Changing Direction with Your Content

Welcome, welcome episode 457. Happening right now. I want to talk a little bit about one of the objections I get around creating a routine and a structure and a plan and a strategy for your content, and your social, specifically, today. I don’t get this so much with email. Email seems to be less scary to plan. Maybe because it feels less creative or something, but especially when it comes to content, and double especially when it comes to social media, I hear so often, “Well, what if something changes, or what if I change my mind?”

And I want to talk about this, because I feel like what we’re not acknowledging when that’s our objection is that having a foundation, having a strategy, gives us something to change, instead of having to, by the seat of our pants, sort of try and catch up with whatever the newest, latest thing is, which can end up making everything feel kind of disconnected from each other, and can really leave us feeling like we’re constantly trying to catch up with our content.

If we just get a little bit further, then we’ll get there, then we’ll figure it out. Then we’ll know what’s going on. Then we’ll have a plan. And my favorite one, then it will be easy. And so, I want to talk about this today, mostly because, yes, it’s a major objection, but also, it’s something I have been living and loving for probably about the last … It actually probably started right around this time last year. Yeah, it definitely started right around this time last year, because this time last year is when I decided I was going to make a very major change. We were going to launch an agency. And I reached out to a couple of my clients who I had worked with in the past on projects like strategies, or something like that.

And I said, “Hey, we’re launching an agency. It doesn’t have a name. I don’t have much of a team yet. But this is what I want to do. I want to be able to implement the strategies that I built for you.” And luckily, we had some yeses, and I spent the last half of 2018 really feeling out what my next level of marketing was going to be.

If agency services were going to exist inside of The Stacey Harris, or if they were going to live under their own brand. Spoiler alert, they live under their own brand we call Uncommonly More. I really had to sit with, was this going to be something that I talked about here on the podcast? Was this going to have sort of one central social media place, or were each of these pieces going to have their own social media pieces?

Where was I going to get clients, and those kinds of things. And so, over the course of that second half of the year, I made a lot of those choices, and that meant evolving some of what was happening in my marketing and my messaging. Legit, month to month, week to week, and even day to day, because I was sort of implementing as I was deciding.

Luckily, I had a foundation and a strategy that I already built, because as I was going through these evolutions, and I was going through these changes, and I was making these choices, I was still doing what we do in Backstage Live and build that 90-day plan. I was still looking at what I wanted for my business in 2019, because as I’ve mentioned, part of the reason this happened this time last year is because this is the time of year where I’m planning for my following year.

So we’re planning 2020 stuff right now. And this was the time I was planning 2019 stuff, and I then got to spend 2018 building these strategies, and playing with these strategies, and figuring out what the next step was, and what the next evolution was, for me, because I was playing with these things and testing them.

But again, that was possible because I was doing that work of building those strategies so that I had things to measure. I had things to play with. I had changes I could make. That’s incredibly valuable. And so, it’s been something I have been living in very deeply.

And then, as we rolled into this year, and we launched Uncommonly More, and for the first time, I was running two brands, which has been a little strange, something I haven’t really done before. But there’s still been growing and evolving, because as I’ve stepped into my role as a leader more, and a CEO more, with Uncommonly More, that’s adjusted kind of how I show up as an entrepreneur, as a business owner, as a personal brand.

And so, that change has continued to evolve. Even the tone in my stories, and the kind of things we talk about on this show, have evolved. But we’ve had that option because I’ve been doing that planning. And now, as I look at what I want in 2020, I’m feeling a little bit of that change again.

What do we want to play with and tweak as we roll through the second half of this year so that we’re setting ourselves up for the goals and the things that we’d like to do in 2020? And honestly, even some things I have my eyes on for 2021 that I got to kind of be working towards now and playing with now.

That’s why I want to have this conversation. I want to talk about sort of the three structures that exist in my business that allow me to make these changes.

My Strategy – Big Picture

The first one is, as I mentioned, an overall strategy. And I’m not talking necessarily just about my 90 day plan. I’m talking about the plan I’m making for next year.

