A Vlogger Talent Scout Reveals The Tricks to Making it Big Online
It’s hard to remember a time when the answer to, "How do I line my lips like Kylie Jenner?" wasn’t, "YouTube it". These days, having zillions of online makeup tutorials at our fingertips is a part of everyday life, and it's one we're constantly grateful for. Millions agree, with beauty how-to's consistently among the most watched clips on YouTube, and vloggers like Lauren Curtis and Chloe Morello finding fame as household names.
While many established beauty vloggers started off filming online tutorials as a hobby, they've parlayed their growing success into pretty rad day jobs. But with vlogging now a legitimate career choice, where should you begin if you fancy yourself the next big thing? When there are literally hundreds of thousands of voices online, how do you make yours stand out? To answer these questions, we reached out to Jill Birmingham, senior talent manager at MAXCONNECTORS (the agency that reps both Curtis and Morello) and for the insider intel on what it takes to make it big as an online influencer.
Keep scrolling to find out!
Byrdie Australia: Walk us through the process of finding and signing new beauty talent.
Jill Birmingham: At MAXCONNECTORS we live and breathe online beauty, fashion and lifestyle. Whether we are scrolling through our Insta feed, watching YouTube videos or keeping up to date on industry news, we are always scouting for new talent! We have established a great reputation in the industry as the leading agency for beauty influencers in Australia, so we also receive many emails from bloggers and YouTubers who would like representation. Once we identify them, we meet in person and go from there.
B: How many YouTube videos do you watch a day?
JB: I would love to watch more YouTube videos than I do but works always gets in the way! Some days I don’t watch any but others I’ll watch 20 in a row. It’s very easy to get sucked into the YouTube vortex and not surface for hours.
B: Are there other ways in which you find new local talent?
JB: Last year, MAXCONNECTORS hosted a Blogger Boot Camp in conjunction with YouTube where we invited aspiring YouTubers to join us for a one day workshop at Google. This gave me the opportunity to chat with many up-and-coming beauty talents. I also try to attend as many beauty events as possible so I can meet budding bloggers who are already networking with brands.
B: What makes a stellar beauty YouTuber stand out?
JB: I know it’s a cliché but I always look for that je ne sais quoi! It’s almost impossible to identify but it’s a quality that sets someone apart from the hundreds of other beauty YouTubers out there. Of course they must be very talented at their craft, but they also must be a genuine, down-to-earth person that people can relate to, but also aspire to be like. I also look for qualities that I know brands would value highly such as a wholesome image or a positive disposition.
B: What attributes does a vlogger need to make it big?
JB: Their content has to really resonate with their audience. They also have to create content that is relevant, useful and entertaining! (And keep creating that sort of content so their audience comes back for more.) Uploading videos regularly definitely helps, as does having a set upload schedule so that followers know when to expect a new video. A successful YouTuber engages with their community, replies to comments, listens to feedback and usually supports other YouTubers too.
B: How do you help a newbie reach household name-status?
JB: At MAXCONNECTORS we work closely with brands on influencer collaborations. We have established relationships with all the major beauty and fashion brands in Australia so when a new campaign is being launched we are usually one of the first to hear about it, and will recommend talent accordingly. We also advise our talent on how best to build their personal brands, which partnerships to focus on, and help them grow their digital platforms.
B: What advice would you give to up-and-coming beauty vloggers?
JB: If you are not completely and utterly passionate about what you do then give up now! Seriously, it can be a competitive business to be in, so if you are not 100% dedicated then it can be a hard graft. Watch a lot of YouTube videos to work out what you like, what you don’t like, and how your channel could be different to all the others out there. Have a clear vision for your channel and your brand, and most of all have fun! Video is an awesome platform to experiment with so get creative.