Many entrepreneurs dream of that “going viral” moment, but no one ever seems to talk about what comes next: Things start to go back to normal. That’s why creating consistent, perennial content is key to sustainable success. Katie Steckly, an authority in the sphere of perennial content and social media, joins us to share why evergreen content is so important to your business. We delve into selecting the most suitable platform for your needs, devising a content strategy, essentials for getting started, and much more.
In this episode, you’ll hear…
- The starting point for content creation
- Selection process for the most fitting platforms
- Overcoming inhibitions that hinder progress
- Generating content themes
- How your chosen platform can guide your content
- A trifecta of advice for launching a YouTube channel or podcast
- Necessary equipment for your content journey
- Building a content schedule
Listen to the full episode of On Your Terms™ on your favorite podcast platform
Listen to episode 131, follow along so you never miss an episode, and leave a review to help introduce the show to more online business owners just like you!
If you leave a review on Apple Podcasts, be sure to send a screenshot of it to me on Instagram (at)samvanderwielen & you’ll be entered for the chance to win a $20 Starbucks gift card!
Which platform should I choose?
The vast range of possibilities for kick-starting content creation can easily become daunting. When choosing where to make your start, Katie’s advice leans towards going evergreen.
What does that mean? Essentially, it’s all about disseminating content that gets engagement over time, like a blog, YouTube channel, or podcast. While it might seem slow to catch on initially, these platforms gradually build momentum over time. When it comes to choosing among the three, it primarily boils down to what you personally enjoy consuming and what you find most comfortable engaging with.
What kind of content should I post?
If you’re just following marketing experts, chances are you only encounter content directed at marketers. How do you adapt content centered around marketing to fit your specific line of business? The secret lies in figuring out which issues you can resolve for others. Think about what your client might input into a search engine and provide the sought-after response. Allow your content to reflect your unique personality and foster trust; then you’re on the path to acquiring clients!
Three tips for beginners
If you’re at a point where you’re just starting with no content and zero marketing channels, it can seem daunting. Katie provides these tips for easing into the process:
- Market analysis: Examine what strategies others are employing on your platform. It’s not about imitating others, but rather deriving two key insights: what appears to be thriving in your field, and what can you do uniquely or even better?
- Practice: If you’re looking to make a YouTube video but have no prior experience filming, keep in mind that your first attempt doesn’t necessarily need to be published. Just get started, evaluate what can be enhanced, and take it from there. Which brings us to our final piece of advice…
- Just begin: While practice holds importance, you don’t want to end up waiting for years to actually get started. There’s always scope for refinement, so just begin by sharing content and compiling a collection of videos, podcasts, or blog posts that will gradually draw traffic.
If you want to explore more about creating perennial content, pay a visit to Katie’s website at creatorlymedia.com.
Sam Vander Wielen: Hey there. It’s Sam. And welcome back to On Your Terms. I’m so excited that you’re here. So I’m really excited because for the next couple of weeks, I’m running something that I’m calling Online Marketing Summer School. So I’m going to be airing a series of episodes that are all geared towards helping you bump up your online marketing game this summer.
So I’ll be real with you, as always. I am taking a little time to recoup this summer because I just lost my mom. My mom just passed away. Yes, you heard that right. Both of my parents. I have lost both of my parents in the past year. So as you can imagine, it is very tough, very overwhelming. And I need a little bit of space. And I know that I’ve already given you hundreds and hundreds of episodes of this show and thousands of emails and blog posts and social posts. And I know that there’s so much waiting for you that you might just not have had time to catch up on it yet.
So I decided to put it all together for you. I call it Online Marketing Summer School. And I am really excited to bring back some of my favorite episodes from my and also from your favorite teachers here that I’ve had on the show to help us bump up our marketing game this summer. It’s such a good time to revisit your marketing strategy or to create one if you haven’t yet. Don’t worry, I won’t tell anybody. But it’s such a good time for you to do that because you know you can get some things set up this summer to maybe do some sort of promotion in the fall or just have a better half of the rest of 2023.
So I invite you to kick back, relax, listen to the next couple of weeks of episodes all about online marketing. And I hope that you’ll send me a DM on Instagram at @Samvanderwielen or leave a review of the show wherever you listen to let me know if you’ve liked these episodes. Hopefully, if you’ve never heard them before, I’m introducing you to something new.
And if you’re listening to them again, take a note from my mom, who was a brilliant, brilliant woman and would reread so many books throughout her life. Like she reread the book Flow and like Tipping Point and so many different books throughout her life. She would reread them in different parts of her life. And she would always walk away with something new, and she would always put in the notes what year she read it and what year, like what she learned that year versus the other years.
So there is nothing wrong with relistening to things. I relisten all the time. So I hope that if you’ve listened before, you take away something new from this great episode. So I’ll see you on the other side. Please send me a message. Let me know how you liked it. Thank you so much for listening.
Hey, Katie. Welcome to On Your Terms.
Katie Steckly: Hey, Sam. Thank you so much for having me.
Sam Vander Wielen: I am so excited to have you here. This is like a dream interview for me because I just love you and think you’re amazing. And I just I have gotten so much value and so much content from all of your content that I’m very excited for you to share that with everybody else today. So thank you for being here.
Katie Steckly: Oh, thanks. I’m excited to be here.
Sam Vander Wielen: Well, I read everybody your little formal bios and they know that you’re a rock star and they know that you own and founded Creatorly. But I’d love for you to tell everybody a little bit about, like, what you do and how you actually work with people through Creatorly.
