Man. I am SUPER excited to be back for a solo show.
It’s been a long couple of months and I want to give you a little update before we jump into creating content (and why you MUST be creating content). Since I haven’t done a solo show in a while this might be a little longer update than normal, but it hopefully it will be worth it. I will give you a little warning beforehand that this is probably going to be pretty heavy on the mindset and how it can set you up for achieving what it is you really want (yep, we might get a little woowoo).
First, a little update on the status of The WordPress Chick and the move to my personal brand.
To start with, this is still happening. My guess is that it will be the end of March or early April. The content will continue as it is and I’ll probably get back into some tutorials, but it will be relative to what I’m working on and the tools I’m using. As an example, I made the move to ConvertKit last year, have talked a little bit about this but have some more strategy work to do on the platform so the goal is to document how I’m using that (ex: creating segments out of the tags I have that I use consistently). The delay in moving to the personal brand wasn’t intentional, but I realized that it happened because I needed to shift how I felt about the move. From the moment I made the decision, it felt right, but I realized that it was more about moving away from what I had been doing as opposed to moving towards what I am doing (sounds like semantics, but the impact on my mind with that small shift has been huge).
Another bonus in waiting to make the move is that I ended up having my amazingly talented friend, Davinder Kingh Sainth, design the site. Talk about liberating. Davinder and I talked, I explained the direction I was taking things in and off he went. OMG! My mind was blown. I am absolutely in LOVE with the site, the style, every single thing he’s done with it. I’m working on the copy for some of the pages but am SO ready to start writing and podcasting from the new site (and not just because it looks so amazing). It’s just time. I will also tell you that Davinder did the new LeadSurveys website (LeadSurveys.io) and it is also amazing. Now that I’ve made this change in my business I can tell you that I will probably never build another site for myself again. This all comes back to that commitment I made to myself at the beginning of the year to “double down on my strengths.” My strengths lie in content creation, connecting, and marketing.
What’s happening with LeadSurveys? You’ve been talking about this for a year.
Can I just say when I think about the journey that has brought us to this point all I can do is cue Kelly Clarkson in my head “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger…”
The app is officially done and it’s on our shiny new Pagely servers.
LeadSurveys will be getting a sort of a soft launch next week (which is the week of March 5th depending on when you’re listening to this) and some visibility as the sponsor of the Content Creators Summit (nothing like a little extra visibility, right?). After the summit is said and done (and I’ve had a minute to catch my breath), we’ll be going full force into getting LeadSurveys out everywhere.
Gordan is a little fried too (my partner on LeadSurveys), but we both know this is just the beginning. We have a podcast ready to go for LeadSurveys, content in the queue and people ready to jump in. To say I’m a little nervous would be an understatement. Not because I don’t believe in the product and what we’re doing, but because I’ve never done anything like this before (marketing a SaaS product of my own). Because we made a conscious decision to bootstrap this entire thing ourselves, there are a lot of pieces of the puzzle that had to come together and will be added as the company grows. The plan with this is simply to be massively transparent with our customers, share everything along the way, and develop the best product possible for our customers. I know once we start bringing people on board we’ll start getting feedback and suggestions (some useful, some probably not as useful). Communication and transparency will be key. We’re in this for the long haul, so here we go! (I have my own personal goals with this and most of them tie directly into being able to bring on help as soon as possible).
What I’ve learned over the last year with this:
- Most things take longer than you think (this is why ignorance is bliss)
- Life happens and when things are out of your control you simply need to let go, trust, and keep moving forward
- The right people will ALWAYS show up at the right time when your intentions are in alignment
- You HAVE to launch. I have a completely different appreciation for the term “Minimum Viable Product”
When I look back on all of the different things I’ve done over the past 10 years (March is officially my tenth year doing this), where I have had the most success is when I’ve simply pulled the trigger and done ‘the thing’, whatever that thing was.
The longer I spent planning, mapping, and strategizing, the less successful the thing was.The longer I spent planning, mapping, and strategizing, the less successful the thing was. Click To Tweet
Most often the planning, mapping, and strategizing were distractions. It’s hard to actually do the work or create the product when all you’re doing is planning (how many people do you know who do this?). I did this for years. There are multiple reasons people do this… and for what it’s worth, it doesn’t really matter what the reason is. The ONLY way to get past your ‘reason’ is to start doing. Imperfect action beats no action every single time.
This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t plan or map things out. Of course, you should. Just don’t overthink it. There is NO way of knowing if what you’re planning is the right way until you deploy it. Until you get it out into the world, get some feedback and look at what worked. Period.
