Welcome to episode 90 of the Food Blogger Pro podcast! This week, Bjork chats with Brita Britnell about how she stepped off the beaten blogging path and found a new way to work for herself.
Last week, Bjork interviewed FBP team members Alexa, Jasmine, and Raquel about what it’s like to work for Food Blogger Pro and the things they’ve learned about blogging along the way. To go back and listen to that episode, click here.
How a Legislative Assistant Created Her Own Path to Working for Herself
Most bloggers start on their blogging journey hoping to eventually work full-time for themselves on their blog. While this is definitely an admirable and achievable goal, some bloggers have found that this is not the only way.
Brita started making videos for her blog about a year ago and unexpectedly found that she absolutely loved it. She knew there was demand for bloggers to create video, but she also knew that most bloggers just didn’t have the time to learn a new skill. So, she started making videos for other bloggers and found the demand so great that she had to start a waitlist for clients. In just a few months she was able to leave her job and work for herself doing something that she loved. Today, she’s here to share her story.
In this episode, Brita shares:
- What motivated her to turn her blog into a business
- Why she recommends bloggers go to conferences
- What the different stages of her blog were
- Why videos were addicting to create
- How she managed a full-time job and her growing blog
- What made her feel comfortable with quitting her job
- How she found her first clients to work with
- What it looks like to work with clients
- What advice she would give to herself when she was starting out
- Canon 6D
- Canon 50mm f/1.8 Lens
- Canon 60D
- Canon 85mm f/1.8 Lens
- Canon 100mm f/2.8 Macro Lens
- Adobe Premiere
- Premiere course on FBP
- Adobe After Effects
- Tasty Recipes
- Video & Photography resources on B. Britnell
If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions for interviews, be sure to email them to [email protected].
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Bjork Ostrom: In this episode, we talk to Brita Britnell about that time that we met in Mexico, the hustle she had to go to get where she is today and some of the tips, tricks, and advice that she has for anybody looking to start producing their own recipe videos.
Hey everybody, it is Bjork Ostrom and today I am chatting with Brita Britnell and Brita and I met a while back, we’re going to explain that time that we met and how we came to know each other and it’s a really unique story, the first time that Lindsay and I met her. And she’s going to talk about how that kind of kicked off things for her in terms of looking at her blog and her business from a new perspective. And not just because she met Lindsay and I, but because of this whole entire experience and what this experience meant to her and how that helped her get to where she is today.
She’s going to talk about how she’s kind of forged her own path. She realized where she wanted to go and saw that there wasn’t only one way to get there. And I think it’s a really, really important idea and really important concept to think about, for those of you that are interested in forging your own path or getting to a certain destination.
So, I’m super excited to share this interview with Brita with you, so let’s go ahead and jump in. Brita, welcome to the podcast.
Brita Britnell: Thanks for having me, Bjork. I’m excited to be here.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, I was thinking back. So, we have known each other for … Is it a couple of years now? I’m trying to think back when that conference-
Brita Britnell: Yeah, I think it’ll be two years, like this fall.
Bjork Ostrom: So, I’ve been thinking back to the conferences, food blog specific conferences, called Food Blog University in Mexico. Small group of people. I remember it was us. We were standing. It was like a dinner or something. Or like, dinner and drinks. Standing with the ocean breeze coming up and we were having a conversation and you were just talking about some of your hopes and dreams for your blog. I thought, this is somebody who really gets it. Not only are they putting in the time and energy and effort to come out and go to this conference to learn, but I could tell that you were really hustling as well to move on your dream.
What I’m excited about with this podcast interview is that you’re at a point now where you’ve realized some of those. But, before we get to that point, I want to back up and ask you if you can place yourself back in that moment. What was your life like at that point and what did the day to day look like for you and what did you want to do as you looked down the line?
Brita Britnell: Absolutely. If people get nothing out of this interview other than this, it’s that I think conferences are very life changing, especially if it is your goal and your dream to grow your business and to either blog full-time or just work for yourself full-time. That conference was very life changing for me in a lot of different ways, but I just walked away from it so pumped. But, at the time, I was working full time in state government and politics, which is what I went to school for and got my degree and my Master’s in and I kind of just found myself hating it. Which is where my blog came from was just, A. Being bored and B. Just feeling very unfulfilled. Like I just wasn’t enjoying this career that I worked, kind of my whole life. Ever since I was in high school, it’s what I wanted to do and then just discovered it wasn’t quite for me.
Bjork Ostrom: What was it about it that you didn’t like? I’m curious.
Brita Britnell: Well, without getting into politics too much, it was partially politics. And then, I also just, I was having a hard time working my way up. I felt like I was working towards a dead end. I just wasn’t getting anywhere. And then, I also … I think that I’ve always known I’ve had a more … I’m a slightly more artistic person and I wasn’t really able to fulfill that. So, just starting my blog … I originally was like, well, let me start my blog to have this hobby as an artistic outlet. I also really enjoyed to write, so it was place that I could write and kind of explore this artistic outlet. And then, you know, pretty quickly; I want to say within six months, realized that not only were people doing this as a super serious … I just thought it was a hobby. I never knew anybody did it seriously. But, pretty quickly I figured out that they did and was like, that’s what I’m doing. I want to do that.
Bjork Ostrom: And so that’s six months after you started. So, for six months, it was kind of a hobby. And then, at some point, you’re like oh, wait a minute. I can turn this into my own thing, which, when you contrast that with how you felt at your current job. Which was, maybe a little bit stuck. You couldn’t move as quickly as you wanted to, there’s some politics that you didn’t enjoy. Those two things probably lit a fire a little bit for you and said okay, let’s make this happen.
Brita Britnell: Exactly. I mean, being at that conference, so meeting you and Lindsay and then it was … Was it Jada and Scott?
Bjork Ostrom: Yep.
Brita Britnell: The other two speakers that were there. And seeing, just all the aspects, like what you were doing as your careers, the lifestyles that you lead. Just that you were your own bosses and you could decide to work more or work less. I was very drawn to all of that. I was very, again, drawn to the idea of being an artist and kind of creating things. I had this great desire to create things that I was proud of.
So, that’s really where I was. I was working in a job that was a great job, that I worked very hard to get and that a lot of other people would have wanted, but I just didn’t feel fulfilled. So, I went to that conference … I think as a way … I don’t know. I wanted to go to a conference and it was in Cancun. I was like, well that sounds great.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah.
Brita Britnell: And then, in all honesty, I saw that Lindsay was going to be there. I followed your income reports for a while. I was like, I know I have a lot to learn from them and from the other speakers that were going to be at the conference. And it was in Cancun. So, I was like, let’s do it!
Bjork Ostrom: Win, win, win.
Brita Britnell: Yeah, exactly. And it was awesome. I can say, too, a big part of … So, one of the seminars that we had at that conference was the couple from Eating Richly did a segment on video, because they really focus on video. That was really life changing for me. I had never done a video before that, so this was a year and a half ago. I went home and I think I did my first video within a month of that. It was terrible, but they talked about that. They were like, just maybe don’t even plan to post your first video. Just do it to practice.
Bjork Ostrom: Yep. Yep.
