Episode 49 — Self Made Millennial: An Interview with Madeline Mann

Ad Results Media
13 min readAug 29, 2022

When you think about char-topping social media content in 2022, you probably picture viral dances or remixed memes. Madeline Mann breaks out of those boxes. After creating a successful YouTube channel at Self Made Millennial, she’s continued to find success with short-form video on TikTok and beyond. Her secret? Drawing from her HR background to fill a new for career-focused coaching from a recruiters POV. Today, she joins us to talk about how she got started, the importance of authenticity, what she looks for in brand partnerships, and her takeaways from VidCon 2022.

(0s): We actually use Scribd in our home.

(4s): Do you really love your Sleep Number? And we do.

(24s): Madeline Mann is an HR and recruiting specialist who has used her insider knowledge of the hiring process to create Self-Made Millennial an award-winning career coaching empire, including successful YouTube and TikTok channels

(36s): Known for finding the glory in your story. Mann has coached a number of professionals into landing high paying jobs in seemingly unattainable roles. Her programs have led to countless success stories and her clients have landed careers at companies such as Amazon, NBC universal, Google, Netflix, and more

(53s): Self-Made Millennial has been featured on ABC Bloomberg wall street journal and has been named the top five career YouTube channel.

(1m 0s): I’m Lindsay Smith

(1m 2s): And I’m Nate spell.

(1m 3s): And on this episode of On the Mic with Ad Results Media, we are excited to welcome Madeline to the show to discuss short form video creation, being one of the first on TikTok and some of her key takeaways from VidCon 2022. Welcome Madeline. Before we dive into your experience as a YouTube and TikTok content creator, let’s talk about self-made millennial. I would like to know when all of this started and what made you want to move into career coaching?

(1m 30s): I was leading human resources at a tech company, and I was the one who was seeing all of the applications come through of who’s landing the interviews. Who’s also landing the promotions and there were some very distinct patterns that were showing up. And I thought if only job seekers knew and could see what I see, they would make much different decisions when they are going to find their next opportunity.

And so the first thing I did was I started responding to job applications, directly giving them advice, which I thought I was going to be their absolute hero, but it turns out that people don’t enjoy unsolicited feedback and they got very angry at me. So I thought, how do I give my knowledge and my advice in a way that people would be receptive? And so I started writing YouTube scripts and just writing down all of my ideas and it wasn’t to be a business.

It wasn’t to be anything. It was more of just, I loved my day job. And then I wanted to share all that information with job seekers. And over time, it just developed into this absolutely incredible beast of an organization and helping thousands and thousands of job seekers in my coaching programs and working with so many different, amazing people. So it really, it just to see where it’s come was definitely not the plan, but it’s been absolutely incredible.

(3m 4s): That’s so cool to hear the trajectory and like, starting with something that was just so natural for you. So I’m curious, did you, did you start right away? Was it YouTube that you were first kind of putting, I actually found you separately from this podcast by the way through Instagram. So I’ve been following you and I think it’s really cool, but I’m curious, was Instagram your first stop or were you making scripts for YouTube? First?

(3m 28s): YouTube was my very first, like that’s where I put all of my energy into was YouTube.

(3m 34s): How much, so how much work goes into the average YouTube video, do you think?

(3m 39s): So in the beginning I was doing everything including the video editing, which I think is probably one of the longest pieces and just so many hours. I think YouTube is one of the most challenging platforms I would say, because there’s so much that goes into it. I do, you know, the research for every video. Then I, you know, keyword research like SEO research. Then I write my own scripts. Then I, you know, there’s the thumbnail, there’s the having the right title, then uploading all of it, promoting it.

There’s so much that goes into it. And it’s, it’s typically a higher quality video than maybe on some of the other platforms it’s expected. So yes, dozens of hours per video, probably it’s, it’s so much work, but one of the things I liked was while it is a crowded market, it’s less crowded than other platforms because the barrier to entry or, or the ways that you can really build videos can sometimes be a bit more take, take a bit more time.

(4m 37s): That’s interesting. So you’re, so it sounds like what you’re saying is the amount of investment that a creator has to put into a really good video is actually kind of something that separates like the bar for content is higher there,

(4m 49s): I would say so because a lot of my videos these days are between 10 and 20 minutes on YouTube. And so that comes with, you know, a long script. I, if you factor in the amount of time I take filming, and then the time that my video editor takes to edit it, it it’s a lot more than, you know, a 32nd video you might see on a shorter, like on a Instagram reels or on a TikTok.

(5m 14s): How do you choose each topic? And how do you kind of keep things fresh? Do you take ideas from your audience or how do you go about coming up with each idea for each video?

