The Pop Profile series is a peek into the creative process of some of the most talented people making content on social media. It’s a chance for them to step out from behind the camera, into the spotlight, and let us pick their brains. This month, we’re talking illustrator and ASMRtist Albinwhisperland.
At Pop Pays, we pride ourselves on an incredibly wide array of creators that span countless talents, platforms, and media types. One of our favorite brands, Method, tapped into our creator community to create content on YouTube with the ASMR community. If you haven’t heard, ASMR (or Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response), is described as a response to auto-visual triggers and the creators behind ASMR content are referred to as ASMRtists. This formally taboo and now viral pocket of the internet come with engaged audiences and a strong sense of community, making it the perfect place for product placement.
Method and the ASMRtists, including our Pop Profile creator, Albinwhisperland, were able to create some unique, fun, interesting and engaging video content to post to their YouTube channels. Albinwhisperland, aka ALB, is a Toronto-based illustrator and digital content creator for CBC and YouTube. We chatted with ALB to hear how she got into ASMR, how she has worked with brands in the past, and what advice she has for people interested in creating ASMR.
On getting started with ASMR and the transition to a full time gig:
I started making ASMR videos for fun in 2012, so I’ve been part of this community since the early days. Sometimes creating ASMR is my full time job, sometimes it isn’t. I do the work full time that’s for sure, but some months more of my income comes from my illustration work, sometimes it’s more from doing contract content work for digital outlets, and sometimes it’s from making videos. Like most freelancers, I keep several irons in the fire at all times so that I’m never stuck. If something is paying more, I’ll put more of my time there. But I keep doing all of these things that way if I’m having a slow month in one category it’s not the end of the world. YouTube is fickle- you can create something you think will be a huge hit and sometimes it just isn’t. But sometimes it is! So you have to keep it up and not get discouraged.
On collaborating with brands:
I’m lucky enough to work with brands at least a few times a year, and it’s pretty nice that more and more brands are taking the ASMR community seriously. We really do have a great community and while I can’t speak for everyone, my viewers are extremely receptive and supportive of my work that incorporates sponsorships because they understand that ASMR videos are very labor and time intensive to create. I’ve worked with Pusheen, Erstwilder, Bunz, Tea Runners, Aitai Kuji, and most recently I worked with Reese’s (Hershey) on a large scale ASMR project called “Reese the Movie” which was pretty incredible. I got to actually work with other ASMRtists in person which was very special, because unlike other YouTube communities we have a mainly solo type of gig. The brand was really receptive to our ideas and valued us as individuals with a specialty skill and knowledge, it felt very collaborative. ASMR viewers can tell when something was made by folks who don’t actually watch ASMR, it’s hard to explain into words what the noticeable facet is but they know it when they see and hear it. If brands are interested in advertising to the ASMR community the smartest thing they can do is work collaboratively with creators in our community directly.
On working with brands to best speak to her audience:
So, when I’m considering working with a brand I usually start the other way around. Rather than fit a product in, I have to see if the product is a fit for my audience. My channel is pretty specific since I’m mainly focused on vintage fashion, beauty, lifestyle and art. I can’t throw a wrench in that mix and to be honest, I wouldn’t know how! When I think Method, I think: good smells, laundry. I took a look at my ongoing list of video ideas (many of which will likely never be made, since the list is 50+ items long at this point) and very quickly realized I could feature Method in a video I was already hoping to make. That’s when I decided to pitch to the brand, and the rest very easily wrote itself! I think it worked out well because, despite being a sponsored video, it was completely in line with the rest of the content on my channel and my viewers really enjoyed that.
Her favorite thing about being an ASMRtist:
For me, the best part about creating ASMR content is realizing that all the small and precious joys I find in simple objects and sounds aren’t weird. There are so many people out there who love them too, and now we have a whole community to connect to each other. My friends and family now will sometimes grab things for me and give them as gifts because they thought they would be great for ASMR, it makes me feel so thought of and understood. Easily the hardest thing about being an ASMRtist is dealing with sounds that are out of your control when recording. Sound is the most important part of what I do and silence is hard to achieve. I live in downtown Toronto and I’m only able to film from 12am-4am because of the sounds of the city. And even then, sometimes someone in a neighboring unit will have a party on a Tuesday or a baby will cry for an hour… those nights are rough. I’ve had plenty of nights where I have to just stop what I’m doing and bail, because of unwanted sounds. It’s worth it though, because when I’m in editing mode and listening back, nothing feels better than perfect audio.
Words of advice for aspiring ASMRtists:
The ASMR youtube community is just as broad as the regular Youtube world- there are ASMR videos about everything you can think of. So if you’re thinking of dipping your toes in and creating a channel try to focus on what you’re really, personally, genuinely interested in and make content about that. Otherwise you’ll get bored or unmotivated. Harness what you’re passionate about and create the kind of videos you wish existed- your niche community will find you!
Big thank you to ALB for sharing her creative process and journey with us. You can keep up with her on her Instagram account, YouTube channel, and website. Interested in learning more about how Pop Pays can speed up your custom content production? Learn how to get started, and check back here for more inspiration from our creator community.