[1:54] Katie’s Family
[8:26] College Life
[11:15] Transition After College
[19:11] Services Offered by Katie Lance Consulting
[23:57] Katie’s Talks About Her Book
[30:28] Pillars of Content Marketing
[34:09] Challenges of Implementing a Content Strategy
[41:42] Katie’s Favorite Tools
[45:49] Advice to Aspiring Content Marketers
[50:34] Katie Talks About New Projects
[53:14] Katie’s Hobb
[56:49] Katie’s Secret Fact
Content marketing is one of the most powerful means of marketing and promoting your brand. Nearly 65% of the most successful businesses have a well-documented content marketing strategy. On the other hand, 53% of the least successful businesses don’t even have a content marketing strategy.
Image via Content Marketing Institute
This clearly indicates that without a content marketing strategy, it is nearly impossible to succeed. However, creating a content marketing strategy is one thing, and executing it is an entirely different ballgame.
My guest today, Katie Lance, is the co-founder and CEO of Katie Lance Consulting. She’s helped many real estate agents and brokers to realize their true potential through social media and content marketing.
In this episode, she shares some insightful tips about how you can create and execute a content marketing strategy.
1. Set Your Goals
You must set a goal for your content marketing strategy. Without a goal, you’ll be directionless and won’t know where to concentrate your efforts. Your goals should be SMART (Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely).
Image via ToolsHero
Some of the goals that you can set are:
- Increase your website traffic
- Improve your conversion rate
- Get more leads
- Generate more engagement
2. Understand Your Target Audience
It’s crucial to understand your target audience. Without a thorough understanding of your target audience, it can be difficult to create content that is suited for them. A solid content marketing strategy involves understanding your target audience and creating content for them.
You need to describe your target customers based on their demographics, interests, locations, etc. It is also necessary to understand their pain points. Identifying these enables you to craft your content so that it solves their problems. When they see that your content addresses their issues, they’ll be more likely to keep returning back to you.
You may also have multiple personas within your target audience. These are called buyer personas. For each buyer persona, you will have a different set of characteristics that define them. This can help you craft your content to fit the desires and problems of each of your buyer personas. Through this content marketing method, you can cover everyone in your target audience.
Finding your target audience also helps you find the platforms where they are the most active. This way, you can make your presence felt even on social media.
3. Define the KPIs
Once you’ve got your target audience and goals set, you need to define a few key performance indicators (KPIs) that can help you track your success.
They will be based on the goals that you have set for yourself. The KPIs also have numbers associated with them so that they are trackable. Some of the KPIs you can set for yourself are:
- Generate $X in revenue within a month
- Increase your website traffic to X visitors per day
- Get X mentions, comments, and shares on your blogs
- Get X of your pages to rank #1 in the SERPs
It’s also crucial to keep an eye on your marketing expenses per campaign. These can give you a better idea of how much you’re actually spending to hit your desired goals.
4. Use Keyword Clustering
The next step in executing your content marketing strategy is coming up with topics and finding relevant keywords for your content.
Doing so helps you come up with topic ideas for your blog posts that your target audience might find attractive. To find keywords, you can use tools like the Google Keyword Planner.
Image via Google Keyword Planner
While the process of finding keywords is easy, the next step can be quite difficult. You may find loads of long-tail keywords during your keyword research. This begs the question, how will you develop these keywords into content ideas?
The best method of going about this is through keyword clustering. In this method, you group the keywords in different lists based on their meanings.
To help you come up with topics, you can use the Keyword Clustering Tool from Serpstat. By using Google search results, this tool helps you find the topics that are behind your keywords. It even shows you keywords that you can use to optimize your articles further.
5. Create a Content Calendar
For your content strategy to succeed, you need to know exactly when you’ll be publishing your content. This requires thorough planning beforehand in the form of a content calendar. When you’ve planned all of your content in advance, you’ll be able to roll it out consistently.
Through a content calendar, you can also schedule all of your content in advance, so this leaves enough room to plan and publish the content. You can create the content calendar using something as simple as Google Calendar.
However, if you’re managing a lot of content, this tool may not suffice. In such a situation, Katie recommends using tools such as Asana. Not only does it help you manage your content but even allows you to coordinate well when your teams are working remotely.
Image via Asana
6. Create & Distribute Content
The last step of creating and executing a content marketing strategy is content creation and distribution. You need to ensure that you’re creating the highest quality of content that can provide value to your readers.
It should be informative and educational in nature. Additionally, it should be grammatically correct and must rely heavily on facts. It helps if you split the content into bite-sized chunks that your audience can easily understand and absorb.
However, writing content isn’t everything. You need to put effort into distributing it so that it reaches your target audience. For this, you can use email marketing, drip campaigns, influencer marketing, etc.
After that, you will need to analyze the results of your strategy to understand how well it’s performing. Based on those, you can modify and optimize it.
Executing Your Content Marketing Strategy
A content marketing strategy is crucial for the success of your content marketing campaigns. Without it, you won’t be able to reach your target audience effectively.
You must identify your goals and target audience. In addition, you should develop a content calendar and follow it. Create high-quality content and distribute it to ensure that it reaches your target audience. Lastly, based on the results, optimize your strategy further.
Are you having trouble creating and executing your content marketing strategy? If you need any assistance with it, you can always reach out to me.
Shane Barker: Welcome to the podcast. I am Shane Barker, your host at Shane Barker’s Marketing Madness Podcast. Today we're going to be discussing the content marketing execution. My guest, Katie Lance, is a Co-Founder and CEO of Katie Lance Consulting. She's been working with agents and brokers for the past decade and helping you use social media the smart way.
Listen as she discusses the various pillars of content marketing strategy, and also learn about the challenges you may face during content marketing execution. We'll get this thing started so why don't you tell us a little bit about where did you grow up? I mean, I think you're in California now, but where did you-- did you originally grow up in California? Give us a little background.
Katie Lance: Yeah. I grew up in the San Francisco Bay area about an hour outside San Francisco, just in the suburbs and I live kind of close to where I grew up really. I lived in a lot of different areas but my family is here in California and you know, you can't beat the weather so I think I'm a California girl for sure.
Shane Barker: Yeah. Yeah, I hear you. So I'm in Sacramento, California right now and I-- you know, I teach at UCLA so I'm down in Southern California but I love Northern California, just the weather and just everything about it. My brother lives in San Francisco as well and his wife--
Katie Lance: Nice.
Shane Barker: So we're in San Francisco actually quite a bit, at least in San Francisco area. I love Sacramento because it's a nice little hub and I can go jump into the crazy San Francisco life or go down to LA and live that life or go to the beach or whatever.
Katie Lance: Yeah.
Shane Barker: When I get back here it's a little cheaper and a little more economical but--
Katie Lance: [Laughter] Yeah.
Shane Barker: --but I do love the Bay area for sure. That's like you-- it doesn't get any better when it comes to funding and startups and--
Katie Lance: Absolutely.
Shane Barker: A lot of good stuff happening out there for sure.
Katie Lance: Yeah.
Shane Barker: What about your family? So you obviously you grew up in the Bay area. Like did you have a pretty big family, small family? Like kind of give us a little background?
Katie Lance: Well, my extended family is pretty large, so I just have one brother. My parents are sort of like the leave it to Beaver family. They've been married forever [Laughter] so I've been very blessed. I have a younger brother, he's six years younger than me but my dad has a really big family. He's one of 12 so on my dad's side, I have like, I don't know, 70 or 80 cousins and extended family members and it's, you know, it's kind of a small army whenever we get together which is a lot of fun.
Shane Barker: Yeah, absolutely. So it's funny we have some parallels. My brother is six and a half years younger than me and we were the only two in our family just in regards to brother-sister type thing and that's crazy. So your dad's side was producing. They're actually literally [Laughter] producing, having the kids, pumping them out.
Katie Lance: Right.
Shane Barker: So you-- are family reunions just like insane? Like you guys have to rent out like a Montana or something like this? How does that work?
Katie Lance: Yeah, it's a little crazy. We actually tried to do family reunions once a year. I don't think we're doing one this year but we try to do one every year and it's actually pretty fun. We have a family talent show we do, we've been doing for like 20 years and it's just-- it's all in fun.
