@JESS_BUNTY Most people follow others for their content first and learn about them as a person second … I followed Jess the other way around. I was introduced to her when I saw her reply to someone we mutually follow on Twitter and found her funny, witty and down to earth. When diving deeper into who Jess is, I discovered she’s based in the Gold Coast and is a skincare/acne and cruelty free/vegan beauty blogger with over 92,000 followers on YouTube and from there I’ve been following her around her videos, Instagram stories and of course – tweets. Along with her extensive video library on acne and accutane, she dives into beauty related content with reviews on foundations for those with oily/acne skin types and shows us her tutorials and secrets for covering and concealing! Jess took her time out to talk to me about the theft of her images, bringing value to people and how her video on fading acne scars has been seen over 7 millions times…
Welcome Jess! Let’s get the first thing out of the way … who, what, where, when and why?
Hey there, I’m Jess, and I’m a skincare YouTuber and blogger on the Gold Coast. I started my YouTube channel about 7 years ago because I was obsessed with watching beauty videos and wanted to make my own! But the only thing I figured I could talk about was my experience with acne, so I went with that.
How do you fit social media into your every day life?
I live on the internet. lol. There’s no other way of saying it! Surprisingly, I should spend way more time on my own socials, but you get sick of staring at yourself all day every day! I try to update my socials as much as possible, but it’s all very much a work in progress.
How many hours a week do you work on your social media?
Not enough! But it depends which social you’re talking about, too. YouTube is a huge time suck. I spend at least 15-20 hours a week on filming, editing and uploading content once a week. Instagram is maybe up to 5 hours a week, but should really be more. Twitter is a couple of hours and Facebook is only a couple of hours too. It all adds up very quickly. This is in addition to blogging, which unfortunately often gets neglected.
What is your favorite piece of content to create?
Good question. I enjoy creating videos that feel good and bring value. That might sound stupid, but it’s easy to spend hours on videos that don’t actually make you feel good. You do it out of obligation. When you’re creating content that makes your heart sing, you don’t care what the response to it may be – because you enjoy it, and that’s important.
What has been your most successful piece of content you’ve created? What makes content successful?
Probably my ancient “How to naturally fade acne scars with lemon” video. It has over 7 million views and counting! For that piece of content, I think it takes people by surprise, but it also delivers value. I’ve since tried to replicate it and it’s just too difficult to do so without coming off as “try hard”. I couldn’t honestly tell you what makes content successful these days, because the game of YouTube is always changing. There’s certain points you should hit: value, story, emotion. But it’s hard to hit every point every time.
You were recently in the news for having your images stolen and used for commercial purposes? How did you deal with that and how has it effected you?
It was weird and shocking to me that an Australian business would not only steal images, but print them and use them like I was a client! The Sydney Morning Herald contacted me and wrote a great story on it. I was actually hoping there would be more of a legal resolution, but the law still hasn’t caught up to the internet yet it seems. It’s a bad situation all-around.
What was the first brand or sponsorship you worked with and how did it come about?
I’m actually not sure! It was 5-6 years ago, a makeup company contacted me and sponsored me. I was very excited and didn’t know how to price my services. I don’t do formal sponsorships with brands very often, mainly because I’m not big on Instagram and I don’t do a lot of makeup content. Plus, I’m strict about companies needing to be cruelty-free/vegan. But, I am pleased to say that I’m starting to work with more brands this year, and have a great on-going relationship with Banish.
How did you develop your on going relationship with brands and other people you have had collaborations with?
By being professional, thorough and open with communication. Sometimes brand deals just don’t work out, and you need to be honest with the brand about that. You also need to be proactive with your communication, and deliver the best results for the brand that you can. If a brand sends you something, thank them! Email them or DM them on Instagram. You don’t have to make content, but kindness and appreciation go a long way.
Do you have any tips for people wanting to turn their social media influence into an income?
That entirely depends on the social media being used. But I think that across the board, you need to be able to find your niche, research who else is in your niche, and develop your own voice within it. By doing this, you build authority, and become more known for it. From there, create your own products to sell (merch, an e-book, a course… anything) and become an affiliate for products within your niche too. Never rely on Adsense! Having affiliate links and your own products is the way to go if you want financial stability.
