368: Becoming a TV Personality and Growing a Food and Lifestyle Brand with Rosalynn Daniels

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Bjork Ostrom: A big, thank you to Clariti for sponsoring the Food Blogger Pro podcast. You’ve heard me talk about Clariti before. It’s a tool that we’re building and using for Pinch of Yum, but also a really powerful tool for anybody who’s focusing on content that’s one of the main vehicles for growth or revenue for their site. And we’ve been working on Clariti for a couple years, but it hasn’t been until recently that we’ve started to bring other people in to sign up and become a part of it. We’re doing an offer right now that we’re calling 25 Forever. So the first 500 people who sign up for Clariti will get their account at $25 a month forever. We’re still in the early stages of offering this, but we’ll cap it at 500 people. So once we have 500 people who have signed up, then we’re going to cap that and we’re going to move to a different pricing for Clariti.

Bjork Ostrom: So it’s still in the early stages. It’s not going to be the kind of thing where we’re at this point where we’d cap it and say, “Hey, you can’t sign up. You’ve missed your chance.” But slowly and surely, we’re moving to that 500 mark. So if you’re interested in joining and checking it out, now would be a good time to do that. There’s no commitment. There’s no plan that you have to join and can’t cancel so you can check it out. You can see if it’s a good fit and how do you know if you would even be interested in it? Well, Clariti’s for anybody who’s focusing on content and also starting to focus on optimization of their existing content. So we have this belief that any and every site is going to be suboptimal right now.

Bjork Ostrom: There’s going to be broken images, broken links. There’s going to be posts that don’t have internal links that could, or don’t have external links to helpful resources. There’s going to be images with missing alt text. There’s going to be content that’s starting to perform worse that if you looked at and kind of improved and enhanced, it would increase rank. We’re really just thinking about that for Pinch of Yum a lot. What are, what are the ways that we could improve the content that’s currently on our site, as opposed to just creating new content? And we’re using Clariti as a tool where we track that and make those enhancements and improvements. One of the things that comes along with that is you can join the Slack community that we have of other content creators. And this just came up the other day, somebody posted and they said, I had no idea that I have broken images on my site, but somehow those images broke.

Bjork Ostrom: So I need to, number one, find out how they broke and then number two, fix them, but they were just saying that they noticed that because of Clariti in some of the filtering that they were able to do. So they created a project. They filtered first and said, show me all the broken images on my site, and then it was like, “Oh, there’s some broken images.” Then they filtered, after filtering those, they created a project that was fix broken images. Now you could then have somebody on your team, go in, make those improvements, make those enhancements. Or if you don’t have somebody on your team, that can be the type of stuff where maybe once a week, once a month, you have this maintenance or spring cleaning mindset, where you go in, you block the day out to make improvements, make enhancements.

Bjork Ostrom: You’re not creating new content. You’re just going in and optimizing and improving and paying attention to older content and making sure that it’s at a hundred percent as opposed to 70%, which if I were to guess, I would say all of our sites, Pinch of Yum included, would probably be operating at 70% of their true potential value. And we want to find ways that we can improve that and we’re using clarity as the tool to not only discover those things, but also to organize the tasks and projects that go along with improving them. So, we’re still in the early stages of it. We’re excited about what it’s going to be and what it’s going to grow into. And we’re also excited to learn from you in the process of what you would want it to be, which is why we have that Slack community that we will welcome you to if you are interested in signing up. So you can go to clarity.com/food, C-L-A-R-I-T-I.com/food if you’re interested in signing up. All right, that’s a wrap for this little ad read. Let’s go ahead and jump into today’s episode.

Bjork Ostrom: Hello. Hello. This is Bjork. As you know, you’re listening to the Food Blogger Pro podcast, and today we’re going to have a conversation with Rosalynn Daniels, and she’s going to be sharing her story and how she really has progressed along her journey as originally really wanting to be somebody who is a TV personality, and figuring out the evolution of that along the way. And one of the things that I love about Rosalynn is story is the intentional steps that she took along the way to help her kind of level up and unlock certain levels to her journey or her career. And there’s one specific time in her life that she talks about what it was like to move and how that impacted things for her. And that’s a really drastic, significant change to make. But what I found inspiring is to hear the impact that, that had on her, in her journey to being a creator and really in a lot of ways, realizing her dream.

Bjork Ostrom: She’s also going to be talking about some of the strategies that she had for connecting with TV stations and a different way that you, as a creator and publisher might be able to monetize your content or to, not monetize your content, but to build a personal brand that you can create revenue from by working with other brands. And she’s going to be talking about what that’s like when you are working with the TV station and you’re working with a brand that wants to get publicity, and you are somebody who’s comfortable being in front of the camera. And it’s something that was for me, so eye-opening to see, wow, there’s this entirely new to me area that people are creating substantial revenue from as creators. And that’s really what we are all about, not just blogging. That’s our name, Food Blogger Pro, but it’s really about being a creator and building something, whether that be a skill or an ability or following online, that allows you to work in a way that you want to work. And Rosalynn’s going to be talking about the things that she’s learned along the way that has allowed her to do that so let’s go ahead and jump into the interview. Rosalynn, welcome to the podcast.

