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About the episode

Welcome back to episode number four of Entrepreneurial Outlaws. In today’s episode, we’re going to be talking about personal responsibility and challenging the norms in online business.

Last week, when I introduced you to this episode, I labeled it the rise of bullshit business coaching, and whilst I do believe there is a lot of bullshit, I know that we need to take responsibility for listening to our intuition. Also, getting curious and asking questions and challenging what we see in the online business space as normal, those strategies, tactics, behaviors that have become normalized have become part of business coaching. They have been channeled down through generations of business coaches. They become normalized, and it’s only really this past year that I have started to see the challenge of this become a normal conversation, right?

In the online space, I started to see more and more business owners questioning and challenging these tactics and finding new ways of building their businesses and this is about us. We can blame the people who came before us, but it won’t change if we don’t get curious. It starts with episodes like today, showing you where those tactics have failed us and what we can do instead.
So in today is episode, I’m going to be going through five business tactics that need to be left in the past and I’m going to be sharing with you what we can be doing instead. I’m also going to be leaving you with a little challenge to help you become more and more aligned with your marketing, with your strategies and tactics inside of your own business.

Topics discussed in episode #4

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Topics Discussed in Episode #4

  • 5 business factors that we need to leave behind to build more alignment in our business.
  • How to build the connection between knowing and trusting.
  • The importance of being transparent.
  • Why a small audience can be more fulfilling and sustainable.
  • Learning how to integrate your work ethic and life into your business instead of the other way around.
  • A reminder that a $10K month does not mean 100% profit.
  • How to move forward rather than side to side.

Episode Resources:

Connect with Melanie here:

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Transcription:

(00:01):

Hey friends. Welcome to episode two of entrepreneurial Outlaws. Today. I am going to be sharing with you the three phases of content outcome, me content alchemy is the name of my services business. It’s also the name of my signature framework, which I teach inside of my membership. The get shit done, society and content alchemy is my signature approach to content marketing. We do things a little bit different here. We don’t create fluffy strategies. We are not a traditional marketing agency that runs on jargon and only focuses on data. Data is important, but we also focus on you, the storyteller, the business owner, the value driven entrepreneur, who needs to have a strategy that is in full alignment with who you are. So in today’s episode, we’re going to talk about content alchemy. I’m going to introduce you to my content alchemy framework, and I’m going to run you through those three phases. And I’m going to share with you how you can start to implement these three phases in your own content and in your own business. And really why I have come to this point in my own business and that with my clients, that these three, these three phases are really, really important for us to feel in alignment with our content, with our marketing and with our growth. You’re listening to entrepreneurial Outlaws. I podcast the creatives, introverts and paths and spiritual folks who want to grow a sustainable and impactful business on their own terms.

(01:55):

[Inaudible]

(01:55):

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 and everything in between, ready to break the rules and becoming entrepreneurial outlook. Let’s do this.

(02:53):

[Inaudible]

(02:56):

So content alchemy, as I said, is a name that I have given to my marketing agency. And also my framework alchemy is is described as a magical transformation. And that is how I feel about content alchemy and the framework I use. Well, I have seen both in my own business and not with my clients and the students inside of my membership is that there are a lot of rules that we are following. There’s a lot of rules that we follow a lot of strategies that we are trying to use that feel misaligned. And when we can start to let go of some of those strategies, we can start to unlock the tactics that don’t work for us for our business. We can start to experience this almost magical transformation and it can happen. Even on Instagram. Instagram was this platform that I fell out of love with very, very quickly in my entrepreneurial journey.

(04:06):

It felt like it was constantly this hot, hot work. I felt like I was trying something new every five minutes to try and grow my business, to try and get more eyes on my work. I knew deep down that I had a great business, but it was trying to figure out how to get more eyes on what I was doing and how to help more people. And as I shared with you in episode one, when I started to buck that system, when I started to unlearn the things that weren’t working for me, I started to experience unbelievable growth. And this is really the foundation of content alchemy. It’s from my own experience as an entrepreneurs for my own personal journey. It’s what my first few clients came to me with support, for support with they wanted to have that social media feeds and that content creation feel easier, feel more aligned, feel like less of a headache, less hardback.

(05:16):

So this is really what Ken’s content alchemy does. It gives you that feeling of freedom later content. It gives you that feeling of ease and allows you to tap into what you do best. It allows you to show up and I’m, I use inverted commas hit, but it allows you to show up when you were chosen platforms in a way that feels really good. So the content alchemy framework is a three phrase framework it’s made up of these three phases, your story you’ll stretch G and you’ll self. And these three phases are really important. One cannot exist without the other. And I’m going to get into that in just a moment. I’m going to walk you through those three phases, but I wanted to start by just saying that I think we have a misunderstanding of what a strategy, especially a content strategy to your marketing strategy really is when I speak to small business owners and entrepreneurs, when you ask them, and if I’m going to ask you this question right now, what is it you’re focusing on right now, right?

