May 31, 2022
Daphne Gomez is the creator of Teacher Career Coach. She is a former teacher turned instructional designer, podcaster, and career coach.
Daphne Gomez is the creator of Teacher Career Coach. She is a former teacher turned instructional designer, podcaster, and career coach.
Teacher Career Coach receives more than 150,000 monthly views. Daphne has 85K followers on Instagram, more than 85K email subscribers, and a podcast that generates nearly 50K downloads per month!
In this episode, we talk about Daphne’s transition out of the classroom, how she’s leveraged partnerships and collaboration to grow on Instagram, how she gets so many podcast reviews, and why Service is at the core of her business.
Learn more about Teacher Career Coach
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Daphne Gomez 00:00
Some of the things that I was talking about no one was saying on any other Instagram page and I made sure at the very bottom to write something almost as cheesy as if you're looking for support leaving the classroom, you can follow teacher career coach. And that's where we really started.
Jay Clouse 00:17
Welcome to Creative elements, a show where we talk to your favorite creators and learn what it takes to make a living from your art and creativity. I'm your host Jay Clouse. Let's start the show.
Jay Clouse 00:43
Hello, my friend welcome back to another episode of creative elements. I want to start today with a shout out to Brian Piper, who left a review on Apple podcast titled like sitting in on a talk with friends. I love that. Brian said Jay has an incredible ability to make his guests feel comfortable in his interviews have a wonderful conversational tone that makes it feel extremely intimate. His variety of questions speak to the research and preparation he does for each episode. Always a pleasure to see a new episode get released. Thank you, Brian for that kind review. If you haven't left a rating or review for creative elements on Apple podcasts or Spotify yet, please take a moment to do so. We're climbing the charts, we've almost cracked the top 50 on Apple podcasts in the careers category. And you can help me get there. And if you're pretty new to the show, I spent some time last week creating some curated playlists of creative elements episodes. So if you want to listen to episodes specific to Twitter, or Instagram, or YouTube or even a greatest hits playlist, I have you covered just go to creative elements dot F m slash playlists. Or click the link in the show notes. That's great. developments.fm/playlist All right, you may not know this, but for the last couple of weeks, I've been dipping my toes into Instagram reels and Tik Tok, you can find me at Jay Clouse on both. And I'm doing it mostly as a way of sharing some of the nuggets that have been shared here on the show. But Instagram reels and tick tock are still very new to me. So I'm learning from some of my creator friends, including today's guest, Daphne Gomez. Daphne is the creator of teacher career coach, creating content dedicated to helping educators find happiness in their careers inside or outside the classroom. And she got there because she was a teacher herself.
Daphne Gomez 02:32
So I was a fifth grade teacher, something that was really important to me was helping my community serving people, I'm really intrinsically motivated. And so you know, naturally, I thought that was the right profession for me. And the very last year of teaching, I had, I don't want to say mental breakdown, it was not diagnosed but bawling on the way to work, just the idea of going into the classroom, I was crying in the car.
Jay Clouse 02:57
Unfortunately, I think we're all more aware than ever before about the immense pressure teachers are under these days, not only from growing expectations for their roles, but reduced funding, parental pressure in the horrible, horrible gun violence that we continue to see in US schools. Daphne, unfortunately, was not immune to that pressure either.
Daphne Gomez 03:18
I went to the doctor multiple times for stress related illnesses that were popping up in very strange ways. And I just was completely broken and realize this is not the right path for me. I don't know what the right path for me is at this point. And I feel completely lost. I feel like I'm losing my identity. And that was really the catalyst for everything that I've done. Since then, it's been one of the best worst moments of my life, but really was one of the low points in my career.
Jay Clouse 03:49
Daphne left the classroom and began working at a fortune 500 company. And in 2018, she began creating content on the side under the teacher Career Coach brand. She was writing blog content and posting to social media to show teachers that there are other options if they're feeling unhappy in the classroom. Today, Daphne's running teacher Career Coach full time I
Daphne Gomez 04:10
left in November 2021. And the reason why it was a struggle was I had a full time role that had flexibility and I actually loved it. And I had started hiring full time employees at my business to help with this project. But I wasn't able to be there entirely for them. I was more excited to kind of practice what I preach and give former teachers positions at this company and to build something for them and to build something with this amazing team and to continue to support people. But for me, leaving my job was not the top priority because I was happy where I was and I was able to potentially do both for a while. I had to weigh the pros and cons of I was not doing either of them. Well, I was Doing both of them pretty good. But both of them deserved to be done well. And I had to really figure out what I wanted to do. And I knew that I would kick myself if I just didn't dive in and do something big and scary like is what I tell my audience, so I had to do the exact same thing. And it's been working out pretty well.
