- Catch My Party
- Mom 2.0
- The Sandwich Podcast
- Kin Community
- Amanda Muse Instagram
- Amanda Muse YouTube Channel
Welcome to The Blogger Genius Podcast brought to you by MiloTree. Here’s your host, Jillian Leslie.
Jillian Leslie 0:11
Hello, everyone. Welcome back to the show. Hey, if you are liking The Blogger Genius, please do me a favor, head over to iTunes and give us a rating. I would so appreciate it.
Also, if you want to reach out to me with feedback, guest suggestions, anything, I’m at Jillian@milotree.com, and I’d love to hear from you.
For today’s episode, I have a YouTuber on the show named Amanda Muse. And what I think is so interesting about this interview is you’re going to hear how Amanda does it her own way. She talks about what she wants to talk about, she puts herself out there, and she is able to really make a good living at this working with sponsors, that kind of thing.
So we break it down, we talk about all the ways she’s able to monetize, how she thinks about her channel, how she thinks about her audience. If you are new to YouTube or an experienced YouTuber, I think you will get a lot out of this interview.
So without further ado, I bring you Amanda Muse. Amanda, welcome to the show. I am so happy to have you on the podcast.
Amanda Muse 1:24
I am thrilled to be here.
Jillian Leslie 1:26
And we met at Mom 2.0. I went to a session where you were talking about YouTube. And I was really impressed with what you had to say because I feel like you’re not following a traditional YouTube success path, and yet, you found success.
Amanda Muse 1:46
Yeah. It’s like a little secret I don’t want to share to with too many people. But honestly, first of all, it’s like my most favorite thing to talk about. So when I get to do those panels talking about YouTube, and just the fun you can have there, I love it. So I’m so glad you came.
But yeah, I think that there’s a few ways to tackle YouTube. And it can be overwhelming for some but I try to share that it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. There’s a way to do it where you can stay true to you and still build a business off of it.
Jillian Leslie 2:14
So will you start by sharing your entrepreneurial journey and how you got into YouTube?
Amanda Muse 2:19
Totally. Okay, so I’ve been creating YouTube content for seven years now. And it wasn’t a business the whole time. I think a lot of people back then, especially, were starting blogs or starting channels. Not really understanding the space or how it could become a business.
But, you know, there were some of us that were like, “I see something happening here and I want to jump in,” right?
So at the time, I was actually living in Malaysia. And my husband is a pilot. And so we’re Canadian, and we’d been living in Vancouver, BC, and this opportunity came up and so we took it.
And the thing though is if you’ve ever lived abroad, or for your listeners, those who have, there can be so much fun — and there was — but at the beginning, it was a little bit isolating. And so here I was getting, you know, we had started our family there so I was pregnant with my first and I was getting bigger and bigger by the day and found myself watching video content.
And I remember there were like two or three channels I just kept coming back to. And it wasn’t a time where people knew what subscribers were or what we were even doing on YouTube. But I just kept coming back to the same people and they were like my friends.
And I thought, well shoot, I’m doing something kind of interesting. This is a neat phase of life to be in to be living abroad and having family and and I thought I’m just going to pick up a camera. And it literally was me on my balcony, wearing a muumuu, I picked up a camera. And I think that video, I may have hidden it, I can’t remember now.
And that was it. And then it evolved to be, you know, a place where I shared parenting wins, and, you know, recipes for things I was cooking for my daughter. And then I started to rediscover myself. And then I got pregnant again. And then we moved back to Canada.
And so over the years it’s followed my life, and it’s been very exciting to then build off of that and start partnering with brands. And then I most recently have launched a podcast myself called The Sandwich.
Jillian Leslie 4:13
What’s it about?
Amanda Muse 4:14
The Sandwich is an extension of what I do on YouTube, but it’s more the conversation piece. So people that end up on my channel often say it’s like hanging out with a friend. And so I’m like, let’s take it to the next level. Let’s talk about things like friends would talk about, let’s have those fireside chats.
And so anything from motherhood, lifestyle, having opinions because I think opinions can be scary on the internet. But there’s a way to do it that is inclusive, and so, it’s just continuing that conversation.
Jillian Leslie 4:40
Okay. The one thing, and we’ll get into this, is you’re very real on YouTube. I feel like you’re not showing a filtered version of yourself. And yet, that’s been a positive for you and you’ve had success. So first of all, how do you make money as a YouTuber, and then let’s talk about what it’s like to be real.
Amanda Muse 5:05
Sure. Okay, so tackling monetization, because it can be a little bit strange, because there are certainly a few ways. There’s two main ways.
The first way is off of your AdSense. And so we’ve all heard of the channels, because there’s some crazy successful ones where they get tons and tons of views and they don’t necessarily need to partner with brands because they make all of their money off of the views that they accumulate.
And there’s some channels like just talking numbers that make like $60,000 a month just off of views, which is insane.
Jillian Leslie 5:36
And these are channels with millions and millions of subscribers.
Amanda Muse 5:40
Yes, and maybe not millions of subscribers, but millions of views for sure on every video.
So there’s that way.
Jillian Leslie 5:47
By the way, you have how many subscribers?
Amanda Muse 5:52
So I just passed 61,000 subscribers.
Jillian Leslie 5:55
Amanda Muse 5:55
Yeah. Thank you. it’s funny, you know, because when you’re an ambitious person, you’re always like, Okay, well, what number do I want to be at? How long have I been at this? Is that enough?
But in the last, you know, I feel like in the last couple years, there’s been a lot of talk about these niche markets and niche creators. And so my channel, where I make my income is in brand partnerships.
And so I think it was about three years ago, I had actually moved back to Canada four years ago, and then after a few months, kind of figured out, Hold on, I’m not this island making content. There’s lots of other creators.
And not only that, but there’s agencies starting to work with creators and representing them in the digital space.
And so I work with a team. And I think this is another thing, is that sometimes there’s this illusion that you’re just like this lone wolf and you’re making all of this, you know, business happen by yourself. That is not the case. You know, things started to change for me when I started to have a team helping me.
Jillian Leslie 6:55
So what does that mean? What is your team? How did you start building it? And what people did you add and all that.
Amanda Muse 7:03
So for me, you know, just getting down to it. You know, here I was back in Canada, it’s a lot more expensive to live in Canada, and I just don’t feel you can do it on one income.
So I remember sitting with my husband and being like, Okay, am I going to go into real estate, or I’m going to try to make a go of this channel of mine because I love doing this. And so before I hit those real estate books, I was like, let me just see what I can figure out, like, how are people making money?
So brand partnerships. I started to look into like, well, how does that work? Like, what are the rates? You know, how do I even figure out what rates are? You know, I feel then and even now, people hold their cards quite close in terms of, you know, what is an appropriate rate to charge?
You know, do you give away content for free initially in hopes that you’ll start building this portfolio of what you can do? Like, there’s so many ways to do it.
So I ended up figuring out, I kind of was a bit of a detective. And I was like, okay, who in Canada is actually making a go of YouTube in a way that they’re able to make a living off of it.
And then I attended an event, and I saw who all these people were. And then I did more research and was like, well, who are they represented by? And it’s almost like acting, you know, like an actor would have an agent. A talent in the content creation in the digital space, they have agents and they have teams of people.
And so in Canada, I work with a team called Kin Community, and they work with us. There’s also one in the States, actually, but the Canadian branch works with, you know, a small group of creators. I think they only have like 30 creators they work with who in their eyes create very quality content. And they pitch to brands.
Recently, I’ve worked with, you know, Walmart Canada and Roots Canada, and you name it, I’ve kind of done it, like Wendy’s. And it’s been very exciting because what they do is they know how to say the words that make this industry sound credible. Not that it isn’t.
Jillian Leslie 8:58
Amanda Muse 8:58
But you don’t even know. You know that this is like a billion dollar industry and if it isn’t yet, it will be. There is so much money to be made because we’re all on our phones and we’re all paying attention to what our favorite creators are doing. And it’s such an interesting way to advertise.
And so brands just need to understand how they’re going to benefit from it. And sometimes we as the creator don’t know how to say that. Like, how do we justify or validate what we’re doing because we’re creators.
Like, this is the trouble with YouTube, for example, and likely a lot of other platforms. But you’re not just the creator and the talent. You’re the producer, you are the writer, you’re the editor, you’re the makeup artist.
Jillian Leslie 9:41
You are everything. You’re the marketer. You’re the technical person.
Amanda Muse 9:45
Totally. And I just realized, Hey, I have a lot of skills, and one of them is not sales. Like, I don’t know how to do that. And so I found the right people to work with me, and I pay them a percentage of what I made.
Jillian Leslie 9:57
So I used to work in Hollywood and I had an agent and, you know, in Hollywood, you pay your agent 10%. Is it typically like that or is it negotiable?
Amanda Muse 10:05
Absolutely. I think I pay like 20. And I think that that’s pretty common. If you start getting higher than that, I’d start to look like, that’s a little bit, you know, shady. Also, are you paying, like something that’s different with PR if you’re represented, I mean, if you have a background in acting and that kind of thing, then you’re not paying a retainer, for example.
If you are paying a retainer, that’s different, but for what… and I know, in Canada, it’s also a different beast than in the US. So it’s so hard to have, like, this is the path you need to take to start making a business out of this. But I do really feel that when I was able to sit down and start having other people help me is when my business definitely became a thing.
Jillian Leslie 10:52
So the first people you brought on were agents like an agency.
Amanda Muse 10:56
Jillian Leslie 10:57
Okay. And why did they like you? Why would they take you on? Was it number of subscribers? Was it content? Was it you’re so pretty? Like, what was it?
Amanda Muse 11:10
I think, okay, so at the time, I was probably just past 20,000 subscribers. And that was like, three years ago or so. I think that the difference is that they could see that I understood the platform, because you can’t just piecemeal content on YouTube. You have to be there, you have to show up, you have to nurture that community that you’ve created.
So they saw that I had the, you know, the bones of like, how to create this channel and where I was going with it. They saw the ambition.
I think they also saw that I was very brand-friendly. You know, like, I was able to showcase life in a way that was authentic even though I kind of hate that word, because it’s such a buzzy word. You know, like real. I was just showing my real life.
I was also having genuine conversations with people. So if I was to highlight a product, it not only had to be in my voice, and in a way that I would feel comfortable sharing it, but that if I did, the people listening would believe me because I show so much. It’s not like I’m playing a part. I am Amanda in real life. And I’m also Amanda on like, why I’m the real Amanda.
So I think that they saw that, and they were like, Oh, hold on here. Not only that, though, I think another thing that played in my favor is that unlike many creators, I’m very extroverted. And I think that that helped because the agency that I work with also does a lot of traditional media.
And so my first gig was actually showcasing a brand, but on a channel like I was doing on a television channel network. So they were like, okay, let’s see what she’s got here. And so that really helped play in my favor, that I was very able to do different things, you know, like it wasn’t…
And I think, too, that my content is sort of an umbrella. I can showcase a lot of different sides of my personality and my life. It’s not just one type of format every week, it varies. And I think that that helps when you’re trying to integrate product into your channel.
Jillian Leslie 13:08
Okay, so is that your team? Do you have other people also on Team Amanda>
Amanda Muse 13:14
So since then, I then took on an editor. So I started working with a video editor. And we have done different types of setups where she’s done all my content. Now, she’s only doing my podcast content.
And, you know, I think that there comes a point as a video creator that you just sort of have to, especially with video, because it’s so visual, I think you can give away certain parts of your business to other people to help you. But you sometimes have to tap back in and be like, Am I cool with the way the editing is going? Do I want to change things up with editing? Like, I need to sort of get that.
So for the last few weeks, I’ve been doing it myself just to kind of revisit. But yeah, so I have an editor who helps here and there.
And then I also have an assistant who manages my Facebook page at the moment, but she also helps me just talk about content. She happens to be a little younger than me, or a lot younger than me actually. So I feel like she’s like really tapped into working…
Jillian Leslie 14:08
Amanda Muse 14:09
You know? And I’m like, you always got to hire people that are better than you. And so I’m not 20and I’m not on my phone all day doing that kind of stuff. And, you know, she helps me like, keep me, you know, keep me on top of trends and what’s happening.
Jillian Leslie 14:21
And I was like, I have no idea what that is. And she’s like, “Mom, you’re so not cool.”
Amanda Muse 14:21
It’s like my daughter is now obsessed with TikTok.
I know. I’m hearing all about it. I feel you. I’ll all be uncool with you. I’m like, I don’t know what’s happening here. But like, you know, like, you need people to remind you of what’s happening.
Jillian Leslie 14:37
And it’s blowing up. Yes, I know. Okay, sorry about that.
Okay. So you have your assistant who kind of keeps you kind of tapped in to what’s going on.
Amanda Muse 14:49
Jillian Leslie 14:49
Okay. And so that is Team Amanda.
Amanda Muse 14:52
That is. Otherwise, I’m the one who’s definitely, like, creative control. Like what is happening? What do I want to talk about right now? I do find that I have… Oh, I have in the past worked with people who have done like a brand audit.
So kind of looking at my channel, looking at my Instagram, looking at everything and saying is this cohesive? Is this really what Amanda Muse is all about?
And so I’ve worked with someone and that was like a one-off thing. And I think those are great to do. And there’s a lot more of those type of business development coach, people that are coming onto the scene, and I don’t think it’s a bad thing. I think that’s great.
Jillian Leslie 15:28
No. Because I think we get so close to our own brand, that we live it and breathe it and think everybody else understands it. And I’m always looking for fresh eyes, always. Because there’ll be a typo on my site, and I won’t even see it, because I’ve seen my site so much.
And then somebody be’d like, do you know that you have the word ‘the’ twice? And I’m like, Oh, my God, that’s been there for six months? And I didn’t even see it. So I love that when you get that breath of fresh air.
It’s why I like going to conferences, by the way, just to kind of cross-pollinate, you know, because we can be in our own little bubbles, and we love them. But then you need to kind of get out and hear from other people.
Amanda Muse 16:17
Absolutely. So I also feel like validated. Like if you had a hunch that, for example, I have a hunch that I should start working with a business coach again. And I’m like, should I do that? And then I went to Mom 2.0, and I was like, yes, I should.
