Student-Generated TikTok Content For Schools

Want to know what your school’s students should be doing on TikTok? Watch this recorded session from The Beauty School Summit 2022, where Stephanie Carter, co-founder of Beauty as a Business interviewed cosmetology student Lucy Seitz about her current TikTok strategy.

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Stephanie Carter: Thank you so much for being here as a guest of BAAB.

Guys, I got to give you a little context on how we found Lucy. We do a lot of research on social media around what students produce on every platform, and let me tell you something―When you go search for beauty schools on TikTok, Lucy shows up. Lucy came to play!

We were like, “Okay. We need to get her on. We need to hear more about her journey, and owners need to hear about this.” Because, again, if you guys were part of my session earlier this morning, earlier in the day, we talked about student-generated content. And there’s so many schools and so many owners who are like, “Oh my gosh. I’m overwhelmed. I don’t know how to do this content. You know, I feel a little awkward maybe even doing this.” Well, your students don’t, and Lucy is a testament to that.

So, Lucy, thank you for being willing to come on. Sorry, I lost my voice right before the Summit, so I’m a little hoarse, but you’re going to do most of the talking for this session. So, it’s going to be great!

Lucy Seitz: Okay.

Stephanie Carter: Lucy, let’s start at the beginning. What inspired you? Why did you start posting about life at cosmetology school? Give us the thought process behind, “Okay, I’m in school. I’m going on this journey. I feel passionate about beauty. I’m going to start a TikTok about it.”

Lucy Seitz: Yeah. Okay. So, I was inspired to start posting TikToks of my day in the life as a cosmetology student to show my viewers what I was learning at school. The videos became a platform for other students and people who were interested in cosmetology school to ask questions and learn through my videos.

Stephanie Carter: Wow! That’s awesome. So, when you started, was anyone kind of weirded out? Whether it’s your peers or your teachers, were people like, “Whoa. Why are you filming everything?” Or, “What are you doing?”

Lucy Seitz: No, I just did it one day, and then I just kept doing it. It was just normal. It was a normal thing.

Stephanie Carter: Wow. How often do you make a video? How often are you posting?

Lucy Seitz: I wish I could post once a day, but I try at least four times a week.

Stephanie Carter: That’s pretty good.

Lucy Seitz: Yeah, yeah.

Stephanie Carter: How are you coming up with the ideas for what you’re going to show about school?

Lucy Seitz: Well, every day, I’m doing something, so there’s a video right there. I also like to give tips and just share everything, all the knowledge that I’ve been learning, for other people to learn as well.

Stephanie Carter: Wow.

Lucy Seitz: Yeah.

Stephanie Carter: How long had you been posting for before you really felt like there started to be some really good momentum, and you started to really build your following?

Lucy Seitz: I was actually quarantined in my dorm for two weeks. I decided to film what I did every day being quarantined, what I ate, and what I did in the room, because I couldn’t leave. After that, I went home for winter break, and then I came back. Then at school, I just started posting every day of what I was doing. Because I was doing a lot of my mannequin work in the dorm that I was quarantined in, so everyone saw it. I was like, “Well, I’ll just start posting.”

Stephanie Carter: Yeah. Did you do anything in particular to try and find followers that were also interested in beauty school, or going to beauty school? Or do you feel like the algorithm just put your content in front of the right people? What was your content strategy there?

Lucy Seitz: I really think they just put it out. I don’t know. I have a lot of cosmetology students that are following me, and a lot that were previously in cosmetology school, or people that are just interested in going (because it just gives them a heads up of what they might be learning).

Stephanie Carter: Yeah. Let’s go down that path a little bit. Chris mentioned … I think I looked at your following list. You’ve got over 770,000 followers on TikTok. Like you said, your content is giving people context, a heads up, on what it’s like to go to cosmetology school.

Stephanie Carter: Talk to us a little bit about the questions that you get, the comments that you get. I think a lot of our audience wants to understand this next wave of students that are interested in cosmetology school. So, what do you see? What are the questions people want to know? What’s holding them back from going to school?

Lucy Seitz: They’re just curious as to what they learn. A lot are like, “Do I have to learn just hair, or can I go for pedicures?” It differs from every school. It’s just a lot of questions. I do get a lot of “Where do I go to school?” because they want to find a school that fits, that’s right for them. Yeah. They just … Yeah.