Rosalynn Daniels: Hi, thank you for having me.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, we are going to be talking about a lot of different things today, but as I often like to do, I like to rewind the tape, have a conversation, kind of the origin story, the genesis of where somebody began their career. So rewind the tape for us and take us back to when you first started producing content as a creator online and what was your mindset at the time?

Rosalynn Daniels: Oh my goodness. So when I started, I actually wanted to have my own show and my husband and I, we’d just moved to Northern California. And so I was like, “Oh my gosh, this is my chance,” because I had been trying to get out there, but so many things in life happened. And I felt like when we moved, finally, that, that was God saying, “This is your time to go.”

Bjork Ostrom: Like change is in the air. You’re moving places, you’re moving careers, you’re going to focus on a new thing.

Rosalynn Daniels: Exactly. And everything that I was used to in the world, at the time we were in Atlanta, just went away when we went to California, we were by ourselves and I didn’t have any outside noise. So at that time it was a pivotal moment in my life where I learned who I was, again, I accepted it and I embraced it because I didn’t have noise of so many people like friends and family telling me who I am and what I should do and all these things. And I wasn’t embarrassed. At the time, I was embarrassed to want to be in entertainment. And-

Bjork Ostrom: Why was that, do you think?

Rosalynn Daniels: Because first off, I’m in Atlanta, so everyone and their mama is trying to be a star. And I just was embarrassed. Most of the people in my life at that time were in corporate America and they had these corporate lives and I didn’t really have anyone who understood the world of entertainment. So when I would mention it, it was just like, “I know you don’t want to be a real housewife,” or God, heard that you want a reality TV, but I grew up doing theater and doing like television work and so for me it was just like, I really want to do this.

Bjork Ostrom: So you knew that was part of who you were, but the people around you, you didn’t feel comfortable enough to pursue that because of, hey, career path should be, you get a corporate job and you it’s consistent and that’s the path you should go on but you’re like, “Hey, I kind of want to go on this path,” but, but didn’t want to say that out loud, kind of?

Rosalynn Daniels: Yeah, the consistency of it all. At that time, I genuinely was living my life for other people and I was not living my life for myself. And-

Bjork Ostrom: And did you know that at the time?

Rosalynn Daniels: To a certain extent. It had stages. I had to go through a stage of kind of letting go of my parents and letting them know, “Listen, this is my life.” I even bought a car because my parents thought I needed a new car when I really didn’t and just all these things. And so I took control of my life. I was a newlywed. I became a new mother and I started to just… I was forced into these new roles where I really had to take ownership of myself, who I was because no one else could live this and now there’s other people involved in it.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. Yeah. What did that process look like and feel like, because it almost feels like in one sense, it sounds like you had to go back to who you were, almost relearn, who am I, what am I about, how do I access that? And that’s a little bit like looking back towards your true self, but it also feels like an evolution and like a new you, like a metamorphosis into a new version of who you were so as you were going through that, did you know that, that’s what was happening? And did you use any resources or did you follow certain people who helped you with that process? Because now you’re on the other side and I think you can look back on it and say, “Hey, this was a really important pivotal moment.” But I think there’s a lot of people who are in the middle of it right now so what would you say to those people who are going through kind of a similar thing or trying to figure that out?

Rosalynn Daniels: For me, the moment of taking everyone away, literally taking away the noise and the influences. So when we moved to California, I no longer was hanging out with people all the time. I’d have phone conversations and stuff like that with friends, but it really was a time where I had silence and I could really just think and go back to what I knew made me happy. When I got pregnant, I was a physician recruiter for 10 years. I did great with that. And then I wanted to have more freedom over my life. I definitely am not a corporate America person, okay.

Bjork Ostrom: Sure. Freedom in terms of like time and autonomy and yeah.

Rosalynn Daniels: Time. I am a whichever way the wind blows type person when I wake up in the morning. I might not feel like doing one thing, I want that option to do what makes my spirit feel good and I can’t do that when I am dedicating my life to another person’s business. And so I had to understand that for myself. So at first I did take a plunge and go into real estate. And then I was doing that for a while and my husband ended up getting a job offer in Northern California.

Rosalynn Daniels: And so that’s when we ended up moving and when we moved out there, it was just a time of, okay, I really don’t have anything to do. I don’t really have to do anything. I just could just be a mom and do all of that world, but I didn’t feel fulfilled. And I knew that getting my creative self out, that’s just the only way I feel happy. That gives me so much joy. And so I’m like, “Okay, what am I going to do about this?” So I started taking acting classes out there and trying to get into that world and the network out there. And then-

Bjork Ostrom: That world being acting?

Rosalynn Daniels: Yeah, acting.

Bjork Ostrom: So, starting to explore a little bit-

Rosalynn Daniels: Acting and entertainment.

