Zoe Sugg has turned her beauty vlog into a bonafide lipstick legacy. Her dangerously watchable YouTube channel, Zoella, has clocked up 12 million subscribers, and has led to a bestselling cosmetics line with UK chain Superdrug, a line of candles, pillows and stationery, and a three-book series with Penguin. According to a Business Insider report, the 27-year-old clears £50,000 a month. In her own words, here’s how she grew her fanbase in an industry that’s young, fun, and short of attention.
1. Be vulnerable and let people see the real you
“Making more long-form content, like daily vlogging, will allow the audience to learn more about you as a person – the things you like to eat, the places you go out, your family and friends. They get to know you on a much deeper level and, although an audience may not grow at a fast pace at first, they will be more loyal, genuine and engaged as they will feel that connection with you. Shorter viral content, on the other hand, may grow your following at a much faster pace, but those people might not necessarily have that same connection [to] the creator, but more towards the content, so they might not stick around in the same way.”
2. Find your own routine for creating regular content
“I’d like to be able to tell you I balance all my projects well, and that I have this great structure, and fab organisational skills that keep me on top of all of them but, in reality, I don’t! A lot of the time things overlap, and I’ll be working on all of them every single day for months at a time (like now!), but everything always goes to plan in the end.”
3. Be as transparent as possible
“I think people know that brand deals and product placement are a big part of what creators do now. And with the advertising standards agency requiring by law that UK creators and influencers are disclaiming as they should be, it makes everything a lot clearer with the audience, and I’m definitely down for that! It’s important that everything is clear, and I always disclose a sponsored piece of content. After all, if I genuinely like the brand, I’m more than happy to say I’ve worked with them, and that should be the same for everyone.”
4. Be genuine and collabs will come naturally
“I’d always been interested in beauty products, and even in my first blog posts I talk a lot about my love for make-up, bath and body products. [Then] in 2013 I had a meeting with a company who wanted to create products with me. I’m very heavily involved in every decision and aspect of each product, and I really enjoy it.”
Pick up a copy of Collective Hub Issue 49 with Zoe Sugg on the cover here.