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Last Updated on November 9, 2022
Are you a multifaceted creative art entrepreneur who wants to turn your passion into profits? Or, are you still searching for your inner creative voice? Either way, this interview with artist Jenna Rainey is for you!
If you resist formal structures and love to be in the flow and nurturing your creativity – but also have art business ideas that you want to launch and turn into a successful career – then you may very well be a creative entrepreneur, and this episode is for you!
I promise you: it IS totally possible to turn your hobby or creative passion into a 6- or even 7-figure business!
If you’re thinking, “but I’m not creative!” Then think again. We are all born creative, we just need to give ourselves the space to cultivate it.
What are some creativity characteristics often found in a creative entrepreneur?
If you want to either wake up the passions in your life or grow your existing passions into profits, then you’re in the right place with this episode.
My guest today, Jenna Rainey, is a born-and-raised Southern California girl and – with nothing more than some paint brushes, her laptop and passion – she’s proud, as an artist and creative entrepreneur, to have built the creative business of her dreams where she’s been able to serve hundreds of thousands of people across the world.
Through her best-selling how-to Jenna Rainey watercolor books, YouTube channel, and online courses that have served the world, she helps people like you get their hands dirty and wake up the passion in their life.
Thanks so much for joining me this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!
If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the bottom of the post.
Also, please leave an honest review for The Success with Soul Podcast on Apple Podcasts so we can improve and better serve you in the future. Plus, you could be featured on a future episode during our listener spotlights. Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and I read each and every one of them.
And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts to get automatic updates. My goal for this podcast is to inspire those who seek flexibility and freedom in their lives by making something happen with holistic, soulful, step-by-step strategies from me and other experts.
If you’re a visual artist, you can create original drawings, paintings or prints of your work and build a business around selling them. Other ideas include photography, jewelry making, graphic design, music (musician, music teacher, composer, producer), blogging, interior designer, personal stylist, baking – the list goes on! If you need more ideas, check out these best resources for entrepreneurs.
Here are some ideas for how to make money as an artist: sell your art on Etsy or other craft and design websites; sell your art at local markets or fairs; teach others how to create art in-person or create online courses teaching techniques; create passive income through affiliate marketing by selling art supplies and other art objects by receiving a commission; or create a YouTube channel with art tutorials and monetize your channel.
Just because you’re an artist doesn’t mean that you have to suffer or make a poor living. Like everything else, you need to become dedicated to changing your mindset. Look for examples of successful artists, use your creativity to seek out unique business opportunities, and try to prove yourself wrong.
First, convert your account from personal to business. Second, remember that engagement and being yourself always trumps the algorithm and remains the most important factor for building followers. Third, put a link in your bio where people can buy your art directly, or at a minimum, where they can join your email list.
Kate Kordsmeier 0:00
Welcome, welcome, welcome.
We're back with a Success with Soul podcast. I'm your host Kate Kordsmeier. And today I am so excited to introduce you to Jenna Rainey. I actually first learned about Jenna through my mom who is an artist and had found Jenna on Instagram. So she thought that I would really like her work. And she was right. But I also ended up finding so much more than just beautiful art when I started following Jenna. So Jana is an artist. She's a self taught designer, as in no art school, so anybody who feels like they're artistic and creative, but couldn't possibly run a successful art business, this episode is for you. No fancy degree required. In addition, she's also a multifaceted creative entrepreneur who is hell bent on teaching everyone how to find their inner creative voice. I love that Jenna shows up on her YouTube channel on her podcast in her digital courses and even in her ebooks, and she really just helps people get their hands dirty and wake up the passion in their life. Jenna has completely debunked the starving artist myth, and now runs a seven figure business all because she listened to that inner creative voice telling her to follow her passion, fully that cube life and do something that lights her up. If you're ready to do the same, I think you are fully going to enjoy this episode. So let's get into it. You're listening to the Success with Soul podcast with Kate Kordsmeier x journalist turned CEO of a multi six figure blog in online business. But it wasn't that long ago that Kate was a struggling entrepreneur who lacked confidence, clarity, and let's be honest money. But all those failures, experiments and lessons learned helped Kate create a thriving business that impacts 1000s and brings freedom, flexibility and fulfillment to her life. If you're ready to do the same and make something happen with holistic, soulful, step by step strategies from Kate and other experts, you're in the right place. here's your host, writer, educator, Mom, recovering perfectionist, bookworm and sushi connoisseur, Kate Kordsmeier. Hey, Jana, welcome to the show.
Jenna Rainey 2:18
Hey, I'm so excited to be here. Thank you.
Kate Kordsmeier 2:21
Oh, my gosh, me too. We were just talking before I hit record about how my mom actually is the one who introduced us not that you know who my mom is. But as an artist herself. She has been following Jenna's work for a while and learning how to do watercolor and stuff from Jenna things that are way outside of my zone of genius. I can barely draw stick figures. So then she introduced me to your work and said that we had a very similar like ethos when it comes to business. And I looked at your website and was so blown away. And I mean, of course it's so beautiful. And so excited to have you share your story today.
Jenna Rainey 3:00
Well, thank you for all the kind words and thank you to your mom for I love it
Kate Kordsmeier 3:06
off to make sure she listens to this episode. Yes,
Jenna Rainey 3:09
yeah. Okay, so
Kate Kordsmeier 3:11
on your website, you have a line on it. That really is so powerful. You took a random box of art supplies and turned it into a million dollar creative business. Wow.
Jenna Rainey 3:21
Yeah. So this is actually I get I get chills every time I tell this story, but about I guess it was December 2012. My husband and I were moving from Chicago. We were living there. We met at college in Chicago. My husband's from Wisconsin. I'm from Southern California. And we are just working really random, odd jobs. I was a waitress at a pizza shop in downtown Chicago and my husband was working at carmax slinging used cars and opposite schedules. The winter was brutal. We were just over it. And we, at that time, been living there for about seven years. And so my uncle who is very generous and we we've always had like a sweet spot relationship for each other my uncle and I, Uncle jack. He is a financial planner out in Anaheim, California, Southern California kind of close to where I'm from. And he was out in Chicago on a business trip and offered me a job as his executive assistant. It was my first ever cubicle job first ever, you know, office job nine to five regular schedule. I had always worked in restaurants always been a waitress and got my degree, my undergrad degree in psychology. So it was definitely nothing that I studied. He was just offering me something to get me back out to California because he knew that we wanted to move. And so we both transferred I obviously got a new job I was working, you know eight to five commuting an hour both ways to the office
Kate Kordsmeier 4:48
in LA traffic or California
Jenna Rainey 4:51
or New traffic it is not ideal. And john was easily able to transfer to carmax and we moved out in December to that And 12 and found an apartment we were living with my parents for the first few weeks and we found an apartment. And the moving truck that we use to move our stuff from Chicago to Southern California, dropped off all of our boxes, all of the stuff that we had, you know, just waiting for us. And as we started unpacking and whatnot, there was a box of art supplies that wasn't ours, and it didn't have anybody's name on it. And my theory is that it was somebody else's stuff that got mixed in with our stuff, like they were moving around the same time, maybe same ish area. And nobody claimed it. And so it had a bunch of I don't use the materials anymore, because I have found what I love to use now. But it had like calligraphy supplies and watercolor supplies in it. And I found out quickly that I was not made for the cubicle, I really just, it was sucking the soul out of me sucking me. And obviously very grateful for the job in the first place. But it just wasn't you know, filing IRA applications and scanning, you know, people's applications for retirement and all that kind of stuff just wasn't really my calling. So I became obsessed with it. I remember one of the first times I opened that box, I was found painting until like three in the morning that night. And then I had to like wake up early to go to work the next day, and I slept in my makeup and I just rolled out of bed, I would never do this anymore. I rolled out of bed I like was like shoot, I'm going to be late, got to the office and I was doodling all day, I just became obsessed. And so that was in 2013 January 2013 when I first started painting and doing calligraphy and and had you any experience with this in the past, or this was like your first like, foray into art. So my mom, and both of my grandmother's were artistic and my mom is artistic as well. She paints with acrylic, but it was never like my mom's an artist like she wasn't, you know, you know, it was just kind of like, Oh, yeah, we're creative. I was homeschooled for years in junior high. So like, we would have creative art time here and there. And my mom would be like, let's paint some landscapes or whatever. So I was around art supplies. And I do want to say even because you said, That's not my area of genius, genius, I can barely sketch a stick figure. One of the things that I found to be true, because I've taught 1000s and 1000s of people all over the world watercolor and how like in person workshops, and then obviously online courses and my YouTube channel. But one of the things that I like to tout, and maybe it's because I'm a Type 8 on the enneagram. And I just love a good challenge. But everyone is made to be creative. It's already in our It's already in our makeup. It's already in our you know how our brains are wired, we have that sight of our brains. And it just takes time and practice and understanding how to develop that muscle memory and that technique and skill. And so I found something that really clicked with me, I'd never done watercolor before, I'd never done calligraphy before I had painted with acrylic, and I doodle here and there. But it just felt really, really therapeutic for me. I was frustrated with my job situation. It was long hours really long drive, I felt kind of lost. I was 23 at the time, didn't know what I wanted to do with my life. And then I would come home to watercolor and calligraphy and just be transported into a different land basically, like it just felt very calming to me. I was obsessed. And then. So I started that job in January with my uncle. And in June, I quit my job, I was like, I'm done. I can't do this anymore. I started getting client work here and there just from posting my work on Instagram. And this was you know, back in 2013, when not many people were it wasn't a very competitive space. So I wouldn't say that we were completely financially ready for me to quit my job in June of 2013, five months after starting my job with my uncle, but we figured it out. We were definitely you know, really broke for a while and I'd have these looming invoices over my head from client work and you know, rent. We're, you know, struggling to pay rent for a few years. But then, you know, we figured it out. And here we are.
