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#190: What’s Working in Social Media Right Now!

Today I’m talking about what’s working in social media right now with Jeff Sieh, social media expert and second time returning guest.

We talk all about:

  • What’s working on Pinterest now and why you should lean into Idea Pins
  • Why you should also lean into Reels
  • Why video is so important to your social media strategy
  • Why you want to repurpose as much content as possbile so you don’t have to always reinvent the wheel
  • Why you might get out of your own content bubble to see what other people are doing
  • How to add “entertainment” to your content
  • And why the old sales model doesn’t work anymore

If you’re struggling with social media or if you just want to up your game, this is the episode for you!

What's Working in Social Media Right Now! | 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. I am your host, Jillian Leslie. And I like to build businesses on the internet. In fact, I’ve been talking about this a lot.

David, my husband and partner and I are rolling out something new, called MiloTree, Easy Payments. It is all about empowering you as a creator, to take your fate in your own hands, and to go directly to your audience to start a membership or to sell a product.

And this is the easiest way to get paid. I will talk in this episode that’s coming up about how I am thinking in my own business that when everybody is zigging, I want to zack.

So, if you’ve looked into starting a membership, you will see that there are all of these bloated solutions that are expensive. And we said, hey, why don’t we go in a new direction? Why don’t we set up a way for people to get paid?

But then we say go, we will integrate with your email service provider and put your customers directly in that. We say go use a private Facebook group to host your membership or do it on Zoom.

Do it on a Discord server, do it in a private Instagram account, do it on Slack, do it just as an email newsletter whatever way you want to connect with your audience. We say great, we give you the tools so that everything hooks together.

And we give you a dashboard, but you get to do it just how you want. It’s kind of cool. If you are thinking of starting a membership. Or let’s say you wanted to do a one off teaching session, a webinar or workshop or like a three-month program.

You can use MiloTree Easy Payments to do that as well. Hope you can see how excited I am about it. I think it’s a game changer.

My goal is to help you get paid. If this is interesting to you head to milotree.com/betatester because we are working with our beta testers.

We’re in our beta launch. I’d love to talk to you about how this would work. And even hopefully, just me saying this might get you thinking about what kind of membership could you build, where you have recurring revenue.

And where you’re not dependent on social media networks, to push your content out. But this way you get to speak directly to your audience. That’s a lot.

For today’s episode. I have Jeff Sieh back on the show. So, he is a social media and visual marketing expert. You might have seen him on the weekly tailwind Facebook Lives. I’ve had him on the podcast before.

What I love about Jeff is he is right there at the cutting edge of what is working in social media. So, every so often, I love picking his brain. We talk a lot about how things have changed through the pandemic.

How people want to be entertained, how people have lost a sense of who to trust, and how to really connect with your audience in a whole different way.

For the most cutting edge tips on social media. I bring you, Jeff Sieh.

Jeff, welcome back to the show. I’m so, glad you are here for part two.

Jeff Sieh 3:57
Awesome. I am excited to be here, Jillian, you know, I always love talking to you and your audience. And you were on our show not very long ago. So, that was always fun. So, this is this is exciting again.

Jillian Leslie 4:06
Exactly. Well, that’s why I was like, “Jeff, come back on my show!” Because I feel like you get to see a breath of what’s going on in the world of social media business building. And I want to pick your brain.

Jeff Sieh 4:20
Cool. I’m all for it. Pick away.

What's Working in Social Media Right Now! | MiloTree.com

How to Have Success on Pinterest Now in 2021

Jillian Leslie 4:23
Okay. So, let’s start with a place that I feel has gotten to be a little controversial, which is Pinterest. And before we started recording, we were just talking offline about Pinterest is changing. And what are you seeing on your end?

Jeff Sieh 4:41
Yeah, so there’s a lot of frustration. We talked about Pinterest, because the days of just like posting your content and then just repining the same stuff over and over. I did it. I think we’ve all done it.

And we saw this traffic and we saw our Pinterest account grow and all that stuff. And that doesn’t work anymore. On the Tailwind show, we are always constantly talking about creating fresh pins, which is taking new images and not reposting all the time.

And the video coming into the platform and then idea pins. And a lot of times there’s a lot of joking that Pinterest is trying to be Instagram and all this other stuff.

And recently in the news, I know their stock went down a little bit because they reported that they didn’t have growth like they used to. Revenue grew but the growth of monthly active users, which everybody looks for on social media platforms, fell a little bit.

And I know that freak people out. I got all sorts of messages and all this sort of things. I still think Pinterest is around for the long term. And I think, because it’s so much different.

And we’ve talked about this before, that it’s not a social media platform per se, even though they’re trying to give those little hints of like, putting reactions on there, and they’re trying to make it more like Instagram, it’s still mostly a visual search engine.

And so, when it come across that way, it makes sense for you to put your content there and create content, especially for long term stuff. I still believe are Pinterest for long term traffic and learn long term, it’s a great place to put your content.

It’s not as great as it used to be when we first started. But it’s still a place, I think, especially for your audience for bloggers to still put content there and optimize for that platform.

How to Have Success with Ideas Pins on Pinterest

Jillian Leslie 6:31
And are you seeing a lot of value with Idea Pins, because they take time to make and you can’t put a link to them. And I know then you go well, they can grow your followers.

And that signals to the algorithm that your account is good and should show your other pins. But that’s a roundabout way of getting traffic. And how do you feel about that?

Jeff Sieh 6:54
So, I was like you, like listen, I couldn’t have a link back. What in the world? Why would I spend time on that? But the more that I’ve done it, I do see the long tail of it actually growing my account and getting my pins in front of more people.

So, I still think is a good thing. Recently, they just allowed creators to start making money from idea pins, they’re allowing this link for some of these affiliate things.

And especially for the fashion industry, there are ways that you can tag products now in those idea pins. So, I think Pinterest, they did the big push, and everybody started doing that.

And whenever Pinterest says to do something, it makes sense to do it because they’re going to highlight it like every other platform, Facebook, Instagram, all that stuff.

So, I think they’ve heard a little bit about the frustration that some of the creators had, on creating idea pins and not getting, where’s my link kind of thing. And they’re starting to allow that.

