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Carlynn Greene, The Scholarship Guru Shares The Secret to Success Online


Carlynn Greene, the Scholarship Guru, Shares Her Secret to Success

Carlynn Greene became the Scholarship Guru after winning 30 scholarships in high school and sharing her experience online. Last year, she began posting to TikTok and has accumulated over 768,000 TikTok followers and 14.8 million likes. So, what is her secret to success? Keep reading to learn more about her process, digital content, and the secret behind her success online.

About Carlynn Greene

Carlynn Greene started posting on YouTube in 2017 after winning 30 scholarships in high school. She wanted to share her experience online to help other students emulate the same strategies and tips she followed to win scholarships and be debt free.

She shares, “Another motivation as to why I wanted to do YouTube was that during undergrad, I studied broadcast journalist, so having more experience being on camera and filming and editing videos that was already going to help my career path anyways. So it was a win-win situation.”

Last year, she started posting on TikTok and her content quickly blew up. 

Carlynn Greene, the Scholarship Guru, Shares Her Secret to Success

How Carlynn Helps Students Online

Carlynn shares, “With my social media videos, I give short tips on how to go about the process, particularly finding scholarships [they] are more likely to win or even scholarship essays. As far as my overall business, I have personalized services such as essay editing, application reviewing, as well as a book and online course.”

She explains that one of the biggest challenges students face is a lack of education on scholarship applications in their high schools and colleges. Many high schools and colleges focus on financial aid and student loans. 

“I really wanted to hyper-focus on scholarships because a lot of students were in a similar situation as I was where I was awarded only a little bit of money from the FAFSA, but not enough to fully cover the cost of attendance, so that’s where I try to bridge the gap.”

Carlynn Greene, the Scholarship Guru, Shares Her Secret to Success

Her Content

Carlynn shares that her content encompasses scholarships, financial aid advice, and education tips. For example, she has a series on her YouTube channel where she shares back to college, dorm life, and housing advice. 

At one point, she was even a RA (resident assistant) for her school’s housing department, which fully paid for her housing and meal plan and provided several other benefits. 

“My content is all-encompassing to helping students in every point of their academic career.”

In terms of engagement, Carlynn notes that TikTok has been the best. However, her Instagram reels have recently taken off more, which surprises her after years of posting reels and not receiving much promotion from Instagram. 

“With Instagram reels, I would first post my video on TikTok and then repurpose them onto Instagram reels, but then lately, the videos that I would put on Instagram reels would perform better on Instagram than they were on TikTok. It’s so weird. The algorithm is so unpredictable, and that’s why it’s all the more important to diversify which platforms you are on and not depend on them.”

Her most popular post is a TikTok stitch responding to a prompt asking the respondee to share a shocking fact that you tell people, but they refuse to believe. 

“I answered [the prompt] with the fact that there are scholarships that are designated for paying off student loan debt, and so many people didn’t know that, and then I redirected them in the video by saying, here are a whole bunch of them… It got so many views and even got news coverage with Fox 5 news as a result.”

This TikTok now has over 12 million views. 

@espdaniella #stitch with @yeeeetsha which one of these facts did you not know? #college #highschool #middleschool #originstory ♬ original sound – Scholarship Guru

The Scholarship Algorithm

In addition to publishing the book, The Scholarship Algorithm, Carlynn has also published an online course called The Scholarship Algorithm that helps individuals learn about earning scholarships. 

“The course and the book are separated into four parts. The first part talks about how to find scholarships, so you’re more likely to win. The second part talks about the optimization and organization because a lot of people get overwhelmed by the scholarship process… The third part talks about writing a winning essay, and the fourth part is about filling out the application.”

She adds that the course is more comprehensive than the book and has additional scholarship-winning strategies. It also includes some of the winning scholarship applications from students she has mentored. 

“In 2020, I had a student win a hundred thousand dollars [from] the Dr. Pepper scholarship. With the online course, I evaluated his winning video application bit by bit.”

Carlynn Greene, the Scholarship Guru, Shares Her Secret to Success

The Secret Behind Her Success Online

“I think one of the secrets behind my success with social media has been showing proof that my tips work. For example, in my videos, not only do I say do this, but then I also show social proof, like a testimonial from a student who had these results.”

She also shares proof of people from specific demographics winning scholarships because she receives frequent comments asking if her advice works for people from specific demographics or study concentrations. 

@espdaniella Imagine taking 5 minutes and getting thousands for your education. #middleschool #highschool #college #womensequality @sportshiapp ♬ Pull Yourself Together – H

“When I get those comments, I respond with yes – here’s an example of a student who is just like you, so please do not give up on the process. I feel like that helps with legitimizing what I do and encouraging people to go about the process.”

However, being a content creator does come with its challenges. Carlynn shares that the biggest challenge for her is staying motivated. 

“One thing that I like to do to combat against this is to create content in bulk because I know that there’s going to be days where I just don’t feel like doing anything, or I’m too busy with something else. So, I create content in bulk and schedule it out.”

Carlynn Greene, the Scholarship Guru, Shares Her Secret to Success

Brand Partnerships

Carlynn has done multiple brand partnerships, including collaborations with Walmart, Lowes, and various nonprofits and scholarship platforms. 

She shares, “My favorite brand partnerships are ones that are really close to what I originally did with my content creation, which is scholarship advice.”

She works as an ambassador for specific scholarship organizations. Typically, these collaborations work when the organization provides her with a referral link that she can send people to apply for the scholarship.

@espdaniella Winning scholarships is hard. However, it’s A LOT easier if you simply just follow my step by step winning process. Who here would like a copy? #highschool #college #teachersoftiktok #teachertok #parentsoftiktok #parentinghacks ♬ Sensual Seduction – Snoop Dogg

“As a result of that, I’ve been able to give out several scholarships. Some of which the deadline has already passed… I had one video in particular where I mentioned Obama Foundation, their scholarships, and referring people to go to the link in my bio to sign up for them as a result.”

This campaign produced over 15,000 scholarship signups. 

Closing Thoughts

Carlynn shares that one of her favorite parts about being a content creator is the opportunity to do more speaking engagements. 

“July of this year, I was able to speak in person at the NAACP conference … I got to speak there in person and teach a master class related to scholarships, and they found great value in what I was teaching there. I’m doing the same thing again later in October of this year.”

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Amy DeYoung is a freelance blog post writer covering influencer marketing and business topics. As the daughter of two business owners, she's been fascinated by all things business from a young age, which led her to graduate from college with a bachelor's degree in business. When she's not typing away, she spends her time reading nonfiction books and mystery novels, baking scrumptious desserts, and playing with her dog.

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