March 22, 2022

Episode 77 - What It Takes To Be An Social Media Influencer With Jackie Horbrook


This episode promises gems as the founder of Black Christian Influencers (BCI) Jackie "The Educator" Horbrook gives the behind-the-scenes of starting, growing and scaling a successful community-based business.

 

This is definitely one to add to your success archives. So, grab your pen and paper or favorite device and join the conversation.

 

What You Will Learn:

  • How to know when to take a backseat to the brand 
  • Focus on the one thing
  • The difference between a personal brand and a brand that you’re not the face of
  • What a successful influencer looks like
  • How to monetize as an influencer
  • Do’s and don’ts of being an influencer
  • What to do with people who slept on you as you were coming up
  • How to get attention from those who rejected you initially
  • How to audit your social media page on your own
  • How to gain traction when you’re starting out on social media
  • When do you know to start a second business
  • The importance of automation
  • The benefit of community
  • What makes you a CEO
  • How to use other people’s content to grow your Instagram
  • How to choose your niche
  • How to be successful when first starting and/or wanting to scale

 

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Transcript

Nicky Saunders  
whats poppin whats poppin whats poppin Welcome to Nicky and Moose, im Nicky that's most was the most one of y'all and listen we got a special special guests today. I'm founder, CEO, just overall dope person for a BCI influencer agency and of course the Christian travel club. Okay we wanted to bring a little different side from people who work with influencers people like you you talking about? I want to be this content creator. I want to be this influencer, but we had to bring somebody who actually does this, like does this does this. And if you don't know who I'm talking about, we're talking about Jackie The Educator. Okay. Alright. Right most How are we feeling about this episode?

Mostafa Ghonim  
Man, I'm excited. I was watching some videos before before we jumped on and I'm like, Oh, I love I love how original, right? It's like you don't get the boss. You don't get the business. You're gonna get all of it. So I'm like, Yep, let's, let's jump into it.

Nicky Saunders  
Lets get into this intro

Jaymie Jordan  
Two kids from Queens. Cut from a different cloth. Now joining forces helping you to elevate your personal brand. Yeah, I'm talking about Nicky and moose. Bringing you a never before seen perspective into the mindset, the mentality to behaviors, the driving force, or more importantly, the stories behind the people and brands that you know and love the most.

Nicky Saunders  
So we're not gonna wait too long. We just got we just gonna bring her up. We got so many questions for her. It's gonna be disgusting. So let's, let's just get Jackie. On right here. We get her. What's up, Jackie?

Jackie The Educator  
What's going on Nicky and Moose. I'm feeling good, man. It's a great day.

Nicky Saunders  
Okay, where are you at? And is it cold?

Jackie The Educator  
Oh, of course. I'm in Chicago, the Windy City Of course. And it is freezing. But it is a great place to live. If you know how to live here. You know what I mean? Just get your, your your lots of gear. Do lots of layers, and you're usually comfortable. I love Chicago.

Nicky Saunders  
Okay. Okay. I think it's only warm once a month. I mean, one month of the year, but that's cool. All right. shout out  Listeners in Chicago, but before anything, Jackie, look, let the people know who you are. Like, just just let it get warm and fuzzy about you.

Jackie The Educator  
Yeah, so I go by Jackie, the educator on social media. I am an educator by profession spent a lot of money on some degrees, to become an educator and get my master's in education and counseling. But what I do as a profession now is totally different. I'm the founder and CEO of black Christian influencers, which is a community of influencers that help each other to grow and network and to build. And yeah, we do a lot of things within that community. But our page on social media is where we've seen a lot of our notoriety. So you check us out, we just made 100k This past weekend. We're pretty excited about that. But behind the scenes, we are doing big things. We operate as an influencer agency. We have a travel club where we take people on retreats around the world and do exotic things and lots more to come conferences and seminars, all that good stuff happens behind the scenes. So that's me, man. That's all of the stuff that I do.

Nicky Saunders  
Thats fire thats fire.

Mostafa Ghonim  
Wow, tell us the backstory Jackie because that's, that's a very interesting track to go from the traditional route of education, to then starting this entrepreneurship journey. Give us the backstory. How did that come about?