Stephanie Carter: Just the whole, “What are we going to learn?”

Do you ever find people talking about maybe the emotional side of why they want to go to beauty school? Do you hear people saying a lot of things like, “I just love the beauty industry, and seeing you do this inspires me to want to do this”?

Lucy Seitz: Yeah. I see a lot of young people saying how they’re in high school, or they’re too young to start cosmetology school. They’re asking what could they do when they do get to school, they just feel super confident about it.

Stephanie Carter: Wow.

Lucy Seitz: Yeah. There’s a lot of young people that are like, “I want to go to cosmetology school.” So, they’re just watching my TikTok. It’s just a nice way for them to know what’s about to come.

Stephanie Carter: Are there any misconceptions about beauty school that you see in your comments or the questions that you get? People not understanding what beauty school is about, or maybe even not understanding what the industry is about?

Lucy Seitz: I feel like most people that were or are current cosmetology students will respond to my video saying, “My school doesn’t teach me that.”

The misconception is not all schools are the same. They’re all unique. Each school has their own way about how they want to teach and their plan on helping their students achieve their goals. It all just depends on the school.

Stephanie Carter: Okay. School owners out there, I think the big takeaways for us are, there are a lot of … It sounds like the younger generation is really interested in beauty school. Clearly, there’s a lot of interest. There’s a lot of, “I want to know what I can do before I can go to beauty school, to prepare myself,” and then a lot of stuff where there’s passion, and we just got to go find and connect with those folks. Clearly, you’ve done that on TikTok.

Let’s get into maybe some of the logistics. Again, what is advice you would give to other school owners if they’re saying, “Lucy, look. Your content’s awesome. How do I encourage my students to make this kind of content at my school? What can I do to make it easier for them? How do I inspire them?” What is your advice?

Lucy Seitz: Well, my instructors were very supportive with me making TikToks, as long as it didn’t jeopardize my learning. Now that I’m near graduating, they’ve seen that I remained a strong student as far as learning. They also see the response from viewers and how eager they are to learn about my cosmetology school. But basically, just, I don’t know. You just got to learn.

Stephanie Carter: Well, what advice do you have for students who are … Maybe they want to do something similar, but they’re scared. Or maybe they feel a little trepidation of, “I don’t know how this is going to turn out.”

Lucy Seitz: Of posting?

Stephanie Carter: Uh-huh (affirmative).

Lucy Seitz: I would just say just post it. Because TikTok is just so … You can just post anything. I don’t know. I’d just say post it. People like it. People will like it.

Stephanie Carter: Do you feel like, as you’ve done it more at your school, do you see other students shooting content and getting involved with your TikToks too?

Lucy Seitz: Yeah, I do. I actually get TikTok notifications when another student from a different school tags me in the description. It’s videos of what they were doing at their cosmetology school, which is super cool to see.

Stephanie Carter: That’s awesome.

Lucy Seitz: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Stephanie Carter: I think that’s really inspiring, because there’s, again, this level of leadership that you’ve basically trail blazed on TikTok where your content is inspiring other people, and it’s making other people feel safe in making this kind of content even at their own schools as well. What tools do you use to shoot your TikToks?

Lucy Seitz: Well, I use tripods. That’s how I hold my camera up. Then, basically, all I do is just record it from my camera roll. Then, when it’s time for me to edit my videos, I’ll put it into the TikTok app. That’s where I’ll edit, crop. I’ll do voiceovers, add music and text, and all that. I do all the editing in TikTok.

Stephanie Carter: Oh, nice. Did your school have the tripods already, or did you have to bring them?

Lucy Seitz: No. I bought them. I bought them on Amazon. I have a couple. Super useful.

Stephanie Carter: Do you think it would be helpful if schools had tools like that available for students?

Lucy Seitz: Yeah. Actually, I think it would be really cool if a beauty school had ring lights―I don’t know if any do―especially for after pictures, for a nice quality after picture. But, also, a ring light is just super nice for good video quality. Yeah, honestly, tripods would be really cool in the salon, for sure.

Stephanie Carter: Yeah, yeah. Because you don’t always have somebody who can hold your camera for you. When we talk about helping school owners empower their students to make this kind of content, it sounds like having some of these tools on hand, again, will make it easier, make it more successful for students who are making this content.

