Content Creation: Austen Tosone Shares Her Journey In The Beauty Industry

Content creation and beauty consulting is what Austen Tosone is an expert at as shares her social media journey and gives advice on An Entrepreneur’s Vibes Podcast. Find out how you can start a career doing content creation and how Austen grew from posting photos on Instagram to working with fashion brands and eventually creating her consulting business.

Austen Tosone’s Journey To Becoming A Beauty Creator and Magazine Editor


Content creation in the beauty space wasn’t a journey young Austen Tosone might have expected for herself. “I remember being a bit of a tomboy in grade school”, Austen recalls, along with shopping at PacSun and owning a skateboard. One thing that would bring her closer to her current career though was her love for magazines. Her mom was a magazine editor and Austen found inspiration in magazines like interesting stories, beautiful photographs, and fashion that would eventually get her into a similar line of work. 

Austen would grow up with her dream job also being a magazine editor so she started a personal blog back in 2012 thinking it would bring her closer to that goal. That was around the same time she started an Instagram page where she would share her outfit photos. By 2016, she started her job at Nylon magazine and she continued to share fashion inspiration on her Instagram and blog.

Not only does Austen share photos and blogs on her personal online platforms, she has also been a creative content writer for digital publications like Refinery29, HuffPost, Teen Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Insider, and so much more. She truly has unique fashion and beauty trends insights along with the social media knowledge that made her the successful consultant she is today.

Austen Tosone on beauty content creation and consultancy

What Is Content Creation?


In today’s digital space, just about anyone can be a content creator a full-time job. With the rise of social media came artists and creators who used this platform to share original content in the form of photos, videos, written word, and so much more. The content creator definition is someone who shares their art form, in whatever medium they choose, whether it’s for entertainment or teaching to an audience. 

Content creation can become a full-time remote job now that content is pretty much widely shared online. These creators build engaged communities that become lucrative for brands and businesses and so they often partner up with a creator to market their products or services. 

There are different types of content creation like these examples to name a few:

  • Podcasters
  • Writers 
  • Bloggers
  • Influencers
  • YouTubers
  • Designers
  • Photographers
  • Artists
  • Video creators
  • Online Streamers
  • Website Content 

How To Become A Content Creator


For those who have been around before creating content on social media became a lucrative business, like Austen Tosone, that journey almost always started out of simply wanting to share snippets of their lives. Austen started out by posting photos of her outfits never thinking she would eventually become a consultant for others wanting to grow their online platforms and make it a business. 

According to Austen, it was around 2016 that she realized that people were monetizing their online platforms out of content creation. She quickly understood that it was more than just online personalities getting gifted PR packages, they were actually being paid to advertise on their platforms. For Austen, her first paid brand collaboration was with a clothing company called Asos. She would notice creators similar to her nice share affiliate links where they could shop their closet and creators would get commissions when people used their links to purchase. 

One of Austen’s biggest content creation tips for social media and consistent teaching she shares during her consultancy is maintaining authenticity.  On the other hand, most people might have the misconception that being an influencer is all glitz and glam. After all, from the outside looking in, it seems as though beauty creators constantly get invited to brand trips and get free gifts. Austen says there have multiple times where she would be dragging her tripod down the street trying to get the perfect shot and it all comes with the job. So to anyone looking to start a career as a content creator, be ready to put in the work before you can gain the trust of your audience and the brands you want to work with by being authentic. 

Get more inspiration about turning your passion and art into a career by listening to Jasmin Pannu’s Art Entrepreneurship and Following Your Passion. 

How To Show Up Authentically Online


Showing up authentically online is important during the content creating process. Online consumers have grown warier and can see through content creators who are solely in it for the money. Austen says she has become more picky with her brand partnerships over the years. “I find it really easy to maintain authenticity because I think I’m picking the right partners and making sure that everything feels like a fit and makes sense.” 

Austen believes that creative content creation can coexist with authenticity. Being a content creator doesn’t always mean creating a picture-perfect, curated piece of content that not everyone will resonate with for the sake of generating money off it through ads. Showing up authentically online means showing the imperfection sometimes or showing what a bad day can look like even as someone with a lot of followers. Austen says, “I do love a piece of curated content. It’s the magazine editor in me, but I also am a millennial who posts on Instagram and TikTok and doesn’t mind when people also peel back a little bit beyond that and let us in too, because we’re all human and we all want to feel that connection.”

Austen Tosone On Partnering Up With Brands


Austen knew how to grow her connections within the publishing industry and was proactive in staying in touch with editors she met during her time at Nylon. An advice she has for content creators looking to start sharing creative writing is to prepare writing samples. “Definitely having writing samples and networking are two of the best things I can say for anyone who is interested in writing for publications”, says Austen. 

She recalls back in the day when people would flip through magazines to check the masthead and see all the editors’ names before writing them physical letters to pitch themselves. Today, that can be done easily by sending out emails and showing attaching your writing samples. 

For beauty content creators, Austen has similar advice when it comes to networking. She says to reach out to brands in a professional manner and to not be afraid to reach out first and ask brands if they’re looking to add new creators on their PR list just to get that ball rolling. It’s what she calls “laying the groundwork” for brands to notice you which you can also do so by tagging them in your content.


Listen To An Entrepreneur’s Vibes Podcast


Get first-hand advice from Austen Tosone on episode 6 of An Entrepreneur’s Vibes Podcast. Learn more about how Austen built her consulting business and the other services she offers for her clients. 

Get updated on the latest episodes of An Entrepreneur’s Vibes Podcast and check out our previous episode featuring Dreamboat Lucy’s Hilary Mackay on episode 5. 

For your business writing needs, whether it be business plan writing, policies, and procedure manual writing, and more look no further than The Write Direction – the professional technical and business writing experts!


Austen Tosone [00:00:00] Just post and start going, because if you get started then you’ll have somewhere to improve from. We’re not all perfect when we first start out. It will get better. It will feel less cringey. It will feel more natural, but it’s not going to get to that point if you don’t just get started.

Patricia [00:00:29] Welcome to An Entrepreneur’s Vibes, the podcast that gives insight into the minds of visionary entrepreneurs and business leaders. Brought to you by The Write Direction, a leading professional and technical writing company based in North America. Each episode, we explore stories and experiences of those who dared to dream, took the leap and built their own empires. Join us in uncovering the secrets to success and lessons learned along the way. So if you’re just starting your entrepreneurial journey or you’re already a seasoned business pro, you’ll find inspiration, knowledge, and good vibes right here. Today’s guest is a fashion and beauty content creator, consultant and entrepreneur based in New York City. With a decade of industry experience and over 85,000 unique followers across her personal social media channels, she’s a pro when it comes to creating great content and building an engaged community. She worked previously as a magazine editor for Nylon and Interview, giving her that unique 360 degree perspective on the fashion and beauty industry. Today, she helps creators build their own engaged audience, help them get connected with brands, and teach them how to show up authentically online. Please, welcome to An Entrepreneur’s Vibes podcast, Austen Tosone. Hey, Austen!

