Why Your Business Should Double Down on Video Content

Featured image for episode 37 of Designing Growth, which explains how to incorporate long-form YouTubes into your video content marketing strategy. Image shows a picture of guest Latasha James and podcast host Sam Chlebowski.


While most businesses in 2023 maintain an active presence on social media, and some are even producing short-form videos for platforms like TikTok and Instagram, there’s one platform many brands are surprisingly absent: YouTube.

In episode 37, founder of video content marketing agency James & Park, Latasha James, explains why producing long-form videos for YouTube is one the best ways to supercharge your business’s growth and provides tips for creating a winning video content marketing strategy.

Episode 37 Transcript:

[00:00:00] Sam Chlebowski: This episode, I think, is a perfect case study of like number one: why video content, and especially video content with a longer shelf life on things like YouTube, is important.

[00:00:10] Sam Chlebowski: And then number two: the impact of a personal brand and how building your personal brand can help you grow all sorts of aspects of your business, your career. Tt was just example after example that you were able to share of yeah, this is all inbound. This comes from my YouTube channel, this comes from the content that I am creating.

[00:00:29] Intro Music Plays

[00:00:37] Sam Chlebowski: Happy Thursday everybody, and welcome back to Designing Growth. Sam Chlebowski here, co-founder of Motion.io and host of this podcast. Very excited today to be joining you again for another episode on the podcast. Today we have Latasha James on the show. Latasha is the founder of the marketing agency James & Park, and how I actually came across Latasha is from her YouTube channel where she provides a ton of great information.

[00:01:04] Sam Chlebowski: For entrepreneurs and business owners about social media, about starting a business, about leveraging your content and making use of that to sell a product, sell a service, and I was really excited to sit down with Latasha today to chat about some of this stuff and also hear her story and how she got to where she is now.

[00:01:23] Sam Chlebowski: So Latasha, how are you doing today?

[00:01:25] Latasha James: I’m great. Thank you. Excited to be here.

[00:01:27] Sam Chlebowski: Fantastic. So I always like to start off, you know, most of these episodes with a quick origin story of how you got to where you are now so can you just tell me a little bit about that?

[00:01:39] Latasha James: Yeah, for sure. So I went to school actually for film and at that point thought I wanted to work in the news. Um, was doing a lot of on camera work with that. And I started a YouTube channel just kind of for fun and to like practice some of my. stuff that I was learning in film class and upload my film projects and all of that.

[00:01:58] Latasha James: And I discovered this whole [00:02:00] community, uh, on YouTube. I had no idea people were making money or people were making businesses out of it, but it just looked like something that I wanted to do. So I started a YouTube channel. I was actually back then doing more lifestyle and like beauty content. again, just for fun.

[00:02:14] Latasha James: And that sort of led me down the social media marketing rabbit hole. I just started learning about, you know, SEO for your videos and, the whole sales funnel that was involved. And I actually did a video that was reviewing a. website for content creators. Just for fun. It was like, I don’t know, I just wanted to educate the rest of my small community.

[00:02:37] Latasha James: At that point, there was maybe a couple thousand subscribers that I had, and that actually prompted my first client ever, uh, because one of their competitors of this website that I reviewed. He reached out and he said, Hey, you seem like you know what you’re talking about. Do you wanna start consulting with us?

[00:02:52] Latasha James: And so that kind of just started. Um, you know, I did a little bit of freelancing here and there while I was still going to school. I graduated and I got a job at a Fortune 500. Automotive company. Then I worked in staffing all the while. I was still like maintaining that YouTube channel, still taking on a couple of side hustle clients and in 2018 I decided to go full-time with my business.

[00:03:15] Latasha James: So that’s the condensed version.

[00:03:17] Sam Chlebowski: Very cool.

[00:03:19] Sam Chlebowski: it is, classic story of the side hustle becoming the main gig, and I love that and. out of everybody I’ve talked to who they had, YouTube channel or they’re selling a product, they’re selling a service on the side. The thing that ties everyone together that I’ve known who has launched a successful business out of that, it’s always a. Willingness and a hunger to explore those opportunities. And I think that you see it right there. You had somebody who reached out to you, who wanted to contract you, wanted you to, you know, bring you on for work and you said, let me go do it. Let me, you know, try this out and see how it works. And that, wound up, acting as the launchpad for this amazing business and brand that [00:04:00] you’ve built.

