“There are endless opportunities.”
Maral Abedin is a talent manager and an ex-influencer who now owns multiple businesses along with producing outstanding content. On YouTube, she has been able to share her experiences and work, with videos such as ‘Day in my life’.
In this ‘In The Spotlight’ interview, Maral covers topics like her journey to become a YouTuber and turning it into a career, audience engagement, production workflow and its challenges, and advice to potential content creators.
How did you get started on Youtube?
I started posting on Youtube in middle school. At the time, I would film DIY room decor videos that would get millions of views, which helped kick start my beauty channel when I launched that in high school.
Did you always know you wanted to do this?
I was always very creative and loved pushing myself to learn new skills, like DIY projects, and filming/editing videos. But I’ve actually flipped the script now and am on the other side of social media as an influencer talent manager. Now I work behind the scenes of some of the top content creators to help them scale their business and reach their goals.
How and when did you know you can make this a career?
When I first started in middle school, there was really no such thing as Youtube Adsense. It wasn’t until I reached high school that I started making about $800-1,000 per month from Google adsense. At that time I also had lots of YouTube friends who had hundreds of thousands of subscribers, and seeing how much money they were making was when it really became clear that social media was going to be a huge alternative to traditional media.
How do you keep your audience engaged?
You have to be active on social media as much as possible. Personally since I left this line of work, I haven’t been as active. But my advice to all creators is to make sure you’re posting on Youtube 1-2x per week, and on Instagram feed every other day. Take advantage of TikTok to help scale your growth and post a lot of video content on Instagram because that’s the way social media is headed now. No one wants to only see pictures anymore.
What do you think is most important when you’re looking for ways to engage with your audience?
My favorite way to engage is through live-streaming and Q&A’s. Whether it’s a pre-filmed Q&A video, or real-time on instagram stories, those usually boost your engagement a ton and help you hit the algorithm. Your audience loves feeling involved and like they make an impact in your day-to-day. So just make sure to bring them along to everything, whether it’s a lunch date and you’re trying to decide which dish to order, what color nail polish to pick at the salon, how to style your hair, or products to release for your brand. The more involved they feel, the better your engagement will be.
What do you love most about working in this industry?
There are endless opportunities. Although I like the talent management side more than the actual influencer side just because I feel like I’m still involved without having to be in the actual spotlight.
How do you stay current on all the shifts and innovations?
You just have to be a consumer of social media to know what’s happening. I was so late to Clubhouse and TikTok – but if I was a little more engaged, it could’ve helped grow my audience before they went mainstream.
Have you noticed any positive or negative changes in your work since the pandemic?
In the first few months, yes. Brands were scared and actually cut a ton of spending and cancelled lots of projects. But everything went back to normal pretty quickly. I have noticed that people were on social media a lot more the past year which helped tremendously to push a lot of creators further in their careers.
What’s the funniest story that comes to mind ever since you started working more indoors due to the pandemic?
Maybe 2 months in, I took a photo on the sidewalk in front of my house and people were mad that I went outside (laughs).
Tell us about your production workflow and the planning involved.
I usually plan YouTube videos at least one week in advance, and write a script of everything the video will be about and all that I want mentioned. I usually film one day, then edit the next, and upload a day after that. I can’t do it all in one day I’ll go mad.
How long does it normally take to create your content and do you have several projects happening at the same time?
For a YouTube video, it usually takes 3 full days to create. That’s just because I don’t like doing it all in one sitting. I don’t really plan my IG posts but I know people that do and they usually spend a few hours one day a week shooting all their content for the next 7-14 days.
What’s the biggest challenge you face producing content and how do you overcome it?
My biggest challenge was how absolutely miserable I was while being an influencer, and I overcame it by switching roles to become an influencer talent manager. It’s pretty much the same line of work, you just don’t have followers and don’t have to post content.
What advice would you give for aspiring creators?
Take advantage of the new platforms and features on every app to push your growth. Post video content on Instagram, because Instagram is slowly becoming a video-first platform. Be consistent (you can use my answers from Q’s 4&5).
Want more on Maral Abedin’s work? Check out her YouTube!