Latasha James – How To Build an Online Presence for Your Business | The Journey

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– Welcome to a special edition of The Journey where we're joined by Latasha James. She's a marketing strategist, digital content creator and freelance business coach. And we wanna sit down and ask her about her business and what she does to keep building on it. – Awesome, thanks so much for having me. I'm Latasha and I am a freelance social media manager, turned content creator, and online educator. I help primarily social media managers learn the ins and outs of becoming a freelancer and really maximizing their businesses. – That's awesome. I'm personally super excited to talk to you 'cause I not only work at GoDaddy, but I freelance on my own with my web design stuff. So anything social media and just connecting with customers. I love to learn because it just helps me with my business.

But I'd really loved to know, like, what is the day in the life for you? What is the start to finish look like? And does it change? – It absolutely changes. That's such a loaded question because it really is different day to day. You know, I try to kind of batch out my weeks. So I'll have maybe Mondays are what I call my CEO days where I'm pretty much just working on like in the business, you know, planning what's coming up for content, for client work, things like that. They're pretty meeting free, pretty quiet. And then Tuesdays and Thursdays are usually either client meeting days or content creation days. So I'm batching out content, doing research for clients, doing research for my own videos. And usually on Wednesdays, those are kind of my batch YouTube days where I'm doing a lot of my own production, setting up the camera and trying to try to shoot as many videos at a time as I can. – As most people you started in the corporate world, but what motivated you to actually quit and just do your own thing? – Yeah, so I kind of have like this hybrid freelancing career really because I started freelancing when I was in college actually before corporate.

And that was just to really supplement my income in college. I was working retail at the time and just to kind of like dabble. I think when you're that age you don't fully know what you wanna do. And so I wanted exposure to some different, you know, different industries and that's where I started freelancing just kind of side hustling. And that kind of followed me throughout corporate. You know, when I graduated, I did get a full-time job in corporate marketing. I worked for a couple of different Fortune 500 companies and really loved that experience there.

But I still was always side hustling just because I kept, you know, kept clients throughout college. And it got to a point where my business really was, you know, I was making a full-time income from my business. A small full-time income, but it was still a full-time income in addition to my full-time job. And I think I just kind of reached a crossroads where I had to make a decision because I was turning people down and I was, you know, missing opportunities, freelance opportunities and just also very stressed. It's not super sustainable to work that way for an extended amount of time. So that's kind of how I made the decision – Looking through your YouTube history. You didn't start out making this awesome marketing type of content. You started off with the beauty and makeup type of content.

When did you really shift gears to focus on that entrepreneurial content, what changes do you see because of it? – Yeah, so, I mean, I just started a YouTube channel for fun. Honestly. I was like, oh, this looks cool. Like, I don't know. So yeah, it was very much just like a personal video blog, a lot of beauty tutorials, fashion, stuff like that. And over the years, really, I guess it was, after I graduated college and I moved out here where I am now to Detroit and I just started doing more blogs really just because I was busy and that was the easiest content to create. And so people would naturally ask like, okay, what is your job? What is the job that you're going to? And you're talking about clients that you have after work. Tell me more about this. And it just kind of, yeah, I just kind of started answering their questions and I actually tested a series called Freelance Friday and my podcast is now called Freelance Friday.

So it, it worked spoiler alert, but I tested this YouTube series called Freelance Friday. And I was like, I'm just going to answer all their freelancing questions. And that was definitely the most, it didn't perform, you know, it wasn't explosive in terms of views but it was the most engaged with content that I had posted in so long. I mean, I just got questions upon questions, upon questions and Instagram, DMs and everything. And I was like, okay, people really are hungry for this content. I thought they would think it was boring but they really liked it. – Now to those watching the video, and they're wanting to start their own podcast or even a YouTube channel, what advice would you give them? What are the first things that they should start doing? – My biggest piece of advice is to start.

Just start really and truly, I mean, as you saw from your deep dive into my YouTube channel I mean the quality was very different and you can go back and look, you can sort, you know, oldest to newest on my channel. And the quality is very different. I cringe at the sound quality of my old videos. You know, it was just completely different and that's okay. I still have people who have followed along that entire journey.

And of course there's gonna be people who leave and come and go, but just getting warmed up and getting used to the process of creation, I think is really the hardest part and kind of immersing yourself in that. So start with the technology that you have now. I started on a point and shoot, like old school. I mean, like circa 2005 point and shoot digital camera. That was my first camera I used. Now we have Iphones and pixels and all of these like amazing smartphones, start with that. – You talked about your online courses. I know you have five courses available on your website. I really would love to know like, what has worked with your online courses and what hasn't worked? – So what has worked is really honing in on that core audience. I use my YouTube data a lot. YouTube analytics are incredible. You can get really, really deep and see what people are searching for, what other videos people are watching. And my data was telling me people want social media management content. And so I had tried to kind of do other things, dabble in other things. And it's not to say that that will never work or that I'll never do that again.