Bjork Ostrom: This thing that you knew was inside of you, that you wanted to pursue you, it was like embers in Atlanta. It was still there, but it’s like you didn’t blow in the fire to really pay attention to it. But now, you’re going to say, “Hey, I’m going to pay attention to this and maybe see if I can grow this thing, take classes, look for opportunities.” And it sounds like, if I were to point back to that, the big pivotal piece that was influential in that was restructuring your social network and starting with kind of a reset. And they talk a lot about being the average of the five people you spend the most time with and if you’re spending time with the average of the five people you’re spending the most time with are all kind of poo-pooing, this idea of you pursuing your dreams or entertainment, that’s going to feel very different than if you’re with people who are encouraging it or, it sounds like in your case, just neutral.

Bjork Ostrom: You didn’t have people that were negative. You didn’t maybe necessarily have people who were like, “Go do it. Go for it.” It was just neutral. You had space on your own to pursue that. Is that the change that happened there?

Rosalynn Daniels: Yes. And I can’t deny that. I also had an encouraging husband who was just like, “Whatever makes you happy-”

Bjork Ostrom: Incredibly important.

Rosalynn Daniels: “… just figure that out so we can all be happy around here.” You know what I’m saying?

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, that’s awesome.

Rosalynn Daniels: So, that was, I guess the pivotal moment is just changing the circle. And so, I looked at it and I was just like, “Okay, I want to have a show. I want to go for it.” And I’m like, “Where do I start?” So I started looking at the people that I knew, my network and I had a friend who… she was a VP of marketing for network at the time and I reached out to her and I was like, “Hey girl, I would like a show.”

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. Can I get a show please? Like, come on about your

Rosalynn Daniels: Come on, you know I’ve got personality. And she was like, “Oh yeah, girl, you would be so great. But networks aren’t in the business of taking chances so you either have to have a following or you have to do a show that you really know what you’re doing.” And so that started the journey. So at that point I’m like, “Okay.” Mind you, I didn’t really read any blogs or anything like that so-

Bjork Ostrom: And when was this in terms of timeline? What year?

Rosalynn Daniels: This was 2016. 2016. And so I started calling news stations. I was trying to get on anywhere I could. I knew I needed camera work because she said I needed experience. And then she said I needed a following and I couldn’t figure out the following part, but I knew I could get on somebody’s camera. So I started reaching out to news stations and asking if I could get on to show recipes and DIY projects and hacks. So I finally got someone who responded back and they brought me on and that kicked off the whole television thing. And so while I was-

Bjork Ostrom: Real quick on that, because I think it’s worth shining a light on that because that’s resourceful. There’s some hustle. There’s some grit involved with that. It’s like you’re cold calling or emailing these news stations and being like, “Can I come on?” And I think that’s the type of work that somebody will look at somebody who’s an influencer or creator or in entertainment, whatever it is and be like, “Man, that must be nice.”

Bjork Ostrom: And I think a lot of times what they don’t know about is that period of time where you’re like, okay, let me go through and find news stations, try and find a contact, call them, pitch them, get a lot of nos, get some no responses, but then occasionally get somebody who’s like, “Sure, we’ll have you on,” and doing that over and over again. Can you talk about that time period? How were you finding those people? Was it online? Were you contacting through email, calls?

Rosalynn Daniels: I was going to the news station website and I really didn’t even know what I was looking for. So at that time I was just reaching out to marketing TV staff and I think the first one I got basically they got me to the right person. And I told her and they were looking for talent to come on to show some recipes at the time. It was a daytime show that they had in the middle of the day on their news station that was an hour long. And they gave celebrity gossip, what’s going on in entertainment, recipes, stuff like that, a little bit of talk and stuff like that. And so, she’s like, “Oh, can you come on and do a recipe?” And I’m like, “Yeah, I can do this.”

Bjork Ostrom: Yes I can.

Rosalynn Daniels: So, I just came up with a recipe and I went in and I remember my husband, at the time he was my PA, my personal assistant, and all I knew was okay, I have to do TV magic. So I need to make sure I go in here and I have different stages of this recipe. At the time, I think it was an eggplant marinara. Wait. You all, I was making up stuff so it was an eggplant marinara that I served in a spaghetti squash. I think that’s what I did with that one.

Rosalynn Daniels: Anyway, it was complicated. I would never do something like that now because you want to do simpler things for TV. So anyway, so I go up to the station. I have at least five versions of this meal and went there and just did it. When I started, everything was live. So, I just had to go in and get it done and I do believe that, that was great training for me.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, in what way?

Rosalynn Daniels: Because if you can speak live, you can do anything else. So when I was doing the live work, I didn’t realize the people who were watching me. And when my husband ended up getting another job offer back in Atlanta so we moved back to Atlanta, I didn’t realize that people from HLN was watching my progression. And when they found out I moved back to Atlanta, they reached out and asked me to come on to HLN to do the same thing.

Bjork Ostrom: Which is an Atlanta TV network?

Rosalynn Daniels: Which is CNN. So Headline News.

Bjork Ostrom: Oh, I see. Okay.

