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Finding mentors and the big advantages of being a beginner with Kelsey Chapman

August 5, 2020


Melissa Guller


Transparency Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links, which means that we may earn a commission if you make a purchase. This is at no additional cost to you, so it's a great way to support Wit & Wire. So thank you! Full disclosure here.

Kelsey Chapman is ready to take you from dream to done.

She plays the role of personal cheerleader to an engaged audience of 100,000k followers, hosts The Radiant Podcast, and empowers and equips women through her Radiant Podcast, Dream To Done online mentorship program, and coming soon, her book “What They Taught Me: Recognizing The Mentors Who Will Take You From Dream To Done.”

In this episode, Kelsey shares…

  • Why she believes that “podcasting is the new blogging”
  • How scrappy beginners can take advantage of their early stages to start growing their platforms
  • Why Kelsey resisted going into marketing, and how she’s changed her mind over time after seeing the impact that great marketing can create
  • Why Kelsey believes that growing your platform is so critical, and how your podcast plays a role in your overall growth and success
  • How Instagram can support your podcast and business growth
  • How mentors have played a pivotal role in Kelsey’s life and career, and how to know when you should pay for mentorship (vs. asking for a casual coffee)

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Today’s guest: Kelsey Chapman

Kelsey Chapman is an author, community builder, online educator and host of The Radiant Podcast. She wholeheartedly believes dreams are worth pursuing and is passionate about teaching women how to walk with purpose in their gifts and live from a place of identity and rest — all so that they can carry their dreams and vision for the long haul.

After a few years of fumbling her way through post-grad life and a brief stint overseas, Kelsey realized that her entrepreneurial itch wasn’t going away. She came home, got to work, and turned a part-time blog and side hustle into a multi-six-figure business in just two years.

From there, she realized her business savvy traits and desire to empower others could be translated into something bigger through teaching everything she’s learned with others. In just four years she has mentored hundreds of clients and thousands of students through building their brand, growing their platform, and stewarding their influence.

Today, Kelsey plays the role of personal cheerleader to an engaged audience of 100,000k followers, hosts The Radiant Podcast, and empowers and equips women through her Radiant Podcast, Dream To Done online mentorship program, and most recently, her book, What They Taught Me: Recognizing The Mentors Who Will Take You From Dream To Done.

