[00:00:00] Emily Thompson:
Welcome to Being Boss, a podcast for creatives, business owners and entrepreneurs who want to take control of their work and live life on their own terms. I'm your host, Emily Thompson. And in this episode, I'm joined by none other than my OG business bestie, Kathleen Shannon, to talk about her finally launching her YouTube channel, including a peak behind her creative process from finally taking the leap to the nuts and bolts of filming and editing and more. You can find all the tools, books, and links
[00:00:29] we reference on the show notes at www.beingboss.club. And if you like this episode, be sure to subscribe to this show and share us with a friend.
[00:00:40] Need another podcast recommendation? How about one that's closing the gap in helping more women level up by sharing stories and strategies from powerful women in leadership. That's what you'll get when you listen to CEO School by Suneera Madhani brought to you by the HubSpot podcast network. One of my favorite recent episodes was with Yasmine Cheyenne, a self-healing educator, talking about setting boundaries and prioritizing what's most important to you.
[00:01:08] What you know is perfectly aligned to the conversations that we have here at Being Boss. Learn more and listen to CEO School, wherever you get your podcasts.
[00:01:22] Kathleen Shannon is the co-founder and former co-host of the Being Boss podcast. Kathleen is a partner and creative director at Braid Creative, a branding agency she founded with her sister over 10 years ago. Kathleen's newest title is YouTuber while the platforms have changed. Kathleen has always lived by capturing, sharing and shaping who she is, whether that's a blog post, a podcast on social media or now on
[00:01:48] YouTube. Well, come back to Being Boss, Kathleen.
[00:01:51] Kathleen Shannon: Thanks for having me, Emily. it's always good to be back.
[00:01:58] Emily Thompson: Indeed. I'm always so glad to have you back. And this one I think is gonna be an especially fun one because less of like a business besty conversation about whatever is like on our minds, you've done something cool.
[00:02:14] Kathleen Shannon: I have done something cool. What did you do? I finally started a YouTube channel.
[00:02:21] Emily Thompson: Do you hear that everybody, anyone who's been listening for any amount of time has heard the many dreamy iterations of Kathleen's desired YouTube channel. And I think maybe even to like kick it off, do you remember all of the kinds of YouTube channels you've ever wanted to make?
[00:02:39] Kathleen Shannon: I don’t. I don't remember. Remind me. I don't really either. Because I really don't recall. Have I talked about this very much on the podcast?
[00:02:50] Emily Thompson: Oh my god, yes. Every time we're ever talking about like creative aspirations, you're like, give me a YouTube channel for like X, Y, and Z.
[00:02:57] Kathleen Shannon: Okay, well then this has been a long time coming.
[00:03:01] Emily Thompson: A very long time coming and the ones I can remember, I mean, there's, I feel like there's always been a makeup one floating around.
[00:03:07] Kathleen Shannon: Oh, mm-hmm. Yeah.
[00:03:08] Emily Thompson: I feel like maybe an interior design one, like kind of like your old blog, maybe.
[00:03:13] Kathleen Shannon: Yep. Well, I was gonna launch a new blog whenever I moved into this house. Yep. That was kind of like the old blog, but I decided not to do that, but I mean, I had the whole thing just lined up and ready to go and then I didn't launch it.
[00:03:27] Emily Thompson: And then you didn't do it.
[00:03:27] And I, I feel like there's been like a couple of attempts at some like travel vlogging, along the way.
[00:03:34] Kathleen Shannon: And you know, I was starting to put together little clips of movies, like specifically thinking about that little montage I did whenever we were on book tour in New York City. And that was so fun. Just recording on my iPhone.
[00:03:47] I edit it together in iMovie, on my phone, on the plane ride home. So yeah, this has been a long time coming. And I was thinking about it. I started capturing and shaping and sharing content way back in the live journal days. We may have even talked about this on the last episode that I was on about creating intentional content.
[00:04:07] Now, whenever I was live journaling and blogging in those early days, that content was not intentional. That content was just kind of like throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks, but not even that, because I wasn't even, I didn't even have the intention of anything sticking. I was really just using it as truly a personal place of expression and sharing and really not caring who consumes it or you know, what kind of audience I build or never even thinking about turning it into a business like that was all just a byproduct of showing up and sharing who I am.
[00:04:46] Right. So I started by blogging in the early, early days. It got a little bit more, I would say “professional.” Whenever I started a blog where I was documenting basically learning how to become an adult. And I was cooking and designing my first house, buying my first house, getting married, you know, sharing all that stuff that most people were sharing in 2008,
[00:05:09] if you were a blogger. And I was obsessed with like reading mom blogs, but I didn't have a kid yet. Now you couldn't pay me to read a mom blog. Like I want nothing to do with it. Yeah. Don't don't do that. And then after blogging, I started my business. I started freelancing. I started blogging about freelancing. From there,
[00:05:29] that's probably around the time that you and I became friends. Yep. I started Braid Creative. I wanted to use content sharing as a tool at Braid Creative. And this is whenever branding agencies, marketing agencies weren't really blogging very much. So we started a blog component that turned into selling e-courses and then eventually that turned into us starting the Being Boss podcast.
[00:05:55] So we started the podcast, did that for a few years, and as we all know, I quit about a couple years ago at the beginning of 2020. I sold Being Boss to you fully so that you could take it and run with. And ever since then, I've been wondering what is the next thing? And everyone has been asking me what is the next thing?
[00:06:16] And if you've listened to our episode on burnout, you'll know I was really burned out and you were burnt out as well. And I remember even coming back like six months later and you were like, I'm over burnout. And I was like, I'm sure as hell not, I am still recovering. And it took me a solid two years to recover from the burnout of running braid, running Being Boss, trying to make it all do, being a mom.
[00:06:43] It was just a lot, but now I can officially say, I have gotten over the burnout hump. And this is actually a new realization, even as a byproduct of starting this YouTube, I have recovered from my burnout fully, and it was almost like I needed a new creative expression to fully see myself out of that valley.
