How Strategy Created Space for Important Conversations with Erica Cote

This episode is really and truly unique, in the sense that I have a guest. I have not had a guest on this show in literally years. But, I wanted to bring on, over the next several weeks, some people who I’ve been working with. Really, the next several months, some people who I have worked with over this last year. Talk to them about working together, and what they’re doing because I realized that I have some truly amazing clients, who are doing some really cool stuff in the world, and who I just, I haven’t told you guys enough about. This first one is my friend, and my client, and my love, Erica.

We’re going to talk about how we started working together. We started working together several months ago, and she’s going to tell you more about this. We started working together several months ago, and we started working together on her first brand. Since we started working together, she’s actually launched a second brand. I just, I love Erica, and I love her message, and I love what she’s doing in the world. I had so much fun getting to talk with her, and spend some time with her. She is a member of the Backstage Amplifier Mastermind Level. What’s cool about Backstage Amplifier Mastermind is you get access to everything in Backstage, plus a monthly one on one call with me, plus the private forum area where you can ask me questions, and ask for feedback, and we connect on things. The biggest value point, in my opinion, is the accountability over there. It’s really cool, and I’ve had a great time working with her, and I look forward to working with her for a very long time. Without further ado, here’s Erica.

Stacey Harris: All right guys, I have Erica with me now, and I’m really excited to introduce you to Erica because I adore her. I know I said this in the intro, but I just adore her. She’s super fun. Erica, hello.

Erica Cote: Hello.

Stacey Harris: I’m so excited to get to talk to you today. I am really excited to introduce you to the whole of the podcast audience, because especially … We’re going to talk about sort of what you do, and how you’re evolving. But, especially with your personal brand stuff, I’m really excited for this community to see what you’re doing. Why don’t we start with this, why don’t you tell them, because I know obviously, who you are and what you do?

Erica Cote: Of course. I mean, I’m super happy to be here, and I’m so happy to just … Not only just talk about myself, but just to be here with your audience, knowing how much value you bring. This is awesome. For me, I came to you with my initial brand, which is Silver Immersion LLC. Again, my name is Erica Cote. I am the owner, and one of the artists. Silver Immersion LLC is a beauty brand. For us, we do things differently in the sense that we believe that beauty comes from within. You don’t leave with anything you didn’t come with. So much out there really focuses on a very cookie-cutter standard of beauty, and we are about the exact opposite.

We have core values that center around equality, and diversity, and inclusion. We really like for people’s individuality to shine, and for you to feel comfortable in your skin, and allow yourself to be as beautiful as you actually are when you see yourself in the mirror. I am someone that really believes very passionately in things like equality, and diversity, and inclusion. When I began my personal brand, Erica Courdae, which I had been playing with for a while. I really, I kind of knew what I wanted to do, but I had been kind of struggling with it. When I came with Silver Immersion LLC, Stacey … You’ve helped me in a number of ways, to really figure out what does it look like to talk about this brand? What does it look like to flesh out how we’re showcasing this, and really having a plan to make sure that we are speaking the right things to the right people.

Being able to evolve more personally into my particular brand, really felt super natural with you because you help me to focus on what mattered, and what didn’t. Because it can feel overwhelming. And, being able to break it down and say, “Okay, I don’t have to swallow all the things at once.” It helped to make it make sense. To be able to take something that I am very passionate about, and to evolve it into an actual business, and to have plans, and goals, and things around it, and making it concrete. I mean, it’s just amazing how quickly its shifted into reality.

Stacey Harris: I have to go back to the Silver Immersion stuff for a second because you said the line that made me fall in love with you in the first place. Which is, you don’t leave with anything you didn’t come in with. I feel like that’s the … That should be the cornerstone of every beauty brand, and it’s not. It’s just you guys. It’s the most amazing sentence. I just, I love it so much. It was the moment that I was like, “Yes, I want this woman to be in charge of all of the beauty” because it’s the most important sentiment.

Erica Cote: Yes.

Stacey Harris: I’m so excited about the personal brand, because of that. Because of the conversations you’re having on that brand, and because of the conversations you are facilitating and encouraging, and space you are creating for leaders to really get a little uncomfortable, and learn.

I think that education is in many, many ways, a silver bullet. But, especially when it comes to having the potentially uncomfortable conversations.

Erica Cote: Well, and I think a lot of people, they want the growth. They want the progression, they want the expansion. But, you can’t do that being comfortable. You can’t do that being stagnant.

If you want to do something different, you absolutely have to do something different. That means that you’re probably going to be uncomfortable, that means that you’re going to have to question some of the things that maybe you believed as a blanket statement, possibly for much if not all of your life. And, to really say, “Okay, is this what I believe? Is this what I feel? Does this serve me?” When it doesn’t, being able to find the place to be willing enough to acknowledge it, and then to a dig a little deeper. And, to just kind of be in that room and stay present, and say, “Okay. This is uncomfortable, and I’m a little itchy right now.”

“But, I’m still willing to try, to question, to ask, to inquire.” Again, diving deeper, not just going with the surface. Women are so often, in a typical space, let alone as a leader, not painted as being as strong, and tenacious, and impactful as we are. I really want to focus on not only bringing that out within yourself, but highlighting how widespread that is, and how much more widespread it can be. That means talking about the hard things, going into the uncomfortable, and difficult, and possibly even painful things in order to uncover the beauty, and the strength, and the endurance that’s under that. That can just skyrocket everybody.

Stacey Harris: Well, and I think there’s so much connection that can come from experiencing that with other female leaders. Especially other female leaders who are different than you, who have a different set of life experiences, and a different set of ingrained beliefs and … What’s the word I’m looking for? Like, conditioning.

Erica Cote: Yes, yes.

Stacey Harris: Like the things we take from those experiences. Because we are, we’re all conditioned by our experiences to have a certain set of habits-

Erica Cote: Values.

Stacey Harris: … Beliefs, structures in our lives. There’s so much impact in looking at somebody who has a different set and going, “Oh, hey. Wait, maybe there’s value in this other perspective.”

I always go back to like, there’s a reason. As a kid, I remember I’m quite tall. I’m like 5’8″, 5’9″. I grew really fast. I wouldn’t grow for a while, and then I’d grow like an inch in like three days. It was crazy, and I’d have these crazy growing pains where I’d be like in the bath, and just … It was uncomfortable to just grow. I feel now in my business and in my role as a leader, so often I’m like, “So this is just the grownup version of growing pains.”

Erica Cote: Yeah.

Stacey Harris: This discomfort that comes with being bigger, and stronger, and growing, and evolving, and turning into the person I am going to be, and that I’m destined to end up as.

Erica Cote: Well, and honestly you hit the nail on the head with the first of all, the … First of all, all you said was 150% correct. But, that connection and that conversation with people that maybe didn’t grow up like you, that don’t look like you, that maybe their environment that they live in is different. It’s so pivotal because if you stay in that one little very secluded area, and that’s all you know. Then, it’s impossible to broaden your horizons, and it does kind of cap you off in your growth because you’re not opening up to how many things you can have access to if you allow yourself to simply be open. It’s very important as a leader to put yourself in a place to say, “I want to connect with someone completely different, and be willing to listen.”The strange thing about that for me is that I have a lot of unfortunately sinus issues that have been chronic. Over the past, I’ll say two months, I swear on a daily basis I’m like, “This is not my voice. My voice sounds different, and it won’t go back.”

I almost feel like there’s a growing pain that I’m going through because Erica Cote for me is a place to where I’m using my voice. As a black woman that’s married to a white man, with interracial children, and I have a very diverse group of friends, and other fellow business leaders that I interact with. My voice is, that is my platform. To feel it changing I’m like, “Oh, this is happening. It feels like this whole up leveling thing. Like, my voice is changing and there’s no going back. This is happening.” It’s definitely the growing pains, but it’s so necessary, and you’re almost like, “Well, I don’t want to go back.”

Stacey Harris: Right.

Erica Cote: You know? “Now I know what this feels like.” It takes a lot of determination. And again, just being willing to be open, and stay in the room, and stay present to just see what this is going to be.