Jay Clouse 05:22
working out pretty well is an understatement. The teacher Career Coach website receives more than 150,000 monthly views. Daphne has 85,000 followers on Instagram, and more than 85,000 email subscribers, not to mention a podcast that generates nearly 50,000 downloads per month. So in this episode, we talked about Daphne's transition out of the classroom, how she's leveraged partnerships and collaboration to grow on Instagram, how she gets so many podcast reviews, and why service is at the core of her business. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this episode. As you listen, you can find me on Twitter at Jay Clouse on Instagram at UK redevelopments.fm tag me say hello, let me know that you're listening. And now let's talk with Daphne.
Daphne Gomez 06:12
There are so many factors. That could be one particular teachers reason for leaving for my own personal situation, I found myself suffering from decision fatigue, not really understanding how many small decisions I was going to be making on a daily basis, but also coupling that with environment that I was working in that wasn't 100% supportive of all those tiny decisions. So small decisions, something as small as looks like the students need a spelling test. So I'm going to start implementing spelling tests into my classroom procedures, we're going to do these, you know, on a Monday, Friday is going to be the spelling test doesn't seem like it's a big deal. Well, that's something depending on the culture of the school, if you did that, without getting all 30 parents to sign up on board, you may get in a lot of trouble for doing that without the parents permission for something like that. So every day, there were all of these decisions that I was making. And I had a environment where the parents were definitely in control of my every move, and in a way that my admin was not as supportive to me during my last year of teaching. And that was something that I really struggled with being able to please everybody all the time. And we all know when we're in some sort of a service industry, that's, that's going to be challenging. But with that comes with the emotions of everything you do is very important. When you're an educator, if you don't work until 6pm, at night, you start to beat yourself up that that one lesson that you didn't create might be the thing that holds the child back from being able to, you know, achieve reading at a grade level, quote, unquote, whatever a grade level is, and teachers end up finding themselves burning themselves out because they're unrealistic expectations, there are a lot of additional pressures, and they're asked to work before they go to work, they have a full workday. And then they work when they're done with work. And everything is very important that they do. And sometimes it's overcoming, where they have to just end up leaving and finding something else. This is pre COVID. And with COVID were a lot of other different things going on. And now, you know, students are suffering so much that the classroom management is one of the biggest concerns as well tip students haven't been around other peers for two years. And so they're coming in with new challenges. So all of the burnout that's come with just a regular workload from teaching on top of a lot of political things that are going on in districts a lot of finger pointing at teachers, extra regulations for teachers, depending on what states you're living in, and coupling that with almost some sort of like empathy fatigue, if you have all of your students who are suffering as well, and family members and everything else going on the last few years.
Jay Clouse 09:05
A couple things that I want to dive into there. And just briefly, we want to go super in depth into this. But I'm interested to hear about this pre work in post work work that you're talking about. Because that shouldn't be a thing. I shouldn't have to do work when I'm not working. Tell me about that. What's that mean?
Daphne Gomez 09:21
So teachers workday is, let's say 745 to 3pm. But you actually have to go in and get all the materials prepped. Many teachers, if their workday starts at 7:45pm. They're actually inside their classroom by seven or 7:45am. They're in the classroom by 7am. And they're making sure everything is prepared for that particular day. Some of them go in earlier, some school cultures actually look down at the teachers who get there at 7:30am. If the workday 7:45am And they say, Oh, that teacher must not be preparing enough. Then from let's say, 7:45am To 3pm, you have, if you're an elementary school teacher, 30 students, if you're a high school teacher of rotation of, you know, maybe 150 students you are constantly on, there is not that downtime to check your emails, there is not that downtime to prepare for the next day where you get some flexibility. And there's not the collaboration to actually talk to adults, you are just on during that time you're teaching, and your students are your focus. And then at 3pm, if you want to work with other teachers, if you want to grade those lessons, if you want to get ahead for the next day, that's your 3pm to 6pm. I was working basically, every weekend for three years straight to the point that I was saying no to birthday parties and trips out of state, because I Oh, well, parent teacher conferences are coming up. And I didn't have time to prepare for that. And I have to sit down for about 12 hours off the clock to make sure that I get everything prepared for it.
Jay Clouse 10:59
And you mentioned also that the parents had so much control and say over what you were doing. And that's a foreign concept to me as well, because I kind of thought that parent sends your child to school you choose the school you go to but you choose the school with the understanding that the teachers administration would follow one, like the regulations, I need to teach the right curriculum, but to like they would make the decisions that your children needed. What is what is this parent involvement is that something new or was I just unaware of it when I was in school, it's gonna
Daphne Gomez 11:31
vary from school to school, depending on how the culture of the environment supports the teachers, depending on the relationship that the teacher is actually able to build with the parents. I had a unique experience, which is not unique to every teacher, but I came in to a brand new school district moving to be with my now husband. And so I was a younger, quote unquote, younger and flatter myself. And so I was younger. But I was in my early 30s, at the time teacher that took over a specific teacher who had retired and everybody was watching their children grow through first grade, second grade, and they could not wait for everybody to have this fifth grade teacher who was established who they loved. And so when they got into my classroom, and I did things differently, there were a lot of eyes on me saying, Why is she teaching project based learning when the other teacher would have had more focus on the arts questions as ridiculous as does she know how to teach my gifted and talented student classical guitar at the very end of the day, and unfortunately, I did not but a lot of pressure on me to go above and beyond and in a way that I felt like I needed to constantly up my game and nothing that I was doing was good enough. And that is going to be different and whatever school district you are at how they handle those types of situations. I just found myself in a Los Angeles School District with the gifted and talented student cluster and with a lot of like student actors and parents that had very high expectations of what I should be doing in my role as a teacher.
Jay Clouse 13:09
Crazy. Yeah. Did they prepare you in college to teach student actors? What?
Daphne Gomez 13:16
But it's gonna vary. I mean, every school district has its own unique challenges. And parents are not always the case. But one of the biggest reasons why so many teachers are leaving right now are parents are starting to really demoralize the profession. And teachers do want to have this great relationship with the parents. But if the parents are eyeballing every move that you're making, if they're on social media, say math teachers are bozos and they're trying to hypnotize our children into voting for Hillary or whatever they actually feel is the danger of a teacher that is it starting to weigh on already burned out teachers that there's nothing I can do to alleviate these concerns. There's no way that we can build this relationship and move forward. And it it is it's bridging a gap between society and teachers right now, I think, how politicized it's become.
Jay Clouse 14:13
So you have this, this really low moment, and you're saying, I don't think this is for me. How did you navigate your next steps? I mean, going from teacher to now business owner feels like a big leap. Did you believe that was the LEAP you're taking? Or was it more incremental than that?
Daphne Gomez 14:31
It definitely was a step by step, just kind of blindly putting my foot out and seeing what happened, but in a way that was really strategic and always very cautious. I did not know what job I was going to land on. And I lucked out and I actually started, it was educational consulting, but for a fortune 500 company, where my role was doing professional development training, speaking at national conferences on behalf of my client or my employee Er, which is a larger known education company. During that time, I realized that I really liked public speaking even though I was nervous and felt a lot of impostor syndrome felt very broken. From my previous experience, I had a lot of people saying that I wasn't smart enough or good enough to even be a fifth grade teacher. So then being put on stage saying, No, you should speak to 1000s of teachers was a lot of pressure for me. And I had to overcome a lot of my fears during that stage. But I also started to realize how much extra time I had. And during that time that I actually discovered Pat Flynn, Smart Passive Income and started to learn different strategies. And at that time, I started building digital curriculum, there's a website called Teachers, by teachers, where you can put up almost like an Etsy store, but for curriculum, and I started creating digital curriculum focused on fifth grade elementary lessons that I would have done in my own classroom. And that's really where I started dipping my toes in the entrepreneur kind of pool. Then I was working as an instructional designer for another edtech company. And that was creating elearning courses. And that's where I started to realize, I could build a digital course for profit as well, because I've already been doing that in this role as an instructional designer, I could start to create something. So it wasn't a natural, okay, I left the classroom. And now I'm an entrepreneur, it just felt like everything really aligned for me to actually create a business and do something that I was able to help other people but with all the skills that I was building along the way.
Jay Clouse 16:40
After a quick break, Daphne and I talked about the beginning of teacher career coach and how she got initial traction. And later we talk about partnerships and collaboration, specifically on Instagram. So stick around, and we'll be right back. Welcome back to my conversation with Daphne Gomez. A lot of beginning creators have a similar start to Daphne, they have an idea they start publishing, they may even go as far as creating a course. But a lot of people launch only to hear crickets. So I asked Daphne, what her early experiences were like, and what validations you received that encouraged her to keep going. So one
Daphne Gomez 17:17
of the main reasons why I started to create the course and just to talk about the only premium course that I really focus on is helping teachers leverage their education experience into higher paying positions or positions outside of the classroom, if they're looking for new positions. I found myself when I was speaking to an audience of teachers and saying, Oh, hey, I'm here to do this professional development. I'm a former teacher. And this is my role, they would follow me out to the parking lot and whisper How did you get out? How do I find roles like this, or I had an Instagram to try and sell my cutesy curriculum. And then people quickly realized, well, she's not posting photos of her in the classroom. She's like traveling to school districts at the beach, or she's on a plane going somewhere. And so they start naturally asking, Hey, what the heck is your job. And I realized there was such a need for somebody to actually create something to help solve this problem, because it was the problem that I had as well, I wasn't able to figure out what my next steps would be. And I had to overcome a lot of the like stigma of leaving the classroom back then nobody ever talked about it, people constantly would kind of fight that feeling and stay in the classroom for forever, which is, unfortunately, what we're seeing right now is not the case. And it's the opposite. So more people are leaving than ever before. But before that no one was really leaving, even if they really wanted to.