[00:07:06] So, I started a YouTube channel and I can tell you more about how it happened and what I'm doing and what I'm excited about, but what do you, what do you think? What do you have any questions for me?
[00:07:18] Emily Thompson: So many and mostly I'm just so excited that you're creating content again. I mean, as you mentioned, like I found you back in the blogging days and I used to love, like, seeing all the things that you put together. I'll never forget your Everest base camp, like that whole little series of blog posts and just like so many things that you were doing.
[00:07:40] I mean, it's the reason I pitched you to do this podcast with me, all the things. So to see you back in the saddle, it makes me so happy for you and so excited, but I do have a dozen little questions along the way and mostly.
[00:07:54] Kathleen Shannon: Well, one thing just real quick, one thing about thinking about starting a YouTube and my experience in capturing and shaping and sharing content and sharing intentional content is that it's allowed me to have an intentional life.
[00:08:09] And for the past two years, nothing about life has felt very intentional. It's felt very reactionary. And part of that is in due to COVID, part of that's in due to, a kid starting school, a big move from Oklahoma to Michigan, and really just trying to stay afloat and really just trying to survive.
[00:08:30] And I'm ready to live a more intentional life again. And I have found that whenever I can punctuate my experiences by really capturing them and letting them soak in and letting them integrate it. One makes me not so afraid of time going by so fast, cause you all know I'm like so freaked out. I feel like tomorrow. She is basically dead.
[00:08:53] Yeah. I'm gonna blink. I'm gonna be 70. Then I'm gonna be 80. Then I'm gonna be dying and I'm gonna be dead. So it really does kind of help alleviate those fears. Like my fear of just timing, time moving by so fast to really just, it allows me to be present with myself. And it allows me to think about what is it that I wanna capture?
[00:09:14] What is it that I wanna remember? What is it that I wanna share about my life? And so, yeah, it feels like creating intentional content is really just leading to a very intentional life. And I'm ready to just get back in that saddle.
[00:09:28] Emily Thompson: Mm, that is one thing I miss about being on Instagram is I do feel like I was doing the same back in the day whenever I was curating a lot of that.
[00:09:35] So it's interesting to hear that you sorta have picked up that thing. Then why not go back to blogging or why not? Like, why not do something you had already done and maybe in the same vein, like why YouTube slash video?
[00:09:50] Kathleen Shannon: Well, it's funny that you mentioned Instagram because it's dying. I can feel it. We can all feel it.
[00:09:56] Oh yeah. I mean, and you, Emily always have your finger on the pulse. You jump that ship, you know? Yeah. For you were an early adopter in digging the hell off of there. Right. So I still love Instagram. I found, I have found that blogging, I love writing. Mm-hmm. I love it. However, I felt like I put a full
[00:10:19] pin in it whenever we wrote our book, like going back to blogging feels like taking a step back, almost. Yep. So I was blogging, I'm still writing all the time and I'm using my skills in crafting a story by writing to develop out the talks I'm going to give or to develop out some of my YouTube ideas, even though so far, I've been a little bit more fly by the seat of my pants and not really scripting anything out at all.
[00:10:46] We can talk a little bit more about that in a minute. So, I love the idea of it, but I'm writing a lot. I'm writing a lot for my job. I'm writing, emails even. So I feel like I've been there and done that. I love podcasting. I love podcasting so much. And I assumed that whatever I did next would be along that same vein yet I was ready to do something that was fully and wholly my own.
[00:11:16] So with podcasting, I mean, what am I gonna do? You know? And what am I gonna talk about? I feel like I've said everything that I have to say. That's really valuable on Being Boss, right. And I can come hang out with you anytime and kind of like anytime, scratch that podcasting itch. Yep. I'll scratch it for you.
[00:11:36] I loved, the thing that I love the most about podcasting is getting to have, to be in conversation with somebody else. And I love that so much. And I even thought about doing that with my YouTube, but then logistically it's just a lot more work. And again, it's a little bit less creative control.
[00:11:54] Even if I have a hundred percent creative control. The second I bring someone else into it there is that energy for better or worse. I mean, collaboration is phenomenal and it can take a project to a whole new level and maybe one day I'll bring some of that into the YouTube, but I wanted a project that was all my own and I kind of wanted to do something new.
[00:12:16] So, my brother and sister, my brother has a YouTube channel. He's a sideshow performer and during COVID, he wasn't able to do any performing, like some of the life performances that he would do in fringe festivals in Australia or in Scotland or in Las Vegas or New York. So he took to YouTube and he is so good at editing and telling a story and making the viewer feel really safe with the really scary stuff that he does.
[00:12:45] So he's really inspiring to me. My sister who I own Braid Creative with, she's also really inspiring to me. She's always been really into video and one thing that people might not know about Braid Creative is that we've done branding and marketing for a really long time, but we also produce video. Didn't we even produce a video for you Emily in the early days.
[00:13:05] Yes. On our iPhone. Yeah, for sure. So whenever we did your branding. Probably 10 years ago, we created a fun little video. And so that's always been in my sister's wheelhouse as well. So I almost feel like I really cultivated confidence from them. And I've been around video producing and storytelling a lot.
[00:13:25] I love movies. I love shows and I love YouTube. So that's the other thing is that I find that I do best whenever I'm really into the platforms that I'm creating on. So I think that you're an anomaly, Emily, where you were like, I've never listened to a podcast, let's start one. Meanwhile, I'm soaking up serial and all the podcasts.
[00:13:49] I was really into that platform. I still am really into that platform. Though it should be noted. I have found myself getting more and more bored with podcasts lately. Like I'll find myself going for music lately, whenever I'm working out or going for walks or just not listening to anything at all again.
[00:14:06] Nice. Which we should talk about that in a second for like idea generation. Oh yeah. Because whenever you're only consuming content, guess what? It's kind of hard to get out of the bubble and to create content. Indeed. So anyway, what was I saying? So YouTube as a platform, I love watching YouTube. I've been watching, you know, various channels and creators and content over there for probably the past year or two, consistently.
[00:14:35] We're like for my lunch break, I'm watching YouTube instead of a show. So, I decided to just go for it. So, here's what happened, my son was being a total jerk and I decided, that origin story. I know this goes somewhere origin story. My son was being a jerk and I decided that he needed an iPad, fast is what I called it.
[00:15:01] He needed to take some time off of his iPad. I also go through these cycles so if you follow me on Instagram, you might already know that I'm a big proponent of unlimited screen time. I think that screen time has been one of the most helpful things I've had, especially through pandemic and through parenting in general.
[00:15:21] My kid is really funny for it, he's built in design video games. He's done some really cool stop animation video. I mean, he's done some cool, cool stuff on the iPad, but I think we can all agree that one of our kids spend too much time in front of a screen. They, I get hijacked by it, little monsters. So like he needed to take.
[00:15:39] Yeah, totally. So I decided he needed to take a little break and I told him, I said, listen, you are addicted to this. It is closing in your capacity for joy into this little square rectangle of a screen. It's making it, I was like, you know, all those cuts that you watch on YouTube, it's making your brain move so fast
[00:16:00] that you can't handle being bored for five seconds. So you need to take a break. And I said, but listen, you are not alone because I'm addicted to, I am addicted to Instagram. I pick up my phone mindlessly and open up Instagram and find myself scrolling for an hour. So, along with him taking an iPad fast, I took an Instagram fast.
[00:16:20] I just deleted it off my phone for a week and I do this from time to time. So I almost felt like a joke of myself, like a meme, like deletes Instagram off phone for two days, starts a YouTube channel because that's exactly what happened. I got so bored that I was able to start creating content. It started with one video where I woke up in the morning at 5:30, I just turned on my iPhone and started capturing it.
[00:16:45] And then I thought I've got Adobe software. I can do this. I opened up premiere pro and I started editing. And that was my first video and that was the launch of it. And I will tell you, I had a lot of fears going into starting this YouTube and I kind of had to shelve them, but I'm gonna tell you some of my fears and listen for the most part.
[00:17:06] I kind of think I'm the shit. But whenever your brain is trying to protect you from the fear of creating something, the fear of putting yourself out there, it's gonna say some pretty harsh things. And I'm gonna share with you what those things are because if this comes up for you, you are not alone. So I thought I'm too old to have a YouTube.
[00:17:29] Oh. I thought I'm too ugly. Oh. I'm not pretty enough. I thought I'm too lazy. Like I've been, because I've been talking about all these projects for the past couple of years. Yeah. I've loved quitting Being Boss and really only having one full-time job now, you know, so I thought I'm too lazy to have a YouTube.
[00:17:49] And then I also thought I'm too late. There's a bajillion channels. What do I have to add to the conversation? So I'm too late to the game. Then I also thought I'm not natural enough on camera especially after editing my first few videos. I hate that I have that like uptick at the end of a lot of my sentences that make me sound like I'm asking a question whenever I'm not, oh my God.
[00:18:13] Emily Thompson: I haven't even noticed that Kathleen. So, you know.
[00:18:19] Kathleen Shannon: I hate filming. It's so embarrassing. And I was really afraid that I wouldn't be consistent. I was afraid that I was going to start this thing and not see it through. And I will say, you know, being too ugly, being too old, being all the things that I know is kind of bullshit. The thing that was the biggest real fear for me was not being able to follow through because
[00:18:42] listen, a boss follows through and I was not going to show up and not be consistent. So that was probably my biggest fear, but I had to put all of that aside and just start with one, three minute long video. And that's what I did.
[00:18:57] Emily Thompson: Oh my God. And you did it. I love how you just like bossed yourself into finally doing this thing.
[00:19:05] That you've talked about. And I think so many things had to fall into place, right? Like you needed the space, you needed the healing, you needed, I guess the tools and the minds, like all of these things, but then when it came time to do it, you just did it. I remember you like Marco Polo and me one day and being like, I think I, I bought a camera, I think I'm gonna do this.
[00:19:24] And I was like, I dunno, Kathleen. And then two days later, you're like, I did it, it's published. And I was okay. I love that for you. Like once you were in it, though, you were in it.
[00:19:32] Kathleen Shannon: Yeah, I was in it.
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[00:20:35] Perfect. Okay. So you talked a bit about inspiration. What about like, what are something you do?
[00:20:40] Kathleen Shannon: Well, I wonder other thing about inspiration. You know who else I was inspired by? Like, I watch a bunch of YouTubers, but this is gonna sound like the most Leo thing I've ever said. I was inspired by my own stuff.
[00:20:53] Like, I was able to really cultivate confidence because I've done this before. I have done hard things. I have put myself out there on a podcast. I've written a book. I have started a business. I have blogged. I've done all the things. So I really had to look back at all the things that I've created before and just trust myself.
[00:21:15] Emily Thompson: Yeah, way to practice what we preach though. I feel like that's, anytime we've ever talked about cultivating confidence, number one is like, look at your own proof. Like you don't look outside of yourself. Don't look to someone else. Don't look at like dreams. Like literally just look back at all the things that you have done and see that there is proof in your ability to do right there.
[00:21:37] Kathleen Shannon: Yeah. And if you don't have proof, then you probably have like the blind confidence to be able to just jump into something. Indeed. So harness that too.
[00:21:47] Emily Thompson: Yeah, okay. So other inspo though, what YouTube channels are you watching?
[00:21:51] Kathleen Shannon: It's too embarrassing.
[00:21:54] Emily Thompson: Well, now you have to tell us.
[00:21:57] Kathleen Shannon: Oh my gosh, I'm so into this YouTube channel right now where this woman analyzes all the plastic surgery that celebrities have had done and she goes into extreme detail.