Jackie The Educator  
Yeah, so honestly, I started out by just trying to be an effective educator, I realized that my students were not paying attention in class, they were just looking elsewhere on social media scrolling, and I'm like, dude I want to be where their attention is. And so I decided to actually create a platform so that I can engage with them while they were actually doing the scrolling that they normally do. And it actually worked out on the campus. I was actually pretty known by the students, even students who didn't take my class or can't come into my office. It really worked. And honestly, it started to go further than I thought it would into having reach outside of just my campus, which is what I didn't expect. But I started to pick up very quickly that this could be an opportunity. So I built that and I kept moving with Jackie the educator and adding new components. and learning how to monetize getting brand advertisement opportunities. And from there, I was like, Yo, man, this is a whole new world that I had no idea about. I've spent all this money on an education, but I had no idea that this existed and was an opportunity. And so from there, I just really started to dig in and learn from other educators that were influencers is actually a really big community of influencers and educators that are doing this. And so that's where I got a lot of my experience with community building and kind of working together to build each other's platforms. And from there, I was like, Yo, Christians need this do we need to like get organized, get on this thing. So I decided to build this for a Christian community, specifically black Christians to help them to be more intentional with monetizing, creating opportunities, building a platform, because this network thing, this social media network is going to be big. And if we don't jump in and really take advantage of the opportunity, while it's here, we're going to lose out. So I decided to build a community. And from there, it just kind of exploded quicker than I could have imagined. And so much so that I ended up having to leave my career to make this whole new transition of being a CEO, entrepreneur, I'm my own influencer page has taken a backseat to the community and the career path that I'm on now as a CEO, because there's just so much to do, man, I can't even explain how much opportunities it is.

Nicky Saunders  
Easy and chin lock something in me. Motion. Okay, man. So let's, let's talk about this. You said some really dope. You said your page had to take a backseat. Because of how great everything was happening, right? Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Talk, talk to me about that transition. Like, what was that moment that you were like? Okay, this could wait, like, I could do this anytime. Clearly, I can do this anytime. But this needs my focus, I literally got to leave the nine to five, like, what I thought was Jackie, is now forming into something else and something bigger, like, talk to us about that transition? And how did you know?

Jackie The Educator  
Yeah, so honestly, I tell people all the time, my main objective is to follow the data, I follow where the trends and the data is taking me. So if it's showing me that I'm having my most success with this opportunity, right with the influencers and building the community, that's where I'm going to devote my time, right. And so I think a lot of times we get so like, held on what our idea of what it will look like is that we don't leave room for opportunity to expand into what is needed right now. And so for me, I was like, Yo, my influencer page will be there. But this community right now is experiencing, like, huge growth and opportunity. And so if I don't take advantage of it now, who knows when it's going to return. So I just shifted all of my momentum to that platform. And now like, it pays off, because I'm well into the six figure range, just from these businesses that I've created. And, you know, Jackie The Educator will be there. And so sometimes you just have to be able to shift your focus on what is currently having the most success, and put your energy into that because every other door can open up from one thing, like, that's the thing I keep telling people that sometimes you have to like, lock on to one thing and make that really good, be focused on it so that you can really use that one thing to catapult you and everything else you have inside of you, man, but you really just need that one good idea that one good thing that's gonna make you stand out for you to really get everything else to shine as well.

Mostafa Ghonim  
That's, that's so cool, Jackie. And it's almost like very selfless. It's there's a lot of discipline into that, because I think a lot of people, they want the attention. And so they push their personal brand. First, talk about what you learned in the beginning of that journey where it wasn't so much pushing your personal brand or a company that's named after you. But a company that's for the community is for the culture, it's for the people. How does that differ when someone is looking to do that? Maybe somebody listening to this wants to do something similar? And so like, hey, you know what, let me give that a try. How does that differ when starting that type of business or that type of page? Yeah, so

Jackie The Educator  
I always tell people, I'm an introvert. I've started out with that. And I'm always going to be that way. And so I don't necessarily seek out the limelight or attention. I actually prefer to be in the background, kind of like moving things around. And so for people who are like that crazy creating platforms that platform other people are actually it's actually a really great opportunity because now you get to lead from behind. And you don't have to always show your face, I don't always have to show up and create and be the person who's in front. Because when you're the brand, you have no choice, right, you have to show your face. But for me, being a person who's building a community and highlighting other individuals, I get to take the backseat, I get to push them and show them what they need to do. And for me, that's where I think I want to end up because I actually plan on retiring in the next five years or so. And I can easily do that and not have to worry about maintaining a personal face to the world in order for my business to continue. So that was my goal, honestly, when I started this is that I want it to be able to continue and maintain something without being the face of it. Because again, it's setting me up to be able to transition people won't even know when I'm not running it anymore, because I'm not the person who's steering and who's seen all the time. So that's the goal for me is to be able to disappear at some point.

Mostafa Ghonim  
That's a good word. Did you hear that? Nicks, create platforms that platform other people. Wow, wow. Okay. Okay. Come on. Jackie, we see a bar.

Nicky Saunders  
Yes. I am mad at it. Okay. So, this let's let's get into class real quick. Let's get into class because some people are like, Okay, you're talking about this influencer stuff. This is great to you. What is the influencer? And what type of influencer normally catches your eye?

Jackie The Educator  
So I think for me, it's an influencer is someone who's able to be natural and organically grab attention. Like without even trying, you're just somehow garnering people's attention. And sometimes that's hard. Because we get on camera and we become a different person. We're not ourselves anymore. We become fake, we become disingenuous. It seems so stiff. And you know, honestly, that is hard for an influencer to get momentum when people don't feel like they connect or when it's not natural, or when it feels like it's forced, right? So an influencer is very comfortable with being themselves to the world and intentional on what they're getting out of it. Right. So when you become so comfortable, and also intentional. Now you've hit into this realm of being an influencer, where you can start to get opportunities and share yourself in a different way. Right? So if you are an influencer, or you call yourself an influencer, I think it's important that you start to even set yourself up to get opportunities. And that's where I prepare a lot of the people in our organization to do right. So they are not just setting themselves up to be known for being funny, but to also be someone who can become a business or who can set themselves up to get money, and also be able to be funny. So that's what the goal should be as an influencer. So that's what I think.

