Do you struggle with knowing your brand message or how to consistently share that message to land more clients?
If you’ve ever felt like you have no idea what to say on your social media platforms, blogs or email campaigns or how to turn that content into ideal paying clients, you won’t want to miss Episode 29 of The Lean Out Your Business Podcast where I am joined by Melanie Herschorn, a content marketing strategist and coach and the Founder of VIP Digital Content, whose goal is to support women-owned businesses land more clients by conquering their content marketing challenges.
In today’s episode, you'll learn:
- How to craft an effective brand message
- Who your ideal client is (and who it is not)
- Whether or not you should repurpose content on multiple social platforms
- How can you get your ideal clients from your social platforms to your email list
- How to leverage social media to get more clients and power partners
According to Melanie the two most important parts of marketing are defining your brand message and then sharing it consistently.
Defining Your Ideal Client
If you’re wondering how to define your brand message, a great place to start is by defining your ideal client. Once you know who you are speaking to, you want to make sure that you are sharing information they want to know and speaking to them in the way that they best understand, so that what you’re saying resonates with them. It’s also important to remember that you are not your ideal client so you need to ask questions, communicate and listen to what your ideal clients are saying; your content should be a conversation not a monologue.
Why Content Creation is Important
With so many businesses being online, social content is more important now than ever before to help build that know, like and trust factor with your ideal client. If you sell clothing, it wasn’t that long ago when the only way to sell that clothing was in person. Someone could try on the clothing, talk to the owner of the store and make an informed and emotional decision based on their experience. Social media has taken the place of that in-person experience and it’s your opportunity to connect, to position yourself as a thought leader and to support your ideal client.
Which Platform Should You Choose?
I know creating content in and of itself can feel overwhelming and almost every day it feels like someone is telling you something else you need to do (Reels, Stories, email campaigns) to get more engagement or a higher reach but the good news is that you don’t NEED to do anything that doesn’t connect with your ideal client and help you gain more business.
Rather than trying to keep up with all the trends, pick the one social platform where your ideal clients spend the majority of their time (and if picking one is too hard, than absolutely no more than three) to focus your time and efforts into. This platform is the one you should keep up with the trends on and dig deep into the nuances of. The good news? If your ideal client hangs out on LinkedIn you don’t need to worry about Reels, just wait and keep up with the latest feature on LinkedIn.
Regardless of which platforms you ultimately choose to dedicate your efforts to, don’t be afraid to repurpose content, in fact according to Melanie, it’s a really good thing to post the same content on all your platforms. Why? Because we forget that just because we posted that doesn’t meant that our ideal client saw it. We are beholden to algorithms that limit who sees our content. If we repurpose the content across platforms we are increasing our chances that our idea clients can see the content we created specifically for them.
A Few Things to Remember
As you dig into your content creation there are a few important things to remember:
- You need a plan. Melanie helps her clients create content pillars and weekly / monthly / quarterly content plans.
- You do not need to reinvent the wheel every time you post, you just need to repurpose the wheel
- You do not own your social media audience; at any time, these free platforms can be taken from us which is why it’s really important to grow our email lists.
- You are the expert of your business. You already have everything you need inside of you to create amazing content for your ideal clients
Want to dive deeper? Listen to Episode 29 of The Lean Our Your Business Podcast.
References Mentioned in Episode #29:
- Connect with Melanie and learn more about her services here: https://vipdigitalcontent.com/
- Connect with Melanie on her Facebook Group, Instagram and LinkedIn
Welcome to the Lean Out Your Business podcast a show dedicated to helping entrepreneurs accelerate business growth and simplify success. I'm your host, Crista Grasso, and I've been working with businesses for more than two decades to help them lean out and optimize what's working while eliminating anything that's not adding value. So if you are ready to get more time back in your day, more profit in your business, and to do business differently growing and scaling on your terms. Let's dive into today's episode.
Hello, hello everyone and welcome to another episode of the Lean Out Your Business podcast. I am so excited to dive in and talk about how we can leverage content marketing to land more clients. With me today is Melanie Herschorn, and she is a content marketing strategist and coach whose goal is to support women business owners to land more clients by conquering their content management challenges. I don't know about you, but I think we all could benefit from this. She is the founder of VIP Digital Content where she provides the strategies necessary for her clients to attract their ideal client, nurture leads and position themselves as experts in their field.
