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Replay: The Key to Success with Jasmine Star

Today’s episode of the podcast is a throwback to one of my earlier episodes, where I got to interview the amazing Jasmine Star.

Jasmine is CEO of Social Curators and a business strategist who helps entrepreneurs get sales on social media.

This is such an interesting listen to hear how much has changed over the last 3 years, but how much has stayed the same too!

 

HIGHLIGHTS YOU SIMPLY CAN'T MISS

  • Using Instagram as a tool to grow your business
  • Are you using Instagram for your business, or is your business just on Instagram?
  • Jasmine’s top tip for Instagram success

 

THE ONE THING YOU NEED TO REMEMBER ABOVE ALL ELSE…

Social media isn’t something that will bring you quick results and if you’re not in it for the long run, find out what is better suited to your business.

 

LINKS TO RESOURCES MENTIONED IN TODAY’S EPISODE

Jasmine Star Instagram

Jasmine Star Website

Social Curator

 

TRANSCRIPT

Hello and welcome to the podcast. So we are doing something different. Now, as you know, because I've just introduced what episode on 253, I have done a lot of episodes. And it's summer. And I also, as you know, if you've been listening for a while and if you haven't welcome, I'm so happy you're here, you know, I'm loving the garden and I just thought, you know what?

 

Over the summer, it might be nice to not put out some new content. It might be nice to replay some of the amazing, amazing humans I've already interviewed on this podcast. And obviously last week we had the phenomenal Denise Duffield-Thomas, which is so very exciting. And I just thought I have interviewed some crazy, amazing people.

 

And so many of those people I interviewed really early on and I just thought, do you know what I want to make my life a little bit easier for myself when, when it's the summer. And cause obviously I'm a mom and I have my daughter and I'm gonna wanna take some time off with her. But also I really wanna reuse some of these phenomenal episodes that I've done and cut them back out into the world because they're so good.

 

And obviously I've heard them cause I was on them, but I've re-listened to them before doing the intros and outros and I've forgotten how ACE they were and it makes me so genuinely excited that I'm I have these conversations with these people.

 

It's so cool. So I am replaying four episodes over the next four weeks. Now one thing you gotta bear in mind is my interviewing skills. I hope to goodness have improved. In fact, one of the interviews I'm playing next week, it was my second ever interview. So you know that that's a lot of interviews since then.

 

So you have to bear that in mind you also have to bear in mind that some of the content that they might talk about. So like on today's episode, there are things we talk about on Instagram. And they might not still be relevant because obviously this episode was recorded a couple of years ago. However, all of them have amazing content that still stands today and the conversations are brilliant and I just love them, which is why I'm replaying these particular episodes.

 

The other thing you have to bear in mind is the sound quality may not be as good. It should be fine, but just if there, if the sound quality isn't as kind of bang on, then you'll know that's why cause again, in the early days I didn't have the mic and the setup. And the things that I have now, but for me, I forget.

 

And I think we all do. And actually, you know, I just want you to think for a minute. Cause I had this conversation in the club, in the executive club the other day. Someone was beating themselves up for something that they feel like they hadn't done. And I actually had to remind her, I've now worked with this amazing lady for years, and I actually had to remind her how far she's come, because we forget so very easily what we've done.

 

It's like we achieve one thing and it's like, great onto the next thing. And like, we shouldn't, we should remember how amazing these things are. I'm super glad I've decided to do this as a bit of a celebration of like, oh my goodness, I've done a lot of episodes. I've spoke to a lot of amazing people. And I wanna remember that.

 

And I wanna remind myself how cool that was. So today's episode is one of my most listened to episodes. It's with the amazing Jasmine Star. Who I just loved, like talking to her was so cool. She's genuinely a really nice human, really, really nice human. And I'm really glad I'm getting to replay this one.

 

Now, as I've said, we talk about Instagram and obviously Instagram has moved on somewhat since we had a conversation. In fact, I wonder when this was first aired. What actual episode is it? Let me just look two seconds and try and find what episodes it was. Episode 51. So like, if you think I do 52 episodes a year, someone do math was that four years ago or something.

 

So yeah, Instagram has moved on, but some of the stuff has story for one is brilliant. Her conversation is great. Some of the strategy stuff still stands and it's just a really, really good. I was gonna say, interview, that makes me sound like I'm saying I did a good interview, she was great to interview and I think you're gonna love it.

 

And it made me smile. She's so much fun. We have a laugh. It's great. So the first replay you're gonna get is the amazing Jasmine Star. Enjoy.

 

So I'm so excited this week to welcome to the podcast, Jasmine Star.

 

Well, thank you for having me. I couldn't even more excited. It's been a while. This has been a while in the making, but here we are.

 

Yeah. Oh, we have, we've been talking about it for a little while, so it's finally lovely to get you on. And I'm so excited to kind of introduced to my audience cause I'm fairly sure a lot of my audience will know who you are. But I have been following you for ages. I was lucky enough to meet you last year in San Diego.

 

And in fact, you hooked me up with a great photographer. Uh, Tim King, he's done a photos for me a few times. So we'd had a conversation about that, but it's so nice to get you on and hear about how things are going, cause I know that you've been doing some really exciting things. Haven't you?

