Stephanie Jarvis and The Chateau Diaries

Her success is a real teaching moment!

By Smiling Steve™

When it comes to Stephanie Jarvis and The Chateau Diaries, this is not really a rags to riches story. But . . .

I believe it almost ended up being the opposite!

As the story goes, 16 years ago, Stephanie and two partners bought Chateau du Lalonde in France. And, with the help of family money, the renovations began — the plan seemed to be to make money renting the many rooms in this massive “behemoth”.

Fast forward a decade an a half, with renovations still ongoing, along came the pandemic. And, suddenly, tourism ground to a halt!

How would the chateau survive? That is a terrific story.

The bottom-line? Stephanie Jarvis started a YouTube channel, in part to get the word out on the chateau so they could fill the rooms and hold event, but — reading between the lines — it would be more fund than marketing? LOL.

Look, her channel flourished and then she came out with this video, which was the first I knew of her: 

How YouTube saved my Chateau!”

Like I said, it’s a great story and it could not have happened to a nicer person. So, now, though Stephanie is still the Chatelaine of Lalonde but she also has a “job” creating YouTube content.

This woman is absolutely lovely, extremely passionate and quirky, with an outrageous laugh. And, if I have not conveyed it yet, it is easy to see what this YouTube channel has taken off. Two words describes it:

Stephanie Jarvis.

A tour de force she is. And, because of her way, she has attracted some really interesting characters.

From her mom and her plaid brother, Gerry, to Selma (a Dutch man, now working part time at the Chateau) to Nati, a Spanish speaking Chateau manager, to Marie, the talented Norwegian flower arranger to the tattooed Tree Surgeon, to the very talented Phillip. The cast of characters are set.

There is even Michael Pethrick, who makes guest appearances but lives with his brother at another Chateau and also is a YouTuber!

Entertaining it is but if no for this show; “The Minnow would be lost!”

Yes I did just make reference to Gilligan’s Island but if The Chateau Dairies were not total hilarity — with “Life, Love and Laughter” in thrice weekly videos — I would not be this amused!

So, maybe that’s what conjured up Gilligan from somewhere in the recesses of my mind, as it were.

Regardless, the channel is working and it’s easy to understand why Stephanie was chosen for the TV Show that gave the channel the springboard to start. That was:

Escape to the Chateau DIY

Now, I have to say, that it sure wasn’t Stephanie’s marketing skills that put her on top. LOL.

Before I go on, the style of this post should be taken as a tongue-in-cheek or “cheeky” commentary — and just enough marketing insight thrown to turn this into a teaching moment — but never as a slight or dis.

After all, we are talking about someone who no one should feel sorry for here.

She is a YouTube star and, in her own words; “I was rubbish at marketing generally” . . . but, had it not been for the success of the YouTube channel, I think Stephanie would be someone we were feeling sorry for right about now.

Yes, business bankruptcy probably would have been in the cards by now, due to the pandemic, if it were not for this other income source.

Anyway, that did not happen and the videos are a hoot, so I am going to have fun with this. And, if Stephanie ever reads this, I hope she will see it as it is intended.

This is a deep dive on what could be done to properly market Stephanie Jarvis and The Chateau Diaries. And, while that won’t be as much fun as watching one of her videos, I promise to sprinkle in my brand of humor as we go.

Whether you find humorousness in this post of not, for sure there are lessons to be learned here.

Actually, that is an understatement.

It’s obvious that filming and editing 3 videos a week while continually managing chateau and grounds renovations (pond surveying, tree felling, chicken buying and the many comings and goings of volunteers), plus her own deep dives into content YouTube (from tours of other fabulous chateaux to Spode),  . . . must be time consuming.

The only other answer is Stephanie is right, she is rubbish at marketing. Okay, that’s a joke (sort of! LOL).

Here I am building in excuses for Stephanie, and I don’t even know her!

Okay, so where should we start?

Well, how is it possible to make 200+ YouTube videos with 128,000 loyal subscribers, and climbing, yet still have a chateau website with a domain authority of only 18?

Chateau de Lalande website, Domain Authority 18

Or a website dedicated to The Chateau Dairies (the YouTube video series) with a domain authority of an underwhelming 9?

