Share

Connections, Coffee & Confidence

The three things every entrepreneur needs to be successful

Grab your coffee and let's chat about creating relationships that boost your business success, convert your contacts into loving customers, and dive deeper into becoming the business rocking guru you are meant to be. Thi
Latest Episode9/20/2021

The How and Why of Your Customer's Journey

Season 1, Ep. 68
Customer retention isn't just about having warm fuzzies because our clients love us (they really love us), it's also about being a savvy business owner because it's much more efficient to retain our customers than to find new ones. But what about those of us who are one & done? Do we still care about loyalty? And how does what we do impact upon our customers, their feelings towards us? Today's topic is all about customer experience - what it means to you, how to track it and when to do it.Have you left a rating & review yet? Please take a moment and do so as it helps bring this podcast to other small business owners (and I'd be forever grateful!) If you're listening on Apple Podcasts (formerly iTunes) please rate and review there. If you're not an Apple supporter, you can go toPodchaser: https://www.podchaser.com/podcasts/connections-coffee-confidence-1788572Thank you so much for your support!**Hey, are you wondering how to use social media so it helps you reach your goals instead of kill time?Let me show you the exact steps I use to make sure my client’s social media is strategic and cohesive so that you can use the socials to support your business without wasting time and getting frustrated.Go tohttps://www.janicefogarty.com/create-your-social-media-content-strategyto learn more.My Products:Don't Waste Your Breathguide on creating your own strategic messaging, based onyourbusiness goals. Get this download and learn how to speak clearly and with purpose about your business. (https://janicefogarty.podia.com/dont-waste-your-breath-get-your-best-message-across)Thinking about taking advantage of all the podcasts as opportunities to get your message out? You need my one page download onHow to be an Amazing Podcast Guest checklist(https://www.janicefogarty.com/how-to-be-an-amazing-podcast-guest)Wondering how to get incredible PR to grow awareness of your business but can't afford a PR agency? You need10 Places to get Publicity, Even with Zero Budget(https://www.janicefogarty.com/discover-10-places-to-get-free-publicity-even-though-you-have-zero-budget)Let's Connect!✔Join me on Pinterest😀✔Let's connect onLinkedIn✔AndInstagram!✔Connections Coffee Confidence Community on Facebook, my groupTranscript:Hello and welcome to this week’s episode of Connections, Coffee and Confidence with me, Janice. This week I’m taking a bit of a departure from the softer side of communications and looking behind the scenes at the theory and strategy behind why we do what we do. Specifically, I’ve been thinking about our customer’s experience and how what we do as business owners impact upon our customer’s interactions with us. Like, obviously what we do has a knock on effect on our customers but have you ever sat down and thought about it? I have and today I’ll share what I think you need to put some attention into in order to reap some deserved rewards.INTROSo Customer Experience or CX. That’s a whole sector of an industry that I feel was traditionally more technical in that it was data driven, it was analytical and kind of a problem solving area for a team in typically larger companies. Companies that had high profits, sold high ticket items, who had money they could spend on employing teams of people to look at the way a customer or client interacted with their company. The CX team worked in tandem with the PR team, who ensured the company’s reputation was shining beautifully and the important people were profiled in all the high flying publications, and also the marketing team, who got the people with the wallets through the door.Ok. That’s a simplistic description but you get the idea of how these things traditionally worked. Maybe you knew this because you worked in this kind of company before. Once upon a time, there were teams of people who specialized in these areas.And don’t get me wrong, there are still teams and individuals who specialize in this, absolutely. Maybe you specialize in one of these areas and have turned freelance, creating your own business out of your specialty. And if that’s the case then you know better than anyone that nowadays, that trifecta of teams is now just us. You and me. The business owners. Because we’re the ones who design our business, get the clients, fluff our own feathers and sweep the floors, fetch the coffee.So what do we, as independent business owners, need to know and understand about our customer’s experience or their journey through our business? And what on earth would we do with that information, like, does it actually matter?That idea of whether knowledge matters or not is an interesting one to me. My first thought is of course it matters. All information about your business matters, don’t be so silly. But there are no absolutes (and yes, the irony is intentional).Why do we care about our client’s experience with us? Why does it matter? Well, we take that information and see if it tells us about where we are losing clients and their money. That’s important, right? We look at every time we interact with the client and see if it’s effective, if it’s efficient, if the client feels good or empowered or satisfied or however it is we want them to feel at that point. Then we ask ourselves, can we improve?And that’s the same as asking if it matters. What’s our goal? Because if our goal is to create a long-term relationship with our client or customer, then yes, the information about their experience with us matters.But what if you look at your business and you sell a one-off item. You are a one and done kind of service. Does customer satisfaction or even loyalty matter? Is it worth your time and effort reviewing the customer journey and evaluating each touch point, nevermind the time and effort to improve it? ANd I guess that’s your decision to make.If you are a one and done kind of service or product, or if you provide a necessity, you may place a lower value on customer loyalty and retention. If you have no competition, you may place a lower value on those things, too. My word of caution on that is to be mindful because at some point, someone will come along and do what you’re doing. If the deciding factor between using you because they need what you sell but