[New Vid! 💻] For 30 days, I’ve been testing this skin brightening, smoothing and nourishing oil from @dewyandbae 💚 I mentioned I was using *something* in last week’s video, and this is it!! So here’s my honest thoughts 🤔 • When I first saw this product, I was curious, and they had a lot of claims on their website about what it will do. I’m a bit of a sceptic, but decided to take a chance. It’s cruelty free, vegan, Australian, and is designed to work on problem skin (dry flakes, pigmentation and fine lines). NO PRODUCT WILL PERFORM MIRACLES, but this one was easy to slip into my routine and I’m very pleased with my results! Smoother skin, great hydration, and less redness 😶 • There’s a couple things I’m not sure about: it doesn’t really sink deeply into my skin, and I don’t understand the ‘primer’ element 🤔 But, apart from this, it actually does work. So if you wanted to use this under your makeup, just use a very small amount and you’ll be fine 👌 • They have FREE world-wide shipping (crazy!!) and Dewy&Bae have graciously given me an affiliate code 🙏 so if you want to try this for yourself and get 5% off, use JESSBUNTY at checkout http://bit.ly/dewyjessb 💚 And don’t forget to check out my full review and thoughts on my channel now! Xx • • • • #acnescars #acnetreatment #acneproblems #acnecare #acneskin #acnefree #acnesolution #acneskincare #acneproneskin #skingoals #clearskincare #skincaretips #pimpleproblem #acnecommunity #skincareblog #skincareblogger #skincarecommunity #skincarediary #adultacne #sensitiveskincare #hormonalacne #accutanejourney #accutanecommunity #accutane #dryskincare #dryskinproblems #ausbeauty #veganskincare *grateful gift
What is your studio set up? What did you use when you started your social media journey?
I started off basic AF: a couple of desktop lights blinding me while I talked to a camcorder, and edited on a ripped version of Sony Vegas. But that’s OKAY! Have you seen NikkieTutorials‘ old videos? Seriously, everyone’s gotta start somewhere, and if that somewhere is in a corner of your room with an iphone precariously propped up on a tower of boxes, so be it. These days, I usually film with two umbrella studio lights and a Canon 700D on a tripod, and an external Rode microphone. I edit using a legitimate copy of Final Cut Pro X on my Macbook Pro, too. For Instagram, I set my lights up and take pictures using either my DSLR or Android phone.
What apps/programs do you use the most create your content?
What has been the high and low of being on social media?
Social media brings about a high when you get a warm, authentic response to your content, and when it brings others into your life. When I create something that elicits a deep response from people, I know I’ve done good. I’ve brought something of value, and it’s hit just the right spot in people’s hearts. But social media has a hell of a lot of low moments. It’s not just the fact that it’s impossible to keep engagement high, or that it relies so much on numbers/likes/followers, but you absolutely do not get a break from any of it. A normal job is Monday-Friday, 9-5. You have workmates, you get holidays, you know all expectations and there’s structure. ALL of that disappears when you make social media your job, and it frequently causes exhaustion and burn-out. That doesn’t mean there’s no perks to social media, but it’s not as simple as sitting on the couch all day in your pyjamas!
Who have been your biggest influences on social media and what makes you want to follow an account?
This is a difficult question, too. I get inspired by different people all the time, but I feel like I can’t incorporate that into my own work because they’re all too far out. I love seeing other Aussie’s succeed, and people like Sharni and Michael are doing incredibly well. I find that inspiring. On Instagram, I follow accounts that are beautiful to look at, but on YouTube I subscribe to people who I want to support, or who are just straight up entertaining.
If social media died tomorrow what would your next path be creatively or professionally?
I would shrivel up and die! But more realistically, I’d dive into my art. And I’d probably have a decent go of learning Japanese and move to Tokyo. That might sound completely out of the blue, but I lived in Yamagata, Japan, for two years and would be very happy living in that country once again.