I had I gone to a few sessions and realized that’s what I’m missing right now. I’m missing someone to hold me accountable for certain things and recognize where my strengths lie.
And so I know, you know, when we talk about things like what we have planned for the future, there’s certain things that I just can’t do alone. And I think that it’s tricky, because when you’re starting out on a channel, you may not have the funding to go and hire all these people.
But I think that there’s ways to be creative, like if you can do an exchange of services with a friend, right? If you know how to edit and they know how to do certain things, well, why not just spend an hour each for each other and help each other out? I think that there’s ways to do it for sure.
Jillian Leslie 17:08
I definitely agree with that. I definitely agree that you can find creative solutions, again, getting fresh eyes on your work. And they might, and you might disagree with what they say. And that’s okay. You know, I have found that if you are willing to build relationships, but if it’s not working, let it go and find somebody else. That person is out there who can really push you to the next stage.
Amanda Muse 17:35
Absolutely. And, you know, before we finish talking about like the monetization part, I think it’s important to note that before I found this agency, I had worked with several other what I thought were reputable agencies but turned out not to be. And I think that’s important to recognize that, you know, read your contracts thoroughly, always make sure you can get out of an agreement within a reasonable time, you know, making sure that you’re always the owner of your content.
It’s really tricky with any content, and especially video, like you don’t want to create this beautiful video and then all of a sudden, you’ve signed away the rights or something and somebody else owns it, and you have maybe done an exchange for a product, you know.
I mean, there’s so much you could talk about, but I think that that’s important to note that like it took a minute for me to find the right people to work with. And I found a few people I don’t want to work with. And I realized, okay, that’s not the way to go about it.
Because a lot of people who started on YouTube, they get contacted by these MCNs, which are called multi channel networks.
And essentially, like in simple terms, they get a lot of channels together, take a percentage from each channel, and then they make a lot of revenue from these channels just from their AdSense, from the money they’re making from YouTube directly, which every YouTube creator will make once they pass a certain threshold, which I think is like 1000 subscribers and 10,000 hours or something like that.
So everybody makes a little bit of money off of AdSense. But those MCNs, a lot of them don’t do anything for their creators. So ask around, you know, like, how I sort of built like a little… and I have like a little group of women who we started YouTube seven years ago, and we’re still friends, and some of them don’t do it anymore and some of them do. And I’ve never met any of them in real life, which is a little strange.
I read the foreword of one of their books, and it’s like, I still haven’t met her in real life. But talk to people who are willing to talk to you openly, like, can be tricky when you reach out to big creators as a smaller channel. There is still that stigma that they don’t have time for you or whatever. But reach out to similar size channels, see what you can exchange as information and to help each other out. Because it is still kind of tricky to get all the right best practices.
Jillian Leslie 19:52
It is still like the Wild West.
Amanda Muse 19:55
Oh, God, yeah. Oh, yeah.
Jillian Leslie 19:58
Everybody’s kind of figuring it out.
Amanda Muse 20:00
Oh yeah. And there’s so many ways to go about YouTube that it’s like, even when I watch YouTube best practices or whatever, I’m like, Yeah, I pull bits and pieces from it. But my channel is not like their channel. How can I change this and make it work for what I’m creating? Because it’s not one size fits all on YouTube.
Jillian Leslie 20:20
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Can we talk nuts and bolts? So yeah, like for example, how often do you release an episode? Do you need to have it be at the same time every week? How long are your videos? What have you found to be best practices?
Amanda Muse 22:46
Okay, so definitely show up weekly. So for me personally, I have done different things over the years. Right now I’m making two videos a week, every week, Mondays and Thursdays and I don’t miss it. So that’s really important. It’s also really hard.
So for example, yesterday, I had a sick day. And I would normally have created a video yesterday edit it today and it would be up tomorrow, for example. But I didn’t do that.
So instead, I’m going to be doing a live video on my channel to cover a couple of areas. One, it gets that community engagement and my audience loves doing live videos. So that’s awesome. It lets them have a little piece to me that’s more accessible because it’s like I’m right there right then. So if they’re on there as well, they can ask questions, I can see people’s names.
And also, I don’t miss a video, so I get a video up no matter what. In terms of the time of day, there is some, you know, information that you should be putting it up every, you know, let’s say your Tuesdays, every Tuesday at 10. That’s when you should be putting your video up. For me, that’s like nearly impossible. I aim for like 9:30, but I mean, give or take. I feel like the the day is what I aim for.
And what happens is YouTube will favor that. It’ll recognize that every Tuesday you’re bringing people into YouTube, and they stay on and they come directly to your channel and then they probably go off on to other channels.