Mostafa Ghonim  
I love it. I love it. Now, how does how does that type of platform more influencers make money? For like the average person who's like, what is the business of influencer marketing look like? Right? How do people make money on that type of platform? Jackie?

Jackie The Educator  
Yeah, so it's so many different ways. Obviously, you have advertisements, you have brand opportunities where you can collaborate and share their products, right. But then you also and this is the part that I push is you have the opportunity to create your own and share it. So if you want to create your own t shirt line, if you want to create your own class or create your own product and share that now you're not only setting yourself up as an influencer, but you're setting yourself up as a business owner, which is going to give you that lasting results and lasting income that will set yourself up for life. So that's what I believe we should be putting a lot of our emphasis on is setting ourself up and not so much setting other people up, right. And so I know a lot of brands because I have the agency and it's great. And we do a lot of things where we get influencer quick money, but the quick money will be here and gone very quickly. So you got to be able to have a plan so that this money will continue to carry on. That's why I'm so excited about this subscription opportunity that's launching with Instagram. I think you guys shared that too, because it's going to give people the opportunity to have consistent income. And that is where you're going to be able to have content creators that are being actually compensated for what they're delivering. Because right now it's not happening. And I believe that we have to be able to set ourself up with subscription models. I did that before it was even like a popular thing right before the whole only fans and all that stuff. I was setting up my subscription model because I got two kids to feed and I can't be dependent on you know here tomorrow I got a $10,000 contract and then for the next two months I have nothing I need a consistent income and so I think for influencers who are looking to be lasting in this industry you need to set yourself up with some type of subscription model I don't know only fans or you know some of these other platforms that help you to have consistent income monthly that you can can depend on and that's what I believe a lot of us should be focusing on is creating our own

Nicky Saunders  
Can I ask the question moose why Onlyfans and not Patreon? Only curiosity, the fact that some controversy or Bz, I was just wondering, why did we lose? I'm all I'm all the questions.

Jackie The Educator  
We don't judge only fans. I mean, those people on there some people want to judge them, but I'm not because they didn't make money consistently. I'm a fan of all of them, Patreon. I mean, Wix is so many different platforms. Even some of these domain platforms like Wix have their own subscriptions that you can use that actually are a little bit easier for you to get more money from, but any of them are good, okay, whether you're only fans Patreon, or this new facebook, instagram Wondershare coming out with having consistent income is the way to go.

Nicky Saunders  
Okay, okay, that wasn't that wasn't really my question, but I had I had to ask

she leading with it, go subscribe to Jackie's Onlyfans . Okay, I'm sorry, I'm sorry. Okay, let me let me act right, let me act right. So, um, give the people because you've worked with some amazing influencers, there's some that I've followed that I enjoy their content, right, um, but give the people some do's and don'ts. If they want to be considered a serious influencer, that could possibly be a part of vci. But just in general, just like, I want to be an influencer, I hear it like, cool, boom, boom, I want to get the brand deals, I want to do all this, but like, what are some, like, what are some do's and don'ts if they want to be serious about it?

Jackie The Educator  
I think first of all, is that you cannot be a person who lives in a cave, a lot of influencers don't understand that you have to network in order to grow your platform, you know, just creating content is not enough. You know, if I don't ever get out to get to know Nicky, or get to know the people who are currently doing this, well, then I'm never going to see myself have those exploding moments on social media. And so I think for me, at least, I think it's very important to develop relationships. And so a lot of the people, I would say, 90% of the people you see on our platform, I have personally connected with at some point, or invited them to be a part of our network. That's the difference between our page which posts content and other pages is that we actually know the people that we post. And I feel like that's what's going to give you a lot of lasting success. If you start to get to know some of these people, the people, your even fans, the people that are supporting you and liking and commenting. If you're not willing to get to know the people, then you probably won't be someone who gets a lot of opportunities. And so I hope that that's something that they're doing, because all of the influencers that I work with are people people, I guess, does that make sense?

Nicky Saunders  
Oh, yeah, yeah. What some don't want some don'ts though. What some don'ts.

Jackie The Educator  
Ah, some don'ts. I think you definitely don't want to be close minded, especially for me, I'm a Christian influencer, but you won't find me judging or cutting off people or, you know, just because you don't believe what I believe I'm not going to associate myself with you. I feel like that will cut you off from opportunities as well. And so don't be a closed minded influencer, you know, be open to people who are different than you be open to people who have like different styles. You know, don't think that your style is the best. And you know, because you talk on your posts and somebody else dances that you're less or more important than them. It has to be a balance of you appreciating everybody around you, for you to really start to get some success. And to get some respect. I believe a lot of times we are so focused on the numbers that we forget that it's important to have integrity, integrity matters. When your name is starting to get out there. People are going to associate it with certain things and you want it to be good thing. So when I talk about Nicky, I know that she's like she's on point she's always like on time when I asked her to Do something for me. So I know that anybody who asked me about Nicky, I'm gonna have nothing but positive things to say because that word of mouth can kill you. So don't be an influencer, who creates a bad rep for yourself, start now operating in integrity.

Mostafa Ghonim  
Jackie, you mentioned integrity. And I believe that one of the things that builds integrity is adversity. So I like to highlight that on every episode, especially when we have guests on because we all go through them. And I never want someone listening to believe that they're just gonna start something and jump straight to the top, shoot straight to the top with no issues along the way, slow it down a little bit and talk about some of those challenges that you might have had to face and overcome and maybe still deal with today, you know, to to keep this still running after all.

Jackie The Educator  
Yeah, so I mean, at first, when I started BCI, I remember specifically reaching out to people and not getting any responses, I felt like, you know, felt bad to have, you know, people that you thought would support you early on, not support you. But what I've learned very quickly is that you do not now that you're starting to gain momentum, or gain some opportunities, cut those people off, because that is something that will stop you from getting more opportunities. And so I opened myself up to people who even rejected or didn't even give me the time of day before, I don't act or you know, try to go back to that, like, yeah, back then you didn't want me now I'm hot No, I definitely maintain,

I gotta be real, though. Because a lot of times, we want to hold on to things and hold grudges. And we misuse people because they misused us. And that's not the way to be, obviously, I'm not going to preach, but it's just real good business for you to be open even to people who may have neglected or you know, slept on you early on, because later on down the line, they'll know like, do man, that person they was legit, even when I wasn't even paying them no attention. You never know what opportunities will come from that. And I've had several things developed into big opportunities, just because I was able to bury the hatchet and not be a person that holds on to grudges.

Mostafa Ghonim  
Hmm, how did you know I was just gonna double back? How did you start gaining the attention of those people that might have overlooked you at first? Were there some strategic things that you started to see like, Oh, this is what captures their attention?

Jackie The Educator  
Yeah, so this is gonna be crazy. So I actually did not like, run up after those people who didn't respond to me at first. So I, I didn't hold a grudge, but I definitely didn't focus on them. Like our organization focuses on people that are up and coming. There's a lot of talent out there that hasn't even been recognized or seen. And so for us, we didn't focus on the people who ignored us. When they ignored us, we say cool, all right, talk to you later. But we didn't try to like keep chasing after them or, you know, doing things to get their attention. No, we've just moved on. Because there are a lot of people in this room. And so we definitely focused on the individuals that focused on us. And we still do to this day, like if you work with us, we don't work with you. We don't care if you got 10 followers or 20,000 we don't work with you, we got to be a part of what you're doing and support you. And now it's really, you know, came around because those people who ignored us now they're trying to work with us. And we're like, Hey, what's going on? Like how you been? We didn't need you. But we want you like, come on board. We cool? Come on, be a part of this. So that's something I will tell people like, Hey, don't be chasing after people. If they're not ready to work with you move on. There's plenty of other people in this world to work with.

Nicky Saunders  
So let's talk success. Your finest memory, your best success story in your agency. Talk Talk about uh, who was it? If you want to drop names, whatever it is, like, let's talk success.

Jackie The Educator  
Yeah, so let's talk success. I definitely have worked with some great influencers. I'm excited that we've had the opportunity to, honestly some people that you wouldn't even technically still know like, they have 100,001 of my best friends right now, Chantal Smith. Um, I started working with her when she had like, maybe 1000 followers, and now she has over 100k She was recently on survivor. And you know, she's doing some great things coming up. So she's one of my best friends now. And so as I mentioned her because I care about relationships, I could care less about titles and you know, who you were before and what you've done. But for me, I care about people with integrity and developing relationships. And so Chantal, you know, one of my good friends now who's blown up is somebody that I really love and I appreciate now so go check her out. She's super funny, and you know, she's really blowing up right now. So I've worked with her to get brand deals. We've worked with her to build her platform up to where it is, and so many other people, honestly, I feel like we get so many messages from people who just are saying like, Yo, how you featured us really bumped me and gave me some momentum. And I can't believe like we got to 100,000 followers now when we started with 20. Like, it's so quick for you to get opportunities once one person opens the door. So we've opened the door for a lot of influencers. Hmm.

Mostafa Ghonim  
That's amazing. That's amazing. Yeah, I think of, and correct me if I'm wrong with this, Jackie. But I think, at least on with BCI, there is a concept of having to find talents, almost like talents being a talent scout, right? Yeah. Yeah. And a big part of talent scout is or just scouting in general, is you want to see people before they almost entirely blow up, right? It's like, you're predicting that this person is going to do some incredible things. Any criterias that you've used, like? Well, I don't know if you want to give us the whole secret sauce. But can you give us a few ingredients or the secret sauce? On what you look for what you see that you're like, Okay, if this person continues down this path, I can really see them doing some incredible things. So let's let's maybe reach out to them, or at least build a relationship with them?

