Business of Beauty: Rachel Talbott, A Pro On and Off YouTube
/ Jul 14, 2013

talbott

Watch any of Rachel Talbott’s videos on YouTube, and you’ll notice the ease with which she talks to her audience. She is a natural. That’s not to say other YouTube beauty gurus have a problem with this — they wouldn’t be where they are today if they did not know what they were talking about — but in Talbott’s case, she comes off as a true beauty and fashion pro. Which is an apt description of who Talbott is — just look at her resume.

“I was working as a skincare specialist for Clarisonic, and lots of my clients and friends suggested I start a blog to share some of my tips,” says Talbott. “Eventually, I got wind of the opportunity to do video blogs, or vlogs on YouTube. Beauty gurus on YouTube were on the rise, and I thought it would be a fun opportunity to share everything I had learned as a skincare specialist.”

It also helped that YouTube was a homecoming of sorts.

“This is a fun outlet for me, because as a child I did lots of commercials, theatre, and voice-overs and session singing,” she says. “YouTube allows me to not only be on camera, and share my passion for skincare, fashion, beauty, etc., but also gives me an opportunity that brings me back to my on-camera roots.”

From that opportunity, she has built a YouTube career that spans a channel (CheckInTheMirror) with more than 224,000 subscribers and partnerships with brands and media companies like Nine West and Disney to produce content for their YouTube destinations.

Helping her along the way is YouTube talent network Big Frame, which she says has been a key partner in helping her grow her audience and work with brands on the world’s biggest video site. “Partnering with a network you trust is key as they can really help you with income opportunities,” says Talbott. This requires a lot of listening and communicating, which Talbott says Big Frame provides in spades.

“There are a variety of road blocks when working on the internet,” says Talbott. The major ones are building an audience and, as Talbott describes it: “figuring out how you are going to make a living without taking every single brand deal that comes your way.”

A network such as Big Frame is able to help Talbott accomplish both without the risk of losing the trust of her audience, which she says would be easy to do if she took every brand deal offered to her.

This is why communication is so important. “I really made it clear [with Big Frame] that I wanted to make money hosting webisodes and creating content for other channels, and not by taking every single money-making brand deal that came up,” she says. And now that aspect of her YouTube career — the content that she is producing for other channels and sites — is where a majority of her income comes from.

It doesn’t mean she’s not open to talking about and working with brands for her main channel, it just has to be done in an authentic way — the oldest and truest adage when it comes to engaging with people online.

“I’m extremely picky with brands that I choose to work with,” says Talbott. “I’ve said ‘no’ to way more brands than I’ve said ‘yes’ to. It comes down to honesty and integrity for me. I have to really love the product to mention it on my channel.”

And to maintain her authenticity, it’s important that Talbott is allowed to speak about that brand or product in her own words, which means: no script.

“I don’t like to spout off statistics, or be given a script,” she says. “I’m okay with sharing important information and educating my viewers, that’s originally why I started my channel, but it has to be my own words.”

So far, Talbott says she hasn’t had any hiccups with brands. And as her YouTube presence has grown, she says it’s opened up more opportunities for her to work with brands she already loves, which makes it easy to talk about them on her channel — a “win-win” for all.

Of course there are other ways for beauty gurus and other content creators on YouTube to grow their audience and monetize content, be it from collaborating with other content creators or “mainstream” channels or from pre-roll ad revenue. Once again, Talbott says it’s important for creators to have a good working relationship with their representation to manage all of that.

“A lot of people say to me ‘Man, I wanna start a YouTube channel,’ as though making a channel and making loads of money is easy,” she says. “It’s really, really not. As the industry gets more saturated, it gets harder. What’s important is to focus on being you and building an audience that likes and relates to you. Once you do that, partnering with a team that can help guide your career is essential.”

“I have said no to big offers before, because I knew I couldn’t take it,” she continues. “If I’m offered an opportunity to be in a commercial outside of my channel, that is one thing. But my channel started with honest opinions, and I want to keep it that way.”

Tags: , , , , , , , ,


  • Meg

    Love her!

aol nate hayden

AOL Ups Nate Hayden to Run Originals Business

Disney Muppets

Disney Debuts Muppets Web Series

unbelieveable_1

Bravo Taps The Gregory Brothers, SoulPancake to Promote New Series

pewdiepie

Maker Studios Launches iPhone App for PewDiePie

Ear Biscuits Devin SuperTramp

Devin SuperTramp: ‘Ready-Made for Sponsorship’

showmobile

Radio Disney Strikes Multi-Channel Content Deal with ShowMobile

judy mcgrath

Former MTV CEO Judy McGrath Joins Amazon’s Board

MediaKraft

Next New Networks Co-Founder Joins Advisory Board at Mediakraft

NewsToKnow

Friday 8.1: News to Know

cracklecleaners2

Crackle Sets Return Date for ‘Cleaners’

cartoon hangover manly

‘Adventure Time’ Crew Members Debut...

ViralGains

Nas Invests in Viral Video Marketing Firm ViralGains

July_Vi_Chats

Recap! VideoInk Presents… Diversifying the Video Ecosystem

HuluRemote

Hulu Makes Full Episodes Available for Free on Android Devices

NETFLIX, INC. BOJACK HORSEMAN

Saddle Up for BoJack Horseman’s Comeback… on Netflix...

dapper_laughs

British Vine Star ‘Dapper Laughs’ Scores TV Show with ITV

Corey_Moss

EXCLUSIVE: Hearst Hires Corey Moss to Grow Digital Video Business

NBCDigital

NBCU Brings USA and Syfy to Xbox for the First Time

spotxchange2

RTL Group Takes Majority Stake in SpotXchange for $144M

NewsToKnow

Thursday 7.31: News to Know

chris_jericho

Chris Jericho Adds ‘Web Series Star’ to List of...

Legendary_pictures-2

Legendary Entertainment’s Tom Lesinski Steps Down

Assassins_Creed

‘Assassin’s Creed: Unity’ Shows Expert Parkour...

Show_collage

Call of Duty and X-Men Top YouTube Trailers Leaderboard

JoePenna Headshot

YouTube’s Joe Penna Makes the Move to TV

elizabeth_banks_1

Elizabeth Banks Books College Comedy Series with Paramount Digital

KevinSpacey_UmaThurman

Filmmaker Competition Ends in YouTube Space LA with Uma Thurman

ted_sarandos

Gotham Awards Industry Tribute Goes to Netflix’s Ted Sarandos

Tune In to #VIViewpoints! We’re Live!

Screen Shot 2014-07-30 at 11.47.20 AM

Activia’s ‘La La La’ with Shakira Becomes Most...

NetFlix

Netflix Pays to Directly Connect with AT&T

brooklyn decker

Brooklyn Decker, Ethan Embry Join Netflix’s ‘Grace...

FRANCE DAILYMOTION

Dailymotion Adds Content from AOL, Complex Media, Maker Studios, More

ICMPartners

Talent agency ICM Forms ‘O Labs’ with Manatt Phelps...

nerdist

Nerdist Pokes Fun at YouTube Commenters

SD_Comic_COn

Comic-Con Delivers Fan-tastic Celebration of Digital

Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 4.58.05 PM

Season Two of ‘ISA Variety Game Show’ Starts Tomorrow

Company_logos

6 Key Takeaways from Just for Laughs’ ComedyPro

Vessel

Jason Kilar’s Vessel Targeting Premium Short-Form Video...

James_Brown

Pluto.TV Set for a James Brown Binge