The Power of Short Form Video with Katie Tennis

Katie Tennis short form video
Episode 72: Katie Tennis

Listen on: Apple PodcastsSpotifyStitcher, and Google Podcasts

This week, it’s my pleasure to introduce to you all Katie Tennis, business owner and mastermind behind Junque 2 Jewels, where she’s been sharing her talents online for about ten years out of her home in Northwest Arkansas. While growing a following through LIVE video, Katie quickly pivoted into the now popular “short-form video” and her business exploded!

The Power of Short Form Video

Katie uses bits and pieces from the content she is already sharing online on what she is doing throughout her busy day to create short-form videos. She repurposes those videos across her different accounts like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok!

Listen in as she shares with us all about:

  • Having fun with what you do and the people you’re doing it for
  • Her business name and how it came about
  • What investing in herself did for her
  • How she helps others and spreads the love of crafting

In this episode, we cover:

  • How to increase your reach through short-form video
  • When to hire help and what they can do for you
  • Cross-promoting video content to work smarter, not harder
  • Tips on using content you already have or are making
  • How to plan ahead to keep your focus intentional
  • How to invest in yourself

Links and resources mentioned during this episode:


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Complete Transcript of this Episode

This week it is my pleasure to introduce you all to Katie Tennis, the mastermind behind the business called Junk to Jewels. She has a subscription box craft kit that she sells. She is a natural DIYer. She actually coaches other handmade business owners in her group called Sign Makers Society and she is an expert at short term video. I cannot wait to learn all about it from her. Katie, welcome to the podcast.

Katie: Hey, thanks for having me, Melanie. I don’t know if expert is what I would say, but I’m flattered. I would love to share about the power of short-form video with your audience.

I love that. So I forgot to say that Katie is sort of a catty-corner neighbor. She is in northwest Arkansas and she shares her home with her 21-year-old daughter and her husband is out at Fort Bliss. So Katie, tell us about how you got started in this online business. About ten years ago, I really did.

Katie: Start with my husband’s first deployment. My daughter was starting kindergarten and my husband was going to be gone. He ended up being gone for 23 out of 24 months. Something crazy. And I was working full time, climbing the corporate ladder and trying to be parents best I could for both of us and it was just too much. I didn’t love dropping my daughter off before school care and after school care, and I had to figure out something else. My gateway craft was scrapbooking. And so I started teaching some scrapbooking workshops and so now I get to teach all sorts of DIY and crafting. We’ve had a studio and done in-person things and paint parties, but yeah, it just all started from that motivation of I just can’t leave my daughter that much. And she was ready to start school and she needed me and I had to figure out something. So for a long time. It was a side hustle. And yes, about ten years ago, I took the leap, left my full-time gig, and I’m just going to make things, make pretty things for a living.

And so how did you know to go online?

Katie: Gosh, I really feel like that exploded for me when I started doing Facebook lives. So I was very locally focused with the workshops and that kind of thing. And I don’t even remember what year it was. It seems so natural now to just hop on Facebook live. Whether I’m in my pajamas, makeup, no makeup, it doesn’t matter, I’ll just turn on a video. But I started going live on Facebook to just talk about my workshops and stuff, and I realized that that was growing my audience. So I had to figure out some way to ship it and get my products into the hands of people, not just in my little northwest Arkansas area. And so, yes, that pushed me.

Love that. And so it evolved. I’m sure it wasn’t overnight, but as your audience grew, how did you know what to serve them?

Katie: Okay, so for sure it wasn’t overnight. I feel that way. I really feel like I am my target audience in a lot of ways. Like, I love crafting, and crafting is so therapeutic for me. And I was the funny, like, 20-year-old at Scrapbook Crops with people my mom’s age. And so I just love crafting. I love the connection and community that it brings when you connect with other people who are into the same things that you’re into. And so I found an audience that loves crafting just as much as I did and decorating and DIYing. And so we just kind of built it together. I feel like listening to them and being transparent with my audience and showing up on video is such a powerful way to do that, for people to get to know and like and trust you really quickly. And so my audience felt like we’re friends like they have become my friends online. And so my friends tell me what they want and we just make that next. And that kind of guides me. It’s been a good indicator of what I need to listen for and bring next to market. Being their friend online, I love that.