(06:28):

What is that? Number one, focus with your content, with your content strategy and your marketing, where are you putting your attention and your focus? Now, if you just listed off like a hundred different things that you’re trying to focus on, I want you to know that you’re not alone. This is really normal because at the time of recording this, we’ve just suddenly had Instagram reels come out. And it’s like just another thing that we’re supposed to figure out how to use and how to do. But when we are trying to put our attention and I’ll focus on so many different types of content, so many different ways in which we can mock out business. And there are thousands, hundreds of thousands of pieces of information coming at us every single day on our own social media feeds telling us that this thing is the thing we need to do to transform our business.

(07:30):

It can become really overwhelming, really, really fast. Doesn’t it. Now I know that you don’t need another fluffy content strategy. You don’t need another content strategy that focuses on fluff or is regurgitated and giving you the same things you’ve already had, because here’s the thing. If you’ve already tried that, and it didn’t really work, then maybe it just doesn’t work for you because everything works, but not everything works for you. And one of the things I believe hand on heart is that most of the time, when we feel like we’re getting distracted, overwhelmed, and procrastinating without content, without marketing, it’s not because we need a different strategy or another strategy. It’s not because we need to suddenly throw everything up in the air and start a new platform. Or it’s not because we have a small audience or any of those things. It’s because we’re not in alignment, right?

(08:33):

We’re not in alignment with what we are trying to achieve. So when I think about content strategy, when I deliver strategy to clients, it’s focused on long term content strategy is about the long time vision. This is not something we’re going to change every single month. This is something that you’re going to create. It’s about what you want to focus on longterm in your business, how you are going to grow your business through your content. You know, understanding how your content and your marketing plays a part in your business growth. And I think sometimes we feel as though our content marketing is slightly disconnected from the business itself. It’s this other thing that feels like a lot of hard work, because probably when you signed up to become a business owner, you didn’t realize you were going to have to wear all these hats, graphic designer, content marketer, social media stretch, just email marketer.

(09:33):

There’s all these things that we have to learn how to do. And in the beginning we are doing them ourselves. We are doing them ourselves. It’s very few business owners who are able to hire straight away. And the reality is it’s actually good to dip your toe in and learn all these things, because it helps you to understand a where you make money, B which things you really enjoy and which things you do not enjoy. And the things you don’t enjoy, you outsource size. And it means that when you do hire somebody and bring someone into your team, that when they ask you questions or you have a cool, you know what they’re talking about, I’m a big believer in figuring out how to do things before yourself, fast, before hiring out, because that may be someone else there is going to be someone else who can probably do it much more strategically.

(10:28):

There’s going to be someone else who is thinking about these things in a different way. And it’s that zone of genius. That’s why you hire them, but you won’t have an understanding. Well, that process fast. So it’s okay. If you’re in the beginning phases of your business and you all still doing all those things, it’s okay. I feel three, five, 10 years in, and you’re still doing all those things. But what I want you to understand is that it’s not so much about you needing a new thing, right? It’s not so much that you need another strategy or a new tactic or a new platform it’s that you need to shift into alignment, into alignment with your story, with your values and your messaging so that you can then build a connection, right? Because this is where connection comes from. Connection comes from alignment with yourself, through you giving yourself permission to share pieces of your story. It’s about you shifting into alignment with your values and being able to run and deliver your content from a place of value and from a place of humility and empathy, you don’t have to do business in one particular way. And you are able to create content that builds that connection, using your story and connecting your story to your clients. So your, your customer story,

(11:56):

Because

(11:57):

People are being more thoughtful and intentional in the way that they consume content and the way that we purchase products and the way that we look for ANSYS, that is going to continue. It’s only going to continue. And so as content creators, another hat that we’re wearing as content creators, it’s our job to deliver content that connects and builds that connection and shows people that we are here for them. So the reason you don’t need another fluffy content strategies, that content strategy doesn’t build the connection, right? I’m going to say that again, your content strategy doesn’t build the connection. Your content strategy is for you. The business owner, your content strategy is this big vision, 12 months, at least that you are looking towards how many times you post on social media. That’s not a strategy as a tactic, and I don’t love the time tack tape, but I’m yet to find a better way to describe it.

