79: How to Build Out a Content Strategy that Aligns with Email Marketing featuring Joy Michelle

79: How to Build Out a Content Strategy that Aligns with Email Marketing featuring Joy Michelle

Have you ever wanted to be more intentional with your business’s content strategy? One of the best ways to do that is by building a content strategy that supports your email marketing strategy. Yes! The two can work together to create a powerful combination. In this episode, visibility coach and business strategist Joy Michelle shares three ways that you can leverage your content to level up your email marketing!

The Systems and Workflow Magic Podcast is brought to you by Dolly DeLong Education. This podcast is for creative business owners who want to learn tangible steps to automate their business through workflows, systems, tools, and strategies to go from scattered to streamlined with purpose because even muggles can become automated wizards.

Meet Joy Aleman

Joy is a photographer tuned YouTuber, business coach, and host of the Called to Both podcast. She’s on a mission to help ambitious creatives balance the worlds of building a successful brand while also building a life they love. After photographing weddings full-time for 8+ years, she founded Photoboss®: a community and brand that equips photographers to build a profitable business. Joy is married to her high school sweetheart of over ten years and is mom to two littles!

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79: How to Build Out a Content Strategy that Aligns with Email Marketing featuring Joy Michelle


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Dolly DeLong: Hello and welcome back to the Systems and Workflow Magic Podcast. I am your systems and workflow, B F Dolly DeLong. And on today, episode 79, I have the one and only Joy Aliman of Joy Michelle, co-host of the Called To Both Podcasts and the owner of. Joy Michelle Co. Welcome, Joy. I am so thrilled to have you on the podcast.

Before we hit record, I like everyone. I was just oohing and ahhing about how excited I was about finally getting to meet Joy, and finally having her on the podcast. So you all, it’s been a long time coming, so Joy, do you mind introducing yourself to the systems and workflow magic audience?

Joy Michelle: Sure. Of course.  Well, thank you so much. You’re so kind, Dolly. This is an honor. I have been listening to your podcast from the beginning. And I have learned so much on this show, so I just have to say it’s a huge honor to be here. So I am Joy. I go by Joy Michelle online. And I have been in business for almost 10 years, so there’s been some twists and turns.

But right now in my business, I am a business coach and educator for photographers and creatives. I run two different brands. The biggest one is PhotoBoss, and that one is all about empowering and educating photographers to grow businesses that they really feel confident about. As confident as taking photos and serving their clients. So the business backend has a lot of marketing visibility and brand authority in that brand and then my more recent brand is called to both, and that is such a passion of mine and that is empowering ambitious women who are also moms to grow rockstar brands while still being intentional in present moms.

So that is where we’re at today in the business. And I have two little ones. I have a little girl and she is four. And then I have a boy who’s almost two. He’s turning two this month. And I’m in denial about that a little bit. I still call him the baby. And I am married to my high school sweetheart, and we’ve been married for over 10 years, which is crazy.

Dolly DeLong: Wow. Yeah, that is crazy. Well, congratulations on all of that. Thanks. Yeah, that’s awesome. Well, so you all, the reason why I invited Joy to the podcast is this, well, besides her being amazing and awesome she is one of the amazing rockstar contributors of the Systems and Workflow Magic Summit, which is coming up and it’s the email marketing edition.

And she’s also an amazing business owner who I have been admiring and following from afar for over a year now, and I’ve been listening to and consuming her podcast, watching her business and I know she’s been a business owner for over 10 years, but it’s just so much fun too, it’s been fun watching you for the last year, getting to know you for the last year, Joy.

And so I am just really excited to pick your brain, especially when it comes to merging email marketing with content strategy because I know that you love talking about content strategy, and overall you are like, if you’re listening in, you’re gonna fall in love with Joy because she really is a real deal and she has a heart of gold.

And I know it can be hard sometimes to navigate who to trust online, who’s the real deal, who’s not. And you all, Joy has great character, so you are gonna love learning from her. And then after this, you’re gonna wanna follow her on all the platforms. 

So, I am so excited for you to be here, Joy, and I know that you have three ways that you are going to help the creative business owner today learn how to infuse an email marketing strategy with a content strategy because that’s something that a lot of business owners struggle with. They know that they wanna do email marketing, but they don’t know what to talk about or they know.

They want to do email marketing, but yet they don’t even know where to start with con content marketing. So let’s just get started. I tell all of my guests that I try to treat this podcast like a mini mastermind, so yes, you can dive in and you can share all the tips. And I know people will be furiously taking notes during this episode especially so. Whenever you’re ready. Yes, let’s dive in.

Joy Michelle: Well, I love this topic because it’s really helping me to think about this, almost like flipping it on its head a little bit because I love content and I will preach about the power of content until I am blue in the face.