Rosalynn Daniels: Yeah, so this is worldwide, you know what I’m saying? And I’m like, “Okay, I’ve never done this before.” But you just never know who’s watching you so that’s why I always tell people, “Just do it.” It’s not about the large amount of followers. It’s about that one person. There’s only one person that needs to see you, and that one person saw me at that time.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, totally. And I think that concept is so good. That’s another one that I feel like is worth pointing out and pausing to talk about. And one of the things that I’ll occasionally talk about is this idea of who, not how many, which to your point, exactly, it’s who’s watching and you could have 10 people but if one of those individuals watching is somebody who makes decisions for HLN, and this is the important piece, and they see you’re talented. That’s the piece. If somebody sees talent and knows talent and they come across what you’re doing, doors can open and-

Rosalynn Daniels: 100%.

Bjork Ostrom: … it’s justification for doing hard work and creating really good things even if there’s not a lot of people seeing, and it sounds like that’s what happened in your case and what you’re describing.

Rosalynn Daniels: I promise you that has literally been my whole career because I don’t have the largest numbers at all, but I stay busy. And it’s because the right people see my work. And I always think of that when I create content because you just don’t know. And I would be so upset with myself if I created something that was not the best and I finally got that person, it’s Oprah. Oprah? Oprah saw my work and she didn’t see the best? I would be so disappointed in myself. You know what I’m saying?

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, yeah. I love that. And I think that can be inspiration for people who are in the early stages or feel like they’re grinding away. And they’re like, “Why am I spending so much time on this if there’s not a bunch of people who are seeing it?” Because yeah, you never know who that person is going to be that’s going to be a decision maker or influential, or maybe somebody who has a big following, they share your content, whatever it might be.

Bjork Ostrom: So I’m curious to know when you say staying busy, obviously this was kind of a kickoff, it sounds like. And my guess is coming out of that, you were like, “Wow, this was really great.” And then it also allows you to kind of build your portfolio a little bit. So coming out of that first TV appearance, what did it look like to build on that as a foundation? Did you then use that as marketing to get other TV placements? Can you talk through that progression?

Rosalynn Daniels: 100%. And I just have to add for all the women out there, I was pregnant when we moved back and I was so devastated that we were moving back to Atlanta because I thought that everything was going to end, that I had been working towards in California. But that was so far from the truth. And I definitely didn’t think that anyone would want to hire me for TV work big and pregnant because I was big and pregnant. And that’s when I booked my first national job, pregnant. And so from that yeah, I took that and made a reel with it and I will admit that once you get into that world and you do well, they talk because it’s a small world of TV producers.

Bjork Ostrom: And that world, meaning what?

Rosalynn Daniels: Of TV producers and the people who book talent. It’s not that big. And so when you want to make a lasting impression, you want to be easy to work with and the word will spread around.

Bjork Ostrom: Huh. Yeah, it seems like I’ve heard parallels from people talk about just general brand partnerships and it’s like, if you are talented, meaning you can talk well, in this case, talk well on live TV, maybe you get nervous, but you can push through it and still communicate well and if you’re easy to work with, I think that’s a really important one where people discredit the benefit of being somebody who’s good to work with. But in this world, what does that mean? What does that look like to be somebody who’s good to work with?

Rosalynn Daniels: On time for everything. This is coming from someone who is never on time for anything.

Bjork Ostrom: Okay. What have you had to learn in order to be somebody who is on time for stuff like this? Have you had to kind of shift your mindset?

Rosalynn Daniels: Oh 100%. 100%. When I think I have enough time, I triple that because my concept of time is off. It is off. I know that for a fact. My husband and I, we discuss it all the time. It drives him crazy. But it’s been my whole life. So I know, especially for important things or for work, prepare well ahead of time. Now I have a team so they help me prepare. Everybody needs to be ready just so I can be ready and because I don’t want to miss anything.

Bjork Ostrom: What does your team do that helps you? I think a lot of people who are creators, creatives, are kind of free spirit, maybe a little bit and you can create a team to build some accountability for you and structure, but what does that look like to have a team who supports you?

Rosalynn Daniels: So when I first started, my very first hire was my day to day manager. And at the time I was really overwhelmed. I had signed with a management agency and the person that was over my account had left and they assigned a new person and we weren’t having the best relationship, but I still wanted to continue. And I still had a whole bunch of things I needed to do. So I brought someone in to handle the communication with this agency so I could focus on what I do best.

Rosalynn Daniels: And so that’s where she came in and she basically just responds to emails, make sure my schedule is together, make sure I get timers, notifications like before this, “Hey, you got 45 minutes before you’re supposed to be on. Make sure…” All these things because one little thing could distract you. My mom might call, she’s at the pool with the kids. And so she does that. Pretty much anything that I want to think about, I want notes on whatever, I just have her do all of that. And then-

Bjork Ostrom: And this is not through the agency? This is an individual that you’ve hired on your team or it is through this agency?

Rosalynn Daniels: No, I no longer have the agency.

