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Content Marketing 101: the Art of Stopping the Scroll

Content marketing is one of the few things that can help a small business build a loyal following and generate leads. This episode covers the basics, including content marketing 101.

Content Marketing 101: the Art of Stopping the Scroll with Jen McFarland and Shelley Carney

Content Marketing 101

Content marketing is one of the few things that can help a small business build a loyal following and generate leads. This episode covers the basics, including content marketing 101, why it’s essential, and getting started.

This week’s episode we will share content marketing concepts and strategies to grow your influence, impact, and income.

Content marketing is a marketing strategy used to attract, engage, and retain an audience by creating and sharing relevant articles, videos, podcasts, and other media. This approach establishes expertise, promotes brand awareness, and keeps your business top of mind when it's time to buy what you sell.

  • How to get started: plan your strategy
  • Know your goal
  • Know your target audience
  • Preferred platforms and media
  • Book recommendation: Thought Leaders Practice

Words of Wisdom

Typically, when I talk about consistency, it's within the category of goals. But your content marketing should have goals attached to it. If you want to reach your goals, you have to find that thing that you like to do enough that you're going to do it consistently. — Jen
You need to define your audience. Who is your audience? For most of us, as content creators and entrepreneurs, our audience is people who are like us. They may be one or two steps behind us, but they're on the same path. — Shelley

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Transcript: Content Marketing 101

[00:00:00] Jen McFarland: The Women Conquer Business show is an educational, how to, women in business podcast that features stories, marketing news and real life experiences from fun and friendly hosts, Jen McFarland and Shelley Carney. Join us as we dive into the details so you can slay marketing overwhelm, streamline processes and amplify your impact. You'll learn strategies and tactics, leadership skills and practical advice from successful women entrepreneurs to help you grow, nurture, and sustain your business.

Hello and welcome to Women Conquer Business. My name is Jen McFarland. I'm joined by Shelley Carney. Today we are going to talk about content marketing 1 0 1, the art of stopping the scroll. Everybody's making so much content, whether it's on social media, your blog, videos, and really what you want is to make something meaningful that people stop what they're doing amidst everybody else's content and pay attention to you and what you're offering. Content marketing is one of the few things that small businesses can do to build a loyal following and generate leads. So we're going to talk about the basics, including what the heck content marketing is, why it's important and how to get started.

So before we begin, though, we always like to open with a little bit about what's going on with us. How you doing Shelley?

[00:01:25] Shelley Carney: Hey, happy Cinco de Mayo, everybody. I am celebrating because our Wednesday shows yesterday being in that it's a new month of May, happy May. We changed the showtimes for our shows, the one o'clock moved to 5:00 PM and we added on an additional 7:00 PM show.

So we have two shows on Wednesdays now. We had a really good turnout. Where we normally have about 10 or less show up for our live show at one o'clock we had 21 people show up for our five o'clock show. Then of course the seven o'clock show blew that out of the water with 125 people showed up.

[00:02:01] Jen McFarland: Oh, wow. That's awesome.

[00:02:03] Shelley Carney: A good amount of super chat out of it as well. So we're pretty happy with it. So we're going to continue to do that for a while. See how that goes. We're trying to transition. It's weird because we built this community around a treasure hunt. The treasure hunt is over, but people are still interested in it because nobody knows for certain where the treasure was found and they still want to know that.

So all these lawsuits that are happening, that we're talking about, and this discovery is going on. This is what was said. People are still speculating because we were told it was found in Wyoming. That's all we know. People are speculating that it was found in Yellowstone National Park.

So there's this controversy and that brings people to our show to talk more. But then we'll go off into other topics. Like we talk about the news, things in the news, like the Ukraine conflict war. And what's going on with SCOTUS this week. So we did a lot of focusing on that. But the treasure stuff brings them in, and then we're trying to transition them into thinking about, oh, let's also talk about other news that's of importance to the world instead of just this one tiny sliver

[00:03:13] Jen McFarland: the slice of yet, but people love controversy. That's one thing that really gets people interested. I would say that related to what we're talking about today, I have a blog post that's just going crazy right now and continuing to go crazy. It's the one about click funnels because I'm one of the only people who says, Hey, you need to think twice before investing in this. Here's why. Here's who it's good for. Here's who it's not good for. That's controversial because there aren't a lot of people who are in my industry as a full-time marketer and marketing coach that are willing to put themselves out there and say, Hey, wait a minute. Most people aren't just one funnel away.

So it attracts, I know it's so weird. But that's the tagline I think for Click Funnels is you're one funnel away. So I made an argument. I made a case in this blog post about that, and I think some people disagree, some people agree. It's taking a stand that is what gets people to come in. So I guess that's the first lesson is there's all this controversy around finding the treasure and where, and everyone wants to argue it when the answers might not be there. I think you could say the same about, I'm a geek. I talk about software. I can come up with a lot of controversy around that.