I don’t know how I would’ve built the business that I have today without content specifically video content. I’m going to constantly be encouraging and pushing people to embrace video, and we’ll get into that more here in this episode. But I love this because it’s not just about creating content for the sake of creating content and being popular and getting visibility and brand authority because I love helping creatives get visibility.

It breaks my heart when people share, nobody cares about the content that I’m making. I feel like I’m the best-kept secret. I’m good at what I do and nobody knows about it. And that is where I come in with the content and the brand strategy. But it is so important to think about where you wanna be at the end of it all.

And that is where I feel like you do such a good job of talking about this Dolly, and really thinking first and foremost about the email list building element really helps to keep the, almost like your calibrated direction of what is the purpose of all of this content. And so I think that is so important.

So, I have three key pieces I think that really connect content strategy to an email strategy and really make sure that you’re building your email list, and I think so many times we hear people talk about you need to be creating content. You need to be building that email list, but sometimes, it just sounds like these great sound bites and it’s hard to actually break it down.

So the first piece of this, I think, is building an email strategy into what you’re already doing with content because I think most business owners are creating content in some way, shape, or form, but might not be actually doing a whole lot to actually convert those watchers or viewers, or readers or listeners into actual email subscribers. So that’s the first piece of this.

The second piece that I wanna go over is thinking about your content and your email strategy in an evergreen capacity because burnout is so real when you are a solopreneur, which I think most of us are. So it’s just like a quick way to burn yourself out to think I have to create all this content. I have to grow this email list. And it almost can sound wearying when we even think about the topic. So I want to talk about thinking about this in an evergreen way.

And then the next piece of this is finding a video medium that you can stick to and really making sure that you are leveraging the smartest platforms to do that. So those are the three pieces that I wanna break down. Should we start back at number one? 

Dolly DeLong: Yeah, let’s do it. And I bet, I don’t know if you’ve already seen the notes I’ve been taking, but you all know how much I love taking notes and I already have questions I’m gonna ask you. I’m so excited. 

Joy Michelle: Good. Okay. So the first is to build an email marketing strategy off the back of all of that content that you’re creating. And so a lot of times I think we dive headfirst into creating content which is awesome. I’m gonna be like, yes, you go do it. Keep doing it. But really make sure that you’re looking at your content and almost doing an audit of making sure that your content always leads to some kind of lead magnet, freebie, or, list growth strategy. And what I have always done is really start with that core piece of content and then look for strategic places in your content to talk about a freebie. So a really great example of this is YouTube videos. I have been creating YouTube videos for years now, but when I started on YouTube in 2018, that’s when I really started taking it seriously. I had heard great advice for creating freebies that were specific to that piece of content.

So I created lots of different freebies. But I would try to find topics that were broad enough that even if the video wasn’t about that exact freebie, I could still mention it. I could still say, check out the description section and you’re gonna find a couple of different freebies down there.

So at the very minimum, I would direct them to some sort of bank of freebies and resources in my business. And doing that was so important because I was working so hard on this content to get eyes on my business, but if I wasn’t really retaining them in an email capacity, at most, I would get a view or a like, or a subscribe, but so often you will not see that person again.

And for the most part, when you do look at the analytics on any piece of content, it is mostly people who are not subscribed, who are not, repeat visitors to your website. If this is a blog and if you do not capture them, they probably will never come back. And that’s not like to scare anyone, but more so to really think about the purpose of that piece of content and making sure that you are really weaving in all those freebies into what you’re talking about so that you can retain them as a subscriber.

Dolly DeLong: Yeah. Joy, I’m so glad you mentioned having different freebies and aligning them with the various content that you create and to the listener who’s listening in. If you’re like, oh my goodness, thinking about creating a freebie just stresses me out. I would encourage you just to start off with one freebie and you can still have some sort of call to action at the end of your blog or the end of your video, or the end of your audio lesson, a podcast for example, that leads people to that one.

A small win that you wanna give to them, so don’t let the concept of several free freebies or lead magnets hold you back from what Joy is trying to share with you.

Joy Michelle: Yeah. I love that. I think that’s a great point. It’s like we all start with just one of something. And some people will preach that you should only have one freebie.

So I think that there’s no need necessarily to have lots and to layer this on. And also in terms of creating a freebie, don’t overcomplicate the freebie either. Any kind of cheat sheet or a repurposed masterclass or some sort of template is enormously valuable and people will still want what you have to share.

Dolly DeLong: Exactly. And another tip that I have been applying for freebies lately is just I’ve been asking my audience like, what do you wanna learn from me? How can I help you when it comes to systems and workflows? And the answers they give me, I create freebies. I’ve actually created a freebie based on what they want, and it leads to my offers. So that’s another idea for the listeners. If you’re like, I don’t even know how to create a freebie, ask people what they want to learn from you. 

Joy Michelle: That’s huge. I think audience-driven content is gonna be so helpful on both the content side for what am I gonna blog about or what am I gonna create a video about, but also for how am I gonna serve you in this freebie capacity, which is huge.

I think that’s such a good reminder for us all. Just put a poll up on your Instagram stories and see what people tell you. 

Dolly DeLong: Yeah, I love that so much. So tell me more about I know that you said that YouTube and you were gonna get into this later on, at another point. But, you’ve been doing this since the very beginning with your YouTube strategy, correct?

Joy Michelle: Yes, I have.

Dolly DeLong: And did somebody just teach this to you or did you just, are you like I’m just gonna do this? 

Joy Michelle: I wanna say it was a little bit of both. I definitely did not just come out of the gate knowing I need to have this freebie and I need to talk about it in the video and not just hope someone finds it buried in my blog.

I am a huge like fan of Amy Porterfield and Graham Cochran and some of these people who I’ve looked up to for a long time in online business, and they had always talked about just the value of an email list. And I was not the first person to create a funnel and do all the technical things, but I did know that being able to contact them later would be important.

So I think pretty quickly I wanted to create a way to grow the email list. But what was interesting was I was more so concerned with building a community and serving that community well, and I figured giving them something exclusive and helpful and a full guide was one of the best ways to do that.

So, it was an audience builder. It was list building. Yes. But I think I was also really trying to just build trust. And I just happened to build my list at the same time. And I don’t think in the end I was thinking, okay, I just have to get thousands of people on my email list, and this is gonna be why my business blows up.

I just knew that if I could get their email and give them something, prove to them like I know what I’m talking about and I can help you get where you wanna go in business, that they would be more likely to do business with me. Which, spoiler alert, it does work. It’s super helpful. So yeah, I don’t, I think it was a combination of just really wanting to serve people well, but also hearing really solid advice from some of these people I was looking up to.

And that’s where I started creating some of those freebies. But as you said, Dolly, the freebies I created were just based on what I was being asked about. I really tried to just be audience-led in that way because, otherwise, it would just be something that I thought was a great idea. So I definitely did those.

I definitely had some freebies that I just felt these are some things that people genuinely need. Most of it was like, well, what do I get asked about most? Or maybe I created a few pieces of content and then I went off of which one has the most traction and which video has the most views?

What could I create that takes this a step further? And that’s what your audience has already told you, maybe not with their words, but they’ve told you with their views or some likes or subs, subscriber ships. You can look at your analytics and get some hints as to where people want to hear from you more.

And then maybe you just take your most popular blog post and think what would be the next step for this? What would be like that next action? And make sure that it’s really valuable. It’s worth something in that freebie. 

Dolly DeLong: Okay, so let’s peel it back even more. I’m gonna ask you to peel it back even more. So when you say dig into analytics, I know what you’re talking about, but let’s say there’s somebody like a business owner who is in year one or two, or they’re in year ten and they’re just now looking at the importance of growing their email list. So how do you actually analyze your content? What do you mean by that? 

Joy Michelle: Yeah, so looking at this, let’s just go with YouTube, for example. So YouTube gives you an incredibly detailed analytics dashboard and you can see anything you’d wanna know, you can look at where someone dropped off in your video. You can look at the most watched point cuz people skip around.

That’s how we navigate on YouTube. You can also see which videos were the exact videos where someone decided they wanted to become a subscriber to you. So you can see so much data, and luckily for me not being a data analyst by trade, YouTube has made this really easy. They can tell you just by your 10 latest uploads, which one is doing the best.

And so you’ll see right there at the top what’s your most recent content. Where are people finding you? What are some keywords that people researched that led them to you? And those can be great hints. It’s almost like breadcrumbs. And those are gonna be great. Indicators of where people are naturally searching where people are finding your content, where they may have decided to trust, take one extra step with you and go a step deeper and say okay, I’m gonna leave a comment or I’m gonna subscribe.

And then I think also just looking at your Google Analytics or your Google Search Console can be just a great way of seeing it at a glance. What is your most popular piece of content? And then ask yourself, do you wanna be known for that thing? Do you wanna be seen and found for that thing?

Because it can be a glitch, it could be something that you did. It’s just a one-off piece of content. It was personal or it was a vlog, or it was a review for a piece of content, like software or something. And you don’t want to be the software review girl. So take that and then put it through the filter of what do I actually want people to think of when they think of me, or what would be a piece of content I want them to find and then be led to me?

