Today we are going to chat about tips for content creation and how our guest went from being burned out, overworked, and underpaid to living her best life. Meet Jessica Stansberry from Hey Jessica.
She started the chat going down memory lane thinking about when she was deep in side hustles and trying to do “all the things”. She realized after a brief stint with customer service she was not built for it in the traditional sense. Then her first son was born in 2010 and that was the moment! You know the one! She wanted to see if she could figure out how to make money from home because she didn’t want somebody else raising him. She also didn’t want to stay at a customer service job that was making her miserable.
So she started by learning graphic and web design to serve a purpose. It made her some money, but it wasn't the windfall she needed. She was still really grasping at straws. And then in 2015, she remembers having a mindset shift. She was listening to podcasts. And in an accidental situation, a new business podcast came up where they were chatting with web designers that were making around $10,000 a month. She was in shock! Here she was burnt out and making maybe a couple of hundred dollars a month. So she transitioned from web design to content creation as the main idea while building online courses and affiliate marketing and digital products on the back end. And she has been on that path ever since!
Even though she said customer service was not her gig, it made me laugh. It's still super important for teachers who may be feeling that same way to hear this. Ultimately teachers work in the customer service business, right?! For the teachers that are here and can still relate to what she said, it may just not be for you. The in-your-face customer service component. Then when she went into web design it wasn't her biggest passion.
It kind of started, because her college concentration was advertising. And they worked a lot with graphic design. So she learned some basic skills and how to use Photoshop and illustrator and that kind of thing. So basically when she decided she had to make some kind of money from home she turned to her roots. She fell back on graphic design because she thought she could create birthday party invitations and business cards, literally anything that anybody would pay her to do.
And then she found blogging. She started blogging about graphic design. Her first blog was called iHeart Photoshop. But in the process of wanting to start a blog, she wanted it to be pretty too. So she taught herself web design. She literally bought books and looked on public chat forums and did as much as she could to teach herself web design. All so that she could have a pretty blog. And then people started coming to her and saying I see you designed your own blog. Do you do this for other people? And that's kind of how that snowballed.
Such a great life lesson for anyone working toward a goal, or if you have an idea to do something more. Where there's a will, there's a way. No matter what your will may be. If you're looking for a way to find happiness and freedom, you can find it. You just gotta get creative sometimes. Around the same time that she started creating consistent content on the internet, because basically when I found blogging, it was cool, but she would do it for a little while and then stop and start again.In 2015 she decided it was time to get serious. So whatever you have been trying to do keep trying. Whether blogging, YouTubing, podcasting, or emailing your list whatever the scenario is, take this as your sign to dive head first into consistent content creation.
When Jessica got serious about content creation, she also realized that she actually needed to be found online. She actually needed it to show up where it was supposed to show up. So she started learning what she could all about SEO. And she started optimizing her blog. Eventually, she ended up on YouTube and applying her SEO knowledge to that platform too. But it all started as a way for her to drive traffic to her blog. That's really where it started. She did not decide to be on YouTube just for the sake of being on YouTube situation.
It was definitely to help the SEO on the site at first. And because everything kind of happens when we don't expect it to, she grew without trying on YouTube. So basically she had been creating videos and putting them up with a corresponding blog posts for 6-9 months. Most of them were just slides or screen shares or something where she was teaching something. She really didn't even pay attention to the analytics on YouTube at all. But then started noticing that things were starting to grow on autopilot. The Facebook group was growing and she wasn't really doing a lot to make that happen. So one day when she logged into the YouTube account her analytics said she had 500 subscribers. And even though she had never once tried to get a subscriber on YouTube she thought maybe there's something to this.
That’s when she got consistent and intentional and started showing her face. By adding that human factor she tripled the channel subscribers in a few weeks. That was the moment when she realized that YouTube was literally driving everything else. It was driving the car. Yes, she was on Instagram. Yes, she was on Facebook. Yes. she was creating podcast episodes. But almost everybody was finding all of those platforms and all of those things because she was on YouTube.
So then she invested in a mastermind she spent thousands of dollars and learned as much as she could about YouTube. And as they say, the rest is history. Still to this day, YouTube is the driver of the car. It is the way her email list grows on autopilot. It's the way she makes sales on autopilot. It is the way her Instagram grows. It's the way that everything grows. And her old content is still growing her audience. Three and four-year-old content that's still growing her audience every single day.
We always survey the people that come into our audience and a huge % of them will tell you that they found me on YouTube. Although we haven't posted a YouTube video in forever, they stay around. They have staying power and that SEO just gets bigger and bigger. And you can't find that anywhere else.
Something Jessica learned a long time ago was to put someone else in her comments. To give herself some space from the keyboard warriors. At first, it was a VA and that's all she did. Jessica paid her like an hour a week or something to monitor comments because you still need to be replying to them. But it was hurting her mentally to read the not-so-nice ones.
I love that Jessica uses YouTube as what we call her core content strategy. We have a pyramid inside of the CEO Teacher® programs. We start at the top with our podcasts. So everything we do for the week stems from that core content. I write the core piece of content and everything that we do for the week kind of falls into place because of what we're sharing for the week on the show.
Jessica’s content strategy is twice a week on YouTube. She drops that down at the end of May because she can't keep up with that schedule when her kids are home for the summer. Because even as much as having a team helps she still has to be the one to plan it and film it and write it. So she dropped that down to once a week in the summer, and then she’ll pick it back up in the fall. Following the data, she sees the most growth with posting twice a week on YouTube. She calls it the captain and co-captain content. That's just because she was a cheerleader and those are the words she uses, but it's the same thing. YouTube is her captain (core) content. And then Instagram is her co-captain content. Then she trickles the rest from there when they have the bandwidth.
