Op-Ed | Notifications On
Notifications On for Sean Garrette
Creators are ahead of the curve when it comes to viral trends and impactful cultural moments — they foster meaningful connections that resonate with audiences across the globe. Notifications On showcases the best and brightest creators on Twitter. For this edition, we’re talking to esthetician and skincare guru, Sean Garrette, about turning something you’re passionate about into a career and how one small comment about oat milk can spark friendships on the timeline.
I started off on Twitter creating skincare content, educational threads, and Tweets about my routines and products I liked, but over time I’ve started to think of my followers as my best friends. It’s gotten more fun and chill because it’s where most of my audience is and it’s how I connect with people. When I started sharing more about my life and funny things that happened throughout my day, it really started to feel like a community. People still come to me for skincare advice, but we can also talk about boys, shows, movies, everything.
I get asked about my strategies for gaining an audience all the time, but I truly turned something that I loved doing as a hobby into my career as a professional esthetician. I just loved talking about skincare and other things that interested me. Sharing my experience with people has been so heartwarming. When people send me messages that I helped them save their skin or even with a situation that has nothing to do with skincare at all, it’s so special.
When I first started, though, I attached a lot of videos and photos to my Tweets, which I don’t think people were doing much of on Twitter at the time. The [timeline] has so many words so I think a video of me using a product that I love stops the endless scroll. I still use visual elements in my content because I think it makes people want to investigate it and know more. Then when a Tweet about a product does well, you can take that Tweet to the brand and be like, “I talked about this organically and it did so well.” That can lead to a partnership and Twitter can be a portfolio, or a platform to grow yourself, your business, and the things that you're trying to do.
Now, though, my audience feels sort of sacred on Twitter, so my approach to what I share is different than it is on other platforms where I do a lot of branded work. On Twitter, I don’t feel the need to really sell my followers anything on my timeline. Lately, I’ve been involved in some sponsored Spaces with brands and that’s been really cool to be able to talk about new launches and just add to the conversation. I’m also loving the Communities; it’s like a private room directly in Twitter and people’s questions and Tweets don’t get lost in the shuffle.
The best thing about Twitter is that it’s a conversation-driven app — you don’t feel separate from your audience. You can start a conversation about the smallest topic and then connect with people in real time. For example, recently I Tweeted about how oat milk made me nauseous, and it started a whole conversation about other people’s experience with it and other types of milk to try. That’s the heart of Twitter, finding and building your community.
It’s funny how Twitter works when someone you admire is following you and you have no idea. The artist JT from City Girls recently congratulated me on my new job with Dior and Retweeted my announcement, and it was really nice. It’s cool to know these people who — you listen to their music and watch their shows — are also invested in what you’re doing. I love following a mix of people on Twitter, too, not just skincare creators. Both Scottie Beam and Sylvia Obell are so funny, and Nygel Simons and Bri Malandro are both interesting, nostalgic pop culture and fashion archivists. Of course, you have to follow Esther Olu for smart, scientific breakdowns of cosmetic chemistry, and Dr. Michelle Wong for skincare myth-busting and correcting misinformation.
I'm always looking for new ways to connect with people that follow me because there are so many creators now that I want to make sure I'm constantly feeding and cultivating my audience and that people are interested in the content I’m making. Sometimes you can get a little burnt out, but that's the thing about Twitter — you can be honest about that. People respond to that and motivate you to get back out there and start creating even more.
If you’re considering trying to be a content creator on Twitter, the cliche advice is the realest: be yourself and figure out what your niche is. Dig deep into that, be creative in the Twitter Media Studio, respond and engage with the people who are invested in you. It’s hard to cultivate a large audience on Twitter, but you also can’t be looking to go viral. You have to be authentic — people can always feel it when you’re trying to make a Tweet go viral. People follow you on Twitter because they’re interested in everything. Bring all your chaotic Tweets!
Hear more from the best and brightest creators on Twitter in the Notifications On collection.