Misty: This is episode #43 of The Goodness Squad podcast. I have Joy Manning with me today, and I’m really excited for you to hear from her because I want you to get a peek into a real-life business.
I have online experience, and I know sometimes that can make you feel separate from me or different from me. And I don’t want you to feel that way. I want you to know that you can do this, that real people are doing this.
Joy, thank you so much for being here with me today.
Joy: Thanks for having me. I’m glad to be here. It is a privilege for me to be here talking with you.
Misty: Joy and I met years ago. How many years ago do you think it was Joy? Probably around 2009 or 10.
Joy: Yeah. Yeah, that sounds about right.
Misty: We were both consultants for a food storage company and met through her brother was. It was an MLM, so her brother had enrolled me. He’s fantastic; was a wonderful person to work with. And then I met Joy because I knew him and she was working in the business with her dad. You guys were a partnership. We have known each other for a really long time, but recently kind of got reacquainted as we found each other here in the online business world. So tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do.
Joy: I have a business called Play With Joy and I work with families who have kids with autism. I started working with kids with autism back in 2007, but I’ve been working with people with different developmental disabilities since 1998.
So I’ve been doing it for a really long time. I started teaching in 2007 and that’s when I started specializing in working with kids with autism. And then I started my own business in 2012, but I stopped when I got married and moved to Texas. So I haven’t been doing it for the past couple of years.
My husband has talked to me a lot about “when do you think you’re going to get started again?” It’s a lot of work, so I just wasn’t ready for that. But yeah, things just have been falling into place pretty much since I started working with you, to be honest. That is when I kind of decided to go back and do this and it’s just starting to roll. So I’m excited about it.
Misty: I’m really glad to hear that. And I’m really excited for you. I hope you guys can hear how much she loves this. I’ve talked to Joy about this. My sister actually works with autistic children and I joke with my sister even about how that is not something I would enjoy. It just isn’t. I admire people because I think it is something that is definitely needed, but it would not be fun for me. Is this fun to you, Joy?
Joy: I love it. I love it. This is my passion.
An essential piece to your success as a content marketer
Misty: Why, what is your favorite thing about it?
Joy: I think, for me, the reason I was so interested in autism is that I was at the time working at a group home for adults. And there was one teenager who had autism and people just didn’t know a lot about him. And somehow we just connected. He didn’t talk. It was very hard for him to even let people know what his needs or wants were, but somehow we clicked and I think that’s why I love. I somehow connect with these kiddos and it’s fun for me. It’s exciting for me to feel that and see that, and then to help parents do the same thing with their child.
Misty: That is incredible. I believe that is a gift that you’ve been given. Do you think that that is an essential piece of your success, that you enjoy what you do?
Joy: Oh, definitely. I think there’s a lot of jobs out there where people don’t love what they’re doing. It’s just a job to them. I, fortunately, have been able to always be in a field that I enjoy, where I feel like it’s fulfilling for me and I feel like I’m doing something good.
Misty: You are for sure. The more women I meet like you, my spirit begins to really understand that we are all needed, that we all have these unique pieces and talents to fill out in the world and people that we are meant to help. And I am just really excited to see where you go in the next 6, 12 months, 5 years, and what you do to help people out there in the world. You said that things have kind of started to change for you in the last six months. Tell me about what your business looked like six months ago and maybe what your goals were then.
Joy: At that time, my business was nonexistent. One day I got on Pinterest, which I hadn’t been on for a long time, and I looked at my business page, which I haven’t touched for years. It said that I was getting thousands of page views a month. And I was like, what? I haven’t even done anything on Pinterest. That’s kind of when I thought, “Oh, okay. I think I’m going to start blogging again.” My blog was always just random things that I just put up.
My brother told me what you were doing. And so I looked into it and then once I started doing your trainings, everything changed. I just went from thinking, “Oh, I’m going to do this blog” to “Oh, I think I need to start my whole business back.” So it’s completely changed.
I was thinking about what were my goals back then? And my goal was just to blog. Now everything is completely changed and whatever my goals were then, I’ve completely surpassed that. And I don’t even remember what those goals were.
How to shift your mindset around your online business
Misty: Well, good. I’m really glad to hear that, but tell me why. What changed for you? What changed that mindset? So you said your husband has kind of been bugging you for a while and you’re thinking, no, it’s a lot of work. And even when you start to go back, you’re thinking I’m just gonna throw up a few blog posts and see what happens. Is that how you were feeling? What changed for you to go from that to I want to start a business and I’m going to help people?
Joy: Honestly it was The Good Start Game Plan. I started doing that and I was like, “Oh, Okay. It’s not a blog, it’s a business.” So I decided I had to figure this out. My motivation went from not really wanting to do it a year ago to all of a sudden I was like, “I’m doing this!” And I haven’t looked back. I started to invest in things and now there’s no way I can even go back. I just invested too much into this. As I’ve started to work with clients again, that passion came back.
Misty: I love that you mentioned that you’ve invested enough now that there’s no way you can go back. I feel like this is kind of a tipping point, especially Latter-day Saint women. We tend to be frugal. We tend to be cautious about where we spend our money and our time because we feel so strongly about motherhood. So we hesitate to invest.
