Spokane Marketing Maven Shines a Light on Self-Help One Follower at a Time

by Jessica Simpkins, MD

Most adults can’t help but smile when hearing about a kid’s plans for the future. Some want to be a vet, a doctor, a firefighter, a policewoman, maybe even a superhero! When she was in preschool, Julia Renee’s answer was different than most, “I had a whole plan laid out. I was going to rush through college as fast as I could, join an agency and learn everything I could for 10 years, and then leave and start my own agency.”

Today Julia has built her career in social media from the ground up, and has had the opportunity to work with some of the largest brands in the world. She is the founder of the Self Help Planner, and has amassed a loyal following on TikTok of over 180,000 people. But her career didn’t happen overnight.

Julia grew up in a tiny town in Northern California, with a class size of seven students. In elementary school, she was already learning how to get people’s attention, market a product, and negotiate for what she wanted. “I learned early that attention is the greatest form of currency. And in today’s digital age, this is becoming even more true,” Julia says.

Julia Renee

Julia Renee

Her sophomore year of high school, Julia and her family moved to Dallas, Texas. “My new graduation class had over 1400 students! What I loved about my new high school was their industry-specific programs. They had a merchandising business program with an actual store at the high school that was entirely student-run. We came up with the designs, marketing campaigns, ran the store, kept inventory, all of it!”

After graduating from high school, Julia attended Wade College. “Besides marketing, I’d also fallen in love with fashion. Wade was the perfect place for me to explore both passions. At that point in my life, I struggled with an eating disorder and my weight would fluctuate a lot. Knowing how to dress myself regardless of my body size was empowering. I wanted to design clothing that fit a wide range of bodies.”

Life had other plans for Julia, and pivoted to prioritize her own needs. “At 19, my significant other and I found ourselves needing to put a roof over our heads and food on the table. So I took a job working for a property management company, which took care of our rent. I was on their sales team, and in my second year I became their top sales rep.”

Julia continues: “Then I became a self-appointed leasing influencer. I developed a marketing strategy that created a bigger sense of community for our residents. It worked so well, I asked to try it with a second property. Needless to say, I found myself pitching the CEO and VP of the property company to make this their standard marketing practice. It was invaluable for me to learn that you can put people first and have a very lucrative business.”

After achieving financial stability, Julia turned inward to improve her mental health and her relationship with herself. As part of this process, Julia developed her own planner to help her develop new healthy habits, set daily intentions, and keep track of what was important. “I’ve always loved using planners, but have been frustrated with the lack of functionality they could have to really improve your life,” Julia shares. In seeing how much her planner helped her, she began sharing her planner with others who also found it exceedingly helpful.

Around 2020, Julia embraced sharing about her journey of greater self-acceptance and the tools she’d used along the way. “After a lot of thought, I decided I was going to go all in with designing planners that actually work for people. I remember walking on the treadmill and telling the Universe all about my plans. I knew this was bigger than me, and I would do whatever I could to make it happen, but I asked Source to meet me half-way. The next morning I went viral on social media.”

“At first, it felt like I’d bit off way more than I could chew. I became a life coach, and didn’t expect to be fully booked within 15 minutes of offering my services. It was a wild ride! After getting my clients to where they wanted to be, I’ve stopped coaching to focus more intentionally on developing planners,” Julia explains.

In September of 2022, Julia and her husband Caedyn moved to Spokane for an exciting career opportunity for Caedyn. New to the area, Julia wants to start something she’s coining “Hot Girl Walk & Clean Up.” Julia laughs, “No you don’t have to be hot or a girl to come join us. Basically I want to get a group of people together who want to enjoy each other’s company on a walk and we can pick up trash as we go. We could share business ideas, listen to a podcast, etc. Just something to build camaraderie, get outside to enjoy the sunshine, and help clean up this beautiful city.”

Next month Julia will be launching a new self-help planner that is undated, allowing people to use it any time of year. “Everything I create and share with others I want to be usable and digestible. I want to share tools that make people feel good about themselves and empower them to live their best lives.”

Julia’s biggest message for people is this: “Whatever it is you want to do, you can do it. You already have the skills you need, and you don’t need to change anything about yourself. You are perfect exactly as you are to do whatever it is you want to do.”

Be sure to follow Julia on social media @theselfhelpplanner, scope out her digital products at www.etsy.com/shop/TheSelfHelpPlanner and email her with any questions or comments at selfhelpplanner@gmail.com.