Becoming a Planner Influencer, Working with Brit + Co & Finding Your Voice on Instagram with Jessica Chung of @prettyprintsandpaper
An interview with Jessica Chung, fellow Minnetonka High School Alum, who is a local planner, calligrapher & bullet journal influencer. We discuss her rise on instagram, having a side hustle, her online class with Brit + Co and being authentic on instagram!
Jenna Redfield is the leader of the Twin Cities Collective, the largest resource in the Twin Cities for bloggers, small business, entrepreneurs & creatives.
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Hi, everyone. Welcome to the Twin Cities by two podcasts of Jenna Redfield. Creative special guest is Jessica Jones. So welcome, Jessica. Hi, everybody. So we have a random story. We actually go high school together, which is super weird. But we were in the
Jessica Chung 1:22
same class didn't really know each other at all. No, no, I when I found that out. I was like, wait. I mean, it was pretty big High School. Yeah, it was. So I don't feel too bad about it. But that was the wildest thing.
Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 1:33
Well, the weird thing is I knew who you were because you were in all these theater productions. I like I watched you and I was like, I think because you were a senior and I was a freshman and I was in crew for Oklahoma. I don't know if you knew this. No, I did. Yeah. Yeah. So I was in crew for that. And I did nothing. It was like, there was a way too many crew members. And I was just we just sat and watched Grey's Anatomy. I'm not even joking. Like, we'd sat like this is back when people had portable DVD. You're
Jessica Chung 2:01
listening somewhere probably cringing,
Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 2:04
but I just I remember you in. What was that one? Jacqueline hide? Oh, my gosh, you were amazing. Well, Mike, like that. Like, I was like, Who is this girl? And then like, I never saw you again. After that. We connected on Twitter, like, like, I don't like 10 years later? Maybe not 10 years. But yeah, don't do that. But yeah, so So you went from being like singing because I know you say in college too. So how? Tell us your story, basically.
Jessica Chung 2:33
Oh my gosh, well, I think I just have always had a lot of different interests. But I, I knew that I like I had to go to college. I ended up going to business school by default. Okay, because my my parents really wanted me as like immigrant parents really wanted to be have this successful, stable job and tried to push me in not liberal arts. And so I ended up being at business school, but I don't want to do math and science. So I didn't ever really resonate with the stuff that happened at Business School, like I could do it. But it just you could tell there were other people that really loved it. And I got involved in a lot of other things. So I found seven days acapella, which is a singing group on campus before the sing off before picture. But those that was my life for four years, and eventually figured out that all the stuff that I was involved in was a possible career path or higher education. And so I ended up following that. And that's what I do now is that I, I work in higher ed, I work at the university full time I teach. But in my first year or two, I was like, giving my heart and soul to my job. And realizing that I did not have a hobby. I was like, What do I do in my spare time? Like, what am I yeah, what am I doing besides Netflix? So I was like, remembering that I, I am a creative person that I do you have some artistic inclinations. And I remember and I've always been a planner girl. So I found that the lettering community and the planning community on Instagram around the same time, and I was like, this is pretty cool. I would love to document my own journey, rediscovering these things. And I made a new account because my friends didn't sign up for that. And just documented some of my journey. And this is before the algorithm before Facebook, and Instagram. And getting engaged with those people was a huge turning point for me, because it was really organic. It was really fun. And I got to see my progress every day. Yeah, finding my own style and my own voice every day. And I eventually then started the blog. In August of 2015. I started in the same time I started. So I started my Instagram in May of 2015. And then it just started growing and I started hosting challenges. I would comment and follow and really had some cool connections there and then decided to take it more seriously in January 2016. And I focused a lot on building consistent content and I blog, and, you know, Twitter at I still don't know what to do with Twitter. Yeah. You know, sort of expanding and doing some things. And then it turned into, you know, teaching classes and working with other people and now partnering with people and and it's been a really, really cool, wild journey.
Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 5:36
Yeah. So had you always like known how to letter or is that just like a skill you picked up?