I think long term, they’re going to allow those kinds of links, especially for products. And so, I’m testing some things right now even trying to see if I can get digital products in there.

If they could start allowing digital products and some things that we could link to, even if we had to use a company like Square, I think is one of their partners, as well as like, Shopify.

Once that really integrates heavily, I think you’re going to see more and more idea pins. But then again, you got to go, “Okay, if everybody starts doing that, how am I going to stand out in the field?”

So, you always have to measure. Okay, first adopter, spending all this time and effort, is it really going to boost me enough to make sense for all the time I’m spending? And then when everybody else jumps on the bandwagon, is it too late?

Do I need to do something else? So, it’s always a balancing act. And it’s tough for small businesses. I get it. We only have so many hours in the day. And what should we spend our time on?

I still think it’s worth taking your content, especially if you’re coming from a blog perspective, is creating that pin and posting it to Pinterest. And then as you can streamline your processes and use tools like you have.

That make it easy that you start taking that content and creating new images for it creating some videos around it, maybe taking some idea pins and saying, “Listen, here’s some of these pins. You find more by following my profile.” That kind of thing.

I think that is a good thing to do. And I think Pinterest is still really, really important for bloggers.

Jillian Leslie 9:20
When I go to Pinterest right now, I feel like it’s all about products. Like, I go look for kitchen ideas. And I see kitchen sinks and kitchen cabinets and things to buy. So, how do you stand out as say, a DIY blogger or something like that?

Is there still room for those food blogger where it’s not about products? I feel like Pinterest is really leaning into product discovery.

Jeff Sieh 9:48
I agree. And I think also in your algorithm. I mean mine will be different than yours. And I still think that the search thing it’s still really important that you really work on your titles and your descriptions and stuff we’ve talked about forever.

So, you do get surfaced in search when people are searching for like something, maybe a recipe or something besides a product.

Jillian Leslie 10:08
Got it.

Why You Want to Lean into Video Right Now as a Creator

Jeff Sieh 10:09
I also, think if you are doing those DIY things, and you’re wanting to stand out from the products, like how to make the best chicken soup, or whatever it is, that you really lean into video.

And you think of ways of just not showing a picture of my soup, but how can I do something that is very creative that will stand out? And yes, it’s hard. Yes, it’s going to take some thought, and you’re going to make things that don’t work.

But Pinterest has been one of those platforms that has always not slapped you down for testing things. And so, the more you test, the better you have an idea, and you don’t really get your account, delisted. It’s okay to experiment. And I think people are scared to experiment.

And standing out the feed with video. One of my favorite video pins that I saw, and it was really quick. And you guys may have seen it if you’re new on Pinterest.

But it was a shot of somebody put a coffee cup underneath a Keurig machine, but it was upside down, and it was spilling all over it. And then somebody turned it right side up. And it was for like Folgers or one of those coffee things.

But it was at splits, simple thing that caught your eye. And then it was like, Oh, and it was really quick.

So, how could you do that with, a soup recipe or something that, has a little bit of entertainment or humor into it. So, it’s hard. But I think that’s what’s going to stand out more and more on Pinterest.

Jillian Leslie 11:31
I think that what you’re saying is what had worked for so many years. Years in the internet. Remember, five years on the internet is an eternity. It was I just take a pretty photo, put a headline on it, pin it on Pinterest, boom, magic traffic.

How to Add Entertainment to Our Content

And what you’re saying is, especially after the pandemic, and we have been on our phones and at home. And we want to be entertained, that if you can go that extra mile, an extra little bit and find an angle a twist.

Put a little more brainpower in the development of your content, you can see larger rewards. Doing it the same way over and over again, might not pay off in the same in the same way as it used to.

Jeff Sieh 12:19
Yes, I do. I totally agree with that. And here’s a great example, one of my favorite, Pinterest educators is Jennifer Priest, she does cool stuff. And one of the things she talks about all the time is she was making these things with IKEA.

IKEA is always a white background, like a wooden thing in the middle. And it’s very, very simple. And those were really popular. And she’s like, man, “I can’t break into this. So, she made it with a black border.

And so, her pin started surfacing in those IKEA feeds but it had that black and it stood out. So, then the clicks started happening and traffic started happening. And so, it’s great to see what other people are doing to get an idea of what’s popular.

Then you look at and go okay, if it’s popular, how do I stand out? I did a long time ago I even have a little mini course on it where I was speaking at Social Media Marketing World.

And they gave you like the picture of Social Media Market World and had your little round photo in it for like this. I’m a speaker kind of thing. Well, I took that exact graphic and I made a video of myself popping out of it and pointing to like, subscribe.

And that still gets a lot of traffic and stuff because it’s so unexpected. So, if you can make people click on something that’s unexpected and the thing that’s really interesting and is a struggle is we are training ourselves with TikTok and all these other short form video contents.

That’s what’s working. People’s attention span, they always joked it was like a goldfish. Now I don’t even know if it’s a goldfish. If we have attention span of a goldfish. It’s probably even less than that now.

Jillian Leslie 13:52
Absolutely. I remember when vines came out. And they were six seconds. And I was like, “Who would ever care about something for six seconds.” And then you saw the creativity. Like people who got it and could create six second content, like killed it.

And that’s I think what we’re seeing with a platform like TikTok, it is possible to create really engaging content in a short window, but it takes a little extra work. So, for Pinterest, if I were to say to you, “Okay, I have limited time. I have a limited budget.”

Where would you say if I have these three areas, which is regular, static pins, videos, and idea pins? How would you split my time through those?

What's Working in Social Media Right Now! | The Blogger Genius Podcast with Jillian Leslie

The Goal is to Repurpose Your Content

Jeff Sieh 14:42
So, I’m a big fan of repurposing. Hopefully you already have a strategy of taking like when you’re writing a new blog posts, making a Pinterest image and you have that on your feet. So, that’s already set.

Continue to do that, because I still think that’s valuable. It’s part of your process. Here’s what I do. So, like when I do my Live show, I do social medias live. And then I do stuff for Tailwind is that I take clips of that. And I create a title for my idea pin.

