Hello & welcome to my blog! I'm so excited that you stopped by! Here you will find blog posts about my absolute favorite things! I also love reading your comments and emails so don't hesitate to get in touch! 

❤ Shawnee

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    Disclaimer

    All products that are mentioned and reviewed here on my blog are of my own personal opinions mixed with knowledge from my educational background in cosmetology. As with all products, any products mentioned here should be used at your own discretion and with caution. 

    All item that I have reviewed on my blog are my 100% honest opinion and will describe the item as detailed as possible!

    Sunday
    Jan102016

    So You Want Free Stuff...

    It's been awhile since I blogged... It's been awhile since I've done anything for myself in this great internet space. I've been mostly an absentee due to my new job at We Love Fine. Geek fashion is awesome and I love my new job but it's also a ton of work! Good thing I love to work!


    My new job at We Love Fine is doing their social and PR. Part of my job is deciding who will recieve free product in order to help us promote our brand. As someone who has been an influencer (I've posted a ton of branded content over the last year or so and I've made some great money!) and been on the other side of this exchange... I thought I would put together a blog post to help people to learn some best practices. Also I apologize in advance for this post not being visual. I know I usually include screen grabs and all that jazz to help but I just don't have the time to do all that this time around.

    How To Get Brand Deals/Sponsorships




    There are a few ways to go about getting sponsorships for your YouTube channel, popular social media profiles, or web series. Below are some examples but I'm pretty sure there are more and more sites popping up everyday to help influencers make brand deals.


    1. You can use sites like FameBit which allow you to apply for sponsorships and get paid to promote product. There are quite a few sites like this but this one happens to be my favorite and the most reliable one I've worked with.

    2. If you are apart of a network (IE Maker Studios, Fullscreen etc etc etc) you can work with a brand manager to help you aquire paid and unpaid sponsorships for your projects.


    3. You can reach out direcrtly to brands yourself.

    The Proposal




    I cannot stress enough how important this part is. It really will make or break the deal when it comes to brand deals. I cannot possibly tell you what every brand is looking for but I can tell you what I look for when an influencer sends me a proposal.


    Introduction: Your intro should include who you are, why you are passionate about whatever project you are doing, and why you love the brand you want to work with. Most people are passionate about the company they work for and they want to see that same passion in someone who is going to promote them. Show the brand you know your stuff and include personal positive experiences you've had with the brand previously. Professionalism and personal experience really stand out when I'm looking through the hundreds of brand proposals I get!

    Showcase Your Best Work: It's always best to cherry pick some of your work that best shows that your content is already tied to the brands message or style. For example if you want to review a makeup box subscription it would be best to send them some makeup tutorials or posts to show that your audience is into that sort of thing. This not only proves to the brand that you are actually going to drive sales but it also saves them the time of going through all your content trying to figure out if you'd be a good brand embassedor or not. Anything you can do to save time for the PR person is blessing and they will love you even more!

    Data! DATA! DATA! This is SO important and almost every proposal I get does not include this info. Luckily some sites like FameBit include it already but if you're cold emailing a brand it's very important to include any metrics you have available to you. These metrics include number of followers, views, comments, likes, and click-throughs. You should always include screen shots as well. That really shows the brand they can trust you. If possible it's really good to make a press kit.

    (Click photo to enlarge)





    This is my presskit from Dec 2014 (I really need to update that... lol!) It's good to keep it to one page becuase your proposal will have more info and screen shots to prove your stats! Think of your presskit as a snapshot of what you can offer and your proposal as your first date with a brand that you really want to impress! Do not be afraid to brag a little but always make sure you are 100% honest. When someone streatches the truth or flat out lies it's such a turn off.

    Resources for data:



    • YouTube and Twitter provide beaufitul analytics that are easy to screen shot!

    • Use a link shortner like bit.ly or goo.gl to track links in sponsored content.

    • Social Blue Book This site also gives you an idea of what you should be charging! Super useful! It also give you analytics for multiple social networks including YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and Vine!



    I cannot stress enough how the more info you can provide the more likely you're going to acquire that brand deal. Even if your info is less than what you think it should be, it's very important to include it. You never know what the brand is expecting but they are always expecting you to be honest and straight forward!

    Follow-Up: A lot of PR people are super busy and get A LOT of email! If you haven't received a response within a week I would send a follow-up just to make sure they received your email. I wouldn't keep bugging anyone after that. Make sure your follow-up is polite and professional!