Some people break out their guitars and some people are doing lip syncs, little skits, its fun to see the kids up there but it's just a great time and I think it really-- a lot of it came from my grandparents who have since passed away but they just really instilled the importance of family. And to be honest with you, that's really how I think about our life and our business and why we run our own business, why am I an entrepreneur--?
Shane Barker: Yeah, for sure.
Katie Lance: Is for that quality of life and that family time so it's important.
Shane Barker: That's awesome. I mean, actually I'm a little jealous of you. I mean it's-- having that instilled I think is invaluable and the fact that you guys have like talent shows, I think it's awesome for kids because you know, I think it's-- when your kid's interested in everything it's-- getting up on stage or doing something is always kind of a daunting task. But if you start with family, I think if you start kids off young--
Katie Lance: Yeah.
Shane Barker: --Out there performing and doing stuff or feeling comfortable, whatever it is, expressing yourself, I think there's some huge value in that so it's awesome you guys are doing that internally because most kids don't get an opportunity for that and when they do, it's like, you know, you're in college and like, hey you get this speech and you're like, oh my God, like I've never-- [Laughter] like we're close to a stage now, what do I do?
Katie Lance: Yeah.
Shane Barker: You guys are starting them off early, that's awesome.
Katie Lance: We try to [Laughter]. We don't have a choice really, you know?
Shane Barker: Yeah. But I think that's cool though. because it-- I mean if anything you can-- and it's also nice to see other people do it and you're like, Hey uncle Larry kind of messed up a little bit and he's right so like I can jump up there and do something. It's, you know, I'm not-- I can't be too far off from that or you know, Uncle Larry... whatever the deal is [Laughter] or whatever uncle-- we always-- everybody has an Uncle Larry.
Katie Lance: Oh everybody, at least one. We probably have two or three of those [Laughter].
Shane Barker: Maybe one you don't know about. I mean it's--
Katie Lance: I know.
Shane Barker: --reached out, but-- so tell us, I mean, other than the family reunions that you're having and the talent shows, like what's another interesting fact about your family and is there anything fun that you're like, a lot of people don't know this other than your dad's side is producing a lot more than your mom's side. Is there anything else? Anything fun, any fun facts?
Katie Lance: I mean, I think right now, like you were obviously like my husband and I were married. We have two kids or two boys. Our boys are 8 and 11 and so, you know, we're sort of knee-deep in that, just living the life with sports and school and my youngest is in Cub Scouts and my oldest is really involved in baseball. So I would say a lot of our lifetime is spent in those like fold-up camp chairs by the sidelines. You know a gazillion videos on my phone of my kids and [Laughter] so lots of sports, lots of activities and-- which is fun.
My husband volunteers a lot. He's been a coach for our kids and so we just try to kind of do a lot of family stuff. Probably not that exciting, but it's just-- I just feel like our kids are only little once and time flies by so fast. You know, my oldest is going into middle school, which is crazy to me so we just tried to really make the most of our time together. We really love just hanging out and having our family time.
Shane Barker: There's nothing wrong with that. I think that's awesome. I think there are too many people out there that focus more on their career and less on their kids. I mean, I'll tell you, it does fly fast and it's-- I remember my grandma, this was a long time ago and she's like, you know what? Just so you know Shane, like, you know you're going to all of a sudden; you're going to be 25 years old. And I was like, oh grandma, you're so cute or you know. I was like, whatever--
Katie Lance: Yeah.
Shane Barker: And then it's over like I'm-- not over but I mean it just happened so fast, you know? Like my son is-- he's in his third year of college.
Katie Lance: Wow.
Shane Barker: I don't even know how to handle that, like when I-- when he said, "Dad, I'm going off to college." I'm like, "God, you're going off to college?" Like I don't-- it's so hard. Like I still look at him as, like this 10-year-old kid, you know?
Katie Lance: Yeah.
Shane Barker: Like it's hard for me to really make that transition in my mind of like really what's going on. And it's just-- it's kind of nuts to me. But yeah, you have to take advantage of this time and we did. I mean, so my son was really heavily active in sports so we were con-- I mean the chair when you talk about the chairs and all this--
Katie Lance: [Laughter] All the equipment and-- [Laughter].
Shane Barker: Yeah, like just-- we had like an SUV that was just constantly going to something and he did a lot of competitive stuff as well. So we would be like-- well, going down to San Diego wasn't an issue. We will just go down there or we go to Reno or go wherever and it's all with these hubs of these tournaments. And it was fun with the families and stuff. There was a part of me that misses that. There's another part of me, like on the weekends I'm like, I don't even know what to do. I'm going to have work.
Katie Lance: Right.
Shane Barker: Like now, you know, once that's gone, that's out of your life, I'm like, what am I going to do with my red cup now? Like I'm-- what this next step is in my life.
Katie Lance: [Laughter] Yes, that's true.
Shane Barker: Well, it's good you're taking advantage of it as you should. That's awesome.
Katie Lance: Yeah, it's fun. It's a season, you know? It's like this small season in your life. And so--
Shane Barker: Well, it's a season till it's the next-- I mean-- what I mean is with my son every season there's something. He has baseball and he's--
Katie Lance: Right, right.
Shane Barker: You know, soccer and-- but it was fun. Good times for sure. I mean it's good to keep him focused because you don't want to-- if they don't have anything to do then it's-- then they're on their iPad all day long.
Katie Lance: Exactly, exactly.
Shane Barker: Sports are good. So you said you live in the Bay. Are you-- where are you at in the Bay area right now?
Katie Lance: We're in Pleasanton.
Shane Barker: Oh, Pleasanton. Awesome, awesome, awesome; I used to--
Katie Lance: Very pleasant [Laughter].
Shane Barker: Yeah, yeah, yeah, I even—in a past life, I used to open restaurants for Chevy's Mix and Restaurant.
Katie Lance: Oh, yeah.
Shane Barker: This is many-- and we opened one of them I think in Pleasanton or maybe in San Ramon. It was in San Ramon over in that area so I'm very familiar with that area in the sense that we-- I was like stuck to a hotel and you know, opening the restaurant. But , yeah the Pleasanton area actually has a lot of cool stuff out there for sure.
Katie Lance: That's funny. I think I know exactly where that San Ramon Chevy's was. I'm pretty sure I went there a few times [Laughter].
Shane Barker: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I was there. I was there. I opened it for him and I was doing training and all kinds of-- I would put together their systems that they would have for-- their point of sales systems. So they would call me squirrel boy because it was-- squirrel was their POS system they use. I probably shouldn't have told you that they called me squirrel boy. It was just some stupid weird name. Somebody calls you squirrel boy [Laughter], you probably think you were awesome but it is what it is.
Katie Lance: That's awesome.
Shane Barker: It was my nickname at that time. Yeah. So where did you go to college at?
Katie Lance: I went to school in long beach. I went to Cal State Long Beach and you know, wanted to kind of get away from the Bay area, wanted to still stay in California and kind of be close enough to home where if I needed to I could drive home in six hours and wanted to be by the beach. I remember kind of embarrassingly thinking back to being 17 and going, oh the word beach is in the school that might be-- that must be like a really cool school [Laughter]. And I didn't quite have the grades to get into like UCLA or anything like that but yeah, Cal State Long Beach. Go beach or the 40 Niners [Laughter].
Shane Barker: That's good, yeah. When I used to like-- we talked-- so my son goes to Chico State and so I think yeah, as in you were like fascinated with the beach and the name. My son I think like literally, I think he went on YouTube and looked up the biggest party schools and then was like, I want to go to University of Arizona. I'm like, why would you pick that college other than you probably googled it and then Chico State was the other one and I used to own a bar in Chico, which is another conversation. And so it was just kind of interesting that because you know, here we go, it's one of those like-- you know, it's a big party school. I mean every school is a party school but that was-- for him, that was impressionable for sure.
Katie Lance: Oh, that's funny.
Shane Barker: What did you study in college? What was your degree?
Katie Lance: Communications.
Shane Barker: Ah.