Austen Tosone [00:01:41] Hi, thank you so much for having me! That was such a nice intro.

Patricia [00:01:44] How’s the vibes like today?

Austen Tosone [00:01:46] They’re actually a little rainy, but I do find that I get very productive when it’s rainy here, so I don’t mind it.

Patricia [00:01:53] That’s not, like, the usual people. Because I know some people when it’s raining outside, they just get so lazy to go out because they don’t want to get wet, but I guess if you’re from New York City, is that like a normal weather there?

Austen Tosone [00:02:04] Yeah. I mean, the life doesn’t stop here just when it rains. I mean, I just got married in a monsoon last September, so anything is possible in the rain here. But yeah, to be fair, I have not gone outside today. But, you know, I have my coffee here, do a little movement on my peloton bike, and I’m good to go.

Patricia [00:02:21] I love that being, you know, getting to work even without getting out. I mean, that’s like the new thing right now. Working remotely, right? I mean, we’re doing this podcast remotely, so we’re doing a lot of work even if we don’t go outside. So, please tell us, how did you start your journey? How did you get into the fashion and beauty industry?

Austen Tosone [00:02:38] Well, it’s funny because I remember being a bit of a tomboy, like in grade school. I used to love shopping at PacSun, and I even had a skateboard, which was so not something that should have been in my possession, because I’m very clumsy. But, I loved magazines. My mom was actually a magazine editor, and, you know, all of the magazines in that era, the Cosmo Girls and the Teen Vogues. There were really interesting stories being told, really beautiful photographs, but it really was all about the fashion and beauty, and that was really my first kind of intro to both of those things. I think my love for fashion came first, and then just naturally, I also started learning more about beauty and now I’m totally beauty obsessed. So, that was the early beginning for sure, that I was being and interested in magazines.

Patricia [00:03:28] And was that the same inspiration that got you to becoming a content creator and an entrepreneur?

Austen Tosone [00:03:34] Yeah, I mean, I started my blog in 2012, and one of my motivations for starting my blog was to get an internship in the magazine industry. So, it’s pretty funny how full circle everything can come, because I started my blog thinking it would help me get my dream job as a magazine editor, and I did get to be a magazine editor, which was incredible in its own very unique experience too. But I don’t think when I started at the time, I had any sense of this could actually be somehow my full time job. I thought it was really fun to have a URL that was yours and just your own little corner of the internet, but I never put two and two together to think this could be something that I could truly spend 100% of my time on. I think I’ve always had, you know, entrepreneurial tendencies. I opened a card shop in my house just, you know, in the hallway. So, the only customers were my parents. If they happened to walk into my room, they would have to pass, like, the card shop. I did lemonade stands and stuff like that. But I always envisioned, you know, move to New York, get a job at a magazine, and then kind of just do the the whole movie thing.

Patricia [00:04:45] So you started out as an editor and then you started a blog. How did that pivot into you starting your social media channels? And I mean, now you offer a lot of different services. Tell us about that journey.

Austen Tosone [00:04:57] Yeah, I mean, I got an Instagram account in 2012, the same year I started my blog, and I was, I think, kind of that original, you know, just posting my outfits every day on Instagram, asking friends, can you take an outfit picture of me? It’s going to be an OOTD, you know, over on Instagram. And I’m probably thinking it was a little silly, but really just kind of leaning into that and having this sort of online diary even just to look back and see, you know, how my styles evolved for me personally in addition to starting to reach more people. So, I remember starting Instagram in 2012, and then by the time I started my job at Nylon in 2016, that was, like, felt even more important because it felt like, oh, now people are following me because I’m a Nylon editor. They want to know, like, what is a Nylon editor wearing? What are they doing? Like, what is the day in the life kind of look like for them? So, I kind of just continued to keep sharing it, and it just kind of evolved as my life evolved too. So, back when I was in college, it was more like, what am I wearing to class? And then it was more like, what am I wearing to New York Fashion Week, which was all fun, but just kind of got to show still tracking, you know, fashion and outfits mainly at the time, but how my life was evolving too. And then, it wasn’t really until I, like, got laid off from my magazine jobs and started freelancing, that I started to get into more of the kind of career side of like how that was all working.

Patricia [00:06:27] Yeah, I feel like anyone who started Instagram was on the platform to, like, share what’s happening in their life. I don’t think it always necessarily started to become a platform where you can start monetizing stuff. How did you get into that, like, monetizing your social media channels and then branching out and teaching girls or anyone out on, you know, online to do that?

Austen Tosone [00:06:49] Yeah, I remember around 2016 was when it finally started clicking to me, like, oh, people are making good money from doing this. Like, at first I thought, oh, people are just getting gifted products and they’re getting invited to, like, cool things. But then, to actually know that people were getting paid on top of that was obviously super interesting. I did my first paid brand collaboration with Asos on my blog, and they were actually working with college students to promote, like, their college student discount. So, I remember they sent me clothes and they paid me, which to me was just like the best thing I could ask for as a college student. And then, you know, in terms of like looking at Instagram and social media, I started noticing more creators sharing affiliate links or telling people to follow them over on an app called Like to Know It. And so, that really also started to click to me like, oh, you could, you know, link out to what you’re wearing in the same way that if you go to a certain store at the mall and one salesperson sells you a bag and can get commission, you’re kind of getting that commission to just remotely, digitally, the way that so much of our world works now. So, those were the first two ways that I really realized you could make money, which was through brand partnerships and also through affiliate links. And at the time, you know, affiliate links to me were linked to, you know, Asos, linked to Loulou’s, linked to Zara, like, wherever you were actually able to send people to kind of shop the look or shop the outfit that was that was huge in 2016 era.

Patricia [00:08:22] So, you said earlier this all started when you were, like, getting into reading magazines. Cosmopolitan, you said that, and you also worked with them. You said you were doing freelance work. [00:08:32]Tell us how your approach, to pitching and securing these like writing opportunities and with such well-known brands. [6.1s]

Austen Tosone [00:08:40] [00:08:40]Yeah, I think that, you know, having some initial clips certainly helped from my editor jobs. Like, at Nylon and Interview, I had gotten to meet other editors at the time and was making an effort to proactively stay in touch. Just let them know what I was working on. Even following them on Instagram was another facet of that. Another way to keep in touch. But even in the beginning, when I had to apply for even internships at those publications, they were asking for writing samples. So, that was part of the reason with starting the blog, that I was able to say, hey, here’s a blog post that I wrote about this, and even though it was self-published on my own website, it was still a piece of writing that I could share. So, definitely having writing samples and networking are two of the best things that I can say for anyone who is interested in writing for publications. I mean, these days you can start a blog so easily. You can even do long, thoughtful captions on Instagram that could pique someone’s interest. Like, really just putting together any clips that you have, any work that you feel like really showcases your voice, and just knowing who to reach out to as well. I think that back in the day, it used to be like, go get a magazine from the newsstand and flip over to the masthead page where you could see all of the editors names listed out, and you could even write them a physical letter back then with a pitch. And now, you know, figuring out email formats for these different companies, I think, has gotten easier over time, and just getting it in the hands of the right person sometimes is half of that. So, I certainly think networking can be helpful if you’re able to, you know, meet someone first or even follow them on Instagram and before you pitch them, so they recognize your name. But yeah, it’s really interesting. And because magazines, digital and print, you know, have really changed their budgets and their models over the years, they do need freelancers, I think, more than they ever have. So…[121.1s]

