From the top · 31 July 2018

How this Youtube “sexpert” implemented a life-changing illness into her business model

Hannah Witton
Sex and relationships YouTube star, Hannah Witton

Award-winning YouTuber Hannah Witton hasn’t had it easy the past year. The influencer known for vlogging posts vlogs on sex, relationships and body image, has had a hard knock with her health but has handled it how she knows best.

Witton posted videos online talking about having Ulcerative Colitis and the coinciding body confidence issues and sexual complications of having a colostomy bag. By doing this, Witton has helped thousands of people who suffer from similar illnesses find their feet and has started to “normalise stoma bag chat”.

Her videos attract more than 25 million unique views on her official YouTube channel and has a combined social media following of over 400,000. Due to her big fan base, Witton has attracted big brands such as Durex and MTV where they asked her to take part in their global Someone Like Me campaign, which promoted healthy sex education.

Business Advice caught up with Witton to discover how she overcomes life’s hurdles and what bad investments she keeps on making.

What made you want to be a YouTuber?

I was a big fan of watching other YouTubers before I started making videos. I loved the community aspect and it seemed like everybody was having so much fun and I wanted to be a part of that.

Could you see yourself doing anything else?

Before my YouTube channel kicked off for me I was interested in going into TV. I’m very organised so liked the idea of being a producer. And I guess I am a producer now!

What numbers do you look at every day in your business?

I don’t think I look at them every day but I do look at them most days (sometimes I wish I would look at them less). But the main ones I check are YouTube subscriber count, views on most recent video and engagement on Instagram and Twitter.

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How do you overcome any hurdles that life throws at you?

Well, I have had a lot of hurdles thrown at me this year in regards to my health. I’m not sure if I’ve overcome them yet I see it more as a process. But the things helping me are giving myself time to recover, sticking to a work schedule that’s manageable so it doesn’t feel like I’m failing, and take it day by day. Some days will be better than others but by focusing on the little victories and things I achieve really helps (like reaching inbox zero!)

What business venture do you wish you came up with?

Cards Against Humanity. It’s such a huge success and I imagine it was a lot of fun to work on.

What do you love to do in your spare time?

The problem with making a career out of a hobby is that one day you stop and realise you don’t have any hobbies anymore. But in general I like to read, cook, eat and play video games. 

Three things you couldn’t live without?

Realistically: my phone, my stoma bag and my alone time.

Have you had to change business strategies?

Not yet! My business strategy so far has been “ride the wave”. But now I’m looking to create more of a solid plan going forward to future proof my career as the internet can be a fickle place.

Who would you choose to be stuck on a desert island with?

My boyfriend. I can spend a significant amount of time with him without getting bored or him annoying me. It sounds like a low bar, but I challenge you to name someone in your life who if you spent 24 hours with wouldn’t get on your nerves a little bit.

What is your biggest business blunder?

I’ve bought 2 GoPros and used each of them once. I don’t know why I keep doing it. I just get sucked into watching vloggers who use GoPros and then I think I need a GoPro when really I don’t. Please make sure I don’t buy another GoPro (or any other camera I don’t need!)

What advice would you give to your younger self?

I still feel pretty young and my main advice to myself right now is – get a bloody pension!

If you could witness any historical event, what would it be?

The Big Bang. Does that count as a historical event?

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Carly Hacon is a reporter for Business Advice. She has a BA in journalism from Kingston University, and has previously worked as a features editor for a local newspaper.

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