The Makings Of LaToya Forever
Posted On May 11, 2016
The digital space has undoubtedly grown into a main source of entertainment for viewers and a full-time job for influencers. The number of bloggers and YouTubers is growing immensely and are now looked at as new age entertainers.
Many digital influencers are becoming more and more impressionable due to the fact that people are able to relate to them on a more personal level.
One such mogul is YouTube sensation, LaToya Ali, who has two successful YouTube channels with over 1.5 million subscribers combined. Born in Ontario, Canada with a Trinidadian background, LaToya has managed to create a brand for herself that is continuously growing.
She describes her main channel as an “escape” with the main goal of making people laugh, while her vlog channel shows LaToya’s daily routine and how she interacts with family and friends. She has turned her vlog channel into a reality show format which is now on its 9th season.
LaToya has entered a new season in her life after giving birth to two beautiful children. Her daughter Samia is now one year old and she recently gave birth to her son Zayn who is a month old.
After speaking with LaToya, I gained an entire new level of respect for digital influencers and the work they put into making their brand valuable and worthwhile for viewers.
New You: When did you start your first YouTube channel and why?
LaToya Ali: To be honest, I started my first YouTube channel because of rejection. Back then my passion was to entertain. I love to make people happy. I get so much joy from making people laugh and smile. I wanted to be in the entertainment business so much. So I used to go to different auditions for commercials and then I was turned down, rejected. Modeling gigs, rejected, auditions for movies, rejected. I would tell my friends and family about my passions and they would say “that’s nice LaToya, but you really need to be realistic about your dream and just go back to school and get a realistic job,” but that wasn’t my passion. I’m all about following your dreams and living your passion. I went ahead and started a YouTube channel and just broadcasted myself and shared my creativity with the world. Basically, all that rejection inspired me to live my passion and thank God for YouTube because it’s the perfect platform for me to reach out to the masses and share what I love to do with everybody.
NY: What is the main purpose of your channel? Personally, I get my daily dose of laughter from your videos so is that the number one goal? Comic relief?
LA: For my main channel, I would say the purpose is definitely when you just want to escape from reality and have a laugh. A place where you can just sit down and not think about your problems but just come and laugh your ass off. For my vlogging channel, it’s more about my daily life–the ups and downs that I face. We keep it 100% organic on that channel. We show all areas of our life so that’s what makes it truly realistic. That’s behind the scenes of Latoya Forever.
NY: I know there are many people who still don’t believe that you can make a living from being a full time digital influencer. Do you mind telling us how you were successfully able to do that?
LA: On YouTube, everyone is able to get paid because ads are placed on every single video. The amount of views you get on your videos determines whether or not you can make a living out of it. Therefore, the more views you get, the more money that you get through the advertisements. Then, when you start getting more views and have solid standing, companies start reaching out to you by offering to pay you to promote their products, their apps, their games, and their clothing lines. I have deals with numerous companies, which is one of the main ways I get paid. This then allows you to build your brand by expanding and venturing off into different businesses.
I actually have an app as well and I’m working on another business opportunity. It comes to a point where you just start doing a bunch of different things that go in line with your brand. There are so many YouTube millionaires out there and it inspires me to want to get to that level.
NY: What were you doing before YouTube?
LA: Before YouTube, I wasn’t doing anything. I was lost. I didn’t know myself and I was in and out of college not knowing what I wanted to do. Well I knew what I wanted to do but in terms of the “realistic” aspect of my life, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I was really all over the place before YouTube. I was just living day by day dreaming about living my dream. I feel like YouTube really kick-started my career.
NY: How was the transition from being a full time YouTuber to now being a mom of two?
LA: Oh my gosh! It has been crazy because both of my pregnancies were unexpected but I love challenges so being a full time YouTuber before my babies turned into me being on YouTube every day, all day. I really just wanted to make a life for my family and so when I found out I was pregnant with my baby girl Samia, I was literally in LA and I said “you know what Adam, we have to go home and start a life.” So we went back to Canada and bought a house. It’s just been the greatest experience so far because I just have so much more stability now since I have children. It’s the greatest thing being a mom. I just feel complete, happy, and full of joy. Having kids really opened my eyes to what true happiness is.
A photo posted by LaToya Forever (@latoyaforever) on
NY: That’s incredible! I just got married so I’m looking forward to having kids someday. What would your top three tips be for any working mom who’s trying to balance their career with motherhood?
LA: One would be in order to keep your sanity, you really need to take some time out of each day for yourself. Do whatever you like to do, whether it’s getting your nails done or your hair done. Whatever the heck you need to do to keep your sanity, to keep yourself happy, content, and sane, do it because when you’re happy and healthy, your kids are going to be happy and healthy. That’s my number 1, 2, 3, 4, and 10th tip! Make sure you’re happy and healthy.
NY: I know that you currently have a team that helps you with your brand. Tell us more about how that actually started.
LA: I look at everyone in my vlogs as a part of my team. I have my family and friends involved in my channel. My husband, Adam, manages the business aspect of our brand. We’re a team. What’s his is mine, and what’s mine is his. I also have an editor which we hired after we gave birth to Samia just to help us out with the videos and we never let him go after that because he’s so great. Everyone just plays a significant role in my career. Even my children because if it wasn’t for them, the show wouldn’t be as successful as it is now.
NY: That’s awesome because I’m sure after having kids, it also allowed you to gain more supporters who look to you for tips and advice in handling their own family. What else do you see yourself doing in a few years?
LA: Exactly. It’s definitely contributed to my channel growing even more. I’ve been working on many projects and businesses behind the scenes that YouTube isn’t aware of. Another dream of mine is opening up a Spa. I’ve always wanted a spa in my little town for women to be able to get away and pamper themselves so I definitely see myself doing that. I’m a business woman so wherever I see fit for my brand is great. I’m also working on a makeup collection and hair line so that’s in the works.
NY: How do you deal with constant negativity in terms of negative comments or subscribers dictating how you should handle certain situations?
LA: I am a believer in constructive criticism, but when you’re bashing me on how I do something, that’s an issue the person has within themselves. I can’t knock someone for feeling the way they do because they are not happy with themselves which causes them to project that negativity on other people and try to bring them down. But nope, they’re not going to knock me down. Basically, the answer to the question is– how I deal with the haters? I don’t!
NY: With Mother’s day just recently passing, can you tell us one of the biggest lessons that you learned from your own mom that has had an impact on how your raise your own children?
LA: The biggest lesson she taught me would be to live life in the moment because you never know what can happen tomorrow. When I’m with my kids, I don’t have my phone with me because I just want to live in the moment and cherish each and every precious moment I have with them. Not worrying about bills or any issue you may be facing will bring you so much peace and joy. Living in the moment cancels out all the negativity.
NY: Lastly, what do you love the most about your job?
LA: I love traveling and meeting my supporters. I have supporters ranging from 10-year-olds to 80-year-olds and I absolutely love meeting them. They’re so much fun to be around. I love doing meet and greets and spending time with the people who support my dream because if it wasn’t for them, this life that I live right now would not be possible. I just give them thanks and praise for being a part of my life because they’re truly like family to me.
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