[00:04:00] Latasha James: For sure. I always say there are so many things that I, didn’t know that I’m glad I didn’t know back then because, you know, just, I, I didn’t know. I, I was just like, sure, let me do it. Back then it was so, Skype, I got on a Skype call with this guy. after that I got a blogging gig that was one of my first kinda long-term freelance gigs, and I was literally writing articles for $20 a blog post, and I was like, this is awesome.

[00:04:22] Latasha James: Like, I’m in college, you know, um, this is great. you know, nowadays I wouldn’t charge that price, but I do. I think it’s great to allow you to just kind of explore things, see what you like, see what you’re good at, and, and build a path for yourself that way.

[00:04:35] Sam Chlebowski: and it’s really interesting too, the fact that you were interested in. doing stuff like on the news. were you thinking that you were going to be on like traditional news outlets, things like that?

[00:04:47] Latasha James: Yeah, just take the traditional anchor route. Probably have to move to, you know, just a very small market like, I don’t know, Iowa or somewhere like that. And, work on the news for a little while and. I just started exploring that path and just realizing it wasn’t for me. I really liked my flexibility.

[00:05:04] Latasha James: I also really didn’t wanna have to move, to somewhere where I had no friends or family. So I started to see this path of marketing as being one that was possible and very interesting to me.

[00:05:16] Sam Chlebowski: not to hang out on this too long, but is that kind of like the funnel for many news anchors you move to like a small town or a small community as like the anchor there?

[00:05:26] Latasha James: Yeah, exactly. Yep. You start small, you work your way up. There are different markets, so you know, moving to Detroit would be a big upgrade, but that probably wouldn’t have happened till way later in my career, you know, at least doing a few years in a very small You also don’t get paid very much at all in the beginning.

[00:05:43] Latasha James: Very, very little for probably having to wake up, you know, sometimes at 3:00 AM to do the morning shift. So I mean, it’s a necessary job, don’t get me wrong. I love it. But I think a lot of that training I brought with me to doing on-camera work in my own way.

[00:05:56] Sam Chlebowski: Yeah. In some ways it is the perfect launchpad for [00:06:00] going into, not only creating a YouTube channel, but then going into like content creation. I think that if I had had maybe some of that background in being in front of a camera a little bit more, it would’ve helped me with my content a lot more earlier on.

[00:06:14] Sam Chlebowski: I wanted to, in school, do advertising and I wanted to work for like big advertising firms. And then I found myself in this SaaS space, this startup, technology space some of that, you know, has a lot of ties to what I do now, but in other ways it is totally, totally different.

[00:06:31] Sam Chlebowski: So,

[00:06:31] Sam Chlebowski: your marketing agency, what kind of services are you offering, to your clients

[00:06:36] Latasha James: Primarily it’s video content. That’s really where I specialize. I also work with a lot of SaaS companies actually doing like explainer videos, tutorial videos, demos of their products, as well.

[00:06:49] Latasha James: We create courses for other companies for them to use, either internally or, to sell a course to their audience. So that’s the majority of what I do nowadays. When it first got started, I was focusing a lot more on organic social content. So like creating Instagram posts, running Facebook ads as well.

[00:07:08] Latasha James: But I really have just specialized over the years and in pretty much just video now that lives on the internet in some way.

[00:07:16] Sam Chlebowski: I’ll be honest with you, like video is something that is. Totally new for me with this company. Uh, with the previous company that I worked at, we were doing a ton of organic content, but it was all like blogs, it was social posts, it was advertising, and we were doing some webinars here and there, but like video was not a significant. Part of that. And even to this day, there’s a ton of small businesses, small brands, really leveraging video content. But it does seem like, and I would love your take on this as well, it kind of seems like to me that, other types of businesses, you know, outside of that, you know, other Fortune 500 companies, other publicly traded companies, they have almost some catching up to do when it comes to video.

[00:07:57] Sam Chlebowski: Why do you think video [00:08:00] is working and do you think that it is something that every company should be doing?

[00:08:04] Latasha James: Yeah, well, it definitely works I can say like as my own case study, pretty much all of my leads come from YouTube for both sides of the business. both the agency and the online education. Pretty much everything comes from YouTube. Um, a little bit of organic search. I don’t run ads. Like I’ve probably run less than $500 in ads total for the duration of my business.

[00:08:25] Latasha James: So it’s pretty much all organic video. and I see the same for clients. It takes some time. it’s an investment. It doesn’t happen overnight. You know, uploading a YouTube video, you’re probably not gonna see a flood of leads come in the next day. But a year from now, you’re gonna be really happy you did it.

[00:08:39] Latasha James: And I see that pattern with my clients as well. I think most businesses should be on. I’m sure there’s, there’s, a business out there that maybe doesn’t need video, if you already have an existing funnel that’s working really well, that’s not costing you a lot. Sure. Like, keep doing it because video is, it’s resource heavy.

[00:08:56] Latasha James: it takes time to create, it takes energy. You’ve gotta have a person who’s willing to be on camera. unless I guess you’re doing, you know, a voiceover or something like that, but I’ve found that really humanizing the brand with a face of the brand really. Is pretty essential for most businesses.

[00:09:13] Latasha James: So you need to either have a content creator or have a, co-founder or CEO who’s willing to get on camera, which not all of us have. I think if you have those building blocks in place, it’s a worthwhile investment to at least test out, give it a year or so to create content.

[00:09:26] Latasha James: But to your point, I do think that there is a lot of catching up to do for a lot of companies, and I think that’s why, it doesn’t have that. Flashy, you know, TikTok or Instagram reel or Facebook ad number where we can get that instant kind of ROI for it, or at least that instant metric of, hey, this many people liked our post It doesn’t quite work that same way in most cases, at least for long form video. It’s kind of more of a long game, and that’s hard. I get it. Being patient is hard.

[00:09:55] Sam Chlebowski: Yeah, and I think the metrics part that you called out specifically, I think is something [00:10:00] that a lot of companies with existing businesses with existing revenue coming in really struggle with. even as a founder, I look at it, when we had started our content strategy and we were planning things, it’s like, how do we track the value?

[00:10:13] Sam Chlebowski: Because like at some level, these metrics are super important, to us and it’s like, okay, we’re posting a YouTube video, but how do we know if this was worth doing? And you don’t have that instant feedback. And I think it comes down to like hunting for things that you can tie. To meaningful metrics.

[00:10:30] Sam Chlebowski: at the end of the day, we got this much engagement, we got this many views on a YouTube video. after a while you can start to understand, hey, if we get this level of engagement, here’s how many leads, here’s how many trial setups, how many customers we could realistically expect, and that’s how we’ve done it.

[00:10:45] Sam Chlebowski: but I don’t know if, you’ve found a better way to do that.

[00:10:48] Latasha James: Yeah, for sure. I’m actually deep in an analytics project. I hired an analytics person to help me get my, Google Analytics all working properly. and one of the things that we’re seeing is, you know, we’re able to track all the way through to figure out where these sales are coming which, like I said, they’re mostly coming from organic video, aka YouTube.

[00:11:09] Latasha James: But prior to getting that direct tie-in what I was doing and what I still do is I have a lead magnet in my YouTube description, and that lead magnet has built my email list over 30,000, um, just organically for free. I barely even talk about it. It’s just there in the description box. So for me it’s like, what is the value of a lead?

[00:11:30] Latasha James: You know, what is the value of an email? I mean, in this world, it’s worth a lot to me, of somebody who’s gonna hang on. Beyond my newsletter, I send out two newsletters a week. so that’s really all of my digital product sales and a lot of the service sales, service bookings as well, come from there.

[00:11:46] Latasha James: So I think it’s finding that thing that you can tie directly to and get people to click on so it becomes something that you can measure, whether that’s an email, sign up, a trial, or even just a landing page on your website that you can then track in [00:12:00] GA or whatever analytics tool.

[00:12:01] Sam Chlebowski: Yeah. Yeah. Very, very impressive. Especially two newsletters a week. Wow. That is a lot of work. Do you have any strategies that you’re using to make that content creation more efficient?

[00:12:11] Latasha James: I was terrible about email probably a year ago. I was terrible at it. I was like, at that point, I had a list of, you know, 15,000 and I was not doing anything with it, which is not a smart thing. Don’t do that. Um, don’t build an email list. Just have them sit there. And so I thought, okay, let me start by just repurposing YouTube videos.

[00:12:29] Latasha James: Let me go back to some of my top performing YouTube videos. I don’t know if you’ve heard of the tool Descript before.

[00:12:34] Sam Chlebowski: Use it every day.

[00:12:36] Sam Chlebowski: Love it. Yeah.

[00:12:37] Latasha James: So I would just upload them into Descript, get that transcript, clean it up a little bit, pull out some key points, some big takeaways, and use those as like evergreen newsletter content.

[00:12:48] Latasha James: And then at the bottom, I could just add my new video for the week, or a product that I wanted to highlight. So I did that for a long time. Now I almost use it as a blog. I use it as like a behind the business kind of. Uh, I used to write blogs back in the day. I don’t have one anymore. So I just kind of update, my audience on what’s going on in the business.