Jessica Chung 5:42
So I, when I was a kid, I was in fourth grade, my mom taught me and my brother how to do Italian calligraphy. And I've always appreciated letter forms. And I would doodle and I would bubble letter notes. But it wasn't an till that summer of 2015, where I really honed in on a daily practice. And so I'm pretty self taught in terms of looking at resources online. There's a lot of really amazing people, I stand on the shoulders of giants. And they really laid down that groundwork. And I just had to practice and that's that's the thing. It's like, finding the discipline. Yeah, to practice. And then it just got better. The stuff that I did a year ago is really, really
Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 6:26
yeah, different. Interesting now, yeah. So you discovered, were you on it? You were on Instagram before, though, but you just decided to kind of branch off into the separate account, right?
Jessica Chung 6:37
Yeah, I had my own personal accounts that I you know, posted sometimes. But then you know, I because I grew up with Facebook. When I decided to be part of this other community, I created a separate account. And I, I guess I was slightly strategic and picking my name. I was like, I want something that is broad, but also gives me a hint of what I'm doing. So pretty Prince and paper kind of gave me the most flexibility. I thought yeah, so
Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 7:02
so. So how so when you first started it? We I think because you do blood journals, too, right? So like, What are you? What did you actually do on your account? Like, are you just showing people how to letter or what's kind of the content? Do you just kind of mix it up? Or what kind of is your content? If you've never if people listening? I've never seen your Instagram before?
Jessica Chung 7:19
Yeah, I do. So my account is pre printed paper as in, you know, paper and not the artist formerly known as. And I feature both planning, like bullet journaling and lettering calligraphy. Those are two things that I focus on with a self care, social justice leadership edge. And so I've just mostly been showing people my process and my journey about it and include some tips and tricks I've learned along the way. The hard part about this, I think as establishing yourself as an influencer and credible person. And maybe you have seen this too is is feeling like there are a lot of people that do this. And that I think do better than me. And so I'm trying to always get over that. Because I do have something to offer. But I always kind of default to sharing me my story and my tips and tricks rather than being like, Here I am as a teacher telling you
Unknown Speaker 8:22
how to do things. Your personal
Jessica Chung 8:24
Yeah, because I think it is very person. There are some skill things involved, especially with calligraphy. But for the most part, I really like to help other people or allow space for people to figure out what it is they want to do and how they want to do. Yeah.
Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 8:41
So how did the growth happened? Was it right away? You started growing and it's been consistent, or has there been like bumps in? How How is that gone? It's growing really fast. So we're like, what, three years? Yeah,
Jessica Chung 8:52
you know, it was kind of really, really fast. When it started in May. I remember it was I was watching my phone Countdown to midnight, into the new year for 2016. And I hit 10 k right around. Okay. So I think honestly, it was because it was right before the big crest of bullet journal got trending on BuzzFeed, right before calligraphy and hand lettering got super popular. So there was a little bit of luck in that for sure. That I will. But I was also like prepared to receive exactly how doing that and establish that as a niche. And then it just happened to be there when people were ready to make it up. And partnering with some really amazing people like Kim tiny ray of sunshine was my first collaborator on bullet journal challenge planning challenge. And then we pulled in Cara bow, Barry, and D Klein, whose decade 30 on Instagram and and we were really able to build each other up.
Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 9:57
Yeah. So how did those collaborations help get new audience? Is it for you? Or was it more just connected with that person?
Jessica Chung 10:05
Well, it was really, really cool, because this is before Kara got super big. And and then Kim has been a long standing bull journal, blogger and longtime friend of rider Carol, the developer of the bullet turtle. And then D has been around for a long time. So it was a really cool way for for our audiences to cross promote each other and get to know one another. Really cool people. Yeah. In terms of getting new folks, that is. I don't know how you would argue that i think i think we run in similar. So yeah.
Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 10:41
So you've started using a lot of video and your Instagram, but you also have a YouTube channel. How did how did you decide to do that?