Website | Instagram | Radiant Mail

Episode transcript

NOTE: This podcast was transcribed by a free AI transcription tool called Otter. Please forgive any typos or errors. Melissa Guller 0:00 Welcome to Wit & Wire, the podcast for new and growing podcasters who want to make an impact. I’m your host, Melissa Guller, and in each episode, I invite diverse podcasters and industry experts to share their stories and expertise with us. And today I’m so excited to be here with Kelsey Chapman, the host of the radiant podcast. Melissa Guller 0:22 Today we’re talking about how scrappy beginners can start their podcasts and businesses without huge budgets. And why Kelsey believes that podcasting is the new blogging. I felt so uplifted and inspired to take real action after my conversation with Kelsey. And I know you will, too. But first, Kelsey and I have something special to share for those of you tuning in live during episode release week. Melissa Guller 0:44 Have you ever felt like you’re ready to grow your business but just can’t afford the costs of most programs that would help get you there? Well, thanks to today’s guest, Kelsey, a bunch of course creators and I have joined forces to put together the perfect complete toolkit of courses to help you grow your business. We’re finally get things off the ground. The toolkit has over 20 courses and although the retail value is well over $5,000 we’re selling the whole thing for just 99. Not $99 per course 99 in total for all 20 courses put together. But why are we doing this? We’re committed to making entrepreneurship accessible. Now more than ever in such an uncertain time. This is something I believe in deeply as a business owner, so I’m honored to be included. The toolkit includes courses on branding, social media marketing, web design, email marketing, and it includes my most popular course my podcast kickstart program to help new podcasters like you finally turn their podcast dreams into reality. So with this bundle, you’ll truly have everything you need to not just start your podcast, but to really take your entire business and impact to the next level. I know this toolkit will over deliver, and I can’t wait for you to check it out. Visit witandwire.com/yourcoursetoolkit to see what’s inside and to grab all 20 plus courses for just $99. Again, that URL is witandwire.com/yourcourse, or you’ll find a link in the show notes. Melissa Guller 2:14 Hey everyone, I’m so excited to introduce you to today’s guest, a woman who truly embodies the word radiant in everything she does. Kelsey Chapman is an author, community builder, online educator and the host of the radiant podcast. She wholeheartedly believes that dreams are worth pursuing and is passionate about teaching women how to walk with purpose and their gifts, and to live from a place of identity and rest, all so that they can carry their dreams and vision for the long haul. After a few years of fumbling her way through post grad life and a brief stint overseas, Kelsey realized that her entrepreneurial itch wasn’t going away. So she came home, got to work and turned a part time blog and side hustle into a multi six figure business in just two years. From there, she realized her business savvy traits and desire to empower others. could be translated into something bigger through teaching everything she’s learned with others. And in just four years, she has mentored hundreds of clients and thousands of students through building their brand, growing their platform and stewarding their influence. Today, Kelsey plays the role of personal cheerleader to an engaged audience of 100,000 followers and empowers and equips women through her radiant podcast, dream to dawn online mentorship program. And up next, her book, what they taught me recognizing the mentors who will take you from dream to done. Melissa Guller 3:31 So Kelsey, welcome to the podcast. Kelsey Chapman 3:34 Thank you so much for having me, Melissa. It is a joy to be here. Melissa Guller 3:37 today. Yes, it’s a joy for me to and to start. I would love to learn a little bit more about your own business story. So when you first started your online business back in, I think 2015 What did your life look like at the time, man? Kelsey Chapman 3:51 Well, when I first got started, I was a barista. And so I actually had come home from And overseas kind of foreign aid program. And it was really fun. I loved it. And when I was there, I thought like, I’m going to move back this what I’m going to do with my life, and then I kind of got home and was like, I have no idea what I’m doing. So I’m just going to, you know, take a job right now, that is just kind of a filler job I had, I had a college degree, but didn’t really it was pretty vague. It was Global Studies and Spanish, so I had no idea what I was going to do with my classroom, liberal arts degree, and kinda had come back wasn’t sure what I was going to do, but was getting married. Kelsey Chapman 4:38 And so I was like, well, it’ll be fun to work at Starbucks for a little bit. Give me some time and space to figure it out. And that’s when I really started thinking through a blog with a girlfriend of mine. And so that’s really where I got started. We just started dreaming of kind of a lifestyle blog, the two of us, we did that for about a year together. I realized what I think I have a knack for marketing and growing a platform. We had grown our blog to 40,000 followers the first year. And I had always had, you know, teachers in school say like, you’ve got to go into marketing. And I’m like, No thanks. I am going to do something more meaningful with my life, the marketing, like I really had this kind of idea that like marketing and money and sales, all of that was schmoozing. And I needed to go do something that was sheer impact. And so I did that and then I came back and realized I really am good at marketing. in overtime. Of course, I’ve kind of shaken off the notion that it’s schmooze II or not impactful actually, you can have a lot of impact with marketing and to create impact anywhere globally, locally in your own backyard, you need money, you need to sell stuff. Kelsey Chapman 5:54 And so I shook, I shook off some of those negative mindsets and kind of Through them over the years but at the time, you know, I was just diving in so I got home I started this blog with a friend over the course of a year it grew we went our separate ways after a year because we kind of had different paces and visions for it. But that was just the beginning for me and it is a Walt and taken so many shapes since then. But the one thing that has stayed the same as man, I love scrappy marketing like, yes, it is so fun to work with a client who has a six figure budget to just roll with do whatever they want. But I really care about the underdogs I care about scrappy marketers who like me, don’t have didn’t have a budget now I do. But at the time, you know, I started this creative project with a friend and my husband was like, you do you have fun but all I ask is you break even I mean, we’re living on a barista budget. Okay. Kelsey Chapman 6:50 So I that’s what I did. I was like, I