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#193: Set Yourself Up For Successful Brand Work

In my newest episode of The Blogger Genius Podcast, I’m talking with Jenny Melrose, an influencer marketing expert. We’re discussing how to set yourself up for successful brand work.

This is the second time Jenny’s been on the show, and I’m delighted to have her back!

In this episode, we talk about:

  • How the influencer marketing space is growing as brands see the benefits
  • How to pitch directly to the brands you want to work with
  • Why you don’t want to add prices to your media kit
  • How to pitch “your audience” to brands and not “yourself”
  • Why you want to think of yourself as a business owner and not a blogger chasing pageviews
  • How Jenny uses Instagram to get close to her audience

If you’re wanting to up your sponsored content and brand ambassador game, and not sell yourself short, this episode is must-listen!

Set Yourself Up For Successful Brand Work | MiloTree.com

Show Notes:

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Intro 0:04
Welcome to the Blogger Genius Podcast brought to you by MiloTree. Here’s your host, Jillian Leslie.

Jillian Leslie 0:11
Hello, my friends. Welcome back to the Blogger Genius Podcast. If this is the first time you are listening to the show, I want to say welcome. I’m glad you’re here. I’m Jillian Leslie. And I build businesses on the internet with my husband, David.

And we also coach bloggers, creators, online entrepreneurs. Our main goal always is to help people like you, make money. And that’s why I’m incredibly excited to talk about MiloTree Easy Payments.

So, if you have a community, this is what I always say, there is money in that community, if you know how to tap into it. One of the easiest ways to do this is to create a membership or to host workshops and events.

And we help you get paid for that with MiloTree Easy Payments, we give you what we call a money button. It’s really just a buy it now link.

And you can share this on social media, in an email, on your blog, to your audience, so that they sign up for your program.

And then we say go host, your membership, your workshop, wherever you like, we give you a dashboard and all these tools to help you run your membership. But here is the beauty part.

We only make money when you do. There’s no monthly fee for MiloTree Easy Payments, we just take a small transaction fee. So, you could go right now to milotree.com/easy payments, sign up for your account.

And you will only start paying us when you start getting paid. It’s that simple. We’re still in beta. But I’m very excited to roll this out to you.

Now for today’s episode, I have my friend Jenny Melrose back on the show. And this is her second appearance.

She teaches people, bloggers, how to work with brands, I’m sure you’ve got your favorite brand. And you think to yourself, gosh, how do I reach out to them? What do I say? How do I present myself? How do I think about price?

If you want to know all this and more, this is the episode for you. Also, Jenny has a great Instagram strategy. And we delve into that as well. You guys loved her last interview, and I’ll be linking to that in the show notes. I think you will love this one too.

So, without further delay, here is my interview with Jenny Melrose. Jenny, welcome to the show.

Jenny Melrose 2:44
Jillian, thank you so much for having me. I’m so excited to get to have this conversation and be back on your podcast.

Jillian Leslie 2:49
I know what was cool is I reached out to you and I said, “Hey, Jenny, we had done this before where I’ve been on your podcast, you’ve been on my podcast. And I’m feeling this sense of a little bit of isolation.”

So, I reached out to you and I’m like, “Hey, do you want to do that again? And then we can talk about what we’re both seeing in online business today.” And I love when you’re like, “Yeah, let’s do it.”

So, we’re doing these back to back. And I’m just really excited to talk to you about your specialty. So, would you just give a brief intro of what you do, how you started, and kind of where you are right now.

Starting a Successful Blog in 2009

Jenny Melrose 3:28
Sure, of course. So, my name is Jenny Melrose, I had the Melrose Family, which was a lifestyle blog. Quick and easy recipes and products for busy parents. I started that back in 2009.

So, I like to say when dinosaurs roamed the earth of the online space, of course. And the sole way, not sole but the major way that I was able to make my income on the Melrose Family was from working with brands on sponsored content.

I did have ads and I made some money from affiliates. But brands work took up a large majority of my income. And I was also a full time teacher at that time with two itty bitty babies.

To the point where I can remember having one in a Baby Bjorn shooting over the top of her head the food on the table. So, sponsorships were just a huge part of my income. And I was able to figure out that portion of it so that I could retire from teaching.

I retired at the age of 35, which was a blessing because of course, teaching has changed and it drains dramatically, of course with the pandemic. But then once I retired, lost that sense of being able to teach and wanted to be able to teach.

Again with getting asked to speak around the country and people would always come up to me after I spoke asking more questions about “What do I say in my pitch and how do I put together a proposal, what does this look like?”

And I said give me a week. Let me figure out where I’m going to go with this and I decided to put together my signature course “Pitch Perfect Pro.” I launched the Jenny Melrose side of my business, started a podcast “Influencer Entrepreneurs.”

And also launched my first book, the past May. So, things have definitely continued on this trajectory of talking about how influencers should be entrepreneurs and should be treating their businesses like businesses.

But can still do it in the traditional ways that we use dinosaurs of blogging to monetized. So, that kind of in a nutshell, is how things have continued to grow and developed.

Jillian Leslie 5:33
Let’s talk about working with brands sponsored content. And will you kind of go through the evolution of how that started and where we are today.

Jenny Melrose 5:47
So, when I started blogging in 2009, there wasn’t a ton of information out there. There were some blogging conferences, but not nearly as many as they were pre pandemic.

And you just didn’t have bloggers talking about the money that they were making. I was very fortunate that I was probably six months into my blogging journey and went to blog, for New York City, and sat at a table with bloggers.

That still to this day, cannot believe that’s who I sat next to, they were making six figures back in 2009. And just really opened my eyes to this whole idea of this can be a business, treat it like a business.

These are the ways that you can monetize, these are the things that you can learn to do. So, back then there wasn’t as much information as there is now. Also, we didn’t have as many social media platforms.

When I started Pinterest, it was just getting developed, Facebook was there, Instagram didn’t exist, and of course, TikTok didn’t exist. And we’ve seen Google Plus come and go as well. So, it’s changed a lot over the years.

So, the way that you work with brands has also changed greatly. Back then, when I first started working with the brand, I definitely did things in exchange for product had no idea that I should be charging or what I should be charging or what that looked like.

Set Yourself Up For Successful Brand Work | The Blogger Genius Podcast with Jillian Leslie

How to Start Working With Sponsors

And then I actually met Tiffany from Sway Group, who does tons of stuff with influencer marketing became one of their influencers within their network, and kind of got a better understanding of like, this is what we should do.

This is what you can price yourself for this many followers and how many pageviews and kind of got a better feel for what brands expected how to write something that was sponsored as far as a blog post, and figured out what did well for my audience.

And then I decided, it’s time for me to start pitching myself, I have no problem reaching out to brands, I’m not afraid of someone telling me no, because I know it’s not personal.

And that was where I really excelled, because now I could work directly with the brand, tell them exactly how I could stand out for them how my audience was the perfect fit.

And come up with a package price that could make me really comfortable and really happy for that income that would be coming in from the deliverables that I was able to give them. Which also led me to be able to develop with the platforms.

As we saw Instagram start to develop over the years. Now we’re talking about, of course, we’ve got Reels, we’ve got Lives, and we’ve got IGTV. But when I really started making these big monies with brands, it was back when Facebook Live was just starting.

That was part of what I pitched, I understood that I could explain how this was different than what anyone else was doing. And I was willing to do it. And it was going to do really well with my audience, because Facebook was pushing it out.

And my people wanted to see that behind the scenes. So, it definitely has changed but has taught me over the years that you have to test it out for yourself that platform and how it’s changing. And what works best for your audience.

There is your audience, and how can you show the brands that that’s where they are, and it’s a perfect fit for them.

Jillian Leslie 9:18
It’s funny because when we were working with brands back in the day, it was like the Wild West, like a brand would come and go like, “Hey, use our product in whatever way you want.”

We’re not going to even say yay or nay you just come up with the post and post it and we’ll pay you and then it was like and we want you to share it on Facebook. And then it was like and we want you to share it on Instagram before reels, before lives, before stories.

Then it was like yeah, and like some pins. And then all of a sudden it became like, we’re even less interested in the blog post we’re more interested in Instagram. Like it became like, what was the hot platform?

And then it became a little more onerous, like, hey, we want to approve what your idea is first, and then it was, hey, we need to approve your photos. We’re not necessarily wild about this photo, can you go reshoot the photo?

So, it started to become more onerous than back in the day where nobody knew anything. Nobody knew anything about analytics. What are you seeing brands wanting today, versus back in the day?

I think brands are definitely taking more of an interest in Instagram and TikTok, in particular, because there’s so much information to be given from the platform within insights. And I think that they know that and they understand that.

Jenny Melrose

I also would say, for brands right now, some understand and are more understanding of the fact that influencers have a bigger impact to make than they ever have in the past.

There was a New York Times article that was published back in like January or February during the pandemic. So, before everything, no one was vaccinated yet, let’s put it that way. So, we knew where we are with the pandemic that time.

Influencer Marketing is Growing

And they said that influencer marketing was going to get the lion’s share of advertising, it was something like $2.5 billion, was going to go to influencer marketing, which previously always went to TV, or went to papers or went elsewhere.

Because we saw what happened during the pandemic, with Netflix, everyone’s streaming everything. Traditional television ads are not where you want to spend your money as a brand.

We also saw, of course, the platform of TikTok and Instagram explode with reels and so many more influencers being born more or less overnight, it felt like.

You had an influencer, that would pop onto TikTok and within six months, they get 2 million followers already. Because they were consistently posting because they had the time to do that, because of what the pandemic kind of did to all of us.

So, I think that it’s definitely changed as far as what they’re looking for, as far as I know, looking at social media platforms, but at the same time, they still need guidance.

They still need you as that influencer, or as the blogger that knows their audience to be able to tell them, this is what works for my audience and be able to say like, if you don’t understand that, this isn’t a good partnership, this isn’t a good collaboration.

But a lot of times I’m seeing other influencers that just don’t know how to articulate what it is that they can do for that brand based on their audience. And that’s really important.

Jillian Leslie 12:54
Can you give me an example, like let’s say, we took you from 2009? And you’ve got this lifestyle blog, and you’re helping busy families.

And you know, your audience, which are typically moms, stressed moms, moms who love their kids, moms who want to create a great life, but who wanted to do it easily. And you say, hey, I want to reach out to Brand X craft or Target or somebody like that.

Walk me through what you would do today, to say, hey, notice me.

Sending a Pitch Email to a Brand – What to Include

Jenny Melrose 13:32
That always starts with that pitch email, it starts with getting into their inbox, it did five years ago, it still does today. You cannot just start to try to create a conversation or collaboration via DMs, on Instagram or Facebook, it just doesn’t happen.

So, finding that right email and explaining in email, how you stand out how your audience makes you stand out, being able to articulate that return on investment that they will be able to see by working with you.

And knowing that they will end up seeing that because of previous work that you’ve done with other brands.

That pitch email is just so important that it’s clear and concise, and explains again, the problem that you solve for your audience, and how that brands can also solve a problem for that same audience.

Jillian Leslie 14:26
So, let’s say it’s like, Lunchables or something, and you’re pitching some brand, and are you saying to them like, I’m going to give you ideas of what I can do for you. Or do you keep it more open ended?

And then do you say, Hey, here’s what I can do. I can do a blog post, and I can do this many Reels, and I can do this many TikToks or whatever. And these are my metrics, or is it much more loose because you don’t want them to go, “No, that’s not the direction we want to go.”

Jenny Melrose 14:56
That’s right. Yes. So, let’s give that one Lunchables example. If I’m going to pitch Lunchables, I’m not going to tell them that I’m going to do back to school, especially depending on the time of year, of course.

Pitch Three or Four Months in Advance

You need to be pitching three to four months in advance to get a partnership with a brand because it takes that long to get everything ironed out. And a lot of times they’re looking at different quarters than when you’re pitching.

So, when you are pitching not being so defined, as far as, I’m going to make the perfect back to school lunch that’s going to show these cute little things of showing the Lunchables can be made into animals or something like that.

You want to keep it broader showing how Lunchables can be quick and easy, snack idea. And a lot of times, I always recommend that you go to their website, they are going to talk about it.

They’re going to have language and copy on their website, that is what they want to stand out for. So, you should be using that language in your pitch when you’re talking about the brands.

When you are also emailing, you want to make sure that the data you give them should be about your audience, my audience ranges between the ages of 25 and 35, with 75% of them living in the United States, and 97% of them being women that are the homeowners.

They are looking to shop at the stores that you know that your people shop at which of course you can’t get from metrics, but you can from conversations, like on Instagram and stories, things like that.

And when you’re talking about your audience, explaining to them how it is the perfect fit. These are moms that are busy, that are going to be wanting to be able to get something in front of their kids with it being healthy, and again, referring to that language.

And your final most important piece of your pitch, and I do have a pitch guide that your people can happily definitely grab for sure.

Jillian Leslie 16:50
What is the link to grab it, and I’ll put it in the show notes?

Jenny Melrose 16:53
Yeah, it’s jennymelrose.com/pitch-checklist. And it’ll give them the complete guide for this.

But the most important point is the last call to action is that you’re telling them, “I’d love to work with you, I’d love to send you my media kit and proposal. And I look forward to hearing from you.”

Set Yourself Up For Successful Brand Work | The Blogger Genius Podcast with Jillian Leslie

Do Not Add Prices to Your Media Kit

You’re not giving prices; you’re not telling them what you will do for them. You’re not saying I charge this for that or anything like that. And you’re telling them media kit and proposal because your media kit should not have any prices on it.

Your proposal should be a package price, I will do this, this, this and this, for this price. One price. That’s it. And the reason that I always teach that is because it gives you a way in which you can negotiate.

Because if someone comes back and says, “Well you said $1,500, we can only afford $500.” Well, okay, I told you $1,500, for a blog post or reel whatever and whatever.

I’m going to take out everything until I get to a point where I’m comfortable having them pay me $500 for whatever the deliverable is that I’m going to give them. So they’re not getting a blog post, they’re probably not getting a reel.

They might be getting a post to Instagram or something along those lines. But you have to know what you individually think you would charge for each of those. But you never tell them, you give them the package.

Jillian Leslie 18:23
I love that. And you know what else I love that you’re saying? You do your email with one call to action, which is get my media kit and my proposal. You could even say like, “Hey, just respond with a yes. And I’ll send it to you.”

Again, set people up to say yes to you to make it easy. And I love too that you’re not sending this long email with, “Here are my three packages.” Because that person then you’re putting the onus on them to have to go through the packages and go, “Wait, what?”

Okay, so B, package B has this, but package C has this and now I’ve got to make a decision. It’s like decision fatigue, they’re busy people. But if you say here’s kind of the ballpark for what you get, let’s talk about it. It enables an easier conversation.

Jenny Melrose 19:18
Yes, absolutely. And they need to know more about your audience before they need to know anything about pricing, which is why it should never be in that initial pitch.

You want to make sure that the emphasis is placed on your audience, instead of how much are they going to have to pay in order to work with you. And they have no idea who you are or who your people are.

The reason you’re pitching yourself and not waiting for them to come into your inbox is because there’s a lot of influencers out there. You need to stand out.

Sell Your Audience and Why They Are a Perfect Hit

So, the only way to do that is to email yourself and particularly who your audience is and why it’s a perfect fit for that brand.

Jillian Leslie 19:54
Okay, so I’ve talked about this a lot. In fact, I think I talked about this on your podcast is the idea that it’s not the Jillian show. It’s not the Jenny show. It’s like we’re facilitators, solving other people’s problems.

So, it’s not like the spotlight is on me. Personally, as an introvert, it makes me more comfortable when I think of the world that way. I’m here to serve my people. So, when you’re writing that pitch, it’s not like, well, I’m Jenny and look how great I am.

It is, “Here’s my audience, here’s how I can help them in their own lives.” How do you both share about you, but also share, that you have this group of people that really look to you to help them?

Jenny Melrose 20:40
I think that the pitch should be focused primarily on that audience, I don’t tell them a lot about me, because I don’t matter, it is not why they’re going to work with me, they do not care that I have two kids.

The only reason they may care if I have two kids, if I’m working with a sunscreen company, and I want to be able to show that my two kids, may have different skin tones, and one needs a different type of sunscreen than the other one does.

And that’s important too my audience who also have children, that may not have the same skin tone. So, it’s that sort of comparison that you can make if it’s going to make you stand out.

But that pitch should really be about your audience and how it is you uniquely solve the problem for them, and who those people are that you’re solving it for.

Jillian Leslie 21:33
I think that is so powerful. And personally, again, I think it’s really freeing, because it isn’t like, let me toot my own horn. It’s like, “Hey, here’s what I do I serve, I’m there, I’m a helper.”

And the more you focus on that, and again, you’re right, they don’t care about you, they care about those people you can get in front of.

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How to Have a Smart Instagram Strategy

Jillian Leslie 22:47
You use Instagram really well, one thing that we were talking about previously was this idea of building your relationships individually with your audience. So, instead of thinking of them as this behemoth, they are people.

And the more you can talk to them. Now it’s not like you can talk to everybody. But if you can identify certain people and really talk to them, especially the ones who want to talk to you. I think that is super useful.

And we’ve talked about this the value of hearing the way they describe their own lives and their own problems. And using that language in whatever you’re doing, whether it be a blog post, social media post, you’re trying to sell them something.

So, how do you use Instagram to figure this out to build that relationship with your audience?

Jenny Melrose 23:42
So, Instagram through me for a very long time I hate it, I’m not going to lie and say that I loved it. Because I didn’t. And I was very late to the platform when I had the Melrose Family.

And that was because I didn’t understand which is what I still hear from my clients that have been blogging for more than five years is that there’s no click through, there’s no traffic coming from Instagram, why would I waste my time over there?

Well, it’s the place that you can have community. Back in the dinosaur days people used to leave comments, inbox, you don’t do that anymore.

We used to have Facebook pages where people used to comment all the time, and we could figure out what it was that they wanted, what they liked, and what they didn’t like. It doesn’t happen anymore, because people don’t see your stuff on Facebook.

So Instagram through stories is letting you have a direct connection with that audience. Stories are meant for the followers that you already have. It’s that daytime drama they want to see and they want to know you.

Using Stories to Create Authentic Connections

And creating stories gives you that chance to become that authentic person that they like, know and trust. So, that if you someday want to create a product or service which I of course highly recommend.

We talked that a little bit about that on my podcast when you came over as well. That it gives you that chance to really establish that relationship with them. Because they can know who you are.

The things that you do, the things that you don’t like, the kind of traits that you have personality wise, and they feel that connection with you. It’s why video does so well. People hear your voice, they see you, they see you being authentic.

They see you articulating what it is you do and how you can help them. That makes it different than just reading a blog post or seeing a Facebook post or whatever it might be.

So in stories, not only am I sharing behind the scenes, but I’m asking them questions. So for example, I had a client that thought for a really long time that she wanted to have a book that was going to be her product.

That was what she wanted to put out, hardcover books. She wasn’t talking eBook. And she went to her people on Instagram, and asked them using a poll feature, “Hey, if I were to put something out, would you rather this or this, journal or book?”

Use the Poll Feature on Instagram

And then she did another slide that said, course or workshop, and then she did another slide, and just kept giving them examples of which would they rather have using that poll feature.

Because when you use the poll feature, it gives you the percentage of people that like it, but when you actually swipe up on it and look at the insights, you can see who said what.

So, now what you need to do is once you see what they’re picking and why they’re picking, have that conversation, they put a little airplane right next to their memes.

I now will push that airplane and say, “Hey, you press that you wanted a journal? What are you looking to see in that? What would be your takeaway, your transformation of that journal? Are you looking to do free writing or you want exercises?”

And now a conversation is happening in my DMs, we are going back and forth, and I’m asking more questions, and she’s telling me more about her life. And now I can really truly understand my audience.

It’s the same thing before we were talking about that pitch about where do your people shop? You should know that, especially if you’re talking to brands, that’s a poll. And if they say they shop at Target, or they shop where else, ask them other places.

And you only are giving them two choices, where else do they shop? Do they go to Aldi do they go to the local grocery store, whatever it might be? Having those conversations, though, not only builds a relationship, but it also affects the algorithm.

When Instagram sees you in their DMs. It boosts you, your story bubble to the front of the line. And also what you’ll notice is your things will come up more in their feed.

I’m saying of course you’ll notice but you will notice their content starting to come up in your feed as well because you’re in their DM as well as they’re in yours. So, you’re not only gaining information, but you’re positively affecting the algorithm as well.

How to Use Reels Successfully

Jillian Leslie 27:46
Now how are you using Reels? And are you also starting to explore TikTok?

Jenny Melrose 27:53
So, I have decided, when I start with a platform, I try to figure out if my people are there and how they are using it. And based on my research of talking to my people using Instagram, they are on TikTok. But they are not there to learn.

They’re there to be entertained, and they don’t want to be thinking about business. So for me, my people are not there with that intention of developing and educating which is primarily what I do.

So, I’m not on TikTok. I use reels with the ability to be able to teach my audience different things, I have started to be able to do different things with using the trending sounds and the ways that it can be found in the algorithm.

But I’m always making sure that anytime I’m doing a reel it applies to my business and helps or serve my audience. I’m not dancing around, doing some sort of crazy TikTok dance dancy like, the new Walker Hayes’ song. That is not what’s happening.

It is always relevant to my business. For example, there was a trending sound where all you hear is like mumbling. It’s like I, I and someone’s supposed to be talking.

And I just did a reel that came out today where I’m just kind of listening and making faces as they’re going along. You can’t understand what that trending sound but the bubbles that are popping is about working for free, working in exchange for product.

And I’m saying that each time that person talks you can’t understand because they sound like Charlie Brown, that it’s something else that a brand is asking me to do for free.

And then I say read the caption in order to know what to do differently. So, it’s finding those trending sounds and applying it to your business can make it work for your blog.

Jillian Leslie 29:47
That’s so clever. Now are you going live on Instagram?

Jenny Melrose 29:53
I don’t go live on Instagram. I did probably like a year or two ago, but I wasn’t seeing the reach, and there’s only so many places I feel like I can put my time and effort into. And primarily that, for me is definitely educating via my podcast.

And I love using stories, I just think that stories are the fastest, easiest way to understand my people. And then if I’m looking to grow, I’m going to use reels because Instagram has forced her hand and said, that’s the way you’re going to grow.

Jillian Leslie 30:23
Interesting. Okay, we started, like when I reached out to you, I said, “What are you seeing?” Because this is my feeling now, I think that the pandemic has definitely shown this. And we’re all kind of living in our own filter bubbles.

And so, in a weird way, I wanted to reality check with you. Because I’m seeing stuff on my end working with my people talking to my audience, interviewing my guests. And I really wanted to go like, “Okay, are you seeing what I’m seeing?”

Because these are the trends and I don’t want to be touting these trends, if I’m the only one seeing them. So, as you coach people, guide them, all of that, what would you say the top trends you are seeing are in online business?

Why You Want to Grow Your Email List

Jenny Melrose 31:13
The first thing that pops into mind is that people need to be growing their email list, and they need to be growing it with the intention of providing something that is going to solve a problem in return for their email address from their people.

And I think once you start to have that email address, it’s just like a blog. When you have a blog, you have your own property. Email, it’s also your own property.

You do not need to worry about Instagram isn’t sending me traffic, Pinterest isn’t sending traffic, Facebook isn’t sending traffic, you get to send your own traffic.

When you send an email, you should be sending an email that let people know I got this new blog post out. This is what it’s about. That’s the problem, we’re going to solve on it, click here.

And it doesn’t need to be these annoying long newsletters that have 45 links to 45 different articles. I’m not pushing on any of those. I want a quickie mail that’s going to tell me why I need to read this article that you’ve just put out, give me a link and let me click it.

Just like a friend would send to me in my inbox. They’re not going to send me these beautiful newsletters with all these fancy pictures, they’re going to caught up in the Gmail algorithm anyways.

So, I think the biggest most important thing is definitely focusing on growing that email list because again, it’s something that you own, and then making sure that you’re spending your time where your people are.

And determining whether or not where you’re spending your time. Not only are people there, but is it growing your business? Are you seeing a financial growth? Having been a blogger back in 2009, when I started, we chase pageviews.

That is what we did we wanted traffic because we wanted to see the ad income come in. And when you do that, you have a tendency of trying to rank for certain terms, and then not connecting it to a product or service that you offer.