So there are times when I say, okay, yes one of my most popular videos ever is off-camera flash. I made an intentional decision to not continue to create more and more off-camera flash videos because, at the end of the day, that’s not the angle of the channel, and that wasn’t the angle of PhotoBoss.

It wasn’t going to be heavily tutorial based. It was going to be more marketing, business, and pricing strategy for photographers. So you take that data and then hold it up against your vision and where you wanna be going, and then you’re gonna find like some overlap where you’re like, this seems to be popular, this seems to be taking off.

But I also would love to be known for this because my coaching is about this, or my course is about this, or, this is what I do as a service in my business. So when we can connect those, it’s like one of those Venn diagrams where it’s like we gotta overlap. What do I actually do? What do people want to hear from me? How are people seeing me? And it’s like when you can find that sweet jelly center, that’s what we’re aiming for. 

Dolly DeLong: That sweet jelly center that makes me, that makes me hungry. Snack break time. I know. Break time. I love that so much. And I actually wrote, I’m not gonna say all the notes, but one specific note I wrote about that comment to help solidify more of the point of, okay, well how does this go with email marketing?

And if the listener is like okay, can you make more of a connection, Dolly? I would say, so when I create specific content pieces and I analyze it like you were sharing, I have been able to segment those different interests in my email list, and then by segmenting, I can email out specific newsletters or offers or I don’t know, like tutorials about workflows and systems based on what they like.

I have analyzed what my audience has shown interest in. Does that make sense? 

Joy Michelle: 100%. No, I love this because from like an email dashboard standpoint, you’ll also see let’s say you have three freebies. One of those freebies could be the best freebie ever, which kind of indicates via email marketing that you might wanna create more offers on the backend.

And then you can target those email subscribers specifically like, Hey, I saw you downloaded the six ways to get brand visibility guide. You should come to this masterclass. So it absolutely does help in that way. 

Dolly DeLong: And like for those of you who are listening and you might be multi-passionate, I like totally get that.

I, just like Joy, we are multi-passionate business owners as well. I serve, you all know this, I serve three different audiences within my brand. I am a family photographer, a branding photographer, and a systems and workflow educator for creatives. And so if you, let’s say for example, are a photographer and you serve three different types of photography clients, you can create segments and content for those three different types of audiences. And yes, this is more of a long-term strategy for if you’re in it for the long haul, I would say then like this, just put your head down, stay in your lane, and you can create content for those three different segments slowly over time as you iterate and grow your own business. 

Joy Michelle: Yeah. I love that, especially being multi-passionate and having been in business for a minute, it’s the long game. It’s like you said. There, there is a long game to this and I think not looking at email marketing as something that’s gonna be almost like a get-rich-quick scheme.

Dolly DeLong: No, definitely not. Yeah. 

Joy Michelle: Really important. It’s so important because it’s a slow burn and I know it was super discouraging at first when I had 12 people on my email list and I wasn’t sure. If this was gonna pan out, yeah. 

Dolly DeLong: Yes. Exactly no, I remember that feeling too. I’m like, am I ever gonna get over even like the 50 mark? Am I ever gonna get over that? Am I ever gonna get over 75? 

Joy Michelle: Yeah. And I remember thinking that as soon as I had an email list I was going to get all the people from social media to join me on this email list and not very many seem to care. But once I re-approached it and was like, okay, obviously when I talk about this on Instagram or Facebook or whatever, No one cares.

It was my literal mom and a few other people. I just was like, we gotta revisit this. And that’s where I started saying well, why couldn’t I just talk about it in my videos or in my content or in on the blog? Really thinking about all that real estate and visibility that you’re gaining when you blog or when you’re creating a piece of content, thinking about just auditing, like zooming back for a second and saying is there somewhere on here that I could put a banner like in the sidebar of my blog or right in the middle of what we’re talking about? Can I say oh, by the way, and like that really was when I felt like it caught some traction and I finally got over that 100 mark?

I was like, okay we’re doing this yes, we’re legit. I was on MailChimp, but I was still legit, and I just felt so successful when I could finally break, but it took a minute and it wasn’t as easy as just talking about it. 

Dolly DeLong: Yeah, exactly. I love, again, I, I just love that you share. It is not a short-term get-rich-quick strategy.

This is a long game, and if you’re in your business for the long game, it takes time. It does. 

Joy Michelle: It does. And to your point, that is why I talk about evergreen content. Because it is a long game and it is really important to look at it with that perspective of evergreen because you want to not burn out.

You want it to keep working for you, but also it’s gonna help you to calibrate your expectations a little bit as far as how quickly is this gonna grow. Am I gonna get rich real quick? 