Patricia [00:10:42] Oh wow, that’s fascinating. And what about for content creators? Because, I mean, being on the digital space, that in itself is being an entrepreneur. And that in itself is a business. [00:10:51]What advice would you give to smaller content creators out there who don’t know how to approach brands? [4.9s]

Austen Tosone [00:10:57] [00:10:57]Yeah, I think that, you know, I was actually just talking about this in a recent YouTube video I did, but there are stages of, you know, networking and getting to know brands the same way there are stages of networking and getting to know people in real life, whether that’s, you know, a friend or whether that’s if you’re dating and putting yourself out there in that sense. So, I say that, you know, just respecting the stages and being aware of them is kind of half of it, because in the same way that it would be weird if someone like asked you to move in with them on the first date, it would be weird if you were like, fully obsessed with a brand and bombarding someone with like, oh, I love you, I love this, I want to work together, blah blah blah. Like you can – here’s my rate card. Like, reach out to me if you’re interested in them being like, wait, what have we have we met before? Have we spoken, like, what was your name again? And so I think that, you know, even in the, in the intro stages, like, I was a small creator sending them a DM on Instagram just to say “Hi,” like, asking if they’re accepting new creators on their PR list, even going out to, like, if it’s a beauty brand, you could go to a Sephora or Ulta and, you know, take a picture of the product and tag the brand and say, has anyone tried this yet? I’m thinking about it. You don’t even need to go out and buy a bunch of products to start creating content and tagging a brand in something, but having at least some initial touchpoint before you, you know, start asking them for payment, I think is really helpful in laying the groundwork in relationship building. Really great. [89.2s]

Patricia [00:12:27]  Like, don’t DM brands and just start asking for, like, free stuff. Like, I don’t think that’s not something you should be doing?

Austen Tosone [00:12:33] [00:12:33]Yeah. And you know, this industry is getting a lot more crowded over the years, and people who are really humble, and smart, and who want to put in the work, and build relationships, are immediately set apart from people who think they’re entitled to be paid by a brand. And, you know, I know that we all create content. It’s so much work. And in a lot of ways, we all do deserve to be paid. But even just understanding that you’re not the only creator they’re talking to and helping them understand what the value is and working with you is always going to yield you a better result than being like, pay me or, like, why aren’t we working together? You know, like, I think there’s to always lead with being grateful and thoughtful about it is a good way to go. [45.6s]

Patricia [00:13:20] While we’re talking about, likem advice to give to other content creators out there or just entrepreneurs in general, I want to ask you, like, [00:13:26]how do you prioritize your tasks and your projects to ensure productivity and efficiency? [4.2s]

Austen Tosone [00:13:31] [00:13:31]This is a good question for me because, I am a Virgo and an only child, so productivity and and finding focus is something that I do feel like is a strong suit for me. And, you know, I think that now I have such a better grasp on this than I did when I first started, and one of the best things that’s helped me is honestly setting, you know, having like year long visions and goals, but really breaking them down into quarters. So for me, that’s like January through March is Q1, April through June is Q2, and so on. And giving myself that time, because to me, it’s more than a month. You know, if one thing goes wrong in a month that can kind of derail you or set you back, but it’s not as long as a year, so you don’t feel like you can’t see the end in sight of some things. So for me, taking my vision for the year and breaking it up into more realistic pieces for each quarter has been a big help for me. And in my business, each quarter tends to kind of have a theme. So, for me in the first quarter, that’s usually when I launch my digital course. So, it’s very education focused. I’m creating a lot of content about being a content creator, and how I’m able to make it work, you know, even as a micro influencer. And then in the second quarter, after I’ve been very business backend, you know, recording all my lessons and stuff, it’s usually finally spring, and it’s a great chance for me to actually get out and be really creative and kind of just go more heavy on the content creation and have fun with that. So, making an effort to, okay, like, maybe I want to do each week I’m reviewing a new beauty product or I’m going out and shooting my outfits even if it’s just with the tripod. And to me, that also helps keep things interesting and tap into different areas of my creativity, so that I don’t get stuck on one thing for too long, and so that I have a chance to, you know, I like the business backend of stuff, but there’s only so many hours I can spend in front of a computer. And then I also like creating content, but I don’t just want to create, you know, videos for Instagram all day. I think there are many other ways to create, and I like to have a chance to do it all. [132.8s]

Patricia [00:15:45] [00:15:45]You wear many hats, and you do a lot of different things throughout the day. You have – you’re a content creator, consultant, you’re an entrepreneur. How do you balance all these roles? How do you not get overwhelmed, especially, as you said, you just pretty much laid out a plan for your whole year. How does that not give you pressure? [16.0s]

Austen Tosone [00:16:02] [00:16:02]I think one thing that helps, and this is actually something I like to talk about with my my digital course students. Where – my digital course is all about, like, having multiple income streams and kind of balancing them. I think one thing that really helps is that they’re not all full speed ahead all the time, which is nice. So, for example, my digital course right now, I’m just doing one live launch a year. So, September is not really a time where I have to think or worry about that, but January is going to be a time where I’m spending, like, almost 90% of my time on that. I think also having, you know, some passive income streams and things that are kind of just happening because of work I’ve already previously done are great. So, you know, creating videos for my YouTube channel is great for me because I am part of the YouTube partner program, and I get ad revenue each month from my YouTube channel that enables me to, you know, still get paid even though I’m not necessarily actively working. So, that’s something that’s really empowered me to be able to take a step back and take a break if I need to, or if I want to. I think that’s really important too. And even just, you know, setting boundaries and being strategic about things. Like, now that I do have a digital course, I have upped the prices of my consulting sessions. So – and that’s very intentional, because, you know, my time is valuable, and if that means I’m booking fewer clients each month, that’s okay, because at this point I want to work with the people who are willing to pay my rate and who are really serious about having that one on one attention. And if that’s not for people, otherwise, I have my digital course, I have digital products, I have a YouTube channel. Like, there are other places you can go to get help for me, but when it comes to my one on one time, I know how valuable that is. And so, that’s something that I kind of have instituted a bit of a boundary on, even though I haven’t said, like I’m taking on fewer clients, even just by raising my rates there, it means that I get fewer inquiries, which is totally fine. [124.9s]

Patricia [00:18:08] So, being in the beauty industry online, I think is such, like, a lucrative opportunity that a lot of people are trying to get into, but I think one of the things that can hinder them from, like, trying is getting negative criticism or, like, feedback online. [00:18:24]What advice would you say to anyone facing negative criticism? Or how do you cope if ever you do get like hate comments on any of your social media channels? [8.7s]