And like one slide of it is the title. Sometimes it has video, sometimes it’s just static. Then I have a clip of like, if it was you on my show, I would ask you a question you’d answer it, that would be a perfect little section for my idea pin.

And then I have another panel that says, hey, “follow me” because of this, because I share great content. So, that’s super simple. That’s three panels, it’s done, I’ve already done it. So, I post that as an idea pin, while I wait a couple days a week.

And then I take that and I uploaded it as a video pin which allows me to have the link. So, you can create idea pins, and then repurpose them to be video pins. And so, I like to do both because one, you get the link on a video pin.

And two, you’re giving Pinterest the idea pin, which is really exciting for them on the algorithm. And just those three panel things. I keep getting emails from Pinterest saying, “Hey, your pin just got 10,000 views.”

And so, they’re people who are watching it, and I’m getting the best of both worlds. So, I would do it and kind of weight it that way.

I would use video, do idea pins, continue what you’re doing, but I would really look at repurposing some of that stuff on your Pinterest account.

Jillian Leslie 16:19
If people want to see what you’re doing. What is your Pinterest account? So, that people can call.

Jeff Sieh 16:24
They can just call at Jeff Seih, J-E-F-F S-I-E-H, find me there and they can see my idea pins. And yeah, they’re really simple. But they really work.

Do B- Work So You Can Test New Ideas

Jillian Leslie 16:29
And I think that’s true, too, which is not to overthink it more like put stuff up and see what happens. I always teach this concept of B-minus work. And b-minus is still above average, but it’s doable.

And your goal is to just get stuff out rather than overthinking it, it’s much better if you can get five ideas out there, rough. And see if any of those start to gain traction, look for where the traction is.

Jeff Sieh 17:01
And also get beyond your bubble. And I think especially as marketers, we always think like, Okay, this isn’t working, or why aren’t people liking my stuff. And so first of all, look at your habits when you scroll through the feed. How fast are you scrolling?

I have a feeling it’s pretty fast on Pinterest, you guys are flicking by that stuff. And you have to remember, that’s probably how the rest of the people are doing it as well. So, how are you catching that attention? How are you getting that click?

Thumb stopping content is something that everybody talks about. So that’s you. Take a little journal, so like, the stuff that you’re stopping on, just pin it to a secret board. And then collect that and then go back and analyze.

Why did I like that? What made me stop and do something like that? And then also like, I get my kids to do that. And my wife who’s not a marketer. And like, how are they using it?

Because we always think that why isn’t it working? Pinterest is broken. Tailwind doesn’t work.

Jillian Leslie 18:02
Here’s my favorite, “Pinterest hates me.”

Jeff Sieh 18:06
And they may not hate you. But everybody might not like your content. Listen, I’ve been there. I’ve posted stuff and I’m like, this is the best thing ever. It’s so funny. Everyone will love it. Nothing. Crickets.

And then I’ll post some picture, just like I threw together in five minutes. And it just got bonkers. And I’m like, “What are these people?” So, you never know. But look at other things.

Did Into Your Analytics to See What’s Working

And the other thing is, too is look at the reports and drill down into your audience, who are you actually trying to get? Who is converting for you? Where is your money being made? That’s really, really important.

And I get really frustrated. Because in my industry, there’s these reports that come out saying which platform is the best and which one everyone’s using. And one of them Pinterest is hardly even mentioned. And I’m like, “What is this?”

And the problem is it’s going to marketers, how are marketers using it? I don’t care how marketers are using it. I care about how my audience is using it. And if you look at some of the reports, Edison Research had a great one that came out the beginning of this year.

Pinterest is still number three out of all of them. And you read some of these other reports. They’re like no one’s using Pinterest, it’s with Snapchat. That’s not true. People are using Pinterest, maybe not in the same way as when we first started.

And maybe the contents will be different but they’re using it. Even with the stock that we just talked about at the beginning of the show that kind of dropped a little bit because it didn’t have the users.

It still got a lot of users and it’s still making money. It’s profitable, their profits went up. So, you got to really analyze some of this data that you’re getting in and making sure it’s applicable to you and your audience.

Get Out of Your Content Bubble to See What People Are Doing

Jillian Leslie 19:44
And I love what you’re saying also about getting out of your bubble. For example, I know when I go to Pinterest and let’s say there are like the kind of coaches or the social media teachers and they all have pins and they all have these certain color schemes?

They’re kind of pink with maybe a little bit of green. I know exactly. In my mind, I can totally imagine I know exactly what that’s going to look like.

And my new thinking in my own businesses is when people are zigging zag, figure out how to zag. And a lot of times, it’s going more basic and simpler.

Jeff Sieh 20:26

Jillian Leslie 20:27
It’s not more complicated with more words. It’s so funny. We coach bloggers. And so, they’ll send me their blog posts and say, “What do you think?” And I go, like, people are going to read this post, and I say, “read” in quotes, while watching Netflix.

So, therefore, you better believe people are not going to be reading your posts. Like, they’re not going to be like, “Oh, my God, she wrote all these beautiful sentences. No, I want literally, every single person when I give feedback is make it skimmable.

Make it easy to consume, find me, I want to find the answer. Serve up the answer. I don’t care about your grandma. I don’t care that you have this expansive vocabulary, and write these beautiful paragraphs, I just want bullets.

So, just be thinking, go look at what people are doing in your space, and figure out how to do something different.

Jeff Sieh 21:23
Yeah. So, for my Idea Pins. One of the things I tested and continue to work is that I started with just like a black panel with white text on it. And that was doing okay. Well, I took that same thing. And I animated a paint explosion, just on the first pin. And that work.

Because it copies and I was like, what is this? And then they would stop. And then they would read it, engage with it. So, sometimes, it’s those little cheesy little tactics. I had one where I saw somebody was popping up from the bottom of the pan and talking or something.

So, I thought, okay, pop from the side. Like you said, zig, when other people zag. Sometimes it’s just like exactly that. It’s like, if they’re coming in this way, you should come in the other way. And then you stand out. It really sometimes is that simple.

Jillian Leslie 22:08
Yes. So, can we switch gears now and talk about Instagram and then we’ll talk about TikTok, because Instagram I feel has now come out and said, “Hey, we’re not just pretty squares anymore.”

It feels to me. And I mentioned this to you before we pressed record, that Instagram is chasing TikTok, and Pinterest is chasing Instagram. So, what are you seeing on Instagram that’s working?

Jeff Sieh 22:36
So, it’s funny that you said this, because I just had last Friday, Jenn Herman, who is an amazing Instagram person on our show, and we interviewed her.

Because, yeah, they did come out and say that, “Hey, we’re no longer a photo sharing app, we’re this we’re going to be entertainment video.” And photographers are going, “What?” So, the thing is, they’ve always been that way.

They’ve been doing so much more, and it’s almost getting a little bloated. But yeah, I think with Instagram and they’ve said it, they’ve said, “We are threatened by TikTok, that’s our biggest competitor.”

Why You Want to Be Creating Reels

And so, that’s why they came out with Reels. Reels just recently went to 60 seconds. So, you now have longer time to do Instagram reels, which they’re really trying to push. And so just like, on Pinterest, we talked about, giving the algorithm what it wants.

Right now, for Instagram, it’s Reels. They’re doing some really cool stuff with data, they expanded their data out from 30 days to 60. So, they’re starting to give people more tools, I think, to create content.

And also, they’re doing like the automatic, language translation to stories, which I think is really, really cool that they’re going to translate the texts you put on the screen. So, they’re making some cool stuff.

But I agree. First of all, it’s not as polished as it used to be. You look at stories, it’s raw, it’s TikTokie. It’s the same thing with reels they want that education and entertainment. So, throughout all platforms, I don’t think you can just go and sell anymore.

I think it’s going to be you have to do edutainment. And it used to be like, okay, we’re going to share the people’s content. Here’s some pretty pictures, here’s this, this and this, then we’ll do a sales thing.

And then we’re going to do this kind of fun content, then we’re going to do a sales thing.

Jillian Leslie 24:27
So, you’re saying like, this is brands thinking this way?

Jeff Sieh 24:30
I think brands businesses.

Jillian Leslie 24:32
So, it was kind of like they’re trying to provide value and then sell?

The Old Sales Model Doesn’t Work Anymore

Jeff Sieh 24:39
Yeah, I don’t think that model is going to work anymore. I think that they’ll get colorblind to any sort of sales thing. So, you’ve got to work the sales into your organic content.

You’ve got to work what you do not in a deceptive way but in a way that’s more organic and not so salesy. I use this example all the time. I may have used it last time, we were talking.

A local company here, they sell snow cones. And at the end of the day, what they do is they always sell out because there’s this really organic stuff and everybody loves them.

The end of the day, they have a kid that they pull randomly who gets the last cone of the day. And they put it in front of a sign that says sold out, and they make you make a sad face. And they post that to their Instagram.

And people line up to be that last person because it’s their kid. It’s all this user generated content. But that’s selling their company, make sure you come early, because we sell out every time we’re that popular. You need to come see us before this happens.

But it’s really backend way of doing it. That’s the kind of content we’ve got to create on all platforms, it’s got to be that edutainment, entertaining kind of thing.

Jillian Leslie 25:48
Fear of missing out and you’re holding out on all of these.

Jeff Sieh 25:52

So, it’s not just come by our snow cones.

Right. It’s not just like, “Hey, we’re having a sale, buy one, get one free.” Okay, whatever, how can that be funny or entertainment? So, if you do buy one, get one free, you can have somebody who missed out of that.

They came the next day. And they were like this, “I read it wrong.” So, some sort of joke or funniness into that ad that you have the buy one, get one free, those are always going to do better, they’re going to get shared more, all that kind of stuff.

And I know it’s hard to be creative. I think on Instagram, more and more brands are going to partner with influencers that can do that. And because they already have an audience, they can tap into that audience.

And so, I think you’re going to see more and more people. And Neal Schaffer talks about this a lot. We had him on our show too even these micro, I consider myself a micro influencer.

On Instagram, I have a very small audience compared to some of the other ones like I have on Pinterest. But because those people see my content, and the algorithm still shows it to them.

And I’m active and they follow me because they like my content, that is worth something to brands, and the smart brands are going to pay for that.

So, it’s really exciting if you’re a small influencer or a micro influencer, because brands are starting to see that, “Oh my gosh, I have greater reach, and can impact more people with these smaller influencers, if I get the Kardashians.”

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Jillian Leslie 28:36
I feel like we have this crisis of confidence. And we don’t know who to trust. And I feel like Jeff by you showing up week after week, and I see you and I trust you, that matters. So, that if I’m Target or I’m some big company that’s like kind of nameless, faceless.

But if somebody like Jeff, I don’t know, if Target comes to you and says, “Hey, we’ve got all this great beard care, male grooming stuff.” I would believe you. And I think that being that authentic self, that honest person goes a long way.

So, if you can’t be super creative, let’s say, you’re not like, hey, I do Parkour and I can edit myself doing all these cool things no, but you do also have your voice and your point of view.

And if you’re willing to put that out there consistently, I think people can smell that authenticity.

Why We Need Authenticity on the Internet

Jeff Sieh 29:49
Well, we haven’t bathed since COVID. So, we probably do smell of authenticity. I see your point is, I think that yeah, you don’t have to be like some stand-up comedian or something like that.

If you’re honest and giving, let’s say just reviews on tools of like you use in your trade, and say, I have some friends who are painters and stuff, they’re like, I really liked this brush. I really don’t like this one. And here’s why.

And you do that week over week with different things. And when you do say something, and influencers come to you and one of the things you can’t misuse that trust that audience has given you.

You can’t just say, I’m going to take it for this paycheck, even though it’s a sucky tool, and I never use it, you have to be authentic. But that is really worth something. And people really do trust you. They recognize you, they recognize your voice.

And they’re like, “Okay, if Jillian says to do this, I’m going to try it. Because I’ve been listening to her I get value from her all the time. I trust her over Target. I don’t care, if Target has an end cap with all this stuff on sale. Leslie said to get this. I’m going to try this.”

