SHOW NOTES

Let’s chat about organic marketing today my friends.

I’ve seen countless entrepreneurs struggling to break ground organically and find success, who are convinced that the algorithm is a monster out to get them.

In reality, they just haven’t nailed down the right organic content marketing strategy yet.

In today’s episode of the Not For Lazy Marketers Podcast I am SO excited to be joined by my friend and organic marketing Queen, Jessica Stansberry!

Jessica is spilling ALL the tea on how to crack the organic marketing code including how to master the Instagram algorithm monster, bossing up your SEO ranking, the biggest organic marketing mistakes to avoid, and more!

Tune in to learn how to INSTANTLY improve your content marketing.

If you loved today’s episode, share your biggest organic marketing takeaways with me over on Instagram (@emilyhirsh)!

 

Learn more about Jessica:

Jessica Stansberry helps burnt-out service providers and struggling newbie ‘preneurs ditch clients so they can make more money, and have more freedom, with passive income. 

If you’ve ever wanted to create an online course, grow your email list, be a content creator, or even rock affiliate marketing, Jessica is your girl with courses and TONS of free content to point you in the right direction. 

She throws down booty-kicking advice on her weekly podcast, Hey Jessica Radio, on her YouTube channel, and blog and shows up every day on Instagram to make sure the tips never stop coming.

Website: www.heyjessica.com 

Instagram: www.instagram.com/jessicastansberry 

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Emily Hirsh:

Welcome back to the podcast. I have a special guest here today, the second guest ever on the podcast, a friend and amazing entrepreneur, Jessica Stansberry. So hi, welcome.

Jessica Stansberry:

Hi, thank you so much for having me.

Emily Hirsh:

Yeah, I’m excited. Well, maybe you could start just by telling us a little bit about you and your business and give us that background.

Jessic Stansberry:

I started my business when I had my first son. He was an infant and I was in corporate and I hated it with a fiery dragon passion. It was awful. And I was like, “I’ve got to do something.” So I quit and went home with the thought that, “well, I have some graphic skills I can fall back on from college. I’ll do graphic design.” Then I taught myself web design. That’s what I did for about five years until 2016. I made that transition as a lot of people do from service provider into infopreneur. Since 2016, I’ve been teaching people the things. At first it was a lot of tech, like let me teach you how to use Convert Kit, or this system or this thing. Then it has morphed through the years into marketing, content marketing. That’s my biggest thing that I mostly focus on. So that’s where I am and I love it. I love teaching and being a content creator. It’s probably my favorite thing in the world.

Emily Hirsh:

And you are amazing at it. Did you know we have super similar stories? You might know this already, but I mean, I started… It’s so much parallel because I started my business too when my son was a baby and I was a virtual assistant. So I was very much in the tech world and service and that’s how I just, whatever I could figure out how to do, I did. Then I went into ads, but it was kind of similar there of like super similar service. I stayed in the service though. I’m still in the service with the team, but also into product.

Jessica Stansberry:

I think it’s one of those things where at some point when you want to make that transition, you either make the decision to like agency-fi your service.

Emily Hirsh:

And have a team. Totally.

Jessica Stansberry:

Yeah, and I just was not in love with web design enough to care. Right? So I was like, I’m going full force over here. That’s super fun, but that doesn’t surprise me, that we have similar backstory.

Emily Hirsh:

Totally. I agree. Tell us also, I love your personal side. You live on a farm and you’re really cool like that. So tell us about that.

Jessica Stansberry:

I’m really cool like that. Yeah, I live on a farm. My husband is a multi-generational, I don’t know how many generations back, farmer and he’s done farming in whatever capacity for a very long time, but he also works full-time so it’s definitely more on the lower scale of a farmer, like a ranch operation. But a few years ago we bought 30 acres and built a house, because up until that point, we had been farming on family land, which is a whole thing. Family land with anything is a whole thing. We have a pet cow named Earl Deen, who is now the mascot of the farm, and on Instagram stories I share a lot of behind the scenes there beause usually there’s something ridiculous going on.

Emily Hirsh:

I love it. That’s like if I had a second life, I would probably have a farm. I love that. See, we are so similar. I feel like that’s so cool. Then how many kids do you have remind me?

Jessica Stansberry:

I have two boys, two boys. They are almost 11 and eight.

