Using YouTube To Grow Your Passion ft. Lynette Cenée

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What do you get when you combine the passion of an entrepreneur with the artistic abilities of a celeb nail & make up artist?! Meet Lynette Cenée. She’s got a blog, she’s got a YouTube channel, and she’s killin’ it on social media too. She’s basically a jack of all trades when it comes to combining beauty in the digital sphere! Read all about her journey and experience marketing herself on YouTube! 

Tell us about yourself! How did you get started as a YouTuber?

I actually had a unique welcome into the digital space.  I came out to Los Angeles as a professional Makeup Artist and was working behind the scenes and instructing around the country for an airbrush makeup company. I came across a casting call for licensed cosmetologists and professionals (rather than your typical “beauty enthusiast”) and was 1 of 5 chosen by a production company to launch my YouTube channel. I worked with a team of 13 people to produce my initial videos, a producer, director, videographer, editor, social media and graphic designer, etc. After some time, I decided to move on from the company and I then gained sole ownership over my YouTube channel. I currently fully produce everything on my own.

What made you want to start a beauty vlog?

I was really attracted to the idea of being in front of the camera after many years of being behind it. I would be behind the scene on shoots where I would do the model’s makeup and then would hand them the brush and we would shoot it as if they had done it themselves. I was like, “what’s wrong with this picture? I could do this and then get paid double!” Thus began the spark to ignite my search and discovery of that casting call. Truthfully, I think it’s in my blood to be a “performer,” so to speak. My father is a professional magician and he and my mother toured the entire world. I grew up on stage with them and learned the practice of stage makeup at a young age. It was inevitable I would land where I am today!

What are some of your favorite beauty products?

Gosh, there are so many. I would say a few must-have items for me are beauty blenders, highlight/contour tools, a good liquid liner, and matte lipsticks. Oh, and lashes–can’t forget those!

What experience do you have collaborating with other brands, and how did you go about finding those partnerships?

After 3 years of working in this business, it has been bittersweet. It’s so new, and because of that, there are no rules. We make them as we go and learn from each experience. Brands are just starting to recognize Youtube influencers and their subscribers as built-in distribution channels. Often times, they offer very low compensation, not because they are cheap necessarily, but because they aren’t fully educated on everything that goes into producing content.  From start to finish it, a video could take upwards of 5-8 hours. That’s a full work day and should be taken into consideration when negotiating. There are some really great online resources to assist with connecting with brands and also measuring your analytics and calculating what you should charge, which you can then screenshot and send over to them as a reference. I include this in each pitch so it streamlines communication and weeds out the companies that are just trying to take advantage. Some of my favorite sites are:

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Do you have a strategy behind naming your YouTube titles or writing your video descriptions?

My dear friend and fellow influencer Nabela Noor was so sweet to give me some really great constructive criticism recently.  We were chatting and I was asking her advice for how to get such high engagement (etc.) and she was explaining how crucial the titles and descriptions are.  She went through my last 10-15 videoes and helped me retitle them to more succinct and trending tags. The trick is to basically keep it simple, broad, and use words like “Tumblr” inspired or “Boho” chic whenever relevant.

Why do you think YouTube is a good platform for marketing?

The way I see it, Youtube is a live action portfolio.  For instance, if you are a fashion blogger, makeup artist, or DIY expert, putting together videos as a reference of your skillset will set you apart.  It’s definitely a lot more challenging and time-consuming than a written blog with pictures, however it’s a great marketing tool for your overall brand even if you just have a few listed in a video tab on your website.

What’s your favorite part about the video-creating process? Do you have any tips and tricks for other vloggers?

If you enjoy puzzles, then you will enjoy video editing. That’s my experience anyway.  You also wear many hats and become very multi-faceted because you now are the whole crew like in any production.  I’ve stretched myself in ways I never thought possible and have really grown to love filmography and respect the craft very much.

Tips:

  • Watch other YouTube tutorials on editing. That’s how I learned everything I know!
  • Collaborate! If you’re not quite ready to dive in the deep end just yet, there are so many budding videographers out there.  Place an ad online, Internships.com is one that I use often.  There are plenty of students that need unpaid internships for credit in the courses they are taking. This also polishes your leadership skills too 🙂 Win win!

Which video of yours has the most views, and how did you go about marketing it?

That is a tricky question because of my unique journey on this platform like I already shared.  However, going back to what we talked about as far as titling your videos, one of my most viewed is “How To Apply Flash Tattoos” it continues to do well because of how that is often searched. I make a large portion of my income by producing content that lives on the channel of the brand itself rather than on mine.  I did a campaign last year with DisneyStyle, and because of their large audience the views follow suit.  I currently produce about 4-6 videos a month for Ipsy as well, which in turn has really helped build my audience.

What’s one quality that makes you an awesome entrepreneur?

I am always eager to learn more and more. I am so blessed to have a husband that is so business-savvy and I have been like a little sponge over the years learning about strategies, and tactics. Recently I’ve been able to collaborate with Michelle Phan on some things and I admire her drive and vision so very much. I mean, come on, she just made Forbes 30 Under 30 list! I look forward to her mentorship as I am currently in the middle of negotiating a deal with Ipsy to become one of their stylists.

What do you do in your free time?

My husband and I are very social, we often have large dinner parties with 20 or so close-knit and like-minded creatives. We have built quite the little safe haven for dreaming and scheming and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  After all, you are you who hang around…my mom was always right!

What’s your greatest achievement as a YouTuber?

There have been countless times that I have to pause for a second and ask myself “Why/How am I here right now?” If you were to tell me years ago that launching a YouTube channel would land me gigs with Michelle Phan,  the Ellen Degeneres Show, The Zoe Report, Hosting for TV,  in a Disney commercial with Minnie Mouse and so much more, I would have never believed you.  I am blessed beyond measure!

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Right here in Los Angeles, 100% – This city has offered me and my husband more opportunities than we even know how to handle at times.  It’s where once far off dreams have manifested into reality.