Let’s be transparent about finances – and say it louder for the people in the back! Honestly, I’m so sick of this outdated concept, especially in the UK, where we are never supposed to talk about money. Why shouldn’t knowledge be shared? Especially in an economic crisis. I grew up in London and am of immigrant descent. My grandparents never had any money and lived a very happy yet very paycheck-to-paycheck type of existence. They would have given anything to have a conversation with a self-made financially successful business person and would have listened very intently. This, of course, was in a pre-social media world.
It makes me so happy that creators like Reni Odetoyinbo are sharing how to make real money as a creator. This is such an important step towards financial inclusivity.
“Finance is a white-male dominated space,” Odetoyinbo told Insider. “A lot of my followers have told me they didn’t know creating wealth was something they could do because they wouldn’t see someone who looked like them, so that’s why I think my business has grown the way it has.”
Odetoyinbo’s financial storytelling journey started in May 2020 when she posted an Insta story about buying her first house at the age of 23. As you can imagine, her DMs exploded. She had 2,000 followers at the time, and received 30 messages with questions about how she was able to afford real estate two years out of college. At the time, Odetoyinbo was working full-time at The Bank of Montreal (BMO) in Canada and occasionally posted financial tips for friends and family on Instagram. After the post about her house, her followers asked her to create a dedicated platform about building wealth.
Her YouTube channel was then born after she polled her audience through Instagram about whether she should create a podcast, YouTube channel, or keep posting stories on Instagram. The majority voted for YouTube, and on May 18, 2020, XOReni was born.
Now, Odetoyinbo is a full-time YouTuber based in Ontario, Canada with 19,300 subscribers. Her content focuses on personal finance and career advice, where she posts videos about how she bought her first house at age 23, how to revamp a LinkedIn profile, and explaining concepts like financial abuse. She’s also expanded to lifestyle content, such as what skincare products she uses. You’re sold already, right?
Here’s a breakdown of her earnings:
- Google’s AdSense program — Odetoyinbo’s first stream of income was through the Google AdSense platform which lets creators monetize their YouTube channels through placed ads. She earned her first CA$100 in September 2020.
- Brand partnerships — This is one of Odetoyinbo’s main streams of income, where brands such as Lemonade (investment company) and Wealthsimple (Canadian investment firm) pay her to create content on social media. Creators can earn between $100 and $2000 for sponsored videos depending on their following size and engagement.
- Affiliate marketing — This is another one of her biggest income sources, where companies like EQ Bank pay her to have people sign up for their service. She puts the affiliate link in her bio on social media, and if a follower signs up, then Odetoyinbo gets a portion of the proceeds. For example, the bank paid her CA$80 for each person who used her specialised link to sign up.
- Speaking engagements — Organisations like her alma mater, York University, and the Toronto Public Library pay Odetoyinbo a flat fee to discuss topics like investing in front of a live audience or through a virtual meet-up.
- Professional consulting — Odetoyinbo charges a minimum of CA$350 to revamp a client’s LinkedIn profile or provide recommendations to a small business on how it can optimise its social-media profiles.
- Buy Me A Coffee — Sometimes, her followers give her tips through this app based on the advice she gives, such as someone who obtained a CA$25,000 raise in their job based on her advice.
- Grants — Funding from creator programs, like the CA$32,263 she earned in June from #YouTubeBlack Voices, has helped Odetoyinbo invest in growing her platform, especially since the money is tax-free.
Thanks to her financial growth, Odetoyinbo has also been able to help her grandparents in Nigeria access healthcare through a collaboration with IHS Medical Inc, whose ad was placed in one of her YouTube videos earlier this month. We love to see financially successful young people supporting and honouring their immigrant heritage and the sacrifices made for them in order to succeed and receive an education.
“I’m very well aware of my privilege, because most people don’t have guidance like that from such a young age, ” she said. “I never want my audience to think I learned all this on my own.”
Odetoyinbo also learned about building wealth from her job at BMO, where she most recently worked as a strategic marketing manager creating marketing plans that attracted people who had more than $1 million in investable assets. However, she wanted to break down financial concepts for the “average” person, which is what she focused her YouTube channel on.
“I felt like I was just helping the rich get richer, and wasn’t actually adding any value,” she said. So she left her job at the bank in October 2021, after earning CA$3,000 the previous month from AdSense, one brand deal, and affiliate income from the performance-marketing platform Fintel Connect. The rest is history.
Odetoyinbo also shared her month to month income breakdown: