Since YouTube’s inception in 2006, one of the fastest-growing genres of video content is in the beauty category. An estimated 50 million people watch more than 1.6 billion minutes of consumer-created beauty videos each month.
One of the fastest-growing personalities in that space is Hyram Yarbro. Hyram is a creator who is passionate about everything related to skincare. Combining education and entertainment collectively, his videos help teach people about skincare in a fun and engaging way.
Hyram made an explosive impact on the online beauty community in a very short amount of time. He started his channel in 2018 and has over 3M subscribers on YouTube and over 5M on TikTok. He’s established relationships with an online community that is as passionate as him about the world of skincare.
Video Views: 185,041,893
Channel Type: Howto
User created: Nov 17th, 2015
We spoke with Hyram about his start on YouTube, cultivating an active audience, and how being unquestionably unique is key to standing out online.
Who is Hyram?
Through his social platforms and his related online courses, Hyram has educated millions about the often misunderstood world of skincare.
From skincare routine reaction videos, to brand and product reviews, Hyram has no shortage of content that delivers helpful information.
“I’d say ingredient mindfulness is definitely the primary point that I want to communicate in my videos”
“I think within the cosmetics industry, we’ve gotten so lost in the marketing claims and the textures and the fragrances and the experience, that we tend to overlook the root desire of what draws us to the skincare industry in the first place, which is trying to resolve specific issues within our skin.”
His videos cover a variety of topics including common skincare misconceptions, addressing problems with the skincare industry as a whole, and even how skincare products are marketed.
Life before YouTube
His passion for skincare comes from his own skin challenges. Hyram recalls a particularly difficult time in college that brought him to start on his journey. He shares, “I was in college, and I was not getting very much sleep. I had never taken care of my skin my entire life. I had deep-set wrinkles in my forehead and underneath my eyes, around my face. Multiple friends were coming up to me saying, ‘Hyram, you have really bad wrinkles. You should start trying to take care of your skin.’ I started to realize, ‘Maybe I should check out skincare.'”
“At that point, I thought (skincare) was just, essentially, fancy, expensive creams for old ladies. As I started learning more and using products, I started to notice a reduction in my wrinkles and just overall, more confidence in my skin. Through that somewhat dramatic transformation and that enjoyment I gained from just learning about all that skincare had to offer, it grew to the passion that is currently my YouTube channel.”
This passion for skincare started as a hobby before Hyram made his way onto YouTube. At one point, Hyram worked as a professional makeup artist for his career. In this industry, he began growing his knowledge of skincare products.
“I saw that people were paying upwards of $1000 for a single skincare product. I was like, ‘Wow. What justifies that price point? These ingredients must be incredible.’ (When) I looked up the products and the ingredient list, I quickly realized that not only were the ingredients not that incredible, a lot of them were actually highly irritating and potentially damaging to the skin.”
This is what ultimately brought Hyram to starting his YouTube Channel. Transitioning from being a makeup artist to being a skincare specialist and facilitating consultations, Hyram transferred his experience and knowledge to his YouTube channel. This transition has turned into an unexpected but enjoyable career path with a lot more opportunity than he even expected.
“I never anticipated (pursuing) skincare as a career, at least, not online. I believed that the creator industry was over-saturated as is, so I just never anticipated to actually be able to turn this into my job.”
Today, Hyram films all of his videos in his room with the same camera he’s always had, his phone. “Production even sounds too fancy a word for it,” Hyram confesses. “I just kneel down on the ground in front of my camera. I film a video usually in about 30 minutes.” From there, Hyram sends his footage over to his two editors. His editors typically make a pre-edit of the video to remove any mistakes or errors. From there, the footage goes right back to Hyram for the final edits.
Hyram explains, “I think my editing style is a reflection of my personality. I don’t want to lose that through someone completely taking over the final editing process.” Once the video makes its way through the final stage of editing, the video is published to be enjoyed by his adoring audience.
This is typically a 3-5 day process for Hyram, averaging between 10-13 hours of work fro Hyram and his team. While Hyram would love to have more videos prepared in advance, he shares how this process has allowed him to grow quickly online. Detailing, “[Since] YouTube is such a trend-based industry, and things will just pop up out of nowhere…I have found that I built my success on just rapid turnaround times, as soon as I’m seeing the requests coming in for something, immediately filming it, immediately posting it.”
Audience requests have become an integral part of Hyram’s production process. “I’m so grateful to be able to just pretty much almost solely rely on audience requests. I’ll say 90% of their request and 10% my own ideas.”
Hyram’s audience lets him know first hand what he can provide to them. “I’m so fortunate to be able to have access to what my community wants. Just from an ethical standpoint and from a business standpoint, to me, it’s just the smartest thing to do to always prioritize their requests over anything.”
This level of engagement allowed Hyram to learn more and grow not only as a creator but also as a skincare specialist. “They’ll call me out when I’m wrong,” Hyram admits, he continues and shares, “I’ll adjust my belief or opinion based off of the information that they provide me, and I’m constantly in this cycle of learning more from them and correcting my mistakes from them.
This is an essential priority for Hyram because he takes the responsibility of delivering accurate information above being right seriously. He confesses, “I make educational mistakes all the time, and I don’t say things exactly right, so I really count on my audience, and I think that’s also where our relationship was able to grow so closely; them knowing that they can provide me feedback and me being able to adjust and cater to that to be able to help them as much as possible.”
When growing an audience online, engagement is paramount. A challenge larger creators face is connecting with an audience that is so massive. When Hyram started growing on YouTube, he noticed that “…a lot of creators completely disengage with their audience (once they got to a certain point) and I would get frustrated because, in my mind, I’m like I would be nothing without these people.
