About the episode
I said this before, but everybody needs to feel something right now and your audience is no exception. You can use your content to create a connection between you and your story and how your audience wants to feel, how they want to live their life, how they want to grow the business and be the leader they want to be.
So that’ll come down to your content which feels like a lot of pressure but I’m going walk you through how you can leverage your story in a really simple way to build that connection with your audience so let’s get into it!
Topics discussed in episode #6
- How to leverage your story with your Instagram content in a way that feels good
- Melanie’s (and maybe your’s) love/hate relationship with Instagram
- Knowing your story and how to use it to connect with your audience and humanize your content
- The 4 pillars of your story: your why, your audience, your offers, and yourself
- How to find your ideal client and what this reveals about you and your business
- How to make your offer stand out
- The importance of taking a stand in your content so that your audience knows what you’re about
- How to inspire your audience while telling them about what you do
- Join the Get Shit Done Society
- LISTEN IN: The 3 Phases of Content Alchemy
- The Amy Porterfield Podcast
Connect with Melanie here:
Hey friends. Welcome to episode number six of Entrepreneurial Outlaws today’s episode. We are going to be talking about one of my favorite topics and that is content planning, but this is not one of those episodes where I’m going to walk you through how to pick a posting schedule or how to make the perfect Instagram feed. Instead, we’re going to be talking about feel good content planning, how to leverage your story on Instagram, how to plan Instagram content with the Lang, because I’ve said this before, but everybody needs to feel something right now. And your audience is no exception. You can use your content. You can create content that creates feeling that it connects and builds a connection between you and your story and how your audience wants to feel how they want to live their life, how they want to grow that business. What kind of leadership, what kind of leader they want to be. So that all comes down to your content, which feels like a lot of pressure, but I’m going to walk you through how you can leverage your story in a really simple way to build that connection with your audience. So let’s get into it.
You’re listening to Entrepreneurial Outlaws. I podcast the creatives, vets and paths and spiritual folks who want to grow a sustainable and impactful business on their own terms. Together we are paving the way for a new normal in online marketing and business. One that allows you to lean into what makes you and your business unique. And I’m your host, Melanie nights, storyteller Pinterest, strategist visibility, coach and CEO of content are, can be marketing or nontraditional marketing agency for creative business owners who don’t want to compromise the creative integrity to make money, get ready because each week we’re having the messy, honest, and transparent conversations about entrepreneurship, the kind that’s missing from the highlight rails of our social media feeds. And you’ll learn how to create intention and connection behind your content marketing so that you can sell without selling out. We’re uncovering the real stories behind what it takes to run a sustainable online business. The highs, the lows, everything in between, ready to break the rules and become an entrepreneurial outlaw. Let’s do this.
Okay. So in today’s episode, we’re going to be talking about Instagram content and leveraging your story. And listen, I’m going to caveat this whole episode by saying, you can do this and we’ll have your content. I just specifically want to talk and focus on Instagram, because that seems to be the platform that causes the most controversy. It is everyone’s worst, best friend. It is the platform that’s, everyone’s like I have to be on Instagram. I should be on Instagram. I have to figure out I have to do this, this and this, but it’s also the platform that seems to just really bond everyone out. It’s the platform that seems to drain us. And I’m no exception in 2019. I really stepped back with my Instagram content. I took many, many breaks and a lot of that was because I was leveraging Pinterest. I was learning how to use Pinterest in my business, and that has paid off massively even this year when I’ve not nurtured my Pinterest platform as well as I should.
But this year, Instagram kind of changed things for me. Instagram became one of my favorites again. And when I really got there, when I was able to create this unique experience for myself on Instagram, what I was able to create this place of engagement, a place where I could feel confident and comfortable showing up with my people. I was able to create this really great matrix is kind of place where Pinterest does all of that like visibility piece. It brings me new email subscribers. It brings me new people to my business, people who are looking for answers and looking for a solution. Those people come from Pinterest, but you’ll who hang out with me on Instagram. Kind of just have to have a good time, right? We kind of hit to be a community, have a good time, consume some, you know, fun content, share some Cortes, share some astrology stuff.
