We sat down to chat with photographers Amy & Jordan about their latest venture Life with Amy & Jordan, a podcast to help entrepreneurs live their best lives, one intentional decision at a time. With episodes like “The Multitasking Myth” and “This Will Make or Break Your Relationships,” the podcast is about more than photography and business.
Here, they share why they started a podcast, their marketing strategy (it’s not what you might think!) and their #1 piece of advice for those who want to start their own.
Let’s start with a fun one. How did you meet each other?
We actually met in high school! It was in our Freshman English class, so we were only fourteen years old when our teacher (or fate!) assigned us to sit in desks in the same row. Amy was quiet and shy, and Jordan was the TOTAL opposite. We finally started dating our senior year, and have the embarrassing prom photos to prove it 🙂 Amy wore the poofiest pink dress with the world’s tightest updo, and Jordan confidently rocked an all-white tux.
You two have been in the creative industry for a while. Can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
We definitely had an unconventional start to the creative industry! We started our career as elementary school teachers. At the same school. In next-door classrooms. We were newlyweds, 22-years-old, and it was around that time we fell in love with photography.
As fate would have it, one of our student’s dads was a professional photographer, so when Amy found that out, she quickly and spontaneously volunteered to assist him at weddings for free. She didn’t know ANYTHING about photography, but she offered to carry his bags, get him water and help him with anything else he might need so she could see what it was like to work on a real wedding day. During her first wedding with him, he gave her a crash course on how to use a camera, and she got thrown into the deep end pretty quickly, second shooting with him and learning fast on the job in high-pressure situations.
Amy taught Jordan everything she was learning as she went, and pretty soon, we found ourselves working every spare hour we weren’t at our full-time day jobs to make our dream of full-time photography a reality. It was SO hard, exhausting and full of moments of discouragement, where we wondered if we should just give up, but we’re so thankful we pushed through those tough years. Not only did it allow us to eventually live out our own dream, it also gave us a unique perspective that allows us to teach other people who have no background in photography or business how to do the same.
So you launched a podcast! Congrats! When and why did you decide it was time to make it happen?
It’s something we’ve been thinking about for a few years and praying really actively about since our annual goal-setting retreat with our team in January. Amy’s 18 weeks pregnant right now (with our second baby) so she was sick in bed most of the summer. Since she wasn’t able to really go anywhere or do anything –– and because Arizona is a furnace in June, July and August –– we had a lot of time in our air-conditioned cave to think and reflect about the best ways we could serve others during this next season of our life.
As teachers and educators, we feel a sincere responsibility to bring real value to people’s lives and never waste their time, which is why we didn’t greenlight this project until we were absolutely sure we could just that, and make it sustainable for us in the long-run, too.
Something we’re personally working on this year, partly due to becoming parents and feeling like we have less time than ever before, is the idea that “done is better than perfect.” People don’t need us (or you) to be perfect. They just need us to show up and do our best. The timing wasn’t as much strategic as it was practical. Amy had just started feeling well enough to work full-time again, and there’s only a small window of time between now and when our second baby arrives, so we knew it was now or never!
But LIFE with Amy & Jordan is not a photography podcast (although we know you love photography and teaching photographers). Can you tell us more about the topics covered?
For a while now, our heart’s desire has been to connect with our online community on a deeper level, to be more vulnerable and transparent with them, and to share more of our real, everyday life with them. Hopefully in a way that makes them smile and laugh, but also makes their life better and helps them become the best version of themselves. We just wanted another way to serve and support people in whatever season of life they’re walking through.
In the podcast, we share the personal secrets and life strategies that we’ve learned (and are still learning) –– through both our successes and failures –– to hopefully help others live the best version of their life, one intentional choice at a time. Lessons in relationships, communication, business, faith, finances, time management, personal growth and so much more. Because we believe that success isn’t for the chosen few. It’s for those who choose.
Who should listen to your podcast and what can they expect to learn?
Our podcast is for people who are serious about growth in every area of their life. People who want to make small, daily intentional decisions that lead to great outcomes, and have fun while they’re doing it 🙂 You can expect to learn practical, applicable takeaways in areas like productivity, relationships, personal finance, time management and so much more.
For those out there who don’t know you yet and feel like there are a ton of podcasts they have to choose from, why should they listen to yours?
