In today’s post I’m addressing everyone who has a blog, Youtube channel or any other platform and is based in a country or city with limited resources when it comes to beauty. I’ll be sharing 7 Smart Ways Content Creators Can Grow their Platforms (What’s Working Now) from my experience throughout the years.
Photo by Ella Jardim
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7 Smart Ways Content Creators Can Grow their Platforms (What’s Working Now)
I’ll make a small intro for everyone who’s new here and tell you that Chicprofile was born in 2008 in Romania. A country where even today beauty content creators have very limited access to products and information.
Now I’m based in London and I’m still an independent content creator who doesn’t count on brands for PR or sponsorships. If I’ve been doing it for over 12 years, then you have no excuse not to succeed as well. Times have changed, that’s true and the competition is higher than ever but you can still make it if this is your passion.
If you want to build your platform on the idea that you have to keep up with every beauty release but you are not U.S. based or sitting on a pile of cash, then go read something else instead.
It’s true that being based in U.S. has its advantages because you get new releases sooner, exclusive collections, you can buy, swatch or test and return products and is easier to connect with brands. But you can still make it from everywhere as long as you play it smart, have a strategy in place and compete on another level.
If you’ll try to use the same strategies as U.S. content creators you’ll end up spending all your money on new releases without being noticed by brands or being able to make those money back from your platform.
1.Use the Products You Have
As tempting as buying every new release out there may seem, it can be impossible sometimes if you are not in the right country or you don’t have the budget to keep up. Don’t make the mistake of trying to keep up with all the content creators who post endless unboxing videos, huge makeup hauls or who are not skipping any makeup launch.
They may have received products in PR while you are spending your own money, they may have sponsors or be in a country where they can buy and return products. There’s no such a thing of returning products in Europe unless they are completely untouched.
Focus on what you already have and try to make smart purchases when you are buying new products. You can still create great content that will catch your readers’ attention because not everyone is interested in buying limited edition products that will be sold out in a few weeks or days. Believe it or not some people prefer permanent products they can re-purchase once they finished their favorite lipstick.
How can you provide great content by using the products you already have is up to you but I’ll give you a quick example. Let’s say you are also a lipstick junkie and you bought 5 lipsticks in the past 3 months. I’m pretty sure you have more in your makeup collection so start creating posts where you mix some of your oldies (make sure they are still available) with the new purchases.
Write about your Favorite Summer lip colors, Best Red Lipsticks or Best Nude Lipsticks for fair skin. You can do these kind of posts with products that have been sitting in your vanity drawers for months.
2.Ditch the Limited Edition Releases
As much as I love limited editions, it pains me not to be able to repurchase a product once is gone and honestly I can’t keep up. Unless you have the money to splurge on limited editions which pop up like popcorn, I’d advise caution when you are shopping.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t buy anything but definitely don’t go after every collection. Many have fallen for the “beauty dream” and thought that if they will invest in every big release out there, in a few months, brands will notice them and they’ll get free products. It doesn’t work like that… especially if you are not U.S. based.
I know European bloggers & Youtubers with 10k subscribers and great content who have been approached by brands only be turned down afterwards because they were not U.S. based.
Here’s the smart thing to do! I’m pretty sure you must be aware of beauty launches ahead of time so prepare your strategy. Create a survey and ask your audience what they would like you to review from the new Chanel Fall Winter 2020 Collection. Pick the most relevant products that you can later use to create new content.
Another tip and this is just between us here! Buy limited edition products with shades that are part of the permanent line. I’ve done that many times as I love the LE packaging or the embossment on the actual product. This way I get to review a “new” in a shade that everyone can repurchase afterwards as it is available in the standard packaging and part of the permanent line.
Not to mention it will be useful for future collections, when shades will be re-promoted and you can link to your previous reviews. Like this you will skip the shades you already have and resist the limited edition packaging as you are on a smart purchase with a strategy in mind and not on a shopping spree.
3.Invest in Permanent Products/ Shades
Always invest in collections with permanent products. It’s an investment in your platform and you’ll use those products even months after to create new content. If your audience sees that you’ve been using that red lipstick for months, they will trust your recommendations even more.
Building a faithful audience takes time but it’s totally worth it, especially if they like permanent products and will support you by shopping from your affiliate links.
The content you’ll create using permanent products will bring you more revenue than limited edition releases. Your affiliate links will be valid even years later when someone wants to make a purchase.
4. Drive Audience from Social Media to your Blog / Youtube and Not the Other Way Around
Don’t be lead into temptation and make Instagram your main platform. I know it’s easier to post on social media rather than spending hours or days for an article on the blog. As tempting as it may be, it won’t bring you long term benefits, as building content on social media is like building a sand castle. Everyone admires it until the rain or a big wave will wash it away.