Kate Kordsmeier 9:09
Well, once again, too. I'm like there's so many just little commonalities that we have. My son's name is jack. And I also only lasted four months in corporate America. So not for me and I figured it out almost just about as quickly as you did so. kindred, kindred spirits. Okay, this is so fascinating to me. So you turned what to most people is just a hobby, or a creative outlet into a seven figure business. So what is your business model? And Has it always been that or has it evolved over time?
Jenna Rainey 9:46
Oh, yes. So I wouldn't say I would say that my business as of the last two years has finally found structure like I am. Type B, right brain to a tee. Like I grew up. I was a musician. play piano and sing and all of that. So I've just always had like the chaos that comes with type Venus. And there's advantages to both being type a Type B as a creative business owner, and I think you can be either, and you can be both. And you can learn how to be how to develop the skill of what a type person a person would be. Or if you can hire somebody who's excellent at being type A, like I have. So I would say that for the first probably five, six years of operating my business, it was kind of just like, rapid Instagram growth in the beginning, because it was timing, new space, the topic that I was, you know, showing the category that I was in, and I was just kind of saying yes to everything that was coming my way, because I just needed money. And I needed to sustain a business that I accidentally started. And so in the first few years, it was just, I was doing wedding work mostly. So I was, I was designing custom wedding stationery, saying yes to things before I knew how to do them and figuring it out, was my business model. And now, as of the last two, probably three years, I've discovered that I have a huge passion and love for teaching. And for showing people basically like let's dissect what I did, and just like give more structure to it and more knowledge and research behind it and give it to people because I find that so many artists, so many creative entrepreneurs, whether you're a painter, a writer, whatever photographer, it's such a isolating time to try and figure things out yourself. You're not taught this stuff in school, and I didn't even go to art school, I didn't go to design school. And so many people are really like close to the chest with their industry trade secrets, or the pricing element or whatever. So I have decided that I want to take a different approach. I think that's just part of my personality is just to kind of like Lula leave it all on the table. And I'm like that with my friends. I'm like that in my marriage. Like I just blurt things out mouth, mouth syndrome over here. Yeah. But I would say I would attribute a lot of the structure that I have as a part of my business model, to my operations manager that I hired about a year and a half ago or a year ago. Her name is Kelly, she's been on my podcast before. And she's just like the organization Queen systems queen. We have spreadsheets on spreadsheets, which used to like, really overwhelm me. And, you know, tracking data and tracking all this open rate stuff and email list. And all of that used to overwhelm me because I didn't know what it meant. I didn't know how to get started. Yeah, but now I feel like that's like the most exciting thing of my business. Now. I love looking at spreadsheets, I love looking at open rates and click through rates and all that stuff. So
Kate Kordsmeier 12:45
yeah, so I like this because I feel like there are probably a lot of type beers out there that think, well I don't know if I really could run my own business because I don't have that type A personality. And you're living proof that that's totally possible and that you can always hire somebody to handle the Type A stuff.
Jenna Rainey 13:06
Yeah, and I know I I say this to people in you know, I had a coaching group this last year, I don't do it anymore. But it's incredibly overwhelming when you're looking at somebody eight years and experience and they've got their email list as dialed or that at least seems like they have a system for it. And they have multiple products or they have multiple courses. They have lead magnets they have you know, all of these funnels going on they have their Instagram is dialed all that kind of stuff. Like it's there's so many things that we so many hats that we have to just throw on throughout an entire just the course of one day even you're a copywriter, you're a social media manager, you're the bookkeeper and all of these things, you're bouncing back and forth between left and right brain between type B and type anus throughout the day. And it's very overwhelming and can be very taxing and draining and then you have have to have some leftover energy for your creative side, or doing the thing that you started the business for in the first place. And so I used to be so closed fist about I don't know if that's phrase, you know, just holding so tightly to the money that I was making. It was barely, you know, scraping by like I could never hire an assistant. I could never give up you know, 600 800 1000 whatever it is bucks a month to pay someone part time like that is scary. Like, there's probably no way I could do that. And so I would just bust my butt work overtime all of the time miss out on all of these, you know amazing life moments like birthday parties, whatever, because of the deadlines and because of the emails I had to respond to. And so yes, it is absolutely doable for everyone. anyone listening who is an artist creative, you know, left brain or right back brain type B person to learn all those things, but I do think that there is a valuable just self awareness that needs to happen with every business owner. You Cuz that's the I think the biggest key to success is self awareness as a business owner and knowing, like, okay, maybe I can't make this deadline, or I should hire this virtual assistant or I should hire someone to run my social media. Or maybe I should invest in that online course, because it would take me to the next level or whatever. So I think self awareness is just such a crucial thing, because it can, it can be something that you learn, I
Kate Kordsmeier 15:24
totally agree. I mean, I think there's, there's so much truth in recognizing, like, where your strengths and your weaknesses are, and then kind of hiring out some of the areas where it's like, you could learn this, but is it the best use of your time? Could you fast track your success? If you just said, I'm not, I don't, I'm never gonna be the person that excels. And whatever this area is, and I could just hire somebody. And I remember feeling the same way in the early days of my business to like, I could never afford to hire somebody, or that's so risky. But what I have found is that usually hiring help, even if it's just five hours a week, or something really little, like getting that stuff off of your plate is what fast tracks your success. Like, I never would have been able to get to the next level if I had continued just trying to do it all myself.
