By now, this should sound familiar: video is key. 

But, as Taya DiCarlo has learned, creating videos is one thing; having a plan for consistent video creation—and carrying it out even when you’re not feeling it—is another. 

During BAM Camp’s closing keynote on Wednesday, Taya shared how she got started, along with the challenges she faced on her way to becoming a multi-million dollar real estate agent for the Los Angeles area. 

Read on to learn how she taps into her inner creative director regardless of the mood she’s in at the time—sad, frustrated, anxious, depressed, etc. 

Because your creativity doesn’t go away when you’re not feeling creative. It comes when you call. 

Getting started with video

Taya has been making videos since 2015, but she’ll be the first to tell you it wasn’t easy to build the following she has now. She shared a Gary Vee quote that she took to heart: “Everyone starts with zero f*king followers.” 

When she started, she was insecure about her looks and about what people would think of her doing videos facing the camera. 

No one was doing video in 2015 on Instagram. They were taking pictures of their pumpkin spice latté… But if you know your shit, you know your market, and you’re getting on camera and you’re letting everybody know, the phone will eventually ring.

Taya DiCarlo

In 2015, she was at one of the lowest points in her life—the most depressed she’d ever been. As a new mom, she was on an eat-what-I-kill basis and had little choice but to do the work and make the investment of time and energy to grow her business. But she had no game plan.

Taya wondered all the time whether her videos would make a difference and whether anyone would talk about her. The answer to both turned out to be yes. 

One thing she would not accept is not knowing the answer. When it came to marketing, she went to Google with questions like, “How do I create a brand?” This was before ChatGPT, so she found ideas, tried them, failed, tried something else, failed again….and again…and again. 

But she kept showing up. She kept trying. And she kept learning and applying and making mistakes and putting herself out there. 

And no matter how well it went (or didn’t), Taya made a point of learning as much as she could about the subject matter she talked about in her videos. 

If someone calls me on the topic that I made a video on…if I was reading a script and didn’t actually know what the hell I’m talking about, do you think I’m going to earn them as a client? The answer is no. It’s a hard no. So, if you’re putting yourself out there. And you’re spending thousands of dollars on video. Or you’re even brave enough to make a video in the first place, you’d better be able to back it up.

Taya DiCarlo

Success story

Taya started out as an assistant, working for an industry pro for almost three years. Then she struck out on her own and failed miserably. But her former boss followed her on Instagram. 

Eleven years later—eleven years of stacking pennies to build credibility—that former boss sent her a text: “Do you do Redondo Beach?” Long story short, Taya agreed to the appointment and met up with her for a $14 million (overpriced) expired listing. They rocked the appointment and ended up selling the home for $10.8 million. 

The best thing about that was the fact that her former boss trusted her—because of her videos. That’s the power of social media AND knowing your shit. 

From making videos to having a plan

Prior to 2019, Taya didn’t get referrals. Her phone never rang. 

In 2020, that changed. In March of that year, Jason Pantana was her coach. And he gave her the tough love speech she needed to hear: ”You make videos whenever you feel like it. And you’re good at it. But imagine what would happen if you actually had a plan.”  

At first, Taya argued that she was creative and that she had to work when that creative feeling came. If she wasn’t feeling it, she couldn’t create at her highest level. 

Jason wasn’t having it. He told her she needed to film once a month and to come up with a weekly video drop. After all, he reasoned, what’s the worst that could happen? 

He also told her she needed an assistant—like a real assistant—not a 21-year-old fresh college graduate who wanted a three-week vacation every six months. 

Taya received this advice the same month she broke down crying in her pantry because she thought she’d failed miserably. 

The beauty of that moment was that I’d already committed. I threw my hat over the fence. I had to go get it. And so, I started making those videos in March of 2020. By June, everyone’s like, ‘Oh, wow, this Taya’s Two Cents thing, it’s amazing!’ …I’m like, ‘Do they know I just started doing this?’ And I felt like a complete imposter….I was second-guessing all of my hard work in 2020. But nine out of my 29 deals were agent-to-agent referrals. Fast forward to 2021, 14 out of 30 were agent-to-agent referrals.…This year, I’ve closed about $17.5 million. Eighty-nine percent have come from agent referrals.

Taya DiCarlo

Look in the mirror time

In 2021, Taya had the most money she’d ever had in her entire life. And as someone who grew up in a blue-collar household, it was not something she took for granted. 

Ironically, she was also the most unhappy she’d ever been. The money put a magnifying glass on the stuff that wasn’t working in her life—particularly in her marriage. 

What I want you to know is that when you go through a hard time, whether it’s a death or divorce or something hard, you feel like a victim, right? …And it takes maturity and strength and courage to look in the mirror and go, ‘What was my role? Who can help me? I don’t have to do this by myself.’ …You can actually find grace for yourself, honesty and kindness for others, where it can actually help you grow, and you can ask for help. For me, how that looks is putting my oxygen mask on first.

Taya DiCarlo

You are not your feelings

Something Taya learned from going through difficult times, including her divorce, was that self-care has become a buzzword. That’s not to say self-care isn’t important because it definitely is. But it means different things to different people. 

Another thing she learned, specifically from her therapist, is “You are not your feelings.” 

You, as a person, are not depressed. But you feel depressed sometimes. You feel joy sometimes, you feel happy sometimes, you feel excited sometimes. What if I told you that feelings are like people who enter the room? …You are not your feelings. The moment you make that distinction—that all of these feelings can co-exist… When things are going well, savor it like a dessert. Eat it slow. Because the waves will continue.

Taya DiCarlo

Final tips for tapping into your creative director

Taya shared a litany of advice she’s learned from the people in her life and from experience. One of them has to do with owning your shit. We all have days when we think, “I just can’t. I can’t do this anymore.” Taya’s challenge is to replace ‘can’t’ with ‘won’t.’ See what happens. 

From there, she launched into the following tips that have served her well: 

  • Social media is a playground: Get off the bench. 
  • Spend more money on quality care for yourself
  • Get familiar with your patterns—Because how you are in one thing is how you are in everything. 
  • If you can’t afford a therapist, start watching therapy videos. 
  • Stop blaming your parents; they did the best they could with what they knew. 
  • Let everybody off the hook and start looking at yourself. 
  • Always be reading something. 

Here are some books she recommends: 

Dare to be bad at something

Taya wrapped up her keynote with a final challenge to everyone who’s still on the fence about creating content or trying something new—either for their business or in the personal realm. She shared how roller skating on camera and posting that video on social media was the most vulnerable thing she’s ever done. It’s also the video that made her the most friends. 

It was so scary to try something new and be shitty at something! My challenge to you is to dare to be shitty… Be bad at something! It’s so liberating!…Stop trying to be the best. Just doing something is always better than sitting on the sidelines and judging everybody else and being on your high horse. There’s so much f*ing freedom in it.

Taya DiCarlo

And finally (just one more) —  

I want you to get curious about your growth…My one goal for you is that you look inside yourself…and you ask your inner child, “What do I need?’ and start talking to yourself like you would your best friend. And see what happens. I promise you there will be a huge shift.

Taya DiCarlo