they don’t enjoy working with you or going to someone who is reasonably the same in every way but they are better to deal with, you might find yourself losing market share as time goes by.And if you’re the one and done, presumably you still count on word of mouth to spread the news of what you do. People talk. And they are more apt to talk about a negative experience so don’t give them a reason!And, it’s just nice to be nice.Although the answer to does a customer’s experience or journey with your business matter might seem subjective, if you have any interest in reputation management or if you just care about the people who spend their hard earned money with you, I argue that yeah - it matters.But how do we look at this to evaluate it? If it matters, we need to be able to look at it objectively and concretely, right?Where I like to start is to take something you produce for your client or your service and work backwords. Like a brainstorm or a mindmap or flow chart kind of thing. Conversely you can start at the beginning of the journey where someone finds you and map out every touch point or interaction until they reach that same end product. Because that’s the point of the actual mapping - to mark every time you have the potential to impact your customer’s experience.For example, take my Create Your Social Media Content Strategy masterclass as the final product I want to map out. I plop that as the end product and lis tour all of the ways people can get to that end result. So if someone sees my pin on Pinterest, they can be brought to my website sales page for that masterclass. When they click to purchase, the go through the payment mechanism and then an automated message comes up saying thank you and what to do next. Then they log into the system to work through the masterclass and download the workbook and supporting documents I created and provided. Next is a 4 email sequence that follows to give more information and encouragement at what I deem to be critical points in working through the process. But the journey isn’t done there because that customer then gets placed in my general email list where I email them every week about the newest episode and some extra points of interest about the topic or a story behind the scenes. Each email in the sequence, the pin, the sales page, the automated message after purchase, it’s all part of the customer experience.But what if you sell a product like an essential oil blend or a bath bomb or a tshirt. The experience shouldn’t be a multi-stepped event because that then becomes friction, it becomes a deterrent to actually getting to the checkout. So I’d argue that in this scenario you’d need to be even more precise and more intentional with how this process flows and impacts your customer journey. Start with someone sees your ad on facebook. They click the button to buy or learn more and are brought to the product page of your website. They then click the buy button and are brought to your online payment system. The payment system completes and they are shown a thank you message and an email is automatically sent to their inbox. Then you package up the item and it gets mailed. Or your drop shipper kicks into gear.Then you take all of the other ways someone could get into that chain of events, where they enter the sequence, if there are extras that they get. And soon you’ll have a page full of points where you impact upon your customer, it’s your customer journey.When I do this work, I find that as I am mapping the sequence out, I’m discovering the gaps in service or the places where I could do a better job. I keep a second sheet of paper by my side so I can make note of it or you could just scribble it down right on the map. And maybe you’re a cool cat who uses actual planning software for that kind of thing and if so, hats off to you. My brain kind of freezes up when forced to look at logical sequences on a screen, I’m pen and paper. Sometimes markers. But anywho.When you see these gaps, when you look at what each email is about - the purpose it serves in the sequence, does everything flow logically and naturally? Is there a step in there that feels like a large jump or are there two steps where there really could just be one? Is each touch point or interaction effective?Because don’t forget your purpose, your reason for this exercise. What’s the end goal here? Yes to improve the customer journey but why? That answer shapes what you look at, how you value the information you get. If your goal is to increase sales, look and see if you’re losing people at one part of the process. Do you end up with a lot of abandoned carts? Why? Are you getting people to click on your facebook ad but they don’t buy, why? Do they open the email sequence after purchasing the product? If your goal is to increase referrals, are you missing an opportunity to make a referral-worthy impression? Are you adding your personality or personal touch to every step of the way to make it memorable and pleasant? Is there another opportunity to do so?Again, you need to judge whether this effort is worth it to you. It might take you days and days to go through and plug all of the holes or tighten up processes. And maybe all of the things you can do don’t actually need to be done. You need to still have a balance, to remember that done is better than perfect. I admit, when I opened my masterclass for my facebook group and email list, I did not have all of the emails written. In fact, it was open for sale to the public and actually had some sold to wonderful people who invested (thank you, if that was you, by the way!) and I still did not have all of the emails written. They were planned and outlined but not written edited and in the system. I had to do that and work around the automatic send dates and all sorts of malarkey. Because I was trying to get my kids through an application process for their school, because I had to buy a house and school supplies, sort out a mortgage, buy insurance, because I had a birthday and my parents came to visit as a surprise, because I had done enough to get started and had a plan to finish it up. Because done is better than perfect. Those emails are in now, being delivered and could I have written fifteen emails instead of four? Yes. Yes I could. I could write these purchasers a novel because I love the topic of creating and using strategic messaging to create social media that works for your business. Does anyone need that as part of their masterclass? No. It’s not worth that kind of overwhelm for anyone. So you might see gaps but they might be fine just the way they are.And if you’re looking at your map and you're thinking about the data and wondering what real people think about the whole thing, wondering how a paying person feels about the journey or experience with your company, well, you can always ask them. Pick out a few of those touchpoints that you’re wondering about and contact your old customers or clients. Or, set up a mechanism to ask your current clients as they go through the process. Find out what they think. It may be that something you feel is clunky or awkward doesn’t raise any issues with them. Or something you think is just bloody brilliant is just bloody weird.One last idea for you is to look at other processes similar to yours. Or maybe unlike yours. I don’t know how creative a thinker you are! If you look at the different ways and touchpoints that made an impression on you as a customer, try to emulate those. I subscribe to some smashing emails lists - Tarzan Kay is inspirational - and I definitely am influenced by the way she and others whose products or services I’ve purchased have handled me as a customer. I know what I like so why would I expect my customers to be any different?Irrespective of what your specific goal is, I suggest that the end result will be an improvement in your reputation. I know that going through this process will lead to people being even more happy with doing business with you and happy people do tend to make recommendations. However, in this as in all things, I recommend you be strategic - be mindful of the goal for the specific customer journey and examine those touch points to see if they are creating the customer experience you intended. Look for the gaps or opportunities and evaluate their importance, you don’t fix what ain’t broke, right? This is not an opportunity to procrastinate, this is an opportunity review, evaluate, fix and get back to daily operations, secure in the knowledge that you are doing the best you can to care for your customers like the valued business assets they are.Thank you for listening today and I’d love to hear what made an impact on you so post your thoughts and tag me on Instagram at janiceefogarty, I’d love to see what you're thinking. And until next week my friend, have a fantastic rest of your day.
9/20/2021

The How and Why of Your Customer's Journey

Season 1, Ep. 68
Customer retention isn't just about having warm fuzzies because our clients love us (they really love us), it's also about being a savvy business owner because it's much more efficient to retain our customers than to find new ones. But what about those of us who are one & done? Do we still care about loyalty? And how does what we do impact upon our customers, their feelings towards us? Today's topic is all about customer experience - what it means to you, how to track it and when to do it.Have you left a rating & review yet? Please take a moment and do so as it helps bring this podcast to other small business owners (and I'd be forever grateful!) If you're listening on Apple Podcasts (formerly iTunes) please rate and review there. If you're not an Apple supporter, you can go toPodchaser: https://www.podchaser.com/podcasts/connections-coffee-confidence-1788572Thank you so much for your support!**Hey, are you wondering how to use social media so it helps you reach your goals instead of kill time?Let me show you the exact steps I use to make sure my client’s social media is strategic and cohesive so that you can use the socials to support your business without wasting time and getting frustrated.Go tohttps://www.janicefogarty.com/create-your-social-media-content-strategyto learn more.My Products:Don't Waste Your Breathguide on creating your own strategic messaging, based onyourbusiness goals. Get this download and learn how to speak clearly and with purpose about your business. (https://janicefogarty.podia.com/dont-waste-your-breath-get-your-best-message-across)Thinking about taking advantage of all the podcasts as opportunities to get your message out? You need my one page download onHow to be an Amazing Podcast Guest checklist(https://www.janicefogarty.com/how-to-be-an-amazing-podcast-guest)Wondering how to get incredible PR to grow awareness of your business but can't afford a PR agency? You need10 Places to get Publicity, Even with Zero Budget(https://www.janicefogarty.com/discover-10-places-to-get-free-publicity-even-though-you-have-zero-budget)Let's Connect!✔Join me on Pinterest😀✔Let's connect onLinkedIn✔AndInstagram!✔Connections Coffee Confidence Community on Facebook, my groupTranscript:Hello and welcome to this week’s episode of Connections, Coffee and Confidence with me, Janice. This week I’m taking a bit of a departure from the softer side of communications and looking behind the scenes at the theory and strategy behind why we do what we do. Specifically, I’ve been thinking about our customer’s experience and how what we do as business owners impact upon our customer’s interactions with us. Like, obviously what we do has a knock on effect on our customers but have you ever sat down and thought about it? I have and today I’ll share what I think you need to put some attention into in order to reap some deserved rewards.INTROSo Customer Experience or CX. That’s a whole sector of an industry that I feel was traditionally more technical in that it was data driven, it was analytical and kind of a problem solving area for a team in typically larger companies. Companies that had high profits, sold high ticket items, who had money they could spend on employing teams of people to look at the way a customer or client interacted with their company. The CX team worked in tandem with the PR team, who ensured the company’s reputation was shining beautifully and the important people were profiled in all the high flying publications, and also the marketing team, who got the people with the wallets through the door.Ok. That’s a simplistic description but you get the idea of how these things traditionally worked. Maybe you knew this because you worked in this kind of company before. Once upon a time, there were teams of people who specialized in these areas.And don’t get me wrong, there are still teams and individuals who specialize in this, absolutely. Maybe you specialize in one of these areas and have turned freelance, creating your own business out of your specialty. And if that’s the case then you know better than anyone that nowadays, that trifecta of teams is now just us. You and me. The business owners. Because we’re the ones who design our business, get the clients, fluff