    Here are some other notes I have when it comes to obtaining brand deals/sponsorships...


    • Make sure the brand is something that jives with your channel or personal brand. Anything that doesn't will not sell and it will make you look bad to brands and your fans.

    • It's Ok to promote a brand in exchange for for product and no money if you are really passionate about the brand or just getting started.

    • It's also OK to ask for a fee! Making videos take a lot of time and work! Don't forget to think about the value of the product you are receiving. (If you get $200 worth of product in exchange for a 1 minute video that's pretty awesome!)

    • Don't take it personally when a company turns you down or asks you to come back when you have more followers. Every brand is looking for different things and it is business! They have to think about how much revenue they will generate from you!

    • Promoting with an afilliate link is also an awesome thing! I haven't worked with Uniqso in over 8 months and I still see monthly revenue from my affilliate link in my old videos.

      • You can also make ads on your blog with your affilliate link! It's a great way to earn some extra $$



    • Don't be offended when a company asks you to do a video for free when you've asked for money. Use your best judgement if you want to proceed or not but NEVER feel like you have to! You can always say no!

    • When making sponsored content try to be creative! The more creative your video is, the more engaged your audience will be and the better the product will sell!

    • When you've finished your sponsored content ALWAYS follow up with the brand. Send them links and if you had a good experience start the conversation about the next time you will work together!


    Alright! That was a long post! I hope it helps! if you have any questions feel free to comment or to email me!

    Thanks for reading! ヾ(^_^)
    ♡Shawnee

    Tuesday
    Aug042015

    Failtastic but... GIVEAWAYS!!!

    I totally failed at my writing challenge. I lasted a whole one entry! Go me! ahahahahaha!

    Oh well... live and learn right?

    Anyway it's been a long while since I posted an update! I've been at so many conventions and I've made so many videos! You can go to my channel HERE to see all my most recent videos if you like or you can just check out these next two that involve GIVEAWAYS!!! YAYE!!!!

    The first thing I am giving away is a $30 giftcard to Jollychic.com! They have some ADORABLE stuff! Check out my video!

    The second thing I am giving away is a free month of Japanese Candy Box from the makers of Kawaii Box! Watch my video to see what goodies are in it this month! 

    You can enter both giveaways by... CLICKING HERE

    I wasn't able to embed the Japan Candy Box giveaway so you have to click the link >.< 

    Thanks for reading! ヾ(^_^)
    ♡Shawnee

    Thursday
    May212015

    365 Writing Challenge!

    Hey Agents! 

    Back in the day I used to write a lot on LiveJournal. Then LiveJournal kind of fell off the face of the Earth! Well it still exists but it's kind of dead now. I feel as though I've kind of lost my edge when it comes to writing! So I've decided to challenge myself to write more by doing a writing prompt every day for 365 days here on my blog. 

    Before I get started with my first writing prompt I want to answer some questions you may have! 

    1. Will your posts be fact or fiction?

    My writing will consist mostly of fiction but some things will be stemmed from fact or things I have experienced in my life. For safety just assume everything is fiction and don't worry about what might be fact or fiction ^-^ 

    2. Will you continue to post things about other things? 

    Yes! I will still make helpful posts about the YouTube industry, cosplay, fashion, and more!

    3. Where do you get your prompts from?

    Some may come from folks on my social networks, reddit, google search, and other random stuff! I will try to link where all my prompts come from! Feel free to leave comments with writing prompts here too!

    Alright on to the writing prompt!

    "What can happen in a second?"

    Ever notice when crazy things start to happen time slows down and it seems like so much can happen in a second? I don't mean to make this morbid but the other day I heard someone on a podcast say "You are always a second away from possible death." It really stuck with me as I finished my walk to the dentist. I was looking around at all the things that could end me in a second. A car could come off the road and hit me, a power line could fall on me, a stray bullet could come out of nowhere, or any number of things could happen. Later that day I left my house in my car and was hit by the craziest of women. How insane is it that my mind was rushing with those thoughts earlier and something like that later happened? It's 100% true that anything can happen in any second of your life. Of course bad things can happen (like death) and we can either choose to dwell on those things or choose to use those possibilities as drive to live an enriched life. So remember that any second can hold any possibility and we should use that knowledge to try and live the best seconds we can!

    Thanks for reading! ヾ(^_^)
    ♡Shawnee

    Wednesday
    Apr222015

    Super Sonico Cosplay Tutorial w/ Uniqso

    Hey guys! 

