Dr Naomi McCullum, aka Dr Naomi, the founder of The Manse Clinic in Sydney and the face of the most followed Instagram account in Australia’s cosmetic medical industry, will be one of the stars speaking at next month’s BEAUTY & SPA Insiders summit.

“A pioneer in the field of non-surgical cosmetic medicine”, Dr Naomi’s love affair with social media started when she created one of the world’s first and most successful cosmetic medical blogs in 2011.

Today she is “a writer, memer and ranter” whose days are spent creating content for her many social channels.

In the lead up to her appearance at BEAUTY & SPA Insiders, we asked Dr Naomi a few questions to get to know her better – and gain a little insight into how she deals with the haters that she attracts.

What is your background in the beauty industry?

“I have been in the beauty industry for nearly 20 years as a cosmetic doctor. I built a luxury cosmetic clinic brand, ‘The Manse’, and now I manage that business and am a content creator for our social media.”

Why do you devote so much time/energy to social media?

“Back in 2011 when I started my cosmetic medical blog, my aim was to stop my clinical cosmetic work and for ‘blogging’ to become my full time job, because I really loved doing it. There was just no good information available to cosmetic patients at the time and I wanted to rectify that. Readers at that time really valued what I did and responded to my content in a big way, especially the transparency about the industry but also the ‘entertainment’ aspect of my content.

“I understood then that if I was good enough at blogging, it could be a job…. At the early blogging conferences I attended there was a lot of information about social media which was super-fascinating to me. Now I realise that it was ‘content creation’ rather than ‘blogging’ that I enjoyed and that I had a talent for.

“I love how content creation moves with the times, Instagram is the big one now and where I have focused my attention for years, but that wasn’t always the case and probably won’t always be the case. First of all it was the website, then Facebook, now it’s Instagram. I can’t wait to see what type of content creation I will focus on next! (Actually I do know what it is, but I have an agreement which precludes me from sharing the details yet LOL)

“I love all aspects of content creation,  I just have to create original things, like it’s my therapy or something 🙂 I am a thinker and a bit hyper with it, so being creative calms me down. I see the funny side of things, and also I understand what people are interested in and entertained by and also what content they can’t live without. I feel a big responsibility to my audience, to whom I have always promised to give 10 seconds of happiness a day! I understand them so well, I would hate to disappoint them. They have given me their concentration for so long. I owe my audience a lot, as they help me to live the life I enjoy.

“I even still create memes just to send to my friends, colleagues or my kids to make them laugh or feel better about different problems they may be having, so it’s obviously more than a job to me.”

Why do you think you have ‘haters’?

“I have haters because I’m successful, and also because I’ve got the social media ‘vanity metrics’ people covet. People want want I have… When you’re seen, you’re a target for hate.

“Trolls, who are more likely to have personality issues like sadism, narcissism and psychopathy, are more likely to find those online who have high visibility. They want to hurt you and see you react. The more followers and engagement you have, the more trolls you will encounter.

“In terms of competitors, being a quality content creator is something that you can’t just buy. In my field, of course my competitors want the large scale relationship with cosmetic patients that I have, but when they realise it’s not so easy to achieve it frustrates them I guess.

“Another reason I have haters, is because I do a lot of humour and a lot of people get offended by it. In general, these people have poor comprehension skills, and don’t understand the jokes, and think that I’m being horrible rather than funny.”

Do you think most people on social media have ‘haters’? Why/why not?

“Everyone with a big enough following will have them. It’s a numbers game. The posts where I get the most trolls are the ones that go viral. The low engagement content gets a lot less hate.”

Do you think you have ‘haters’ in real life too?

“I know I do. I have had too many experiences throughout my life where hate has spilled over to my real life. It is very horrible to endure and the worst price of it all. As you become more successful, your haters become more powerful, so that has been an interesting and unexpected journey as well. You wouldn’t believe the crazy things that have happened to me due to jealous people.

“This part is sad to me as jealousy is not a logical emotional response. Being inspired by people is so much more useful. That’s what I feel about those who have or do things that I want. There is always so much to learn from others, and learning is the fun part of achieving.”

What do you believe is the single most effective thing a person can do to deal with ‘haters’ – online or in real life?

“It depends. If the haters are breaking laws, go to the police. I have had to do this, it’s no fun, but can be necessary. Other than that:

“ONLINE: Just ignore and block them. At the same time appreciate them, they are ‘engagement enhancers’. They are doing exactly what you want, ie, engaging with your posts. The other thing is find the humour in it, they are so good for that. I always use them as inspo for my content creation.

“OFFLINE: It really depends what they do. Again, if you need to involve police or lawyers, well, follow that path if necessary. I just physically avoid my real life haters, as often they have those same personality issues as trolls (like narcissism, sadism and psychopathy), and staying away from them is safer than any type of engaging.

“The main thing is to remember the online stuff isn’t real life, it is only when it spills to real life that you should even worry about it.

“For me I love and long for trolls. I believe a post is not good until it has at least one troll and one defender. Then it has made it!

For more information on the BEAUTY & Spa Insiders summit, which will be held in Sydney on May 27, click here.

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