Snapchat. Just when you had dismissed it as teenagers sharing selfies with their crush, it emerged as the platform to be on.
So what’s the attraction to Snapchat, you ask? Why do you need to be on it? Well, because it’s real. It gives us a behind the scenes look at the lives of our friends, influencers and brands. Unlike the glossy world of Instagram, sharing quick snaps and videos with filters on Snapchat feels fun and authentic… just like social media used to be?
Perfection is for Instagram, reality is for Snapchat… and reality is where it’s at!
Within this fun new world, a new breed of influencers has emerged, with Mel Storey Scott, a lawyer, aspiring bodybuilder, and general life enthusiast leading the way. Every day, Mel records quick snaps, giving her followers a behind the scenes look at her hectic life… with her story covering the early mornings, training, #LegalHustle, lunch breaks, boss lady moments, sing-a-longs and everything in between.
(FYI: If you aren’t on Snapchat yet, you can post all your snaps and videos together to form your story, which is designed to show your friends what you have been up to in the last 24 hours)
I recently chatted to the amazing Mel about her snaps and journey, and of course her best tips for everyone else who is ready to take their Snapchat to the next level!
How the Snapchat Queen was born
Now a Snapchat powerhouse, snapping had humble beginnings for Mel when she started body building. To relieve her mum’s concerns that no, she wasn’t crazy and yes, she was eating (lots!), Mel started to share quick snaps throughout the day.
The rest is history, and it wasn’t long before other family members, friends and colleagues were tuning in. Mel quickly realised that her snaps were not only resonating with her audience, but they are actually a great way to make people feel good, sharing some of her infectious happiness!
Realising she was on to something good, Mel changed her Facebook and Instagram headshots to her Snapchat code and soon followers were coming in from all over the place (including me!).
The thing I love about Mel’s snaps is that it’s not all about the roses. Previously working long hours in a high pressure job, Mel knows what it’s like to have an lifestyle that looks glamorous on the surface… but is filled with stress and pressure behind the scenes.
After a change at work, these days Mel admits her lifestyle is much more balanced, but the great thing about her snaps is that she doesn’t shy away when things get tough.
I often got asked how I make it all work, and Snapchat helped me break it down… there’s a persona that we have at work, but I’m an open book. It doesn’t do anyone any good to have this exterior or persona that is all gloss, but then you go home and cry yourself to sleep… Now I have a holistic lifestyle, but I’ll still show it when I’m exhausted, or 90% dry shampoo! It’s important to break down the façade… and it all comes back to the community.
How to manage snaps and your career
One of the great things about Mel’s snaps is the behind the scenes look into her life as a corporate lawyer. While she is careful not to share any confidential information, the sneak peak into her office, routine and day is a great way for students and law grads to get insights into their future profession. Who knows, maybe one day we will attract graduates by showing them behind the scenes of their future career on Snapchat?
If you are interested building your personal brand on Snapchat, Mel has some great advice for how to snap… and keep your boss happy!
Being self-aware is also really important. Everyone is really comfortable with Facebook, but people still think that Snapchat is for teenagers! Mel is really open: if she gets feedback from a client or colleague that comes from a negative place, then she will reassess how she goes about her snaps. She’s aware that she isn’t just representing herself on Snapchat… it’s her work, her profession and even her family… and she doesn’t want to disrespect them.
In Mel’s experience, if you let people know up front what you are up to, they will be happy to go on the journey with you. It’s important that your snaps add to your brand, not jeopardise your brand… and your relationships!
If I’m about to do or say something that I think might be a bit edgy, I ask myself ‘what would my CEO think?’ That’s my metric, because ultimately that’s who I report to.
How to create your story on Snapchat
Mel has three quick principles that guide her snaps. When is she is snap chatting, she is:
- Informing; or
With time and lots of snaps, Mel’s learned to relax in front of the camera and has grown with the experience. She started out informing her mum, but then became more inspiring… because suddenly her mum was keen to get up early and exercise too!
Mel’s Snapchat is definitely a part of her personal brand. For the first time ever, Mel has been able to break the mold and be seen as so much more than a lawyer. She has re-defined her brand to not just be Mel the lawyer, but Mel who happens to work as a lawyer – with so many things to say, to contribute and add value to. Mel’s all about her YODO (you only DINK once) lifestyle, having a crack at life and whatever it brings!
So far, Mel hasn’t had any haters… in fact, she has built an amazing community of support. I always laugh when Mel shares a “Lucky Mini” – a sighting of a Mini Cooper that’s turned into her good luck charm – with her followers… and they send them right on back! A true testament to her awesome snaps, when she was recently sick Mel received Lucky Minis from all over Australia to help her get well soon! Seriously, how cool is that?!
People had pulled over to the side of the road to take photos of parked minis. It made me so happy! The cool thing is it didn’t cost anything but time, and I got lots of little gifts from all over.
Mel’s top tips for getting started
If you are inspired by Mel’s journey on Snapchat, here’s what she recommends to get started.
- Take imperfect action. Download the app, follow people you are interested in (don’t forget to follow Mel at theleanlawyer!) understand how it works and go from there. Practice and find your own style.
- Don’t replay the video after you record! You will pick up things that no one else will pick up on. If Mel replays her snap, it feels forced and then she will delete it. If it feels forced, it’s for Instagram! No one is really caring if your voice is a bit gratey, or you have a pimple: they’re not there to critique you for that.
- Be creative! This is what makes Snapchat so great, particularly if you are in a field like Mel where there’s not always opportunities to be creative.
- Start telling your story! Snapchat is for storytelling – the highs and the lows. You can’t just tell the highs (again, remember snapping is all about being real!). If you have a downer day, you have to show that – we are all in this together. Don’t forget that everyone has fears, hopes and dreams…The Snapchat community is a great place to connect and the more engaged you can be, the better!
Mel’s parting piece of advice? There’s a world of opportunity out there when you get over the fear of being judged. No one cares about you as much as you think they do, which is really liberating!
And for Mel? Right now, she’s loving the legal hustle, loving the snaps, and building a great tribe. What’s not to love?!
A BIG thanks to Mel for making time to chat, I really hope you learned as much from Mel as I did!
Phoebe (and of course you can find me on Snapchat at phoebevertigan) xx