Katie Lance: Yeah. So I was a Business major for a long time and-- but I quickly realized what I like about business was marketing, right? I liked the fun part of business. When it came to like calculus and statistics, I was like this is just a whole other language here. And so towards the end, I'm like-- I met with the council and they're like, you should just switch to communications and so I like literally switched at the last minute. I like did the entire degree, I think in like, I don't know, three semesters or something crazy or two and a half. It was ridiculous. I just sort of flew through it and I was like, these are my people, you know? Where have you been the last four years? [Crosstalk] So, it's one of those degrees that can go with a lot of different things and it's ironic because you know what I'm doing right now. I'm doing-- obviously, I'm going to be a speaker and just doing a lot of stuff with our business and everything. So although our business is social media and social media did not really exist when I was in college--
Shane Barker: Yeah.
Katie Lance: You know, those communications, the skills you learned there, I mean it was priceless. It goes with anything that you do.
Shane Barker: Likable for sure, absolutely. Well and it's funny, it's like, I mean I think most of the people that I interview, what they did in college is not what they do now, right because there wasn't like content marketing and hey, social media. There wasn't like SEO and all this other stuff, right? Even influencing... it's like on this new deal. So it's interesting like I-- you know, the amount that I use from my college experience is like minimal because I had learned most of my stuff from just being online and grinding it out and doing stuff.
Katie Lance: Yeah.
Shane Barker: So, that's 20 plus years now so it's kind of [Laughter] think about that. But how did you jump into the digital marketing side of things? Like how was your transition? Like did you-- like what was your transition out of college? So did you-- like what did you--what happened there?
Katie Lance: Well, I got a job in college and I started working for Cutco, for vector marketing, which a lot of college kids worked for Cutco. I sold knives--
Shane Barker: Yeah.
Katie Lance: --and it was actually, it was awesome. I worked my way all the way through college selling Cutco which for people who don't know, it's like a direct selling company. So we would make appointments, go in people's homes, kind of like Tupperware, right? But it was kind of the one to one direct sales and it's awesome. So as a college kid, I could set my own schedule, I could make a lot of money, have that like sort of freedom and I got a lot of great-- I got a ton of great marketing experience which looking back, it's like if you can go to the people's-- if you can go into people's homes and sell knives and cutlery, you can do just about anything.
And so I did that for a number of years and then I graduated and I got into their management program and opened an office for them and did a whole bunch of recruiting and-- recruiting and retention and built a team and did all kinds of stuff. So it kind of became this little college job that turned into really kind of my first big career after college and that's really where I kind of fell in love with marketing and just learn a lot of, again, sort of life skills, like the value of building rapport, the value of building value when you're trying to sell something. Just basic sales skills that I think are so valuable with anything that you do and I still apply a lot of what I learned there to what we do on a day to day basis.
Shane Barker: Yeah, I think it's funny. So Cutco like-- and this is my pun, like runs deep in my family. So that was the one joke that I'll do on the podcast [Laughter]. But the funny part is just like my wife's dad is like a Cutco fanatic, [Laughter] like he obviously, you know, like you can bring your knives and they'll sharpen them for you and they'll send them back like service.
Katie Lance: Yeah.
Shane Barker: Yeah, I think it's funny. So Cutco like-- and this is my pun, like runs deep in my family. So that was the one joke that I'll do on the podcast [Laughter]. But the funny part is just like my wife's dad is like a Cutco fanatic, [Laughter] like he obviously, you know, like you can bring your knives and they'll sharpen them for you and they'll send them back like service.
Katie Lance: Yeah.
Shane Barker: And what he does is he'll go and he-- because he does a lot of like these-- they're like art, antique shows and it's kind of-- some he would get rid of these knives and not know what they are and here I'll just give you for two bucks--
Katie Lance: Yeah.
Shane Barker: And he'll get it refurbished and now you've got a $80 knife in front of you. So--
Katie Lance: Yeah.
Shane Barker: --he has like sets and sets of these knives like if he passes away, which I'm hoping he doesn't, but probably in the next 20 years when he does, we're going to have like layers and layers of like full sets of Cutco knives.
Katie Lance: [Laughter]. That’s awesome.
Shane Barker: Like he might be your number one, maybe not-- he wouldn't have been your number one seller because he's going to find the discounted ones--
Katie Lance: Right.
Shane Barker: But he is definitely an advocate. So my-- we're going to have like Cutco knives forever. Like, they are everywhere.
Katie Lance: They're pretty awesome [Laughter].
Shane Barker: Yeah, if we had a knife fight with the neighbors they would lose [Laughter]. Like I'm not going to do that, but I'm just telling you we would definitely win. We have a lot more knives. I don't know if I'd be as good with them but who knows? I mean, not that I'm looking to get into a fight with the neighbors but-- So you went into selling Cutco and then you transitioned from Cutco and then when did you start your company? The-- your actually-- your own company that you have? The Katie Lance Consulting Company? Was that after Cutco or like what else happened in that transition?
Katie Lance: So that wasn't until 2012. So there was a lot of time between college and me kind of going out on my own. But I will say working for Cutco, when you are a Cutco rep, you're an independent consultant and even when you are a branch and district manager, you're an independent contractor. So to me, I-- that was never a scary thing. I remember being 18, 19 years old and thinking this is amazing. You know, there's this income opportunity and entrepreneurial, the harder I work, the more I make, like that concept. I was like, that's me and I think that was really formative.
I mean I-- as I think from when I left that to some of the other positions I had over the years, I worked in a-- I worked in retail for a number of years and then I worked for a real estate company for a number of years. It was kind of step-- kind of-- you know, kind of took me to step up and up and up as everyone kind of goes with life. And you know, it was just interesting. I just think about sort of that whole trajectory. And when I worked for other companies, I mean I think I was always kind of the person that tried to treat my job as if it was my own company almost to a fault. It's like, okay, turn the off button off.
Like [Laughter], you're not getting paid enough to do this, start your company and just do it. And my last job before I went out on my own, I worked for a company called Inman News. And Inman is kind of like the-- it's kind of the wall street journal but for the real estate industry. It's a really well-known media company and I had got hired to do a lot of their marketing and so that kind of really positioned me in the real estate space which is who we serve right now with our company. And I got hired to be a Marketing-- kind of Marketing Director but then quickly transitioned to like Social Media Director.
This was probably right around like 2008, 2009 when social media was really exploding, especially for business. And I remember working with this media company going, you have so much content, we have to get it on Facebook, we have to get this on Twitter and--
Shane Barker: Yeah.
Katie Lance: So I worked for them for a number of years. It was an amazing experience and worked my way up to the company and just kind of came to a point where I was just having babies and having kids and just wanting a little bit more of that quality of life and sort of freedom and flexibility and so 2012, I decided to take the leap and go out on my own and really kind of transition from being an employee, then I became a contractor and a consultant for Inman and then brought out a number of different clients.
I'm-- I have to say that there was a lot of sort of fake it till you make it. I didn't quite know exactly what I was doing, but I knew I was good at social media, I knew I was good at helping companies grow that and develop their voice online and was just really passionate about the whole idea. I thought this was like what an amazing opportunity and I think part of that was because back in my Cutco experience, how hard I had seen everybody working before email, before social media, before websites.
Shane Barker: Yeah.
Katie Lance: And it's like, oh my gosh, well now there's so many opportunities. Like this is so easy [Laughter] you know?
Shane Barker: Well that coach too was, and I think this is invaluable and I've talked about this, another podcast is just knocking on doors really, really makes it so that you're a Salesforce. You really understand psychology and how people are and working with people like theirs. I remember I used to, I used to do calls for mortgage for my buddy's mortgage company and I was kicking and screaming every day that I would go to work. That really helped me like fine tune, how to talk to people and how to work with people and the psychology of it and how to sell things and understand selling the value over the product.
And there were just a lot of things that I think some too that you don't think about. You want me, we think about, because you know, because we did it, but I just think there's some value that you don't, that they don't understand. Like my son was painting, he was painting, he was selling painting services, and my wife's like, and he’s not really making that much money. I go, yeah, but what's invaluable is the fact that he's knocking on doors and he's selling these services, right? A 1,000 people that slammed the door in his face say, no, we don't want to. Then he gets that one person says, yeah, I want it.
Then he gets excited about it and things. Okay, what did I do differently with this one that I did with the other one? Right and I think there's huge value in that. I don't think you can, I mean grinding it out like that because it is a grind, right? Knocking doors, it's like, oh man, oh he's awesome. Okay, great. Not awesome, so, and this is anything one time, so in minnow, I'm trying to think how big the company was when you were there. I had some friends that used to work there. In fact, I'm Rachel Grey.
