“Every Hater is a Motivator”: An Interview with Katylee Bailey

Katylee speaks to Vision about her career, online hate, and family life.

(Image: Katylee Bailey)

The 20-year-old content creator from Bradford has over 2.3 million followers on her TikTok account and 44.4K subscribers on YouTube. Her content includes comedy videos, vlogs, hauls, and relationship videos with her girlfriend, Grace.

When did you realise that you could make social media your full-time job? 

I realised that I could make social media my full-time job in February 2021! I was earning more than minimum wage so just gathered that I may as well take the chance whilst I had it and thankfully the money has just got better and better! 

How do you deal with negativity and hate?

Some days it really does affect me, however, every hater is a motivator. They are people sat watching my stuff and taking time out of their day to hate, but the funny thing is they just get me paid more, so joke’s on them! No, but seriously, it can be hard; best thing to do is block the haters and remember that you’re loved for you and that they’re either jealous or insecure about themselves so choose to hate on other people. 

Which achievement are you the proudest of? 

I am the most proud of hitting 300,000 on Instagram as Instagram really is one of the hardest platforms to grow! I always worried that people would not want to follow my Instagram as I was not like one of them models and I don’t post aesthetic pictures, however, I realise that people like me for me. Which makes me extremely proud of myself!

If you could give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?

So funnily enough I have recently brought out merch and on the back of my hoodie it says ‘always be you’. And that is one piece of advice that I would give myself if I could go back in time, as no matter what people say, you should always be yourself. You live one life so make sure you’re happy living it! 

How have your family reacted to your social media success? 

At first they really did not understand it. They worried so much when I said I was dropping out of university and when I told them I wanted to quit my job to do social media full time. As I live with my Mum, Grandma and Grandad, they are not very clued up when it comes to social media. However, as time has gone on, they’ve seen how well social media pays, and they also see how happy I am doing it. As well as this, they are just happy that I am living my best life and that I am having the opportunities been given to me. Oh! And they also love seeing how people react when they see me out in public!! My Grandma gets jealous if they don’t ask her!

Do you ever feel pressured to act a certain way or fit a particular image online? 

NOT AT ALL!! When I tell people I don’t understand how I’ve got to where I am, they tell me that people love me for me. And that makes me feel so at ease. When I was younger and I used to go on social media, I would compare myself to models and make-up artists not knowing that most of the time, they edit their photos, whether that is to make their make-up look better or to make their body look a particular way. So I never feel pressured as I’ve got to where I am being myself, so clearly, I’m doing something right!

And finally, what advice would you give to other young people hoping to make social media a career?

Always be you. No joke. Be yourself! There are so many people nowadays trying to make social media a career. However, only a lucky few are able to pursue it for a long amount of time. Having your own niche can be really helpful! For example, some people do make-up, some people do fitness, fashion, being open about their gender/sexuality, interior design etc … But what makes you stand out and do better is ensuring you don’t try to be someone you’re not.

Make sure that you add your personality and are realistic. Yes, it’s nice to see all the fancy posts looking beautiful, but people love seeing relatable content! Last but not least, believe in yourself. If you don’t believe in yourself, how are others going to? You’ve got this!