Austen Tosone [00:18:34] [00:18:34]Yeah, I’m pretty lucky that overall it’s been pretty positive for me. I would say that when the comments do come in, you know, usually they’re not very thoughtful insults. So, I can usually start with that where I’m like, this person is, you know – I just always try to think, like, they must be having such a bad day. They must be so, like, unhappy with themselves that, like, they’re trying to make me, you know, feel that way too, or they’re trying to take it out on me. And that really kind of just, like, brings me down from being angry. That just makes me, you know, I try to be a bit more empathetic about it. I am a huge fan of just delete and block. I don’t ever think really engaging with comments is helpful unless, like, you really want to make some kind of clapback Tik Tok that you think will go viral. But for me personally, like I, you know, really turn to, like, people who I know in real life, like my family, my husband, my friends who, you know, as long as they think I’m cool, and they think I’m beautiful, and they think I’m like a fun person, I’m not going to read too far into a comment from someone who has probably just swiped on my video for 10 seconds. Sometimes, it can be hard to ignore in the beginning, but if it’s not someone you would take life advice from, then you know, you shouldn’t worry too much about, like, a passing comment from them. [80.8s]

Patricia [00:19:55] And for some people who are wanting to start a business online… For some of them they, you know, get overnight success, but it’s not always the case for everyone. Building an audience can take time. [00:20:06]What advice or what strategies can you give other people for building resilience and perseverance, especially when they’re trying to become an entrepreneur online? [7.4s]

Austen Tosone [00:20:15] [00:20:15]Yeah, I think I’m a pretty good example of, you know, I’ve been creating content for over about 12 years now, I guess this year. And, you know, I don’t have a million followers of 12 years of work. But what I do have is a really engaged community, and for me personally, like, I’m someone who – if I get seven comments on an Instagram post, I’m going to reply to every single one of those comments. Like, I’m always going to give back what I’m given, because to me, it really means so much. Like, every person who views, every person who feels compelled to comment or share it with a friend or even better, like, share it on their story. All of the little things add up, and the more weight that you give to each little thing is going to start to like add up to big things later on. And again, you know, some creators probably think, oh, if I could just have, like, a million followers, then my life would be like this, or I could just hit this milestone, but it’s – there really is a person behind every username unless they’re fully a bot, but there really is a person on the other end leaving that comment, watching your video, and I think just being very grateful and appreciative for all of those, you know, people who are there is really important. And I even will screenshot if someone ever like, sends me a really nice DM or leaves a really long comment, I will screenshot it, and I actually have a whole folder on my desktop of my computer that’s called, like, You’ve Got This, and if I’m ever having a bad day, I go back and read, you know, from other people what they’ve said about me or my business over the years if I’ve helped them in some way, and that’s always nice to look back on. [100.0s]

Patricia [00:21:56] [00:21:56]And when you’re sharing so much of your life online and that is your actual career, it gets really hard, because it’s, like, it puts you in a vulnerable place, because you have to share your life. You have to be, like, really open to have an engaged audience and for them to see you authentically. So, how do you approach, like, self-care and maintaining a work life balance as a content creator in this, like, demanding industry? [24.6s]

Austen Tosone [00:22:22] [00:22:22]Yeah, it’s a good question. And I think there’s kind of two parts of it, which is one, it probably looks like I’m sharing a lot, and I certainly am, but if I had to really put it into perspective, I’m probably sharing, like, 40% of what’s actually going on. And there’s like a lot that I still, you know, that people don’t see and that I don’t share. I keep, you know, my close friends, my family, and also especially my husband. Like, that’s usually a pretty offline situation. He – we just did blog our honeymoon in New Zealand. That was like the one exception. And seven years I had to, like, reintroduce him to my audience just to be, like, “Hi, you guys remember Andrew from, like, he was in one vlog, like, six years ago,” you know, so I think that, you know, protect for me, protecting my personal relationships is extremely important to me and kind of drawing a line about how much I share about the people who I’m closest with is really big. And on the note of, though, like self-care and figuring out when to be offline, I have just tried to, over time, do what feels best to me. So sometimes, and this is, you know, I’m very fortunate to make my own schedule in this way. Sometimes that means it’s 1 p.m. and I’m like, I love to just, like, it’s a nice day. I kind of want to go on a walk and listen to a podcast, and like, if I’m going to take the time to do that in the middle of the day, like, maybe after dinner I can, you know, get done one more thing on my to do list that I would have done then, but I’m trying to listen to my intuition at the time was, like, oh, go for a walk, do this. So, I mean, I do still end up working kind of unconventional hours. Like, I am known to take out my laptop on a weekend, but I try to, you know, still find, like, just redistribute the time if anything. So, I kind of think about if it is, you know, say a 40 hour work week in that sense, if I am going to a brand event and meeting a friend for lunch in the middle of the day on a Thursday, then yeah, maybe I am at my laptop on Saturday morning. But that’s what I like about this job is kind of having the flexibility to do those things. And I’ve also established rules for myself now where like, you know, I am in bed by ten every night. Like, that’s pretty non-negotiable for me, at least on the weekdays. I get up pretty early so that I have time to take advantage of the mornings when I am most productive, and I – if I’m ever working, like, after dinner or on a weekend, I try to make sure it’s not heavy duty work. That’s, like, you know, writing a blog post or filming a YouTube video. I try to keep it light, like, can I get a couple emails answered, so that Monday morning is easier for me. But yeah, I know everyone’s different, so that, you know, helps get some people an idea, but if that’s not what works for you at all, then you should definitely do what works for you. [170.6s]

Patricia [00:25:14] You were saying earlier that, you know, the market is getting a bit saturated. We are getting a lot of people online already wanting to make a name for themselves. [00:25:22]For anyone who is, like, starting or, like, aspiring to be in the fashion and beauty industry, what advice would you give to them? [7.1s]

Austen Tosone [00:25:30] [00:25:30]I think that, you know, as saturated as it is right now, there’s also a huge demand for it. I mean, if you look at what’s happening to traditional media and publications, like, they’re closing left and right. They’re laying off staffers. And it’s not because people don’t want stories. It’s just because the mediums are changing. And where we used to flip through a magazine, we’re now kind of scrolling through TikTok. So, I think finding at least one platform that you genuinely love creating for is a great place to kind of start building your portfolio. And, you know, that could even be a beauty podcast, like, that doesn’t mean you have to jump on TikTok and scream at the camera and, like, flip, you know, squirt product around if that’s not who you are. You could maybe do a whole beauty podcast about, like, skincare ingredients. Like, I would listen to that actually. If anyone wants to start that, each episode, you could do a new ingredient and talk about, like, what it is, like, what the benefits are, what products you should use that ingredient with, what products you shouldn’t use that ingredient with, that type of thing. And just make sure it’s something that you really love, because your creativity will shine through. But I do think, you know, whether you want to be a content creator specifically, or whether you’re interested in different parts of the fashion and beauty industry, I think having some kind of portfolio, whether it’s an Instagram account, blog, Pinterest even, to kind of show people and just show what your style is and what your vibe is can be a huge help these days, and it can do nothing but help if you ask me. [92.9s]

Patricia [00:27:04] Absolutely. I think it’s the same as any business. You have to have your own unique value proposition, and since you as a person, you are like the business, you have to find something that sets you apart. Because everyone’s different, right? Everyone can, like, shine, and everyone has a space in the industry. You just have to find what works for you, I guess.