Katie Steckly: Yeah, for sure. So in addition to being a YouTuber, where I share my social media marketing advice over on my YouTube channel, I also have this agency called Creatorly Media. And at Creatorly Media, we work with entrepreneurs, online content creators just like Sam, to create YouTube videos, to create Instagram content, and to produce their podcast.
So really what we specialize in is working with creative and kind of busy business owners or entrepreneurs that kind of got to a point where they’re like, okay, I just can’t handle editing my podcast myself or editing my own YouTube videos, and they want to expand and continue reaching more people on different platforms. So we come in and help them with the strategy, with the technical side. Like actually doing the editing so that they can have a consistent presence on whatever social media platform they are working towards.
Sam Vander Wielen: Yeah, it’s amazing. You guys do amazing work and I talked about it a little bit in the intro that I work with you and love working with you on YouTube and hopefully even more to come. And you guys have just been like invaluable in both giving me such guidance on the strategy side of content creation, but then also all my little like tech questions, which you guys probably all have about like, wait, what do I do with this with the camera and how do I do that? So it’s been so helpful. Yeah.
Katie Steckly: Well, it’s been so fun working with you. I think we always love when we have clients that we can also learn something from. I know Taylor and I will chat about like, you know, watching Sam’s video like learn some new legal tips today that like, we wouldn’t have known otherwise. So it’s definitely a win-win.
Sam Vander Wielen: Well, that works. That’s good. I’m glad somebody’s getting something out of the videos and these little random appearances when I have to like go get the dog. And he’s like, barking in the background. They get to see fun things that don’t make the final cut.
Katie Steckly: Yes, we love the behind the scenes.
Sam Vander Wielen: Yeah, the behind the scenes. Okay. So I was thinking that it would be so helpful for you to start out by talking with everybody a little bit about somebody who’s just trying to either start out with their business or has like really taken social media more seriously or trying to build their audience more seriously. How should they go about building a platform to begin with?
Katie Steckly: I feel like there are so many different spots that you can start online that this step can become really overwhelming for new creators. It feels like, okay, there’s podcasts, there’s blogging, there’s YouTube, like there’s Instagram, TikTok, where should I actually start to build?
And I think in my experience, and I’m sure you can attest to this too, Sam, starting somewhere that is Evergreen can be hugely beneficial to you in the long run, even though I think a lot of people actually tend to not start with that because it doesn’t seem like fun and flashy, like places like Instagram, for instance, do. And Instagram is super fun and we both love to post on Instagram too.
But I think when you are in those early stages, it’s kind of like when you’re younger and you’re starting to invest in your retirement, you’re looking for that compound interest. Even though it seems boring to do, you’d rather like spend your money. But I feel like creating Evergreen content is kind of like making those early investments when you’re young because you’re not going to see a lot of return at the beginning. You’re not going to get like that dopamine hit of likes and follows because it’s slow at the start.
But then as you get years into your business or create your journey, you really, really start to see those returns when SEO starts to work for you. And your website continues to get more traffic, your YouTube videos keep getting more traffic. Even though you put in the work to make them like years ago, you’re still getting that traffic now. Whereas with your Instagram content, for instance, nobody’s seeing your post that you made like a year ago or whatever.
So my advice to somebody just getting started with trying to build a platform is even though it might not seem that exciting or flashy, starting with something that’s really Evergreen, like a YouTube channel or a blog or a podcast is a really, really great place to start because it’s going to pay off as you keep moving forward.
Sam Vander Wielen: Yeah, it’s so true. I’m so glad you said that. And as you know, I talk a lot here about just focusing on Evergreen as much as humanly possible. And it’s so funny you said that about it being like an investment account because my marketing manager, Margot, who you know, I remember years and years ago, we’ve been working together since like 2017.
I was just saying like, I’m putting this out and no one’s reading it. I’m writing this blog post. I spent hours on this, nothing’s happening. And she was like, every time you do this, it’s like putting $0.05 in a bank account. It feels like nothing. It feels like so stupid that you’re putting $0.05. Like this is not going to get me anywhere. And then one day you look back and you had all these $0.05 and the compound interest that builds up and like you didn’t even know it. And so it’s just so true. And I think people hear it all the time, but I’m hoping that you make them believe it now.
Katie Steckly: Yes, exactly. It’s all about the persistence. And it can be so difficult because you’re really delaying that gratification where places like Instagram, where I think TikTok especially, it’s all about instant gratification of like, oh, I blew up overnight. Can you believe that?
And that’s not going to happen realistically on YouTube or with a blog or with a podcast barring some kind of crazy event, that’s really unusual. So it is really like delaying that gratification to the future and knowing like, hey, I might get like two views today, but like a year from now, this video might have a thousand views or 10,000 views and then it’s really going to start paying off.
Sam Vander Wielen: Yeah, exactly. And I guess it really is this choice that you have to make at some point in your business where you’re like, I’m making content that is going to work for me. But not only will it build up this compound interest over time, but also it actually leads somewhere and does something for you. So like my YouTube videos, for example, +we just started, right?
And so we’re still in the earlier phases of like learning and testing and all this. So they’re not getting high views. I just ran a huge multi six figure promo in eight days and I had multiple people purchase who told me they found me through watching YouTube videos. And so my numbers aren’t high, right? These are not like the most world’s most amazing numbers at this point, but it allows, first of all, for deeper connection.
And then like Katie saying, it’s like a year from now, somebody could watch that same video and also buy a year from now where I’m not going to get that from a TikTok video that’s going to, like die on a shelf somewhere.