Jackie The Educator  
Yeah, we definitely I feel like that's my secret skill is being able to kind of like, grab onto people before they explode. But some things that I look for actually, really is the development of a timeline. And so I love it when people have content from maybe like, you know, a year ago, up until now, because it helps me to see their growth, it helps me to see like, okay, they started off here with this broke down looking camera, and this crazy look in filter. But now they've developed they got this type of lighting, and it looks better, and their content looks more natural. And you can see the progression almost of their content and their style. And so it's almost like a predictive analytics, because now you can say, Okay, if they went from that to that, within this time frame, imagine what they could do with a little bit more exposure and a little bit more of like a direction, how quickly more they can develop. And so that's really what I do. Honestly, I look at the data. It's the nerd in me, I go back, and I look at what they've done, and how far they've come. And, you know, for me, it's even sometimes about the opportunity for people I look through their content, I go back and I look at the content that has gotten a lot of engagement, not necessarily views, but like likes and comments, comments. For me, if you got a lot of comments under your posts, I don't even look at how many of you because sometimes it just didn't pick up. But if your post is like it has a lot of comments under it, that's usually an indicator that that piece was really insightful, or people enjoyed it, because they took the time out, to not just look at it and like it, but to actually take, like, that's a great indicator that that piece of content is strong. So I look for that to see if they have a lot of engagement and interaction. I also DM people to me, it's important to get to know them and to see how they respond to individuals that they don't know. And so for me when I reached out to you, I've had people that have had great content, but I reached out to them and they didn't respond. I'm like, you know, I hold off one I'm just because I am looking for somebody who I can develop a relationship with. And so usually, I try to get people who respond back. So that's another strategy of mine, even with influencers that are big and very well known, you may not see their content on our page until they respond back to the DMS. You know, unfortunately, my model has worked for me though, because my relationships are heavy. Like the relationships the people I have in my rolodex right now would blow your mind and the opportunities that we're working on, you know, strategically using, like not just oh, man, I want to work with you. No, no, no, sometimes you just develop relationships. And you just let it build into something until you have the right opportunity. And so for us, we really built relationships. And so a lot of our content are based off of the people that have been able to build back with us.

Nicky Saunders  
Okay, I'm gonna see if I could get a tool out of this. Let me see. Let me see. Some see. So for those people, um, you know, those people who want to become influencers or having to work with you one day, right, you said that you look at the analytics, right? Is there a particular tool that people could audit themselves before even stepping to you to see? Do I get my stuff right? Do I not what's happening? Like, is there a few? I don't know sites that you go to a software that you use that people could possibly order themselves.

Jackie The Educator  
Yeah, I mean, there are so many but the most the simplest one that a lot of people, when I talk to them don't even use are the view insights on your info, literally, under your posts, you can view the insights of that post. And I usually do calls with people and I say, Hey, can you open that up? For me? Can I just see what those numbers are and what that's looking like, because when you look at your insights and start to see, like, you know, this one got a lot of reach what happened, you know, this one right here, got a lot of engagement from my hashtags. This one had a lot of people from the Explore page, those are pieces that will really help you. And so before you get into all these other sites, these auditors' and social media, things that you can use, first try to look at what you have. And people don't even know like, You got to have your page set up to be a creator, or business to see those insights. And literally, when I tell you how many people I've talked to that don't even know like Yo, man, that's available, I didn't even know where to look for that it. Like that's something that is basic that you can use to start out with. And I feel like the other tools, Google there are so many honestly, the social media auditor's that you can use Nicky, I know, you probably have a long list of them. But I start off with the basics and just using your insights that are currently on your platform, so you can start to see which ones are working the best.

Nicky Saunders  
That was good enough for me.

Mostafa Ghonim  
Simple enough, that'll work. Hey, let's, let's switch it up for a moment here. Let's say someone is starting today. Let's say they just create a new profile literally today. What would what should they do? Like what What should their focus be to start gaining some level of attraction getting some people to pay attention? Because there's just so much out there right now? Like, how do you stand out amongst the noise? If you're just starting today?

