I want to talk about why video and showing your face are so powerful right now. It’s because we are starved for connection. In this time when we are isolated and confined, there’s no better way to let people in to get to know you.
This is why platforms like TikTok are exploding right now. Who doesn’t want to see people dancing, showing their personality, and having fun?
And this can be such an advantage for you in your business right now, as you try to connect with your audience.
To help discuss this, I have Jessica Stansberry on the show. She calls herself a “digital marketing lover, a content creator, and a passive income fanatic.” Jessica teaches people how to grow successful online businesses using her big YouTube platform.
She is all about sharing herself with audience, advice she recommends you take, too, to grow your own business!
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Welcome to The Blogger Genius Podcast brought to you by MiloTree. Here’s your host, Jillian Leslie.
If you go to Facebook and you search for Blogger Genius, you’ll see it. It’s called the Share & Grow Your Blog Traffic group. And in this group, you will get to grow your traffic and your social media followers and I do Facebook Lives and workshops.
Jillian Leslie 0:11
Hello, my friend. Welcome back to the show. This is your host, Jillian Leslie. I’m also co- founder of the MiloTree pop-up app, Catch My Party. I am a business coach, and really a business translator.
I take what’s working in blogging and online business, break it down so you can use these strategies yourself. Before I get started, I would like to invite you to join my Facebook group.
And I’m there for advice, please join, I think you’ll really like the community.
For today’s episode I have Jessica Stansberry on the show, and she is a YouTuber. In fact, she has over 100,000 YouTube subscribers and she teaches women how to grow online businesses.
If you have been listening to the podcast, you know that for 2021 I am advising everybody to show their face on camera, whether that be in lives or videos. And this is really what Jessica and I talk a lot about.
There is no better way to grow an audience than for people to hear you, see you, learn what you’re all about.
I think this is the perfect episode for those of you who are starting to dip your toe in this water. So, without further delay, here is my delightful interview with Jessica Stansberry. Jessica, welcome to the show.
Jessica Stansberry 2:04
Thank you so much for having me. I’m glad to be here.
Jillian Leslie 2:07
So, I found you. I was telling you this before I press record, I was looking at YouTube videos, I think I was searching for Instagram or something like that. And you were suggested to me and I started watching your videos.
And I was like, wow, I really like what she is talking about. And then I reached out to you and said, “Would you come on my show?” And you said, “Yes.” So, here you are. So, thank you.
Jessica Stansberry 2:29
Thank you very much. Yes, YouTube is my main content platform. And so, for the most part, that’s how most people find me. It’s fun to see how people go down that path.
Jillian Leslie 2:43
Absolutely. So, will you share how you got into social media, how you started teaching social media, and what your origin story is?
Jessica Stansberry 2:54
Of course. So, I have two kids, one is 10 and one is 7. And when I was just out of college, I got the normal corporate job like everybody else does. And here, I live in a very small town, so, I’m very secluded, I’m two hours from a Target, three hours from the airport.
Your face says it all. It’s so true. I’m super secluded. And so, in our county, there’s probably only like three to four companies to work for that are actually any good. And provide insurance and good pay and things like that.
And I got a job at one of those coveted companies. And I hated it with a fiery burning passion. I was in customer service, which is just not my bag.
And when I had my first son, I was like, you know what, I don’t want to send him to daycare, and then go to my job that I hate every day, if I loved my job, it’d be a whole different thing. So, basically, I quit my job without a plan.
And the only plan at that point was to do graphic design on the side. My degree is in advertising. So, I had a little bit of graphic knowledge to fall back on. And so, I just basically did tiny little jobs like business cards, or greeting cards and made no money.
Then I stumbled into blogging. And because of the way I am, I was like, these websites are ugly. So, I learned how to design my own blog. And at that point, then people would find my blog and be like, “Wait, who designed this?”
And I’d be like, “Oh, that’s me.” Then they would hire me to design theirs. And I opened a full web design company.
Opening a full web design company
And so, it took me about five years to get to the point where I was taking it seriously where it wasn’t a hobby anymore. Where it wasn’t just enough money to get us through kind of thing. And then that was in 2015.
And in 2015 I just basically busted into the online world, I had a Facebook group, I started my first podcast. I started my YouTube channel, the next year, just did everything to make myself noticeable and transformed from there.
So, I stopped doing web design in 2016. And started really teaching and doing the more like behind the scenes, course driven, I’m going to teach you how to do it, not do it for you type of thing. So, that’s how I’ve merged all the way over here.
Jillian Leslie 5:30
Got it. And you were saying your biggest platform is YouTube. And you started on YouTube, when, five years ago?
Starting a YouTube channel
Jessica Stansberry 5:39
No, less than five years. So, I started in 2016. But it was like one of those, I’m just going to put up a video because it works well with my blog post things. It was basically I needed a visual for my blog post, and I was like, hey, I’m going to put up a video.
And that video was how to create an interactive gmail signature. And it did really well for me at the time, it still doesn’t have a ton of views, but it did well for me at the time.
And it was probably a year before I made the realization that I was growing on YouTube without trying. And I only had about 500 subscribers at that point, but I had never tried to grow it.
So, I was like, oh, wow, it’s growing without me, forcing it to grow. And so, in 2017, in the latter half of 2017 is when I was like, okay, I’m taking this serious. I went from 500 subscribers to about 2000 in a couple of months. And then I’ve just kept going from there.
Jillian Leslie 6:40
And now you’ve got over 100,000 YouTube subscribers.
Jessica Stansberry 6:45
Yes, I just hit 100 maybe a month ago. So, I’m at like, 103, 104,000, which is exciting.
Jillian Leslie 6:52
That’s amazing. Okay, you also are active on Instagram and what other platforms are you active on?
Using Instagram as a Social Platform
Jessica Stansberry 7:03
So, Instagram is my main social platform right now. So, YouTube is a search engine. And yes, it has a social element. But I consider it a content creation platform. And Instagram is my social platform. But I’m also very active on Facebook.
However, Facebook was like my first platform, we set it up on autopilot. And I have a team who manages that entire process. I’m personally never on Facebook.
So, I’m basically on all the platforms. But they either auto post, or my team handles it and Instagram is my main platform.
Jillian Leslie 7:40
Interesting. So, you still do how many videos a week on YouTube, would you say?
Jessica Stansberry 7:48
So, I have been doing one a week for the last like five months. And we’re increasing that again to two a week right now.
Jillian Leslie 7:55
Jessica Stansberry 7:59
It’s been like an ebb and flow schedule over there. I’ve done one a week, I’ve done two a week, I’ve done three a week. And honestly, the more content you do, the better off you’re going to be, the more you’re throwing at the algorithm.
But also, it’s a lot of work. And so, basically two a week is a sweet spot for me, I feel like I can handle that. And my team can handle that. We can, make that happen. And I feel like it helps me grow a ton. So that’s why we’re switching back to two a week.
Build a team of employees
Jillian Leslie 8:31
Okay, now, I have to ask you how many people on your team who’s on your team? And what do they do?
Jessica Stansberry 8:37
So, up until this year, I’ve had several team members who were part time contractors. Up until this year, I would have an OBM, who would be a part time contractor, a virtual assistant.
Jillian Leslie 8:49
What’s an OBM?
Jessica Stansberry 8:51
An online business manager. So, it’s basically a virtual assistant on crack.
Jillian Leslie 8:55
Jessica Stansberry 8:56
So, basically, they would manage the whole thing. And I would have a VA and I would have an editor for my podcast and editor for my videos. And I’m trying to think if I have anybody else, just like random contractors here and there.
But in the summer of this year, I actually made my first full time hire. So, I have a full- time employee, her title right now is just assistant. But she does a lot of the behind the scenes, she does almost everything that all of those other contractors did.
I do still have a video editor on contract, but I do a lot of the editing myself too basically because I know how I want my videos to look. And when I hand them off to somebody else, I feel like I lose a little bit of connection to the content.
And since that is my main platform, I like to keep that connection. So, it just depends on the piece of content, but I do have an editor still on tap and she does my podcast and my YouTube videos.
Starting a podcast to grow your business
Jillian Leslie 9:56
Now what role does the podcast play say versus the YouTube channel? You were saying like Instagram is where you’re social. And I want to dig into that. But where does the podcast fits in versus YouTube?
Unknown Speaker 10:11
Jessica Stansberry 10:11
Such a good question. So, YouTube is how people find me. YouTube is the discovery platform just like you did. YouTube is people are searching for things, and they either find my videos, or I’m suggested to them. But nonetheless, that’s how they find me.
And I’m leaning more into making it be like a two-tiered strategy over there where they find me. But also, that’s a big part of my nurturing strategy as well.
I actually just released a video today as we’re recording this, about how I have made the mistake on YouTube, of just focusing on search driven content. And not really trying to create personal content on the platform that people need to connect with us.
YouTube to Instagram to podcast sales funnel
I’ve always pointed them somewhere else. That’s what Instagram is for me. So, right now, though, YouTube is the discovery platform. From YouTube, I send them off to Instagram, generally. And then from Instagram, I send them over to the podcast.
So, that’s kind of like the triangular effect of what goes on. And sometimes people do find me on Instagram or come in a different way. But essentially, the podcast then is to go deeper.
My YouTube videos are 20 minutes or less usually, unless I’m long winded, but usually they’re 20 minutes or less. And my podcast episodes are an hour, and so they find me on YouTube, they learn to like me on YouTube. They want to know more on YouTube.
And to really dive in and know more and get to know me more, and for me to pour into them more. That’s where the podcast comes in.
Jillian Leslie 11:45
Got it. Okay, I have to ask you this, which is how do you monetize? So, you’ve got all of these nurturing systems? But ultimately, at the end of the day, how are you making money?
Jessica Stansberry 11:57
That’s a good question. So, YouTube, I am monetized on YouTube. Just from the ads, I make more than I did in my corporate job, just from that. So, that’s a pretty substantial piece.
Creating Multiple Income Streams
But I also do sponsorships, that’s something I’m leaning more into in the new year, is doing more sponsorships on my YouTube channel. And, taking on more sponsored content. And so, that’s a stream of income as well.
And then I’m heavy in affiliate marketing. And so, all the ads on my podcast are for affiliates, who do recurring revenue share. So essentially, one of them is ConvertKit and the other one is ClickUp right now.