Katie Steckly: Exactly. And I think you totally touched on the other beautiful part of this longer form content that also tends to be Evergreen and YouTube podcasts, that kind of thing, is that it really does lead to that deeper connection where your followers can get to know you better and they trust you more. Like we see Tiktoks all the time that we interact with on a very surface level, transactional kind of thing. We might get some value from it and say like, hey, that’s really interesting. I might follow this person.
But rarely would you see one TikTok and feel like, okay, yeah, I’m ready to invest and like buy this person’s offer. Whereas if I sit down and watch a 20-minute YouTube video, if you are really providing a lot of value and you’re really personable, we’re driving on a personality level. Even if this is the first video I’ve seen from you, I might actually be willing to make a purchase at the end depending on the circumstances and what I’m looking for and what the price is or whatever.
So I think that there’s a lot more opportunity to convert people also like earlier on kind of in the funnel, like they don’t have to know you as well because well, they do get to know you through the course of the YouTube video or the podcast because there’s just more time, there’s more opportunity to offer that additional value to them that builds trust.
Sam Vander Wielen: Yeah, exactly. And funny enough, if anyone needs any additional evidence, that’s how I found Katie. So my friend told me about Katie, and I went straight to YouTube to watch her videos. I didn’t even know you had Instagram. I didn’t know like you were on Instagram until I watched a whole bunch of your YouTube videos.
And for me, I wasn’t even trying to watch all of this content. I was really trying to get a feel for you as a person. And it was pretty apparent to me right away that Katie is the real deal. She’s brilliant, she’s kind and like down to earth and normal is what I would call normal because you’re not like the gross like flashy marketing that I don’t like. And so it really spoke to me, right? I could tell you were my person. And so I reached out to you.
And then afterwards I was like, oh, I wonder if she’s on Instagram because I wanted to go to your Instagram to see like kind of what you were up to in the day to day, not to like really get to know you. It’s, to me, more this like behind the scenes nurture space.
Katie Steckly: Yeah, it’s so interesting. Well, first of all, thank you for all those kind words. I appreciate that. But yeah, I find the dynamic between when you do have an Evergreen platform and then something else like Instagram or Twitter or whatever it is for you, like how those kind of play together. And I think that I’m in kind of a unique situation where as a creator who gives like social media marketing advice, I think of my Instagram as like my primary place for basically social proof. Like showing like I know what I’m talking about because I personally think there’s way too many YouTubers that give advice about Instagram and then they don’t even really implement that advice on their own Instagram. So I’m all about like experimenting and then report back on my experiments.
And also with having an agency, I’m able to like make videos with the expertise I’ve gained through working with clients and their followings and stuff. So anyway, yeah, but I feel like for me it’s a little bit different because of that sort of like my Instagram is like the proof of my expertise. But for other people, there’s not necessarily that connection between their, you know, we’ll say timely social platform and their Evergreen SEO platform.
But I think that what you’re speaking to is totally right, that like Instagram is where you go. Once you start to get a little more attached and you’re like, oh, I wonder what her like day-to-day life looks like or whatever. That’s when I find myself like looking into following a YouTuber on Instagram, for instance. So there’s definitely a pipeline there too, of like with these Evergreen platforms, you can increase your social following through people finding you there too.
Sam Vander Wielen: Yeah, that’s true. And that’s another one where it’s like it’s a slow drip that might not feel like much when you’re smaller, when you have a smaller account, but then it adds up over time and you’re just getting consistent leads too. So that’s nice. But I’m hoping after this conversation so far that we’ve convinced people to at least explore the Evergreen direction. So now I’m thinking, okay, people who are listening might be then like, well, how do I choose between a podcast, a YouTube channel, or a blog? Or are you saying I should be doing some combo of these?
Katie Steckly: That’s a great question and I hear that one a lot as well. I think that the first thing I would say is you don’t need to feel like you have to do them all at once when you’re just getting started. I come across a lot of people, even sometimes clients that come to me and are like, I’m ready to start a million things at one time. And I love that ambition and I definitely have that kind of tendency myself. But I know from my own experience that that tends to lead to overwhelm burnout and then not actually being able to do any of them as well as you would like.
So I think it’s great to expand over time. Like I know Sam, you and I both have like multiple platforms, podcasts, YouTube that we’re doing, but that kind of like I’m sure you would attest to as well, that comes after like years of building things up as you go. It’s not like overnight you’re going to start every single platform known to social media.
So I would say like when you get started, choose one. I like to say choose one Evergreen platform and one kind of a more timely platform that you can focus on at the same time because they serve different purposes. So whether that’s a YouTube channel and an Instagram or a podcast and a Twitter or a blog and LinkedIn or whatever, that combination can be really effective because you get to see the benefits of investing in your SEO and your Evergreen content, but then you also have a place that you can connect on like a more personal sort of one to one level, like on Instagram, for example.
But in terms of choosing between a blog, a podcast, or a YouTube channel, I think it really starts with asking yourself what kind of content you like to consume the most. I really have a philosophy that you can be the best creator on the platform where you like to consume most because that’s where you’re going to be really familiar with the culture, with the rhetoric of the platform, with the trends.
I think we see this a lot with people that have like never been on TikTok before, just trying and they’re like, I don’t know what the trends are. I don’t know what’s going on or whatever. We’re always going to be the best creator when we’re first a consumer and we understand what it’s like to be in the audience because that’s how you build empathy with your end viewer, and that’s how you’re able to actually create something that’s going to feel meaningful to them, like it’s meant to be there. Otherwise it can end up feeling very out of context.
