I am a child of the eighties. Our form of social media was a note folded into a funky shape and passed up the row in math class, or a mixed tape with New Kids On the Block and Vanilla Ice. If you were really cool, your parents gave you a beeper and you and your friends would make up codes for words and spend hours messaging each other after school and on the weekends.
Fast forward to 2011, when I bought my first iPhone, I thought I was on top of my game by starting a Twitter. One time, Mama June (from Here Comes Honey BooBoo), and Michelle Visage retweeted me and I rode that cloud for quite a while.
It wasn’t until recently, however, that I realized social media can change your life. In 2014, I was nominated for North American Hairstyling Awards (NAHA) Makeup Artist of the Year. With the nomination, my name was being pushed out everywhere on social media and suddenly my Instagram and Facebook took off.
From the moment I walked into the NAHA ceremony to do makeup for Steve Elias to the moment right before my name was called as the 2014 winner, I was a social media beast, hashtagging and posting everything. I wasn’t trying to push things into other people’s faces, but I was honored and proud to be there and I wanted to say “Thank You” to as many people as I could.
Within an hour after winning the award, I had over 100 new friend requests and probably 200 new Instagram followers (I don’t even personally know that many people.)! From then on, I have become very aware of everything that goes on social media. I have been contacted by a number of salon publications through Facebook and I make it a priority to always respond back in a timely manner.
A little over a month ago, Modern Salon posted a picture and a excerpt of me stating what I was going to do next. I clicked on the “Likes” and saw someone named Jonathan Wright liked and shared the image. In return I liked the image on his page and sent a friend request. Now, through our social media interactions, Jonathan has become a mentor and basically an agent to me. Recently, he introduced me to Liz Bardelas with Bea Skincare. She was looking for a makeup artist to represent her brand at the American Music Awards gifting event in Los Angeles. After a few back and forth emails and a long phone call, my trip was booked and I was headed to Los Angeles!
I have always operated under the premise that you should always be nice to people because you never know who they are and when you might need them. My grandmother and mom always instilled in me that, strangers were just new friends that we had not had dinner with yet. Your friends on Facebook and Instagram, and followers on Twitter aren’t strangers. They follow you for a reason. Be nice, and stay positive when you post things on your pages. I believe there is a good balance between personal postings and industry related posts. I believe the most important thing, is to be yourself on social media. Let your tweets and posts represent who you are as a person and as an artist. Have fun and use social media as a way to get your point across to the world, you never know who may be watching!
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