Would you consider yourself a content creator? If you’re a podcaster or business owner—the reality is, you are! In today’s episode, my dear friend LaShonda Brown joins us to share what her journey to being a full-time content creator looked like, how she’s built a brand through partnerships and collaborations, plus what’s in store for her brand in 2023!

Clocking In with Haylee Gaffin is produced by Gaffin Creative, a podcast production company for creative entrepreneurs. Learn more about our services at Gaffincreative.com, plus you’ll also find resources, show notes, and more for the Clocking In Podcast.

Today’s episode is brought to you by Mic Check Society, our community for podcasters who are looking to take their podcast from good to great. Come join us for educational trainings, a private member’s only community, and monthly calls! Get $10 off per month with code PODCAST at micchecksociety.com. Join LaShonda this month as she shares all about Canva for Podcasters!

LaShonda Brown is an award-winning Corporate Film Producer, Speaker, YouTuber & Tech Educator based in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of VA. Over the past decade, she and her husband Josh have produced educational videos internationally in both English and Spanish through their company Life Focus Pictures. Their commercial content has been distributed through outlets like ESPN, ABC, NBC, Fox, Comcast, Cinemark, and even national parks. Through her YouTube channel, Bootstrap Biz Advice, she empowers entrepreneurs all over the world to leverage tech to grow their biz without breaking the bank and generate passive income without burnout. There is no shame in bootstrapping and her tutorials will help you keep your expenses low and your profit margin high while you DIY. She has partnered with companies like Flodesk, HoneyBook, Jotform, and Teachable to help their users thrive personally and professionally through webinars, courses, and YouTube content and she is currently one of Canva’s 25 verified experts.

Receiving Support from your Audience

When LaShonda took a gap year between charging for her services and doing work for other clients, she relied heavily on Buy Me a Coffee. This is a free site to receive funding from supporters. Receiving support from anyone who is benefitting from you is so uplifting. It’s helpful to have this kind of ‘tip jar.’ 

This approach builds up a reputation in order to get support from listeners. 

Creating New Topics and Content

A crucial part in LaShonda’s content creation process is strategic unplugging. When you are in a constant state of consuming content, it’s hard to create your own ideas. It’s important to find time to get away, spend time outside, and consume content from other industries. You can be sure you’re creating fresh, new, and genuine content. 

Another part of LaShonda’s creation comes from crowdsourcing ideas from her audience. She was able to ask her audience what they want to hear and learn about from her. This legitimately creates a resource to meet their needs. From that, she was able to decide what to pursue. She also looked at analytics and used the statistics from this to plan next steps and topics. 

It can be hard to get your audience to connect and respond to you. LaShonda recommends posting to your feed with reels or posts to draw attention to stories or other posts. Play around with Instagram. Do what you want. People may see your reel way before they see your story, draw attention to polls or email lists. Redirect your audience in other ways. Give yourself the freedom to try new ways and mess with the format. Be unprofessional and real to connect with your audience. 

Your audience can tell when you lose the joy in creating content. Retain the joy. 

LaShonda’s 25 Days of Canva Tutorials

Confidence grows through challenges. So, for LaShonda, she knew she wanted to roll out content on Canva’s new features to inform her audience. She knew 12 days was doable, but she wanted to push herself to do 25. At that point, she set herself apart by pushing herself to do something more difficult. This helped her overcome a struggle of consistency in content creation without the pressure of client’s deadlines. She had to stick to the claim of her campaign and grew her confidence in her content creation. 

LaShonda did have a team help her with this campaign, but she did have the systems in place to maintain it. She was able to leverage this content by implementing systems to maintain her mental health and consistency. 

Push yourself for a season, and see what happens. 

Growing Your Team at the Beginning

LaShonda did not use the typical avenues of monetization her first year as a fulltime content creator. Yet, she still built a team to support her business. 

It was important to her to use any disposable income to build a team. She knew there were certain aspects of her business that she needed to outsource. She still consistently paid herself, this kept her from burnout because she did see the benefit of her hard work. 

Hiring team members that can streamline your creation process  and allow you to create more. Track your pay, see if those team members pay for themselves. Follow how your investments pay off with your team. Are your team members freeing you up to make more content and paying for themselves? 

How Canva is Changing the Game

Canva is an essential tool for LaShonda’s business. It is constantly expanding and growing. New features drop consistently that eliminate needs for other subscriptions. LaShonda is passionate about sharing how you can get the most out of your Canva subscription. Canva is great for podcasters, you can create great graphics that stand out and grab more listeners. YOu can see the direct application of Canva for your business. 

Canva makes it so accessible and easy to create repurposed content. 

LaShonda’s advice for those starting out is to try more. Do the thing. There is too much time wasted trying to do things perfectly. There will be a time investment when you start just trying new things. Being new can be a blessing and wonderful thing. Bring your new perspective to old things. Start experimenting at the beginning when there are fewer eyes watching you. Work out the kinks before you have more visibility. 

Connect with LaShonda:





Links Mentioned:

How to Use buy Me a Coffee


Catch the Show Notes:

Meet LaShonda Brown (3:07)

Deciding when to monetize (4:00)

Deciding on topics (6:15)

Connecting with your audience (9:00)

LaShonda’s 25 Days of Canva Tutorials (13:30)

Building a team (18:55)

How Canva and other tools change the game (22:00)

LaShonda’s advice for beginners (24:30)