Cassandra Bankson: A Day in the Life Of an Influencer and Brand Ambassador

Cassandra Bankson: A Day in the Life Of an Influencer and Brand Ambassador

Cassandra Bankson: A Day in the Life Of an Influencer and Brand Ambassador. Take YouTuber and model Cassandra Bankson, for example. Growing a YouTube Career Tubular Insights: How did you get started as a YouTube creator? If my day doesn’t involve school or travel, I’m likely to start researching ideas for a new post or video. Brand Deals and Being an Ambassador TI: How do you approach brand or promotional deals? Their support and understanding has been wonderful, and hearing that they have made positive more compassionate choices of their life because it makes any struggle worthwhile. Aside from the obvious that the brand and influencer have to be a fit on demographics, psychographics, values, etc., it has to be organic and feel natural that the creator would be creating content with that brand. TI: How can a brand deal provide best returns/investment for the influencer and brand? EA: Brand deals with influencers are moving in a new direction where influencers are being hired much more like celebrities used to be, as brand ambassadors. But my feeling is that when people find out about this deal (or any deal), it should make so much sense that no one needs to explain why the brand or why the influencer.

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Nowadays, beauty-related brands and marketers looking to partner with an influencer on a brand deal have a plethora of digital stars to choose from. But not all brands and influencers can or should work together; both parties need to match up in tone, message, goals, and more if they want to reap the most benefits of their partnership.

Fortunately, some savvy creators understand the delicate balance that occurs with brand deals, and are eager to work with brands who truly “get” them. Take YouTuber and model Cassandra Bankson, for example. On YouTube alone, Bankson boasts over 800,000 subscribers and 124 million total video views. She reaches over 922,000 fans and followers across social media. Her success as a beauty vlogger (despite suffering from acne, a fact Bankson is very open about) has garnered her brand deals with several top companies around the world, including Maybelline, Aussie, Body Shop, Clairol, and NYX.

As part of our “Day in the Life of” series, we sat down with Bankson and her manager Ellen Abramowitz to discuss how Bankson launched her digital career, what a day in her life looks like, and how she and Abramowitz approach brand deals to ensure all parties involved enjoy working together.

Growing a YouTube Career

Tubular Insights: How did you get started as a YouTube creator?

Cassandra Bankson: My career started completely on accident; if we rewind to three years before I ever posted on YouTube – I was suffering from severe acne and a crippling state of low self-esteem, and working through a private study program in which I didn’t have to interact with the public, or any of the students who I had been tormented by at school.

I had been using Google to do additional research on my studies, and had found Youtube a resourceful learning tool – I decided to study skin care as well, and was introduced to the wonderful world of YouTube makeup videos. Although I never posted videos at that time, I considered myself a part of the community; commenting, conversing, and learning from the small group of girls around the world about how to apply makeup.

Years later, after I had graduated and perfected my own makeup skills, I was working as a model. This was juxtaposing for me; the ugly duckling from school was now being paid to promote items in photoshoots and magazines. This was very dichotomous to me, so I decided to take my tips and tricks and share them on the Internet – my way of giving back to the community that taught me everything I knew about cosmetics, and subtly trying to reach out to anyone else who had faced bullying, low self-esteem, or psychological depression/issues because of the way they look – if I could cover it up and find confidence in a stick of concealer, so can someone else.

TI: What does an average day look like for you, step-by-step or process-by-process?

CB: When it comes to my life, no two days are the same! There are some rituals I try to practice daily for my overall health and well-being, such as givens like brushing my teeth, and I always try to find something to be grateful for every morning. This simple step has helped me immensely when it comes to self-confidence and acceptance issues I faced over the last 24 years. When the cereal bowl comes out, so does the Facebook feed! I eat a vegan breakfast to nourish my body and brain, while hoping to help the environment and other creatures – it’s time to check emails, notifications, and post a status update.

If my day doesn’t involve school or travel, I’m likely to start researching ideas for a new post or video. If it’s a video on skin care it might involve going to the library or calling up a professor from a previous class, if it’s more beauty or trend-based I might head on over to the makeup store to play around with new products or foundation formulas, and if it’s self-help or inspiration-focused, I’ll actually take a moment to go through some of my old journals and reflect on my old thoughts, comparing them to my current ones and try to create an understanding of how I got from the depressed place where I was, to the fulfilled place I am right now, and translate this into a video to help others with those experiences.

For whatever reason, I think best when I’m moving, so I will generally pace the house, walk loops around the backyard, or hop onto a local hiking trail and start scripting out basic bullet points or ideas that I know I want to touch on.

By the time I get home and take a shower, the sunlight in my living room where I film is just right to start shooting! I set up lights, tripod, backdrops, and any props or notes I may need (I swear to God, a good fourth of my job is f^*ing with a tripod). When I sit down, I start applying my makeup. It might take twice as long as normal, since I need to make sure to pause and get the right shots that accurately show how a product covers acne, or how a color blends into another on your eyelid. Also, don’t forget those close-ups of the beautiful packaging, and any notes on what the brand contains or if it’s cruelty free! For non-makeup-based videos I sometimes allow a stream of consciousness to flow, and bounce my words off of the ideas that I bullet-pointed.

Once the video is done filming, I run around with whatever light is remaining and try to capture supporting shots/B-roll, such as acting out the actions that are described in the video, or showing other visual representations/actions to support what I’m saying and make each clip interesting. Afterwards, it’s time to get a headstart on editing. While I am cooking some food or responding to some more emails, I allow the clips to download to my computer, and start…