And the same thing can happen if you’ve never watched YouTube before, and then you try to make YouTube videos because you don’t understand what it feels like to be the viewer. So I think starting with where do you like to consume content the most? That might be a good fit, but also combine that with where do you feel most comfortable and what kind of format speaks to you the most? Because if you feel really, really uncomfortable on camera, even if you’re a big fan of YouTube, YouTube might not be the best fit for you.
So maybe podcasting would be a better fit if you also happen to like podcasts and you really like to chat and you’re good at talking off the cuff, then podcasting might be a good fit. Or if you’re like a really good writer and you know you feel like you can express yourself well through written word, then maybe blogging. So I think it’s a combination of where you like to consume content the most and therefore where you’re going to have the most empathy or understanding with what a viewer on that platform or reader or whatever would feel like. And then also, where do you have kind of a natural talent or tendency towards.
Sam Vander Wielen: Yeah, for sure. And how have you — that’s so helpful. Have you helped like clients in the past work through this issue? Like, I see this a lot with people where when we talk about go where you’re most comfortable, that can easily become overcoming of fear that can be easily worked through.
Like, for example, what I’m thinking of is people will say to me like, I don’t want to do YouTube because I’m afraid that I have to be so made up all the time. And I’m like, well, that’s like a story that you’ve made up about what it’s like to be on YouTube. So there’s like a difference to me between being so terrified on camera, like not really able to deliver your message in a great way that’s not going to be very marketable versus like this kind of myths and stories that people hang on to. You know what I mean?
Katie Steckly: Yes, totally, because there are definitely perceptions about what a YouTuber is or what a podcaster is. And sometimes we need to kind of try to look beyond that. I think your example of like having to be made up all the time is a really good one because especially with YouTube, it’s just become such a — well, there’s a lot of really big creators on the platform.
And I’ve kind of seen this over time because I started my YouTube channel in 2011 and things have really evolved since then where we’re at the point where like big YouTubers are basically mainstream celebrities. And so the general public perception, if you’re not in a more niche or like small community on YouTube would be, oh, YouTubers are like basically celebrities. They just have these glamorous, beautiful lives and they look perfect all the time and they have like this high quality equipment or whatever.
But that’s not necessarily true. If you look into like who’s creating content all the time, like what I would refer to as like the creator middle class, like the bulk of people that are on YouTube making a living off of it and creating content all the time, they’re not celebrities. They’re just normal people like me and Sam basically just turning on our camera in our bedroom or our van or whatever and talking to it.
So I think part of breaking down those fears or perceptions can be diving into the platform a little bit more, trying to find those connections of like who are just the average everyday people that are making this content. And I think when you are a more like excited or like regular consumer of that type of content, then you might find that more often. Whereas if you only ever kind of interact with YouTube on a surface level, you might think like, oh, who’s famous on YouTube? Like Emma Chamberlain and the Paul Brothers or whatever.
But if you’re a YouTube nerd like me, basically, then you’ll know of this whole community of kind of mid-range creators that are just normal people. And I think that can really help you feel less intimidated by it when you find those creators that you can look up to that, you’re like, oh yeah, they don’t look perfect all the time. In fact, they lean into their imperfections and that makes them feel more real or whatever, and that can help to break down that fear a little bit, like finding some role models that kind of prove to you like, oh, you don’t have to be perfect.
And I think that’s when you can kind of see the difference between, okay, this is actually just a stereotype or perception that I have in my mind. It’s not actually that I hate being on camera, it’s that I think I need to look like Hollywood glam to be on camera. But that’s not actually true.
Sam Vander Wielen: Exactly. Yeah. If you need any proof, go watch anything that I do. I’m never made up. It’s like I always tell my friends, if I waited for that, nothing would ever come out. So I can’t afford to wait for that. It’s like people care about the — I mean, I hope you will agree with this, but it’s like people care about the content and like, yes, of course you can get mean comments and stuff, but those people were never going to buy from you or anything like that.
But I find that actually just — I also try to think of what the customer experience is like. We talk a lot about this internally and the customer experience in my business is not this super polished, like everything’s perfect. Here’s this like perfect fantasy life that I live. So why would I want that on the front end of my business? So if I’m really trying to attract my ideal client or even audience member, I want them to kind of get a flavor for what it’s like, which is not highly produced and not perfect, you know?
Katie Steckly: Yeah, exactly. I feel like I have a similar philosophy where I’m all about like being realistic and being also accepting and joyful about those realistic results. Not expecting something crazy like, oh, I’m going to blow up, I’m going to have $1 million overnight or whatever. So if I would kind of lean into that, what I would see as like the sort of typical marketing guru persona of so flashy, I just bought a Lamborghini, I’m so rich or whatever, well, then I’m setting myself up to get clients who are going to think I’m going to be able to provide that for them. I’ve not even been able to provide that for myself. I do not own a Lamborghini, so why would I make it look like I could promise that to people if that’s not actually what I’m doing.
So I think it’s good to represent your, brand your personality, what you’re actually offering to your clients. Even through those small details of, yeah, I don’t need to look perfect on camera or I don’t need to have the perfect set. And of course, there’s a balance of trying to make your videos like you don’t want to sit in a dark room and they can barely see your face or whatever. But you don’t have to be like, yeah, look like you had a glam squad make you up or something like that.
Sam Vander Wielen: Yeah, yeah, exactly. And I feel like this kind of relates to what I wanted to ask you about next, because I feel like a lot of times in our business or in our industry, people will come into this industry and then they start following a lot of people, mostly in the business and marketing space, right? And so they start consuming a lot of this content, which is all very like money driven and metrics driven and look at all the stuff I bought and look how many followers I got in this short period of time or whatever.
But then the people who are consuming that content and the people who are listening to this podcast right now are, in my community, they’re health and wellness professionals and they’re career coaches and money coaches and NTPs and nurses and all these people, right? So they’re creating content for a totally different audience. Like they’re not creating content to people to be like, look at how many followers I have. They don’t care. They’re people who don’t care about that. They want to know how to eat, move, sleep well, get a better job, date people, whatever.
So it’s like I think it’s like hard to make that shift. So I was thinking it would be helpful if you gave a couple of tips to people who are in that position, who want to know how do I go about creating content? Who should the content be for? What kind of form should their content take on these platforms that we’re talking about?
Katie Steckly: I think that is such a good question, and I feel like you brought up like the big irony or just like something that people talk about a lot of like, okay, so you grow your channel by teaching other people how to grow their channels, you know what I mean. Like it’s kind of this endless loop. And I think that that’s why I try to really draw from examples of, just in my own content, examples of clients that I’ve worked with or coming up with tangible examples for people that aren’t just like, well, here’s how to grow an account, about how to grow an account, or whatever.
So I think that putting that aside, because that is like a very typical issue with gurus, I think my advice then for someone who your content is not about teaching other people how to make money or teaching other people how to get followers or whatever. I think again, it stems from coming up with ideas for content on these Evergreen platforms is all about what problems can you solve for people?
So in my case, the problems that I’m trying to solve for my followers is how do I grow my account? How do I increase my engagement or whatever? So that same structure applies to anybody, even if they’re not trying to grow it like social media educator platform. It’s like, what kind of issues are my client’s followers having that I might be able to solve through a short YouTube video?
And I think, too, like, I’ll just be honest that there are some niches that might have more viral appeal than others, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s going to be more successful in terms of converting followers. So even if you are — well, I think any niche can get a lot of views over time through search. But I get that having flashy titles, like how I got a thousand followers in one hour or whatever, that can help you kind of get on the homepage or getting suggested videos.
But just because you get all those users get on the homepage or whatever, doesn’t actually mean that’s converting to clients. So I think focusing again on like it’s about providing the value, providing solutions to problems that people might be typing to the YouTube search bar, and then, yeah, just sharing your personality and building trust with people, that’s really like the formula to getting basically clients through YouTube, getting slow and steady growth, which is what I really think that we should focus on rather than like, oh well, see all these people getting like viral growth through these flashy titles that I wouldn’t even be able to make promises like that, you know?
Well, most likely they can’t actually make that promise either, they’re just like doing that and they’re getting from it. So yeah, I just think focus on the slow and steady and really just having that empathy with your client or your follower and then trying to figure out what problems might they be having that I could solve, and then writing a good video title that they might find through search.
Sam Vander Wielen: Yeah, I could see that. That makes a lot of sense. Based on that, do you think that — would you recommend to somebody that they teach content differently based on whether they decide to start a YouTube channel versus a podcast? I mean, to me, I always think about for so many of my customers and so many of the listeners who are in the health and wellness or food space, I’m always like — well, like YouTube seems to make sense to me because if it were me, I’d be doing a lot of visual stuff. Like it’s a very visual thing.
So I would probably be doing lots of little cooking demos and recipes stuff and I don’t know, like workout tips or whatever. That seems to make sense to me on YouTube. But yeah, how do you counsel people to kind of break down the different types or the way that they approach content based on which platform they choose?
Katie Steckly: Totally, because I feel like different niches can lend themselves more well to different platforms. That being said, a lot of stuff like you could create, you could have a podcast and a YouTube channel about the exact same thing, and they could be very successful. So I think it’s all about the way that you approach it.
So I think for one, it can be about, again, like I talked about, what are you kind of excited about doing? Even if you are like a food or like a health coach, if you’re not excited about filming food videos, then you kind of have to be realistic with yourself and say, If I’m not actually going to sit down and film when I need to do that, but I will sit down and record a really in-depth podcast, maybe that is where I should go. So it’s not always about what type of content.
But I do think that looking at where your niche kind of has the biggest audience, that can be a helpful guide. Because, yeah, like I was saying, video or audio, there’s great ways to do that no matter what the subject matter. But if you find that your niche has a really strong community on YouTube, then it might be worth getting on YouTube. But if you find that, oh, actually, my kind of people, they love listening to podcasts, maybe I should create a podcast.
So I feel like it’s kind of more about where your audience really likes to spend time, where your community is, and then also your own inclinations in terms of do I like video editing or do I like audio editing or whatever? Because I really do believe that there’s creative ways to represent a niche well, whether it’s in a podcast or a YouTube video.
Sam Vander Wielen: Yeah, yeah, that’s true. That’s how I felt about what I’m doing. I don’t mind doing video. And I think like for me, it feels more natural to go to YouTube and do more tip heavy type stuff. And then the podcast, although I do tips, it does feel more intimate and conversational where I feel like I get different messages from people about podcast episodes, like they really emotionally connected with something. Whereas I feel like with YouTube I get lots of people reaching out saying that something was helpful or like that tip was really helpful, that kind of thing. Yeah. And it’s because I approach them differently.
