B2B (business-to-business) is the most used marketing technique, as far as advertising goes, in our New Age of Media. Cross Collaborations between brands are at an all-time high, as big businesses are leaning on content creators to spread the messaging about their products to their following. Elizabeth Coles, best known as "Royal Beautee," used her passion for beauty and travel to create a lifestyle channel to document her experiences. YouTube Vlogger and Social Media Influencer "Royal Beautee," sits down with W4TC for a Q&A on branding, how she turned over 60k views into a profitable business and how you can too!
Q. Why did you choose vlogging beauty, travel and lifestyle content?
A. Since I was a kid, I've always been into photography and videography. I've always loved documenting my life and special moments, and editing what I capture. Becoming a blogger/vlogger came out of
nowhere once social media gave platforms where I could share what I loved doing! Back before the term vlogger/influencer came about, I was just doing it for fun 😄.
Q. How did you come up with the name "Royal Beautee?"
A. My real name is Elizabeth; and growing up, I always loved that I had the same name as a Queen and everyone always referred to me as Queen Elizabeth.
As I got older, I adopted feeling of royalty, and it became important to me to always carry myself as such... especially as a young, African-American girl. When I initially started my instagram, there was a song with the words "Royal Beauty" in it. I loved the song; but couldn't secure the name, since someone else owned it. So, I changed the "y" in "beauty" to two "e's" instead, and kept it moving [lol]! I figured it would make me stand out, and easier to find anyway [haha].
Q. What can those who've never visited your YouTube channel or Instagram page, expect from your brand?
A. This question is funny to me, because I've recently been trying to "niche down." With social media, they say it will confuse your audience to have so much going on. I am very creative and love to share; however, I am not just a beauty influencer, I do hair, I do make up, and most importantly I'm a mother and a wife and love to share that. It's been hard for me to just have a page full of only make up videos, or hair videos, or mommy stuff. I'm in love with, and good at it all. So, I share all of it in the best way I can without overwhelming people. I feel like this is also a way for me to separate myself from everyone else, because the pressure to niche down in order to succeed takes the fun and originality out of it for me.
Q. When did you realize you had an audience that was interested in your perspective on beauty, travel and lifestyle?
A. One of my most embarrassing videos on YouTube is what led me to realize I had an audience on that platform. It was about a heat rash I was getting on my face. That video still holds the most views, and people still comment thanking me for it. Then, a second time my YouTube did numbers was after a wig review on a Bobbi Boss wig called "Yara." The wig sold out in a day, and companies started contacting me right after that. The other side of my platform, which is very much about my family has always gotten love. I didn't realize how many people looked up to my husband and I, or considered us an inspiration, because of our journey together, our work ethic and how we parent. I didn't take it seriously until we started getting praise everywhere we went from younger-and-older family, friends, and even strangers. I had come up with the name "Little Royalz" for our kids once they were born and funny enough that stuck so much that, if Sam and I were out without them we would get asked "where are the little royals" [lol] I kind of knew we had something when people started asking for "the royals " merchandise [haha].
Q. Describe the feeling when your first post hit 1k views... 10k views?
A. It's gonna sound crazy but, I really don't remember. I wasn't watching it grow. I literally posted, and left it alone. It was my husband who came across the video randomly one day and said, "you posted on YouTube?" When I said "yes," I was also mortified, because I know I looked crazy in the video [lol]. His reply was, "umm are you checking on it? Have you seen the views?" At the time, YouTube was not this big thing that it has become. I didn't pay attention to whether the views were growing or not. Now curious, I checked it. I was surprised at how many views it had gotten, that people had tried my routine and it actually helped them! A hair video I did at the same time was getting love too... and people were in the comments asking for more!!! That feeling is what I remember. I loved that I was helping people and wanted to do more!
Q. When did you know this could be a lucrative business for your brand?
A. After the "Yara" wig review. Once I dropped that video and companies started contacting me, I kind of had an idea; but, I was still working full time and didn't really think of it because, I was being "realistic". It wasn't until YouTube started paying me, and companies started offering larger amounts of money for my videos that I realized. I also realized this was another way for me to branch out and monetize in other places.
Q. Speaking of Monetizing in other places, are you speaking of how you not only branded yourself, but also "TheLittleRoyalz" and The Husband & Wife Duo "LivingLikeRoyalz?"
A. Yes! So like I was saying, I originally always shared EVERYTHING on one platform, but I realized it would be wise to have separate places for certain content. My husband and I were already talking about a clothing line together so we needed a separate page for that, and I also knew The Little Royalz were going to need their own platform as well. I guess you can say early on, I already had several visions for our family that would branch off Royal Beautee. I knew the kids have their own unique talents and personalities that people loved. Along with important values, morals and work ethic, we also instill in them the importance of carrying themselves like royalty. Their platform would not only be fun and show them growing up, it would also serve as inspiration for other kids. As far as my marriage, we've always wanted to inspire others to treat their significant others like Kings and Queens, work smart not hard, raise Little Royalz and enjoy life. So on @LivingLikeRoyalz, we get to share more of our relationship, what we like to do as a couple, and hope to inspire through that platform as well.