Brita Britnell: And that was awesome. I don’t even know if I’d be doing video if it wasn’t for their segment talking about video and the encouragement that they offered.
Bjork Ostrom: THat’s really cool. And sometimes … So, that was Diane and Eric from Eatingrichly.com.
Brita Britnell: Yeah. That’s right.
Bjork Ostrom: And they helped organize the conference. I remember they had that little session at the end. Or, it was a full session, where they talked about video and the permission to create something that you’re not initially proud of is really important, right?
Brita Britnell: Yeah.
Bjork Ostrom: And that’s a huge part of it, because when we get into content creation or putting things out to the public, so often the idea of perfection keeps us from the action that we can take today. Because we’re like, it’s not going to be what I want. It’s not going to be perfect. But, how awesome to hear that advice. Like, hey, create something. Do it today. Just so you know, you’re probably not going to be proud of it. And it’s like, okay. That makes sense to get into it.
Brita Britnell: Yeah. And that first video, I simultaneously love it and hate it so much just because that video is what launched such a huge life change for me. So, that video is very endearing for me. I almost took it down and was like, no. I’m going to leave it up.
Bjork Ostrom: Good for you. Yeah. So, we’re going to talk about videos specifically, because that’s a huge part of your business right now.
Brita Britnell: Yeah.
Bjork Ostrom: But, I’d be interested to stay in this realm for a little bit. I want to ask specifically about conferences. So, obviously, that was a pivotal point for you. Do you feel like it was the intangible thing of motivation and connecting with people that are actually doing it? Or was it the concrete advice and tips and insights? What was it specifically with the conference and if you were to say really pointedly why would you recommend conferences for other people?
Brita Britnell: Yeah, I was actually just thinking about this the other day. I haven’t gone to … I’ve gone to some blogger small events, but I haven’t gone to a big conference since then and I really want to soon. I would say for me, it was about 75% just the connections. I mean, some of the people that were at that conference, I consider to be good friends. I can call them and be crying like, “This terrible things happened. Can you just listen to me?” Some of those people … Everybody was amazing, but some of them have gotten to be really good friends outside of blogging.
I met up with Mary from Vindulge. I was in Portland and we met up and we talked for maybe three hours and never mentioned blogging. It was just like … I love those connections. So, I walked away that weekend, for me, just super on fire for the hard work. I was just so on fire with everything blogging and it wasn’t even like “Oh, I learned video and I’m super excited to do that.” It was more just I was just so pumped about the people that I had met and the motivation I drew from it. And then, there definitely was that kind of 25% of I genuinely learned a lot. I learned a lot from Jada and Scott and you and Lindsay and from Diane and everybody that put on the conference.
But, at the end of the day, definitely just the connections and the motivation. The massive amount of motivation that I drew from it that I definitely rode for probably, like, six months after.
Bjork Ostrom: I feel the same. Whenever we do a conference or attend a conference, I would say my tendency … If you were to meet me in person, you might think I’m extroverted, but my tendency is like, oh man. If I have a cup of coffee and I’m working from the home office for eight hours, like great day for me.
Brita Britnell: Yeah, me too.
Bjork Ostrom: So, my tendency is not to like, book as many conferences as I can. My tendency is like, I’m going to work on my laptop for eight hours at a coffee shop or at home. But, whenever I do go to a conference, I always have that same feeling where, super motivated. You’re able to connect with people. There’s something about the social element of people doing similar things and working very hard to do that. That was don’t experience because of our jobs or because of what we’re doing on a regular basis, but when you do experience it, it’s so motivating and so exciting, so it totally makes sense.
Can you talk to me a little bit about what that was like? So, the first six months it was hobby. Then, you realize okay, this is something that I think would be possible. I’m guessing you turned the volume up a little bit in terms of dedication and work. So, what did the different phases look like? I’m guessing, then, there was another adjustment or change that happened after the conference as well.
Brita Britnell: Yeah, well, I would say the six months after starting my blog and realizing I wanted to do it, I would say I went through maybe a six month to a year period of just learning. I went into it knowing, I don’t know, I would have loved to have been an overnight success, but I think I just knew that that’s rare. It takes a lot of luck. Hard work, but mostly that comes from luck, I think. The overnightness of it.
So, I went into it thinking I’m going to start out working really hard, but I know it’s going to be kind of slow. So, I took a long term learning. I dove in. I joined Food Blogger Pro and I dove into all the lessons and I worked; I would probably say most specific on my photography trying to improve that. And then, after that, I think I got to a point where I felt like, okay my photography’s maybe not perfect, but I’m proud of it. I’m really proud of it and I think I’m producing pretty images that people would enjoy pinning.
Then, from there, it was kind of just aimlessly like throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what stuck or just throwing things at the wall. I mean, I did every share group, Facebook group where it’s like “You like my post and I’ll like yours.” I did a lot of those. I submitted to like, every Food Gawker and Finding Vegan type website that I could find. I did all kinds of Pinterest strategies. I did a lot of things like that and kind of figured out what worked. Even now, there are things where I was like, I don’t know. I’m still kind of figuring that out, I think.
Bjork Ostrom: And everybody does.
Brita Britnell: But I did. Yeah, absolutely. It’s changing.
Bjork Ostrom: I think it’s important to say that out loud for people that are listening to this, is I think sometimes it can seem like “Oh, so this person has it figured out.” And it’s like, anytime that we meet up with any other bloggers, the question is always “So how does all this stuff work? What are you guys doing?” Everybody’s trying to figure it out. Obviously, there are times, like you say, when it clicks. It works. A lot of that has to do with hard work and continually throwing that spaghetti on the wall. And then, every once in a while, a noodle will stick and you’ll be like “Oh, interesting. I’m going to throw lots of noodles in that corner because they always stick.” I think it’s good that you say that and you say it out loud.
Brita Britnell: Yeah, definitely. And so, for me, one of those noodles that just like stuck and I could never get it off, was video. I did a couple videos that, I mean, did well, but maybe got like 10,000 views and that to me felt like a lot. Especially considering I had less Facebook followers than that at the time. But I did get one that got … I don’t even know what is considered viral. But, I mean, I think within a few days it got like, 250,000 views and I got like, 2,000 new “likes” overnight. That was super addictive. I was like “I’m going to do 10 more videos now and post them all on my blog or on Facebook.”
Bjork Ostrom: And when you look back on that, are there things where you, specific with the video … Are there things where you’re like “Oh, I can trace this back and I could see why this was successful.” Or do you think, maybe, it just had to do with the right person viewing it and the right person sharing it? And not being able to necessarily track that back and see where that comes from.
Brita Britnell: I was actually just talking to one of my clients about this today. I don’t know if I could even answer that. I tried to. I think the Facebook video success is still very much a mystery to me. A lot of people say, and I recommend this to my clients, start with your most popular recipes on your blog. When they’re kind of like “What recipes should I do?” I say “Start with your most popular ones.” And for me, that, in a lot of cases didn’t work. I have some that have 100,000 Pinterest re pins, but they didn’t really do much video wise. Whereas, I tried one that I just had a feeling, I was like I think this would be a video people would … It was like an easy, something they could see themselves going home that night and doing. That one was the first one that went kind of viral.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah.