Bjork Ostrom: Got it. So that-

Rosalynn Daniels: But I hired this person to communicate with the agency because I wanted to keep the agency, but-

Bjork Ostrom: Got it.

Rosalynn Daniels: … I just knew that every time I talked to them, I was feeling bad when I hung up the phone and so I just wanted to put somebody in between there to handle that.

Bjork Ostrom: I think it’s such a smart move to, when you know you need something that’s critical part of your business, but you know that your interaction with that thing, whether it be a social media platform or a type of work, if that puts you in not a good place, to find somebody who can sit in between and communicate for you. I know for Lindsay and Pinch of Yum, one of the systems that she has is she’ll respond to or look at comments initially. And then what she’s found is the longer a post is around the higher, the potential for a weird one-off comment that puts you in a strange head space.

Bjork Ostrom: And so we have somebody on the team who it’s not quite as personal for them to go in and to manage the comments. But that was an intentional mindset preservation of positive head space move, similar to what you did, that allows you to stay in a better place or in this case, Lindsay, to stay in a better place. And so you know you needed it, putting somebody else in between, I think, super smart and for us as creators to constantly be thinking about how can we move the puzzle pieces in a way that optimizes for our best type of work. And putting somebody else in, it doesn’t mean that then they have to do this thing that’s negative for them. They might like that type of work.

Rosalynn Daniels: It was nothing for her. Her and the person, they ended up being friends. It was beautiful which in turn made it a great situation for me but I just recognized it and I don’t have time to play with it. So let’s just get somebody else there. So yeah.

Bjork Ostrom: Yes. So you have somebody who’s day-to-day your right-hand person next to you, helping out with logistics, management, things like that. Are there any other team members that are important to the day-to-day work of what you’re doing?

Rosalynn Daniels: Yeah, so I have a creative assistant who comes in and just does all the creative things with me. So I’ve been working with him actually since I got married. He did the video for my wedding and we’ve just been friends and working together on and off throughout the years. So finally, I just brought him on because he gets me and I do have a larger picture that I’m trying to create for the Rosalynn Daniels brand. So I needed someone in there who I feel comfortable being around my family constantly and who just understands the way that I think. And just can help with that.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, what is your great greater picture? I think when you say that a lot of people will be like, Oh, I want to hear about that.” When you think out to what you’re building, what is that? And directionally, where are you going?

Rosalynn Daniels: I would love to create a larger platform that provides recipes, lifestyle content, almost like a food 52, but with a little bit of swag to it. Because yeah, something that I feel like everyone can relate to. So yeah, something along those lines.

Bjork Ostrom: And that creative role assists you in being kind of a second brain as you pursue this bigger picture on what could this creative thing look like. And to your point, somebody who gets that… And it’s hard, you can’t put that on a job description. It’s somebody who just naturally is tracking with you step for step, is able to build on ideas. That’s a hard thing to find.

Rosalynn Daniels: Yeah, but I am genuinely working on duplicating that. Because my ultimate goal is not for me to be working this hard every single day. So I know that, that looks different. So there are plenty of businesses who have these people who come in, who understand the brand and they can duplicate things over and over again. That’s where I’m trying to get to. But it’s just with my creative assistant, right now, we’re in the process of really diving deep and creating processes for everything. So when this next person comes in, he can now tell, look, this is what she wants and just mimic that over and over again.

Bjork Ostrom: The creating processes I feel like it’s like a business secret sauce that shouldn’t be a secret, really isn’t a secret, but it’s so important. And also it kind of feels hard to do. Do you feel like that’s true for you or has it been something that you haven’t had a lot of resistance to because as somebody who’s creative, my guess is like, your preference is not to spend time documenting a process?

Rosalynn Daniels: No.

Bjork Ostrom: So how do you solve for that? And what are some of the processes that you’ve created that have been important?

Rosalynn Daniels: Well, you know what? You nailed it. To sit down and actually write things out is just not something that I like to do. So I will admit that I have been forced to do this, to write these processes. And my day-to-day manager, she needs somebody else to come on in, but to help her with different things because I started finding I’m asking her to do a lot of random things that really wasn’t a part of her job description initially. So now what?

Rosalynn Daniels: And so it forced me to really write down what is her role? What did we bring her on for? And now, what else am I asking her to do? And can that go to someone else who specializes in it and it’s not difficult for them to do it, i.e. writing blog posts. It’s not fair for me to ask her to write blog posts when that’s not the job that she signed up for, but that’s something that I need. So now we need to evaluate and figure out what that looks like and write that down so we can get the right person to get to do it.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. Yeah. That’s great. And that’s the type of stuff, to your point earlier, that allows a business to scale. When you have a process it’s documented, you can find somebody who loves to do that type of work, bring them in and say, “Here are the parameters for doing that work within our brand. Here’s how your voice generally should… this type of writing, do say this, don’t say this,” those guidelines that you have when you come into something.