 

I've I have been excited. And when I'm excited, I do exciting things. So yes, , it's been a good year so far.

 

Awesome. So just as a kickoff, if you don't mind, in case my audience don't know who you are, it would be great to give them a bit of background of who you are, where you've come from. And also, I want you to do this because I've already said in the intro that you are an amazing storyteller.

 

So. I know whenever you tell any story, it's just, I can't help, but just sit and wanna listen. So if you could do that, that would be awesome.

 

Oh yeah. There's no pressure in this story at all. I was feeling none and all of a sudden I feel this abundance. Like I better stand on this stage and deliver an academy award where the story right about now, you know, I think that the more we converse throughout this conversation, the story will naturally unfold, but I think it's going to expedite where people or why people see my passion for creating a business and creating freedom, but also using social media as a vehicle for growth in a business.

 

And so in 2005, I earned a full ride, uh, law school scholarship, and it was the thing I was supposed to do with my life. I thought that as a first generation immigrant daughter, first generation college student, first generation postgraduate student, that this was the thing that would define me and really help expedite my family into a different stratosphere of being American culture and, uh, being American.

 

And when I was there, I just realized how unhappy I really was. It just wasn't the best fit for me, but I thought, well, this is what I'm gonna do. This is what I've worked for. And my first year of law school, my mom unfortunately had a relapse brain cancer.

 

And it just really rocked everybody's world because it had been an eight year battle at this time. And the doctors had said that “Her time had come and we had to start making funeral arrangements.” And I think that that reprioritized everything in my life, like it forced you to, you know, have hard conversations and really say, “What do I want in life?”

 

And so I planned a wedding in three months to my long standing boyfriend, we'd met in high school. And I'm very like, independent was like, “I have to finish law school. This is gonna be the thing I'm very driven.” And he was just waiting. He's like, “Great. I wanna marry you. And we're going to get married.” I said, “Yes, just give me some time.”

 

I had an Excel spreadsheet, color coded. I was so annoying. It's like, who was I back then? Uh, and so, um, and then all of a sudden I got that Excel spreadsheet and I literally was like “Bye. Like this doesn't matter anymore.” Every all, all your plans don't matter if you're not surrounded by the people who love you and who you love.

 

And so we planned wedding in three months and against, against all odds. My mom and my dad walked me down the aisle and it was the best day of my life. And I came back from, uh, the honeymoon and we, I had to make the declaration to go back to law school and I did not want to. So my brand new husband asks me the most beautiful question.

 

He said, “If you could do one thing for the rest of your life and be happy, what would it be?” And I said “Well I think I wanna be a photographer.” To which he replied, “Well, you need a camera first. Right?” And I was like, “Yeah.” I, I detailed, probably detailed. I probably need a camera that would help. And so then on January 1st, 2006, I opened my very first camera as a gift from him.

 

By 2009, uh, my business was voted one of the top photographers in the world and the business just unfolded and grew naturally, organically. And then also when social media came around in that 2010, 2011 timeframe, I really learned how to harness that power, create storytelling conversations that grew the business, and then empowered me to, uh, teach and coach and walk other entrepreneurs, how they could do the same for their business.

 

That was a little bit of a long story, but not, but now up to date.

 

And that's perfect. And actually. I love your story because the fact that you had your life planned out, and if I can make assumptions about you, based on what I've seen, you know, you are very driven. So I should imagine at that time you were totally like.

 

This is what's gonna happen. And then I guess it takes something as, uh, big and dramatic as, as obviously your mom being unwell for you to go actually, is that what I really want? You know, and that's a, that's a hard thing to think about, isn't it?

 

It's a very difficult thing to think about, but I think it's, uh, it's a choice. I think we are all given a choice at the way we're going to look at a situation and back then I looked at it as a very difficult situation, but I had, I was equally as empowered to look at that situation and think, my God, I've been given a gift. And it's only years later over a decade later that I can look back and think that that moment was like the impetus.

 

That moment was the catalyst that forced me to say what, who am I and what do I really want? And so it is a gift and far greater than anything else. My mom at the time was my north star. And I'm so happy to say that still to this day, she is my north star against all odds. She beat cancer. And the doctors were amazed and she's a walking miracle and yes, I needed a jolt in the universe to wake me up and say, what are you gonna do with your one wild and beautiful, precious life? And I decided it's not gonna be a lawyer.

 

Yeah, no, that's amazing. And, and I heard you, I can't remember what I was watching with you on, but you know, you talked about the fact of. You've thought to yourself, you know, you've got what maybe 20 years left at that point. If you, you know, if the same thing was gonna go down the same road, and then you said something like, you know, we're, we're even, you know, we shouldn't ever assume it's even 20 years, we might not even have 20 minutes.

 

Oh, absolutely. So at the time my mom was 50 years old. When the doctors had said she has a couple months to live. And at the time I was 25 and I thought to myself, if I have 25 years left in my life, I don't wanna die a lawyer. And then this dark realization struck me. I'm not guaranteed 25 years. I'm not even guaranteed 25 minutes and we, none of us are.

 

So if we were gonna live under that is like, as if today was like my last day, what kind of legacy do I wanna leave? What kind of decisions do I wanna make? What kind of wild and crazy, beautiful, scary, amazing, brilliant life do I wanna live that's not under the shadow of expectations. That was a game changer for me.

 

And you know what, from an outsider looking in and don't get me wrong, you know, and we can talk about this how, we, we project certain things on Instagram and we don't necessarily put the, the awful times, but it does look like you are having the most phenomenal time that you are doing the most amazing things.

 

First off you live in one of the most amazing parts of the world. Obviously you live in California and it's stunning and it's warm and it's sunny and you know, but it does genuinely look as if you know, I bet you must look back there and think if I carried on, where would I be compared to what I'm doing? What I wake up to every single day now?

 

Oh my God. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think that I could be living in an alternate universe where I would be in the top floor of a downtown Los Angeles high-rise building. Being a successful lawyer, because I do believe that success is a foregone conclusion, not just for myself, but for anybody who puts their mind and effort and soul into whatever, they do.

 

And I would be that person and I would be at a place financially where I could afford paying other people to live my life instead of me making the active decision to live my life. And even if it's as simple as picking up my dry cleaning or spending a two hour lunch in the middle of the day with a friend, it's like, I would be in exchange for time and money.

 

And somehow. Uh, taking the risk to build the business that I want to live. I don't have to have those negotiations anymore because I could still make money and be a wise steward of my time.

 

Yeah, no, that's amazing. It's awesome. So let's get back to Instagram about, was it, do you think that your business changed when you really took on Instagram or do you think it was inevitable that it was going to get there, it was just a tool that you happened to be using?

 

Well, I believe that the caveat was there. Isn't a single platform that's going to make or break a single business or a single entrepreneur. I think that my journey on Instagram started around 2011-2012.

 

And it, I was, I floundered, I didn't, I even as a photographer and even as a storyteller, I didn't know how to harness the power. I was just using Instagram as like a box to check like, oh, I posted today, like, this is what I'm doing. And I floundered for far too long. I mean, I have like examples. I often share examples of like my Instagram in 2011.

 

And then I juxtaposed that with my Instagram in 2014. And there looks like there had been no progress. I mean, it still looks like a hot mess. Like you look like you're a junior high, it looks like you are 12 years old trying to be cool on Instagram. Nobody's engaging with you. And by, and by 2014, I was an internationally recognized photographer was a world of wide brand.

 

And nobody looking at that Instagram account would ever think that they would think I like wine. I like my dog. I mean, I like the beach, it looked ridiculous. And then in 2016, I looked around and I got so tired with my lack of hot spa, dedication, strategy, because I saw other people. Photographers and non-photographers using this amazing platform to build their business.

 

And I had all the tools to make it happen. And yet I wasn't. And so in 2016, I put a stake in the ground and I said, I am going to learn how to use this for my business. And so today I often talk about the, my plans and my strategies. And I could say that in retrospect, that yes, in 2016 was when I started my plan strategy.

 

But in 2016, when I started doing it, it did not feel like a plan strategy. It felt like a hot mess. I was just making mistakes every day. I was trying to figure out what works. I was looking at other people. I literally, oh my God, here I go again with my Excel spreadsheet, I kept an Excel spreadsheet. I love making some Excel, you know.

 

And me and me.

 

Alright. I mean, who does not love organization and analytics, it just kills me. It makes me excited. Somebody sends me a color coded spreadsheet and I'm like, we're getting married next week. So, um, I made an Excel spreadsheet. I listed the followers on Instagram, who I enjoy ahh just like a personal friend.

 

And then I listed Instagram or so I felt like we're doing a really great job at harnessing the power specifically for their business. And I wondered to myself, could I blend the two things? And again and again, I tested and tried. And though, like when I started doing it, I had such a profound change in my business.

 

And it was around that time, 2016, where I really stepped out onto the scene as an authority in the field. Ironically, I didn't feel like an authority. Ironically. I just felt like, Hey, I'm just trying to figure this out. And then I got picked up by major news outlets and interviews, and it has grown since there.

 

And I'm still a firm believer that I'm actively refining my plan and strategy as the algorithm changes, but it's been a really great thing to learn from my mistakes and then show what I know with others and then see them be met with equally as amazing results.

 

Yeah. And I think you're exactly right. You with the, the way these platforms are, they move and change so much that I don't think anybody honestly can sit there and say, “Oh, I've got it. It's all sussed. It's all done now.”

 

Oh no.

 

Because obviously tomorrow they're gonna do an update and everything's gonna change again. And obviously I guess where you've succeeded is that you invested your time and your thought and you were, you considered exactly what you were doing. You were deliberate. That's what I was trying to think of. Deliberate in doing it. You know, you weren't just, like you said, checking up a picture thinking, oh, you know, that'll do you were really thinking about, okay, how can I use this? So I saw you speak in social media marketing world last year, and you gave me the best advice.

 

So. Prior to coming out, I was on, oh, you have a phrase. Are you using Instagram or are you on Instagram? Is that right?

 

That is. Well I don't guess you apply that.

 

I make all the notes. I listened. I was very good at doing what I'm told, I tell you. So, so you had said this and I sat there thinking, oh my God, that is me.

 

I am literally just like posting an art picture and I used to use the excuse. I honestly. You would've slapped me. I used to go into like businesses and go, well, unless you've got a beautiful product, it's not really for you. And then I came to your session. I sat down and I was like “What have I been saying. What an idiot.” And you gave the best advice where you talked about having categories and the kind of cause there's a grid of nine.

 

And I think you said between like nine and 12 or nine and 10, think about those categories and therefore, and one of yours, which is also one that I have is books. Cause I read a lot and I know you read a lot, don't you?

 

Yes.

 

So for me, it's like, okay. And this is such an hilarious thing to admit, but I listen to a lot of books, but I physically buy them to take a photo for Instagram.

 

That's amazing.

 

I know. I I'm not messing around here. This is serious stuff. Right. So, yeah. So and so coming up with those categories was such an amazing way to then a realize that actually I didn't have to, I could be really strategic about it. Whereas I think previously I was like, is there something beautiful I can take a picture of? No. Oh, well I can't post anything on Instagram. Whereas now I'm super kind of like, okay, What books have we got, let's take three or four photos. And then, you know, I actually take flat lay photos. I've watched your videos where you've shown how you take flat lay photos. And you know, now I do them as well, but I'm much more deliberate about that. So thank you, cause that was amazing.

 

Of course. No, for the sake of people who weren't at that presentation, that's the marketing world. Would you mind if I gave a brief overview to say.

 

Please tell them.

 

Say, hearing, hearing your success and hearing how positive it worked for you again, this goes back to the plan and strategy that I spent years trying to refine.

 

And now I share it from a stage in 35 minutes and you're killing the game. Okay. So for people who are wondering, this is a quick 22nd quiz to know if you are using Instagram or on Instagram. Now you are just on Instagram when you post only when you remember. You're only on Instagram, when on Instagram with regularity only when you're selling a product.

 

You're only on Instagram when you go on vacation and you're posting three to four photos every single day for five days straight, cause your life looks so cool. And then you return to gloomy England, and then you don't post for two weeks. Like what happens is that people. And this is totally okay. And understandable.

 

Most people approach Instagram this way, because it's a personal profile. If however, you've decided to use your profile for business, the objective isn't to show the cool and the amazing, the objective is to say, how can I position my business to serve you best? That is how you know, you're on Instagram, when you show up every single day, when you have a plan and strategy, when you've categorized, what is your business about?

 

And how can you show that visually on that most highly visual platform to ever exist? You're not above the one-on-one connection till you're responding to every single comment. You're responding to every single DM. And when you're not getting those conversations on your account, You're actually going to hashtags and you are starting the conversation on other people's accounts that you want on your own.

 

The only way you will start getting engagement on your account is if you leave the charge on other accounts, it seems counterintuitive, but I promise you, this is the game changer.

 

Yeah, it's such good advice because you know what often comes up and I, and I use you and Jenna Kutcher as examples that people will go.

 

And I bet you hear this all the time. And James Wedmore talks about this all the time. It's alright for you. You know, look at your profile, look at how many followers you've got. And then I actually say to them, and I've done the math’s and it's gone out in my head at this point, but I actually say to them, well, when I saw you talk, you told me that you post once a day, that's kind of.

 

You worked out what worked for you and your audience and once a day works looks great. So you've got how many posts on your Instagram currently? Like four, how many thousand? It's quite a few thousand. Isn't it? That you've got on there now I've got 4,000 in my head, but I can't think whether I'm I've. Whether that's right. But yeah. So you've got like loads of posts on your Instagram and therefore.

 

I have at the time of this recording, I just looked it up because you know, me numbers, analytics, right, exactly. I have 2,646 at the time of this recording.

 

Okay. So 2,246 posts. Right? So let's just say, uh, you do one a day.

 

So divide that by 365 days a year. So that's six years. Right? So granted, some days you might have done more. So it might end up more than one a day, but it's just proving to people that you, you are not gonna get this tomorrow. Like, you know, I have people come to me saying we wanna do Instagram, they get a month or two in, and they're like, it's not working.

 

It's like, honestly, it doesn't work like that. It takes time, you know? So when people look at probably number of followers, you've got, and they think, oh my God, you know, how do as if people appear from nowhere, well, they don't appear from nowhere. You have said to yourself, you know, you are posting solidly from sort of 2010 or 11 constantly.

 

And then eventually it starts to pick up and people start to see it. You know, or you get more strategic about it. And therefore people start to see it. So it's not just a case of you suddenly decided to post and the next day you had 10,000 followers, is it?

 

No, God, no. I mean, when I made the decision to actually show up with a plan and strategy that was in 2016, we are now recording in 2019 and it was years.

 

I mean, now, I mean, we could just say, oh, it's been three years. No, it, it took me years to like make mistakes, to understand like what it was about and then years to build that momentum. And I oftentimes think that there's this misnomer that social media is like a, a magic pill. Or something that's like quick and expedited.