Brita Britnell: And even now, I’m still kind of figuring that out.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, there’s an art and there’s a science to it. And I’m not a professor of either of those areas, but it’s interesting to see the people who are, and their intentional melding of analytics and also gut. And then art, you know, at the beginning of this you talked about wanting to create and be an artist. I think all of those things come together. I was at an ad agency, this was years ago. And they said the most common thing that they get is somebody coming in and being like “We want to create a viral video.” And they’re just like, it’s not that easy. And I’m sure you hear that as well.
Brita Britnell: Yeah.
Bjork Ostrom: People will come to you, you talk about clients. We’re going to talk about that in a little bit and that part of your business. But, people come to you and say “You know, so basically what I want is a viral video.” And you’re like “Well, it’s not that easy. There’s a lot that goes into it.”
One of the last things that I wanted to ask you about though, is during this time when … So, let’s say, post six months after you had made the decision that you wanted to move forward with this a little more intentionally. What did your day look like, knowing that you still had your job. You were still working full time, but you had a really intense interest and a passion to move forward with this. What did that look like on a day to day basis?
Brita Britnell: I don’t remember who it was, but I think that it was somebody that you interviewed on a podcast, made a comment along the lines of “I had no life for a year. I missed out on a lot of opportunities with my friends and family, but I knew that it would all pay off.” I can’t remember who said that, but it really, really, stuck with me. So, I kind of had about a year period where that was kind of my goal was that I just spent every free moment that I could. Like, every single night and I mean every single weekend. I didn’t do a lot. I mean, my weekends were almost full of my blog. I think that that was … That’s really the only way I was able to do it. Was to just like spend all of that time and that was kind of what it was.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, and it’s the-
Brita Britnell: I also had a desk job where I was able to get a decent bit done there.
Bjork Ostrom: Sure. Yeah. Right. Right. It’s like, if you have those gaps in the day that otherwise would be filled with … You know, people would be scrolling through Facebook or something like that, if you’re able to fit that in the margins.
Brita Britnell: Exactly. Yeah.
Bjork Ostrom: And I think that’s important for people to hear because there is this presence or potential for people online to either be living a lifestyle where they’re working 10, 12, 14 hours a day, but then paint a picture as if they’re not. Or, they’ve gone through a phase where they’ve been working that 10, 12, 14 hour work day for, let’s say, you know, two years or three years or four years. And they’re at the point where they’re finally able to get … Like, the train is moving fast enough that they don’t have to be shoveling coal in everyday, so then they’re able to step back. If they paint the picture as if this is what it’s going to be like to get started, it’s not true. Because when you’re first getting started, especially if you’re juggling a full time job, especially if you also have a family and kids that you’re taking care of, all of that results in very, very thin margins and a lot of things getting dropped. Like social activities or Netflix for two hours at night. Or, if you are watching Netflix, you’re also working at the same time.
Brita Britnell: Exactly.
Bjork Ostrom: And, it’s not forever. It doesn’t have to be, and I would say a good example would be for Lindsay and I. I would say for the past five years, we had more of that hustle. And then, especially in this last quarter that we’ve had, we’ve gone through the process of … You know, we lost our son Afton, and so we’ve stepped back and said “The businesses will continue to run.” Not as efficiently and not as quickly as … They wouldn’t grow as quickly as they would. But, we’ve been able to step back and not do 12 hour days, where now we’re doing like, six hour days, or something like that.
Brita Britnell: Right.
Bjork Ostrom: So, I think it’s important for you to point that out, because it’s not fun for people to hear like, “So, what did you do?” And you’re like “Well, I didn’t do a lot of social things. I worked on weekends. And I took every single moment that I could throughout the day to also work on my business.” But, so often, that’s what it takes. So, kudos to you for the hustle.
Brita Britnell: Yeah, thanks. And so, now I’m in a place where it’s a lot more casual for me. I feel like I had about two years of that. And now, I mean, I’m still working very hard, but now I actually have weekends. That was one of the things I was most excited about. It felt weird. Like, even now on the weekends, I’m still adjusting to it. I’m just that busy body kind of person, but Saturday mornings, I’m like “All right. What do we do? What’s on the schedule today that we have to get done?” And so, I’m trying to readjust back to normal like of resting a little bit, because I think rest is very important as well.
Bjork Ostrom: Yes. For sure. There’s something I’ve been thinking a lot about and it’s this long term vision. I think you have to … The amount of hustle that you have in the first couple years, allows you to make whatever transition it is. For us, we talk about food, recipe sites, but also, there’s all different types of businesses that you could hustle to start. And the more time and energy you put into it, the quicker, usually, you’re going to be able to make that happen.
But then, you have to make this switch because there isn’t … For most people, some people are made up genetically, or their mindset, or how their chemical brain is wired, where they’re able to have 150% energy, seven days a week, year round. I know that I’m not like that. So, I know that after we had this phase of hustle, we had to shift and say “Okay, now what does it look like to continue putting in 100%, maybe 110%” but then to think longterm and to know that it’s not sustainable at a certain level for 10 years.
That’s my mindset with the things that we’re doing. It’s interesting to hear you take a similar approach where, super hustle, get it to a point, continue to hustle, but instead of the volume at 11 if you’ve ever seen Spinal Tap … One of my favorite references from …
Brita Britnell: I haven’t.
Bjork Ostrom: … okay, great. For those that have it’s … If you haven’t seen it, you should watch it. Super unique, strange, really weird mockumentary. But, they’re these rock band guys and they talk about turning it up to an 11 on a speaker that’s only 10.
So, you have it to 11, maybe you dial it back to nine or eight, but that allows you to be sustainable for a long time and I think that’s a huge take away.
You eventually get to this point … And I know this because you’re working on your own full-time. You are your own boss. You eventually get to this point where you start to think about “Man, could I make this switch?” And could I change out of the job that I’m not super excited about and be working for myself? Can you take me back to that pivotal moment and walk me through some of the internal conversations and or external conversations you were having with friends and family as you were processing through the switch?
Brita Britnell: Absolutely. My husband is amazing. Kind of a side note, I always like to credit him because when I very first started my blog, I didn’t have a camera. I was just using an old point and shoot. Even then, before I even talked about it being a full time thing, he just saw how important it was to me and he gathered a bunch of things around our house and sold them to buy me my first camera, which means a lot to me. I always tell him “I don’t know if I ever would have bought a camera. I don’t know if I would have saved and made it happen.”
Bjork Ostrom: That’s really cool.
Brita Britnell: So, when you mention talking to people about it, he’s always been very crucial in that. And obviously, like me quitting my job, because at the time we were on my insurance. So, it kind of took some, you know like “Are you okay with me doing this? Can we make this work financially?”
My original goal was to make my blog work. Or, to make my blog replace my day job income. It still is my goal, and I’m definitely working towards that, but I think I just saw this opportunity where maybe it could happen sooner. I really just kind of stemmed from my love … I was just loving doing video. I became obsessed with it to the point where I would just sit down, like you mentioned Netflix, I would just pull up Netflix and then have my computer on mute and watch an hour long episode of something, while also simultaneous watching like every Tasty video that exists.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. For sure.
