Upon graduating from West Chester University with a Communication Studies degree and a passion for content creation, Mollie Bohlander found herself applying for jobs that required sitting at a desk for hours on end, undermined her skills, and left her feeling unfulfilled. Like any new college graduate, Mollie felt like a small fish in a big sea of social media strategists, advertisers, marketing pros, and PR sharks. Mollie asked herself, “How can I say relevant through my passion for content creation?” When she realized she was so easily getting lost in the industry along with other recent college grads, Mollie was determined to create something that would showcase her true creative talents.
During an interview with Mollie I asked her how she chose to exhibit her creativity, she responded with the following, “I decided to create a YouTube channel because I wanted to stay fresh in my industry. I recently started an entry-level job in a position completely unrelated to my ideal career. The purpose of my YouTube channel is to exemplify my marketing skills which will hopefully help me to land my next job.”
Mollie’s idea to create a YouTube channel started shortly after her graduation in 2017. After interviewing for numerous jobs, she felt that she did not have something unique that would single her out in her industry. Mollie had a small portfolio and a college internship under her belt, but felt that she needed to incorporate something more interactive that would truly exhibit her personality and her skills. This is what ultimately drove Mollie to make her first career move of creating her own branded YouTube channel: Mermaid Mollie Vlogs. Mollie’s channel was not established solely for entertainment. She strategically created this channel as a way of showcasing her talents of SEO, personal branding, content creation, link building, and researching analytics. This way, while she was stapling papers at her fresh-out-of-college job, she could stay relevant in her preferred industry of Digital Marketing.
The reason why Mollie loves to create her own content for her YouTube channel is because she can call her own shots. She explains, “Any marketer knows the importance of branding consistency which can at times extinguish some of our creative ideas. By creating a brand of my own, I am able to use a platform to make all of my own business decisions and use it as a way to market myself.”
The Brand Creation
Mollie categorizes herself as a video blogger, as she showcases her personality and her life through her videos. She likes to think that her personal brand is just being the average girl that other people feel that they can relate to. In her first video titled, “Why I Joined Youtube”, Mollie divulges the following, “The transition from college to the real world is a difficult one. We come from an environment where professors make us feel like the world is our oyster, to the world of post-grad life where we are often stuck working in a tedious, entry-level position.”
The Content Theme
Following that first video, Mollie’s passion for YouTube took off. Viewers rely on her videos for entertainment, but most importantly, authenticity. The topics of her videos range anywhere from “Why I Stopped Being Vegan” where Mollie reveals the struggles she faced while living the vegan lifestyle, to “Dealing With Narcolepsy” where she discloses how her life has changed after being diagnosed with a sleep disorder.
The Video Creation Process
Mollie prides herself in being rather resourceful with her filming equipment; using her vanity as her source of lighting and her iPhone as her camera. Through her college internship, Mollie learned some basic photoshop skills which she has applied to the creation of her thumbnails, which are the initial, eye-catching image, intended to grab a viewer’s attention. Mollie exhibits branding consistency throughout her thumbnail images by using specific fonts, colors, and photos so a viewer could easily identify her channel just by looking at the thumbnail.
When I asked Mollie what advice she would give to college students who want to make a statement in their career, she suggested, “Start a hobby that aligns with your industry. This way, you’ll never lose your passion to strive for the career you desire. These hobbies will always be a reminder as to why you chose the path you did. When I am at my job, I just think of how sellable I’ll be to my next employer and how much I’ll be able to show them in an interview.” Mollie suggests that you should always be planning your next career move. She does not feel that you should ever get comfortable at your job. “Thank your boss when you receive a raise but still hit the pavement looking for your next job. Be a shark in this business. As Communication Studies Majors, you all have some sort of creativity and likability that not everyone has. Please use your skills and never lose sight of your goals.”