Katie Lance: Oh yeah, I used to work with Rachel. That's so funny. What a small world.
Shane Barker: My brother's Justin Barker and- -
Katie Lance: Oh really, your brother's Justin? Oh my gosh.
Shane Barker: Yeah, that's my brother, like when you say when I saw anything, I thought, Oh wait, I think we're going to have some connections here. Richmond, just like best friends, yeah I’ve known Rachel forever, so she's married to Dre obviously and has a kid since Sacramento then I moved to Amsterdam.
Katie Lance: Yeah.
Shane Barker: He bought her a car when she left, so that's another thing that, yeah, I mean like she's family and my brother obviously, yeah lives in San Francisco and was over at creative live and done some other stuff. But I knew that he was working with you guys or at least worked on some projects and so send some video work for you guys. So anyways, I just thought this was going to be, I knew this.
Katie Lance: Yeah some of my very first videos I did with Inman were with Justin. You know, some of the first time I was ever on camera was with Justin, so that's, that's--
Shane Barker: That Barker boys, you got to watch out. We're everywhere...
Katie Lance: Oh, that's so funny. That's so funny.
Shane Barker: Small world, so tell us a little bit, so with your consulting firm, you started in 2012 like tell us a little bit some of your, the services that you guys provide like what do you guys do? I know some social media stuff, but really kind of drill down a little bit so I get an idea of like if anybody's listening and you're saying, hey, this is, this is the kind of stuff that we do and this would be a good client for us.
Katie Lance: Yeah, absolutely. Well, I have to say too, it's been an evolution. I mean we're going into, it'll be our eighth, eighth year anniversary in October. And I think like any company, you kind of evolve. You know, I remember when we first started out I had, I felt like I had this idea. And then if you don't quite know exactly what you're doing, there's a, like I said, a lot of sort of fake it till you make it and like let's throw this against the wall and see if it sticks.
And that's where a lot of, I would say that Cutco experience came into play where I would, you know, put together proposals and I was selling myself and I'm like, look, I may not be the smartest person in the room, but I'm going to out hustle everybody. I'm going to work harder and make it happen. So when we first started our business, we were doing, I would say about a hundred percent I mean most of our business was consulting. We were consulting with brokerages, franchises and mortgage companies, helping them get smarter about social media, working with their leadership team.
And our business has really evolved over the years and right now there's really kind of three big parts of our business. The first is speaking, so I speak at a lot of conferences, especially in real estate and mortgage. It's just kind of where I become known, I guess in terms of social media. So that's a lot of fun teaching. The second is still consulting. So we've scaled back a lot on our consulting and we really learned that we want to work with people that we really want to work with, who we're ready to work with.
So we don't do any one on one coaching, but we still work with brokerages, franchises, mortgage companies, builders, anyone who has got that company presence and they're just feeling like, I feel like our social media presence is just not where it should be. We'll come in for a day or two or we'll go on retainer for a few months to just work with their leadership team. We won't do it for you, but we'll work with you on, on putting that plan together and we'll do an audit and tell you what's right and what's wrong and what we could do better and we'll help you hire the right people and so that's something we love doing.
I love to just kind of like rolling up our sleeves and going, okay, what's going on? Let's peel back the curtain, you know? So that's a lot of fun. And then the last piece of our business is we have an online Academy. We launched our get social smart Academy a few years ago to serve individual agents who maybe they want to work with us, but we're just out of their price point and they need that training, they want that education. And we just found, there's obviously tons of stuff out there about social media on YouTube, Google, but a lot of stuff's out of date and a lot of stuff has nothing to do with real estate.
So you know, we developed that as kind of an online learning library and I'll kind of like the Netflix for real estate, social media. So that's been really fun and it's been awesome to see our Academy members grow and learn and figure all this stuff out because stuff changes all the time.
Shane Barker: Yeah and then when you have the Academy, so I'm assuming you guys have like some videos and some training stuff. Do you guys actually have like a can kind of communicate and say, Hey, this is what we've got going on? We've seen this work; we've seen this not work.
Katie Lance: Yeah, that's probably my favorite part of our Academy. So when someone signs up for our Academy, they can sign up month to month and they can sign up for a year, whatever, whatever they want to do or we're very low key about, there's no contracts, you know, inside of whatever. And once they sign up, they get access to all of our videos and webinars and training and everything. Like I said, it's a lot like Netflix so they can access everything but I think my favorite part is our community.
So we have a private Facebook group just for our Academy members and I'm in there every week I do something called coffee with Katie, which is kind of like what we're doing here, you know, and I jump in for half an hour or so. I do a weekly Q and A with our members and we have lots of special guests that come in and, and we'll interview them. And it's become a really cool community where people really help each other because we have agents from all over the world. So someone will say, okay, I just tried this new app. Have any of you tried this? Or like, this is my first video I've ever done.
What do you guys think before I put it on Facebook or Instagram or whatever, so it's fun? It's neat. I think it's neat. I think there's just a lot of people get nervous, especially when it comes to social media. They don't want to look stupid; they don't want to mess up. They want to have a good presence and so having a community of other people who are like in that same boat, you know, I think it's important.
Shane Barker: That's awesome. So I'm going to, I'm going to and I, we touched on this a little bit before we started the podcast that I actually flipped properties myself. So I have a real estate company where we flip properties, I've invested in properties and we did so. And it's funny, so we just, I'm actually just hiring somebody to do our social media and really be kind of like a VA for ongoing business. We just opened another office. It's a long story, so I'm probably going to be reaching out to you about that Academy because I would love to get some training and then I can train somebody obviously.
But I think nice for, I can train them about this and I know enough about real estate to be dangerous, but there's, there's not as much value as it would be for a community that's didn't, they're doing it every single day. So they reach out to you here soon and you know, see what we can do about getting my new VA that I'm going to be hiring that's going to be working on a full time for that, so that's awesome. That's kind of good to know.
Katie Lance: That would be awesome. We'd love to have him or her.
Shane Barker: Yeah, I know we're not sure who they are yet, but they're going to be putting this out. We're going to; I've got some resumes that are coming my way right now. So you touched on, you said the get social smart community, so yeah, obviously ties back to your book. So tell us a little bit about the book that you wrote and why you wrote it and kind of give us some background there.
Katie Lance: Yeah, you know, no, I really drill into like what my philosophy is when it comes to social media. I don't think social media is the end all and be all, I don't think it's a silver bullet. I don't think it'll ever replace a phone call or a handshake or a handwritten note. I just think when done right, it can build relationships; it can make those relationships and contacts even stronger. And you know, obviously we work a lot in the real estate space, but regardless of whatever business that you're in when done right, it can just really make a huge impact on your business.
And I think the challenge for a lot of people, especially if they're an entrepreneur or a small business owner or in real estate, is that it can be a real big time suck, you know? And you know, people they hop on Facebook or they hop on their phone, we've seen this because they're bored, they have nothing else to do or you're trying to kill time or they're like in an awkward elevator, you know, whatever it might be. And so we just really kind of drilled into the fact like, look, you don't need to spend all day on social media. I'm in the business of social media and I'm not on social media all day long.
So if you only have a few minutes a day or whatever that might be, what does that plan look like? How can you get really intentional about connecting your prospects, your customers, your clients, to build those relationships because that's what business is all about is relationships. And then secondly, how do you attract the people you want to work with through social media versus always chasing leads. And so that's a big thing that we teach in our consulting, but also in our Academy, this idea of attracting clients, which also means, by the way, that some people won't want to work with you, right?
They'll see you on Instagram, they'll see your videos and they're like, I don't know about that guy. But then there are other people who are like, that guy's awesome, right? Like when they're ready to work with you, when you, when you're doing it right, when they're ready to work with you, they're ready to work with you, right? They're not calling around, you know, interviewing 12 different people, so that was kind of the, the philosophy behind the book is building relationships, getting intentional and attracting those right clients. And that's kind of where our Academy came from.
And then we said, you know, we got to put this all together in a book because you know, selfishly, I love books. I love to actually read a book and Mark it up and I'm like, we made a book, so that's kind of working.
