Follow Rachel OCool’s remarkable influencer journey as she transformed from a budding makeup artist and actor to a digital sensation. Explore her authenticity-driven content strategy, her insightful take on industry trends, and the exciting prospects that her partnership with A3 Artists Agency has unlocked. Learn valuable advice for aspiring influencers, including Rachel’s inspiring words on embracing imperfection and taking the first step toward success.
Rachel OCool’s Influencer Rise
Influencer Journey and Career
Rachel, can you please tell us a bit about your background and the story of how you got started as an influencer?
Rachel OCool hails from Chicago, Illinois, where she started her journey as an influencer after leaving home at 18 to pursue acting and comedy. She even starred in a somewhat cheesy Lifetime Christmas movie.
While pursuing her acting career, Rachel obtained certification as a makeup artist, driven by her enduring passion for makeup and the beauty community, particularly on YouTube.
The twist came during the COVID-19 pandemic when she saw a fellow makeup classmate gaining fame on TikTok. Rachel stealthily created her TikTok account, initially keeping it a secret from her friends due to embarrassment.
Following advice to start from scratch, she posted daily for 30 days, leading to a viral video series on makeup techniques tailored to various face shapes. Rachel recalled, “I didn’t even want to film that day because my friends were having fun in the living room,” but her unexpected success marked the start of her influencer career.
As someone with a strong online presence across multiple platforms, can you describe how you maintain authenticity while adapting to different audience preferences?
Maintaining authenticity across various online platforms while catering to different audience preferences is something Rachel excels at. She doesn’t view her content creation as a performance for thousands or millions but rather as an expression of herself in her safe space.
Rachel’s authenticity comes naturally because, as she puts it, “I’ve been talking to myself for years.” She’s comfortable being herself, which translates seamlessly into her content. She doesn’t feel the need to put on a facade for her audience.
She also has a pragmatic approach to online interactions, treating them as if she’s “throwing videos into the void.” Whether the responses are positive or occasionally critical, Rachel doesn’t let it deter her from being authentic online. Fortunately, her supportive community has minimized extreme critiques that might challenge her authenticity online.
How do you approach creating content that resonates with your followers across Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok?
Rachel’s strategy for creating engaging content across Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok is straightforward: she prioritizes authenticity and transparency. In her words, “The more I just share exactly who I am and how I’m feeling, the more it resonates.” She doesn’t shy away from expressing her real emotions, whether she’s in a good or bad mood, and this relatability strikes a chord with her audience.
Furthermore, Rachel’s extensive online experience from a young age keeps her well-versed in internet culture. This background helps her stay connected with trends and ensures that her content remains both authentic and relevant.
Could you shed light on the evolution of your content strategy? How have you responded to changing trends and audience demands over the years?
Rachel’s content strategy has been characterized by an unwavering commitment to authenticity. She doesn’t rely on trends or popular formats to engage her followers. As she puts it, “I never used trends as a way to resonate with my followers or gain views.” Instead, she focuses on being genuine and relatable, allowing her audience to connect with her as a person.
Over the years, Rachel’s content evolution has primarily revolved around improving production quality and enhancing her editing skills. She has also shifted from a makeup-centric approach to one where the video centers around her, with makeup serving as a complementary element in the background. This change has allowed her to be more spontaneous and less tutorial-focused, which she finds enjoyable.
Building a personal brand is pivotal for influencers. What core values and beliefs do you prioritize in order to establish a consistent brand identity?
Rachel’s personal brand revolves around core values and beliefs that prioritize balance and enhancement over correction and concealment. This message applies to various aspects of her content, whether it’s related to makeup, body image, or sexuality.
For Rachel, confidence isn’t about starting with love; it begins with acceptance. She emphasizes accepting oneself in the present moment, embracing all facets of who you are, and working with that. This can mean accepting the shape of your face and using makeup to enhance your features or acknowledging that your body is where it is currently and still enjoying life’s experiences.
Content Creation and Engagement
How do you balance creating content that appeals to both your existing audience and potential new followers?
Maintaining a balance between content that appeals to both her existing audience and potential new followers is a priority for Rachel. She acknowledges that her content is transitioning from more tutorials to vlogs and discussions.
To strike this balance, Rachel integrates new content gradually while preserving elements from her older content. For example, if she wants to discuss topics unrelated to makeup, she might do her makeup while talking about them. This allows her to marry the old and new content seamlessly.
Rachel also emphasizes not straying too far from what her audience initially loved her for. She recognizes the importance of consistency and avoids the trap of drastically changing her content just because she has a large following. Her goal is to maintain the connection with her existing audience while still exploring new avenues.
The influencer landscape is rapidly evolving. How do you foresee the role of long-form content on platforms like YouTube in an era dominated by short-form content on TikTok?
“Podcasts are bringing back long-form content,” says Rachel, highlighting their role in a landscape dominated by short-form platforms like TikTok. She believes podcasts offer authenticity in a longer format, making them appealing for multitasking, such as watching while doing makeup. Rachel predicts that podcasts will become even more established and widespread, akin to Instagram or TikTok.
Engagement is crucial for influencer success. Could you share some strategies you’ve employed to foster meaningful interactions with your followers?
