Brand Builder Pirooz Sarshar @p_roozy led “The Business of Being an Influencer” with two influential artists and their manager at Salon Digital Summit, now underway in Los Angeles. Scott Wine of Rebel Brand Management, along with his clients, makeup artists Jordan Liberty @jordanliberty and Vlada Mua @vladamua ,shared some strategies for creating content and then protecting your precious content once it's made.

How to Find Your Voice

Vlada:  Finding your individuality is so important because there are so many similar and the same looks so it’s important to find something that will make you stand aside from everyone else and then you can shine.  As soon as something becomes trendy, I abandon it.  If someone is raving about a book, I won’t read it. But I think that helped me stand out.

Do You Have a Process for Your Posting?

Jordan:  I read Kevyn Aucoin's book and I thought I’m never going to be that good but then I realized I just need to be Jordan Liberty.  People follow content that comes from passion.  

Vlada: It takes me a long time to create an average post.  It’s a process of probably six to eight hours with shooting, editing, and it’s a process. 

What Happens When People Use Your Work Without Rights

Jordan: There was a salon that put my work on a billboard.  They didn’t have any right to it, they didn’t pay for it.  I called them out.  There was also a brand that put up my work and misrepresented the products used.  I also found out they used my image for an advertisement where none of the product was their product.  They did come and apologize and then they eventually came to me and hired me.

Scott Wine:  A huge apparel company we worked with put the blame on a junior designer and an intern in the company but it doesn’t matter where the blame is, just don’t do it. 

Advice or Tips

Vlada: Engage people in your captions and ask them to take some kind of action.  Yesterday, I tried it and I went from 50 comments to over 300 comments.  The new algorithm means that if your followers aren’t engaging with your content, they will stop seeing it.

Jordan: Self-awareness.  Step outside yourself and see how you come across.  Everything you put up should fit your five year plan. 

Also, curate your content.  People expect to see a certain level of quality from you.  The people following you are expecting to see your consistent content.

Being Paid to Do Advertising on Instagram

Vlada:  I feel like it’s not that effective if most of your posts are paid because then what do you stand for? It’s important to find that balance.  We still want to post what we love and believe in and also please the brands we work with.

Jordan:  A lot of brands not getting traction on social media don’t understand that word of mouth is the best form of advertising. Social media is about making a genuine connection.

Contracts and Working with Managers

Pirooz:  I know that I often look at contracts for my hair friends…Vlada, why did you feel you required management?

Vlada: I was so scared to ask for the pay I thought I should get and I think it’s true for so many artists.  It’s so important to have someone who can vouch for us and be our protector.  I’m not good at negotiating but I’m good at focusing on the art.

Jordan:  I don’t know what I’d do without Scott.  I was just feeling so overwhelmed with all these offers coming in and Vlada said, you have to meet Scott.  Finding a manger is like dating; it’s an extension of you.  Now, I just trust him so much.

As Makeup Artists, How Do You Think the Hair Industry Can Improve What They're Doing?

Jordan Liberty:  Unity.  Work together.  In the makeup world, we all know each other and work together.

Vlada: My advice would be to invest in a really good camera.  Good content is number one.

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Originally posted on Modern Salon