Dolly DeLong: Can you define for the audience, what evergreen means to you and to content creation?

Joy Michelle: To me, this means would this piece of content still be relevant and helpful and feel timely in a year? And I think that is so important because there will always be trends that you can address. There will be, seasonal topics. There will be all kinds of things that can help you to get that quick spike in viewership.

You can piggyback on trends. That’s a big thing on YouTube, but I think if at least 80% of your content checks that box of still feeling like it could have been published yesterday, but it’s a year later, that means that you have a long-term strategy of a slow burn strategy. And a lot of times this will serve you really well because you can start and stop creating content and you’re not gonna be punished because there’s still so much search power behind what you’ve created.

This is why I think it’s really important to think of evergreen as not just the topics that you are targeting and that you are addressing, but also the platforms and the format. And so what I mean by that is thinking about platform ownership, like having a blog and then enriching it with video content because video if you can back up something on a blog post with something on YouTube, which is the second largest search engine on the internet, it is going to be like this beautiful partnership where that is going to be more likely to rank, which is amazing. And like when you can create something that ranks for you, that makes it so that you don’t have to constantly feel like you’re reinventing the wheel or you’re throwing ad dollars at something.

And I know for me, I’ve just really relied on organic because I feel like going back and running ads constantly just wasn’t sustainable for the business I wanted to build. 

Dolly DeLong: Yeah, and for those of you who are listening and you’re wondering, okay, what is Joy talking about content that you own?

You all know I talk about content like pillar content. So Joy is referring to YouTube being pillar content or blogging being pillar content, or you’re listening into this podcast. This is pillar content and also all three different platforms are in a way evergreen. Because you never know when somebody might be listening to this episode and it’s two years down the line and it’s helping answer a question for them currently. So that is what Joy is trying to convey if this helps any listeners out. 

Joy Michelle: Yeah. No, I think that’s such a good point. And podcasting is another great example and I think anything that’s longer than a couple of minutes. I would put it into a long-form category and especially if you can house that content on your website that feels like it has the legs to stand because social media is great. And you can repurpose it on social media, but a lot of times what we do on social media disappears after a certain amount of time. The difference here is that if someone were to search systems and workflow-related content, they could very well find this, a year down the road and then just start bing all your stuff.

And that is so powerful. A couple of months ago I took a break from YouTube and I just stopped uploading. And I basically got to test out whether this works. Am I still going to get subscribers? Am I still going to get email subscribers? Are people still gonna be downloading the freebies and going through my funnels?

And it absolutely does, like the channel overall has received fewer views, but I still have gotten hundreds of people onto the email list without uploading anything new, and I can see where they’re coming from and I can see what they’re downloading. And that was such a cool moment to say this is the season where I’m at in business.

It wasn’t top of my list for a couple of months. Now I’m back to publishing. But I now know, I’m not just saying, I know that these videos will have continued to work for me and are getting discovered and commented on, and people are subscribing and they’re years old. Yes, years old and it is wild how much they’re still working for me, and I think that’s what is so important that I wanna emphasize video content and long-form content. It is not simple to create, and that is actually a really good thing because it is a lot less crowded at the top, at the second mile. The third mile, are the people who stay in it and are committed to something a little bit more difficult than creating a reel or creating a TikTok, or going live somewhere.

It is a different level of return. And that is the only reason that I did it. I wasn’t sitting there saying, let me make these videos and invest lots of my time and energy, and expertise online because that sounds fun. The whole point was that it would continue to work for me.

And it really does, it really does. It’s incredible. And I’ve seen this work in the businesses that I’ve mentored, and I’ve seen my friends do this, and it’s so rewarding to have content like this podcast where someone can discover one episode and then go back and find this whole library of content that you’ve created that never went away.

Yes. And I love that, like the content, the time that you’ve spent and the expertise that you’ve poured into this hasn’t gone anywhere. It doesn’t disappear. 

Dolly DeLong: Yeah. I love that so much. I’m so glad you’re hitting up on all those points, Joy. And for those of you who are listening and you’re like, okay, well I don’t want to do YouTube. I don’t wanna do podcasting, I just wanna start somewhere. I would say blogging is the simplest way to start, get your foot in the door with consistent pillar content creation. And to Joy’s point, I took a little break from it also, I like blogging every week and I also like podcasting every week.

And so for several years, I was consistently blogging about family photography because remember that is one of my main sources of income for my business. And so last year I took I would say four to five months off from consistently posting to a blog for family photography. And I was like, okay, I’m gonna see if the SEO really works as everybody says, and you all it still I haven’t posted in months to my blog for family photography and I am getting inquiries from Google for family photography that is keeping my client roster like… how do I say it?

