How Much Do You Need To Know About Digital Marketing?

Welcome to episode 453. I want to talk about some shoulds and shouldn’ts today. The question before us as we go into this episode is this idea of self-taught marketing, should you or shouldn’t you? 

So is it helpful or is it a total waste of your time? Like most things, there is an incredible amount of gray area between these two options that I want you to actually live in. 

So we’re going to talk about the kind of library of resources that I encourage you to build, assets I encourage you to build. And some instances where maybe learning more isn’t the best use of your time, because it isn’t always. 

So to start this conversation, I want to give a huge shout out to a friend of mine, Sara Intonato, who has a brand new podcast called Ancient Wisdom for the Modern Wellness Professional. In one of her very first episodes, it’s talking about getting another certificate and the content is really geared towards, obviously, wellness professionals, yoga teachers, massage therapists, Reiki healers, people like that, but really is applicable to anybody in service based business, and probably just anybody. She talks about specifically this idea of a of another certificate and she has this word that she uses that I’m obsessed with now called “procrastalearning.” 

And I think that sometimes we tell ourselves that we need to know about marketing to grow our business. We have to take the list building course, take the webinar course, take the Facebook ads course, join every single membership, read every single book, subscribe to every podcast when we’re probably better off using that time to talk to our clients, to have belly to belly conversations with potential clients, nurture our relationships, all of those things. 

Now with that said, there’s 100% a time and a space for learning. I am constantly consuming marketing materials, but I do this for a living. This is my of expertise. The same is not true for health coaches, business coaches, life coaches, Reiki healers, yoga teachers, all those things. 

And so I want you to really think about what is the direct ROI on your time investment in the consumption of this content. 

Now, there is a real value in having a base amount of information. And so that’s where I want to start with. And I want you to look for your critical few. This is a term I totally lifted from Tara Newman over at The Bold Leadership Revolution. She talks about the critical few in the guise of  the critical few things that you need to do in your life, the things that are critical for you to do in your business, the things you execute best. 

What I want to talk about when we talk about our critical few is our critical few assets or resources that we get our information from. So choose your favorite, most valuable podcasts. People to follow on Instagram and Facebook and Twitter and those places. Choose the people who you are getting your information from, because it’s going to allow you to get a certain amount of curation instead of a fire hose of new information. 

I think it’s so valuable to know that you have a trusted resource you can go to, to get X, Y, Z information. A great example of this is the two women I’ve mentioned so far in this episode. When I need information about meditation, about quieting my mind and getting back into my practice with meditation, I go to Sara. When I need leadership advice or perspective, I go to Tara and I listen to her podcast, and I engage in her communities, and I follow her stuff on Instagram, or I watch her stories. 

When I need those things I go to those women. I don’t Google meditation.  I don’t Google leadership. I go to them. And this is where doing some time in the pool around self marketing, will help you find who those people are for you. I hope very deeply that this podcast and myself are one of those resources for you when it comes to marketing. 

It’s why I built Backstage. It’s why Hit the Mic Backstage exists, so that it could be a space for you to very simply slide into and get what you need when you need it and leave. It’s why I created Backstage Live so that we could sit down together to build what you needed for the time right in front of you. It’s why this podcast exists. It’s why this podcast goes out every single week. It’s why there is now a library of 453 episodes of this show so that when you need it, you can go search the library and get what you need pretty quickly. You’re not searching Google, you’re searching a very specific, curated space. And I want you to build that library for yourself. 

And I’ve done this in a really, really lame, nerdy way. I actually have bookmarks in Chrome that are sort of my places that I go for my things that I need.  I have my Feedly organized for the blog posts or blog sites that I have cataloged by topic for what I need. So when I need Facebook ads stuff, or when I need mindset stuff, or when I need time management stuff, I can go there very quickly and get access to the content I need. 

Now, deeper than that, what happens in my podcast subscription box? I subscribed to those podcasts that I know are week in and week out giving me the stuff that I need to keep me on the road I want to be on. But again, I have curated those. 