Jenna Rainey 16:15
Right. Exactly. Like, Oh, my gosh, the years I could have got back. I just right. It's hard, it's really overwhelming to think that like you're barely making money in the usually, in the beginning, and it's really difficult to like come to that place. So
Kate Kordsmeier 16:32
yeah. Well, and I love that you share too about transparency. I think that's another commonality that we have. And something that I do a little differently than a lot of business owners to like I publish income reports, I publish, and tell everybody like, this is how much I made. This is how I'm doing it. These are my expenses, like all of that, because I think so many people do, like, keep it so close to the vest. And I'm trying to get people to see well, and especially women who like it's been taboo for us to talk about money or want to achieve and things like that, that, you know, there's something beyond the status quo. And like, if we can all help each other and rise, raise each other up. So I love that you mentioned that. The other question that came up for me was about how long would you say it took you to get from like, okay, I started this Instagram page, I was getting like some wedding clients and some things like that to like making serious money.
Jenna Rainey 17:27
So I would say about a year for your five, I was really busy. Your two and three, because here's another thing that I want to mention cuz I don't want people listening to be like, Oh, you just got lucky and your Instagram blew up, and therefore you were able to have a successful business. That's absolutely not true. In the first. I remember it was Easter of 2013 because I remember I went to this office on Good Friday, just randomly remember that. So like two ish, three months after I started working for my uncle, I emailed this photographer that I knew who seemed semi successful in the wedding industry. And I had an Etsy shop, and a few like hand painted quotes. And rent like Mother Teresa quotes e Cummings quotes, like random things in my Etsy shop that I look back on now. And I'm like, wow. Long Way, a long way. style is completely different is Yeah. Anyway. So I remember emailing him and just wanting to pick his brain and sit down with him. And to me now like it's kind of an embarrassing thing to look back on now. Like, hey, do you have time for me? I'm super rant like we've never met before. We're just talking online anyway. So he sat with me. And we started talking, we were talking about wedding industry stuff. And he gave me a list of I want to say it was about 75 plus emails of wedding planners, other wedding photographers and whatnot, like, hey, just reach out to these people and see if they, you know, would want to work with you or recommend your work to their clients. And this was before I learned any design software programs, like I didn't have Photoshop, I didn't have Illustrator. I basically just hand painted things and posted them on Instagram at this point. And so I remember that next week after Easter, I was sat down and I emailed everyone on that list, a pitch email and then a link to my Etsy shop with these Mother Teresa quotes like, you know, recommend me to your clients. And two people responded again, over a list of 75 people responded one was a no like maybe next time. And then one planner wedding planner responded and said, Oh, I have these clients, this client winning client that I think would be perfect. They love your work, blah, blah, blah. So that was my very first job and they actually ended up firing me. I design there, save the dates, I figured out how to print things I went to Kinko's of all places like now knowing what I know is like that's a huge football. Not good quality, and it's very expensive. So anyway Long story short, they fired me because they all of the envelopes came back to them because the calligraphy ink on the envelopes was like totally way too light and it was really illegible. So, but that job made me instead of obviously I cried when they sent me the you're fired email I cried, was mortified, embarrassed, so embarrassed, I gave them probably a full refund. I don't remember at this time anymore. But I remember just being like, Okay, next day, we just got to find our next client. And it was a friend or a friend of a friend. And anyways, I don't even remember your first question. Okay, so that was like my first footstep into little baby step into the wedding industry. And I remember it being kind of like a fork in the road, like we can throw the towel in and give up because this sucked. We had our very first job, fire us I'm speaking like, there's multiple me's. I don't know why.
So that my very first job, they fired me and I was embarrassed, I was mortified. But that photographer still wanted to recommend me to people or that planner, so wanted to recommend me to people. So I was slowly getting work. Second year, I was getting a little bit busier, I think I probably had like eight weddings that year. And then there was this job that got posted on a wedding blog. And this was probably the second year of business. And I remember it kind of picking up like wow, I am getting a lot more work, I hired a 14 year old girl who worked for our church, or went to our church as like a part time helping me pack stuff in there to help in the second year. And so that was my first four years, four years into being a boss. But then about year four, I booked, I was booking jobs with really like well known clients. And you know, just top notch wedding client clients and getting posted on blogs. And that was when I was like, Okay, I can't, I can't survive the wedding work anymore. It's just it's not why I started my business in the first place. And so I, I started teaching workshops more I started, you know, teaching online classes and diversifying my income and having more passive income and getting into art licensing, licensing my artwork for different products and all of that. And so that was when I really started to see things open up, and really find what I actually love to do and why I started the art thing in the first place. And why I thought what I thought it was in the beginning, which was wedding stationery and working with wedding clients was ending up not being what I was passionate about anymore, I just kind of got it opened the door for me. And licensing and teaching is when it really started to take off. And I was making good money and feeling more stable, like I was around here for.
Kate Kordsmeier 22:44
Okay, thank you so much for sharing that story. I think like you said, it's so easy. Like somebody could go to your website today and think like you just started with that. You know, we're always comparing our beginning to other people's medals or way down the road like this is eight years in. And I think it's so helpful to just be honest about it. And then to also just say, like, in the beginning, it sucks, and you're gonna fail, and it hurts, but you just have to keep showing up and trying new things. And, and I think the beauty of this too, is that having an online business, it's so much easier to pivot, right? So you can start and go, Okay, I'm gonna try this thing. And it turns out, I'm starting to get wedding clients and then you kind of go down that path and say, No, actually don't think this is what I want and try something else. But you would never know that until you just start doing something. Like everybody, not everybody, but so many people I talk to wait to start until they know exactly what they want. And I'm like, you're never gonna know until you do it.
Jenna Rainey 23:50
Right. And yeah, I self awareness and flexibility. And especially were especially finding that out this year with the way Coronavirus stuff has happened and you know, slowed down so many businesses or made businesses have to either shut down or figure it out a different way. And even outside of COVID. You know, it's like if you are flexible, and you're able to, because I've seen so many of my students, like get frustrated, and I'm doing what you're telling me or I'm doing what this blogger tells me, but it's just not working and getting frustrated that you know, they've tried it so many times over and over again, it's not growing like they thought or they're not getting the income that they thought they would. And there's so many different ways to get to success or whatever that definition of success is for you. And so I think people just kind of get they have their blinders on, which is good to a certain point, especially with artists like you don't want to be looking over here and comparing that whole whole trap of comparison. But I also think it's really valuable to like test the waters and develop and diversify your income is huge because if I hadn't done that, and you know I was 678 years into still doing weddings stationary, I'd be burnt out a whole lot, like a long time ago, I would have been burnt out completely over it. And I would have no wiggle room to like, explore and find things that I really love or develop, like a good income that I was really excited about. So. Right, exactly.