Jillian Leslie 30:55
Totally. So, I teach this a lot. So, I have a lot of like, female people that we coach, and I always say be somebody’s girlfriend, who hooks somebody up. That’s it. That’s all you have to do.

And I know, I’m the one who runs into you and goes, “Oh, my God, I went to that great restaurant. Have you tried it?”

Jeff Sieh 31:14

Jillian Leslie 31:15
Or if somebody says I like your lipstick then I go, “Oh my God! Here’s where I got it, you should get it.” Like, all I want to do is hook you up. A friend of mine was visiting, and I kept texting him restaurants.

“Oh, my God, look at this Indian restaurant. Hey, if you’re going to be on South Congress, go to this restaurant.” And he was so happy. Because yes, he can read Yelp. And yes, he can see what people are saying.

But he’s similar to me. He’s into food, I’m into food. Chances are I steered him correctly. And then we have something to talk about. So, just be thinking about, I’m somebody’s girlfriend, who knows a little, who has that like inside.

Like, who’s tried the new restaurant, and I want to help you have a good experience. So, that’s always the persona that I recommend people like live in.

What do I know that you might not know, but not from an arrogant point of view. But from a like, “Oh, my God, I want to make your life better.”

Jeff Sieh 32:18
So, let’s back this up a little bit and say, “Okay, what about somebody who’s just getting started?” Because I think that’s thing they’re like, well, I don’t have that thing yet. I don’t have the authority even by you to do something yet.

So, when I first started, I did a lot of stuff for free. I would interact with people and offer things. I’ve told this story before, I start in Google Plus back in the day, that’s how I met, my network.

So, if even if the network goes away, those relationships are still valid. Just want to say that right off the top. That’s how I got my gig that I do. Guy Kawasaki’s podcast and live show. Peg Fitzpatrick, who you’ve had, I believe on the show.

And so, I did stuff, people will say, “Hey, I’m getting ready to do this live show.” And I say, “Hey, I can create for you this video opener. I’ll just do for you. Here it is, you don’t have to use it. Here you go. I thought it was cool.”

I did a lot of that stuff when I started. And that made a huge difference. Now I didn’t ever ask, you can’t go and say, “Hey, I made this.” And then wait a week and go, “Oh, by the way, I made you that you need to have me on your show.”

Why You Want to Give to Others on the Internet to Build Relationships

That doesn’t work. You have to give and then that does it. It comes back to you. I made things for people’s live videos. I said, “Hey, I know this person. I know they’re doing this, here I’ll just connect you.” And then back away.

And all that stuff. It starts compounding interest. And it makes a big deal I was able to get from just commenting and making smart comments. And on Pinterest Patrick’s post on Google Plus, we developed a relationship and a friendship.

And I was able to get Guy Kawasaki on my show early on, which that led to me getting people like the producer of “Pretty Woman” on my show. And all these guests because I had Guy on. So, all that stuff is compounding interest.

So, I know it stinks and you don’t want to hear that when you’re first starting out. But sometimes you’ve got to do things that don’t scale that you have to really, do some of these things that you’re proving yourself for a while.

And you can’t ask for the ask right off the bat.

Jillian Leslie 34:28
What I would say and tell me your thoughts on this. In the beginning, maybe 10 years ago, especially if we were bloggers. Let’s say I’m a food blogger. I create recipes on my own in my house. I take pretty pictures, I put them out and it’s like one to many.

I broadcast it. I post it on Facebook and put my pins out there. And I don’t have a close relationship with my audience because I’m like a publisher.

Think of me like a magazine and today as the internet has gotten much bigger, it has also gotten much smaller meaning it’s weirdly one-on-one relationships. Therefore, for example, we’re building a new product, which is called MiloTree Easy Payments.

And it is a way, you might be interested. If you are thinking of building a membership, I want to create a way the easiest way possible for you to get paid. All we do we integrate with Stripe, which is a credit card platform, and we give you a money button.

And you can put the money button on your blog on a sales page, we could put it in social media, whatever. And then the best part is, go host your membership wherever you want, you could do it in a Facebook group.

I’m saying you don’t have to learn a platform; you don’t have to have your people learn a platform.

One idea that somebody mentioned was, “Hey, I started a membership in a private Instagram account. And it’s private. And people ask to join my membership, and they’re in it. And that’s where I’m hosting it.”

But my point is, I have said, and I’m going to probably say it on this podcast too, come be a beta tester for me. And what I will do is I will get on the phone with you. I want to hear what you’re building.

I want to have you walk through my product, so that I can see where your pain points are. Is this scalable? Absolutely not. I’ve spent hours with people like our early testers, I’m on the phone with them at every single step.

Because I want to intimately see how are they using this. What is it like? Somebody came and said, we initially are like, okay, we’re just going to offer monthly, I want to make it easy for you. So, you can only now have monthly, like a monthly membership.

Get Up Close and Personal With Your Audience

And somebody goes well, I want a yearly. I want to offer like two months free and have a yearly plan. And I go, “No, no, no, no.” Nicely, but I was like, “No, no, we’re not going to do that.”

And then she’s like,” Well, I really want this.” And I’m like, “We have to think about it.” David and I went back and we thought about it. And then we’re like, you know what, maybe we could do this, not from a technological point of view.

But from a point of like, I don’t want you to have more choices. And I don’t want to have your customers have to make choices. So, that’s how we were thinking about it.

And ultimately, we came back and said, Nope, we will give you the yearly plan as well. But if you want three months, we’re not going to give you the three month. But anyway, it’s like everything is very intentional.

So, I’m going to build it and hope people show up. Ha, ha, it is me one-on-one sitting down with the customer saying what do you think? And I feel like the old way doesn’t work anymore.

It is me being the girlfriend. Being the best friend. Being the person who says, I made this video for you. What do you think? So, think in terms of one-on-one, even if it’s not scalable.

Jeff Sieh 37:56
Totally, totally agree. And the thing too, is, once you start doing that, and those are relationships you’re building as well. So, whenever I have an idea, I have all these people that I can run it by.