And so they will recognize that and the algorithm will favor your channel. The algorithm everywhere changes. So, always changing. And so I try to watch a few creators whose content is all about YouTube. So there’s one in particular, if people are looking, his name is Derral Eves. He spelled his name kind of weird.
Jillian Leslie 24:34
I went to his conference. What is it called?
Amanda Muse 24:37
Jillian Leslie 24:37
VidSummit. Yes, a couple of years ago.
Amanda Muse 24:39
Oh, that’s cool.
Jillian Leslie 24:41
He’s super knowledgeable about everything.
Amanda Muse 24:43
Oh, he totally is. And so for anybody, I mean, it can be a bit dry, that type of content. I personally find it fascinating because I love understanding analytics, because it’s almost like reverse engineering. If you can figure out how people are watching your content, you create content they want to watch.
Jillian Leslie 24:56
Totally. And how long are your videos?
Amanda Muse 25:01
So for my channel, because it tends to be conversational, my audience wants to sit and watch a little bit. So I try to go no less than seven minutes.
YouTube does favor longer content. So, you know, I’ve been around long enough where YouTube, there was a time where they wanted two minute videos. Well, now, they want people to stay. So if you think about YouTube, think about it like the Netflix of content.
They want you to come in, they want you to stay, they want you to watch a couple channels, watch a couple videos, and then kind of stay on the platform. So I try to do between 7, and you know, 17 minutes. That’s like my…
Jillian Leslie 25:39
So tomorrow when you go live, how long do you think you’ll have a live for?
Amanda Muse 25:42
To be honest, I probably go live for like about 45 minutes.
Jillian Leslie 25:45
What? Oh, my God.
Amanda Muse 25:46
I know. Because the thing is, one, I’d love to chat. But also, you just get talking with people because they’re engaging with you. So I try to go no less than 20 minutes for a live video because what happens is, so you go live, and then it’ll send out notifications to some, not all, of your subscribers to say, hey, like Amanda’s live. Yeah, go join her.
So you got to give people time to trickle in. And then as they trickle in, you’re now chatting. And now I want to answer everybody’s questions. Because the only reason I have this job is because people watch my videos. And so I want to show my gratitude towards people. So it’s like, well, let me answer all your questions, and then we get talking, and then I forget that an hour’s gone.
Jillian Leslie 26:27
Oh my God, that’s amazing. And what kinds of questions are people asking you?
Amanda Muse 26:34
For example, when I go on a live video, I tend to have something I want to talk about, some sort of theme, which lately could be, you know, I talk about relationships, because my husband and I, we have an age difference. And so people are quite interested in that, which is–
Jillian Leslie 26:47
What’s the age difference?
Amanda Muse 26:49
It’s 15 years. And so he’s turning 50 this summer. And it’s just funny. Like, I had no idea that people were actually coming to my channel. Once I started reviewing analytics really thoroughly, they were coming there because of age gap relationships.
Jillian Leslie 27:02
Amanda Muse 27:03
Yeah! So I was like, Well, if you’re here for that, let’s talk about it. So we’ll talk about that.
And sometimes I’ll get him to do a live with me. I always like sneak him in there. They love it. Or I’ll just talk about, you know, if there’s something like an article or something that’s come up in the news, or like a hot trending topic, we’ll talk about that. Like, I’ll start with that.
And then let’s say 20 minutes in, I’m like, Hey, you know what, let’s just talk about stuff. Like you got some questions? And we’ll just do like a general Q&A.
So as you start to build this audience and build your community, you’ll figure out well, why people are there, like if you’re a DIY type of channel and you’re going to do a live video, maybe you’re doing a tour of your DIY room, you know, and you’re just like, Hey, listen, here’s my favorite five products that I love to use. So you’ll figure out why people are on your channel, and then you’ll cater the content to them.
Jillian Leslie 27:52
Okay, now, how much of yourself are you willing to share? And how much do you hold back because it’s just too personal?
Especially as you’re saying, you’re sharing about your relationships and things like that.
Amanda Muse 28:07
I’m pretty much an open book. Things that I’m very private about are… it’s funny because people who watch my stuff are like, Oh, you share so much. But there is strategy. And there’s things like I actually don’t say where I live. I don’t blog near or around my home, because I do these types of content or types of video where it’s like a follow-me-around type of thing. So come and hang out with me, and we’re going to go do a day together.
But I’ll never share like the outside of my house. I don’t share things that are personal to my children.
Jillian Leslie 28:37
And how old are your kids?
Amanda Muse 28:38
Yeah, I was gonna say they’re five and seven. And so, the little one, I mean, I can still get away with sharing a lot. But you know that, you know, my daughter, she has friends at school, who knows that her mom has a YouTube channel.
