I grew up in a single parent family, in a neighborhood where money was always tight. I was surrounded by working-class people who were trying their best to make ends meet in jobs that didn’t satisfy them. These were difficult circumstances, but they motivated me to get a good education so that I could change my family’s economic situation.
When I was 18, I wanted to enjoy my last freedom before going to college. So I got my first credit card. It came with a $500 credit limit and I maxed it out in one day by going to a restaurant with my friends and buying some cute clothes that I could wear to class when college started. A month later, I got the credit card bill, looked at it, and threw it in the trash.
I seriously underestimated how this would affect me in the next few months.
When college started this fall, my friend and I went to open bank accounts. That’s when reality hit me. My credit score, 495, was so low that the bank refused to open an account for me. I was embarrassed when the branch manager told me this and my friend watched from a distance.
This college experience completely changed the way I think about credit. I started monitoring my reports and scores each month through a service offered by my bank. I spent the next year disputing negative items, also known as derogatory marks, which led to them being removed from my credit report. This practice helped me increase my credit rating by 300 points.
Ultimately, this tough time in my life became an inspiration for the side hustle that helped me earn $100,000 in passive income in five months.
Here’s how I started.
I led with my personal experience
Last summer I was looking a scramble that could help pay for my son’s daycare costs. My 9 to 5 job had just informed me that I would be taking a major pay cut and needed to increase my income before my maternity leave started. The answer was right in front of me.
I already had a plan that helped me increase my credit rating by 300 points. And after improving my score, I spent the next six years doing credit counseling for friends, family, and people in my community, doing it alongside my college classes.
I knew from this experience that credit was a persistent and fairly universal topic. And I knew I was far from the only one struggling with this. So at eight months pregnant, in August 2021, I decided to take what I had learned and create a digital kit that others could use as a resource to help them manage their credit.
Making the product more affordable compared to more traditional credit repair agencies was important to me, a baseline that helped me figure out what I felt comfortable charging.
I created a system that could work without me
Since I was pregnant when I decided to launch my digital products, I knew I needed to keep my overhead low and create a business process that could work without me once I gave birth to my baby.
I did some research and decided to use a platform called DPD to host my products for $10 per month. It was the cheapest and for me, and it felt like the easiest platform to set up and use overall.
Video by Courtney Stith
I took this approach when I created my products. I wanted them to be as intuitive and economical as possible. I was hoping people would use them to defend themselves in what can be a confusing process.
So for my first product, the Ultimate Credit Boost Kit, I created templates that my clients could use as simple scripts when contacting credit reporting agencies to help them dispute and have negative ratings removed from their credit report. I have also made sure to include specific language citing the laws and guidelines by which the consumer is protected.
I relied on my first product to scale my business
When their credit started to improve, for many of my clients, the next financial step was to explore buying a house, and they asked if I could create a similar kit to help them through the process.
I saw demand start around September 2021. There was a slight uptick in my comments on YouTube and social media on how to approach such a competitive housing market. My husband and I had just purchased our home in June 2021, and we successfully bid on a home that had 60 other bids.
On the strength of this recent experience, I have created a house buying kit. It took about a week to shoot the first two videos, edit them, create the channel, graphic banners and design the thumbnail that would be used on the videos.
Video by Stephen Parkhurst
Then in October, I was asked to create tools for people who wanted to help get noticed by recruiters. So I created a resume, cover letter, and thank you note templates, plus an interview guide, all in one set.
All in all, it took about two weeks to put the whole package together, including finding designers to work with to create specific branded materials.
My latest product is an online course called Digital Credit Recipewhich will be launched in February 2022.
I used YouTube, a platform I loved, to grow my community
I love spending time on YouTube, and it’s been one of my major pastimes throughout the pandemic. I started a YouTube channel and I posted my first video on January 11, 2021.
I wanted to share my tips for increasing credit widely, instead of just working with individual clients. It was meant to be a one-off thing, but there seemed to be an audience for the video. Some viewers even started suggesting credit scenarios they wanted to know more about.
This summer and fall, as I was thinking about how I would scale my digital products, I knew I didn’t have thousands of dollars to spend on Facebook or Google ads, so for me it seemed like a way effective for me to market my products was on YouTube.
Video by Helen Zhao
In my research, I discovered that once my channel was monetized, I could earn passive income through ads. I also learned how to optimize SEO on my channel so it can reach more people, which could lead to more subscribers and channel views, which are all factors that determine how much YouTube revenue you receive .
August 2021 was my first time making money on YouTube through ad revenue, a payout of $3,199, and that revenue grew over time, up to $6,800 in a month .
Now I regularly post the link to the products in my YouTube videos, and I have also partnered with companies like Experian and Carvana to advertise their products on my channel.
My Youtube subscribers are like extended family to me. I love that every day I can read reviews about how people have used my products and seen their credit score go up, or how they come to my channel when they want advice.
One of the biggest things that helped me learn more about e-commerce and customer psychology is working with my mentor, Nicole Walters. We connected after I followed her on social media and took a business building course she led.
She helped me understand how to monetize what I was good at and how to build trust with people in a way where they don’t hesitate to invest in your products.
Video by Lauren Shamo
One of my favorite parts of my business is working directly with my subscribers or customers to learn their needs and how to create a solution for them in real time.
I’ve always believed that you are the company you keep, and surrounding me with people who have achieved the level of success I’m working toward gives me constant accountability and motivation to “elevate as I go.” I climb” and to ensure that everyone I connect with finds their own version of success.
Jasmine “Jazzy Mac” McCall is a financial expert, mompreneur, and YouTuber, where she creates content showing Millennials and Gen Z how to build credit, pay off student loans, and create passive income. Jasmine is also the creator of Digital Credit Recipe, an online academy that guides users through credit building and shortcuts to increasing their credit score. For daily credit and finance resources, you can connect with Jasmine at instagram and ICT Tac. Jasmine resides in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and son.
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