London Beauty Queen has a vast amount of experience in the beauty industry amongst more such as brand management, social media management, PR, etc! Along with this, she is also the founder of the TOWIB (The Only Way Is Blogging) blogging events! Read on to find out more about what she does...
Tell us a little bit about yourself in a few sentences.
A beauty blogger, social media manager, festival goer, music lover, cocktail drinker, fashion and ASOS obsessed twenty-something.
What are you currently working as and what kinds of things does this entail?
I'm a social media manager at a London agency. It basically involves developing online marketing strategies for brands, helping to develop and elevate messages, launches or topics of conversation. This isn't just Facebook though (as a lot of people think!) but involves other channels such as Twitter, You Tube, Pinterest, blogs, networks and a bit of online PR. It's very strategic but also really varied as every day I'm doing something different.
Did you go to university? If so, which course did you study?I went to UWE Bristol to study Marketing - I knew what I wanted to do from when I first started my GCSE in Business Studies.
Explain a little bit about your time working in social media management and brand management? What did this involve doing? Did you enjoy it and why?I loved working in brand management as it involves a lot of long term strategy, building up a brand to where you want it to be. It also involves a lot of retailer specific work, from developing in-store point of purchase/display units, to advertising, to negotiating promotions, coming up with ideas and pitching. Marketing has changed a lot since I graduated in 2005 though - when I first started out brands didn't even really have a website and most of the work was around direct mail and press advertising. Now it's all online and all about generating a two-way conversation with your customer, rather than telling them what you think they want. This lead naturally into social media as all my knowledge and skills still apply - it's now just on the internet!
It seems that a lot of people are interested in working in PR, what did this involve doing when you were working in this particular industry? What advice would you give to people looking to work in PR?
I haven't ever worked specifically in PR and it's not something I'd like to do. When I was helping to support the PR of a product it basically involved writing a press release and getting someone else to send it out. For me, the challenge is in everything around that and not just the final push. I would say though that no matter what you want to do you need to be prepared to work hard, put in the graft and be realistic. There are so many people after the same job that you need to be prepared to offer something different. Oh, and working in PR isn't all parties and champagne!
How long does it take you to get ready in a morning?I leave myself about an hour to get out of bed, have a shower, do my hair and makeup. If I'm washing my hair it takes longer as I have naturally curly hair that needs a lot of product and a lot of styling.
What are your top must-have skincare and/or makeup products?A good moisturiser, a good foundation and an excellent dual-phase eye makeup remover. You also need a bright red or pink lipstick.
What are your favourite things about working in the beauty industry and are there any downsides?The benefits are the glitz that goes with it, the opportunity to try things before anyone else, to mingle with glam people and be passionate about what you're doing. The downside is that it's extremely superficial, bitchy and becomes dull after a few years! I made the deliberate choice to come out of that industry because I wanted more.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to go into the beauty industry?Be prepared to work in an environment that mirrors The Devil Wears Prada sometimes, stick to your goals and work hard. Don't be scared to change career after a few years either if you want to try something new - just because you start working in one industry doesn't mean you have to stay there until you retire.
What gave you the idea to start up and run the TOWIB blogging events? What do you enjoy the most out of it?I wanted to give newer bloggers an opportunity to mingle and learn from more established ones and there wasn't anything to allow that to happen. TOWIB started as a meet up in Green Park, but as the demand grew so did the need for a venue and a bit of a plan! I like meeting people and seeing other bloggers come away inspired from what they've experienced. The feedback I get is always fantastic and there's a real demand for an open event.
What was it like being a judge in the Debenhams and Tesco Beauty Awards?To be honest it doesn't involve a lot! You just get sent some products to try, pick your favourites and send them a few quotes. It's not as glam as you may think and all done virtually... I just wish I had a little desk like on The X Factor though!
You have worked in many different areas but which one would be your favourite? Which area did you enjoy working in the most?
I enjoy my current job the most as I have the experience and freedom to do what I want to do. I got very disillusioned with the beauty industry so I came out of it to try something new and haven't regretted it for a moment. It's also easy to a certain extent when you're selling lipstick - talking about electric cars or cider is more of a challenge and I like that!
Explain what a typical working day is like for you.I start off by making a coffee and checking my emails. I then normally have quite a few meetings to discuss progress of projects, brainstorm new ideas, put plans together with my team and talk to my clients. My work can involve anything from putting together a report on a piece of activity, brainstorming new ideas for a launch, planning events or outreaching to bloggers.
Did you always know the type of job you wanted to have from an early age?When I was younger I wanted to be a vet. In fact it was only when I was 14 and completed a work experience placement at a veterinary surgery that I decided I couldn't do it - I had to watch a few animals be put to sleep or come in with horrendous injuries and I couldn't work in that environment. It upset me far too much. I had to re-think and Business Studies was a new subject at my school... I was lucky to find something else I was really good at and stuck with it.
What did you do to get to where you are today?Worked hard, stuck to my guns, put up with a lot of crap and proved myself. Even if people knock you down or tell you that you can't, keep going. Eventually someone will see something in you and you'll find your place.
What are your goals for the future?To be happy, successful and to have the financial security to do what I want to do. Nothing more.
Finally, fashion or beauty?Even though I write about beauty, I have to say fashion. Beauty helps me to look like my best, but fashion can make me look like who I want to be.
Remember to go over and have a look at londonbeautyqueen.com
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