So I know this is a bit out of the ordinary, but I've gotten a lot of questions lately about building up a blog or social media, followers, likes, etc etc. I don't consider myself a "pro" or anything but this blog is coming up on 300k total views (200k in less than a year) and my Instagram has grown a bit after I really put my mind to it, I thought why not tell you what I do to keep gaining ground and what I have done in the past that has worked for me. Hopefully, it might be helpful to some of you. Now I know that there are way more successful blogs out there that probably get more than 300k hits a day, so don't think that I'm conceited or gloating, I'm just answering questions.
I'm gonna start by saying that I prayed a lot about starting this path and I prayed for direction and guidance. If I'm being 100% honest with you then I have to tell you that was the first thing I done. I still pray about this everyday, for new opportunities, new connections, help with my creativity and still praying for guidance. It was my first step and my most important step and I fully give the credit to the man upstairs. So just so you know, just so I'm bring honest and true to me, I prayed. I prayed a lot.
First I'm gonna tell you: If you don't believe in yourself, no one else will either. That's my main motto. You have to believe that you can accomplish your goals before your dreams start coming true. It's fairy tale-ish but it's true none the less. If you have low self esteem, or rude and hateful comments get to you....you might want to try something with less exposure. People are mean. They just are. I honestly think that %30-40% (at least) of social media is just trolls and people with a chip on their shoulder. These are the people that want to bring you down because something is wrong in their life or they just don't want you to succeed. Because yes....there are people who don't want you to do well in life. So if you can't handle that, then you're gonna need to re-evaluate some things about this certain endeavor. While having confidence is step 1, you have to adapt a business mentality as well. Sometimes you have to say "no" to people maybe even people that you love or think a lot of, sometimes you have to have boundaries, sometimes you have to keep everything to yourself until it's time to talk about it so that no one will take your ideas. Not everyone is your friend in business and you need to look out for yourself first and your best interests. I honestly don't tell hardly anyone, anything about companies I may work with, things lined up that are super exciting for the future, or anything remotely important to my business. For one, you don't need their approval or opinion and two, sometimes people will get in your head and make you second guess yourself and intentionally or unintentionally break your confidence.
Second: Be consistent in your posting of blog posts, pics, engage in comments fairly quick and "like" and comment on other people's stuff as well. Make some friends. I've found some awesome people I consider friends through this. It's been really nice having them to talk to as well for recommendations on products or dealing with rude comments. So make you out a list of how many blog posts or videos you're gonna do a week and STAY CONSISTENT. Make it a priority. I stick to about 2 blog posts a week and try to do a makeup look at least 4 times a week for Instagram and sometimes on Twitter. Now I know a lot say they don't "have time", that's fine. Work out what's best for you. Whether it's once a week or 5 times a week, just get into a routine. Be ready to hustle too. There are nights, like tonight, that I'm up until 2 am working on business stuff. Whether it's blogging, answering emails, taking product photos, making notes, signing up for platforms and campaigns to be a part of or whatever. I work for HOURS everyday, to try and make this dream a reality and sadly, people will never understand that. It's not easy, it may look easy but it's not. Not that it isn't fun for the most part but a lot of hard work will go unnoticed. I will say as far as how much you post, the more you post the more exposure you get. So if you're posting once a week you aren't making near the impression as the person posting 5-6 days a week.
Third: Quality content. Especially for photos, try your hardest to get the best pictures of your makeup, outfit, or whatever. A grainy photo will never compare to a clear and detailed photo. The more mega pixels the better and lighting is key. If all you have is an iPhone or Samsung then use the front camera not the self facing camera (front has more mega pixels) and get a mirror so you can see yourself in the screen. It took me a long time to figure out how to get good photos. I use a lot of natural light so there's certain times that are best for photos. Usually early morning or mid afternoon. Over cast days are always really good for pictures of makeup and such. I always take pictures by a window and with a back ground that doesn't have much going on. Like a curtain background that you can buy, a plain wall, or something outside. You don't want the background to draw attention away from what you want people to focus on. Plus a cluttered background or a busy background looks unprofessional sometimes and a bit too casual and personal. For product pictures, a white background is your best friend.....even if it's just a piece of poster board. Take lots of photos as well. That goes for everything. Not just one or two. You take tons and then go through and see which looks the best. Obviously there are cameras out there that are amazing for this stuff, like Canon and Sony. There's even "selfie" cameras that everyone uses right now, or at least you see a lot of big names using them. They make the best but they are not cheap, however they are an investment. If you're super serious about this then I say invest in one when you can. If you are unsure as to how you'll like it then I'd work at getting great photos with my phone or whatever camera I had and finding the best lighting and background and do that until I decided if I wanted to continue to pursue this path.
Fourth: Join programs, platforms, giveaways, campaigns, etc etc : This one is what will get you your exposure, followers, and get your name out there. Being re-posted from a big account especially a company is always great but those don't happen all the time, especially when you're just starting out. Hook up with a loop giveaway if you can, there's usually a certain amount of $$ you have to send in, but if it has awesome stuff in it then that's great. You get followers, you get to have fun, and you get to make someones day. You will lose followers of course but you usually keep about half depending on how big the loop is. Try getting on platforms for "influencers" that connect you to brands. I just googled platforms for "beauty influencers" and started signing up on as many as I could. All the ones I joined were free. Some were an application process, so you had to be accepted and no you won't be accepted to all of them but rejection is part of it. Be as active in your genre's community as you possibly can. Join programs, seminars, mailing lists, newsletters, so on and so forth and engage with your community. You'll find friends and build connections that may help you later on. Besides that, Instagram won't be this big of a deal forever.
Fifth: Be as active as you can be on social media. From Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and Periscope be as active as possible. I really enjoy Snapchat because it gives you a chance to show people your personality. Which Instagram doesn't really convey. Twitter is easy and quick to answer questions or ask questions or just talk in general, while still being able to upload content and tag companies. Instagram is probably your biggest resource. Like I said before, quality photos people, quality photos, it's a learning curve. I sat down, researched and worked out algorithms for myself. It was just trial and error of the best posting times to get seen by more people, the best hashtag links, what got more likes versus what didn't. It was a year long process that I still work on and tweak because I'm not a professional and I don't want you to think I've got it all figured out because I don't. So I recommend doing that yourself. Research the most used hashtags for different genres, be sure to tag companies in pictures, comments, and also hashtag the company as well. Figure out your best posting times for example: lunch breaks, afternoon when people are home from work, Sunday afternoons, etc etc. It takes time and patience and a lot of work to figure out how to start growing. Sometimes you grow rapidly, then it stops for a few days and then picks back up. It's ever changing. Being consistent though will always help you.
Sixth: Don't assume that you "know it all". That's a big mistake, when you think that you've conquered your craft. You'll never full conquer it, you'll just get better at it. There are always new things to learn. Especially in makeup, new trends and tricks are popping up everywhere all the time. Also get out of your comfort zone. No one wants to see the same thing every single day. Yes you may have a week or two or even a month when you don't do anything super creative and that's fine but don't get comfortable there. Step out and try to recreate something, or take pictures in a different way from odd angles or in fun or cool surroundings. Keep yourself open to new things and look to find inspiration in everything you can. One of my biggest pet peeves, as a subscriber to Youtube channels or what have you, is when I see the same natural/neutral makeup EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. There's nothing wrong with that makeup, I love that makeup, but I'm not going to watch those videos or check out that post because it's not new content for that person or that account no matter how good it was executed, it holds no interest for me.
Seventh: Work with ALL brands. Including "indie" brands. Especially "indie brands". You will find some hidden gems in the makeup world AND you'll have better shots at being "re-posted" possibly by them. I'm not saying buy things that aren't FDA approved or anything, I'm just saying smaller brands see more than big brands do because they don't have as many people tagging them usually.
So that's pretty much the jist. Guidance (whether from a higher power or something else), research, consistency in posting, and quality content, those are the best tips I can give and those are things that I've seen results from. I hope this was helpful and didn't sound like I "knew it all" or anything. I'm just telling you what works for me. Good luck!!
I'm from Tennessee. I'm a makeup and skincare lover. I have always enjoyed creating looks but I love to help people with product knowledge and application even more. I've been able to do these things because God has seen fit to bless me with the opportunity.