Series 1 Episode 1 – @brokebypayday

@BROKEBYPAYDAY As a long time follower and someone I now call one of my dear friends, I really wanted to open this series with Holly.  She is hilarious, kind, generous and witty all wrapped in one and it shows in her content, instastories and “dad jokes” we get at Christmas time. Her makeup collection is envied by all beauty lovers and her beauty flay lays, curated to perfection are shared all over social media and with over 22,000 followers in almost 4 years, she’s set her place in the online beauty community. Keep reading to hear about the beginning of her journey, the toothbrush she still has and the time Kylie Jenner got in contact with her…

Hi Holly – can you give us the basic first 5 – whowhatwherewhen and why I’m Holly, an Instagrammer under the alias of @BrokeByPayday and I live in Melbourne, Australia. I started my Instagram ‘journey’ in July 2014 when my best friend pushed me into finally creating an account after forever saying “one day I will”. To give me that extra push she joined Instagram with me, creating us an account to share by the name of @AllThingsTwice. We began with a combination of fashion, lifestyle and makeup pictures (with features of my dogs) and were growing at a slow, but steady, pace. In November 2015 my passion had strongly grown for makeup and posting flatlays of all my purchases, so my friend and I agreed I should take over the account with a new name and a new focus. I am forever grateful to my best friend for encouraging me to pursue @brokebypayday because if it wasn’t for her I might still be saying “one day I will” and would never have had the chance to enjoy all the opportunities that I’ve been lucky enough to experience.

What has been your most successful piece of content you’ve created and what do you think makes content successful? I know engagement isn’t everything. It’s not the be-all and end-all of Instagram, but my most successful pictures in terms of engagement have been the ones that have been reposted by @kyliecosmetics. And those have become my favourite not just because of the amount of likes or comments, but because I am proud that my work was acknowledged by Kylie Jenner herself, a girl I admire for everything she’s worked for (and everything she hasn’t too). Kylie Jenner messaged me off her personal account, not the Kylie Cosmetics account, to ask me if they could share my swatch post… and that’s something I’ll forever be in disbelief over.

How do you fit social media into your everyday life?  I scroll, like, edit and engage whenever I have spare time (and wifi).

How many hours a week do you work on your social media? More than I’d like to count or admit….

What is your favourite piece of content to create? I love creating busy flatlays! But lately, I’ve been loving making makeup organization videos!

What was the first brand or sponsorship you worked with and how did it come about? An activated charcoal toothbrush brand approached me to do a post in exchange for product. I felt honoured that anyone would want to work with me and had found me somewhere in the huge sea of beauty bloggers. I still use their toothbrushes…

How did you develop your ongoing relationship with brands and other people you have had collaborations with?  I think saying thank you never goes astray. I love posting in my stories the PR mail that I receive so that brands are publicly acknowledged and the products gain some exposure. I also believe sticking to deadlines is a must! And having sponsored content pre-approved before posting it is always a considerate thing to do, even if it’s not asked for.

Do you have any tips for people wanting to turn their social media influence into an income? HUSTLE. I earned nowhere near enough last financial year to last a week off of my social media income. But I don’t hustle, I don’t sell myself to brands and I don’t chase opportunities and sponsorships. I am sure it is possible to earn a comfortable amount from social media without having to be the Chloe Morello’s or Nikkitutorials’ of the world, but I am very confident in assuming it takes a lot more work and a lot more self-confidence than I currently have! 

What is your studio setup? What did you use when you started your social media journey almost 4 years ago? My set up is SO basic that it’s ridiculous. I use marble printed contact paper (the kind you used to put on your school books) from Kmart as a background for all my photos. I have experimented with different marble backgrounds (including real marble) but settled on the marble contact paper as it was easiest and I feel it looks the best. I only use – and heavily rely on – natural lighting for the quality of my pictures. This can be extremely frustrating at times because it can affect the colouring on my pictures insanely. To take all my pictures I have always just used my iPhone! I first used my iPhone 6 & then upgraded to my current iPhone 7+.

What apps/programs do you use to create your content?  I use my iPhone 7+ to take all my pictures. I then whiten my backgrounds on facetune, add a watermark (I highly recommend everyone does this with their content) & play with the contrast, brightness, saturation etc in the Instagram app itself. I’m not very high maintenance with my editing, nor am I very skilled, but I like my pictures to be as true to life as possible.

What has been the highs and lows of being on social media?  Highs would be meeting all the other amazing influencers and brand representatives and getting to hang out with them at amazing events, receiving PR packages, being offered paid partnerships with brands and having the opportunity to connect with so many other makeup lovers in my comments, direct messages and in person. Lows would be a bunch of first-world problems like the algorithm affecting engagement, spending all my money on products to keep up with the latest releases so that my content is current, and receiving hateful and just fucking mean comments (online bullies are pathetic).

Who have been your biggest influences on social media and what makes you want to follow an account? @wendy_online, @designbyaikonik, @shaaanxo and lately @hannah_schroder. I love following Instagram accounts with clear pictures with nice lighting… how original. I love finding accounts that do something a little bit different from everyone else. I love finding originality in an account, and that’s why I have begun incorporating the little gold stars into all my images – I wanted people to be able to recognize my work before they saw my name or my watermark, and I wanted to have a little point of difference from all the other marble flatlays out there! I love watching Youtubers like Shannon and Hannah who are genuine girls with a passion for what they do. I love that they put in so much time and effort into their content because it really does show.

If social media died tomorrow what would your next path be creatively (or professionally)?  Maybe I’d finally graduate university….

Laslty, who would you like to see me interview next?  Hannah Schroder!

Holly be can found on Instagram and Facebook at @BrokeByPayDay, at Twitter at @HollyKinens and at her blog

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