Why It's Critical You Stay In Your Lane

Welcome to episode 459. I can’t believe it. This time next year we’ll be up over 500. That’s bananas. Anywho, I’m excited about today’s episode because I want to talk about something that I have been, honestly I’ve been quietly ranting about inside the team, with my business coach, inside my mastermind, in a lot of private conversations, and I think that is a disservice because unless we speak out against these things, they will just keep happening. Our silence is not okay on so many levels. That’s a conversation for another day though.

I want to talk a bit about staying in our lane.

I really want to talk about this is not to call anybody out, it’s not to shame anyone if they’re doing something wrong, but because there is a really freaking simple solution to this sort of lane creep that happens and it’s about getting focused. It’s about getting custom with your plan and your strategy for your marketing because here’s what I’m seeing.

I’m seeing a lot of entrepreneurs on social, in their content, who have decided to stop talking about the thing that they’re an expert in, and instead branch into other things. So we’ve seen copywriters giving graphic design like sales page layout advice, which they may very well be knowledgeable about, but that’s not what they do. It’s not of the most benefit to your followers. We see this a ton with marketers and business coaches and it goes both ways. Marketers try to be business coaches, business coaches try to be marketers.

I’ll be honest, I have been in business for eight years. I am still very much so a marketer and not a business coach. I’m only like an intermediate expertise on running my own business, much less anyone else’s, and so often we are seeing, especially with social and content, where we’re… To put it in really projecty terms, like scope creep, like we are creeping out of the scope of our expertise and into this other space that we think, “Oh, well maybe that will get me more traction,” and it can come from a lot of different places.

It can come from, I’m bored of saying the same four things and so I assume my audience is too, which spoiler alert, they’re not because they’re not listening to you nearly as often as you have to listen to you. We’re the only one paying as close attention to our content as we are. No one, let me repeat that no one, one more time for the people in the back, no one cares as much about your content as you do. No one is paying as close attention to your topics or your information or anything you do like you are.

That selfie that you were going to post and then you were like, “Oh, but there’s this weird thing happening in my hair,” no one noticed the thing in your hair but you. Okay, just to be clear, just to beat the heck out of that message. And so what happens, though, is we’re so afraid that we are boring our audience because it doesn’t seem like we can get traction, but often we’re having trouble getting traction, not because they’re bored but because they’re confused. It’s because we’re doing this scope creep thing. It’s because we’re jumping around. It’s because we’re not staying in our lane.

Here is the reality, and we talk about this a lot on Backstage Live, we talk a lot about it with clients, I have to remind myself of this, I don’t know, six or seven times a week. We’re all just kind of saying one or two things. We are just responsible for finding a lot of really fun and creative ways to say them, but if you listen to this podcast, I’m almost always talking about strategy. Even when I’m talking about a network, I’m talking about strategy. Even when I’m talking about something that may be on the service looks like it’s outside of my expertise scope, I’m talking about strategy, specifically your marketing strategy.

That’s my expertise. That’s my gift. That’s what I do. I build and I execute plans. That’s what I talk about, and even when I’m sick and tired of talking about it, that’s what I talk about. That is the highest benefit for my audience and that is the highest benefit to my own financial results inside of my business is staying in that lane. And again, so often it’s easy to slide into business coach mode. It’s easy for me to go, “Oh, let me talk about websites.” I don’t need to talk about websites. Yes, I am decent enough for an everyday user, but I am by no means an expert.

I would… Even within marketing, you don’t hear me talk a lot about SEO. You want to know why? Because I know some. I don’t even know enough to be like super dangerous. I know enough. I know enough to hire someone to do it for me. I know enough to get some organic traction inside of the content. I know enough to know where I need to pay attention to it and where I don’t. That does not qualify me to teach it. That does not qualify me to post about it. That does not qualify me enough to create podcasts around it. In fact, this is probably the most SEO you’ll ever hear me talk about in one straight amount of time. I want you to remember what your gift is, what your zone of genius is.

A really great friend of mine, Allison Crow, she’s got a really cool podcast, I highly recommend checking it out, she talks a lot about your zone of excellence and your zone of genius. I may be excellent at things. I have run a profitable business for eight years. I am sure that is just a lot of business lessons. I run a business in the top, I don’t know, I think it’s like 5 or 7% income bracket for female entrepreneurs. Here’s the deal. I’m not a business coach.

Again, I’m like an intermediate level at running my own business. I don’t need to be in charge of running anyone else’s. And so yes, my zone of excellence is running my business. It does not mean is my zone of genius and where I need to be spending time and teaching people. That is strategy. So what’s yours? Where are your shifts? Where are your lines? Where are your things where you need to go, “Yeah, you know what, I am pretty good at that, but what I’m really good at, what I’m really here to have an impact with, what I’m really here to talk about is this”?

And it’s so important that we stay consistent with that thing because when we don’t, one of two things happens. We confuse our audience and we lose them because they’re left with either a desire to find a solution we don’t have because all we did was sort of scratch the itch of their problem without actually curing it, because that’s not what we do, or we leave them confused because they came to us for let’s say health coaching and now we’re trying to teach them about their businesses or how to get more followers on Instagram, or whatever that thing is.

