YouTube has become the unofficial alternative to television. The platform hosts video topics ranging from the outrageous to the informative. Because users are able to create individual channels and publish original videos, many people have opted out of working in corporate America and have made an entire career off the social media outlet.
Although it may seem like an easy task – shoot a fun video, throw in some cool edits, upload to YouTube, and then watch the subscribers and views pour in – a career on YouTube can be quite daunting as the growth of a channel can take some time. For a high quality, aesthetically pleasing video, hours of preparation are needed. From proper lighting to good sound quality, HD cameras and editing software – a successful YouTube gig can take lots of work. Once the physical work is done, it’s time to promote, interact and engage with followers and potential followers on social.
The topics on YouTube are endless, but my personal favorites are the beauty channels. Makeup tutorials, product reviews, skin care tips … what else would a girl want from some late night “channel surfing?”
wayvs contacted a few up-and-coming beauty YouTube stars to discuss their process and use of social media in their careers. We chose bloggers selected for the 2014 Allure Beauty Blogger Awards. Our first interview was with Ivy Boyd, creator of the blog Wake up for Makeup, who made it through three rounds in the award’s process before being eliminated.
Ivy is a beauty blogger and makeup artist who has previously worked for Sephora and also as a graphic designer. She studied art in college and brings that approach to her makeup artistry and YouTube tutorials. Ivy loves everything from special effects to bridal makeup and loves to talk about it even more. Makeup aside, she is an animal-loving, music festival-going, coffee-loving, Instagram addict. Aren’t we all??
Her YouTube channel has over 500 subscribers with more than 52,000 views.
wayvs: How important is social media to your image/brand?
IB: It’s really non-negotiable in our always-connected, busy, on-the-go society. However, as a makeup artist, I still think it’s really important to also engage in person whenever possible. I want people to feel assured and comfortable with me and you can only do so much through a tweet or a Facebook message. Doing makeup is such an intimate thing, so while social media sets up the introduction, IRL is where it counts.
wayvs: Which platforms do you see the most engagement from followers?
IB: Pinterest, #1 by far. Much of my blog traffic originates from Pinterest. Instagram and Twitter have been good to me too, but nothing like the big P!
wayvs: Do you have a set social strategy? If so, what is it?
IB: Not really. My #1 focus is just to produce good content and answer everyone’s questions. I don’t get too wrapped up in follower numbers. I would never “buy” followers and it boggles my mind that anyone would. It would be super confusing because one of the most important things is knowing who your audience is, and when you have fake spammy followers, you’ll never truly know.
wayvs: What challenges have you noticed using social media?
IB: The instantaneous nature and sheer openess of it all is both a blessing and a curse. Here’s a great example. When Ladies’ Home Journal shares one of my pieces, it’s thrilling because it exposes me to a very large audience. However, it is also discouraging because of that very thing. With more people viewing it, it increases the likelihood of rude comments and it happens. Every. Single. Time. It’s hard to take a deep breath and move on when someone calls you ugly on Instagram but if you don’t, social media will eat you alive.
wayvs: What are the pros/cons of social media in regards to your makeup business?
IB: One main pro is the connective nature. Locally here in Des Moines, there is an awesome community of both bloggers and talented makeup artists who I love interacting with. We help each other out and it’s all been very positive. I also love being able to share my makeup work instantly, make the viewer feel as though they’re right on set or in the bridal suite with me. Cons would be simply being unable to capture how great makeup looked with a cell phone camera, bad lighting or no service. Also, you never want to take away from the client experience because you’re distracted with a status update or finding a venue’s Twitter handle.
wayvs: What advice would you offer to someone starting to implement social media into their business strategy?
IB: I would tell them 3 key things: 1-Be consistent. Either go all in, or don’t at all. To have a presence you must be present. 2. Interact! Don’t just put your own stuff out there, but share others content, compliment, ask questions and engage. 3. Have a thick skin. If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. And there’s a lot of weird stuff in that kitchen sometimes.
wayvs: Do you have a favorite platform (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.)? Why?
IB: Being an artist, of course I’m drawn to the more visual mediums, like Instagram. I have seen the most blog traffic benefit from Pinterest but I personally enjoy browsing Instagram late at night before I go to sleep most of all.
wayvs: Have you had any SEO or social media training?
IB: I’ve been exposed to it briefly as a graphic designer at several ad agencies, but it’s mostly just been a lot of research and trial and error on my own. It’s something I’m interested in so I seek out what I’m looking for.
A personal brand is just as time-consuming and labor intensive as a corporate brand. The same bells and whistles are required to transition a “nobody” into a household name. Social media is the way to do just that. With so many different platforms available now, it’s important to know which ones work best for you.
Thank you, Ivy, for taking the time to discuss your method with us.
Make sure to catch Ivy on all her social channels: