“NEVER BE AFRAID TO TRY SOMETHING NEW – BECAUSE LIFE GETS BORING WHEN YOU STAY WITHIN THE LIMITS OF WHAT YOU ALREADY KNOW.”
I found this saying on Pinterest (where I find 90% of all my inspirational quotes) and it spoke volumes of what I just did. I started my very own podcast. It feels invigorating to have followed through with something that had been in the back of my mind for awhile but honestly, wasn’t quite sure I had the guts to do.
I say “guts to do,” because that powerful and ugly thing called DOUBT had crept over me the past year.
I doubted whether or not I could put myself out there in the social media-sphere doing something I’d never done before. I doubted I could handle adding another project to my already very full plate of mom life, running my makeup artistry business, AND keeping up with this beauty blog.
But the even scarier thing than all of that doubt, is something a lot of us feel with our jobs/careers that we’ve been in for awhile. That scary feeling of boredom and feeling stuck in whatever it is we are doing.
I was starting to feel slightly annoyed with myself and my job because I was doing the same repetitive things over and over and over again. Don’t get me wrong, I will always to my core enjoy makeup artistry, painting faces, and creating blog posts about the latest and greatest in beauty products and beauty trends. But for some reason, the everyday things associated with my blogging and handling my freelance business just wasn’t as fulfilling as I wanted it to be.
I’m about to lay a little vulnerability out there about this business of blogging I’m in and how I’ve been feeling about it up until now.
What was supposed to be a quick 300 word blog post has turned into a much longer one. I have wanted to put my thoughts out there on the subject of growing a blog and social media following because I don’t think I’m alone in feeling the way I do.
Writing this post is certainly a stray from the norm beauty talk of best red lipsticks or how to fill in your eyebrows:) I usually keep my thoughts pretty lighthearted and positive but sometimes a girl has just got to get real with her readers! So hang in there with me if the idea of podcasting and the business side of blogging intrigues you.
What was the catalyst for deciding to pull the trigger on creating this podcast?
The catalyst was the struggle of seeing slow growth on my social channels like Instagram, YouTube, etc. And I believe that growth struggle is partly due to a couple of factors : 1. the fact that all of those channels have become SO saturated with other content creators just like me and 2. I was just going thru the motions and doing the same repetitive social media promoting like everyone else with no real differentiation. Let me explain…
I feel like I’m pretty natural on Insta stories (I think??), have created a bunch of entertaining YouTube videos, and have been on national television talking about makeup, but adding podcaster to my resume seemed more daunting. I was used to doing those things and they were comfortable.
However on the flip side, the thought of continuing to do exactly what I’ve been doing on my current social media outlets was just as scary because I was getting frustrated and tired of it. Which in turn was starting to make me not want to do any of it at all.
There’s a bunch of my peers in this blog world doing all of those above things, some doing it very well and obviously better than me, but NOT a lot of them have their own PODCAST.
And that my friends is exactly WHY I wanted to start my own…Pretty Powerful with JennySue Makeup.
Growing my numbers on blog visits, Instagram followers, YouTube subscribers, etc etc, has felt like I’ve been in a rocking chair, trying to go faster and faster, yet it just stays in the same place on my porch. I’ve been getting nowhere fast in terms of growth and it has bugged me for awhile now.
And you might say to yourself, “Oh whatever Jennifer, no big deal, who cares about follower count?” But honestly, if you’re in the space that I am as a content creator…you DO care about follower counts and blog traffic…or at least you should.
Blog traffic and social media follower counts are how you get sponsored posts and paid opportunities with brands you like. And those brands like to see NUMBERS, and they prefer big ones. These types of collaborations pay the bills and cover the costs I incur to keep this website up and running monthly. I also like for my kids to have nice things and to put gas in my car whenever I want and those things cost money.
Sure you can categorize me as a “micro influencer” with my small but mighty tribe, but I would be lying if I didn’t say I wanted to add to my JennySue tribe. It’s human nature to be liked and I categorize my follower count as people that like me, like my work, AND like what I have to share on this blog.
I also pride myself in growing my following the hard old fashion way – organically + authentically.
Sadly, growing organically seems to be a dying practice. Buying followers/likes/comments and doing multiple giveaways a month in order to grow numbers, is rampant among bloggers on Instagram.
Now I could get all into a complain-fest about how frustrating it is to see my peers in the same space that jump up thousands of followers a week, when I’m gaining a handful a day, but really what good does that do?
Some would probably tell me I’m crazy for not just hosting a few loop giveaways on Instagram in order to bump up my numbers, and maybe they’re right. But it just doesn’t FEEL right. If you want to read a really great post on the dirty facts about loop giveaways, read this article by style blogger Ashley Hargrove. She really nails it with all of the info she provides and makes a solid case for not falling into the trap of buying into those giveaways to quickly grow follower counts.