Like I can say, “Hey, Alisa, is this a good title for this downloadable?” And she’ll go, “No, you’re stupid. Don’t do that.” Go to Peg and like, “Hey, Peg, I’m thinking about creating this new podcast, is this a good idea or is the audience not there?”

And she’ll tell me, those people, they charge lots of money for consulting, but I can call them up any time and they will help me out. And the same for them. They’ll call me, like Peg always sends me her graphics before she does a presentation for the most part.

And I look at them I’m like, “Those are great, I’m doing the same thing. Those are awesome.” But that relationship, those are built up over years, but you have to make them. You have to cultivate them. And it’s not from doing spammy stuff.

It’s not from saying, “Hey, I shared yours, you need to share mine.” That kind of thing. It doesn’t work that way. It’s more of a friendship and in relationships. And if you can do that, then your business will succeed.

If you can’t do that, there are tons of different books and things you can read to help you with those interpersonal skills because you have to have those, I think, to succeed in business.

Jillian Leslie 39:17
Absolutely. And it’s kind of saying like, whereas before that blogger who’s blogging one- to-many is saying like this is it, “Hey, guys, Hey guys.” Instead of, “Hey, you. I see you and I see your problem, and I want to make your life better.”

Jeff Sieh 39:36
So, one of my favorite people and I love his stuff, and it’s totally away from anything I do, but I watch his stuff all the time. His name is Lou Mongello he does WDW Radio. He’s like the number one Disney blogger.

And he’s been doing a podcast from the beginning. When he does those Live 300 and 400 people are there. But he always says on his podcast on his Lives. He goes, “Hey, friend.”

And I asked him why he did that and he goes because I’m talking to people’s ears. I don’t want it to be, “Hey, everybody, hey.” He’s like, “Hey, friend.” It’s intimate. It’s to you who is listening. And I always loved how he did that.

And I think that’s exactly what you just said is like, you’re talking to that one person. And that one person. You never know what that relationship can happen. What can happen in the future?

Jillian Leslie 40:24
Absolutely. So, we talked about this beforehand, that back, like when Pinterest was just kind of throwing traffic at you, you can almost back into a business, like, “Whoa, I got all this traffic, I could monetize this traffic just with ads, like I got a business.”

And as true as Pinterest now is kind of turning down the spigot, and it’s harder, and you need to be more creative. And you don’t just have this audience that’s built in.

I wanted to ask you, how are you seeing bloggers pivot, to find ways to make money in their businesses beyond just, I’m a content creator? I’m like a magazine.

Cultivate Your Super Fans!

Jeff Sieh 41:09
Yeah, so what I have seen a lot of times is one, we talked about a little bit just earlier, it’s about the superfans is what we’re talking about the people who love your stuff, no matter what you do.

Like Kim Garst, no matter what niche she puts out, there’s going to be people who are going to buy her stuff. And she can put out all sorts of things. But she had to get people to that level.

And one of the things I think of, you have to create great content. I think you can’t just write, you have to do some other things, too. I think you need to do some videos; I just think you have to.

But one of the things I’ve seen that’s working for a lot of bloggers is a lot of times it would be like you get them in your funnel with a free download. Now, I still think you can get with Pinterest, some of those free downloads and bloggers can still use that.

Tiny Offers Are a Great Product Idea

But what I really have seen that works really well if you’re trying to monetize your readership or monetize your blog, is to do tiny offers. And I like tiny offers better than a free download, because it’s training your audience that eventually they’re going to have to pay.

And it’s like you Jillian, you give all this stuff away for free, you’re on shows, you’re doing this podcast for free. But one of the things is, is train people for these tiny offers. And it could be $1.99. It could be like a 99 cents Kindle eBook.

But training those people to pay some money because your content is that good that they need to pay for it, will help you when you develop that membership, you’re going to sell for $39.99 a month down the road.

And I really think that is one of the keys that I’ve seen a lot of bloggers go to, because then it’s easier. Even if you go to the Patreon route, where you say, like, hey, you’re going to get extra content or extra podcast episodes or whatever.

They’re already trained that okay, this content is good enough that I’ll pay for it, because I’ve already done it in the past. I think that’s something that bloggers really need to look at. Instead of just like, “Hey, here’s a free guide.”

Yes, I think some of that is worth doing. But if you’re going to do that free offer, it needs to be worth free. Like it’s one-page PDF kind of a thing. Something that is valued, that has a lot of value in it.

Like here’s my 101 ways to do this certain thing. I think you need to charge 99 cents or $1.99 or something to get people going.

Jillian Leslie 43:33
Yes, I would say that the most successful bloggers that we coach, sell stuff, not affiliate stuff, their own products, their own things. And that’s why we’re creating MiloTree Easy Payments, because one thing you could do is create a membership.

And if you have those super fans, they will pay amount of money every month to be closer to you. To get what you’re offering. So, for new bloggers, I say, what do you ultimately going to sell?

Because you’re not going to make a ton of money, especially if you’re just starting out with ads or even sponsorships. Those are hard to scale. Those you have to really hustle to get. So, what can you sell?

One thing too that I recommend always is let’s say, you join my list, and I get you on my email list. In that first welcome email, I tell you, “Hey, I’m going to offer you so much value, some of it is free and some of it is paid.”

And then I’m going to send you to a tripwire which is where I’m offering something to buy for a nominal amount, but it’s exactly that. I don’t want you to see me as again, like a magazine.

I want you to see me as somebody who you value, and you pay to consume what I offer, because the value is there.

The Explosion of Paid Newsletters

Jeff Sieh 45:09
Right. And something else for your bloggers may be something that I’ve seen lately that seems to be working is there’s a lot of these newsletters that are cropping up. I get the Morning Brew, Substack.

The Morning Brew, what is the other one from Robin Hood, like investment stuff? And so those are becoming more popular, these really in depth things. But I’ve seen a lot of people charging for those as well.

Jillian Leslie 45:36

Jeff Sieh 45:37
You have to provide value with those. And it could be part of the membership, like, if you join this membership, you get part of this email. Thing that I do every week, like a digest of sorts.

And that can be really, really lucrative because more and more people are doing that so, and you have their email addresses, which can be really lucrative as well.

