How Jules Montgomery scaled her following to 290k+ using Captions

Jules Montgomery, a TikTok creator and the two-time Founder and CEO, teaches how Captions helps creators significantly cut down on editing time and get back to doing what they actually love.

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Dwight Churchill
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August 4, 2022
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4
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https://www.getcaptions.app/blog-post/how-jules-montgomery-scaled-her-following-to-290k-using-captions

Jules Montgomery is a TikTok creator and the two-time Founder and CEO of Influent, the platform connecting brands and influencers for transparent partnerships, and Matches Media, a creator-led, full-service social media marketing and PR firm. 

We sat down with Jules to learn how Captions helps creators significantly cut down on editing time and get back to doing what they actually love. We dive into topics like: 

  1. The behind-the-scenes pain points of full-time content creation
  2. Why Captions is her favorite editing app in the creator space
  3. How Captions holds social users’ ever-fleeting attention
“As a creator, there’s no downside to Captions. It helps your videos get higher engagement, and it takes two seconds. The app is just super easy to use.” 

The 4 Biggest Pain Points of Professional Content Creation

Jules admits that, before she began creating content herself, she was unaware of how much work goes into an influencer's schedule. In her words: 

"Ninety percent of your time is spent doing behind-the-scenes, administrative tasks. You're rarely able to spend time on actually creating and posting content." 

She outlines three of these pain points and time-consuming tasks below. 

1. Learning to Price Your Work as a Newcomer

Once you’ve done the work to grow your following, you’ll likely receive your first few inbounds from potential brand sponsors. This brings about a whole new issue: 

As a new creator, you probably have no idea how much you should be getting paid. 

This is exacerbated by the fact that: 

  • Most folks don’t build up creator friend networks until later in their journeys
  • Unless you live in Los Angeles or New York, you’re probably not surrounded by fellow, more experienced influencers you can turn to for pricing advice

2. Juggling Inbounds, Outreach, and Negotiations

When you’re farther along in your creator journey, you’re hopefully managing a good amount of inbounds while reaching out to brands you love and pushing your media kit

The outreach process then turns into a challenging timeline, as creators need to: 

  1. Curate lists of brands they’d be interested in and a good fit for collaborating with
  2. Find and pitch to a point of contact at each of these brands via DM, LinkedIn, email, etc. 
  3. Go through the lengthy back-and-forth of negotiating rates, deliverables, deadlines, etc. 

3. Pouring Your Heart into Your Content: From Ideas to Edits

After you’ve covered the basics of a brand partnership (i.e., what you’re creating and for how much money), there’s the literal workflow of content creation. 

Unless you’re a wildly prolific and profitable influencer, you’re probably handling every step of the process yourself. This includes but isn’t limited to: 

  • Coming up with countless video ideas that might satisfy your audiences
  • Finding new places and new ways to film (the latter is constantly evolving on TikTok)
  • Shooting and editing the content — then going back and forth with the client on changes

4. The Time Suck of Editing & Limitations of Existing Tech

Jules emphasizes the fact that, while editing may be the home stretch for a project, it's easily the most time-consuming and difficult part of video content. 

She’s long questioned how to refine her editing tools, flows, and habits into the most efficient operation possible. It’s been a struggle and has unfortunately slowed her output. 

Editing directly in TikTok is a drag since it doesn’t offer many options for automation. 

The app is improving, she explains, but even their automated closed captions come up as tiny, unengaging text boxes and still require manual corrections. 

Or, like most creators, she’ll keep a running list of video ideas at all times. It’s easy to find time to film the content, but the subsequent, drawn-out editing process is far harder to squeeze in. 

Overall, Jules estimates she has 20–30 filmed videos sitting on her phone, just waiting to be edited and uploaded. 