That’s kind of what we do, or at least that’s what I do. And Instagram really has placed or become this place. Sorry. That has become really enjoyable for me again. It’s so interesting. It’s been very interesting looking at that and it’s not always sparkly. Rainbows. It’s had its moments, but it really has become a platform that I’ve started to enjoy. And I really enjoyed creating content for it this year. And I continued to, so I’m going to talk you through one of the pieces of my framework from inside of my membership. So my membership to get shit on society, we’re currently doing a promotion right now. It ends on Sunday and we have to, the door’s open 24 seven. So the doors are always open. So if it’s not the right time, you can join another time. But if you’re interested, I will make sure that we leave all of the information in the show notes.
So whether you are listening to this live or in next week, three months, six months, a year’s time, I don’t know, however long this podcast is going to be around. You can come back and you can check in, but the doors are always open. We don’t do the kind of open door, closed door launch cycle, but are running a promotion this week. So if you want more information, then you can head over and learn more about that. But today I’m going to be sharing with you just a piece of my framework from that membership. And so I have inside the membership, something called the content alchemy framework, and I talked all about content alchemy back in episode number I was going up to when I hear people do that on podcast, they always do it so seamlessly. I’m only six episodes in, and I couldn’t remember.
So episode two, that is the content alchemy episode. And today we’re going to talk specifically about story storytelling and how to use that, to leverage your feel, good content planning. So I use story as a content planning tool. You can use it in many, many other areas of your business, which I share inside of the membership, but it’s really primarily, I created this as a content planning tool. And the reason being is because planning organization and content marketing are kind of my thing. That is what I love to do. I love helping other business owners do that. And so I used this to grow my own business and I had a content planning tool in my business, which I have taught for a good couple of years. But when I added into this year and I started working with creatives design is kind of this new audience for me, new clients and new industries.
I suddenly realized that my content planning tool, it didn’t work for them. Right? Truth, transparency. It didn’t work. I very quickly realized the tool I had created and I had been teaching and using, if you’ve ever done my, your content planner thought in the last couple of years, it, that tool is a tool that I have used, but it didn’t work. And I was like, Oh, okay. How do I, you know, how do I solve this problem? And so the previous version of this content planning tool had been very, it was very structured. It was very rigid. It was not flexible at all. And what I was asking business owners to do was to put their business into four pillars. And if I think I still think if you’re a coach or a service based entrepreneur, you can probably do that. You can probably take your business and say, here are the four things I do and talk about and teach in my business. But if you were a creative for a designer, an artist, or any other version of a crisis,
It’s not as easy to take what you do and put it into these full boxes. These four pillars, especially if you are, if you will, is not your job, it’s who you are. If it’s like, it’s your identity, then how do you take that and divide it into full Yukon? It’s just what you do. And so I was challenged in a really good way, and I had to think outside the box and I had to pivot and evolve and adapt this planning tool. And I did that. And that’s what I now teach. And I’m going to be sharing with you today, but the content I can be framework has made up of three phases. And we’re going to be talking about the first phase, which is your story. Your story is incredibly important. It is what connects you with your audience. It is going to help you grow your business.
It’s going to help you write better. Content is going to help you write more engaging content. It’s also going to help humanize your content and also just, you know, really humanized you. Because I think sometimes on social media, we can feel like we’re just as person behind the fire, we’re just pumping out content. But I challenge you to start pumping out content and create content that has a feeling create content that makes people feel something. And honestly the content should make you feel something when you are creating it, that’s the best kind of content. The best kind of content is when you are like this content is, Oh, Baya is amazing and my audience are going to love it and you post it and it gets that kind of response. And that’s what this can do. So using a story in my own business, it’s allowed me to grow my business. It has put me more joy and purpose, more joy, more purpose. No, I did not say more money. That is a side effect of more joy and more purpose
The me, my business was not bringing me a lot of joy or purpose. Before this year I was doing the things I was going through, the motions I was learning and continuing to do, you know, I was continuing to learn and do all the things. And I just felt like I was going through the motions, but creating content with feeling really showing up for myself, showing off my audience has brought me more joy and purpose. And this has allowed me to lean into my strengths. It’s allowed me to hold space for other business owners and creative folks who really need that. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but a lot of content planning, marketing strategies, coaching. A lot of that out there is for coaches and service based entrepreneurs. And a lot of it falls into those cycles of indoctrination, which we talked about a couple of episodes ago, where it is just cookie cutter and has been taught by one person to six, to another six, so on and so forth.