So, there’s a lot of stuff I’m seeing really happen with subscription newsletters, and good content. Anne Hanley, who is a writer, and she does it for free. But her emails are amazing.

Jillian Leslie 46:08
And by the way we can do that with our product, you can create a paid newsletter, paid podcast. So, instead when I say to people think about the product you sell, and they kind of freak out because they think like, “Oh my god, I’m not creative.”

I can’t whittle. I can’t make a product to sell on Etsy. But what knowledge do you have that you could package in a way and provide it as, say the girlfriend, somebody hooking somebody up? Or somebody who motivates somebody?

What is it that your friends come to you and say, “You know, you’re really good at that.” So, pay attention to what those are. And then the next step is how do you package that and sell it?

And this is even more important than saying, well, I will do that after I grow my Instagram followers. Or I will do that after I’ve gotten like lots of views on my idea pins.

It’s like no, no, no, you think about how you can package what you do, sell it, and then use social media to support that to get the message out.

Always Repurpose Your Content

Jeff Sieh 47:32
And one of the things that I’ve mentioned before, I’m a big fan of repurposing. So, let’s say you did create that newsletter that you’re going to send out. Like it’s a great digest of whatever you’re going to do.

Well, then you could actually read that, and make that a subscription based podcast episode, if you’re just reading that content and putting that up there. Because some people may not want to read, they may want to listen.

You can do that, you can do it with video, you could be saying that, and going live and doing a section of that over on the Instagram Live to grow your Instagram followers. You don’t have to do the whole thing.

But you’ve already created the content. Why not use part of that to do this thing? You probably have a quote that could be pulled out of that content you just made to make a graphic.

That you can put out on social media to join your newsletter, because you share great content like this all the time. So, think about what you can do once. That’s why I love live video. Because then I can do a podcast, I can do graphics, I can do all that stuff.

Because I think a lot of people starting out, they get really into like vapor lock, like I got to create all this content. Well, if you think about it, you can create one piece of content.

And if you repurpose it in the right way, you could go everywhere. And so, as we’re giving you the ideas, don’t get overwhelmed. But think, “Hey, you know what? I’m a pretty good writer, I could write a newsletter.”

Well, then, “I can take that I could record it as an audio. Oh, I could also do that as video at the same time that I have video audio. That’s a special podcast, I could sell and add to my membership and all this stuff.”

And it gets to be like, “Okay, I can create a video a week, or I can create, a newsletter a week, I can do that.” And then you start thinking of how you can repurpose it, and it really does cut down on time.

Jillian Leslie 49:12
I love that advice. Absolutely. It’s like work smarter, not harder.

Jeff Sieh 49:17
But again, I get overwhelmed too. I’m like oh my gosh, I got all this stuff to do. But then if I think about so for example, I have got to get a presentation done for a virtual conference that I’m doing and I’m a horrible procrastinator.

So, I wrote the outline. I’m like, okay, I can use this for this, but then this could be a podcast episode. And then I can use this, I can actually package this and be a part of one of my sections in a product that I’m offering about how to do live video.

So, you start seeing that is not so much just like, okay, “I’m just doing this one off thing, and it’s not getting me views or whatever”. But then if you start thinking like, “Okay, I’m doing this for this, but I can use it for this and this and this, and this.”

Then it becomes a lot easier to create that content.

Jillian Leslie 50:02
And the other thing about that is like, Jeff, you’ve got a point of view, you’ve got a knowledge, have a bank of knowledge.

Share Your Message Over and Over Again

Unless you are pounding your message over and over again, to the point where you’re sick of it, chances are people aren’t consuming it.

Because they’re busy. Remember, they’re on Netflix. So, by creating more content, based on say, one piece of content, your chances of getting known for what you’re good at goes up.

It’s almost like you throw the rock in the pond, and then there are those ripples. But it’s like consistency of message, building off of one piece of content.

I repeat all the time, for example, B-minus work, popped in my head one day, it resonated with me, it was during a coaching session, it resonated with my group. And I’m like, it’s so powerful to me, as I say it to myself all the time when I’m stuck.

I’m like, Jillian, just do B-minus work. And I’m internalizing it myself and relearning it over and over again. And I want to continue to say that because it makes sense. And I want to be the person who says that.

Jeff Sieh 51:22
So, when I hear you say that I say, okay, you need to offer T-shirts, and mugs and all that stuff, because that is a great thing. And it will also will activate your superfans. Then they’ll share the message out. So, it’ll be like, what is a B-minus work mean?

“Hey, Jillian Leslie has this podcast that talks about this all the time. And this is what it means. But I love her thing. You need to follow her.”

Jillian Leslie 51:43
Oh my gosh. Like an explosion. Wow. Yeah.

Jeff Sieh 51:50
And it’s like nobody will buy that. I have to set up a store and all that stuff. Like, “No, you could go to Teespring and do that right now. And have a link, you won’t make a ton of money. That’s not what it’s about. It’s about activating your fans.”

Then when you do like, if you’re doing a Live, then you have a giveaway. “Hey, I’ve got these mugs that I’m going to send to you if you were the last.” So, you kind of start compounding things of like what we were just talking about.

Jillian Leslie 52:13
Wow. Okay, literally, I’m like Teespring right now. Wow. Merch, Merch.

Jeff Sieh 52:22
And the cool thing is, this is just another thing so, like all my Lives now I started going to Amazon. And it’s kind of a weird thing. Amazon Live. So, whenever my show goes out, it goes to Amazon Live.

I have all my podcasting equipment underneath, listed. If I’m having a guest, I have their books listed. And it’s kind of weird. It’s like Periscope, I can’t bring up the comments, I have to go look at my phone. And I kind of ignore that while I’m doing my Live.

But I make a couple 100 bucks every time I go Live, because it’s Amazon and it’s the Wild West right now. And all it is me taking the stream and putting it to another place.

Just adding that and learning how to do that and adding that. I’m not doing anything else. But I’m making a couple $100 every time because people see me. And actually, Kim Garst actually sent me a screenshot the other day.