Jackie The Educator  
Yeah, so I think you definitely want to pinpoint your niche like find your tribe, your people. And so many people are trying to be so broad. And like, I want to reach everybody, like I talked to, I just want to be a motivational speaker. Okay, who do you want to motivate? Because there are a lot of people in this world. And honestly, we don't notice you until you really appeal to me. So maybe you're a person who motivates people who are introverts, and you really love to help us to step outside of our box, maybe you love to talk to people who are, you know, struggling with, I don't know, being a single parent, and running his social media platform. Those are specific areas that you want to focus in on so that you can find that niche quickly. If you're too broad, you're going to have just way too many people and it's never going to be able to really be pinpointed. So you can use it effectively, right and use it in strategically. So I tell people all the time is fine your tribe, if you want sometimes I even like poll people that are currently noticed that yo, what do you think I'm good at? Based off of what you've seen of me? What do you think makes me different? Like, listen, like some people will be like, Yo, for some reason you're really funny man, like, I love it when you be talking about relationship, because you'll be having me cracking up because you're so real. That's a good indicator of what you should push more into. That's a good indicator of what you might be good at. And so sometimes you need other people to show you what's not obvious to yourself. So polls, are you people around you get the random feedback of people who say like, Yo, man, did you ever know that you really helped me with that one post that you did that day, on your Facebook page way back in 2020. You know, those little pieces that you put together will begin to formulate where you should start. That's what I tell people, I actually started with a page. That's not even public. Now. Don't try to look for it. But it was a page that I used to test out what I should be talking about. Because I started out doing comedy stuff. I started out doing a little bit of singing, because I have other talents. Right? I even started talking about my counseling, nonprofit that I have. And I had all these little things that I was putting out. But I had to figure out what worked for me and what audience wanted to hear from me, right? And people are like, well, I don't care what other people think I'm gonna do what I want well then fine, you just, you know, appeal to yourself, that's fine. You have that opportunity. But I suggest that you get opinions from other people so that you can learn what they want to hear from you because again, it's about getting yourself in position so that you can share the other things that you have. At some point I do want to share other things that I do but I have to first be able to find where I want to start

Nicky Saunders  
so I have one question, but I'm gonna steal a question from Mooses book I'm sorry, sorry, moose. Alright. Um, so you have BCI but then you have this travel joint Right, which one came first? Real quick before I asked my question, which one came first? Because yeah, BCI came first. All right. When did you know? It was time to do something else? Because I mean, you could concentrate on BCI. It's growing, it's making money. You know, everybody's happy. But then you created something else. Like, what inspired that? Because running two businesses can be a little stressful, man. Hold on. So talk to us about that. That situation.

Jackie The Educator  
Yeah. So honestly, I started out by doing BCI. And sharing content. And I know specifically, I remember sharing a piece of content that talked about travel, it was a destination, and my audience ate it up, like they engage. They were like, where's this at? You know, I want to go there, I want to do that. And in my mind, I'm like, oh, you know, like, wait a minute, that's an opportunity. Again, I tell you guys, I follow the data, I follow where the trends are going. And because of that post, solicit, it's so many people who were interested without me even trying, I was like, that's an area of opportunity. And, you know, just as soon as I did that, I was like, You know what, let's try it out. We're going to do an event, we're going to host a retreat and see what happens. I didn't name it the Christian travel club yet, I just wanted to test it out, right? Again, you got to be able to test out your theories. And so I tested it out, I put out this idea for a retreat, and just like that, with one post, I had over 100 people apply to attend that retreat. That's when I knew Alright, I need to create this LLC. Because this is something here, you know what I mean? It was easy, it was so easy that it would just seem like not right. And so that's how I knew from there, like, Yo, I gotta keep moving into this, like, I care about BCI. And we have this membership stuff. But I did focus on getting that thing. So that could be automated. So BCI. While I knew that I had another idea for the Christian travel club, I also knew I had to solidify BCI to work run autonomously. So I made sure that I got the systems in place, the automations in place, and the structure and the team so that that one can continue to, you know, produce income and work and flow like it does. But then also now I can really shift my attention to the Travel Club, which is also honestly more successful than BCI was within its first six months, for the travel club. Within the first six months, we already were generating six figures within the first six months. And that's how I knew like, Yo, we got to dig into this more. And so we're doing now retreats every quarter, and we're implementing more right with more travel agencies and working with them to solidify opportunities. It's a whole new area, I have no experience in but I saw the trend. And I'm making it work because of where the data showed me to go. It still goes back to that following the data. Like it's that simple.

Mostafa Ghonim  
Wow, that's cool. So So in, in, in a lot of ways, it's like you leveraged one platform, or one business to start the next. It's like, it's so simple. Sometimes, we can complicate things. That's incredible. So So since we're there, that's a different type of leadership now that we're talking about, right? It's one thing to be in charge of one business, you started it from the ground up, you probably know the ins and outs of it. But now we're overlooking two companies in a nonprofit that I also heard you mentioned, let's talk some leadership talk or some leadership, you know, strategies that you're deploying right now for one to lead and manage yourself. And then, of course, I'm sure there is a portion of that where it's hiring other people recruiting other people managing the team or something like that. What does what does that looked like overall?