"I think a lot of creators would agree that editing and uploading videos are the most challenging and time-consuming parts of content creation." 
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Why Captions Works: Capturing & Engaging New Users

Since signing up for Captions, Jules can point to one feature (and its results) as her favorite: 

The newer captions on her videos are bigger, customizable, dynamic, and all-around more visually appealing, which is way better for grabbing and holding viewers’ attention. 

When it comes to TikTok in 2022, she stresses that being able to maintain a user’s focus on your content is everything. As she puts it: 

"You have half a second to grab someone's attention and stop them from scrolling past. Every second after that is an opportunity for you to lose that attention." 

All in all, the more dynamic and entertaining your video is right off the bat, the greater its chances are of performing well. For instance: 

  • Videos with many jump cuts tend to outperform videos shot in a single take
  • Videos with larger, block-letter captions tend to outperform videos that use TikTok’s default automated captions

Why Are Users’ Attention Spans So Finicky? 

The most popular and high-performing content on Jules’ accounts discusses how brands and independent creators alike can capture consumer attention on social media. 

As she explains, creating on social media only becomes more competitive by the day because, quite simply, anyone can create content. 

Perhaps half a decade ago, a brand could distinguish itself on social media by cultivating a pristine, professionally photographed Instagram feed and growing from there. 

Today, her 15-year-old cousin can create a viral TikTok, taking up FYP space from a brand that’s probably paying six figures for a content marketer to try and compete. 

With that, as the norm from TikTok to Snapchat to Instagram Reels becomes short, small bursts of entertainment, we see users’ attention spans grow shorter and shorter as well. 

To combat this, Jules recommends two tactics — one for filming and another for editing: 

  1. Dynamic visuals — Instead of sitting and speaking straight to the camera, try making a cup of coffee while you talk or deliver a voiceover. There's simply more going on, and it activates your senses in two unrelated ways. 
  2. Try out Captions — Along similar lines, the more dynamic, visually unique, and appealing your captions are, the more you’ll be able to pique a viewer’s fleeting attention. 
“So much of creating successful TikTok content is just capturing people’s attention. Captions is one way to make your video more dynamic and engaging.” 

Onboarding with Captions: An Effective, Low-Effort Editing Tool

Jules isn’t shy about her dislike of TikTok’s in-app editor. 

At the same time, she's tried countless clunky alternatives in the App Store, and if a tool isn't easy enough to use, she won't hesitate to go right back to editing in TikTok. 

"If an app is difficult to use, it doesn't matter what cool features it has. I just can't spend any more time on content than I already do. I think a lot of creators feel that way, too." 

In other words: “If an app isn’t easy — or at least as convenient as TikTok itself — it’s just not gonna be useful in the long term for creators.” 

Knowing this, Jules affirms that Captions is by far the easiest (as well as the most effective) editing and captioning app she's tried. It actually adds value to her practice as a creator. 

“One of the reasons Captions succeeds with creators is how quick and easy it is. You upload your video, it automatically writes your captions, and you’re done.” 

How Captions Helps Content Creators Reclaim Valuable Time

In Jules' experience, social media is, at its best, a place for people to share and learn more about their passions while discovering new passions. 

When a creator gets to share content about and connect with their audience over something they truly care for, it’s immensely gratifying and nothing short of pure fun. 

Yet, at the end of the day, all of the necessary steps for these elements to come together — from negotiating rates to splicing footage — can be, as mentioned, frustrating and time-consuming. 

That's especially the case for the majority of content creators who are trying to record, edit, and post consistently after working their full-time jobs. 

On that note, Jules doubles down on her love for Captions and how the app takes previously manual tasks off her plate. Never again will she have to: 

  • Type out or sync up her video captions to her voice by hand
  • Or scrub through footage to cut awkward pauses or “um” moments

She compares Captions' impact on creators to her mission at Influent: alleviating the busy work that creators are saddled with so they can get back to doing what they actually love. 

“Using Captions means one less thing you have to do by hand to make your video engaging. I think that’s what separates it from other options in the space.”
by
Dwight Churchill
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