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12 Jul

Ep. 112 – Jasmine Star – Entrepreneur, Branding & Marketing Strategist

“I would rather focus on building a tribe of people who understand where I’m coming from and when the time comes to invest in a product line that I’m selling, where they say, ‘I know you, I like you and I trust you.'”

Jasmine Star – Entrepreneur, Photographer, Branding & Marketing Strategist; Defining success for yourself; Mastering content & your craft; Building community; Not losing site of what means most to you; Profit over popularity.


Segment 1: (Length :04:00) – General Updates; Introduction to Jasmine Star and her journey as an entrepreneur; The art of just starting; Becoming a top photographer in the world; Expanding her creativity into new ventures.

Jasmine’s finer points:

and I think that what you hit something, which is a thing that I say again and again and that's just to do. In spite of not having a map or a framework or a clear cut path or having a bunch of support, it's just doing.

“A lot of times what we want is we want the answers to come to us and then we do but I’m here to tell you and break it down straight out. The answers don’t come until you’re already doing. The answers manifest themselves.”

“I picked up a camera. I had never even had a digital camera in my life and I’d tell my husband, ‘I think I want to be a photographer,’ and he says, ‘I would rather see you fail at something you love than succeed at something hate so just try it for one year and if it fails then you can go back to law school.'”

“I had a six-figure business in my first year and I don’t mean that as any other thing. I was scrappy. I was like, “I will do anything. I will shoot anybody. I will get to where I need to get to be where I want to show up,” and that’s exactly what happened. Then a couple years later was voted one of the top 10 photographers in the world, voted most influential photographers.”

“There was a lot of stuff that happened and people started saying, “What did you do to get there?” Then I started creating content. I really like how you guys frame that, like purpose driven content. I love that. That just sums it up.”

“I just started creating content for how to build a business using social media and I really focused on photographers because that was the market that I knew. Then slowly other entrepreneurs are just like, ‘Hey, what you did in that field, I know it’ll apply to mine.'”

“My doubt, my imposter syndrome kicked in high gear and I was like, ‘No, you know what, this is really just my own thing. No, no, no, I’m not sure if it’s going to work.'”

All of the sudden I said, 'You know what, just show up. You didn't even know how to work a camera and then you got to where you are. If people are asking you, 'Can you speak to us when it comes to social media? Can you help us grow our businesses?'

“The past year I really stepped into a whole new venture and sphere of applying branding and social media marketing principles to small businesses period. I think that that has been a scary move and of course there’s always going to be a sub sect of people who are being like, “What is she doing? Who does she think she is?'”

“Then there are other people who really applaud you and say, ‘Good for you for pivoting and really expanding what your brand has become,’ and I’m thankful. I’m very thankful.'”

“I just realized that the things that I was sharing were pertinent to people who were in the same boat as I was because I think that in any creative industry you look at the leaders, right? Those who are at the apex of the industry and you say, “I want to be there,” but where you are at the bottom of this very large pyramid you’re like, ‘But I don’t know if I could ever be there.’ What I started doing was just talking to other people at the bottom of the pyramid.”

“What happened over time was that the pyramid inverted and social media empowered. It was kind of just like being at the right place at the right time where education was democratized. People who were sharing content then became leaders simply by proxy of sharing content.”

“I could tell you exactly what I did in this exact frame but because you’re not me and because you do not have my eye and because you do not process, you don’t sense and feel creativity the way that I do, it’s going to manifest differently. To me, the power wasn’t in the secret. The power was in the share.”

Segment 2: (Length :08:00) – Talking with Jasmine Star; Profit over popularity; Creating a highly engaged community; Building on relationships; Mastering content and your craft.

Jasmine’s finer points:

“I can make this as complex or as simple as possible and I always choose the simple because then it fosters other deeper conversations around the topic. For me, I got into pursuing my passion at the end of the day, and this rubs a lot of creatives the wrong way, but I’m going to walk you through why I believe this so strongly is I got into this to have a career.”