our own feathers and sweep the floors, fetch the coffee.So what do we, as independent business owners, need to know and understand about our customer’s experience or their journey through our business? And what on earth would we do with that information, like, does it actually matter?That idea of whether knowledge matters or not is an interesting one to me. My first thought is of course it matters. All information about your business matters, don’t be so silly. But there are no absolutes (and yes, the irony is intentional).Why do we care about our client’s experience with us? Why does it matter? Well, we take that information and see if it tells us about where we are losing clients and their money. That’s important, right? We look at every time we interact with the client and see if it’s effective, if it’s efficient, if the client feels good or empowered or satisfied or however it is we want them to feel at that point. Then we ask ourselves, can we improve?And that’s the same as asking if it matters. What’s our goal? Because if our goal is to create a long-term relationship with our client or customer, then yes, the information about their experience with us matters.But what if you look at your business and you sell a one-off item. You are a one and done kind of service. Does customer satisfaction or even loyalty matter? Is it worth your time and effort reviewing the customer journey and evaluating each touch point, nevermind the time and effort to improve it? ANd I guess that’s your decision to make.If you are a one and done kind of service or product, or if you provide a necessity, you may place a lower value on customer loyalty and retention. If you have no competition, you may place a lower value on those things, too. My word of caution on that is to be mindful because at some point, someone will come along and do what you’re doing. If the deciding factor between using you because they need what you sell but they don’t enjoy working with you or going to someone who is reasonably the same in every way but they are better to deal with, you might find yourself losing market share as time goes by.And if you’re the one and done, presumably you still count on word of mouth to spread the news of what you do. People talk. And they are more apt to talk about a negative experience so don’t give them a reason!And, it’s just nice to be nice.Although the answer to does a customer’s experience or journey with your business matter might seem subjective, if you have any interest in reputation management or if you just care about the people who spend their hard earned money with you, I argue that yeah - it matters.But how do we look at this to evaluate it? If it matters, we need to be able to look at it objectively and concretely, right?Where I like to start is to take something you produce for your client or your service and work backwords. Like a brainstorm or a mindmap or flow chart kind of thing. Conversely you can start at the beginning of the journey where someone finds you and map out every touch point or interaction until they reach that same end product. Because that’s the point of the actual mapping - to mark every time you have the potential to impact your customer’s experience.For example, take my Create Your Social Media Content Strategy masterclass as the final product I want to map out. I plop that as the end product and lis tour all of the ways people can get to that end result. So if someone sees my pin on Pinterest, they can be brought to my website sales page for that masterclass. When they click to purchase, the go through the payment mechanism and then an automated message comes up saying thank you and what to do next. Then they log into the system to work through the masterclass and download the workbook and supporting documents I created and provided. Next is a 4 email sequence that follows to give more information and encouragement at what I deem to be critical points in working through the process. But the journey isn’t done there because that customer then gets placed in my general email list where I email them every week about the newest episode and some extra points of interest about the topic or a story behind the scenes. Each email in the sequence, the pin, the sales page, the automated message after purchase, it’s all part of the customer experience.But what if you sell a product like an essential oil blend or a bath bomb or a tshirt. The experience shouldn’t be a multi-stepped event because that then becomes friction, it becomes a deterrent to actually getting to the checkout. So I’d argue that in this scenario you’d need to be even more precise and more intentional with how this process flows and impacts your customer journey. Start with someone sees your ad on facebook. They click the button to buy or learn more and are brought to the product page of your website. They then click the buy button and are brought to your online payment system. The payment system completes and they are shown a thank you message and an email is automatically sent to their inbox. Then you package up the item and it gets mailed. Or your drop shipper kicks into gear.Then you take all of the other ways someone could get into that chain of events, where they enter the sequence, if there are extras that they get. And soon you’ll have a page full of points where you impact upon your customer, it’s your customer journey.When I do this work, I find that as I am mapping the sequence out, I’m discovering the gaps in service or the places where I could do a better job. I keep a second sheet of paper by my side so I can make note of it or you could just scribble it down right on the map. And maybe you’re a cool cat who uses actual planning software for that kind of thing and if so, hats off to you. My brain kind of freezes up when forced to look at logical sequences on a screen, I’m pen and paper. Sometimes markers. But anywho.When you see these gaps, when you look at what each email is about - the purpose it serves in the sequence, does everything flow logically and naturally? Is there a step in there that feels like a large jump or are there two steps where there really could just be one? Is each touch point or interaction effective?Because don’t forget your purpose, your reason for this exercise. What’s the end goal here? Yes to improve the customer journey but why? That answer shapes what you look at, how you value the information you get. If your goal is to increase sales, look and see if you’re losing people at one part of the process. Do you end up with a lot of abandoned carts? Why? Are