Chateau Dairies website, Domain Authority 9

With that much highly regarded and loved content, both sites could enjoy a domain authority of 50 or 60. And that far from all.

How is it possible, with all that content out there and with 959 organic keywords on the website, plus with the success of a British TV show called Escape to the Chateau DIY (that featured Stephanie Jarvis and the Lalonde), as well as the fact that Stephanie is part Brit herself . . . not to mention the fact that the Brits (U.K. residents) are mad holiday travelers, that the best that could be mustered from the Chateau website for keyword ranking when U.K. residents do Google searches is #7 ??

Best keyword ranking on Google in the U.K. for the Chateau de Lalonde website is number 7!

Hey I live in Canada. And, we do have a certain affinity toward British stuff, but we are not anything like the U.K. and yet here, that same site has 3 number 1 rankings on Google!?!

Weirdly, Google searches in the U.S. benefit the Chateau website with something like 19 keywords ranked in the #1 position!

All of this makes absolutely no sense.

Then there is the On-Page SEO Score for the Chateau de Lalonde website, which is 44 with 200+ videos. Huh?

To put this into perspective, when I wrote this, I had 9 published posts, not 200+. With 200+ videos (I have watched 150 or so all since Feb 14, 2021), I would expect to SEO Score to be 95, the keyword rank in the U.K. to be #1 for 25 or 30 terms (best rank now #7) and have a huge amount of traffic. But, then, I know marketing!

Source; Ubersuggest. Chateau de Lalonde's website On-Page SEO Score only 44!

Look, let’s be honest; I would never hire me to do YouTube videos over Stephanie Jarvis! She is flat out awesome at this type of content and that is why her channel has nearly 28 million views so far (April, 2021). 

That stated, you would never hire Stephanie to do any type of online or off-line marketing over me. So, kudos to you Stephanie, because for what you do, you are awesome!

“Let’s be honest, you would never hire me to do YouTube videos over Stephanie Jarvis!”

Look, I told you this was a deep dive and I meant it. There is more that is not right on the website. For instance, many SEO issues, look:

Chateau de Lalonde website SEO issues. Source; Ubersuggest.

44 pages with a low word count. 38 pages with duplicate meta descriptions and 54 pages with duplicate title tags. And all of these cause a site to have far lower rankings and that does not include the moderate issues!

Here is another major issue that cause website viewers to “bounce” off the site. The Chateau website not optimized for mobile in one of the most important aspects, which is the site menu:

SA mobile view of the menu on the Chateau de Lalande websiteee The Christmas Diaries (2019 and 2020) overlapping the various Chateau rooms? If drop down sub menus were used (at least in mobile view), this error would not occur. 

The issue? Google may find this and the site will rank lower than it would otherwise deserve to appear in searches, this lowering organic traffic.

Also, as stated, some of that traffic will bounce.

After all (and again), we are talking about a YouTube star here, who also owns a very prominent and sought after 16th century bricks and mortar business in the heart of France.

To be clear, more than just the YouTube channel should be ranking like crazy (meaning both websites). 

So, there are issues with the site design itself, many issues with SEO and probably no time to deal with everything. After all, the light entering the Chapel is awesome (laugh!). LOL.

Now for the good news. 

Sorry . . . Stephanie, there isn’t any. Well, you have a tremendously loyal YouTube following and Patreon account but the success of the videos isn’t doing what it could. 

What am I saying? The off-line marketing should be slaying it right now and the SEO will get harder to correct with each passing addition of content/new video!

Stephanie is a talent, of that there can be no doubt. So, as a result, there ought to be a lot of things going on corporately. And I do not mean with her corporation but third-party companies.

Put another way, the gifts that are featured in the Cadieux at the Chateau are the tip of the iceberg!

This stuff that is obvious to a seasoned marketer. But I get someone being overwhelmed with day-to-day business management (been there, done that & have the closet full of T-Shirts to prove it), that has no marketing background and therefore no marketing chops.

For instance, the Google rank in the U.K. is dismal. So, why don’t we plan a viral promo there? And, for a partner, any savvy Travel Agency would not need their arm twisted!