[00:22:09] I'm gonna tell you her name because you all are gonna ask her name is Lorry Hill. L O R R Y. And she almost has like an uncanny valley face going on because she's had some work done herself. Yeah. But what I love about her is that she's all about saying like, beauty is not like these stars are not born with beauty.
[00:22:29] They have bought it. Here's how much it costs, but she's always so positive about what their natural beauty that they went into. All this plastic surgery with is, and just kind of uncovering the secrets. And she's just really neutral too about the procedures that have been done. She's never using it as a way to insult people, even when she's talking about kind of more botched jobs, she's never, she always
[00:22:53] keeps the humanity in it and like acknowledges that these are real people who are facing real pressures in Hollywood, and here's what they've done. Here's what it costs. And it actually makes me feel really good about aging, cause I'm like, okay, like I'm probably not gonna do all that stuff. And that's okay. That means this is, I can't just like manifest my way into looking like Kim Kardashian.
[00:23:17] It's just not gonna happen. You know what I mean? Yeah. So there's not enough.
[00:23:20] Emily Thompson: So there's not enough yoga in the world.
[00:23:23] Kathleen Shannon: I'm really into that channel right now.
[00:23:27] Emily Thompson: Love it. Anybody else?
[00:23:29] Kathleen Shannon: Mm. I mean, I have a whole playlist, but not, of course I can't think of anyone. Oh, I'm really into, there's a YouTuber called Imamu room. I M A M U and it's this woman who makes bento box lunches for her husband every day of the week.
[00:23:47] And I have learned so much about cooking and she's not even, it's not even like a, how-to like here's how to cook. You're just watching her cook. And it's interesting because she films from the same angle. You never see her face. It's just her hands and cooking and it's so relaxing to me, but I've also learned so much from watching this channel.
[00:24:05] Emily Thompson: I love that. So you are like soaking up some YouTube, you are getting in there to do your own. What, what did like the process of figuring out, what you were going to do or the style of it or how you were going to shoot it? Like, what did that sort of, what did that sort of creative planning process look like?
[00:24:22] Kathleen Shannon: Yeah, that's a great question because I'm still in it. Yeah. As of recording this, I've only published six videos. I have a digital notebook that has ideas in it. I have also a notes app on my phone, and anytime I'm just struck with inspiration, which usually comes from taking a walk and not listening to anything, it allows my brain to just kind of turn off and start thinking about my own projects.
[00:24:48] I'll just bust out my notes and take a quick note on a video idea. And then the other thing that I'm doing a lot is I'm just filming. I'm trying to film as much as possible. And that's the hardest thing about starting a YouTube is the actual filming because it feels like a lot of work to get started. I've always talked about whenever it comes to graphic design and designing a brand platform, sometimes the hardest part is just getting started.
[00:25:10] So I have to just open the InDesign file. Just open the file. So with filming YouTube, it really is just turning on the camera and capturing stuff. And knowing, now that I know what I know about editing, I know that I don't have to use everything. I can edit stuff out. So I'm usually always filming one video and then at the same time editing another.
[00:25:35] So right now I just published a video. I just filmed a video and now I'm about to edit my second video while then filming my third video. Does that make sense? Yeah. It's kind of staggered, like editing and filming is always happening at the same time which is also kind of hard thinking about using my brain in one way to tell one story.
[00:25:55] And then in another way to tell another story with depending on which phase of the project I'm in. Yeah. Because there's the filming phase and then there's the editing phase and I'm finding that the editing is just as important as filming and, yeah, so really just you know, really probably here I'm using Instagram and what I've learned from sharing stories and reels and putting that stuff together.
[00:26:20] It just feels like a more long form version of that for YouTube.
[00:26:25] Emily Thompson: Right. Long form and also like longer lasting, which is going to have its benefits.
[00:26:31] Kathleen Shannon: Exactly. For sure. Exactly. And it's not, I wouldn't say it's even long form, cause my longest video is maybe 10 minutes, 12 minutes. Yeah. So it's not super long.
[00:26:40] I'm also finding, you know, things. I'm getting ruthless in the editing phase. So what I do is I dump all of my film clips into premiere pro. This is another thing I've had to learn, how to do premiere pro. And I feel like Emily you should know that this is a big deal. It is a big deal. It's a big deal for me to learn a new piece of software.
[00:27:00] I've Googled every single little thing from like how to open a new sequence to how to change my film aspect ratio size to how to export and save a video to how to work with the different tracks to what the hot keys are. So one of my goals for YouTube is kind of figuring out a new skill or new trick or new tip every single time I'm editing a new video to just kind of slowly build upon my skills.
[00:27:25] So it's just like cooking where you don't learn how to be a great cook overnight. You start to just build up your skills over time. You start to build up your flavors, your techniques. So I'm kind of taking that approach with my YouTube.
[00:27:39] Emily Thompson: This is like music to my ears because Kathleen does not do tech.
[00:27:43] Like we've shared the story even of starting this podcast and Kathleen being like, I'll do it, but I'm not learning the tech. And so to hear you like diving in, so like excitedly and unapologetically, using a massive piece of software that's gonna freak the hell out of most people listening to this.
[00:28:01] Right. And you doing it and figuring it out and like saying it all with a smile on your face is so exciting,
[00:28:08] Kathleen Shannon: I love it. And part of it's helpful too. Again, I'm using all of my skills that I've cultivated along the way. So I am fluent in Adobe creative suite. Yeah. I'm fluent in InDesign, Photoshop.
[00:28:21] I've even been getting an illustrator, a little bit more which will come as a surprise to you, Emily, trying new things. And so going into premiere pro it's kind of all in the same universe. So I'm able to use a lot of the same hotkeys. A lot of the things integrate well. So, yeah, that's been definitely a challenge.
[00:28:40] My first video, which is three minutes long, probably took me 16 hours to edit. I've gotten significantly faster since then. It also helps that I'm an insomniac and I wake up between 3:00 and 4:00 AM every morning and have plenty of time for a side hustle now.