(5m 26s): A lot of it is search volume. So what are people asking on the internet and how can I address that? And then there’s also plenty of amazing people in my audience who will ask certain questions and that’ll pop up. And then the last place I look is I work with clients and I see what they’re doing. And I, I think, okay, if that’s, if you have this question, I’m sure thousands of other people have this question as well. So I try to address some of those as well.

(5m 55s): So I said earlier, I, I actually stumbled across self-made millennial on Instagram. Others have probably seen you on TikTok and elsewhere. So I’m curious, TikTok is one of the platforms that everyone is obviously thinking about and talking about a lot more. When did you move into TikTok? Was that something where you like pretty early in making the leap there? Or, or how did that shake out for you?

(6m 16s): I would say I was pretty early to TikTok. I joined in 2019 and at that point, no one was really talking direct to camera. It was still a lot of dancing. It was still also, if you were giving tips, there was music and you were pointing to, to things on the screen. And I looked all those videos and I said, I can’t compete here. I am not a dancer. I’m not going to be as clever and, and kind of creative as these folks. So I’m just going to talk straight to camera. And at that point, the only person who I, I saw in the business space, who was doing that on TikTok was Gary Baner Chuck.

And I thought, all right, I’m, I’m just, I’m just gonna be me. And right at the beginning, like people had never seen career content on TikTok. So I was just getting millions of views from the very, like, if you look at my first five videos, they just knocked out of the park because no one was doing that. And, and it, I wasn’t trying to be what other successful people on the platform were being. No, that’s

(7m 13s): Awesome. That’s good to know that you don’t have to be good at dancing to be on TikTok because that’s, that’s something that I’ve been, you know, I’ve been holding back for that. So now it’s good to know. I’m curious, how does the audience differ for you as the YouTube audience? The engagement there wildly different than TikTok or, or is there some overlap?

(7m 32s): What’s so interesting about YouTube when you compare it to TikTok is TikTok is what I call stumble upon content where yes, people can subscribe to me, but they are not necessarily choosing to watch a video about their job search in that moment. Whereas on YouTube, the viewers are a lot more intentional. A lot of them are searching for my videos. A lot of them are seeing it on the page and, and clicking it and thinking about what they wanna do. So what ends up happening is it’s great on TikTok because I get discovered by new people more easily, but the people who end up on my videos are not necessarily always my target audience.

There’s a lot more negativity on TikTok. They’ll say more disparity things. They’ll say things that are truly inaccurate and be, but these are because these people maybe are not in the same field as me. We’re on YouTube. The, the comments are extremely positive and they’re, they’re very, because these people really wanted this help and they got it. And they’re saying, I just had a breakthrough. I just landed the best job of my life. You’re incredible. So it’s very different. If I want an ego boost, I go to YouTube if I want an audience boost.

And I go,

(8m 44s): That is so interesting to me because I have always thought of YouTube comments as one of the scariest places on the internet. So the idea that TikTok is, is more negative or more appalling in some of the comments is that’s frightening.

(9m 0s): It’s kind of funny how you were talking about being one of the first kind of talking to the camera creators on, on TikTok. I was watching one of your recent TikTok videos about, you know, being authentic and, and folks kind of feeling inauthentic in, in like their networking and stuff. So I’m kind of curious because I also kind of deal with that feeling of feeling inauthentic myself. So what’s the best way to combat that during like networking or, or during the interview process or, or maybe even during like content creation, cuz I even deal with that sometimes during the interview process, during on the mic, like, and I’ve been doing this for three years and I still sometimes come on here and feel like I’m not my authentic self.

So how would you best combat that during like networking and interviewing?

(9m 52s): Yeah. So I know which video you’re talking about. Basically. I think what I’ve found is that so many of my people, my audience, my clients, when they hear you just, you need to network to land your job. They go, Ew, I don’t want to hit people up for jobs. I don’t. That seems scammy. That seems needy. And so yes, it it’s, it’s a feeling that a lot of us get. Now there’s a couple things you can do to eradicate that. I think the first thing is that anyone will like you more, if you are curious about them and you ask them questions about them, it’s so weird how you can get through an entire conversation with someone and they’ll go, wow, you are the, you are the best conversationalist and they’ll barely have learned anything about you, but you’ve just been asking them really curious questions.

So when you want to meet new people, take a really genuine interest in them. When you’re networking with someone, don’t say, Hey, can you pass along my resume? Hey, can you get me onto this podcast or, or whatever? No, you, you say, you know, I’d love to hear your story. Like, would you be open to sharing your experiences and get really curious and really understand what they are focused on right now? What is important to them? And then find little ways to add value. If I know that you are going on a trip soon to Disney world, I might think, oh, okay.

