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JCI Makeup Talk: The Makeup of Social Media


The Makeup of Social Media

Makeup artists world-wide owe Michelle Phan a big show of gratitude for changing the way makeup artists do business.

For those who don’t know, Michelle Phan is the American makeup demonstrator and entrepreneur who became notable as a YouTube personality, uploading her first video in May 2007. Phan’s YouTube channel has over 7.8 million subscribers, 1.1 billion lifetime views, and 350 uploaded videos. In 2010, L’Oreal jumped on the social media bandwagon and made her their official online video artist. Her net worth is reported at over $5 million dollars. Not too shabby for a young girl with no formal makeup training who took the world by storm, shooting makeup tutorials from her bedroom.

Michelle Phan Book Cover

Why Social Media Matters

While the world of social media is relatively young in the scheme of things, it’s magnitude demands attention. This is a world where money can be made and it doesn’t take a lot of money to make it. When I started in this business nearly 20 years ago, there was no such thing as social media. If you were going to network and promote yourself as an artist, you had to get business cards printed and if you were really motivated, you would print comp cards or small brochures and hand them out one card at a time. Let’s face it- some of us still have a half-full box of dated business cards somewhere that never got handed out. While it could be a full-time job to hand out 200 business cards, these days there are much more efficient ways to network yourself and gain popularity for your business.

With social media, you can drive thousands- yes, thousands of people to your business in just one day. With effective SEO (Search Engine Optimization) you can use multiple free platforms to direct traffic to your website or Instagram accounts, exposing your talents as a makeup artist and getting your clients. There is no denying it is a popularity contest. The more people that “Like” your posts, videos, and photos, the more likely you are to book a paid client. The good news is that you can do most of this from the comfort of your own home and without a lot of training.

Social Media Samantha Ravndahl Batalash

@ssssamanthaa – 1.8 million Instagram followers

You have all heard of phenomenal JCI grad, Samantha Ravndahl. Samantha proves case-in-point that with hard work and dedication to her followers and by keeping her content fresh and interesting, social media can make you Instafamous. It was only a few short years ago that the lovely Miss Ravndahl started her career in makeup and we are constantly proud of the rapid pace of her achievements!

How to Get Started

There is no denying that social media is king. High on your To Do List should be making sure you have a great website that is connected to all of your social media accounts. It takes time and online popularity to become a social media superstar. Anyone can do it, but this is not a task for slackers. Any of the social media gurus that have made it will surely tell you it took hours and hours of dedication and replying to their followers to keep them engaged. Text is important to keep the conversation going, but visuals are key in social media. Be sure to update photos and videos daily, if not more often. This is important to stay in the game and build your reputation.

Instagram, YouTube and Facebook remain as the highest producing  platforms in terms of engagement and fan following, so focus your efforts on those three.

Focus on creating new looks and getting them out there. Change them up often and target different audiences to keep things fresh. Include a range of makeup looks from classic to fantasy. This will catch the attention of a wider audience helping you gain popularity.

If you have the time, set up and start a blog to help amp up your star power. Remember that, while social media is important, what is more important is your local market. Those are the people most likely to buy from you and seek out your services. While it’s great that you might have an international audience, never stray too far from who will be hiring you if your goal is to be a freelance makeup artist.

Social Media Kandee Johnson Barbie

@kandeejohnson – Over 3 million YouTube subscribers

Video Blogging

So just how exactly do you make money being a video blogger? Well, in addition to promoting yourself, your brand, and gaining popularity (that is sure to get you local jobs), if you get enough views on YouTube, they will start to pay you for them. The rates vary, but once you get a substantial amount of views, they will send you an email to discuss what they are willing to pay you per view. Typically these rates are between $5-20 per 1000 views. In addition to that, if you are popular enough, certain brands may want to advertise on your channel- and you would also be paid for that.

Social Media Carli Bybel Mint

@carlibybel – Over 3 million YouTube subscribers

This is truly one of the most important keys to success in makeup artistry. All you really need is a computer, the ability to relay information in an easy-to-follow way and creative way. YouTube superstars such as Kandee Johnson, Carli Bybel, and Lauren Curtis all have millions of subscribers because they are great to watch and give the ordinary gal hope that she can do extraordinary things with makeup!

Social Media Icons

~Jennine Cook, JCI’s Makeup Program Industry Liaison

JCI has been setting the standard in artistry and innovation for makeup and hair schools in Vancouver since 1978.



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