Before we begin, let's set the stage. The purpose of this interview series is to inspire and encourage millennials to take the leap into entrepreneurship or give advice to those currently on the journey.
This series will highlight millennial entrepreneurs in a wide range of industries who are offering services, products and resources to their audiences.
Throughout the next couple of weeks you will have the chance to read the stories of millennial trailblazers who are designers, social ambassadors, photographers, and more. I hope you are inspired!
In this Mindshift Interview, I have Charisse of Charisse Christine. During this interview, we deep dived into all things business, influencing the future and more. Charisse would be considered by many as a Youtube Personality but more importantly she is a content creator. And with an audience of 100k+ and growing, she uses her platform to empower the lives of young black women. #Blackgirlmagic Charisse has established herself as a brand. Essentially, she is her business and rightfully wears the title as an entrepreneur. In this interview, Charisse lays it all out, so I suggest you go grab a notebook and a pencil because she's dropping diamonds, rubies, emeralds. Yes, all the gems. Check it out!
Behind the Person
Tell a little bit about yourself and what you do.
We can start at the beginning! I’m a Southern California native. I was born and raised in Orange County and now I currently reside in Los Angeles. Growing up in a family of entrepreneurs, I naturally wanted to also be my own boss and live the challenging, yet rewarding entrepreneurial lifestyle.
My passions for business and the beauty industry led me to FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising) where I received my degree in Beauty Industry Merchandising and Marketing. Currently, I create hair and lifestyle content full-time on YouTube for millennial black females. This video content ranges from hair tips and advice to morning routines to lookbooks!
What is one quote you live by? Give an example of how you’ve applied this quote in your journey.
This quote is so simple, yet so powerful. My entrepreneurial journey is about so much more than just creating high quality videos or reaching big numbers – it’s about the people around the world who I’m able to connect with. Ultimately, I’m working hard for something bigger than myself! I’m fulfilled knowing that I am able to positively impact the lives of others.
What’s one habit you have developed that you feel as though has aided in your overall journey?
There are many! If I were to only choose one, it would probably be my habit of organization. It is everything to me! With so much going on at once, if I didn’t have my planner filled out with today’s to do list, important deadlines, video plans, etc., I would be all over the place! Getting organized definitely helps me stay one step ahead and allows for efficiency.
All things Business
How did Charisse Christine come to form? What was the idea that started it all?
Charisse Christine as a brand began as a combination of two things:
- Me being passionate about wanting to find a way to positively impact the lives of others.
- The lack of black content creators in the beauty community on YouTube.
YouTube is an interactive community that has allowed me to connect with young, black females to not just discuss beauty, hair, and lifestyle, but also to empower them in their personal lives.
You describe yourself as a Content Creator. What does a Content Creator do? How has this title or position impacted your lifestyle?
My definition of a content creator is someone who, through his or her own creative process, creates unique, consumable online content that aims to entertain or inform. So as a content creator on YouTube, I produce, film, and edit videos that aim to inform viewers about hair and lifestyle topics in a relatable and easy to understand way.
As a content creator, I’m always on social media. This has impacted me both in a positive and negative way. Negatively, it makes it difficult to shut it off at times and I’m guilty of constantly being on my phone checking for updates. It’s addicting! I have to consciously remind myself to take a break. Positively, being able to connect and engage with individuals from all over the world via the Internet is priceless. It inspires me in my own personal growth as an individual and motivates me to work harder.
What is the ‘Why’ of your brand: Charisse Christine? What problems or pain points are you looking to solve through your platform:Charisse Christine?
There are a lot of misconceptions about running a personal brand or being an entrepreneur, like lack of freedom or difficulty growing income. What’s the biggest myth you’ve learned to be untrue?
The biggest myth I’ve heard is that in order to be an entrepreneur, you must be a risk taker. For me, it’s less about being a natural born risk taker and more so about deeply understanding the needs and wants of your core customer so that you can better control the outcome of your business and brand decisions. We will take on “risky” or challenging opportunities if we know that the outcome will be favorable for us. It’s a lot of strategizing!