You don’t have control over your content on social media (did you read the tems & conditions?) like you do on a blog, plus the platform may go out of fame tomorrow. It happened with Facebook, Twitter, BellaShoot, Periscope…and I can keep on going.
Today TikTok is trendy and many Instagram users already made the switch. It’s not worth it starting from scratch everytime, when you actually want to have all your audience in one place, your main platform.
You need to focus on a stable platform, like your blog or website where brands won’t strike your account or file false copyright claims so Instagram will disable it. It happened to me back in 2018 when I lost my Chicprofile Instagram account and it happened to a lot of people before and afterwards. I was heartbroken for sure, but that wasn’t my main platform, neither my source of income
I interact with my followers on Chicprofileofficial Instagram, post previews of things they can read on the blog, sneak peeks of products that I’ll buy in the future. Use social media to invite your followers into your home (blog / Youtube channel) and not only to engage in front of the door (social media). Send them to your blog to read all the info they need, not post every detail on Instagram and make sure to keep a balance between teasing them and offering info.
If likes and followers will pay your bills then, keep doing it for the fame but I’m talking about creating a platform that is self-sustainable and also allows you to have a full time job as a content creator. A blog has so much more things to offer and benefits for your readers, plus it will be there for as long as you want!
5. Use Both your Talents and your Flaws!
You may be the queen of skincare ingredients, the magician of makeup brushes, or the natural girl who doesn’t use filters for selfies. You may want to hide your skin imperfections but your authenticity comes from that as you can help others see what works for them and how well a concealer performs when you don’t have a flawless skin.
Use your makeup talent and create sublime looks or makeup tutorials. Have you read what I said about transforming this into a product that you can sell on your platform?
There’s a niche for everyone you just have to find it!
6.Content is King!
Even though you may be late to the party when reviewing a collection that launched weeks ago in U.S. try building a faithful audience. I know how frustrating it is not being able to review hot products because you live in a country where they didn’t launch, no shops will ship or even worse…it’s exclusive to Asia or U.S.
Trust me I’ve been there for many years when I lived in Romania and I still managed to be in top results on Google search. While you may blog about upcoming launches, it can be extremely hard when facing exclusive releases. If you can afford it, shop through a personal shopper who can send you products anywhere, but keep in mind what I told you about LE releases and permanent products.
So, don’t fight, go around it! What you can do? Compensate the wait with a quality content and make sure to mention in your reviews things that haven’t been said before. Trust me that even when I posted a review 2 months later, there were readers who thanked me because I was the only one providing that precious detail they needed to make that purchase.
Back in the days I was the first one to post full nail polish reviews (with before & after 7 days wear photos), while others said only 2 sentences about the color. My reviews were so detailed that I showed how the nail polish looked in 1 coat, 2 coats, with top coat and the most important… how it looked after 7 days wear. It was precious information for many of my readers when nobody was mentioning the nail lacquer lasted for 5 days without them doing any house work.
Don’t be shallow in your reviews or articles. Those who appreciate your information are the ones who will support you, purchase through your affiliate links or buy your products and services.
7. Swap Products with Other Content Creators
I used to do this a lot when I lived back in Romania and even a few months ago I placed an ad on my Instastories. Some strategies never go out of style and can be extremely resourceful, not to mention save you money.
Especially when you are a beginner or live in a country where you don’t have access so easily to new releases, swapping products with other beauty lovers can be a win-win situation.
If you are based in London and have a passion for luxury makeup do let me know if you are interested in swapping or exchanging beauty products.
Reach out to other content creators from your niche and propose to swap beauty products that you can use to review and create new content. I have many products that I buy just for review purposes and I’d be happy to exchange them for new ones once I’m done creating my content. This can work very well for limited edition items.
If you have friends who are makeup addicts you can borrow their products for review purposes or give them some of yours in return. You’ll provide more content on your blog, would be easier to keep up with releases and grow your platform faster.
Back in the days people were collaborating more and this is how we all managed to grow, compared to the present when everyone is for themselves and competition is so high. We used to help eachother, not only swapping products, linking or reposting eachothers content but we were also thrilled when some of us was hosting a blog sale. We could buy lots of products at half the price without going broke.
Many content creators today would love to do these things but they are afraid of being judged, looking bad in the brand’s eye or even worse…receiving comments from trolls that exchanging makeup is not hygienic. When was the last time a makeup artist did your makeup? Have you seen any MUAs using a new product for every client? They use disinfectants and cleaning sprays which is what you should do as well.
Not to mention we will be using makeup more responsibly, hit the pan more often and not feed our egos with an enormous makeup collection that is gathering dust because many of those products are expired..
I’m excluding makeup collectors who are doing this as a hobby and I’m not telling you to buy an used mascara or liquid eyeliner… because there are some products that you should use only new. There are still lots of products like eyeshadows, blushes, highlighters, powders, lipsticks, eye & lip liners that can be sanitized and re-used without problems.