So the solution we’ve sold them is not in alignment with what they’re seeing us talk about, and so there’s confusion no matter what. It’s just a matter of sort of which direction they’re confused in, and so I want to really get super, super clear on how we prevent this and guess what guys? We build ourselves a plan. I think one of the biggest causes of this sort of false expertise is Facebook groups, quite honestly.

So many business owners are spending their days in Facebook groups, on Pinterest, in Instagram conversations trying to piecemeal their marketing together with trends and freebies and shoulds, and “Everybody’s doing this and it works for everyone so make sure you do it too” kind of advice that they end up not speaking to their expertise or their audience because they’re just trying to get to a point where they feel like somebody is freaking listening. Somebody is actually paying attention to what they’re saying, and that is a really, really, really dangerous way to market your business because your beginning is not connected to your end.

The start of your journey is not anywhere that’s going to meet up with the destination of a sale, of actually getting a client, a customer, a reader, a listener, a viewer, a whatever. And this is why I really want you to look at answering some very simple questions and making decisions based on those answers. What are you selling? What is your destination? If it is one-on-one health coaching, if it is a graphic design project, if it is a business coaching project, if it is a marketing service, maybe it’s SEO, I don’t know, but what is the thing they’re ultimately going to buy?

Next up, who is going to buy it?

Who is going to buy the thing you are going to sell? And notice this isn’t another bit of “Who’s your ideal client?” Who is the ideal purchaser for this particular service in your offering, and we’ve talked about this recently. I think we talked about it last week. Your ideal client for each of your offerings will very likely differ some. It needs to. It should.

It’s funny, I was talking to somebody recently and he had said he was talking to another business owner, and they sell this thing. He’s like, “Yeah, I was talking to him,” and he knew exactly… His clients are this gender and they’re between this age and this age, and this is what they do for a living, and these are the kind of vehicles they own, and this is why they own those vehicles. This is their marital status, and this is where they went to school, and this is how long they went to school for, and this is the neighborhoods they live in.

I was like, “Yeah.” They know exactly in their product lines who buys each one of their products. This is something I think that gets lost on us in the “online business space”. Too many times we’re taught, “Oh, just build your ideal client,” and then that ideal client answers all the questions, and it does. However, you have to make sure that you have an ideal client for each of your offerings, each and every single piece of your business.

I even have somebody who listens to this show that is different than the people who work in the agency services of Uncommonly More. Yeah, there are differences between every piece. Okay? Now, there may… Again, there’s some overarching things, but we look for the differences in each thing, so we know what we’re selling, we know who we’re selling it to, right? We’re cool. Now, we reverse engineer everything back from there. All of the content we create, all of the social we create speaks to getting them to the destination of purchasing that thing.

This makes it really freaking easy for us to stay in our lane because everything we talk about leads to a purchase of X, Y, Z. We’re not talking about a healthy lifestyle if we are trying to sell ATVs. The two things are not necessarily related. All right? I want you to look at “How do I build my content to speak directly to getting them ready, getting them educated, to make the purchase they need to make to actually solve the problem?”

This is why blueprints don’t work. This is why general marketing advice doesn’t work. This is why marketing trends on Pinterest, it’ll tell you the best time to post on Instagram, don’t work because guess what? The best time for me to post on Instagram is different than every single one of those flipping posts because my audience is unique. So is yours. Yes, there’s some generalities. Yes, we start with some best guesses. Then, we use our data to make our decisions to work on our plan. This is why in Hit The Mic Backstage, we have an entire course, we have an entire central part of our curriculum that is building your own strategy and measuring your results.

It is why inside of Hit The Mic Backstage we have made the process we use for our high-level five-figure clients inside of Uncommonly More available for sub $1,000 so that you can do this work at absolutely any level, at absolutely any investment level, at any stage in your business so that you can start wherever you are right now by building, or maybe it’s customizing, the plan you already have so that it’s yours, so that it is not best practices, so that it is not general schools of thought, so that it is not trends, so that it is not chasing somebody else’s goals, but it serves you and your audience and your business because too many people are running around on Instagram and running around on Facebook and running around in networking events marketing in a way that is not connected with those three pieces: you, your people, your business.

If it does not check all three of those boxes, it is not the right plan. That’s it. Hard stop. It’s the whole thing. You have to make sure you are checking all three of those boxes. To do that, you need to answer the questions we talked about earlier. Here’s the real deal. We answered those questions in Backstage Live. That’s literally the first two questions on the worksite… worksheet. It’s a workbook in Backstage Live. This is what we do. We build your strategy.

Early bird pricing ends the day this episode goes live, so if you haven’t grabbed it yet, I would do it very, very soon. If you’re listening to this today, one up. Otherwise, you can still join us. Tickets are available through September 10th. We go live on September 12th. If you would like a printed workbook sent to your place of business, residence, whatever, you need to join us by September 1st. I am so amped for this event because of this customization, because we are putting in the hands of more business owners a strategy built by them and for them that’s going to serve them, their audience and their business.

As we’ve really beaten home today, that is critical. All right? If you have any questions at any time, let me know, but first and foremost, head over to thestaceyharris.com/backstagelive to reserve your seat today.

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