And that’s what we still see. So really coming up against this content, planning to it, challenged me in a good way because it allowed me to think differently. It allowed me to create something that actually felt better for me. I have a very creative side to me. I also am very analytical. So I’m able to kind of switch between what I need to do in my own business. And I will say able to do that with my clients. If a client needs me to be creative, I can do that. If a client needs me to be more analytical and focused on strategy, I can do that. It also has meant I’ve created something for creative folks. For those of you who are artists designers, well, maybe just have a very creative mind, but want to build a business. This is a really wonderful content planning tool because it allows you to really get into the feelings versus trying to label your audience, label your business and so on.
When we look at using storytelling to plan your content, there are four pillars of your story, right? We still need to kind of confine it in some ways so that you at least have some idea of what it is you’re going to talk about in your content each week. The first pillar is your story, how you got here, why you started this business? Why do you do what you do? Why are you so passionate about the thing you do, your dreams, your goals. These are the things that make you who you are. And these are the things that allow you to really dive into your story.
The second pillar is your audience. So this is more of your typical demographic and psychographic idle client information. This is the stuff that you have probably done 12,000 times. And it’s been some kind of ideal client worksheet, right? Some kind of idle client avatar worksheet. And you probably did this when you first started your business. And if you’re anything like me, you did it a father 10 times over the years because you still don’t quite understand why this feels so hard, right? If that’s you, I wouldn’t, I want you to tell me, I want you to come over to Instagram and DME because I did these clients, these idol, Klein worksheets many, many times. And I still really struggled. I was like, why is this so hard? Why can’t I figure out who my ideal client is? And what I’ve realized was that my ideal client isn’t isn’t based on her age or their business model.
And it’s based on where they live or the size of their pens. My idol client is a feeling. They’re a human being. They want more, they want to make impact. Yes, they are a small business sign or a content creator, but they want more. And the reason it felt so difficult for me to put them in a box and label them is because I hate that shit. I don’t want to be pulling up books and labeled. And there’s many times over the years where I have invested in programs or memberships. And I’ve realized after a period of time of working within that course or membership that I am not that person. So I’d have a client, I don’t know, fall into that ideal client avatar. And yet here I am. And sometimes that has been a good thing. Sometimes it means the content hasn’t worked to me, but either way, what it shows me is that sometimes this idle client stuff doesn’t always work, you will still find, there are people who want to work with you.
And you’re a little bit uneasy because you’re like, well, this isn’t right, but who are we to tell someone, no, you’re not the right person for this. Even though you really believe you are, unless they are like a real pain in the ass and then it’s different. But you know, the whole idea of this program is for you and this program, isn’t for you. It’s really hard to label that and get people to fit themselves into a book. So yes, some of this information is important, but I want you to take that with a pinch of salt, right? Just, just understand that sometimes this Idaho client stuff, isn’t always as linear as we would like it to be. Because the reality is when we sit down to get to know people, we don’t sit down with a 10 point checklist and tick it off. So the third pillar is your offers, right?
This could be your service, your office, your programs, maybe it’s a product. You sell products. You sell, maybe it’s your artwork. What is it? What is it that you sell? What is it that you offer? What is it that you do? And why do you do this? Why do you do this particular thing? Why do you offer this particular thing? Why do you sell this particular thing? Why do you get out bed every day and work on this instead of going and getting a paycheck? Why? And then why should somebody care? Why should someone care about what you do? What you offer, what you sell. I know that’s a really tough question sometimes because we are really passionate about what we do. We’re really excited about the offer. We know how much time and energy and effort we’ve put into creating that thing. At the same time, your audience may not care as much as you do, because once they see your offer, your product, your service, your artwork, they’re also going to see everybody else’s.
And so it’s our job to build that connection without story. It’s our job to create content with feelings. So the fourth pillar, final pillar is yourself. This is all about you. Your content is about you. There is a huge amount of you in your content. This is about your values, your beliefs, what are you for? What are you against? What pisses you off and what lights you up, right? Those things are so important now, more than ever, right? Being able to show up in your content and explains to people what you value to tell people what you are for and what you are against is more important now than ever. What are you not going to stand for in your business? But what really excites you as well? Like this is not just like some kind of angry posts. This is really drawing your lines in the sand.
I know every post is going to be this pisses me off and I’m against this. Some of it will be, there are people out there whose content is like that. Am I going to get into that in a second? But really it’s about you, right? This is the bit that really solidifies that connection because I would, I would hesitate to guess that if you were to write down a list of your top core values right now, and then the same for your audience, there’s going to be a lot of similarities, right? I’m going to say that again. Grab a pen and a notebook, open up your phone. I don’t know, whatever. If you were to write down a list of your top core values right now, and the same for your audience. So you’re writing your top core values and that top core values, there’s going to be similarities.
And that is part of the connection. Being able to value the same things. Here’s the problem. If you do not share your values and your business, if you don’t tell people what you’re for and against, if you don’t tell them what you love to do and what you don’t love to do, they will not know if you don’t tell people what you do, who you are and how you want to show up in this world, then you’re allowing other people to make that decision for you. You’re allowing people to they’ll either ignore you. They’ll just pass on by your content, or they will just make assumptions about you. And you probably don’t want that. Right? My son has this response to me. When I say something, how should I supposed to know? He’s six going on 16. So when he says that, I always think about us in the online business world. We don’t want people saying that about us. We don’t want people saying, how was I supposed to know? Tell them, tell them what you want them to know about you so that when the right people come across your content, when the right people find you in the right people, hear your podcast, read your blogs, see your content. They know it’s for them. Speak to those people.
Now using this as a content planning tool is really, really important because it helps you to decide how you want your audience to feel. When they see and read your posts. Do you want your audience to be inspired? Do you want them to be motivated, angry, happy, relaxed, emotional. How do you want them to feel? Many of us, we go between inspired and motivated. And for most of us, we, we want to make sure our people are, you know, we will make our audience happy. I was joking with someone the other day saying I kind of got to this point in my content where I’m constantly telling everyone what is pissing me off in the online space. And I keep the gang to tell you, Hey, this is what I do. And I was like, new people are gonna come to my account and not know what I do.
And so it just shows you, I make mistakes too. I’m human. So we’re kind of rectifying that, but it’s good to inspire your audience, but you still want to think about making sure they know what you do and how you do it. So how do you do that? Right? All you an educator or a teacher, right? Is that kind of your natural born talents? Some of us are just natural born teachers. Do you naturally inspire people? Do you motivate your audience to take action on something? Are you funny? Are you serious? You probably do some or all of these and you can go between them, right? So there’s nothing to say. You have to marry one particular way of being. If you think about it, Amy Porterfield, she’s a really good example of this because she posts a lot of teachable content. I don’t know how many episodes she has her podcast now, but most of those episodes are teachable.
She has episodes where you can literally grab a notebook and a pen and you will write down and you can take notes and you will learn something. That’s why so many new business owners find her. And you go to her and buy her courses, especially when they first start out in your life space. Because she’s a really great example of someone who uses teachable content for my own content. I grew up between inspiring and educating. That’s kind of my go to, I used to do a lot of teaching and coaching and educating in my posts. And this year I’ve really lent more to Ward’s inspiring. What’s interesting is I think if you are a coach or a service based entrepreneur, you will naturally want to teach people. If you are a coach, you will also naturally want to inspire people depending on what kind of coaching you do.