[00:13:06] Latasha James: Give them a little behind the scenes and then share, this is really important is share my new video pretty much as soon as it comes out, because that first little bit of time after your video’s released is what? It sends those messages to the YouTube algorithm. People are interested in this, show it to more people.

[00:13:22] Latasha James: So, I try to get as many eyeballs on it in the first hour or so as I can. So I send that newsletter out to go along with my two YouTube videos a week.

[00:13:30] Sam Chlebowski: I absolutely love this strategy The part of you using sort of the newsletter as like that behind the scenes, here’s what’s going on in my business. And then pushing out, your newest YouTube video of course. But I love the idea of using the newsletter for that kind of purpose.

[00:13:47] Sam Chlebowski: I think that that’s something that. Is a really great opportunity. and I even think about it now, I’m like, oh, that would be really cool for us to do, because I think it’s all about, you know, connection and giving people who they’ve been generous enough to give you their [00:14:00] email, to let you send them, information and they’re interested in hearing from you.

[00:14:04] Sam Chlebowski: Like, they want to hear the nitty gritty behind the scenes details. And I think in a day where a lot of businesses out there aren’t doing like a traditional blog as much. Your newsletter can be a really great opportunity for that. How did you come up with that idea?

[00:14:17] Latasha James: Yeah, I definitely didn’t run out of videos to repurpose cause I have over 500 videos on my channel. But I ran out of videos that I really wanted to repurpose and I actually, I was at a conference, uh, a year or so ago and I got some really good takeaways from that conference and I wanted to share them.

[00:14:34] Latasha James: So I was like, okay, I could do like an Instagram post or an Instagram story, but I wanna do a blog, but I don’t have a blog anymore. So I just, I was like, let me send this out to my newsletter instead. And people responded really well To that kind of direct, just to you, Hey, I just went to this conference, I learned this thing.

[00:14:49] Latasha James: I wanted to share it with you. You’re kind of getting the inside, view of things. People responded really well, so, I kept doing it and it’s, it’s pretty easy. Like I have my routine on Mondays and Fridays of blocking off 30 minutes to write that newsletter, and it also gives me a little bit of time to kind of reflect on what’s going on in the business too.

[00:15:06] Sam Chlebowski: Amazing and Descript as well – that is like my all-time favorite tool right now, honestly. Another startup I’d worked for we were partnered with them doing a lot of stuff with their content team and co-marketing with them.

[00:15:19] Sam Chlebowski: And I started using the tool and just like fell in love with it. Do you use Descript for all of your editing or just some of the stuff that you’re sending out?

[00:15:27] Latasha James: I pretty much just use it for repurposing. So I use Final Cut Pro for my main YouTube video editor, and then I’ll upload it into to script for the captions. So I download the SRT file. From there, I take the transcript and I’ll usually cut pieces of that for social content or newsletter content, like I mentioned.

[00:15:46] Latasha James: Then I also cut clips out of it in Descript and caption my Instagram reels for all the things that we need to create for nowadays. I pull that all into Descript.

[00:15:58] Sam Chlebowski: To circle back on the [00:16:00] YouTube content creation aspect, because, you know, I do think that while there are brands now, SaaS companies, small businesses, all types of businesses using, video content, and maybe they’re posting on Instagram, maybe they’re posting on TikTok, Still not doing like traditional long form, I guess you could call it long form YouTube videos. If I were a business and I wanted to grow a YouTube channel, I decided that we had the resources, we had all of the people that we wanted to produce this video content.

[00:16:31] Sam Chlebowski: What would be your tips? For starting that channel, like what kind of content would you recommend producing? How would you suggest getting that content in front of viewers? what would be your maybe top three strategies for starting a YouTube channel for a business in 2023?

[00:16:46] Latasha James: The big thing is consistency. You wanna make sure that you choose a content type that you’re able to do consistently. And so I think that something like this, a podcast that maybe, um, how often do you do the show? Weekly or,

[00:17:01] Sam Chlebowski: Yeah, every single week.

[00:17:03] Latasha James: Yep. I think that is a great thing, a great excuse to, just record video alongside it and throw it up on YouTube.

[00:17:10] Latasha James: and then you’re killing two birds with one stone as well, cuz you get audio content out of it and you’re able to repurpose this down into short form as well. So I think that’s a, great thing to think about is what can you do consistently? because that’s a big thing. That’s a big issue is people get kind of creator burnout is they’re like, okay, I did my top five videos, my five video ideas and now I have nothing else to, you know, record and I’m out of ideas.