I think we hold ourselves back because of this, I know I have felt this way. Have you felt this way? If I invest, then that means I’m committed. And so we hold ourselves back. And so it’s interesting that you said now that you have invested, you feel committed. Do you think that’s common?
Joy: Oh, yeah, I’m totally like that. I’m the cheapest person ever. I am frugal to a fault. So anytime I put money towards something, it’s a little bit painful. But then once I do it, I’m in. There’s no looking back at this point and so you just go forward. That’s been probably the stressful part about it for me, putting money into it but not making money yet. I just think, “is this going to work?”
But I think for me, the thing that keeps coming back to me is, I don’t know when you said this or where you said this, but talking about how a lot of times to be successful, it’ll take at least three years. And usually, people quit around year two. I just need to remember the end and not give up. But I do feel very committed at this point with everything that I’ve done so far.
Misty: Well, you definitely have a lot to offer and I have to tell you that Joy definitely is what I would call a star student. She has consumed every piece of content I have given her from start to finish and she interacts with it. She does the homework in the courses. She asks questions. She gives feedback. She attends Facebook lives, she is invested in it and I think this is a big deal when it comes to being successful in our businesses. We have to treat them like businesses.
Your success in content marketing is a long game
I also liked, Joy, that you mentioned that this is a longterm thing. You’ve got to remember that end game. And I think it’s funny that in our culture, we understand that a doctor or a dentist or an attorney or any sort of profession where there is a high income ceiling, we understand there’s a lot of investment of time and money that goes into that. We spent a lot of money for my husband’s law school.
But when it comes to content marketing, somehow we have it in our heads that we’re going to be rich in six months. And I don’t think life works that way. I think we have to put in some work upfront. So I just want you to know, I am not just proud of you because yeah, you’re a student in one of my courses, but I admire you. I admire your grit and your determination.
Joy: Thank you. It’s been an exciting process for me. I spent a lot on my education in school and a lot of time and things like that. I think because I’ve done my business before I know what kind of work goes into that. And so I know that this will be hard work.
Misty: Okay. So tell me about that hard work. What are one or more of the most difficult things that you’ve faced in the last six months? How did you overcome them?
Joy: I think for me, one of the hardest parts is just getting through, for me, I had to get licensed, get my business license, get my LLC, get my insurance, go through re-licensure of the intervention I do, which is called Play Project. Doing all of that stuff, because I felt like I had to have all that done before I could even do anything with my website so that I could be official.
I’m getting through all of those, which probably were the things that held me back because I didn’t really want to do that again. It wasn’t that hard in all honesty. I think the hardest part right now is putting in tons and tons of work and not getting back a lot at this point. Investing a lot of money, investing a lot of time and effort and stuff.
I think just getting through that and just reminding myself this is a marathon, you know? I’ve been lucky right now because my husband’s been home, through this Covid-19 so I’ve had a lot of time to be able to work.
Misty: So, you have a family and he’s there to help with that. That is a positive side to this whole crazy 2020 year that we’re all facing is that many of us have had spouses home. I have had that as well. And it has definitely been helpful. That is why I’m down here able to do a podcast at eight o’clock because my husband is upstairs watching the kids. What are you most proud of that you have accomplished in the last six months?
Celebrate the success you have along the way
Joy: I think one of the things I’m proud of is I just finished my first ebook and that wasn’t even on my radar. I’d never even thought of doing an ebook or an eCourse, which I’m also in the middle of doing. So doing these things that I never even thought of, is kind of exciting cool.
Misty: It’s really cool. I didn’t know that you had written an ebook. I knew you were doing your e-course, but I didn’t know that you had created an ebook.
Joy: I just decided like a few weeks ago. It’s been crazy. I did something that’s called 30 days of Sensory Play. It’s an outline for parents to make it easy for them. Instead of having to scour Pinterest all day, trying to find good activities to do, it’s just all there. There are prep guides, shopping lists, activity pages for every single activity, and there are printables. I’m pretty excited about it.
Misty: That’s incredible. I’ve seen just a little peek inside of your e-course and guys, if you need what Joy offers, you need to seek her out because she is so detailed and the stuff that she puts out is high quality. I haven’t seen this ebook, but just from having seen even just the outline of what is going to be going in your course, I know you’re going to go far and you are going to make a significant difference in people’s lives. So tell us what your plans are for the next 6-12 months.
Joy: For the next six months, as I’ve looked at things, I think my biggest goal is just product development. I’ve been doing my research and I think I have some good ideas of what I’d like to do. And so I think it’s just pushing forward and, you know, getting my website to a point where people are coming for these resources and things like that.
I’m also doing some other pretty big endeavors. In the next six months or so I’m going to be starting another job at a clinic doing the same thing I do. I normally work in people’s homes, so I do home visits and do coaching with parents and stuff like that, which I will continue to do. But then I’m also going to be working in a clinic that is just going to be opening up at the beginning of the new year. That’s also gonna help my business. I’ve worked it out with the business owner. It’s gonna be beneficial both ways.
For my website, my big goal is product. I’m hoping to get the course finished this year. And then doing some more will be ready to go in January.