Emily Hirsh:

Love it. All right. So I wanted to focus with you today in that content organic marketing space, because you definitely do it really well. A lot of people struggle with that today. First I would love for you to just touch on what’s your perspective on the algorithm? Because we all hear, and even myself I’ll be like, “well, organic marketing, you can’t get much out of it today.” What do you say to that, because you clearly create momentum with your organic marketing and your following. So what are your thoughts on, in today’s era, how to leverage organic marketing with the algorithm?

Jessica Stansberry:

I think so many times people think the algorithm is this monster that wants to eat them. They’re like, “it hates me. I can’t get anywhere. Blah, blah, blah, blah.” And yes, definitely things change, right? Like the Facebook algorithm is very different than it was even a year ago, much less like four years ago, and Instagram and all of it, everything changes. But the point of the algorithm is to feed like it is a monster, but it wants to eat and not you. It wants to eat your content, right? Basically it’s job is to pair the right content with the right viewer or user of the platform. So when we can really hone in and say, this is my expertise, or this is my thing, this is my content I want to create in whatever form or fashion, and these are the people that I want to help and if I create really good content, the monster wants to show it to people. That’s its whole job. It doesn’t want the platform to die or nobody would use it. I’m sure you’ve said this before, but Facebook ads, people are always like, “Facebook’s in it for the money in it for the money, dah, dah, dah, dah.” No, Facebook literally wants you to make money with your ads because they want you to come back.

Emily Hirsh:

If your ads are good.

Jessica Stansberry:

Yeah, it’s the same thing with organic content. So my take on it, especially with the algorithm, is that the algorithm is not out to get you, your content probably just isn’t what it needs right now. And you can find a way to figure out how to fix that.

Emily Hirsh:

I love that. I mean, I say the same thing when people blame Facebook and say, “Facebook ads don’t work for me anymore.” They do still work. People are making millions of dollars with Facebook ads, but you have to have the best ads. It’s just as the algorithm gets more crowded on Facebook and Instagram with the content, things do get more difficult. So I have the same philosophy with ads around that. What would you say, this is almost like a selfish question because I can drop the paid ads and we do pretty well with organic, but not to your level. Do you stay focused all in on one platform, or what are your strategies for someone who’s not rocking organic and doesn’t have the algorithm in their favor yet?

Jessica Stansberry:

So yes, focus on one platform and don’t focus on social. Focus on something that has search engine oomph behind it. So YouTube, Pinterest, blogging, podcasting even with paired with a blog post, and really focus on how to rank in the search engines because that’s what’s going to give you the momentum that gets everything else rolling. My Instagram there for probably two years, I didn’t even try to grow it because that wasn’t my focus. I was there and I was doing stories, but I wasn’t even trying to grow the platform, but because my YouTube was growing because I was getting traffic from my website because I was getting podcast listeners, then they were coming into Instagram, right?

So I always say pick one social platform that you want to be active on to really nurture your audience and to be there in the stories, but then pick a platform that has search engine capabilities and let the two work together. But pick one. Don’t try and be all the places. If the option is podcasting, then you definitely need to pair that with blog posts because podcasts don’t have the same search engine. We all know Apple Podcasts does not have the same capabilities that Google does. So yeah, that would be where I would start is something search friendly.

I think what most people do wrong there is they try and go after these massive keywords. Like I have no audience and I’m going to go after how to start a business, which is searched 4 million times a day, you know? We will never rank for that when we have a smaller audience. So really understanding what key terms you can go after with your audience size and using that as a catalyst to continue to grow, and grow, and grow because as you grow, you can go after bigger and bigger and bigger. Right?

Emily Hirsh:

Yeah, I love this. That’s a different perspective than I’ve ever had on organic because I think a lot of people are like, “I need to grow Instagram,” right? That’s the top place right now so I’m just going to focus on that. My experience has been pretty hard to actually just grow your Instagram. There’s not a great strategy. I’ve even given my team courses and it kind of works, but it’s kind of like a by-product, is what I’m hearing you say, of other things. I do see if you run ads, you actually grow your Instagram following. So it sounds like too, if you get people looking at your content, you’re going to grow your following. So the focus should go to the content.