So I highly recommend you create your curated list of assets, of resources, because that’s going to allow the rest of this conversation to be much, much easier for you. 

Now, where is the line on learning? Where are we wasting time? Where are we procrastalearning as Sara Intonato calls it, and where are we serving our goals? Now, I’m going to talk about this in the guise of newness for a minute, but I want you to remember as I say, these things, new starts over and over again in a lot of ways. 

I am tomorrow, July 5th, celebrating my official eight year anniversary as an entrepreneur. Eight years ago, on July 5th, I officially opened the doors to On Demand Virtual Assistant, which then of course if you’ve heard this podcast before, and I’ve told this story before, I think we’ve talked about it in the pink hair story, it morphed from On Demand VA to Hit the Mic Marketing to The Stacey Harris. And so this is where this whole thing started. 

However, in 2018, last year, I decided to launch an agency that was new. It didn’t matter that I had been doing this almost eight years. That was new. So I encourage you to, don’t get stuck in the language of new and forget that if even if you’ve been doing this awhile, you might still be new on something. 

So at the beginning, when you’re in that newness, a little extra learning can be really helpful because it allows us to learn the language of what we’re doing. It allows us to get new perspectives on what we’re starting. And so when you’re in that newness space, maybe it’s a new extension, maybe it’s a new way you’re shaping your offering, learning some new ways to market that can be hugely valuable. 

So whenever I’m in the newness space, I add a little extra time to my consumption. I listen to a few less podcasts that are fun. You know, I skip over West Wing Weeklys and Armchair Experts for more marketing focused, business focused content, because I want that challenge of that different perspective. I want that filter shift as I look at what I’m doing. 

With that said, I’m looking for exactly that perspective and filters, not something I’m going to live and die by because I am integrating that with my own knowledge and filters. And this is where sometimes I think self-taught marketing goes off the rails, because we spend a lot of time consuming things that are labeled as “musts.” That are labeled as requirements for success. That are labeled as should and shouldn’t. When really we need to take ownership and responsibility for figuring out our own musts, our own have to’s, our own shoulds, and our own shouldn’ts. And so I want you to integrate the information you’re consuming into your own filters. 

And again, this is why I started with find your critical few resources, find your critical few information consumption points, because Google is going to get you a lot of shoulds and musts and have tos, instead of here’s the information, here’s what’s happening with Instagram, here are a couple of ways that I’m navigating this. We’re navigating with clients, whatever. I want you to look at that shift, okay? 

The reason I like upping this kind of stuff in that newness phase is, more than anything else, that gives us some language. So that as we shift into a place where we’re ready to bring other people in, maybe it’s we’re hiring, maybe we’re getting consulting, maybe we’re talking to our mastermind, or our peers, or our coach, we have enough knowledge that we can start asking educated questions. 

Now this is not about stupid questions and smart questions, this is about me having enough information to know what I don’t know. I want to be able to get over the hump of not knowing what I don’t know, and that’s where a little information and starting this journey of self taught can be incredibly impactful. Because then when you have the expert in front of you, you go, okay, I have been reading about the Instagram algorithm change, can you explain to me where I need to make changes? I’ve been reading that Facebook lives are absolutely critical. Can you give me some scenarios in which I can find out if that’s critical for me. Can you point me in the direction of the data I should be evaluating. By the way, I can do all of those things, just so you know. 

But you have to know how to ask that question when we get on a call. 

And that comes from doing a little bit of this self taught marketing. So you need to find your line. Where is it that you go from, “I’m getting the foundational information I need so I can ask questions” to “I’m procrastalearning.” I think a great example of this, and I’m going to use this example because I’m guessing you’ve done this before, I see this so often in Facebook groups I’m a part of and in Instagram conversations I have, and people will be saying, “oh, I need to know everything about Facebook ads.” And I’ll ask how long they’ve been in business, what their goals are, what they’re selling, who their ideal clients are, and they’re just starting, and they’ve only worked with a couple of people, but they really want to launch this group program. And so they need to grow their audience in a hurry. And their ideal clients are women age 25 to 55 who are going through transformation in their life or a transition in their life. 