Melanie, I'm so excited that you are here today. Welcome.
Thank you, Crista. I'm so happy to be here too.
Before we dive in, because I have so many questions for you today, tell us just a little bit about how you got into what you do. And what do you love about what you do?
Okay, well, it was definitely not a straight shot to get here. I was kind of zipping and zagging around the country and zipping and zagging with different businesses. I started out thinking I was going to do PR. And then I decided after a certain redheaded comedian told me off on my birthday twice that PR probably wasn't for me. So, I went back to school, and I got a Masters in journalism. And you're going to see the pattern that develops as I tell you this story. So, then I am working as a journalist in Pennsylvania, and it was awesome. And I loved it. And I literally gave my life to it. I even planned a pregnancy in a non-election year, so that I would not let down my news team. Anyway, as they say, woman plans, God laughs and I was laid off while I was pregnant. So, then it was like, well, now what? I always wanted to be an entrepreneur, I was always entrepreneurial and then I finally had the opening to do it. So, I decided to design and manufacture breastfeeding clothing. I learned everything I could about being a business owner and a manufacturer and a designer. And I sold my clothes on Nordstrom for several years. But eventually the writing was on the wall. And I said, you know what, I don't want to have to count inventory anymore. I don't want to have to basically design things and keep up with the trends. I miss enjoying fashion. And there were a bunch of other things that happened too. And I decided, you know, what can I do next, that's going to sort of marry all the things that I know and I love and that's marketing, specifically helping women entrepreneurs. So that is what I do now. I am all content all the time, helping women business owners with their content strategy, so that they can always sparkle and shine online in a noisy sea of people who are all just there.
Yes, and I love that so much about your story. I resonate with so much of it because I do have product-based businesses myself, I am a designer, I do track inventory. So, I hear all of those things and I have to say I love my product-based businesses, but boy, my coaching and consulting side of things are just so much simpler, right?
There’s no counting, it's great. The inventory is in your brain, and you can take it wherever you want to go.
Yeah, inventory day is not my favorite day of the quarter. So, one of the things that I've heard you say is that the two most important elements of marketing your brand or your message is consistency with that message. So, the first thing I want to dive in to with you is your brand message. So how do you actually start with and craft that effective brand message so you have that foundation for your content marketing?
What a great question. So of course, it's going to be customized for each person. But in general, broad strokes, the best way to figure out what that message is, is to figure out who your ideal client is and then to speak to them in a way that they understand and that what you're saying really resonates with them. You know, for example, if you are a fitness coach and you're talking about losing weight, but your ideal client doesn't care about weight, they want to build muscle, then everything you're going to say is going to kind of fall on deaf ears. So, it's really about doing that market research, figuring out what your people want to know. And then speaking to them in that way.
So good. And how often do people put things in their own words and communicate what they want to communicate instead of communicating things that their customer needs to hear?
Exactly. And you know, we always say, “well, I am my ideal client,” but you're not. Maybe you were three years ago, five years ago, but now you're not your ideal client. And so, you really have to listen and communicate. And that's part of what marketing is, right? It's about communicating, communicating with your people, listening, and then talking to them. So, it's a conversation, it's not a monologue, or a soliloquy.
I love that. And I feel like that is just good advice for everything that we do, it is a conversation. I love that so much. So, once you have your brand message, right, you obviously want to get that in front of your ideal target market. So how then do you start to leverage content creation to get that visibility for your brand, and ultimately, land clients?
Alright, so you have physical products, but I'm guessing you sell them online?
I sure do.
