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Hey everyone. Scott Austin here. And in this episode I have a guest and I've met and worked with Jamie in the past and she brings a unique service that I was even aware of a year ago, let's say, in the world of digital marketing. So, Jamie, why don't you introduce yourself and tell people what your title is?
Yes, I'm Jamie Lee. I am a lifestyle, wellness and travel content creator.
Content creator. So explain to me how content creator is different than an influencer. I'm sure there's some overlap, but there's also some non overlap between those two spheres because a lot of people understand what influencers are. And what I learn in working with you is, well, there's this new nuance to it of digital creators and what are those people doing?
Yeah, so there's like digital and content creators. Like a content creator can create content for brands and experiences and like it's for a blog or for YouTube, and it could be educational or it could be entertaining and or it could be for like magazines or things of that nature that's content creator, digital creator would just be online. So YouTube or social media, blogs, things like that.
Whereas an influencer or you're hiring an influencer almost for their audience, their ability to create content, but also the audience that they've developed by building their own brand. And so an influencer is typically going to work with a brand, creating something that they are specifically trying to influence people to buy or purchase or be a part of.
Yeah, yeah. And that's, that's the nuance that that I found really, really interesting in that there's, you know, world of influencers. You know, you can pay $100,000 to get Beyoncé to talk about whatever it is you want her to talk about. Probably more $100,000 for Beyonce. But you know, there's an expensive world and it's a one time shot where you're tapping into their audience and then what you provide, which is a little bit different, is you're going to create content for your Shopify store owners, your brand owners, and then they get to use that content in all of their marketing, not just in marketing to your audience, but in the marketing to their audiences.
Is that a good way to explain that?
Yeah. So, you know, what I find is people will start a brand, they'll create a product, but there's so many jobs involved in that. And oftentimes, you know, they had this great idea, started the store, but don't know how to make content, don't like, you know, maybe they're not even really on social media. And so it's really nice to have a content creator, digital creator that understands how to film, understands the verbiage that people are looking for.
Often it's important to know, like what's trending, especially for social media like Tik Tok and Instagram, and just to make esthetically pleasing videos that speak to the audience. But you know, you don't always want to be selling to your audience. Sometimes you just want to teach about the product. You want to physically show how to use it. And hiring a content creator to help bring that to life is really helpful for brands.
Yeah, And just, you know, like the one that I learned recently was like, what is an Instagram reel and what is a YouTube short, right? And the difference between a real and a story. Like, I had no frickin clue about these things. And with the content that you created for me, I actually just this past weekend posted my first YouTube shorts.
I didn't even know those things existed. Two months. Yeah, right. But now that I have content in that format, I can put it up there and be part of part of that ecosystem. Also, one of things, you know, it sounds like you're providing expertise and is knowing what those channels are and the formats, you know, for example, you need a lot of vertical video these days instead of horizontal video and, and what different formats work on which channels and all that good stuff.
Yes. I love that you noticed that. Yeah, it used to be the other way. Used to be vertical or horizontal. And I guess like as the as the platforms evolve, like everything evolve, the way that content is created, evolved, the way that the formats are evolve. And often, you know, they're honestly kind of competing with each other. So a few years ago, content for Instagram was photography content.
And that's where I started. That's where I started building my audience. And I love taking photos and like posting them on Instagram and sharing it that way. And then when Tik-Tok came out, it was all video content and not even that. But like under a minute, like people just were consuming really quick and they just wanted the information and then they want to go to the next one and then Instagram.
So everybody was at TikTok and Instagram was like, Well, shoot. So then they started creating reels so that they had a video form content. And also what's important for brands to know, I think, is that like Instagram, because they're competing with Tik Tok will push reels more than they'll push photos. So at the moment you can, you should post both, but know that if you're posting a photo, Instagram will show it to less people than if you post a reel.
They'll show it to more people because they're competing and they want people to utilize reels more often. Right now.
Yeah. And I found the same thing to be true in YouTube when that, you know, I posted to YouTube shorts this weekend and one of them already has like 115 views, which is more than any of the other videos that that channel has on the normal 4 to 3, you know, aspect ratio videos. So it sounds like YouTube's probably doing the same thing where they're promoting these short form vertical videos more.
Yeah, people are consuming them more. So as a content creator, how do you know what services you're providing in content? Is it photography video? Do we get into words and blogs or is it mostly the the visual assets?
I would say that I focus more on the visual assets and I would say that it's I'm pretty into video content and editing. I love photography too, so I do do photos as well. But brands, I will actually if I'm working with a brand, I'll typically leave them to video content just because I know that that's going to perform better and I want it to perform better too.
So, you know, it's a blend of both video and and photo content. I don't do a ton of blogging, although with the help of like chat and I feel more content with it. So I've been doing it a lot more. But otherwise, like I do like write a script. A typically I'll write a script for a video so that I can like do a voiceover or something like that.
When I want to describe the product or the experience to somebody.
So when you work with a brand, what what are you giving them physically as assets? You give them the files that they can go and edit it. What formats do you do? And I'm sure it's different every content creator. But I want, you know, get these Shopify store owners listening to understand, you know, if they work with a content creator, what are they going to get as part of that relationship?
Yeah, So basically what's what's going on right now is you can hire a photographer, you can hire someone, you can hire an influencer, obviously a content creator that's doing video content that it would be called that kind of like the lingo is like organic content. So if a shampoo brand wanted me to make a video for them, I'm going to use their shampoo, talk about it.
Organic content is I will make content for them and they can post it on their social media platforms. And that's also people refer to it as user generated content, which is like, I'm a real person talking about this product and my experience with it. And it's not like in a commercial ad where it's super curated and they've hired an actor and things like that.
Typically a user generated content creator is someone that creates content that's like a real human with they're showing their real experience with the product. And right now in marketing, that's really popular again, because of the rise of TikTok, it just organically started happening in that way. And people are trusting that more than they're trusting like, you know, curated ads.
And so that's user generated content. And I do a lot of that. And then there's user generated content for ads, specifically. So if somebody wanted to boost an ad on Instagram or TikTok that's called like a sponsored post, so organic is that they just post on their platforms. But some brands will put ad spend behind it and content creator, user and content creators will charge differently.
Often it's like there's a base rate for an organic video and then they'll do packages. So if somebody wants to buy multiple videos, then maybe the content creator brings the price down and then if they want to use it as an ad and the content creator knows that there could be a lot of money generated through these ads, then then a rate might be a little bit higher or some content creators will charge monthly, a percentage monthly as long as the ad is running.
And it's kind of like I created the video, so it's my video, but I'm going to lease it out to someone and they can run it as an ad for a certain period of time. And so that's a style that I focus on a lot. And then, you know, you can also just have a photographer sometimes maybe somebody wants to do a full on campaign, especially for clothing lines or something like that.
So then they'll have a professional photographer come in and like, shoot everything. And that's still going to be for social media, but often it's also for the website. I do a little bit of that. And then also I have been doing a lot of like influencer events. So I, you know, I have a community of friends that are content creators and influencers here in L.A. And so for like an Airbnb or for a product I'll curate like maybe like this whole picnic scene and I'll have like food and drink products that will hire me and then I'll bring in content creators and I'll have them have sort of like posting requirements, like can you post and tag the brand, you know, with three stories or something like that throughout the duration of the event. And then I will gather all of their content. We love taking photos everywhere we go anyway. So when there's a like a beautifully curated picnic, like we cannot help ourselves, we're taking all the videos and photos of it anyway, and so I'll collect all of that and put it together and then that will be a deliverable for the brand or the product or whatever.
And then for the four events or Airbnbs and rental properties, I love trying to get everybody out. You know, sometimes it's like for people it could be as much as ten, depending on the size of the property. And same thing. We'll all have everybody kind of create as much content as they can and want. That's like organic because my, my like vision is going to be a little bit different than someone else's.
So it's really unique to have different people's like style and vision and like their filters and their edits. Everybody will be a little bit different. So it's really beneficial for the brand or the property. And also it's more fun for me as well.
And it sounds like, you know, one of the services you bring is not just one content creator, but multiple content creators so that, you know, there's there's truth in numbers, right? So if there's five people sitting there enjoying something versus one, it's it's a little more authentic depending on what it is that you're promoting.
Yes. Yes. And then then like often they share to their audience. So instead of like, you know, I have like around 48,000 followers on my Instagram, but like, maybe they have 20,000 and, you know, someone else has 15,000, someone else has 100,000. So it goes out to more eyes, which is great. And then yeah, and then we don't.
But as far as deliverables go, when kind of like it, it's very so much. But if I'm talking to a brand and figuring out deliverables, it's like maybe I'm offering 10 to 15 photos and two curated reels, or maybe it's four curated reels and 20 photos, like we just kind of negotiate that and talk about a rate. And then also there's raw footage.
So if I create a video or if I'm like if I'm in the Airbnb and I'm just creating videos of everything, all edit together, what I need to make a video that's like under a minute and I'll still have all this extra footage. And oftentimes brands would like to have or purchase the raw footage because then they could in house, put together multiple videos and utilize that.
And that's really helpful.
Know now you're based in L.A. you mentioned how much of your clients are in the L.A. Southern California area. How much is this a local phenomenon or is it, you know, yeah, the Internet makes it you can work with anybody.
I would say I pretty much work with anybody. Yeah, I would. I would say it's at least 5050, but I might be it might even be more people that don't live in L.A., like for travel stuff. I actually just started leaning into travel content this year. And so I, I choose locations like within a driving distance, like four or 5 hours.
There's so many great ones in L.A. So those are going to be my look, my more local clients. Hopefully I'll be in Bali soon, collaborating with properties out there, but I'll keep those local but products and stuff like that, they'll just mail Melanie products and I'll do what I can. And I live near the beach and like in the marina.
So oftentimes if a brand is like looking for some type of like water content or boat content or whatever, I like to pitch that I'm capable of doing that because I'm right here.
Yep, that makes a lot of sense. So how should brands think about finding content creators that can help represent their brand and create this content for them?
Yeah, so I think sometimes just being on like social media, Instagram, Twitter, utilizing a hashtag as you know, can help. If you hashtag travel content creator or hashtag UGC creator, hashtag influencer, you can find people that way. There are agencies or like platforms that are kind of like the middleman. Sometimes they'll charge more because now they're taking a cut too.
But there are website, there's one called Kohli, c, o, h, l y, and there's one called Incense. There's quite a few platforms. And then it's kind of like there's a portfolio of all of these content creators. So you can see, you can look at all their work and see which one works for you.
Yeah, yeah. I actually like the, the idea of reaching out directly to people and find the ones you like and cutting out the middleman just because that's the way I don't know. I'm a cheap bastard, so I like, you know, reducing costs wherever I can kind of thing. So if a brand was to, you know, and I'll explain the story for, for the audience here, the way I found you is, is I actually have an Airbnb by Sequoia National Park.
So it's a national park. And I search for hashtag Joshua Tree, which is another national park down the road from me. And I looked on everything that showed up. And within the first 15 that showed up, I looked for anybody more than 20,000 followers, which you have 40,000 plus. And then I tried to see what their title was.
And within 15 post I found one of yours that was in Joshua Tree, and I saw, Oh, this, this person has, you know, 40,000 followers and their digital creator. And you had an easy link for me to follow to your portfolio page. Contact me page. Right. It was so simple. And I explain the story to a bunch of my clients.
It's like it was so easy for me to find a content creator and I'm in Southern California or populated area, but I believe that most brands can find a local one or one that resonates with them much more easily than they think they can, especially if you search by that person's title, write your title. That's what I was, you know, new for me was I saw your title was Digital Creator.
I had never seen that before. And then how many people are like that, right? Because there are some people that are trying to be influencers or are being influencers, or they're just photography for their own studios and they're not in the business of creating content for other brands where digital creators are. So if you just find that hashtag you're looking for, find a person whose title is digital creator and then reach out to them through the channels that if they're a good digital creator, they're going to have listed in their Instagram profile.
It's a way to start meeting those types of people.
What are you as a digital creator? When you have a brand, reach out to you? How should they reach out to you and not just, you know, send an email kind of thing, but what should they be telling you about and what are the red, you know, red sirens for you? Like, oh, this sounds kind of crazy kind of thing.
You know what people do? What should they not do when trying to engage a digital creator?
I think that not having a super long email is helpful and it's vice versa because I pitch brands too, and I try to keep it short and digestible because we all get lots of emails, but just kind of reach out via email or direct message. But I always think it's nice and it feels more professional to eventually move the whole conversation to email.
So when I picture get pitched like it's usually like, Hey, can you direct me to the correct person or the correct email address to discuss a partnership? Yeah, I would say just kind of like what it is that you do, what your product is, a link to your product. It's really I think it's really good to already have a social media platform.
There's something about for some reason, there's something about Instagram that validates that you're a real legit business. And I don't know when the world became that way, but that's just how it is. Like, I'll get sent a website and then I'll be like, Let me go to your Instagram and see what you're all about. And I know a lot of people are that way.
At least millennials.
I call and Instagram your heartbeat for your business. Like if you don't have an Instagram account, then your body is dead, right? Because you're not showing that there's a living, breathing entity there. Right? So I agree with you. Like at the minimum, have an Instagram account and publish at least one photo a week just to show your life.
Yes, I totally agree. And yeah, and then just kind of what it is. I mean, it's a good idea to kind of have a know what it is that you're looking for. Like, are you looking for photos? Are you looking for videos? What is the intention behind it? Are you just trying to create brand awareness? Are you selling something and then asking the content creator if it you know what their rights are and if they feel capable of doing something like that?
Yep. Yep. Sounds good. So keep it simple. I like that. Right? You know, don't don't overthink it. Find it, find the right person. And, you know, this is what you do for a business, right? You're digital creators. So people reaching out to you what they should do, and you're going to respond if you're professional. Yeah. How does the deal get structured?
Like, you know, as with anything, there's a bunch of variables, but you've mentioned a couple of different ways that things could go. Like, are there contracts, are there, you know, negotiated rates? Do you have a published rate sheet or is everything a bespoke conversation?
The way that I do it, everybody is different, but I would say that most creators have a rate sheet, have a general structure of what their rates are based on. Is it a video? How long is the video? Are there photos involved? Do I need to go somewhere to film the video? Can I do it at home? Is it for my audience or just for your platform, etc.?
And so we've typically if if the content creator has been doing it for a while, have a good idea of what their rates are. And so when someone says, here's what I'm looking for, I can say, here's how much that would be. Although myself and and many content creators prefer to ask for a budget from the brand because I know that a lot of people will ask for for the budget and work it out from there.
But typically it kind of goes back and forth for a while. It's getting clearer or it's really good to hop on the phone because I think that for both the brand and the content creator, it's beneficial to just start building that relationship. And I often find that once you've gone on the phone and you've talked to the person like and you build that relationship that there's an opportunity to come back for more collaborations together.
So if you get on a phone call, I think it's a really good idea. Like you want to maybe use the first few emails to feel someone out to make sure that it even makes sense and and then try to get on a phone call. And also, most content creators should have a portfolio of their work. And you can go you can go, go check it out on there and see if they're and what you want to look for is like good quality videos or photos like Well-lit.
It's not super blurry and shaky and you can usually they list the brands that they've worked with things like that. So you want to look for that kind of thing.
Well, that leads to my next question, which was, you know, as you know, as a professional content creator yourself, you know, you're not looking for the content creators, but how should the store owners figure out if the person that they're talking to sending that email to and starting to build that relationship with, if they're legit or not legit, like, yeah, what are some signs that they're professional and what are some signs that they're kind of a joke?