Jay Clouse 18:47
So interesting. Do you know Justin Jackson, he has this really great article that I think about a lot. I think it's called surfing the wave or catching the wave. And his point is, he obviously works with and knows a lot of people who are trying to build SAS companies. And a lot of times those people feel like they're fighting uphill. They're like, where are my customers? Why can't I get customers? And this whole article is about the the feeling and the experience you have, when you build something that is just perfect for people who are actively trying to find that thing. And instead of pushing this thing on, people are into a market. The market is like pulling you along and pulling it faster and faster from you. It sounds like that's kind of what you were describing, with your experience starting to get in front of these crowds of teachers.
Daphne Gomez 19:33
Yeah, absolutely. I knew that the need was there. But I want everybody who's listening who's like, I know that the needs there for my course. But for some reason, I'm struggling still. There was a need. I put out a course. Nobody bought it. There still has to be a marketing strategy and there still has to be a good amount of time and energy spent on supporting the audience and validate seeing whether or not they need to take the next step and actually purchase a course. So I did put it out, I think July of 2019, I think. And it flopped for a good two months where I just focused on what I could do to create supplemental resources, free resources, update my landing page, continue to talk to my audience and share free support. And then it was also teaming up with someone that had a large audience that was looking for this exact type of support, but didn't know that anyone had ever created it, that really kind of launched everything to continue to grow after that.
Jay Clouse 20:41
Tell me about that. How much of it was of those two things you mentioned, you know, creating your own supplemental free content, and then you had this partnership or collaboration that sounds like it was big, which one was more important? And was there an order of operations that was important, I guess creating your own stuff was probably most important to do. First,
Daphne Gomez 21:01
the creating my own stuff was really important. And I think what was really important to also look back on was how long people are going to be looking at a course like this before they take the next step. And that's one of my own core values of all of my messaging. And my marketing is I want to be transparent of don't buy this course, to quit your job tomorrow, think about whether or not you really want to quit your job. But helping them weigh the pros and cons, helping them think about their other options and giving them time and space to actually consider this because it's a huge decision. And I never want to push them into a quote unquote, sale. So while I do think that there's a lot of value in partnering with people who have larger audiences, I think that there's also a lot to be said, of the people who are purchasing usually are coming in waves of maybe they follow me, and they think about it for six months, because that's one of the things I'm really trying to establish of make sure you're really considering this and make sure that you have weighed the pros and cons, you have this foundation of a safety net if you're trying to leave the classroom and you don't have a job lined up automatically. And I want to do so with integrity and making sure that they are supported as well and not just pushed into thinking it's an overnight success story. So they may have honestly been following me for a while and planning to purchase once the time was right for them too.
Jay Clouse 22:30
Am I correct in my belief, or assumption that you were doing most of your free content at the time on Instagram, the majority
Daphne Gomez 22:39
of the free content was Instagram. And then also I started doing blog writing, and just focusing on answering like the most frequently asked questions to help them be able to explore, you know, different jobs outside of the classroom, just even talking about the top jobs that hired teachers or all of those types of questions that they may have. Now, there's a podcast that we started in October of 2020. And that's where the majority of all of our free resources are really funneled straight into the podcast. But before that it was it was a mixture of blogs, newsletters that I was sending out, and then went into an abyss and I forgot to save all the copy for him. And Instagram.
Jay Clouse 23:25
How did growth start to happen? Was it that the teachers who were following you were sharing it a ton with other teachers in their district in their school? Their friends? Yeah, talk to me a little about how growth happened for you.