[00:28:55] Emily Thompson: Indeed. Cause it's silver lining, silver lining.
[00:29:00] So what are you sharing about? You've talked about a couple of different videos. You're recording all kinds of things about what are you recording. What and like, what are the finished products actually about?
[00:29:11] Kathleen Shannon: So far, I've done a what I eat in a day. So some of the YouTube videos I stumble upon are people literally just sharing what they eat in a day.
[00:29:18] So I shared what I ate, eat in a day on one video, on another video, it's kind of a time lapse of me cleaning my house. I hate cleaning, whenever I was a kid I used to make my brother and sister sit on the bed and watch me clean. So I thought I'll just do that for a YouTube video. Perfect. So, but I really am trying to find my voice.
[00:29:41] Right. And so I'm just throwing a lot of ideas at the wall and seeing what sticks. This is actually a struggle that I wanna post to you, Emily, and maybe even to the listeners here is that I'm also struggling with knowing what I know now. So, whenever I started my blog, it was completely random. I was just kind of posting whatever.
[00:30:02] I started to find my voice by using my voice. And I'm taking the same approach here with my YouTube channel. I wanna take all of the things that I'm interested in and all of the things that I'm an expert at and all of the things that I'm even kind of known for are the stuff that my community is already asking me about on Instagram.
[00:30:20] So I'm constantly being asked about skincare routine, curly hair routine. I'll probably post some of that stuff at some point. I'm constantly being asked to show a little bit more of my house. I'm asked to show more style stuff or my closet or what I'm wearing. So it really is just answering a lot of questions that people already have.
[00:30:40] Here's where I'm kind of trying not to, I'm trying to keep my creative integrity intact because I wanna create what I want to create. But damn, if those statistics aren't luring, you know, like, so I've seen so far that the what I eat in a day video has done the best. So naturally I'm like, okay, I guess I need a shoot
[00:31:02] another one of those. Do I need to, do I want to, what is it that I wanna do? Right. And so I'm coming into this kind of playing the game. My thumbnails look very YouTubey, like it's not necessarily the aesthetic, hashtag aesthetic that I would want, if it was like truly just my own dreamy project, I'm kind of playing into the look and feel of the platform and what kind of thumbnails do well.
[00:31:30] And I know that thumbnails with people's faces in them do well. So my face is in a lot of them. I know that if I do one on what I'm eating in a day, my God, if I wear a bikini, it's gonna do real well. Do I wanna do that? Not necessarily. You know what I mean? And then the other, and then the other thing that I've been thinking about as well with kind of playing the game is monetization.
[00:31:53] You know, so I know that if I did a whole curly hair video, and then I link everything that I used and sell someone at you know $500 Dyson air wrap, or, you know what I mean? And get commission on that. I can make a little bit of money and I'm not opposed to it, but do I wanna get into that kind of capitalism engine?
[00:32:15] Yes? No? I don't know. So I'm just throwing that out there that part of me feels grossed out by it but part of me feels like I'd be shooting myself in the own foot. Like I've done it many times before with content by not trying to be compensated for it. Whenever I say, be compensated, I mean cash. So I'm having a lot of fun with this, but I also have some big goals and I have some monetization goals and I have some subscriber goals, like, guess what?
[00:32:45] I want 150,000 subscribers within a year. Should you. Right now I have a little over 150. So, you know it's kind of that like playing big thing. And at the same time, doing this for myself in a very granular, small way, just one video at a time. So with every video that I'm posting, I'm seeing it as a new opportunity to resonate.
[00:33:09] And I'm going to just do what I do best and go with the flow and really create based on what's inspiring, but also holding myself to the standard of posting every single week. Because just like the advice that we have in our own book for Being Boss, like I'm following all of those same tactics, we know that inspiration doesn't always strike.
[00:33:30] So whenever that's not happening, you just have to have the momentum of your habits and routines. So there was one week I was insanely busy with work and I posted a one minute long video just of my outfit and that's it. But I showed up, I practiced the habit of putting something together really fast and hitting publish on it.
[00:33:48] So there's probably gonna be some of that. Anyway. I don't know. Anytime I think like, well, I'm not trying to go viral or I'm not trying to, I'm not trying to do this for you know, popularity or for the audience. I kinda have to call myself on that, call myself out on that too because I do kind of want those things and it should be okay to want those things.
[00:34:10] I just wanna continue to be intentional about where that takes me and making sure that my creativity is still true to itself and that I'm still doing the things that I wanna do and sharing the stuff that I wanna share regardless of the statistics that come with it.
[00:34:27] Emily Thompson: You have just voiced the like creative entrepreneur struggle right there.
[00:34:35] Kathleen Shannon: I know. And that thought about is I'm gonna be able to use these skills, I've thought about so Braid Creative has a podcast for credit union marketers, super, super niche. And I assume that at some point we would do a six episode series on like a podcast for creative entrepreneurs, but I keep coming up against that
[00:34:55] thing that like I've done that. I can just give you a list of all the Being Boss episodes that I've been on. However, we have not done a video series for creative entrepreneurs. So now I'm thinking, okay, I've learned these skills. Now I can use it to create something new for Braid Creative. So whenever it comes to monetization and we've talked about this
[00:35:15] plenty of times, probably in our earliest episodes of Being Boss, whenever it comes to how you're compensated for your content, it can be, but with cash, it can be with exposure, it can be with selling your own stuff, it can be with sponsorships. So really looking at all those different opportunities of stream for revenue, I might be able to use this YouTube channel and the skills that I'm gleaning from it to create something new for Braid Creative, which full circle
[00:35:44] I think I'm relaunching the Braid eCourse because whenever I think about what is the next thing that I want people to do, if I can't monetize because you have to have a thousand subscribers and I think a thousand hours of watched videos to, to monetize, I think, and that's even just like putting ads in your videos.