Brita Britnell: I mean, I went to A Pinch of Yum, I went to all the big blogs, or every blog I could think of that was doing video and watched every single video that they ever made, probably twice. That passion, I knew I needed to ride that. I knew that I was obsessed with this to the point where I don’t want to sleep because I’m just thinking about how excited I am about this.
Bjork Ostrom: What was it about it that you were excited about?
Brita Britnell: I don’t know. I can’t tell you because it’s not … It’s a little bit different and a little bit of a deeper passion than I had even with blogging or photography.
I think part of it, honestly, was maybe that a lot of other people weren’t doing it and that was exciting to me. Or, a lot of other people weren’t doing it yet. So, it was exciting to me that I could kind of … I don’t know. That I was creating a new thing, kind of. Not that I created doing recipe videos by any means.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. It’s a space that isn’t … It’s not as crowded. There’s not as many … There’s maybe more room for creativity and expression. And maybe hits on some of those things you talked about earlier, where like the creator and artist in you … I can see that, potentially, I don’t know. I’m just making this up. But, some of that stuff aligning where it’s like there’s potential to be really creative and to be an artist within this niche of the thing that you’re already interested in, which is food.
Brita Britnell: Yeah. I just kind of loved it. I think, something that really spurred me to realize that I could make the video work as a way to go full-time with my blog slash doing this other artistic work was that I saw Lindsay. I saw A Pinch of Yum hiring a full-time person. So, I actually emailed Lindsay and asked her … I mean, I don’t hardly know Lindsay. We met at that conference, but I was like, I’m just going to go out on a limb. This isn’t something … I think that’s the only time I’ve ever done something like that.
I was very nervous to do it, but I emailed her and I just said “Hey, I saw that you hired someone.” And I wasn’t looking for anything but advice from her. I said “I saw that you hired someone and I was wondering if that is something you thought other bloggers would be interested in.” Like, do you see … Because, in my mind, I’m making this assumption that she has some blogger friends and probably some that are bigger to the point that they’re in a place where they can hire someone to do videography. I really was just looking for advice and I think she emailed me back two days later and was like “It’s so funny. I just went to this conference and I was talking to several bloggers about it, who are looking for someone to do video.”
It just felt like this very providential thing. So, that kind of is where I got my start. She sent me to two clients and I was working with them. I still work with them a little bit now, and they’re awesome. That kind of got my foot in the door to experimenting because beginning out was very much an experiment. I told these clients that. I was kind of like “I’m just starting this.” I mean, at that point, I’d probably only done 15 videos at the most. It’s not like I even was an expert by any means.
I worked with them and then, I think I got a few referrals from there. I was definitely at a point where I could quit my job. Where, I had enough, but it was going to be tight. I’m not a huge risk taker, so I kind of sat on it for a little bit. And then, I definitely want to credit her, but Sara from Cake Over Steak, who is a blogger friend of mine, emailed me one day and was like “Hey, did you see that Ambitious Kitchen is looking to hire a video manager?” That was kind of like this life … I don’t want to say life changing, but like a huge moment. A business changing moment for me. So, I emailed and replied and got an instant replay back from her that was like “Thanks for application, but I’m really looking for someone in Chicago.” And I was like “Oh, okay.” And then, a couple of weeks later, she emailed me back and was like “Hey, are you still interested? I liked your work. I just loved your work more than anyone else’s and I’d love to work with you.”
That was kind of like the moment. I knew she was a commitment. All the other people were like “I want four videos. I want a view here and there.” And she was like “I want to do two videos … At least one video, maybe two videos a week for the foreseeable future.” That was kind of what launched it for me to feel comfortable where I have a minimum of this amount of income coming in every month between my blog and clients. That I can quit my job and if I make the minimum that month, we’ll still be fine.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, and there’s something … I’m similar and I think Lindsay would say she is in terms of risk. I think it’s interesting that so often entrepreneurs get labeled as risk takers, because I feel like I’m so not that. We’re similar in that the way we built our transition process was this slow and steady move where we said “Okay, let’s make sure that we get to a point where we know we’re going to be able to sustain ourselves when we make this jump.”
Brita Britnell: And at that point too, I had saved enough in the money that I could not work … There was enough money in the bank that I could not work for a few months and be okay. That, honestly, was the biggest thing for me where I was like “All right. If just everything goes terrible and my clients hate me, and I would have-”
Bjork Ostrom: If everything crashes and burns. If the internet goes away.
Brita Britnell: Yeah. If the internet goes away, I had like a four month buffer, which I was like that is more than enough time for me to either find more clients or go out and find another job if I have to. I think that more than anything was such a comfort for me.
Bjork Ostrom: For sure. And I think that’s going to be different for everybody but …
Brita Britnell: Absolutely.
Bjork Ostrom: … my encouragement to those that are processing through some of those transitions is to have some type of, you know, kind of war chest that you have that you can dig into. Both for your business and also personally. Personally, probably more important.
Brita Britnell: Right.
Bjork Ostrom: So, I’m interested to hear why you were nervous about sending that email. When you think back to it, what were the things that you were nervous about? And then, what lead you to eventually do that?
Brita Britnell: I don’t really know why I was nervous. I’m not a super extroverted person. And then, I don’t really know why. I think it was just one of those, like I was nervous … I mean, think part of it was like “I’m sure she gets emails like this all the time.” And you know, so many questions about different things. So, I think there was this “I don’t want to bother her.” Or anyone in that position. I think I also was definitely nervous that she was going to reply back with a very generic “Oh, I’ll let you know if I hear of anything.” Which, would have been totally find and understandable. I think I just got very lucky that she had just gone to a … Or, I think probably when I sent her the email was at a conference. And, yeah. I’m so glad that I did.
Bjork Ostrom: So, the reason that I ask is because I think that’s another important piece of your story. And really pivotal piece in that you intentionally told somebody, it just happened to be that it was Lindsay, that this is a step that you’re taking and something that you’re looking to do. What you did is you went outside yourself and you reached out into the world, as opposed to hoping and trying to do things that brought the world into you. If that makes sense? Maybe that’s a little bit of a weird analogy.
Brita Britnell: Absolutely.
Bjork Ostrom: But, the parallel that I’m going to draw is … I’m reading a book on hiring and they said “The best thing that you can do when you’re looking to hire people, is to tell other people that you’re hiring.” It’s like “Oh, that makes so much sense!” The weird thing is, so often, what ends up happening is that you can be sharing that with somebody that you don’t think would have any connection. In this case it did, right? It was you emailing Lindsay, who does food and recipe stuff.
Brita Britnell: Right. Yeah.
Bjork Ostrom: But, an example that I have is … So, I was at my barber shop, the Como Barbershop in dinky town area, which is kind of a college area here in the Twin Cities, and I was talking to Craig, the world’s most incredible barber. We were just kind of chatting and he was asking what’s going on and I mention that I’m looking to connect with developers. And we’re not super actively looking for this position, but we’re kind of just trying to feel it out and connect with developers and he said “Well, there’s a guy who developed my website that just did a really incredible job with it.” And so, he’s like “Do you want to connect with them?” And I said “That would be awesome.” So, what I did is I literally … He got out this little note pad and I wrote a note to him, because I didn’t want to put him in an awkward position where he gave me his number or something.