Bjork Ostrom: So to me, it’s really cool to look at a situation like yours where in six years you’ve been able to build a team, get a lot of traction, have success as a business owner, as an entrepreneur, I would be interested to hear a breakdown of what your business looks like. And the reason I say that is because it’s different than a business where it’d be like, “Hey, the only thing we do is really focus on blog posts and we try and get as much search traffic as possible. And then we monetize via ads.”

Bjork Ostrom: And sometimes I think in this world, we can get stuck in this idea of hey, the only thing we can do is get a lot of traffic to our blog. Or even, the only thing we can do is sponsor content for social media, whatever it is. But there’s a lot of different ways to build a business as a entertainer, as a creator, as an influencer, you being all of those things. So what does that look like for your business in terms of the different ways that you’re able to create revenue on a day-to-day or week-to-week basis?

Rosalynn Daniels: So there’s so many things. The main things, so I of course do sponsored work, that’s my number one thing. I also do food photography and videography. I was doing that for other bloggers and smaller clients at one point but I had to really have a heart to heart with myself that, that was not what I wanted to do. But I can still offer that service because now I have people who can take photos like me, I can approve it and make sure that this is Rosalynn Daniels’ style and it comes to our standards so now someone can get that. But there was a period of time where I wasn’t doing that because I was thinking, I was like, “I’m the only person. It’s just me.” And that’s not true. So, that, and then I do television appearances. I do recipe creation and I think that is it.

Bjork Ostrom: Hmm. Can you talk about the TV appearances? Because I think a lot of people would think that would be almost just a way to get exposure as an example. But are you able to create revenue from that? And then-

Rosalynn Daniels: Oh my gosh.

Bjork Ostrom: … how does that work?

Rosalynn Daniels: Yes. I’m so glad you brought that up because I had no clue that initially when people do, or usually when people do TV appearances, you’re not getting paid if you don’t see a brand on there. But I didn’t know that until I did it. And then I still needed that exposure and that experience. So I kept on booking work to build my portfolio, which then in turn, I was able to use that with brands and could say, “Here’s what I can do, but I could just slip your brand in here and you can get all of these millions of people to see this.” So what’ll happen is the brands they’ll come in, they’ll pay for the TV spots for the ads and have it running and then pay for your talent fee. And that’s essentially what I started to do to make money off of television appearances.

Bjork Ostrom: So the interesting piece there that I didn’t understand with the process is they will run an ad after you do a recipe with their ingredient, is that the idea? So you go on a morning show, is that what you’re saying by the spot or they’re paying for the live segment to the TV show?

Rosalynn Daniels: Both.

Bjork Ostrom: Oh sure. Okay.

Rosalynn Daniels: Because it’s almost like an ad. So the TV networks, they’re not going to let you mention a brand. They’re not going to let you show a brand or anything like that. But so they charge for those segments if you want to show a brand. So usually the brands, they do know that. So the TV station has their fee and then you have your fee and you combine that and present it to the brand. Do you want to pay this? Yes or no.

Bjork Ostrom: Got it. Yeah. Which is cool because essentially you’re acting. You are doing what you, six, seven years ago had thought, I want to pursue this, do you think you can do it? You’re you’ve made the transition to professional actor, which is really cool. And doing that in a way where if I’m understanding it, right, the brand will say, “Hey, there’s this upcoming segment on HLN. And we want to have 60 seconds that we’ll pay to have our whatever, hot dogs for July 4th coming up, and we’ll do a recipe that will promote this. It’ll mention the brand, but they know that they don’t have anybody in corporate who’s just going to be really good to show up on TV. So you will pitch to them and say, ”Here’s what it will cost to buy this segment. Here’s what it would cost to pay me to do all the preparation and to do these 60 seconds live. Would you be interested in this package deal between the network and the brand?” Is that right?

Rosalynn Daniels: Correct.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. And it seems like there’s you, there’s the TV station or the network and then there’s the brand. Is it hard to get alignment with all three of those taking you out with two people? Because there it’s not like you’re just working with the brand. It’s almost like you have to go to the network first and say, “Would you be open to this idea?” Do you have to do that?

Rosalynn Daniels: No, they’re always open. They take advertising like…

Bjork Ostrom: They’re like if you pay us money, we’ll figure it out.

Rosalynn Daniels: They want it so bad so that’s never an issue. The issue is getting a brand that is willing to pay for that because there, there has been a change. There’s been a lot of digital advertising so now when the pandemic happened, a lot of brands went from doing things to where the commercials come up or the segment comes up in between you watching Netflix. And you had those ads in between type thing so now you’re forced to watch it type thing. It is situations like that. And so, yeah.

Bjork Ostrom: Interesting. And so if somebody sees that and they’re like, “Wow, that would actually be really interesting to get into that,” and they have that desire to do live TV for those incredible crazy people who are live TV people, who can stand in front of a camera and just talk without getting nervous… I did it once and it was like I ended up, I kid you not, I ended up talking… I went on with Lindsay and we were making pumpkin muffins and I ended up talking about websites and domain names. It was such a reversion to what am I comfortable with. It’s like, I’m not comfortable with recipes, I’m going to talk about websites. But so I have so much respect for people like you who can do that.

