IT'S THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN.Those awkward days, between Xmas and New Years, where you don't know what you're doing with your life and contemplate future goals and life decisions.
I'm right there with ya.
I've been contemplating a lot, lately, about HOW I promote my work. How I need to step up my game exponentially - to be specific, my 'Video' Game.
There are some artists, entertainers, athletes and more who are using both conventional and unconventional video techniques to promote their work that is both entertaining and informative.
That's a Combo Punch folks.
I want to be in on that!
And as, marketing aficionado, Gary Vaynerchuk says:
“Stop marketing like it’s 2012...Market in the year we live in. Heck you should market in the DAY you live in”.”
— Gary Vaynerchuk
Image from Austin Kleon's book "Show Your Work".
So I reached out to a brilliant Instagram hair stylist/colorists and makeup artists, Ashley Fortis (@xostylistxo), Mia Connor (@miaconnor), and Sam Almeida (@mssamfx) and asked them how they promote their work (whether through video or any other means).
So let's start off with one that we are all familiar with:
It is no big secret that a person who has a YouTube channel, will more than likely, have a large following on their other social media platforms.
“Whilst Instagram is probably the biggest and the main way [to] promote [oneself], YouTube is considered the #1 social media platform. You will notice that anyone that has a YouTube channel will often have a lot of Instagram and Facebook followers”. ”
— Mia Connor (@miaconnor)
Why do we like YouTube so much?
Well, why do you always look for the deleted scenes or the directors commentary for a movie?
We WANT to be behind the scenes.
We want to see the bloopers.
We want to see that we are NOT ALONE in the struggle to get even eyebrows.
We want to see EXACTLY how you do what you do, so we can perform "magic" too.
Also, it gives you a chance to show off your personality, have fun, and show people that not only can your videos be informative, but entertaining as well.
We don’t jab and we don’t pull our punches.
We’re Combo Punch people.
“People really do want to see how the sausage gets made. ”
— Dan Provost & Tom Gerhardt
But before you go into building your YouTube channel, consider these three things:
HOW MANY TIMES A WEEK ARE YOU GOING TO POST?
I know the EXACT time I need to have my butt in front of my tv (or computer - yay Hulu!) to watch my favorite programming (i.e., Supernatural, The Mindy Project, Man Seeking Woman).
Why not give the same courtesy to YOUR audience like Jordan Hanz (@jordanhanz) who states ON HER YOUTUBE BANNER that she posts new videos every Monday and Thursday.
The same thing for Patrick Starrr (@patrickstarrr) who, again, states ON HIS YOUTUBE BANNER that he posts new tutorials every Friday.
Nikkie Tutorials (@nikkietutorials) who states both the DATE AND TIME you can expect to see her new videos.
Forget posting when you "feel like it". That's for rookies and people who aren't taking this seriously.
This strategy, and your audience, keeps you accountable and it makes you schedule yourself accordingly.
Pick the day(s), and time, that work for you and stick to the schedule. You made it - not stick to it.
Image from Ausin Kleon's book 'Show Your Work'
STUDY THE POWERHOUSES.
One thing that I really like about Mykie's YouTube Channel (@mykie_), or Glam & Gore, is that she has a title sequence, or a SET intro to the majority of her transformation/body painting videos - where you see the 'L' and the 'Smooch' pop up on the screen introducing you to the BEGINNING of the show!
by Mykie of Glam and Gore
Not many other MUAs that I know of do this.*
*Though I KNOW there are a lot of you MUAs out there and I don't have the resources to check.
If this is a technique you can utilize for yourself - do it!
If it's a little past your skill level - well while you're in YouTube-land, do a search and figure it out! Add to your creative skill set.
If it's something that doesn't interest you AT ALL - skip it and do your own thing.
If you want FREE music to these videos - check out NCS (No Copyright Sound) and YouTube's Audio Library.
And, as always, don't forget to credit the music in the description.
Which makeup artist channel do you ADORE?
Copy their style for a while until yours develops. And it WILL develop.
WHAT DOES YOUR VOICE LOOK LIKE?
“ I have [experienced] once in a life time opportunities from putting myself out there, and staying 100 perfectly true to who I am. Sure there were several times it could have went the other way but staying 100 percent authentic, and driven has allowed me to be in a place where not only can I take on this type of honor but also responsibility.”
— Ash Fortis (@xostylistxo)
What is your style? Who are you when you are unabashedly genuine? What do you want to focus on that describes your edge? What value are you providing to your audience? Why should they care?
And as Tamara Levinson-Campos says, "Show me your BeYOUtiful".
Don't try to be "cool". Don't try to do what others EXPECT you to do.
Just be you. Express your joy.
Image from Tumblr
I know that you have seen a gif before - but just in case - it's a short video that is looped, like the image above.
You have between 3-15 seconds to give your audience a "small win". That is where you teach them how to do ONE thing, easily.
You could do a:
You can use such tools as Giphy to create your gif, a phone app, or your video editor. Whichever is your preferred tool that will produce the quality you're looking for.
The major difference between a cinemagraph and a GIF is that a cinemagraph ISOLATES one small portion of the image to move SEAMLESSLY in a loop.