Kate Kordsmeier 25:17
That was the the other note that I took was the importance of diversifying income streams. And I think, you know, you mentioned you diversified to add some passive income streams, which is usually the biggest thing that ends up propelling you to the next level. But I also think we can get stuck in this. Or we can be tricked into thinking basically, because everybody's talking about scaling and passive income and like, you should never do anything that's not scalable. And sometimes I think it's nice to have diverse revenue streams, some people really still like having one on one clients, or maybe it's not the only thing they do anymore. So they're not only relying on trading time for dollars, but you can still have some of that and these other things. So
Jenna Rainey 26:04
Kate Kordsmeier 26:05
I've definitely found the same thing to be true in my business is just like diverse revenue streams, trying different things. And, you know, not putting all of your eggs into one basket. And, and one of the things that stood out to me when I was first introduced to your work, was something that, you know, I used to be a journalist and a freelance writer. And I definitely had a lot of people who thought of me as a starving artist, and who are just like, Oh, no, you're a freelance writer, that's code for unemployed, that's, you know, there was a lot of stigma around it. And I know that same can be true for all creative industries that there is this idea that if you're creative, if you're pursuing your passion, you're trading that for making money, and clearly you have figured out a way to ditch the starving artists mentality and actually create a profitable business calling all imposters Okay, that was a joke. But I know so many of us, myself included struggle with imposter syndrome. So if you can relate this one's for you. So maybe you keep hearing about how you need publicity in your business, but you feel like you're not at the level you should be air quotes around that in order to be featured in a magazine or a podcast. Or maybe you think I'm just a blogger, fancy media features aren't part of my business model. Now, you are not alone. So many bloggers and online entrepreneurs tell me that they don't need or want publicity, or they're not ready for it. But guess what? They're wrong. Getting your name and your work in front of new audiences is one of the best ways to increase your impact and income organically, as in no paid ad spend required. So if you're ready to make your publicity dreams come true in 2021 check out my friend Selena Sue's publicity calendar. Selena is a publicity strategist and the most connected person I have ever met. This calendar has everything you need to get started, like 40 plus pages of story ideas, you can pitch to the media and exactly when to pitch them. Strategies for tackling sensitive and timely issues, everything from COVID-19 to Black Lives Matter. And Selena's top three insider secrets for scoring major media coverage and building an audience of raving fans along the way. So Selena and her team spent more than 40 hours putting this together for you. So you can put yourself out there with confidence and meet the media's needs like a mind reader. Plus, you can use it to map out your social media and newsletter content for the rest of the year. So to get your hands on the Ultimate Guide to publicity in 2021, head to Katekordsmeier.com/publicity and grab your copy. Now it's free. the right kind of media attention can skyrocket your brand and your earning potential fast. So head on over to Katekordsmeier.com/publicity to get your calendar now. So tell me, tell me about how you did that. How did you actually start treating your art like a business?
Jenna Rainey 29:16
Well, I saw the first few years were just sloppy. They were sloppy all over the place. And just like, wow, this is exciting, like I have, you know, these people wanting to pay me money. That's pretty cool. But I don't think I really started absorbing the fact that I was going to have this business for a longest amount of time. Until it was like my third year of business. And it was like, Oh, I had 40 ish weddings that year. And it was like getting to a point where I was working way too much, but it was exciting. I was like, I can't believe people are paying me. And so I still don't think I made that switch in my mind where it was like, you know, you don't have to be an artists can also be starving you can be a thriving artists like I think I thought it was just like temporary and it was all going to go away at some point. And I, I kind of have that to a fault thinking of like, I don't trust many things or people. So I don't think I really started seeing that I had this knack for business I had this like, not that I cracked a certain code or anything, I just think it was like a perfect storm or combination of elements of I got my first book deal was in 2017 16. And, you know, that was exciting. Somebody wanted to publish a book, a watercolor book. And so it was just like I was spreading out. But I was also spreading my time out, I was spreading myself way too thin. This was around 2017, where I was working 6080 hours a week, I was trying to complete book deadlines. And I also had 40 plus wedding clients. And I was teaching workshops on the weekends, multiple workshops every weekend. And so I felt like, Okay, this can't be what I need to do, because it's either we're like, starving artists, because we have one client, you know, here and there. Or we're hustling our booties off to like, be like five artists at one time, basically. So I knew that that wasn't sustainable. I knew that that wasn't like, I was gonna have to find a day job, because there's no way that I could sustain this, this life. And I was losing friends because I wasn't, you know, commit, you know, following up on commitments and hanging out with people and all that. So it was just like, okay, we can't do this anymore. And so I think around 2017 18 is when I discovered we need to start automating things we need to like, create templates with our email list. So you know, when a client emails you, most of them have roughly, you know, the same questions, what's your, what's your time, all that kind of stuff. And so creating template responses or canned responses for client emails, and then setting up an email or growing an email list for my workshops that I was teaching on the weekends to remind people like I have a workshop in New York, grab a workshop in LA or whatever. So it wasn't like Hey, guys, I have a workshop and five people sign up or whatever, right? So I knew that I had to work a lot smarter than I was because I was working myself to the bone and so I just literally devoured any and all resource that I could that was on automation didn't matter if it was a creative business owner or if it was Neil Patel, or if it was, you know, some guy who's just like a podcaster but is making great money like I just wanted to absorb all and research all of the things and that's just like kind of my personality as well as just like literally become obsessed as we have found out what the art thing. So I just started devouring all information, I could YouTube videos, I took some courses like I took Amy Porterfield email list course and digital course Academy. And
Kate Kordsmeier 32:57
what I said I'm a student of Amy's too soon,
Jenna Rainey 33:01
another thing that I love her. So she she is obviously not a like creative, per se, but she gives us stem, she gets the backend stuff. She has like a launch runway and all that kind of stuff. So I taught a lot of workshops, hundreds and hundreds of workshops. So I know I'm a good teacher, but how do I, you know, put it online? How do I like make this thing online? Do I do webinars? Do I have an email, all this kind of stuff, I had no clue. So I basically just like started learning and absorbing everything and found that if you marry or you combine systems in organization, with artistic talent and genuine genuine ability to want to help people have something on your hands, because I share I have an audience on Instagram. I have an email list at this point now, but because I feel like because I was genuinely wanting to help people, and not from a marketing, wanting to help people, like let's see how we can increase our revenue. Like obviously, that is great. I definitely would love for my income to grow. But you know, marrying systems, your your talent or your skill, whatever that is photography, writing, art, whatever. And then genuinely wanting to help people with your free materials for your opt in for your email list for your YouTube videos for your podcast episodes. For the things you read on your blog, like making sure that you're giving them really good takeaways so that they can trust and have value in you. And then you have a product on your hands. And so I think that's when I discovered that like, my neck was teaching my passion was teaching but I could have no success if I stopped there. If I didn't do the research if I didn't take an invest in my business and taking Amy Porterfield course was like 2900 bucks or something. And that's so scary at the time. When I took it a few years ago. I was like that. That's insane. Like that is everything right? This is like, I am literally just paid people who pay pay attention. I don't know who said that. But somebody I heard somebody say that and it's so true. Because I devoured that Amy Porterfield course, I went even further and just like all the blog posts, all of the podcasts, everything, yeah. And I feel like that's like, where you really got to step it up as a business owner, if you're a creative and you're feeling like that starving artists mentality, or you're, you know, chained to your desk, you know, working around the clock, and or maybe you're not working around the clock, because nobody's coming in the door, and you're like, struggling to find clients, or work, it's time to really focus on education, and you don't need to pay. I'm not saying you have to buy an online course or you have to go to school. There's tons of free resources out there. And obviously, I think that there is a time and a place where a course or education is so so valuable. But I believe that's when I started really taking my business seriously. And becoming like a business person is when I started investing a lot of my time and a lot of my resources on learning and growing and taking it to the next level. Yeah,
Kate Kordsmeier 36:03
I'm so glad you said that. And I couldn't agree more. So. Okay, a couple follow up questions. One, another thing we have in common is that we both did something. And then now part of our business model is teaching other people how to do that thing. So for everybody listening, if you're, if you haven't heard of Janet before, Janet, you have 10 online courses now.
Jenna Rainey 36:29
And like, an insane amount, honestly. Okay, so
Kate Kordsmeier 36:32
you've actually got 10 online courses to books with a third on the way, you've got a podcast, you've got a YouTube channel, your Instagram is insane. And I could like it's so therapeutic just to watch your videos. So what was my question? I have several questions about that. But I guess the first one is, in my business. Let me put let me back up and give you some context then. So in my business, I started my business by having a had a holistic wellness blog. And once I started making good money from that, people started asking me, Hey, how are you doing this, then I created kind of a separate business that was okay, let me teach you how to make money blogging, which is the six figure book Academy. And they both still exist. And I think you've done something similar, where you have courses and programs where you're teaching other artists just like somebody like my mom who's like, I'm never gonna sell my art, I just want to learn how to do watercolor, she can go and buy some courses from you and take some trainings, and it's like a mini art school. But then you also have this other piece, which is teaching artists how to do what you've done and monetize their art and build a business from it. Is that right?