I’m seeing some questions come in through the chat, so I’m just going to go through here and read some of these. Okay, this is an interesting one. I’ve had this a couple times. Schools are really interested on how do we share content that our students made? There are some logistics with TikTok, where they have a couple different ways that you can share content that somebody else has made. Has your school reshared any of your content? How have they done that?

Lucy Seitz: I did have … Well, they would message me first to get the okay. On Northern, they posted it on their story, and then they also have a TikTok for our university. They reposted a couple of my TikToks on there as well.

Stephanie Carter: When they did that, basically, you made the TikTok, they saw that you had made it, then did they message you through the app and ask for permission? Or how did they get…

Lucy Seitz: They actually messaged me on Instagram.

Stephanie Carter: Oh, okay.

Lucy Seitz: Yes. They messaged me on Instagram, and then all they did was just save my video and just repost it, basically, on their page.

Stephanie Carter: Got it. Yeah. Because in the TikTok app, you can download a video.

Lucy Seitz: Right.

Stephanie Carter: When they reposted it, did you make sure to ask them to tag you? How did you work out the credit, or what did you want as a student and as a creator. How did you feel like you would be best represented?

Lucy Seitz: If someone reposted my video, I’d like to have my @lucy_seitz, but also the videos do have a watermark. It says the TikTok creator, so that’s super nice.

Stephanie Carter: Okay. Good. So what we’re hearing, again, I think that there’s a lot of … When you start, when you see positive behavior, you’ve got to reinforce it, right? Part of that is being respectful. Because look, creating TikTok content is no joke.

I’m sure you’re really good at it, but everyone starts somewhere. When you’re just starting something, it can take a long time to learn how to make videos and stuff. So I do think it’s important for schools to remember, you know, if we’re going to share and reap some benefit from our students making this kind of content, we need to make sure to give them credit. We need to make sure that we respect them as creators, and that we acknowledge that they are the ones who made this content.

Another question we have is how much time do you dedicate, on a weekly or monthly basis, to TikTok?

Lucy Seitz: Oh my gosh. Well, I film all day. I love it, so it’s not an issue. I’ll come home, and whenever I’m not busy, I just edit my videos. When I’m not editing, I’m coming up with video ideas, and I’m writing down my video ideas and how I want it … I don’t know. I’m always doing it. I feel like I’m doing it all day, honestly. It’s fun though. I like it.

Stephanie Carter: I guess another question for me is what do you plan to do with your channel. You’re coming up on graduation.

Lucy Seitz: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Stephanie Carter: Are you just going to keep documenting your journey in the industry? Do you have any specific plans for what you’re going to do with your channel?

Lucy Seitz: Yes, I do plan on filming still after graduating. I want to film going into a salon and showing my journey. I’m still going to be continuing learning. So, it’d be nice to show everyone else that I’m still learning and then just showing techniques that I learn along the way, trends that I see and try. Yeah. So, I’m still going to be recording and everything about my whole journey, everything.

Stephanie Carter: That’s awesome. Well, guys, I want to open it up to questions. If any of you have questions you want to ask Lucy directly, please feel free to put them in the chat. I would also really suggest you guys go check out Lucy’s TikTok and see some of the content that she’s made. We’ve actually had some clips of hers in the previous presentations about TikTok, where we’ve had some of her videos playing. So I think …

Yes. Thank you, Parker. I know Parker had put it in the chat, but I wanted people to see it again.

Lucy, what else can you share about … What do you think TikTok is going to mean for the next generation coming into school and stylists? For you, as, again, a very new stylist entering the industry, how do you think about TikTok as a tool, as a strategic way to build your book of business?

Lucy Seitz: You learn so much on it.

I’ll just be scrolling and learning new techniques. Everyone’s sharing things. It’s super useful, especially coming out of being a cosmetology student into the real salon and all of that. Everyone just has really good TikToks out there on how to do things. Super educating.

Stephanie Carter: Wow. That is incredible. Oh, I have another question. You were in a two year program?

Lucy Seitz: Yes.

Stephanie Carter: Was part of your program learning social media marketing?

Lucy Seitz: No. I actually did not learn any social media marketing.

Stephanie Carter: So, for other schools out there … Because like you said, every school is different, right? We know some schools do teach this. Some schools don’t. From your point of view, how important is it for schools to be doing some education on using social media as a beauty professional?

Lucy Seitz: On what? Sorry.

