In this episode, I’m starting by sharing an experience: a tough review that made me reflect on times I doubted myself. Sharing content online is challenging, and yes, negative feedback does sting, regardless of your audience size. But it’s essential to persist and continue delivering content.

From there, I dive right into the core topic and discuss three areas my team and I are refining to boost our marketing. While we are always growing & innovating we are also making sure to amplify the impact of our current tactics. With targeted improvements, we aim for high-impact results without stretching our resources (time + capital) thin.

As leaders in the marketing industry, we consistently set the pace for best practices for entrepreneurs trying to grow their businesses. This episode gives you simple, real-time insights that will help you get better results, create more efficient processes and reduce your overwhelm. 

Listen now to be inspired + motivated to increase your results + impact without adding more time to your schedule.

Key Takeaways:

  • Dealing with Criticism:
      • Understand that criticism is part of putting yourself and your content out there.
      • Everyone experiences moments of vulnerability and self-doubt when facing criticism.
      • Take time to reflect on negative feedback and determine if there is validity and room for growth.
  • Revisit and Improve Existing Marketing Strategies: 
      • Making small changes to existing strategies can lead to significant improvements.
      • Even a 5% adjustment to a marketing strategy can yield better outcomes.
      • Prioritize optimizing what you already have before seeking new initiatives.

  • Small Changes for Better Results: 
      • The marketing landscape is ever-evolving; what worked in the past may not work today.
      • Successful entrepreneurs are open to change and are not bound by past strategies.
      • Being agile and willing to pivot is essential for sustainability and growth.
  • Focus on Overlooked Areas of Marketing:
    • Pay attention to areas of marketing that are often overlooked or underutilized.
    • These overlooked areas can have a big impact on overall success.
    • Don’t be afraid to explore topics beyond your main focus, as they can drive engagement and create deeper connections with your audience.

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Emily Hirsh:

Hello, everybody! Welcome back to the podcast. I am so happy today because it is not going to be above 90°F in Austin, Texas. Can you even believe it? And we had rain this morning. I went to CrossFit still in shorts and a tank top because it’s still warm, but I was so excited to feel the difference in the air. Then it’s fall, and it’s like it’s coming. I see the light at the end of the tunnel, everybody. It’s funny; you appreciate things you don’t realize you had really well. You know, after it changes. So living in California, growing up in California, especially Northern California, it’s like you don’t really get better weather than, especially if you’re close to the coast. If you go inland to places like Sacramento, it can get really hot, but you don’t get better weather, and you don’t appreciate it growing up. I had no idea. I mean, you are in the best state there is for weather, I think. So you don’t appreciate it until it’s gone, and now, I appreciate it so much and appreciate rain and colder weather. And yeah, you just don’t appreciate it. So anyways, okay, before we dive into today’s content, I want to tell you guys a quick story because I feel called to tell this. The other day, we get emails when we get a new podcast review. I’m signed up for Chartable, which has our ranking on the podcast, and then if we get a new review, they include it. The other week, the email came through and showed me a review that was like 3 out of 5 stars, and we have, I think, I have like one hundred and ninety-nine 5-star reviews, so most are pretty much all 5-star reviews. This review criticized the beginning of the podcast. It was making fun of, basically, kind of mocking like, “Oh, Emily just talks and we hit time about breathwork, microdosing, and her travel,” and then it was like, you know, “the content’s amazing, and she’s made a huge difference in my marketing and got me results, etc.” But it criticized this part of the podcast where I say whatever I want to say, and it was really interesting because it bothered me, and I get, you know, when you put content out there, you are just susceptible to negative comments, whether it’s on your ads, whether it’s on your social, whatever, and for the most part, it doesn’t really bother me. I also don’t purposely go look at those things because I don’t want it to impact my energy, but usually, it doesn’t bother me. So I was like, why is this bothering me? Why am I thinking about this a day later? The reality that I realized was that because I think she’s right, like, I do waste time talking about this. I don’t know if you’d call it a waste of time, and she didn’t say that, but like, I did. There was truth to the review. Like, Emily talks about breathwork and these things at the beginning of the podcast. And so that’s when I kind of realized, “Oh, you know, we’re only really triggered most of the time by criticism that has truth to it but we don’t want to accept it.” And so then I went a layer deeper and I realized, “I think I do have some, um, what’s the word for it. I do have some self-doubt, self-consciousness around when I talk about these things at the beginning of the podcast because in the back of my mind, I am going, ‘Do they care? Do they care about these things?'” And so that’s why it bothered me. And then I went a layer deeper and I was like, “But do I actually care? Like, do I actually care about changing the beginning of the podcast and not having these things? And like, what do I want to do because it’s my platform?” And on the flip side, this is one person. How many more people do I think like this? So I wanted to share this story for two reasons. One, because I want you guys to understand that no matter what level you get at when you put content out there and when you put yourself out there as a creator, you are putting yourself and signing yourself up for criticism, and everybody struggles with that. Like, I know so many entrepreneurs who have massive followings, and they’re like, “Yeah, I mean, I would like for the negative, you know, 5% negative comments that I get to not bother me, but they bother me,” and the reality is like you have to, you know, you’re putting yourself in a very vulnerable place, and I think that vulnerable place sometimes stops people from creating content because they’re afraid that somebody will say it’s not good enough or, you know, criticize it. We don’t want to be criticized, and so that’s number one. I want you to understand like even I have moments of that. I’m not susceptible to that, and I often just push myself through to still show up even though I am nervous of being judged in certain ways. The second piece to it, I guess there’s three total things. The second piece to it is trying to look deeper at the things that do bother you the most and digging down like why do they bother you? Um, and is it because there’s truth to it and you want to change it, or is it because there’s truth to it and you have an insecurity around it. Um, and you, you know? Do you want to do anything about it? Sometimes you get negative feedback, and when you sit with it for a few days, you’re like, “Oh, this is actually really valid, and I should make a change because of it.” And then the last thing I want to say is if you like the beginning of these podcasts where 90% of the time I do talk about things not relevant to just marketing, like breathwork and like microdosing and like whatever I’m going through in my life, I want you to go give me a review on iTunes. And tell me what you think about it. If you don’t like it, I also want you to tell me that because if you guys really hate the beginning of the podcast, I’ll change it because I am creating this for you. I’m also creating it for me, and that was what I sat with was like I don’t want to just talk about marketing 100% of the time. The future of my brand, I don’t want to be in a box of just talking about marketing. I love marketing, 85% of my content is going to be marketing, but there are other things around leadership and personal development that make a bigger difference than my marketing strategies, and I’m very passionate about talking about those things. And so, therefore, I sat there, and I was like it’s my platform, and I can almost guarantee that there’s a lot of people who appreciate these things. So that’s my story. Now, we’re going to dive into today’s topic, so to that person, I wasted 6 minutes. I hope you fast-forwarded it. I want to talk about today, three unexpected areas in my own personal marketing that we’re focusing on because I thought it would be an opportunity for you guys to think and see if there’s an opportunity for you to focus on these things. And get some ideas from, and these are all areas of our marketing that we can improve that already exist versus creating new initiatives. I think there are so, so many options and people out there who are telling you to do new things, new funnel strategies, new platforms, new live launches, launch a new offer, and a lot of times we end up in this place where we’re chasing that so often and we’re not looking at what’s right in front of us to improve it when a lot of times, improving that would get us better results and move the needle faster because it’s already, you know, 85% there, and if you change 5% of it, you’re getting better results with the same amount of effort. So here are the three areas we’re focusing on in my marketing. Of course, we’re still doing live launches and running ads and following our entire process and doing everything that we do with clients, but these are um, other areas that we’ve implemented projects around. So the first one is email deliverability. I actually hired an expert in email deliverability and like so deep into it like how to, I don’t even know the terms like how to get our IP addresses switched so that we’re rated better on servers and like really deep into it. It went down into like my domain, and then it was communication with our CRM around the servers that they send our emails from and the rating of those like it was very, very deep, and it was things that I never would have been able to figure out on my own at all, which is grounds and justification why you should be hiring experts for the things that you can’t figure out, and so I have a pretty large email list. But as with what happens with all email lists over time, they can become, some of the email list, a percentage of it unengaged and not responsive and that impacts your score when you have a large percentage of your email list not actually opening your emails. The servers actually rate it poorly and then therefore you get put in the promotions tab or spam, and your email doesn’t get seen as much. And so we did this whole process. It’s probably been like three months of working on this where we cut down. Only sending our emails to like a very small percentage of people. It was like less than a quarter of our email list