you getting people to click on your facebook ad but they don’t buy, why? Do they open the email sequence after purchasing the product? If your goal is to increase referrals, are you missing an opportunity to make a referral-worthy impression? Are you adding your personality or personal touch to every step of the way to make it memorable and pleasant? Is there another opportunity to do so?Again, you need to judge whether this effort is worth it to you. It might take you days and days to go through and plug all of the holes or tighten up processes. And maybe all of the things you can do don’t actually need to be done. You need to still have a balance, to remember that done is better than perfect. I admit, when I opened my masterclass for my facebook group and email list, I did not have all of the emails written. In fact, it was open for sale to the public and actually had some sold to wonderful people who invested (thank you, if that was you, by the way!) and I still did not have all of the emails written. They were planned and outlined but not written edited and in the system. I had to do that and work around the automatic send dates and all sorts of malarkey. Because I was trying to get my kids through an application process for their school, because I had to buy a house and school supplies, sort out a mortgage, buy insurance, because I had a birthday and my parents came to visit as a surprise, because I had done enough to get started and had a plan to finish it up. Because done is better than perfect. Those emails are in now, being delivered and could I have written fifteen emails instead of four? Yes. Yes I could. I could write these purchasers a novel because I love the topic of creating and using strategic messaging to create social media that works for your business. Does anyone need that as part of their masterclass? No. It’s not worth that kind of overwhelm for anyone. So you might see gaps but they might be fine just the way they are.And if you’re looking at your map and you're thinking about the data and wondering what real people think about the whole thing, wondering how a paying person feels about the journey or experience with your company, well, you can always ask them. Pick out a few of those touchpoints that you’re wondering about and contact your old customers or clients. Or, set up a mechanism to ask your current clients as they go through the process. Find out what they think. It may be that something you feel is clunky or awkward doesn’t raise any issues with them. Or something you think is just bloody brilliant is just bloody weird.One last idea for you is to look at other processes similar to yours. Or maybe unlike yours. I don’t know how creative a thinker you are! If you look at the different ways and touchpoints that made an impression on you as a customer, try to emulate those. I subscribe to some smashing emails lists - Tarzan Kay is inspirational - and I definitely am influenced by the way she and others whose products or services I’ve purchased have handled me as a customer. I know what I like so why would I expect my customers to be any different?Irrespective of what your specific goal is, I suggest that the end result will be an improvement in your reputation. I know that going through this process will lead to people being even more happy with doing business with you and happy people do tend to make recommendations. However, in this as in all things, I recommend you be strategic - be mindful of the goal for the specific customer journey and examine those touch points to see if they are creating the customer experience you intended. Look for the gaps or opportunities and evaluate their importance, you don’t fix what ain’t broke, right? This is not an opportunity to procrastinate, this is an opportunity review, evaluate, fix and get back to daily operations, secure in the knowledge that you are doing the best you can to care for your customers like the valued business assets they are.Thank you for listening today and I’d love to hear what made an impact on you so post your thoughts and tag me on Instagram at janiceefogarty, I’d love to see what you're thinking. And until next week my friend, have a fantastic rest of your day.
9/13/2021

What I'm Spending My Points On

Season 1, Ep. 67
The practical aspect of messaging involves being clear, direct, leaving your audience in no uncertain terms as to what they need to know/think/feel/do. But how do you know if you're doing that?When you are really clear on your goals, you can get really clear on your messaging. That clarity is what enables you to be bold and decisive in the language you use, to be confident in your delivery.Key Points:What is clear and direct language? (2:36)Real life example in action (4:04)Messaging Delivery Options (7:01)Tips to Deliver Clear & Direct Messaging (9:04)Also Mentioned:https://www.janicefogarty.com/create-your-social-media-content-strategyHave you left a rating & review yet? Please take a moment and do so as it helps bring this podcast to other small business owners (and I'd be forever grateful!) If you're listening on Apple Podcasts (formerly iTunes) please rate and review there. If you're not an Apple supporter, you can go to Podchaser: https://www.podchaser.com/podcasts/connections-coffee-confidence-1788572 Thank you so much for your support!**Hey, are you wondering how to use social media so it helps you reach your goals instead of kill time? Let me show you the exact steps I use to make sure my client’s social media is strategic and cohesive so that you can use the socials to support your business without wasting time and getting frustrated. Go to https://www.janicefogarty.com/create-your-social-media-content-strategy to learn more.My Products:Don't Waste Your Breath guide on creating your own strategic messaging, based on your business goals. Get this download and learn how to speak clearly and with purpose about your business. (https://janicefogarty.podia.com/dont-waste-your-breath-get-your-best-message-across)Thinking about taking advantage of all the podcasts as opportunities to get your message out? You need my one page download on How to be an Amazing Podcast Guest checklist (https://www.janicefogarty.com/how-to-be-an-amazing-podcast-guest)Wondering how to get incredible PR to grow awareness of your business but can't afford a PR agency? You need 10 Places to get Publicity, Even with Zero Budget (https://www.janicefogarty.com/discover-10-places-to-get-free-publicity-even-though-you-have-zero-budget)Let's Connect!✔Join me on Pinterest 😀✔Let's connect on LinkedIn✔And Instagram!