Stacey Harris: I love that reminder. We’re recording this at the end of 2018, and I feel like everyone talks about sort of their year, their phrase, or their word for the year. I feel like, “Stay in the room,” is going to be mine.

Erica Cote: Yeah.

Stacey Harris: Because there are so much change and evolution that I am gearing up for in 2019. As I put together, for the first time, a real structured, traditional business with the agency. And, as I’m looking at the culture, and as I’m looking at the people who I put in the room, and the leaders that I put into this space to work with me, and to help our clients. I need to have some really clear conversations around, “Well what does this physically look like?”

“What do the people in the room represent? What paths are they coming from, so that we have that sort of expansive, and that breath of knowledge and experience to serve our clients with, and perspectives to serve our clients with?” It’s funny because I know that, that’s going to mean having some of those uncomfortable conversations, and really looking at like, “Well what am I looking for, and what kind of conversations do I want my team to be able to have?” I think staying in the room is going to be my phrase for 2019. I feel like there’s going to be a lot of like, “Nope, I’m just … I will, I’m just, I’m staying right here.”

Erica Cote: Well, but you bring up something important. I think when, especially if you are, essentially a one-woman show. You don’t think as much about the culture from a team perspective.

Or, if you have people that are more of subcontractors or VA’s, in which they are not a core part of it. You don’t think about those things as much. When you do kind of make that evolution into having more of a standard kind of business structure or format, and you do have to put those things in place, and really have to have those types of concerns, and conversations. You’re like, “Oh, I didn’t think about these things.” It’s already enough to start something and think, “I have a great idea.” Then it’s like, “Wait a minute. I have to think about marketing, and advertising, and bookkeeping, and all of these things.” All of a sudden you’re like, “Oh, I’m growing and now I have to think about how we as a whole, as a collective whole, approach these things.”

Stacey Harris: Yeah.

Erica Cote: It’s like, “Oh boy, this is a lot.” But, it’s a good a lot because then that means that you’re in control of creating things the way that you want them to be, and a way that maybe you’ve interacted with other people’s structures that didn’t give you the support that you needed. So, you’re able to create what you believe in, and there’s something empowering about that.

Stacey Harris: It’s true, and I’m a big believer that, that’s why specifically female leaders are so needed right now, is because. We do tend, and this is me speaking in massive generality. The four dudes that listen to this podcast, feel free to email me. We so do have sort of a better perspective, and openness to going, “Hmm, maybe the things I believe aren’t necessarily true. Let me evaluate that.” I’m not saying all women that have, ’cause there’s certainly a large section of women right now letting us down in a major way.

Erica Cote: Yeah.

Stacey Harris: There’s a whole other conversation for a whole other show. But, Erica knows who I’m talking about.

Erica Cote: hell yeah.

Stacey Harris: But, I feel like that’s why it’s so important for those of us who are like, know, just know. Just know, to be out there-

Erica Cote: Yes.

Stacey Harris: … And, using our voice, and literally creating the change we want to see, no matter how small that feels. I mean, we’re talking about an initial team of five people, and I’m still wanting to have these conversations and paying attention, ’cause I feel for like every person that I have this conversation with, they go and have it with a person, and they go and have it with a person, and that’s how change actually happens. It’s not legislated, it’s not these massive sweeping things. They’re person to person. I genuinely feel that’s how change happens, is by having thoughtful, open, honest conversations with each other, and being open to what the other person in the conversation is saying.

Erica Cote: You are 150% again, accurate. Because, you can have the overarching things, but so many things start on the ground. It has to begin somewhere, you know? The change, it’s not always like this trickle down, like some people kind of assume is everything. In a lot of ways-

Stacey Harris: Let’s just say trickle down, not a thing ever at all.

Erica Cote: … Right. It’s the roots, and it’s how they reach up. And, how it grows, and what it evolves into. For us, when I started my brand, the majority of my clients didn’t look like me. The more that the brand, and the breadth of who I would interact with changed, then it became a thing that I had … As my time grew, I did have to have these conversations around things like we support same-sex marriage. And, being able to service parties of multiple ethnicities, and keeping in mind these types of things that are about being conscious and considerate of things outside of what you may regularly feel like you have to be aware of, and it was important.