I got into this to run a profitable business, not a popular business. If both of them can simultaneously coexist then I'll be very happy for that but at the end of the day, I measure my investments and where I spend my time and the new product lines that I create based on a profitability ratio.

“Why? I grew up extraordinarily poor as a kid. I saw my parents lose their house. We rode the bus to church. People would get donated Christmas gifts and they would leave them on our porch. We had government issued food.”

“I understand that every decision I make is going to affect the bottom line for my business and my family and that’s going to be my main priority because, yes, there are these cool opportunities to go speak at a big event and so I can stand on the stage and I could say, “This is what I did,” but for what? Is that just so that people know who I am? That isn’t for me.”

“I would rather focus on building a tribe of people who understand where I’m coming from and when the time comes to invest in a product line that I’m selling, they say, ‘I know you, I like you and I trust you.'”

“If I don’t have a big following it doesn’t mean a dang thing but do those people, can I convert them into customers and build trust and give them value? If the answer is yes then I’m doing something right.'”

“I think the answer was when I started my photography business 11 years ago and then when I kind of reinvented and rebranded and diversified about a year, year and a half ago.”

“The answer of how I got from zero to one was the thing. It doesn’t look the same but it is the same and that boils down to the network. I don’t need a lot of people. I need one person who cares about where I am and the very first gig that I ever booked when it came to photography came as a recommendation from another photographer who we connected on a one to one basis.”

“He was approached and this person had this totally small budget and he’s like, ‘Hey, I know this girl who might be able to work with your budget,’ and he passed this client my way.”

It comes down from the zero to one basically reaching out to the people who are around you, building trust with them and then they become your evangelists and that's the biggest source of my success.

“It is actually now tantamount fact that the algorithm is showing things on Facebook and Instagram according to what it perceives and feels is relevant and engaging. It doesn’t matter if you have 200,000 followers if people aren’t liking and engaging with it. Your post, even though you have a smaller following, has a higher likelihood of being shown more to your audience if your small little tribe is participating and engaging at a higher percentage. This goes beyond theoretics and feeling warm and fuzzy.”

“There’s this term that I use that we work so hard on building an email newsletter. You want to build value. You want to build trust. You want to connect with your people but then there comes a point in time where a margin of people on your newsletter, a margin of your Instagram followers, a margin of your Facebook followers, they just become unengaged.”

“In my mind the thing I say again and again is burn the list. If you’re not on my side, don’t take up space. The fact that you like my page and you’re not engaging with me, at the end of the day, you’re hurting me so I’m not here for kicks and giggles. If you don’t like what I’m saying, just press the unfollow. You know where the door is.”

“If you don’t like my newsletter, unsubscribe please because I want to get higher engagement and if that comes with a smaller tribe with a higher likelihood of increasing my profitability at the end of the year, that’s what I want.”

I'm going to tell you, it's showing up every day and just putting out a ton of content. This is content that's in-house and also outward facing like on social media and blog posts and videos and stuff like that but that is truly what I do every single day.

“It’s like we are going to be launching a new product in the middle of July and I’m really excited because it’s about social media but all of the backend stuff that’s required for us to get to the outward facing stuff has literally been.”

“I wake up every day at 4:30. I don’t have an alarm. It’s just what time my body wakes up. I sit down. I meditate. I pray. I read. I do not start my day with technology. About 25 minutes, I will then get into email for an hour and then I walk my dog, I have coffee. I work without social media interfering for three hours. I go practice yoga. I come back. I work for another three hours uninterrupted at just creating the content, developing, shooting, putting it out.”

“It only comes down to understanding that a fraction of what I’m producing on a single day will actually make the end cut. I believe it’s like when you’re shooting free throws. It’s like the more often you end up on the line, the more often you practice, the higher your success rate will be.”

“The only way you build a portfolio is by taking one one-hundredth of what you produce and then amassing it in to have this beautiful presentation that people can understand at the end of the day but to get there you better be shooting at 100, you better be writing at 100, better be running at 100, better be painting at 100 so that you can actually get the 1% of workable goods.”