And both are systems I love and if someone signs up through my link, I get a percentage of their monthly fee. And so, I really lean into that big time for the podcast.
I find that I’m going to make more money doing that than trying to find a big sponsor who is going to try and dictate my content. And I’m really strict on YouTube as well, with my sponsorships.
My sponsors are not allowed to dictate my content. And if they want to, we don’t work with them. Because of the way the algorithm works, I know what content works best. And I know where to fit their ads in.
So, those are the more passive streams of income. But I also sell courses, I’ve sold courses for years. That’s always been my main stream of income is courses and digital products of some sort.
So, workbooks, templates, things like that and then of course courses. And I do some consulting and things here locally, I don’t actually do that online. That’s because I don’t like to do it necessarily. It’s not my favorite thing to do.
However, with local businesses, because we’re so secluded, because we’re so small, there’s nobody else here to help them. And so, I really enjoy working with local businesses to do that.
So, that’s a little bit of my income. I don’t do a ton of that it has to be the right person and the right business model for me to want to help in that way.
Jillian Leslie 14:14
Got it. Because we have our own businesses online. Because I do the podcast, because we coach other entrepreneurs, I came up with nine tips for bloggers and online entrepreneurs to be successful in 2021.
And one of those tips was to show your face on video.
Jessica Stansberry 14:36
Jillian Leslie 14:37
A lot of times bloggers want to hide behind their content, pretty photos. And maybe they’ll take a photo of their hands or ever so often a photo of themselves. And I wanted to ask you what your thoughts are about that.
Because I am pushing people to do that and I too, I’m pushing myself to be going live on Facebook and Instagram and even YouTube. So, talk to me about how that works or what your thoughts are on that?
Jessica Stansberry 15:07
Yeah. Yeah. You’re spot on. People have to know us before they can like us before they can trust us. And that’s the whole process of getting them to click our affiliate link or getting them to buy our course or getting them to buy our thing, or whatever that is.
So, the quickest way to do that is by getting them to see us. They can see our mannerisms, they can see our facial expressions, they can see it’s fun, they feel like they know us.
And I have been in weird places. I was in a bathroom at a conference one time, and I was talking to someone else through the door. We were both peeing. And I hear somebody else come in and go, “Oh, my gosh, Jessica Stansberry is that you?”
And all she heard was my voice. She didn’t see my face. But I was like, “Oh, yeah.” And she said, “I need a selfie with you.” And I was like, “Well, let me done peeing, we’ll take care of this.”
And when I came out of the stall, she was like, “You look exactly like you do on the internet.” And I was like, “Well, that would be weird if I didn’t, because I do.” That’s a weird thing to say, not a weird thing to say.
I think it’s funny that people change the way they look on the internet, or whatever. But it led into a conversation about how one of the big examples I like to give is, back when, phones were just phones, and you couldn’t video on them and things.
Like when I was a teenager, and I’ve got a new boyfriend, and we would talk on the phone. And I would envision without realizing I was envisioning it, what his bedroom or what his house or what his mom or like, whatever looked like.
I had to use my imagination. And then I would meet his mom or see his house or see whatever. And it would be completely different than what I expected. And it almost led to disappointment, it almost led to whatever.
Because we had created this thing in our head. And if people are constantly only reading our written word, or constantly only hearing our voice.
Then we’re leading them up to be disappointed, or to have different expectations than what the reality is on the other end.
So, one, that’s it. We just need to tell people who we are, and we need to show them with our face. But secondarily to that the generations that are active right now, they just don’t want to see brands anymore. They want to see people and that’s all there is to it.
If you took two different brands, and they were doing exactly the same thing. And one of them was consistently showing their face on video, and one of them was not, the one on video will grow 10 times faster every time.
And so, absolutely, I completely agree with you, video has been a game changer for me. And it can be hard. When I first started on YouTube, I had gained about 15 pounds at that point.
I lost a bunch of weight after my second son. I had been in the best shape of my life. We went to Hawaii; I’m wearing the bikini like I’m doing the things. And when my business got really busy, I gained some weight.
And I gained about 15 pounds, which looking back was nothing because now I’ve gained like 40. But I remember wanting to get started on video, like wanting to create video and telling myself, I’ll do that when I lose the weight.
And if I would have done that I would have never started. I’ve still haven’t lost that weight, I gained more. And so, it’s hard and we get in our own heads.
But nobody has ever once not one time and YouTube can be mean not one time has somebody commented on my weight not one time.
Jillian Leslie 19:12
However, by saying that, it shrinks me down and all my insecurities that people say are looking at my hair, or they’re commenting or I’m stumbling.
And the thing that I tell everybody and I tell this to my 13-year-old daughter who is sleeping in that room right there. And especially because she’s 13 and that is that time when we are so self-conscious.
Not that we’re not as grownups. However, I say this, like my podcast. It’s not the Jillian Show. What I can do for somebody who’s listening. And it’s a little insulting, like what do you mean, it’s not the Jillian Show? What do you mean it’s not all about me?
Remember: People Aren’t Focused on You
And you’re not seeing things in a super eloquent way or who knows but it becomes less about me and more about me being helpful. And so, I say that to my daughter like honestly, nobody’s looking at your knobby knees, or whatever it is.
