Building a Plan VS Buying a Formula for Your Marketing

Hey, guys, welcome to episode 446. I am your host, The Stacey Harris, social media strategist, and trainer. Also the CEO of Digital Marketing Agency, Uncommonly More. I’m stooped today because we’re going to talk about something that has been coming up a lot, this idea that there’s a one-size-fits-all formula or plan and if you just figure out that magical roadmap, then this whole thing will work, because it’s not true.

Here’s the deal, when I build strategies for clients, each strategy is a little bit different. Even just for me, The Stacey Harris and Uncommonly More have a ton in common. I mean, I’m in both of them, and who we work with Uncommonly More are very similar to the clients who I serve through The Stacey Harris. But the differences are where they are able to invest, willing to invest, and here’s the deal, is even if day one you’re willing to invest the level at which Uncommonly More comes in and takes over, you don’t really have some critical things figured out yet, so there are some differences in the journey, where they are in the journey, right?

So, there’s differences in my strategy and how I talk to them and you, at The Stacey Harris, versus how I talk to them and you at Uncommonly More. This is not a one-size-fits-all, but what I see happening is one of two things. People believe that they have to chase this formula or blueprint that somebody else has put together and figured out, and that this whole thing won’t work until they figure that out. That’s just fundamentally not true. On the flip side, I see people who think oh, well, if I do a strategy and have a strategy and work a strategy, I won’t really be me; I won’t really be authentic to my voice.

We run into this with Uncommonly More, clients who are afraid in handing some of what they do off to us. They’ll lose their voice, they’ll lose their connection with their community. They’ll lose the parts they really like in building a relationship, and that’s also just super not true. What happens is when you have a plan and when you have a strategy, and when you work that plan or strategy that’s true to you, that’s true to your business, it’s a fit for your clients, that’s where you see the results; that’s where the magic is happening. There’s not a Cinderella slipper style strategy that you’re going to find, or more common belief being everyone else knows and you don’t.

That is the magic pill that makes this whole thing work. The magic pill is you. The magic is finding out how we connect you with your audience in the way that they are open to being connected with, and that’s where results are. So, that’s what I want to talk about today, because this… Again, this is the magic. So, I want to stay right upfront. If you have questions, best place to go, come find me on social, Facebook, Instagram being the two places I spend the most time on. If you’re in Backstage, just come ask the question Backstage. If you’re not yet in Backstage, you’re going to have to wait til after May 31st, when we reopen the doors. But if you are in Backstage, you can come ask back there.

Because I want this to be a legit conversation. I want to hear your thoughts on this because I’m insanely, insanely over the idea that strategies are meant to contain you or get you to conform, because it’s not true, all right? So, let’s dig into the three pieces. This really is about not chasing a trend, not chasing this idea that somebody else has figured this all out, but looking at what works for you. The first and most important thing I want you to look at is this:

Where are your people already spending time?

So, when we do Backstage Live… Which, by the way, we have coming up on June 6th, so join us. When we do Backstage Live, we start with two questions: what are you selling, and who are you selling it to? Because literally, all the other decisions have to be based off that.

Now, the most important question there is who are you selling it to? Because if you don’t know that, it’s going to be really hard to get this right for you. So, look at where are your audience members? Where are your potential clients spending time? More importantly, where are your favorite current clients spending time? Because it’s a good indicator of where there’s more of them, right? So, where are they spending time? This question, this piece solves a lot of problems. The most important problem it solves, though, is when, two weeks from now, you hear somebody who pretends to do what I do for a living say, “Everybody has to go use Facebook stories,” or, “Yeah, Facebook stories, because Facebook stories is where everybody’s at now and it’s the only way to get traction, and if you’re not using it, then you’re out of luck,” and you sit there defeated.

Right? No. No, no, no, no, no, no, no. BS all the way around. I don’t care. Is your audience, are your people watching Facebook stories? If they’re not, then I don’t want you to throw away something that could be working to chase that because somebody said it’s the only thing that works. That’s where answering the question where is your audience spending time solves this problem. I remember I had a client who is now an agency client. She was a coaching consultant client for a while. When we first started working together, she was doing Facebook lives, and in working together, we realized that no one was watching her Facebook lives. Her clients don’t watch Facebook lives. They will, however, listen to her podcast and come talk to her about it on Instagram.

We have another agency client who’s been uploading videos to YouTube. The retention was not there. So, we’re shifting how those videos work and driving traffic to a medium in which they are already happily, obsessively consuming her content. Don’t look so hard for the magic snap your fingers, everything works tool and forget the most important thing: your people’s preference. I see this a ton with Facebook. It cracks me up. I will have very corporate, very B2B clients. I’m talking companies who sell group health plans to not-small business, 5,000 plus staff size businesses.

They’re like, “Okay, so we really need a Facebook page.” No, you freaking don’t. You need a LinkedIn account. Maybe Twitter. You don’t need Facebook. That’s not where your clients are. Even if your clients are there, that’s not what they’re thinking about when they’re there. I really want that to sit in. Even if yes, they are using Instagram, or they are using Facebook, are you what they want to think about when they’re there? No. Go where they are, and go where you’re relevant to them when they’re there. That’s what I want you to focus in on, all right?

The next piece I want to talk about is I want you to look at the content you create best.