Misty: That’s exciting. So you are going to be a mom. You are going to be working in people’s homes, running a website, and working in this clinic. Sleep’s important, Joy.
You have to Niche down to really be able to serve your people
Joy: Yeah. But the thing is, they all are around the same thing. At least I’m not pulling in a bunch of different directions, they’re all together. I’m hopeful they will help and support each other.
Misty: Yeah, for sure. And if you do get that website up and running and even if all you have is that ebook and that e-course, that’s what I love. Part of what I love about the online world is you can feed the people that you’re meeting in real life to that website.
People who have autistic children interact with other people who have autistic children and as they take your course or your ebook, or read a blog post that you write, they are going to see how high quality that is and share it. It is something that naturally happens. And this is why you’re talking about it.
It’s a multiyear process. It’s because it works like compound interest. Right? And so the more people you go out there and meet and talk about and tell about this, the more people they’re going to talk to and tell about, and it will grow.
I am absolutely confident that this is going to grow because you’re doing your homework. You’re working hard and you’re producing very high-quality content. Is there anything else that you would like to say to anybody who’s where you were six months ago? What advice would you give them?
What I wish I had known when first starting as a content marketer
Joy: I honestly think, and I’m going to sound like an infomercial for you, but honestly, I wouldn’t be where I am without all of your help. All the courses. I was thinking about my goals and my goals changed every time I watched any of your videos because I don’t know what I don’t know. And so I watched your videos and I was like, “Oh, okay. I guess I’m going to work on that for the next week.”
When you come into this new and you have no idea what you’re doing, like me, having someone to point you in the right direction, it changes your goals for the better. You’re going from, “I’m gonna write a blog post to I’m going to start a whole business” is a little bit of a contrast. So just having those videos, I don’t know that I’ve even scratched the surface on your videos because I go through them, and then I have to work on those things. And then I have to go through another video and then work on those things. It’s just like any education, in any kind of training.
And then also to know that there’s this one place I can go to, someone who I trust and I don’t have to go look on Google for an hour trying to find someone that I think might be legitimate, it makes a big difference. And for me, doing Tech School was probably the best thing for my website out of everything. Was that a good infomercial for you?
Misty: I’m actually a little teary. I’m grateful that you trust me. And I want you to know, and I want anybody else who’s listening to know, that I take that trust very seriously. I’m not perfect. I am not the end all be all. I don’t have the answer to every question about online marketing, but I truly and sincerely want the best for you. And so I am really grateful. Very, very grateful.
Joy: The fact that you say you’re not perfect, for people like us, is helpful. You know what I mean? You don’t want to be coached by someone who thinks they’re perfect and thinks they know everything. And even being able to say, “Hey, what about this?” And you saying, “well, let me research that and then I’ll find out for you” that’s huge.
Misty: Yeah. And that’s a fun part of my job. I like being able to do that for people. And Joy is one of the founding members of Tech School and they’ll ask me, “do you know how to use this?” And I say, “no, but I will go figure it out and then come back and tell you,” and I enjoy that side of things. I enjoy figuring things out. So that’s fun for me, but I hope, and I feel like that is a big benefit for you as well, to be able to not have to spend the time doing that.
Joy: The time you spend it would take me probably like 20 times to do that research because I don’t even know what they’re talking about.
Misty: You listeners here, I’ll let you into a little bit of a sneak peek behind the scenes here in Tech School, I am in the middle of doing a tutorial for Joy. I’m using Joy’s website to create a tutorial for Tech School, all about how to protect your content inside your website. So people can pay for it and then it’s protected and only those who have paid can access everything.
I’m using a brand new plugin that I’ve never used before. And so I told Joy, “Yeah, I think I’ll be able to have that done in about a week.” And we’re almost a month later now and it’s still not finished. So Joy is being very, very gracious in telling you that Tech School has been a blessing for her. I’m glad that it has been, but you should know that she is also an exceptionally kind and patient person.
Joy: Well, just think how long that would have taken me to do on my own. You saved me hours.
Misty: I hope that it does save you time and I’m confident it will save you time in the end, but I am very grateful for your patience as you wait.
So, alright, where can people go to find you Joy? They need your services, or if anybody else that they know need your services?
Joy: My website is PlayWithJoy.com and for people who are living in Salt Lake County or neighboring areas, I offer in-home services. It’s one on one services, training parents on the play project principles, which is a play-based intervention for kids with autism and typically for toddlers and preschoolers.
If you’re looking for virtual stuff, I’m hoping to offer that soon for families who live in areas that it’s not available or because of COVID and stuff. Or just check out my blog with different resources that I’m going to be putting on there soon.
Misty: Do you currently have a freemium that you’re offering?
Joy: I do. It’s an autism activity guide, and it’s basically five simple activities families can do with their child to increase engagement. Just some tips on what you can do, because engagement’s usually hard for a lot of kids with autism. And so just ways that you can do it in things that you’re probably already doing at home.
Misty: Okay, perfect. Thank you so much for taking the time to be with us here today. And I know that there will be people out there who connect with you and are motivated to keep moving forward because of you, so thank you.