[00:04:30] Shelley Carney: Yeah. Polarizing ideas really do bring the people out to participate again.

[00:04:36] Jen McFarland: They get like eyeballs and earballs, I don't know if that's a thing, but I don't know what else to call it. So if anybody has a comment about what you called the ears to get the ear holes.

I continue to recover from the concussion. I'm still having problems with bright lights. This is the only time I'll have these lights on and then I'll go back to natural light, like the extremely dark screen. And so it's been very difficult because I get a little foggy sometimes. It's still hard to meet with clients on a regular basis. So that's been really difficult and in a way, opening some different things. Because of the things that I can do that don't overwhelm my senses, I'm spending a lot more time learning about oddly enough, content and content creation and content marketing, which has always been part of building out Epiphany courses.

It's really been interesting and I've really been learning a lot. We had a beautiful 70 degree day here yesterday, and today it's pouring down rain. I have a sign behind me that says Spring exclamation point, and I almost changed that to a question. I'm just feeling a little saucy about it.

Anybody who lives in Portland or has lived in Portland, Oregon knows that this is when we all get a little salty around here because we're tired. By the time May comes, we feel like it should be summer now, because summer here is so beautiful and we all know that it's at least until Rose Festival, which is not for another month.

So yeah, we're all getting a little tired of it. But other than that, everything's just steadily moving along.

[00:06:08] Shelley Carney: Well, of course, Mother's Day is coming on Sunday. I'm planning to try to get out and visit my mom perhaps next week. I'll go after this show next week, fly over and then fly back Wednesday morning so I can be here for my shows the Wednesday and Thursday afterwards. So I'm looking at flights for that.

Toby and I did hear from the Google podcast creator program that we were not accepted. Although that's disappointing, we feel like the application itself was a learning process for us, and it was an important thing that we needed to do in our growth. Now we can move forward, and make our own plans, knowing. We're just glad that we know, having that information helps.

[00:06:53] Jen McFarland: Well the application process for something like that is really what helps you understand more about the important questions you need to be asking in a business. What it is that you're doing. It kind of firms up your own goals. That's why it's good to step into things like that and do that self discovery as a business owner.

[00:07:08] Shelley Carney: For sure. Don't be afraid of it.

[00:07:10] Jen McFarland: Don't be afraid do it anyway. What do we have for breaking news?

[00:07:13] Shelley Carney: Breaking news? This just in. LinkedIn continues to see record levels of engagement. Revenue is up 34%. They're doing really well with LinkedIn. People are using it more. They don't have any more users than they did, but people are using it more. I think it's because LinkedIn is offering more and more ways for us to engage with the platform and to use it to share our content for one thing. They're a lot more content creator centric than they used to be. It used to be just, if you need a job or you're hiring, come to LinkedIn and find somebody to work with. Now, put your content out there, create some groups, get to know people.

[00:08:02] Jen McFarland: You know, social media today, we'll put that link in the chat or in the show notes. It's a great resource for people. If you want to learn more about what's going on, or you could just listen to the show, we'll keep giving it to you.

What I think is interesting about the LinkedIn numbers and certainly I've seen it lately. The growth and more people into it because I've been on it more. I think there's a bunch of convergence of things happening. One, we've all been very interested in, people in the nerd software realm, we've all been interested in the fact that Microsoft bought LinkedIn and we were wondering what they were going to do with it. Are they going to make it better? What are they going to do? And they've consistently been raising the bar. They bought and integrated all of that course content into LinkedIn learning and you can get that with a paid subscription. A lot of the lessons there are quite good. Then they have now added creator tools. So you can change how your platform looks how your profile looks to different people, which has been really helpful. Not without a little bit of static. There's, always when you change things, then there's people who are upset.

Then they, now you can add, some people can, they're rolling it out where you can add your website link into your, about up in your top profile.

[00:09:23] Shelley Carney: That was my tweak of the week and I did add it to my profile.

[00:09:27] Jen McFarland: Okay. That's okay. I haven't been able to get it to go on mine. I don't think I have that field. And then you can also do the button to have people alert, so the bell it's very similar to YouTube in that way. So they're doing a lot to really change it. I also think that what's going on, which goes into my breaking news, and a little not into my breaking news. A lot of people are bailing on Facebook and they need a place to go.

Then with Elon Musk buying Twitter, which I should have talked about last week. But as it was prerecorded, and I was so tired when we recorded the show at that time, because I had already been on screen with lights for two hours before we did that. So it was a little challenging. With these shifts in everything, the anger over Twitter, the anger over Facebook, people are looking for a home and it's been interesting to see that, and I think that LinkedIn has been the place for a lot of people.

Now, the most used, by a good bit, social media platform is actually YouTube. I don't think that's going to change either. So many people are on Facebook. I don't know that so many people are bolting. I just don't think they're on it as much. I think that there's just a lot shifting and I'm really excited and I'm very sorry I stole your tweak of the week.