You see the comparison game is a nasty one as I’ve just wasted multiple paragraphs on it!!
I harp on my own kids all the time not to compare themselves to their own peers and here I am doing it to myself. With all of this said, since I was feeling like a little fish in a big pond over on Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook, I so decided to swim into a different pond, quit complaining, feeling sorry for myself, and take action.
Starting this podcast is my new pond. It’s the result of my want to get out of my stale social media presence and create a new avenue to ENGAGE with my current followers and to eventually ADD NEW followers in a different, personal, and innovative way. Already, this podcast is giving me that business spark I desperately needed.
Podcasts are quickly becoming the cool and convenient way to consume content for all of us. I listen to podcasts while I’m in the shower, at the gym, and riding in the car. You can’t watch a YouTube video or an Instagram story while doing those three things. Audio just makes content consuming easier.
Luckily, I have an unfair advantage over most people that would want to start a podcast. That advantage is my husband Scott, the cute guy in this picture.
Scott already produces a well known Georgia Football podcast called Waitin’ Since Last Saturday. We live in Athens, GA (if you’re new here) which is where the University of Georgia is located. Scott records his show with 2 other guys but he is the one that does all their editing and production and uploads. He has produced over 175 episodes for them so he can do this podcast thing in his sleep and his editing is reaalllly good if I do say so myself.
He was also my biggest encourager to start a podcast when he saw my frustration with growth on my blog. (Fun fact – we tried doing our own podcast years ago called Making It Up As We Grow. We recorded a few episodes but eventually moved away from it because both of our work schedules got busy and I just don’t think we ever found our “groove” with it. But we tried it and learned what didn’t work which is always a great lesson to learn from your mistakes right?!)
Scott reminded me that doing something on a different platform that not a lot of others are doing yet, could be a good way to get new eyeballs on my content and revive my love for what I do. In a world of Instagram feeds that are starting to all look the same and YouTube videos of boring makeup hauls, it was time to speak to my audience in a fresh new way.
I think he was completely right, and so here we are.
What you can expect from my Pretty Powerful podcast.
The combo of PRETTY + POWERFUL just seemed like a natural choice of words for me to use as a small business owner, mom, makeup artist/ beauty blogger, whose end goal is to help women elevate their beauty game and feel good while doing it.
Setting the expectation for my podcast before you listen, this is not going to be just a show about makeup. It is going to focus on individual stories that can inspire confidence in women in every stage of life.
With blogging I have felt that I wanted to dive into other subjects besides makeup over the past couple of years and so with this podcast, I’m going to do exactly that! I’m going to speak on a variety of things I really care about – women, what they do, and how they do it. And if they wear waterproof mascara while doing it….
I’ve always been intrigued by other small business owners and creatives like myself and why they don’t choose the 9-5 jobs. I’ll be discussing topics that will be a melting pot of beauty talk, how other female entrepreneurs built their small business and why, the impacts of blogging and social media, the hardest job of all…motherhood, and how some or A SUM of all of these things can come together to be…PRETTY POWERFUL.
“There no longer has to be a difference between WHO you are and WHAT you do.”
-quote from media mogul Gary Vaynerchuk
If you’ve read this far, thanks for sticking with me!
In these beginning stages of my podcast I’ll be focusing on highlighting a lot of local Athens business women, like personal trainer Caroline of TransFit Athens above, because our vibrant college town is FULL of female bosses. No celebrities like Sarah Blakely from Spanx lined up (yet) but I believe it’s encouraging to hear stories about the lives and businesses real women have built, no matter how big or small.
My hope for this show is for listeners to walk away with the encouragement that they too could start their own business and to hear what worked (or hasn’t worked!) for my guests.
Now I don’t claim to be a big shot entrepreneur or have all the right questions and answers – I’m not trying to pretend to be a Gary Vee! But I do think I know a thing or two and am proud of what I have created with my makeup artistry business + blog and how they both compliment each other. Like my current guests and the future ones I have lined up, we have all created careers we don’t mind working on 7 days a week and there’s something really fulfilling about that.
One of my fave podcasters, Lewis Howes said,
“If what you have to offer, whether it be a product or service, makes someones life easier, you should be comfortable in putting yourself out there as a business.”
Wow, let that one sink in if you’ve ever doubted your love and/or abilities to do or make something wouldn’t be a viable business!
You can definitely expect to hear some beauty talk in each show because each episode I’ll be sharing my “Pretty Powerful Product OTD” and also chat with these women about what’s working for them in their beauty and skincare routines.
I hope you’ll take a listen to my new podcast and I will leave the link below. And remember, since I’m new to this podcast thing, the most awesome way you could support me is to subscribe, rate and review – takes literally less than a minute to do that! Hopefully a few 5 stars are in my future once you take a listen here with this first episode…
Find me here on iTunes >> Pretty Powerful With JennySue Makeup