Be a Business Owner, Not a Blogger Chasing Pageviews

You would just try and get out that content. So, one of the things I noticed a lot with my clients right now that we’re trying to fix is to get out of that blogger mentality of chasing pageviews. And to get into the mentality of being an influencer entrepreneur.

Jillian Leslie 33:21
I love that.

Jenny Melrose 33:21
You are a business owner.

Jillian Leslie 33:23
I love that. I say you are not a content creator you are a content marketer. And we were talking about this on your podcast, which is I have a blog post checklist. And one thing in this checklist is what is the goal of this post?

It can’t just be, “Hey, I want people to come.” It’s like for example, your goal of that post is pageviews you better optimize it for pageviews meaning guiding your people, “Hey, if you like this, click here, click over to this.”

Like, let’s get some pageviews going but it could be, “Hey, buy my product.” Great everything about this post is geared toward I want you to buy my product your life will be better if you buy my product.

It could be, “Hey, I’m working with this brand and that brand is looking they want clicks. Hey definitely check them out, go here for their giveaway.”, Whatever it is, but we talked about this when it comes to writing the emails to brands.

It’s like one call to action. You can say it multiple times. In fact, I recommend you do that. I recommend everything be like street signs directing somebody to do this. And that the goal of the post can be directly tied to you making money.

So, not just brand building. I don’t know what that means. I understand money. And so, it’s like put it being like what you just said, you are an entrepreneur, you’re not doing this as a hobby or jobby, you are doing this because this is a way for you to monetize.

Jenny Melrose 35:15
Yes. And I think when you actually put how you are the expert, and then give them something in exchange for their email address, you then can send them down your email path that should lead to a funnel that should lead to a product.

Connect Your Opt-in to Your Product

So, that whatever your opt-in is, in order to grow your email, it should be connected to what your product or service is going to be. So for example, I have a client that I’m working with right now that is a very large food blogger.

She took a pivot a little bit and started talking more about health and habits and these healthy habits that she has had. She put together a healthy habits journal, which has done great, especially with her Instagram audience, but she was primarily chasing pageviews previously.

So, her content doesn’t show how habits are important throughout her blog posts. Now she’s going back, adding them in. Anything moving forward shows how you can create a habit.

And by the way, you should grab my free guide that shows you how to set up this wonderful habit. And then that funnel pushes them towards that journal, because you got to build.

Selling isn’t something that you can do right out of the gate, they need to actually see and know who you are, and see the value that you bring to them. And making sure that it gets in front of them five to seven times is ideally what you want to happen.

Jillian Leslie 36:33
Yes. And by the way, putting together I would say it’s almost like layers of your business. And you look at other people you go, “How did they set this up, it’s so complicated, I could never do that.” And I say go piece by piece.

But what I recommend you do is go on a walk, or do some stream of consciousness writing or something where you can start to think about the pieces that you need to put together so that you can get the result you want, which hopefully is attached to making money.

So, instead, this is again, the difference that I would say back from when we all started and it was almost like we fell into these businesses. And then it was like Instagram cool, grow your Instagram followers.

And when people say to me, I want to grow my Instagram followers, my follow-up question is always, why? But before it was kind of okay to think I just am growing my Instagram followers, and I’ll figure it out at some point.

It’s like now is the time to spend that mental energy thinking through how you want your people to be consuming your content, to ultimately getting on your email list to ultimately you figuring out what problems you can solve for them.

And how you can monetize those solutions. And it could be printables, it could be an actual product, it could be a course, it could be a membership, but that you’re thinking this through rather than again, falling into it.

Because you’re dealing with all of these, I would say hazards along the way now. Whether it comes with algorithms, whether it’s people’s attention spans, so you got to break through the noise.

And the only way I know to do that is intentionally coming up with the blueprint, and then slowly building out that blueprint.

Jenny Melrose 38:25
Yes, absolutely. I would agree.

Jillian Leslie 38:28
Okay, if you were to, think about what is the opportunity, the low hanging fruit that you see that you recommend people lean into and it could be email?

But is there something else that you would say, “Hey, you know what, you guys, here’s where I’m seeing an opportunity, you might not be seeing this?” What would it be?

Why You Want to Utilize Instagram Stories

Jenny Melrose 38:51
I would say utilizing stories. You have that opportunity to build a sense of community and to understand your people and what they need.