Jessica Stansberry:

Exactly. I will say, on Instagram, if you really want to grow organically on the platform, you know this, It’s Reels. It’s Reels. It’s only Reels. It’s never anything but Reels right now. But that’s even getting harder. I think you really explode, and I will say what I have noticed for my account is I will only explode on Reels if I am posting a Reel every day.

Emily Hirsh:

Wow.

Jessica Stansberry:

It’s just exhausting. I don’t want to do that.

Emily Hirsh:

Not me either.

Jessica Stansberry:

Yeah, if that’s the game I have to play, then I’m just not going to play it. You know? But I will say that in the last week or so, maybe two weeks, I’ve had several just regular posts do really well. That’s the first time in months, maybe a year, that I’ve had a regular posts do really well because we are in this world of Reels right now. Both of them were me being fed up with something and me sharing an opinion somewhere and something that other people really identify with. So it’s a match of what you know people are gonna go, “oh my gosh yes.” That’s a big thing for me is your content, particularly on something like Instagram with Reels where you only have 30 seconds to capture somebody’s attention, i’s not about teaching. It’s not about creating that content. You can do that on YouTube, on your podcast. On posts, it’s more about getting your ideal customer to go, “oh yeah. Yes. That is me. Why does it feel like she’s talking to me?” And then they’re going to share it and they’re going to comment. Then the more they share it, the more people watch it and then you know how that goes. I think that that’s really the key to organic growth, particularly on Instagram, if you want it to is creating content that makes your ideal customer feel seen, and then also playing into the game of using Reels.

Emily Hirsh:

Yeah, and I can validate too anytime I do a rant there sometimes, so my team runs my Instagram and it’s all planned out. If I just go rogue and I’m like, I’m going to do a post, those are always our top posts for sure. So it’s hard to always have that inspiration, but when you have a rant, or you can be polarizing, or do something like that, it does work the best for sure.

So I teach having one form of content, like a podcast for example. So what would you say… so I don’t think we do anything with keywords, honestly. So what would you say to someone like, how do you find the right keywords that aren’t so big, but do create that success and leverage your content strategy in that way?

Jessica Stansberry:

So on a podcast specifically, in the podcast platforms you can actually go after bigger terms than what you would think you can. One of my most popular podcast episodes is literally titled SEO. That’s the title, right? And it is popular because people search SEO and then they find my episode. So you can get away with it a little more in iTunes, but it’s not as robust. So if there’s a bunch of people titling their episodes SEO then it’s not going to matter. They only show the top 10 or something like that, but as far as keywords go pairing it with a blog post or whatever content you’re doing, I would recommend using a tool called Keywords Everywhere. It’s just a Chrome extension. It used to be free, now it’s paid, but it’s dirt cheap. It’s like $10 for a hundred thousand searches or something ridiculous.

What it does is it just adds like a bar underneath your search bar on Google. It can be on YouTube. I don’t think it works on Pinterest, but Google and YouTube, and when you type in something, it’ll tell you how many times per month that term is searched, how much it would cost you to run a Google ad for it, which I don’t care about, and then three, how much competition there is, which obviously I care about, but I focus more and I teach people to focus more on the how many searches per month are there. I like to say if you have a smaller following, you want to stick with under 500 searches a month, but not zero. So there’s this sweet spot somewhere between zero and 500 searches a month.

If you have a bigger platform, when we put content out onto Google, whether it’s with YouTube or Google itself through our website, we ended up getting ranked by Google so we build up our authority within the platform. If you haven’t done that yet, you need to stick with stuff that’s like 500 searches a month or less. That way you can start building that up with them. Then as you build it up you’ll notice your traffic numbers going up if you pay attention to those types of things. Then you can say, okay, I’m going to go to a thousand searches a month and then 2,000, and 3,000 and see if you can rank for those things. But I mean, it really is a game. It really is. That’s where I would tell everybody to start is under that 500 searches a month because that’s where you can actually get found.

Emily Hirsh:

Yeah. I love this. I think that I’ve always been like, “oh, SEO. It’s so old school. I don’t want to think about it,” but it is so true because I mean that’s such gold traffic if you could get that because it’s free. Then what I do love about YouTube and your blogs is like you said, that top podcasts of yours, I mean, how long ago did you record that?

Jessica Stansberry:
Two years ago.

