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!

YouTube Gaming vs. Twitch

Can YouTube Gaming and Twitch Share the Playground?

 
Kaleidoscope VR Film Festival

Experiencing Virtual Reality at the Kaleidoscope VR Film Festival

 
FlareKids

Cox Communications Sets its Sights On Kids with Flare Kids App

 
OkaleyHelbig

Grace Helbig and Tyler Oakley Tapped to Host Streamy Awards

 
Peter Gabriel CueSongs

Peter Gabriel’s CueSongs Bringing Music to the Online...

 
Matthys

NBCU Vet Philip Matthys To Head Business Affairs For Hulu Originals

 
yanyi

5 Emerging Channels Featuring Female Creators

 
Galaxy Quest

Amazon Studios Going on ‘Galaxy Quest’

 
Here's how musicians should use facebook

Facebook Finally Takes On Freebooting With New Copyright Tools

 
FitnessLogo

FitnessMagazine.com’s SweatTV Enters the Streaming Workout...

 
Difficult People Hulu Billy Eichner Julie Klausner

Hulu Renews ‘Difficult People’ for 2nd Season

 
NGSNLigaMXLogSmash

Soccer Streaming Heats Up As NGSN Pacts With Liga MX

 
DiscoveryVRlogo

Discovery Jumps into Virtual Reality With Discovery VR App

 
rsz_camera-408258_1280

Taming the Online Video Wild West Takes Some Tech Savvy

 
AmazonBox

Amazon Video Follows Netflix to Land of the Rising Sun

 
supergravitypics

Supergravity Pictures Hires Development Duo

 
Muchdigitallogo

Much Digital Studios Launches its First Round of Brand Partnerships

 
Daniel Fisher Playbuzz

Playbuzz Opens Up Shop in The U.K. for its Snackable Content

 
Snapchat

Snapchat Adds Three Big Names to Discover, Eyes New Revenue

 
PBSDigital

Web Series Wednesday – PBS Digital Studios

 
Channel Frederator Network

Channel Frederator Expands its Animation Network with 90 New Channels

 
Hulu gets rid of the plus

Hulu Goes Programmatic with Oracle and LiveRail

 
Divimove

Divimove and Sony/ATV Partner For Digital Music Publishing

 
Star Wars Force Friday Unboxing Maker Studios

Disney Unboxes Maker Studios Talent for Star Wars Product Launch

 
angrybirdstoons

Layoffs at Rovio in The Wake of Restructuring

 
Mike Rothenberg River Accelerator

Virtual Reality – The Rewards, The Risks with Mike...

 
YouTube Gaming

YouTube Gaming Clicks on Start Button

 
comics

Machinima and Michael Bay Team Up for Video-Enhanced Graphic Novels

 
smoshmovie

Smosh: The Movie in Walmart, On its Way to Netflix

 
5922553_orig_opt

Subway: The Series Goes Underground for Laughs

 
CBS

Cablevision Woos Cord-Cutters with CBS Streaming Video Service

 
AndyKaplan

NATPE/Content First Elects Sony’s Andy Kaplan As Chairman

 
Social Media Special-Ops MTV Other

The Truth Behind MTV(other)’s ‘Social Media...

 
Fail Army

FailArmy Comes Out Victorious with Superfan App

 
amazonstudios

Amazon Casts Billy Bob Thornton and William Hurt in...

 
Superfan

Vevo’s Super Fan Showdown Posts Strong Season 3 Numbers

 
Erin McPherson Maker Studios

Erin McPherson and Jeremy Welt Out at Maker Studios

 
raindance web fest 7-29-14

Raindance Web Fest Announces 2015 Independent Series Award Nominees

 
quickflix

Quickflix Calls Off China Deal, Has Netflix Claimed Another Victim?

 
MikeJones

5Qs With Science CEO Mike Jones On FameBit and Original Content