Then, when I began to interact with more female leaders, and notice that in these different backgrounds, that a lot of us wanted the same core things but so many things weren’t being discussed. At some point, somebody needed to be the person to break the silence. The next thing you know, you got five people that are like, “Me too.” And, nobody just wanted to start that conversation. When you are opening those doors for that possibility, you’d be surprised when those connections and that conversation happens, how many similarities you have. And, just because your dress is black and hers is brown, you’re both having the same struggles with wearing it, and feeling comfortable in it.

Stacey Harris: Totally. Oh, I just love you so much. I’m so excited for this podcast. Let’s shift gears a little bit, and let’s talk about working through BAM. I know getting your personal brand sort of moving, was a big part of what we’ve worked on together in BAM up until this point. But, it’s not necessarily how we started with BAM. Like you talked about, you do have Silver Immersion, which is your beauty brand. We started there. What initially attracted you to working with me through BAM? Was it the Silver Immersion stuff, was it that you had the personal brand stuff on your radar? This is totally me selfishly asking, ’cause I don’t actually know.

Erica Cote: Well, it’s not selfish. Of course, you want to know, these are the important questions. That’s why you asked them. The funny thing is, is that it’s very true in that you never know when you show up on people’s radar. I remember I don’t know how long ago it was. But, once I say this you will. I remember seeing you, and I knew your face because I remember seeing you with the flaming red hair, and you had a bob.

Stacey Harris: Yes, yes. It was actually pink. It was pink hair.

Erica Cote: Yes.

Stacey Harris: That had to have been more than a year ago.

Erica Cote: Yes.

Stacey Harris: When it was bobbed, it was probably … Yeah, it was a while ago.

Erica Cote: I knew your face, so I had seen you pop up. That’s the thing, in a lot of cases people show up in your circle, and it’s just a matter of when that connection happens. When, the need, and the, “Hey, I need this.” “Hey, I do this,” kind of lines up. But, I had seen you and known you for quite some time. We have people in common, and what I didn’t know was where you had been working with them as well.

As I’m seeing other people evolving, I’m not realizing that you’re a part of this evolution and this kind of blossoming so to speak. When I hit this point of feeling like, “Okay. I know what’s going on, but there’s been a lot of change with me rebranding my business, and really getting these core values, and our why to this place that we will scream it from the rooftops.” But, I wanted to make sure that again, I’m not just screaming it into the ether. I wanted to make sure that the message was getting to the right people, and that the people that needed us not only found us but even knew that we existed.

Because again, with you, you had been there and I just didn’t know. Even if everybody that may need us doesn’t know right away, it’s just beginning to find your way into those spaces. It was very important to me. This year I’ve done a lot of really getting that support staff for me, and finding people that this is your zone of genius, and this is where I need your help. I know what I’m good at, but I also know where I need help, and guidance, and support, and someone to say, “Hey, this is a better way to do this to get the results that you want.”

I really wanted my marketing, and my social media, and my message to have a blueprint so to speak of what we were doing, why we were doing it, having measurable results, having purpose to what we’re doing, why we’re doing it, how we’re doing it, and being able to try to create it in a way that it could also then be passed on to someone else on this team so that I am not trying to do everything. Because the reality is, one person cannot do all of the things well. It was very important to be able to figure out how I could get this structure in place, that I could easily have somebody else say, “Hey, I can plug and play so to speak, because you set all the things in motion to make this make sense, and I have the pieces that I need. You can do the things that only you can do, but now I can do the things that you don’t have to do.”

Because, I wanted Silver Immersion to begin to blossom on its own, and to begin to just kind of go to the next level. While Erica Cote was something that had been brewing for a while, when I first started working with you it’s like I knew but I was like, “I don’t quite know what’s going on.” The more that I really worked with you on streamlining the approach, and what was being done, and getting intentional with things. It made it so that, it kind of streamlined to a place that unconsciously, it made space for me to now say, “Okay, well I need you to help me with this other brand.” That literally just shot off like a bullet, and I didn’t expect it. But, it couldn’t have happened if Silver Immersion wasn’t put in a place that I didn’t have to feel immersed to a fault.

