You might have not been following along with YouTube stars, Jeffree Star and Shane Dawson Conspiracy Campaign. If you didn’t I highly recommend checking out Shane’s YouTube Series on how this campaign came together.

But why do you care about someone’s makeup launch? How does that even apply to your business and marketing strategy? Because these guys used basic Marketing 101 to create a wildly successful marketing campaign that was no accident.

Today we’re going to go over 5 things these geniuses did to ensure their campaign was successful and how you can use the same things in your own marketing campaigns.

1. They had a strategic plan, it wasn’t an accident

This was not a “viral” situation.

I repeat this was not a viral situation. This was well thought out and planned. Before palettes were ever even conceived of, Jeffree and Shane planned out exactly how they wanted this to go.

They outlined what the end results needed to be for them. Which is why they choose to document the process. That was the plan.

Which is why they ordered so much product, that was the plan.

Which is why created the brand and put logistics in place to handle everything. It was part of the plan. All details were considered, all key people hired and in place to create what happened on Nov 1st.

This was not an accident.

How you can use this: If you don’t have strategic marketing or business plan in place, it’s time to get really serious about that. Start by asking yourself this one question: What does wildly successful look like to me? Then work your way backward.

If you need help or want a professional to help walk you through the strategic planning process we’re more than happy to help!


,2) They both established trust and authenticity – that took time.

Shane and Jeffree are OG’s in the YouTube Space. They both had over 10 MILLION followers on YouTube alone before they even started this campaign.

They’ve been around and seen it all. But they’ve been true to themselves and really real with their audience. Even when actual controversy hit them or got close they were genuine and real with their audience.

For example, Shane came out of the closet and shocked most of his followers in 2015. Jeffree has been in or close to several really devastating YouTube Beauty dramas.

They’ve kept it real with you the whole time. Establishing trust with an audience takes time.

How you can use this: If it feels comfortable and makes sense for your brand, show your audience/customers you’re a real person. Gone are the days when people can sit anonymously behind a business brand. People want to buy from a person, a person like them, with faults and frustrations. When you are comfortable, showing that part of yourself or your business is what people can really relate to.

Building trust takes time and it’s a delicate balance between over-sharing and never sharing. Never share something you’re not 100% comfortable with the world knowing.


3) They Collaborated and Hired Smart People

Shane brought mindblowing creativity and realness to the team. I mean, aren’t we all just a little bit Shane Dawson? Jeffree is a genius businessman. No one builds a multi-billion dollar business by accident. He’s making good decisions and being strategic in how he manages his business.

By collaborating together and accessing each other’s strengths they doubled not only their audience but their zone of genius.

They didn’t stop there. They hired some of the best in the business to handle a lot of their branding, packaging, displays, websites, and logistics. They knew when to invest in other people/services and how big that would pay off in the long run.

How you can use this: When you’re just starting out, it’s hard to figure out what you should be doing and what you should be hiring. Does spending 4 weeks to build a simple website make sense when hiring a designer will get it done in 4 days?

There are two questions you can ask to figure out if you need to hire someone:

  1. Is this my zone of genius? Is the project, task, thing you’re spending time on what you are good at? Would other people pay you to do this thing for them? Does doing this task light you up and get you excited?
  2. Can I hire someone for less money than my hourly rate? Figure out what you charge your customers by the hour. If you make $100/hr and you can hire a marketing professional, accountant, etc for $50/hr is this really the best use of your time?

4) They Leveraged Influencer Marketing

Being influencers themselves it wasn’t a surprise to see other YouTube influencers get behind both of them and the product early on. Shane and Jeffree know the value of getting the product into other people’s hands to build Social Capital.

Social Capital is when other people taut the greatness of your product and service outside of those who have a vested interest. And it works.

How you can use this: Testimonials. Even if you are just starting, get testimonials from previous co-workers or jobs about the work you did for them. Any good testimonial from a customer should be placed on your website and social media feeds.

If you are in an industry where there are influencers (and that’s pretty much all businesses these days) figure out a plan FIRST around influencer marketing. Learn the ins and outs of working with influencers and then approach them to work with your brand.

Do NOT expect this to be free or trade advertising. Do NOT spam people asking them to be brand ambassadors.

You want to treat influencers as employees, screen them! Make sure they are a good fit for your business and that their target audience is your target also.

5) They brought you along for the ride

Last, but maybe the most important, they brought you along for the ride. Whether or not it was real or scripted, it. did. not. matter.

People got invested even more because they felt like they were riding shotgun with Shane and Jeffree. They weren’t just purchasing a product, they were supporting two people whom they now had an emotional connection. You watched their celebrations and their tragedies unfold. You saw the supporting cast and walked with them through the massive decisions they had to make.

They brought you along through the whole process and you wanted to see them succeed.

How you can use this: Give people a behind-the-scenes into your business. Highlight employees, post about celebrations and company parties. Let people understand the decisions you have to make daily and why they are important to your customer. Give a tour of your office space, even if it’s a coffee shop! Tell people how you plan out your business. Let them know why you choose something over another thing.

ASK them questions also. Let your audience, clients, and customers participate in your business. Thinking about offering a new service? Ask your customers if they want it or need it!


I thoroughly enjoyed watching this campaign unfold for Shane and Jeffree. I’m stoked it was wildly successful for them because it proves that good marketing and strategy work. It takes time. It takes investment. But it pays!

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