I think you should definitely say, you know, Hi, I work with this brand. I'm looking for a content creator to do a collaboration. Do you? I found on Instagram. Do you have examples of your work or portfolio and a Rayce like I would go ahead and just ask for all of that in the beginning. And that way you can just save yourself time and then go from there.
So then usually they should have a couple examples of the way that they create content and or a portfolio with all of their content and then that should feel good and feel safe.
Yep. Some red flags that, oh, this guy, this person might not be legit.
I, I think it also might go back to social media like going going and checking out their Instagram and their Twitter or their ticktalk on Instagram. I like going into tagged photos to see you can pretty easily feel out if something doesn't feel right on on an Instagram page, like they rarely post anything, they've never been tagged, things like that.
If they don't have any examples of their work or it's clear that you know, they just kind of threw something together, then they maybe are just getting started or they're not legit. But you probably want someone that is has some experience.
So yeah, So you mentioned earlier about, you know, finding somebody as you know, the brands are looking for the content creators. They should find somebody who style they like and those kind of things. Do you think that a good digital creator can work with any brand or there is some brands that that match well with creators and some that don't.
And you know, how do you suggest that out when looking at things? You know, you know, I was like, you know, do you know that area that the outlook cars versus wellness right. Very different industries and then just styles of photography.
Exactly. I think that you know, I call myself like wellness lifestyle travel or I'm not super versed with cars or video games. And, you know, I, I don't drink alcohol like I get reached out to from like alcohol brands. Sometimes I won't work with brands that I'll I'll maybe pass them along to someone that I think is a good fit.
But I won't take on that because even if I got a script and it wasn't for my audience, I know that I will fumble through the script and I won't feel authentic and people can see that. So definitely people have creators should have a niche or like a few different nations, and it will often say that in their profile or their portfolio, you can also ask them not to.
And just seeing the examples of their work and knowing, you know, if they have any examples of travel in their portfolio or if they just do like Amazon, you know, fines or something like that, some people are just fashion. So you definitely want to find someone that is in the realm of what your product or niches.
Yeah, I've had some clients and you know, they hire people to wear their fashions and you can just tell that, you know, this one woman I have in my mind that's done it for she's just so awesome at making whatever dress she's wearing. Just look lively like she knows all the moves to make its way really, really well.
You can tell it. This is what she does as far as part of her job kind of thing. Yeah. Know what they're doing? You can you can tell the difference, but it sounds like just like there's a lot of brands out there as a lot of digital creators out there. You just find the right ones, you know, don't be in a rush to find the first one.
Take a little bit of time, do your research, find the people that are right for you.
And so how often do you, you know, do you do contracts? Do you know how does that how does the money work for you? Does the brand pay upfront? Did it after the fact? How does it deal that structured?
I usually do contracts and most product brands have a contract. For me, bigger brands at least have a contract. I'll read it over, sign it. I have a contract. If they don't have a contract, sometimes smaller brands don't. And also for me personally, if it's if it's a much smaller brand, then I will often ask for half the payment upfront and then the rest after deliverables.
Or I will if I if they can't pay me until after the deliverables, I will put just like a st watermark on my videos to have them approve it. And then once they've approved it, they can make the payment and then I will deliver the content without the watermarks. That's the safest way.
Have you ever gotten burned? That seems like a really particular tactic that you have, which is based on experience.
I have never gotten burned. I have had a coach. I've had a coach in user generated content creation. And so she taught me that method. So she's probably been burned.
Exactly like when somebody is that specific, like, yeah, there's an experience going on there. Probably. Exactly. Excellent. So is there anything about the, you know, brands finding content creators like, like yourself and all your peers that I haven't, you know, asked you about that, that you want to tell this audience.
To places that I was thinking of that I forgot about mentioning was to find content creators or vice versa. Is Upwork a website called Upwork and Fiverr?