Shane Barker: I love the fact of making an intentional, I think the issue with social media is that you can, it's very easy to get sucked into the matrix, right? You start looking at this and looking at that and then on YouTube and three hours later you're like, I just watched 48 cat videos. Like, right? Like why don't what just happened? Like where did my life just go? If you do that, if you put that plan together, the five, 10, 15 minute plan to spend 10 minutes on Instagram, but it's not going to be just looking at cats. It's going to be like being intentional with what your purpose is, right?
Like what is my goal? My goal is to comment on other real estate people or to look at the people in the market or do whatever that is. But once again, knowing that, what is your goal that you have in mind for that and write it because it's once again easy to get pulled into the matrix and pull down the rabbit's tunnel and a funnel and you find, you know, and then obviously you come out and you're like, I did absolutely nothing. I tell you, you know, it's a, a sobering moment for me and on my phone a lot is that when I get now and now Apple actually sends me a thing on how much time I spend on my phone.
Katie Lance: Yeah, the screen time report.
Shane Barker: Oh Lord, I don't know how many times and been like, oh no what am I looking at that? I mean, you know, obviously I'm on my phone like when I do, when I work out when I walk. And so mine is intentional in the sense that I'm doing stuff and you know, trying to get out there but yeah, it doesn't have to be daunting. I think that's the biggest thing is like people will go, oh my God, there's 50 different platforms and I got to be on them all and you don't though, right. It doesn't need to be, you just have to figure out where you want to be.
Like, you know, if you want to go do video, that's awesome. But if you absolutely hate the way that you look on video and you can't get over that, then probably you shouldn't do video. I mean, you have to figure out what your medium is like where do you feel comfortable? But I think the biggest issue we've talked about this in past podcast is literally just getting started, right? It really just comes down to that. It's like on your first video, are you going to look ugly or you're going to look weird. You're not going to like, yes, like there's the only answer that is yes.
Like right when you first meet the content, you know, if you're a perfectionist, is it going to be perfect? No, it's like one of those things. If you go with it with an intention, hey, this is now we have a plan of why we're doing this, producing content, whatever that is. Then the idea of like, then you're managing your time better because I think that's one of the biggest hurdles. Especially when you're an entrepreneur or you're, you're, you're an agent. You're looking at this thing and go, well I got to spend some time here, but I got to figure out how much time I'm going to spend there on what platform and where this.
It's also, I think that the Academy you've developed is something to help people say, Hey listen, this is where we've seen successes, and so the great now it makes sense. That's where we should probably spend our time because we're this type of agent. And when we talk about agents, do you guys also do, because like I said I do fix and flips, so do you guys also do stuff like fixing flips? Is it all kind of like just an overall real estate community or is it mainly just people that sell properties? I kind of give us a breakdown.
Katie Lance: It's primarily; it's primarily full time residential real estate agents. We have a lot of brokers as well though broker owners. We have a fair amount of sort of marketing folks, social media people, VA's as you mentioned, who might work for an agent or work for brokerage or work for, you know someone with some people who do property management. But I would say primarily probably 70, 75% it's full time, you know residential agents or brokers. And I would say probably the big thing that we really try to focus on would the people who are in our academies that they, they're very relationship focused, which I think is, is great because when it comes to real estate for a lot of people, unless you're, you know, unless you're flipping, for a lot of people, when you buy a house, it's one of the biggest moments of your life, right?
It's right up there with getting married or having kids. And I think for a lot of the people that we tend to attract in our Academy are people who really do love what they're doing. They're in this business for a long time. You know, they're the kind of people who do send the handwritten notes and they do call on your birthday and they send the holiday cards, but they're, maybe they've gotten to the point where they're like, oh, I should, I just, I got to get, I got to get in all this social media thing, you know? And which I think is actually perfect because at the heart of social media is relationships.
It's not just, you know, spamming your friends to buy something. It's like it's the real thing, so I would say that's probably the demographic is those kind of full time people who really relationship focused versus like getting all the leads and there's something wrong with me, like getting a lot of leads. It's just, it's, I think, I don’t know, a little bit of a different mindset, you know?
Shane Barker: Yeah and I think that's important because naturally those leads will come if you're educating people, right? And if you want to put yourself out there naturally, you'll start to see those kinds of people coming in and are going to start. If you can educate them in the naturally, they are going to go buy a property, are going to go do something, say, well I've been listening to Katie for the last two years and that would be the person that I naturally would work with.
I know the reason for this podcast we were talking about is like the content marketing, the execution made easy, right? So that was kind of the premise of this. So I want to kind of touch on that a little bit in regards to like if like what do you think the steps are to implement like a successful content marketing strategy? Like in your mind if you're talking with a client and you're saying Hey to be successful you, these are the three pillars or four pillars, like what in your mind, what would you usually educate clients on to be able to be successful?
Katie Lance: Well, one thing we really use to talk about is this idea of creating pillar content. Pillar content is typically something that costs a little bit of time, money and energy, right? And you know, it could be blog content, you know, like you said, if someone just absolutely does not want to be a video, it could be blog content, blog content. I am pretty partial video content though because I think, you know, as you know there's nothing like hearing you seeing you and it's obviously super powerful podcast content as we're doing right now.
You know, podcasts are just exploding and I think there's a lot of great opportunity for podcast content. And then there's like Facebook live or any kind of like live broadcasting. So we usually look at whether it's a big company or you're or you're a solopreneur or whatever it might be looking at out of those four, blogging, video, live video podcasting, which one of those is a piece of content that you could commit to creating on a regular basis. And by regular it can be at first, at least once a month, but ideally a couple of times a month and even better once a week, right?
And you know, with killer content, it's content that is timeless, typically evergreen content, so it's for real estate. It's not necessarily like how's the market this week that's, you know, that's going to change. But it's more of how do I get my home ready for the market and how to find a realtor and how to find a lender and why should I stage my home and I'll, you know, all these questions that we get asked. So I usually will start with a client and ask them like, what are the questions you get asked all the time? What are those topics of conversation that come up all the time on phone calls and email?
Yeah, those questions where you think to yourself, seriously, if I get asked that one more time, right. And let me, yeah and literally if you just take out a pen and a notepad, I mean you could probably sit down and think of 20, 30 topics pretty quickly if things that you get asked all the time. And so that's always, I think a really good place to start is thinking about your content and then thinking about a system for that. And I love video. As I said, I love the whole idea of, of you know, hearing you and seeing you, I think, I think there's a lot of power in that.
And we also teach this idea of batch creating your content. So if you sit down and go, okay, great, I'm going to do, I'm going to do video and I'm going to put out a new video once a week. I can feel really daunting. But if you sit down and you know, I was stiff, I'm going to do my hair and makeup, I might as well, you know, not just record one video but I might as well bust out five or six, right. And so you kind of think about that and getting that into a system and then it's about taking that content and slicing and dicing it, right and repackaging it, like this podcast is probably going to get turned into a small little Instagram post or an Instagram story.
It'll maybe go up on YouTube and might go on Facebook and might get shared again on Facebook in three months. Like you know, you re-purpose it in a lot of ways. So as you start big with kind of your pillar content, how that's going to get broken up and then you can fill it in with other stuff, you know, things that happen in the moment or motivational quotes or little things that might be relevant to your business.
Shane Barker: Yeah, I think that's a great, that's really what it comes down to is I love the fact of creating one big piece of content and then slicing it up because that's with anything. I just, I mean you can do a podcast interview and you can turn that into a blog post. You can kind of put it on YouTube. I mean you can do anything with it, right? You're, that's why I use zoom. Not that their response or anything, but because I can get video and audio and then that means I can cut it up and put it wherever I want. So that's the thing is it can come in and you can have a piece of content you can slice into so many different things.
You just got to figure out how you're going to do that. I love the batching idea of content and sending to my podcast. Mondays and Fridays are my time to interview for my podcast, so I try to get, you know, I mean I love podcasts and reviews, but you know, I'll be that three down in a Monday and I'm the, sorry. You know what man, when I made it through that, you know, into my video and like, you know, like things in my eyes, like Ryan, you look like you're a little tired. I'm like, no, I'm talking about is natural for me, so when we talk about the content strategy, what do you think, like what are the biggest challenges that you think like for your clients and other clients is when it comes to actually executing a content strategy? What do you think the big hiccup is?