 

And I always tell people, if you are looking for quick results, social media, isn't the answer.

 

No, you're right.

 

That's just it like, so I think that when you can change your expectation around it, and if you are not here for the long game, if you're not here to run a marathon on Instagram, then you know what? Find a place that you are willing to run a marathon and then go really deep there. Because there you couldn't do your business, a greater disservice than trying to have 15 micro sprints and never finish a race. In my mind, find what works for your business, where your audience is, and then go so deep.

 

Because when you, when you understand at least one platform, it, it becomes almost, I've often heard this with multilingual speakers is like you learn, you teach yourself a, a different language. Like if I taught myself French, there'd be a higher likelihood to me, uh, learning Italian in a less amount of time and then Portuguese in a less amount of time. So the more you master a platform, you could apply those same principles to other platforms. But my friends, if you are not here for year after your growth in conversations, this is not the platform for you.

 

Absolutely. And so I set myself a test when I saw you, I thought, right, I'm gonna be really considered, I'm going to put a strategy behind this and I am going to make myself post every single day.

 

And I came up with my categories and I followed everything you said. And when I started that back in March last year, I had, uh, about cause I'd not long opened this account. Cause it was a different one. I had the one I was using for the business and my own personal one. And then this was a Teresa Heath-Wareing one.

 

So a kind of more Brandy one if you like. And um, and I'd got about 300 followers cause it was new and I've been really strategic every single day posting. I've been doing some interaction, maybe not as much as I'd like, but I definitely respond to everybody. And now I'm up to 1700 followers.

 

Hey you get out of here right now! Just get out? Well, I was unaided breath. I was like, what is she gonna say? I cannot believe you picked up 1400 followers in less in what, what is it? In 10 months? Nine months.

 

Yeah. Yeah.

 

Good God! That is incredible.

 

And it's, and you know what it's about being that every single day, showing up every single day, putting up a post, saying some things and doing anything wrong, you know, I drop a day sometimes and I don't post or whatever, but of course, of course it's a, it's about being, you know, absolutely consistent and going out there and interacting people and you know.

 

I love Instagram. It's my favorite platform. I love watching instant stories and I was, I wanted to ask actually, cause you've been doing a lot of Instagram TV. I, I, you always come up in my discovery tab. So how are you finding Instagram TV? Are you. Is this definitely something that you think is gonna get bigger and better? Is it working for you? What, what's your thoughts on it?

 

Well, I wanna, before I share my thoughts on the matter mm-hmm, , I always wanna clarify that the, the decisions that I make are never about my thoughts on the matter, the decisions I make are going to be, how do people want to engage with my brand? And then I serve them.

 

So my thoughts on the matter is this, I, I have been making videos on YouTube and Facebook, and they never had an opportunity on Instagram to share the videos unless they were under a minute. Cause then it would go on my actual feed. And when Instagram TV came out, I saw this as a massive opportunity to serve an underrepresented audience.

 

Number two is that many people on this current platform were not creating long form videos. And Teresa, there is a reason why I, my Instagram TV videos are coming up in your feed. It's because not a lot of people are doing them.

 

No.

 

Well right now the land is cheap. This is like me buying land in Malibu in 1934. Nobody wanted to live in Malibu in 1934. Like the land was cheap and yet you're in the water. And now you can't even buy, uh, you can't even buy an acre on Malibu for less than 6 or 7 million dollars with no house on it. So feel like whenever I see this opportunity and you know, I do get more visibility on videos on Facebook. Now, but I've been seeing these numbers take up.

 

So again, if we go back to analytics, I always think conversion determines analytics is the way that I am going to determine the best use of my time. Now, on average, if the, if I post a video on Facebook, I will get, uh, on average around 6 or 7,000 views. And. That number hasn't changed since I started uploading videos to Instagram.

 

So it's not as if the viewers had been divided between the platforms. So on Instagram, on averaging around 5,000 views on a video, not as much as Facebook and not as much as Facebook and YouTube combined. But the numbers on the other platforms haven't dropped, which leads me to believe that people are watching the videos on a platform that they are already in and algorithmically.

 

I wanna make sure that my bases are covered because if I post a video on Thursday evening on my Facebook page and you are in England, there's a good chance you're probably not gonna see that. But if perhaps, you know, I post the same video formatted for Instagram TV on early Monday morning. Oh, There's a possibility that you could.

 

So this is me just playing the odds and trying to see where can I show up and have my business represented in underrepresented markets for my viewers. And then it's been an upswing since there.

 

And I think you're so right. It is such an underused facility at the moment. And actually that's always kind of the time to try and get in on those, if you have the ability to, and actually for you, like you said, you had the videos anyway. So presumably I could be being very naive here, but presumably it's just an editing thing?

 

Yes. It's not, it's not naive at all. So oftentimes, okay. So let's go back. I'm a big believer. And oftentimes people say, oh, Jasmine's such a lover of Instagram. Well, yes, I love Instagram, but I love wherever my audience is and I wanna serve from there.