With a GIF you KNOW where the beginning of the video is and where the end is because there is a sudden 'stop', 'hiccup' or 'jump' AND there is lots of movement in the video.
With a cinemagraph, you don't know where the video begins or ends (it's smooooooth) and except for the ONE moving portion - the rest of the image is frozen. A combination of both a still image and video.
“...being fearless in pursuit of my dreams to be an innovator of hair has allowed me to try things others wouldn’t dare like, bold beautiful color, hair feathers, and even hair marbling. While these are not all main stream they show innovation and creativity and that is both inspiring and motivating.”
— Ash Fortis (@xostylistxo)
Aaron does an EXCELLENT job breaking down the steps it takes to create a cinemagraph, whether you're new to Photoshop or seasoned in the craft.
And if you don't have Photoshop, look at Adobe Creative Cloud and you can rent both Photoshop and Lightroom (combo package) for $10/month.
And yes, you can use a video camera or the camera on your phone to produce these results.
How can you use this technique to your advantage?...Oh let me count the ways.
4. SLOW MOTION
Video by Beyond Slow Motion
Has anyone else noticed that there are a lot of slow motion videos appearing on Instagram lately? And not just among athletes - though if you get a chance, check out @beyondslowmotion on Instagram who's whole page is dedicated to this (and it's beautifully done might I add),@cuchira performing a dive Yogance sequence , and @asseif performing a gymnastics Double Lay Split.
Embarrassingly, I searched for 2 HOURS on what app they used to produce this effect.
If you have an iPhone, it's already a pre-programmed feature in your camera.
You switch it over from 'camera mode' to 'slomo' mode and then edit it in the phone.
Get. It. Together. Rodgers.
So brainstorm MUAs, how would you film your makeup artistry in action and then slow it down? What's the scene?
Need ideas? Search the hashtags - #slowmotion, #slowmo, & #slomo - in Instagram
WHERE IS YOUR AUDIENCE?
Image by Ash Fortis (@xostylistxo)
I don't know much about Periscope, but I know for myself, it wouldn't work. However, for someone like Ashley, it's a great platform to show her audience, LIVE, how to do something like 'Style a Wig'.
There is shaping, tweezing, de-lacing, curling and more on a synthetic wig.
I did NOT know you could do all THAT to a synthetic wig.
You're taking your wig game to ANOTHER LEVEL when you tune in to Ash to see how she does what she does to style and shape the wig to look natural to YOUR aesthetic.
You THOUGHT you knew what it took to style and color hair, but when you see it in action — live — all those assumptions melt away and reality sets in.
My thoughts - if you are an orator, in the health and fitness genre, are a dj or promote concerts, a stylist, or even like to do live painting tutorials (remember Bob Ross?) - this platform will be EXCELLENT for you.
Again, I don't know much about the platform but here is a guide by Kissimetrics that explains it so you know if it's for you.
IT'S NOT A NUMBERS GAME
“Don’t focus on the number of likes and followers. I know it’s hard but it’s too easy to get consumed/bummed out...Have fun and always keep in mind that the number of followers you have doesn’t mean shit and is [definitely] not an accurate representation of your talent. ”
— Sam Almeida (@mssamfx)
Drops the mic. Walks off stage.
Now go look into a mirror and say that last line to yourself 3 times.
“Enter Competitions. From time to time makeup companies run the odd makeup competition or even industry organizers run their own competitions such as MUA of the Year, etc. Enter ALL of them! [Even] being listed as a finalist is fantastic and even better for your marketing... really [boosting your] profile.”
— Mia Connor (@miaconnor)
There's no push, like the heat of competition.
Staying calm and focused under pressure.
Teamwork (unless you ARE the team)
And as Tim Gunn has said over the years, "Make it work!"
And just to name a few of these competitions that are coming up in 2016:
“ ...do your best to ignore the trollin’ keyboard thugs. They’re a lonely bunch who have nothing better to do, so don’t engage. Just block the shit outta em and move on. ”
— Sam Almeida (@mssamfx)
You could be the sweetest, juiciest peach in the world, and there will STILL be someone who doesn't like peaches.
And then they will feel as if it is their sole duty on this earth to tell you why you suck as a peach.
Don't feed into the machine. Move on.
No you will not change their mind or convince them otherwise. Move on.
When you surround yourself with the RIGHT people, those are the ONLY opinions you should care about. Everyone else is white noise in the background.
“What I love about the idea of [the scene] is that it makes room in the story of creativity for the rest of us: the people who don’t consider ourselves geniuses. Being a valuable part of a [scene] is not necessarily about how smart or talented you are, but about what you have to contribute - the ideas you share, the quality of the connections you make, and the conversations you start. If we forget about genius and think more about how we can nurture and contribute to a [scene], we can adjust our own expectations and the expectations of the worlds we want to accept us.”
— Austin Kleon
Super crew, I hope I didn't overload your senses (buffering...still buffering...) and gave you some ideas for how you (and I) can attack your career and widen the breadth of your talents for next year using video.
Be resourceful. Think big, then go bigger. Be stoopid. Show your work. Dance.
And catch it all on camera.
Peace, love, and repeat
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