Katie Lance: Well I think there are a few things. I think there's always the, what should I talk about? And then there are those doubts of like, do people really care? Is that really interesting? You know, and I mean, I really think when it comes to content marketing, there's, there's a couple of things, you know, being informative is really important; if you can be entertaining and that's great. If you could be funny, that's great; but a lot of us are not entertaining or funny. But if you can be informative, that's really, really valuable. So kind of getting over the, who's going to care?
Well, if you've had clients or customers ask you these questions, somebody cares, somebody has those questions and that's going to be, you want to be that person that's going to give that value to people. They may not be in the market right now, but you know, as they see you and they see your content. If you're in a realtor and you're putting out content about real estate in the industry and housing and home decor, you know, you've got people who are watching you and those people have friends and they have friends of friends, you know.
And so just sort of staying top of mind, I'd also say a big challenge is people get kind of hung up in the execution part of it. Like how should I record it and what cabin of equipment? And some people just kind of fall into this analysis paralysis where they want it to look amazing and they're not going to execute it until everything is ready. And what I always try to tell people is look done is better than perfect. And your first few videos, as you said, I probably going to suck. Like, they're probably not going to be that great, but it's just like anything you've got to put yourself out there.
And even if you just got a phone, I mean, you know, I think about, we do a video once a week, so we get social smart show, it's on YouTube and I think we're on one 30 or something. Well, the first 99 episodes were shot on my phone, you know, and it was honestly only recently that I'm like, I should get a light. I should get a microphone. Like if I had waited, I would have lost, you know two years’ worth of doing it. So sometimes you just got to get over yourself.
Shane Barker: Yeah. I mean, you touched on this, like the technology we have like literally you don’t; I mean you just said some tripod in your iPhone. Like the thing is people get into this, you know, once again, it needs to be perfect, so I need the best camera. I need this; I need to invest in this and has to be perfect microphone. It's like, no; you can go buy a $30 microphone. That sounds Epic. Like, you don't need to buy the $5,000 microphone, and I think that's what happens is that, and I think naturally people want the best results.
So they assume like, hey, I got to wait and it's also a thing because I didn't go to scare to death right? I got to dig in place and when you get all the best equipment; you're like, are you ready? You're like, I don't know. What are we going to talk about now? It's like, no, it's again, it's, and it doesn't have to be that crazy, right? It's the idea to start and just to get it going and you know, it's, we'll suck your first one will suck. Like I promise you and it's over, but it'll only get better over time. And so, but it's actually putting yourself out there.
I mean, you have your, right now, you have two years of traction that you wouldn't have had if you said, I need the perfect camera because you would've waited for so long. Right, that's the deal. It's up and going and great. Now you're tweaking some stuff to make it better, but you have an audience, you have that community that you've built. So I think that's important for good takeaways, like at the end of the day, just get started like get it going. You don't need any more excuses. You've got an iPhone, you've got Freud, and you’ve got plenty of, got a $10 app that you can go. And I mean, whatever it is, but it's out there. It can happen.
Katie Lance: And also I would say too, like I think a lot of people think, well a lot of people are doing video. A lot of people are doing podcasts right? Which is true? However, most people don't stick with something very long. You know, I'm sure you've seen this, like I hear people all the time, hey, I'm starting a company and then like six months later they're like, no, that didn't work out. So I'm going to go work for X, Y, and Z or I'm starting a podcast. Well that, you know, I did four episodes and then I got busy. Like, yeah, like most people do not stick with something. I hate to say it, but like if you're someone who's, who could stick with something, like you're ahead of the game right there.
Shane Barker: Yeah well it is consistency. I mean, I think that, you know, it comes down to that end, and you, all you have to do is you have to out hustle the next person. Yeah. Most of those people, if they don't see traction right away, you do a podcast, you know, do podcast or do YouTube, I've done seven videos and only have seven subscribers. It's like, well, okay, but you have to realize everybody started, they're like, and you’re not going to take off virally because of your real estate because you're like just reckless.
You do something totally outlandish and that you're probably becoming viral for the wrong reasons. It's a frequency of that inconsistency of that and most people won't run that race. And you can run that race and you know, and be consistent with it. That's the hardest part. And I mean it is, it's just, I don't know that that is definitely the difficult part. So we talk about companies that like what are some of the companies that you look at and you go guy, like they do an amazing job at content. Like there are some companies, you look at them and you're like, hi, when I get older I want to be like that Epic job, any companies that come to mind?
Katie Lance: Well, most recently I've been really enamored with a, this might sound funny, but the New York public library, they're doing some stuff with content marketing and so, and social media, I was just following what they were doing on Instagram and they actually have turned complete novels into Instagram stories, which is crazy. Their whole mission is like obviously getting people to read more and you know literacy and everything. And, so if you go to their Instagram account and you look at their highlights, the other cool thing is they've saved their stories in, into their highlights.
So you can, I think right now they have like 8 or 10 literally full novels inside their Instagram stories. The first one I think was Alice in Wonderland and then they did a few other classics. And just to see visually and you think to yourself, what's the big deal? You convert a book into an Instagram story, but just like what that actually looks like, how to show people how to go through it and read it. It was, it's really fascinating and it's beautiful and they've developed a huge following for people who love New York. They love literacy, love reading and so that would be one to check out for sure.
Shane Barker: And they've taken a, usually a boring subject of libraries. Think of Helen the glasses and it's like, Oh, I don't want to be at the library and listen to this. Probably don't even know what a library is. Awesome! They've taken a subject that is usually unsexy and have now made it somewhere they're pulling in the right type of people. The Instagram stories, like they're actually doing full novels?
Katie Lance: Full novels, just crazy. Yeah and so they, they literally with their graphics team, they've, you know, basically reformatted the entire story into that vertical format. And you know, there are a few things in there, like they have this little button on each page. It says tap here to hold, because with Instagram stories, it just, you know, it's really 15 seconds. So it's like a prompt for people to hold and then they have a lot of interactive graphics throughout the novel as well. So it's, I mean, it's literally a work of art.
It's beautiful. And, you know, I was reading an article and I can't remember where it was, it just about the impact that that has had on the growth, like the sort of the business reason behind that. I mean, they've had tens of thousands of new followers from all over the world. In fact, I think it's probably closer to a hundreds of thousands of new followers from all over the world who've been attracted to what they're doing. And so, and, you know, growing their engagement and all that good stuff, so really cool to see.
Shane Barker: And so that wasn't just reiterate, they started something and it probably took them a little while to get it going, but now it's very improved for them, right. It's one of those like, hey, maybe they've been doing it for the last year and now they're even better than just people going now and people talking about it, right. We're talking about it right now and that's I suppose you're looking for, right. Because now you have more and more people talking about they're going to get interviews and usually you know two years ago we wouldn't have been talking about the New York library pretty much promise you they've done and they're, they're using certain platforms and putting out certain pieces of content that people love. I thought you would've said like we read a page or something but like full novels is like--
Katie Lance: Crazy right? [Crosstalk 41:14]
Shane Barker: You mentioned the person that pitched that are like we're going to read novels through Instagram stories and people were like, you, you are high, my friend, I don't know what you were on but I was just going to work and now a year later they're like yeah I told them to start that. I knew that was exactly so what are some, like what are your three tools like that you use like software wise? Like, so, I mean, because there's always like Grammarly and there's some, you know, we've had some in the past. What are your software tools that you're like, listen, I mean; I don't know if I could live life without these tools.
Katie Lance: Wow, just three? I would say. I know, right, so one that we use day in and day out. This isn't super sexy, but I think it's a valuable tool. It's Asana, just ASANA. We use it for project management and the way our company is structured, my husband's also my business partner, and he quit his corporate job a couple of years ago. So we're in this together and then we have three people who work for us virtually. So small team, small but mighty. But using a sauna helps tremendously and when you bring it back to content marketing, you know, it's, I mean, at the risk of having a cliché, it's literally a game changer.
It's made a huge difference and so anytime we have a big piece of content, like our weekly videos or my weekly podcast or webinars, those all get put into Asana. They all get broken up into specific very specific tasks, especially with distribution right. We talked about this earlier. How do you take one piece of content and slice and dice it 12, 15, 20 different ways or you break it up into tasks, very little bit of bite size, so Asana for sure. I love that and then there's, there's other great tools that are out there that will do that, but we've been using that for a few years.