Austen Tosone [00:27:24] Yeah, I really believe that.

Patricia [00:27:25] [00:27:25]So, how do you stay updated on, like, industry trends. And, you know, it is a very competitive market. How do you stay ahead? [6.4s]

Austen Tosone [00:27:33] [00:27:33]I personally feel like I have now found just, like, the people who I love following, who kind of help lead me to these things, whether I’ve realized it or not. Our fashion director at Nylon, [11.6s] J. Errico, [00:27:46]used to say, three’s a trend. Like before we’d all get sent out to New York Fashion Week, he’d say three’s a trend. So if you see, like, leather pants three times, that’s a trend. If you see, you know, Stanley Cups three times, that’s a trend. So, that to me was always helpful just in terms of kind of starting to notice patterns of, like, what are we all wearing right now? What podcasts have I seen other people talk about? I kind of still follow that rule of, like, three is a trend. And, you know, there are some people who I follow, because I genuinely love their content, and there are other people who I follow because I’m kind of just interested in their business model. You know, maybe they have a really popular podcast or maybe all of their TikToks go viral, like, every single time they post. And so, I think finding a mix of people is something that’s really helped me. Just, you know, this girl loves to tell me about fashion. This girl loves to tell me about New York City spots. And also just using my own judgment and my own, you know, kind of filter to say like, oh, do I think this is just a one-off weird thing that I’m never going to see again that just went viral on TikTok? Or do I think there’s some staying power here? I feel like I have to also trust my own, like, editorial discretion. I think I learned that a lot from being an editor. Like, you know, we got pitched stories all the time, either from writers or from publicists who wanted to feature their clients. So, even just asking the questions, like, what makes this different than other, you know, moisturizers or why now? Like, what’s the – is there an urgency element to this of why we’re talking about this now, and we weren’t talking about it three months ago? But yeah, I think that, you know, I get so much inspiration from people I follow. And I also, you know, we can be deinfluenced from things too. Or you could see someone, like, you know, explaining something about a product that you’ve been using that you didn’t realize and be like, oh, I don’t actually love that ingredient for my skin. So, maybe now I’m not going to use it. So, I feel like, I mean, I should really write it down somewhere or like keep a spreadsheet or something. But unfortunately for me, it’s just all kind of jumbled up in my brain. And, you know, I’ll text it to a fellow creator, or I’ll post on my Instagram story and say, like, has anyone else seen this? Or thinking about this? But I don’t mind. I just – I love, like, being alive in the digital age because there’s always something going on. [143.6s]

Patricia [00:30:10] [00:30:10]And that’s true. And I love that you bring that up – deinfluencing. What’s your take on that? Because I mean, being on the beauty industry, I mean everything – there’s always, like, a new product. It can get overwhelming, and it can be like overconsumery sometimes. So, what is your take on like, deinfluencing? [14.5s]

Austen Tosone [00:30:26] [00:30:26]Yeah, I think in terms of, like, the part that I can play in that. I mean, for me as a creator, I feel like my job is to share the products that I’m genuinely loving to help someone, you know, cut down on their time scrolling on Sephora or, “Oh, I’ve been looking for a new moisturizer. Austen did just mention this one. Like, maybe I should check it out.” My goal is always to help people save time and, like, spend money on things that they actually love, because I actually love it. I think for me, from the editor perspective, I will always sort of, you know, speak from my point of view when possible and say, I tried this, you know, gel cream moisturizer, and I didn’t love it, because I have more dry skin, but if you have more oily skin, then this could be a good product for you. I think that I try to avoid, like, bashing brands at all costs, but I also feel like we should normalize you don’t have to love every single product from every brand. I am a huge fan of Glossier products, like, I’ve used them for a long time, but I absolutely, like, hate the perfume smell. It smells terrible to me for some reason. And I made a YouTube video years ago, you know, saying that I didn’t like the scent, and I still worked with them on a paid YouTube partnership later on. So, I also think that the right brands can take criticism or, like, understand that maybe not every product is going to be perfect for everybody in the same way that, you know, maybe I’ve tried, like, I have a CoverGirl product that I’m currently loving, but a few years ago, maybe I tried a mascara from them that I didn’t like. So, I don’t think it has to be so all or nothing all the time. And I also think that, you know, I know there’s a lot of noise out there, but just because an influencer is sharing a product does not mean that, like, you need it or you have to buy it. And I trust my followers to, you know, follow their own judgment and not, you know, spend more than they can afford to spend or get things that they you know, of course, you should get some things that you need, but not to get, like, overboard, you know. So, I think that’s going to work differently for everyone depending on their budget and their personal values, but I’m here to try to just share the best and what I’m enjoying, and let people kind of take it from there. [133.9s]

Patricia [00:32:41] [00:32:41]So, the fashion and beauty industry is very broad. You can be in the content creating side, marketing side designing side… In your opinion, how important is it to have a formal education to succeed in this industry? [10.7s]

Austen Tosone [00:32:53] [00:32:53]I think this has changed just so much over the years. I mean, I got my bachelor’s degree and went through four years of college, and I’m incredibly grateful for that. I did go to college in New York City, though, so obviously one of the big benefits of that was being in the center of this industry, getting to intern during the semester, getting to go to a networking event when I could have been at a frat party, you know, just on a random weeknight. And I think that, you know, just putting in effort to network is huge. I mean, once I got hired at Nylon, like, not once did someone ask, where’d you go to college. Not once did someone ask about my GPA. So, I think that there are so many paths to success now, and I don’t think college is 100% necessary. I think just, like, the biggest benefits to me of college were the networking opportunities just with other students, especially, who did end up staying in the New York City area after graduation. A lot of people I graduated, you know, over or not, over ten years ago. I can’t do math right now. I graduated in 2016. So, about eight years out, you know, a good majority of people are still here, or at least in the area, and so I am grateful to have met friends and people in adjacent industries, you know, maybe who work at art galleries or who are getting, you know, other degrees here now. But I don’t think that it’s totally necessary if it’s not something you’re interested in. And also, if you’re concerned about, you know, student loans and, like, kind of carrying that weight after graduation, because I know that can be a really big hindrance to people and something that can be even just emotionally draining to deal with. So, I mean, I loved college and I, like, in general would recommend it, but I don’t think it’s the only path to being successful, especially in an industry where all you need is your phone and a Wi-Fi connection to kind of get started. [115.3s]

Patricia [00:34:50] [00:34:50]Could you share with us some, like, misconceptions people might have about succeeding in the fashion and beauty industry? [5.5s]