Rosalynn Daniels: The larger, like HLN, CNN, they are actually prerecorded.

Bjork Ostrom: Oh sure. Okay.

Rosalynn Daniels: That changed everything. I was like, “Oh, this is crazy.”

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So for somebody who sees that and they’re interested in potentially getting into it, my guess is you have to have a period where you’re doing free work, going on to local TV stations building your reel where you can show, hey, I can do this. I would be talented enough for you to hire me. But how do you know then when you’re ready to get hired and what would be a good rate to start at? I think of my friend who does video, he talks about his day rate. If he’s going to go and shoot for a documentary, he has a day rate for being a DP and he knows… Is it similar in the acting world? And where would you start with your amount that you’d book, because it’s different than sponsored content a little bit?

Rosalynn Daniels: Right. So, okay. It’s actually along the lines of sponsored content, I felt. So I know that there’s a day rate usually for if you’re doing eight hours and then you have your half-day rate. But when you’re doing TV segments, you can literally go in there for 15 minutes, do what you got to do and get out. However, nobody really talks about what happens before that. You have to make the food, you have to lug it. You have to travel, make sure clean up afterwards, just all of the things to get there.

Rosalynn Daniels: And so the way I started out, I just started thinking of how much my cost to make the food was, how much I can do this for without feeling like I was used and I just went from there and when they started responding back really quickly and accepting, I’d go up a little bit more. And just continue to do that. I did the same thing with brand partnerships as well. You have to just start somewhere. I don’t think you’ll ever really know. And I also don’t think that everyone can demand the same money.

Bjork Ostrom: Sure. And part of the one variable that I think isn’t talked about enough is what is your desire to do the work? In the early stages, if you’re like, I really want to do this. I want to build a portfolio. I want to add to my reel, whatever it might be. If you get paid at all, it’d be like, great, awesome. Let’s do it. There are some people that would be on the other end of the spectrum where they’d be like, what’s my hate rate. Like how much do I not want to do this? And if somebody reaches out to me and they’re like, “Hey, we want to work with you for sponsored content or we’d love for you to come on.” It’s like, “I really don’t want to do this but here’s what I would be willing to do it for.” And so having the personal desire variable as a part of it, I think is an important consideration and that changes-

Rosalynn Daniels: It is certainly important.

Bjork Ostrom: … yeah, months to month and year to year and changes over time. So that’s really cool. It’s inspiring for me to hear about all the different ways that people are building their businesses and that’s one where it’s just a completely foreign world. And so it’s important, I think, that we talk about it because there’s lots of different ways to build a successful business as a creator, as a publisher, entertainer and that’s one of them. As we round out, I want to talk about Brown Hands Media, what is that? And how does that fit into your vision of what you’re building?

Rosalynn Daniels: So Brown Hands Media is basically my larger production company, so Rosalynn Daniels is under Brown Hands Media. And I started Brown Hands Media because when I started in the whole food blogging world, it was the time when tasty style videos were really-

Bjork Ostrom: Hands in pants.

Rosalynn Daniels: Yes. And I never saw brown hands in those pants.

Bjork Ostrom: It’s just all white hands.

Rosalynn Daniels: And I’m like, “Come on now, there’s some black people, brown hair or some brown people, you know what I’m saying?” So it was just a no-brainer, Brown Hands Media, come on. And so when I started doing my videos, at the time I was so stuck on perfecting hands in the pants videos with these brown hands. And yeah, it just went from there. So everything that I do goes under that umbrella.

Bjork Ostrom: Huh, and so it’s almost like a parent media company over your day-to-day. We would call them operating companies. So your personal brand, Rosalynn Daniels, are you doing with Brown Hands Media, are you doing also some of that agency-type work underneath that so like photography video for other brands?

Rosalynn Daniels: Yes.

Bjork Ostrom: From a business perspective, is it all one business that is on one P and L statement or do you separate it out? How does that work?

Rosalynn Daniels: Yeah. So everything is under Brown Hands Media, but there’s some other roads I’m trying to go down. And so what we’re looking at is having basically little smaller businesses under Brown Hands Media.

Bjork Ostrom: Cool. Yeah, that’s great. And would the idea with that be kind of all related… It’s similar, like with Tiny Bit, we have Pinch of Yum, Food Blogger Pro, WP Tasty, these smaller businesses underneath those and what we’ve found to be really great is there’s a lot of crossover and you can run them separately, but they can be complimentary. I’m curious to know as much as you’re willing to share, what are those other roads that you’re thinking of because as entrepreneurs, we always have those, looking ahead, the other paths that we could go down, but is there anything that you’re really excited about or looking forward to the potential of as you think about building those out?

Rosalynn Daniels: Well, three things. I would like to start a new online store and eventually start having my own products. And so hopefully that will go soon. And then-

Bjork Ostrom: In the recipe world? Food world related?

Rosalynn Daniels: Food and home.

Bjork Ostrom: Sure.

Rosalynn Daniels: Food and home, because I have opened myself out to not strictly be food, I feel like that opens more doors. So, yeah. So that, and then I want to bring on more talent to duplicate what I’m doing.