And so, nobody is commenting, Jessica on how you look, it’s not an accident because they’re getting value from you. So, it’s weird. For me, it’s a huge mindset shift, and helps me go, “Oh, see this pimple.”
Like, you have a pimple and back in the day you met somebody and you’d be like, “Look at my pimple.” And then the person would go, “I never even noticed your pimple.” Because we’re in ourselves.
And I’m the center of my own universe, as you are yours, and my daughter is of hers. While that is true, it can also be so limiting. And when you can shrink yourself down and recognize, oh, I’m just here because somebody is getting value from this.
Jessica Stansberry 20:48
Jillian Leslie 20:48
It helps put things in perspective. And it makes me braver.
Jessica Stansberry 20:53
I completely agree. And something that I say a lot to people who are struggling with that is, act
Jillian Leslie 21:12
Jessica Stansberry 21:12
Whatever video you found of mine, there’s probably 10,000 people who had done a similar video or 10 people or 100 people or whatever. But in that moment, you needed my voice. And in that moment, this person needs my voice.
And tomorrow, they may need this voice. And that’s okay. I feel like I’m being selfish, if I’m stopping myself from providing value, because of my own insecurities. And that goes even further than YouTube, like, I don’t have makeup on today.
And so, I will get on my Instagram stories. And I used to have to be perfect, in my version of perfect. I used to have to make sure my hair was done, and I had makeup on before I would get on my Instagram stories.
But that meant I was holding back on telling people things they needed to hear until I was ready, which feels completely selfish. So, now my Instagram followers totally know that I will show up looking a hot mess, if I have something to tell them.
And I think that’s a really good mindset too, is like, you’re being selfish by taking away that knowledge that you could provide, or that help or guidance or whatever, that you could provide someone else.
Because you are worried about what you look like what you sound like what you whatever, like. And you’re 100% right, nobody’s paying attention to that.
Jillian Leslie 22:43
And the other thing that I say, is, think of all the people who want to be doing video because they have something to say, but their insecurities are holding them back. If you can push yourself to do it, you are in the top point 1%. What a competitive advantage?
Jessica Stansberry 23:05
Totally and this is an example I use a lot, but my accent held me back for a really long time. If you watch a movie or something. Always the southern person is portrayed as the stupid person, always, it will always be the case.
It’s it is what it is. And one time in college, I had a professor tell us. We’re in a broadcasting class. And he was like, if you ever want to make money with your voice, you will lose your accents.
It was a college full of North Carolina people, with all these accents, and I remember at that moment being like, no, screw you. I’m not doing that. But it held me back.
So, when I first started my business, I would be afraid to get on the phone with people because I was afraid that I had just quoted them this. They had seen my work but I knew in my head.
I didn’t actually know but in my head, I thought if I talk, they’re going to think she’s dumb. And I’m going to find somebody different. And now the biggest thing that people remember about me, the thing that makes me distinguishable.
The first question you asked me is always, “Hey, I love your accent. Where are you from?” And that makes me memorable that makes me stand out and so that insecurity that I had.
I was insecure I let it hold me back. Was the one thing that made people relate to me.
Jillian Leslie 24:41
I would say it makes you softer. It makes you approachable. First thing I noticed you seem so warm.
Jessica Stansberry 24:50
Yes. And it’s funny because in my first podcast our intro I co-hosted it. And our intro says Sassy Southern girl because if you know anything about the enneagram, I’m an eight. I will tell it like it is, I will tell you the truth. I do not steer away from that.
But I think my accent softens it a little. I can tell you something that somebody else could say, and it sounds mean. And when it’s coming out of my mouth, it’s just like, sweet mean. So, it’s one of those things where it’s an asset, it’s a good thing.
It’s something that I am proud of now, but if I would have let it hold me back, I still wouldn’t be where I am today. Same thing with my weight.
I wouldn’t have hit 100,000 subscribers, I wouldn’t have a multi six figure business, I wouldn’t have a podcast, I wouldn’t have any of it.
Jillian Leslie 25:35
Now let’s talk about somebody who really wants to kill it in 2021. And she has a blog let’s start there. Do you recommend somebody who’s growing an online business have a blog?
Unknown Speaker 25:54
Jessica Stansberry 25:55
Yes. For sure. You need to have some type of searchable content, whether that’s a blog, YouTube, Pinterest. But you really can’t be searchable on Pinterest without content to send them back to.
So, essentially, I think you need to have some type of searchable content. And honestly, a blog is the only searchable content that you actually own.
Jillian Leslie 26:16
Jillian Leslie 26:16
And remember, it’s the only space on the internet that you own. And I’m going to plug us if you don’t have a blog, we offer blog services, we will set up your WordPress go to MiloTree/blogstart, and we’ll get you set up and optimize.
But yes, I wanted your honest opinion, I’m totally like-minded. You need a space on the internet that is yours because otherwise you are a sharecropper, and not that you don’t want to be on all these platforms. And they’re incredibly valuable.
You need a place where you can park yourself and have a hub for your business. So I want to start this or I’m trying, I’m working on my online business, and I have a blog, and I have all of my social media channels.
Where for 2021 do you recommend I lean in first, and where I’m going to get my biggest bang for my buck?