will make this work. I will make this work with elbow grease and shoestring budget, you know, and I began it’s It’s so fun to work with a client who has $100,000 to play with. But that’s not most people’s reality when they’re getting started. And even if it is their reality when they’re getting started, they probably it’s probably not wise to spend that money on something you don’t know what’s viable yet. Melissa Guller 7:17 Mm hmm. I love that. And I think so many people are wishing they were already there. They already had the huge budget, they already had the huge following. But maybe what are some of the advantages to just being in the early stages, like what are some of the things that you can do when you’re scrappy and hungry right in the beginning that maybe you can’t even do later on? Kelsey Chapman 7:36 Honestly, it’s kind of nice to not know all the nuances of your industry, because then you can be intimidated by that, you know, the further down the rabbit hole I’ve gotten over the years, whether it’s my industry of you know, digital marketing, or E courses, whether it’s the author, speaker world I’m a part of as well, you know, the further in the more parallel with fear you can get because you know more. But when you’re in those beginning phases, you’re just kind of hacking your way through going blind. But that is kind of nice to not know, it’s kind of like blissful ignorance is bliss, right? Kelsey Chapman 8:15 And so don’t despise small beginnings. One of my friends, Liz bohannan wrote this book called Beginner’s luck and there’s so much going on with your mindset in the beginning and with your kind of adrenaline in your excitement that will carry your vision and a different way than when you know all the nuances and ins and outs of it down the road. It’s just different seasons right? so appreciate the beginning for what it is because there are pros that you don’t have later down the road. You don’t have that initial beginner’s excitement. You don’t have that like I’m going out this blind but I am just running with it. Who cares? You know, like you know too much then. Now there’s some pros to the middle of the road as well. But I would definitely say, don’t despise those beginning phases. I can feel scary. You can feel in over your head. But there are definitely some perks. Melissa Guller 9:09 Mm hmm. And I love hearing you describe it as seasons to, to me that image just made so much sense because you would do things in summer that you wouldn’t in winter, just as in your business, you would do different things at different times. It’s not better or worse. But I think that’s such a great point. And I know that I think there are probably a lot of women in particular maybe men as well who dream of starting their own business podcast project, but they just haven’t started yet. So what do you think are some of the things that are holding most people back? Kelsey Chapman 9:37 Oh, fear comparison, man, I could go on this all day long. I mean, one of my signature things is called dream to dine, because I love dreaming with people but like, let’s get it done. You know, a lot of dreamers are not doers. And that’s what I care about people turning that dream that’s in their head, kind of abstract floating around and turning it into To a reality, and one of the biggest hang ups is fear and comparison. And how that tends to take shape is all meet with the same coaching client for eight weeks and we’re talking about the same thing. We’ll come back to a session two weeks later. What do you do? Well, I haven’t done it yet. You know, I’m still working out the kinks. I still need to build my platform. It’s all what people get hung up so much on not having a big platform. Kelsey Chapman 10:24 But honestly, the reality is, is sometimes a smaller platform has more bought in audience I’m sure I’m sure you know that as well as I would love to hear your thoughts like, you know, the bigger your audience gets. I use this example with Instagram quite often, you know, you might follow along with, you know, someone who has 10,000 followers, their engagement on their posts is insane. You know, it’s like 10% they’ve got a ton of comments. their audience is so bought in to what they do, it seems like they never miss a beat. Whereas a brand like anthropology to Have 10% engagement, they have point 03 percent, you know, like, it’s insane how the bigger you get, the less your audience sees. So there’s some beautiful things about those beginning phases. That’s why you see brands work. We’re working with micro bloggers now because they know those smaller audiences have a different level of buy in from their audience. Melissa Guller 11:23 I totally agree. I think that there’s a lot of freedom when you’re first getting started, because you can try out so many different ideas. And if something doesn’t work, it’s okay because not a ton of people saw it and you can kind of just move on to the next. So I think there’s a lot of flexibility. Plus, when I was first getting started with, let’s say, online courses, I was doing things that didn’t scale. I was sending video recorded welcomes to every single new student and I did that all through like a pretty long amount of time because I really wanted them to feel like I was personally there to help and I know that those students ended up referring more students and those are the kinds of things you can do. I think there’s this personalized touch, when you’re first getting started, that will really set you apart. Kelsey Chapman 12:06 I totally agree. I really, I love what you just said about, like, sometimes you can like try an iteration of something and no one’s really ever going to know if you change. And I think that is something that holds people back quite a bit in the beginning of like, Oh my gosh, I changed my offer three times in a year. And it’s like, yeah, that’s what happens in the beginning. You’re shaking it out. You’re working out the kinks along the way. But no one is holding up a microscope to your career and thinking you’re fickle because you changed your offer three times like everyone has multiple iterations of what they do before you see the final product. One of my I use this example far too often. But one of my favorite stories is Kanye on one of his more recent albums, which is I love him or hate him. I know he is quite polarizing, but he released his album, like on Spotify, imperfect, it was not fully complete. And then he kept uploading the new tracks as he perfected the album so that his listeners could hear the creative process. And so I thought that was so cool because often we only ever see the finished product. But there’s so many steps to get it to where it is. And I love that he illustrated that by allowing his listeners Melissa Guller 13:24 in. I think some of the most successful and balanced entrepreneurs that I know are the ones who keep testing and they’re not afraid to try new things. But I think when you’re first getting started, it’s easy to assume that you have to get it exactly right the first time. And I have to imagine a lot of people maybe don’t start at all because they’re waiting for