    Today I wanted to blog about my first cosplay tutorial that I made for my channel! It's for a character that I am obsessed with! Super Sonico! Watch it down below! 

    Not playing? Check it out on YouTube

     

    *Don't forget to use coupon code AgentS for 10% off!*

    *Don't forget to use coupon code AgentS for 10% off!*

    All of my makeup is makeup I already had and I don't really have links to them. 
    I'm super obessed with the contacts and wig I got from Uniqso to make this totorial so here is a break down of both! I accidentally said Barbie in my video instead of Dolly but the links all link to the correct lenses! I've had a lack of sleep this week due to Star Wars Celebration and my puppy hurting her leg. Losing my mind due to no sleep heh... 

    Dolly Eye Celeb Super Nudy Pink

    I was super nervous about picking out pink circle lenses because sometimes pink can look weird or like pink eye and that's no good but these turned out better than I could have ever expected! They are absolutely perfect for any pink eyed anime character cosplay! 

    They blended well with both my green eye and my blue eye and looked as natural as pink contacts could look! I wore them for at least eight hours a day for two days of cosplaying and they were very comfortable! I've always loved the Dolly Eye series and I've neer had any issues with them. They are always super cute and great for light eyes! 

    Click here to get these contacts

    Use coupon got "Agents" to get 10% off!


    Super Sonico Wig

    Lucky for me Uniqso already had a wig styled for Super Sonico! Her hair is different from a lot of pink haired anime characters because she has two toned hair. As I said in the video it did take a little trimming but most wigs take a little trimming around the bangs so that's no big deal. 

    It fit well and had adjustable straps for different head sizes. It also didn't get too tangled through out the day and night of cosplaying. One complaint I've seen from reviewers on this wig is that it is shiny. Yes it was pretty shiny when I took it out of the package but I brushed baby powder through it and it was perfect! Most synthetic wigs are pretty shiny so a great way to battle that is either with baby powder or dry shampoo. Also most people will expect your wig to be unnatrual when you are cosplaying so a little shine isn't too much of a sin in my book. 

    All in all this wig was great for my cosplaying needs and it was comfortable and easy to work with ^.^ 

    Click here to get this wig!

    Use coupon code "Agents" for 10% off!

    Uniqso has always been super speedy and reliable when it comes to ordering from them! I highly reccomend them! Also you can use my discount on most of their current sales.

    Here's some picture spam! Though I feel like I should have taken better and more photos heh! ^_^'


    I had a great time cosplaying as Super Sonico and can't wait to do more cosplay of her and other anime characters! What characters would you like to see me cosplay as?! Leave a comment below! 

    Thanks for reading! ヾ(^_^)
    ♡Shawnee

     

     

    Saturday
    Mar282015

    The Importance of Integrity in New Media

    Recently a blogger by the name of Xiaxue (Wendy Cheng) wrote an exposé about an Asian blogger/online entertainer network called Gushcloud. This exposé has caused a lot feathers to be ruffled in the online community/industry but it is so important and such a good read for anyone in the world of online creation and/or marketing. 

    Read Xiaxue's Gushcloud exposé Pt 1

    Read Xiaxue's Gushcloud exposé Pt 2

    Gushcloud argued that a lot of her accusations were false or accused her of doing the same dishonest things they practice in their company. I'm not writing this blog post to prove or disprove any of the things she brought to light. It doesn't matter if Gushcloud is doing them or some other network, these things are happening everywhere. They are happening on a creator level, a network level, and sometimes even a marketing level. They are happening all over the world. The acts she explores in her exposé is not limited to Singapore at all.

    *DISCLAIMER* This blog post does not contain any names nor does expose the dirty secrets about your favorite creators or networks. I am not here to point fingers. I am only writing this to bring light to the issues and tell you why you should not take part in this dishonest behavior. It will effect our industry as a whole in the long run. I will also teach you what clues to look for if you are trying to figure out if traffic or followers are genuine and share tips on how to prove to brands that your traffic is genuine. 

    What is happening?! 

    Many online creators and some networks will do and have done multiple dishonest tactics to squeeze more money out of brands/companies who want to advertise with online creators or personalities. These tactics may include lying about analytics, masking ads, and buying views, subscribers, and followers.

    Why are these tactics bad?