What tools or systems is a necessity for running your platform smoothly?
It’s so incredibly useful because it tells you how much your social media platforms are valued at. This comes in handy when negotiating compensation with businesses that are looking to sponsor you or advertise on your platform. Knowing your worth is definitely a necessity.
It collects measurable data such as demographics, engagement, website traffic, etc. Super important in order to keep me on track!
In order for a brand to thrive there must be clientele. What marketing strategies have you used to attract and find new leads for your brand's growth?
In order to attract new viewers, it’s first important that I am creating valuable and high quality content that caters to my niche customers. They, as most people do, appreciate quality content that adds value to their life. This keeps them returning for more content and sharing it with their friends.
Promoting my content across my various social platforms where posts are easily shareable allows for bringing my content directly to my audience while increasing my brand’s visibility.
Understanding SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is important in order to get more traffic to my site. This includes strategically naming my videos, including keywords at the top of the description box of my videos, etc.
Customer Service or the customer’s overall experience is crucial when it comes to brand longevity. What experiences have you created for your clientele or audience?
I genuinely want to help other women with their hair care needs and because of that, it comes across in my videos that I care. It comes across in how I treat my viewers. This shows that my brand is trustworthy and approachable.
I value the opinions of my viewers, so I include them in each video. I’ll ask them to share their thoughts on a certain product and how it worked for them or what method they prefer to use. Getting your audience involved with the process helps you to build a closer relationship with them.
It’s important to be unique and offer something that the competition doesn’t. For me, I don’t feel the need to come off as an expert in every video. While I do have a lot of tips and information, I’m someone who is still figuring it all out – just like my viewers are. I let them know that! I take them along with me on my hair journey – the ups and the downs. It’s relatable content. Also, incorporating new editing techniques is key!
Influencing the Future
What are some accomplishments of Charisse Christine? And where do you see its future?
Some big accomplishments of Charisse Christine include being able to work with well established brands such as Barbie, Nordstrom, and COVERGIRL to name a few. My brand has also recently reached 100k subscribers, which is a huge milestone! I see the future of the brand moving towards more lifestyle content on and offline that caters to my brand’s “why” – empowering other young black females.
I describe a Mindshift as a moment in time, where one realizes, there is more to life than what society has told. Can you describe your Mindshift moment?
Inevitably, there have been a few bumps in the road on my journey to where I’m at today. At one point in my educational career, I had to make a really tough decision. I was at a large university studying a major that I wasn’t in love with. For me, it was a terrifying thought that I was putting all of my effort and energy into something that left me unhappy, empty, and dissatisfied at the end of the day. I quickly realized that the path society wanted me to take wasn’t the one for me.
A wise man once said, “choose a job you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” This put everything into perspective for me and helped launch me into pursuing my creative passion and transferring to FIDM. Of course the journey is still challenging and overwhelming, at times, but the difference is that I’m working hard for something I truly love and believe in. It makes all the difference.
What advice can you give to other entrepreneurs or those looking to launch their own personal brands?
When developing your personal brand and/or business, authenticity is key. You will build a long lasting relationship with your audience/customers who will want to keep coming back for more.
I research new things everyday! How can I best utilize my analytics? How can I improve my editing skills? etc. Be a student of your craft and stay curious.
Lastly, think about what living life on your own terms means to you. Describe your ideal situation.
Living life on my own terms is all about being able to design my life into one where I am fully in control. For me, that means having my passion be my paycheck, creating my own work schedule, fitting in time to do fun activities on a week day, traveling more, and following other’s societal expectations less. Living life on my own terms is working out of a cute coffee shop one day and working poolside the next day. Living life on my own terms is making the decision to allow myself more freedom of choice with my lifestyle.
Additional Gems from Charisse:
Be Authentic. Be Impactful. Be Valuable.
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