Here is the secret to this podcast. Oh my goodness, I should have looked this up before I did it. It launched 445 episodes ago. I want to say it was five years ago, maybe, because we did two episodes a year for a little while. I don’t know. It was five years ago. I want to say it was 2013, which was actually six years ago. It may have been six years ago. It was a long time ago, guys, in a land far, far away. When we launched this podcast it was the first time I was able to comfortably, happily create consistent content. It was also the first content I ever created that converted. Want to know why? Because I don’t freaking hate doing it. I’m terrible at blogging. It’s just not my strength. It’s not how I best deliver my message.

Now, I can 100% deliver somebody else’s message through a blog post. I can 100% write social posts, but I hated writing blog content. It always sounded, or read, rather, really terribly stuffy and boring and bleh, which I don’t think this podcast has ever been accused of being. So, I started podcasting, because it was how I best created content. Well, this didn’t mean I didn’t have blog posts, right? No. You ever notice the transcript for this show shows up on the show notes? You have something to read. Those transcripts also get turned into guest posts for other sites. There’s me, using that medium to drive traffic to my site without me having to create it.

So, if you love podcasts, do podcasts. If you love video, do video. If you love writing, write. We do have some clients who love writing who still want to have a podcast, because that’s what their clients like, or because they do enjoy the process. They just don’t enjoy it in the way I do it, which is there’s literally three bullet points in front of me and I make this up as I go along. Perks of knowing what you do, right? Knowing your shit, right? But I want you to realize that if you love writing, great. We have clients who write out their podcasts, I mean, completely, and then record it. Or they shoot a video, and they can do that with the reference of having that written out, and I won’t say it’s a script, because I think for most of our clients, once they write it they kind of know it well enough that they can just say it.

But it helps them collect their thoughts. It’s how they best create the foundational piece of content. There’s lots of ways to do this, guys, and lots of different ways work. I want you to look at how you best create content; how you best connect with your audience, because that is what will work best for you. Notice I didn’t say everybody’s got to have a podcast, although I do end up with a lot of clients with podcasts, just full disclosure. I think it’s because they like podcasts because they listen to this one. But you all podcasts. Anyhoo.

Number three, the thing I want to close this out with, is I want you to look at ways you can do more with what you already have.

This is the one trend that I want every single one of you to give four, five, and six thoughts, not just a second thought. I want lots of thoughts about this. Where can you use podcast episodes and your funnel as a value ad? Where can you use transcripts to create guest posts? Where can you use ads to drive traffic to your videos by using a smaller section of the video as a trailer in the ad? Where can you use blog posts to build out your first e-book? Where can you use podcast transcripts to create an e-book, or a playlist? Where can you use what you already have?

A great example of this that I think everyone should do is find the way you best show up on social. For a lot of our clients, that’s stories. For a couple of our clients, that’s Facebook lives. Then, repurpose that content into all of your other social. So, we have one client over at UM, Uncommonly More, that rocks stories. Guys, she’s freaking amazing on stories, and so we repurpose all of those stories into other content. We have another client who does the most amazing and the most engaging Facebook lives. Her clients love it. Guess what? We use that to create her editorial calendar for podcasts, and we use that to create social posts. We use that for a ton of other stuff.

So, I want you to start doing more with each thing you’re creating, because a lot of times, I find that what really leads people to chasing these trends, or trying to put on somebody else’s roadmap, or blueprint, or formula, or whatever is they’re just tired. You’re just tired of finding your own way. I always think about this in the same way that I think about decision fatigue, right. We get up in the morning and we make all these decisions all throughout our day, and then we get home and we’re like, I have nothing left to give you to figure out what’s for dinner. That usually means you default to a bad choice, be it nothing, or the same thing you’ve eaten every other night this week, or takeout, or that grungy fast food place down the street, or whatever sort of your bad default choice is, because you’re just tired.

The same is true with this. When you have to keep running this race of getting the next thing out, you just end up tired, and so nothing you put out is the best version of it, okay? So, look at where you can do more with what you’re already creating. Now, the best way to get all of what we talked about today done for you right now is to join me June 6th. Backstage Live, 100% virtual this time. We’ve got 10 peeps. 10 seats, rather, to join us. There’s not peeps to join them yet. We have a couple of peeps in there, but not all of them. There are still open seats for your peeps, okay? So, join us. Again, it’s 100% virtual, so you don’t have to travel to me, you don’t have to come out here, you don’t have to get a hotel, you don’t have to leave your business.

I do want you to step out of your business for the day, because we are going to spend a whole day together, and we’re going to build this plan. If you want to hear what other people have thought about this day, if you go over to the sales page, you will find thoughts, testimonials from some peeps who have joined us so far. I don’t know why I’m obsessed with the word peeps, but we’re just going to go with it, guys. I would love to have you join us too. It’s going to a good day. We’re going to build some 90-day strategies, and this is an event we’re doing each and every quarter, so if you want to join us, but June doesn’t work, come join us in person here in southern California in September. I think it’s September 12th is the date, and I’d love to have you here in person.

Remember, the coolest thing about this is this can be something that you put on your calendar once, twice, three, four times a year. Whatever works for you. You will leave with your plan for the next 90 days, and a workbook that you can use over and over again to do this work. You will have everything you need to keep doing this consistently, quarter after quarter. I’m really, really excited for it, so I hope you join us again. Thestaceyharris.com/backstagelive, and of course, if you just go to the show notes for this episode, you’ll find that, and all the other ways you can connect with us, all right? I would love to see you there. I would also love to hear from you. What are your thoughts on this episode? What are your thoughts on just life in general, all right? I hope you have a great rest of your week, and I will see you next week.

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