Jackie The Educator  
Yeah, that probably was my hardest transition was relinquishing control. After you've had success with something you really want to, like, hold on to it like that. But the reality is, if you do that, you're gonna smother it, and eventually it will die. And so I had to learn that I had to relinquish some control. And so I had to put people in place. Thankfully, BCI is a community. That's what I tell people, build communities, because communities will allow for you to have people that know your vision that know what you're trying to accomplish, they can easily jump on board. So I use people within my community to step up to leadership positions. And so now within BCI, we have chapters in specific cities, right. And so right now, I think we're in like 14 cities. And we now have an overseer that oversees all of the Presidents for those cities who regularly meet with them and gives them instruction and helps them to, you know, create their events for those cities and things like that, but I don't I don't do any of that. I meet with our overseer once a month. And that's how I'm able to now have all of these chapters underneath me so people will look and be like, Oh, how She got chapters and presidents and all of these cities, and she's coming out with more. And she's doing a travel club, you delegate, you know. So I have one person that I talked to once a month, about the chapters, right. And now I have someone who I talked to about the retreats, I have a person that I put in place, who handles all the details and logistics, she just comes to me to check off on like what she needs to do next. And where should she go from here with things right, so now I'm becoming less of the doer of the details, and more of the delegator of the areas. And that's what becomes of a person who now transitions from being just a person who has all the hats to a person who now delegates and is able to be the real CEO of the business. Like I feel like I didn't really become a CEO, until I learned how to delegate. That's what made me a CEO. And that's where I feel like now, although I'm still very busy. I'm birthing more things, right? So now we have the influencer agency who has already signed its first 20k contract with the brand because now now we're able to do that, right? Because my attention isn't so focused on the little things of the things I've already built and established. It's now focused on building for the future and the next big vision for BCI. And so that's how I did it. Man delegation was huge. Finding the right people and being okay when people transition, because I've had a lot of people who've had to, like, start the position, because usually they're volunteer, and then they had to move on. But you can't be a person who's like, oh, my gosh, I can't continue because this person move No, you ready? Move on. Because there are so many people in this world that can do it. So make sure you always are ready with a resume and an outline to train for the next person. Because if you're always trying to like troubleshoot and figure out what to do next, you're never going to get ahead like I always I got itineraries and things planned out for when the next person comes in line just fall into place. And I can continue on. So that was it, man.

Nicky Saunders  
All right. I got I got one more question. And this is such a me question such a me question right. Your your Instagram page BCI. Kind of got to kind of got a serious following got you know what I mean like, yeah, As of today when this is being recorded. What's the following count?

Jackie The Educator  
Yo, we're at 100k, maybe almost 101 last time I looked.

Nicky Saunders  
Okay. So okay, know where I'm going with this. Alright How sway? How did you use other people's content to grow an account, just like that?

Jackie The Educator  
Yeah. So it honestly started out with me though. So as much as I like to share other content, I had to have a launching pad and Jackie The Educator, believe it or not, was bigger than BCI. At some point, right. I remember when I started BCI. Jackie, the educator had a launching pad of 10k. And so I use my platform to launch BCI. And I use my content occasionally to be on that page, right? I use my face to be the person who shares like things that are coming up, and our mission and our goals. But then I also brought people on board, I didn't look for everybody that was currently popular, right? So we didn't have a lot of posts from the Kirk Franklin's the Mary Mary's, Jonathan McReynolds, we didn't really share those people. Because again, they already got a space, I looked for people who needed us. And so I tell people all the time, if you're going to create a platform, make sure you fill it fulfill a need fulfill a void, and you'll find that you won't have to worry about growth, because you're actually going to have it organically. And so we had a lot of people that needed exposure. There weren't a lot of platforms when I started, that we're sharing people who had faith content. And so we fulfilled that void by being able to be that space. And so if you find that void, man, you're going to tap into unlimited potential.

Nicky Saunders  
Okay, Moose could I ask one more question. One more question. One more, one more. Okay, cuz I should have asked this earlier. And I didn't, because you mentioned a niche or for some people who want to say niche, however you want to go about it. Right? Um, with your agency. Why that that niche, like, what was your process of getting it down to that particular one? Because I mean, you could have just went influencer agency, just the whole thing, right? But you got really specific with black Christian influencers, literally the name of it. So talk talk to me real quick about the process of niching down

Jackie The Educator  
Yeah, so especially if you're a person who's new to an industry, maybe you don't have a lot of experience, or it's just something that you aren't a leader in, you have to niche down because that's going to be the only thing that sets you apart, right? There are millions and millions of other companies, I'm sure that are doing influencer marketing and influencer agencies, but there are probably zero, maybe maybe a few a handful of ones that do black Christian influencers, right. And so for me, focusing on that area just made me stand out more to where I didn't even have to go looking for our first brand opportunity, they came to us, because you have now made yourself to be the leading expert in that area without even trying, because you're the only expert in that area. And so that's how we got to become the influencer agency now. And so a lot of our clients, we don't have to chase after people, because they come to us, if they're looking to reach an audience of black Christians, they come to Black Christian Influencers, if you search Black Christian Influencers in Google, we're going to be the first people to pop up, because we're the only people really focusing on that area. And so if you want to duplicate that, though, I encourage people all the time is to, don't try to be the person that's for everybody try to be the person that reaches that one person, right? And you may be like, Well, how am I going to create a business off of one customer, but you're not, you're actually going to find that there are a lot more duplicates of that one person. And you're now going to be able to funnel all of those types to you directly. Because now you've identified where exactly your people are, you know that because that one person is with you, they probably know at least 10 other people that are like them. And now you can be very strategic on your outreach, you can be strategic on who you work with, because you know exactly what you want. And so the agency thing now is going on its own literally, because of our name, because we were so specific and what we targeted.