[00:10:47] Shelley Carney: That's okay. We'll talk more about it at the end.

[00:10:49] Jen McFarland: Yeah. We can talk about it more in a little bit more about it. The interesting thing about Elon Musk was I think I had an immediate 20 people decline in followers on Twitter as soon as it was announced that he was going to do it. And now it's all rebounded and gotten more. Not that I really

[00:11:09] Shelley Carney: People are reactionary about things like that just quick.

[00:11:11] Jen McFarland: The deal hasn't even gone through yet. So many things could happen. I read yesterday he's still looking for another 10 billion or something to make it happen. So there's a lot that could happen. I don't think we know.

Some of the things that he's saying are really freaking people out because social media platforms that do not have any moderation at all tend to be places where there's a lot of porn. A lot of misinformation. They circle the drain into areas that mainstream people don't want to be confronted with all the time.

So moderation is actually a good thing. I know that there are people who would disagree with that, but

[00:11:51] Shelley Carney: They'll probably lose a lot of news people. A lot of celebrities would, they wouldn't want to be,

[00:11:56] Jen McFarland: They don't want to be there. I mean the cachet for Twitter is that you have access to a lot of people, a lot of stars and journalists and politicians and stuff. They're all gonna bolt. If there's a lot of unmoderated content that slips in, because it's just not going to be as attractive of a platform. So it's an interesting paradigm. I don't want to get into conversation about free speech and all that. But I do want to say that look at some of the channels that don't have any moderation and there are reasons why they're not popular. I will say that. It's just not a good thing. So I think, and hope, that somebody is going to pull him aside and be like, okay, here is what you need to look at. And this is why we have to have some moderation. So it's an interesting topic, one that I'm watching carefully. A lot of people are very pro Elon Musk moving from some surprising corners. But if you read the articles with current and former employees, the things that they are worried about are really around the moderation topics being heard. Technical experts that have spent years working through some of the problems that go on social media and they are deeply concerned about new leadership from someone who has not dedicated significant time to this topic. Anyway, so that's what I have to say about Twitter sphere at this point. I think we'll just see more and more people going to the places like LinkedIn.

[00:13:27] Shelley Carney: Absolutely. Yeah. I think you're right and it's a wait and see thing. We don't need to react and jump off a ship because there's a rumor that it might be sinking. We don't know.

[00:13:38] Jen McFarland: I don't know. I still love Twitter. I don't really use it to get new customers, but I do love it because there are actually some decent conversations that go on there. Anyway, I'm hoping for the best, because I really enjoy it. So why don't you kick us off on this content marketing discussion?

[00:13:56] Shelley Carney: All right. Content marketing is a marketing strategy used to attract, engage and retain an audience by creating and sharing relevant articles, videos, podcasts, and other media.

This approach establishes expertise, promotes brand awareness and keeps your business top of mind when it's time to buy what you sell. I got that off of Google. So I'm not all that smart and concise all the time, but I thought that was a really good definition of content marketing and it includes a lot of information in there.

So let's start unpacking that. Content marketing is mostly about putting things out into the world to share who you are and what you're about.

[00:14:39] Jen McFarland: Yeah. That's definitely it and it's about consistency, because you talk to me about it a lot.

[00:14:46] Shelley Carney: Yes. Consistency is the overall

[00:14:50] Jen McFarland: Consistency is the overall thing. I know that I talk about consistency a lot. Typically when I talk about consistency, it's within the category of goals. But your content marketing should have goals attached to it. So that makes a lot of sense. It's like going to the gym, you can't go once and be in shape, you have to be consistent about it. It's the same thing in your marketing. It's the same thing in content marketing, certainly. In goals in general, if you want to reach your goals, you have to find that thing that you like to do enough that you're going to do it consistently. Certainly that's the case with content marketing.

It's a strategy used to attract, engage and retain an audience. So the audience attraction piece seems to be the part that ties people up a little.

[00:15:32] Shelley Carney: I think that's because there are some things that are always foundationally the same. Then there are other things that are constantly changing and we have to marry the two.

People are always gonna want connection. They're always gonna want authentic conversations, transparency. They're going to want to listen to somebody they know they can trust and we have to build that trust. That is a foundational thing that's always been a part of humanity. But then we have these other things that are like, okay, short attention span. Let's watch TikTok or Reels or, whatever. Which platform is best? What's hot right now? You have all of that buzzing in your ear while you're trying to focus on the authentic conversations and transparency. Trying to put the two together.

[00:16:17] Jen McFarland: It's true. One of the things I just said that I like about Twitter is that there are some good conversations going on there. The underlying theme that I'm seeing, because as somebody who teaches digital marketing over and over again, I can change my presentation every day and talk about all of the things that are happening that are different. I do tend to change my presentations all the time when I speak to groups like I did earlier this week, when I was talking about some of the most important digital marketing that any business can use, it's like the five most important things.