the idea to be perfect, which is just not going to happen. Kelsey Chapman 13:47 100% I did that very much. In the beginning. I didn’t pitch to a single brand till we had 10,000 followers. Nowadays I’d be like girl, go ahead and pitch see what they say. put yourself out there. But at the time, I just felt like I don’t want to pitch until I get to this XYZ place in my brand or business. And, you know, hindsight is 2020 that’s something I can share with people now of like, I didn’t have to wait. I think we I think we all do that we’re so scared to just get started that we stay stuck, obsessing over one small intricacy of our business or brand. Melissa Guller 14:24 Definitely I know we all do it. And I think that the word until is very dangerous. I’ll wait until I have this. Yeah, I hit this milestone. But of course, we’re all doing it anyway. I think we all kind of have to learn it the hard way. But it is a good reminder that if you hear yourself saying, oh, I’ll wait until I’m ready until this happens, then you’re going to be unwilling for a long time. Yes, you are. Well, I’d love to take things back a little bit to your podcast. So at what point did you decide to start a podcast Kelsey Chapman 14:52 I decided to start a podcast one of my iterations that people probably don’t even know because to me now it feels like such a blip in my career. career, but I ran a magazine for a year called radiant magazine, I learned something about myself. I don’t like managing 20 volunteer writers. And so I pivoted, which if you find something in your career that you don’t really love, rework it. That’s what I did. And so I had this online magazine, and I thought, let’s start a podcast to serve them in a different format. And so I started it under the umbrella of radiant magazine, three ish years ago, three and a half. And then as I closed the chapter on radiate magazine, I’ve just bought brought all things radio under my personal brand. And Melissa Guller 15:41 what kind of guests are you looking for when you bring people onto your podcast? Kelsey Chapman 15:45 So I love hearing kind of the inception stories of women who have created something of impact. It doesn’t have to be a business, it could be a book, you know. And so whatever their vision is, whether it’s It’s a message whether it’s a service based business that supports clients, whether it’s an empire of products, I love to hear their story of how they got started, because like we’ve discussed here, I love hearing about those early phases and the messy middle. The parts where it got hard before it got better, because I feel like those conversations, really encourage another beginner entrepreneur to keep going, gosh, even even hearing myself on this podcast, I’m like, clearly I love beginners. Kelsey Chapman 16:32 Because again, a lot of the time they feel so last, and they feel like it’s impossible. But they just need someone to step in and say like, hey, I’ve been there. This is what worked for me. This is what didn’t take, take what works for you leave the rest and I and kind of get to have those conversations on my podcast as another way to support those people who are just starting out or who are like totally in the trenches. They’ve been in this a few years, but they need encouragement to keep Going. Melissa Guller 17:00 Mm hmm. I love that. And over the, you know, three years you’ve been podcasting. What do you think are some of the biggest benefits that your podcast has brought to you and to your business? Kelsey Chapman 17:11 I see this all the time. But I think podcasting is kind of the new medium and the new format of blogging and I feel like it also allows the listener to hear your voice in a different way than writing does. I mean, I’m a writer, I literally have a book coming out next year. So don’t don’t hear me say it’s better than writing. My lifelong dream has been to be a writer. podcasting is secondary to that. But I do think it’s a more casual way to be in your listeners ears for them to hear your voice to hear the little nuances of your story. You know, I can’t get off on these tangents when I’m writing because it would lose the direction of the story. The reader would be totally lost and not understand the point. But with speaking you can kind of circle back and tie it all together in a different way. And so I that’s why I love podcasts. Because I, I think it nurtures the listener a little bit differently and allows them to get to know the podcaster in a different way. And I think in a more intimate way, Melissa Guller 18:12 I couldn’t agree more, I think you can really show off your personality in a podcast. And I think writing is great. But it’s also very much a skill. And I think in order to sound like yourself in writing, oh, huge, and takes a lot of time and effort for most people. And so the just kind of conversation, the ease of having a podcast, interview, solo, co host, whatever the format is just being able to show off your voice and your personality and make your silly jokes that maybe nobody laughs at that you like them anyway, like, you just can’t do that in a blog post as well. Kelsey Chapman 18:44 Totally. And like you said, writing is a skill but I do think I think podcasting is a skill to like, I’m sure. I would love to hear what your first interviews were like, but my moral hot mess. I was all over the place. And I talked about them most random things. I think we had some tangents about Vampire Diaries in there. We had some, you know, giggle fests and they were not as sharp or recorded as well, or how I the questions I asked were a little bit different. So that’s a skill too. But yes, writing to capture your voice, I just got a book draft back with my voice totally edited out of it. And I had to go through and line by line, compare it to my last draft to make sure my voice was back in there. Melissa Guller 19:29 Wow. But yes, could not agree more that interviewing is definitely a skill, totally unlike any normal conversation. But it’s definitely rewarding because you get to learn so much. And I find that, you know, in a good interview, even as we’re interviewing now, like, I’m taking so much away from this, which makes me excited to ask more questions. And I feel like I have a duty to my listeners to really ask active questions and imagine what do they want to know? So you have to be very on the whole time I think when you’re interviewing. It’s very tiring, not in a bad way. But you know, it really does take a lot of energy to interview, which I think might be surprising to people. Kelsey Chapman 20:07 I think that might be surprising to people as well. And the longer I’m in this, the more I realized why people do seasons. Because you can take some time off when you do have a podcast that is every week, always forever. It can feel like oh, wow, even if I batch all of these, it still feels like work is happening. And so this summer, actually is the first time I’ve ever taken an extended break because I kind of had that ongoing feeling of like, I always forever have to put energy into this. And then I realized no one is sitting there psychoanalyzing if I take a break, so