Self-taught professional makeup artist and YouTuber Melissa Alatorre clearly has a knack for figuring things out for herself. The San Diego born has amassed over 250,000 subscribers in a little over a year, having only joined the platform in 2015.
That's right. The first-generation Mexican-American MUA joined YouTube April 21, 2015. So for those of you who think it's too late to start, Melissa is living proof that if you put your mind to something, you will get it done. (And perhaps look drop dead gorgeous while doing so.)
We caught up with Melissa ahead of Create & Cultivate Atlanta, where she'll be joining us on panel, to talk tips, learning the basics of videography, and the one thing she really "sucks" at.
In a little over a year, you have gotten over 250k subscribers on YouTube. For some content creators, it's almost impossible to get that many followers in that short amount of time - what do you credit your success to?
I would have to say that passion, persistence and consistency are what really helped me gained a following. I had been wanting to start a YouTube channel for over 3 years but never had the right tools in order to get started so as soon as I did I knew that I had to hit the ground running. This is something that I am not only passion it about, but I also knew it was what I wanted be doing with my life full time. So I began producing 2-3 videos a week and putting my all in to them to make them the absolute best I could at the time. I also made sure that my videos weren’t just there to watch for entertainment, I wanted to really teach my viewers how to improve their makeup skills having been a freelance makeup artist for years. I think my subscribers have noticed that and for that reason my videos have resonated well with not only them but with everyone they share my videos with!
You created your YouTube channel after already having built an Instagram following. How was your transition from just posting on Instagram to creating video content?
What’s interesting is that you think everyone from Instagram would immediately just follow you on to YouTube, but that wasn’t the case for me. I would say about 30-40% of my followers actually went over and subscribed to my channel, so my thoughts were “Dang, this is going to be so HARD!” Then miraculously my YouTube channel managed to surpass my Instagram following... by a lot! I think that my Instagram has now become a platform for promoting my videos, whereas before it was more so just creating beautiful images that weren’t linked to any other external content. I tell everyone Instagram has become your magazine/TV Guide that is simply there to visually please the human eye on a daily basis, whereas YouTube is your TV show that people are more actively engaged with and more emotionally connected to.
What are your keys to creating a great video?
Great lighting…just kidding, but not really. Great lighting, camera set up and all the technical production aspects are obviously keys to a great video but what matters most is the content you are producing. Like I mentioned, in the beginning my videos were NOT a great quality, production wise (even though I thought they were at the time) but people, my subscribers still loved my videos because the content was great - they could care less that the tungsten bulbs I was using were making me look a pale shade of yellow. A great video/content has to have substance, it needs to provide your viewers with something that will benefit them. In my case, it’s showing my viewers my “ secret” little tips and tricks on how to make your makeup look its best.
Since you started your YouTube channel, what are some of the things that you've learned along the way about creating video content?
Plan your content in advance, again, think of your channel as a TV show. Don’t just throw content out there for the sake of having to upload a video weekly. Take the time to plan out what videos you will be uploading on what dates and around trends that are current. The more you carefully plan and strategize your content the better response your videos will get. Also, use all the other tools available to you in order to promote your channel - Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, etc.. It makes a HUGE difference #snapchatfam.
What are three essential tools to creating your video content?
1. Familiarize Yourself with Some Basic Videography Knowledge
I get SO many emails from aspiring YouTubers that simply say, “What are your camera setting and lighting, please tell me.” I encourage everyone to watch some YouTube videos on basic videography skills because you are going to have to tailor your filming setup to what you are working with. My setup might be completely different from yours. What if I film in a dark dungeon with no lighting? You'd never know! Haha. Same thing goes for editing software and lighting, just watch some YouTube videos on it and learn the basics, after that it’s all trial and error!
2. Utilize Your Audience
Really listen to them and take into account what their needs are and what they want to see you do next on your channel, after all without them there is no us!
3. Be Active on Your Channel
Don’t just upload and disappear, engage with your audience in the comment section and on your other socials, it makes a difference!
How do you create a content calendar to make sure you have a new video every week?
To be honest, I suck at this so, next question… hahahaha. I’m in the process of planning out a 3-month system so I have my videos planned out strategically.
What are your tips on creating collaborations with other content creators?
Try to meet other content creators organically versus just emailing them first. If you can go to events where other content creators will be at and engage with them in that way first. Then spark up a conversation about a potential collaboration. Also, collaborate with creators that have a similar style to yours so that the collaboration has a great response from both of your audiences, not just one or the other.
What are three strategies that you abide by to make sure your content is always getting traction and your channel is always growing?
1. Utilizing ALL the social media channels that are out there to my full disposal - when a video is freshly uploaded tell your Snapchat fam to go watch, post on Instagram that it’s live, and have Twitter automatically tweet out your new video.
2. Upload videos on the same days each week - I still struggle with this from time to time but I try to stick to every Tuesday and Friday. My subscribers LOVE Quick Tip Tuesday videos!
3. Stay creative - Don’t just upload the same thing one after the other, after the other. People get bored easily and will drop off, keep everyone entertained with new and fresh content that will get shared and attract new subscribers!
Tickets for #CreateCultivateATL are going fast! To catch Melissa on panel be sure to snag your ticket now.
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