But the interesting thing, and what a lot of people are talking about in marketing groups around social media is that thing that you just said, which is people don't change, but how you connect with them does. I would argue that you don't need to be distracted by necessarily all of the hot trends. You just need to find your lane and that thing that you like and want to do and where your people are most of the time. Don't worry about all the distractions. That's my take on it. What do you think?

[00:17:25] Shelley Carney: Absolutely. You need to define your audience. Who is your audience? For most of us, as content creators and entrepreneurs, our audience is people who are like us. They may be one or two steps behind us, but they're in the same path.

The people who want to be, for me, content creators as an encore entrepreneur in the second half of life, I speak to them because that's who I am. That's where I was. This is what I've learned over the last 10 years and I want to share it with them and bring them along with me. I have defined my audience and everybody needs to do that. Because once you've defined your audience, I know older people in my generation are more likely to be on either YouTube or Facebook or LinkedIn than they are Instagram or TikTok. Those seem to be towards a younger crowd. So I don't focus on those. Something that we need to understand is who are we trying to speak to? And where are they?

[00:18:24] Jen McFarland: Absolutely and Instagram, it's interesting. They're shifting now away from being a photography platform and into video. Certainly with the model that you use Instagram hasn't really lent itself really to easily build an audience and share because so much is based on video. How does that change? I don't know. I think they're making more of a play to be a TikTok alternative. And so it still may not be where those mid career people. Yeah.

[00:18:51] Shelley Carney: Those platforms are also trying to go, okay. What's hot. What's working. Let's do that,

[00:18:55] Jen McFarland: right? Yeah. And it's interesting because fundamentally, Facebook is really popular with encore entrepreneurs and YouTube, people forget, is used by everybody for different and varying reasons.

So I think that, yeah, it's just about finding the place and knowing how to solve it. I do think that we need to have a class, a podcast episode about YouTube. We had a big brainstorming session, because we're trying to be more intentional with the podcast around planning. We made this big list. And then it was like afterwards, because Shelley says things like she did earlier, where she's like we had all these super comments or whatever, and I don't even know what all of that stuff means.

Super special power up comments and YouTube, super chat, and I think there's a lot of intricacies to some of these programs. As somebody who's even been on YouTube and made videos and stuff, like it's largely, still a mystery to me. And so I think that there are certain platforms that are useful to people, but then there's so much out there.

It seems like you can't be an expert in everything. So you have to pick so that you can consistently create and not frustrate yourself. Would you agree with that?

[00:20:03] Shelley Carney: Absolutely. Pick your primary platform. Go ahead and be everywhere, but pick one platform to really focus on, really get to know all the intricacies of it, how it works, how to grow it. Get your little helpers. If it's YouTube you may want to have Vid IQ and /or Tube Buddy helping you with your SEO and your planning. Those are great apps to help you with that. They have free levels and then they move on up from there and you can make the decision about how much you want that help. But when you focus on one platform like that, then you can really double down and strengthen that one platform and it will help strengthen all your other social media accounts at the same time.

[00:20:49] Jen McFarland: Yeah and certainly when I teach digital marketing to beginning businesses, I always say, pick one to two platforms, focus on those. Drive all of your traffic there. In my own business, I focus primarily on LinkedIn for outreach and awareness. Then obviously I've been working a little bit on YouTube and trying to figure it out, trying to demystify YouTube, to an extent.

I create a podcast because it's easier for me to talk and share quickly. But my true passion is actually blogging, which is why there's a lot of blogs on my website. So it's also about finding the thing that you like to do. That could be going through a system and a process like Shelley advocates for, or it could be I just want to do this one thing. Either way is great. I don't think there's a wrong way to do content marketing other than writing three blog posts and quitting.

[00:21:46] Shelley Carney: Yeah. Quitting is not going to help you.

[00:21:48] Jen McFarland: So let's start with the first point here, which is, how do you get started with content marketing and getting started with a strategy?

Do you want to lead us off on that?

[00:22:01] Shelley Carney: I think we've covered some of the things already that you need to understand who your audience is and how you help them. Then what platform works best for you and your audience to communicate. Then you can plan your strategy from there as to, for me, I'm going to make videos. I'm going to make live stream videos and then planning out how that's going to work.

I'm going to use Streamyard. I'm going to do a show on Wednesday. I'm going to do a show on Saturday. Plan it out. What times, what days, what the topics are. Come up with your topics. Jen and I did this the other day. We're saying we're going to focus on content marketing for a while, and we're really going to dive deeply into that because content creation is what we both love.

So let's talk about what we love to talk about, because that's going to lend passion to our content. Once you've decided on your main topic, then break it down into how can you answer the questions of people who are also interested in this and they're just getting started. How can you help? Then you go from there as to plotting in, okay, on this day, I'm going to talk about this. On that day, I'm going to talk about that. Once you have the bones, the skeleton of your structure, then you can start plugging in other things like a podcast or blog or a newsletter or a lead magnet to build an email list. All of that. You start plugging that into your skeleton, and then you've got a whole fleshed out body.