I’m going to re air some podcasts and take a break and rethink the creative direction of this show. Because it’s time for a little revamp. I’ve been doing this for three and a half years, you know, my energy has kind of come to a halt with it. So how do we inject new life into it? Melissa Guller 21:04 And what I love about doing seasons is first of all, you get the break, but also in the break. First of all, you get some creative space, you get to think about, okay, what do I want to keep doing, but maybe what I want to do differently. And then just from a marketer’s perspective, when you launch a new season, that’s like an event, you can get people excited, you can build buzz around the next season of your show. So I think there are so many benefits to doing seasons, and I hope that people embrace it versus just thinking of it like, Oh, I can’t I can’t handle it. I just need to stop and it feels like a failure to do a season Kelsey Chapman 21:35 totally. And I think my worry with seasons was that I would lose momentum in between. But if I think of it from a consumer perspective, I love when a new season drops of a show I really enjoy it. I’m I’m eager and on the edge of my seat and I’m like, I’m benching that I’m so pumped. Or, you know, maybe it’s a season that releases still week by week, but I’m still waiting Excited as their listener, so they never lost me as a consumer. So why am I so worried that if I do seasons, I’ll lose my listeners? Melissa Guller 22:07 Totally, I even think about my favorite TV shows and how they air in seasons. And that doesn’t make me any less likely to go back for the next season of Brooklyn nine, nine or whatever it is like, I’m on the edge of my seat. I’m so excited. And so I think we can maybe apply that mentality to our seasons to totally. Now I do want to continue talking a little bit about marketing promotion. And in particular, I know you’re incredible with Instagram. So maybe what are some of the strategies that you use to promote your podcast on Instagram? Kelsey Chapman 22:37 Well, I used to be incredible at Instagram. But one you know, people always Yeah, I will. I will breathe the life into that suit, too. I ran an Instagram agency for a few years. So the phrase the cobblers kids have no shoes could not be truer for my life. Like I just didn’t focus on my Instagram for like two straight years. Then I was really burned. By the time I close that agency, I have 50 clients a month that we manage their accounts. And so I’m in recovery. Um, you know, obviously you can make sound bites of your podcast with something like wave Co. But I really think of Instagram as the top level of the funnel. I mean, maybe you’re running ads, but the reality is probably not. Most people are not running ads for their podcasts. So how is your podcast going to get discovered other than the recommended app? or other than the recommended show on the app? Kelsey Chapman 23:33 Because also, that’s not the most likely for finding your show. I mean, people will stumble upon your show that way, but the most likely way is to for someone to share about it and how do they share about it probably social media. And so whether your audience is on Instagram or on Facebook, or on Pinterest, using that as the top level of the funnel to get them over to your show. And so when I got started with a blog, this will be true for a podcast. As well, I thought, well, if I write the best words that ever grace God screeners, but no one ever reads them, it’s just a journal. It might be a digital journal, but it’s just a journal. So how do I get eyeballs on these words, so that I can have the impact I want an impact might be one people, it might be one person, it might be 10 people, it might be 30 people, but like, it’s worth it even for that one person. And so it doesn’t mean like, Oh, I’m only going to do this if I have 10,000 readers or 10,000 listeners. Kelsey Chapman 24:31 But I really looked at it in those early days as I’m going to grow my platform so that I drive them over to my blog to read. And so I really leveraged Instagram, because at the time, I was bootstrapping it, remember, and so I needed to get as big of an audience tuned in interested in my message so that small percentage of them might come over. And so I apply that same strategy when I help people start their podcast. So grow your social platforms, share about it on social. If you have interviews, encourage your interviewees to share about it on social by providing them social content. If you get your guests a Google Drive folder of videos to share, they will share it. Nine out of 10 times sometimes the huge people, the huge guests don’t share. But most people want to promote the show, they were on to share their story if they’re a guest. If you’re a solo caster, you know, just promote your heart on social media. But either way, using that as an entry point to your show is a great opportunity to capture your audience. Melissa Guller 25:43 This is such great advice and I feel like I remember reading this somewhere about you but in the early days when you were really getting to know Instagram. I feel like I remember reading that you were really focused on Instagram versus trying to be everywhere at yes time. Is that right? Kelsey Chapman 25:57 Yeah, because I hadn’t limited time like I still had to work. And then even when I went full time on my own, I still had clients to serve. And so there are only so many hours a day I could focus on my staff. I wasn’t going to try to grow Facebook, grow Instagram, grow Pinterest. It’s like let’s grow Instagram, get that move. And then let’s focus on Facebook, get that move in. And then also the reality is as you grow something, you might have a little more cash flow to pay with to maybe pay someone to help you grow Facebook or pay someone to help you grow Pinterest, which is what I did my sweet spot is Instagram. And so I grew that with, you know, my own two hands. Kelsey Chapman 26:34 I literally my arms would hurt up to my elbows from being on my phone and those early years like I went hard. As with anyone bootstrapping a business and building it from the ground up. That was just my main priority because I knew it was going to be my entry point for my audience. My people were on Instagram. Now here’s the deal. I have a friend. She pulled her audience. 