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Social Media Coaching Case Study: Debt Free Millennials

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“Jess Thiefels turned my social media strategy from crazy hot mess to laser-focused intention.” – Justine Nelson

Social media coaching is always easiest—and most rewarding—when the client is willing to do the work. Justine Nelson, founder of Debt Free Millennials, is that person. We found each other very serendipitously, at a local networking event here in San Diego. I was new to being a business owner full-time, and in hearing that I did social media marketing, she asked if I also did 1-on-1 coaching.

Two things happened in this moment:

    • First, it clicked that I could totally teach people what I’ve learned over the past 8 years being in content and social media marketing. Not to mention, teaching and coaching is something I’ve always loved to do; I was a personal trainer for many years, and that’s just another form of coaching and teaching.
    • Second, being the ever opportunist, I said, “Why yes, I could do that.”

Justine opted for the 5-hour session, and we spent a jam-packed 5 hours talking about everything from branding and goal-setting to execution and strategy. We even brought her intern in via video call to teach him a few things that we had just gone over.

Justine, being as organized and focused as me, definitely appreciated the in-depth info. She said:

“Right off the bat, she presented me with a customized overview with her expert recommendations and areas where my business could improve. During our social media coaching session, she got right down to business and she answered every single question I threw at her. I LOVED the hands-on experience. I walked away with a tangible social media scheduling tool, a report template and a goal setting template that we started filling out right then and there.”

We also spent a lot of time in Google Analytics, getting all of her links tagged so we could start tracking traffic better. For example, we wanted to see where her Facebook traffic was coming from, because she has an active page and group. We made sure she she was tagging her links properly, which has proven to be extremely valuable as we continue working together.

As of this blog post, we have five full months of work under our belts, and are continuing to work together moving ahead. Each month, we have a 1.5-hour follow-up, where we look at last month’s goals, see what worked and what didn’t, set goals moving forward, and make sure the strategy still feels good. Because social media changes so much, this allows her to be agile and optimize for growth on a consistent basis. This is also why I recommend all clients take advantage of the follow-ups.

If you’re curious about the details of her growth, let’s get into it.

Social Media Coaching Overview

Time frame: August 2018 to present

Website Traffic Growth:

    • Visits: 159% increase
    • Organic Traffic: 36% increase

Social Growth:

    • Instagram Followers: 115% increase
    • Facebook Page: 42% increase
    • FB Group Members: 68% increase
    • YouTube subscribers: 3K% increase (WOW)

Why It Worked

There are many reasons why Justine’s growth has been so incredible, from her efforts to our ability to consistently reconnect each month with follow-ups. Here are a few of the reasons that were most instrumental in her success with our social media coaching.

#1: Huge Video Production Increases

Justine honed in on her branding after our first session. She was committed to developing the assets she needed to make Instagram, such an aesthetic platform, more consistent and branded.

She also quadrupled her YouTube video production. As a professional in personal finance, this is an important platform for her. She wrote a guest post for my blog about this, in case you’re interested in doing the same: How I Quadrupled My YouTube Video Production in Two Months.

social media coaching case study debt free millennials

She made that change in September, and her numbers jumped exponentially:

    • September: 240 subscribers
    • October: 441 subscribers
    • November: 723 subscribers
    • December: 975 subscribers

As of right now (Jan 2019) she has more than 1,100 subscribers! This was an important goal for us, as Justine explained:

“Jess helped me figure out what platform I really wanted to hone in on–YouTube. From there, we strategized how we could best use other platforms to grow my channel. I had the intention to hit 1k subscribers by end of 2018 and literally I woke up on New Year’s with 1,000 subscribers!”

#2: Hyper Focus on Actionable and Specific Goals

One of the most important things I focus on with clients is turning vague goals into smaller goals that we can wrap our minds around. This not only simplifies what can be a stressful process, goal-setting,  but it also makes you more intentional about what you’re doing; if you know you want to sell 5 products, then you better be promoting them. Not to mention, it brings clarity to the work you’re doing, making it feel much more attainable.

For example, the goal Justine had when she came to me was: Turn followers into paying customers.

There’s nothing wrong with that goal in the sense that, yes, it’s a great end goal. However, it’s far too vague. How will you make that happen? What steps do you need to take to get there? Take a look at how we broke her goals down for the first five months:

social media coaching goals

Now, each month we look at the goals we the set previous month, and use the checkmark and X to denote whether she achieved the goal or not. This is true dedication and it’s what you need to do to see actual growth with your social media platforms.

Note that we didn’t set these goals all at once. Each month, we saw what worked and what didn’t and then set goals for the upcoming month.

#3: Willingness to Test

So much of successful marketing involves testing. You have to be willing to test any idea, big or small, to find out what works and what doesn’t. In our case, we tested a lot. One of the main things we tested over and over were Facebook videos. We realized that Facebook was dinging her for posts that included a link to her YouTube channel. So we tested removing the link and adding it in the comments.

We also tested length of the video, type of video (live versus edited from her YouTube channel), caption without CTA, caption with CTA, etc. etc. In our January check-in, we had some good data, but none of it gave us a truly clear pattern. Justine, being a good sport, understood that sometimes this is how it goes—especially with a platform as finicky as Facebook.

We also tested adding some YouTube collaborations into the mix and that was a hit, and definitely one of the reasons we’ve seen her do so well on that platform.

What’s Next For Our Social Media Coaching?

Looking ahead, we still have plenty of work to do. Now, after five months of work, we’ve created an amazing foundation to build her business from. With an engaged audience that’s still growing, we’re turning our focus to driving revenue with her courses, The Freedom Project and the The Freedom Project Lite.

We’ve also started talking more about her website and putting some focus on driving SEO value—while social media is important, we can’t forget about driving traffic to the website.

If you want to see some the work we’ve done together, or are looking to live the debt free lifestyle, or be sure to follow her:

It’s been an absolute pleasure working with Justine. This is the type of work I cherish most because it’s making a true difference for the business owner. Not to mention, you, as a client, are learning so many techniques, tools and strategies that you can use forever, even after we finish our work together.

I’m grateful for Justine and know that she has so much more ahead of her—and I’m just glad I get to continue being a part of her incredible success.

“She unlocked social media clarity for me. Not only did she help me streamline social media, she always helped me connect it to my financial goals as well. If social media feels like throwing Jell-O at a wall right now, do yourself a favor and talk to Jessica Thiefels Consulting!”

Get your FREE 30-minute info session to see how we could work together too!

Jessica Thiefels is founder and CEO of Jessica Thiefels Consulting, a content marketing agency. She’s been writing for more than 10 years and has been featured in top publications, including Forbes, Entrepreneur and Fast Company. She also regularly contributes to Virgin, Business Insider, Glassdoor, Score.org and more. Follow her on Twitter and connect on LinkedIn.

Social Media Coaching Case Study: Debt Free Millennials

By: Jessica Thiefels Time to Read: 6 min