Learn more about the talents and business lives of the Go Getter Marketing Group team!
Kylie Yockey – Social Media Assistant
Sonja: Hi everyone. Welcome to today’s “10 Minute Marketing” podcast. I’m joined today by Kylie Yockey, our social media assistant at Go Getter Marketing Group.
Kylie: Hi Sonja!
Sonja: We have a fun topic to talk about today. One of the things we really pride ourselves on at Go Getter Marketing Group is the fact that part of the makeup of our team is that we’re very much all entrepreneurs in some way, shape, or form. Which is relevant today because Kylie just launched her first online course. Course creation is a major topic for a lot of businesses.
How you go about building a course? How can it help you build an audience? How can it help you with more visibility in terms of thought leadership? How do you take something that you’re really knowledgeable about and turn it into more? So, I’m going to start by kind of sharing. This is the course that Kylie created. It’s called “The Ultimate Guide to Organization and Productivity for Writers.” This is the first one, right? Kylie, because you’ve launched two now?
Kylie: That is actually the second one. The first one is “Social Media Basics for Literary Professionals.”
Sonja: And these courses you launched on Academia?
Kylie: Yes, there is a new Courses feature on Academia Premium. They invited me to apply to teach a course.
Sonja: Let’s start there with that story. So, this was something you weren’t exactly proactively in search of creating a course, so Academia came to you. So, tell us about that. How did that come about?
Kylie: Well, I’m a fairly active user on their platform. They are scholarly resource for academic papers of all sorts. I’ve been using them for years and they emailed saying that they’re starting up a new video course function and they’re asking a lot of their users to apply and pitch video topics to talk about. So, I sent in a few ideas, and they asked me to go with the two that I have up.
Sonja: My story is actually similar. I launched a course on Skillshare, and it was very similar. They found me on Instagram and recommended that I launch a course with them, and I love that platform even as just somewhere to find really good courses to take.
How did you come up with “Social Media Basics for Literary Professionals” as a topic?
Kylie: I was just mostly trying to think of topics that I felt capable of filming a course on. The two big things in my life are social media and the literary community. I went to school for creative writing and I’m still an MA candidate at Spalding University in their school of writing. So, I thought these things go perfectly together. So much of the literary community is online now and especially on social media like Instagram. People [in that industry] need to know how to navigate [social media] if they want to further their career in an online space.
Sonja: That’s a very specific audience. Tell us more about that. You mentioned you’re working on that master’s degree which is around creative writing. How did you decide to focus on literary professionals as your niche audience?
Kylie: For one thing, it works with the audience of Academia.edu as an academic resource for people in all disciplines to share their academic writing, scholarly writing, and research papers. So, there’s already the base there for literary professionals to be on, or at least people who are into scholarly work. Their audience base and my audience base intersected there. And I just really love being a part of literary community, so any way I can help make sure everyone’s having a good time, I would like to take.
Sonja: That makes sense. It’s like you’re taking your skill and launching it to a community that you already know well. Key tip for those of you interested in course creation! I want to point out that Kylie mentioned the audience of the platform itself and knowing that there’s already a group of interested people on that particular platform.
So, let’s talk a little bit about the steps it took to even start planning the course. What was that like for you? Did you plan out the course like when we had the preview up on the screen, that there’s modules people can take? So, did you plan it all out in one fell swoop or module by module? What was that process like for you?
Kylie: The process that they ask for Courses is I had to have multiple lessons in a full course. So, I knew beforehand what the structure I needed to create was. And then yes, I scripted it all at once. Scripting took about two days for each video. It was admittedly more than I thought it would be. But I scripted it lesson by lesson, outlining it beforehand of what to talk about in each lesson.
Sonja: Did you practice before you got to recording?
Kylie: I would practice in chunks, like before I recorded certain parts. Memorization is not strong in my skillset, so I had to do it kind of incrementally as I went to be able to get the best performance out of myself. I practiced a handful of times to myself and then recorded a small segment. Practice, record, practice, record.
Sonja: A little bit of practicing just to get a feel and get the jitters out. Let me ask you, does being on camera come natural to you? Or did you have to work through that?
Kylie: It does not come as natural to me. Especially since I’ve never done a lot of video editing or video recording for academic reasons or for work reasons. It’s kind of a new process to learn and to figure out how to set up. And it was a process.
Sonja: Did you have to recruit any help? Anyone that helped you in the background, gave you any cues, or just even help you with the recording itself?
Kylie: I actually did it all by myself. I just recorded it all on my phone. I have a kind of a stack here that even my computer is on right now to get the angle behind me. And then it did help when I bought this little ring light / camera-phone holder. I didn’t actually end up using the lighting part of it, but the phone holder helped. It was like $5 at Target.
Sonja: Oh, easy! You can find those at Target, you can find those on Amazon. So, that was your equipment. What about mic? Did you have to get a mic using your camera phone?
Kylie: I actually still just used my phone. Then I also recorded into my phone for just-spoken parts and then put it all together with Animotica video editing, which I just downloaded for free from the internet.
Sonja: So easy process. And what type of phone do you have, for anyone wondering?
Kylie: I have the 2020 iPhone SE.
Sonja: iPhones are known for good recording if you don’t have a real camera. Did you have to do anything special, like change any of the settings in your phone to make sure it recorded high quality?
Kylie: Thankfully I didn’t have to do too much on my phone. I just had to make sure to switch off the mirroring effect once I got to the editing stage.
Sonja: What would that have done? What does the mirroring do?
Kylie: Pretty much it would have flipped the video, so any writing or props would’ve been backward and such.
Sonja: That’s important, especially when people have text in the background.
So, basics. You didn’t have to call in a big crew to make it a big production. A key takeaway here is that when you’re getting started with [projects like] this, you can start with what you have. You don’t have to pop out on day one hiring a full-fledged camera crew. But you do want to get a few basics right like lighting and sound. So those tests that you did sounds like they made a lot of sense because that allowed you to work through some of that in advance, as well as just what you needed to do for yourself, in order to appear on camera.
Sonja: So, the course is up on Academia. Are there any other ways that you are marketing the course?
Sonja: How has this response been, and do you feel like you’re already starting to get students in the course and starting to get some feedback on it?
Kylie: So far people on social media have been very supportive, very enthusiastic about it. I don’t see a lot of the traffic end of what happens with Courses. [Academia] sends us updates I think on a monthly or quarterly basis.
Sonja: One final question. And this is new for you, but just kind of now as you’re entering the world of course creation, what advice would you give new course creators?
Kylie: Especially when you’re starting out, I would say do teach on what you’re passionate about. It makes it so much easier, and you can really feel it through the video. That like, “Oh, they know what they’re talking about because they clearly love it so much.”
Sonja: Great advice. All right, everyone. I hope you had your pen and paper out and you got some great takeaways from Kylie around starting your first course and course creation and some of the basics that you need to keep in mind. If you want to go deeper into it, there are tons of courses out there around course creation that you can take. Some of them are free. Some of them you might pay a few hundred or even a few thousand dollars for. You got to find what’s right for you. Some of those courses will help you do everything from just thinking about how to find an audience and identify it, to structuring your content, to also figuring out where to go to market it. Particularly, if you’re trying to launch your course as part of your business model.
For Kylie, this is something, again, she was invited to do. It’s a great thing to, again, continue boosting her career and put her in a thought leadership position. So, it just depends on what approach you want to take. Is it something added to the toolkit? Or is it something you’ll take and run with?
This interview has been edited for style and clarity.