1% of them were on Instagram so she focused all her efforts on Facebook. I mean, go where your people are, serve them, serve them, serve them, nurture, nurture, nurture, tend that garden. And then if you want to expand down the road, let the cash flow from tending that garden overflow, and fund the other areas of your business. Melissa Guller 27:17 Mm hmm. Well said, and I love to you that you talk about how Instagram or really any of these marketing channels are like the top of the funnel, it’s how people are finding you. I think maybe people who don’t have any experience with marketing would assume that the way that people will find your podcast is through apple or Spotify, or wherever they listen. But truthfully, that’s probably the last place you’re gonna find you. Most people will find your podcast because they found you first the same way that they would find your website or your blog or somewhere else. So I almost think that because podcasts are all in the same app, it almost tricks us into thinking that that’s going to help us get discovered better. Kelsey Chapman 27:52 Oh, yeah, I think I had a conversation with the head of my network. And he said that I’m on a podcasting network. He said that Most people think you’re going to be found through new and noteworthy or I hit the top 50 in my section, but honestly, like as a consumer, I’m never scrolling through those looking for a new show. The way I find a new show is if someone I follow on Instagram has an interview on a show I’ve never heard, you know, for instance, I just wanted to hear the story of this fashion blogger I follow. She rarely does interviews, really the only way to like learn Her story is through her Instagram stories or her blog. But she doesn’t get super personal. She shares curated content. So I wanted to hear her story. So I looked her name up in the podcast app, she only done three interviews and I listened to them all. That’s how I discovered those new shows. And so I’m never as a consult sumur scrolling through the new and noteworthy section unless I’m on a road trip looking for a murder podcast. That’s about it. Melissa Guller 28:48 Yeah, I totally agree. And I think that’s a great point too, about like people are searching for specific content. Like maybe they would search for the name of a person or I have to imagine some people do go into an app and search for maybe key phrase or a search term, but I do think that most people are finding podcasts through the people they follow in, like, when people they already like appear on other podcasts. And they’re just somewhere out in the world. They’re not in Apple. I don’t think finding new shows most of the time. Kelsey Chapman 29:15 Totally, I totally with you there. Melissa Guller 29:17 Well, in terms of just something else that you do that I love is that you often talk about how it takes a community to raise an entrepreneur. So how have mentors played a role in your business growth or even your personal growth? Kelsey Chapman 29:30 Oh, man, I love mentors. You know, the phrase, it takes a village like I feel like it took a village to make me into who I am today and it will continue to take a village to develop me into a stellar human over time because I have by no means arrived. But I really, you know, I had all these women step into my life. I love learning. You know, if there’s something to learn, give me a notepad. I want to learn how to have the most full free life. So if there’s an area for For me to grow in, let’s find a mentor and sit down and have coffee with them. Kelsey Chapman 30:04 And so early on, I just started asking, you know, I noticed, okay, I have these women in my life who have stepped in and invested in me who were there by happenstance, like, one of my best friend’s mom’s one of my aunts, my own life leader in high school. But as I got a little bit older, if there was something I wanted to learn and grow, and I would just ask, and it was kind of weird sometimes, you know, I’d be like, hey, Harriet, I just love how you live your life. Like you’ve got a marriage that’s still deeply connected after 30 years. You’ve got kids that don’t hate you. You’ve got an amazing connected friend group, like how do you balance all of that I would love to learn from you. Did she kind of probably think, Oh, this feels like not very tangible. What do I have to like, I don’t have tips and tricks I’ve like cultivated from my life. Kelsey Chapman 30:56 But I was like, I don’t have any expectations. I just would love to have coffee with you. Once a month. So we did. And over time, I think I became a really treasured part of her month. You know, I know that she ended up sharing things with me that were more like a friend. And so I learned so much from that relationship. And then as I got a little further along in my career, I started seeking out career mentors and then at some point, it came time to pay those mentors like you cannot get by with picking everyone’s brain, especially in your career. And so, no matter what area of my life, whether it’s friendship, marriage, one day, motherhood, business, you name it, I have sought out someone to kind of be my guide. Kelsey Chapman 31:43 If you think of the Storybrand framework, we’re all looking for a guide to take us down the path towards more fullness, freedom and joy. If you haven’t heard of the Storybrand framework, it’s a book by Donald Miller. It’s amazing. It’s like basically the plotline in all movies, and it’s framework for incredible marketing as well. But circling that back to mentorship, you know, I was just looking for a guide, someone who I thought was a few steps ahead of me in any given area and might be willing to pass along that wisdom, then I could learn that wisdom, turn around and offer a girl three steps behind me a hand that and I feel like with that, like, how could we lose like if we’re in this together, and we’re truly as women empowering and equipping others to go further than us if I glean a little bit of wisdom and can pass that along to the girl beside me and she gets ahead. Awesome. Like we will all win. Melissa Guller 32:36 I love that. And actually, something kind of interesting that you mentioned is that, you know, sometimes you would sit down for coffee, but other times you do want to pay somebody to really like be a coach and a guiding light. I don’t know if this is something you can answer, but is there a difference between like, when is it okay to ask somebody just for a little bit of help versus when does it make sense to go out and pay somebody? Kelsey Chapman 32:56 You know, if you already have a touch point with someone It might be appropriate to ask them for help, or if it’s more like a soft skill in life versus a hard skill and what I mean by that if it’s more lifestyle versus career, you know what I mean? And so like, I’m probably not going to pay my lifestyle mentor and building a life I love I’m probably just going to look around me see who’s already in my life crushing it is just a normal everyday woman. I also don’t expect Oprah to be my mentor, like Oprah doesn’t have time. She doesn’t know me. She has a gazillion followers, you know. And so I literally just look around and see who is crushing it in the areas I want to grow in. Kelsey Chapman 33:35 But then in career, unless you work in corporate and you have those frameworks already in place, like some corporate companies already have, like, you know, through the Junior League sign up to have this mentor or in my company. We have a mentoring system that might be free. But if you’re an entrepreneur and you need ongoing support, it’s probably more fitting to pay someone and that doesn’t not diminish their role doesn’t cheapen it or make it less intimate. Like my two career mentors. They cost thousands of dollars to work with. But I’ve also been to Florida and Disneyland with them and fun restaurants in Hollywood not only in the context of a mastermind, but out of