Yes, I create content, but the content offers no value if no one is watching it. People watching it is just as important to my life as me creating the content.”
Hyram still finds ways to interact one on one with his audience. He has done this by making his audience a part of his process and leveraging other social platforms that are better suited for one on one engagement. “If you’ve seen some of my recent videos or my TikToks where I react to my subscriber’s skincare routines. Or I’m reacting to their skincare transformations or their skincare routines. I still try to stay as engaged as I can at this point just because I can’t imagine doing this without them. I think they deserve that acknowledgment at the very least from me.”
Skincare Junkies community
A massive sign of quality community building isn’t just the engagement between the creator and their audience but also the audience’s engagement with fellow audience members. “…there are so many people out there who watch my videos who are beginners and professionals alike. To put them in a community together to help each other was the best way to help my viewers out.”
Hyram created ‘Skincare Junkies,’ as an educational resource that could help his audience get started on their skincare journey. It also serves as a support system to interact with one another outside of YouTube to share their own experiences.
Hyram observed, “… there are people who use a [facial] scrub every day, who don’t even know that it’s bad, and then there are people who have a 15 step skincare routine who analyze all their ingredients, who are thinking [only] about the brands.” Because of this, Hyram “…started the Skincare Junkie community through an e-course that just covered the four basic steps of skincare to be able to help people learn the absolute basics about skincare.” This would give his audience a foundation of information that was accessible by everyone.
Working with brands
One of Hyram’s most popular series on his channel is his “The Truth About” series. In this series, he gives his honest, unbiased, and brutal feedback about a variety of popular skincare brands.
His goal of this series isn’t to tear down or bring down any particular brand. It’s to create a transparent and honest experience for his audience. Hyram explains, “When you walk into a store with your best friend, you’re not going to be like, ‘All brands and all products are equal, and everything is just as good as each other and nothing is bad.’ No. When you’re shopping with your best friend, you’re going to say, ‘Okay. This is great. This sucks. Go with this one, don’t go with that one.'”
These videos bring in a lot of views for Hyram. Not many creators are willing to share their opinion about a brand that could potentially be a future sponsor. He stresses how “You need to be honest, especially in an industry that has become so ad-oriented and PR-friendly in an effort to not sacrifice any brand opportunities. The honesty and the transparency that was originally so important to what built the community has been lost.
When I started making those videos, I immediately was like, “Okay, Hyram, you have to recognize you’re never going to get brand sponsorships because of this”
and I had to recognize that early on and I was like, “You know what? I’m okay with that because I would rather have the trust of my audience more than anything else. That’s so badly needed.”
This level of honesty had the opposite effect on Hyram and his channel. Several companies have worked with Hyram because of his honesty. These brands recognize the level of trust that his audience has for him.
“I’ve tried to set myself up to not be questionable in my ethics or morals. It’s really encouraging to see that the industry has responded positively to that; not only from a viewer standpoint but also from a brand standpoint. Brands are starting to prioritize creators who are very honest and transparent as opposed to creators that are willing to say everything good about anything.”
Advice to creators
Hyram has made an explosive impact on the online beauty community in a very short amount of time. In addition to finding a niche he’s passionate about, he’s been able to establish relationships with an online community of people who are as excited as he is about learning more. “the main thing and where I see most creators kind of struggling is to …This sounds very cliché but, just to be unapologetically different from everyone else in this space. I see so many creators who start to mirror the behaviors and the content that other creators are making. I think that’s where they fall short. People aren’t looking for a duplicate of another YouTuber or even something remotely similar.”
This is what Hyram noticed helped him to succeed online. When he was first starting with his product reviews, he started asking himself, ‘what makes him starkly different from everyone else?’ Initially, he didn’t notice a huge difference, and that was what he realized was. Hyram noticed it was time to shift. He decided to combine humor, entertainment, and skincare into easily understandable videos. That was something he noticed he didn’t see anywhere else.
Filling that void was something he noticed that not only applied to his channel but also the channels he enjoyed watching himself. “I found that the YouTubers that I would watch that really made a huge impact that created new genres or just became, essentially, iconic status with YouTube were ones that were just so different. Their content was different, the quality was good, they were entertaining, they were funny, not like anyone else, truly unique.”
you [have to] offer something just so different that people will immediately want to pay attention to you regardless of whether they’re interested in that specific topic or not.
Even more, than being unique, Hyram recommends you know why you’re going into creating videos online. He reveals, “… It took me a year and a half to get like 2000 followers or 3000 followers. I was getting maybe 100 views per video.” That didn’t discourage Hyram because he knew he wanted to provide value to anyone who watched. Providing value is the fuel that motivated Hyram in continuing his channel; even when on the surface, he wasn’t getting the views he gets today. He advises, “…finding a way to make your content valuable in the sense to where people gain something from watching it, they’re edified, they’re going to be educated or it’s putting a smile or a laugh on their face or they feel inspired.”
Combining that with entertainment and with pure intent, and wanting to do it for the right reasons, actually helping people is the best way for creators to create a booming impact in their industry.
Much like the world of skincare, the world of online video is largely participated in but often misunderstood. Some creators are following the routine of making videos without being aware of the “ingredients” they put into their work. From Hyram’s perspective, the way to make an impact online is to find what you’re passionate about and see what makes you different from everyone else in that space. That, combined with a deep desire to connect, serve, and above all, be honest with yourself and your audience is the right combination to creating content you’re proud of and can resonate with other people around the world.