Brita Britnell: Right. Yeah.
Bjork Ostrom: And so then, next time this other guy came in, he gave him that note, and then this other guy followed up with me. But, point being, it’s so important to say what it is that you’re doing. So, for those that are listening, if you’re wanting to start a business in restaurant food photography, as much as possible, share that with other people, to not be shy about it. And you’re a great example of that, Brita, where you said “I’m interested in doing this. I know that it’s possible, and so I’m going to reach out to people and just see if it happens.” And that’s worked. Now, you’re doing this.
Would you say it’s 50% of what you’re doing? 75, 25? I notice on your blog, you’re still publishing consistently, so that’s still being maintained. What does it look like in terms of the balance day to day?
Brita Britnell: I’m going to be honest. I’m still figuring that out. I mean, it’s only been three months now, since I’ve gone full-time with this. Things have moved very quickly. I feel very fortunate, but I have this avalanche. I’m at the point where I have a waiting list for clients now, because I just can’t do it all. Of all the people that have come to me, which I feel very honored to be in that position. So, I’ve actually, in just the three months working for myself, I’ve already brought in somebody to help me as an assistant. And then now, we’re talking about … I’m bringing her on for another day and possibly a third day for the week. Which, is awesome.
Bjork Ostrom: How did you find that person? I think people would be interested to know. And what do they do?
Brita Britnell: I was thinking, just because you said that, but I just talked about it among my group of friends. I was like “I’m looking for somebody.” I had it in my mind that I really wanted a friend because … Or, I wanted somebody that I knew just because they were coming into my home to work with me. And so, part of me was like I’d love to just find somebody that I’m comfortable with.
I ended up finding somebody that was just a friend of a friend who was at an event that I was at. She just overheard me talking about it and was like “Oh, my current job is pretty flexible and I’m often free during the week.” So, she’s been amazing. She comes in … What I was really struggling with was that … So, the way I do recipes typically for a recipe video is … Not to get too much into the video side of it yet-
Bjork Ostrom: No, no that would be good. I’d be okay transitioning into it as you … Yeah.
Brita Britnell: Explain her role. Yeah. So, I mostly don’t chop things in videos just because … I don’t know. For me, it’s mostly like I feel like people know how to chop an onion and if they don’t, they’re not going to learn it from watching me do it in like 1.5 seconds in the video. So, unless it’s like a super easy video where I need filler, I don’t chop things. I prepare everything ahead of time. Sometimes, especially, if it’s like … In January and February, I did a lot of soups. Soups, sometimes, can be like nine different vegetables. I mean, I had one recipe where it was like 45 minutes of prepping and I hadn’t even started the video yet. It was just like, chopping carrots and then, dicing peppers and all the prep. I was like “Man, if I brought somebody in, I could do, like, double the work in a day.” I could probably get double the amount of videos done in a day.
So, the first day that I had her come, I emailed her the list of recipes I wanted to accomplish that day. So, she did all the prep. And prep includes pulling all of the ingredients out, actually getting them ready. I have her look at the picture so she is dicing the cucumber in the same shape that the blogger did, if that makes sense?
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah.
Brita Britnell: Because everybody does things different and I really try and match their photos as much as possible. And then, putting them in a pretty bowl that will look nice. She does all the dishes, which is amazing.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah.
Brita Britnell: Usually, I could maybe accomplish everything I did in that day without her, but I would be super stressed out, and my kitchen would be a complete disaster.
Bjork Ostrom: Totally. Yeah. Yeah.
Brita Britnell: And the thought of cleaning it was just like, I would want to cry. I would have to just wait till the next morning. So, it’s been such a blessing to have her in the kitchen helping me. So, she does all the prep.
Bjork Ostrom: Got it. So, one of the things that I’d be interested in hearing. So, you did the … You transitioned, knew you were going to do this full-time, and still kind of trying to figure out … So, how much of the … If you were to guess, just to throw out.
Brita Britnell: Oh, yeah. I didn’t answer that question. Right now I would say-
Bjork Ostrom: Not that it’s super important, but I’m trying to get better at closing the loop on questions if I get on a rambling trip.
Brita Britnell: Yeah. Totally. I know. I know. I can go down all the different rabbit holes.
Bjork Ostrom: Okay.
Brita Britnell: I would say about 75% is the videography work, which I’m juggling. Just to throw this out there as a small side tangent, I was listening to a podcast the other day where somebody was talking about how they made a very conscious effort to step back from their freelance work in order to grow their blog. I don’t remember if it was a blog or a business, but either way, and they were like “That was a very conscious effort that I made and it was so hard.” So, I’ve kind of tried to keep that in mind, in that, I love video.
I’ve kind of had the realization with myself that this could be my career and I would love it. It would be financially a very good career and I would be very fulfilled doing it. But, I also do love my blog and want to continue growing that. So, I’m just trying to find that good balance, while also still having a life again. Because, I’m not necessarily in the place where I want to go back to working every single night and weekend. I’m trying to find that balance within work hours-ish.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, and it’s hard when you’re doing freelance or consulting because there’s such a direct correlation to giving up income in order to do something that doesn’t immediately create income.
Brita Britnell: Right.
Bjork Ostrom: And it’s-
Brita Britnell: And I think it goes back to the fact, like I said, I’m not much of a risk taker, so for me it’s like “Oh, I’ve got these clients emailing me.” And, kinda side note, some of them are bloggers that I super admire and I’m like “Wow. You want me to do your work? You want me to do your videos?” And it’s like, well, I could make an extra thousand dollars a month or something, but then I’m not … I maybe can only post like one recipe a week on my blog unless I start working on Saturdays again.
Bjork Ostrom: Right. It’s not an easy decisions to make and I think it’s really common to be in that world of bouncing freelance and your own thing. Like you said, you’re only three months into it, but I’m sure you’ll kind of feel what that rhythm is as you get into it.
Brita Britnell: Yeah.
Bjork Ostrom: But, I think that’s really common.
So, we have a little bit of time left here. I would love to actually talk about some of the specifics of video because I know that there’s a lot of people that are interested in video and even you had mentioned before we started. You were like “It’d be actually kind of nice just to refer people to somewhere because you get so many questions about video as well.” I would love to dive into that, maybe not 50,000 foot level. We can go down to 25,000 or 10,000.
Brita Britnell: Right. Absolutely.
Bjork Ostrom: But, kind of the high level overview of what it looks like. We can talk about it from the perspective of working with somebody as a client. So, you get an email. Somebody says I would love to work with you. You work out the details of what that would look like, and then they send over the first recipe. What does that look like from that point forward?
Brita Britnell: Yeah. So, almost all my clients, I start out working. They’ll usually send me four videos because I charge a little bit less if you do videos in bulk. So, usually, almost 90% of the time, they’ll be like, yeah. Let’s do that bulk price. They will usually go ahead and send me all of those videos, which I ask. Just because it’s a lot easier for my scheduling because I try to schedule everything out-
Bjork Ostrom: Send you all the recipes?
