Athisha Khan is a prominent Malaysian YouTuber, social media influencer and entrepreneur. With 158,000 subscribers on YouTube and 349,000 followers on Instagram, Athisha juggles the demands of her online career alongside her tertiary studies as a final year student at the University of Birmingham, majoring in Law and Business.
What are some highlights of your career so far?
I had the opportunity to work on creating a limited edition phone case collection in collaboration with Casesbywf which was probably the real kick-start to my career and a huge boost to my self-confidence in this industry. At the moment, I’m working on another collaboration, one very close to my heart – can’t wait to share this soon. Being invited to attend Milan Fashion Week at the age of 21 has been one of the most exciting experiences I’ve had so far as well.
What are some things you do in your free time?
I edit videos! Haha, but if I’m really really free then it’s watching a film or a TV show. For now its Sex and the City! Season 6, Episode 4 is playing as I type now and I just loveeee it.
‘Being invited to attend Milan Fashion Week at the age of 21 has been one of the most exciting experiences I’ve had so far’
What would you consider as your greatest success so far?
Reaching 100,000 subscribers in the midst of summer exams was something I never thought was going to happen. I upload every Friday of the week and if there was a time I knew I’d most likely slack off YouTube would be during exams but instead, I put in a little extra time and effort way before revision even began to have plenty of videos scheduled so that I won’t miss any upload. I’m really glad I got to focus on my studies without having to put a pause on my job.
What do you think is a misperception that the general public has about your job, or an aspect to your job that many people aren’t aware of?
I think the biggest misperception is that people don’t generally think it is a real job. Many look at it as just something on the side or a hobby. Since I have two years of university left, my priority lies there and it won’t change until I get my degree. But at the same time, I have committed to upload at least once a week. While my friends take time off between lectures, as if they have part-time jobs, they’re not clashing with uni time, I use up that hour or two to edit a video or a thumbnail, plan a video or a posting, reply emails, reach out to people and brands and basically get work done. All this on top of my studies.
Every minute I get counts. I’ve made it a job for myself – where I’m the boss, I’m my manager, I’m thinking of ways to boost views and engagement, I’m trying to come up with creative ideas for postings, I manage my finances. There’s a lot of thought and planning that goes into the job, from Instastories to YouTube videos. Despite what people may think, it’s more than a job, its several jobs crammed into one but it is definitely a rewarding one 🙂 and I love every bit of it!
‘ I’m really glad I got to focus on my studies without having to put a pause on my job.’
How did you come to realise that Youtube/Instagram/Twitter could be a platform into a media career?
I realised at the point just before I started making YouTube videos that YouTube hasn’t blown up in Malaysia yet, Instagram was the main thing. I learned that video marketing was going to be the next big thing and since I’ve always loved editing videos, though I wasn’t very good at it and I’m still just learning now, I thought to give it a shot. Didn’t think it could be any more than me simply having a platform to save all my memories. When I was getting approached for sponsorships, I realised I could turn this into a source of income for myself. If I’m being entirely honest, it was only until recently (as recent as around February 2019) that I’ve started taking it seriously and properly turning this into a job for myself.
Describe some of the challenges involved with managing your social media profiles.
Coming up with new original creative content can be challenging and it can get very draining as well. Some days you come up with more ideas than you can in a whole week. Some days you can’t think of anything!
Another challenge would be deciding what content to put up. Your viewers and followers don’t always like the things you’re into so it may sometimes be difficult to be truly yourself. If I’m lucky then my viewers and I are interested in the same thing at the same time but this isn’t always the case. So, should I go the route people generally like or do what I truly enjoy?
‘Coming up with new original creative content can be challenging and it can get very draining as well.’
What was your process in making it a sustainable career?
It’s still a process. Having a fixed schedule so people know when to expect a video has helped. I’m still learning and very happy to be. I know it’ll take time.
What motivates you to keep going & continue engaging with your audience?
I truly love what I do and this isn’t something everyone can say for themselves. I love being busy with the things I truly have a passion for. Those who know me from school and college know how obsessed I get with work and now it’s just that x10000. I love it, I wake up happy and go to bed happy. I think this answer is enough to show you that the happiness I get from it is what motivates me most of all.
What is one word that people would use to describe you?
‘I love being busy with the things I truly have a passion for.’