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“Be Extremely Open, Honest, And Almost Unnecessarily Vulnerable” With Model and Mental Health Advocate Annalise Mishler

Be extremely open, honest, and almost unnecessarily vulnerable. It can feel weird the first time you post and talk about your innermost…


Be extremely open, honest, and almost unnecessarily vulnerable. It can feel weird the first time you post and talk about your innermost dark or scary thoughts. It can create anxiety when you wonder how people will react — will they think I’m seeking attention? Will they think I’m crazy and unstable? The truth is it doesn’t matter if a handful of people make those judgments, because far more will be inspired and grateful.


I had the pleasure of interviewing Annalise Mishler, a model, mental health advocate & influencer, and writer. Annalise obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism at the age of 20, and has spent the past three years trying to help others that struggle with mental illness and also use her comedy background to entertain her audience. Annalise can be found on Youtube making funny videos that she hopes will help those struggling to get out of their head and laugh a little. She has won a WEGO Health award for her blog that reaches hundreds of thousands of people struggling with their mental state.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?

I grew up in Northern California with five older sisters and two amazing parents. Growing up I was very blessed, though unfortunately I was faced with two very traumatic sexual assaults at a young age, then again as an adult. All throughout college I struggled with an eating disorder called ARFID — which was triggered by traumatic events — and it was not until I was 22 that I was diagnosed and able to go from 60 pounds to 110 pounds through intensive treatment. I struggle with PTSD, anxiety, depression, and ADHD. But those things aren’t me! I know that I’m a boss ass bitch who is extremely funny, intelligent, and empathetic. Because of my overwhelming empathy I strive to help as many people as possible through the power of social media, my website, and Youtube. (In real life of course, too!) I’m one of the most raw, unfiltered, and vulnerable people that I’ve come across on social media and while that is quite disheartening I hope I will continue to inspire others to also show their truth.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that happened to you in the course of your career?

This actually happened the other day, so it may not be the most interesting but it’s super fresh in my mind — I was touring an apartment complex and the leasing agent was a girl about my age. When I walked in the doors she let out a small scream and proceeded to let me know that she was subscribed to me on Youtube and follows me. While this sometimes happens when I’m out in LA, this time was particularly funny because as she explained all of the apartment amenities and features she referenced several personal things about me and how I could benefit from the features. Example: she really tried to sell me on the coffee bar downstairs and the wine closet in the unit and even knew my exact drinks of choice. Creepy? Honestly not at all. I was very entertained.


How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

I feel like with what I aim to emulate through social media, my website, modeling, etc. it is essential that I bring goodness to the world, as that is my goal. I’ve received countless..I’m talking thousands..of messages from people letting me know how I’ve inspired them or changed their lives. I know my story is powerful for a those out there that struggle with any sort of eating disorder, mental illness, or other trauma in their lives. If I’m not doing that, I’m not doing my job.

If someone would want to emulate your career, what would you suggest are the most important things to do?

Be extremely open, honest, and almost unnecessarily vulnerable. It can feel weird the first time you post and talk about your innermost dark or scary thoughts. It can create anxiety when you wonder how people will react — will they think I’m seeking attention? Will they think I’m crazy and unstable? The truth is it doesn’t matter if a handful of people make those judgments, because far more will be inspired and grateful.

Is there a particular person that made a profound difference in your life to whom you are grateful? Can you share a story?

Oddly enough, it was an ex boyfriend from college that made a very big difference in my life because without his role I don’t think I would’ve gotten the help or support I needed. We lived together and he knew about my eating disorder, but at the time I had not yet been diagnosed with ARFID. Doctors and therapists were quick to label me with anorexia nervosa because of my very low weight, but I had no sort of “anorexic” thoughts. I struggled a lot and spent a lot of time frustrated that treatment wasn’t working. My boyfriend at the time could not have been more supportive. Though he had no mental health struggles he encouraged me to go to therapy, even going with me. He held me for hours in the middle of the night while I endured terrifying panic attacks; he supported me financially and took me grocery shopping every week to make sure I got everything I needed; he never once judged me or showed any frustration with my anxiety or PTSD either — he was so gentle and compassionate with me. Though it didn’t work out with us, I still am grateful that I had support during those hard years from the person I was closest with.

So what are the most exciting projects you are working on now?

I’m focusing the majority of my brain power on my Patreon at the moment. I love Patreon and what is has allowed me to do — I have a solid community of dedicated individuals who watch my patreon videos & read posts no matter how raw and real I am. Another exciting thing I’m working on is writing a book! I have a publisher, so I really have to get that thing done!


What are your “Top Five Ideas About How Influencers Can Monetize Their Brand” . (Please share a story or example for each.)

1. Sponsored Posts: Whether it be Instagram, Youtube, Snapchat, Twitter, etc. sponsorships with brands can be very beneficial to a creator trying to earn their living. Depending on your following you can be compensated to post, review, or talk about a brand to your followers. I’ve had some amazing sponsorships that went on to be long-term partnerships. Biggest tip for sponsorships — don’t just take any one that comes along. I’m extremely picky with what I promote. You will never find me promoting diuretic tea because I advocate for body positivity. Also, I prefer not to poop my pants and wouldn’t want my followers to, either. 🙂

2. Youtube: While the “Adpocalypse” has recently hit us on Youtube, it still is a great place to monetize your brand. Adsense (money for ads on your videos), sponsored content (previous) and promoting your own merchandise or other affiliate codes are all ways I make money with youtube. For me, it’s mainly a creative outlet that I use to let me followers see who I am through vlogging. I link my Patreon, social media, and any affiliate codes I may have at the moment in every video.

3. Merchandise: If you have die-hard “fans” then you have an amazing opportunity to create merchandise and have it be a successful venture. Using websites like spreadshirt or represent allow creators to design their merch and have it shipped directly to your consumers — taking out the middle man and allowing you to get started without an investment. Imagine only 100 people buying a 40 dollar sweatshirt. Merch can be a smart and simple way to generate passive income, and as a bonus you have people walking around and promoting you.

4. Patreon: Patreon is my favorite platform to use that gives me the best payout for the work I’m putting in. People pledge a certain amount per month to gain access to my content. I have 1, 5, 10, 20, 40, and 100 dollar tiers and my patrons can choose which tier they want to pledge to. Each tier has its own benefits and rewards — for example, my 5 dollar tier gets 4 exclusive videos a week, 10 dollars gets access to my private snapchat, etc. I highly recommend Patreon to creators that enjoy connecting with their audience on a more personal and individualized manner.

5. Collaboration Apps & Websites: I currently use Famebit, Brandsnob, and Rep to find other influencers and brands that wish to collaborate. Some of these apps are made for strictly collaboration, but if your following is large or engaged enough you can easily get paid to partner with a brand that you align with.

Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this. 🙂

If I could have a drink or six with someone influential, it would be Jeff Bezos. I mean…come on. Who wouldn’t?

Originally published at medium.com

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