This is probably going to be a little lengthy so I apologize in advance but this is also the number one topic I get asked about next to skincare and makeup. Breaking into the social media world can be a bit daunting, when I first started a few years ago, I was filled with self doubt, had ZERO idea what I was doing and just wanted to be able to share my passion with everyone.
Things have certainly changed since I started in many aspects. When I first joined the beauty community back in 2014, it was a VERY different place. I remember regularly participating in S4S (also known as shoutout for shoutout) with some of my favorite accounts. We would share each others photos with our followers to help one another gain exposure and this would usually translate into hundreds and sometime thousands of new followers. Between this and using relevant hashtags, it was SOOOOOO easy to grow. Now, a shoutout and hastags will maybe translate into less than a handfull of new followers.
The community was such a positive place, everyone was so genuine and had no problem helping one another out. Fast forward to now, especially lately, and there has been a bit of drama, some not so savory characters and people keep their tricks and techniques locked up tighter than Fort Knox. But why?!?!
My theory has always been that we need MORE content creators, not less (as many say the industry is over saturated). My reason being that each and EVERY person is unique and wants someone they can really relate to on multiple levels. With more diverse content creators, we can do just that – give EVERYONE someone to relate to!
So today I wanted to share some of the most helpful things I have learned through doing social media. If there’s anything I missed or that you want more information about, please do not hesitate to ask!
Be True To Yourself And Your Audience
At the end of the day, we all have bills to pay, mouths to feed and shopping to do. But if you accept any and every opportunity that comes your way, you run the risk of ruining your reputation and more importantly, the trust of your audience. While I understand the money can be tempting, your audience can always tell when you aren’t being genuine and will quickly hit that unfollow button.
You really shouldn’t be posting about products/brands you don’t actually use or like just to make a quick buck. You also shouldn’t post or promote things too far outside your niche – example – If you are beauty blogger posting about dog food. And yes, I have seen this done. While your followers may in fact have dogs, chances are that’s not why they follow you. I myself have unfollowed HUGE influencers because they were promoting products or services I knew for a fact they didn’t actually use or love. We all work hard for our money and being duped into buying something under false pretenses is NOT COOL!
I was actually yelled at by a campaign manager once after refusing to promote an eyeshadow palette that was total garbage. She insisted I was “crazy” because it was an “ok palette” and I was “stupid” to turn down the money. REALLY?! But guess what, at the end of the day, turning down campaigns and opportunities that don’t fit my brand and audience, has opened so many other doors for me and when I recommend something, my audience knows it’s a product/service I actually use and love.
Invest In Yourself
With the quality of smart phones we have now, there is literally NO reason that your photos shouldn’t be crystal clear and crisp. You no longer need to purchase a crazy expensive camera to make beautiful content. Just make sure your phone camera lense is clean (you will often see me wiping mine down with the hem of my clothing before I shoot). I actually shoot about 20% of my photos with my phone to this day. The rest are shot on my Canon 80D, I recently upgraded from the Canon T5i which is also a great camera and a bit less expensive. Also – natural light is your best friend! You don’t need to spend tons of money on expensive lights to take great shots.
Next, the DETAILS make the shot. I will often buy small props (books, flowers, a specific colored towel or shirt, etc.) or drive around scouting the perfect location to really achieve the look I am going for in my shot. Do you have to spend ridiculous amounts of money? ABSOLUTELY NOT! You can use things you already have on hand, or places you can easily get to. But it’s these little details that can make or break a photo. I recently did a campaign where I went out and purchased some yellow flowers and a blue towel to really tie my photo together. Two weeks later, I landed two HUGE campaigns because they loved that single photo so much.
Another small tip, I love using Canva and PicMonkey for editing photos. I know most people use Facetune or other iPhone apps but working on that tiny screen when trying to edit is horrible on my eyes. Canva and PicMonkey make it so much easier and have tons of templates for blog posts, media kits, IG stories and more you can use! Also, I LOVE the Unfold app for creating IG stories!
