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Grace Victory: Business learnings from a social media superstar

For businesses wanting to make more out of social media channels such as Twitter or YouTube, whether it's for customer acquisition or communication, we've tapped up the expertise of award-winning blogger and YouTuber Grace Victory
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Despite there now being billions of people around the world who have some kind of presence on social media, unless you have a clear message and present it in an interesting way it will be hard to see any return on investment for you efforts.

Customers, whether they are high street consumers or other businesses, increasingly see social media channels as a first port of call for communication. But what is the best way to go about doing this?

Real Business turned to Grace Victory for help, and her thoughts will provide some useful perspective for entrepreneurs and business owners.

(1) Please tell me a little about yourself and your background?

I’m Grace Victory, a 25 years-old who shares my entire life on the internet. Right now I’m a full-time blogger/vlogger, but am slowly making the transition into plus size modelling and TV presenting. 

I grew up on a council estate on the outskirts of London and I struggled a lot with personal issues. I’ve suffered with depression and anxiety, as well as body image issues and self harm. I shared my story on YouTube about three years ago and it completely changed my life.

(2) How did you decide upon the subject matter for you blogging?

I didn’t! I talk about my experiences, my dreams, my hopes and things that inspire me. My blog is my creative space, my diary and a place for me to just be me. Its an extended version of myself I guess.

(3) Why do you think it resonates so well?

I’m myself, I’m honest and I’m not afraid to have an opinion. I talk about things that a lot of people don’t and I guess readers like that. I think I’m also quite relatable too.

(4) How have you gone about building up a subscriber and follower base?

The previous question this really. Readers see right through fakery and dishonesty so I make sure I’m honest and real. Whether I’m talking about lipsticks or depression – I just say it how it is.

(5) What is key to keeping these followers interested in the long run?

Consistency, knowing what your followers want and also not being scared to grow and change.

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(6) What advice would you give to businesses looking to leverage social?

Thats a tricky one because what I do won’t necessarily work for businesses. My business is just being myself essentially.

I would say though that engagement plays a massive part in growing followers and keeping them. Reply to as many tweets as possible and also tweet about things that are relevant to your audience so they can retweet, favourite and even reply. 

Treat your followers like friends you’ve never met because essentially thats what they are – and if they’re not, thats how they want to feel.

(7) How will you go about converting your big following in a monetary way?

Advertising, sponsorship and commission. I can earn a lot of money if a brand has paid me to do a video specifically on their product and commission is also a high earner. If a reader buy something through my blog for example, I get a small percentage of that but with my following – the revenue converts pretty well.

(8) How have you gone about engaging with brands like Clinique and ASOS?

They’ve just approached me with an attitude like “hey, we want to work with you” and then we’ve made it happen. I keep my relationships with all brands professional but I am also myself. Friendly, bubbly and a little bit sassy. If I mention them in a video or a blog post I will tweet them and let them know. I often get sent products and clothes for free so its nice to point out to brands if I have featured them.

(9) Where would you like to take your offering in the future?

TV and modelling is right at the top of my list. I want to be known as a mental health presenter. I have lots of ideas! I want to make a difference to the world on a much larger scale than social media. I would also love to right a book about confidence.

(10) How competitive do you think this space will become?

I think its already at its peak. TV stars and celebrities are now turning to social media to engage with their fans, some are even making YouTube videos now too. For businesses – its the way forward in terms of creating sales. 

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About Author

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven is the editor of Real Business. He is also the editor of Business Advice, a title focused solely on a section of the business community currently underserved – micro companies. Alongside this, he is part of the team that hosts the Growing Business Awards, First Women Awards and Future 50 initiative.

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