The YouTuber Who Feels Like a Best Friend | Claire Marshall

Author: Kristen McCloud

As someone who started YouTube when ring lights and detox tea ads were unheard of, Claire Marshall has seen the drastic change of the media platform firsthand. However, she hasn't lost herself or her own creative spark in the process. While Claire's channel was originally beauty-oriented, she has begun to dive into more lifestyle content in hopes of relating to her viewers and even helping some people out along the way by sharing her own struggles. Now with over 900,000 subscribers, Claire's channel has become a household go-to for many. Read on to learn more about Claire's take on being a "YouTuber" and how she deals with living in the relatively new career space.

You started off on YouTube as a makeup artist, how did you make the transition into lifestyle blogging and how has the change been for you?
I think including more lifestyle content on my channel happened really naturally. When I first started, I had just moved to LA and I was freelancing. Eventually, I started vlogging behind the scenes of shoots and as I became more comfortable in front of the camera, sharing more about me just seemed easy. It’s crazy to think that I’ve been doing this for about 5 years now and I still have people who’ve stuck with me through ups and downs over the years. It’s like we’ve grown up together.

How has the YouTube space changed over the years? What would you say is the biggest difference between now and when you started?
When I first started I think it was all very raw. A lot of us were just kids hanging out in our rooms talking to a webcam or iPhone (at least that’s how I started) and it was just a thing we did for fun. At the time I had no idea it could become my job but I started to discover an interest in editing and creating fun videos. I got really lucky! Nowadays I see more people thinking career first and there are so many more people creating cool content. The production side has become more of an interest which is cool but sometimes I do miss the simplicity of it.

As someone with a very social media-driven career, do you ever feel like it gets to be too much? How do you cope with the overload of likes/comments and do you ever try to disconnect? 
You know, balance is hard. Social media can definitely be all-consuming. I care a lot about what I do and my audience because they’re a big part of my life and they’re the reason why I’ve been able to do all of these amazing things. I will never forget that. With that said, having so many eyes on you can be really overwhelming and there have been times where I’ve had to walk away to maintain my sanity in a way haha.

You’ve let your viewers in on some personal issues you’ve had to deal with as well, why is it important to you for them to see a side of your life that goes beyond beauty and makeup?
I’ve always tried to be as open and honest with people as I can. I wanted people to see more than just “the good stuff” that’s out there because I’m just as guilty of following people on social media and thinking “GOALS!” There’s more to life than beauty and makeup and we all go through things. Opening up about my mom having Dementia for example -- I felt very alone in that. I don’t have any other family helping me through that and I thought if I talked about it, I could find other people who knew what I was going through and together we’d feel stronger. I also think about my younger self and the moments when I was depressed or unsure of what I was doing and wished I had a friend that could make me feel ok about it all. I guess in a way I wanted to become that person who could encourage "younger me,” or my younger viewers, to not feel so alone and feel excited for the future rather than afraid of it.

What has been a major highlight of your career on YouTube?
Being able to travel around the world and meet new people has been a major highlight of my career. I traveled a lot as a kid because of my mom but I never thought I’d be able to do it as an adult. Let alone as my own boss.

“Having so many eyes on you can be really overwhelming and there have been times where I’ve had to walk away to maintain my sanity in a way."

As someone who sets their own schedule and creates their own content, is it difficult to stay structured and organized? What are your tips for being your own boss?
Absolutely! Organization has never been a strength of mine so I have to work harder for it. I’m also really bad about multi-tasking because I want to give all of my attention to one thing at a time. Especially since I want to work on more projects outside of my channel, it’s been hard to balance everything. I think acknowledging your weaknesses and being willing to ask for help in those areas is important.

What future plans do you personally have for your own channel?
It’s hard to predict, you never know what could happen. I think part of the beauty of YouTube has always been the freedom to create and I hope to see more inspiring, thought-provoking content being shared freely. I know the way that I’ve approached my content has evolved over the years and I’ve thought less about pumping out beauty videos and gotten more into sharing experiences and stories. Who knows what will come next but I’m open to it.

What do you want viewers to get out of watching your videos?
My hope is that if someone watches my channel they leave feeling something. Hopefully, they feel like they’ve seen some cool videos or maybe are watching a friend.

Something that I personally like about your channel is that it has a unique voice that feels very genuine. How do you maintain that?
Haha I mean, I’m just me. I’d like to think that I’m the same in my videos as I am in real life because my channel is ultimately me. So what you see is what you get. No point in being fake!

What does MISSBISH mean to you?
A MISSBISH doesn’t let anything stand in her way. She’s kicking *ss and taking names! I think we all have a bit of BISH inside.

Who’s your MISSBISH? Tell us who she is and why she’s an inspiration to you.
My mom is my #1 MISSBISH and she raised me to be one too. I’m proud to be her daughter. She saved my life, raised me to be the woman I am, and I hope that I make her proud as I share what she has taught me with the world.

Photos by: Christina Choi