I also have been really obsessed, obsessed lately with later.com yeah, I use that primarily for Instagram and later.com there's lots of tools out there that will do this for Instagram, but I just really like later its super simple. It's great for scheduling some of our content. Not that I believe in scheduling everything, but I think certain pieces, it helps to sort of get a plan in place obviously and have some things that are scheduled or they're in the queue. I love that you can reuse content with later. You know a lot of people when it comes to Instagram, they post something once and they never post it again, which I think is crazy.
If you post a piece of evergreen content today, why can't you re-post it on Instagram and three months? I'm not going to remember that you posted it, you know? And so a lot of our content we will upload into later and then we'll post once, we'll schedule it again in three months. We'll schedule again in six months depending on what the content is so those are two big things. Oh, third tool. Can I not live without? I would say the other big thing is YouTube, to be honest with you. I mean YouTube, when we first started getting on YouTube, you know, you mentioned your brother Justin.
Like I mean YouTube used to just be the place where we would like throw our videos. Like it used to just be like the library, right? And be like, we never look at it. Then we get really dusty and uh, we really invested a lot of time resources over the last two years. And in learning YouTube, it's very different than Facebook and Instagram and it's for us, it's really helped to build our community. It's helped us reach people that never knew us before. It has helped drive people to our email list, drive people to our Academy and it's turned into so many different things.
And so it's been-- it's been really fascinating and kind of sees that slow, that slow burn. You know, I don't have millions of subscribers, but I'm very proud of the, you know, few thousand that we have or whatever we're at right now, so staying consistent. Yeah, YouTube has been amazing and especially with our Instagram growth, I'll just say this also, we've been really focused on growing Instagram because of just the, the, the attention that the people seem to be focusing on Instagram. A lot of our clients are on Instagram and there's a little bit of this like symbiotic relationship between Instagram and YouTube.
For example, if we have a-- if we have a video, we post a one minute clip on Instagram, you know, and linking the full video to, to YouTube. It's just a much better experience, right, than sayings go to our website or go to Facebook, like its one click. And if it's more than that for people, then it's, you know, they're out of there. So we've seen that to be really successful.
Shane Barker: That was awesome, so I'm good friends with the guys over at later. We've done some PR stuff for them, stuff like that. Matt, those guys doing do an awesome job over there. So it's kind of cool to hear you to talk about them. They've got a phenomenal platform over there.
Katie Lance: Oh, that's awesome. Yeah, I love it. It's just, it's simple. I also love when later that a lot of what you can do is just right on your computer, on your desktop, which I think for some people, you know, it's just sometimes it's a little clunky to do everything on Instagram with your phone. So you know, you can save hashtags, which is great. Like, yeah, I should be like an ambassador for them or something. I'm a huge fan.
Shane Barker: I reach out to Matt; I let him know for sure.
Katie Lance: Okay.
Shane Barker: And so if you could give like one piece of advice for like aspiring content marketers, like what would it be like if you could tell, you know, Katie 20 years ago, if somebody whispered in your ear and said, Hey, this is, Hey Katie, you should look at this. What would the one thing that you could, you could give to the aspiring marketer or content marketer that's listening to the podcast right now?
Katie Lance: You know, I would say if I could give any kind of advice, it would be don't doubt yourself, you know, don't wait. I think especially if you're listening to this and you're someone, maybe you're a year younger or maybe you're in your 20s or whatever and you think, oh, who am I? I'm just like, I don't have a lot of life experience or I don't have a lot of business experience. Like, you know what you have more than, you know. And I think especially for someone who is in college or, or just finishing college or just kind of beginning their journey, you are at such a, an amazing place right now.
I mean, I probably saw old Zane this, but thinking about where social media and technology and content marketing is right now compared to where it was 20 years ago. There are so many opportunities. And I would just say start now. You know; if you're listening to this and you want to get into content marketing, don't wait for someone to give you a job like start now with whatever. What is it that you love? Like do you love comic books? Do you love cats? Do you like what, what do you love? And Gary Vaynerchuk is famous for talking about this. It's like what are you passionate about?
And start there and be your own best, like, you know, kind of case study and create consecrate videos, create you know, graphics. And if you really want to go into that world of content marketing, which I think is awesome. I mean, I'm a little biased because I'm living in it, you know? It's a great place to be. Give yourself that experience. Don't wait for someone else to give it to you.
Shane Barker: Yeah, I think that's the key. It's like what do you enjoy doing, right? And that's committed, doesn't feel like a job. And then hopefully you can turn that into something, whether it is freelance work or something like that or do an internship or something like that. So you can switch on Gary V a little bit as is, are there any other marketers or anybody that you follow that you're inspired by or you get an inspiration from? Is there anybody out there that you're like, man, I can't get enough of this person?
Katie Lance: Gosh, there's probably, I mean there's a couple, you know, I've, I follow social media examiner a lot. I think those guys are doing some great stuff. Michael Seltzer, I've been to, I've been to them a lot of their events. I've spoken at some of their events and I think they bring together just really such a great high caliber group of people and educators. They follow them a lot. I also really enjoy following Deron Hardy is the, you know, producer of success magazine and or founder of success magazine. And it's really amazing to see how he's developed his brand as well through all the different mediums that he has with, you know, texting and audio and podcasts and videos and all the content he's putting out there.
And one of the things he said a long time ago, I heard him speak that really stuck to me as an entrepreneur. He said, as an entrepreneur, what do you do that when you do it, it makes it rain. And that really spoke to me because I think sometimes as an entrepreneur we do everything right. We're like, oh, I can wear like 65 different hats. And as we have grown our business, I always think about what is it that I do that really makes it rain? You know, I can do a lot of stuff, but do I need to be doing all those other things or should I just focus on the big stuff that, that brings them? The-- it brings in the business, brings in the revenue, so, yeah, those would probably be a few, a few folks that I look at.
Shane Barker: I mean that's the thing and I, we always tell our clients this too. It's like no, only the stuff that makes it rainbow. What you enjoy doing right out of the 10 things you do or let's say after on smear a hundred things you do on a daily basis and if hate accounting, there's somebody that loves accounting more time for you, right? Like look at that. Like what do you enjoy when you wake up? You go, wow, if I need to bring in revenue, this is what I need to do. And that's where you should be. Not over here figuring out something else that you could pay somebody nominal amounts from an intern or have somebody do.
It's really because that's what I think we've done this over the years. I mean now I look at like what am I going to doing? Like for me, I mean I'm good at sales and some other stuff, but in speaking and all the fun stuff, but for me it's like I'm really good at shaking hands and kissing babies and cats. So I needed to do more of that right. So that's where the podcast come about. The speaking events and all that; the way that, and so that's where it brings the most value for the companies. Because I'm out there as a thought leader and doing the things that we're doing. So I think it's awesome that you look at it that way. It's like what, what really brings what makes it rain? I do. I like that. It's kind of a good little sane.
Katie Lance: Yeah. Yeah. It's, it's a good reminder, you know, because I think it's easy to get kind of pushed into the, not minutia, but just, it's easy to kind of get caught up in the, entire all this stuff. And they really think about what are some areas of opportunity that I can either hand off to someone else or outsource or maybe let go of too. You know, I think it's, its easy. It's easy as you go down this road of, of entrepreneurship to just kind of always do the same thing as you've always done it. But you know, if it's not working, maybe there's an opportunity to change it or make it better, you know?
Shane Barker: Yeah I think it's important to have those hip checks and take, I mean I actually had that with a client here just recently that, you know, we've been working together for a long time and I just don't know if they're getting that much value in the relationship and neither are we and just said not as it used to be. And so it's any kind of go down that route. I think it's, you know, hopefully come to a situation where it's going to be a mutual breakup and hopefully we can still hang out. Sometimes it doesn't make sense for both sides, you know, there's no reason to force it. So yeah, so what other cool projects you got going on? Because I know you guys are always working on some cool stuff over there. I know you guys got that small but mighty team over there. What else are you working on, a second book, anything fun that you got in the mix?