I have a really good 10,000 foot view of my business. I know what I need to be doing, revenue-wise. I know what I need to be doing profit-wise. I’m making decisions with that in mind. I will say that this is something that I’m getting better at all the time. This is not something that I would say I’m perfect at.

But it’s something I have an awareness of, and it’s something that I’m very intentionally tapping into the resources that I need to to make sure that I’m being supported in this way. And a huge amount of credit goes to Tara Newman, who is my business coach, and I’m part of her Bold Leadership Mastermind this year, and I will be again next year, because this is such a big piece for me that I’ve learned from her.

And so, looking at what are the brass tacks numbers and business structure that I need to have as a foundation to support the things when I get a crazy idea? Backstage Live is a great example of this. Backstage Live was a crazy idea I had last December, and I could do it because I knew that I had the time and money to support trying something new.

Because I’ve built things in my business, like recurring revenue with a membership site, retainer revenue return, which is also recurring, from clients inside of Uncommonly More, so that I’m not having to sort of always focus on the next project.

I don’t get impacted as deeply when I have something like a slow month, so that’s been really, really valuable for me. But that structure, that knowing that big picture, what does my business cost to run? How do I make those numbers? What are the services I offer? What is the expertise I have? Who are my ideal clients?

Part of that, again, especially the profit stuff, and the being really aware of profit versus revenue, has been really valuable, and is a huge thanks to the work I’ve done with Tara. But the things like my ideal client and the things like when do I offer and what do I offer, those are things that I’ve had in place for a long time, and not just in my head, not just in theory, but very tactile offerings.

This is this packaged, this is this package. This is how clients move from package to package. I really recommend you spending some time with your business coach, or on your own. Honestly, some combination of the two is probably ideal. Looking at, what is the structure of your offerings? What is the structure of your business? What is the structure of your revenue?

Because then, when you want to make changes, it’s a lot less scary, because you understand what’s happening. And that information is, then, how I’m able to say, “Okay, so here’s what we’re selling. Here is who we’re selling it to, and here are all the ways we sell it. Here’s what we build out the marketing side.”

Literally. This is how we then do what we do in our 90 day plan in Uncommonly More. It’s literally the exact same steps that I take, because I say, “I have this data. Now, here’s what we’re doing.” This is why we start Backstage Live with who are we selling it to, what are we selling, and then we break out everything from there.

But having this stuff allows me to make those decisions. It also allows me to be supported in when I change those decisions, and or when I want to add something, or take something away, or any of those pieces.

My 90 Day Marketing Plan

Number two, my actual 90 day plan. The reason this is helpful for me changing things is I have a literal task list.

I have a actual list of things that are happening day to day in my business when I have this 90 day breakdown. Because I have that, when I go to test something, let’s say I want to make a change to my content calendar, I have this great call with a client. I am all fired up, and I’m like, “I have to talk about this right now.”

I know exactly where to go to slide something out, where it can be slid to, and slide the new thing in, instead of hitting my desk and sitting in front of my microphone and saying, “For the love of Pete, I need an idea. Any idea. I just need to talk. I have to record 15 to 20 minutes of audio so that it can go out.”

Here’s the reality of that. Almost no one is creative in those circumstances, and the quality of content that comes from that is low at best. And so, instead, I’m able to go, “Okay, it’s podcast time.” I open my calendar and I see today’s topic, and I go, “You know what? I actually really want to talk about this.” Because I’m all excited and fired up from a conversation.

There’s room for that excitement. There’s room for that creativity. There’s room for that space. Now, let’s say the change is a little bit bigger. Let’s say I decide I want to slide in an offering I hadn’t expected to sell. Because I have mapped out what we’re talking about, I can very clearly go, “Oh, you know what? This workshop that I want to do is actually a natural, either up sell for people who are going to do this program that I’m selling right now, let’s say a membership, or maybe it’s a down sell for people who aren’t sure about the membership, they can attend the workshop and then they’ll up sell into the ongoing support of the membership.”

Cool. So this goes on these dates, and I just needed to create some bonus content around that. Instead of swinging wildly from one offer to another, now I have integrated something new into what already existed. That’s so much less stressful. It is so freeing to be able to plug and play those things really, really quickly.