[00:36:04] And I don't know that I ever wanna put ads in my videos. I don't know that I wanna do that to the user experience, to my audience. Don't hold me to it because you better believe if I'm able to like, be fairly compensated for throwing ads in there. Also pro tip, just buy YouTube. It's 10 bucks a month. If you're watching a lot of YouTube, it's the best investment I made to buy YouTube to then not be the product.
[00:36:29] If you were watching something for free, you are the product. Just remember that if you're paying for it, you get to kind of have more control over being advertised to, and I, my agency does advertising. So, you know what I mean? I don't think it's always a bad thing, but anyway, I'm very pro sponsorship.
[00:36:47] So just like we are kind of our model for the podcast, I would love to do something like that. But then I would also love to just promote my own brand, which is Braid Creative and not everyone can afford to hire us one on one at this point. So what's the very next thing I could have them do is buy the eCourse and that content was good.
[00:37:08] I was just exhausted with like the marketing engine that came with that. But 3, 4, 5 years later after closing it, things have become a little bit more streamlined and it can be easier than it was before. So just thinking about that, like how platforms evolve, compensation evolves, I have evolved. And it's really fun to see this new expression of how I've evolved personally and professionally show up in this YouTube channel and kind of butting up against some of the same questions that I used to have that were so exciting about entrepreneurship.
[00:37:42] Like this is what I loved about the early days of our business. Bestie conversations is figuring shit out and I'm figuring it out again. And that is so energizing, I used sitting in the struggle was exhausting and it is at times, but it's also the thing that makes it all fun and worth it. Look at you Kathleen,
[00:38:03] you're back. I'm back.
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[00:38:58] Emily Thompson: I wanna go back to content, I wanna go back to like the content you're creating and how you achieve.
[00:39:02] Kathleen Shannon: Yeah. I kind of took us off on a tangent for sure.
[00:39:04] Emily Thompson: That was a long one but, but no, it's so good because it, it does all work together, right. You start thinking about what content am I creating? And you start asking yourself, you know, is it, is this what I want?
[00:39:17] Is this what people want? Should I care? Should I not? Like, what is that blend of me and them and it being the platform or whatever it may be. And so I love to hear that even, even just starting out, you're thinking about those things, cause I think over the years we've made that recommendation to people like show up and do the things, but like
[00:39:37] there is this careful balance you have to hold between being mindful of strategies so you're not shooting yourself in the foot and otherwise just showing up and being creative. And I don't think there's a right or wrong. I think it also ebbs and flows. But you're literally just voicing that exactly in real time as you're creating something new and how that is an ongoing struggle with showing up and creating something new like this.
[00:40:05] And I also just wanna go back even further to the fact that like you are sharing as a true personal brand, that is like unadulterated by nicheing more or less.
[00:40:21] Kathleen Shannon: That's a great point and there's a whole conversation to be had about nicheing and how nicheing is wonderful for business. Yeah. That's how you're going to become an expert.
[00:40:33] And that's really how you're gonna make good money. Yeah. As like a solo printer, especially. However, there is something to say about being broad. Yeah. You know and being able to try a bunch of different things. And so that's where I'm at right now. I'm gonna be broad. I'm never going to regret. Like, I also did a video where I went
[00:40:52] camping with a childhood friend of mine who has a Volkswagen camper van. I'm never gonna regret having that video because it was fun to create, it captured a memory. If it gets five views, whatever. But I think that in the future I could potentially regret especially if I did something that could be potentially harmful, like I work out a lot and I've been wanting to do a workout video, but that could be potentially harmful.
[00:41:18] Like, I'm definitely thinking about my viewers there, where I don't want anyone to feel like they need to be doing what I do or to feel bad. So I need to be very careful and cognizant about how I share in a way that is helpful and not harmful. So that's coming back to the intentional part of it, right?
[00:41:36] Yeah. So I don't think I'll ever regret sharing a memory. I will regret if I'm ever bending my integrity a little bit. And that's why I'm going into any sort of monetization. Like even today I started an Amazon storefront and I'm a little bit like, eh, do I want to, but listen, if people are gonna be asking me what I'm wearing, what I'm doing, what I'm putting in my hair, if people are asking me and they're going to be buying it anyway.
[00:42:05] Then I might as well get compensated for shopping for them, right? Yeah. A little bit.
[00:42:10] Emily Thompson: For sure, for sure. And I think that I wanna go back to this nicheing thing really quickly, cause, you just, you sort of brought up something here that I think is really important. And that is, I think oftentimes whenever creative start creating so much of the rhetoric in the world and like we have totally contributed to that largely is that you do need to niche, but I love that,
[00:42:36] what you're talking about here for this like personal creative project is releasing that and how that frees up creativity, because all too often, I see creatives getting in this place where they don't ever actually create anything because they struggle with actually choosing. The narrowness of what they're creating and you're just like, screw it.
[00:42:58] I'm just gonna do what's fun, unapologetically show up and like, appreciate that you've shared things that may be “off topic'' or whatever. And then otherwise just like navigating your way there. This is the creative process and it's like truest form, I think. And so anyone who is struggling
[00:43:18] with starting a passion project or creating something because you feel like you need to define it now. You don't, you just need to create.
[00:43:26] Kathleen Shannon: You know, one of our favorite books is Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. And I would say that is absolutely it. You get these little hints of inspiration. It's your genius knocking at your door.
[00:43:39] And if you don't follow that inspiration, whenever it strikes, it will go to someone else. And so that's really what I've been doing with this project. Of course, inspiration has to find you working. And I've been doing that as well. And creativity begets creativity, once you just get into the momentum of it, you'll find your flow.
[00:43:58] And speaking of finding flow, I can edit for four hours and it goes by so fast, that has not happened in forever where I can just get lost in my creativity in this way. So for sure, I mean, and I think we've even talked before about how the word passion project is even a little bit problematic. Yeah.
[00:44:18] Because you've got all these fears that creep up and your brain is trying to tell you all the reasons why your passion is dumb or why you're dumb for even thinking about starting this thing, right. So it really just is for me coming back to, I'm gonna die one day and I would've rather made stuff than not.