Right. So, whether you have a service-based business or a product-based business right now, and going forward for I would say ever until something else other than the internet is invented, things are going to be online. So, you don't have a brick-and-mortar store that somebody can walk into, you know, pick up your stuff, look at it, ask questions, you know, try it on, go into the change room, take a picture, call their friends, you get the idea. Instead, you have your content, that is how they get to know you, that's the first touchpoint. And the 10th touchpoint is your content. And that's where that consistency part comes in. So, you put out that content, you give them value, you create that know like and trust factor, you build up your relationship with them, you position yourself as a thought leader in your industry. And then the clients come because you're doing it consistently. There are a lot of times where people say, “I go live, you know, about once every, I don't know, 3 to 5 weeks,” Do you think it's going to be crickets or is it going to be every time you go live, you know, once a quarter, once a year, people are going to be like, “oh, she's back?” No, no, no, they're not waiting. But once you establish that consistency, they can rely on you. And that's part of that trust and credibility.
Yeah, absolutely. And something that I hear so often from my clients, and I'm assuming you probably hear a lot too is people are like, yeah, yeah, I get it. But I don't know what to say, I don't know what to create for content. So, I want to dive into some of the other things that you hear from people, but how do you help somebody understand what type of content they should be creating, and really just simplify the whole process?
Okay, this is exactly what I do. For four months straight, I will work with a client and we start with broad strokes figuring out what their content pillars are, and their content topics. And then coming up with a weekly content plan, quarterly content plan, an email marketing plan, any kind of launch stuff. So, it's all a question of planning. And then the question comes up “well, what do I write?” Well, that comes with practice. And a lot of times people for whom writing or posting on social media is not their zone of genius, because they're actually doing something else to make their money, it's a tough, sometimes scary thing. So, the best place to start, is to ask, “what is your typical client asking you all the time?” What are people constantly asking you? For me, it's this question. But you know, let's say you're a real estate agent. And people are always asking, “how can I move into my dream home when I'm currently in a house half the size?” Or perhaps you're a life coach and people are always saying how can I have better work life balance? So that's where you start taking notes. Ideas are all around you. And all you have to do is tune into them, take notes and say okay, well, people want to know how they can have a great work life balance, well, here's three tips and then post those and then post them everywhere else because repurposing is also going to save you time and money.
Yeah, so let's dive into repurposing because I am all about optimizing everything that you do, and that is just the ultimate form of optimization. So how do you recommend people approach repurposing their content.
I love this question. All right, well, it depends where you like to write your stuff. Now, I tend to like to write my stuff in all different places. But just to be streamlined, let's say you're going to start with your weekly email marketing. So, let's say you send out an email once a week, well, you could take that email, you can turn it into a blog post, you can then take that blog post, break it up into five different smaller bite sized pieces, and use those as five different day’s worth of social media captions. So, let's say you posted it on Instagram, but you also are on LinkedIn, post the same thing, you do not have to reinvent the wheel, you are repurposing the wheel. And you can take what you wrote on Instagram emojis in all and post it on LinkedIn. LinkedIn does not have to be as formal as people think it is.
That is so true. And I think that holds a lot of people back from using LinkedIn. But even more broadly than that, I think people naturally think, well, I created this content for this platform, therefore, I need to create new and different content for this other platform. And I'm guessing you're going to tell us that's not true.
Not only am I going to say that, but a lot of people say, “well, what if somebody saw it on Instagram? And I post the same thing on LinkedIn? Is that going to be bad?” And I say, No, that's good. Because that means they're getting that next touchpoint. Remember, just because we said it doesn't mean everybody saw it. You’re beholden to algorithms that prevent most of your followers from seeing what you post. So repetition is actually a good thing. Because people are going to hear what you said. And then maybe they'll even hear it again and again. And then when they need what it is that you sell, they're going to remember you and call you.
Yeah, so true. And one of the things that you mentioned was email marketing. So, let's dive into email marketing and how that fits in. What do you recommend when it comes to email marketing?
Okay, so email is super broad, but I will say that you do not own your social media followers. It's a sad fact. But it's true. And if somebody on high at Facebook decided to shut down your Facebook group tomorrow, how would you reach all the people in it? That is why having email addresses is crucial, because then you know, you can always reach your people. So that said, how often should you be talking to them? I say, at least once a week, for some people, that is just a very difficult thing. It brings up all these feelings, and that's okay. So, start with once a month. And no matter what you do, whether it's a sales email, or a hand raiser email, or regular old newsletter, provide value, and end with a call to action. Always be leading people somewhere, whether it's join my Facebook group or join my program,
Do you have any tips for getting people off of social media or some of those other platforms and onto your mailing list?