You know, maybe you want to inspire people to get healthier. You want to inspire people to live a better life. You want to inspire people to build a business, start that business. I don’t know, whatever it may be, but really understanding and identifying who you are as a content creator allows you to dial in on that create content that helps your audience feel as sun away. And it makes it so much easier for you to know what to say. It makes it so much easier for you to say, Hey, this is my story. This is who my audience is. This is what I sell. And this is who I am.
I’m those four things or how we can go from creating this kind of ton boatload of content, which is kind of pumping out content that doesn’t really feel anything, but it’s kind of filling a quota. We have to move away from that. If you ever find yourself writing a piece of content and you’re filling a quarter, you’re doing it because you haven’t posted for a few days or you’re doing it because you couldn’t come up with anything that you felt was good enough to say. So you’re now just trying to put something together and it doesn’t feel inspired and it doesn’t motivate and it doesn’t teach. And it doesn’t, isn’t valuable. Don’t post it.
You are better off waiting until you can create a piece of content that connects and builds feelings and builds a connection. Then you are posting something to fill a quota because that content is not going to do anything. That content isn’t going to inspire audience, that content isn’t going to serve and value. But if you find yourself writing a piece of content late at night, and you’re like, I have to share this, I have to get this out. I don’t care if it doesn’t fit in, that is the content that’s always going to do well, because when we have something that we want to share with our people, when we know that it’s exactly what they need to hear, what they want to hear, then when listening, we’re paying attention and it allows us to create content with feeling.
So I’m going to go back over those four pillars of your story, right? So this is how we plan Instagram content with feeling and leverage your story. The first part is your story, how you got here, why you started a business, why you’re so passionate. The second one is your audience. Your more typical demographic psychographic information. The third is your office. What is it that you do? And why do you do it? And why should somebody cap tell people why they should care? And then the fourth is yourself, your values, beliefs, what you’re for and against what pisses you off, what lights you up, where do you stand in this world? What is your business doing to be different?
And that should be the very basis when we are planning out all content for Instagram, but also for the rest of our business. This is how I plan my content. I know that I am an educator, a teacher, I’m somebody that can inspire people through my content. I know that I want my people to feel inspired. I want them to feel motivated. I want them to feel seen and HUD and taken care of in every single post. Every time I show up in stories, every time I create a piece of content, that is what I want my audience to feel. I know that
That how I do that is by connecting what I stand for and how I run my business differently to you and my audience. So when you do think about what it is for you, what is it that makes you different? Cause you’ll probably know the only one very unlikely the only one doing what you do, but you are that piece. You are the piece that is different. I’m not the only person that writes content for a living. I’m not the only person that focuses on Instagram strategy and Pinterest marketing. But I am the only version of myself. And I’m the person who does it in this way. And so I really want you to think about that as you’re planning out some content over the next few weeks. Now at the beginning of this, I said to you, we’re currently going through a promotion of my membership to get shit done society.
We have a promotion running until Sunday and inside of the membership. I dive into the three phase framework, the content alchemy framework, your story, your strategy and yourself. This is what we focus on. Opening up that storytelling piece of the framework for you. So we take an even deeper look into what I’ve shared with you today. I will keep through how to create a jog and free zero fluff marketing strategy for your own business, what to consider what you don’t need to even concern yourself with and how to get into alignment with your content marketing. And then our third and final phase is an ever evolving library of mindset, self development, personal development content. This is where we put together areas that you can find books, meditations. You can find visualizations. You can find new worksheets and workbooks for other people I share with you podcast episodes, all different resources that you can find that are going to help you to focus on growing your business.
Blame the inner critic, go and really listening to yourself rather than listening to other people. And I say this from the very beginning, when you join me inside the membership, I don’t want you to listen to a single thing I tell you, right? I don’t want you to listen to anything. I tell you, I want you to listen to yourself. I am not teaching you anything. I am your guide. I’m your chemist, I’m your West best friend, but I’m here to support you. I’m here to help you figure it out. I’m hate for you to get curious. That’s kind of my part in the membership. And we’ve recently moved from Facebook. So we have a community it’s on a platform called mighty networks. We no longer use Facebook because well, Facebook is Facebook. So we’re on mighty networks and we have a really great intimate community over there.
