• Rain Bennett

Ep. 120: Creating the Content You Dream About with Alana Marie

Alana Marie is a documentary filmmaker, digital content creator and digital content coach. She helps content creators get out of their own way and move from ideation to execution. She is passionate about various creative pursuits and has found a way to pursue them all, while simultaneously growing her personal brand.

In this episode of The Storytelling Lab, Alana shares how she continues to find non-traditional paths to make her creative passions transform into revenue generators.



Alana Marie is a creator.

And creators and artists always have an uphill battle to fight to get the ideas in their heads and hearts executed and out on the page, stage, or screen.

As a black female content creator, there were many doors that still remained shut for her (and other artists like here) even during that uphill battle.

But that wouldn't, and didn't stop Alana from finding the ways around those doors to pursue and produce the projects she was passionate about.

She was relentless.

But she was also strategic.

Alana Marie is a documentary filmmaker, digital content creator, branding photographer, and digital content coach.

Oh, and she became all of those while building a personal brand, cultivating a large and supportive community, and holding down a day job.

The thing is, even though what she has achieved all on her own is extraordinary, she is just like you and me—and other creatives that fight these uphill battles.

She's what she called a "lazy creative."

That's why she shoots all her photo and video content on her iPhone.

But that's also what allowed to to create a successful curriculum, because so many other creatives wanted to do that as well as she did.

So she monetized a part of herself that could've been viewed as a flaw!

The steps to Alana's success are very simple and very repeatable.

You can follow along easily.

But they require going the extra step.

Here's her formula:

  1. Constantly seek education (and change your definition of 'education')

  2. Play to your strengths and find help for your weaknesses

  3. Invest time and money in yourself

  4. Invest time and money in building your network and connections

  5. Find nontraditional routes to create and distribute your content

And, throughout, all of those steps... DOCUMENT THE JOURNEY.

"The whole thing is to build awareness and build community before you even have a finished product. I do not subscribe to moving in silence. Everyone wants to act like Beyonce and only appear on the scene when they have a finished product. Beyonce's been here for 25 years!”

Using this approach, Alana and created projects (and overcome the obstacles that tried to prevent them) that she never thought possible.

She completed her college degree on time with her class after getting pregnant and taking time off to have her child.

She created a workshop called "How to Shoot Like a Pro with Your iPhone" after a friend asked her how she did it and made $6000 on just her first presentation.

She got accepted into a Media Production for Adults fellowship that changed her life and business.

She created a documentary on Kinloch, Missouri—following the rise and demise of Missouri's "First Black City"—with ZERO experience in filmmaking.

She landed a corporate job in fintech, a field she felt she knew nothing about a stood no chance of working in, while still producing her personal projects.

And she did all of this while amassing a following of tens of thousands of people.

This woman is impressive. And I'm happy to know her.

If you struggle with putting the pen to the pad and pursuing your passion projects (while still making money!), this is the episode for you!


Some of the highlights of our conversation:

  • ALL the projects, personal and professional, she's involved with currently

  • Listening to your body/mind and know when to leave a project/job

  • Creating the curriculum for "How to shoot like a pro with your iPhone"

  • What a "lazy creative" is and how to capitalize on it

  • The journey of making her first documentary

  • How taking the course "Media Production for Adults" changed her life

  • Why (and how) you need to broaden your definition of "education"

  • Why taking risks is part of that education

  • How the murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson helped merge together her passions and give her direction

  • The importance of building community around a project DURING the project

  • How black female creatives can find alternate routes to achieve their goals

  • Getting a new full-time job and the challenges it presented

As always, I hope you enjoy the episode!

Peace and Love,



Follow Alana on:

... or visit her website HERE!

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