that as well like on our own in our own time. Kelsey Chapman 34:23 And so these women, I feel like when you’re really generous as a mentee, as well, like you seek to give back you ask what’s going on in their life, you don’t just take these mentors. You know, it’s lonely at the top. And so they’re thankful to have someone who cares for them as well. And often that can turn into a friendship. And that coaching relationship can go deeper into more of a mentoring relationship and that mentoring relationship can become a friendship. I hope that’s like, clear because I know it can feel like a little abstract and a little vague But I do think like with career mentors I am I lean towards paying them. And I always use like amber as an example I met amber because of a cold Facebook ad. I didn’t know her, it wouldn’t be appropriate for me to be like, Oh, I love the business you’ve created Can I like take you to coffee or virtually sit down with you in Skype and you tell me everything, you know? Like No, she she pays thousands of dollars for coaches, so I need to pay her to relay that information. But again, it’s been four years now and I feel like she stuck with me forever. I wrote a chapter about her in my book. We we really connect not in a weird way where I think we connect and we don’t actually. Kelsey Chapman 35:44 But like you know, I really from the beginning was like hey Amber, even though I am paying you like how can I also serve you? Can I help you grow your Instagram like that was my specialty at the time? Hey, this is what I’ve learned with Instagram. This is what’s working and now on the Mentor Program. So flipping the switch a little bit when I have a coaching client who only comes to the call, and wants to hash out, you know, their stuff. Of course, that’s what they’re paying me for. I expect that that’s no problem. But if they spend even two minutes saying like, Hey, I know you turned in your book last week, How’d that go? Oh, my God, you had to rewrite it. Like, if they know a little bit about my life, I feel even a teeny bit more connected as the mentor to my mentee of like, Oh, they they care to invest in me as well. Melissa Guller 36:30 Wow, I love that because I think what you’re pointing out is that it’s not a one way street like, sure, maybe you are paying a mentor for their services. But I love that you talk about how you can serve them too, because I don’t think that it should be all on them to bring everything to the table and just hearing how like you really showed up and offered what you could do for them or even just asking you about how they’re doing like they’re a human too. And I absolutely love that. I don’t think I’ve heard that advice before. Kelsey Chapman 36:57 Well, that makes it Yeah, I know. It can feel abstract. Even relaying that in my book was, was challenging because it’s like, well, what’s the difference between a coach and a mentor? There’s not a huge difference. But there’s these subtle differences that matter. And sometimes your mentor is also your coach. But I just think mentorship has a little more depth to it and personalization. Melissa Guller 37:22 I’m sure by the time the book comes out next year, you’ll have it perfectly figured out. Kelsey Chapman 37:27 Oh, my gosh, well, hopefully. Melissa Guller 37:31 Yes, I’m sure. And like, speaking of, what are you working on currently or up next that you are excited about? Kelsey Chapman 37:36 Oh, man, well, I have been having a blast writing this book. It’s been hard when people compare it to birth. I mean, I haven’t birth a child. But this has been like, Whoa, it’s taken all of me. It has been all consuming. It’ll be three years by the time it’s on a shelf like going the traditional publishing route is not for the faint of heart going the self publishing route is not for the faint of heart. Like there’s just so many hoops to jump through. So I literally turned in my life. Last draft Monday, and then I’m really enjoying helping clients build online conferences right now as we kind of shift with this current pandemic. You know, I really started thinking through, like, how can my clients take their live events online. And so that’s been really fun. I really like being scrappy and having to adapt based on what’s going on. So it’s kind of been a fulfilling project for this season we’re in. Melissa Guller 38:28 And in general, right now, I know you have courses to clients, like what is the current balance of your business right now, Kelsey Chapman 38:36 man? Well, the, you know, I’ve always been a fan of having client work and really just having streams of income because as you know, and probably many of our listeners here know, like the course landscape is always changing. And unless you’re spending quite a bit of cash on ads, like you’re not going to just grow to the moon and back like Jenna Kutcher spends $650,000 on our ads a year, you know, and so it’s like, I don’t solely rely on that as my main stream of income. And if I did, I would have to be putting some serious cash into ads, which comes with sometimes ads change. And all of a sudden, what worked no longer does and so I always have some client projects going on. Kelsey Chapman 39:19 But the longer I’m in this, the more I’ve off boarded retainer work and slowly but surely worked my way into just doing my own things. And that’s always a mix of these ecourse bundles that I’m sure we’ll chat about in a second. These online conferences I mean, I’ve got three online conferences that are mine in the fall. I’ve always got some e courses going on and then my like, first love writing which I don’t tend to blog very much but I you know, work on my books on the back end tournament, they’ll be on a shelf. I’m so excited about it, but that that’s my first love and really why I got into this to begin with I I knew I enjoyed marketing from you know Cool. But what I realized through my early years of trying to really just build my blog, so I could have a book that’s literally the only reason I learned marketing was let me build an audience so I can get a book deal. And writing brought me to my love of marketing. So kind of all comes back to that always. Melissa Guller 40:22 And having so many different, I’m gonna call them like product types, but clients courses, conferences, you learn so many different things from sharing knowledge in so many different ways. Like I know with clients, you’re really getting immediate feedback, immediate questions. And working with people one on one will teach you so much so much faster than something like a course even though I’m obviously a huge fan of courses, but I think it takes a nice mix of different types to really get a full picture of what your people need from you. Kelsey Chapman 40:52 Oh, yeah. And honestly, I am a big proponent of like, do not teach a course unless you’ve tested that on yourself. And Some clients. And so for me, like, I think everyone’s goal is to like get out of client work and just have my course and like the way forward is courses, courses courses, passive income, but like, I feel like having clients allows you to test the concepts and make sure they work