Jessica Stansberry 27:16
Video is where it’s at. Video is where it’s at, whatever that looks like for you. I am a big believer in YouTube, because you have the mixture. You have the mixture of searchable content; it can be paired with your blog.
Fun fact, there’s this golden star that Google will give out. And it goes to only people who are blogging and YouTubing and pairing the content together. And that’s exactly how I grew at the beginning.
So, if you are blogging, let’s say you do a blog on, like the best iPhone apps. Let’s say that’s your blog post, and you want to rank for that. And that’s what you write a blog about. So, are 10,000 other people.
And so, it’s really hard for you to rank in that, especially if you’re new or you are just getting started or you don’t have a ton of authority in the platform. But if you will go to YouTube and create a YouTube video about your favorite iPhone apps.
And you will sync the two together by embedding the video in the blog post, using the same keywords using the same title. And really showing Google that these two pieces of content go together, you will rank higher than you would have with one of them only.
So, there’s that element. And then there’s the element that you actually can show your face on video in that way. But then also, there’s the fact that Google or YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world.
And so, you may not be able to rank your blog post ever, but you may be able to skyrocket through the search platforms in YouTube, because of the way the algorithm works.
So, it’s just another effort to be able to reach the people you want to reach and also make them know, like and trust you really really quickly way quicker than they would with just the written word.
I wanted to take a short break to let you know that you can grow your YouTube subscribers with the MiloTree pop-up app. That’s right. We integrate with YouTube.
If you’re trying to grow your subscribers, pause this episode head to milotree.com sign up for your account. Connect your YouTube channel to it so that when people come to your blog, it will pop up and say subscribe to my channel. That’s it super simple.
So, what are you waiting for you get your first 30 days free so there is no risk. Sign up now. And now back to the show.
Jillian Leslie 29:55
Okay, so your recommendation then is to lean into YouTube and like in my nine tips, one of them is consistency, that all of the algorithms want consistent content.
It’s not like I show up one day a month, put up a bunch of content leave for the rest of the month, and then show up again, willy nilly. And it’s like, as you said, if you do two videos a week, the algorithm likes you better than even if you just do one video a week.
Unknown Speaker 30:27
Jessica Stansberry 30:27
I always tell people once a week is the minimum, that’s the bare minimum you can possibly get away with on anything like that. So, on YouTube, on Google, with your blog, etc, that’s the bare minimum.
And so, if you’re wanting to escalate your growth, if you’re wanting to go quicker, if you’re wanting to have more chances, then the more you can do that, the better. And so, once a week is the bare minimum.
And I have been on YouTube a little over three years seriously. And I have only missed an upload day, a handful of times. And I did not ever miss an upload day until I was established enough on the platform where it wasn’t going to hurt me.
And, of course, there are times when I’ve been sick, or there are times when I traveled and couldn’t get all my ducks in a row before I left or something happened. There’re definitely things that happen, and you’re going to get off your schedule.
But if you jump right back in, that’s the important part. And like I say, I’ve been on it for three years, over three years, and maybe a handful of times I’ve missed a day. And it’s very rare. And the next week, I’m right back with another video.
I don’t let it be a series of weeks without videos.
Jillian Leslie 31:46
How do you deal or do you deal with burnout?
Jessica Stansberry 31:50
Oh, yes. I actually feel like I’m coming off of a period of about a two year burnout, which is really interesting. And I’ll tell you kind of why. So, when I started my business, it was just like, I need money to pay for groceries, or I need money to pay for diapers.
And when I got serious about it in 2015, one of the reasons that I got serious was because I saw the potential. I saw other people doing what I wanted to do, or other people making good money.
And at that moment, we had just downsized our home. And we had a goal of keeping that home. We were currently in and buying 30 acres and building a new house. That was our goal, my husband’s a farmer.
And so, he’d always farmed on his parents’ land. And so, we had this goal. That was the big goal. And so, we worked, but my business worked towards that for years and years, and we moved in two years ago, we bought the 30 acres, we built the house.
And that’s why I say there’s been a two-year burnout. It’s almost like once that was done, I didn’t know what I was working towards anymore. And it made me feel disconnected from everything I was doing, I still did it.
It’s not like I took a two-year break. I still did it. But I definitely felt burnt out. Because I didn’t know what was next I didn’t know what I should be doing. I felt lost a little bit. And I was just resenting the whole thing.
So, I definitely experienced burnout. And this has probably been my longest period of burnout. I feel like this year 2020 has been a gift for me, just to be able to be home and not travel.
Because before this, I was traveling, 10 times a year speaking at conferences and that doesn’t allow you a lot of time to think. And so, it’s been great because I feel really connected to my mission and really connected to where I’m going now.
But as far as dealing with burnout, my biggest tip is to not push it. Not push yourself to the point where you burn out if you can possibly do that. And the way to do that is to have systems and strategies in place.
So, creating a YouTube video a week is a lot. Creating two YouTube videos a week is a lot. Creating a YouTube video to two YouTube videos, a blog post to go with each one of them and a podcast episode. And being active on social media is a heck of a lot.
And my team will handle the rest of it. And so, before I had a team, I couldn’t have committed to all of that stuff.