Like full? I am booking out, yeah. Consistently for that category of my business, all due to SEO. I’m so grateful for that. I’m like you all like. It’s true, it’s not. Joy and I are making this up. No. You have to put in the work at the front end. I know. But there’s so much, I don’t know what to call it. Yeah. 

Joy Michelle: It gets you, it’s freedom because it gets you off that hamster wheel of feeling like you have to keep showing up to keep up. And I hate that feeling where I think. I wanna take a break, or I need to go on this maternity leave, or I’ve gone through two maternity leaves now in my business and I don’t wanna build a business where it feels like I’m keeping up with the Joneses.

Like the online Joneses. You just make sales and that is not. Life-giving. That is not the vibe. We want to build stuff that continues to work for us for years to come. This is about sustainability and staying in the game and having this base that you’ve built that you can lean on. And if you wanna go to the next level and blog more family stuff and dominate for more keywords, you can.

Or if you wanna take a break, You can also do that. Yeah, I think that is a success. Just having that option to take it to the next level or just keep the level you have instead of feeling like it’s hemorrhaging views and you’re constantly at a loss if you’re not publishing. That does not feel empowering.

So I think this is so important. Evergreen is a style of content and the angle and the strategy that you’re taking in business. 

Dolly DeLong: Love that so much. And so I guess let’s wrap. I know we’ve been talking forever about points one and two, but I’m actually really excited about you sharing more about video content creation because I have a lot of questions for you about this.

Joy Michelle: Oh, let’s get into it. Yes. Yes. Okay. So. When I say find a medium that you can stick with, I also think finding a posting cadence that you can stick with is a big one too, because, a lot of people are gonna listen to this and say I don’t wanna be a YouTuber Joy. I don’t wanna show up every single week and take cheesy thumbnail photos and do the whole thing.

And I think that there are ways to leverage YouTube without ever identifying as a YouTuber, and I think that is so important. So knowing that you can have both of these worlds, you can have long-form video content in your business, in strategic places without publishing every single week, and that is okay, and in fact, you probably should do that.

So looking at which pieces feel good and which pieces don’t is really important. But I think making sure that you’re embracing video in some capacity in your business is gonna be so huge. I cannot emphasize this enough. One way that I like to explain this is when I was in my first couple years of business and I was thinking about the people that I had bought courses from, that I had invested in as mentors everybody that I looked up to that I feel I really trusted what they had to say.

I thought about it and I realized I had seen every single one of them in a video in some capacity, and I, when I realized that, I realized video is a non-negotiable for where I wanna go. I’m not saying everybody has to do video, but if you wanna go to a place you haven’t gone in your business and you wanna be seen and get that visibility and recognition for what you know, you’re passionately called to, video is a part of this. And when I just connected that and I was like, oh my gosh, all these people, mostly all these incredible businesswomen that I looked up to, the reason I felt like I knew them like I was attracted or connected, I felt connected to them. And I felt like I could understand if they were for me or not, was because of the video.

And once I realized that I was like, okay, I’ve gotta get over the fact that I can’t be on video without stumbling every five seconds. And if you go back to the beginning of my YouTube journey, the very beginning. All the videos are still there. I am standing there. I am stiff. You can barely hear what I’m saying cause I don’t have a mic.

I was just trying to figure it out because to me it didn’t matter that I didn’t know how. I couldn’t edit. I was a photographer, and I wasn’t a videographer, but I knew that video had to be a part of this because I had things I wanted to share and had an impact I wanted to make. So I think really taking it back to that is why video matters. And why I want everybody to just embrace the awkwardness of video because it is so worth it. It’s so powerful. 

Dolly DeLong: It is so good. Can I just encourage everyone right now, that you don’t have to jump into YouTube to infuse video in your business? I don’t think that’s what Joy and I are trying to communicate at all.

We’re not communicating this at all, but we are communicating just starting with video somewhere. And one way I know a lot of photographers listen to this, or a lot of creative business owners especially listen to this podcast. So one way you can infuse video into your business is by. Like the next inquiry you get, this is your homework,

The next inquiry you get, I want you to send a video response back to them letting them know that you got them, thank you for filling out your lead capture form or contact form, and their next tangible way of working with your, answering their question. Because I will say this, I started infusing videos into my workflows, Joy and I have a 75% to 80% booking rate. Wild. Yeah. With family photography because of this, because moms are inquiring with me, they see me. I’m looking at the screen, looking at their faces and they are making that connection.

I’ve shared this so many times with people, sometimes Blaise jumps in these videos when I’m answering that first contact form and he’s who are you talking to? So they see that I have a son and they’re like, oh, like she’s a mom. She gets it. She understands.

And then that’s why I have such a high booking rate for family photography. 