Bjork Ostrom: Awesome. And people that would be creators, but under the umbrella of Brown Hands Media, and you would have those processes maybe that you could follow. Here’s what it looks like when you’re going to do a live TV appearance, here’s what we do and here’s how we do it and finding those people and working with those, but in partnership with you as you build a network of talent. It’s cool.

Rosalynn Daniels: Yes. And the goal is for it to be diverse. So I would love for a brand to be, they want to have more of a diverse cast, well, let’s go check out Brown Hands Media and see their roster, who we can choose from type thing. So, yeah.

Bjork Ostrom: Cool. That’s awesome. My guess is people who would be interested in following along with what you’re doing, both creators and publishers, but also there’s brands who listen to the podcast and they’d be interested in connecting with you, reaching out, maybe it’s doing a live TV appearance, maybe Oprah is listening, and this is our chance. She’s seen it. She knows the quality content. Now is the time. But what are the ways that people can follow along with what you’re up to Rosalynn?

Rosalynn Daniels: Well, you can find me on all social media under Rosalynn Daniels. That’s with two n’s under Rosalyn, and then you can sign up for my newsletter and you can check me out at rosalynndaniels.com. You can also check out brownhandsmedia.com as well, but Rosalynn Daniels is the main one.

Bjork Ostrom: That’s great. Rosalynn, thanks so much for coming on.

Rosalynn Daniels: Thank you so much for having me.

Leslie Jeon: Hi everyone. Leslie, here from the Food Blogger pro team. Since we’ve officially entered into the month of August, I wanted to quickly recap and let you know about some of the exciting new things that we have coming to Food Blogger Pro this month. And if you’re not familiar with our Food Blogger Pro membership, we have exclusive courses, study halls, live Q and A, deals and discounts, a forum, and more that is available exclusively for our Food Blogger Pro members. So you can learn more about how it all works and even find out how to join by going to foodbloggerpro.com/join. But just to give you a sneak peek at what’s going to be coming to the site this month, first up on Thursday, August 4th, later this week, we’re going to be having our study hall, All about video for TikTok and Reels.

Leslie Jeon: So these vertical short-form videos are so popular nowadays so we wanted to devote a study hall entirely to them. So in these study halls, our members get the chance to interact in real-time on Zoom with their fellow members and they get to discuss strategy, thoughts, struggles when it comes to a particular topic. And like I said, this topic will be TikTok and Reels. So we’re going to have breakout rooms and just deep dive into this topic. We’ll be chatting about what types of videos we share on TikTok and Instagram, what we find challenging about making these TikToks and Reels and what our goal is with them, overall. It’s going to be a fantastic conversation so if you are a member and you want to join and tune in, you can head to the live tab on the Food blogger Pro site to get registered.

Leslie Jeon: Then on Thursday, August 11th, we’re going to be holding our monthly live Q and A, and it’s actually going to be on the same topic, which is video for TikTok and Reels. So during this live Q and A, Bjork is going to be joined by our social media video expert, Brita Britnell, who is the blogger behind Food with Feeling, and she is going to be there with Bjork to answer all of our members’ questions when it comes to creating TikToks and Reels. So during these live Q and As, members get the chance to ask their questions in real time and just learn from our experts and learn from Bjork to get all of the best insight so they can develop strategies to apply to their own businesses. So, to join and get registered for that Q and A, all you have to do is log on to Food Blogger Pro, and then head to the Live tab to get registered.

Leslie Jeon: Moving later into the month then, on August 18th, we’re going to be sharing a completely updated version of our YouTube for Food Creators course. So YouTube is such an important social media platform and we wanted to make sure that our course was as up-to-date and helpful as possible. So we’re going to be sharing completely new lessons as well as a strategy session at the end, a strategy Q and A with Nisha Vora, our YouTube expert. So she is the creator behind the brand Rainbow Plant Life and she has over 800,000 subscribers on YouTube. So you’ll be hearing her best tips and tricks for getting the most out of YouTube and growing your platform there and just really engaging your audience as much as possible as a food creator. So stay tuned for when that course will be completely updated on the 18th and then the last new piece of content we have going live in August is on August 25th, which is our foods trending this fall blog post.

Leslie Jeon: So right around the beginning of each season, we like to share these blog posts to give you a sense of some of the new foods or food trends or fruits and vegetables, all the different things that will be very popular during that season. So for this particular post we’re chatting all things fall, especially for those of us in the northern hemisphere, as we head into autumn, just to give you some ideas about different types of content or recipes you might want to make to round out your content calendar this upcoming season. So we’re really excited about all this new content coming to Food Blogger Pro this month. If you’re not already a member and you want to join to get access to all of this, as soon as it goes live, you can do so by going to foodbloggerpro.com/join, and we would love to have you join the community and interact with you in all these different places. I think that’s all we’ve got for you today, though. Thank you again for tuning into this episode. We really hope that you enjoyed it and we will see you in the next one, but until then make it a great week.


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