Jillian Leslie 28:48
Totally. My daughter is 12. And back in the day, she was in all my sponsored posts, and it was like, eat that pudding and smile. You know what I mean? It’s funny because I would not share her randomly on Facebook. But if a brand was paying me, you know, and they wanted new fall clothes, like we were going shopping, and I was taking photos, and she thought it was cool.
And now she is 12. And she wants nothing to do with anything that I’m posting. I just started like my own Instagram account. By the way, please follow me everybody, Jillian Tohber-Leslie. Which is weird because I have these other Instagram accounts for other businesses.
But it’s like I said to her, like, you will not be in this Instagram account, even if I’m sharing my life. Like, I promise you unless you give me permission, you are not part of this. And so it’s interesting how your business kind of changes as your kids get older because you recognize they have separate lives.
Amanda Muse 29:48
Absolutely. And I mean, the thing is, like I’m so, like you said, you’re so respectful of your children. So just the other day, I said to Esme, and this little campaign came in, and it was just a small one. And I said, you know, if you take this photo with me, you can go buy yourself an iPad. She was like, “Done.”
So she took that photo, and she marched her way into that store, and she’s like, “I’m buying my own iPad.” And I was like, Yeah.
So I like to empower them. And even when I do campaigns, you know, I’ll tell the brands, “Yeah, my kid, one or two may or may not be in the photo.” Like, they’re children and they’re not child actors. And so I don’t have agents on set. And I’m their advocate. And so that’s the one thing that I’ve always tried to enforce on my channel is like, it’s about me and the rest is color.
Jillian Leslie 30:35
That’s a good way. Yes.
Amanda Muse 30:37
It’s like they’re there but it’s because they’re my babies. They’re not the focus. And so unfortunately, though, I feel that doing that, in some ways, has resulted in me not growing as fast. Because I’m not going to pay…
Jillian Leslie 30:52
Pimp them out.
Amanda Muse 30:53
Exactly. To be honest, YouTube is cracked down hard on family channels with children because they need to, because too many people are. And it’s shameful. And I understand why people are doing it, but I’m not that person.
And that’s another thing, it’s funny because it perhaps is harmful in the sense of growing your subscriber number. But it is not harmful in terms of working with brands, because there’s kind of this term of being like the unicorn audience, right? It’s like women ages 25 to 50. Especially show it with women with children. Like if you can get those people to stop and watch a video, you’re like magic.
nd so somehow I figured out a way to do that. And it’s okay, like, I’m okay with that. But it’s always hard because especially when you’re a creator and you’re looking at what other people are doing, you’re like, Well, shoot, if I just did this one thing, I probably get tons of subscribers, but I can’t because I have integrity,.
And it’s tricky. It is tricky because it is like the Wild West, like you said earlier.
Jillian Leslie 31:56
Okay, can we talk about burnout? Given that you have done this now for seven years, given that yesterday you were sick, and you’re like, Damn it, I gotta get a video up. Have you felt it? What do you do?
Amanda Muse 32:15
Okay. So actually, I didn’t really even answer the question. You asked me before about how much of myself do I share?
Jillian Leslie 32:19
Oh yes. Okay.
Amanda Muse 32:20
So it does tie into this burnout thing. So, yes, because I share so much of me and it isn’t a persona that I’m playing, I just have to know my limitations. And so for a while, I was creating a weekly vlog every week. And so every week I’d showcase elements of my life.
And so let’s say it’s a 17 minute video, you got seven days, you got a couple minutes each day, you know. And then I started to realize, like, I’m spent, I’m feeling… I was feeling overwhelmed with almost like having people in your home every day, you know, and it was like, I needed a break.
And so what’s beautiful about the channel that I feel that I’ve created is that I do have the flexibility to stop making that video. So I was like, we’re going to shift it and I’m going to do a little bit more content where it’s like vlog style, but it’s not every day. And I can leave the camera on the charger.
And so I really try to do regular check-ins about how much am I taking on, have I got the right help in place. Because another unique thing that I’ve got going on is my husband is a pilot and they tend to travel, you know, he’s on a plane every now and then.
So I do have a babysitter, my assistant substitutes as a babysitter a lot of times. I call in the forces with my dad, my dad’s a bachelor living in Toronto, and I’m like, “you gotta come help me.” So I’ve realized that asking for help is not a sign of weakness, and you need it.
Also knowing when to say no, like, I get invited to, like a lot of creators. to a ton of things. And I live a little inside the main hub. So it’s like, for me, like I’m going into Toronto tonight, and it’s like a three-hour drive there back. And so I don’t mind it because I’m like, well, this is an amazing opportunity and super fun. But I’ve got to make sense for me. So I’m starting to realize like, when to say no to things.
And also, I am a huge advocate of talk therapy. And so I do a lot of self-help stuff, like I go to therapy regularly, I talk about it on my channel. And I feel that that allows me to check in and like, Am I taking on too much?