And as she was chatting I asked the million-dollar business secret that every teacher wants to know: But what does she put out every week?
Jessica says, first and foremost, you have to know who you're trying to attract. She feels like that's where people really miss the boat. They want to create the content they see. Or they watch a competitor and think they're doing this kind of content, I’ll just recreate that. But they don't think about who they're trying to attract with their content.
The number one thing is to really know who you're trying to attract, who is that person you want to watch your content? Then go find where they are asking questions. If you have an audience already on Instagram or TikTok, or Facebook go to them and ask what do you want to know? Or if you already have an audience, they're probably already asking you questions. Find where they're asking questions, on other people's YouTube comments, other people's Instagram, and other people's forums on the internet. And start there.
Those are the topics you need to start with because those are the ones that most people are trying to find the answer to. Then obviously tapping into SEO and figuring out what is doing well on the platform. How many searches per month a certain keyword has and what things you should be going after is just kind of a standard thing that'll do well in search. And then after that, what has done well for you in the past. And how can you double down on that or find a different way to discuss that same topic.
People tend to miss the mark on that what's working well. The number one business secret that people miss is looking at what's worked really well and doing more of the same instead of always trying to create new content. Figure out a new way to share old content and repurpose everything.
For Jessica it is very much the camera is here and she is here and that is what they film. They don't walk around. They don't do anything special like that. She plans out topics. She usually plans out about a month ahead. The reason she only plans a month is that on YouTube, things can change very quickly. So she could have a video go viral tomorrow and she needs to put out a similar video as quickly as possible. So she needs to be able to stop and redirect herself.
Jessica shares her best tips for content creation. She doesn't plan too far out just because of the nature of the platform, but like podcasting, she would plan five and six months out. And then plan out all the bullet points for the video. She doesn’t script word for word because she really loves the freedom to be able to talk about what she wants to talk about. And then she sits down with the camera and films. Then she sends that off to the editor before they get it scheduled.
We chat about customer journeys inside of level 2. So if you are looking at where and how people find Jessica through YouTube, they can join on social media. From there, they can get on her email. Then once her customer says, I kind of like her, I might want to hang out with her a little bit more, and gives her their email address. The next step in their journey is…
So, that's the million-dollar question when it comes to tips for content creation. YouTube is a whole job. The algorithm of YouTube is to keep people on the platform longer. Show people the content that they think they'll like, and keep them on the platform longer. That is how you are going to gain more credibility with their platform. But then it's a slippery slope. If you're constantly saying go get this thing for my email list or go follow me on Instagram you're literally taking them off of the preferred platform. You're doing the things you're not supposed to do. And that means you won't grow. Now the strategy she follows is about 20% of her videos have a verbal call to action that goes off the platform. The other 80% she is verbally calling them to take action within the YouTube platform. Comment below, like this video, subscribe, watch another video, something that gets them to stay on the YouTube platform.
However, on 100% of the video descriptions, she has links to literally everything they could ever want. Affiliate links, courses, freebies, anything that's going to make sense for that specific video. There are some things she leaves on every video and some things that she specifically puts on certain videos. That way there's a lesser chance that someone's going down there to click because I haven't verbally told them to do that. So she’s not sending off so many people that YouTube flags her account. She follows that 80/20 rule everywhere. 20% of the time she’s sending them to something that's going to grow her email list and then 80% of the time she’s really just nurturing them on that platform.
We preach that strategy constantly here at the CEO Teacher®. I think that that's just a good strategy in life. You don't necessarily want people to feel like you're a used car salesman and always trying to get them on your list. So giving them massive value, 80% of the time. Then when you do ask for something they're not going to leave. If they don't want to buy, they're just gonna be like, oh yeah, Kayse’s gonna do her thing because it's time for her to do that.
Jessica does have certain things that are open cart/closed cart, but that's pretty rare. She prefers to leave things evergreen. Because some of her programs are higher priced she might spend three months nurturing them over email. Before she pitches them the course. Then about once a quarter, she does a live launch to give them bonuses and extras.
She does also have smaller offers too. Some are like one slice of the pie on bigger items. She is constantly running funnels to those through either freebies or paid ads. She really uses her platforms to just gather more people at the top of the funnel. That's what YouTube does and that's how it all kind of works together.
The moral of the story again is if you're not creating your not making. She said her job is to attract more people and to get them at the top of the funnel, which is the name of the game in the online business world. And if you're not constantly producing content, you're just not able to do that effectively. I appreciate what she said so much because when entrepreneurs talk about evergreen it really isn’t just set it and forget it. It can still be running in the background, but as you create more, you are able to bring more people in. And two days a week really brings a lot of people in, but once a week with new content, we'll also still do the job. Jessica sees her main job as content creation because that is the top of the funnel. And that is getting the people in who are going to need the paid content or who are going to want the paid content, which is how we make the money.
Even though you may see the highlight reel of the business you're probably not seeing everything underneath. The picture that people always show of success is the iceberg that's out of the water and then everything else underneath it is the stuff you put in before people could see the success. It's the same thing with content creation. People are seeing the content, that's the iceberg that's out of the water, but what they're not seeing is all of the structure underneath. That's eventually getting people down to the purchase. I love that Jessica shared the bottom of the iceberg and some of what goes into a very successful online business. I think it's a testament to the idea that baby steps are what lead to giant and massive success.
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