Daphne Gomez 23:38
The growth has been progressively, you know, growing for the last years, we had a couple of different strategies there are, you know, those different types of messages that you can see are getting shared more and more. So with us, some of the things that I was talking about, no one was saying on any other Instagram page, and I made sure at the very bottom to write something almost as cheesy as if you're looking for support leaving the classroom, you can follow the teacher career coach. And that's where we really started four years ago, of laying it out if this is resonating with you. And I think one of the big the biggest first viral Instagrams that we did was, what are the three reasons why it's so hard to leave the classroom and one would be you know, teaching was supposed to be your forever career. So you just have never thought about a plan B, or the second one being, you feel devalued, and you have low career self esteem, so you don't feel like you would be qualified for any other role. Teachers would see that and it would speak to them and they would say, No one's ever said this before, but this is really true and I'm going to share it. But that bottom tagline of if you're looking for support leaving the classroom, follow this page would continue to, you know, grow and grow and grow. Now with reels and all of those other different types of strategies we do try and mix it up. I actually do have a marketing director on my team. She is a former teacher as well. It's been one of the things that I've been making sure that people that I'm hiring for these types of roles actually understand this audience understand what I'm trying to do. But a lot of the shareable images were going viral, but also, just building out free value, helping people understand their different options, giving a lot of great advice, and then not forgetting to say, people don't know that this exists, the support exists. So if you see someone asking, just let them know that they can come over here. And all the answers are over here. And actually just verbally saying that out loud, helps people remember even if you feel like you're a robot saying it over and over again, they say, Oh, this teacher on this other thread is saying, I want to leave, but I don't feel qualified for anyone else. And then we get tagged all of the time on these huge accounts saying, Oh, well go follow teacher career coach. She's been talking about this for the last few years.
Jay Clouse 26:02
That's so good. I'm doing a quick search here. Because this reminds me Yes. So there's this framework that I saw Sean Peri talk about is a one of the guys on my first million and big Twitter guy. He has these eight strong emotions that he tries to map all this content to one of these eight. And one of them. The last one is finally somebody said it, it's like this, this need to feel seen. And it sounds like you're really striking a chord there where people were having these feelings, these experiences these emotions, but they hadn't come across somebody else like seeing that in them before.
Daphne Gomez 26:40
Yeah, they feel my audience were very in tune with what they're feeling emotionally, they need to feel inspired, that it's possible, because they feel like it's important possible, they need to have someone to just vent to, because they feel like there's something wrong with them, that it's impacting them. as severely as it's impacting them emotionally. They need to have someone feel like they get it or someone going through the exact same thing. They also they just want to feel hopeful that there are solutions out there for what they're feeling right now. So we try and touch a lot of those different emotions. But absolutely, that someone finally said it, there is something systematically wrong with how we're paying educators, there is something systematically wrong with how we're treating educators, and some are getting upset, and they're leaving the classroom and they're finding different positions, and it breaks their heart, and that this is the community where they're finding all the people who are saying those things, and helping them you know, come to terms with that realization.
Jay Clouse 27:40
A lot of people tell me today that it's really hard to grow on Instagram, unless you're doing reels is that your current experience as well.
Daphne Gomez 27:49
My marketing director really likes being when I do reels for her, because she does track it. And she's able to say, if you did a reel on this or that, then she's able to say, look, this week 1000 People started following you from this reel. However, I struggle with this because I don't want to be dancing to the Cha Cha Cha and saying, Hey, teachers quit your job. There's a crisis right now. So we're very mindful of a lot of the things that we have been doing is just me giving a lot of concrete advice. Here's a quick teacher transmission resume writing Ted, I was talking to a teacher who was writing her resume for a variety of roles. And she was wondering, should I use past experience? Outside of education? I worked in retail, I worked at a restaurant. Should I put that on my resume? My answer was yes. And make sure that it is tailored to showcase how those skills translate into the roles that you're applying for talking reels, but not as much dancing or funny or cutesy reels, especially with something that's really serious and challenging. Because it's pretty tone deaf to be, you know, dancing to the next Black Eyed Pea song, but also saying like, quit your job. It's really hard.
Jay Clouse 29:05
Yeah, yeah. You mentioned that a big part of your approach aligned with this is you encourage people to like really think about whether they want to spend money on the course, which is the thing that you sell, that generates revenue for the business. What else have you done to help generate revenue for the business that is not directly selling to the viewer, the customer or the teacher?
Daphne Gomez 29:28
We do affiliate marketing, we're really strategic and picky on who we find are great partners for us. So it could be someone who sells courses that are helping someone become a specific type of job. It could be someone who actually does paid that is a recruiting service that will help people find positions but there's no cost for the teachers, different free programs that have affiliate commissions for just like that trial period we find have been really good fit So I haven't done as much affiliate marketing or ads as I probably could with an audience as large as we have. But really, right now, we have been successful with just our own paid services. If they know that they need it, then it comes to, you know, they have all the resources in one place, and they're happy. And it's been enough to actually keep all of our team thriving and the business sustained.