[00:17:34] Latasha James: But if you bring on guests, you constantly have new content to pull from and new perspectives and all of that. so that’s a great thing to do. Another thing I recommend is just looking at your. FAQs, looking at the messages that you’re getting if it’s about your products specifically, most SaaS companies have some type of an faq, so go through, use each of those FAQs as a video topic, and just make your way through those.

[00:17:59] Latasha James: Kind [00:18:00] of similar to how I went through my videos and started repurposing them into newsletters, repurpose your questions into individual videos. I also think it’s really smart especially for sass to have a tutorial, an in-depth tutorial on your YouTube channel, if nothing else.

[00:18:13] Latasha James: Because what I’ve learned with working with SaaS companies, if you don’t have it on your channel, somebody else does or somebody else will, and you probably want to kind of own that narrative, be able to share your links and get people to get that information directly from the source because customers today, Expect that, like they expect to be able to get help or to be able to get training on your tool, directly from you.

[00:18:33] Latasha James: So, that’s kind of where I would start.

[00:18:35] Sam Chlebowski: amazing advice specifically the tutorials that. Something I have just started to work on with what we’re doing at Motion.io. Holy cow, YouTube is so much work. I don’t know how people like yourself make it look so effortless. then I think for a second I’m like, okay.

[00:18:51] Sam Chlebowski: The thing is, none of this was effortless. It’s just you have been doing this for years. You’ve gotten better, you’ve gotten faster, you know, like the video editing techniques and all of that stuff. Another question I have for you too, and it’s something that honestly, I’ll be real with you for a second. I’ve really been struggling with is personal branding.

[00:19:11] Sam Chlebowski: And I know that this is something that you’ve put out a couple of videos on, a couple videos I’ve actually watched. One of the hardest things I think for me is I have my personal Instagram account, I have my personal TikTok account, then I have my business side and I am very naturally apprehensive to start posting anything on there about what I’m doing at my company. I’m very proud of what we’re doing.

[00:19:33] Sam Chlebowski: I’m very happy to be building this company, but at the same time I feel like these people that I have these existing connections with on those platforms are gonna be like, why is Sam posting this? Like this is embarrassing for him, even though it’s not embarrassing, but it’s just like I struggle with that idea of using those accounts that I’ve already built that have all of my like family and friends on them to promote my business.

[00:19:54] Sam Chlebowski: Could you talk a little bit about how you think about that and maybe even [00:20:00] just tips for me to get over this sort of apprehension that I have.

[00:20:04] Latasha James: Yeah, well, I felt the same way when I was first starting out, back when I was in college side hustle and doing my YouTube. First of all, I didn’t tell my YouTube channel, I didn’t tell anybody about my YouTube channel until I was like, you know, way out of school. Like I was, you know, it was years before people discovered it.

[00:20:20] Latasha James: So I, definitely empathize. I understand that. but, Those people care about you. Everybody who found out about it, they were like, oh my gosh, this is so cool. This is amazing. And those are the people who started asking me questions and, encouraging me to share more. So it’s like those people care about you.

[00:20:36] Latasha James: They wanna know what you’re doing. And I think there’s a way to obviously share what you’re doing, without hitting people over the head with it and selling necessarily. You’re just sharing an update. one thing that’s worked well for me too is just being able to do it in a more. Personal way.

[00:20:50] Latasha James: So I have a series on my YouTube channel called A Week in My Business where I do like flogs. Um, I do daily vlogs and just kind of share the behind the scenes of the business. And they’re like the cult favorite of my channel. Like they’re the videos that, you know, my mom comments on and my friends from college.

[00:21:06] Latasha James: And also just like the OGs, if you will, of my YouTube community, people who’ve been following me for a long time. And so I’m talking about my business, I’m sharing new launches, things that are going on, podcasts that I’m on, but it’s in such a friendly, approachable way. And I know like Day in the Life videos are very popular on TikTok as well.

[00:21:24] Latasha James: So for you, maybe it’s day in the life of a SaaS founder, I would watch that. Like I’m sure your friends would wanna see that doing it in, just an approachable, friendly way that’s not just like, Hey, come look at my, my website. You know, still making it entertaining and, and human.

[00:21:39] Sam Chlebowski: That’s a great idea. And that type of content feels a lot more comfortable for me as well we have these business pages for, what we’re doing and the product we’re building, but on the same time, like this is about me, these are my personal accounts.