Brita Britnell: Yeah. So, I’ll go ahead and I’ll put … I mean, I have recipes planned out mostly through the end of April, of what I’m filming and what week I’m filming. It’s nice because I can go ahead and send that to my assistant as well. Not that she initially needs the information, but it helps keep me on track.
And then, I will look through the recipe and ask questions. Because often … I mean, even really little things. They’ll say “You can use vegetable stock or chicken stock.” I mean, that’s kind of a bad example because you can’t even tell when I pour it in. But, certain examples like that, where I’ll ask very specific questions. Or sometimes they’ll say “Optional, you can add in chocolate chips or blueberries.” So, I usually will say “Do you want me to do that? Do you want me to show that in the video?” So, I’ll ask questions like that.
When I first start working with a client, we always try and nail down their style. So, the very first video that I send to a client, there’s usually a decent bit of back and forth of “Oh, I don’t really like that font. Let’s change that.” Or “I think that this section is a little too slow, or this section’s too fast. Can we speed it up or slow it down?” And then, I’ve discovered that after two or three videos with a client, we get to the point where usually … My goal, and what usually happens, is I can send them the video and they say “Looks like you misspelled this word, besides that, it’s awesome. Go ahead and send me the final files.”
Bjork Ostrom: That’s interesting. That takes … That’s the artist side. That takes some … It’s a soft skill in order to be able to manage those different styles and aesthetics for multiple different people. That’s cool.
Brita Britnell: Yeah, I do and I think … My friends that know me and that know all … Like, my brother knows all the vlogs that I follow or that I work for, and he follows all those vlogs and reFacebooks their videos, which is sweet.
Bjork Ostrom: That’s awesome.
Brita Britnell: He can tell my style. I started working with a new client, and I don’t even know how he saw the video, one of his friends must have shared it. He was like “Are these your hands?”
So, even across the different styles that I do, I think I have a very uniformed style, which I’m happy with. I kind of like that I have my style. But, for each client … I have some clients that like a very bold and white font. And then I have … I just somewhat recently started working with Erin from Well Plated, who you’ve interviewed. We wanted to do something more fun for her, so we do this green font that matches the color of her blog and the font that matches her blog that’s like a scripty, kind of just more fun font. With her, we try to do some more popping in and out words, that are just catch your attention and are fun. I enjoy that. I really enjoy when I’m working with new clients and they ask “Well, what if we did this at the beginning? Would that make sense?” And sometimes it does, and sometimes it doesn’t. But it’s fun figuring it out.
Bjork Ostrom: So, you go through the process, you fine tune it, you feel like you get things lined up. What does it look like … Obviously, the recipe has ingredients. You go out, you shop, you get those. So, in a typical day, let’s say, what would be possible for shooting videos? Could you do three? Could you do four? Ten? I have no clue.
Brita Britnell: I think everyone’s different. When we’re recording this, the time changes this weekend and I’m so excited to have more daylight hours. But, currently my max typically is about four. I am hoping that I can maybe squeeze another one in if it’s like a smoothie or something pretty easy once the days are longer. But, right now, it’s four. So, we kind of are doing … I’m doing two shoot days, typically Monday and Tuesday. Those are just strictly videography. I hardly do ever anything for my blog, with the exception sometimes of proof reading a post and hitting publish and maybe posting it on Facebook. Then, I’m kind of dedicated to the filming. And then the editing is almost whenever. I edit all the time on the couch. Sometimes, I’m trying to limit it. On a side note, I can easily just sit on the couch watching TV with my husband all night, but I’m trying to not do that just to be a bit more-
Bjork Ostrom: Compartmentalize it a little bit. Present.
Brita Britnell: Yeah. So, I have two shoot days, and then it usually takes me a day and a half to two days to edit all of those videos.
Bjork Ostrom: Got it. And so, when you’re doing a shoot, can you talk a little bit about what equipment you’re using, how that works in terms of … Because, one of the things that you have that not a lot of other people have is, you’ve done this enough now over the past three months, six months, whatever it’s been for doing video, where you’ve been able to figure out some type of efficiency because of the bulk that you’ve done. Whereas, people, if they’re doing a video a week or something like that, they probably don’t have that same level of efficiency. So, what are some of the things you’ve figured out that have helped you to be efficient with the shoot process.
Brita Britnell: Absolutely. So, for me, if I was working by myself, I typically will prep all the ingredients. I have a tray that I bought for photography, but it’s just a breakfast tray. I use that and I put all of my ingredients on it because I have a long, narrow kitchen. And then, I have a separate room that’s two rooms over in my house that I shoot in. We moved a year and a half ago and I just tried out every room in the house trying to decide what looked best. So, I picked this one random room as the room that I love, just the light. So, I’ll carry it in there and I have a side table, and then another table that I put the food and my laptop on, because I always have my lap top right there.
I like to look at the pictures just to see how did they style this. And then, also just so that I follow the instructions very, very carefully. Sometimes, if you forget the salt in a recipe, maybe it will be okay. But, I can’t miss that in a video because then you don’t have that shot of my hand coming in and putting the salt … I can’t fake that.
Bjork Ostrom: Right. You can’t fix that in post.
Brita Britnell: Yeah. Many times, that has happened and I really have no choice but to go back and shoot the whole thing over again, which is like “Ugh!” Just because of this salt, or whatever. Or, I accidentally forget to turn the camera on and I did mix the salt in, but the camera wasn’t on.
So now, with my assistant, I’m preparing my photography or videography room while she’s prepping the ingredients. So, once all the ingredients are ready and I’ve got the recipe pulled up, I usually, while I’m setting everything up and thinking through the style … Just maybe like, six or seven backgrounds. I pick the background and depending on the day, I might need to put bounce boards for different areas. Lately, it’s been very rainy and moody here, so I’ve needed extra filler.
And I do, on that note, have some external or some artificial lights that I tried shooting with for a while, but I just … It could just be that I didn’t master it, but I just never liked them. I tried really hard to make artificial lights work, and I could just never match the prettiness of the sun. So, I shoot exclusively with … I guess I shouldn’t say exclusively, but I shoot all my videos are in natural light. I do have … I sometimes will use one of the filler lights behind me to just fill in the shadow, just so there’s not any harsh shadows. Or, if it’s like 4pm and a recipe took longer than I meant to and I really need to shoot the final scene, I’ll just fill in the light. But, it’s still natural light with filler.
Bjork Ostrom: No. I was just going to say so at that point you have things prepped, you have the ingredients, you have the general look and aesthetic and you know what the person’s blog post looks like. So, then, you go into the shooting process, I’m guessing?
Brita Britnell: Yeah. And quite a few times, I work with Ambitious Kitchen and a lot of … I would say 50% of the recipes I do for her are not on her blog yet. So, I always ask her “Hey, can you send me a photo, even if it’s just a cell phone picture?” Because I’ve learned that even if a recipe seems straight forward, maybe they … Like if it’s cookies … I don’t know. I’ve learned that recipes can look very different. It’s hard to interpret a … I think that’s why pictures are so crucial.