And that’s what I do. And so, for me, I couldn’t do all of that if I didn’t have a team. And I couldn’t do all of that if I didn’t have systems in place. And my job, my main job in this business is to create content, because that is what I do.
And I think that’s what people do is they’re like, “I need a blog and a podcast and a YouTube video or a YouTube channel and Instagram and this, and I’m a one woman show.” And it’s not possible, it is absolutely not possible and you will burn out quickly.
So, one, don’t set yourself up for burnout go one thing at a time, do one thing at a time. And then once you get to the point where you can hire something out, do that. But secondarily to that have systems in place. So, that’s your job.
And it doesn’t feel like you’re rushing to like, oh my gosh, I’ve got to get a video out. Oh, my gosh, I’ve got to do this, oh, my gosh, I’ve got to do that. Because when you’re rushing, that’s when your body is going to be like, “Oh, I hate this, I don’t want to do it anymore.”
So, one is to not push yourself to the point of burnout, with systems and strategies and not trying to take on too much.
But two, when you do get burnout, you’re going to be able to keep up with your content, because you have those systems and strategies in place. And then when you’re not creating content, you can step back and let that be okay.
My biggest tip, too, is you have passive income streams have diversified income. Because for sure, in 2018. I think that’s the year we built the house. Yeah, 2018. I basically just like, I hope the business keeps going.
I just threw my hands in the air I had too much going on, I couldn’t focus on it. But we still needed my money. It’s not like I could just stop doing my business.
But I had built for four years at that point, a business that was bringing in income without me having to go out and chase it. And so, having those kinds of a nest, when you feel burnt out, you can just lay down and let your nest take care of you is great as well.
So, hopefully those made sense and help in some way.
Jillian Leslie 36:54
Absolutely. Now I wanted to talk strategy again. And I wanted to talk about Instagram and how that fits in to your system. How you think about it? Can you monetize Instagram, or what is it to you?
Jessica Stansberry 37:11
For me, it’s not a monetization platform. Now, I will say that when we pitch, YouTube sponsorships, sometimes we do pitch social media posts in that. So, we’ll say, hey, this is the price for YouTube sponsorships, but it also includes, a story mention or whatever.
But for the most part, I personally don’t monetize it in that way. But it’s definitely doable. For me, Instagram is the place where people get to know me beyond the business. That is Instagram for me.
Jillian Leslie 37:45
Because they’re DM-ing you. What does that mean for you? And how would you recommend others think about Instagram?
Jessica Stansberry 37:54
So, what happens is I share the personal stuff on my stories on Instagram. I’ll share business too. But they’re getting to see that I’m outside helping my husband on the farm.
I’m taking my kids to soccer. Or I’m getting in a fight. I got cussed out at Walmart the day before Christmas or two days before Christmas. And so, I share those kind of things.
And that has nothing to do with my business. But that’s getting to know me. Because if they don’t like me, they’re not going to continue to stay in my ecosystem. They might have found me and liked me for one video.
But if they don’t know the person behind that video, they’re not going to continue to stay, they’re not going to go to the podcasts, they’re not going to get on my email list. They’re not going to watch those next five YouTube videos.
So, for me, YouTube is search friendly. YouTube is where they find me. YouTube is where they come in, it’s the top. Then I point them to Instagram on every YouTube video, I say go follow me on Instagram.
And on Instagram, I use that as a way for them to get to know the Jessica behind the business. And that still has business things. It’s not like it doesn’t. But it’s less strict. It’s less stringent. It’s less put together.
Like I say I show up without makeup on or I do weird things. Like my husband and I will do those weird challenges that people do on TikTok. Like, try and get up off the floor with your arms behind your back or whatever.
I do those types of things on Instagram. And it’s a way for me to connect with my audience just on a deep, deep level.
Jillian Leslie 39:30
Jillian Leslie 39:31
On Instagram. Are you also posting to your feed? Are you doing reels? How are you exploring that platform?
Jessica Stansberry 39:38
So, the way I explain it is on Instagram, your feed, and anything that doesn’t expire after 24 hours is a growth strategy. So, my feed posts are growth posts, so I post them as if someone’s going to find me for the first time.
And that’s how they’ll come into my ecosystem. Same thing with reels. I do reels. I haven’t done one in a while, but that’s a big part of my strategy right now. And those are also like, hoping that people will find that reel and then come into my ecosystem.
But my stories are where I nurture them. So, basically, every place that someone could find me on the internet, I point them back to my stories. So, they could find me on Instagram on the post or the reels, but I want them to watch my stories.
They could find me on YouTube. And love me there. But I want them to come to Instagram and watch my stories. Even in my profile on Instagram, I’m like, “Watch my stories.” Because I want them to watch my stories.
And on the podcast, it’s definitely the lesser of how people find me to find me on the podcast like to find me via the podcast app. But sometimes it happens. And so, what I do on my podcast is I say, “Hey, come find me on Instagram.”
Everything for me right now points back to Instagram, and from Instagram, then I send them where I want them to go. So, if they found me on my podcast, and they go to Instagram, then in two days, I’m going to do a story about the new YouTube video I did.
So, then I’m going to send them to YouTube, then they’re going to come back. Instagram is kind of where I house my community, essentially. And that’s where we get to know each other. That’s where they get to know me.