Austen Tosone [00:34:57] [00:34:57]I think the biggest one is probably, like, just the level of glamor that comes with it. I mean, there are, you know, probably, like, I could count on one hand the amount of times that I was like on a red carpet or at some kind of like fancy gala in the last year. Whereas I can tell you that there have been multiple occasions of me dragging my tripod around the street and, like, walking really far in heels just to, like, try to get a good photo location and then having people point at me, like, while I’m taking pictures and stuff, and that all just kind of comes with the job. I think that people in the fashion industry especially, you know, and beauty, get a little misrepresented as being vain or like having things come easily to them. But at the end of the day, there’s so much grit and hard work that actually goes into it. It’s not the hardest job in the world or anything, but it’s way harder than I think people can glean just from, you know, scrolling past an Instagram post. And, I mean, for me personally, again, depends on the season, sort of, of my business. Like, I have been in a sweatshirt and leggings almost every day the last month, which is probably not very fashion girl of me. But that could change in the next few weeks as I’m creating more content and want to help people better understand, you know – how do jeans from this store fit? Or like, what is coming up for spring that we’re starting to see more and more in stores? And why is that? So, it really depends. I mean, I think just like any industry, it has its challenges for sure, but I think that there’s definitely a lot more that goes into it. [97.9s]

Patricia [00:36:36] [00:36:36]What are some key lessons you can share with us that you took from your experience as a magazine editor, as a beauty content director that you took with you now that you’ve created your own entrepreneurial journey? [9.7s]

Austen Tosone [00:36:47] [00:36:47]Yeah. Well, the setting quarterly goals I did actually learn from the tech startup. I think that’s one of my favorite things that I’ve been able to take away from that experience and bring into my business, because at a startup, you have such intense like metrics to hit, you know. If you start growing and doing really well one month, you’re kind of expected to keep that up, like, as the company grows and as it expands. So, for me, like, setting quarterly goals was really helping me manage my time, because I was getting very overwhelmed with “Wait, like, last week I had all this time just to, like, brainstorm Instagram content and, like, get lunch with the creator. And like, now I also have to do X, Y, Z and A again?” You know, add that to my list. So, I’m really glad I, like, learned that skill and take away from there, because that’s really helped me a lot. And then what was interesting about the magazines, for me, is I was actually a print editor at both publications, but I was so just genuinely interested in digital and would have some time on my hands, like right after we closed an issue that week after when you would usually be pretty slow. So I just was, you know, not sitting around, I jumped up, I said, can I write something for the website? Can I do a Snapchat takeover? Like, can I, you know, come up with something that I could do maybe every other week? Like, I really just wanted to learn more about that. And I know in some ways, like now the perspective of that might be, like, well, that wasn’t your job like that. They’re not paying you more. You don’t mean to do more, but, like, it was a little bit less about, like, helping them and more about, like, no, I’m just genuinely interested. Like, please let me do the Snapchat takeover. I would love to, like, learn how that works so that, you know, later on, like, that could help me, and it really did help me. So, I’m really grateful that I always just looked for new opportunities within wherever I was. And, you know, for any other things that come along for me in the future, that’s kind of how I approach it. It’s like, am I just interested in it? And do I think it could be fun and a good learning experience? And it just goes to show there’s a lot of ways to learn these days and create your own opportunities, which is really exciting. [130.9s]

Patricia [00:38:59] [00:38:59]How do you define success and how has that definition evolved through the years? [4.8s]

Austen Tosone [00:39:05] [00:39:05]I mean, I really believe that, you know, ever since 2020, I think a lot of people’s definition of success has changed. And to me right now, I mean, I feel pretty successful. I feel just lucky that I get to wake up, make my own schedule, work on projects that really excite me and make me happy, and that somehow, at the end of the day, I, like, get paid for doing it. And I think that – I was actually just listening to a YouTuber. Her name is [29.4s] Vanessa Lau, [00:39:36]and I followed her really religiously for a few years, and last year, she actually kind of logged off and said, I’m scaling back my business, I’m done, I need some time. And she just recently came back and talked about, you know, the burnout and the pressure to, like, always be doing more, always keep growing, always keep scaling. And now, she’s talking about how she really wants to approach content creation, as you know, helping content creators and herself as a content creator, making, like, enough money, you know, and I think everyone’s enough number is very different. It depends on where you live. It depends on what your lifestyle is. It depends on what you’re willing to sacrifice and what you’re not willing to sacrifice. And like, when I first moved to the city, I was like, I grabbed one of the first apartments I could find, you know, on the internet, moved in with two strangers who I still love to this day, and, you know, didn’t have, like, a washer dryer and all of that stuff. But as you get older and think about, okay, like now, my non-negotiables are I would like to live in a nice building. I need a unit washer dryer. Like, what can I do with my work to make sure that, like, I’m checking off the things that help keep me sane and happy and feel like I’m living a good life day to day? So, that’s a big part of how I view success now. And it can be really easy to look to the internet for external validation. But again, like if I close my laptop at the end of the day, and I’m happy with what I did. I’m like, again, I know, like, my husband is proud of me. My parents are proud of me. My friends, you know, support my work and stuff. It really is enough, so to speak. And I think that’s definitely changed from kind of the workaholic magazine editor, like, girl on the go vision that I had when I first, like, graduated college. So, it’s a lot more of a vibe now. I’m much more into this. [113.8s]

Patricia [00:41:31] Could you tell us, like, how you maintain authenticity when you’re creating sponsored content or when you have to do brand partnerships. Because you said that earlier, I guess [00:41:42]sometimes it can be disingenuous for some people out there, not necessarily every content creator out there, but, you know, like, there’s this connotation that if it’s a branded post, oh, of course they’re going to say something nice about it because they’re being paid for it. So, how do you maintain your authenticity? [13.7s]

Austen Tosone [00:41:58] [00:41:58]That’s a really good question. I think for me personally, I just – it’s – I’m a lot more picky with brand partnerships now than I ever have been, and it’s very rare for me to work with a brand that I have not personally, like, used or enjoyed myself. And for that reason, I find it really easy to maintain authenticity because I think I’m picking the right partners and making sure that everything feels like a fit and make sense, and make sure that you know they’re not just handing me a script when I sign on. Like, making sure that they’re picking me because they like my content and they trust my judgment when it comes to creating sponsored content. So, that’s one thing that’s big. On the note of also, though, other content creators, like, I don’t know if this is just me, but I personally don’t care if, like, a creator is promoting a product that’s not their favorite product in the entire world. Like, not everything can be your favorite at the end of the day. So, I wish creators would just be, like, a little more, like, choosy with their words too, because there are some beauty influencers who I’ll follow who will be like, this is the best foundation I ever use. And then the next week, in a non-sponsored video, it’s like, this is the best foundation I ever used. It’s like, what about the foundation from last week? Like, we can expand our vocabulary a little bit more. You know, we could say, like, this foundation is so good for those no makeup days, because it’s really lightweight. This, this, and that. Like, this foundation is really great for when you want heavier coverage. I really like this ingredient in it. So, you’re actually getting skincare benefits too. Like, nerd out on the ingredients and tell me more about – tell me the specifics of things, because I think we’re getting a little bit, you know, lax and just saying, “I love this. My favorite,” you know, these kind of key phrases and words that pop up time and time again. To me, if you’re a big beauty content creator and you’re working with a brand, like, it’s okay if it’s not your favorite mascara in the world, but like, show me how you would use it. Show me your technique for applying it. Tell me one thing you do like about it, but you don’t have to go around saying that it’s your favorite if it’s not. You know, I think at the end of the day, of course, when you’re an influencer, you are sort of putting an endorsement behind things. But I think just being realistic, you know, brands are going to work with all types of creators, some more for exposure and some who actually genuinely love their product. So, I feel like there’s a balance. [144.7s]