Jay Clouse 30:30
That's amazing. Yeah, that's why I asked because you mentioned your marketing director, I'm not sure how many more people you have on your team. But that's a pretty significant operational cost, I would assume, you know, yourself included.
Daphne Gomez 30:41
Yeah, we have a couple of like part time roles, virtual assistant roles, we have a actual human resources consultant who's been with me for the last four or five years, building all of it, she has 10 plus years, and, you know, helping write resumes and all of that behind the scenes, recruiting types of experience that I did not have, and helping people find different roles that they're a good fit for. So she's on the team. And then we also have a couple of other part time people were hiring a customer support person next week, knock on wood. And it's, it's been sustaining with that just being our main source of income.
Jay Clouse 31:23
When we come back, Daphne, and I talk about her Instagram collaboration strategy and the success of her podcast right after this. Hey, welcome back. Daphne's subscriber and follower growth is crazy. When you look at her subscriber growth chart in her media kit, it's basically a 45 degree line up into the right. So I asked her what has worked well for her in terms of collaboration. So with
Daphne Gomez 31:51
looking for my target audience, which were teachers who are asking for different career opportunities, there are a couple of large teacher meme pages that are just grumpy and say over and over again, you know, I hate this job. I hate these kids. I hate this job. I hate these kids. So I just reached out and I said, one, some of these memes are funny, but also, you know, seeing them over and over again, can weigh you down mentally. What would your thoughts be? Do you think your audience would be interested in learning about this course? And she said, Absolutely, I get this question almost on a daily basis, I would love to have an affiliate link for you. Another approach that I've done is someone that I really respect in the education space, she's actually created a similar priced course, that is well established and has helped 1000s of teachers 10s of 1000s of teachers actually create sustainable work life balance, instead of just saying, Okay, go take a bubble bath on a Sunday and make sure you practice self care, she walks them through, this is what you're doing that's making your work a little bit harder. Yes, the system is unfair, yes, the system is giving you too much. But here are the different steps that you can take to shave off hours off of your work week and make it more sustainable. I've partnered with her where if teachers are planning on staying in the classroom, I just say, please check out her podcast, please check out her other resources. And if she hears that in their voice, that there is nothing that can help them stay in that position, and they have to leave. She also pushes them towards my direction. And being able to give people honest options. It's not a one size fits all answer. And not everybody should be looking to quit their jobs as a solution to their problem. Some of them may just need to find mental health support. And this isn't something that I earn revenue from, but I just kind of push them towards. Here's a podcast that we did that helps you find cheap and affordable therapy, and maybe you want to explore that way before even trying to quit your job.
Jay Clouse 33:58
A couple follow ups on that those sounds like pretty in depth partnerships where it's almost a direct line to the paid product. What What about anything you do to just get in front of new people in a more lightweight way? Is that a type of collaboration that you do much
Daphne Gomez 34:16
going on other people's podcasts or jazz? Do you mean like on social media or more podcasting?
Jay Clouse 34:21
All of it? Yeah, I had assumed seeing how how much success you've had on Instagram that there was probably some sort of lighter weight collaborations of like sharing your post onto someone else's page. And that gets some awareness, but it's not necessarily like hey, it sounds like you need this resource. Go buy it. It's more just introducing you to other people's audiences.
Daphne Gomez 34:40
Yeah, so I have had a lot of larger name accounts, kind of push people into my direction of here's all these free resources. Here's all this community that you can find. What I have been doing a lot is talking on Instagram. If someone says Seems like they have threads going on their Instagram account. And it's like a huge education focused Instagram account that looks open to talking about this issue. I may say, Hey, I have a free resource that walks them through how to check where they are on their pension schedule, to see whether or not it's actually going to be a huge pay cut. Because there are people who are closer to retirement that unfortunately should probably really evaluate that option before they jump ship right now. And so giving that really transparent, it's not a one size fits all, I'm not trying to say everyone should lead, here's some free resources I've already created, that your audience may learn from has helped people direct them to me as well, because they know that's what we're just constantly working to try and create those free resources to answer these big questions. And most education focus like podcasts, there are a few who will have me on some just, they're afraid to touch the subject right now, it's a really sensitive subject. And making sure that you do it mindfully is something that a lot of people are struggling with. And the biggest challenge is how do we keep people and I never really wanted to create as much momentum as we're creating right now. And it is a very challenging situation to be in because I almost want to just funnel them to other if someone has a solution, where can I push them to?
Jay Clouse 36:29
Yeah, the way that you're describing a lot of these collaboration opportunities, it sounds like you're doing a lot of the outreach, would you say that most of your collaborations are outbound, you reaching out to other parties?
