Julien and Kiersten Saunders – How to Monetize Your Personal Finance Brand (Without Getting in Your Audience’s Pockets)

Welcome to another episode of the Plutus Awards Podcast. Our community is filled with hundreds of stories from creators and entrepreneurs just like you. And through this show we share these stories of challenges and successes from bloggers to podcasters from writers, speakers and more. I’m your host, Michelle Jackson.

Plutus Awards Podcast - Julien and Kiersten Saunders Square Cover

Today’s guests are Julien and Kiersten Saunders of rich & REGULAR. We talk about the importance of knowing how to talk to your audience vs. at your audience. How they decided on a monetization strategy that allowed them to stay out of the pockets of the community that they serve with their content and the goals that they have for their upcoming book.

How to Monetize Your Personal Finance Brand (Without Getting in Your Audience’s Pockets)

Notes and summary from this episode
  • Julien and Kiersten Saunders introduce themselves “Rich and Regular” and their upcoming book “Cashing Out: Win the Wealth Game By Walking Away”
  • They share how they got into the personal finance space-they were content consumers and got excited about being involved
  • They soon realized that a lot of people that they knew weren’t interested because they didn’t see themselves in the content.
  • How to resonate with specific audiences became a driving question in the creation of their brand.
  • I ask them to expand on what they do as content creators and I wonder why they decided to lean into video in the way that they did.
  • What does it take to get their financial message to resonate with their audience? It had to stand out and be approached in a different way.
  • Rethinking the design of their content and decided it had to be entertaining.
  • Found a videographer that they paid and designed their content
  • Why are so many personal finance content creators staying on the surface vs. digging deeper?
  • Instructor vs. Connecting via story and role modeling
  • The nuance of expression, questions, etc. communicate story better-but, might not be good for social media algorithms
  • Creatives who don’t view themselves as creatives who are unclear about marketing
  • Why vs. How to (do it)
  • Why did personal finance content switch from story brands to SEO driven only?
  • I ask “Is blogging dead?” – No. Kiersten breaks down why this is a silly belief
  • Were there concerns around your monetization strategy and the impact on your brand and community that you’re serving? They decided that they didn’t want to be a line item in their community’s budget. So, the Rich and Regular monetization strategy had to be approached in a different way.
  • They focused on creating compelling content that attracts brands vs. monetizing directly from their community – Brands reach out to Rich and Regular because it’s clear who they’re connecting with their content
  • Recognizing the middle point in a business’s life cycle which needs different types of connection and content
  • I ask Julien and Kiersten about what they invested in with their business specifically-editing their Money on the Table, etc.
  • Julien points out that brands appreciate the level of investment that they’ve put into their personal content and that it will translate to the content that they would create for a brand. – Be so unique you couldn’t unsee it
  • In 2022 Julien and Kiersten are publishing “Cashing Out: Win the Wealth Game by Walking Away” We discuss their upcoming book and what does “winning” look like in a 9-5 career?
  • I share a story about how people’s beliefs may influence their ability to accept the message that Julien and Kiersten are sharing with their book
  • Kiersten makes the point that the majority of retirees are retiring early based on data – 97% of Black employees do not want to return to the office
  • How did Julien and Kiersten decide that they should be the ones to write their book “Cashing Out Win the Wealth Game by Walking Away”
  • Having thousands of conversations helped inform Julien and Kiersten on what content actually resonates with their community
  • I ask about how they decided to be on the cover of their book?
    • Because Black people on the cover of a book like this is so rare
    • I share that I would have missed seeing them on their book as a fan
  • If you want to sell your book take the actions that will get likely buyers to actually buy your book.
  • What is considered success for the book? Readers reaching out or is it sales? Or, a combination of the two metrics.
  • The Black Experience at work as a welcomed critique within business spaces
  • What’s their next goal after publishing their book
  • Get rid of the vanity metrics and talk to your audience in person to gauge if your content is resonating. Sometimes you won’t see the return in metrics even though the community loves the content.
Resources Mentioned

Plutus Awards Podcast - Julien and Kiersten Saunders Cover

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About Michelle Jackson, Podcast Host

Michelle Jackson is mission-driven to help her readers and listeners empower themselves financially. Whether it is by improving their personal finances or learning how to sell what they already know — she loves having those conversations. Michelle runs the website and podcast “Michelle is Money Hungry” and is the founder of the Money on the Mountain retreat focused on empowering financially single women one conversation at a time. When she’s not geeking out about personal finance you can find her hiking in the mountains of Colorado.

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