And so when you listen to them and they said, hey, we want craft kits, we want all of these things that you ship to them. Now, fast forward to today. How have your methods changed? I’m sure you still go live all the time, but tell me about this short form video content because all of the platforms are basically requiring it.

Katie: Yes. So if I could give like one nugget of advice to bloggers that are in your audience or makers or women who are trying to build creative businesses online, it would be short form video and jump on it now. There’s such a land grab going on with that and I still use Facebook and I think you’ve amassed a huge following on Facebook. And I love Facebook and I feel like that’s where I started, but I don’t want to ever be ignorant of the fact that things change and we have to pivot. And what I really see when I nerd out on business is this short form video explosion with of course TikTok during the pandemic. Everybody who was on TikTok and it was a really great way to, I think, connect and a lot of content got created there, but that is leaked over to Pinterest idea pins, YouTube shorts, reels are on Instagram and on Facebook. And so instead of spending a disproportionate amount of time creating a Facebook post that has limited, I can create short form videos, 15 seconds or less, maybe up to 30, sometimes as little as 7 seconds, that really reach people, potentially a far more eyeballs, a bigger audience for a little bit of work. I can repurpose that into so many different platforms’ content. So for me, it’s just well worth the time investment to learn how to do those platforms. So that’s what I would just urge everybody, take the time and learn the platform. I know it doesn’t feel like you’re a videographer and it’s just one more thing to add to our plate. But a lot of us makers, especially if you’re in the DIY space, we have that content already, they’re probably capturing images and then just little video clips of five second video clips throughout your day or while you’re working on a project. And those pretty quickly, easily become really eye catching videos that you can put on so many different platforms.

Definitely. And so how do you know what to make for the content? Tell us what that looks like.

Katie: Yeah, so I mean, I think it starts with what am I already making? I think I don’t want content to be overwhelming for me. So I’m already like what am I blogging about this week? What did I do on Facebook Live and how do I break that into content that I can then turn into a Reel or a TikTok? So it’s one video that I can make on an app on my phone using little short clips. I love about it. Like I still audience, I’ve been a lot in a long time, but there’s small audiences also. This is a huge opportunity for them. My daughter is a ceramic artist and she just hit 300 followers on Instagram. And I think her first Reel was viewed by more than 26,000 people. Now when I saw that and I’ve been telling her to do Reels for weeks, of course she doesn’t want to search for a mom, right? But when I saw that an account that small has the potential to reach that many eyeballs and here I am on Facebook with over 85,000 followers and my video doesn’t get that many views. So people just love this short form quick digestible our attention spans, our attention spans are so short that they just want to swipe and learn and they can become followers and fans and purchasers if you do it strategically. So I think creating curiosity with your videos and those before and after or process videos especially that we can do like painting something or transforming something in our space, it just really lends itself well to short form video and growing an audience there.

I have to second all of the above. It is an amazing way to reach more people than you could otherwise. So would you say that it’s a mix as well of both the live engaging with your people and then those short form pieces as well?

Katie: Seems to be what really works for me. And I like the long form video content because I feel like you get deeper connections. But definitely the short form video for building awareness and getting new people into your biosphere of what you do and make is fantastic.

So when you are starting out your week so here’s Katie, she’s sitting down, she’s deciding what she’s going to share this week online. Do you have a workflow or anything that you follow as far as when you’re going to go live or what you’re going to do or your short form video content?