Jenna Rainey 37:39
Mm hmm. Yeah. So
Kate Kordsmeier 37:42
how do you what Which one do you find to be more successful? Like is it teaching other people how to make money or is it teaching the art itself?
Jenna Rainey 37:52
Well, just practically speaking, my so my product Ascension or whatever you want to call it for people who just want to paint or just want to learn how to paint and have it as a hobby and just kind of like learn art things and not have a business. I have my YouTube channel where we post weekly, multiple videos a week and so obviously that training on like, we teach basically everything I know about watercolor and art things on the YouTube channel so that is all accessible for free and then the next level up for people who want to take it to the next level is I have my books which are like 20 bucks 1920 bucks on Amazon or local bookstores and stuff like that. So we don't really have like obviously, that it makes good money. But it's not like a let's I'm not like worried about that area of my business that's like my giving back to people because I do think that when we're all able to be creative, the world is just a much better place because it's like therapy and very peaceful so I love teaching art so that's like a no brainer for me and it also helps to grow our channel growth helps to grow our you know, customer growth. But business wise I have probably six different business courses six or seven different business courses I have a course called Penn press that basically teaches everything you would need to know about growing and operating a custom stationery business so from greeting cards to wedding stationery and then I have a licensing course with my licensing agent Julie called brand plus brands so it teaches people who want maybe a more passive, you know, element to their business or they just want to do licensing they don't want to work with clients so that courses brand plus brands so anyway that the whole courses element of my business is definitely like the top income earner in the US. And then I have licensing still which I have roughly three anywhere from like three to eight partners per year where I'm licensing so where I'm you know, developing patterns for baby products or or stationary goods and planners and calendars and stuff like that. So But the most exciting part for me because it is like, there's a lot of systems, I love launching. I love launching online courses. I love creating online courses. That's why I have so many freakin online courses. But where I spend a lot of my time is creating developing online courses and making sure that I'm listening to my audience and know where they're struggling. I obviously know very well what they're struggling with, because I walked through it. But there's, you know, things are always changing. And my business has grown so much to this point where I want to stay in touch with what people are currently struggling with. And obviously business changes every year. Yeah. All that. So.
Kate Kordsmeier 40:37
Okay, awesome. So with all of those different things that you're doing, and I know you talked about like in the beginning, or maybe in the middle, you felt like this? Well, I can either be a starving artist, or I can just Hustle, Hustle, Hustle and sacrifice everything else in my life. So you've now found this balance. So how do you prioritize your workload and manage your time? I think you have a baby, too, right? Yes,
Jenna Rainey 41:00
we have a two year old and we don't have a nanny yet. We are on the cusp of hiring a nanny because we're like, john works. My husband works with me too. He does everything for the YouTube channel. Obviously, besides teaching, but he is my videographer, he edits the videos, he does the SEO for all the titles and descriptions and posts them and all of that kind of stuff. So he works full time with it with me too. And then I have an operations manager Kelly, and then just random contractors every month, you know, like ads manager, copywriter, that sort of thing. But yes, we have a two year old and we both work, try to work full time. And obviously, we have to be very, very on our toes and flexible every single day, depending on naptimes. And but I have, I think a unique way of how I approach my time. So I mean, it's not nothing rocket science, or that I'm not the first person obviously. But I love batch working, and very, very like strict batch working. So I batch work over a week. And I have the same topic for every week of the month. So like the first week of the month is writing my newsletter for my email list, I bang out all four of the next month or more emails. And then I'm writing things that have to do like with creating my next courses outline or updates for current courses that we already have. And maybe we're getting feedback from students and seeing that they still have a certain need that's not in the course. So we're creating updates for courses. So that's the first week second week is usually YouTube, either brainstorming and filming, or, you know, just creating ideas for the YouTube channel. We're usually filming that week. third week is core stuff and licensing stuff. And then fourth week is my book stuff since I have a third book due at the end of this year. And so I have tasks in Asana that are very specific and they don't like obviously I'm going to be flexible if something comes up. But because I am so and actually diagnosed with ADD not just like saying I'm add, so add, and then the toddler and you know all that kind of stuff going on. I need structure I always thought like oh structure is for type a people structures not for me. I'm like creative and out of the box. I don't Sure. Like that's going to be suffocating. But I have like, implemented it here and there throughout the years. And then Kelly, my operations manager, she's like structure queen. And she's like, oh, I'll build out the projects for is that in Asana if she wasn't honestly, if she wasn't on my team, there's no way I continue with this. But yeah, she's she builds out all the projects, she makes sure you know, every week is blocked off for specific tasks, and nothing is like filtering. And so even if I have like a podcast interview, it's during a specific week that we're scheduling it not outside of that. So I can prepare mentally. I can sit down and I'm ready to work instead of like, what should I do first? Or like, Oh, yeah, wasn't there an email that I was supposed to respond to that had like something that was due from like, last week? And so there's no, I'm never wasting time? Well, that's not true. I do waste time. But there's a moment where I'm like, sitting there wondering what I should be doing next week, already planned,
Kate Kordsmeier 44:12
or totally overwhelmed by I have a million things to do, because we all have a million things to do. But I this is the email that my mom sent me that was like you could have written this was your email about batching. Yeah, and because I'm the same way, and I even I just hired a new ops manager in December, and was on a call with me yesterday. And she said, I've noticed that you do things in chunks. So I'll get 10 emails from you in a row and I realize it's because you haven't looked at your email until you just sat down and you spent an hour going through it. Yeah, and that I mean, I do the same thing for everything. Like even podcast recording. I only record like two days a month if I can help it. I mean, of course like yes, sometimes you have to be flexible. There's a guest you really want to have or an opportunity comes up they can only do it this day. It's like Alright, fine. Well work. But yeah, so two or three days a month, I record all the episodes. And yeah, same thing. And it is amazing how to me it's like, it's almost it's structured in that you have this container. And it's really clear and defined. But it's, I feel like it does allow for so much more flexibility than, like, then having this really strict schedule.
Jenna Rainey 45:25
Mm hmm. And I find too, especially my licensing weeks, so my licensee saying weeks are when I get a lot of my painting done. And then the other weeks are more like, I'm on my computer. You know, writing outlines, creating funnels or, you know, workflows, and my email is stuff like that, that I really do love now. But the third week of the month, where I'm licensing, that's where I'm painting, that's where I'm creating content for my Instagram to post you know, you know, videos of me painting or designing patterns or whatever. And I find that if I'm like, okay, Monday, Tuesday of every week, if I bang out the emails that I have to write for my newsletter on Monday, then look at all the other days, I have to focus on the other months throughout the year, where I can write four emails, and I'm in a span because I'm really good at writing to my audience, I know them super well. It was me 765 years ago. So I can sit and focus on one task and not ping pong between tasks between tasks focus, I feel cool. Yeah.
Kate Kordsmeier 46:28
Because when you're trying to do Oh, I wrote an email, even if you are doing things like focus, like you don't, you're not distracted by other, you know, alerts and notifications and stuff. But maybe you write an email, and then you do this other thing. And then you do this other thing in your brain, like you're switching between totally different tasks that require different parts of your brain different focuses different like energies. And so even if you're focused for that one hour, I still find like, I would rather just be focused for like, three hours straight on the same thing, and then just be done. And, yeah.
Jenna Rainey 47:02
For all the creatives listening, you guys all know about flow state and flow state doesn't just happen when you're painting or when you're writing something creative, like flow state happens. No matter what you're doing, if you're writing emails for your email list, if you're creating workflows in your email list, that it you can always encounter flow state. And so if we're interrupting that flow state, we're never going to do our best work or most efficient work. So I found that batch working is like, where I can find the best flow state for any task. Totally.