 

So there was a time where Snapchat was like, The biggest up and coming, growing platform. And I was on there quite often trying to understand the demographic and how my business would fit in. And I started doing a lot of research on what was working on Snapchat, and then when Instagram stories came around, it was as it, I mean, it was basically just a copycat of Snapchat, which has been like pretty successful for Instagram, not so successful for Snapchat, but the research proved again and again, that people did not want to turn their phone.

 

Like it was something, it was some crazy number, like over 80 something percent of people said that when they came across a Snapchat story, which is, if you're not familiar with Snapchat, it's identical to Instagram stories, that they wanted to view it in vertical format and not turn their phone. And that if the story required them to turn their phone, they would pass the entire story.

 

And I saw this. And it was like, Thousands and thousands of people went through this app, uh, this, this study. And so when Instagram story came around and people were still unfamiliar, like they would try to like, shoot the video horizontally instead of vertically I was like, “Oh, this is not very good.”

 

Then IGTV came out and a lot of people were like, I have horizontal videos that I'm just gonna have people turn their phone. And I immediately was like, Let me ask my audience. And so I need a video. So, so made up meta, right. A video asking about videos and I posted it and I said, what do you prefer? I mean, the overwhelming response on my little like bootleg. Uh, question and ask was vertical.

 

So, because I know it's vertical, I've now taken my horizontal videos and formatted them so that they look vertical by having sometimes different B roll or just backgrounds or expanding the whole screen. And so I just listen to what the market says and then I follow.

 

Yeah, absolutely. Cause and that's sick as well. Isn't it? Because it's no good just doing something that you think “Well, actually with no editing, I could just get it on there. If no one's gonna watch it.” You've got to…

 

absolutely, absolutely.

 

You've absolutely do what you need to do to get them to actually watch it and how fascinating.

 

And I am like you, I am a numbers girl. It's I think in marketing, sometimes it's a bit weird cause people don't expect you to be so numbers led, but I love it. And it's so interesting that your, uh, views didn't drop anywhere else. Because you would expect there to be some people or an overlap wouldn't you?

 

Absolutely. But then if we take, I mean, how I probably the most boring podcast guest you've ever had. Cause I was like, let's talk about math. that's amazing who doesn't wanna. OK. But actually let's just get into the statistics and let's use my account. Well, actually, yeah, let's just use my account. Because I can be clearly to it. So, uh, February, 2017, uh, sometime around that time, there was a big algorithm shift on Facebook and then shortly after the American elections, That was shortly after the American elections. And then about eight, nine months later, another big algorithm change. And they had, as Facebook had realized that Facebook pages were getting an unprecedented amount of like free, free.

 

So Facebook described its platform as an eight lane freeway and Facebook pages were able to say, take up four of those lanes on an eight lane freeway. And then the other four lanes would be dominate by friends and family you follow. But then they started realizing that Facebook pages were just getting too much attention.

 

So they narrowed it down to two lanes on eight lanes and then had another big algorithm change that narrowed it down to one lane. Highlighting friends and family posts above all else. Now what this resulted in specifically for fan pages over 200,000, which is where my fan page land currently at the time of this recording, I think I'm at 250,000 on my fan page.

 

They said that what you will get in just organic reach would be 2.5% of your audience.

 

Mm crazy.

 

So, which is crazy because there wasn't that. Now, uh, previously about 12 months earlier, you were guaranteed somewhere around 8%. And prior to that, I mean, when Instagram first came out, it was much, much, much higher, but if we were to take the 250,000 and only, uh, let's see, 0.25%, 6,250 people would see that video, that post. Now that is who they are estimating will be shown to it initially. Depending on that 6,250 people's reactions, if they left comments, if they uploaded, if they shared it with friends, ah, then you get a little bit more juice because Facebook knows. Oh, it's interesting now. So. Now at this point, even, let's just say I put out the video and even if it has 4%.

 

That's still 12,000 people out of 250,000, by me putting a, the same video on a different platform. And at this point, Instagram is showing for large accounts. It's showing about 4% to your audience outside of the, you know, once it, once it, if it picks up virality that something else, but all things considered it's about 4%.

 

I definitely think that Instagram is growing so fast that it will absolutely drop down do the same 2%, the way that Facebook is, that's just where it's trending. So please know that that's the case and we shouldn't complain. The more people are on a platform. The, like, the more that the attention is divided.

 

So in my mind, all of that to say this long-winded answer is that I'm just being highly strategic with where I am placing the video and how I am placing the video.

 

Yeah. And I think you absolutely have to be, because like you said, lots of people got really upset when Facebook made those changes. And for me I understood why they made them. And, yeah. Okay. It's frustrating if you were getting one thing and now you're getting something else, but I, I could understand where they were coming from. And like you said, you just have to up your game, work it out, decide what's working, what's not working. And. Keep moving forward, because if we wanna use these platforms and they are amazing platforms, then we have to be supple enough to move around with them. Don't we? As they change, we need to change. So.

 

Absolutely. Absolutely. I mean, it's just, it is literally democratic. It's like the good posts are seen more for free. If your posts are not being seen by a lot of people and it's the traditional 2% doll face, it's not the algorithm. It's you? It's your content.