Katie: So I’ve gotten better at that probably a couple of years ago I would have laughed and you said you sat down and planned your content. Yes, I do. But I really do. We’ve created internally. Like I have a VA who helps me now with video because I know it’s so important. So we’ve just created a little spreadsheet that’s like here’s where the images are. Here’s like an idea, maybe a link to an example, real or video that she can pull from. Or if I have a certain sound for a video that I want to use that I usually just save when I’m scrolling at night on realtor TikTok or whatever. And so I usually know what my big piece of content for the week is. So I’m going to go live like this week. I’m doing a sunflower-themed project today so I know that I want to take images ahead of time of that project and film it before. So if I know what my content is, then I can be more intentional about capturing the things I need to make a blog post, make a pinterest pin and now short form videos. So I’m just more intentional about the gathering the assets while I’m creating. So it hasn’t really added a ton more work to that workflow for me. But I do try to have one main video a week and then I’m sprinkling that to all the other platforms that I am online.

That is fabulous. I think that that is the smart way to do your efforts because if you’re trying to do it in retrospect. A lot of times you forget to take the pictures of the before or the supplies, or you end up having to make it a second time for a blog post. Nobody’s got time for that, nobody’s in there.

Katie: Yes, even seasoned people.

We literally will get busy and forget to capture all of that. But I love that you have a VA. Tell us when you knew you needed somebody to help you and how you found someone.

Katie: Okay, so I kind of had an interesting story with employees and non-employees because we had an in-person studio and we had probably a dozen instructors that helped with classes and stuff like that. And it is very overwhelming to manage that many women and schedules and all that. And I think it kind of burnt me out on wanting to manage people. So I was extra resistant for so long. So I probably waited far too long to hire a VA. But back in October, I hired Clark full time and so she is my virtual assistant, so we hired her full time through a service and so she’s completely dedicated to me. I don’t have to share hours, that kind of thing. And it really has helped me be more organized in my business because I feel like there’s somebody there I need to delegate for. To she follows up on things, I can hand things off to her. It’s a little bit of an onboarding process, but gosh, I wish I would have done it sooner. And I wasn’t so resistant from having in person people and her and I me three days a week on Zoom, just for 15 minutes in the morning to just touch base. And it’s a fantastic working relationship and again, makes the repurposing efforts and being on all the platforms easier for me. But I still write all the copy and take all the pictures and that kind of thing. So I’m working on letting go. It’s hard.

It’s hard to let go. What have you decided to let go and what does she work on for you?

Katie: We send emails, so I will write the email and she can take care of sending it and putting the links in and the pictures and things like that. Or I can write the blog post or I can say, here are all the images, make Pinterest pins for me. Clare like she knows now. I want a Pinterest pin, that’s a short form video. I want one that’s an animated pin. I need covers for my reels made. So those are all things that she can do from a graphic design perspective and anything that could be automated, she’ll take care of building a process for that. So many things that she does for me now.

That is awesome. That is awesome. And it is a growing experience to let go of things. I know how that can be super hard for perfectionists or people. I mean, your business is your baby. But I’ll tell you what, that time freedom, that mental time freedom is huge.

Katie: Yes, I agree. And I think I treated my business like a baby that I needed to take care of and coddle for a long time. But our businesses do need to serve us as well. And that time freedom and being able to go see my husband who’s been deployed and got injured and I can take a week off and do that and know that things are going to run okay in my business or if I need to be a mom and auntie. We have Auntie camp week coming up where all my nieces and nephews come. My sister is a teacher and she goes back to work. And I know that my business is going to be okay. And I can take that step away because we’ve given it Toddler legs. Now we have help to kind of stand on his own a little bit. And having smart has been a big part of that.

Super smart. So, Katie, what are your main distractions? Like, how do you stay focused every day to do the things.

Katie: I struggle with that if I’m 100% transparent, especially in summer, I feel like I’m distracted by the sunshine in a pool and want to be out there. But I also really love what I do. And so I think putting those processes in place where I have certain things I can do everyday and kind of a routine for every week, I’m just naturally a pretty motivated achiever type person. So I like to check things off the list and get those done. So I like to have a to-do list in a plan, even though I’m a little creative. Chaos always, but I’ll have a better idea of what I want to do live tomorrow instead of sunflowers. But having a plan really helps me. Even just having the VA where I know I need to check in with her three days a week and enable her to help me, that makes me stay more focused and on track with growing my business.