✔Connections Coffee Confidence Community on Facebook, my groupTranscript:Hello and welcome to episode 67 of Connections, Coffee & Confidence with me Janice. I’m really happy to have you here for this episode as it’s all about my favorite topic - messaging. The what of ‘what to say’. My geek out material. Because everyone will tell you to find your audience then go talk to them but who is helping you figure out what to say? That’s right, me.And today we’re going to look at clarity in your messaging.INTROIt can be a little scary for us as the communicators, the ones who have to say or write the copy for our social media, our lives, our websites and bios. We not only have to craft those bold declarative sentences, but we must deliver them like we are full of confidence and yet not too cocky because cockiness tends to put people off. And you know, I think this is why I do such a great job for my clients, and why they pay me - and why others pay people like me. It’s so much easier for many of us to make those declarations, those proclamations, when it’s not about us. To make them on behalf of others.And if you want me to do that for you, awesome possum. Drop me an email and let’s set up a time so I can get to know your goals and your tone and we’ll work out your messaging and all that jazz. But if you want to know how to do it yourself, I have your back on that too.Let’s talk about how we even get started with that kind of communication? That boldness? What exactly is clear and direct communication?A lot of it comes down to directive language. That’s when you just say what needs to be said, no fuss, just the required words to impart information, strung together to make a complete decoration for your product or business. Like a string of Christmas lights, all of the words as lightbulbs, none burnt out and just taking up space, causing a dark hole in your messaging. Every bulb doing its job, drawing attention to what you're about.It seems like it should be so simple, eh? You have something to say so say it. But if it was quite that simple, we wouldn’t see one hundred and fifty words squished into a single graphic with another thousand in the post text. We wouldn’t have emails that run on for so many screen lengths that you scroll to the end for the highlight or just tap the little garbage can to delete.You wouldn't have podcasters talking about words as christmas bulb lights.Yeah.Directive language is clear and concise, it tells you exactly what to expect or what to do next. It answers the question that has been in your mind or on your heart for ages, and you might not have even known about it until there you go - an answer appeared.I have three boys, two are teens and one is so close he smells like a teen… Actually, he’s really good to shower and wear deodorant, bless him, but he can eat like he’s a teen. So I have apps for the grocery stores I frequent and I check for the weekly specials. One company is Loblaws, which if you’re Canadian, you know as No Frills or Superstore. They also own a massive drugstore chain as well as a clothing line. All of these companies fit very well within my shopping habits as kids eat, they get sick, and bust through their clothes like nobodies business. I love their President’s Choice app. They fussed it up a bit recently with extras, it used to just show the products I’d get loyalty points on if I buy them this week but now they give you the option to check out seasonal recipes or features on new food lines or sales on clothing or information on flu shots or whatever.They’re being a smart company and using a tool that they have to connect with their audience and expanding that tool to provide extra value to their customers, opening up lines of potential new revenue and brand loyalty. It’s exactly what we need to be doing with the tools we have at our disposal, right? So if you haven’t looked at my Create Your Social Media Content Strategy masterclass yet, and you want to use your social media as a tool for your business growth, I’ll link to that in the shownotes.In the PC app, there was a headline that said ‘What to Redeem Your Points on in September’. There was a pretty picture of a vibrant yet cushy kind of office living room type of area and I saw things I like, afterall, I’m moving into a new house this month and, while I usually use the points to get money off the grocery bill or clothes for the kids, our stuff is in a steel storage container on the other side of the country and who knows what I might need to tide us over until it arrives, right? Well, I clicked it.Now. Was the headline cute and creative? No. Was it fun and teasing? No. Did it lure me in with a laugh or urgency or crazy promises and pretty prose? Definitely not.What to Redeem Your Points on in September. The language is clear, concise and tells me exactly what I’m going to find if I click the link. What I found was a list of seven items that I didn’t know about, that range in price from a fancy new tonic water in case I feel like a fancy G&T (um, yes please) to a super cool new coffee maker - boy it was like they wrote this article for me, eh? There were homewares included as well and was I drawn to every item on the list? No. Was I resentful or surprised with what I got after I clicked the button? No. And will I click the same headline for next month? Probably, if I see it. It didn’t take up too much of my time, it was helpful because I can definitely splurge on some fancy tonic water with my points, and it was clear in what to expect.All the words I needed to know, none of the fluff to confuse me.The additional aspect to this link was the image. The picture matched something that is happening in my life, a new home that I’ll have to decorate. We’re going from a home built in the 2000’s to one built in the 1930’s with original features. So it’s fair to say that some of our stuff might stick out like a sore thumb, I might need some things to tie everything together. And did I mention I have an actual office in this new house? Like, an actual home for Connections Coffee & Confidence and janicefogarty.com. With windows. And space for a free standing desk, definitely a bookcase or two and an extra chair. I digress. But my point is messaging isn’t just verbal - the picture touched me as well. It appealed.When you are really clear on your goals, you can get really clear on your messaging. That clarity is what enables you to be bold and decisive in the language you use, to be confident in your delivery.When is the last time you clicked a link? I’m not talking about