You interact with them every day. You get ready for your big nights out with them. You let them advise you on your daily styling decisions. You come to them for guidance every time you’re looking for a new beauty idea for a special occasion or to overcome the frustration you feel when you can’t get your hair to behave. They, of course, are beauty influencers… and for many girls (and boys) all over the world, they’re more influential than their own friends and family. Every now and then, as you scroll through their Instagram feeds or sit attentively watching their YouTube videos you may think to yourself… “I’d love to do that!”.
Since this is a new year, a new decade and an era of new opportunities there’s only one question to ask… what’s stopping you? If you’re serious about becoming a beauty influencer, however, you’ve got to be prepared to put the work in. Here are some tips to help you do it right and make a big impression on your following right out of the gate.
Stop giving yourself reasons not to try
As with any creative endeavor, it’s easy to let those negative voices in our heads prevent us from taking those all-important first steps. Second guessing yourself can be encouraging in a way… it means you care deeply about the quality of the work you do. Nonetheless, this can’t be allowed to stifle your creativity. Psychology Today has some really useful tips on overcoming the urge to second guess yourself and start your career as a beauty influencer with confidence and surety.
Is it a learning curve? Sure. Might you look back on your earlier posts and cringe after a year or two? Possibly! But the only true failure is failing to try.
Do your homework
There are lots of incredibly attractive, extremely personable, hardworking and talented people out there who have tried and failed to make it as beauty influencers. Why? Because they assumed that being attractive, personable and talented are enough.
If you want to become the kind of influencer that makes money, you need to treat it like a business. And no business ever got off the ground without market research. So, dive deep into the content of your favorite Instagram and YouTube influencers. Look at the kind of content they’re posting and what gets the most hits, likes and engagements. Make notes on what you think makes their content resonate with audiences. Of course, you don’t want to become a clone of these influencers so you’ll need to think about how you’ll add your own personality and flavor to in-demand content.
It’s also worth looking into the psychology behind why people trust influencers so that you can understand what you’ll need to do to earn the trust of an audience early on.
Know your niche
Like any business person, you need to know your niche if you’re to compete in an already crowded landscape. Many new influencers falter because they’re trying to be too many things to too many people and fail to find their niche.
When you’re trying to make an impression you need an approach that’s more like a scalpel than a sledgehammer. Start out with a specific focus and concentrate your efforts on catering to a specific niche. It’s the quickest and easiest way to find an audience to whom you can be relevant. Once you have grown your following and get consistent hitrates, by all means expand your scope. Unsure where to start? Think of what you’re best at then try and ascertain how many people are interested in it.
Post as often as you can
Okay, so this is a no-brainer but if you’re going to get noticed you need to be posting content regularly. YouTubers should be posting at least once a week while Instagram accounts should be added to at least once a day. Two or three posts a day is really the gold standard and will help you to hone and sharpen your skills.
Speaking of sharpening your skills, you should always keep an eye out for when brands (and influencers) are holding competitions. These are a great way to showcase your skills, and if you’re shortlisted as a finalist, you may well find that your following grows exponentially. So even if you don’t win… you could still come out a winner!
Add value for your audience
“Get Ready With Me” videos are consistently popular because when people are getting ready for a night out they want to feel as though they’re getting ready with you and engaging in everyday chit chat while you prepare your looks together. It’s a big part of what makes your following feel like they have a personal connection with you. And that’s really important. Did you know that 40% of millennial consumers feel that their favorite YouTube creators understand them even better than their own friends? That’s the kind of loyalty and dedication that can buoy your following and take you to the next level… but you can’t afford to take it for granted.
Make sure you’re always listening to your audience and asking them what kind of content they want to see. As soon as your content loses focus on what’s valuable to the audience, subscribers may cease to consider you relevant.
Keep up to date with emerging trends and think about how you can add your own creative spin. Think about the common issues and problems your followers have. And, of course, keep trying to marry what your audience wants to see with what showcases your skills.
Be sure to add captions to your YouTube videos
Adding closed captioning to your YouTube videos is important for a number of reasons. First of all, it’s important for accessibility for followers who are deaf and hard of hearing. Secondly, you need to consider the contexts in which many people watch YouTube videos. Many watch them in shared spaces where it’s not always appropriate to watch videos with sound, so captions will make your videos easier to follow. Finally, the text in your subtitles can be read and indexed by search engine crawlers so it’ll help to give your Search Engine Optimisation a bump, too! While YouTube has software for generating its own captions based on Automated Speech Recognition, these are prone to inaccuracy. It’s best to create your own captions or outsource caption creation to a professional service.
Get proactive in reaching out to brands… but don’t expect to be noticed by the big ones straight away
Getting brands on side is the key to springboarding your career as an influencer. But with so many others trying to make it in the beauty game, you can’t simply hope that brands will find you. Reach out to them proactively. Let them know that you’ve taken the time to get to know their products and build a case for how you can be useful to them rather than the other way around.
Don’t be afraid to tell your listeners what you really think about a product
Many nascent influencers get very nervous about sharing their true thoughts about a product that they’re reviewing, especially if they’re received it directly from a brand for promotional purposes. But while this caution is understandable, it can make viewers doubt your sincerity. They may worry that the views you express aren’t genuine or that you’ve been “bought” by a brand.
As you grow more prominent and successful, more and more brands will start to send you products for consideration… but they will only expect endorsement if they work out a very specific deal with you. Most of the time they value your feedback, even if you have negative things to say. It helps them to better understand how to tailor future products to the needs of the market (i.e. your followers).
Keep all of the above in mind and you’ll have every chance of making a big splash on the beauty world.