[00:23:29] Jen McFarland: The primary question that I get from people when you start talking about content marketing is I don't even know what to talk about. When I get that question, one of the first things that I mention to people is it's really important to pay attention to the questions that you're getting over and over again as a business owner.

Those are the things that you need to be talking about. You need to be paying attention to the questions that you're getting and answer that. Content marketing, SEO, it's really about answering customer questions. I think I've talked about that on here before. So it is about paying attention, writing them down and then answering them with intentionality.

It's also about talking about the things sometimes that people don't know they should be paying attention to, but, because you see the same problems over and over again. So when you go to put down what it is that you want to talk about when you're crafting those topics, I would really encourage you to think in those terms. Because those are ways that you can really strategize around it and think about the broad strokes of all the things that you share with people in your business.

[00:24:35] Shelley Carney: Yeah.

[00:24:39] Jen McFarland: Are you still there, Shelley?

[00:24:40] Shelley Carney: That's why it's important you know who you're speaking to and what their problems are because once you've defined that, I think for me, topics come easy and fast. Because it's okay what did I just learn this week? Or last week? I'm going to talk about that because my people need to know this because they do the same things that I do. Once you've defined who your audience is and you know intimately what their problems are, because those are the things that you yourself went through. I think it makes it so much easier to come up with things to talk about.

[00:25:11] Jen McFarland: Totally agreed. There's so many different ways of doing it. There's a book that I really like. And of course I'm looking and I think it's actually behind me that I'll put in the chat, but it goes into all of the different ways that you can think about your expertise and help you clearly define the different things that you could be doing as a thought leader.

I think it's called the Thought Leader's Practice. Okay. Yeah, it's called the Thought Leader's Practice. I had a guest her name was Sally Foley Lewis. She was one of my first podcast interviews and we just really hit it off. She sent me this book and I was like, this is amazing.

It goes into how you share your content. It's not a content marketing book. It's more about how do you talk about your expertise? I think it's a really good place for people to get started if they feel they don't know what they could be talking about. It puts it in a different framework.

It's a really great tool. Okay, so you plan your strategy, like what am I going to create? What's it going to be about? Okay. What happens next?

[00:26:10] Shelley Carney: What happens next is start setting your goals, right? Am I building a business? Am I building an audience? And if so, what kind of a business is it? What are my goals for that business? Or what are my goals for that audience? How do I want to grow that audience? Do I want it to become a community? Do I eventually want a membership? You want to look down the road at where this is taking you and make sure that you have that vision written down as something that you're heading towards. Because you need to know your destination or you're just going to be wandering around and following shiny objects all the time.

[00:26:46] Jen McFarland: Yeah. You don't want to follow the shiny objects all the time. They're fun for a little while, but long-term, they're not going to help.

I also say, you need to have those bigger goals. But you also need to have a lot of milestones along the way. It's something that I'm learning by being in, at this point, I don't know how I did this to myself, multiple creator programs. It seems, and we have some resources we're going to share with you how long it takes to really build these things out.

Bear in mind that, getting a podcast following is the long game or having a blog that's super successful is the long game. I've been writing blog posts for years and it took me a long time before I hit this gold with a Click Funnels review. And it was because it sparks a little controversy.

So knowing your goal. I would say a reasonable first goal is, can I slowly grow? And get more attention on social media? Can I pay attention to some metrics? Whether it's visitors to your website, people downloading a podcast, or, and this is a harder one to track. There are some metrics in social media, but it's a little harder to figure out if you're increasing engagement and getting more, unless you're using a social media scheduler, which I really encourage people to do.

So it's really about in the beginning anyway, more about brand awareness. More about building up that thought leadership. I know some people are turned off by that term. But what I'm really talking about, they used to have these commercials on ESPN and it was like, your knowledge is big.

It was all these people who liked sports, and they knew all the stats and stuff, and it was like this big furry creature that followed the guy around. It was like his sports knowledge, and it was bigger for some people and little or for other people.

That's really what we're talking about here. You are growing your knowledge so that it follows you around and then people look at you and say, oh yeah, no, I know that person, they know everything there is to know about acupuncture or they know everything there is to know about building a small business, oh, you should listen to Jen. She knows about marketing. Oh, you should listen to Shelley. She knows everything about building a content framework that takes you from a podcast to multiple different pieces of content. So whatever that knowledge is, you want to become known for that. And that's the first goal, right?

Is that you are starting to build that out. Then of course you have to make money. So it's not like I'm just going to go to the store and buy some milk with my influence, like drop some knowledge. Look, my knowledge is big. Can I have some milk? To me, it doesn't really work that way.

