February 4, 2020
Advice From Beauty YouTubers About Starting a YouTube Channel
Whether it’s for the mysterious microneedling “vampire facial” or Kylie Jenner’s latest makeup tutorial, YouTube is abuzz with all of the latest and greatest in the world of beauty. YouTube has experienced explosive growth in recent years among beauty professionals, so we wanted to talk with some content creators who are making it happen on the platform. Our goal was to find out what it takes to build a successful YouTube channel and get advice on how others can make it happen for themselves.
We went through an extremely lengthy process to find the content creators we wanted to interview. We poured over hundreds of nail tutorials, hair color features, and more to find these creators. In the end we wanted content creators who had been posting consistently, had showed improvement in the quality of their content over time, and were still growing their audience. These YouTubers started from the ground up and approached their channels from different goals and perspectives, and each of them are creating amazing content and continuing to attract an audience.
Name: Samantha Vay
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/samva7
Specialty: Hair Color & Lifestyle
Name: Jamie Dana
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQRi9AqAtLRkzzmxcdc5kKg
Specialty: Hair Color & Education
Name: Brittany Williams
YouTube Channel: Brittany’s Room
Specialty: Skincare & Locs
How did you get started on YouTube?
SV: “I guess I discovered the whole beauty community on YouTube when I was googling hairstyles and makeup for prom 10 years ago. I found a few channels and became obsessed with their videos. I wanted to do that myself. I felt like I had tips and things I could share. It took a couple years to have the courage to do it. I had doubts about whether I was good enough, would it be weird, are people in real life going to find it and think I’m weird.”
“I was in college and I had a lot of free time and needed a hobby. Nothing I was studying had anything to do with beauty so I wanted something to stay tied with that. I made my channel doing makeup stuff, but it was my first hair color tutorial that was the first thing to blow up and brought traffic to my channel. I have people who comment on my videos who have watched and seen my whole journey.”
JD: “I never thought I’d have a blog or a YouTube channel. I was always turned off to it. I had friends who did it and I thought they were crazy. I always thought YouTube was oversaturated and there wasn’t a place for me. I always did Instagram because that was my niche. I have friends who specialize in video who said Instagram is going towards video, so I started doing it there and I grew to like it.”
“I originally started my YouTube channel as a vlog. I did about three or four episodes and hated it because editing took way too much time. I loved the idea of it, but I couldn’t maintain it. I had all the equipment and decided I wanted to do it right and add value with my videos. I dove deep into learning YouTube.”
I didn’t want to relaunch my channel til I knew what I was doing, so I watched all the videos about thumbnails, titles, tags, and everything in between that I could. I wanted to do it right.” – Jamie Dana
“I decided to change my channel from a vlog to educational content in the salon. I started filming me and my clients vlog style. There was a potential for me to grow in my niche of teaching hairstylists techniques. I started putting out videos, and it was the second technique video I did that did super well and started to explode. I think I hit 10,000 subscribers in 2-3 months, whereas on IG it took me super long to grow there.”
BW: “I used to change my hair a lot. I’d go from a short pixie to long purple and other big transformations. Lots of people asked how I did my hair so I did my first video on long purple locs. After a while I wasn’t interested in just posting about hair, so I took a break. It wasn’t until esthetics school that I started posting again because I felt like I had a lot of content I could talk about again. Initially I didn’t think I wanted to do YouTube, but then I started seeing comments and encouragement from others and that’s when I figured that this was something I could do long-term. When you put yourself out there you prepare for the worst and get a big influx of unexpected positivity.”
The conversation turned to success on YouTube. Each of these beauty pros are at different points in their YouTube journey. They shared insights and pointers for people who want to start a channel on the platform.
Learn everything you can about YouTube
Jamie didn’t enjoy her first experience with YouTube, so she took a break from creating content and focussed on learning everything she could about the platform. She spent two months learning everything she could about titles, descriptions, tags, thumbnails, and more to give her videos the greatest chance for success.
“Optimizing my videos is what has helped me set myself apart on YouTube. Others who don’t do this with titles or thumbs won’t perform as well. Learn all about the platform. It helped a lot from the beginning to have all of those things on my videos.”
Jamie specifically mentions that the Video Influencers channel with Sean and Benji was especially helpful for giving her the foundation she needed to succeed. Brittany also mentioned the importance of titles, descriptions, and thumbnails in her interview:
”One of the biggest challenges is titles and descriptions to find what gets people to click and visit your channel. It’s important to use word play and make sure it’s not just click bait. You want people to click and stay there for the duration.”
Understanding your audience and what gets them to click comes with experience, so it’s important to pay attention to what performs on your channel.
Be inspired by other content creators
While you should never copy content that isn’t yours, Sam says you should definitely take inspiration from them. Successful YouTubers are winning for a reason. Study everything they’re doing from titles to content to see if you can distill down what’s working in their favor.
“Look at other people in your field. What kind of videos are they doing? What are their videos like? Don’t rip them off, but use them as inspiration for ideas. You still want to be true to yourself, but you should also be mindful of what others are doing. Tweak what they’re doing and make it your own.”
If your channel looks and feels similar to channels that you want to be like one day, there’s a chance that even YouTube will notice it. The YouTube platform is always looking for good recommended videos for viewers, so if your content is similar (but not identical to) content that people are already watching, your videos could be recommended in viewer feeds.
Know your audience and speak to them
Knowing your audience and your topic are critical elements for building an audience that continuously engages with your content. Many YouTubers fall into the trap of jumping from one topic to the other and wonder why their channel isn’t growing. Instead, focus on digging deep and building your niche.