[00:44:38] I would've rather made more than I'm consuming, you know? Yeah. Yep. But you know, with my big goal of 150,000 subscribers, at some point I might find a niche. I might have to kind of go down one path or another. And that happens though by trying a bunch of different things. And I think that even if I were to niche by starting out a little bit more broad, I can find my voice and kind of.
[00:45:03] The cool thing about YouTube is that I can kind of slip things in there that are, that I want to say. Even if I were to have a niche, I could do it in my own way, where I'm combining and blending and weaving together all the aspects of who I am into a niche.
[00:45:21] Emily Thompson: Yeah. All of those things. I do wanna talk about this monetization piece too.
[00:45:25] And what I mentioned a moment ago about this like careful balance, like you have to hold both creative exploration and like an idea of future strategy. And especially as long as we've been in this game and as many different types of content we've created and, you know, having shot yourself in the foot before by not optimizing.
[00:45:45] And I think that's the word I really wanna highlight here is I think you can do all of these things without monetizing. Without monetizing initially but still optimize them for future monetization or to transform into monetization in the future without ever like selling yourself out or making the wrong deal or like monetizing in the wrong way.
[00:46:11] Optimizing from the beginning is quite a boss thing to do.
[00:46:15] Kathleen Shannon: That is such a good point because I'm being very intentional about how I title my videos. Yes. The descriptions that I'm using and Emily, you're going to be so impressed because I'm also Googling stuff like that. Like I'm really looking into how to best optimize my channel.
[00:46:33] And I have been using a software called Tube Buddy. Yep. I think that's what it's called Tube Buddy, to really figure out keywords that are trending or, you know, I'll type in a bunch of different titles and it gives you this little, you can try one title and test it against another title and see which one is more searchable in YouTube.
[00:46:53] So I've been even doing that. I've been really trying to go at this with my creative hat on, but then also with my Emily hat on, I'm just pretending to be both of us at the same time. I love it. And it really is blending. I mean, it really is blending a lot of what I know about creative expression and then also professional optimization and really trying to do both of those things.
[00:47:19] Yeah. And speaking of that creative expression and professional optimization, I'm really excited to do a video talking about what it's like being a creative director and a partner at a branding agency and giving people more behind the scenes because this is still so much of who I am, of what it's like to work.
[00:47:35] I'm even thinking about I could do a screen recording of designing a brand platform and give people a peek behind the pixel pushing that I'm always talking about. So that's another thing earlier you asked why YouTube. With podcasting, we were just able to use our voices. With writing, we were just able to use our words.
[00:47:54] With Instagram and just sharing photos only it's captured in a still. With a video, there is so much that you can say, even in an expression or even in B-roll that you're cutting to, there is so much more opportunity for telling the story that you wanna tell. So that's where I was talking even before about nicheing, I could niche on, let's say curly hair content, and with one look at the camera, delivering one line, it turns that video into a whole different thing.
[00:48:26] Or it's delivered in a whole new way that nobody else has done. So I'm probably not gonna niche into curly girl stuff, but just using that as an example. Yeah.
[00:48:38] Emily Thompson: Oh Kathleen, it is, it brings me so much joy to watch your face, talk about this in such a lively and excited manner. I just, I need you to know that this is a version of you I've not seen in far too long. Far too long.
[00:48:52] Kathleen Shannon: Oh. Thank you. I'm excited.
[00:48:55] Emily Thompson: I can tell. I can tell. Okay. Then let's maybe a couple like quick fires. Yeah. What is your favorite part?
[00:49:01] Kathleen Shannon: Editing.
[00:49:06] Emily Thompson: That is the surprising thing I've ever. I never expected you to say editing. What about, why?
[00:49:11] Kathleen Shannon: It’s so fun. I love the layers. So whenever you paint a painting, you know, you kind of do like broad strokes and then you
[00:49:22] go in with a little bit more detail and then you go in and refine a little bit more, editing is very much the same process where I'm getting all my clips in there and then I'm editing them down and then I'm editing them down further. And then I'm finding music and then I'm finding sound effects. So this is really getting long and then I'm doing the graphic overlays.
[00:49:40] It's just, it feels like the most artistic part of it.
[00:49:44] Emily Thompson: Oh, okay. Love that. Next one, what's the hardest part?
[00:49:48] Kathleen Shannon: Filming. How so? Just turning on the camera and doing it. In fact here, let me do it right now. I should probably be capturing some of this because I might be able to use it for a YouTube video. Oh my God.
[00:50:05] This is incredibly meta. Here. I am recording Being Boss with Emily. Say hi, Emily. Hi.
[00:50:16] So, yeah, I mean, just filming a YouTube channel is hard. It's hard turning on that camera because I look, even recording this, I had to stop and say, okay, let me record this. Now I'm talking to you, but I'm also thinking about what I look like on this camera. You know what I mean? Yeah. So it's holding a lot of different things in mind at one time.
[00:50:36] Also, if you film too much, you have more to edit. If you don't film enough, you're like damnit, I didn't get that shot. So there's also a lot of stuff like that, but I'm learning along the way. So anytime I'm filming, I'm also thinking about editing a little bit.
[00:50:51] Emily Thompson: Perfect. What camera are you using?
[00:50:54] Kathleen Shannon: Okay. You know how we believe in starting with what you've got?
[00:50:58] Yep. I started with my iPhone and it was just after one. I did two videos on my iPhone, my very first video and then my camping video and one, I lost a bunch of footage. Oh no, made me so mad. Yeah. Two, it bogged down my phone. Yep. With, you know, all this stuff. So I ended up buying a camera because I have the money and resources and creative confidence to invest in it.
[00:51:27] So I'm just throwing that out there as a caveat. I have a Canon G7 X.
[00:51:33] Emily Thompson: Are you using a microphone?
