Strategies Aren’t About Restrictions

Welcome to episode 440. I’m stoked for today’s conversation because this is one of those things that comes up again and again. I feel like it comes up a lot in podcast interviews. One of the things I’ve been doing a lot this year is actually putting together trainings and workshops and Q&A times for mastermind groups, like built into their mastermind.

Every time we do a Q&A this comes up and so I feel like that is a sign from the podcasting gods that I need to talk about this and that we need to sit down and have a conversation because strategy and building a plan is not restrictive. It’s not about creating things you can’t do. It’s in fact the most spacious thing you can do in your business and for your creativity. And so often I get the response that I don’t want a strategy, I just want to feel it. I just want to go with what feels right and share what I feel called to share.

That’s cool and I have no problem with that. But by creating a strategy and a plan and building a foundation for yourself, you create the space to show up when you feel called to. And even better there’s actually people there when you show up. Hard truth guys. I want to dig into this today. I want to talk a little bit about the pieces of a strategy and how they create this space because again, this is one of those things that all of my clients fight back on. And you know what? Now they love it.

Now it’s the thing that gives them the freedom to get inspired. Before we hop into that, I want to let you know some big big news. I think I mentioned this last week on the podcast, but I want to make sure you hear something I definitely didn’t mention last week on the podcast. Are you ready? We have a virtual version of Backstage Live. I think that’s what I mentioned last week. What I didn’t mention is if you join us inside of Backstage Live, either the May event here in Orange County, California or the virtual event happening April 18th.

If you pay in full for $897, you actually are also going to get bonused a 30 minute one on one call with me following the event. You heard it right. You’re going to get bonused a followup one on one call with me. That means you I can sit down and review the plan you put together during our workshop so that you can make sure there are no questions, no holes, no confusion, and you can get taking action.

You can hand it off to your team or you can start implementing it on your own. Whatever it is, you’ll be able to move forward confidently because you have had my eyes on it plus you’ll have built it a with me during the day. The thing I love most about Backstage Live is we’re actually equipping you to make these decisions for yourself in the future. In fact, I want to share with you really, really quickly and then we’ll dig into the episode.

Jillian Dudek who actually joined us for our New York event gave me the most amazing testimonial and I want to read just a little bit of it. You can read the full thing on over at thestaceyharris.com/backstagelive. But I want to read just this piece to you. Are you ready? Are you listening? Listen, are you ready? Here it is. Jillian said the 90 Day marketing plan framework will be used in my business and definitely.

But experiencing Stacey lead us through our customizations live was invaluable. At the end of the day, I found myself excited to market and at complete ease that I finally found a trusted leader who also believes that marketing can be aligned and have integrity. Is that not amazing? This is the kind of stuff we’re doing with this event. We are pulling together something that you can use over and over again.

I actually send you a pdf. for the virtual version You’re only going to get a pdf. But for our in person version, I give you a workbook that day and then I send you a pdf version so you can print it out and use it for your next 90 days. You’re building a skill by doing. Instead of building a skill by me standing at the front of the room and you hoping that the information syncs in enough, you’ll actually do this with me and with the group.

And so it’s a game changer of an event. I’m super stoked to bring it to you guys virtually. We’ve done a half day version virtually before, but it took some sort of noodling on my part to figure out how I was going to make a full day virtual work and I’m so amped that I figured it out because I think it is going to be so so valuable. Head over to thestaceyharris.com/backstagelive, reserve your seat.

Even though it’s virtual, we are still keeping our limit of 10 people because I want to make sure that we have all the pieces done together and that you have not just my perspective and my expertise, but feedback from the group so that we know that everything is ready to go for you and that everything is customized for you. We’re not doing formulas. Cool. All right. This one went on a little longer than I expected it to because I was really stoked to tell you about what Jillian’s seed back was.

But yeah, I really am so amped for this event so join us. There is a three pay option. With the three pay option you do not get the bonus call with me, but it does make it a little easier to fit into your budget right now. I’m stoked. With that let’s jump in because some of you may be thinking, well Stacey, I don’t want to do Backstage Live because I don’t want a strategy. I don’t need a strategy. I’m very creative and I want space for my creativity. We’re going to dig into that now. Sorry, full Brad came out. I’m reeling her in. What I want to move forward with now is, are you ready?

Step one to building a strategy. Ideal clients.

This isn’t anything scary. It’s a foundational part of your business and it’s something you’ve already done. It’s a great example of how a strategy creates freedom because narrowing down your ideal clients, narrowing down your niche or your niche or however you want to pronounce it, your marketplace, your avatar.

Whatever it is you want to call that dream person you work with, narrowing that down is what created your ability to really connect with them. The same is true for your marketing. Knowing who you’re talking to and building a foundation to support them is what allows you to intuitively and creatively show up for them when you’re called to. It’s what makes space for the inspiration. And so look at who am I talking to? How can I make sure that I’m serving them consistently?

That’s step one of building your plan. When we do Backstage Live, this is the first or second thing we talk about. I can’t remember what the book looks like right now. But this is generally speaking, the first or second thing we look at.

The other piece that’s first or second that I want you to look at is what are you selling? What are you going to deliver to them?

Not because we’re going to come out of the gates all promo heavy, not because our foundation is filled with sales pitches. But because we want to make sure that the content we’re creating that supports our ideal client is leading them towards the ultimate solution which is working with us. I’ve said this before and I feel like every other episode, but I can’t say it enough and I’m going to say during Backstage Live, your whole job, no matter what you do. Coaches, consultants, maybe you sell a product, I don’t care.

It is to take your customer from problem to solution. In some cases that’s I don’t have a phone case and now I do a phone case. In some cases that’s I have problems with my marriage and now I don’t have problems with my marriage. In some cases it’s I feel physically horrible and sick all the time and now we’ve gone to I feel healthy and strong and fit and ready and excited and motivated.

In some cases it’s I have no marketing plan. Oh look, now I have a marketing plan. Whatever it is, it’s problem to solution and our job with social and email and content is to start inching them down that path. That’s why we lead with value. But ultimately we can only go so far before and investment is required to see real results. And so that last mile, that last bit that they need to get from problem to solution, that’s your offer.

And so identifying what that piece is that we’re guiding them to upfront is going to make it so much easier for you to do the math backwards and create that foundational content that speaks to them. It’s also going to give you a muse. So if you’re somebody who needs inspiration to create who is saying, I don’t want to show up if I’m not called to show up. When you know what it is you’re talking about, when you know what space you need to create or you need to hold for your clients.

Now we have the ability to do that. We have that ability to show up. We have that ability to hold that space because we know the purpose of that space. We know the content we’re creating and sharing, whether it’s bashed and pre-created and scheduled or it’s Instagram stories on the fly. We know what to do in either situation because we know where we’re taking them to solution. And so that’s piece number two.

Again, I want you to look at both of these pieces and see where mapping this out actually gave you the freedom to show up and create that experience and that space that moves them from problem to solution because you knew where you were going.

The third thing I want to talk about is that actual fundamental outline, the content calendar, the social calendar, the email funnels.

These are all things that most creatives go, I don’t want to mess with those. I don’t want to deal with those. And here is the real talk. They work, they just do and you don’t have to deal with them. You don’t have to want to have them. That’s what people like me are for. What you do need to do is see where they fit in getting your customers and your clients and your community and your audience from problem to solution. Now, not all email funnels look the same. Not all social calendars look the same. Not all content calendars look the same.

You have the freedom to create in whatever way you want to create. Maybe that seasons of your podcast, maybe that’s one blog post a month, maybe that’s seasons of a video series similar to the way a TV would run. Whatever it is, I want you to create that structure for you to play in. I want you to create that environment to you to work from because that is so so important to knowing that this stuff actually gets done and gets out.