My Community

The number three thing that I want to talk about is community. I have support. So I mentioned earlier, my business coach and my mastermind, Tara Newman and the Bold Leadership Mastermind. I have my team through the Stacey Harris and Uncommonly More who helps in crafting our social, and building out my content calendar, and helping me build these strategies.

I also have biz friends, and the support, where I can go, “Hey, does this idea sound nuts?” You would be amazed how often we’ll send somebody a DM, either a friend, or a mastermind friend, or whatever, and say, “I have an idea. Is it crazy? I’d love to talk about this on stories. Do you think it makes sense? I have an idea for an email. Does it sound in any way coherent?” Those kinds of things.

And so having that community, having those touchstones of places to say, “Does this feel in alignment with everything else?” Is really, really helpful for navigating big changes in my business and in my marketing. And I will say, I have different people for different things. I have, obviously, my business coach, and my mastermind for, “Hey, I’m thinking about removing an offering altogether,” or, “I’m thinking about adding another offering,” or, “Hey, am I missing anything? Do I have any holes in how I serve?”

My biz friends tend to get the, “Hey, does this make any sense or does it sound cuckoo?” We jokingly, although it’s super true, call my husband and my son and my mom the board of directors. I talk to them when I’ve got an unexpected opportunity to invest in something. “Hey, do I think this is going to be a good fit?” If for no other reason than it helps me verbalize why I do or don’t want to do something.

But having those support pieces are really, really powerful in me moving through the steps. And here’s the thing. Because I, going back to the first point, have a complete understanding of my business structure, and my numbers, and my who, and my what, and with my second piece, I have a really clear strategy, it makes it really clear for me to go and talk to the people who I go and talk to in my community and say, “Here’s what would swap out. Here’s what this would replace. Here’s how this makes sense. Here’s what this might cost me. Here’s what this may generate for me.”

So I can make a clear and concise case one way or the other, depending on the situation. And so, I want you to remember, as you are building that plan, as you are evaluating those numbers, don’t try to do all of this alone. Because it’s hard to see outside the bottle when you’re in the bottle.

It’s hard to see the forest through the trees. It’s hard to, whatever other cliche thing there is that’s like those. Okay? It’s really valuable to get some support and insight, and that’s why Backstage Live is one of my favorite ways to help people build strategies.

100%, we offer done for you through Uncommonly More. We offer done with you, where it’s one-on-one through a VIP day through Uncommonly More. And I still love Backstage Live the most, and that’s because, in addition to sitting down and building your plan with somebody who understands the marketing and the business part of it, that’s me, you’re also going to get this incredible community supporting you, and talking these things through with you, and asking you questions, and answering your questions, and sharing their own stuff that they’re working through.

And I always love taking ideas from businesses that are other than mine, finding my version of it and going, “Oh, this is how I do that. This is my version of that really great idea that you had to bring your community together.” And so that’s why I love this Backstage component so much, is because it builds in this number three piece of community.

So, if you’re going into Q4, or you’re going into Q1, or whatever 90 day period it is you decided to join us for Backstage Live, you’re doing that next evolution with a little support. So community, for me, is absolutely key, and it goes back to what we talked about in the last episode, about why I don’t offer standalone, do it on your own courses.

We need people. They’re incredibly valuable. All right? That’s our show for today. Thank you so much for listening. I do want to remind you, Backstage Live early bird tickets are open right now, and for just two more weeks, you can take advantage of that early bird price and save yourself a little coin.

I would love to see you join us for this event. It’s a really cool thing, and the best part is, for our September event, it’s 100% virtual, so you can join us from absolutely anywhere in the world. We’ll be live from 9:00 AM pacific time to 3:00 PM pacific time.

I am so excited. It’s going to be a fun, fun day, and what’s cool is, I’m actually sending out physical workbooks this time, so you’ll be able to feel a little more like you’re joining us in person, but from the very comfort of your own home.

Again, any questions about what we talked about today, or Backstage Live, or anything, let me know. Join me over on Instagram @TheStaceyHarris. To reserve your early bird seat today, and I will see you next week. But also September 12th, for Backstage Live. Have a great week.

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