Also I love working out. And so I make fitness a priority so that I can, you know, make sure to stay balanced.
And then also it’s not the end of the world if I don’t have that video edited for tomorrow, for example. It’s like, I’m just a mere mortal, and like my audience, or they’re also human beings, they know I’m not a machine.
And I’m also very transparent. It’s like, if you were following my stories, you knew I was sick. So it’s not going to be a surprise if I miss a video. In fact, people are often like “Amanda, like skip the podcast this week, you’re good. You know, we know you’re traveling or we know you’re under the weather. Like it’s not the end of the world.”
But it is tricky. I think burnout is a real thing. And I do have really great friends in the industry who kind of keep tabs on me and vice versa. And it’s like we can tell when we’re kind of going in that direction. And you’ll often get a text or like a little phone call and it’s like, “Are you good? Do you need to grab a coffee?” It’s tricky, though. I feel like it’s just really hard to avoid burnout.
Jillian Leslie 35:23
Yeah. Now how do you see your business growing and changing as both of you are growing and changing and your family is growing and changing?
Amanda Muse 35:32
That’s a good question. Well, most recently, like last summer, I launched the podcast because I started realizing that the way that people were consuming content was shifting. And I started realizing well, especially as women, and my audience is predominantly women, although there are some men there, which is great.
But there’s a lot of women and at this phase of life, especially like your mid 30s and onwards…
Jillian Leslie 35:56
Amanda Muse 35:58
Yes. Busy juggling things. Yes. And whether it’s like the working mom, or the stay at home mom, or the woman who has got a wild career that she’s nurturing, like, there’s only so much time to watch a video.
And I was like, Okay, I’ve got a message to share. People are podcasting, let me think about this. And so I realized, well, podcasting, as you know, you can do this and something else. You can be driving, you can be washing dishes. It’s amazing.
It’s like, why am I not tapping into that? And so I started to realize, okay, I’m going to add this arm of my business. And so as I grow, and as I continue to develop my brand, I’m always paying attention to like, what are people doing right now? How are they consuming content? And then also, what do I want to do?
I’m working on a couple of live events that I’d love to host and start bringing my community off of the internet and together in real life, and like, how can we take it to that next level? I talk a lot about like loneliness and making friends. Like there’s a thing happening where as much as we’re connected, I know there is this isolation that’s happening, right?
So I’m like, Okay, well, how can I bring people together in that way? And it’s always tying back into what I find interesting. So like, I love travel, I love adventure, and I love hanging around people. So how can I make that part of my business, you know?
And just really like shifting. So however people are starting to consume content, is I want to create content in that way that makes sense. So I think, you know, it’s so important to keep your blinders on with what you’re creating and what your brand is about. But then also look up and pay attention to what are people doing and shifting yourself and always pivoting here and there and trying new things.
Because if you don’t change, people will and they’ll leave you behind. And so you just always got to stay current about what’s happening and how people are paying attention.
Jillian Leslie 37:51
I couldn’t agree more. In fact, I think that if you have a career in the digital space, you know, there’s that saying that, like the only constant in life is change. And I think all you have to do is work in the digital space. And you’re like, absolutely, that is the only constant. And if you are not one who is good with change, I don’t think this is the best place to be because it is constantly changing.
And it shows, especially also I think being a parent, and watching your kids grow, you see change right in front of you. You know, I look at my husband, and yeah, maybe he has a little more gray hair. But the truth is, it looks like he did when we first started dating, or at least I think I look like that.
But you know, if you have children, you just see change. And if you work in the internet, you just see change. And so I think that you learn to roll with it. And you learn to.
I like what you said about like being where your audience is, instead of saying, “Damn it, I’m on YouTube. And that’s where I’m staying.” To be like, Well, you know what, I am on YouTube and now I’m podcasting. Or I’m in Instagram or wherever. I think that that is a mindset that helps lead to success.
Amanda Muse 39:11
I have to agree. And I think it’s also fun to challenge yourself to try new things. Because I remember thinking, oh my god, I’m so overwhelmed with podcasting, because it’s quite a hurdle to have the idea. And then to launch your first episode, there’s quite a few steps, as you know, to get there.
But once you’re there, you’re like, that was easy breezy, I can do the next one, like no big deal. So I think it’s like, you’re going to be surprised at what you can accomplish. And you just, you know, you don’t have to do everything, because I think we can overwhelm ourselves.
But, you know, if you have an interest in something, try it out. It doesn’t mean you have to do it forever. It could be something like I was doing Facebook lives forever. And then I realized Facebook changed the algorithm and that went out the window. So I stopped doing those. you know, and that’s okay. You have to pivot. You gotta change. You gotta try new things.
Jillian Leslie 39:58
What social media aside from YouTube? Like, where else are you? Instagram, for example, for your business.