Stacey Harris: Oh my gosh, I love that. There are so many things I want to unpack in what you said because this is good lessons around, it’s a good marketing lesson for those of us who feel like … ‘Cause, we all go through seasons where we feel like we’re just talking to the ether. We all go through things and we’re like, “Does anybody even hear me?”

Erica Cote: Yes.

Stacey Harris: I, up until this point, literally this moment, didn’t know you knew who I was before we were connected by who we were connected with. You never know who is watching.

Erica Cote: Yes.

Stacey Harris: This is why it is so important that we are building consistency, and that we’re building quality because you don’t know who is out there being like, building know, like, and trust so that when that moment flips, I’m there.

Erica Cote: Yes.

Stacey Harris: Because you’re absolutely right. So often we have someone in our circle, or we have someone in our awareness, and we’re not quite sure yet where they fit in for us. Like, the job they serve, and sort of the movement of us moving forward. Another thing I want to talk about, and it’s so funny ’cause I was just talking about this with a group of women at a retreat that I spoke at. This is why it’s so valuable to work with people who share with you what’s happening in their businesses, and their network.

Erica Cote: Yes.

Stacey Harris: with, connect with, connectors. Because-

Erica Cote: What actually made me pull the trigger on you was. “Oh, I work with her, and this is what she does with me now. But, this is where I started, this was kind of the progression, this is what she does.” “Oh, now let me tiptoe in, and do my minor stalking, and see what you’re doing, and what you do offer.” I’m like, “Oh, well not only is this what I need, but I really want the support, and it’s at a place where I feel comfortable right now with the price point as well.”

I don’t have the hesitancy there so it was like literally, I found out all the right things at the exact right moment, and it was there. You were there with what I needed, even though I didn’t know I needed it. But, it took somebody sharing what challenges they had, and how you had supported them for me to be like, “Oh. Light bulb. Wait a minute, wait a minute. I need her. I want all that. I want that.”

Stacey Harris: Well, and I think that’s one of the things I love, is so often we think when we hire marketing support, that we have to go all the way to the end, where we hire this person who is like a unicorn and does all the things. I am in fact a unicorn who has access to people on my team through Uncommonly More, who does all the things. However, we don’t have to go right to unicorn status. You can start with like, “Just hold my hand.”

Erica Cote: I love your unicorn status, I love you, Stacey.

Stacey Harris: It’s what we aim for here at Uncommonly More. But no, you don’t have to go all the way there. You can start with like, “I just need someone to hold my hand, and help give me some clarity.” Because, quite frankly, too many people go all the way to unicorn status, and spend way more money than they should be spending when they don’t have the pieces in place yet, to see the ROI on that investment.

Erica Cote: And, in a lot of ways-

Stacey Harris: There are too many people who do my job that won’t tell you that.

Erica Cote: … Well, and that’s exactly it in that, I didn’t even know that these stages were an option. You see all of these things thrown at you about, “You need this, do this, buy this, this will help save your life, you will feel so much better, and book $5,000 more a day if you do this.” Nobody is saying, “Guess what? I have multiple options, but I am here to meet you where you are.” That’s what, that isn’t happening enough.

Stacey Harris: Which, is clearly why I need to take over the world, right? I’m really excited about this, but again, I want those two takeaways to be really clear to you guys. Connect with connectors. Use your network when you need help. Don’t worry so much about the Facebook ads telling you they can save your life. Worry more about having people in your life who will be like, “This is what I did, this is who I worked with, this is how it went.” That’s way better-

Erica Cote: Yes.

Stacey Harris: … Salesmanship. But, also notice that she, Erica, you. Took a referral, and then that referral was backed up by my social media content, my website content. Even if you are like, “Well I drive traffic, I don’t get clients via social.” People who refer you to other people, those people who are referred are going and looking at your social, are going and looking at your website, are going and signing up for your email list.

Erica Cote: Yep.