[00:21:50] Sam Chlebowski: this is what I’m doing in my day-to-day life. me, the person that you follow, your friend, your family member, Sam. I love that. That is such [00:22:00] amazing advice. And I think Other business owners out there who are listening to the show, and have some of that apprehension of building that personal brand on some of these existing accounts they have.

[00:22:08] Sam Chlebowski: It’s invaluable advice, thank you. Yeah. That’s really, really helpful.

[00:22:13] Latasha James: Yeah, I’ll look out for a day in the life soon.

[00:22:15] Latasha James: The challenge is on.

[00:22:16] Sam Chlebowski: That content will be coming at you really soon, so love it. Love it. So with video, and when it comes to repurposing video content, are you using your clips from your YouTube videos? Are you sending that out everywhere or are you just picking a couple channels? where do you mainly see the value of sending that video content out?

[00:22:38] Latasha James: I think this definitely comes down to audience. Uh, for me, my audience, I think it’s valuable for me to post onto Instagram, TikTok and LinkedIn. I don’t post every single clip onto LinkedIn just because I think the shelf-life LinkedIn is a little bit longer than the others. The other platforms move super fast, whereas LinkedIn, it’s like, I get comments on stuff I posted two weeks ago still.

[00:23:01] Latasha James: So I, pick and choose. also it’s a little bit of a different audience on LinkedIn for me, that’s more agency side, whereas Instagram, TikTok are more, course side. So not all of the clips are relevant for both audiences, so I pick and choose. but those are the, you know, shorter forms, social platforms that I tend to focus on.

[00:23:17] Sam Chlebowski: And that’s something I’ve noticed about LinkedIn too. funny, post something on like a Friday afternoon, which traditionally like, not a great time. For business content to perform well and then I look at our company LinkedIn page Monday or Tuesday and it’s had all of these comments over the weekend.

[00:23:33] Sam Chlebowski: I’m like, this is bizarre.

[00:23:35] Latasha James: Yeah, it’s weird that way. experienced that too, or just like old content. but it’s cool. Like, that’s one of the reasons I do like LinkedIn because I don’t think it requires so much of us like Twitter. I mean, I love Twitter. That was my favorite social platform for a long time, but it’s like you really have to be tweeting all day long up a profile there, and I don’t have time for that, so I just don’t.

[00:23:56] Sam Chlebowski: Yeah, and it seems like with Twitter for some people it becomes [00:24:00] so naturally to them, they have a thought. They’re like, this is a tweet where for me, anything that I post, I have to really think through, or I have to have that content in place already. And Twitter’s just not super conducive to that.

[00:24:12] Sam Chlebowski: What I do right now for our Twitter is I just use repurpose.io to send any videos that I’ve posted, write to that

[00:24:19] Latasha James: For sure.

[00:24:21] Sam Chlebowski: I wanted to talk a little bit about the. In-depth side of your marketing agency, James & Park. And I wanted to ask a couple of questions specifically about how you’re running that,

[00:24:31] Sam Chlebowski: could you walk me through like what your client experience looks like from, okay, new inquiry comes in to project is completed, could you walk me through what that process looks like and what tools you’re using?

[00:24:44] Latasha James: it’s a little bit different, depending on the project and the season, I’ll be honest with you. But, you know, inquiry comes in, um, discovery call. I like to always start with an intro call, so that’s how I book. I do an intake form as well. I think this is really helpful. Forms are complex in that you want some information but you don’t want too much information. So I try to keep it to just the essentials. But, one question that I personally ask is budget on the inquiry form.

[00:25:08] Latasha James: So that way when I’m going on to discovery calls, I have good recommendations. I’m not gonna be recommending this on the moon and the stars on, a very low budget and vice versa. Then we do the discovery call. I send over proposal. I actually send over proposals manually.

[00:25:23] Latasha James: and I have a template that I use that’s a Canva template actually for the proposal, like a proposal deck. Once I get an email agreement, then I send over a contract, invoice, all that stuff through HoneyBook.

[00:25:39] Latasha James: Again, this is where things get a little wonky. It really depends on the project.

[00:25:42] Latasha James: If it’s something in depth, like a course that I’m creating, that’s probably gonna be like an Asana board that I’m adding a client onto where we can communicate back and forth. for other clients, if it’s just kind of like a one-off video, that might be just getting access to a Google Drive folder for them to drop content into or me to drop drafts into.

[00:25:59] Latasha James: It [00:26:00] really depends. But that’s pretty much the booking process.