[00:51:37] Kathleen Shannon: I'm just using the in camera microphone, but I have considered, especially if I do any sort of braid videos where I'm kind of more on camera talking head, I think that I'll get a road laugh mic. Yep. And then also they do make little road mics that you can put on the camera.
[00:51:54] And I might do that at some point as well, but for now I'm getting by with just the in camera mic.
[00:52:00] Emily Thompson: Okay. So that was the hardest part. Is there a least favorite part that is different than hardest?
[00:52:08] Kathleen Shannon: Ooh, least favorite part? No, I like all of it right now.
[00:52:16] Emily Thompson: Amazing, Kathleen. Okay. Almost last question. Not quite yet.
[00:52:20] What advice do you have for anyone who's interested in starting a passion project and/or YouTube video after listening to you be so excited about this.
[00:52:30] Kathleen Shannon: I would say, just do it. Just start filming. That's definitely the hardest part to get started. Use the resources that you have, you don't have to invest in final cut or premiere pro or the things, you can start with iMovie on your phone.
[00:52:44] You can start with your phone camera. And if it's a passion project in general, my biggest advice would be just do the very next step. Just lean into it. That's something that Jay Pryor always told me who’s been on the podcast a few times, they've always said just lean into it. And so that's my motto for anything that I'm interested in is leaning into it.
[00:53:07] So that might look like gathering the information that you need to have as the first next step, it might be starting a notebook of ideas. It might be going out and getting the materials that you need, or I do like proving it to yourself by using what you've got. So let's say you wanna become a painter, start with your kids’ leftover canvas paint over that, paint something on a piece of
[00:53:32] plywood, you know, like start with just whatever you've got and then invest in the materials once you've proven to yourself that you can do it with less.
[00:53:40] Emily Thompson: Love it. Okay. What videos or video ideas do you have in the bucket that you are most excited about? What can we look forward to from the Kathleen Shannon YouTube channel?
[00:53:55] Kathleen Shannon: Oh, thank you. Yeah. So I cannot wait to share more behind the scenes of work and what it's like to really work from home and run my own business as a graphic designer, as a creative director, as a boss, as a partner, and then I'm really excited to share more about kind of my fitness journey and working out that's something, that's probably my biggest, greatest hobby.
[00:54:18] I could probably, you know, if I niche, it might be in that area, maybe. I'm also excited to share some skincare routine. I've been asked a lot about that and I just bought a new gadget that is pretty exciting that I'm using on my face. And then I'm excited to share a little bit more of my curly hair routine, just because so many people have asked and I wanna create the most comprehensive video on how to style a curly shag.
[00:54:48] So again, getting specific, because guess what? That doesn't exist on YouTube, cause I just searched for it the other day and I could not find anything under those search word terms. Yeah. So I'm excited to share that. Anything else that I'm excited about sharing? I don't know. What do you think I should share? Some Kathleen on the scene.
[00:55:07] Oh, oh my God. I think true crime in my backyard.
[00:55:10] Emily Thompson: That is absolutely a little direction. You should go in to see if it sticks or not both internally or externally Kathleen on the scene. I don't know. I look forward to like, see you travel again and like capturing some of that for sure.
[00:55:26] Kathleen Shannon: Well you're gonna come visit and you know, we're gonna create a video together.
[00:55:31] Emily Thompson: Indeed. Yesterday I booked a flight to go see Kathleen in at the end of June. And, we've joked slash not joked about making some YouTube content together. Well, I'll just start.
[00:55:43] Kathleen Shannon: Remember that time that we decided we were gonna start a sketch comedy show. Oh my, is it time? It might be time we were on a hike, we may or may not have been stoned and we were convinced that we were gonna start a sketch comedy show and it was the funniest thing ever.
[00:56:03] Yeah. I can't remember what we thought was so funny.
[00:56:06] Emily Thompson: Me neither. Me neither, but I'll be busting out the camera several times. We have talked about, doing some sketch comedy together, which I think could be really, really great. So perfect. All right. Where can everyone find this, Kathleen? How do we get your, what really is
[00:56:23] like personal feedback here. It's hysterical. Y'all I have left so hard watching these videos. And I think part of that is because I do know you so well that I like see you and it’s so funny to me, and like funny, in a way funny, in like a, in a comedy way, not like right an embarrassed for you way, cause I'm not, I think they're spectacular.
[00:56:45] I'm so enjoying, seeing you show up for this creativity and I am thoroughly enjoying each and every video, so where can people find ir?
[00:56:54] Kathleen Shannon: Ah, thank you. Well, we'll have a link in the show notes, but it's youtube.com/c/kathleenshannon. Perfect. I'm so excited. So excited. I also have a link. Oh, I'll have a link in my Instagram.
[00:57:09] So if you follow me on Instagram at andkathleen, A N D K A T H L E E N. I have a link in my profile there as well.
[00:57:19] Emily Thompson: Perfect. And last but not least, ma'am what's making you feel most boss?
[00:57:24] Kathleen Shannon: You know, just telling people to like and subscribe that makes me feel boss. Welcome back to my channel. Like, and subscribe, if you like this smash that like button, hit subscribe.
[00:57:37] Never miss a video. Oh my God. No, for real though, what makes me feel boss right now is just having this creative passion again, it's been a long time. And then also, especially learning a new piece of software. I truly thought that I was too old and grumpy to learn anything new turns out I'm not. High five.
[00:58:03] Emily Thompson: All right boss because you're here, I know you want to be a better creative business owner, which means I've got something for you. Each week, the team at Being Boss is scouring the news, the best entrepreneurial publications and updates and releases of the apps and tools that run our businesses and is curating it all into a weekly email that delivers the must know tips and tactics in the realms of mindset, money and productivity.
[00:58:26] This email is called brewed. We brew it up for you each week to give you the insight you need to make decisions and move forward in your creative. Check it out now and sign up for yourself at beingboss.club/brewed. That's beingboss.club/brewed. Now until next time. Do the work. Be boss.