Kate Kordsmeier 47:32
I love it. Okay, you mentioned you Love Live launching, or you love launching. So my question is your courses? Are they evergreen always available? You only launch them during specific times of the year? What How does your marketing work for those,
Jenna Rainey 47:46
so most of our courses are not evergreen. So there are specific times throughout the year, we're planning our marketing schedule every year in October. So this last October, November, we planned for 2021. So we have very specific open windows for registration. And then we do internal launches about six months out from the live outward launch. So our internal launch is just for people who sign up for the waitlist, maybe they missed the opportunity to sign up earlier in the year, or they are just now finding out about it, or they didn't have the money for the investment. So they need to save a little bit more. So once the waitlist reaches a certain number, where it's been like about six months, we're internally launching, and I'm currently in the middle of an internal launch for Penn depress. It started on Monday and ends on Friday. So we do a five day internal launch to people who are on the waitlist, and then our external lunch for anybody who hears about it on the podcast or on my Instagram email list all of that it's going to the main email list, not just the waitlist. It's a seven day launch. And so, for example, Penn depress it's January right now, right? Yep. Yeah. And we're in the middle of the internal launch. And I've had this course since late 2017. So I've launched it a few times, but internal launch. And then our main launch is in June. So we it's a roughly like about six months out. And I have four main courses that I'm launching every single year. The rest of them are like mini courses, where they're like $45, or $57. Like I have a course on creating a collection, a surface pattern design collection, that's 50 $57, that's evergreen, and stationary mockup course, that's evergreen, that's $45. And then I have an SEO Crash Course that's about the same amount. I think it's 57, I can't remember. But that's also evergreen. So those are for people who need those quick wins, who maybe don't have the budget to invest in panda press. So they're going to take the stationary mockup course, just to like get their feet wet, and then they can like take it and run with it on their own or maybe invest in Penny press later on. And so those are evergreen and we have you know, funnels inside of my email list that are always leading people to those evergreen courses or resources in my show. So I don't have to worry about promoting anything that's evergreen, you know all the time on my Instagram like, shoot, I haven't talked about that in a while, I should probably talk about it on my Instagram or write an email about it. So we kind of weaved in designed to be weaved in automatically through the email list.
Kate Kordsmeier 50:16
So we get I imagine with so many different courses that you have to have some pretty advanced segmenting and tagging and stuff happening in your email service provider. Who do you use?
Jenna Rainey 50:26
We use drip for the email service provider.
At first I wasn't happy with it because it seems pretty expensive. But the more I'm working with it, it's a good investment. I was with MailChimp for the first like three or four years of my gosh, wow. Yeah. And then once I started doing online courses, I was like MailChimp is really not cutting it. So
Kate Kordsmeier 50:48
we upgraded a few years ago to drip and I do love it. What do you use? So we I used to use a, I use Active Campaign for emails, but then I had like seven other tools that I had to use to get all of my stuff working and talking to each other. And then in November of last year, 2020 we migrated everything to kartra. And now we have one system, it saved me $12,000 a year. And one thing it does, usually one all in one systems I feel like are like yeah, you're lacking in a few things. You're not really great at any of them. But with car drive. I'm so happy with it. Yeah, it's been helpful. Okay, they're interrupting this programming for just a second, tell me Do any of the following sound like you. You've been trying to create a successful blog for months, maybe even years, but haven't gained any serious traction that inspires you to keep going. Or maybe you've had some on and off blogging successes, but you feel like you're just winging it. Time isn't your friend, you've got a never ending to do list and you don't know what you need to be doing right now to stay on track and earn a consistent income. Maybe you don't even have a blog yet. And you're just not sure where to start when it comes to growing and monetizing a blog. Or let's be honest, if it's even possible to make money blogging. Well, my friend if you relate to any of these challenges, I've got you covered. I'm about to show you how to generate some serious blogging momentum in my free training three behind the scenes secrets to profitable blogging in 2020 and beyond. If you're frustrated by your lack of progress with your blog, despite working tirelessly on it, and if you're ready to unleash your inner entrepreneur badass, who already knows she's worthy and successful and can do anything she puts her mind to, even if your inner critic is currently calling the shots, then this masterclass is a must attend. Head on over to Katekordsmeier.com/masterclass to register now, it's totally free. That's Katekordsmeier.com/masterclass. I'll see you there.
You know, with having different funnels and stuff and making sure okay, this person like what's your tagging? I mean, I know you can't go into like all of the detail, but there's making sure okay, this person expressed interest in calligraphy versus this type, this type of business and then you're like funneling them through all the time, right, two different,
Jenna Rainey 53:31
different things, talking about this stuff, I actually am working on an email marketing course currently that's launching in April. And so I'm like, knee deep in tagging, segmenting topics and all of that stuff, because I love talking about email lists, it's literally I think what saved my business in the last few years is automation and tagging and segmenting and making sure you're sending the right thing to the right people at the right time. So you know, less than your subscribes and all that so and increase your revenue so I we have over 20 different opt in opportunities for people so we have 20 different plus freebies Leanback whatever you want to call them, that are designed to be so we have at least two to four specific lead magnets per course. And so for example, my pen depress course I have a stationary or a Photoshop editing course which you know, when you really understand your audience even if you don't have an audience where you don't have people on your like Instagram or email lists like doing keyword research on Pinterest is huge. And or on Google is huge. And just trying to figure out okay, what is who is my ideal client in the first place? And what are they struggling with what's like the first win that they need in order to get to this place that they want to be what's their dream life and then work backwards from that. So obviously, with my course pen, depress, I know that person super well because that was me when I started my business and about three years and so we have people who are have started working with wedding stationery clients, but just don't know how to have it like be like a well oiled machine. And then we have people who just want to start it but have no clue where to start. And so I have a lead magnet for those people, which is the Photoshop editing course. So how to scan your own artwork, how to edit and remove the paper background and just get it ready to design paper products, whether that's greeting cards or custom stationery. And then I have a Pinterest keyword research guide. That is for people who already know how to do that that stuff. Like they're pretty well versed in design and art and all they know how to scan their work and all of that. But they just help with getting people in the door and like emailing them and asking what's your pricing. And Pinterest is huge, huge, huge asset for wedding stationery because people are planning their weddings on Pinterest. Yeah, so if you know how to write keyword, you know how to do keyword research and write titles and descriptions for Pinterest, you are going to attract a lot of your dream clients. And so we have those two lead magnets, those are completely free, hosted on the landing pages hosted on my website. And so we obviously have tags for those specific lead magnets. So you know, if they signed up for the keyword one, or if they signed up for the video course, because there's different avenues that they can go down. If they signed up for the video course they can buy the stationery mockup course for $45. If it's a long time before we launch the main course pen depress then we're sending them the Evergreen course that's $45 and our shop. And then for people who are going down the funnel for the Pinterest keyword research, we're sending them to my podcast, we're sending them additional resources that we think they will love, you know, specific podcast episodes about Pinterest, or about SEO and that sort of thing. And then pitching them the SEO Crash Course which is evergreen in our shop. But again, it depends on timing, right. So like I don't want to pitch them the SEO Crash Course, the week of or the week before or even the month before. We're about to launch panda press because I don't First of all, I don't want to sell to my people constantly. That is just a bad taste in everybody's mouth, and it leads to unsubscribes. And it just feels sleazy. So we're always you know, when are they opening, tagging on when people are opening things. And when people start a funnel and making sure we're pausing sales funnels, or we're pausing. You know, lead magnet funnels if we need to are getting people through them quicker, quicker if it's leading up to a launch. So there's a lot of tagging, lots of segmenting going on. It can be a brain Bender, at times, especially leading up to a brand new launch, when you're creating like, we're in the middle of that right now. Like, okay, if somebody signs up for this, what's the timing around, you know, are they going to finish that lead magnet funnel of five emails or whatever before, you know, with a good amount of time before we start selling to them for the course like, are they going to be warmed up enough to pitch to them this like $497 course or should we wait and like move them to the waitlist or ask them to join the waitlist and then pitch them next year. So it's a whole lot of back end stuff. That is it's very overwhelming at first. And that's why I took a couple courses on email marketing, and I devoured everything that I could to learn. But now that it's a system, and now that it's a really like intricate workflow. It is just recurring revenue and warming people up all year round, before we have to pick. Yeah, I
Kate Kordsmeier 58:21
mean, I think if anybody's listening in it, you know, your eyes kind of start to cross like, Oh, my gosh, this is so complicated. I have no idea how to do this. I mean, nobody's born knowing how to do this. So it's something that you have to learn. It takes some practice, but it is totally possible. And then, you know, essentially, once you set it up once, then it just runs in the background. And there's no nothing manual to do for it, which I think is the best. The best part is just the you know, you're providing the best user experience, even though you're not having to do anything on a day to day. Manual basis.