Those two websites are a place that I know content creators go a lot and.
United States based content creators, because I find, you know, I use Upwork, I don't use Fiverr much, but he's Upwork all the time and I use that a lot for overseas expertise, but not, not onshore usually.
Yeah, I have. So the coaching program that I was in for around content creation, we're in this Facebook group and so we all kind of like talk about how we're finding work and like who to work with and who burns someone and etc. and a lot of them are on Upwork and fiber often oftentimes they are on they're just starting out.
I would say they're content creators within the first year and then it's a really good idea for a content creator to build their brand and show examples of their work on their social media. So kind of building that audience because I, I pitch a lot to when I want to work with brands and products, but it's nice to have inbounds, it's nice to have brands reaching out to me.
So they need to be able to find me. So usually someone will start out on Upwork or Fiverr and charge a little bit less because I know that a lot of overseas digital creators and things of that nature are on there charging, you know, they have a different. Yes, yes, yes, exactly.
So you may be I didn't think of this. You had mentioned earlier, but I didn't think about it like. So you're reaching out to brands also, not just brands reaching out to you, but you're reaching out to brands. When you do that, you know, let's put this in the brand's mindset. Like, I'm sure they get lots of solicitations, especially the really popular brands kind of thing, right?
What should brands be thinking about when those inbound to them leads are coming in from content creators? How can they, you know, separate the wheat from the chaff? They usually only form an analogy. I know they're.
Yeah, you want to if you're getting a lot of inbound a content creator in theory should be creating like we said, not an overwhelming pitch explaining like mine for example, is just like, hi, I'm a wellness lifestyle and travel content creator, so they know my name. So like you can automatically know if we're even a fit or not.
And then like typically I'll just tell you like kind of the format that we learn. It's like it's mentioning who you are and what kind of content creator you are. Kind of like explaining what you liked about that particular. Like if I'm pitching to someone, I want them to know that I did go to their website and I did read about them and I do understand who they are.
And I'm not just pitching 100 brands that I don't actually care about, so I've done my research and so I'll typically a drop in a line to about what specifically I like about their brand and why I want to work with them. So I think that's a good thing to look for that it doesn't look copy pasted and then I'll leave.
I'll leave my link for my portfolio so they can automatically just go see my work and then let them respond from there.
You also show them your numbers of of your community, your audience.
Sometimes I have been leaning lately more into user generated content where I create the content for the brand and less influencer marketing. I would say most of my inbounds would be because of my audience and they want me to do a post on my page. Most of my balance are because I want to make stuff for their audience, for their pages, and that's just because I don't want to overwhelm.
I would like to become a full time content creator. Right now I'm doing it part time and I don't want to overwhelm my audience with brands, you know? So I try to keep it. Yeah, yeah. I just try to keep it like it's my my content things that I want to teach them, whether it's about workouts or cool places to travel or whatever.
But if I'm collaborating, I try to do like one a week so that it's not like I'm constantly selling something for them.
Yep. Yep. And that's why you're leaning on that portfolio, because that's the proof point there, is you, you've done the work like this in the past years. Other brands. Here's how my content looks. Go check that out. Yes, exactly. I do in my site. Right. People ask me like, you know, tell me about your business. Like, here's my portfolio.
That's all you need to know, right? This is my podcast. Yes. So if if there are brands out there who think that you're a good fit, how would they find you and how should they reach out to you?
They should email me. Sometimes things get lost in my direct my direct messages on social media because I get a lot more on there. And I'd say that a lot more are sort of scammy over there, whereas my email seems to be more legit. Yeah, reaching out to me on via email, which is on my social media platforms, you can find my email everywhere and then just letting me know what the brand is and what it is that they're looking for from a content creator.
And then we just start the conversation.
Excellent. Excellent. Well, I think our audience is going to find this pretty interesting. Like, like I found this whole digital creator thing fascinating as I started realizing it. I think a lot of these brands out there will share the same appreciation for you for your time today. I appreciate it.
Yeah, my pleasure.