Okay, so like just, all women age 25 to 55? So a 30 year span of women? Because there’s infinite transitions and transformations that happen in 30 years of someone’s life. Right? Certainly in 25 to 55 years, that’s crazy pants. In the scope of that time you are getting new jobs, changing where you live, maybe potentially getting married or having children, or getting divorced, or sending your kids off to college, like, that’s a huge freaking span of time. That’s not an ideal client. That is a segment of the population. And so, spending a ton of time, and a ton of money learning everything you can know about Facebook ads is procrastalearning. 

Instead, digging into ideal client avatars and how it impacts segments in your email list or impacts copy changes or content types, that’s foundational education. Do you see the difference? In one you’re speaking to directly informing your immediate next step and in the other, in this Facebook ads example, you’re looking ahead, you are looking to solve a problem you don’t yet have. 

And for me that’s where we draw the line in self-taught. If you’re looking to solve a problem you don’t yet have, you are procrastalearning and it’s time to shut it down and get back to work. 

If you are trying to make an incremental improvement right in front of you so that you can start having that larger problem, fantastic. Get in, get what you need, get out. I think a great way to do this, and I do this a lot with the content I consume of all varieties, is I try and put boundaries around it. I literally set a timer sometimes so that I can say, all right, I’m going to dig into this thing, because I find it fascinating. 

Human design is a great example of this. I’m really, really getting obsessed over this over the course of this year with human design. I think it probably started late last year. I, however, do not have the desire to teach, sell, package anything with human design. So for me to go and buy a human design certification course would be bananas. It would be a huge, huge time investment for me. And so when I do want to read about it and learn more about integrating it in my business and navigating how it impacts how I show up best, I put a timer on. I set up a controlled environment in which I can learn more so that when I go and sit down with somebody who knows and who has the certifications and read all the books and has done all the work, I can ask the questions that are most going to impact me instead of being like, “I don’t know. I just want to know everything.” 

That’s the difference. And that’s the line. And that’s where I want you to look. So when you’re looking at how much marketing do I need to know, look at that. 

Again, this is why I built Backstage. This is why I built Backstage Live. This is why this podcast exists, because not everyone is to a point where they can come into Uncommonly More and say, “can you do this for me? I need this, this, and this. I want to partner on this” and we can get real results. And they partner with our agency and then they get incredible results. Not everybody’s there. Some of us are still in a place where we’re like, I want to grow my list a little because at some point I’d like to sell a program or a membership or a leveraged evergreen product. And so I need to know more about that right now. What can I do right now to add five people a month to my list? What can I do right now to increase my open rates? And they get that information cause they know what they need right now so they can create the larger problem. 

All right, I’m going to get off my soapbox now. I hope this helped. If you need one of these trusted resources, Hit the Mic Backstage will be opening its doors very soon. There is right now, one way into Hit the Mic Backstage though, and that’s the Backstage Amplifier Mastermind. We have three spots open to join us inside the mastermind. The mastermind is essentially Backstage. So everything that’s in Backstage plus one on one time with me. This means you and I can sit down every single month, build out what you need for that month. You have access to me in a private forum area for just you and me where you can ask questions, get feedback, run things by me, and we can stay connected throughout the month. Plus again, that one hour call with me each month. This is the only way, outside of Uncommonly More, to have access directly to me. So for $495 a month, you get me on your team, you get me as your strategist, you get me as your advisor. That’s awesome. 

So again, we have three spots available for that. I don’t anticipate them being available for a super long time. So I would love, love, love if you went over to the website, TheStaceyHarris.com and checked out Backstage Amplify Mastermind, also referred to as BAM, and reserve your spot. Again, that is the only way right now inside of Backstage until later this month when we open the doors back up for Backstage. 

If you have questions about anything ever, send me a DM on Instagram, I’d love to hear from you. I will see you again next week. Have a great rest of your week.

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