Chtrbox Influencer interview

#ChtrboxInfluencer Exclusive: Beauty Influencer Shalini Samuel tells us what it takes for a successful YouTube channel

We got a chance to have a word with the beauty influencer Shalini Samuel, founder of the popular YouTube channel ‘Knot Me Pretty’, with a whopping 934k followers on YouTube and 349k followers on Instagram!

Shalini Samuel has a Youtube channel that is primarily about makeup, fashion, and lifestyle. She describes herself as a ‘girl on the run’, someone dealing with hectic schedules which leave little time for beauty routines. Her channel provides quick, simple, and easy hair and beauty hacks. She also recommends products and hairstyles that make you look your best with minimal time and effort! Her channel is on an upward trajectory since 2016, and Shalini hasn’t looked back since. From hairstyling to beauty and makeup, her channel has inspired women across India.

We had an exclusive talk with Shalini Samuel, where she reveals some tips and tricks which will allow you to build your own Youtube channel from scratch!

1. What was your inspiration behind becoming an influencer? 

My primary inspiration was the need to share the knowledge I had with everyone. Ranging across the board from hairstyling to beauty tips, I am hoping they would make the lives of women simpler and achievable. 

2. How did your creator journey start? What did you study, and did you or do you have another full-time job?

I’ve done my Bachelors in Commerce, I’ve also studied hairstyling and worked in the hair industry. I did this for a few years until I found my calling in content creation. I began by making videos on YouTube because I always wanted to have my own one-stop destination for beauty and hair. In the year 2016, my youtube channel witnessed tremendous growth. That is when I took the decision to leave my job as a hairstylist and become a full-time YouTuber! This is my full-time job now 🙂

3. Where did you see your first real growth of followers? Did you have one specific post that went viral? What was it?

I tried to recreate one of Deepika Padukone’s bun hairstyles. That video went viral, I now see it as the turning point of my channel. I saw lakhs of views in a few days. I had never witnessed anything like that before, it was also much needed at that point cause it really gave me hope and motivation. The video is at 15 million views now! One of my most popular uploads until today!

4. As a beauty influencer, what are your biggest tips & pitfalls to avoid for up & coming influencers 

I would say that you should not be afraid of building a brand in a niche space. Find out your niche and focus on creating great content. Always tap into what’s trending in your own way, and listen to your audience. Your audience is the best judge of what works and what doesn’t.
One of the biggest pitfalls today is to copy something only because it’s trending and going viral. Having a voice and originality is very important. It is the distinguishing factor that will help you make your mark.

5. What do you consider your most successful brand collaborations? Why do you think they worked out so well? 

I’ve been happy with my association with BBlunt, Be Beautiful, Lakme, Nykaa just to name a few. In my opinion, when the brand gives creative freedom to the influencer to bring out the best in themselves for their audience, it works really well in everybody’s favor. Nothing should be too force-fitted and it should always be about imparting value in the content. Whether that content is non-branded or branded. 

6. What can’t you live without as a content creator? (What apps/lighting/hardware, etc)

My iPhone and my tripod stand are the two things I can’t live without. Especially now because I am shooting and editing everything on it. Otherwise, good lighting can be a ring light as well. I also have a bunch of apps that help me edit. InShot is a gem for video editing, lightroom and photoshop are the best apps for pictures. I also love Spotify for listening to music!

7. What’s been your most embarrassing moment as a content creator?  

My journey until now has been pretty smooth until this point with no major hiccups. I am really happy about that. I really hope I can continue this momentum forward.

8. What’s your personal favourite piece of content you’ve made? What makes it stand out for you? 

I really liked the hairstyling videos that I used to shoot in my garden. It gave the video a complete tropical feel. The videos came out looking fresh and the hairstyles really popped.

9. What do you think social media will look like in 2022? 

2022 will be a year of massive trends and experiments which will reflect in content as well. I guess travel will be a big deal post-recession. Social media is definitely getting saturated so I feel shorter and crispier content will do better. Saying that social media can surprise us too.

10. What do you think is the most important skill for a content creator today? 

I think today, it’s important to not get sucked into the different wavelengths of consumers consuming content. There are different kinds of videos. Don’t get stuck in the loop of what’s trending and what’s not. Just stick to your niche while making it something interesting for everyone to watch. Always have a major takeaway in terms of value from it. 

11. What advice would you give to brands for creating better campaigns?

Give creative freedom to the influencer, When you are doing a brand association, try and integrate the brand in the influencers lives organically and holistically. It should not be a one-off force-fitted campaign. It won’t seed into the audience’s mind and in the won’t be beneficial in the longer run. Obviously, creativity is important as well.

12. Tell us the truth – how much time do you spend on social media? 🙂

I spend most of my time on social media apart from when I’m shooting and working out. I am guilty of doing this. But I have set goals to balance my time out on social media, and not just keep scrolling.

13. What’s your dream, or ultimate goal?  Where is this path heading for you?

I want to expand my expertise in having my own haircare and hair accessory line. I want to have my own chain of really cool hair styling products! Of course, I still have a long journey ahead of me. But its best to take one step a time.

14. Give us a thought to end with… can be random, inspirational, whatever you want!

I think everyone should stay inspired. Let your creativity take the center stage. We are all talented individuals with immense potential. A little inspiration and a stroke of creative genius can take you to the next level!

Thank you, Shalini for these wonderful words and helping us understand the world of a beauty influencer and a blogger better. We absolutely loved this opportunity to talk to you. Do check out the YouTube channel by Shalini Samuel for superb hair and beauty hacks.

If you liked this piece, do check our interviews with Palak Sidhwani and Vaibhav Munjal!

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