Like Betty, Mindy the inspiration for creating the channel was from her family because she would spend time in the morning braiding her girls' hair (she has 6 children, 5 girls, 1 boy) and started posting pictures of the braids to her website. She got so many requests for videos showing how to do the braids that she started doing videos.
Mindy’s husband is her cameraman, her daughters are the models, and she does the hairstyling... probably the most unique family channel on YouTube!
Mindy’s videos have become so popular that Linda Flowers, the lead hairstylist for Hunger Games movie, actually reached out to her to do a Hunger Games style on her channel.
SEW: What's the backstory of Cute Girls Hairstyles? How did you decide to launch a YouTube channel?
Mindy McKnight: The idea for our channel started out really by accident, since I used to take photos of the styles I created on my babies years ago just so I could remember them. We kept them in a small photo album under our bathroom sink. As toddlers, our twin daughters would pick their own styles out of the album every morning. It sure made mornings easier on me and the girls had a vested interest in the hairdoing as well since they chose the hairdo!
After a few years, the photo albums were getting destroyed, so in late 2008 I decided to place my photos digitally on a blog for my friends and my daughters to use. It was also a way to permanently preserve my hairstyling moments with the girls and to hopefully allow them to pass along those skills to their own daughters… sort of like an online journal. I almost could not believe it when other moms took notice of us and began sharing our hairstyles!
When posting step-by-step photos on the website became too tedious, my hubby recommended that I begin filming the tutorials for the blog and use YouTube to house them. That way moms could start/stop/replay at any frame in the video to be sure they understood every step. We uploaded two videos at first and then our fans requested that we go back to using photos.
For several months, and having forgotten about YouTube, we had no idea that hundreds of moms and girls there were searching for those two hairstyles! In January of 2010, YouTube emailed us stating that our two videos were popular enough that they wanted to advertise on them. We were shocked! From that time on we dedicated ourselves to producing at least one video per week, YouTube subsequently invited us into its amazing Partner Program, and the rest is history!
Although it takes time to maintain the Cute Girls Hairstyles channel while taking care of our six children, etc., I honestly know that the true reward is this... helping moms create wonderful “bonding time” with their little girls in the morning! There is something about a mother helping a daughter look “beautiful” that forges a stronger relationship, but also provides the daughter with a greater sense of self-confidence as she receives compliments all day long. I have seen it in my own life, those of my daughters, and receive 1,000’s of emails telling me the same.
SEW: Do you have any tips about getting people to discover, watch, and share originally-created videos on YouTube?
Mindy McKnight: As always, great content is the most important driver of success on YouTube. Next, I don’t think people recognize that YouTube is the second-most used “search engine” on the Internet. Just as SEO is key in getting your website ranked in search results, highly focused keywords and tags are extremely vital in getting your videos to rank higher in organic YouTube search results.
I think it is also important to master the use the “Annotations” function within the YouTube upload platform to provide in-video comments, reference-link your other videos, solicit subscribers, or link to your channel. It is equally important to interact with your fans in the comment section of the video. Viewers want to connect with the content creator, so a positive comment back from you will make their day and build viewer loyalty.
Lastly… be yourself!
SEW: Do you have any tips about hairstyles for Mother's Day? Would the Hunger Games style be appropriate?
Mindy McKnight: Below are a few hairstyles that mom can do on herself for Mother’s Day that take literally 2-5 minutes (and others will think that she spent 30 minutes)… and the styles look very cute!
On Sunday, we will be uploading a video for Mother’s Day where my girls will actually do my hair for the first time! They have no idea yet, so it will be interesting to see what they come up with!
Many of SEW's leading expert contributors will be at ClickZ Live, the new online and digital marketing event kicking off in New York (March 31-April 3). Hear from the likes of: Thom Craver, Josh Braaten, Lisa Barone, Simon Heseltine, Josh McCoy, Lisa Raehsler, Greg Jarboe, Dan Cristo, Joseph Kerschbaum, John Gagnon, Eric Enge and more!