Building an online platform – An interview with student YouTuber Ellie Pearce

(Image courtesy of Ellie Pearce on YouTube)

16th February 2021

By Katie Daly

Lifestyle influencing is an elusive industry. The volume of platforms seems to be ever growing with content varying from tutorials and hauls to vlogs and style how-to videos. It’s hard to create your own space in this saturated market, and we were curious to find out how building an online platform works and how to grow a following. To delve a little deeper, Website Lifestyle Editor, Katie Daly got in touch with UKC student and lifestyle influencer, Ellie Pearce, who was happy to answer some questions on her experience.

Ellie Pearce posts fashion, beauty, lifestyle and vlog-style videos to her YouTube channel which over time has accrued over 350,000 views. I wanted to know a little more about the origins of this passion that Ellie has for creating online content. I asked her why she decided to start her YouTube channel, she said ‘I used to have a channel and made silly videos with my friends when I was much younger. I always used to love filming videos and editing them. It was then in sixth form I started my channel however; I was never really consistent back then. I had been making videos on and off for years as you’d be able to see on my channel.’ She then went on to tell me how she has seen her platform grow since then, informing me that ‘it only really started last year I tried to be more consistent and take it a bit more seriously as a hobby, because I enjoy doing it in my spare time. I’ve definitely seen my platform gain popularity since the start of the pandemic. In January 2021, my Instagram has also taken off, I’ve gained just under 4 thousand followers in a month!’.

Gaining a little under 4 thousand followers in a month is an impressive feat. I asked Ellie if I could get a backstage insight into how her influencing role worked. She told me that ‘it involves a lot of hard work and is quite time consuming behind the scenes. From getting ready, doing my makeup, setting the camera equipment up, the filming, the editing and uploading process it all takes a lot longer than people realise.’ Although it may seem that creating YouTube videos is an easy task, the reality of the hard work is balanced for Ellie by the enjoyment she finds in making her videos, ‘coming up with [her] own styles’ and inspiring her viewers with her take on the latest trends.

What you may be wondering is, how does Ellie grow an online platform, gaining thousands of followers and manage studying for a degree? I was curious too, which is why I asked her how she juggles this, whilst also maintaining a part-time supermarket job. The key to her success you ask? A tight schedule and lots of planning! Ellie explained ‘my schedule is quite tight, as I have to get a lot of stuff done especially between the university term times. However, after university has finished, April to September will allow me to really focus on my content.’ But influencing doesn’t run entirely parallel to Ellie’s influencing work. She informed me that living the student life has actually inspired some of her content, saying ‘I’d say being a student definitely helps me come up with some ideas, mainly for my YouTube channel. I am a Media student, so in taking various modules in my course, I have used skills and knowledge from university and applied it to growing my platforms.’ Ellie has also created ‘day-in-the-life’ style videos of her student experience at Kent, which can offer prospective students an insight into university life, or can be viewed by current students who can enjoy the relatability factor her videos exude.

As a fellow student, Ellie understands the struggles of working from home. I asked Ellie how she is able to find motivation to conquer her studying, whilst also finding the time to produce videos and Instagram posts that will capture her audience’s attention. She offered some helpful advice, stating ‘I stay motivated working from home by having a set routine and schedule, which I find helps me get through my week. I’m motivated by seeing people daily online and how successful they are in terms of influencing, seeing their growth and success in working with amazing brands.’

Now if you’re reading this thinking ‘I’d like to have a go too’ or you’ve been sitting for a while with your finger hovering over the ‘publish video’ button, Ellie is on hand to give you some advice. ‘If you want to do it, but you feel apprehensive, I’d just say go for it’ she says. ‘It’s the perfect time to start as everyone’s at home, probably bored so they will be on YouTube or Instagram exploring! The ultimate tip is to be consistent and by that, I mean uploading on YouTube at least once a week or Instagram at least twice a week.’

Although getting new pieces to style on her Instagram or YouTube may seem like a fiscal nightmare for a student, Ellie informs me that her top tip for keeping her content fresh without breaking the bank is….Depop! She explained ‘there are so many pieces which you can find new or in still great condition. This is also decreasing the demand for fast fashion, which is better for the environment…and your wallet!’. Depop is a site we would also advocate checking out if you’re looking to upgrade your wardrobe but are on a tight budget. Not only can you purchase second hand pieces, you can also sell your own clothes, to make a little money back on the items you don’t think you will wear again or have fallen out of love with. To conclude the interview, I wanted to get an insight into Ellie’s wardrobe staples and hear some of her styling tips that have grown her online success. She replied ‘My favourite piece in my wardrobe? I literally couldn’t pick one piece, but at the moment I am loving joggers. I feel like you can dress them up or down and make them look nice out or lounging around the house! A piece I think everyone should own is probably one of the Zara basic halter neck bodysuits. I feel like I see these everywhere over on Instagram and I think they look amazing on any body type, just looks elegant and classy and you can literally pair it with any type of bottoms!’ I must say, I definitely agree with Ellie there! We love a bodysuit styled with joggers, as Ellie suggests, or mom jeans, leather shorts, denim shorts or even flowy trousers as we head into spring!

If you would like to peruse Ellie’s fabulous content, you can do so by searching ‘Ellie Pearce’ on YouTube. You can also follow Ellie on her Instagram for more fashion inspo - @elliiepearce!

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