Stephanie Carter: How important do you think it is for schools to teach future beauty professionals some social marketing?

Lucy Seitz: Oh, it’s really important, because that’s how you’re going to build your clientele. Yeah.

Stephanie Carter: It sounds like you’re definitely an advocate of this would be awesome stuff to learn while in school.

Lucy Seitz: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Stephanie Carter: You took the incentive to learn it and start doing it while you were in school, but I’m assuming maybe not everyone in your class has done that. That could put them at a disadvantage later on.

Lucy Seitz: Yeah.

Stephanie Carter: I think that’s awesome. I agree with you. I think it’s so great that you realized, “Hey. I’m in school. I’m learning the hard skills. I’m learning soft skills as well, but I also want to get on, make sure I have a way to attract clients, start building my business.”

Have you found any clients through TikTok? Has TikTok paid off for you in some way?

Lucy Seitz: Well, when we were open to the public, I did have a few college students who saw my TikToks come in and get their hair done, but we were only open to the public for one semester. So I was only able to work on clients for that one semester, which was a bummer. The rest were just mannequin heads.

Stephanie Carter: That is a bummer. I’m so sorry. The whole situation with the world right now has been crazy. I totally believe that if you had not had that obstacle, you probably would’ve had a lot more people who came in through finding you on TikTok.

Well, is there anything else you want to say to the future … I don’t know. If you could say something to students who are just starting their cosmetology or their barber or their massage or their nail or their skin journey today, what advice would you give them about going to school, getting to the end of your program? Now that you’ve been through it all, what would you share with somebody who’s just starting their program?

Lucy Seitz: Well, just starting, I would just say practice all of the time. I just practice all of the time, especially not being able to work on the public, just working on mannequin heads the whole time I was there, and just putting in so much effort.

I would just say put in as much effort as you can. Don’t miss any days, because it goes by hours, so you want to make sure you’re there all the time.

Stephanie Carter: Yeah. Just don’t skip school.

Lucy Seitz: Yeah, don’t.

Stephanie Carter: Make the most of it. Practice, practice, practice.

Lucy Seitz: It goes by fast. It goes by super fast.

Stephanie Carter: That’s so awesome. Well, guys, I think that we are coming towards the end of our session with Lucy.

Chris, did you have any questions for Lucy before we let her go?

Chris Linford: She was giving really great advice about not missing school, because for sure beauty school students will have a makeup exam.

Lucy Seitz: Mm-hmm (affirmative), yeah.

Chris Linford: That’s a dad joke there. Come on. Makeup exam.

Stephanie Carter: A makeup. Oh my gosh.

Lucy Seitz: Oh. I was like, “What?”

Chris Linford: Come on!

Stephanie Carter: It’s been a very long day for Chris everybody, so we’re going to give him that one.

Chris Linford: Yes. No. This has been great. Lucy, we would love to have you do a webinar for Oozle or Beauty As A Business to invite students on from all over the country to come and listen to you and your strategies. You can inspire them. Because it sounds like you’re really inspiring the next generation of beauty school students. You’re showing what it’s like to be able to be creative and do something you love. I think that’s really inspiring and awesome.

Lucy, we’re really glad that you joined us. A lot of people know who you are. We’ve seen some comments. I think a lot of people are excited to see where you’re going to take this, like honestly, how to monetize your following, and really turn that.

Sounds like you’re going to be a beauty influencer. You’re going to have companies from all over the world who are going to want to get in front of your audience. You’re going to be getting free product. Have you had international and beauty companies approach you to get in front of your audience yet?

Lucy Seitz:
Like have they sent me stuff? Is that …

Chris Linford: Yeah.

Lucy Seitz: Yeah.

Chris Linford: … free stuff and they want you to talk about it?

Lucy Seitz: Yep. Yes. Super cool.

Stephanie Carter: Well, I agree, Chris. I think we definitely need to have Lucy on for another webinar session with BAAB, but for students, where we invite students from schools around the country to come be inspired by you, and start making some of this content at their own schools, and blazing forward, and helping them grow in the industry as well.

Chris Linford: Yeah. Okay. Well, I think that’s it. This has been awesome. Lucy, Stephanie, thank you so much for joining us.

Lucy Seitz: Thank you.

Stephanie Carter: Thanks, guys.

Lucy Seitz: Thank you.

Stephanie Carter: Thanks everyone. Bye.

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