Bjork Ostrom: A cookie could be twice the size. Yeah.
Brita Britnell: Yeah. So, I almost for the most part just won’t do a recipe if I don’t have even … You can just take a picture with your cell phone, I tell them. Just so I know what to shoot for.
And then, I start shooting. I go pretty slow. That’s an agreement I’ve made with myself, is to never rush through a recipe because I would say 99% of the time I rush through a recipe, I screw something up in a way that I have to completely redo it. And that’s so frustrating, so it’s worth taking about an extra 30 minutes.
I go through it and I’ve learned a lot in the process of different transitions and thing. Like, if I stir and I bring spoon out here … It’s kind of hard to explain, but I learned the little nuances that I learn as I edit of “Oh. Well, I need to move my hand in this way or else it’s going to jump.” It’s just going to have to jump to the next scene where it looks different. I don’t really like that. I like to make it flow really nicely.
Once the video is shot, and I’ve done the final product hero shot. I upload all the footage.
Bjork Ostrom: Can you explain hero shot for those that aren’t familiar with what that is?
Brita Britnell: Yeah, so, specifically for video I use almost all the time for that hero shot, I use 100 millimeter macro lens, so I get super up close. Usually, it is like a fork being dipped into the food or if it’s a cookie, it’s like a cookie being placed down. It’s so zoomed in, all you’re seeing is just that one cookie where a bite’s been taken out of.
Bjork Ostrom: Got it. Yeah, hero meaning it’s like the ultimate shot that describes and sells somebody on the recipe.
Brita Britnell: Yep. And I, often for those, will shoot five or six different scenes of that and then decide later what I like.
Bjork Ostrom: Which one you like.
Brita Britnell: Like if it’s cookie, I just yeah. I’ll use like five different cookies and take five different bites to get the right one and make it-
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, that’s a really good take away for people because for video, especially, once you wrap up, you wrap up. And if you do another shoot and you have that hero moment, the lighting could be different. There’s so many different elements. And, you’d have to make the recipe again. So, there’s probably some cut off point, but it doesn’t hurt to get multiple shots. Because, in the small amount of video stuff that I’ve done, what I’ve realized is I always go in to edit and then I feel like oh, my gosh. I thought that I had a bunch of stuff that I could work with, but if half of the shots don’t work out like I wanted, suddenly I have three left and then I don’t have as much to pick from. So, it’s always nice, like you said, to have more available.
Brita Britnell: Right. And so, I shoot with two cameras. I have my main camera that I shoot with is a Canon 6-D and I almost always use a 50 millimeter on that. I have a really simple tripod that has an extender arm that just comes with it that goes perfectly over top. And then, I have a Canon 60-D that I just always have an 85, or a 100 millimeter macro on it that just gets the zoomed in side angle shots. I get probably, I want to say like, seven times the footage that I actually use.
Like, those side shots, I often don’t use those or I often don’t have the space to use them. But, when I can use them, they’re such pretty shots, like a zoomed in shot of a piece of shrimp boiling in the sauce and little things like that.
Bjork Ostrom: So, when you’re shooting, are the cameras on the entire time? Or will you start the camera, do a shot, and then stop the camera so you have clips of footage as opposed to one long clip?
Brita Britnell: Yeah, so the way I do it is I have a lot of clips. I’ve discovered that I really like that better. My editing processes, it feels like I get through a clip and then I’m like, okay great. On to the next one! Whereas when I do long ones, I’m like oh, gosh. When is this clip going to end? And probably a whole 50% of it is a forgot a spoon and I run to the kitchen to grab a spoon and it’s just like nothing is happening and that got frustrating to me. So, I turn my camera off and on a lot. For an average video, I end up with about 35 clips between the two cameras.
Bjork Ostrom: Got it. Sure. And so, you have the two angles, you have the overhead and you said the equipment that you have to get that camera over head was what? What do you use for that?
Brita Britnell: A Canon 6-D with a 50 millimeter, typically. And then I just have a really simple tripod. People ask me about my tripod a lot and I love it. I think it was like $150, which is great in the grand scheme. I can tell y’all what that is if you want to link it.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, that would be great. We’ll include a link to that in the show notes.
Brita Britnell: And then my side camera, which is the original camera that my husband helped me buy was a 60-D and I almost always use 100 millimeter for that because I just love that … I always have it, so I mean, it’s super zoomed in. You’re seeing nothing but the inside of the pot and the juice or the water boiling or whatever.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, the serial shots.
Brita Britnell: It’s always super up close.
Bjork Ostrom: Great. And I think that’s one of those things where it’s a huge hurdle for people. “What equipment do I need? What should I buy?” So, we’ll be able to link all of that stuff in the show notes, which would be really good.
And then you bring it in and you edit it. So, I’m curious to know what editing program you use.
Brita Britnell: I use Adobe Premiere, which has a steep learning curve, but not even just six months in, I feel like I’m definitely not an expert at it, but I feel like it. I’m very proficient in what I need to do with it. I have started dabbling in AfterEffects a little bit, which is the software you can use if you want to have text that zooms in or does some different things. So, I’ve dabbled in that a little bit.
But, for editing, I use Premiere, which I really, really, like.
Bjork Ostrom: What do you like about it?
Brita Britnell: I started out with iMovie and then moved to Premier because there was just so much more that you could do with it. I do a lot of masking, so if you have a sheet of cookies and you bring them off and the words kind of appear as the sheet of cookies is being brought off; I love the look at that. It’s so satisfying. And, it sometimes can take a while to do it. Sometimes, it can take a whole half hour just to do that. But, I just love the look of it and so I love a lot of the little things like that that you can do within Premiere.
Bjork Ostrom: That’s awesome. So, we’re coming to the end here, but I want to ask you two more questions to kind of wrap up here. One is specific to your journey over all and then the other one is specific to video. So, the first question I want to ask you is for people who are interested in making a similar transition, what would your advice or encouragement be to them?
Brita Britnell: I think the advice that I would give myself is to not be tied to one thing. To not have such a strict image of what it’s going to be. For me, it was that I saw the path that … I mean, Lindsay, for example. I saw the path that she took and I was like “That’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to do exactly what she did.” And same thing with a few other bloggers. I think not looking at someone else and thinking you’re going to take that same path to get to your ultimate goal and I think maybe even being a little flexible about what your ultimate goal is. Like I said, I’m so in love with the video, that if this is my career and this is what I end up doing and my blog doesn’t massively take off, I would be totally fine with that. I’m loving what I’m doing, but I never ever would have gotten here if it wasn’t for my blog to begin with.
Bjork Ostrom: I think that’s such good advice and the reason that I think it’s so important for people to hear that is because we have this idea of what we want and that’s a little bit nebulous. It’s hard to describe or define. Usually, what it comes down to is something like freedom of decisions, or flexibility with schedule, or time to focus on what I want. What the path that they see going down, or other people that they’ve seen doing it, try and replicate that. But, in actuality, that’s just one of the paths that lead to this desired destination. And what you’ve just described is you’ve gotten to this desired destination, using a path that you didn’t know existed or you didn’t see. But, it’s like, you still ended up in the same place, but it wasn’t the path that you thought would take you there.