    There are a number of reasons these dishonest tactics are bad for the creator personally and the industry as a whole. Firstly masking ads is just bad business and unethical. Your audience will stop trusting you if they find out you're masking ads and it's just a terrible thing to do to people who go out of their way to support you and your content. I also feel like some legal action could possibly be taken against you but I'm not 100% sure on that one.

    If you are a creator buying fake traffic you will let down the brand you are advertising for if they get little to no sales through your promotion. You may get a few bucks initially while the brand is tricked into thinking you're going to expose them to more people than you actually will. Once you make the content and there is little to no interaction coming from your fake audience they will most likely never want to work with you again. Cultivating an honest relationship with a brand where you deliver more than expected will likely lead to more advertising with them and more revenue for you in the long run. 

    Every time you take part in these tactics your are hurting the online industry as a whole. If brands keep getting little to no money in return for the money they are paying multiple creators endorse, guess what? They will either not want to work with online creators anymore or they will start offering to pay less and less to creators. This not only brings down the brand deal market for future creators, like yourself, but it also makes someone who is genuine look not as appealing. Why? Well let's take a look at some analytics!

    Fake VS Genuine! How to tell the difference! 

    So I found a random channel with a video that was posted around the same date as an episode of Kigu Time. My video has 100% genuine views and the other video appears to be fake. Let me show you how I figured it out...

    My stats

    The suspected fake's stats (image only altered to protect the identity of the creator)

    So let's take a look at the difference between these stats... The first obvious difference is the view to like ratio. 

    My Stats: My video has 1,384 views and 135 likes and 1 dislike. 

    The Fake's Stats: Their video has 1,881 views and 9 likes. 

    The view to like/dislike ratio can easily be an indicator of fake views. For argument's sake let's assume that they get mostly mobile or TV viewers who are less likely to click that thumbs up. Heck I've had some likes/dislikes in the lower 3%-5% before. I don't mind throwing this person's 0.5% ratio a bone. So how else can we investigate this? Scroll back up and check out those cool little graphs.

    My Graph: Starts out strong on the day of release and gradually loses the amount of daily views as time goes on.

    The Fake's Graph: Flat lined for a few days then has a day or two where all the views took place then immediately flat lined for the rest of time.

    This graphs is a great indicator if views are genuine or not. Videos naturally get a lot of views upon the day of release then tapper off. You might see some spikes here or there if they become relevant again. When someone buys views those views are delivered within a day or two. The graph will show when the views were delivered and then there will be no views on any other days. Why? Because people who are buying views generally aren't actually getting any real traffic. Also a good indicator of fake views is no views the first day or two then jumping up to a thousand or more for the next few days. 

    Let's take a look at a bigger channel!

     

    (Image only altered to protect the creator)

    View to Like/Dislike Ratio: 63,715 views and 141 likes/dislikes. That's a whole 0.2%!

    Graph: The graph shows the video started out with not many views on release day then jumped up to 21,00 views the next day and down to 7,000 the day after that then dwindling off within a few days and flat lining soon. 

    Now let's take a look at channel that is almost identical in subscribers and views...

    (image only altered to protect the creator's identity)

    View to Like/Dislike Ratio: 64,124 views and 2,631 likes. That's 4%.

    Graph: Starts out high (doesn't dip then go back up) Eventually dwindles down to a steady amount of views daily with a few spikes.

    View to dislike ratio is obviously majorly different between these two channels but the graphs don't look too different from one another. When the video was posted a while ago the graph gets more squishes together so a big slope isn't necessarily a indicator of fake views. What is an indicator is when the views start. So if you notice on the first graph views start much lower on the initial days of release then spike up then fall down almost to a zero view a day pattern. The second graph shows the video starting out strong and eventually falling off BUT the video never flat lines and has a few natural spikes. 

    Which one of these last two channels would you think is maybe buying views? I feel like it's obvious. Another clue is the amount of engagement driven. These videos almost have the same amount of views yet one has 4 subs driven and one has 794. Also one has 1 share and the other 40 shares. 

    There is no way for sure we can tell a channel is buying views unless the creator comes out and says it. We can find these little clues by looking at a few stats. Do these clues mean that person is 100% buying views? No. Some channels may have low engagement and maybe they got shared on some popular twitter account one day? Possibly? I don't mind giving people the benefit of the doubt but engagement and statistics are something brands should be looking at when looking to hire a youtube creator to promote them. Not just follower/subscriber counts! This goes for all social networks! Let's say someone has 100k twitter followers and get's one or two favorites or retweets a tweet or 30k followers on instagram and less than 100 likes. Something is probably up there and they aren't worth the time and money from a marketing standpoint. 