[00:26:03] Sam Chlebowski: Very cool, very streamlined. I like it. And for your proposals. are you doing basically all like custom quotes for people, when they say that they’re interested in working with you?

[00:26:13] Latasha James: these days. Yes. Again, when I was doing more social media management, full on social media management packages, ad packages, those would be like plug and play. Um, but now it’s usually pretty custom.

[00:26:26] Sam Chlebowski: sounds like you have things very well dialed at this point. How many clients are you typically working with, at a single time?

[00:26:32] Latasha James: Just a handful. right now I am working on three different projects. it’ll soon be two. I’m wrapping up a project right now. so really like two projects at once is where I max out.

[00:26:45] Sam Chlebowski: It sounds like they’re probably more in depth, bigger projects too. So it’s probably more work than you even need if you’re taking on like multiple at a time.

[00:26:54] Latasha James: For sure. Usually the projects I work on are like anywhere from three to six months at a time. I do have some kind of ongoing clients that I’ve worked with on more consulting basis. Like I’ll meet with them once a month for consulting, things like that. but for the bigger video projects, we’re usually working on things for like three to six months at a time and they’re pretty, pretty in depth, so,

[00:27:14] Sam Chlebowski: Amazing. So just a couple of last questions before we end things here. one question that I wanted to ask was, within the last year in your business, what was the biggest challenge? That you’ve had to overcome.

[00:27:26] Latasha James: I, I teach people against this all the time, but I still overcommit. I mean, I know I just put up a good show of saying yeah, only two clients out once, but like, I mean, yeah, I only have two video clients video projects that I’m working on right now, but I’m also like, Doing a hosting thing and not to mention all of the.

[00:27:43] Latasha James: Content and the courses and the things that I’m doing as well. So I love what I do. I get really passionate about helping people and making things happen, and creating things. So it’s very easy for me to be like, oh my gosh, let me work on this project. It sounds so fun. and then I end up burning out.

[00:27:58] Latasha James: So I would say [00:28:00] pacing yourself and setting realistic deadlines, is definitely a, art in this world, that I still am figuring out how to master.

[00:28:07] Sam Chlebowski: If there is one sort of curse of the entrepreneur out there, I think that it is probably just, that is overcommitting. It is something that, oh my gosh, I struggle with so much. Just because when you are a person that got your start and got to where you are now, like going all the way back to the beginning of this episode by finding an opportunity that doesn’t.

[00:28:29] Sam Chlebowski: Go away. Once that works one time, you immediately see all of these opportunities swirling around your head and it’s like I have to go chase them all. There’s no other option besides for me to chase all of these all at once.

[00:28:44] Latasha James: Yep, for sure. I mean, I still will randomly like find myself, I get, sometimes I’ll get like an email from Upwork or something and I’ll be like, oh, let me just click on that. Why am I clicking on the Upwork gig? You don’t need the Upwork gig. Like, stop, stay away. Or like LinkedIn, I’ll just find myself browsing jobs.

[00:28:59] Latasha James: I’m like, I’m just curious. And it’s like, no, you do not need to be hunting for opportunities. You have enough of them right now. take a break. take a chill pill.

[00:29:07] Sam Chlebowski: Yeah, and probably a backlog of opportunities that you can still explore. Right.

[00:29:12] Latasha James: For sure. Yeah. Shopping your inbox is a really great tip.

[00:29:15] Sam Chlebowski: And what do you mean by that?

[00:29:16] Latasha James: Yeah, shopping your inbox is going back, following up with any connections that you’ve made that have maybe just kind of fallen flat. So maybe discovery calls that you had that went well, but they just never responded to a proposal or, um, you know, people who you’ve worked with in the past that you enjoyed working with for a one-off project, but you wanna circle back and say, Hey, uh, do you have any other projects coming up?

[00:29:36] Latasha James: That was something that I did in 2020. When everything was very uncertain, when everything first started like shutting down, I was like, I don’t know what’s going on. Am I gonna lose all my clients? So I went back to my inbox and I just scrolled through for the past year to see, and I was able to find a bunch of opportunities, just by doing that.

[00:29:54] Latasha James: So highly recommend it cuz there’s so many little connections that we have that we just forget about throughout the year and don’t have [00:30:00] time to take action on, in the moment.

[00:30:02] Sam Chlebowski: Amazing advice. Yeah. Something I’ve always said. and you know, it’s probably should be tattooed on my chest by now, but, the fortune is in the follow up. And I think shopping your inbox is a great, uh, example of that and how you can leverage that and really make it work that’s like, the perfect case study for why that kind of follow up work is so important.