Emily Hirsh:

That’s incredible.

Jessica Stansberry:

Oh my gosh, my most popular YouTube videos are still videos from four years ago.

Emily Hirsh:

Yeah. So that’s like the one thing we are totally not tapping into that in my current account. I’m going to be like to my team after this go buy Jessica’s course because we need to learn this stuff. I really love your perspective, how that then the by-product is your social media grows and you see that growth. I totally teach you’ve have one thing that you put out consistent content every week, and so people are already doing that a lot of times too, and doing like what I’m doing, where you’re not fully leveraging a hundred percent that you could have that content you’re already creating, and you’re already doing the hardest part, which is that content.

Jessica Stansberry:

Exactly. And I will say, it’s so funny because I wasn’t either. I was creating consistent, weekly blog posts, for a very long time without doing anything SEO. And I was like, okay, yeah, that’s just what you do, right? Then I started learning more about SEO and I was like, okay let’s tap into this. Once you have one post, or video, or podcast, or whatever, start to get picked up in the search, you’re like, okay I see the power.

Then it’s growing your email list and your socials. What I do, kind of my like backend strategy, is from a blog post especially, they all have an opt-in, obviously, because I know what I’m doing. So they all have an opt-in and that’s the action I want them to take. Once they take that action, then I send them to Instagram with their first welcome email. So it’s like, “hey, do you want more? I share weird things on Instagram and it would be fun to get to know each other so come follow me on Instagram.” That’s kind of how the strategy goes. Then I lead them into Instagram, which is where I nurture my audience. So they either come in through YouTube, through search, or through a blog post through search, and then that’s how they funnel into everything else.

Emily Hirsh:

That’s awesome. Okay. So you go YouTube or blog posts, email lists, Instagram is your flow? I love that. This is super valuable. I’m going to literally take this. This is what happened when you interviewed me too. You’re like, “I’m going to selfishly ask you about ads,” and that’s basically what I’m doing.

Jessica Stansberry:

Exactly. I know when you said that a second ago, I was like, well I did that to her.

Emily Hirsh:

No, you’re good. When that’s the way this interview is going though. So could you give us what’s your content strategy? I’m also curious like percentage of your leads, because I know you do also run paid ads, how much comes from organic to paid and what do you think that should look like in a really great organic strategy?

Jessica Stansberry:

I generally only run paid ads when I have a current motive. It’s not like I’m looking forward in the future and running ads. I usually only run them if I have a webinar, or I’m trying to sell a tiny offer, or like, whatever. I’d say 95% of my leads come from my organic content because I have so much of it, right? I’ve been putting YouTube videos out for five years consistently one to three times a week, and then podcast episodes, same thing. Then blog posts that go with both of those things. So yeah. Most of mine is organic and I definitely focus there and really only run ads when I’m trying to drive to something that is coming up that’s going to be higher ticket.

Emily Hirsh:

Yeah. So I’m just thinking if I could take what we’re doing is most of mine’s ads, so what we’re doing ads, if I could do that also organic, and then also if you could take what you’re doing organic and the level we’re doing, we’d both be like 10X’ing our businesses.

Jessica Stansberry:

Yes. Well, what’s so funny is the selfish question I asked you was because my ads just stopped converting, right? It was for a small offer and they were doing well, and then they weren’t. Well, your suggestions totally worked by the way. I did a Reel like ad and it worked way better.

Emily Hirsh:

Good.

Jessica Stansberry:

But the funny part is that’s the strategy, right? To do these small offers with paid ads going to them, you break even on the cost. Well, I put the small offer in my header of YouTube and then also as a pop-up on my website and I still make as many sales organically as I was paid for free. So I have that traffic, and it’s almost like I don’t need the paid quite as much for certain things. You know what I mean?

Emily Hirsh:

Yeah, totally. Yeah. I mean you’ve been consistent for five years doing that. So that’s before too that a lot of people… you got in and got that following at that time. I’m thinking like, because the ultimate goal is that you’ve got an organic machine going and a paid ads machine going, and you’re leveraging both to like the full capacity. I feel like people usually do one or the other, and I think you’re on the organic side, I’m on the paid side, and if we could both do both, it’d be amazing. So that’s cool.