 

Like. Change the content. That's the, that's the message here. The, your content is good because your followers will vote on it, whether it's good. It doesn't matter if you have a hundred thousand. Or a thousand people or a hundred people, the percentage of people who it's initially shown to, and based on the reactions, you then get more Facebook juice or Instagram juice show put out good content. And then the, the rest of it solves itself.

 

I love it. I love it. So you, you have a, and obviously a really good following on Instagram and you have a great community at which obviously I'm part of. And I see of people who comment and like, and really engage with your post and love what you. Do you think, what do you think the, the reason for that is, is it your storytelling?

 

Is it your types of posts? Is it your, you know, tenacious nature that you just, you know, you just kept going and going and going. What do you think if you had to put it down to one or two things, could you do that? Do you think?

 

I think as humans, the greatest gift that a friend or a peer could give you would be, uh, availability and consistency. And I don't think that, I mean, to be honest, I'll be very honest. I don't think that what I do is that amazing or that special, there are better photographers. There are better storytellers. There are better communicators. But the thing that I depend on, which I think makes me relatable to a lot of the people is that you could be dare I say average or a little bit better than average.

 

You show up and you care about people. You automatically fall into the 1% of people on social media. And so I just go where I'm good. And the, oftentimes people say, oh, like, The, the victory is one on the field, but the battle goes to those who continue to show up. And they feel like the reason why I've been able to develop people is like, they know when they leave a comment, I'll respond or if they send me a DM I'll respond or you know, I think that, that alone, like when you're human on social, which I think is a message that I'm really proud of, I would hate to sit here and tell you, well, I am just so phenomenal of photography or like my storytelling, I'm coming out with an anthology. It's like, you hear listeners here. They're like, well, I'm not writing an anthology.

 

I get to hear and just say, listen, I am a girl who was raised in the hood. Like I come from immigrant parents. I didn't learn how to read until I was 11. I had an English professor, my first year of college, ask if I hailed from an immigrant family, because my writing betrayed that. And I was humiliated.

 

I bet.

 

And I just thought to myself, oh my God, I don't belong in this school. I stick out like a sore thumb. I do come from a poor family and I had a decision then. I had a decision to listen to what she said and crumble under the weight of her opinion. Or I said, what free resources are located here in my college?

 

And every day for the entire semester, I had every single piece that I, I turned into her proofread and I learned from what these tutors were teaching me. And at the end of the day, I already told my husband that. When I write a book, not if it's, when I write in a book, there's gonna be a specific, thank you section to professor Petro who doubted me and questioned me and shook the foundation for all who I am, because I had the decision to become weak or strong.

 

And in that moment, I decided to become strong. And now on any given day, I have more people reading my content than most people have reading their books. And that to me is the changing thing of social media that the, the, the, the scales have changed. And we are of the people for the people and that resonates far more than perfection.

 

I love it. And you're so right. And if people weren't interested in what you were saying or how you're saying it, then they wouldn't engage, would they? They would just switch off. But the truth is you are so compelling when you do write things. When even if it's just, you know, your Instagram posts, you do write fairly lengthy, Instagram post.

 

It's not like just two words or anything. Even when you write a post it's, so you can relate to it, you can understand it and I can visualize it. And that is such a skill. So, you know, that is just all kudos down to you. Cause it's storytelling is a really, really big skill. I love it. I love it.

 

And thank you. And I wanna make sure that what people walk away from isn't like, oh, Jasmine's great at selling stories. I think essentially if we can all add a little bit of color and make you know. The way that you would tell a story to your best friend over brunch is the same approach that you should be taken as you write your captions. And furthermore, you Teresa are part of the 1% of people who like the lengthy post and will actually take time to read them.

 

Yes.

 

I write, I write for, I write for the 1% and I, because I understand the people of the 1% want to know me. They're the people who will wait in line at social media marketing world. Will ask my opinion for a photographer who will invite me to their podcast, you, my friend, or who I write for and look at what happened as a result.

 

Awesome. Ah, thank you so much. And, and, you know, I do exactly same. I write really lengthy posts. I say to people I'm actually my most honest, not that I'm not honest, but actually if you wanted to know my deep dark secrets and my feelings, go and read my Instagram, because that's where I tend to write it.

 

And I don't know why I write it there or how I feel I can write it there, but I do. And I, and I do like doing those long posts and I love nothing more than when it's evident that someone's read it and they, they comment back and they talk about it or, you know, cause inevitably I'm asking a question or, you know, it's so good. Isn't it? It's so, so nice.

 

I know that your time is, uh, very valuable and I don't wanna take up too much bit. So one final question for me. Now, I've been obviously watching your content and I've seen it shifting and changing a bit, you know, uh, working more looking at business in general and business strategy and that sort of thing.

 

So just, you know what what's to come. What are you working on? What are your aims and goals going forward?

 

Oh, I love this question. So I think Teresa, we kind of first initially encountered each other when I was at like this pivot point in my life and my business. Where photography was the largest like economic generator in my business, the largest arm in my business.