[00:30:20] Latasha James: for sure. Agreed.

[00:30:21] Sam Chlebowski: You have, started doing a lot more of like speaking and events.

[00:30:25] Sam Chlebowski: could you talk to me about how that started and what are you

[00:30:29] Latasha James: Yeah. So, it definitely stopped like over 2020. I was doing some before that then, you know, everything happened. So, feel like this year things are back in full swing. Like I’ve been being booked for a lot of different things, and I’ll be honest with you, come in through YouTube again.

[00:30:45] Latasha James: That’s how people find me is, is YouTube. Pretty much everything that I’ve ever done, has been inbound. I haven’t really pitched myself to speak anywhere. just been through YouTube, a great personal branding tool. And the funny thing is I am actually very shy.

[00:30:59] Sam Chlebowski: I would’ve

[00:30:59] Latasha James: Yeah, very shy.

[00:31:01] Latasha James: So it’s very funny that this is what I’m doing these days. But yeah, I go to, it just depends on the event, but like I just spoke at a conference for the hospitality industry, so just speaking about how they can use video marketing in their businesses, I was at Social Media Marketing World Earlier this year, and I talked all about repurposing content there as well to other marketers. So yeah, it’s a great way to build your brands, network, just meet other people and get that energy. It’s a good time.

[00:31:32] Sam Chlebowski: What a cool opportunity Especially too, it’s all like inbound. You’re not trying to get these speaking gigs. They’re just like coming to you. If anything, this episode, I think is a perfect case study of number one. Why video content and especially video content with a longer shelf life on things like YouTube is important.

[00:31:51] Sam Chlebowski: And then number two, the impact of a personal brand and how building your personal brand can help you grow all sorts of aspects of your [00:32:00] business, your career. it was just example after example that you were able to share of yeah, this is all inbound. This comes from my YouTube channel, this comes from the content that I am creating.

[00:32:10] Sam Chlebowski: Very inspiring for me and it pushes me to keep going and get, better at my content and get more repetition in there because I gotta say, it is hard. It is really hard and time consuming to produce video content and it feels like there’s always something that I have to learn.

[00:32:28] Sam Chlebowski: So thank you, first of all, for the

[00:32:30] Latasha James: Yeah,

[00:32:31] Latasha James: absolutely. And I agree, getting those reps in is important. I, something else that I can encourage people to do is start a co-working group or join one. I do co-working and my group every Tuesday where we edit videos together. And that really helps to just have that accountability for it.

[00:32:46] Latasha James: Uh, so even if you’re just like finding a freelance friend or fellow founder friend that you can meet up with coffee and work on video content together. It really helps encourage you to get those reps in.

[00:32:55] Sam Chlebowski: two final questions before we wrap things up here, Latasha, and thank you so much again for your time, your expertise, the advice you’ve shared — absolutely phenomenal. And you know, to be able to sit down with somebody as experienced as you in this realm and hear from you, hear what you’re doing here, what you think works.

[00:33:13] Sam Chlebowski: So for our two final questions, the first one is if people want to find out more about you and the work that you are doing, where should they go?

[00:33:20] Latasha James: Latashajames.com has links to everything you’ll need.

[00:33:23] Sam Chlebowski: Latashajames.com. Perfect. And we will put a link to Latasha’s website in the show notes of this episode. Then for our final question here, Latasha, when you are not working, when you are not producing content you’re not working with clients, what do you like to do?

[00:33:39] Sam Chlebowski: How do you like to spend your time?

[00:33:40] Latasha James: I like to be in nature as much as possible. I actually just booked a little creative retreat. I’m not a camper, but I’m a glamp, so I’ll do like, uh, you know, one of those little. Cabins or a nice safari tent or something like that. I live in Michigan, it’s a very beautiful state.

[00:33:57] Latasha James: I love going to Lake Michigan and just being by the water [00:34:00] and literally touching grass. It’s very helpful for people who are creative or entrepreneurial to just unplug, get somewhere where there isn’t internet. It does wonders. So highly recommend it.

[00:34:11] Sam Chlebowski: thank you so much, Latasha. This has been a phenomenal chat. And yeah, like I said, we will put links to Latasha’s website in the show notes of this episode. Until next time, everybody. My name is Chlebowski, host of the Designing Growth Podcast. If you liked this episode, it would mean the world to us if you went to Apple or Spotify and gave us a five star review.

[00:34:32] Sam Chlebowski: Until next time. Have fun, good luck and go crush it. Take care of everybody. Bye-bye.

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