YouTube Beauty Guru Jackie Aina Shares Her Advice on Building a Brand: 'Take Baby Steps'
YouTube star Jackie Aina — who gets millions of views on her beauty review videos and has had top cosmetics collaborations with the likes of Too Faced and Anastasia Beverly Hills — knows a thing or two about growing her business. And now, she's sharing her success story for other entrepreneurs.
During a virtual event hosted by Meredith employee resource group :BLACKPRINT and Sisters in Media, an organization for minority women in the media community, Aina answered fan questions about all-things business and beauty. When asked how other influencers can reignite their creativity after a few years in the game, Aina explained how she stayed focus.
"When I hit that five-year mark, I pretty much was in the same predicament that you ladies were when I had my channel," Aina, who started making YouTube videos in 2009, said. "But up until that point, I'd never really put too much focus on growing. I put way more focus and more emphasis on just liking what I was doing. I genuinely like creating content. I love the community that I've built. I love interacting with people. I love doing makeup."
Her early success came with her parody makeup videos which she says reflected her laid back personality. So her advice for new entrepreneurs is to understand that keeping things simple can go a long way.
"Sometimes I feel like when we focus too much on growth, the exact opposite happens, and we start to overthink it and start to implement and do things that otherwise are actually hurting us," she shares. "So, I would maybe take a step back and re-center and focus on maybe my content isn't as palatable as in my [mind]. Of course, we all love our own stuff, but try to look at it from the consumer, the viewer's point of view, and then go from there."
Aina, 33, did explain that building a business can feel like going out on a limb, but noted that this experience is common for entrepreneurs.
"It's okay to be hesitant. It's okay to be protective of that. We all go through that. That's a normal response to showing up in your fullest self," she shared. "I would say take baby steps. I don't think people understand showing up, just existing, is not as easy as they think it is."
She wants everyone starting out to give themselves credit for just showing up. "Acknowledging that, yes, this is a big step and the fact that I'm even thinking about doing it, I'm allowing myself the courage to really be me. I think when you say it that way, sometimes you feel better, like, 'I'm allowing this. I'm not forcing it. I want to do this, and I can do this, and I can be okay.'"
Though her social following in and outside of the beauty world continues to soar as she develops her own brand — her latest venture, FORVR Mood, is full of dreamy candles, pillowcases and accessories — she said imposter syndrome is still something she's experienced along the way.
"I don't remember what year this was, but I remember one time specifically achieving something or I had hit a milestone, and the first thought that came to my head... And I don't know where this feeling came from. It was like, 'But do you deserve that, though? What makes you any different from other people?'"
"I was like, 'Whoa, where did this energy come from?' It was very weird, and it was very foreign to me. So, whenever I feel those type of thoughts coming on, I first have to get over the initial hump of understanding because there's levels to that, too. It takes time to be fully, fully comfortable with not operating on survival mode all the time," she shared.
By finding out how to unlearn these habits through therapy, she's not only helping herself in her career, but those who are a part of her community.
"Now I'm teaching my mom to unlearn that behavior. I'm teaching my family members, my siblings to unlearn that behavior. Because if I have something, y'all have something, too. Maybe not my bags, but other stuff," she joked.
"I had to really tell myself, 'Be okay with knowing'... Let's just say, worst scenario, you do lose everything, right? Okay, you will still survive. You had nothing before you had this stuff. Did you die? No, you were just fine."
For more, follow :BLACKPRINT on Instagram.