– By Gabriel Guzman, The West Press
From no friends to 28,000, recent University of West Georgia graduate Ashley Sellers is your local social media influencer. With more than 7,000 followers on Instagram, 28,000 subscribers on YouTube, and over a 1 million views on her channel, she has transformed from a lonesome girl to a social media sensation; she’s proven that you can be your own best friend.
Sellers grew up in what some may call the birthplace of our nation: Virginia. It wasn’t long before she packed her bags and made her way towards the peach state. Sellers’ transition was rather difficult after being forced to leave her friends and childhood home behind.
“When I moved from Virginia to Georgia, I didn’t really have any friends, so I became really bored and started making funny videos as a hobby then eventually got really dedicated to doing it,” Sellers said.
Little did she know it would gradually turn into a career. People are becoming overnight sensations more and more each day through social media, and Sellers is no different. Once a certain number of viewers subscribe to a channel on YouTube, the person who hosts that channel become eligible to begin advertising for companies in exchange for money, but that was never Sellers’ motive.
Sellers’ approach to her channel can be perceived as a reality show. She labels every video by seasons and episode, as would a television series. Instead of a crew and set, you can expect to find her, a camera, and her closest friends. She even made a video prior to graduation where she discusses how to graduate in four years.
“I have actually helped my friends get back on track to graduate on time,” Sellers said.
A 2016 graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications, Sellers was quick to share that the marketing and communications classes helped build her social media platforms, specifically the digital social media course.
To anyone who is interested, Sellers recommends starting a channel or blog for the right reasons.
“People are like, ‘Oh I want to be popular and make money.’ The fame and revenue doesn’t just come like that, so you have to really have a passion for what you do and be consistent with it,” Sellers said. “I would say make sure you have self-love because with any social media popularity, comes hate.”
Giving viewers an inside look into her daily life puts Sellers in the spotlight.
“Having a YouTube channel and sharing your life always comes with negativity. However, I never let it get to me because I knew what I was signing up for,” Sellers said.
With juggling school, work, and a large social media following, she had a lot of responsibility, but she never thought of quitting. She loves YouTube and said that it started as a hobby before it ever became a business. And Sellers says she comes from a supportive family, who didn’t mind helping her create a name for herself.
“Everyone wants to be in the vlogs (video blogs) and thinks it’s cool that I do it,” she said. “My cousin recently started doing videos also. I helped her out, and now she has 6,000 subscribers.”
YouTube has given Sellers the opportunity to meet other people, especially young women who are working towards the same goal, to expand their YouTube channels in order and create a career. Through the social media platform, she has met other YouTubers.
“We have collaborated and helped each other,” Sellers said. “Just to name a few, I’ve met and collaborated with Keesha Kaylee, Maryham Hampton, Natural Neiicey, and more. We have formed real-life friendships from YouTube.”
Viewers can find new videos each week on her channel, guaranteed. She can be found on YouTube as Ashley Sellers, and you can become part of her “AshArmy,” the term coined for her subscribers. Viewers can expect to find videos on health, beauty and fashion. She will often do funny challenges or pranks, which are always fun to watch.
As she finds time to vlog about her daily life, she is advancing her career through the Disney College Program; she is currently vlogging about her experience working there. She plans to return to UWG in January to get her master’s in business, in hopes that her YouTube career expands even more.