of our most engaged contacts, and we went through all these tests and we did that, and we slowly basically improved our score to improve our overall deliverability. This had a massive impact on two launches ago. We saw the huge jump in organic registrations. What I call organic because we separated out from paid ads and paid ads. We always get good registrations. We spend the money we get the leads. Like we kind of know what to expect from paid ads organic. We wanted to boost it, and I was like I have this huge list. We should be able to get more people signing up, and I think the problem is we’re landing in the promotions tab and spam, and so we improved this which instantly improved like our current and future results. And so the kind of lesson from this is one I do think especially with iOS 15 which came out last year and impacts email deliverability because it took away the stats of people opening your emails and inflated them. And so then it made it harder to clean a list because you used to be able to clean your list and say give me everybody who opened my emails versus didn’t in the last you know three months and I’m going to remove the people who haven’t opened a single email in three months but now that’s not accurate anymore because of iOS 15 and you might. End up removing people that you shouldn’t because the CRMs change the way they track an active contact from opens an email in our case, they changed it to clicks and email and so I don’t want to remove everybody from my list who doesn’t click on emails because they might open it right. So iOS 15 kind of messed with this which then made it harder to clean a list which then made it harder to keep our scores good so we did some deep level improvement on that, and so I’m saying that as an idea. Um it was very techy and I definitely recommend hiring someone who knows what they’re doing with that. Um, I’m happy to provide the recommendation of who I worked with, but um, this is also an example of where you can hire someone who knows how to do this and does this all day long and get such better results. Then you trying to figure it out yourself like no way could we have done this and figured it out ourselves so that’s the first place if that gives you any ideas at the least just really looking at overall your email open rates your click rates making sure your list is clean. The second place that we’re putting a lot of attention is a very heavy focus on our overall marketing efforts on connection and engagement with our audience and playing that long game. For me, metrics are very, very important, of course, and so you know there are social media metrics or content metrics like our podcast downloads would be one of them. But really focusing on the value that we put out and building relationships and probably dialing up the percentage of value that we put out over promotions even more to build those long-term relationships. So I wouldn’t say this is like an unexpected area but I thought it would be cool to explain to you guys that like we have literally had conversations as a team where I said you know I don’t ah part of my goal is not just growing my list and getting applications and getting sales. It’s to increase my impact, and so in order to do that. We have to dial up the quality and the quantity of the content we put out, and so you probably have seen a shift in our social media, especially over the last thirty days. We’ve been really, really intentional with putting out very valuable and thoughtful content versus um, ah, fewer promotions, basically, and really taking the time to follow our process where my copywriter who writes my social media interviews me and is taking things like real-time that are happening and lessons and different components and value that we can put out. That’s a priority, and I don’t actually care if it leads to more leads or more sales right away because it’s so much a long game for me. We’re also launching a Youtube channel next month. Um, this has been a long time in the works, and I was way overthinking it, which was stopping me from launching it. So as much as I talk about like just do it and be willing to fail and you can, you know, edit as you go and fix it as you go, I was way stuck in my head about Youtube, and I’ve been stuck in my head for like a year about it. And I finally was like no, we’re launching it. We’re launching it in October. It’s going to be maybe messy like we don’t know the exact um, you know list of all the topics. But we’re going to launch it. We’re going to get feedback and we’re going to improve as we go. So that’s the other piece is a really heavy focus on that connection and engagement from our audience and prioritizing that as the goal and not just okay number of leads number of sales. Those are obviously important we have goals for that every single month but I also just want to increase my impact especially over the next year. And then the final area that we have put intentional effort into and there’s a way we’ve done this specifically that I would say is important to remember is trying to increase the average order value of our customers. Um and or creating an even more improved value ladder. So I think and I’ve talked about this before on the podcast that there is a lot of opportunity in what you’re already doing in leads that you’re already bringing onto your list and customers that you already have and creating more revenue from that versus thinking that the only answer to increasing your business is more leads more sales and so we really looked at our what we call our a la carte menu so ways that we can help existing clients existing essential members with their business whether that’s writing emails whether that’s building a funnel. And then we also have our organic social media package, and the way we developed the different things that we were going to create is we asked for feedback, we sent out an email to clients and we basically said what else do you want help with and we’re thinking of creating an organic package like. What exactly do you want in that and we used that to try to fill gaps of where our clients and our essential members maybe needed more support and we’re still receiving that feedback. Um, but most people like it, especially if you have clients most people would rather work with fewer vendors and fewer businesses. And so you have this ability to support businesses with more things not just businesses support your customers with more things potentially and therefore increase your average order value or maybe it means adding you know, an additional upsell of an offer or additional downsell. And one caveat here that you have to obviously be careful with is you can’t let that mean that you’re going to try to solve every problem for everybody. There are also, of course, going to always be something that people need and they’ll tell you they need those things, and one of your jobs as the CEO is to say does this fit the vision. Does this fit the vision of the business? Is this a valuable use of our resources? Do we think we could do this well? Like is this the direction that we want to go? And if it’s not like you don’t say yes that doesn’t mean say yes to everything and if a client or a customer asks for something. You’re not like yeah sure I’ll go create it. Yeah sure I’ll do that. You have to be very intentional with it still but likely there is opportunity that you have right in front of you to create more revenue from your existing leads and your existing customers and this is something that we also help clients with like a lot of clients. Don’t see this opportunity. Intel we say hey you know what? if we have this downsell and everybody who wasn’t qualified for your offer. Let’s create ideal customers for that core offer by using x y z product or offer so you do have to balance it with focus I obviously have um, a marketing team and so whenever you hear. What I say you have to keep in mind. It’s not just me doing all this and so if you are the only person in your business doing everything you have to take my advice and understand I’m implementing it based on where I am in my business today and the support that I have and you have to you know pick and choose what you want to implement. But I thought it would be helpful to give you kind of these 3 areas that we’re focused on that are separate from our new initiatives our live launches. Our new funnels our content etc. So those are the 3 areas I hope to see a couple. Reviews from you guys if you like the beginning of the podcast or maybe I’ll change it I don’t know um I appreciate you guys so much. I love love being able to have such a conversational conversation on these podcasts. I just love it. I appreciate you guys and the platform that I’ve been able to build in the audience like you guys are my favorite people and I’m so grateful every single day for every one of you. I will talk to you next week.”