Katie Steckly: Yes, totally. And I think that there are different approaches that are more successful in either places. I would say in general, while YouTube can definitely grow to be a really like relational platform of people when they subscribe to you watching every single one of your videos, that does happen, but it’s going to be with a very small percentage of your viewership ultimately.
YouTube tends to be, especially when you are an educator of some variety, like if you are answering those questions that people are typing into search, it’s going to be a little bit more transactional. A lot of your audience is going to come get the answer and then they’ve received it. And a small percentage will convert to being those loyal fans if they really connect with your personality.
Whereas I think with podcasts, it tends to be a little bit more relational than transactional because I think when people start listening to a podcast, they’re kind of in it for the long run. And I think part of that is because it’s a little bit harder to find new podcasts in a way. There is the whole like Apple Podcast, Explorer page or whatever, but a lot of people tend to find podcasts through sometimes search, sometimes like word of mouth like recommendations.
But once you’ve listened to one episode, like you’ve invested let’s say like an hour or whatever, you’ve probably really come to know and trust the host, and so you’re going to listen again. So it kind of becomes a little bit more relational if that makes sense. Whereas on YouTube, just because it’s like shorter form content, it’s so easy to click away onto something else, it feels a little bit more transactional that way.
So not that it can’t become like a longer-term relationship, like I was saying, but I do think because of that just slight difference of when people are sitting watching a YouTube video, they see your video, but they also see like ten other videos in the sidebar that they could click on. Whereas if they’re listening to your podcast, like people listening right now, they might be like doing the dishes or folding laundry or going on a run or whatever. So they’re not as apt to like click away because their phone’s like in their pocket or something. They’re doing something else.
So I think it kind of just builds that more long-term relationship, whereas YouTube is just a little bit more like there’s billboards for all kinds of other content all in front of your eyes that you could just easily click away to. So because of that, it just lends itself to a different style of delivery. And then also like slightly different kind of relationship patterns from your viewers.
Sam Vander Wielen: Yeah, for sure. Yeah. It feels like — that’s such a good point that on YouTube there’s so many things happening and primarily, people are consuming it either through their phone, but probably more so even their computer. And there are just so many distractions there. And I feel like you have to work really hard on YouTube to keep people’s attention, keep them watching. Whereas a podcast just feels like, like you said, it’s like an investment. I’m already in this. If I’ve listened for 40 minutes, I’m not clicking over to somebody else’s thing by now.
Katie Steckly: Yeah, exactly.
Sam Vander Wielen: That makes sense. I think it would be so helpful, if you don’t mind, let’s go through if you think they’re different, I was hoping you could give everybody three tips, if they were ready to or want to start exploring to start a YouTube channel or to start a podcast, what are the first three steps you would encourage someone to take? Like in terms of researching? Do they have to research, get to know the client’s content planning, like all this kind of stuff? What would you recommend that they do?
Katie Steckly: I think that’s a great question. I feel like trying to decide are they different? I feel like the YouTube channel or a podcast, it’s a really similar set of steps that I would recommend when you’re getting started. So we’ll just kind of go through my initial three steps and then if there’s specifics to YouTube or podcasts, to point them out.
But I think the first step, no matter which platform you’re doing, is probably market research, like figuring out what’s already out there. Essentially, you can use other creators as an experiment of what already works well. I think with any kind of content creation, we all have our individual audiences, and something that works for somebody else might not work for us. So ultimately, you’re going to need to kind of do your own experimentation once you get started.
But what can help you kind of narrow the field and decide maybe what format you want to do, what type of delivery style you want to do, all those different pieces, you can start to figure out by observing the trends in your niche already, or you might kind of go out and look for YouTube videos on your topic or podcasts on your topic and start to realize like, oh, nobody really presents this in the way that I would want to.
And then you found yourself a really wonderful gap in the market, which I think can happen. If you especially are entering your niche because you feel like there’s a lot of set up perceptions or stereotypes and you’re like, no, nobody’s talking about it the right way. That can be a really wonderful opportunity to kind of make your own path through that industry or niche.
So definitely starting with market research is going to help you figure out what makes you different, what is your unique value proposition or whatever that can set you apart from other creators and also help you figure out what tends to be successful. If you kind of start looking around in your niche and you realize, oh, you know what, people don’t actually love interview shows. They really love solo episodes. Or maybe people don’t really love solo episodes, they love conversational where there’s like multiple hosts in my niche or whatever. That can kind of give you a hint of, well, maybe I should lean towards that and like, see how it goes because it’s obviously proven to work.
And then also on YouTube, it can kind of or with podcasting really, if you’re new to the platform, it can kind of give you more of a sense of how do YouTubers talk? What kind of feels natural on this platform? And the same with podcasting. So I would just start by looking around, taking a ton of notes. If you’re already passionate about your niche, chances are you’ve kind of done this type of market research, just like naturally on your own.
Like I know for me, I have been a consumer of YouTube for a very long time. So when I think about making my own YouTube videos, I already have this huge catalog in my mind of how do YouTubers talk? What kind of things do you say? What’s the sort of general format that works? I feel like saying make sure you subscribe is just like built into my vocabulary now. So if you’re like a regular consumer of that content, that will kind of happen naturally. So definitely, I would say step one is market research.
And then I think the second step for either of these platforms too, is probably just kind of starting to practice, especially if you’re new to the platform and you’ve never tried to film a YouTube video before, don’t set yourself up with this expectation that your first video has to be published because it doesn’t. You can just start practicing like filming yourself, getting used to the idea of saying, make sure you like and subscribe or whatever, natural to you. And that’s going to help you feel a lot more comfortable when you actually go to film the real thing or record your first podcast.