    *Note* When it comes to graphs there are a lot of varieties you may stumble upon. for instance if a video is a topical video it may have a ton of views the moment that topic is trending and then it may fall and spike up a lot as that topic becomes relevant. If I make a Christmas video and you look at the views over three years you may see it spike up every December because people are searching for Christmas. If a video is evergreen or something people are always searching for it's more likely to have more steady views in general after the initial release. If someone has a smaller channel and break out often the graph will be opposite and show growth in views as their channel gets bigger. 

    *Note 2* I am sharring these stats to show people who are looking at channels key data points to decide if they have marketing potential or collaboration potential. Please don't go to channels and try to call people out because you have no idea what their situation is. 

    How to prove your views are genuine.

    There are many ways to prove your views are genuine to brands/companies. I keep my stats private but I will gladly send a brand current screenshots of my analytics and stats upon being asked. Actually I send them the moment a brand contacts me so there is no questions as to what I have to offer them. Sure I have a press kit with fancy info graphics but I still send those screenshots! Here are some helpful screenshots you can send a brand/company on top of your analytics. 

    These bad boys can be found under audience retention in your analytics tab. Audience retention shows how long your viewers stick around to watch your videos. It's all on one page but I took two separate screenshots so they would be easier to fit in my blog layout. Make sure you include the part that has your channel name and icon on it and the video titles so they know they are actually your screenshots.

    Some other great screenshots to send brands are your audience demographics. What gender are they? How old are they? Where are they located? All of this can be found on your analytics page. 

    Of course there are a lot more stats in your analytics section of your creator studio and of course you can share those with brands but the most important thing to a brand is your engagement and if your audience will be into what they have to sell. For instance if you have a 88% female audience who is 13-21 advertising for Men's Health magazine probably wouldn't be a power move.

    Another great screenshot you can share with brands is link tracking. If you have worked with other brands before or tracked links before this gives a great idea of how well your links perform. You can use link shorteners like goo.gl and bit.ly and they will track how many people click through, where they came from, what browser they were using, and what operating system they were on. I like to make a separate goo.gl url for each of my social networks I am promoting an item on so I can track how each one is performing. If you don't have a brand deal and you want to experiment with this you can always use them with amazon affiliate links of products you use in your videos or your social network links. 

    What if you have terrible engagement but you aren't buying any of it?

    So let's say your stats look like one of those graphs above that seems a little fishy. You know for a fact that you are not buying views but things still look a little weird? There could be one of two reasons. 

    1. Your MCN/Network/Someone is buying views for you.

    If you suspect someone is buying views for you without your permission I encourage to reach out to whoever you think it is and ask them to stop. If you don't know who it is you can reach out to youtube and let them know of the situation and ask them to investigate. If you let them know they generally will look into it especially if you mention that you are going to turn off your ads until it is figured out because you don't want it to affect your ad revenue. They don't want to screw over their advertisers either. Trust me.

    2. You actually have crappy engagement. 

     If you actually have crappy engagement you probably should not be making brand deals as that will do very little for the brand. If a brand insists just be completely honest with them about your engagement levels and don't try to hide it. Maybe they want to hire you for other reasons. 

    Don't get caught up in numbers! 

    Don't let all these numbers become an obsession. They are simply reflections of your traffic and audience if they are genuine. Getting caught up will often lead to people purchasing views or subscribers to try and make their numbers look better or make more sense or match up to someone else's. That's no good! Please, please, please, PUHLEASE remember that your content is king and all other things should fall behind that. If you are making good content and working to make your channel the best it can possibly be the audience will come. As long as you are honest, have integrity, and make content you are passionate about above all else you will enjoy your time in this new media world. 

    If you would like more info on how analytics work and how to better your channel please check out the youtube creator academy: HERE (seriously everything you need to know is there)

    I hope you guys enjoyed this long ass blog post and maybe it expanded your understanding of why honesty and integrity are not just good for us personally but good for the industry as a whole. If you're a brand reading this I urge you to look into those stats or ask creators to send you screenshots. I don't want you to be taken advantage of either. 

    If you have any questions please feel free to use my blog's contact form. I will try to answer as many as possible but I may not be able to. 

    Keep creating! ヾ(^_^)
    ♡Shawnee