Daphne Gomez 36:41
I think it's been more natural than really something that we focused on it would be I'm following so and so when I say they're following so and so. And then I can tell that our the way that we approach the issues and education feel very aligned. And then maybe I'll say something natural on their page of adding some value, but not in a hey, I don't think I've ever sent a hey, do you want to collab request? If I did, it was really three or four years ago, and I went oh, yeah, I when we first when we first started, I absolutely did say hey, would you want to collaborate, but now it's just been very natural. And I would have to say it's just very niche. So not a lot of people who are supporting this audience. And that's where a lot of people are just naturally finding me and wanting to kind of become a partner in some capacity or help other people find these resources.
Jay Clouse 37:37
Yeah, this is the poll. This is the good stuff. This is the stuff like if you find yourself in a position where you can have this type of impact, and you're one of the only voices talking about it. That's just like such a good place to make an impact. That's awesome. Let's talk a little bit about the podcast. You launched that in October of 2020.
Daphne Gomez 37:57
Listen, I remember how difficult it was for me when I decided to leave teaching, and I felt like I had to do it all on my own. I knew many other teachers face the same tough decisions, so I vowed to build the community and resources. I wish I had to support others as they figure out their next steps. I'm Daphne Williams, a former teacher turned educational consultant, Instructional Designer and six figure business owner. I'm watching the teacher Career Coach podcast to help answer your most challenging questions. I want you to find happiness and fulfillment, whether you work inside or outside of the classroom. My weekly podcast will feature experts to help you battle teacher burnout, interview former teachers to share their stories, and even offer some solid advice for starting your own business. Make sure to hit that subscribe button now. So you don't miss the first episode of the teacher Career Coach podcast.
Jay Clouse 38:51
Probably not a small consideration, because you could have done a number of things. You could have said no, we're doing Tiktok we're doing YouTube, you did a podcast, which I know has some challenges when it comes to organic growth. And it's doing very well. So talk to me about how that experience has gone why you decided to podcast in the first place. And then we'll talk a little bit about growth.
Daphne Gomez 39:10
Yeah, the teacher and me had to evaluate the different types of mediums for training and teaching people. And I chose a podcast because as many blogs as I can write about becoming an instructional designer, or how this teacher became a project manager or how someone even became a UX designer after the classroom, they're going to read that they're going to read academic vocabulary, and they're gonna say, That's too smart for me. That's outside of my comfort zone. But if they hear a former third grade teacher come on and say, Yeah, I took a bootcamp and now I'm a software engineer, and it's easier than my position as a third grade teacher and it's a voice that sounds like them. It's someone human. They're going to overcome their imposter syndrome. It's an easy way for me to do informational interviews for teachers who did not have exposure. To a large network of former teachers in a variety of roles, but it's also somewhere where I can bring on people to talk to them about the really important other issues that may be impacting them and do it and kind of a strategic funnel of, if you are thinking of leaving, start here. And when you're starting here, here are some people who are talking to you about creating sustainable practices or different ways to implement self care. I had mental health therapists come on, it's the easiest way for me to bring on those voices, and get in front of them so that they find the support that they need, wherever they are. And if they do continue to want to pursue other options, they're not as intimidated. I also think it's important that they have to hear all my word salad moments, and that I was a professional development trainer for a huge company, for some reason, they found value in the way that I approach things. But I am not perfect. And teachers struggle with perfectionism. And they don't want to put themselves out there because they don't feel like they're an expert. And so I wanted to do it in a way that I'm not able to go back and re edit everything or make sure that every word is articulated perfectly, that I have those flaws, and that I'm a human and that, you know, they can do whatever it is that they want to do, if that is what they choose to
Jay Clouse 41:23
Daphne Gomez 41:33
so we are at all time downloads 350,000 A little bit over that the podcast predictor on Buzzsprout is telling me we're over 8000 downloads for that's the first 90 days. And this did not happen overnight, I had a huge audience. And they did not go directly from my email saying I have a podcast for months. A lot of them were hesitant. They said, We're not podcast people. And a lot of them may still will clearly a lot of them are still not listening to it. But what's happening is people are finding so much value from this podcast that they're going and they're sharing it at their schools, when other people are saying, I have no idea where to start, someone will say I've actually been listening to this podcast. And I also wanted to do something that was easy to do on a teacher schedule. So if you're commuting to and from work, or you're doing something at home, it's not like doing homework and sitting down and reading a blog can be a little bit harder. This is somewhere where you can take pieces of information. I think it's a lot of word of mouth marketing. And it's just the need for it right now. And just continuing to just share as much free content as we are able to has really helped it continue to grow.
Jay Clouse 42:49
How have you encourage your listeners to leave ratings on Apple podcasts? Because you have a very good ratio of reviews to those numbers you just shared. And again, I'm jealous. I'm saying what is this juice? How do you get people to leave these reviews?