How could I help? Is there like a really good article to help them, you know, make, make it so that the time at the park is, is most optimized? Or do I have any friends who work there or if it’s something business oriented, you all have this, this podcast maybe think, okay, I’m gonna share this podcast to my network. And let’s say I only have 200 connections on LinkedIn. I bet you that even if I only had 200 connections, you would still be grateful that I took that time to share something that’s important to you and, and make that leap.

So I think just always seeing it as relationship building and, and never thinking of it as a tip for tap, but more of like, I’m going to be generous. I’m going to build this relationship and, and you know, it’s not about hunting. People think networking’s about hunting. It’s more about farming.

(11m 58s): I really like that. I actually, I, I think the fear that you were talking about of, of networking is something that I, I actually related to a lot. So I was not able to attend VidCon this year, but I’ve really enjoyed hearing everyone’s takeaways. So I know you were at VidCon, just really kind of curious to hear what your experience was. If you had any favorite moments, any run-ins with people that you were really hoping to see or, or any takeaways from the experience overall.

(12m 28s): Yeah. I had a lot of fun at VidCon. I ended up kind of going to a separate part of, you know, a separate place where there’s a lot of creators and a lot of big name creators. And it’s interesting. One of the, the fun things was to share our experiences that are pretty unrelatable to most people. You know, when you’re, when you’re a creator, there’s so many things that you experience both the really high highs of literally helping millions of people, land jobs, to the low lows of people, just wanting to constantly tear you apart.

And then there’s also, there’s so many different business dynamics. So I really enjoyed meeting tons of different creators and all the different ways that they have been using all these different video mediums to build a lifestyle for themselves. And it is also nice to know that not everyone knows exactly what they’re doing and that’s fine. And it’s fun to, to share tips and also to, to just kind of see the, the people who are behind so many of these accounts that we know and love.

(13m 31s): Any thoughts for advertisers who are, you know, looking to partner with creators, like you, I think it’s something that, you know, there’s, let’s just say there’s, there’s a lot of focus on creators and, and marketing partnerships with creators. So I’m kind of curious to hear from your perspective as a creator, what do you look for whenever an advertiser’s coming to you? And if you have any experiences, you know, that listeners should know about?

(13m 57s): Yeah. I would say that when I’m, I I do very few partnerships last year, I got over 300 offers to do different partnerships and sponsorships. And I think I ended up doing three or four of them. And the reason being is I have no interest in partnering with anyone who isn’t completely aligned with what I would just normally recommend to my audience. Like there has to be a very clear thing of, oh, I don’t have, you know, this type of service yet that I’ve offered my audience.

Like, let me experience your product and see if it’s a good fit. And I think that that’s really the best part is when it just makes sense when it isn’t this forced sponsorship that just is, oh, you have a big audience. We’re gonna throw this in front of your audience. And that’s just personally for me is, is I just, I really want it to be something that is long term that my audience is going to say, wow, this was, was the things that you bring me are so curated and so helpful to where it’s almost like I would, I would just do it for free even.

And, and so those, those types of relationships understanding me as a content creator and then me understanding them that mutual understanding has been the most fun to work together on.

(15m 10s): Very cool. Yeah. I mean, going back to authenticity, that’s such a huge thing for, for the match to really be there. And on our end, I feel like it really does play through whenever you see a creator who truly believes in the product or the brand that they’re partnering with, you can tell.

(15m 26s): Yeah,

(15m 27s): Man, thank you so much for being on the show. Where can our listeners find you on the internet?

(15m 32s): Yeah. So my website is Madeline man.com. You can also find me on YouTube and TikTok as self-made millennial, and you can also check me out on LinkedIn. I’m very active on that platform as well. It just can search for Madeline man.

(15m 48s): Awesome. Well, thank you so much for being on the show today.

(15m 50s): Thank you.

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(16m 10s): While you’re at it, please leave us a review. We’d love to hear your thoughts, questions, or ideas for future episodes. So feel free to email us directly at onthemic@adresultsmedia.com.

(16m 20s): On the Mic is hosted by Lindsay Smith and Nate Spell, edited by Jeffrey Stallings and produced by Ad Results Media. For more information about Ad Results Media go to adresultsmedia.com or follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

(16m 34s): We’re proud to be a part of the AdWeek Podcast Network and the Acast Creator Network. Find more podcasts like this one at adweek.com/podcasts.

For more information on Madeline and Self Made Millennial, visit madelinemann.com or give her a follow on LinkedIn and YouTube.



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