I’ve watched so many clients that when they use their stories properly, and they are trying to not only show behind the scenes, but asking their people questions and following up in their DMs it makes all the difference in the trajectory of their business.

Jillian Leslie 39:15
How often are you using like the poll feature or the question feature on stories?

Jenny Melrose 39:22
Once per day easily and I’m probably posting to stories at least five to seven times per day. And the thing about stories is it doesn’t need to be the perfect, it just shouldn’t be the perfect. It should be quick and simple.

A quick Boomerang video of you doing something stupid or a quick video of you. Stories from today of you being disgusting and telling the story of what happened with your husband pulling away with the car keys in his car and then you couldn’t get your kids to school.

So, you put a text out to all your girlfriends and there was a car in your driveway within five minutes for you to bring your kids to school. This was a story I told them Instagram and I didn’t do it be a video. I did it with a picture of me looking gross.

And then little added pieces to tell the story. And it was four slides off of one story that I was explaining. And I’ve had so many DMs of people saying to me, “Ooh my goodness, I don’t even know how I would have handled that.”

I keep that so good. That’s agree that you have that kind of community around you, or whatever else. But something like that, then followed up with, okay, what’s going on throughout my day? Do we interview? I’ve got a mastermind, whatever it might be.

And then if I’m working on something within my business, asking them questions about what are they looking for? How can I better serve them? Or do you want to save your seat? Or do you want to listen to this podcast episode?

Things like that for stories so that you can get them into your DM and providing them with the link that’s then clickable. My clients that have 30,000 followers on Instagram are not using the swipe up and PS swipe ups going away.

So, start thinking about how you can actually get them into your DMs with a live link that they can click on.

Jillian Leslie 41:03
So, you will say DM me for the link.

Jenny Melrose 41:06
I won’t even say that I will do a poll and I’ll say do you want this info dropped into your DMs? And I’ll put type yes and already got it as my option and when whoever presses type, yes, I will then DM them.

“Hey, here’s the link that you asked for.” And I dropped the link down into their DM

Jillian Leslie 41:23
That is so brilliant. I love it. In your stories, how much of the time are you teaching? And how much of the time are you building community via sharing your life and also sharing behind the scenes?

Jenny Melrose 41:41
I think that I still teach a little bit in my stories, but normally it’s through an Instagram post to my feed or reel that I’m trying to promote as well into my stories. That’s where the education part normally comes from.

Otherwise probably 75% is building community and showing the behind the scenes so that they get to know me.

Jillian Leslie 42:02
I love that. Jenny, I’m so glad that we have connected I feel like we need to do this every so often. Just because I always learn from you. You are a natural teacher.

Jenny Melrose 42:15
Thank you I appreciate that.

Jillian Leslie 42:16
So, if people want to reach out to you to learn more about how to work with brands, but also how to grow their businesses, what is the best way?

Jenny Melrose 42:27
Instagram. Send me a DM on Instagram and just ask a question if you want that pitch guide just put pitch guide. If you want to ask something specific, please feel free to put it in there.

My Instagram is @Jenny_ Melrose. It is definitely always me. My team does not, is not allowed to touch my DM because I like having this connection. It is my one way to continue to know my community and what they need.

Jillian Leslie 42:53
Oh I think that is a great place to end. Well thank you Jenny so much for being on the show.

Jenny Melrose 42:58
Thank you so much for having me, Jillian, I appreciate it.

Jillian Leslie 43:01
I always like having Jenny on the show. If you want to be working with brands, there is nobody better to learn from so I recommend her. Also I thought her way of thinking about Instagram stories was really right on. It is a great way to connect.

Jillian Leslie 43:21
And before I go, I want to again mention MiloTree Easy Payments. Just in your mind think about the membership you could launch and with MiloTree Easy Payments you can do it so fast, so easily and it is so cost effective.

So, if that’s interesting to you head to milotree.com/easypayments and sign up for your account, get your money button and start monetizing and I will see you here again next week.

Other Blogger Genius Podcast episodes to listen to:

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Let it pop up in front of your visitors and ask them to follow you on Instagram Pinterest, YouTube, Facebook, join your list, check out the exit intent but really get your community growing. And we’d love to help you with MiloTree. And I will see you here again next week.

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