Amanda Muse 40:05
Oh yeah, it’s huge. I do, okay, so YouTube, twice a week. Instagram, I post an in-feed photo nearly every day. I’m also in Stories every day, probably up to like 15 stories a day.
Jillian Leslie 40:19
Amanda Muse 40:20
Yeah, I podcast once a week. I have a post go up every day on Facebook. But Facebook is kind of like, it’s there. I’m not sure what’s happening on Facebook. So I just post and share things. But I’m not necessarily creating unique content for Facebook anymore.
Jillian Leslie 40:39
And do you have a blog? Are you blogging?
Amanda Muse 40:39
I do. So that’s the one thing I cannot do the, blogging. I never started as a blogger, and I just don’t see myself as a blogger, I find it so much easier to just pick up a camera, you know. So for me, I do have a website, but it’s more like a landing page. You’ll find all about who I am. And my podcast episodes are all shared there. It kind of filters off into all the other platforms I do. But yeah, I’d say my main three: YouTube, Instagram, podcast.
Jillian Leslie 40:40
Wow. Well, Amanda, one last thing, which is, if somebody wants to become a YouTuber, knowing what you know now, what is the one piece of advice you would give them to say go this way?
Amanda Muse 41:23
I think okay, so it’s kind of twofold. It’s like, we’re watching what people are doing and we’re watching certain channels and types of channels achieve success. And that’s incredible. They found their niche.
And I think for yourself, what you want to do is kind of go deep and figure out what is it that’s your secret skill? Like, what’s your superpower? And I found that my thing was I, you know, we talk about like having conversations with people, there’s like levels, you know, your level one is like, you know, surface conversation. Well, I love to go deep.
And so I will make friends at the grocery store. I will make friends with the neighbors. It’s like I’m that person. I didn’t use to be when I was younger. But now I’m just like, I just could chat with anybody.
So on my channel, what I do is I found when I’m speaking to the camera, it’s like, I’m speaking to one person, and even my dad will message me, he goes, “It’s so funny. Like, I’m watching your video, and I feel like you’re talking just to me.” And I really appreciate that feedback.
Show up weekly. Treat your YouTube platform, your YouTube community like its own unique place, you know, create content specifically for YouTube. And just pay attention to what the strategists will say about how to really get your content out there and try those things.
So for you, if for anybody listening, it’s like what is it that you love to do? Like, if you love to do makeup, I mean, there’s a whole genre of makeup on YouTube. If you’re a DIY-er or if you want to interview people, if you want to, you know, there’s just like so many things. It’s figuring out what is it that you enjoy, and then applying strategy behind that.
But just stay true to you because I get people coming to me saying, you know, “I’m in my mid 40s. I’m a woman and I’m too old for YouTube.” That’s garbage.
Because there’s a woman I follow. She is unbelievably beautiful, for one. But that aside, she has built a channel on doing her makeup. She’s probably in her late 40s, maybe early 50s. She speaks about, you know, having etiquette and being classy in the workspace and things, and she has a channel that’s about to hit a million subscribers. What
Jillian Leslie 43:28
What channel is it?
Amanda Muse 43:29
Her name is Danielle Sachse. I might be pronouncing her name wrong. S-A-C-H-S-E. And she’s out of Houston. And she’s like, I remember finding her channel when she was first starting out. She’s a reporter and so she has that traditional media background. But it’s not like she knows that… she’s not doing everything according to strategy. You know what I mean?
Like I watch it. I’m like “Oh, Danielle, if you just did this one thing, it would blow up.” But the fact is, she’s blowing up anyway because she’s staying true to who she is, what her content strengths are and she’s not shifting it.
And she’s built this loyal following. And I think it’s not about how old you are. It’s tapping into the right people for you, and just creating that hub, that community and then just keep showing up for them.
Jillian Leslie 44:15
And that connection.
Amanda Muse 44:17
Jillian Leslie 44:18
Oh, Amanda, this is so, I don’t know, I could talk to you forever.
Amanda Muse 44:22
I love talking shop. I know, it’s like my favorite. I see my husband circling around the house, he’s like, “Are you done podcasting?” I’m like, “No, can’t commit yet.”
Jillian Leslie 44:31
So Amanda, tell everybody how they can best reach out to you, see what you’re doing, find your YouTube channel, that kind of thing, and subscribe.
Amanda Muse 44:38
Absolutely. Of course, yes. You can find me on YouTube. So search Youtube.com/Amandamuse. And you can find me on Instagram at Amanda Muse. Podcast, The Sandwich. Pop over. Have a coffee with me. Let’s chat, visit. I’m there all the time.
Jillian Leslie 44:54
Oh, Amanda, thank you so much for being on the show.
Amanda Muse 44:58
I enjoyed this so much. Thank you!
Jillian Leslie 45:01
I hope you liked Amanda. Go check out her channel at Amanda Muse.
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