Patricia [00:44:24] [00:44:24]And how do you approach creating content that resonates with your audience while staying true to your creative vision? [5.2s]

Austen Tosone [00:44:30] [00:44:30]I think that there’s, you know, a real reason to listen to your community. Like, they will tell you. When they love something, they will tell you. Maybe they won’t comment. Maybe you won’t get any engagement, and that will tell you that piece of content didn’t resonate with people. So, I think that it really depends for me, like, on the platform. And I think that, again, being, you know, a small content creator who is not just reliant on brand partnerships gives me a lot more flexibility to kind of post what I want, quote unquote, on Instagram and not worry as much about, did this do well or like what was the numbers, because there’s just so much content being created that not every post is going to do well in the grand scheme of things. But I do think that, you know, if there is a post that’s doing well, and it was something that you really liked creating, then jumping on that and kind of maintaining that momentum, creating a video, answering questions people ask just on that video, especially with a comment reply feature like we have on TikTok and Instagram Reels, there’s a lot of opportunity there. But I think one other thing I’m trying to kind of change, at least over on my YouTube channel, is I have tried to implement one vlog on my channel every, like, four weeks. So, through my vlog content, I feel like that’s a lot more low pressure. Like, I’m kind of just documenting what I’m doing that day so I could be having an exciting day, or I could be having a boring day at home. But it’s another way for people to kind of get to know me a little bit better than in my super edited content on YouTube. So, I like the thought of letting people in beyond just the content, because I know that people will search on YouTube for videos about content creation, and they’ll find my channel, but I think that I can still share tips and be helpful in a more kind of like laid back format. Because I think that, I mean, I do love a piece of curated content. It’s the magazine editor in me, but I also am a millennial who posts on Instagram and TikTok and doesn’t mind when people also peel back a little bit beyond that and, you know, let us in too, because we’re all human and we all wanna feel that connection. [135.8s]

Patricia [00:46:47] [00:46:47]And how do you maintain that same sense of authenticity and relatability in an industry that often is associated with unrealistic beauty standards? [9.4s]

Austen Tosone [00:46:58] [00:46:58]I think just being honest about things is one way to go about it. I mean, I posted on my Instagram story yesterday, like, I have just had the worst stress breakouts this month. I don’t know what’s going on with me, but, you know, I haven’t felt the best in my skin. And like, some days I have great skin, and I’ll tell you about a product that helped me get great skin. On other days I’m like, “You know, I had stress breakouts, and I picked at them, and this is just the reality today.” Like, maybe here’s how I’m covering them up. Or I’m not covering them up. I’m having a day where I can just let them breathe. And I think that being that vulnerable online, for me at least, has just come with time. Like, I’ve been sharing for so long, so openly at this point. That’s not even something that I think twice about. I’m not like, “Oh, let me not post that photo of myself on Instagram.” I’m like, I’m just gonna post the photo because maybe other people will feel better knowing that, like, I’m not having a good week with my skin right now, and usually I am, but just right now, I’m not. And you don’t have to have things 100% together all of the time. And on that note, too, like, I know a lot of creators can run into, you know, burnout and stuff like that. And I think if you are going to take an extended break or, you know, you’re going to miss an upload, just say to people like, I’m not, I’m not gonna be able to get a video up this week. Like there’s a lot going on. Thanks for understanding. And, you know, people could possibly be bummed that they’re not getting a new video from you, but nothing is worth, you know, trying to stress about to the point where your mental health will be, like, at risk for getting a video up, you know. So, I think just having your priorities in order is a big part of it. [92.8s]

Patricia [00:48:31] [00:48:31]And speaking of content creation, do you track, like, data analytics, and do you leverage that or let that inform you when you’re creating content or making business decisions? [10.1s]

Austen Tosone [00:48:43] [00:48:43]I definitely try to. I think YouTube has the best analytics out of any platform. So, for me, it’s very easy on YouTube to see, like, what’s working, what people are searching for, how they’re finding my videos, and ways that I can kind of continue to improve upon that. It’s a little harder for me on, like, an Instagram or a TikTok, especially where you can’t, like, search through your own content as easily. But I have actually gone in and written down, you know, TikToks and reels that I’ve had that I think have gotten over like 50,000 views, like I’ve kind of gone and manually made note of videos like that, so that I could create, hopefully, like, some similar videos in the future. I know I just had a couple of videos go viral in the last few weeks from our trip to New Zealand. So, obviously I don’t live in New Zealand. I’m not there full time, but even thinking about oh okay, people are interested in travel content, like, I can share, like, what’s in my carry on or, like, the, you know, neck pillow that’s inflatable that I got from Amazon that really helped, like, on my 16 hour flight. So, even if it’s not something that you can fully replicate, to kind of look at it and get a sense of a more – what’s the overall trend or theme here? Like, okay, if it’s travel, let’s think about some ideas in regards to that. If it’s more of the day in the life videos, where it’s all B-roll with a voiceover. Like, maybe it’s that content type and not just the topic, and I could try that content type in other content. So, I do love data. I wish that I even got more of it from the other platforms for sure. But, yeah, blog analytics and YouTube analytics are probably the best ones. [97.2s]

Patricia [00:50:21] And can you share any experiences where you’ve had to pivot or adapt your strategies in response to unexpected challenges or changes in the industry?

Austen Tosone [00:50:31] Yeah, I mean, I think that at the end of 2022, usually holiday or, like, Q4 is my busiest time of year as a content creator, at least in terms of brand partnerships. And that year, you know, there was just a lot going on. Like, everyone was still sort of, like, recovering from the last two years, just mentally. And then, you know, here in the US, there was all this talk of like a looming recession. So, I actually didn’t end up doing a single brand campaign that holiday season, which was definitely something that I was not anticipating. Usually I make a lot of my revenue for the year in the fourth quarter through brand partnerships. So, instead of flipping out – well, I flipped out for, like, a couple of hours, but then after I flipped out, I got to work on creating my digital course, which I launched in January, and that was really successful and helped me kind of close the gap of, like, what I thought I was going to make at the end of the fourth quarter, I just ended up making, you know, in the beginning of the first quarter of the following year. So, I think always kind of just having that backup plan, always kind of assuming, I mean, as someone who’s been laid off twice, I always I’m, like, what’s the backup plan, You know? And even for me being self-employed, it’s like, what’s the backup plan if I didn’t get any work for two months? Like, how am I supplementing my income if I actually have all that time on my hands that I’m not doing client work? What projects can I get started on? Like, what could I, you know, do that I haven’t done recently? Should I launch, like, a paid workshop this month? Should I create a new digital product? So, I think just kind of having the foresight to be flexible and always know what is on the back burner in case you actually need to reach for it is is pretty big.