I was Live. And she was searching for a camera and my Live was showing up underneath the screen because it was like, “Hey, you may be interested in this camera.” And that was on Amazon, which is a huge market that nobody ever thinks of.

Jillian Leslie 53:22
Wow. Wow.

Jeff Sieh 53:23
It’s just from repurposing one thing to another. And if I would sell mugs there, which I should I get a higher percentage rate because it’s my product, and I can make money and people could check it out.

So, just from you saying that Teespring thing, adding it to Amazon Merch, all that stuff. There’s so many things that you can start. Not to do it all at once, but you can start adding things on. Like I didn’t do Amazon when I first started.

It’s something you continue to add on and you think of different ways you can repurpose those things that you are doing already.

Selling on Amazon Live

Jillian Leslie 53:51
Did you get invited by Amazon?

Jeff Sieh 53:54
It was really weird. I had an Amazon affiliate thing that I had set up years ago and because I already had that you just click a button and you can do Live. You could probably go Live if you have an Amazon thing over there.

Jillian Leslie 54:05
Wow. Okay, because I did do a podcast it’s coming Live where it is an Amazon seller. She’s a fashion blogger and sells on Amazon every day, like almost every day. Oh my God, Jeff, you blow my mind.

I’m going to go do a bunch of research on this because this is exactly what I teach. So, be thinking everybody product but not product necessarily. It could be mugs, but it could be knowledge. It could be anything.

And if you have those super fans, I feel like this is coming full circle. Everything we’ve talked about you got those super fans because you keep showing up. Because you keep providing value.

Because you’re the person who hooks somebody up with something and people trust you and they want to buy from you and if you can, package that as a membership easy I can help you get paid with MiloTree Easy Payment.

So, reach out to me jillian@milotree.com if you want to be a beta tester because I will walk you through the whole thing and want to pick your brain. But it is about zigging when people are zagging, it is about probably being more basic than you think.

It is about easy communication, lots of bullet points. It is about looking at what is working for others and why you’re stopping the scroll on something and how you can then use those strategies.

Like if somebody is coming in from the bottom, you come in from the side. So, I feel like it’s about being a little less robotic in your process and a little more spark or creativity, but a little bit not a ton. So, repurposing.

Jeff Sieh 55:50
Yeah, So, on that note, I would think about for your bloggers, maybe a quick win for them. So, they’re like, “I don’t have a product, I don’t have anything.”

Package Your Best Content and Sell it as an eBook

If you’ve been blogging for like, even less than a year, you have blog articles that you’ve probably done once a month, or once a week or whatever. Take those best articles, packaged them in an eBook, publish them on Amazon and sell them for 99 cents.

And then if you wanted to go Live, if you have that ability, and you want to do that, you could go to live Amazon and you could have that. The cool thing about when you’re on Amazon Live, you can highlight things in the carousel that’s down below, you just highlight your book.

I highlight my podcasts because it’s on Amazon music and so, I get more subscribers by going live and doing those stuff. So, do that. And then you have a product, you can give that product away.

Jillian was saying, once you have a product, there’s so many things that open up to you. And you don’t have to wrack your brain about building the best product, you’ve probably already created the content already for a product, it’s just repurposing it in a way that you can sell.

Jillian Leslie 56:57
And one last thing, you do the eBook and you put it on Amazon ready, crickets, no sales, and then you feel demoralized. And that is normal. And that just means more at bats more B-minus work to try something else.

So, we’re going to say this, you’re going to be inspired, you’re going to go home and, I’m going to put this together. And let’s say there are no sales that is learning. It’s not a failure.

And it’s about shifting that mindset to go, “I did it. I know how to do it. I can do it faster. the next time. I have some new ideas on even using the same content but packaging it differently.” So, please think about it as learning, not failure.

Jeff Sieh 57:38
And then if you do that, you can still say you are a published author.

Jillian Leslie 57:41
I love it. There you go. Okay, Jeff, how can people reach out to you? You are such a fun. I love getting together.

Jeff Sieh 57:49
I like brainstorming, it’s fun.

Jillian Leslie 57:51
Yeah. So, how can people reach out to you, learn more about what you’re doing, catch you on Amazon?

Jeff Sieh 57:57
Yes. So, the show that I do, I do Tailwind show on Thursdays at 1 pm Central. My show is on Friday; it’s called Social Media News Live. It is on Fridays at 10 am Central. That’s the one that’s on Amazon. I’ve been putting tailwinds through to Amazon as well.

So, those you can find on Social Media News Live across everywhere. We talked about things that are testing. One of the things that I am trying right now that I’m finding success with is text based messaging. And it’s not spam, it’s nothing like that.

All I do is send out reminders about the Live show 9-0-3-2-8-7-9-0-8-8. That lets people get around kind of the algorithms because we all have frustrations where people have signed up to see your stuff and they don’t see it on Facebook.

This way, it gives them a reminder, 10 minutes beforehand. I’m finding a lot of success with that. People are signing up and then I can communicate with them. First when they sign up. It’s one-to-many, but if they talked to me it’s one-to-one.

So, it’s really kind of fun to build. We talk about relationships and networking, all that stuff. It’s a great way to do it as well.

Jillian Leslie 59:02
Can you say it again, what is the phone number?

Jeff Sieh 59:04
It is 9-0-3-2-8-7-9-0-8-8. If they’re interested in the app. It’s called the community app, and it allows me to do this text based messaging. That’s really, really cool.

Jillian Leslie 59:16
Cool. And that will be in the show notes. Well, Jeff, I just love having you on the show. So, thank you so much for this.

Jeff Sieh 59:23
Yes, thank you for having me.

Jillian Leslie 59:25
I hope you got a lot out of this episode. Whenever I talked to Jeff, I go away with a really long to-do list. I always feel inspired. There are so many different things for me to test, different ways to think about my content. I just gain a lot of insight from him.

I hope you have a long to-do list as well. And remember, if you want to start a membership, I would love to help you head to milotree.com/betatester and you can be one the people who try out our product who we work with to get you monetizing.

That is my whole goal. I just want you to be successful. And I will see you here again next week.

Other Blogger Genius Podcast episodes to listen to:

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