I wish it did. So one of the goals certainly has to be around revenue and like how you're driving people into services. Because you're creating this content, you're sharing this to make money, just know that content marketing is in fact, the long game. It's not an instant, I'm going to get a membership. I'm going to get a following. I'm going to sell hundreds of millions of dollars worth of courses or whatever. So knowing your goal in the long-term, but also realizing that you have to do all these checkpoints along the way, I think is really helpful. And I think it helps keep you from getting super discouraged.

[00:30:01] Shelley Carney: In the beginning, especially your goals can be a little fuzzy, a little, I want more of this and I want, and to have numbers is difficult. I was reading an article this week that helped me a little bit because it said if you have 26 or more downloads per week on your podcast episodes, you are in the top 50% of podcasters.

So I was like, oh there's a number that I aim for now. So if you go out and look at those types of statistics and you say, okay, I'm going to aim for 26 downloads a week, then those numbers are really helpful. Then you have something to drive towards and it tells you and informs you where you're at and where you still need to improve.

Whereas with, I just want to be known in my field for being great as a encore entrepreneur, content creator What's that do for you, where's the numbers, right?

[00:30:56] Jen McFarland: That's what I mean yeah. That's why you have to have something that's telling you that it's steadily increasing. I used to have this really and I'm thinking about dusting it off and bringing it back.

I used to have a spreadsheet that I would fill out at the beginning of every month. It was like, number of followers, number of traffic, revenue. I put everything in there and it was mostly just so that I could say okay, like how was this? How are things tracking?

of stopped doing it cause I was like I can't really relate one to the other. I hadn't really closed the loop on that.

[00:31:27] Shelley Carney: Yeah. You have to make that decision. Is that a vanity metric or is it having some impact on my business?

[00:31:30] Jen McFarland: Exactly. Yeah. And that's the thing. Now I think it's easier for me to make the connection because again, everything takes time and you build more relationships.

Now I'm on social media and people who hire me to speak and people who hire me to coach and, they, there is a connection that, they see one thing and that, and it comes to another. I can close the loop a little bit more. The thing about content marketing until you start running ads, or really, doing some things with intention, it may be difficult at times to differentiate between vanity metrics and cold hard cash. You have to ask people, how did you find me? What brought you to me? So that you can start to trace a lot of that stuff. For me, it's speaking, I get people from speaking. They subscribe, they hire me, they hear about me. One of my best clients came based on somebody who saw me speak a year prior and they learned about me and then hired me based on the recommendation of somebody else.

So sometimes you have to figure out the goals. Certainly number of downloads and things like that, those are nice, and it gives you a sense of how you're tracking in terms of visibility, discoverability, possibly. But it can also be a vanity metric as well. This show is in the top 3% of all podcasts, which is a great vanity metric.

It's wonderful. And there's some other goals that I have around it that I think are more tangible as a business owner. Around saying, okay, it's in the top 3% and I can make this connection to it in other areas of my business, beyond it just being fun.

[00:33:13] Shelley Carney: You could use that statistic, you can use it and say to sponsors, you want to sponsor my show? My show is in the top 3%. Or if you want to in some way promote it or create some kind of income from it, it helps you when you have that information. But it took you a while to get there. You had to keep working on it and investing in it. Another thing that that I can do is, I can say, look, I published some books, let me come and be a speaker and I can talk about creating a book out of a story from your life. I can talk about creating a book out of doing interviews with a section of the population, women in podcasting. Or I can talk to you about how you can create a book out of your blog posts and presentations.

Created something in the world and that adds to my credibility, but it's also a solid thing that people can hold on to. So I've taken things that are up here in my brain and I made them into something solid. That is exciting, and that's not only exciting for me, but it's exciting for other people to think that they can do it too.

[00:34:20] Jen McFarland: Absolutely. And that's one of the things they talk about in the book recommendation is how you, based on your interests and what you're good at, how you make those connections between different ways of sharing that connects with people and then adds to that cache as an expert in your field. And certainly writing books is one of them.

I have sat down. I don't know how many times trying to figure out how to write a book and every time I'm like, ah, I don't know.

[00:34:46] Shelley Carney: That's true. I have sat at a computer and tried to write a book and it's hard. It's really hard. But the way we did these was so easy. I can tell the difference and I can teach people, you know what, I understand what you're going through. Let me help you.

[00:35:03] Jen McFarland: I should finish reading your book that would help. Cause I have it. I haven't,

[00:35:10] Shelley Carney: I need to know what you think.

[00:35:11] Jen McFarland: Leaving the goals for just a second and talking about knowing your target audience. I think that one of the greatest learnings that I ever had in terms of creating content and really understanding my target audience was the realization that there's so much out there that my target audience doesn't know that I know. I don't think I'm alone in that. I think that many business owners and probably people who are listening are running into the same thing where they say, I don't know what I'm gonna talk about.

