Why Your Smaller Socials Matter

(5 min read) AyChristene on attracting brands, creating negotiating power, and finding your audience again. Featuring YouTube, Patreon, Linktree, Elgato, and the Noir Network.


AyChristene is a triple threat Creator, producing gaming, react, and talk content across YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Twitch, and podcasts.

She’s also helping other Creators build their businesses through her new venture, Artstene.

It’s a directory that I started to make it easier for people to locate freelancers, like editors, artists, and graphic designers.

She’s got some fantastic insights and tactics on how to maximize revenue across platforms, in negotiations, and through networking.

Let’s get into it!


Check out Artstene if you’re looking to freelance or to hire a freelancer!

The Business



YouTube is my bread and butter.

Christene’s revenue is a blend of advertising, brand deals, and direct fan payments; YouTube drives the overwhelming majority.

With 93% of her audience and 85% of her revenue coming from YouTube, I asked her why she puts so much effort into five other platforms.

She pointed out four (4) big reasons that every Creator should consider:

1) Attracting Brands

There will be brands that want to work with us on Instagram as a sole deliverable, or as an item on on the deliverables list.

Being on more platforms means qualifying for more opportunities. Your funnel is wider.

If you’re only on one platform, you’re immediately disqualified from brands wanting to promote on other platforms.

2) Negotiating Leverage 

If there’s something I’m not able to include, our negotiation power is kind of lowered.

The more you're able to offer a brand, and the more visibility you're able to offer a brand, the more negotiation ability that you'll have.

This is such an important thing to recognize:

The smaller platforms help increase revenue from the larger platforms by creating leverage.

A YouTube brand deal might be $5000, but if you can package in some TikToks, IG Stories, and Tweets, you might get another few thousand dollars.

Now multiply that across all the brand deals you do over your Creator career, and that’s a huge sum.

This is backed up by her experience with Twitter:

I never thought of Twitter as its own thing, but pretty much 90% of all brand deals include a tweet.

3) Content Diversification

Anything could happen, as we're seeing with Twitter, right? And people in droves going to Threads? I'm sure that's going to affect brand deals in the future….

For Creators, diversification is the path to freedom.

Platforms are unpredictable, the economy is unpredictable, even fans are unpredictable - so diversification blunts the impact of any one shock to your business.

4) Audience Retention

What I've noticed, especially streaming on TikTok…I get a lot of people that are like, “Oh, my goodness, you were my childhood…”

When you're not a part of their routine, it's like you've disappeared, so it's a way of finding that audience again and kind of being, “Hey, I'm still here,” and bringing them back into the fold.

Your fans early in your Creator journey are unlikely to be your fans later in your Creator journey, unless you actively evolve along with them.

That goes both for creative, and for distribution. Someone who watched a lot of YouTube 5 years ago may watch a lot of TikTok now, for example.

Being everywhere lets you be in front of your fans no matter how their preferences and behaviors change.

In an effort to diversify beyond even her core social channels, Christene is incubating two new properties.

The first is her podcast, Party Chat. While it’s not yet a moneymaker, its purpose has changed over the course of its existence.

Our mission has changed. Originally, it was like… “Let's make people laugh…”

And then it kind of changed to building a community and safe space, normalizing black faces in gaming, media, and tech.

As she and her cohosts continue to build the show’s audience, her hope is that it will come into its own as part of her overall business.

The other property she is incubating is Artstene, her freelance directory connecting Creators to for-hire artists, editors, graphics designers, and more.

This is a huge opportunity, and she’s in good company tackling it - other Creators launching bootstrapped job board for Creators include Paddy Galloway (YT Jobs) and Sherry Wong (Roster).

Her goal is to make the site free for both freelancers and the Creators hiring them.

I'm trying to find out which ways [to monetize] without charging anybody…There's no paywall in order for you to see the information, and I want to keep it that way because that makes it easier for everybody to use.

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The Stack

Membership - Patreon + YouTube Channel Memberships

As far as fan funding, I get most of that from YouTube…

I had the Patreon before YouTube started the memberships thing, but when YouTube started their memberships, that took off.

Affiliates - Not currently, but considering YouTube’s product

What's changing now is YouTube has offered the shopping affiliate thing, so I'm actually kind of wanting to try that more. But I've done affiliate marketing before… it wasn't very fruitful. I'll say that.

…I think with the YouTube affiliate program…you can do it all while watching the video. The video is still there. So I think that could actually be very promising.

SMS - Coming soon…

Email - Coming soon…

Merch - Crowdmade, but working on a new partnership, coming soon…

I will say things definitely changed from when I originally was a part of Crowdmade, versus how they are now.

Originally, Crowdmade was more hands-on, helping Christene execute on her merch campaigns.

Now, as their staff has turned over and their ways of working have changed, she feels less supported.

She’s negotiating a new partnership that would cover merch, email, and SMS - but it’s still confidential, so SHHHH! Keep an eye out.

Link in Bio - Linktree, but changing

It was just - that was what existed. I didn't have a website, and so I was like, “Okay, I need to put something there.”

Brand Deals - Self/husband networking

Most of my brand deals have been because I went to a company’s workshop, engaged in the workshop, and the person leading the workshop is normally not the only person from the company that's there.

Let's say Persons A, B and C are there. Person B is moderating the workshop and teaching the workshop. I've had a lot of opportunities where person A or person C had their own project, and were like, “Hey, we saw you in this panel or this workshop, we'd love to work with you because I'm head of this other project.”

So I would say stay open minded, engage…I know as a content creator, some people are nervous when it comes to other people, but always think of at least one question you can ask. That way you can talk to the person hosting, or even the other people around you, and network.

Stream Production - OBS + Elgato

Lighting - Elgato lights

Camera - Sony Camcorder

Mic / Mixer - BEACN

Podcast Production - Streamyard

I use StreamYard on a day to day basis to record.

Video Distribution - Native in the platform

Podcast Distribution - Anchor

It would be great if I could do that all from YouTube - stream it, and then post it to [the podcast] platforms. That would be wonderful. But right now I use Anchor FM. I think that recently changed to Spotify for Podcasters.

Project Management - Google Drive, Notion, Post-Its, Whiteboard, Notebook

Am I organized? That's the actual better question. That's the best question. 😅 

Finances - Traditional

All of it's traditional - a local bank that I could physically go to to open up the account, and stuff like that.

Mentorship - Noir Network

Noir is a collective of black femme gamers, and I definitely owe gratitude to them about learning how to price myself in brand deals.

I was definitely under pricing for a long time, until I had conversations with them.

Representation - Not currently, but this is changing

There's a lot that goes with negotiating.

I'm a black female gamer. Sometimes that's helpful and sometimes that's not the case.

Sometimes I have to fight tooth and nail to get a reasonable number.

Sometimes I'll get a begrudging response from a company, and then as content creators, we talk, and I'll talk to somebody…that has the same amount of views and same amount of engagement, but that is not a black female gamer, and they either have gotten more or it was an easier conversation.

So having someone to navigate those waters for me would be a lot more helpful.

Team - Husband + Editor + Interns

AyChristene is a family business. Her husband edits, animates, makes artwork, uploads content, and works with her on content strategy.

They also have an editor.

Interns do the podcast.

Shout out to the interns, because they're amazing…All of the interns except for one are members, or were members, on my YouTube gaming channel. So shout out to them.

Thanks for reading!

My mission is to enable a million people to find freedom in the Creator Economy.

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