There are a ton of incredible podcasts out there! We have multiple that we listen to at different times for different reasons. Our podcast is for people we want to enrich their lives by taking daily, practical steps toward great, long-term outcomes. We believe education is serious business, but learning should be fun.
Our hope is that our listeners learn a lot, and smile a lot, too. We want them to walk away from each episode with multiple takeaways they can implement immediately that will make life better for them and the people around them. The best piece of feedback we’re hearing from our current listeners is how much they’re immediately applying to their own lives.
What was one thing you thought would be super easy about starting a podcast that in reality was difficult?
We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to provide the highest quality content we possibly can, because we believe teachers are (and should) be held to a high standard. If you’re going to recommend to someone how they could or should live their life, you better have already lived it and had it personally work for you –– because there are real people with real problems and real lives on the other end of the headphones, and they need real solutions that are proven to work.
That’s why we teach from our own life experience. It allows us to be honest and vulnerable with our listeners. It also means we can sleep at night knowing we’ve shared truths with our audience that we can stand behind.
All that said, we spend about four hours outlining each 30-60 minute episode to really flesh out all of our ideas and make sure they’re solid before we go on air. We value our listeners’ time and take that responsibility really seriously.
What was one thing you thought would be super difficult that turned out to be a piece of cake?
Haha! To be honest, NOTHING about this project has been a piece of cake! But the sweetest part (no pun intended!) has been the messages and emails we’ve already received from listeners whose lives are tangibly and measurably better because they’ve implemented what they’ve learned.
How did you go about choosing the podcast name and then creating the brand?
It was really hard! We went through about 1,000 potential names before we settled on Life with Amy & Jordan. At one point, had a pretty epic group text thread going where a handful of our friends were sharing ideas, but every time we really liked one, it was either already taken or trademarked or something.
At what felt like the last a minute, a friend reached out and said, “One of my favorite things is just getting to do life with you. I love our couch conversations. Why don’t you just invite everyone into your living room to ‘do life’ with Amy and Jordan.”
We couldn’t believe we hadn’t thought of it! It was so simple, yet so perfect. We were overcomplicating things, which is why it’s really important to have friends who can see the whole forest when you’re lost in the trees.
You already have a brand for your photography business and for your education business, what is the best way to launch another new brand, yet keep it cohesive?
Our goal for this podcast definitely wasn’t (and isn’t) a new brand. It’s just an extension of our current brand. A lot of people have been asking us if this is a precursor to something else. We honestly haven’t gotten that far. It felt too overwhelming to think of more than one thing at once!
Are you of the “build it and they’ll come” philosophy or did you have a launch plan? Can you walk us through your marketing strategy?
We believe the best marketing strategy is to love and serve people well over time. The rest will take care of itself.
Before we started this project, we decided that it was a free gift to love, serve and help our current online community. If that’s as far as it goes, that’s a win for us. If it grows and gets bigger, that would be an honor, too.
Either way, we’ll be the same people, teaching the same principles, from the same microphone, behind the same desk, in our home office, walking down the hallway in-between recordings to make Play-Doh snowmen and do Baby Shark coloring books with our toddler 🙂
What’s the #1 piece of advice you’d give others considering starting a podcast?
Take it seriously and be professional. If you’re going to ask for an hour of someone’s precious time in a given week, make it count. Because there are a lot of other things they could be doing with that hour, and they’re giving it to you. Understand the weight of that responsibility before you start.
And ask yourself the self-aware question that we all need to ask ourselves before we post on social media, write a blog post, record a podcast or anything like that:
Objectively, is this something I would be excited about if someone else was doing it?
People spray a lot of things onto the Internet. A lot of them aren’t helpful, and a lot of them don’t benefit anyone except the person doing the spraying. As a community, we should continue to link arms to try and change that.
Okay we’re big fans and we loved your first four episodes. Can’t wait for next week’s. How can our readers support you?
Thank you so much! That means a lot to us! The three best, quick and easy ways to support the show are to:
1. Subscribe in iTunes
2. Leave a quick written review (this one is huge!)
3. Share it with your family and friends — and on social media
It’s easy to believe that your review won’t make a difference, but there isn’t anything further from the truth. Every single review, subscribe, rating, download and share helps us reach more people, which is why you taking the time to do it means so much to us!