They forget that they are a hundred steps ahead of their ideal customer in so many ways. It's you're talking about writing a book and I'm like, all right, that sounds really hard. And you're like, I have this way because I've done it. And that's a real example of it.

You know how it's playing out in real life and everybody out there, everybody listening right now, including me talking, I have, we all have things that we are really far ahead of other people and we really can help people. And it's just so natural to us that it's

[00:36:19] Shelley Carney: It's like the show flow, right? I put a show flow together for you and me. So we could have online communication before and, right before the show. So we'd have something to work with together that we were on the same page. We had that communication going and you're like, I've never heard of a show flow. Toby and I've started doing show flows for some of our other shows, not the one we always do together that's got slides. Because that's slide based, but for the other shows, and then we mentioned it and then some of our viewers are like, what's a show flow? I don't know anything about that. And I'm just like, it's just something that I've put together. It's not a big deal, but obviously it is.

[00:36:59] Jen McFarland: But it is and I think I told you too, and if not, I'm going to say it again. You need to create a course around show flow and what it is and why that's important. I follow somebody, his name is Justin Welsh, and he talks a lot about creating content specifically writing for LinkedIn and Twitter. I really enjoy his stuff, and he says, you're just leaving money on the table and he talks, he is for solopreneurs who want to attract an audience on LinkedIn. That's primarily what he does. And then his LinkedIn got shut down for a few days. So then he went to Twitter and did the same thing. So now he's got two places, but his example for leaving money on the table was there are things that you know that others don't. Look, I made this other course and look at how much money I made by just taking all the questions I get and answering them in one place. He's been very successful in creating his little corner of the internet around some of these different topics.

And then his coaching has exploded in ways that, because he's attracted an audience, he's gotten them on his email list. He has a very successful and interesting newsletter that comes out every Saturday and it's just like a wheel, it's like creating a flywheel and that's really the thing that content marketing can do for you.

You can create that flywheel. It just takes a while sometimes for it to get going where you're like, okay, I'm creating content here. I'm attracting people here. I have an offer, and that's really what it can do. And that's why it's, it can be really successful. But it all starts with knowing who it is that you're talking to and getting really specific with them.

[00:38:40] Shelley Carney: That's right. Target audience. And then find out where your target audience hangs out. What's their preferred platform? And for me again, that was YouTube number one, Facebook number two, LinkedIn, number three. And I think LinkedIn is moving up to number two, honestly, because I'm getting a lot more attention there than I am on Facebook.

I have people I've known for 10 years or more on my Facebook friends list. They're used to all this stuff that I do constantly there. Oh, she's just putting out some more content. But LinkedIn, they're like, oh, look at this. This is exciting.

[00:39:11] Jen McFarland: You've been growing your LinkedIn newsletter and really positioning yourself.

And I want to encourage everybody out there. If you are curious and want to get really in the weeds about social media and your demographic and if they are out there, where they are, I encourage you to do a search on Google for the Pew Research Center, social media use. It is for the United States.

So if you are not targeting people in America, it won't be as useful to you. But if you are, it goes into the details around all different kinds of metrics, like rural versus urban demographics, around how much money people make, gender, different areas, and you can really drill into. So it requires you to know more about your target audience. But if you do know more about your target audience, it helps you get into that space of saying, okay, this might be most effective. I also think it's really effective to ask people where they are most active. So if you have customers find out where they are and where they consume content. Or you could say, are you following me anywhere on social media and where is that? That can really help you drill into and make sure you're on the right platforms.

[00:40:23] Shelley Carney: Yeah, absolutely. Then find out what kind of media they like. Do they prefer to read or listen or watch a video, or is there a combination that they want? Do they want something showing up in their inbox once a week? Get them on your email list for that. How do they consume content and what way do they do the most? Are they doing it on their phone? Are they doing it on their laptop, their tablet or their desktop computer? And that can make a difference as well.

[00:40:49] Jen McFarland: Absolutely. And I think that for me, it is, that's one of the greatest things about the model that you use is you're hitting all the high points, right?

So people who like to read, they can get to a blog post, people who like to watch videos, it's on YouTube and people who like to listen, there's a podcast. So you certainly don't have to go into that level of complexity. But if you do find that people all over the place in terms of what they like there is a very easy method that Shelley teaches around doing that kind of omni-channel approach of being everywhere.

I think the most important thing is to get started. Just start doing something.

[00:41:27] Shelley Carney: Because you can't get better until you start.

[00:41:30] Jen McFarland: Yeah. We're going to talk about that in the tweaks of the week. It takes a lot longer than you think to get good at it. Yeah.

[00:41:38] Shelley Carney: So, how can they get good at it? Should they visit the Women Conquer Biz website?

[00:41:44] Jen McFarland: Oh, I would certainly say, yeah. So go check it out. If you haven't gone to the new website, women conquer, there's a lot of great resources there and I've started a weekly newsletter. That is one hot tip every week around marketing. It's a quick read, pretty easy. So definitely go there and subscribe to get more information and to get reminders about the show.