clickbait, although they provide an excellent study in how to lure people in by playing on their interests, hobbies and general human nosiness. But when did you last see a headline and think, oh I need to know that. Or I know exactly what’s going to be in there for me and I need that - or don’t need that. Or you know how social media platforms usually only give you a small preview of a post then you have to click to see the rest of it? When’s the last time you clicked on one of those posts? Why did you follow through? And did you get what you feel you were promised?I’m willing to bet the language used was clear and direct. There was probably a story of some sort but that story would be linked to the message, it’s a way to pull you into or illustrate the message. And I bet you’ll be more likely to click a link from that person or company again, maybe even subscribe or buy what they sell.So how do you take what has attracted you to click through or subscribe or buy and use that in your business? How do you adapt it to suit what you sell, your brand, and tell it in your voice? Have a look at what you’ve put out in the past, emails, posts, lives, articles submitted, whatever product you’ve created. And read through the language again with a different perspective.Humor is great, I’m fond of a laugh myself. But is it confusing the audience and hiding what you need them to know? Are you using jargon? You might know exactly what a land title search is because you’re a real estate lawyer or a realtor or contract to a municipality and deal with those things but does your customer or client know what you’re talking about? Are you scared to say what you have to say? Oh man there is nothing like fear to help us fluff out and hide our message behind soft words and sometimes this is where humor isn’t helpful. Are you communicating just to be seen and heard? That’s ego, often fear, coming to the forefront and if you don’t have a point then you’re not only wasting your energy but you’re burning the goodwill of those who gave you a chance and clicked your link or whatever.When you go through your old material, do you see any of these confusion causers jumping out at you? Are you using clear and direct language? Do you read or see the piece and know what you’re meant to know, think, feel or do next?People buy from or do business with people they trust. Trust is developed when the business uses clear language and draws someone in then follows through with what they’ve offered. In my experience, personally with my own business and professionally as a communications strategist, results come from using clear language confidently delivered in your own style. The confidence to do all of that comes from zeroing in on your goals and messaging, those are your starting points.Thank you so much for listening today. I’ll be back next Monday with a new episode and until then, my friend, I hope you have an absolutely brilliant week. (By the way, that’s clear and direct messaging - I want you to know I drop a new episode every Monday, I value you and and want to see you back. Ok. Bye)Hello and welcome to episode 67 of Connections, Coffee & Confidence with me Janice. I’m really happy to have you here for this episode as it’s all about my favorite topic - messaging. The what of ‘what to say’. My geek out material. Because everyone will tell you to find your audience then go talk to them but who is helping you figure out what to say? That’s right, me.And today we’re going to look at clarity in your messaging.INTROIt can be a little scary for us as the communicators, the ones who have to say or write the copy for our social media, our lives, our websites and bios. We not only have to craft those bold declarative sentences, but we must deliver them like we are full of confidence and yet not too cocky because cockiness tends to put people off. And you know, I think this is why I do such a great job for my clients, and why they pay me - and why others pay people like me. It’s so much easier for many of us to make those declarations, those proclamations, when it’s not about us. To make them on behalf of others.And if you want me to do that for you, awesome possum. Drop me an email and let’s set up a time so I can get to know your goals and your tone and we’ll work out your messaging and all that jazz. But if you want to know how to do it yourself, I have your back on that too.Let’s talk about how we even get started with that kind of communication? That boldness? What exactly is clear and direct communication?A lot of it comes down to directive language. That’s when you just say what needs to be said, no fuss, just the required words to impart information, strung together to make a complete decoration for your product or business. Like a string of Christmas lights, all of the words as lightbulbs, none burnt out and just taking up space, causing a dark hole in your messaging. Every bulb doing its job, drawing attention to what you're about.It seems like it should be so simple, eh? You have something to say so say it. But if it was quite that simple, we wouldn’t see one hundred and fifty words squished into a single graphic with another thousand in the post text. We wouldn’t have emails that run on for so many screen lengths that you scroll to the end for the highlight or just tap the little garbage can to delete.You wouldn't have podcasters talking about words as christmas bulb lights.Yeah.Directive language is clear and concise, it tells you exactly what to expect or what to do next. It answers the question that has been in your mind or on your heart for ages, and you might not have even known about it until there you go - an answer appeared.I have three boys, two are teens and one is so close he smells like a teen… Actually, he’s really good to shower and wear deodorant, bless him, but he can eat like he’s a teen. So I have apps for the grocery stores I frequent and I check for the weekly specials. One company is Loblaws, which if you’re Canadian, you know as No Frills or Superstore. They also own a massive drugstore chain as well as a clothing line. All of these companies fit very well within my shopping habits as kids eat, they get sick, and bust through their clothes like nobodies business. I love their President’s Choice app. They fussed it up a bit recently with extras, it used to just show the products I’d get loyalty points on if I buy them this week but now they give you the option to check out seasonal recipes or features on new food lines or sales on clothing or information on flu shots or whatever.They’re being a