And it’s so, so much fun. And we’re really just throwing the rule book out the window. And I’m guiding you through how to create your Instagram content. We’re feeling how to build a sustainable and profitable business from a small audience. And I meet you where you are. So whether you are a creative, whether you are a coach or a service based entrepreneur, I meet you where you are exactly where you are when you start and when you join us. And one of the great things we’re doing this month next week, in fact, we’re hosting our monthly planning posse, am I going to make it into a planning Q and a welcome party for all of our new members? And so if you do join us before Sunday, you’re going to be able to go into that group. Cool with me, with everybody else in the membership.
And we’re going to dive into how you are planning your content for November. And we do this every single month. So it’s a really, it’s the most loved most popular feature inside of the membership because it’s a really great opportunity to connect and ask questions. And there’s a whole host of other things that we do every single month. You have a seasonal content planner that’s delivered. We’re going to be delivering our winter planner for December, January, and February. That’s going to be coming out in the next few weeks. We also offer Canva templates that I create for you for Pinterest and Instagram guest expert master classes. And I am going to be putting together a members only explicit podcast in the next couple of months as well. So if you would like to get more information on the membership, see if it’s the right fit for you right now, you can head over to my website.
It’s Melanie nights.com forward slash invited. We’ll put it in the show notes. You can head over there and get all of the information. We answer all the questions. We have a monthly membership and a quarterly membership. If you are looking for more support, more one-to-one support, we do have a one on one support membership option as well. For that one, send me a message on Instagram. We’ll check and see if it’s the right fit for your business and where you’re at right now. So I would love to see you in that. If you have any questions about the membership, come over to Instagram, send me a DM. Let me know. I am there in my DMS. I’ll be chatting with people, chatting with you over the coming days. So if you have any questions, if you’re not sure, come over, we’ll have a conversation, no bullshit, just complete transparency and a, you can make that decision as to whether it’s right, but as I said, we never really closed the doors.
So the promotion will finish the end of this week, but the doors are still open. So if you’re listening to this in the future, hello, and you can still join. You just need to go over and sign up. So that’s it for me for this week. I am really excited because next week, next week we have hot, very fast guest on the show. I feel like that should have been a really big drum roller. We have our best guests coming on the show. I am going to be interviewing Stacy hopes. She is someone who I have known for many, many years in the online business space. We have been connected for, I guess, four or five years now. She is a personal trainer, so we we’ve known each other since I was in the health and fitness field. And we have been, well, we have been hanging out at each other’s DMS for the last few weeks, talking about fitness in bigger bodies.
So you can only imagine where this conversation is going. I’m really excited. I had to kind of cut us off on boxer because I was like, look, we have to save some of this for the podcast. We can’t keep talking about us. So it’s going to be a really candidate. We’re going to sit down. We’re just going to chat. We’re going to go through it. And just really probably share our opinions and our thoughts. And I’m excited for you to listen in. So that’s coming next week. Have a great rest of your week. If I see you in the membership, I’m really excited. Welcome. And yeah, we’ll see you next week.
Thank you so much for tuning in to today’s episode, entrepreneurial outdoors. If you see yourself as an entrepreneurial outlaw and enjoyed this episode, but it would mean the absolute well to me, if you could take a moment to subscribe to the show and leave a rating and review by leaving your review, you are helping me to grow out we’ll community and together we can show other entrepreneurs that breaking the rules can actually be good for business. Don’t forget. You can find the show notes for today’s episode, along with any of the links that I mentioned on my firstname.lastname@example.org forward slash podcast. And if we’re not already virtual besties, you can come and hang out with me on Instagram. I am the one with the country music playing the lukewarm coffee in my hand, and I’m dishing the doubt on how we can make entrepreneurship more inclusive and transparent. Plus I’ll probably send you some fun gifts. So until next time Outlaws.