Jenna Rainey 58:54
Kate Kordsmeier 58:55
I love it. I know we're coming up on the end of our time. And I'm like, gosh, I could talk to you forever.
Jenna Rainey 59:02
Kate Kordsmeier 59:03
let's see, I'm looking at my list of questions to make sure I get the most pressing ones here. Let's talk about Instagram for a second because you have created such an engaged thriving Instagram community. I know you mentioned like you got on, you know, at a good time. And there is a piece of luck to that. But it's not just luck. And you've maintained this for years now. So if you could give people like, you know, your two best things to do on Instagram, what is it?
Jenna Rainey 59:36
Yeah, so it's very different than what I would say 678 years ago. It's very different platform. The algorithm is always changing. And I do feel like a lot of people get consumed with algorithm and blaming everything on the algorithm which I don't, I don't blame you. It's very annoying. When you're like working towards D, you're doing all the things and like crickets, that's so frustrating. And so my biggest tip for people is to actively pursue engagement on other people's platforms first, before you expect it to come to yours. So if you have, let's say 2000 followers, or 2500, or even, you know, 500 followers like that are potential clients, like obviously, if you have a smaller account, it's most likely going to be like family and friends on there. And so they maybe don't want to purchase your online course about email marketing. So we need to find people. And I talked about looking at your insights, your view insights on your business or creator, Instagram page, and making sure you're saying, okay, we have, you know, on this particular post, we have people coming from the Explorer page, this amount, amount of people coming from the Explorer page, this amount of people coming from hashtags, and this amount of people just coming from DMS, or, you know, stories or whatever. And so doubling down on like, Okay, so this means that this was working, so these hashtags were working, or I need to start using hashtags and all of that. So it's a very different story if you're just like trying to starting to build an account. But I think once you get to a point where you're like, Okay, I know at least 25 to 50 people on here are complete strangers, like they could potential customers of mine, like that is a lot of customers 25 to 50 people, so many people are like, I need 100,000 followers, or even 10,000 followers, in order to have a successful business. And first of all, successful businesses are happening all of the time outside of Instagram. But it's not really like, it's so intimidating to think I need that k next to my number. When you think about 25 to 50 clients a year, that's a lot of clients. And so obviously, when we want to continue to grow it and not just like, okay, I can stop now. But finding people are the best tips I would have for growing your Instagram account to get to a point where you can see that it's not just mom and Aunt Susie, and your friend, like I'm following you on Instagram is using hashtags and never copy and pasting your hashtags, or has set of hashtags every single time. Because with how intelligent the algorithm is, these days, it's going to continue to get more and more intelligent, there's going to continue to be more and more bot accounts on Instagram that they're wanting to crack down on. And people who are wanting to just get followers really quickly, you know, follow her follow that sort of thing, or posting booty pics when it's not really about. It's not really the content, like the caption is totally different from what the content is. And they're just trying to get, you know, a lot of likes, or a lot of followers really quickly. So the algorithm is there to basically not let that happen anymore and not have these accounts that are just getting huge overnight because they post booty pic picture, whatever you're the follow for follow sleaziness.
We interpret that for our accounts. And like obviously, something that a bot would do is just copy and paste the same thing over and over again, copy and paste the same set of hashtags. So I have like five to seven different saved sets of hashtags that I'm always pulling from in my notes app on my phone. And I'm using those and then throwing in a couple random ones here and there to make sure it's different. And then I'm always looking at my insights on each post and making sure my my hashtags are performing well. Like how many are my hashtags reaching? How many Am I reaching just from the Explore page and that sort of thing. And like oh, videos are doing really well this week. So let's do more videos. So always be testing my marketing director, Sarah says this all the time, abt always be testing. And then and then the thing that I already mentioned. But my second point would be to, if you're not getting the engagement, you want to see you have to be actively pursuing engagement on other people's platforms before you can expect to see it on your own. So that's going through your follower list and looking at people who aren't familiar to aren't family and friends, messaging, messaging them, like, Hey, I'm so glad you're here. So happier here. I would love to know what you thought of my most recent post or if you're learning watercolor, if you're wanting to learn more about XYZ, whatever, I would love to chat with you and just get to know you and and provide you with the content or you know, just in a non sleazy way genuine way, like I would love to help you with this or that or love to know why you're here even just to keep it simple. And then going on industry leader accounts. So people in your industry who have more followers than you or have a more, quote unquote established business than you who have, you know, this pool of an audience, where if you're commenting on their stuff regularly, their other people, their dedicated followers are also commenting regularly and seeing those other comments regularly. So if you have something insightful to say informational, say or encouraging or whatever, it's gonna most likely encourage other followers eventually to click on your profile. If they like what they see. Then they are you followers. Yeah,
Kate Kordsmeier 1:04:49
I love it.
one last question. And then we're just going to get into our quick lightning round which is really fast, but I know you've now Built a seven figure business. And I think there's a lot of talk about this happening lately in the online marketing world. And I've heard different things. So I'm curious what what your thought is. But did you? What was the hardest step to get to? Was it making your first 100,000? Was it 100? To 500? You know, and then there's the snowball effect, what was the hardest
Jenna Rainey 1:05:23
hurdle to Chrome? That's a good question. I would say the hardest hurdle for me, well, all of them were difficult, because I didn't really get smart financially, a couple years ago, like, Okay, this is we should probably minimize our expenses a little bit here. Or not, you know, anyway, you get it. But I would say I would say the, the biggest hurdle for me was getting above the 500,000. A year mark, like, the first 150 to 250. Like, I know, this is gonna sound really awful to people who are just starting, but like, to me when I was making 250,000 a year, I live in California, you know, housing is high. I also had really high overhead because I wanted to start an online, like a physical goods shop with prints and all that. And that's where a lot of artists get kind of trapped is like, overhead monster. And so I was I was consumed by that, like, Oh, I need a semi custom wedding line, like, so people can just hop on my website and order things. And I had stock in inventory of those semi custom things. To send out a samples, I had stock, an inventory of prints that I was selling in my shop. And then I also had, you know, wedding clients who would pay me one month, but it was like, after I'd been paying these printing invoices, and so all this overhead, like, balance that I was doing, and it was really difficult for me to manage. And so even when I was making 250,000 a year, I know that for some people sounds like a lot. But again, you have to think of business revenue, and income is very different than what you take home. I felt like I was barely scraping by. And so and it was like, not until I really understood how business finances worked. And I still don't, it's a huge world, obviously. But not until I was like, oh, minimizing overhead is a good idea. And like, you know, having, obviously I had a business account, but just meant making sure that I was managing my finance, finances, business finances in a really organized way. And trying to minimize my overhead as much as possible. So I got rid of my shop with prints, I got rid of my semi custom line that nobody bought anyways. And all of those things that weren't that seemed cool. And other people seemed like they were having success with but it wasn't for me. And I just wasn't good at managing overhead. And so that was the biggest I was probably in that stretch for a good three years. And I finally was like, okay, passive income, less overhead, making sure I'm checking in with my finances weekly, daily, if I can, and seeing where my money's going, trying to, you know, minimize or not cut corners, but you know, have the instead of paying for plan to schedule my Instagram, like maybe I can do a system that works where it's more manual, but it's just not on an outside platform that I'm paying 19 bucks a year on or whatever. I know, it's small amount, but you know, just trying to be smart in every little nook and cranny.