These days, any business wants to build a marketing list. YouTube followers is just a marketing list. But the problem right now is that the U.K., a primary market for the Lalande, is not getting organic traffic? So, how can a win – win – win be set up?

Actually, it would be a 4-way win, as many from the promo I have in mind will follow the YouTube channel too.

Since the Chateau was featured on Channel 4 in the U.K., it is known. And, Stephanie is for-reals . . . so joint venture marketing partners are easy to get, right?

A travel agency would be lucky to get this pitched to them; the Château gives away one room one weekend a month. Since they do not need the rooms rented any longer, this is not burdensome.

A great video is done and the travel agency places ads on social media offering “everyone will win”  . . . a voucher to spend at the Château or winner-winner-chicken-dinner; the weekend in one room.

Everyone that clicks on that offer is made another offer, like an affiliate program. Refer “X” number of friends and relatives and you will become an official dauphin et dauphine, which has almost no cost.

Most of the vouchers will never be presented. But, if they do, it means someone is there to stay, which is profit.

If the dauphin et dauphine idea does not work, no problem. The freebie comes from another U.K. Corporation, which would be glad to do it because their are not paying the ad and because the exposure to the existing YouTube followers and those that enter the contest, is excellent. 

YouTube followers jumps. If handled properly, every contestant gets value (outside of watching great videos), the travel agency gets a list and books all the airfare and excursions when the Brits head to Lalande, and search traffic goes NUTS on Google for a bunch of the keyword phrases on the Château website.

Now, that explanation was a little oversimplified but it works.

In fact, by pixilating the visitors, then re-marketing on Facebook and Google, the contestants will skyrocket, the viral campaign will kick-in, the campaign could send twenty or thirty emails to each contestant, causing massive organic traffic a a natural byproduct . . . and everyone wins.

Michael Pethrick’s Château could get worked in on that promo too.

By the way, if a promo like that works in the U.K. it will work in Canada too. And, since France is going back into lockdown after Easter and where I live in Ontario is too, what else have we got to do? 

I am am not going any where.

Now, how much does a real marketing master cost “The Talent?” Nothing.

I may start called her that. Stephanie “the Talent” Jarvis. LOL.

When people become sensations, invariably the worms come out of the woodwork. But most of these so-called gurus have no idea how to work back end marketing, which is what is done with the list. So they don’t see Stephanie and Michael Pethrick as The Talent.

They see a meal ticket and want to be paid directly. When the real money is in the back end — getting paid much more indirectly!

So, how ’bout it Nati? Since you will see this first, do you want to suggest to Stephanie that someone has come along that will solve the website hassles and explode the marketing with no out of pocket cost or risk or drama?

Well, maybe a little drama (the fun kind)!


That viral campaign took me less than a minute to breath life into. In fact, it took longer to type that to dream up. And I can think of several variations of that theme.

It will also work in Canada, which I can easily handle. And, sicne my significant other’s French is fluent and since I an a Brit and understand how they think, I am the right guy to handle this.

Look, whether I ever work for Château de Lalande or not, it is clear that the website, SEO and off-line marketing are less than attended too. 

Anyone watching The Château Dairies gets it. There is way too much going on. So, outsourcing some of the “stuff” makes sense.

What is eve more sensible is the truth. Something needs to be done.

As I am finishing this post off, I was thinking just how much more traffic the site could get and how to jump the YouTube followers to 500,000 fast. It is doable.

The key is to understand that marketing is not a cost, it is a profit center. And, if done with class, followers are never offended.

I will never forget Stephanie Jarvis and The Chateau Dairies. I was looking for up and coming social media stars with class to back with my marketing chops. And, I searched a few times the week of the YouTube saved my Chateau video. 

Then one day YouTube served it up. There was Stephanie with almost an hour long of solid, classy content that showed that the business-within-the-business is where the real money is.

Well, there is good news for Stephanie Jarvis and The Chateau Dairies and Lalande — I was kidding around when I send there wasn’t any. You see, the real money is still on the table and I can show you (or any business owner that deals direct with the public) how to get it.

I don’t even have to charge you to learn. And that is the best bit!