouTube and OnlyFans require a lot of hard work.” Valentina attributes her success to dedication, staying relevant, and developing an effective marketing strategy. “Without those in place, it is best to stay away from a platform like OnlyFans,” she says.
Valentina also warns about the stigma attached to becoming a creator on OnlyFans, which has been labeled by some as a tool for exploiting women and encouraging human trafficking and other abuses. “One must think really hard before opening a page on the platform, mainly due to the societal stigma attached to this line of work,” Valentina says.
When asked about the criticism of OnlyFans, Valentina has an interesting take. “I am really confused when people say that OnlyFans and other sites of that nature promote exploitation,” she says. “I myself and all the people I know on OnlyFans are doing it by choice. No one is forcing us to have a page on the platform.”
She compares her work now with what she experienced in a corporate setting. “My lunch was timed to a minute. My bathroom breaks required verbal approval. I was made to stay and work late nights on many occasions without adequate compensation,” she remembers. “Now that I work for myself, I do not have to ask permission for anything. I feel much more free than I ever did before.”
The life of a successful content creator
When asked what she does for a living, Valentina says she is a content creator. Some would call her an influencer. Either way, it’s a job that requires a lot of work.
Valentina’s daily routine is focused around fashion. “My work revolves around style; picking out and putting together outfits,” she says. Once the wardrobe is selected, she begins filming and editing, something that she does herself. Her least favorite part is editing. “Editing is a necessary evil for me,” she confesses.
Valentina has also learned that a successful content creator needs to diversify. Sharing on only one platform will not get you the followers that you need. She recommends two to three. “This was my mistake when I first started,” she shares. “I only had YouTube and nothing else. People didn’t like that they could not follow me on Instagram, for example. I was limiting myself when it came to diversifying my audience through use of different platforms.”
In addition to her YouTube followers, she now has more than 26,000 followers on Twitter, more than 44,000 followers on Instagram, and more than 282,000 followers on TikTok.
“Outside looking in, it always seems to people that influencers don’t do much other than shop and fine dine, but it is simply not true,” she explains. Statistics show that for every successful creator like Valentina, there are hundreds who fail to attract a following. “Every piece of content a successful influencer puts out is very well planned and executed,” she says. “You have to know what your audience wants to see and when they want to see it.”
Valentina turned a difficult situation into a story that demonstrates the power of influencer culture and ability to build your own brand. With a growing platform and subscribership Valentina wants to expand her platform and one day focus on the fashion side of her brand. While the pandemic affected many Valentina is a story of resilience and determination to stay afloat and support herself during turbulent times.
You can find links to all Valentina’s content at www.linktr.ee/ItsValentinaVictoria.