Here’s the deal, if you decide that you’re going to do a weekly podcast like I do here, cool, that doesn’t mean you’re never going to see an extra podcast from me. It doesn’t mean that I don’t show up with something totally random on Instagram stories or Facebook live or coming soon a LinkedIn live. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, listen to the last episode. I get to do all of that.

I get to show up in all of those ways because I have the foundation of knowing what’s happening here. When I sit down to create this episode, I get to be creative and I get to show up how I want to show up and provide the kind of fun commentary jogy feel that is a hair miss in this episode admittedly, but is there. Because I get to batch these one, two, three, four. I get to stay in that creative mode instead of creating, producing, editing, and distributing.

All I do when I wait to create and then put out what I created right away is stop creation. But because I got creative in creating the plan, I now get creative again in production. I’ll get creative again when I edit and then I will go into the dask of distribution. After I’ve done all my creating, after I’ve recorded four or five episodes and then edited four or five episodes, then I can worry about distribution of those four or five episodes.

Then I can start again in creation. I don’t cut off my creation because I have built the structure for me to play in. I have built the environment that supports me getting you from problem to solution, which is how I generate revenue and stay in business. Doing these pieces, setting up these pieces is really what creates the freedom and the flexibility for you to actually get to be creative. Otherwise, what you’re creating is a situation where you’re constantly playing catch up and I don’t know about you. Well, I do know about you, like a lot.

But I’m going to say that for me I’m almost never creative when I have to be. When I’m back against the wall and the podcast was supposed to go out yesterday and I haven’t recorded it yet, I’m not creative. I don’t think of witty things, I can’t think of anything great to say and really, honestly, I’m not very helpful to you. That’s why this work is invaluable. That’s why doing this is what allows me to be creative.

Stop thinking about a strategy and a plan as a restriction and instead think of it as the thing that empowers and create space for you. You’re not creating restrictions, you’re not putting yourself in a little content jail. They’re there for you. More often than not, this episode is actually an example, I don’t necessarily do what was in the calendar. Now, the episode that was on the calendar and in the plan would’ve gotten similar points across.

It would have still led to strategy ’cause that’s what I’m focused on right now. We’re opening up Backstage Live. We’ve got VIP days open with me. We’ve got done for you strategy spots open for me in the Spring so April and May. And so I’m going to talk about strategy on the podcast for the next couple months. Really intently for these next couple of weeks we’re going to be talking about this because that’s the season I’m in my business.

Again guys, transparency here. I’m never going to try to trick you. I will tell you exactly what I’m doing. But when I sat down to record this episode, I was like, you know what’s been coming up a lot? I want to talk about that. I’m going to swap this out. I’m going to take a different approach. I was able to make space for that creativity. That idea was able to show up because I wasn’t frantic, because I wasn’t stressed because I had built the foundation and because I knew what the ultimate goal was of putting this episode out.

It was to fill seats for Backstage Live, it was to fill those two spots on my calendar for April VIP days and it was to fill the done for you strategy spots that we have over and Uncommonly More for April and May. That was my goal because my other goal is that you guys stop operating without a plan because of all the things I said today. I will put the soapbox away. We will pull this episode to a close and I will eagerly await your responses over on Instagram.

Does that sound good? All right. I appreciate you sitting through this, especially if you are in resistance around the idea of a strategy. I adore you. It’s going to be okay. I promise this is a good idea. Now, let’s sit down, let’s build your plan. Backstage Live April 18th virtually, May 2nd here in Socal. I do have some VIP day spots open. I will link to them in the show notes. I do have some done for you strategy spots. I will link to those in the show notes.

You can fill out the application and send it my way and we’ll have a call and we’ll talk about how that can look for you. If you’re not sure if Backstage Live or a VIP day or a done for you strategy is the solution, we can talk about that too. Fill out an application, I will steer you in the direction that best fits you. If it’s none of those options, I’ll tell you that too. Sound good? All right, I will see you next week on the show. Have a wonderful week, bye.

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