Joy Michelle: Yeah. It makes you human. And how many people are willing to jump on a video for fun? This works though, guys. Like this works. And one thing that I’m gonna be doing, Dolly, that I heard on your podcast a couple of episodes back, was having a very specific video on the thank you page for certain inquiries. And I was like, oh, this is genius. Why am I not doing this? So it’s on my list. I put it in notion, I was like, I am totally doing this. I’m gonna sit down and do a couple of different ones. One tool that I love though for the email inquiry, answering back with a video is Bonjoro. Have you ever used that? 

Dolly DeLong: I haven’t, but I’ve heard a lot of good things about it. 

Joy Michelle: It’s great, it’s fantastic. And you can set it up with Zap too, like Zapier and, yeah. When someone joins a program even you can send a quick thank you to people. It’s really cool. I’ve used that in a couple of different ways.

Dolly DeLong: I love that so much. You all video is powerful and it connects and especially in this post covid world, where we’re still in the post-pandemic world, where we’re still online heavily, but we’re still meeting in person. People still crave a connection. People still crave to look at people in the face and to see okay, am I vibing with this person? Do I want to work with this person? It works like people just want reality.

Joy Michelle: Yeah. Yeah. When there’s so much noise, it’s just sometimes it’s nice to see someone’s face. And get to hear their voice at the same time. And as you said, the connection is so important. It’s such a human need. And it’s really powerful and I love that you’re building this into how you’re actually booking clients. That’s so cool. 

Dolly DeLong: It helps, it’s helped out so much and it also helps them I’m sure the people that have not booked me either, due to pricing or whatever, they may also be like, oh, like I’m not vibing with her.

Yeah. As woo-woo as that sounds. And that’s okay. I don’t want them to be like, oh, she looks annoying. She sounds annoying. I get I don’t wanna work with her. But as silly as that sounds, sometimes it’s good to meet somebody to see, oh, this might not be a good fit. After all, I don’t know.

Joy Michelle: Oh, I agree. I think that’s so important, especially if we have like a service that we’re offering. That you do want to put yourself out there a little bit and it’s this is how I talk to my clients. Either I’m gonna hype you up or I’m gonna be a fly on the wall. So you’re showing a little sample of what it would be like to work with you.

And if someone says, oh, that’s not what I want, that’s actually the best for everyone. Because I’m not for everyone. 

Dolly DeLong: Yes, you are not for everyone. And I’m not for everyone.

Joy Michelle: Yeah, exactly. And I think that my students come to me for my teaching style and if my teaching style makes no sense to someone, they’ll find their person.

They’ll find someone else. And that’s why this is so important because it really does help you to attract the right people and repel the ones that are not a fit. 

Dolly DeLong: And kinda merging that thought, like bridging that thought. This will also help you build out your email community as well. Because as you continue to show up through video and you push that traffic to build out your email, list your freebies, and build out your email list. Your students, your clients, and your subscribers will get to know your voice over time and they will learn slowly over time to trust your voice, to know, and trust you slowly over time through your email newsletters.

Joy Michelle: Yeah. I love that. 

Dolly DeLong: Okay, so can I ask you a question about. YouTube short-form videos? Because this is something that I’m like, okay, so you had mentioned that YouTube shorts if you don’t wanna be a YouTuber, you can still put YouTube shorts on YouTube. I tried playing around look at me like picking your brain on the podcast. Is there a specific place to do that on YouTube, upload a YouTube short, I don’t even know where to be? How would you recommend a person start with that?

Joy Michelle: Yes. So if you have a channel and you’ve created your channel, there is one spot where you can upload everything. And so it has this little create button. And that’s where you can actually go live or upload a video or create a post. So you can create a text post.

If you upload a video that’s shorter than 60 seconds, I think it is automatically a YouTube short. And that’s when it goes to your shorts category. And it’s cool because when you’re on somebody’s channel, you can look at all their content, the regular videos, then the shorts, and then their description.

There are lots of different ways and then their playlists. And most of the content in my shorts library is just repurposed content that was either a long-form YouTube video at some point, or most of them are reels that just don’t have the logo. 

Dolly DeLong: Gotcha. I love that so much. I did not know that.

I thought that there was a specific button for just shorts and I’ve been, Joy, you’re gonna laugh at me. I’ve been like, looking for this button. I’m like, I don’t know where this button is. I have no idea.

Joy Michelle: That’s so funny. I’m wondering if now I’m trying to think of if potentially it is split when you’re on the app.

Yeah. Because I know you can upload it on the app. I’d have to look at it. But I’m pretty sure okay, that you can do that. Through, you know what? Well, if I find something else out, I’ll be sure to send you something. You’re so nice. The show notes.