Katie Lance: Well, we've got coming up we started last year doing masterminds. So we started putting together mastermind events with just small group of people. And our next mastermind is coming up in October of this year. We're taking it to Vegas or just kind of exciting. We've rented out a big suite at the Bellagio and we're, you know, we're trying to have some fun with it. But yeah, you know, we, it had been on my heart for a long time to do events and I'm very cautious about doing events because, you know, I've been to a lot of events. I know you've probably been to a lot of events. It's a huge undertaking and so we wanted to try to do something a little bit different.
And so we put together sort of these small focus groups where we only have 10 to 15 people and it's really geared for someone who's like ready to take their business to that next level. And, you know, we're all kind of in you know, big suite and you know, it's not a boardroom. So big ballroom, we don't have sponsors, there's no sales pitch at the end and it's, you know, basically four days where we really dive deep into, it's primarily agents and brokers and real estate figuring out their social media plan. And by the end of the mastermind, they walk away with their 12 month plan locked and loaded and just, you know, roll up their sleeves and get some work done.
I think we've all gone to events where we get motivated and then nothing happens. So we wanted to try to create something a little bit different. So we're excited about that. We're just probably done that once a year. So it's a-- it's a big undertaking and we'll see where that goes. And then, yeah, probably at some point I would like to write another book. So that's been kind of percolating. I'd like to update my first book too, so we'll see. There are lots of things, but you know, percolating up here.
Shane Barker: Always, always something right now when, you know, it's funny, we started doing workshops on the influencer side of things and I tell you it isn't a big undertaking. We did one in San Francisco and we had about 35 or like, you know, Amazon was, we had some really big brands and it was the undertaken, but I'll tell you that more intimate workshop type deal and conversations you have, it's so much different than a conference experience because we're grinding it out.
We have a workbook and we're going through stuff and we're asking, they're asking questions and doing this and it's like, by the end of it, you know, and I have the guide from Amazon comes up and he says, Oh my God, this was super Epic. And I'm like, do you work at Amazon, like in my mind I was, you know, content's good, but when they come up to you afterwards and go, man, this was like, this was insane. We need this.
And I'm like, wow, that's awesome you know, it's kind of like, yeah, like when you don't think about it, but it's like, man, four days of doing that, I mean, whoever signs up for that is going to have, that's like four days is going to be Epic. That's, that's super awesome.
Katie Lance: Yeah, we're excited. It'll be fun. We've done that. We've done two so far. So, we feel like we're getting into a good groove, you know?
Shane Barker: And a good cadence going, yeah. Good deal! Well, let us know when that and that happens. I'd love to help you promote that as well.
Katie Lance: Thank you I appreciate that.
Shane Barker: So what else do you, I know you've talked about the kids and you know, they get you to keep you moving and shaking with separate weekends, but when you're not working, what do you, what else do you enjoy doing?
Katie Lance: Well, I mean, my husband, I love to travel. I would say they probably haven't traveled as much, just this with kids and stuff, but love the beach. That's probably why I love California. We actually got back from pretty Epic vacation. We took a, we took a cruise to Alaska which was so much fun. I was like a bucket list item to take a cruise but also go to Alaska. And so that was, that was a lot of fun. We did a Disney cruise which, you know, we're kind of big Disney fans also.
I'm kind of a Disney nerd, so that was super fun to it to do that. And I mean I love to read. We actually converted our living room to like a reading room because I really want to I love reading. I just felt like, I never really had time to read and like, you know, life happens and everything, there's so much going on. So just trying to focus more on that, especially with our kids, I feel like you're like the best example of, of that. So if I can show my kids that we try to have that room be sort of a device free room, it doesn't always happen.
Shane Barker: Oh, I know how that goes.
Katie Lance: So, you know, and then just, you know, being outdoors and stuff. We live in the Bay area. Usually the weather's pretty beautiful, although right now it's hot. But just being outside and enjoying the great weather that we have in California, we're very lucky.
Shane Barker: Well, we are. We are. It's a little more expensive sometimes, but I do, I'd say there's nothing like it. I'm like; I'll pay a little more money to live in an area that's always beautiful and having fun.
Katie Lance: Exactly, exactly.
Shane Barker: So what would you do like if you didn't have to work, like what would you do? I mean, it sounds like you'd probably be traveling with the kids and doing a lot of the same stuff. If money wasn't a factor, sounds like that's probably what you'd be doing then. I'll probably get an RV .
Katie Lance: Probably, yeah. I mean, I, there's a lot of this country I'd love to see. I mean, there are so many great things in the US and probably do a little travel abroad and we love Hawaii. So I'd probably spend some time in Maui, you know, with you know, yeah. I would say travel and, and probably just spend, if money wasn't an issue, I would say spend more time doing some, you know, things where we could give back. I would say that's probably an area of opportunity in our life we would like to do more of. And you know, I just think it's the battle of the ‘busies’.
There are only so many hours in the day, but we would like to at some point figure out a way to, you know, give back or do some volunteer work or you know maybe mentor some other folks. I think on a small level, I try to do that now. You know, we have, I have a lot of times, you know, entrepreneurs are people who are thinking of becoming entrepreneurs. I'll reach out to me and you know, want to take you to coffee or pick my brain or whatever. And I'm like, sure, let's hop on the phone for a little bit. And you know, I think you always can benefit from helping other people.
You know, if you can kind of turn around and go like who's up and coming, who can I help give kind of a boost, you know, I think that's important, so I probably do more of that too.
Shane Barker: See, it's funny, I used to do a lot of that and I had to cut back a little bit because my wife's like, so you had 10 meetings down? I'm like, yeah, it looks like just all helping people. I'm like, is that going to pay the bills? Probably not; I mean my, my wife is rough. She's not, but it's just like, you know, I was always like, would, I had a company called hot pad and I used to just somebody to be like, Oh I got terrible back pain. I've this, I have that.
And I'm like; I'm just going to send him a free one. And my wife's like, so what point do you feel like they really need it and they can't afford it? I'm going to send it. So you know, it's like I said, it's of it kind funny. When you look at that full circle, it's like, okay, I've got to cut back to helping out just a little bit to be able to do some of the other stuff that pays the bills.
Katie Lance: Yeah, exactly. It's a little bit of a balance.
Shane Barker: It always is. Everything's a balance, right. If there was one random fact that you could tell our audience either can be personal or business related, is there any one fact that you're like, people wouldn't, didn't know this about me or my business or personal like that one thing. Is there any one thing that you think the audience would be like? I had no idea.
Katie Lance: One thing I think, I think some people who know me really well know this and I'm a little embarrassed to about this, but I'm a huge hello kitty fan.
Shane Barker: Really? Hello Kitty?
Katie Lance: Yeah, like I have a whole thing in my office, like I don't, I think part of it is I don't have any girls, like I'm the only girl in our house, right.
Shane Barker: So you got to hold on to that.
Katie Lance: Yeah, like here we go. I've got like a little notebook here. Hello kitty.
Shane Barker: You don't have to answer this. Do you have a hello kitty tattoo?
Katie Lance: I don't, but if I were to have a tattoo that would probably be what it is.
Shane Barker: Okay, I had a feeling and I just wanted to throw that out there. I didn't want to get too personal, but I figured that that would probably be where your weakness, if somebody said, Hey, I want to get a tattoo. I want to pay for your tattoo you'd be like, hello kitty, let's go knock this thing out.
Katie Lance: Exactly, that's probably what it would be.
Shane Barker: All right, all right, all right. Well Katie this was awesome. Once again, you have a great personality and a great rapport and I just, I'll tell you this was an awesome interview. I thank you so much for taking the time today and if anybody needs to get in contact with you, like how can they get in contact with--
Katie Lance: Probably the best way just through my website. So just go to Katielance.com KATIELANCE, Katielance.com and we've got lots of free resources. You can connect with me there. I've got an email newsletter you can sign up for if you want to get some tips, tips and tricks and strategies, and then all of our social, you know, social media handles are there and I'm pretty much Katie Lance, on just about every social media platform.
Shane Barker: That's awesome.
Katie Lance: Google me, you'll find me.
Shane Barker: Yeah, yeah, for sure, I will. Katie, you have an awesome day. Thank you once again for the interview.
Katie Lance: Thank you so much, Shane.
Shane Barker: Alright talk soon.