Jessica Chung 10:49
When I decided to take my blog more seriously, in 2016. I was I was like, okay, because I teach and curriculum and training is my job. And so I really love, I love doing it. And I think I can explain things, clearly. So I wanted to take that to video, because sometimes I can explain things in video I cannot even hope to write out that's true. I agree that's a lot of my personality comes through audio. And so I started doing that with a couple of caveats because I do balance this full time job with the side hustle, and this. So there are some things that I will never do, or at this point do because if I need to get too fancy about it, it's going to be such a barrier that I'm not going to be able to do it right, I need to remove those as much as possible. So all of my stuff is done on my phone. I don't have the fancy setup or anything like that. I just have one of those like flexible arm. Things for my phone. Yeah. And so I started doing that as a way to do more teaching and an offer my voice in the conversation. There's not a lot of I mean, there's not as many women of color who blog and do that stuff online. So also a cool perspective and adding those videos along in throughout.
Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 12:09
Yeah. So as you've been doing this and growing your brand, you then were contacted by Britain co How did that happen?
Jessica Chung 12:17
So this is like the most crazy thing that's ever happened. Yeah, biggest accomplishments or milestones. And yes, I also career. And it was, yeah, late October. And I worked with a couple brands. At this point. I've worked with Tombo jet pens. Now Avery, and Britain co emailed me at the end of October or something like that. And Sarah asked if I would be interested in teaching one of their online courses, and I've seen Britain co on, you know, social media, Facebook, and I've seen some of their other classes by other people that I really admire. And the idea of an online course is really intriguing, because again, like teaching is my jam. But the idea of putting in all that effort of the production of the end, and production is so complicated, and I know that. So when they contacted me, I was like, absolutely. And I didn't know if I would make any money from it or whatever, but it wasn't going to cost me any money to really go out and do it. And so jumped in on that. And we work together to talk about what kind of class it would be. And then worked it out to kind of mirror my experience and finding a planner system that works for me through all of my trial and error my whole life. And I flew out there in January, met with them. And Yep, I confirmed my feelings about putting together all the sets and all the lighting and all the production. It is truly magical. What what people do, yeah. And so we filmed all day one day in San Francisco. And it launched this week on the 20. Now called unlock your planner potential. And it's there's a code that is a 25% off if you use planner goals, if you're interested in that. But yeah, we will for sure. And so what, what is the course of like? Is it a bunch of series of videos, or what is it, so if you've ever been on skill share, they have different courses that have many modules inside, to kind of break it up and have many lessons within it. And so the the class is about finding a system that works for you in your life. And what I found in my experience with planners is that you have to use the same system all year long. And that's just not how life works. There's different seasons and different things that happen in your life. And then there's also like, my needs are going to be different than a mom of four kids. So finding a way to listen to what you already know about yourself, knowing what goals you want to achieve, and then finding a system that does that does the work for because you shouldn't be, you know, living over a system that doesn't work.
Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 15:04
So I so you do do you do anything digital, like what types of planning? Or is it all paper?
Jessica Chung 15:10
Great question. And I think a lot of people think that either one or the other. And I have to use both. I mean, I grew up with both, okay, um, and as more technology rolled out learning how to integrate the two together has been really helpful for me. And it's like, when you look around your house, it's it might be messy, but like you know where everything is. And I think that's the key if you're using both digital and analog is that you have to know where you're putting stuff. So for me, I already know, digital is calendar all the way I go where my Google Calendar tells me. It reminds me of things I need to do later, I put in stuff for a year from now to like renew Amazon Prime membership, you know, yeah. Because that just is so much easier. And then my to do it. And my plans for my projects goes into paper.
Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 16:05
Yeah. So I think some of people listening might not even know what bullet drilling is. So I feel like we should probably just real quickly, like kind of just run through kind of what it is. Oh, yeah,
Jessica Chung 16:15
yeah, yeah. So it was started in 2013, by a man named writer, Carol, and he's a designer in New York, who didn't resonate with any of the planning systems that were out there. And he kind of formulated and made more concrete, this kind of planning system. So it's not a thing. It's a system, and you have everything in one notebook, instead of having things everywhere. And it's made up of a couple different components. And it's made up of the index at the front, you take any blank notebook, and you number all the pages so that any pages that you create, you can index in the front. And then there's the future log to track what you have to do, and what your events are in the upcoming say, six months. And then you have a monthly loss that overviews, your months tasks and events. And then you have your dailies, which are the heart of the system, where you just write the date at the top, use as much or as few rows as you need to. And you rapid log, which means that you quickly jot down all the tasks and appointments and notes that you have for the day into this entry. And you have different symbols that signify importance or ideas and task bullet. So you have a task bullet, you have an appointment bullet, just to quickly code for yourself to get your ideas out of your brain and not. And then you have lists and collections and trackers that you can keep track of but it's a really, really, really simple, minimal analog system.
Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 17:46
I tried it, it was very hard for me to I don't know, it's not for everyone is what I learned. And so how have you come across people who like, try and then read it? Like, what is the success rate? I guess?
Jessica Chung 17:58
Yeah, well, it depends, right? Because here's where I like really infuse that leadership lens is because it is a blank notebook. Yeah. And people get really freaked out. Yeah, go from Super structured say like Aaron content, know that has every section outlined every list. And then you go to a completely blank page. And people freak out because they have to decide what to do. And, and even though the system itself, if you go to bull journal, com, super simple. And you know, created by a man like he wasn't drawing or anything on this thing. But it's become so big, I started doing one in 2013 and kept it very much to the core of the system. And then I couldn't anymore. But But then when I read revisited it and 2015 and had the creative freedom to do what I needed to, to make it work for me and my style. That's when the possibilities opened up. And that's when it's really exciting. Yeah. And so for people who either don't, I don't want to really sit and think about that, then it's not going to work for that. Yeah, people are really, really busy and don't have time to do that. That's fine. But it's also it doesn't require as much time as people think it does. Because they see what it's become, which is sketching, and beautiful. Yeah, it's very elaborate. Yeah. And life is not like that. And so I really believe in using the system and like it's full, messy, colorful, ever changing capacity, because our lives are also ever changing and messy in this capacity.
Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 19:35
So you so we actually had Alec on the podcast, like last year. So how did you get connected with like the Is there like a local boy drink drill community? or How did you even find people that were also doing it locally?
Jessica Chung 19:47
Well, Alec is special because we actually used to work together. Okay. And so I work at the University of Minnesota leadership minor, and he used to work on their office, oh, kind of our student workers. So we've been connected for a while a long time. And he is an artistic creative person. And the structures of traditional planning systems didn't work for him either. So he saw me do it from a distance, and then sort of trying it on his own and found that it was so liberating, and helpful for him that he started his own journey and has been really really amazing.
Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 20:21
For sure. Yeah. Cuz I had him on. And so I feel like if you listen to that episode, that you can kind of get that full picture of the bullet demo. Maybe you guys are the bullet journal for you. Yeah. Plus, I don't know if there's
Jessica Chung 20:33
other people, many people and like there's a Facebook group called bullet journal junkies, okay, that I have been able to, like, you know, share some things. But I also have been able to host a couple meetups. I teach classes for lettering at wet paint art in St. Paul. And they have been so gracious to allow me to host you know, unofficial bullet journal meetups there. And it turns out, there's quite a few people, we're interested people who love it. People been doing it for a while, and they just wanted to geek out with other Yeah, get it. That's awesome.
Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 21:06
Because I think finding that niche is so important, especially on Instagram, and like when you find out what you want to do creatively and then finding those people too super important. How has like community impacted you over the last few years when it comes to like the local community even towards this collective? Like how have you been like, enjoying it? I don't know, like, what's your what's kind of your thought on like, the creative community locally,
Jessica Chung 21:28
I think Minneapolis is one of the greatest places for innovation, entrepreneurship and creativity. And the hard part about doing all this that you feel really alone sometimes, like you have your internet friends, but I have such a mixed feeling about like, the more successful or the bigger you get, the more time you have to spend online. Like it's it seems like such a trap, you know, I, I also still want to like see my friends in my life. And so being able to make connection with other creatives who understand. The weird thing about this world is really comforting. And for people who hear about my story outside of, of it are just categorically like, Oh my god, that's so amazing. That is so incredible. You must be having such a great time. And for people who who are hustling they know and can appreciate what goes on behind the scenes. They know that it's not easy. Yeah.
Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 22:24
It's not always fun. Yeah. And perfect. Yeah, exactly.
Jessica Chung 22:28
So other people who are able to affirm that is has been really important to me,
Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 22:34
for sure. So what are you kind of doing now. So now that you have this Britain co thing, and you've got your Instagram, and you've got you can have a shop to right, we're on your website. So
Jessica Chung 22:46
I know so many cool people. And I guess the best part about this is like the opportunity to just partner with people and try things. And right now, I, I think 2018 is going to be a really awesome year. And I'm, I'm excited to be speaking and doing some workshops at the Chicago planner conference, yo, wow, there are planner conferences. actually know about that. Yeah. So I'm excited to do that, whenever I get a chance to, like, bring those two passions together, which is, you know, the planning or the lettering along with my teaching and in meeting and connecting with people is a magical time. So I'm doing that I'm starting to do like, you know, private classes, and partnering with some folks in the area to do some more of this work around using your creativity as a channel for figuring out like your own voice and your own own authentic self and leadership. So I'm excited to do that. Yeah.
Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 23:45
Is this moving forward? So have you always want to keep this a side thing? Or do you eventually want to move this full time? I think I've asked you this before, I don't know if the answer is changed.
Jessica Chung 23:56
My whole life? I think people have asked me because they assume that I'll have an answer because I'm a planner person. Like what what do you see yourself doing in five years? And, and I have a video about this? Actually, we're like, I don't believe in five your hands. Yeah,
Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 24:10
I don't either. My Everything changes so fast. So
Unknown Speaker 24:13
yeah, you never
Jessica Chung 24:16
know. And how foolish are we think? We know?
Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 24:20
Yeah, I agree. I totally agree with
Jessica Chung 24:22
that, who we're going to be? Do who we are going to know. Hmm. And I never would have thought to myself that I would ever call myself an entrepreneur, that I would ever actually call myself an artist. Teachers name. Exactly. And and to be open to the possibility and like, I have goals and stuff that I'm working toward, but to remain open to the possibility. Yes, saying yes to stuff. Yeah, I say yes to stuff before I am ready. Um, otherwise I will overthink true, I will second guess. But I have to trust that I will make it happen by that deadline that, that Yeah. And so when I asked the first time, what paint can I teach a class here? Let's set a date. And then by that date, you know, doesn't matter how I will come through with something. Yeah. And for the shop thing, and my friend. And I have partnered on doing that. And it didn't quite work. Because he was doing the shipping and the actual logistical stuff that I do not want to do after the art part. So it like it kind of worked. And then it did hit a low and then it got picked up by the Minnesota Alumni Association, who opened up the first University Alumni store ever in the country. And they picked I think 12 or 13 different alumni. Yeah, makers school. And so variable, woolen mill is part of that and like wood chalk products are part of that. And so there's a lot of really cool people and I'm happened to be one of them through this partnership. Yeah. That are selling some of my stuff.
Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 25:58
So So is that online or at at the university?
Jessica Chung 26:00
it? They do pop up shops, okay, cool locations, but it's mostly through online. can find that through the University of Minnesota Alumni Association. Oh,
Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 26:09
I didn't know that. That's awesome.
Jessica Chung 26:12
really wild. Yeah.
Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 26:13
That's, that's, I think that's a really good idea. Because they're promoting their alumni. And they want to, like help them and grow their businesses. Because it's because because you said your business major. Were you like part of the entrepreneurship program? Or was it just the business?
Jessica Chung 26:27
No. Again, I like not see my Yeah. What do you do it over again, I probably would have been in the College of Education.
Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 26:36
Jessica Chung 26:37
like, what you
truly truly like, I cannot say enough that I stand on the shoulders of giants, because the people around me have really been integral to my success. Uh huh.
Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 26:51
So I guess going back a little bit to Instagram. So what, what do you think about Instagram nowadays, I know that we went to the Instagram growth workshop that we had last weekend. And I feel like for you, it's almost like it. It's like the followers just come, you know, it's like, it's like, I feel like you work but they also just come to you. So how do you like, how has that kind of been? For you?
