Laura Nelson: To Gain a Loyal Following, Market Your Brand on Instagram

January 8 - Sarah Ashlock

FIRST THOUGHT: But is it Instagrammable?

I recently heard something interesting on a podcast: This composer dude used to get super overwhelmed when creating music because the possibilities were pretty much endless. From instruments to notes to other musical stuff that goes into song creation, it all stressed him out. So he picked instruments randomly. (I imagine the classic scraps-of-paper-in-a-hat method). When he was met with those limitations, he got especially creative. Today, I have a fun challenge for you: Choose three items haphazardly and take the coolest photo you can. Then, post the pic on your social media page with #OTDgram and see what reactions you get.


Creativity is a must when you’re an Instagrammer, particularly if social media is part of your profession. Say your product is a lipstick. A photo of it on your bedside table will leave viewers yawning and, more importantly, scrolling past it. Putting the lipstick on a bed of fresh peonies would give serene vibes; having a woman applying it while changing a dirty diaper would definitely cause a pregnant pause. It’s no wonder that nearly all major beauty brands had an Instagram account in 2016. What are some of your fave brands?

WOMAN TO WATCH: Laura Nelson, President and Founder of ColourPop

Our Woman to Watch today, Laura Nelson, knows probably too much about being a ‘grammable beauty brand. She’s the president of ColourPop––with a u––nearly five years ago. When I had a girlfriend visit last year, I complimented her mega-gorgeous lipstick. “What is it?” I asked. “ColourPop,” she replied.

Let’s get one thing straight: Laura knows about beauty. She’s also the secret behind the crazy successful Kylie Cosmetics empire, through her beauty brand influencer company called SEED Beauty, which she founded in conjunction with ColourPop. Laura majored in Retail and Consumer Studies in college and her father has a beauty supply company, making it a natural fit to make her mark in the beauty industry with ColourPop’s co-founder and CEO, her very own brother. With SEED, the duo helps some of the most famous social media stars develop exclusive beauty items.

ColourPop is a social media star in its own right, with a cool four mil in followers. Some of ColourPop’s bestsellers include pressed powder eyeshadow palettes and their ultra matte lipstick at only six bucks. With fun names like “Chasing Rainbows” and “Makeup Ur Mind,” ColourPop is approachable, particularly with its price point. Most items are under $20, which makes the brand perfect for experimenting with colors and products outside your comfort zone.

Being in the e-commerce space gives ColourPop freedom and flexibility, Laura says. One reason for the company’s success and SEED’s growing partnerships and clients is digital marketing, which Laura considers to be “like breathing;” it’s something she doesn’t think about, but rather, is a natural flow. The result of implementing digital marketing into everything is a certain ease, which pushes through others’ more desperate social media presence.

Laura’s employed about 1,000 people at ColourPop, with the average age being 25. It’s savvy to hire millennials when you’re targeting that particular generation. One of the key aspects of the job, regardless of how technical, is to keep abreast of what beauty vloggers and bloggers are up to. By putting her finger on the pulse, Laura’s able to act fast on trends and demands. The result? A loyal following and a fresh, bold lip. Laura proves you can start a successful beauty company with a clear vision and savvy marketing know-how in this increasingly digital age.


Oprah Winfrey said:

"On my own I will just create, and if it works, it works, and if it doesn't, I'll create something else. I don't have any limitations on what I think I could do or be.”

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