 

And then, uh, 2016, 2017, I made a big risk and said, “I'm going to double down on creating resources for entrepreneurs.” And since then, the way that I talk on social has been just so much more authentic because I'm teaching and talking to people who have this wild and crazy dream that everybody doubts and I'm like, “Hey, yeah, you can actually make this a profitable career.”

 

Yeah. And so since then, uh, actually, since we have spoken in person, I have launched a very successful community called social curator, and we create resources for our business owners to show up on social media every day. So, uh, social curator is a resource. It's a membership site where every month you get 30 caption templates to teach you how to write about yourself and your business and build your personal brand.

 

And you also have 30 curated lifestyle photos to make sure that you're joining this social conversation. And then every month we provide a social media marketing plan. So it, and, and I think oftentimes like what we see online are these massive Instagram courses. I have created one too. So no judgment.

 

I'm just saying what happens is you take this course and you have hours and hours of content and you like, oh my gosh, this is so overwhelming. I have all the things to. And social curator is like taking your dreams and breaking them down into bite size action steps every month. So you can actually see growth.

 

You can actually see, uh, you being able to show up the difference that it feels and, and, and makes for you to show up every day on social. Like your proof of it. But you, my friend had got it and ran with it. Social curator is for the people who are like, I'm running in 10,000 different directions.

 

And I don't really know how to show up or I'm not good at photography, or I don't have the money to buy a book and then take a photo and have the time. So what we are is like an ACE in the pocket. And so it's $30 a month. So I always say for $1 a day, that's not even a pound. For $1 a day.

 

It's cheap for us.

 

It is! I'm like I would, I would actually, between us much prefer to say it's 30 pounds, but you know. All I know, you know, for less than a pound a day, will you show up and have those resources?

 

So this has been like, honestly, the happiest marriage, because I am able to take photos, I'm able to write captions. I'm able to write marketing plans. I just feel like. Dear God, everything in my life led me here, all the ups and downs and the trials and the journey brought me here. And it's just so fun and so exciting.

 

And do you know, I am part of social curator. It's a great, great membership. I will link up to it in the show notes. And what I use it for is filling gaps in terms of, okay. I, I wanna plan these things, but I, you know, today I haven't got a picture or today I haven't taken something or got a picture of me, so actually, great.

 

I have this resource that's there. Ready for me. It inspires me with ideas. So it's definitely the captions cause sometimes. It's hard to kind of, there's so much you can say and believe me, I like to talk. And I know you joke about the fact that you like to talk too, but, you know, so it's not like I'm ever short of something set to say, it's just the fact of sometimes I need a bit of inspiration.

 

And then the other thing that I've done, which is really helpful to me is because I like to be so authentic in terms of, I like them to be my image. Being able to see your images and going. That's cool. I think I could recreate that. And you had a great image once.

 

Oh, I love this. I love it.

 

But it's, it does because like you had this image once of this chair with some books on it.

 

And I looked at my chair in my lounge and I thought, God, that's really similar. If I put my books there. And I managed to recreate it. And it was like, and I was so pleased because you'd given me that inspiration, but it was still my stuff, you know? So it was great. So for me, and whether I'm using social curator, the way that you want it to be used, or, you know, but for me it's great.

 

No, no, no. I have to start there. You're using it in my wildest dreams, you are next. You are the next iteration where our current members are. They need to understand it and you got it immediately. And the greatest gift anybody could ever tell me is that social curator is their inspiration. Holy mother of God, if I cannot happy, like happy, amazing. I love you. I could just, I wish I could crawl through the internet and just freaking hug you.

 

We'll save that one for social media marketing world. We'll save. It's gotta be a big hug. There's a lot of time to now.

 

I'm very awkward. I, I hug too long. I do.

 

I love a hug. I kinda hug myself. I'm very touching lady. And sometimes it's like, if you have to shake someone's hand, it's like, oh, this, this isn't quite right.

 

So I'm always straight in for the hug. Always love a hug. Jasmine this has been such a pleasure talking to you. I love talking to you. I loved watching you on stage marketing world. You had this great thing where you said, “I don't talk fast. You listen slow.” And I love that because I talk fast too. So.

 

No we don't, people listen slow. People never listen to this podcast on slow. You know.

 

I, I hope that there's no way anybody can listen to my podcast on a slightly higher speed. They wouldn't keep up. I swear. But Jasmine thank you so, so much, it's been such an honor having you.

 

Thank you.

 

And I can't wait to see you, uh, in social media marketing world in March.

 

Is it March? It is March. Isn't it? Yeah. And catch up with you again then. So thank you so much for being a guest on the podcast.

 

It is an honor. Thank you. I wish you all the best.

 

That was the amazing Jasmine Star. I honestly loved our interview. Please come and give us some love if you enjoyed it and make sure you tag her in.

 

In fact, I haven't told anybody I'm doing the replay, so it'll be quite funny if they suddenly get like tagged in they'd like, did I do a podcast interview? No, it was very long time ago. Maybe it'll inspire them to do another one with me, which I quite like. Anyway, have a lovely rest of your day, whatever you're doing. I hope your manager take some time off this summer. And next week there'll be another replay.