Daphne Gomez 43:05
Pleading crying? No, I'm kidding. paying them off. I will do all of that. I've I've left it as the call to action on quite a few podcast episodes, really just saying it over and over and over again. And a lot of it is saying, hey, no one really knows that the support exists. And you know that the need for the support exists. So can you please leave a podcast so that more people are able to find this support. And that has been something that has helped. This is also a little tricky. If you have an audience that likes you, and you've created this personal brand, I had one or two of my first yucky reviews, which is probably I'll say it's like a principal, probably my old principal is giving me my like first negative review. But I was able to take a screenshot and say, Hey, can a couple of you pop on and if you do like the podcast, give me a good review. And I saw an uptick of like 40 that day. People are people are salty and red, they'll finally jump to defend you. If they really do listen and care about the podcast. So that might be a trick that you may be able to use also.
Jay Clouse 44:19
I need more haters is what you're saying. Yeah,
Daphne Gomez 44:22
so if anyone hates my voice, listening to this episode of Jays podcast and you want to leave a negative review for having some of the vocal fry on you can go ahead and do that right now. But everyone who likes Jay give them a five star.
Jay Clouse 44:36
Yes, please. I recently interviewed Tori Dunlap, who has Instagram account her first 100k just crushes it. She's so good at Instagram. She launched a podcast in was like immediately number one in Apple podcasts and Spotify. I didn't get to talk to her about this on the show because I ran out of time. But I went exploring I'm like how did she do this? And from what I could tell she heavily incentivize ratings and reviews by offering like, giveaways have recourse.
Daphne Gomez 45:05
So we have also done that as well. We've done Starbucks gift cards when we were first starting, and then a couple of course enrollments. And if your course is passive, and there's not as much hand holding in it, it's easy to use that as a giveaway. So we absolutely had done that before. Also, I didn't see as much actual results from that. So we kind of stopped doing it.
Jay Clouse 45:30
Yeah, I'm just trying to do I'm like, tell me the tactics. Daphne, how did you do this growth so fast? And you're just like, people needed what I had, and they like it. It's like, okay, that's, that's probably a good strategy.
Daphne Gomez 45:43
I think a lot of it is just, honestly, we get DMS on our Instagram 50 a day. And they say, I am struggling with X problem. And were able to say, obviously, we cannot answer x problem, and three or four sentences. But we already created a free resource that walks you through all of the different factors you may need to consider with X problem. And here it is, it's on a podcast. And now you're stuck listening, and you're probably gonna get addicted because it's so good, and you can't walk away from it. And people being able to, like, get that personalized response and know that somebody is creating the resources to help them walk through these really tricky parts of their lives. That does, you know, at the end of it when it says, If this helped you please leave a review. That is where I think we're seeing a lot of movement with the reviews.
Jay Clouse 46:41
So looking forward now, what are you focused on for growing this business and even expanding your impact,
Daphne Gomez 46:48
we have a actual sister company that we launched right around November 2021, which is called qualified team solutions. It is a recruiting partner that basically we are helping the companies that want to hire the top qualified candidates, whether it's an ad tech company that's looking for like a sales professional, or if it's a company that's looking for someone that would be their learning and development manager, were able to actually look at our database and see these are the people who have been upskilling. These are the people who have been really shining in these roles, because we have such great relationships with such a huge community. So that is what we were building. And we are working on. The majority of what we are doing right now is supporting this huge audience for the next few months to see what happens because this is unprecedented times, which is my least favorite word and I'm sure everybody's least favorite word. But making sure that we are building the systems to support more people than we've ever seen before year after year we've grown but this is it is a challenge with how many teachers are considering leaving the classroom. So we're just getting our processes in place to make sure it's sustainable to continue to do so well.
Jay Clouse 48:06
I am so impressed by Daphne's business, you can just feel how much your community loves her her content and the help that she provides. There's just no substitute to having a differentiated voice and message that is perfect for a growing audience of people who need that message. Combine that with an incredible work ethic and a plus content when you get an incredible business like Daphne has here. If you wanna learn more about Daphne, you can visit her website teacher career coach.com or find her on Instagram at teacher career coach. Links to both are in the show notes. Thanks to Daffy for being on the show. Thank you to Emily Clouse for making the artwork for this episode. Thanks to Nathan Todhunter for mixing the show and Brian Skeel for creating our music. If you like this episode, you can tweet at Jay Clouse and let me know and if you really want to say thank you, please leave a review on Apple podcasts or Spotify. Thanks for listening, and I'll talk to you next week. A Sonic universe
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