As far as my personal brand is concerned, I am able tb b nv vfbfgbhjo further promote my hair-and-makeup styling brand @GetGlamWithBeautee.
Q. What would you say is more important, views or subscribers?
A. Views. I say that because, the more people you have viewing your content, the more chance you have at engagement, which leads to more views. Just because you have a lot of subscribers does't mean they will all engage, and it doesn't mean that they will all even see your content. Unfortunately, the recent issue with the YouTube algorithm is that you can have a bunch of subscribers and somehow only a certain percentage can see your videos if the engagement is low in the first hour. So, the more people you can get to see that video within the hour you post, the better chances your video has to succeed in the long run. You can have millions of subscribers, but if they are not seeing or sharing your content, it doesn't make money.
Q. How do you get your vlogs noticed in a market that seems oversaturated?
A. It's honestly very hard. I am still trying to figure it all out every single time I post. I just stick to posting what I love so that it is authentic, and I spend a lot of time working on hashtags, captions, descriptions, thumbnails, etc. to give my videos the best chance. I promote on other platforms. Oh, and I pray... hard [haha].
Q. On your latest video, you mentioned your subscribers have been waiting for your hair-and-makeup tutorials. How important do you believe How-To videos are, especially for women of color?
A. So, so important! Especially, when It comes to make up in the beauty industry. It's no secret that WOC have the hardest time finding foundations, etc. that work for us. So, sharing those finds; and further more, showing women how-to use products properly and how-to apply makeup in general is really needed. Majority of what I learned before I joined YouTube, was from YouTube. Little girls are able to be creative with hairstyles, but also get step-by-step instructions from how-to videos. Moms who don't have time to waste, because they are so busy also get to turn on a video, and get what they need in five mins or less. They are also able to go back and watch it again, all from the comfort of their homes.
Q. How important is culture when coming up with topics for your vlog?
A. By culture I'm assuming you mean my culture. I was born in Washington, D.C., but I am very much a proud Sierra Leonian. My culture is everything to me. I love being African and love that my kids love being African. I don't really think too much about culture when I come up with topics for my vlog, unless I'm specifically talking about my experiences as an African Child. Over the years, I've kind of been breaking away from the traditional mold of success for the average African parents. What I do as and influencer/vlogger, is not exactly accepted by African families and It's considered more so a hobby. So, I'm very much a "black sheep" of my family [haha].
I am a proud African child; so, culture is everything to me. I love that even though myself and my husband were born in Washington, D.C., my family and I are all still very in love-and-in tune with our Sierra Leonian roots. I always try to be true to my roots when putting together content I want to share, but I honestly don't really think about it before shooting. It more so just comes out in my personality. I just keep it authentic, and I will certainly add afrobeats in somewhere, so you know what time it is [LOL]!
Q. For women of color thinking about vlogging, what three business tips would you give them?
A. 1. DO NOT START FOR MONEY - it's easy to see what we're doing and say "I want to work for myself," "I can do that," or "All they do is record themselves all day;" but, it's a whole different world. It requires you to love it, or you will soon hate it! You don't make money right away, so getting into it with that mindset will discourage you fast! You have to be willing to stick it out when everything is dry and that requires a love for what you do. 2. RESEARCH - get a mentor, sign up for classes, take courses, watch videos. Do whatever research you can about vlogging before you start. The vlogging world is over saturated, yes; but, that doesn't mean there isn't a place for you. You just have to make sure you reach your tribe, and the smart way to do that is to know your audience, and do your research. 3. HAVE PATIENCE - do not start off ever thinking "this will be easy." It is really really fun, but once you start, you will learn that it will not always go your way. Every video will not always do well (especially in the beginning), but you can't give up. Study what you did, and try something else. Once you find your formula, you will get it going and it will get easier for you. Be patient and you can do it!
Q. Describe yourself in three words.
A. Aww man only three? [haha]. Okay... Creative, Resilient, and Sincere.
Q. What upcoming projects would you suggest we check out or look forward to from your camp?
A. Right now, I am working on putting together a course to help other mom bloggers and beauty influencers do what I've been doing. So, right now I'm in the beginning phase and keeping it simple by taking on mentees, as I perfect things before I promote. I am always here to help anyone looking to start YouTube, in the mean time. I think it's really important to have a mentor, or even an accountability partner in this industry.
PHOTOS BY ROYAL BEAUTEE
ROSE GOLD LASH APPLICATOR BY SELF GLAMOUR, LLC