So I love how you built in these little automatic accountability things. So you have your VA, you have your planning. All of those things help keep you focused, and I love that. So, Katie, what advice would you give yourself back when you very first started ten years ago and you were like taking the leap to go online and craft?

Katie: 100% to invest in myself, I waited too long. Maybe that’s a reoccurring thing for me. Waited too long for the VA, waited too long to get help, but I waited too long trying to figure things out on my own. And if you can get plugged in, whether it’s a business coach, a mastermind, an accountability group, whatever it is that has helped me go so much further, faster. And again, I feel like I wasted a lot of time in the beginning and it’s a really unique space to be in. I don’t have anybody in my real life who does what I do. I’ve connected with people like Melanie on the Internet. But, yeah, nobody gets it in my real life. So you have to seek out intentional groups of people and like-minded rooms to be in to continue to grow. So I have to grow as a person, as a CEO in my business, to be the person to be the leader that my business needs me to be as we’ve hit different levels over the years. And so I just kind of saved myself a lot of stumbling by doing that sooner. So invest in yourself. If you’re going to bet on anybody, bet on yourself. And that would be my advice.

I love it. That is the best advice. Because investing in yourself will never fall short of the goal, because only you can improve on You the best. So, Katie, I love to ask this because I’m always super duper curious how Junque2Jewels the name.

Katie: Okay? So if I had to give advice about naming your business, do not do this, because my business is Junque, the number two, and then Jules so super hard to find on the Internet, I had to buy all the websites that are junk two. Don’t do it that way. Okay. But it’s really scripture based for me. The heart of my business is I love to take junk things that look like nothing and turn it into something beautiful that I can use in my home. And I love the process of that. But also, I’m a faith-based woman and I believe that we are transformed from junk into jewels and that we’re just so precious. And I love helping people find that through creativity and DIY and crafts. So, yeah, it’s kind of a hard thing. And I love the number, too, because I feel like it symbolizes to me and other people, like, it’s not just alone. Yeah, that is awesome.

I love that. So it is J-U-N-Q-U-E. For those of you who are curious, of course, that will all be in the show notes below. But, Katie, what inspires you?

Katie: I think it changes over the years. At first, I was really motivated to be available, to be the kind of mom I needed to be. And right now, I’m literally tattooed with the word create on my wrist. And creativity and creating and crafts has transformed my life and that’s not lost on me. And so if I can help other women use their creative talents to change their lives and their family’s lives, that’s what inspires me every day. Like, I want to share everything I’ve learned. And I want to tell you that short form video is going to help build your audience. And I want to tell you how to launch products in a strategic way and how to get a million views on Pinterest a week because I know that selling more of what you make or getting more traffic on your blog or those things with your creative talent can change it’s more than just a fun hobby. It can change your whole life. It can change your whole family. And it really has for me. And sharing that is really what inspires me.

So, Katie, where can we find you?

Katie: Online Junque2Jewels everywhere. It’s a fancy way. Yeah. So I’m on Tik Tok, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook. Handmade Business Insiders is my free business coaching group. So there’s a free business coaching group on Facebook that you can find us at. And then I think I sent Melanie the link. Also, we have some reel prompts specifically for handmade business owners. So if you’re struggling with where to get started for reels, I’ve got 21 ideas to send you to get you started. They link to examples so you can get creative with that short form video.

Love it. Love it. We’ll have everything linked in the show notes below. Katie, thank you so much for coming on the podcast. You have been a breath of fresh air and I super appreciate you.

Katie: I appreciate you. Thank you.

This week I want to share with you one of my newest favorite tools and time savers. It’s called Repurpose. I will put a link below to my affiliate for this because I want you to experience the exact same amazingness in your time freedom. This app actually takes any audio, any video that you’ve created, and will repurpose it across multiple platforms. This is for any of you listening that are live video creators on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or TikTok. It will take everything that you create once and multiply it across all the other platforms. You tell it if you want it to publish it automatically for you based on a template that you’ve created, or if you want to have the control to go in and check it first.

I am in love with this tool. I think that it is a total game changer for my business and I hope it is for you to check it out. Let me know what you think about this one.

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