Mostafa Ghonim  
That's good. That's good. Very, very, like both genuine and genius, if you think about it, right, because like you set yourself up that way. Okay, so here's my last question, Jackie. And it'll kind of be a two part question. Think about the person again, I like to speak to those who are just starting today. And I also want you to speak to the person who has been at it for a while, but is struggling to really scale, really level up. What's a what's a mindset, like a mindset advice, piece of a mindset shift or something like that, that You would speak to to that person who's just starting, it's like, Hey, here's an adjustment that I need you to make from a mindset perspective, if you're just starting today. And here's an adjustment that you should make if you've been at it for a while, not getting the traction that you want to eventually break through and get going.

Jackie The Educator  
Yeah, I think for me, and this came easy, because I am an educator, but being a student, and always positioning yourself to be receiving of information and accepting of new things that you probably aren't good at, or I've never done. Like I never want to become somebody who is so stuck in my ways that I'm not able to see or hear other perspectives, because that's when you're going to hinder and stifle your success and growth. So I tell people, influencers that are starting out influencers that are really just learning and still maybe not seeing the results that they want, go become a student of somebody else, like follow these people that are doing it right. And be okay with trying new things, because not everything is gonna work for you. But if you're trying anything, that's a good step in the right direction. So you got to be able to step outside of your comfort zone and do things that you haven't done fast the only way you're going to really see success. Like if I never would have took a chance to start this idea. That seems stupid at first. I never would be who I am and where I am today. So you got to be okay with trying things that may look stupid to you. But actually maybe genius with time. 

Nicky Saunders  
Sheesh, listen, my dog wants to say hi, and say thank you. So I'm going to translate for her. But real quick, before we leave. I I just want to say thank you, right and your background, right. But we we created this platform to give people their flowers for what they're doing in the branding and business side of things. Right. And the fact that you've created a platform for for to let other people flourish is amazing. And it needs its own flowers, right. So from from the both of us I know moose gone  to say his own thing from from the both of us. Thank you for doing that. Because your platform, the count what you're doing, who you're highlighting is amazing. And needs air horns. Thank you. But before we go, where can people find you? You know, if they want to work with you, they're like, Okay, I think I got I think I got it. I think I called her I think, I think I can make money with her, this is gonna be great. Were could they? where could they apply. Is there an application? What are they doing? Like? What do they their

Jackie The Educator  
applications are on our page, our website. So if you go to the Instagram page, click the Lincoln bio, you'll see the application, or you can just go to our website, black Christian influencers calm and you'll see all of the details on how you can apply how you can be a part of a chapter or even how you can be a part in use the agency if you want. So Black Christian Influencers.com is the place to start.

Mostafa Ghonim  
super dope. Yeah. Just to follow up on now. Jackie, I definitely want to thank you for your selflessness. I think you know that for me. That's what stands out. It's like man, incredibly selfless, building platforms to platform other people. That's my take. That's my takeaway, because I came into the new year saying, it's time to build community based business. And I love how you put that as well. So thank you for that. And yeah, we're definitely excited just to continue to see you grow and doing your thing, but we appreciate you jumping on with us. This was a really cool conversation. Absolutely. Thank you.

Nicky Saunders  
So this is what we need. This is what we need. Right? All right. All right. Normally, I say moose final words, right. He closes out but it wouldn't be right because we got amazing guests right now. So if you could give some final words for the people before we close out?

Jackie The Educator  
Yeah, listen to Nicky and moose. They know what they're talking about. I follow honestly, that's it. Good night.

Mostafa Ghonim  
Thanks for coming.

Jackie The Educator  
No, this seriously though, I think honestly, Nicky and you got moose, you have done a phenomenal job of telling people the truth. I often comment on the page and tell that like yo you give it away too much. It's too much for free. Like you guys got to know that what they're telling you right now people charge 1000s of dollars for so it's so good to see you guys really doing this and sharing with people the real about how they can grow. So listen to Nicky and moose. That's what I got. Hey!

 

Jackie "The Educator" Horbrook Profile Photo

Jackie "The Educator" Horbrook

Founder Of Black Christian Influencers

Jackie Horbrook also known as @jackietheeducator is a millennial trailblazer from Chicago, Illinois. With a Masters of Education and a Bachelor's degree in Business, she hopes to become known as a serial entrepreneur. Her most recent endeavor has led her to create an organization called Black Christian Influencers that focuses on promoting, supporting, and encouraging influencers from varying career backgrounds. Her organization has now expanded into a community, agency, and travel club.