Yes, I’m very active in my DM’s. I do not let people DM me and not get an answer ever. I’m always in there. And that’s where we can build that relationship.
And then when I have a new opt-in, or when I have a new product, or when I want to launch something, that’s the basis of where I share all the details behind that.
Jillian Leslie 41:42
Okay, and how many stories a day do you do?
Jessica Stansberry 41:45
It depends on the day, honestly. But I will say if I go more than 24 hours without a story, I have people DM-ing me to check on me.
Like, “Are you okay?” I actually had that happen over Christmas. I’m like, “Yes, I’m just not on social media right now.” But essentially, I would say a good number for me, I at least do 10 a day, it’s probably more than that most days.
But the good thing about stories is you can keep them active without having to show up every day. So, if I’m really active today on stories, I may not be as active tomorrow.
And I might just post a graphic or share a post that I like, or something like that, and not really show my face as much because I was super active today. And those are going to carry over into tomorrow.
So, it just depends. I don’t think there’s a magic number. And sometimes I get entirely too many dots at the top of my stories, because I talk for too long. But that’s okay. Because the next few days, I may take it a little easier.
It’s kind of a balance. And my role is just to never let my bubble go empty.
Jillian Leslie 42:52
I love that. Okay, now what about email? Because email is such a powerful way to build that know, like and trust. What is your email strategy? What do you recommend for other people wanting to grow online businesses?
Jessica Stansberry 43:08
So, my blog, my website has about 42,000 different ways to get on my email list. Every single blog post has an opt-in in it. And it’s usually a generic one or one I use across the whole platform. But it has an opt-in in the blog post.
So, if they’re coming to read about YouTube, then there might be like a YouTube guide, opt-in there for them. There are sidebar ads on my whole website for different opt-ins that we have on YouTube.
YouTube kind of penalizes you for sending people off the platform too much. And that was a mistake I made in the very beginning of my YouTube journey was every video I was like, go get this opt-in, go get this thing.
And I know that YouTube was penalizing me because as soon as I stopped doing it, my videos were doing way better. And so, for that, I tiptoe around that. And so, probably about 10% of my content points off to my email list.
However, YouTube is still my top email list growing platform, because I have links everywhere. So, while I don’t verbally say, hey, go try this out or go get this thing. I still have links in my description, to opt-ins. I still have a link in my channel art.
When you come to my channel, there’s a link for a digital product starter pack. So, if you’re wanting to create a digital product, and make that a part of your income stream, you can download that. That changes from time to time.
And I still have old videos, those videos stay active. I have videos that are three years old that are still my top performing videos. And so, they might have an opt-in and then even though my last 10 videos didn’t, and so they’re still growing my list.
So, my blog and YouTube are my main streams to send people to my email list. But on Instagram, I also have a highlight bubble of free tools. So, I will share my opt-ins there. And I will say, “Hey, here’s the thing.” And then it’s on a highlight bubble.
Just yesterday, I got a new camera for YouTube. And I’ve been showing it off on Instagram stories. And just yesterday, I was like, Oh, yeah, I have this camera. And I have this camera. And I’ve that camera, and I have this one.
And I was showing off all the different iterations of cameras I’ve used over the years. Because for whatever reason, I’ve kept them all I need to sell half of them. But that’s not the point. The point is, I was showing it off.
And as I was saying it, I was like, I know, this is a question people have. So, the next story, I was like, hey, as I was talking about that, I know that inevitably, someone’s going to be like, “Why did you choose that camera over this one?”
“Or why do you use that camera? Why don’t you just use your phone?” And I said, “Would it be helpful for you guys, if I created a guide on the steps to upgrading your YouTube camera?”
Here’s where you should start, here’s where you should go next. Because that’s an elusive thing. People are just like, I have this and I don’t know what to do with it.
Jillian Leslie 46:12
Yeah, I want
I want that. I want that.
Jessica Stansberry 46:14
That’s on my Instagram stories. So, that’s what I was going to say, they were like, yes, it was like 97% of people clicked yes, that they wanted that. And I created it in 30 minutes, not even that long.
And put all my affiliate links in it and said, “Hey, go swipe up, I created this for you.” But now it’s also in my free tools bubble. And it will be an opt-in we can use on the blog and the YouTube channel.
Jillian Leslie 46:40
How often then, are you emailing your people on your list?
Jessica Stansberry 46:45
So, I actually just took a big hide, I took a month between emailing which is very rare for me. I do usually try and give them a break after I promote something and I launched something on Black Friday. So, there were tons of emails, coming in.
And so, I usually try and give them a break. So, I’m not immediately emailing them again, after I launch because people are like, “Whoa, you’re in my in my space, and I don’t like it.”
But in general, I email about once a week, and I don’t do a promotional email once a week. It’s a get to know me. Let’s take this further. Let me tell you what you’ve missed from the Hey, Jessica content, let’s talk about this further.
And it’s usually some kind of advice or tip or tactical thing that people can learn. And then the next week is the same thing.
And then that way, when it’s time for me to promote. I have provided so much value in the email list that they’re not mad at me for then saying, hey, go get this thing, or I have the sale or I have this new course or whatever it is.
