When picturing a top level view of social media, what comes to your mind’s eye?
Most of us consider the advancement of Facebook or Instagram in a generally negative light; something undeniably addictive that further divides the country or a medium to ignite negativity.
But there’s a whole different side to social media that, for many, counterbalances the negative reputation that has fallen onto the various apps and websites we love to hate.
Personal development and spiritual influencers have carved out a whole new niche in social media that actually makes it a positive experience—something that leaves users feeling empowered and excited about life rather than falling into endlessly scrolling through negativity.
And as it turns out, creating content around helping people develop a heightened sense of self-worth and self-awareness pays off in more ways than one… if you’re committed to making a difference in the lives of your followers.
Below, we spoke to Mikayla Jai a Spiritual Mentor & Personal Development Influencer who successfully launched and runs her business by connecting with clients through her upbeat and unfiltered TikTok and Instagram channels.
From leaning into the feeling of being successful while building her brand, to refusing to hold back when it comes to sharing life updates and behind-the-scenes stories about her life, mindset, and business, here’s exactly how the Los Angeles-based twenty-something has managed to build a multiple six-figure business in a few short years by giving spiritual and personal development guidance on social media.
Ladders: In your opinion, what is it about TikTok/Instagram that makes people so much more open to advice versus more traditional methods?
Mikayla Jai: People are much more open to advice and guidance online when they see the teacher practicing what they preach. In my experience, my brand has grown so rapidly because my audience has watched me practice my energetic and spiritual tactics to create the life of my dreams!
I’ve used Instagram and TikTok to take them behind the scenes of moving countries for a short while, moving across the USA, getting a house, getting my dream car. When your audience can watch your journey and be a part of it, they’re going to want to know how you did it. Which results in signing clients.
Social media does this so well because it’s a medium to consistently add to. Whereas a conference or in-person session can only be added upon at the next conference or the next session. On Tik Tok, you could add new information in just 10 seconds!
I’ve found that this high level of interaction, and/or ability to create more value at any moment, builds a much stronger relationship and trust with your audience. Making them more open to receive your thoughts.
Ladders: How did you get started using social media as a tool for business? When did you realize that you were onto something?
MJ: Before I started my business, I launched a blog. Honestly, I felt like I was onto something as soon as I launched the blog. This occurred because I was interacting with so many people at my university who always asked me “How do you get so much done?” because I was in 18 credit hours of classes, working, traveling, maintaining my health, in a thriving relationship and still had time to be social.
My friends were stumped! With the massive amount of people asking me how to do it all, I thought it’d be much simpler to write it all down and send everyone the same message. That was the moment my blog was born!
I started writing posts twice per week about motivation, time management, balance, positive mindset, travel, etc. That way when people asked how, I could send them a blog post. It was then that I realized I was onto something… it was efficient!
When I launched my business, I knew I wanted to take this online approach because I could impact a wider reach of people with less work. This not only saved my time and energy, I could quite literally change more peoples’ lives in the online space.
Instead of hosting an in-person workshop, maybe in a room that could hold a maximum amount of 30, I could host a workshop in a private Facebook group with 100+. I didn’t realize I was considering scalability at the beginning but that’s exactly what it was.
Ladders: What are some of the biggest challenges that come with using social media as a tool for business? Is there anything specific you’ve had to overcome?
MJ: The biggest challenge with social media is when to shut off. Having your business be accessible all hours of the day makes it extremely easy to work all day long. There’s always another Instagram story you can post, a reel you can create. You could hop on live video on TikTok. Anyone could message you at any point in time. It becomes a challenge of creating (and sticking to) boundaries.
I struggled with this the most on vacations especially because a huge pillar of my content is travel. My views, engagement and following increases with the travel content. On vacation, that tempts you to be posting constantly and responding to all the comments. But there has to be a boundary to shut off the phone, be present and enjoy your trip.
I still struggle with this sometimes! I have friends who lock their phones in the hotel safe for the day on vacation. I usually put mine on airplane mode!
Ladders: What is the absolute best part about using social media to connect with clients?
MJ: My favorite part about using social media to draw in clients is knowing they come to me because they genuinely want to be in my space! They choose me and that’s very special! There are a lot of other spiritual mentors online, and in-person, yet they resonate with what I have to say and how I show up online.
It reminds you, as a creator, that your work is impacting people and that they are choosing to be in your virtual world. Some people work with therapists because their offices are close to home or go to one crystal shop because it’s the only one they are aware of. My clients make an active choice to work with me, without the physical factors.
Another reason I love using social media to connect with clients is the continuous support they get. When they join a course or mentorship program, they receive that content and mentoring, of course. But my clients always get to plug into what I’m talking about in my free daily content! Some of my top paying clients watch my TikToks, Instagram stories, live videos, podcast episodes, etc every day along with their paid content. If I had an in-person spiritual practice, they would not get the same amount of inspiration and content!
Ladders: What do you want aspiring business owners to know about operating business on TikTok/Instagram?
MJ: There are two key things about building a successful personal development brand online: Energy and consistency. I started my business with under 1,000 Instagram followers and TikTok was still Musical.ly (and I didn’t have an account)!
However, I showed up on Instagram every single day with the energy of having 10K followers. At first, a lot of business owners get discouraged that nobody is listening or they aren’t getting engagement. People are listening—even just 10 views on an Instagram story is people listening. Do it for those 10 people and show up for them like it was 1000 people watching your stories daily. Same for TikTok.
How would you create content if you already had 100K followers? You would be excited to create, connect with your audience in the comments, go live and show up with high energy. When you do this every single day, people start sharing your content. They see you as a leader!
Your audience will feel more comfortable messaging you because you’re like a friend to them. A friend they talk to and listen to daily! Along with this, you start to expect more results.
What else do you expect to happen when you’re being extremely consistent with high quality content/value? Of course it will grow! That is the backbone of my business.