Patricia [00:52:20] And speaking of foresight, [00:52:22]what do you think is the future of influencer marketing in the fashion and beauty industry? [3.9s]

Austen Tosone [00:52:28] [00:52:28]Well, one thing that I feel like would be really beneficial for brands and creators that I have slowly started to see, but I think we’ll maybe start trending more in this direction in the upcoming months, is licensing deals. So, obviously, in a traditional brand partnership, if a brand is asking me to create content, I’m sharing it on my page with my audience, but possibly me creating content for the brand and then just using it as an ad for their page, because there’s a lot less pressure than, you know, on smaller creators to hit big metrics or big numbers if the brand is not, you know, boosting that content or putting ad spend behind it, just kind of giving it to them and letting them be in control of it. And that would also give them an opportunity to work with a lot of smaller content creators who they may love their work but are not currently big enough to, you know, work with on a paid brand deal. So, I think there’s a lot that can be done in that realm of things. I personally have only done like 1 or 2 of those types of deals myself, but I do feel like that would be a great kind of win win situation for brands and creators. So, I’m thinking we’ll see more of that. And I also currently am just addicted to podcasts. Like, I’ll listen to as many as I possibly can in a day. Not like writing or doing something where I need to fully focus. So, I’m super interested just to see how the podcast field continues to expand. There’s so many opportunities there for creators with obviously ad revenue, you know, merchandise, things like that. So yeah, it’s just a great time to, like, be alive, though, and there’s so many different ways that you could just make content and somehow get paid for it, which is really fun. [103.3s]

Patricia [00:54:12] And we might have, like, aspiring content creators out there who will listen to our podcast. Could you share with us and elaborate some of the services that you do offer on influencer strategy, teachings, custom workshops about SEO, and just creating content?

Austen Tosone [00:54:27] Oh, I would love to. Well, the best, like, free hub to get started, especially if you enjoyed this conversation, is probably my YouTube channel. Like, there are hundreds of videos over there where you can, you know, browse and see my opinion on all different topics, like, reaching out to brands, reshoots for brand partnerships, passive income, like, we touched on, and so much more. So, that’s just my name, my YouTube channel. Also on my website, which is just I do sell digital products for content creators, so I sell, like, an invoice template. I have a pitch guide, and I do have a prerecorded 60-minute SEO workshop. That’s really fun too. So, those are all of my products. I do have my digital course, the Influencer Income Accelerator, which you can currently get on the waitlist for whenever it next opens. And as we discussed, I also do one on one consulting sessions. That’s kind of my highest priced offer, just because, again, it requires my full, you know, time, energy and effort for each of those sessions, but I’ve gotten to help some really fun people through consulting. I’ve, you know, helped founders of apps for creators. I’ve helped content creators themselves. I’ve helped new bloggers. So yeah, I just love, you know, I could talk about this stuff all day, obviously. And I try to have something for everyone, whether you just want to get started and watch, you know, YouTube content, which, like I said, is totally free. Or if you just really want to sit down one on one and, like, hammer out your strategy. So…

Patricia [00:56:02] And what legacy do you hope to leave in the fashion and beauty industry through your work?

Austen Tosone [00:56:08] Awww, that’s a really nice question. I hope that I was just, like, the nice, you know, fashion girl or the nice beauty girl who is willing to help people. Because I know when I first started, it didn’t feel like there were many people to ask about all of these different topics. And I’m just so appreciative now that, like, we as a whole industry have, you know, started sharing more. Showing the behind the scenes, like, kind of peeling back the curtain and really helping educate people on this industry and what it means, because I know there’s a lot of misconceptions around it. And I just want to help, you know, content creators thrive, and make money, and be like, oh yeah, like, Austen’s videos always, like, really helped me or, like, made me realize something I wasn’t thinking about before. That would be a really nice way to be thought of.

Patricia [00:56:57] Yeah. And I feel like you have that vibe, and I can tell from just like speaking to you today. Because oftentimes, you know, the people who do get viral on the internet, it’s because of, like, creating drama and all that. I feel like we do need a lot more people to look up to who are just out there to help people and, you know, spread good vibes as we are here in this podcast. And, just one last question before I let you go. Looking back on your journey, [00:57:21]what would you say has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned about entrepreneurship in the fashion and beauty industry? [6.2s]

Austen Tosone [00:57:28] [00:57:28]Oooh, I mean, from where I stand right now, investing in my long-form content has just, you know, time and time again, proven to be one of those things that, like, continues to grow and continues to help me. I would never would have believed if you said, you know, that blog you started in 2012, like, you actually make money from that now. Like, people DM you on Instagram and ask you questions, because they found you through that. And just obviously once you kind of unlock like passive revenue from a blog or a YouTube channel, it’s just a huge help in order to, you know, make more consistent money and have those kind of expected recurring payouts, especially when you’re self-employed. Because I didn’t think there was a way to, like, get that consistency or that kind of guarantee at the beginning, but really investing in my long-form, like, searchable platforms has been good. And also just, you know, really trusting your gut. Like, if you’re having a day where you’re just totally miserable, like, don’t film the video that day, you know, it can wait till tomorrow. If you want to be miserable and grumpy today, like, you can just, you know, reply to comments on your Instagram and call it a day, but really listening to your gut, because it usually leads you to where you need to be. [72.7s]

Patricia [00:58:42] And do you want to leave any last messages out there for our listeners, someone out there who might just be starting their entrepreneurial journey?

Austen Tosone [00:58:49] Yeah, just post and start going, because if you get started, then you’ll have somewhere to improve from. And you know, we’re not all perfect when we first start out. You can go and find the very first blog post I did or the first YouTube video. They’re still out there. Not hard to find, and you can see the improvement over time. Like, it will get better. It will feel less cringey. It will feel more natural, but it’s not going to get to that point if you don’t just get started.

Patricia [00:59:17] Thank you so much, Austen! I can’t believe it’s already been an hour. Thank you so much for taking the time to grace our podcast and share your wisdom with our listeners. I’ll be sure to link all of your social media channels in our description down below. And of course, thank you to everyone who listened to us today. This has been your host, Patricia. And remember, for all your professional and business and technical writing needs, there’s only one way to go and that’s with The Write Direction. See you guys soon! Bye! Thank you, Austen, for a great time. Wish you all the best, and I hope we can collaborate again soon in the future.

Austen Tosone [00:59:48] Awww, I would love that! Thank you so much for having me. I really loved our conversation.

Patricia [00:59:51] Thank you! I’ll keep you updated. Talk to you soon!

Austen Tosone [00:59:55] Thank you so much! Bye!

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