Segment 3: (Length :10:00) – Defining success for yourself;  Not losing site of what means most to you; Isolation breeds focus.

Jasmine’s finer points:

“I think it’s super important for each of us to identify and outline what our terms of success is because so often it’s easy to get caught up in the online world and this person’s talking about a six figure launch and they do seven figures this year and all of the sudden you think that that is what you need or what you want.”

“When you take a step back and be like, ‘Wait, wait, wait. What is it going to require me to get to the seven figures this year? Is it going to compromise the thing that I hold so close to me? Is that going to be sacrificing, how do you determine your success? Is it picking up your kids from school every morning? Is it having breakfast ready for the family? Is it ensuring that your computer is closed every day by 6:00pm? Is it your ability to take Fridays and Mondays off? You have to take the time to say, ‘What is success for me?'”

Just because you get to the seven figures and you lost the other things along the way that meant the most to you, you don't end up winning. That's not success. That's having money in the bank account and that is not fulfilling.

“When I took a step back and I said, “You know what, I have been working so hard and the thing that I love the most is to hang out at the beach sipping on a plastic cup watching my husband in the water, calling my mom on the phone, thanking her for just being a supportive figure and her legacy inspiring me, on that day there was nobody more successful than me. I didn’t make more money. I didn’t get more followers. I didn’t deposit a lot in my social credibility. It was simply I am so happy doing what I love in this moment and nobody is more successful than me because sitting at the beach is my definition of success.”

“I’m 100% an introvert so I’m an outgoing introvert but 100% introvert. When we talk about isolation tendencies, to me, the greatest gift that has been given to me as an entrepreneur is this idea of being able to grow a business successfully online because in my mind it’s a way to set up parameters and safe distances from protecting my energy.”

“I know that sounds really crazy and all woo woo but to me this has been the most effective way for me to help as many people as possible and run a scalable business. Isolation, for me, it doesn’t affect me the way that it would for a lot of people.”

However, having said that, because I know that I'm really highly effective running solo, I have joined a mastermind because I had to surround myself and force myself to connect with other people, like-minded individuals who really want to grow businesses, share tactics and get me out of my shell.

“Segment 4: (Length :03:00) – Hustler Thought of the Day:

I realized when I permitted myself to enjoy simple moments (sipping from plastic cups while listening to the waves crash along the shore, for example), they ended up being barometers of my success. When my mind was relaxed, when I savored each moment, when I prioritized time with my loved ones, I was one step closer to success. - Jasmine Star



Jasmine Star – Entrepreneur, Photographer, Branding and Marketing Strategist

  • Jasmine Star dropped out of law school, In 2005, she walked away from a scholarship to UCLA law school to follow her heart. The path led straight to her mother’s bedside as she battled brain cancer.
  • She told her she dropped out because she wanted to remain at her side and she reminded Jasmine that life was too short not to do what she loved.
  • Shortly after, Jasmine came across the reality that she was jobless, broken, and desperate to follow her mom’s instructions of doing something she loved. That Christmas her husband gifted her a camera, with the permission to pursue her curiosity at all costs.
  • She slowly built a brand, marketed her services, and transformed from a doubtful photographer to a savvy entrepreneur. Four years later, she was voted as Top 10 Wedding Photographers in the World, and her work was published in a litany of magazines.
  • She built a worldwide brand from scratch and leveraged social media marketing to build a six-figure business in her first year.
  • Jasmine amassed hundreds of thousands of followers through her online educational efforts, and empowers entrepreneurs to build a brand and market it on social media.
  • She currently has a tribe of over 209,699 followers on Facebook and 203,000 on Instagram.


Matt Gottesman

Matt Gottesman is a global digital strategist and technology advisor, creator and editor-in-chief of Hustle & Deal Flow™ - an online magazine dedicated to the world's entrepreneurs, creators and makers, a Social Media Influencer and a consultant on New Media and go-to-market strategies for investments in digital marketing, technology, websites, mobile applications, eCommerce, social media and content.

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