Jessica Chung 27:15
Ah, you know, it's really, the thing that I find so interesting about being in the side hustle, business is.
So back to answer your question. I don't know if I ever want to make this a full time thing I mind it ever changing and fleeting. And so are my interest into assume Yeah. And bank enough? Yeah, exactly. interest in that is hard. But I am definitely expanding and trying different things with it as a platform. So in terms of following, it did come pretty easily at first. And I have hit this point of stagnation. I have not grown beyond this gotcha in a while. And I and I will say that I feel like the algorithm has played a part in that. I don't know if it's because I have two audiences. But what you're doing in buttering and there's certainly overlap. I don't know if it's because I share what I believe I'm through there. And I also had a really hard time last year. And so like, what do you do when you're an influencer, and you're a content creator, but you also have hardship in your own. And so I was doing some really intense soul searching, big changes happened, I moved and all this stuff. Last fall of 2016, with the ripple effects of how could I stay so engaged or maintain that momentum and output? When so much was happening?
Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 28:42
Yeah, I think that happens to a lot of people, you're not the only one where they are, you know, going, and then all of a sudden, some things happen. And then it just kind of stops because that happened to me with my gentleman, Phil designs, Instagram, I felt like it was growing and was growing. And then I just, like stopped. And I just I don't know, if I stopped caring, but I just was like, you know, and so now it's actually going down, because I've stopped posting that content that I was posting before. So the people that were following me for that have kind of gone away, and now it's just people that know me, follow me, you know, like, it's, it's changed, because I've also changed my whole business concept. And I've moved it more to my personal actually changed the name of the Instagram to just my name. Yeah, and I've just I'm kind of rebranding, but it's like, it's hard when you see the numbers going down, which has never happened to me before. But it's like, I know why it's because I'm not posting the content that people were following me for. And I feel like you might have the same thing where all of a sudden, you're being a little bit more vocal about your beliefs. And, and that kind of maybe impacts it. Is that kind of what you're thinking has happened, or Yeah, for
Jessica Chung 29:42
sure. And I think, and that's the hardest part, right? Because I know, we were talking about a lot of folks who are growing. And so at that more at a different stage than I am. And when when I'm at this stage, and even you know, you hit a certain number of followers, and you put become an influencer, whatever. Yeah. And the hardest part for me is that, of course, you want to appeal to people, but at what cost? And so true, you want to attract the people who believe in what exactly have to offer. And my marketing Professor didn't realize that he was giving us this really great dating advice back when I was capstone class, but he said you never want to convince people to want to have Yes. And that is so true about your brand and Instagram about you on Tinder. saying,
Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 30:33
Yeah, that's so true. Because it's like, for me, I kind of felt like I was faking it a little bit like I was coming up with content that I knew people would like that. Maybe I wasn't. It wasn't me. I don't know that. Yeah, yeah.
Jessica Chung 30:46
100%. And we're so tempted to do that. There. We are rewarded for it. Yes, with following us. And so it's really, really easy to fall into that trap. And I still do because it's a feeling and then you get featured in Oh, similar accounts or similar posts to? And I can understand that. And maybe I'm I don't know, I'm just jaded by the idea that we have to what Bernie brown will say like fit into others. expectation. Yeah. But at the betrayal of our own. Yeah.
Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 31:17
So do you think that then the followers that are coming after you now are like more aligned with who you are like the newer followers, I guess that it's like, oh, they're discovering you. And they're following you? Because they like what you have to say, in addition to your actual content.
Jessica Chung 31:32
It's kind of like when you make friends at different stages of your life, like you are who you are when you were in high school. Yeah, those friends. And then you change in college, and then you have those friends, really connect with them. And then you lose some of your old Yeah. So I feel like that's what happens in so many iterations of business, of our development of self is that, yeah, I hope that the people who follow me now are people who resonate with what I'm putting out right now, versus what I was putting out back then. Yeah. And, and who knows? Also, because I think people are really playing the follow on following.
Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 32:06
Yeah. Don't like that. I just think it's interesting, because Instagram, I think the issue now is there's so many voices, and it's hard to get people on your voice. And it's like, for you, how have you, how have you seen the competition grow since you because you were kind of one of the old G's and that helped you at the beginning. But now I feel like maybe you're struggling because there's more people coming up from the woodwork?
Jessica Chung 32:32
Absolutely. And when all of a sudden, I see so many. I mean, it's amazing, because it's pretty much accessible. Yeah, for a lot of people. And to hear so many different perspectives and voices in the game is really, really great. Then what becomes hard when you're trying to not just share your story, but actually build a brand and a business out of it? That is so hard, because there's so many people who either have the means to do this full time, and will have course be better than than me at it. Because Yeah, time Yeah, true. And to not compare yourself to that is really, really challenging. And that's where not just putting out a an appealing profile is really important. And even though it feels like small growth, or you're appealing to small amounts of people, people really appreciate when you're real, and quirky. What makes you weird? And do you feel like you trust yourself enough to put that out there? Because then you will even more resonate with people? Instead of being like a general palatable account for everybody? Who are the people that are like you are my You are my people. There's a calligraphy account that I follow that, that swears while they Okay, and I love, I love the sassy and that they're able to own it. And then the people that they have are people who are even more of the following because they resonate with that. with that. I don't see that.
Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 34:02
Yes, I agree. Because I think having that unique voice is something where you can get the right people that are going to be your super fans, and not just like pastor buyers, where it's like, oh, you look like every other accounts, I'll follow you because they're pretty, but like, the actual accounts that I have personality, and it may be like, for example, the swearing, maybe some people don't like swearing, so they don't follow that account. So I think it really just depends on the person because everyone's different. And everyone has different tastes, you know,
Jessica Chung 34:29
exactly. And I think this is why we have trouble dating. This is why we have trouble being ourselves. Because when people say be yourself, I struggle because the advice is so simple. And it doesn't talk about why that's so hard. Because for us to put ourselves out there, we have to believe enough in our own value to weather the storm of people not liking it. Uh huh. And following, or not following at all. Uh huh. And for you to love yourself enough. And believe in yourself enough to put yourself out there in such a vulnerable position is a really brave thing to do. And you're risking a lot when you do that. So when I say to be your own unique voice out there, and to believe that what you have to offer matters to a unique set of people. I know I'm saying that as easier said than done. And you will lose people like I did a post that generated so many comments about taking money and losing people because of it. But you know, you have to believe in what? In what you believe strongly enough that you will be able to weather the storm. Like if you don't want me that's what yeah, exactly as long. Yeah, I still want Yeah,
Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 35:43
for sure. And I think that people are scared to do that. Yes.
Jessica Chung 35:46
We're scared to do that our dating profiles to be aware of the about who we are right away, because we want to appeal to everybody.
Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 35:54
Well, why? Why would you want to appeal to everyone? Because you know, you're not gonna
Unknown Speaker 35:59
want to everybody?
Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 36:00
Yeah, well, yeah. Yeah, I agree. I don't even want to get into dating. But like, you know, it's like, Why Why put out a some like you don't you want to track the person that would like
Jessica Chung 36:12
you, you know, and I think that's like, we know that logically. But I think in our heart, yeah. humans, we want to belong, we want an action. And so if you are not more committed to the idea of being true to yourself, then you are committed to staying in connection with people, then that's going to be tough. Yeah. Because to be truly yourself. sometimes feels lonely. Yeah. When when you aren't connecting with everybody. But you have to be okay with that.
Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 36:43
Yeah. Because you're only looking for one person. So it's not like you need to get everyone.
Jessica Chung 36:47
Yes. And that's true. of your business too. True. by committing to your niche. Mm hmm. You're saying no, to people outside of that? Not to say that that won't change? Yeah. But you know that to say yes to that means saying no to other things. And you have to be okay with that.
Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 37:03
So how do you say no to things that, you know, don't align with you?
