Hobby leads to Shantania's 'Blogfluence'
What started as a hobby, turned out to be so much more for social media influencer Shantania Beckford.
As a mode of distraction from some rough patches in her life, she decided to start a vlog and YouTube channel in 2016. It was supposed to be a hobby, not a profession - but little did she know that her charisma and charm would have captured such a wide audience so quickly.
The Jamaican native moved to the United Kingdom when she was just nine years old, but has never forgotten her home.
"We have the best food and amazing vibes," she told Outlook. This vibes and humorous spirit is what she showcases on her vlog. She started out as a beauty blogger showcasing make-up and wigs, later venturing into other protective styles, blogging and lifestyle topics.
Though she has not set out to target a particular group. As Beckford tried to be inclusive, to appeal to everyone in some way, she has found that most of her over 100k viewers are young women and girls in their late teens.
She enjoys building memories and having something to look back on, however, she admits that it is not always easy. There is the pressure for content as consistency is important to a blogger as this determines their growth. She explains that you do not only have to catch your reader, you have to keep them as well. She explains that the expectations of films to be produced can be pressuring because depending on the theme, it can take up to two days to film and edit.
There is also the negative comments and feedback. She admits that some of the comments can be discouraging, and she sometimes gets lost in what she does, and used to compare herself with others, but she has learnt to be happy with what she brings to the table.
Looking back on where she came from and ahead to where she wants to be, she notes that her greatest motivator is her mother.
"My mother is everything to me and I really want to make her proud. She really took a lot of stress and ill treatment and stuck it out to make sure that I was in a good position to help myself," she explained to Outlook.
What's next for Beckford?
"I want to travel the world, learn about different cultures and try new things," the young blogger told Outlook. "I always admire very cultured people who know a lot and experienced mind-blowing adventures. Also to start thinking about creating a business to secure my future," she said.
Returning to Jamaica to live is also in the works as she has always envisioned coming back home to the land of her birth. She hopes to start a business in Jamaica that will be beneficial to the people.
In the meantime, she is continuing to do what she loves. She shares five tips for persons who are interested in starting their own vlog.
1. Prepare to work hard.
2. Research and make sure you have some product knowledge.
3. Reach out to other bloggers and get advice, not all respond, but some do and their advice in invaluable.
4. Develop a tough skin. You are putting yourself out there and people can judge and not all the comments are nice. So don't take it to heart if it is offensive. As Alkaline said " Instant block and Delete"
5. You have to invest in it to get something out of it.
Beckford has learnt from personal experience how individuals can attack you through social media, and while it is not easy, she does share five tips to help overcome.
1. Block and delete the hateful comments
2. Understand that you cannot please people, so do what you want to.
3. Take nothing to heart, this is the most important yet difficult point.
4. Do not argue back.
5. Pay attention to the positives.
Shantania Beckford social media influencer. YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6jaD2FmAFXL7dsHgzCDy3w