Jillian Leslie 47:50
What platform do you think is the best for driving sales for you? And if you can extrapolate to other people, as well as other content creators, or online entrepreneurs.
Where would you say, this is the bottom of my funnel, this is where people pull out their credit cards to buy from me?
Jessica Stansberry 48:11
Instagram for me.
Jillian Leslie 48:13
Jessica Stansberry 48:14
Yes, it’s so personal. I could guarantee you that 90% of my followers or 90% of people who are there actively would be like, I feel like I know her. I feel like we know each other, I feel like we’re always at a table together.
And so, it’s really easy for me, because I’m so used to getting on Instagram, and I’m so used to showing up there, it’s really easy for me to show up there and be like, “Hey, I have this new course. I’m going to tell you about it. I’m going to tell you all the details.”
And it feels organic, it doesn’t feel pushy. And then they are in a place where I’ve provided so much value. I don’t launch every other day. That launch on Black Friday was the first time I’ve launched anything all year.
I have courses that are selling on Evergreen, but that was the first launch all year. So, it’s not like they constantly are getting inundated by me. But for me, it’s Instagram, having the ability to say the link is in my profile.
Or given them a swipe up or whatever that call to action is, is really great because it’s pointed and it literally only has one destination. Basically, the way I see it is that YouTube in my blog is the top of my funnel.
And then as people come in, they get nurtured by my Instagram but they also get nurtured on my podcast. And then Instagram and email are what causes them to come out the other side of paying customer.
I definitely make sales from email as well. But I will say that this last launch I had 94% of the sales came from Instagram.
Jillian Leslie 50:00
You sending them to a sales page from Instagram?
Unknown Speaker 50:03
Jessica Stansberry 50:04
Yes. I didn’t do a webinar or anything. Now, I will say, that’s not something I talked about. But normally if I launch a new course that is, over $500, I sell on a webinar. And that is my most effective method. Absolutely.
But because I was launching on Black Friday, I couldn’t do a webinar. And I used Instagram to do that. And on the day today, how people buy from me, absolutely, it’s through Instagram.
Because they’re going back through my old highlight bubbles, or I’m pointing them somewhere on Instagram. And they’re like, “Oh, she has a course about ClickUp. Or she has a course about this. And I need to go buy that.”
And I always keep that like top of frame on Instagram. And that way, they remember that they can buy that from me. So, it’s a lot of things, because I definitely mentioned things on YouTube and on podcasts and things like that.
But as far as the biggest place they buy from me on a day-to-day basis is Instagram.
Jillian Leslie 51:04
Oh, I love that. Jessica, what I think is so amazing about what you teach. And what you do in your own business is how intentional you are. And that you understand each platform. They’re not just these kinds of amorphous things you need to be on.
But each one serves a very clear purpose for you. And that you’re so clear in your own mind, about how the puzzle pieces all fit together. And I love that you were able to really break it down and explain it.
And that it starts with really showing up and putting yourself out there and dealing with your own insecurities, but recognizing that you are your best promotional thing. You’ve got knowledge, you share that knowledge and you can monetize that.
And so, I think that is just very apropos of what I’m thinking for 2021. You are the perfect guest for this.
Jessica Stansberry 52:07
Yeah, I’m glad.
Jillian Leslie 52:09
Jillian Leslie 52:09
If people want to reach out to you. Where do you send them to get into your funnel?
Jessica Stansberry 52:17
Instagram. If you want to get in touch with me Instagram DM’s are the most direct way to do that.
Jillian Leslie 52:27
Jessica Stansberry 52:28
It’s my name Jessica Stansberry. So, it’s my name. So, when you see that on the episode title here, it’s the same spelling @Jessica Stansberry. And that’s where you can go and actually get in touch with me, I will answer your DM’s.
The problem is with YouTube, if somebody goes back and comments on a video from three years ago, I’m never going to see it. I’m just never going to see it. It gets lost in the notifications.
And so, to build that community, is to have a place to contact me directly. And I don’t have a Facebook group anymore. I don’t want a Facebook group I had one a few years ago. And email is a disaster.
And so, I always tell people, if you want to get in touch with me come to Instagram. That is how we can have a two-way conversation because I think that’s really important to your brand.
Jillian Leslie 53:17
Wow, I think that is terrific. Well, I just have to say, Jessica, thank you so much for coming on the show.
Jessica Stansberry 53:23
Thank you for having me. It’s been fun.
Jillian Leslie 53:26
I hope you liked this episode. I thought it was really eye opening and very apropos of 2021. We are starved for connection. If you can show up, show your face, connect with your audience. There is nothing you can’t do.
So, please step in front of your blog. Step in front of your business. And it’s kind of like greeting people at the door.
Before I go. One last reminder, please join my Facebook group. Pause the episode right now. Head to Facebook search for Blogger Genius. You will find my group called the Share & Grow Your Blog Traffic Group.
I would love to meet you in there and I’ll see you here again next week.
Other YouTube podcast episodes you might like:
- #090: How To Use YouTube to Market your Business Successfully with Nate Woodbury
- #077: How to Be Authentic on YouTube and Make a Great Living with Amanda Muse
- #048: How to WIN with YouTube with Meredith Marsh
- #006: How To Use Video to Differentiate Yourself as a Blogger with Ashlee Marie Prisbrey
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