(12:59):

Your posting schedule the layout of your Instagram feed. How many times a month you email your list? What time of day, all those kinds of things, then the tactics, they don’t pop your strategy. That the little pieces that are the things that you can change, right? You can change those when it doesn’t work, change it, right? He sends an email out at Sutton day on a Sunday at a certain time, and it’s not working for you. You can change that. That doesn’t have to stay the same, but your content marketing strategy is a much bigger vision. Something that really you want to spend some time considering and looking at and allowing it to feel really aligned with your business. And I had a conversation last week with one of the students inside of my membership. And we were talking big picture, social strategy. And she shared with me that she spends so much time trying to create content for her social media phase, specifically for Instagram. And it’s exhausting. It’s overwhelming. It takes up a lot of time. And when I asked to how many times she’s trying to post a week, she said, [inaudible] five times a week during COVID maybe three.

(14:16):

And I’m going to ask you the question. I asked her, if you only posted once a week, how would that feel? I want you to think about it for a second, because her response was that goes against everything I’ve ever been taught. And I get it. I get it. It does, right. It goes against everything. We are taught. We are taught that social media is a hustle that we have to post as much as possible, but you don’t who’s to say that you can’t build a sustainable and profitable. That creates impact by posting once a week on your Instagram feed. Who’s to say that you can’t buck that system and actually do something else, something that’s bringing you clients and customers, something that makes you money. Something that actually feels really good. Who’s telling you that you can’t do that. I mean, it’s probably a lot of people telling you that you shouldn’t be doing that, but I’m, I’m going to hit to tell you that you can, you don’t have to do what everyone else is doing.

(15:26):

You can challenge that. You can challenge the status quo challenge, the norm of content marketing. Yes. It’s important. Yes. You need to have a business that is online. It’s the way of the world right now. However, if social media was to go away tomorrow, if you didn’t have social media, your Facebook group, if you didn’t have your email list or your online marketing, would you still have a business? Would you be able to have a sustainable business? If you didn’t rely on social media? Right. It’s a really big question to ask yourself. We know it’s not going anywhere, but so many entrepreneurs, business owners, we rely on social media. We rely on our Facebook page, our Instagram feed. We rely on our Facebook groups when one, we don’t own those platforms. And two, they glitch a lot of the time, right? They break. Sometimes we can’t post.

(16:39):

And if you’re in the middle of a launch or you’re launching a new collection, or you were about to do an Instagram and Instagram auction or something like that, and you suddenly can’t get on the platform. Do you have other options? These are the kinds of things I want to challenge you to think about in relation to your content strategy. Because I like to think about our content in two ways. I like to think about community and then traffic. Traffic is important traffic to your website, especially if you are a product based business. I know whether it’s a digital product or a physical product. If you are selling your designer or you’re an artist and are selling a product, traffic is important. People need to see it. They don’t know exists. People have hundreds of thousands of choices. So you need to tell people about your products and you need to bring them to your website.

(17:37):

And so traffic is really important, but community is important too. And community is great on Instagram, right? Instagram is an amazing platform to cultivate community and connection, Facebook groups, another way that you can build connection and you can allow, and you can cultivate those those connections with your audience, but people at places like Pinterest and Twitter and YouTube and podcasting and video, those are incredible places to drive traffic to your business, to your website. And so you really want to think about both of those things when you’re approaching your content strategy, right? We can take out all the fluff and we can just make it really simple, right? You want a platform for community and a platform for traffic. And when you have those two things together, you are going to be golden because you are blustering connection with your audience and you are driving traffic to your products, to your blog, wherever it is that you, wherever it is, you show off that good stuff that you own. When you’ve got both, it’s going to work in your favor.

(18:51):

So the three phases of my signature framework, content, alchemy framework your story, your strategy, and yourself, your story is really important. Every single one of you has a story. Every single one of you. And I know sometimes we can think that our story isn’t as meaningful as the next person’s, but I want you to not compare your story to anyone. Else’s because you are the only one who can tell your story. It doesn’t even matter. If there are other people involved in that story, they will tell it differently. Your story is important and your story needs to be HUD. Your story is what connects you to your business. It’s what connects you to your audience. It’s why you do what you do. You don’t have to share every single part of your story. I read this beautiful court the other day that said, we all have a chapter that we don’t share publicly.

