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‘Kind of crazy’: Blogilates founder describes how YouTube Shorts took her business viral

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Blogilates Founder and CEO-Head of Design of POPFLEX Cassey Ho sits down with Yahoo Finance Live to talk about growing subscribers and view counts on YouTube Shorts, developing brand relationships with viewers, and the business model for an entrepreneur on social media.

Video Transcript

- Welcome back, everyone. 86% of people between the age of 13 and 38 want to be social media influencers, and influencers, like Cassey Ho, a.k.a. Blogilates, have more options than ever as YouTube says it's gaining ground on TikTok with its YouTube shorts. Well, for more on this, let's welcome Cassey Ho, Blogilates founder and POPFLEX CEO and Head of Design, as well as Yahoo Finance's senior reporter Allie Garfinkle. So great to have you on, Cassey. So for people who are wondering, what is the better option at this point, the TikTok or the YouTube shorts?

CASSEY HO: Ooh, well, I am getting more views on YouTube shorts. So right now, I'm getting about 100 million views a month, which is actually more than IG reels and TikTok combined. It's kind of crazy.

ALLIE GARFINKLE: So, Cassey, when you started Blogilates, your plan wasn't to become an influencer, start a major business. What was it like on day one, and how does that kind of compare to your footprint today?

CASSEY HO: Oh, my gosh, when I first started Blogilates, it was all about me trying to connect with my real life students at the gym, a way for them to work out with me when I wasn't there. And because it started with that very genuine intention, that connection with my audience is what has helped me grow the channel to today to having over six million subscribers. It's kind of crazy.

- And it really is a very different vibe, depending on which platform you're on. I saw your planking challenge on TikTok. That brought a tear to my eye. That looked like incredibly hard work. So then, how do you manage all these different platforms and figuring out which one is going to bring you the most revenue and the most views being that you really have to cater to different sorts of audiences?

CASSEY HO: You do have to cater to different sorts of audience. However, what is true amongst all of the platforms is that people want short, engaging content. They want to get value immediately, whether it is through entertainment, through education, through something relatable or shareable. And what's really interesting for me is that, even though I started out with fitness videos, free programs online, what's actually really popping off for me right now are my product videos.

So I'm the head designer and CEO of POPFLEX Active, and it is so interesting. But what is driving my subscribers, driving my views, driving engagement are the videos, where I am sketching and showing the reason behind why I'm designing something, and that is literally selling out our products. These viral videos are really equating to real sales. It's incredible.

ALLIE GARFINKLE: Yeah, and to that end, Cassey, one of the things I wanted to ask too was about the relationship between shorts, your longer form content, and your business. They all kind of seem to exist in a little ecosystem.

CASSEY HO: Yeah, I mean, what it is, is that these shorts are like marketing videos. And in my ecosystem of providing free workout videos and things like that, it creates trust with the audience, and then the audience then wants to become part of your journey, part of your world a little bit more, right? So when they see that I'm wearing these shorts and that I designed them, they want to know more about it. They want to try it on. They want to become part of it, and the amazing thing is these designs are inspired by my actual audience.

So I do polls all the time on Instagram asking, hey, do you like A or B? What problems are you having? I am constantly in the comments, reading and trying to solve problems, and that's why it's a beautiful ecosystem. We're really working together to create new product. It's super fun.

- So do you think that YouTube is going to be able to catch up with TikTok? Obviously, TikTok has a massive following. YouTube has its own base though with the longer form videos. How close do you think YouTube actually is to catching up with TikTok?

CASSEY HO: Well, actually, I just read an article yesterday that YouTube has hit 1.5 billion monthly users, whereas the last number that I heard was one billion monthly users on TikTok. So we'll have to see what happens. I think it's great for the content creators, because now, there are more places, more eyeballs to be seeing your content. So we'll see what happens really.

- All right, well, it's been great having you on. We do appreciate it. Cassey Ho, Blogilate's founder and POPFLEX CEO and Head of Design, and, of course, Yahoo Finance senior reporter Ali Garfinkle, thank you both.