Part-time business administration and marketing
Alias: Sylvia Beautycakez on YouTube
For Sylvia Ta, being a YouTube personality was not part of her plan when she uploaded her first hair tutorial in high school. “It was actually kind of a fluke,” said Ta.
Ta created the video for a friend living afar who had asked her how she had done a certain hairstyle. When she went back to the video a couple of months later, she found the video had a couple thousand views. “People (were) asking for more and I was like ‘all right, I guess I could do this,’” she said.
Her channel currently has over 160,000 subscribers. She offers a wide range of beauty and style tutorials, such as Kylie Jenner-inspired makeup and casual office outfits, with inspiration coming from follower requests and trending fashions.
Ta films and edits most of her own videos and tries to upload a new video each week, on top of going to school and working full time.
Her channel has helped her land marketing jobs. “When people see YouTube on my resumé, they’re pretty impressed by it,” said Ta, adding that knowing how to reach the YouTube crowd and how to make and edit her own videos are good assets to employers.
Ta is also an avid Instagram user with over 25,000 followers, which she uses for style inspiration. She claims it’s a great way to monetize. “I’ve gotten a lot of offers and deals out of being on Instagram,” said Ta.
She says she will be on YouTube for a little while longer, but doesn’t think it’ll last forever. “Brands right now are just starting to understand YouTube as a marketing tool,” said Ta. “That’s why I try my best to kind of take the opportunities that I have on YouTube and turn it into something else that can be part of my career and part of just branding myself as a person outside of YouTube.”
Her advice: “Create a brand for yourself. What are you going to offer people? What makes you stand out from other people?”
First-year fashion communications
Alias: The Luxe Allure on Tumblr and Blogspot
Katie Ferreira started her first of three blogs, Lily Collins Style, back in 2012. Ferreira posted photos of the actress and told her followers where they could buy certain clothing items and accessories that Collins wears.
“It was a bit of a niche market where there wasn’t a style blog that existed for her.”
In the past two years, the blog has grown and currently sits at just under 7,000 followers.
“You suddenly become bigger than you ever thought you would,” said Ferreira, adding that she expected to get only about 10 followers, until she reached her first thousand.
About a year after she created her Lily Collins blog, she introduced her own fashion blog, called The Luxe Allure, on Tumblr.
“(I kept) posting about her styles, but what about my own?” said Ferreira.
Ferreira mostly reblogs images of styles that inspire her on The Luxe Allure. It was that Tumblr blog that inspired her to branch out and create a personal Blogspot called The Luxe Allure. Ferreira said, “A lot of the bloggers I followed on Tumblr were just beginning to create Blogspot (pages), so it was the notion of, ‘if they can do it, why can’t I?’”
Her Blogspot receives about 2,000-plus page views a month. She posts monthly favourites, ranging from best clothing, music and makeup to photos of herself in personally styled outfits.
“It just made more sense, (and looks) a lot more professional, to showcase my style from an actual blogging website instead of just the typical Tumblr account.”
Her advice: “Find a good name, something that either people can spell, people can pronounce or just something that’s easy to remember. Just keep posting and stay active. It’ll get better over time. The more you do it, the better you’ll get. So practise, practise, practise.”
Fourth-year business management, marketing major
Alias: theredcouchtv on YouTube
In January 2013, Sammy Ijaz created The Red Couch, a YouTube channel geared towards students in the greater Toronto area. The channel consists of videos discussing social issues like sex before marriage, special interviews like his one with ET Canada’s Rick Campanelli and pranks like Will You Marry Me?, where Ijaz proposes to strangers on the street.
But the show is also an event hub. “We saw an issue when we started the show. The issue was, we’re all commuter schools and we lack a sense of community,” said Ijaz. “The second class is done people want to go home. They don’t see the value in going to an event. They don’t see the value in getting involved.” He says it’s because students don’t know how to get involved, so he tries to engage them by promoting student group events in the GTA.
The show was originally created exclusively for Ryerson, but Ijaz branched out to other commuter schools after discovering other students were watching his channel. The Red Couch currently has 1,601 subscribers.
Since its launch, the show has changed to accommodate viewer interest. The channel began with street-style and social issue interviews, then changed to five-question interviews and, most recently, to social experiments, pranks and skits.
“We have to transition students from a high school mindset to a university lifestyle and that can only be done through the mediums they are engaged with, which is the social media as a whole, YouTube and Twitter being the leading,” said Ijaz.
His advice: “Do not wait. Just get at it. What’s the worst thing that’s going to happen? It’s not going to be successful, you’re going to fail, you’re going to learn from it, you’re going to get back up again and you’re going to be stronger and better than before. That’s the worst that’s going to happen.”