Tell me a little about you and your business?
Firstly, everyone calls me Keeks. I deliver content, journalism and copywriting for consumer and trade media in the hair and beauty space. I also offer consulting for social media strategy for salons and stylists, so I’ll do one on one chats and consulting and strategy overhauls. I have worked at Cosmo, Black Hair & Beauty and Hairdressers Journal in various editor roles and went freelance in 2020.
What does a day in your life look like?
I know it’s a cliché but truly no two days are ever the same and I love it. On content creation days I prefer to work at home rather than at a co-working space. I do a set number of pieces each month for Cosmopolitan and whowhatwear.co.uk and so I spread that across the month. I mix it up a bit with writing and I do go to a lot of events…press dinners, breakfasts. It’s fantastic for building my network. Going freelance when I did was kind of like the perfect time because there was a lot of talk in the world about supporting Black Journalists and Black Beauty businesses, and because of the protests of summer 2020 I think it was really highlighted that there were not a lot of opportunities for black people within our industry. Now I can see that people are waking up and seeing that my voice can be utilised within their business. So, I think that that really helped.
How hard has it been establishing yourself as an influencer?
I did have a strategy. The thing is, no Beauty Editor knew, way back when, that they would essentially be talking to consumers, like bloggers did. I have a point of difference to other influencers because I have a journalistic background. So, it feels almost like I’ve got like another layer of authority.
How do you manage the changes in the algorithm and functionality in IG?
The functionality of Instagram can be so frustrating because it changes all the time. That’s why I don’t advise anyone to solely be an influencer on Instagram. The algorithm will change and then your content won’t be shown and if that’s your sole source of income, that’s scary. So I manage it by keeping up to date and just rolling with it. I know it’s not the be-all and end-all of my life.
What’s the best way for brands to get the best out of influencers?
I think that the best kinds of influencer brand relationships come from an actual understanding of why that influencer is perfect for your brand. Don’t choose an influencer on their following or numbers, those things can be bought.
How did you get on This Morning?
A friend of mine recommended me to the producer who started following me on IG back in 2020. Every now and then I would have a DM conversation with her but nothing came of it and then out of the blue this year she asked me to come and review products and sent a car. Honestly it was one of the best experiences of my life and I just want to do it all the time. You’re on screen for literally five minutes sometimes and then you’re going home but I love it. I love any kind of presenting or public speaking.
What advice would you offer to others considering this career route?
Ask a lot of questions and ask for advice from people that have trod that path. Look for a mentor. I have two mentees at the moment. One has already entered the BBC Traineeship Programme. Don’t ever feel like you’re too good for something because humility will get you a long way as well. I think people can see how rich and how fabulous people’s lives look in specific positions, like when you’re a Beauty Director or when you’re an influencer with hundreds of thousands of followers but most of the time, a lot of graft has gone into that.
Follow Keeks on IG and TikTok @keeksreid.