“Really find your niche, personality, and goal. I am an educator who wants to help people grow their business. I know what does well, I know what doesn’t do well. Learn your audience and find what they want to watch.”
Knowing your audience can be difficult, and can change over time, so watch how your viewers engage with your videos and make adjustments to try and speak more directly to your viewers. Unsure of what your niche is? Brittany recommends that you hone in on what you are most passionate about:
Find your niche. Find out what you can talk about day-in-and-day-out that you can go into detail about. Find what you’re passionate about and bring that to the people. I feel like people can sense when you’re passionate. Your energy is off when you talk about something that you’re not into.
Staying focussed on the things you love and the things your audience are into are surefire ways to help your audience grow.
Invest in yourself
Most people who fail on YouTube do so because they don’t invest the time or resources into producing quality content. Investing in your content is extremely important, and how you invest in it is different for everyone. For Jamie, one of her biggest investments was to hire an editor.
“I knew my time was valuable, and editing would take me much longer than it would take an editor. It was worth it to me to pay an editor so I could spend my time doing services and keep growing. I still do all of my own thumbnails, title, posting, but they do the editing. For it me it was an investment because at the beginning I wasn’t making money on YouTube. In the long run, it was worth it for me. Having an editor is nice because I don’t have to deal with my own perfectionism, and now what I make on YT pays for my editor.”
How you invest in yourself depends entirely on your channel and what you want to do with it. For Jamie, her time was more valuable than saving the money from hiring an editor. For your own channel, you may need to invest in a camera, products, lighting, software, or something else entirely. You don’t have to have the best stuff in the world to create successful videos, but the higher quality content you create, the more likely you can be successful.
It’s important to keep in mind that top-of-the-line equipment isn’t necessary to get started on the platform. Use the best that you have and build your channel over time.
”I still use iMovie to edit and my phone to record, so make the best you can with what you have. I even made my own ring lights out of tin foil and LED lights. Just start and go for it with whatever you have. I feel like lots of people look at the finished product of other channels that have been at it for years and compare themselves to that. Look at early videos to see where people started.”
The key to getting your channel on the road to success is to always audit yourself for ways to improve your channel. It’s not about where you begin, but where you take yourself!
Upload and engage with consistency
Perseverance is so important for being successful on YouTube. Viewers are more likely to subscribe and return to future videos when you post and engage consistently with your audience.
“What I found works the best is being consistent. Be active and engage with people. Comment, follow other people, see what they’re doing, and put yourself out there. It takes a lot of time to film, edit, and create, but that’s only half of the equation. You then have to spend time engaging, commenting, and looking for your next idea.”
Instant success happens for very few content creators, so failure is a common part of the journey. If you feel like your videos aren’t performing as well as they should, take a step back and look at how you can improve them.
Uploading consistently may be an intuitive way to grow your channel, but many people underestimate the impact that engaging with your viewers has on your growth.
“I get a lot of interaction with my subscribers and I communicate with them on a regular basis. I get excited when my subs write me or hit me up. They tell me what’s going on with them and it’s very cool. It feels like someone found and looked for me and made the effort. It’s a little bit special. My subs want me to talk more and share my personality more. They want me to be more of who I am.”
In the long run, many viewers become attached to your personality, so it’s important to find ways to engage with them and show your appreciation for them. That personal connection that viewers feel with you is an extremely effective way of ensuring you have viewers who come back time and again.
Use your career and your channel to help each other out
People can start a YouTube channel for any reason. Some people do it because they love making videos, others because they want to help their viewers, and every reason in between. Regardless of why you create your channel, you have the opportunity to leverage your channel to open up professional opportunities down the road. Brittany, Sam, and Jamie are all licensed beauty professionals who benefit from their YouTube success.
“I am actually no longer in the salon. I was a stylist for 9 years and owned a small salon, but this year I stepped away from behind the chair. Now I’m 100% focussed on my online education program. I do education in the hair industry now and that has grown my business. You don’t have to wait for an education company to find you, you can establish yourself as your own educator through YouTube.”
Building your own brand and business is almost essential to be a successful beauty professional these days, and Jamie is an outstanding example of how using YouTube can give you the platform to market yourself. Sam, who graduated from beauty school recently, has also found exciting results by marketing herself through YouTube.
“I’ve gotten at least 75% of my clients from social media through Instagram or YouTube. They like me, they like my work, and people will drive 3 hours for me to do their hair. If I didn’t have social media I’d have nothing to do all day!”
Retaining old clients and attracting new ones can be a challenge for many new beauty professionals, so Sam has been able to leverage her YouTube channel to keep herself busy in the salon. It has helped her personal brand and image to grow!
Brittany has also used YouTube as a way to help her business grow. She has taken her personal challenges with skincare and transformed it into a business that she is growing.
“I’ve always had dry skin, and nothing works to fix it. I’ve gone through so many different products until I just started making my own. More and more people started requesting my products and it has turned into a business. The company is called Tehsur, and the name comes from the Tehsur silk moth. The moth produces beautiful silk, so these products help make silky smooth skin.”
The goal of your channel and how you use it is ultimately up to you. Building a channel can help you learn things about photography, video, writing, and more along the way. Building an audience can also help you to expand your opportunities in your career or personal life. Make a goal for what you want from your channel and reach for it!
Join The Discussion
We owe a huge thanks to Jamie, Brittany, and Sam for their invaluable insights! They’re shining examples of content creators who are making it work and building something marvelous. To keep up on all the latest on these content creators, follow them at the locations below:
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQRi9AqAtLRkzzmxcdc5kKg
Want to continue learning tips and tricks for taking your social media presence to the next level? Follow Beauty as a Business on Instagram @beautyasabiz.