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Published: February 18, 2016

Vlogger Parlays Hobby into Job Skills

Victoria Bise ’17 used to rummage through her mother’s makeup bag when she was a girl, which drove her mother nuts. These days, as a lifestyle vlogger on YouTube, Bise no longer rummages through the makeup in secret. She has an audience on YouTube.

“Makeup is something that doesn’t go out of style. There is always something new to try,” she said.

Bise got her start in the summer of 2010. She was browsing the Internet at a time when the YouTube community was gaining ground.

“I was fascinated that people could put themselves on camera and talk about beauty or whatever and it was a thing,” said Bise, whose younger sister encouraged her to become active. “The videos were fun and it created community, and I thought, I could do that.”

Bise, of the Cayman Islands, didn’t become serious about her channel until she graduated from high school and spent a gap year in Switzerland (where she was born) advancing her French and working as a nanny. It was then she started posting on a regular basis, growing the channel and her brand.

“If you put your mind into it and are committed 100 percent, you can make it successful,” said Bise, a communication major, who peppers in filming, editing, taking photos, keeping up with social media and responding to her 1,900 subscribers among her full class load.

She enjoys the creative aspect on both ends — from the artistry of makeup to the creativity in film production — and learning from other vloggers.

She reaches out to brands and responds to their requests for her to review their products. Recently she worked with one on a giveaway for her subscribers. Her most popular video, “My Night Routine,” has more than 101,800 views.

“Routine videos are always very popular, because people are curious,” she said. “People like to see YouTubers doing normal, everyday things. One of the perks of YouTube is that it is so personal, and viewers can relate to vloggers.”

Bise tries hard to remove any barriers between her and her audience.

“They see me more as a friend, and that’s how I see my channel too — just me talking to my friends about things we like,” Bise said. “I have a smaller budget than most YouTubers for reviewing products, so I think that's another reason why my viewers enjoy my channel — I buy 99 percent of what I show on my channel. I'm also aware that no matter how small or large an audience is, people make an impact with any following. I'm a big animal lover, so I incorporate cruelty-free products in my videos, and I dedicate videos specifically to raising awareness about animals. “

Bise said she has been able to make friends with people from all around the world. She enjoys the interactions, and has also realized the responsibility of being someone of potential influence.

“I’m careful to portray the best version of myself as I know there are 12-year-old girls watching,” she said, leery of being a role model but aware of the potential. “I'm always grateful for every opportunity, and I remind myself that it's possible because my viewers watch and support me.”

Hearing from her subscribers is fulfilling, she said, not just from YouTube but from all her social media. She has recently increased her use of Snapchat and has been surprised at the video messages she receives from viewers with positive reviews or just to say hello.

She’s been able to parlay her vlogging experience into a Spring 2014 internship with Cayman Islands television station, CML TV. As their social media coordinator she, among other things, hosted an online mini Web series, provided social media content and learned filming techniques. She is currently talking with a company that contacted Bise through her YouTube channel for a possible internship this summer.

Bise said her production courses at UT helped refine her Photoshop and Web production skills, helped her understand media writing and gave her a better vision of story structure. She is a relentless researcher on social media and has made it her job to be knowledgeable of all the platforms. She would like to work in social media for an entertainment company when she graduates. Or ideally, grow her own brand into a full-time gig.

“Isn’t that what everyone wants? To do exactly what they love and have a hobby that pays them?”

»Want to know more about starting your own YouTube channel? Bise published a how-to guide on vlogging for the Minaret last semester, “How to Grow a Successful YouTube Channel”.


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