beyond your success story. And so when I was working on my messaging for my Instagram course, I don’t really sell it anymore because you got to update an Instagram course like every quarter. But back when I was working on that, I ran an Instagram agency and so kind of the the model was if you can’t really afford to work with me right now, here’s a course and you can do it all yourself. But I had 50 clients a month I have my hands on over 500 client accounts that allowed me to have information to put in that course. Now that’s a little excessive. You don’t need to test your information on 500 clients before you put it into a course but what I am saying is Like, I knew those strategies worked because I had an opportunity to test it. Melissa Guller 42:04 And I couldn’t agree more I think for most people course should not be, you may be day one because I think you risk putting together a course that doesn’t actually address what people need. And even having five clients would go such a long way. Kelsey Chapman 42:17 Totally. And you learn so like, it can feel like man, I just want to get out of this client work. But like you learn so much. And then you also get to apply not only do you get to apply all that wisdom to like, you know, say courses where you’re going to make money. I’ve learned so much on the job for clients that worked for me, and so like that time will never be wasted. Melissa Guller 42:40 Great point. Now, I know we’re wrapping up shortly and I cannot wait to talk a little bit more about the course toolkit. So I first want to know, like what inspired you to do a project like this in the first place? Kelsey Chapman 42:51 As I’ve even heard myself say over and over again, I love the beginner who doesn’t feel like they have the resources, it’s not wise for them to invest enough. $5,000 program, you know, right out of the gate. And so I wanted to put together something for that person who maybe needed to come up with like $100. They had to figure it out to get started, or, you know, just a lifelong learner who’s like, man, I can get 25 courses for $99 Count me in. Kelsey Chapman 43:19 You know, either way, I’ve been in both shoes. Do I need to sell clothes from my closet to buy a $99? course now? No, but I did once upon a time, my whole mo at the beginning was just break even don’t spend money out of my personal bank account to fund my business. Now, it’s not that I’m bootstrapping it or on that tight of a budget these days, but I just love to learn. So if I can snag 25 courses for 99 bucks, count me in. Like even putting the courses together allows me to have access to all of these opportunities to learn and it’s like being in a candy store. Kelsey Chapman 43:53 And so, I put this together because I really care about people having access to have the tools to start their business. Also, I’d seen these bundles floating around and someone would reach out to me and I’d end up connecting like 10 of my friends. And it’s like, wow, I just filled half the roster. Why am I not doing this myself? So I gave it a whirl last November. And I am always looking for like, what bells and whistles Can I add to for the people contributing to make this like, heck yes, like, Oh, this is such a win. For me. It’s such a win for my audience, like that’s what I want with everything. I do it to be a win for everyone involved. And so like, how can I serve and support people in a way that makes it effortless, makes it easy, and everyone comes out on top? Melissa Guller 44:39 To me, just being able to provide such massive value to my audience is what I’m always looking for. And to me, this totally checks that box because something that’s unique about a toolkit, like this one versus just a single course, is that I think for all online business owners, we all have our own unique mix about what works for us. And if you only buy one course like I could help you with one area of your business. But with a toolkit like this, you can pick and choose, let’s say two or three of the 20. And you can have the freedom to explore a bunch of things and see what really works for you. And it’s totally risk free, because you can get all of them at once, and then just decide later what you want to pursue. Kelsey Chapman 45:19 Absolutely, yeah. And I mean, again, I put these together, but I’m a lifelong learner. And I love diving in of like UI and other social media, of course, maybe I know 90% of the stuff in it, but like for 99 bucks if I sometimes one sentence changes my career. You know, I had dinner with someone in early July, and one sentence changed everything I’m doing in my business for the season ahead. And so I feel the same applies to courses. Sure, maybe you know, some of the information, but one thing one person says might change something for you and so is that worth it? 100%. Melissa Guller 45:58 I love that and I love learning too. There’s always some area of my business where I’m either in a course or working with somebody or trying to learn more. And I think that’s part of the fun of podcasting and having a business is just getting to learn more. So as we do wrap up, do you have any final advice to our listeners, whether it’s about podcasting, or just pursuing big dreams, Kelsey Chapman 46:17 man, just get started. I mean, I think for so many of us, we let that fear hold us back. But release your vision dream idea into the world and tweak it and refine it along the way. That’s kind of my mo like, it might be messy, it might not be perfect, but like, just get it out there and you will refine it along the way. Melissa Guller 46:38 I love that. Where can listeners learn more about you since I’m sure and hopeful that many of them will want to stay in touch? Kelsey Chapman 46:44 You can find me at kelseychapman.com or @kelschapman on Instagram. And then of course, we have the ecourse bundles called workhorse toolkit and you should check that out through Melissa’s unique link, witandwire.com/yourcoursetoolkit. Melissa Guller 46:56 Perfect. Well, Kelsey, thank you so much for joining us. I’ve absolutely loved having you. Kelsey Chapman 47:01 Thank you for having me. You are a joy. Melissa Guller 47:05 Thank you so much for joining us this week. Remember, if you’re listening during August 2020, when this episode aired, you can grab your course toolkit with over 20 courses for driven entrepreneurs on a budget at witandwire.com/yourcoursetoolkit. There’s also a link in the show notes. Melissa Guller 47:22 If you’re tuning in later, no worries, you can connect with Kelsey or see more great takeaways and resources by visiting witandwire.com/podcast. Before we go. I’d love to know what your top takeaway was from today’s episode or if you’ve hopefully been loving it. So take a screenshot of you listening to Wit & Wire and share it to your Instagram stories. Make sure you tag me @witandwire and Kelsey @kelschapman. I always love to hear from listeners and I can’t wait to see what you’ve learned. Melissa Guller 47:50 Thank you again for joining me, Melissa Guller, in this episode of Wit & Wire. I’ll see you next time, podcasters!

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