What Are The Best Doing #1 - Sophie Hannah Richardson

In our new What are the Best Doing Series, Createur lets you learn from the best. We’ve reviewed profiles from our database and came up with fresh, exclusive insights on the top 10% fastest-growing creators.

By “fastest-growing,” we mean the creators who grew the most in 2021 in terms of follower count, EMV, engagement, and other success metrics—not to be confused with the biggest creators in terms of overall follower count.

Read on to discover how the fastest-growing online creators get it done.

Our Top Performer This Week: Sophie Hannah Richardson
We begin this series with veteran beauty and makeup artist Sophie Hannah Richardson. 

Not only is Sophie Hannah still growing after years of activity, she is also a beauty superstar with 1.5M followers on Instagram, 1.3M fans on TikTok, and 332k subscribers on her YouTube channel. Here are our suggested best practices based on Sophie’s 2021 performances.

Engagement Rate 
Sophie Hannah has a very loyal, loving community that she built over seven years on social media. Her engagement rates are way above average, especially for a creator of her following size: 5% on Instagram, 8.9% on TikTok, and 2.4% on YouTube. So how does she do it?

Post Frequency 
One factor is how frequently she posts and promotes content on her channels. Sophie Hannah’s post frequency is way out there; she averages 77 posts per month—59 Instagram posts (stories included), five TikToks, and roughly six YouTube videos. On top of all that, she also manages a personal, lifestyle, fashion, and travel blog.

But what kind of content drives that much success?

Content Type
Creating different types of content for each platform is a great way to grow your community. For instance, for a single themed makeup look, Sophie shoots a reel for her Insta, a tutorial for her YouTube, and a playful video for her TikTok. Her Instagram and TikTok content sometimes serve to feed her YouTube and Facebook accounts. It’s important to mix it up if you’re managing several platforms at the same time. 

All of her content is highly curated, with a sharp aesthetic and a flashy color palette. Most of her content is shot in a studio, which creates a very professional finish. Her videos are binge-worthy in that they are pretty, engaging, fun, and very well edited—all signs of the many hours spent honing her craft. 

Which of these posts performed the best?

Instagram’s Top Five Performing Posts in 2021 (ranked by engagement rate)
On Sophie’s Instagram, the most successful posts are all reels:
1) This makeup reel went viral, with 4.1m views and a 232% engagement rate (ER)
2) Her Beetlejuice makeup reel wins second place with a 41.8% ER
3) This Alice in Wonderland makeup reel comes in third with a 39% ER 
4) In fourth place comes another Halloween themed makeup with a 34.9% ER 
5) Another reel, showing outfits this time, comes in fifth with a 34.3% ER

TikTok’s Top Five posts
On TikTok, the best-performing posts are all branded content, which implies that exposure on the brands’ side increased post engagement.
              1) This Dyson Airwrap wins first place with a 65.1% ER
              2) In second place comes a collaboration with Pandora with a 60.8% ER 
              3) A KVD foundation try-out comes in third place with a 16.7% ER 

YouTube’s Top Five posts
Here’s the YouTube content that got the most attention:
             1) This candle workshop with an associated giveaway got a 26.3% ER 
             2) A DIY bleach session comes second with a 8.2% ER
             3) An honest Dyson Airwrap review takes third place with a 8.1% ER

What are other elements that make Sophie Hannah’s content so successful?

Brand Tagging on Instagram
A lot of effort seems to go into tagging brands, especially on Instagram. On all of Sophie’s posts, she thoroughly tags everything she wears: makeup, accessories, outfits. Sophie rarely exceeds seven or eight tags per post, and generally ranges from three to four tags. 

A lot of Sophie’s tagging is organic, which means she does not get paid, and tags out of pure choice. This puts her on brands’ radar with stand-out, quality content, and earns her the respect and trust of her followers. She is generous in her content production—there’s a lot of it, it’s high quality, and it’s polished. 

Sophie often features gifted items which she wasn’t required to post about, and tags the brand to thank them. This extra gesture makes her a great ambassador to work with: generous and loyal. When mentioning where she got her outfit pieces from, Sophie always specifies in the description which ones are PR gifts. Another sign of her honesty is how she tags other creators who inspired her looks, most of whom are micro-influencers. 

Because she is so transparent and thorough about tagging brands, PR products, ads, etc., Sophie’s content remains authentic and reliable, despite her numerous partnerships.

Are there any struggles she faces?

Uneven Growth on YouTube
Sophie Hannah grew way faster on Instagram and TikTok than she did on YouTube. In the introduction of her candle workshop video, she confesses that she struggles with her YouTube channel, partially because the platform doesn’t promote her videos. As a result,  her content is “not out there,” which frustrates her a lot. This frustration is understandable for someone who has been consistently active on YouTube since 2014. 

Despite this lack of promotion, Sophie’s content is meticulously curated, and she is very active on the platform—she vlogs, posts reviews, tutorials, routines, etc. She never decreased her post frequency and even perfected her content quality over the years, despite her smaller following on YouTube.

Management and Brand Partnerships
Like the vast majority of successful creators, Sophie Hannah has a management team that deals with brand contacts. On her contact page, brands are invited to connect directly with them, and she suggests that she gets a lot of deals. The high traffic on her platforms guarantees revenue, so she doesn’t have to “hunt” for deals anymore. 

However, in 2021, she did at least 40 collaborations with 27 brands, for an average of 4 collaborations per month. Some collaborations give way to several posts across different channels but her sponsored content is mostly in video format. The bulk of her sponsored content is posted on Instagram, with fewer ads on TikTok. Her top 6 2021 brands she collaborates with are Superdrug, Redken, LookFantastic, Boots UK, H&M, Maybelline.

Some examples of creative, successful sponsored posts:
H&M on Instagram 
Herbal Essentials on Instagram
Easy Tiger on Instagram 
Breville coffee on TikTok 
Eyelure on Tik Tok 

Recap of Key Practices to Grow:
           1) Post often and be consistent 
           2) Polish your content and vary it
           3) Make it aesthetically pleasing 
           4) Stick to a cohesive visual universe
           5) Put time into the little details 
           6) Be transparent and thorough when tagging brands and gifted products

Final Thoughts: Why is Sophie Hannah One of the Top 10% Fastest-Growing Creators?
Her content is binge-able, highly brandable yet authentic, and highly curated yet very accessible. She produces a lot. She mixes organic and paid. She’s transparent. She varies formats and content types. She has a thorough presence across several platforms. She embodies productivity, consistency, and quality. Way to go, Sophie!

Stay tuned for our next What Are the Best Doing report!

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