Jessica Stansberry:

I think too you can totally couple them together. So it’s like, okay, I’m going to run a bunch of ads to my content and then use all that as an audience to run these ads to. I’ve done all of that stuff because it definitely works, you know?

Emily Hirsh:

Yeah. That’s where the true results come in and you do have that holistic strategy doing this. I love it. Well, we definitely have been going for a while back and forth. I did want to ask what are the top mistakes you see people making today? We’ve kind of touched on a few, but if you, just off the cuff, what comes to you on top mistakes people are making around organic and content marketing?

Jessica Stansberry:

So one would be trying to do too much at once. They’re trying to launch a podcast, or have a podcast and a YouTube channel and a blog, and they don’t have a team. I literally did one by one and then would hire people to help with each thing. It was much more natural and didn’t feel like I was pulling my hair out because you’re going to if you do that much content. So not focusing on one thing would be probably the biggest thing I see.

Then not truly focusing on the SEO and going after the wrong keywords. I mean, I do YouTube channel audits a lot for people and that’s almost always in those audits. I’m like, you’re going after keywords. I always say you’re too big for your britches. You’ve got to bring it down a little because you can’t go after keywords that highly searched with a small audience. So I would say that’s probably the second one.

If I had to pick a third one, it would be not showing their face or not doing some type of video with their marketing strategy.

Emily Hirsh:

Love it. Well, I’m making mistake number two right now.

Jessica Stansberry:

Well, I’ll fix that.

Emily Hirsh:

Okay, then what if you could go back, what’s your number one if someone doesn’t have a podcast, or YouTube, or anything right now, where would you tell them to go start?

Jessica Stansberry:

Honestly, I think YouTube is the easiest as far as how you can rank and how quickly you can grow and rank on the platform. However, it’s the hardest, because you’ve got to film and edit and get over your fear of the camera and like all of these things. So I say go with whichever one is going to be the least barrier for you.Then I say if it’s a podcast, you’re going to have to do blog posts with that too, otherwise it’s not going to rank anywhere. But do whatever works for you, because if you can only do blog posts now it’s better than doing nothing. If you can only do the podcast, it’s better than doing nothing. If you never want to be on YouTube, that’s fine. But if you do feel like you could do well on video, you can edit, or you can at least teach yourself, or you have a team, then totally I think YouTube is the quickest way to beat that curve.

Emily Hirsh:

Awesome. Then my last question, because I think people make this mistake a lot is in the content they choose to create, they either teach way too much or it’s overwhelming, and finding that is hard. So how do you recommend people choose? Or how do you choose the actual topics of your videos or your podcasts that you’re creating to make sure it really does well?

Jessica Stansberry:

Every platform is going to be different, right? On podcasts, we can go way longer and we can talk for 30 minutes or 45 minutes and teach quite a bit. But on YouTube, the user behavior is much different. People want shorter videos, especially if they’re Googling something like how do I bake a cake? We’ve all got on those recipe blogs where they tell their whole life story before they get to the recipe. So like scrolling forever, I just wanted to know what temperature to put my air fryer on. I don’t need to know about your dog and his thing. So it’s kind of like that. If somebody’s Googling something, they don’t care about you at that moment. You can make them care about you, and that’s my point in getting them on the email list and to Instagram. But every platform is different.

What I normally do is I start with the key phrase that I want to go after, whatever that might be, keyword, whatever. Then I say, can I break this down into multiple parts? Because then that’s like 12 pieces of content for me. Then I also base it on what the platform is going to want. So if I want to teach SEO, but I’m going to do it on YouTube, then I might do five ways to rank on Google. Then the next video, I might do something also really quick, whereas I might do a really in-depth podcast episode. So it kind of depends on the platform, but I start with the keyword I want to rank for.

Emily Hirsh:

Got it. Love it. All right. Well, where can everybody find more about you and what you offer?

Jessica Stansberry:
You can find all my links if you want to at heyjessica.com, but my favorite place to hang out is on Instagram. It’s just @jessicastansberry. So you can go find me there and I can show you around the farm.

Emily Hirsh:

It’s super fun. That’s what I was like, “she’s so cool. She has a farm. I love it. Well, thank you so much for your time. I know I learned a lot and my audience is going to absolutely love this, so I appreciate it.

Jessica Stansberry:

Yeah. Thank you so much for having me.