I think they can go hand in hand. It does depend on where you live. So, if you live in Europe, we have that whole GDPR situation. And I cannot really speak to that. But I can speak to us in the North Americas where we don't have to worry about that. So, for example, if somebody joins your Facebook group, you can add those questions at the beginning. And one of those questions can be, hey, I have a freebie, what's your email address, I'll send it to you. So, then they've given you permission to go ahead and add them to the list. And then taking people off a platform, it's almost more difficult to take people from one platform to another than it is to take them from one platform to your email because people have their you know, “I'm an Instagram person. And that's it. You are never gonna find me on Facebook” kind of thing. If you offer a freebie on whatever platform you hang out, that is how you're going to get email addresses. That is how you grow your email list. In a nutshell, offer freebies, have a landing page and put that link everywhere you are.
Love it. super simple, super effective. So let's dive in and talk a little bit more about social media. Right? There's the good, the bad, you know, most people have a love-hate relationship with social media. But I think there's also a lot of things that are unnecessary, right. And there's a lot of opportunity with social media to lean out and to really simplify our approach. So how do you recommend that people actually leverage social media and what do they not need to do?
Okay, the first thing you do not need to do is be on every platform that exists because that's the biggest waste of your time and time is money. And unless you want to be awake 24-7, trying to engage with people, it's just not going to be worth it to you. So, I would say find your top one (maximum three platforms) and really get to know those platforms, and really learn the nuances. And then no matter what platform you choose, engage, engage with other users. That is how you grow your community and your network and to leverage that to grow your business, I mean, that's how you meet people. So, you don't necessarily have to go on to Instagram, say, I'm finding my next client on Instagram, it could be, I'm going to find a really cool power partner, somebody that I can refer and they can refer to me. So that's how you have to view it as 24-7 networking, it's not shooting fish in a barrel, and find your next client. It's more of a networking party that is around the clock.
Yep. I love that. That makes a lot of sense. A lot of my clients, will come to me they're like, well, do I do Instagram? Do I do Facebook? I thought I was supposed to do a live on Facebook. But now everybody's doing Reels, and how do I know what to do? And how does this fit into what I'm doing for my content? And so do you have any tips for people that are feeling the overwhelm? You just hear everyday you need to be doing this, you need to be doing this, you need to be doing this. So how do you choose what makes the most sense for your brand and your brand messaging?
Oh, what a great question, Crista. Okay, so you don't need to be doing anything except finding the way that works for you to grow your business in a Lean Out Method sort of way. You don't need to overwhelm yourself. So how can you choose the right platform, pick one, as long as your
people are there. So that's, that's the first thing and then whatever that platform is, try not to have FOMO, about the other platforms. So, if you know that your ideal clients and your ideal referral partners are on Instagram, then that's fantastic. And yes, on Instagram, you should do some Reels, because that's boosting people to the top at this time. It might not be in five years from now, but it is right now. But if you are absolutely 100% in love with being on LinkedIn, and you know that your people, all your people are on LinkedIn, then don't worry about Instagram Reels, that's not going to serve you at all, anytime LinkedIn comes out with a new feature utilize that. So, there is that element of FOMO. And you know, everybody spending a year inside online, that definitely changed how we feel and we operate, because we think well, we have to do all the things online, because that's how we get seen. But this all goes back to consistency. If you're going to pick one platform, and be consistent on that platform, that's going to serve you a whole lot better than if you try to spread yourself super thin and do like spotty jobs, on several platforms.
Yes, such great advice. And I agree 100% less is definitely more because you can go all in and you can really do it well and show up well in front of your clients. So, I love all of those tips, which takes me to one of the questions that I ask everybody and I'm really curious to hear what you have to say, but how in your business do you work smarter, not harder and keep things lean?