Which brings me to why you MUST create content… and how to do it.
It’s pretty much a given now that content marketing is simply marketing. Every piece of content you create, whether it’s a written post on your site, podcast recording, video for YouTube, or social media image… it’s ALL content and it’s ALL marketing.
I’ve talked a few times about some of the ‘best things I’ve done for my business” (which as I type this I think that needs to be an entire show), and the fascinating thing about the ‘best things’ is that they’ve been fundamentals (you guys haven’t heard me talk about that in a while, have you?) or things that I’ve done simply because I wanted to, and knew in my gut that I needed to pursue… even if I didn’t have a way to monetize them
A few of the things that have made this difference for me?
- Writing more content
- Emailing often (almost daily email)
- Connecting with REAL people
- Live streaming
Each of these things is content or supports content marketing. Having conversations with people and really connecting (doing more than clicking ‘like’ on a post) has given me more content than I will be able to produce in this lifetime. People will TELL you what they need help with. You simply have to ask.
Creating content is NOT optional.Creating content is NOT optional.Click To Tweet
Which is why I decided to pull the trigger after the first of the year and host the Content Creators Summit.
I’ll tell you about the summit in a minute, but let me give you a little backstory on this.
I signed up for Navid Moazzez’s ‘Virtual Summit Mastery’ course last fall (think it was early November?). I had watched him launch this course a few times and had been watching the summit space for about a year and a half. I had a conversation with Jan Koch who also took the course and said the summit he ran (which was a WordPress summit), was phenomenal. He highly recommended the course so I jumped in. It’s probably one of the better courses I’ve purchased. It’s very in-depth with lots of content.
On the flip side (and maybe this is being egotistical), I think I would have been fine with purchasing sort of a ‘black book’ of resources for running a summit. I already knew my topic, had enough relationships and connections to get speakers, had my target audience, etc. I also didn’t need to watch an entire tutorial on how to create Thrive landing pages. What I referenced most were the planning tools, and swipe files.
That being said, now that I’ve pulled this all together (the summit is live next week and free to attend the live sessions), there are a few things I’ll do differently next time (I must be crazy that I’m already planning the next time, but that’s how much I enjoy the content). I’ll be doing a full in-depth post on this massive undertaking when all is said and done, but it’s been a pretty amazing experience so far (even though I’m a wee bit tired!).
I knew I wanted to focus on three primary categories:
Under each of those, of course, we discuss written posts, long-form content, short-form content, posting to Medium, long content on social, podcasting, live streaming, YouTube, using content to build a brand, storytelling, finding your voice, messaging, building a Facebook community through content… and one of my favorites, building relationships with content.
Here are a few things some of the speakers covered:
– Repurpose a live stream without old, dated automation tools
– Grow a huge tribe on Facebook through content that wants to buy from you
– Take one podcast episode and turn it into an SEO machine that drives massive traffic
– Use your written content
– Create a signature talk that grows your brand (all starting with a podcast)
– Use guest posting to get on site like Huffington Post and life hacker
– What type of content works better on YouTube vs. Facebook
– How you can produce content quickly that gets results
– How to never run out of ideas for content (that provides real value to your audience)
– Why relationships are the key to better content
There is literally SO much content for this summit, I was blown away by every session.
A few things I was very adamant about when I decided I was going to do this were that I didn’t want there to be SO many speakers that it was overwhelming. I’ve seen summits that have 40 + speakers… somehow that feels like it’s diluting the entire thing. I don’t know if the strategy there is more of a numbers game (have so many speakers that they have to buy the All-Access Pass) or what…. but I knew I wanted to stick at around 24 speakers, with only 6 sessions for four days. I also knew that I needed to make the entire thing manageable for myself. The thought of having done 16 more interviews makes me want to crawl back in bed.
I also wanted the speaker sessions to be a conversational style (not presentations), but still give actual strategies that could be implemented.
Every speaker over-delivered on this. Once all the transcriptions are done I’ll be pulling out a couple things into different e-books: The tools and resources mentioned by all of the speakers and Content Trends for 2018 (this was the one question I asked every speaker).
I’m also toying with the idea of creating a book out of the transcripts… (did I just put that out there publicly???).
Regardless of what happens after the summit is completed, I’m so glad I jumped in and just DID this. I could have planned, waited, took months to record the sessions but I knew I just need to “DO IT!”
Links from this episode:
Davinder Singh Kainth (developed LeadSurveys & new KimDoyal Site designer)