Stacey Harris: Because they’re wanting to check out the referral they just got.

Erica Cote: That was the thing. I went in, and that was why I had no problem pulling the trigger and saying, “Yeah, I’m in.” Because, the questions that I had were there, and I have a friend that, we do a lot of things together, and a lot of the things with our businesses are aligned. We were kind of at that same place of needing it and I’m like, “Hey, this is what I found, and look at it.” She’s like, “Oh yeah, I’m sold. When are you doing it? Just let me know. I can get my credit card right now, and we can get started with this ASAP.” Because-

Stacey Harris: And literally, they really did pay within like 10 minutes of each other. I’d still not met either one of them. I was like, “What is happening with BAM today?”

Erica Cote: … It was just, I mean we were like, “No, I am tired of this overwhelm. Here is somebody saying that they can help me with this,” and the stamp of approval of someone that we trusted was on it. It was like, “Sold. You got me. Here you go, take my money. Would you like more? Here you are.” It was helpful because not only was the information there to clarify it, but then it continued because then immediately, here comes a vide. “Hey, thank you for being here.” And, it wasn’t a generic, it was you calling me Erica. Things were very personable, and you were demonstrating to me that you knew what I needed, and what I wanted for my business because you were doing a lot of those things on your own.

Stacey Harris: I love that you said that. This is my favorite podcast episode ever. Here’s a little behind the scenes guys, for those of you who are listening to the show. I have some … Obviously, I have a ton of automation in place for when you join Backstage. Either at Backstage or at the BAM Mastermind Level. Some things happen when you join, you are sent into the new member sequence, and you start getting emails. All of that’s automated.

What also is automated, is I actually get a notification through Slack on my phone, on my computer, wherever I am that says I have a new member join. I also then send a notice to a tool called Bonjoro, that allows me to send a personalized video to that member. Sometimes I send them the very day they sign up, honestly depending on what day of the week you sign up. Sometimes it’s a couple of days later, but always within the first couple of days, I send out a video, and I film it on my phone no matter what I look like. That’s why I apologize for whatever I looked like in your video Erica. I was like, I just say, “I’m so excited. Here’s what’s kind of happening, here’s the lay of the land. Here’s where you can connect with us. I’m so excited that you’re here, make sure you introduce yourselves so that I can get to know you better.”

It really is one of those things that is not completely automate-able. It is one of those things that then takes somebody going and doing something. But, it’s without a doubt, one of the most fun things I get to do, and also from a business perspective guys, and you know I’m super transparent here. It has been killer for retention because especially with BAM, you just sent me $500 and it’s really easy for that immediate to be like, “What the hell did I just pay for? What is going to happen now?”

I end that, I shortcut that by sending you a video and saying, “I’m super excited you’re here.” Because we get to make that personal connection really rapidly after you make the purchase.

That’s an incredible way to start a relationship on the right foot. We do that with every single Backstage Member, every single BAM Member. It doesn’t matter if they come in for a one dollar seven-day trial, or if they join us at BAM. Everybody gets that video. I also send them out randomly from time to time, to members, to our agency clients, to all sorts of people. If there’s just something going on. But, Bonjoro, not a sponsor of the show, but hands down one of my most favorite tools because it allows me to do this really simply. But, also I have that front-ended by some automation stuff to notify me. I don’t have to go in and check anything, I don’t have to go in and look for anything. Slack tells me, “Hey, go over to Bonjoro and send a video.”

Erica Cote: It’s-

Stacey Harris: You can use automation and personalization together.

Erica Cote: … It does really, it created a connection. That’s one of the things that again, I like feeling like you got what I needed, you know? I didn’t even have to have a call with you in order for me to feel like, “Okay, she gets it. She knows the types of challenges I’m having, she knows where I need more of those touch points, more of that personalization.” But, also we’re all feeling tight on time because you’re trying to do all the things. I don’t want to add extra things to my list that I can’t maximize impact wise, and really make it have a purpose. I mean, it was … It definitely helped, that there was no immediate buyer’s remorse at all. I didn’t actually, I didn’t have any buyer’s remorse at all. I can’t say that I’ve had that with all of the things that I’ve paid for over the years. Sometimes you’re like, “Oh hell, what did I do?” It happened. I didn’t feel that way. It’s definitely kind of a no-brainer as I grow, between these two brands, to continue having that support because it’s absolutely made a difference. It’s absolutely made a difference.