I think that’s really important for people to understand and to think critically. Not just what is the path I want to take, but where is it that I actually want to go and to define that and then figure out okay, there’s 9,000 path that I could take to get there. So, that’s really cool.
Brita Britnell: Exactly, yeah.
Bjork Ostrom: And another one of the benefits is that you can work from home. And as we’ve found, one of the greatest benefits is you can be with your dogs, which I wish that dogs could communicate through Skype because we’re at the studio today. I would bring Sage over and say hello to your dogs. Is it one dog or do you have multiple dogs?
Brita Britnell: Yeah, I have two. We almost made it through this interview without them going crazy.
Bjork Ostrom: But you said that. Yeah, you had mentioned-
Brita Britnell: Yeah, we have llamas across the street.
Bjork Ostrom: Llamas.
Brita Britnell: They just move and they bark at them. If it’s not the llamas, then it’s a mailman or something. If anybody walks anywhere near my house, they need to let me know about it.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, for sure. They’re just protecting.
Brita Britnell: Lexi and Zorro, my dogs, and they’re Great Pyrenees mixes. So, they’re almost 100 pounds each.
Bjork Ostrom: Oh, funny. Yeah.
Brita Britnell: And then we have a cat that doesn’t make a lot of noise.
Bjork Ostrom: Not quite as loud.
Brita Britnell: But, she causes the dogs to make a lot of noise.
Bjork Ostrom: That’s funny. Well, we have one more question that I would still love for you to answer and would love to hear about. So, you talked about the specifics with blogging or becoming a business owner and entrepreneur. Awesome advice.
Maybe on a smaller scale, for those that are interested in starting with a video, what would you say to those people?
Brita Britnell: Yeah, do it, first of all. I think it’s awesome and I think a lot of the reason I first started getting in the … Well, I went to the conference and they talked about video, but on Food Blogger Pro, y’all just started talking about the importance of it and I felt like it was just kind of everywhere.
So, I would encourage people. I’m going to give people the same advice that was given to me, which is don’t have … Maybe just start out with a video that you never intend to use. I would say don’t plan on using it. And if it turns out okay, if it ends up being a good video, that’s awesome, but I would say just start practicing so that you don’t have that pressure. Just know that it’s going to be a learning experience. I would say that I’m still learning things, but even now, there’s so many little things that I can’t even really teach someone. You kind of just have to figure it out on your own. Like, “Oh, I shouldn’t move my hand in this way.” And a lot of little things like that.
And then, also, you can do it with anything. I’m in a blog mastermind group with Beth from Eat Within Your Means and I think her very first video that she posted was, she shot it … I’m sorry if this is wrong, Beth. But, she shot it with a very simple tripod, I’m pretty sure using her iPhone 7 Plus, and that video is at like 2 or 3 million views.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, what an awesome story.
Brita Britnell: Yeah, yeah. I think it grew her Facebook by quite a few thousand followers. I really do, I really think that was her very first video. So, I guess I should say, don’t necessarily expect that your very first video is going to bring you millions of views.
Bjork Ostrom: But, point being, that in order to get … It’s a case study of saying in order to get to millions of views, it doesn’t require that you have a super expensive camera or expensive equipment.
Brita Britnell: I’ve seen a lot of people make really awesome video with their iPhone. I’m super impressed with them.
Bjork Ostrom: Yes. For sure.
Brita Britnell: And then, there’s a lot of really neat … I would say just start with iMovie or some kind of editing software that’s free. Even Adobe Premiere isn’t that expensive, but I would say start with something free slash doesn’t have as steep as a learning curve. Just kind of make it as easy on yourself as possible. For me, I was so daunted by it. I sectioned out a whole day to work on one video. So, I would say just go into it slowly and ask questions. I asked a lot of questions. I’m always open to answering people’s questions.
Bjork Ostrom: And that’s going to be a good lead in here to how people can connect with you and I know that there’s going to be a lot of people that listen to this that would be potentially interested in working with you, right? So, you have your blog and then you also have the client side, where you do the videos for people. So, can you talk about how people can get in touch with you just to get in touch with you or get in touch with you to maybe start a conversation about working with you?
Brita Britnell: Yeah, I’m fine giving my email out because it’s on my blog anyways, but my email is just BritaBritnell which is B-R-I-T-A Britnell @gmail, which again, is on my blog. And then, my blog is B.Britnell.com. I do have some videography and photography resources on my blog, just kind of writing about what I’ve learned along the way. I’ve been working with some awesome bloggers. Right now, as a side note, it’s really neat to me that 100% of my clients are women. I just kind of find that very empowering.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, absolutely.
Brita Britnell: Not that I am opposed at all to working with men. It’s just kind of has worked out that way. Yeah. At the end of the day, I could talk video all day long.
Bjork Ostrom: Cool. That’s awesome. Thanks for offering that to people; the ability to reach out and connect with you. I know a lot of people will take you up on that. And I really appreciate you coming on the podcast today. It was super fun to connect again.
Brita Britnell: Thanks for having me. It means a lot.
Bjork Ostrom: And another touch point in our relationship and our story together, so it was really fun. Thanks, Brita.
Brita Britnell: Yeah. Absolutely! Thanks, Bjork.
Bjork Ostrom: Thanks so much for tuning in. Really appreciate it. Wherever you are, whether you’re washing dishes or working out, or intently listening to this podcast while taking notes, we really appreciate you and the fact that you tune in.
I wanted to give you an update on something that’s kind of fun. We’ve been working really hard behind the scenes on a recipe plug in. You’ll notice on Pinch of Yum, if you look at any of the recent recipes that we’ve done, we have converted over and we’re using that 100% of the time now. The recipe plug in is called Tasty Recipes.
It’s part of an umbrella brand called WPTasty and you can get there by going to WBTasty.com. We are getting close to releasing that. It’s still a beta, which means that we’re still getting it out to people slowly, but surely. A couple of people every day are able to get up and running with it, but we’re going to open the doors on that pretty soon. What I wanted to let you know, is if you’re interested in following along with that, potentially using that on your blog; if you don’t feel 100% secure with the recipe plug in you have right now, whether it’s not being actively updated or maintained, or maybe there are pieces of it you want to adjust or change, be sure to check out some of the recent posts on Pinch Of Yum to see a little bit of what Tasty Recipes looks like and how it works.
We’re super excited about it and we love the idea that it’s something that we use every single day so we can stay really in tuned with what’s needed and what we want as well as what customers what. Which is why we’ve opened it up and allow other people to download that and purchase Tasty Recipes as well.
So, I wanted to mention that. It’s something that we’ve really enjoyed working on. I haven’t done any of the development; some people have asked me that. We are working with somebody who used to work at WordPress and his name is Daniel and he has a company called HandBuilt. They create beautiful code there and he does a really, really good job supporting this plug in and helping us develop a really solid solution for us, and also now for other people. So, I wanted to mention that here at the end of the podcast episode.
Before I sign off, I wanted to give one more big thank you to Brita for coming on and sharing her insights and her story and I hope that it inspired you.
All right. Make it a good week. Thanks, guys.