If you had asked me this question, six months ago, I would have looked at you cross-eyed and said, I can't tell you. But as you know, having a coach, even if you are a coach, every coach needs a coach. So, I have been fortunate enough to work with a coach that has helped me figure out what I'm doing. And I'm actually working fewer hours and enjoying my life more. So, I am planning my content, I am repurposing my content, I have a VA that takes what I've planned and repurposes it and puts it on all the platforms for me. So, I'm not sitting there typing into Facebook Creator Studio and delegating a little bit. And it's also I would say, a mindset. It's just like, we talked about how you don't need to be all the things to all the people on social media, I was on six platforms, I'm now on three, and I might even go to two, stay tuned for that.
Can't wait to see which two you pick if you make the change. Everything you said though, so important. And I believe everybody should have a coach of some kind, I don't care if you are a coach, I don't care how many years you've been in business. And if you're seasoned, I've been coaching other businesses for 21 years, I still have a coach and I will always have a coach because I think that you need that other person that can see the simplicity and the alignment in your business, that sometimes you don't see yourself because you're so in the weeds of your business, and it's so personal to you. So, I love that. And I mean, everything you said just makes so much sense. So, tell people more about where they can find you. And what do you have coming up, you know anything big coming up in your business?
Well, I feel like every day is a big exciting day in my business because I am never doing the same thing every day. It's different every single day depending on who I'm working with, who the client is. It's like being a general assignment reporter like I did 10 years ago, I am just helping people, whether they're in health and wellness or it's an a
is a life coach, a business coach. So, every day is different for me. And it's really fun. But so, what I will always have coming up is spots open in my coaching program, which I do, which is one to one content marketing strategy. But I would love to give your listeners an opportunity to take a free quiz, which is super fun. It's called the winning content quiz. And it kind of helps you figure out what areas you're doing great with your content, what areas you might need some help, and it's just at my content quiz.
I love that. And we'll put that in the show notes. So, everyone, make sure that you go through and take that quiz. I'm actually going to do the quiz as soon as we're done talking, because I want to see how I measure up. That's great. And where else can people find you? What's the best way to get in touch with you?
Alright, well, I would say find me on Instagram @vipdigitialcontent, or I'm on LinkedIn. And it's Melanie Herschorn I'm pretty sure I'm the only one in the w
orld. Funny story. I did meet somebody on Instagram who says her maiden name was Herschorn, but her name is now Melanie, something else. So, I still declare I am the only Melanie Herschorn.
That's excellent. Alright, we'll make sure that everybody can find you and all of the links in the show notes. So, guys, make sure you look right below this recording for that. And my final question for you is are there any other tips, anything else that people should be keeping in mind when they're thinking about and developing their plans for their content? marketing?
Yeah. Okay. So, I can give you all the strategy in the world. But if you don't have the right mindset, you're just going to be sitting there going, but I don't know what to do. But I don't know what to do. You know what to do, you, this beautiful human who's listening to us right now, you are the expert. In your business, you come with a unique skill set, a unique background, unique experience. And that is what makes you uniquely qualified to provide this content. So, dig deep, and say, okay, what I say is not going to be judged, because when you come at it from a providing value perspective, you are doing a great service for the world, because we want to hear what you have to say.
Excellent way to wrap up this amazing interview. Melanie, thank you so much for all of the wisdom and tips that you shared today.
Thanks so much, everyone. Hope you got a ton of value out of today's episode. We will see you again next week.
Thank you for joining me for another episode of the Lean Out Your Business Podcast. I hope you got a lot of value and actionable insights from today's show. And we'd love if you take a moment to leave us a review. If you have any questions on today's episode or on how to lean out your business join us over in our private Facebook community where every week we do live training and Q&A. I'd love to have you be a part of the conversation. Head to leanoutmethod.com/group to join us. And before you go, be sure to subscribe to the show so you're the first to know when we release a new episode. We'll see you next week.
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by Crista Grasso
Known as the "Business Optimizer", Crista has the ability to quickly cut through the noise and focus on optimizing the core things that will make the biggest impact RIGHT NOW to grow and scale your business. As a lean business consultant, she specializes in helping businesses gain clarity and focus through strategy, planning, and lean practices. She is the creator of the Lean Out Method and the 90-Day Lean Out Planner, and is also the founder of the global accessories brand Criscara Jewelry.