Jessica Chung 37:08
I think especially because I get approached by people all the time about partnerships and sponsorships. I say, you know, thank you so much for thinking of me. I believe in doing things that are in alignment with what my audiences here for what I am here for, and my trust with them as being authentic. And being about this kind of category of things is really important to me. Yeah. And so this is kind of outside of my scope. But I know that there are some other folks out there that will absolutely partner with you. And I wish you luck. Yeah, finding those people.
Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 37:42
That's a good advice, because I've been approached lately by a lot of people. And I don't always want to work with them. And I'm like, I, it's hard for me to say no, because I'm like, it's an opportunity. But it's like, a lot of times I'm like, I know, it's not right, for me. So it's interesting, and I think a lot of people struggle with that.
Jessica Chung 37:59
Well, you like why go on the first date? If you already know that this is not gonna work?
Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 38:02
Yeah. Yeah. So, um, so, so moving forward with your Instagram. So you've kind of struggling with assignation? So what have you kind of been starting to do to kind of, are you trying to grow it again, is that kind of your goal, or what's kind of your, your goal with Instagram,
Jessica Chung 38:19
Instagram is both ends and the means. So before it was, like, really, really establishing social proof, and some credibility and social influence, so that's really cool. Because opportunities do come to you from that, like people will take you seriously when you want to do giveaways, or they you request that you want to, you know, review their products, or whatever. And, and that's awesome. But then the social media also provides a way to, to launch business and transfer over into like, other sales and stuff. Uh huh. And so trying to do shop things, trying to do more class workshop things. And diversity people that way, is also something that I'm working on and in so not being too bummed by the stagnation of numbers there. But I'm really trying to find other channels that that they can be served. Yeah. And and direct them there, for sure.
Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 39:16
Because I think that you mentioned the algorithm, and I do think has affected a lot of people's growth. But I think that the people that are going to find you are going to find you, you know, and that's that's important part.
Jessica Chung 39:27
Yeah. And I'd rather it be authentic than buying follow. game or I know, there's some people who, like, get really big, because they have kind of gamed the algorithm by saying, like, leave me a comment with your favorite color, one letter per comment. Because that will up the number of comments in the first hour. And you know, they're like, I'll give you a shout out in my stories or whatever. And that just does not seem it doesn't sit well with me personally. So
Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 39:57
yeah, I mean, for me, it's it's connecting with people. That's what I think has attracted people to the twins, this collective brand is the fact that it's all about them. It's like, it's not about me, I never put my face on the account, like, only in the stories just to, just to talk to people, but it's like, you know, I think it's interesting, because you don't put your face on your account a lot, either. I'm pretty pretty Prince paper.
Jessica Chung 40:18
Yeah. So like the advice that you were giving him today you said, you know, every nine images should be like you and your face. Yeah, well, no, no. And I'm like, actually, those are the ones I get fewer
Unknown Speaker 40:29
really likes on my page.
Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 40:31
Well, I think I think maybe specifically for your account. It's hard because people are there for the actual content, right. But like, I think for like, at least, like say, like a photographer. Like they're taking pictures of other people, but it's like, Who is the person behind the picture? You know, I think it depends on the account. So that that advice I do think is true for certain types of Instagram's toto because when I was doing get when I was doing general for design, I was only posting stock photos that I had made. So like I barely posted pictures of myself. And finally I started doing it. And yeah, it was true. It was like people didn't like it as much. So it's interesting. The advice worked for some not so much for others. But I think that's that's true for a lot of accounts that already already putting up like pictures, so yeah. All right. Well, I think that's going to end our conversation today. Thank you so much, Jessica, for coming. How do we find you on social media? What are your links?
Jessica Chung 41:22
Awesome. You can find me on my blog at pretty Princeton paper. com. I'm also pretty prison paper on Instagram, and I'm also on YouTube.
Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 41:31
Yes, that's awesome. Alright, well Thanks, Jessica for coming in. And I'll talk to you guys next week.
Thanks for listening to the Twin Cities collective podcast with Jenna Redfield. Again this was recorded at Studio co work in Golden Valley. You can learn more at Studio co work com thanks again to Nikolai high less for the use of the music and the intros and outros, and to Melanie Lee of my ability designs for the cover art design. Thanks again guys. And we'll see you next time.