With hundreds of thousands of fans across social media platforms, YouTuber Sorelle Amore has built an empire on sustainable living and travel. Using her photography skills, she shoots videos in remote locations, advocating for a minimalist, zero-waste lifestyle or explaining to her followers how to take the perfect selfie.
However, success wasn’t instantaneous for the millennial influencer. A native Australian, Amore bounced around different careers during her twenties. She worked in marketing, launched her own online fashion business, even landed a gig at a high-end photography agency.
But nothing felt right. And so when she was 27 she bought a one-way ticket to Europe, moving to Iceland to jumpstart a career on YouTube.
Amore’s Journey to Influencer
Once in Iceland, Amore felt both empowered by her decision but also scared. As she struggled to make ends meet in the expensive country, her brother sent her an email about ThirdHome‘s “Best Job on the Planet” contest. With one day left to submit, she worked around-the-clock on the application, hoped for the best and pressed send.
And to her surprise, she won.
Beating out 17,000 other influencers, the Australian was hired to travel around the world for three months, creating videos and photographing luxury homes in 12 countries. The gig paid $10,000 per month – a far cry from what the millennial had previously been making.
Crisscrossing the globe from Fiji to Morocco to the Dominican Republic, the job was a dream but the hustle was real. She recalls spending entire days every week in transit, flying so much that she didn’t even get the chance to get jet lag. At the end of her wild ride she knew she loved to travel, but wanted her YouTube channel to have a different focus.
“I don’t want to be like, ‘I love this bakery, look at this bakery,’” says Amore. And so the millennial decided to focus on camera and photography tutorials, eventually building a brand off her advanced selfie series.
Drawing on her former career as photographer, she offers advice like how to dress for your body type on camera or how to build a visually-appealing Instagram feed. Using her magazine-like shots as examples, she delves into the nitty-gritty of why some photos appear more interesting than others.
Paired with her sunny personality and positive outlook, Amore’s instructional videos quickly gained traction on the platform – she racked up 300,000 subscribers in just three months.
Breaking into YouTube
If you’re interested in YouTube, the 30-year-old advises to focus on a niche and think about what you can offer. “We are in a very strange time where personality is king on YouTube,” says Amore. “You don’t have to have any talent just personality.”
“What’s getting harder now is that there are so many more people coming on to YouTube,” admits Amore, who has been active on the platform for two years. However, the millennial says that consistency is key.
During her three-month trip around the world, she was required to shoot travel videos during the day, edit at night and take photos of the houses where she was staying. Although it was a grueling slog, Amore says that discipline is what has helped her grow as a creator.
“It’s about picking up a camera every single day and making something,” says Amore. “It could be doing that for 18 months straight until you feel prepared.”
Becoming a minimalist
While traveling around the world for ThirdHome, Amore became adept at living out of a suitcase. Continuing the nomadic lifestyle for the next two years, she soon realized how freeing it was to have less stuff. Her interest in minimalism was born.
An advocate for sustainable lifestyles, Amore is clear that minimalism does not mean deprivation. She now has an apartment in Melbourne, which she’s decorated with many, many plants since they make her feel happy. The key to minimalism is choosing what you love and focusing on that, rather than getting caught up in buying tons of things, says Amore.
Advocating for the Zero-Waste Lifestyle
After adopting minimalism, Amore also became interested in a plastic-free lifestyle. Making videos on the subject, she shares with her followers some of the daily struggles she faces while trying not to use plastic. For example, although she uses mostly glassware or re-usable containers to purchase food items like meat or nuts, it’s been very difficult to find berries that aren’t packaged in plastic cartons.
How to Stay Relevant on YouTube
Although Amore did not find YouTube difficult to break into, she says it can be a toxic place, especially if your paycheck is tied to the ever-changing algorithm.
Amore recommends to first establish yourself with a related business, so that your worth isn’t dictated by YouTube or the brands that approach you. She made over $300,000 last year, which is split between 60% from her own business ventures and 35% from sponsorships, which she says makes it easier for her to stick to her guns when it comes to brand deals. Only 5% of her earning are directly from YouTube.
“I’m super picky about who I go for which means I can now charge higher rates,” says Amore, pointing out that she only works with four or five companies.
Investing in Yourself with Internet Money
While talking about her recent earnings, Amore said it felt strange initially to say $300,000 out loud, although she is proud of the accomplishment. “I’m amazed that sticking in your lane and talking about what you love actually can make money ,” says Amore. “It’s the first time in my life I’ve ever had financial stability.”
Given the fickle nature of social media platforms, she knows that her earnings might not continue forever, so she’s careful with how she spends her money.
“I don’t want cars or fashion. I invest in my education or my business,” says Amore, who also has parked money in property, gold and silver.
“This is a spike in my life,” says Amore. “I need to figure out how to make this into a forever income…I think some people think it’s forever without realizing you could just be having your 15 minutes of fame.”
This post is the ninth in a series on women succeeding in the travel industry, whether it be as a solo female traveler or founder of an adventure startup. Know a woman who is killing it in the world of travel? Send an email to actalty at gmail.com to nominate them for next month’s installation of #AdventureHackingWomen.
Others in this series include:
The Minimalist YouTuber Making Over $300k Traveling The World – Forbes