Stacey Harris: Oh, I’m so excited. Let’s talk about that. Let’s talk about the kind of difference that it’s made. We’ve been working together for several months now, a few months. What for you, has been the big sort of shift that’s happened? I mean obviously we, I made you build a website, and launch the personal brand. One month I was just like, “No, you’re going to do that now.”

Erica Cote: She did. I did it though, I did it. I did, I wanted to please the teacher, I wanted her to be happy with me. I did.

Stacey Harris: Hey, it’s better than … We interviewed Tara Newman on the podcast, who we both knew. We talked about the fact that we launched Brave without her totally knowing that we were launching Brave.

Stacey Harris: You got it better than Tara did.

Erica Cote: Oh my gosh. But, you know what? When it’s scary, sometimes that’s exactly what you need, and it’s what you’re probably the most resistant to, but you need it. Yeah, I mean it was actually very helpful to have someone that said, “Look. I get it, I know this is a lot.” One of the things that you told me was to leave space for that. I did, and it did help.

But, with kind of doing that, it was a lot easier to create space, to let it form on its own because, things had been put in place for me to have social media set up and ready to go with everything in place, imagery and caption wise, and hashtag wise. To, hand that to an assistant, to be able to say, “Here are all the things you need. I simply need you to put them in there. This is kind of the marketing calendar, these are the notes that we’re hitting. This is kind of the big push at this moment. This is what we want clients to know,” and that also created the space to be able to say, “What else do they not know? What else do we need to educate them on? What else do we want to touch on that maybe they need support with, or could use empathy around?” So, being able to say, “Here’s a framework. Here’s a piece that fit into it.” I have now created the things that are, the things that I can only do.

But, here’s someone else on my support team, that understands the brand, and what it looks like to now put these things in there so they’re not done willy-nilly, but it also takes it off my plate to not have to worry about, is this done in a way that I’m going to be comfortable with supporting the personality and consistency of the brand? Being able to say, “Hey, here’s Instagram, here you go.” That took a whole heaping amount of space, timeline wise, away from me to not have to worry about. And, being able to actually have more impact with it, and to have to put less of my time into it was a huge thing. To be able to really say, “Okay, this is where my audience is, this is what’s giving me the results, this is where they’re interacting with me, this is what I need to supply them with so that they feel supported.”

And, knowing what those things were. Then it was like, now you can see where else you can put things in that are going to maximize that impact. This is where you can see okay, I didn’t realize that maybe here’s another opportunity for us to truly give them what we take for granted, because we know it. You don’t know it.

Erica Cote: We wanted to make sure that they knew. Being able to create that framework meant that you can then see what you don’t realize when it’s just all a jumbled, quote/unquote, “I just gotta get it done.” Because, when you go like … I’ll use Instagram for example. When you’re just like, “I just have to post, I just have to post.” You’re not getting the consistency to know what you’re posting, what notes you’re hitting, what notes you need to hit more of, is this the season to be talking about this? Being able to bite that bullet and say, “I’m going to hand this to somebody else. I’m really scared to give this to you, but I’m going to give it to you.” It was one of the best things I could have ever done. It went a lot smoother because I’d now realized, “Okay, here’s where I can do things differently. Here’s where I can communicate what I need, and make sure that you understand. But, also make sure that you’re working in your zone of genius.” Again, I don’t come to you Stacey and say, “Hey, guess what? I need you to design me a logo.” No. I come to you for your zone of genius.

So, having someone to support me in that space where they function at their greatest level of good for others. Again, created the space for me to be able to hand over client communications, hand over sending out contracts, and reminders, and confirmations, and scheduling. Communicating with the staff about the things that, with me doing it, it just wasn’t the best use of my time. If I didn’t figure out where these things can be automated, where somebody else can handle them, how they can handle them so that nobody is stressed out in this handoff process. I mean, all of these things were a snowball effect, of having you to have me truly look at this small point of view and say, “This is what I want to do, this is how it can be done well, this is how it can be done better, and this is how it looks afterward.”