You get what you give. Although engagement is at an all time low right now, you should still be doing everything possible to keep yours as high as possible. This includes engaging on your own posts as well as others. REPLY back to comments. It INFURIATES me when I see someone complaining about engagement who never replies to their comments or DM’s. Why should your audience continue to support you and engage with you if you never reply? I can understand if you have millions of comments and can’t respond to every single one, but you should at least respond to some. And if you are a smaller content creator, I recommend trying to reply to them ALL. It lets your audience know they matter and will keep them coming back for more. Also, you need to engage on the posts of people you follow, I mean, why follow them if you don’t like their content and aren’t going to engage with them? More often than not, they will engage back on your photos too and it also gets your name out there more to be seen. Their other commenters will see you and you will show up in the “recent activity” feeds as well. So get to it…LIKE…COMMENT…REPLY…GET ENGAGED!
This is by far the NUMBER ONE question I get asked – “How do I get on PR lists?”. This is also the one things NO ONE ever wants to divulge. Well today is your lucky day. First let me start my saying this, NUMBERS ARE NOT EVERYTHING! There is no magic number at which you will start receiving PR and just because you have a smaller following doesn’t mean you won’t receive it either. I have seen people on the Anastasia Beverly Hills PR list who only have a few thousand followers, you know why? Because they have true talent and great quality content.
The most important thing when reaching out to companies is to be genuine, tell them how you plan to use and promote their products and send them examples of your best work. One of the BEST ways to get on PR lists is to attend events. Generation Beauty in my opinion is the BEST way to do this. There are DOZENS of brands in attendance, most of which have their PR rep on site and NOTHING beats a face to face connection. I have gotten on numerous lists by attending Gen Beauty events. I understand that may also not be a possibility for some so you can find most PR contacts on the companies website, here are a few to get you started. LinkedIn is also a great resource for finding PR contacts.
MILK Makeup – https://www.milkmakeup.com/faqs.html
Scroll To: “I’m a blogger and want to review your products — how can I request samples?”
Urban Decay – https://www.urbandecay.com/faq
Scroll To: “Can I get samples for my blog?”
DermaE – https://dermae.com/pages/contact-us
Scroll To: “Become A Brand Ambassador”
Pop Beauty – https://www.popbeauty.com/pages/contact-us
Scroll To: “Review Our Products”
Pixi Beauty – https://arm.tribedynamics.com/ambassador/f/v1/q507zq?s=1
Jouer Cosmetics – https://www.jouercosmetics.com/pages/contact
Having a good Media Kit can make or break you and your brand. It tells your story, your purpose, gives and overview of your social media platforms, follower counts, brands you’ve worked with, etc. It basically sums up your life as a content creator all on one pretty little page. I have spent YEARS perfecting mine and just this past week finally have one that I am proud of and that truly represents me and my brand. If you aren’t sure where to start, I recommend looking on Etsy or Pinterest for inspiration. It will give you an idea of how it should look, information it can include. And if you want, you can even purchase a template to work off of, usually for about $15-$20.
Don’t Get Duped
Chances are if an offer sounds to good to be true, it probably is. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten emails that were total scams. Everything from casting calls, to campaign offers to event invites, that were either attempts at getting free promotion in exchange for ridiculous amounts of work, or getting quality content with no intent of actually paying the promised amount to outright human trafficking attempts. And last but not least….you should NEVER have to pay for PR. I’ve seen lots of this, especially lately, where a brand will offer a “discount” or “free shipping” in exchange for a dedicated post. THIS IS NOT OK! DO NOT DO IT! IT’S A SCAM!
Campaigns & Free Products
All of these platforms have different requirements, but there’s never any harm in trying. Worst case scenario, you can always re-apply later. You can click on any of the names to be brought directly to the signup page. Here are some of my favorites: