Last month, we went along to the Access X Helen Anderz workshop, hosted by Access Creative College at Rough Trade Bristol.

Helen Anderson is a leading personal style, beauty and lifestyle influencer, with over half a million YouTube subscribers and nearly 300K Instagram followers. And, an ambassador for Access Creative College.

During her workshop she gave tips on how to become a successful content creator and also talked about different types of influencer – online Influencer, YouTuber or Blogger. The question o the lips of every member of the a 60-strong audience was “How do you become an influencer?”. Here’s what we learnt from Helen… Review by Isobel Bryant, Junior Content Apprentice, AMBITIOUS.

Breaking in…

Helen started her talk with some advice for the aspiring influencers in the audience, she said that before you decide on becoming an influencer, you should focus on some key considerations. This is what she had to say…

  • Your reasons: if the answer is money, fame or freebies then you aren’t cut out for the job, people will see through it and won’t trust you or the products you are recommending them
  • Pushing a particular agenda: many influencers use their platforms to talk about current issues in society and advocate for certain groups, such as LGBTQ. Helen herself has touched on the topic of mental health in the past
  • What can you offer that others can’t? In a massively saturated industry having a unique selling point is important
  • Personal brand: decide what your ‘brand image’ will be about early on. Helen describes her own image as “edgy and alternative”

Tips and tools of the trade…


Creating a decent kit from scratch can be very expensive, Helen suggests a basic camera or even just the camera from your smartphone to start with. Over time you can buy lighting, tripods and lenses, but a bright open space to film in is all Helen suggests you’ll need. Your money is better spent on some decent editing software, Helen uses Final Cut Pro and Photoshop on her desktop for editing YouTube videos and thumbnails. Some free apps Helen recommends for your phone are Lightroom, VSCO cam and Unfold.

Creating good content:

Good content starts with a good idea, when Helen is blocked for ideas, she’ll do a poll on Instagram or Twitter asking: “What videos do you want to see next” or “Would you be interested in a morning routine vid?”. Your content also has to be executed well, it is now much more important for Helen to spend time making her content look ‘slick and editorial’ if she wants to get likes!

Helen also expressed that consistency is key, your Instagram should have a clear theme, you should plan out your posts and schedule them in for your most active hours. An app that Helen uses to keep her Instagram consistent is UNUM, which allows you to see how images will look in your grid.

Comes with the job…

One part of the workshop that was particularly interesting to hear was Helen’s thoughts on some of the current controversies surrounding influencers. One topic Helen talked about is the new legal issues that have emerged from influencer marketing recently, Helen and other influencers are currently under a lot of scrutiny for not properly disclosing brand partnerships and sponsorships with #ad and #sponsored. However, Helen thinks it’s unfair that social media influencers are getting a bad reputation as most of them follow the rules, it’s the celebrity and tv stars that aren’t complying.

Another concern Helen expressed was her online responsibility. Helen understands that she has to be mindful of the people she may be influencing, but it’s becoming increasingly difficult to be herself as she has to be extremely careful to not upset anyone by what she says. Recently she came under fire for posting a picture of her non vegan food, after she previously mentioned she wanted to try becoming vegan.

We came away with some great insight and a better understand of the highs and lows of being an influencer.

Have you got what it takes to be an influencer? Or have you got some more tips? Tell us in the comments below, or tweet us at @Ambitiouspr.