(20:04):

And I thought that was so powerful. So this is not me saying to you that you have to bear everything on social media. You don’t, don’t have to tell your entire story in one post, but I encourage you to consider how your story can help you grow your business. It’s so important right now for us to connect. It’s important for us to show our audience why we do what we do, why that is important to us and why we want to support them and help them and solve their problems. Whether you are a coach, a service based business owner, whether you are a designer, an artist, a crafter, a blogger, you are solving someone’s problem somewhere. And when you don’t show you a story, other people don’t know that you are there. They don’t have that connection. And it is so powerful. And it’s so rewarding as the content creator as the business owner. When someone else can say to you, thank you so much for sharing that with me. Thank you so much for telling your story, because I have a similar story. It’s so powerful now, as I said, your strategy shouldn’t be fluffy, right? So phase two is strategy, and it shouldn’t be fluffy. It needs to incorporate your story. You need to think about how your story fits into your strategy. How does it fit into your work? How does it fit into your content?

(21:38):

Okay?

(21:39):

And when you stopped to see how your story fits into your strategy, you will feel so much more aligned with the content that you want to deliver. So your strategy is long time. Imagine your strategy is a bridge. You’ll standing on one side and on the other side of the bridge is your goal. That’s what you want to achieve with your content marketing. And each of those pillars, that’s holding that bridge up is a tactic. It’s one of the things that you need to do to get there. And you can start to see and visualize how you have to get from one side to the other. It doesn’t just happen. So when I ask people, what do you need to do in your business? What is your go? I need to grow my email list. I need to figure out Facebook hats. I need to be on video.

(22:32):

I need to figure out stories. Now we can add reels to the mix and like, Whoa, all of those things are great, but what do they mean to your business? What do they mean? How are they going to help you? Because when you tell me you want to grow your email list, I’m like, cool. So what we all need to grow email list. And also you’re never going to want to stop growing your email list, right? It won’t matzoh. You want something to get to, like, let’s say 50,000 subscribers on your email list and say, okay, I’m cool. We can stop. Now. It’s never going to stop. So we need to understand how growing our email list is going to support our strategy. And then our business long time, how is figuring out video or figuring out Facebook ads going to actually support your marketing strategy? Why is it important? And is it important, right? Is it important to you to figure out Facebook ads? Is it important to you to figure out video or is it that someone else is telling you it’s the answer to your problems? Is it because you’re seeing it as the solution? When actually what you need to shift into is alignment

(23:51):

Because Facebook advertising is not a solution to a misaligned content strategy, right? Facebook, catheterizing is PA all of that strategy. It’s not going to solve any problems. And if you don’t have a strategy that’s already working for you organically, and Facebook ads are a no go zone, right? Advertising is not something we should be doing. If we don’t already have content that is building our community and driving traffic to our business. So when we want to, when we look at our strategy and we’re focusing on how we get from one side of that strategy bridge to the other, we want to think about the pieces that we enjoy. What do we enjoy in our business and what is bringing us money, right? Where are we getting our clients, our sales income from where is that coming from? Right. Make a note to check that with yourself, check in with yourself, look at your business and establish what is making you money, which parts of your content strategy are making you money.

(25:02):

Are you making sales from your email list? Are you making sales from Instagram? Are you making sales from somewhere else? It’s important that, you know the answer to that. And then what do you enjoy? Right? What part of your content do you enjoy? Do you enjoy Instagram? Do you enjoy blogging? Do you enjoy video? Because we need to enjoy what we’re doing and it needs to make us money and those pieces in between we can hire out, right? Or if you enjoy something that’s not making you money, then you can consider how to shift that tactic, approach it in a different way. So strategy is important, but it needs to not be fluffy. It needs to just do what it needs to do. And he’s just do the job, right? Here’s how we get from a to B. Here’s what we need to do in order to achieve our 12 month vision, a longer vision. And this, those tactics are what get us there, right? Because our goals are only achieved by what we do each day, each week, each month.

(26:09):

Yeah.

(26:11):

Now the third phase of the content alchemy framework is yourself. And this is important because you’re important. You are important. You’re an important and integral part of your business. And so you need to spend time thinking about how you fit into this business, thinking about who you are as a business owner, the kind of impact you want to make checking in with yourself regularly. And seeing you are still in alignment with your goals and your strategies. I can’t tell you how many times I speak to business owners who are so stuck in this mindset. And I was so focused on what isn’t working, that they just feel trapped. They feel trapped in what isn’t working for them right now. It feels like it’s forever when it’s probably not. And they want to scramble and get out of this place as soon as possible. And I know that feeling when we feel like something isn’t walking and it feels frustrating and we feel distracted and we’re procrastinating is really, really frustrating to try and escape that feeling. Because even if it only lasts a few days, it feels like it’s forever, right? It’s human nature. We focus on. What’s not working rather than on what is.