And I think also getting that practice in with the tech can be really helpful if that’s also something that’s new to you. Especially if you’re thinking of doing an interview podcast, I highly, highly advise doing a few trial runs with just get your partner or family member in the other room to get on Zoom with you or whatever so you can make sure everything works the way you expect it to. I feel like that kind of goes without saying, but it just like really helps you not feel embarrassed if you get a guest on and then you mess something up because I’ve been there and that definitely sucks.
So getting kind of all of those kinks out of the way, practicing with the tech, getting yourself comfortable on camera or speaking to the microphone I think is a really important like interim step. And then I think the third thing is to kind of just bite the bullet and go for it. It can be so scary. And I know especially a lot of creators who are perfectionists can wait around forever to get that first video up.
But you kind of just have to go for it because going back to that whole compound interest thing, the earlier you start putting that content out there, the better basically. It’s going to really help you with that SEO over time. And the longer you put it up, you’re losing out on that future views and traffic that you could have had. So yeah, I think even though it’s scary, you kind of just have to dive in and then iterate and improve as you go.
Sam Vander Wielen: Yeah, that’s so helpful. I’m glad you said that about the tech too, because I know the tech can be really overwhelming. I also would love if you offer everybody your opinion about how complicated things need to be in the beginning. Do they need the fanciest camera and lighting and all of this?
Katie Steckly: Definitely not. I always advise it on my YouTube videos, when you first get started, you can do almost everything completely with your phone. You get yourself, say you’re filming a video in the right lighting conditions, you make sure that you’re not in a super noisy place. You don’t even need an extra microphone. Like your phone can do a pretty good job if you give it the best chance. Again, don’t go sit in a dark, noisy, like subway station or something. Make sure you’re in a good setting, but it will do a good job for you. And you can also record a podcast just on your phone if you want.
My tip is to either go stand in your closet, get in a blanket for it, kind of hold your phone up and away from your mouth a little bit to avoid the pop sounds. And you can get really high-quality audio just on your phone. So you definitely don’t need to overwhelm yourself with getting the fanciest camera or the best microphone. There’s a lot that you can do with probably what you already have.
Sam Vander Wielen: Yeah, I imagine. I will make sure that I link to some of Katie’s videos because I know she has some really good videos on YouTube about the equipment and setup and all of that. So I think that would be really helpful. And what do you recommend? So for step three, you said like get to it. Like just let’s start doing it. How do you recommend, do you tell people in the beginning, should they plan a couple of episodes at a time, be filming one at a time or whether it’s podcast or YouTube? And then also, is there any sort of structure or strategy that you tell people to start out with like that first, I hate the word chunk, but chunk of episodes is the only thing I can think of.
Katie Steckly: Yes, definitely. I think that it’s very wise to create a content calendar for yourself. So when you’re getting started, I’m sure you’ll have like tons of ideas. What I would recommend is making a list of — in the past, when I’ve talked about this, I’d say make a list of 50 video ideas because if you can come up with that many, you’ve got yourself almost a year worth of YouTube videos if you’re posting once a week, that’s a really good sign that you’ve got enough content there.
You don’t have to go that far, maybe come up with 5 or 10 ideas that you can jot down. Then what I would do is actually start researching those video titles before you solidify them in your content calendar. I really and my team really loves to use this app called Tubebuddy. And basically, it’s an SEO research Chrome extension. It’s a tool that you can basically plug into YouTube and it will give you a score basically based on supply and demand in the YouTube market is the way I like to think about it.
So if I put in a video title, it will basically tell me how many people are searching for this. Like if the rating is good or bad, medium, whatever it is, there’s a scale there. So it might be like a score of 100. It’s like a percentage on how many people are searching for it. And then it will give me a score on how many people have made YouTube videos on this. So if that will be on a scale too.
And so I will compare like, okay, so we got 100 out of 100 when it comes to how many people are searching for this. But then if we look at how many people have created videos, oh, actually a lot of people have created videos on this, so then we might not get that much traffic. So anyway, it basically is just like a scale of supply and demand on YouTube. And if you can find a video, like if you plug in your video title and Tubebuddy tells you there’s a lot of people searching for this, there’s not a lot of people making this type of video. Then you’ve got a banger. So you want to add that to your content calendar.
So I would go through all of your ideas and do that type of research. You don’t necessarily have to use Tubebuddy. You can just kind of look and see, like search the title, see what results you get. Do those videos have a lot of views? Are there even a lot of videos that have that title, or is YouTube starting to pull kind of tangential content into your search because there’s not enough to show you? That can be a really good hint that, hey, this would be good to create.
So once you’ve kind of tested your titles and you know that they’re looking good, then add them to your content calendar. I would recommend going once a week. I think that is a good starting point. Obviously, the more you can post, especially at the beginning, because again, this isn’t about getting a lot of views when you first post. This is about investing, getting that compound interest over time. If you can post twice a week, that’s twice as good basically to the point where if you start to sacrifice quality for quantity, then I would stop.
So you kind of want to find that balance of where can I create a good amount of content? But I’m not either going to burn out or I’m going to start making crappy YouTube videos because I’m just trying to churn out too many. So that can be different. I normally aim for two a week. This coming month, I’m just doing one YouTube video a week because I know what my workload is looking like.
So I think it’s all about balance there, but then plan out that content calendar. So hopefully you have like a month of video ideas set out ahead of you. And then I would say it’s up to your personal preference. Do you want to batch them ahead of time? Does that work for your schedule or is it easier to create them a week at a time? I think that just depends on what your workload looks like, but that’s how I would start out. When I say just dive in, that’s what I mean by diving in.