Stacey Harris: I’m so excited about this. I’m so excited somebody besides just me is saying all these things. This is what happens when you put together a strategy, and you put together people, and you put together automation. Then, you measure how all the things are working. This is what happens guys. It’s magic.

Erica Cote: It is. It is. You don’t realize how far it goes. You think, “Oh, she’s going to help me do marketing.” No. What you have done has been so far-reaching in both of my brands. Even though one is a baby, it’s been huge already. That’s where I think people don’t always understand. When they’re investing, they’re investing in more than just that one thing. This is the chain reaction here. It’s huge.

Stacey Harris: Oh, I love that. I’m so happy to hear that. Thank you so much for spending time with me today. And, talking with everybody, and telling everybody kind of your experiences, and where you’re coming from. I think we had a lot of really good little mini like we could turn this episode into three really solid podcasts. We’re going to have to have you back on the show as you get further into your personal brand, and we have some places we can send people specifically because that is still a baby. But, I am so excited. I’m so grateful to know you. I’m so grateful to have you as part of BAM, and I’m so excited about continuing to work together for a long, long time.

Erica Cote: I am grateful for you in all the ways Stacey. Thank you so much.

Stacey Harris: Oh, of course. Oh, I just love you so much. I can’t wait to see you in person.

Erica Cote: I know. I’m like, I’m going to hug her and she’s going to think I’m nuts. I was like, I am such a hugger.

Stacey Harris: I promise I won’t think your nuts, I will hug back. We can hug at the same time, and no one will even notice that it’s weird. I’m so excited. For those of you who work with people in far off places, not that … I mean, we’re like, we’re opposite coasts. We’re not in like different countries. But, find ways to go and see them in person, ’cause it’s so much fun. I always love doing it. I’m really excited to see you in person. Again, I thank you for your time today. I thank you for being a part of this community, I thank you for what you’re doing in all of the spaces that you’re showing up in. You’re definitely a voice and a leader that the world needs right now. Certainly, the internet needs right now.

The internet, it’s a crazy place. I’m just trying to make it better. Thank you again, and I’m so excited. You guys, I will have in the show notes, links to connect with Erica in all of her places, because she’s awesome. Also, I think, in completely unrelated news. When we’re in New York together, I’m going to need you to do my makeup, and I think I’m going to have to have India shoot some photos for me.

Erica Cote: Let’s do it.

Stacey Harris: We’re all in the same place.

Erica Cote: Yes.

Stacey Harris: I’m going to need this to happen.

Erica Cote: I want all the things to happen. Yes, I am there for all of it.

Stacey Harris: I’m excited. All right, so thank you guys for listening, thank you, Erica, for being a part of the show. We will see you guys next week.

Erica Cote: Thanks, guys.

Stacey Harris: Do you now see why I love Erica so much? She’s amazing. I wanted to wrap this up and just say thank you again to Erica for joining me, for sharing all of that. There are a ton of amazing lessons in there, around discomfort, around hiring, around being a leader, around handing things off, making space. If you are somebody who’s coming to me and they’re saying, “You’re multi-passionate, and you want to do all these things.” Notice that we made space in the first thing, and systemized the first thing before we went into the next step. There’s just, there’s so much there.

But, I wanted to wrap this up, and I want to jump in before I let you go, and remind you that if you want to work with me in this way as well, you totally can. We actually have a couple of spots open for the Backstage Amplifier Mastermind, and of course, Backstage is being completely renovated right now. But, the price is not changing for Backstage Amplifier Mastermind, but you do get access to everything that happens in Backstage. You can join us right now if you want to talk to me about doing it if you want to just grab your spot. You can do all of that at TheStaceyHarris.com/BAM. Or, of course, head to the show notes for this episode to get links to everything, including Erica’s brands. Because you want to check this woman out. She’s amazing, all right?

Thanks for listening, I’ll talk to you very soon. Bye.

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