(27:37):

So I encourage you in this process of creating alignment with your content strategy and building this content alchemy into your business. I encourage you to check in with yourself regularly. It doesn’t have to be generally, it doesn’t have to be meditation or any of those things, but spending some time really thinking about your business, big picture vision, and asking yourself if this is aligned with what you want to deliver. And right now in 2020, as we’re heading into at the time of this recording, as we’re heading into the fall and winter more important than ever now is a really, really important time for you to check in with yourself, have a look at those big goals that you set out, right? Because I don’t know about you, but there’s a lot of goals on my list. I’m not going to happen this year. There’s a lot of things I’ve had to pivot and shift and adjust and evolve. And there’ve been growing pains like so many business owners I’ve spoken to, but it’s okay. It’s okay if we don’t achieve our goals, right. It’s okay.

(28:53):

There’s no one checking in with you. And there’s no one saying to you that you have to achieve it. This is all on. This is ourselves. This is us creating these really high expectations. If you have a goal that isn’t going to happen, because it’s out of your control, there’s nothing wrong with that. And you are not alone. If you have a goal that no longer feels aligned, it’s okay. You don’t have to do it just because you wrote it down. It’s okay to let those things go. It’s okay to shift your vision. I think if anything, this year we’ve learned that things that were important to us six months ago, 12 months ago, perhaps aren’t important anymore. And in reality, this is what happens throughout a lives. Things that were important to us when we were 20, we probably not worrying about [inaudible] and so on.

(29:48):

Right? As each shift brings with it, new visions, a new perspective. And this is why it’s so important to hold that close to us. When we are walking through our content and our marketing and our strategies, because we want to ensure that we’re aligned. Alignment is a big part of this. I feel as though, as business owners, we have been taught to piecemeal together strategies from all the lead magnets, all the free things that we can get our hands on and try to put together some amazing strategy for ourselves. When the reality is that oftentimes lead magnet. So like a bandaid, they’re a bandaid. When what we really need is to understand how we can connect, how we can share our story, deliver a strategy and check in with ourselves regularly, because it’s really easy to lose ourselves and our business. It’s really easy to get so caught up in all the things that we do on a day to day basis on a week to week basis, that we forget who we are without our business. We forget who we are within our business. So by focusing on these three things, your story, your strategy, and yourself, hopefully this can help you shift back into alignment and can help you to come back to this place where the content you deliver feels really good. It feels like you’re in flow and it feels easy.

(31:29):

The thing, if it doesn’t come and talk to me on Instagram, okay, my Instagram handle will be in the show notes. So you can come and find me and tell me what’s not working. And I will. I, I, I do this and I will answer you. And we will have a conversation about it because I am tired of seeing business owners who have incredible stories and skills. And they lead with empathy and impact being squashed into these little boxes that don’t fit them. And we have to break out. That’s what being an entrepreneur outlier is right. Having the courage to say, no, I’m doing this differently. And having the courage to choose a different path for our business, choose a different path for our content. Something that feels really good. And isn’t just about making money and actually putting impact and leading with people of a profit.

(32:29):

So I hope this episode has helped you to, if you feel, if you feeling misaligned, I hope it’s helped you to come back into alignment. Hope that it’s helped you to understand that content strategy does not have to be fluffy, but it also doesn’t have to be very jargon, friendly, and you can create something really simple that works for you. So in next week’s episode, I am going to be talking about something quite personal, which makes it now I was saying that it makes us so much more personal than it actually is, but I want to talk about being a plus size entrepreneur with you, because that is what I am. I hate the phrase plus size, but I’m using it for reference. And we’re going to dive into that next week. We’re going to talk about what it is like to be a plus size entrepreneur.

(33:33):

We’re going to talk about body image in relation to entrepreneurship, my experience, some of the things I’ve learned, and I’m mostly going to share with you some of the accounts of women who described themselves as fat on Instagram and publicly, and how by seeing other bodies like mine, it’s helped me to actually figure out who the hell I am as a business owner and step into that entrepreneurial outlaw that I am. So even if you don’t identify as a plus size business owner, I encourage you to listen to next week because it’s going to be GC. I’m probably going to rent quite a bit which you haven’t had me do yet. So, you know, bring your coffee and maybe don’t play it in front of your kids and we’ll yeah, we’ll get into it next time. So until next time Outlaws, I’ll see you then

(34:37):

Thank you so much for tuning in to today’s episode, entrepreneurial outdoors. If you see yourself as an entrepreneurial outlook and enjoyed this episode, would you do me a favor? It would mean the absolute world 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 website@melanieknights.com forward slash podcast. And if we’re not already virtual busters, 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



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