It helps you catch up on episodes if you've missed something and it has all of the links. Yeah. And where else could they go, Shelley?

[00:42:16] Shelley Carney: They can take a look at this awesome book that I have available on Amazon called Livecast Life. And you can learn to set up your home studio simply, quickly and on a budget. And then you can use that studio to put out content every week and you can create a live stream video, a podcast, and a blog every week, very quickly and easily. And you can get this book at

[00:42:43] Jen McFarland: That's awesome. Yeah, I still need to finish reading it as I said before, but what I have read has been really great.

[00:42:49] Shelley Carney: Yeah. Good. Yeah. That's helping. That's great. Now we're going to move into our tweaks of the week.

[00:42:59] Jen McFarland: Yay.

[00:43:01] Shelley Carney: So LinkedIn, as we talked about, added a profile link for creators. What you do is you just you go into, I believe it's the editing of your profile. And then you get down to the bottom of that. They pop up another box that you're doing your edits in the box and at the very bottom it asks you, if you have a website link that you want to add, and then when you enter it in there and it just pops it into your profile right there under your title. So people can click on it or touch it if they're on their phones.

So that's kinda cool.

[00:43:36] Jen McFarland: I think that's really neat. I don't know why I couldn't get it to work. I think it's still being rolled out. So maybe I just am not in this batch. But it's really important to get that call to action up there. I think it's really great that they added that.

[00:43:48] Shelley Carney: Yeah. Now I, myself, I also have my links typed out on my background and my banner.

So people can, that's the first thing they can see is my two websites that they could go to. But now they also have the one that you can just click on or touch and it opens the site as long as yeah.

[00:44:06] Jen McFarland: Yeah, no, that's great. If you post a lot of content, it doesn't hurt to remind people too, that they can hit the bell in your profile.

And then it means that you get a notification whenever somebody posts something new. And that might be a good thing, too, if you really want, you can encourage people to do that. And that might be a really good way to get more followers, to get more engagement. If you're reminding people. Andy Foote and Justin Welsh and some other people that I'm following on LinkedIn, really talk about that. It helps you stay up in the notifications and top of mind.

My tweaks of the week, so funny. We were starting to talk about content marketing and I'm actually in two different creator programs. As I've talked a little bit about, I migrated my website to a platform called Ghost. Ghost is entirely created for content creators and they have a four week program. I'm really excited to be in this program and kind of learning not only how to maximize the platform, but also just about content creation from somebody who's much different than maybe a lot of the noise and chatter out there.

And I have a couple of links to share about that. One of which is about how to build your blog with intentionality and how long it takes. Because like I said, a lot of people write a couple blog posts and then think I'm not getting anything out of this, so I'm not going to keep doing it.

And in that article, which I was wow. It was very much consider your first hundred blog posts to be practice. And I was like, oh my gosh. Very much, but I was thinking but we'll, I'll put links to that. The other thing that is another link that I think is very helpful is a publisher's guide to content organization. And that's another way of organizing your content. And we'll put links to both in the show notes because they're very fascinating, interesting reads as you begin to think about creating content for your business. And those are my tweaks of the week. How do you like that? I made up for last week when I didn't have any tweaks or breaking news.

[00:46:05] Shelley Carney: That's okay. Some weeks are very active and some weeks are just, I showed up.

[00:46:10] Jen McFarland: That's right. That's great.

[00:46:13] Shelley Carney: That's what you do.

[00:46:15] Jen McFarland: So what do you have for inspiration?

[00:46:19] Shelley Carney: For inspiration, I just wanted to let everybody know out there that being a content creator or an entrepreneur, solopreneur, small business owner, it can be a very lonely. You could feel like you're not making a dent in anything. But, you are an amazing person and we support you.

We want you to know that we care about you and what your message is. So we're here to listen and please do reach out to us. Jen and I talked on this week and we have been thinking about putting together a membership group where we would offer a library of training for content entrepreneurs and small business owners and also additional group coaching type membership calls.

So if that is something that you're interested in, please let us know, you can email us or put a comment on the video and reach out to us and let us know that's something that you would like to be a part of. And we would like to maybe get that going. What do you think?

[00:47:24] Jen McFarland: Sounds good. Let's do it.

[00:47:26] Shelley Carney: Yeah.

[00:47:27] Jen McFarland: So we hope to hear from you. And thank you so much for being here and watching and listening, and everybody just have a really great week.

[00:47:38] Shelley Carney: Thank you for joining the Women Conquer Business podcast, hosted by Shelley Carney and Jen McFarland. Please subscribe and leave a comment or question regarding your most challenging content creation or business problem. Then share this podcast with family and friends so they can find the support they need to expand their brand and share their message with the world.

Check the show notes for links to valuable resources and come back again next week.

Tweaks of the Week

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