Dolly DeLong: I’m sure somebody’s screaming at me as they, as we were talking.

They’re like, Dolly it’s this. But you all I, this is why I have Joy on the podcast. Cause she, she is a YouTube expert, not me. She’s a content creation expert with YouTube, not me. So I’m, thank you for answering that very silly question I had. 

Joy Michelle: Yeah, and I, so I just pulled up my phone, and if you’re on the app, the YouTube app for your phone, it separates it out. So it says to create a short, upload a video, go live, or add to your story. So there are stories now. Oh wow. Very Instagram-esque. But shorts are such a great way to just repurpose, if you have tiktoks or reels or anything short form, you should absolutely add it to YouTube at a minimum.

And then as you said, you don’t need to be a YouTuber uploading every single week to still leverage the platform. And I tell photographers and creatives all the time if you have video of any kind for your business, whether it is like a masterclass that you did. Or a lot of times people have those almost like a little trailer about them, like working with them or their business.

I know I had one of those when I was a wedding photographer full-time, just put, putting that on YouTube and titling it with what you want to be known for. If it’s like Annapolis, Maryland wedding photographer, Joy Michelle Photography, that is gonna be so powerful and it’s crazy. That stuff will come up in search higher than probably most of the pages on your site because wow, YouTube is so powerful.

So I’ve seen photographers do this for family clients or newborn clients, or if they make many films like family films. I’ve been like, just rename all these films that you want to be search-dominating for, and it makes the biggest difference. 

Dolly DeLong: I love that. I hope you all are taking notes because that was a mic-drop moment right there. That was so good. 

Joy Michelle: Little extra gem at the end of the YouTube search. I’m telling you YouTube is, it’s incredibly powerful and that’s really what my presentation is gonna be all about with your summit. 

Dolly DeLong: Yeah. So, that kinda merges into my next question. I know like you, thank you for sharing those three points and do you mind sharing with the audience what you are gonna be sharing about or talking about at the Systems and Workflow Magic Summit?

Joy Michelle: Yes. So I’m gonna be talking all about this, but way more in-depth in terms of creating a strategy for your content as an online or even service-based business owner with YouTube.

So really leveraging the world’s second-largest search engine, which is YouTube, to create video content in your business, especially if you are not someone who’s oh, I’m great at creating video content. That is what we’re gonna be talking about. So you’ll get a simple step-by-step strategy for leveraging this platform to gain visibility and authority, and most importantly, grow your email list so that you can grow your audience.

Convert those to potential buyers and customers. And I know I mentioned visibility and brand authority, but I think that is so hand in hand with building that email list because we need you to get in front of people. And that’s like my jam is helping creatives just be seen and known for what it is that they’re so good at.

So we’re gonna be talking about that and all things YouTube. 

Dolly DeLong: I love that Joy. I am so excited. And do you mind sharing with the listeners again how people can find you, work with you, and get to know you? And I also know that you have a freebie that you will be sharing with everybody as well. Can you just talk about that?

Joy Michelle: Yes. So I have a Brand Authority Blueprint freebie, which really talks about some of what we’ve gotten into here today, but more in-depth about how to show up with that authority because I know so many creatives have a message that they need to get in front of people, but sometimes, It’s really hard to be taken seriously and get noticed online.

So that is what that addresses. So that freebie will be available in the show notes and you can find me everywhere online at Joy Michelle. My website is joymichelle.co and come listen to the podcast. I am over on all the podcast players, whatever podcast player is your favorite. You just simply search Called to Both and it will pop right up.

There’ll be like me sitting on a stool with a brown background. And that podcast is just really sharing the stories and tips and hacks and realities of being a mom that is growing a brand and being a present mom, and what that looks like, just trying to find that life alignment, right? 

Dolly DeLong: Yes. Amen, sister. I totally get that. And you all are gonna, as I said earlier in, the podcast episode, you are all going to fall in love with Joy. Like she, she embodies her name, Joy. So, it’s true. It’s so true. That is the perfect name for you. Thank so thank you. I mean it. So, as a reminder to everyone, everything Joy and I spoke about in this episode is gonna be reflected and shared in the show notes.

And you still have time to snag a free ticket to the Systems and Workflow Magic Summit, the email marketing edition where Joy and over 20 different experts are going to be teaching all things email marketing. So the foundations of email marketing and how to get started with email marketing, especially as a creative business owner.

So, this is my third time leading a systems and workflow event, and I am so excited that the theme is centered around the power of email marketing. So please don’t miss out and please head on over to the show notes for all the links mentioned. So until next week, I hope you all have a magical and streamlined week.

Don’t forget, you are an amazing muggle. Bye.

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