Kate Kordsmeier 1:08:18
Yeah, for sure. I know. And I think that is so true. Because people will say, you know, oh, I have a six figure launch or Oh, I know brought in whatever X amount of money and people always think like, that's what you personally took home as a business. It's like, man, there's taxes, there's all the software, there's all the overhead, there's all the employees or even just contractors that you have to pay to do all those things. Like it takes a lot more money than one or 200,000 to personally bring in over six figures like so much. So thank you for being honest about that. Okay, Jenna, we're gonna move into our lightning round but before we do that, where can everybody find you?
Jenna Rainey 1:09:01
So my website and Instagram is just my name Jenna, rainy, rainy, like the weather but with an E. And all my online courses are on there. My latest partnerships are collabs in licensing are on there. And then I have a podcast called the generate a show on all podcast playing platforms. And yeah, those are my spots.
Kate Kordsmeier 1:09:24
I love it. Well, your website, like I said is gorgeous. I love it so much. Okay, so lightning round. What's your favorite way to make time for self care while running your own business? Oh,
Jenna Rainey 1:09:35
so get up early. I'm not great at this. I'm trying to be better I'm trying to like every time my alarm goes off at 530 be like you don't want to be mediocre today. Do you? Just like talking myself and getting myself out of bed because otherwise, and I know it's different for everyone because like your schedule or what type of person you are. Maybe you're a night owl. I am my most creative and my most likely able to get things done in the morning. But I also like I know, I won't work out in the afternoon, I know I won't work it out at night, I'll just lay on the couch and like scroll forever. So and I know I feel my best and I have my most energy, I'm the best, you know, business owner, Mom, wife, all those things if I work out. So we are trying this new thing, waking up stupid early and working out. So I don't really necessarily have a hack for it, because it's a struggle every time. But my alarm is in a different room, which helps, it's actually so it makes me Get up. And then just I've adopted this phrase of you don't want to be mediocre today, do you? I don't know where it came from? I don't know. Everybody out there, but it really just it gets me in bed.
Kate Kordsmeier 1:10:51
All right. How about a tool or a strategy that you use to help with time management.
Jenna Rainey 1:10:56
Asana is my favorite, you know, just management tool in general. And we use every hour for tracking our time. So that's another way of you know, minimizing expenses and like, Oh, I spend way too much time recording podcasts or I do this for too long. So you know, and then when you're creating courses, it's really helpful to see where you're spending your time and all that where the money is being spent. But Asana is by far, has by far been the best, like organization platform tool.
Kate Kordsmeier 1:11:27
So yeah, awesome. How about the most powerful or just one recently, that's been really impactful, a business mindset entrepreneurial book that you've read.
Jenna Rainey 1:11:39
I love rocket fuel by Gino wickman. Great book. Also, traction by him is a great book, I would say those are my top for entrepreneurs, even if you're a solo printer, whatever, I think that they're very valuable. rocket fuel is more about team building management. But traction is really, really good.
Kate Kordsmeier 1:12:01
I agree. Those two are at the top of my list as well. Do you have a mantra affirmation or a quote or anything you're telling yourself lately, I guess you already shared one of them.
Jenna Rainey 1:12:14
It's so condescending. I mean, there's that one, I also have one, I'm gonna have to pull it up because it's kind of it's not super long. But it's like something that I'm always saying to myself or reading to myself is my life is filled with boundless joy, endless wealth, infinite abundance, daily miracles, and also perfect health and perfect balance in body, mind and spirit. Because I mean, I'm assuming this is you because you're wellness person, or were a wellness person. I have autoimmune diseases. I have like a lot of behind the scenes, not like, detrimental or anything, I'm not dying, but health stuff going on. And so I found that affirmations and just like starting my day off, obviously, I'm kicking my booty first by saying you don't want to be mediocre today, do you? But let's we worked out. I've been doing CrossFit. So it's a little intense, we're not going and you know, meditatively saying I'm abundant and wealth, going into CrossFit, but afterwards, you know, just kind of calming down and repeating that to myself. I don't do it every day. But that's something that has always been really comforting to me. And whether it's you know, manifesting or not, I'm not sure I don't really do that. But it's just comforting, and it brings a lot of peace to me.
Kate Kordsmeier 1:13:24
Yeah. Beautiful. Okay, obviously, the show is called Success with Soul. What does Success with Soul mean to you,
Jenna Rainey 1:13:31
holistic, I think it's, you know, something that, to me is a word that, like I try to focus on when I'm so narrowly focusing on like, we just need to make X amount of money this month, or X amount of money this year. That's when things start to feel very chaotic and very just not aligned. And so obviously, Success with Soul to me just feels like something that is like whole body whole. Obviously, your soul is one part of your body. Maybe it's your spiritual body. But it's to me something that's all encompassing, it comes from an authentic place. And I know I'm saying these words that are like really woowoo. And like, so catchphrase, but it really is true. Like when you're able to find something that you're very passionate about, and it aligns with wanting to bring value and Joy to the world, or to the people you're helping or providing your products for. That's when I think it all starts fall into place, even revenue and all that because it's just clicking and you understand it a whole lot better.
Kate Kordsmeier 1:14:36
Yeah, totally agree. Thanks so much for coming on. Jen. I was so fun chatting with you.
Jenna Rainey 1:14:42
Thanks for having me. It was super fun.
Kate Kordsmeier 1:14:49
Wait a minute. I know I know you're eager to get back to your life. But before you turn off this episode, I want to share something super quick with you. I know you're probably sick of hearing other podcasters ask you to leave reviews. But here's the deal. If you like a podcast, and you want them to be able to continue delivering you free episodes every week, we need your support. If you subscribe on the apple podcast, Google podcast, app, Spotify, or wherever you listen, it makes it possible for me to continue to provide free helpful content and bring you amazing guests. And if you take it one step further, by giving us a rating and review with your honest feedback, we can improve better serve you in the future. And you could even be featured on a future episode during our listener spotlights. Because if we don't get the reviews, we don't get the rankings. And it makes it a lot harder to continue justifying the cost and time expense of producing a podcast every week, and convincing amazing guests to come on the show. And of course, your reviews are super helpful and motivating to me personally and I love hearing from you. So on that note we're going to end this episode with another listener spotlight. Here we go. This review comes from Hannah Plaxico Hannah says I just recently stumbled across Kate's Instagram and started listening to her podcast because I was so intrigued by the information she was sharing. Better than that, though Kate's podcasts aren't just informative. They are encouraging the tips that she and her guests offer are easily applicable and help you feel like success isn't so far out of reach. For a new blogger like myself, the information is great, but the encouragement is even better. Thanks so much Hannah. I am rooting for you always.
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We are an LGBTQIA-affirming, interfaith-oriented, diverse organization. We are committed to social and environmental justice, including civil rights, dismantling systems of oppression like the Patriarchy, White Supremacy and Diet Culture. We believe Black Lives Matter.