Engaging meaningfully with followers is crucial, according to Rachel. She emphasizes the importance of authenticity in fostering interactions. Rachel often receives DMs from people who relate to her content, and she values connecting with her audience on a personal level.
Being real and relatable, even if it means not looking perfect, is a strategy she employs to maintain meaningful interactions. Rachel’s approach is to edit her videos to a certain point and then share them to avoid over-refining and maintain authenticity.
From fashion hauls to lifestyle vlogs, your content covers various niches. How do you approach diversification without diluting your brand’s core message?
Rachel navigates diversification without diluting her brand’s core message by adapting her personal brand. As she puts it, “I’m releasing the brand a little bit in order to build a new one.” In the past, her content followed a highly branded approach, maintaining consistency in backgrounds, fonts, and energy throughout her videos.
However, her move to a new office brought about a shift, allowing her to explore different content styles and be more spontaneous. This change has enabled her to showcase more of her genuine self and form deeper connections with her audience. Rachel understands the necessity of loosening the constraints of her old brand to construct a new one that better aligns with her current interests and personality.
Industry Insights and Trends
Having witnessed the influencer marketing landscape evolve, what trends do you believe will define the industry’s trajectory in the coming years?
Rachel highlights the potential oversaturation of influencer marketing, expressing concerns about its trajectory. She likens the current state to a “bubble” that might burst, given the increasing prevalence of ads and the decreasing entertainment value on platforms like TikTok. This trend could potentially dilute the impact of influencer marketing, which she finds somewhat disheartening as it transforms something she loves into an annoyance.
She also emphasizes the need for greater transparency in the industry. Rachel desires a more streamlined and transparent transaction process between brands and influencers. She points out that some influencers may unknowingly sell their intellectual property and content rights, often being taken advantage of due to a lack of understanding.
Her experience, both as an influencer and with a background in acting, has made her aware of the potential pitfalls, but she acknowledges that many newcomers to the field may not be as fortunate.
With increasing scrutiny on influencer authenticity, what steps do you take to maintain transparency and credibility with your audience?
Rachel maintains transparency and credibility with her audience by sharing the imperfect aspects of her life and being vocal about her beliefs. She enjoys pushing boundaries and discussing topics that some influencers might avoid, finding joy in challenging norms. She doesn’t project a perfect life online and encourages authenticity among her peers.
Furthermore, she doesn’t hesitate to voice her opinions, even when it means not supporting certain brands with questionable practices. Rachel recounts an incident where she attended an event by a brand she didn’t support and candidly expressed her concerns. She refused to compromise her authenticity for a paycheck and emphasized the importance of staying true to her principles.
In summary, Rachel believes in being real and sincere, showing her true self to her audience without the need to explicitly state it. She values authenticity and believes it should naturally resonate with her followers.
Brands often collaborate with influencers to tap into their engaged communities. Can you share an instance where your collaboration with a brand led to a particularly positive impact?
Rachel highlighted two impactful collaborations. With Kosas, she appreciated the creative freedom to authentically discuss products, emphasizing that influencer marketing works best when influencers can be themselves.
Another significant experience was her collaboration with Urban Decay, where she discovered the shades she used in a childhood makeup tutorial. This led to a meaningful side-by-side tutorial that highlighted her passion for makeup.
Collaboration with A3 Artists Agency
You’re part of the A3 Artists Agency roster, a significant achievement. How has this collaboration impacted your career and opened new avenues for growth?
Joining the A3 Artists Agency has been a transformative experience for Rachel. It’s not just about makeup anymore; the collaboration has made her realize her potential beyond her existing content. It has opened up numerous opportunities and allowed her to envision a broader future. She notes that A3 has various divisions to explore and experiment with, giving her the chance to bring her creative ideas to life.
She’s excited about this newfound potential and sees it as a dream come true, especially as she started her career as an actress and comedian. The collaboration with A3 Artists Agency allows her to combine these passions and crea
te something more substantial than just TikTok videos.
What exciting projects or goals can your followers look forward to?
Rachel’s collaboration with A3 Artists Agency has some exciting prospects on the horizon. While it’s still in the early stages, they are working on a long-form, high-production variety show. This project aligns with Rachel’s dream of hosting a travel and lifestyle show where she can explore different places and share her experiences. While there’s more to come in the future, the potential for this venture is incredibly promising.
Additionally, she’s planning to create more journalistic-type content where she engages with people, asks questions, and delves into topics related to makeup, cultures, and various groups of people. She loves connecting with others and exploring the differences that make people unique while finding common ground. Her followers can anticipate this type of content in the near future.
Your journey holds invaluable lessons for those aspiring to become influencers. What advice would you give to someone just starting out and eager to build a meaningful presence in the digital realm?
Rachel’s advice to aspiring influencers is to start even if you’re not very good at it initially. She emphasizes that everyone begins as a beginner and that being bad at something at the start is completely normal. She candidly says, “Yeah, you probably will suck. But you start, and you work on it, and over time you find your footing. And when you look back a year from now, you’re gonna be like, thank God I started.” For Rachel, the important thing is to take the first step and keep improving.