Sam Vander Wielen: Yeah, I think that’s going to be so helpful to people. And in case it’s helpful, like I talk about project management and stuff like this a lot on the podcast. And so if it’s helpful to anybody, whatever tool you use, whether it’s like Asana or Clickup, I know you use Notion, I really recommend keeping an ideas list in there.
And I do have sections in my ideas list in Asana that are broken down by like podcast ideas, YouTube ideas, social media ideas, email list ideas. I have it broken up, but I also have like a general one where when I’m out and about because it’s always when the ideas come to you, I will just go in quickly and write it down. And it’s usually like garbled nonsense. But I can like break it out once I get home and understand what I was trying to get at. That’s very helpful. And don’t underestimate that. That’s another one of those little investment things that feels like nothing. But over time I look at this list and I’m like, whoa, I have all these ideas.
The other thing I would encourage people to do is keep like an organized track of something. Like I have a Google sheet where when people write us questions, when they DM me questions, when they write us an email. When I started my business, it was more like they would send me a Facebook message. Wherever I was getting this information from, we plug this into what I call a sizzle file. And it’s just again, a very random copy and paste like Google sheet that I have in my Google Drive. And I go to that a lot, especially early to learn how my customers are phrasing things, because it’s not often how I would phrase things, and it also tells me what questions I’m getting very frequently on the same topic. Yeah.
Katie Steckly: I think that is so helpful. And I do a similar thing in Notion. I just have a little list where if I’m out and about and I come up with a title, I’ll throw it in there. Or yeah, if I get an Instagram message and somebody asks about something, I throw it there too. I just think you need to have that bank of ideas that you kind of come up with, because if you’re thinking that you’re going to sit down and film a YouTube video with no gathered ideas or no research done, you’re going to have a really hard time creating a video that’s going to perform well long term.
So having that preparation in place is definitely really helpful. And I think understanding how your followers phrase things, that is invaluable because often when you are the expert, you don’t know how somebody would search for something. So hearing from the people that you’re trying to reach, how they would look for this information or how they might ask for it, that’s super helpful for creating like good titles.
Sam Vander Wielen: Yeah, yeah, I could see that. That is so helpful. Well, I feel like you’ve helped everybody today so much as expected, because if I were listening to this, I’d be like, okay, I feel like I have a better starting point. I feel like you really help people work through this. Like it doesn’t have to be perfect and highly produced. And there is an element of pushing people off the cliff a little bit with getting started and practicing. But I also think you’ve given some really concrete tips to help people plan. So this has been so helpful.
Katie Steckly: Oh, of course. Yeah. I always love talking about this stuff. I feel like I could go on for hours about like YouTube strategy or podcast production, so I’m here for it.
Sam Vander Wielen: Well, if you’re up for it, maybe we’ll do a part two sometime soon so that we can talk kind of like once people do get started maybe. You guys should send both Katie and I messages to let us know would it be helpful to hear about maybe you already have a podcast or YouTube channel, but you’re not getting the engagement you want or the following you want? I could probably strongarm her to coming back and talking more about that.
Katie Steckly: I would love that.
Sam Vander Wielen: That would be awesome. Well, thank you so much, Katie. Before you go, will you tell everybody where they can find you? And if there’s anything else you want to share with them about something, you’ve got to help them.
Katie Steckly: Yeah, of course. So you can find me personally on instagram.com/katiesteckley and you can find me on youtube.com/Katie. So just youtube.com/K-A-T-I-E. I know I snagged that. Anytime I can flex that. So that’s where all of my personal content is. But if you listen to this episode and you’re thinking, I really do want to start a podcast, I want to start a YouTube channel, or I need help with my Instagram, then my agency Creatorly Media has definitely got you covered.
So you can find us at Creatorly. So that’s just Creator-L-Y-media.com. All of our service offerings are listed there. We’re also on Instagram at @CreatorlyMedia. We love to share fun memes over there, so definitely check out the Creatorly Media Instagram. And we would love to help you produce your podcast, get your YouTube channel off the ground so you can feel free to reach out. There’s just a form over on the Creatorly Media website and we can get on a call, or my team can talk with you and we can get you going on your podcast or your YouTube channel. I’d love to help.
Sam Vander Wielen: That would be awesome. And I highly recommend them. If you’re in a place to be able to, you know, you could do this, but you need some support on the back end, especially with like editing, and production, and posting, engagement, they are invaluable. So highly recommend Katie and her team. So thank you so much for being here, Katie. I really appreciate it.
Katie Steckly: Thank you so much for having me.
Sam Vander Wielen: Thanks so much for listening to the On Your Terms podcast. Make sure to follow on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you like to listen to podcasts. You can also check out all of our podcast episodes, show notes, links and more at Samvanderwielen.com/podcast. You can learn more about legally protecting your business and take my free legal workshop, Five Steps to Legally Protect and Grow Your Online Business at Samvanderwielen.com. And to stay connected and follow along, follow me on Instagram at @SamVanderWielen and send me a DM to say hi.
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Resources Discussed in This Episode
- Find info on Creatorly Media’s services at creatorlymedia.com/services.
- Katie Steckly – YouTube
- Follow Katie on Instagram: @katiesteckly
- Follow Creatorly Media on Instagram: @creatorlymedia
- How to Start a Podcast From Scratch
- Katie’s recommended content creation starter kit
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