But just based on my analytics, I was seeing that people are really, really looking for kind of a deep dive into social media management. And like I said, that's kind of where my my newest course The Accelerator came in is that I felt like there was a lot of content out there that kind of scratched the surface or that gave you, maybe even was an in-depth self-paced course but there wasn't a lot that was very hands-on and having access to a live instructor and things like that. So I sort of just tried to fill in that gap based on my analytics. And then I guess what didn't work is just kind of doing things that you wanna do. I mean, I think that's content in general. Is just kind of being like, oh yeah, I think this would be a fun course to create without doing that proper research ahead of time.

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So it's both looking at your data. I mean, numbers don't lie, data doesn't lie. But also like doing market research and interviewing people who might be interested in the course beta testing. That's another step that's really important too. I try for all my courses. Like it didn't really do it for The Accelerator since it's a live course, it's kind of hard to beta test. But for all of all of my other courses, I'll have a small group of people, maybe their one-on-one coaching clients or people who, you know, are in my network. If you will, I'll have them test the course first, give me reviews, and improve it based on their feedback. – With, all of this content creation, everything you do with your business, what tools would you recommend? We'll say someone either just starting or have been doing this a little bit with their courses, their YouTube videos, their podcast. I know that's a lot, but condense it down top five or something. – Okay, well, I mean, honestly, I'm not just saying this because I'm talking to you, but GoDaddy, seriously.

I think having like domain names for each of my courses has really helped. So like the social media management accelerator one that's along thing to like, remember. So I go on GoDaddy and I'll buy like "" and just do a redirect to my courses. You don't have to build out a full website necessarily just using those little kind of, I guess maybe you would call them vanity domains if you will, to yeah, they're so helpful. I mean, I have that for like all of my courses, I have for my YouTube channel, things like that just to make things really easy for people to remember. For actually hosting my courses, I use Thinkific. I just find it to be really easy to use. And I've been with them for a long time. They do have a free tier too. So if you're just kind of similar to what my advice for YouTube, if you're just sort of thinking of launching a course and you don't need to go all in and spend hundreds of dollars on memberships to, you know, expensive course sites – But you obviously have done really well with your business.

You generate lots of different income streams. And one of that is through sponsorships. What advice would you give a small creator when it comes to you reaching out to a sponsors or potentially getting new sponsors for their own channels? – Yeah, so one great tip that I have is make your email address accessible. I actually used to work one of my first freelancing gigs was on the influencer marketing side, on the brand side. And it's amazing how many content creators, it's so hard to just find a way to contact them. So make sure that you do have your email address in, you know, in your bio link on Instagram, there's like the buttons that you can add or on YouTube, there's a section for your email address in your about section or at the very least have a website that has a contact box on there.

That's number one, because there were so many brands out there who probably wanna work with you and just can't get ahold of you. And then I would also say be picky. Be picky in the sense that, you know, only work with brands that are really going to align with your message and that is gonna help your audience. I mean, that's kind of my barrier to entry there.

Is like, how is this content that I'm co-creating with this brand going to bring value to my audience? And if I can't answer that, it's probably not a good collaboration. – My last question here for you is if you had to start your your business, your ventures right now but knowing everything you know today, what would you do first? What equipment would you have? What processes would you kinda do? What tools would you use? Where would you start? – Honestly, my best tip for this is actually not really related to a tool or resource or anything like that, it's about your finances and knowing your numbers.

I am a big believer. I think I said it earlier, that data really doesn't lie and data's how you make decisions. So even if you just have a very simple spreadsheet that kind of breaks out each of your revenue streams, each of your products that you have, so you can get a good pulse on what is performing the best at any given time. That's how you decide what to scale. Again, that's how I decided to create a more in depth course on social media management because my other social media management courses were far outperforming the other ones. So it helps me, you know, kind of stay in my lane and make sure that I am doing what is being demanded, you know, what my clients are asking for. So that's really my first tip in regards to that. And then I guess in terms of equipment and things that I love, again, start with what you have, scale as you go. And for me, my biggest investments really have been in lenses for cameras.

So a lot of people think that you need to have the fanciest biggest camera. And I use like a pretty consumer grade DSLR. It's nothing too fancy but I do invest in the glass or the lenses. So I really like the Sigma art lenses personally, but those are the things that are really gonna take your video quality from, you know, kind of like "meh" normal to looking really, really good. – What's next for you? What are you working on right now? What's coming down the pipeline that you'd love to share. – The Accelerator 2.0 is coming in September. So I'm really excited about that. We'll have our second cohort for the social media management accelerator. That's really where I'm putting my focus right now for the next few months, just leading up to that launch.

I'm also launching a fun, kind of like a fun passion project for me aimed at coaches and social media coaches and other coaches. I can't really, really spill the beans on that one quite yet but I'll definitely be sharing it on my YouTube channels also. – Groovy, well, I mean, good segue. Where can people find more about you? – Yeah, "" has links to everything, my podcast, my YouTube channel, my Instagram, those are kind of the places that I hang out the most. And yeah, in social I'm at "thelatashajames" – All right, that's a wrap. We just had an awesome conversation with Latasha James. Thank you again for being on the show but your journey does not have to end here. We have over 200 episodes for you to watch. Be sure to like, comment, subscribe. Thanks for watching.

This is The Journey.


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