smart company and using a tool that they have to connect with their audience and expanding that tool to provide extra value to their customers, opening up lines of potential new revenue and brand loyalty. It’s exactly what we need to be doing with the tools we have at our disposal, right? So if you haven’t looked at my Create Your Social Media Content Strategy masterclass yet, and you want to use your social media as a tool for your business growth, I’ll link to that in the shownotes.In the PC app, there was a headline that said ‘What to Redeem Your Points on in September’. There was a pretty picture of a vibrant yet cushy kind of office living room type of area and I saw things I like, afterall, I’m moving into a new house this month and, while I usually use the points to get money off the grocery bill or clothes for the kids, our stuff is in a steel storage container on the other side of the country and who knows what I might need to tide us over until it arrives, right? Well, I clicked it.Now. Was the headline cute and creative? No. Was it fun and teasing? No. Did it lure me in with a laugh or urgency or crazy promises and pretty prose? Definitely not.What to Redeem Your Points on in September. The language is clear, concise and tells me exactly what I’m going to find if I click the link. What I found was a list of seven items that I didn’t know about, that range in price from a fancy new tonic water in case I feel like a fancy G&T (um, yes please) to a super cool new coffee maker - boy it was like they wrote this article for me, eh? There were homewares included as well and was I drawn to every item on the list? No. Was I resentful or surprised with what I got after I clicked the button? No. And will I click the same headline for next month? Probably, if I see it. It didn’t take up too much of my time, it was helpful because I can definitely splurge on some fancy tonic water with my points, and it was clear in what to expect.All the words I needed to know, none of the fluff to confuse me.The additional aspect to this link was the image. The picture matched something that is happening in my life, a new home that I’ll have to decorate. We’re going from a home built in the 2000’s to one built in the 1930’s with original features. So it’s fair to say that some of our stuff might stick out like a sore thumb, I might need some things to tie everything together. And did I mention I have an actual office in this new house? Like, an actual home for Connections Coffee & Confidence and janicefogarty.com. With windows. And space for a free standing desk, definitely a bookcase or two and an extra chair. I digress. But my point is messaging isn’t just verbal - the picture touched me as well. It appealed.When you are really clear on your goals, you can get really clear on your messaging. That clarity is what enables you to be bold and decisive in the language you use, to be confident in your delivery.When is the last time you clicked a link? I’m not talking about clickbait, although they provide an excellent study in how to lure people in by playing on their interests, hobbies and general human nosiness. But when did you last see a headline and think, oh I need to know that. Or I know exactly what’s going to be in there for me and I need that - or don’t need that. Or you know how social media platforms usually only give you a small preview of a post then you have to click to see the rest of it? When’s the last time you clicked on one of those posts? Why did you follow through? And did you get what you feel you were promised?I’m willing to bet the language used was clear and direct. There was probably a story of some sort but that story would be linked to the message, it’s a way to pull you into or illustrate the message. And I bet you’ll be more likely to click a link from that person or company again, maybe even subscribe or buy what they sell.So how do you take what has attracted you to click through or subscribe or buy and use that in your business? How do you adapt it to suit what you sell, your brand, and tell it in your voice? Have a look at what you’ve put out in the past, emails, posts, lives, articles submitted, whatever product you’ve created. And read through the language again with a different perspective.Humor is great, I’m fond of a laugh myself. But is it confusing the audience and hiding what you need them to know? Are you using jargon? You might know exactly what a land title search is because you’re a real estate lawyer or a realtor or contract to a municipality and deal with those things but does your customer or client know what you’re talking about? Are you scared to say what you have to say? Oh man there is nothing like fear to help us fluff out and hide our message behind soft words and sometimes this is where humor isn’t helpful. Are you communicating just to be seen and heard? That’s ego, often fear, coming to the forefront and if you don’t have a point then you’re not only wasting your energy but you’re burning the goodwill of those who gave you a chance and clicked your link or whatever.When you go through your old material, do you see any of these confusion causers jumping out at you? Are you using clear and direct language? Do you read or see the piece and know what you’re meant to know, think, feel or do next?People buy from or do business with people they trust. Trust is developed when the business uses clear language and draws someone in then follows through with what they’ve offered. In my experience, personally with my own business and professionally as a communications strategist, results come from using clear language confidently delivered in your own style. The confidence to do all of that comes from zeroing in on your goals and messaging, those are your starting points.Thank you so much for listening today. I’ll be back next Monday with a new episode and until then, my friend, I hope you have an absolutely brilliant week. (By the way, that’s clear and direct messaging - I want you to know I drop a new episode every Monday, I value you and and want to see you back. Ok. Bye)
9/6/2021

Use Your Voice to Stand Out

Season 1, Ep. 66
This episode is a bit of a departure from my usual, message-driven, strategic content. This one is more of a musing on how our experiences shape our voice and we use our voice to stand out - no matter how much we might want to just fit in sometimes. How combining our experiences into something new might take courage and boundaries and a leap of faith, but we can do it. A little bit meta as this episode is me stretching my voice, calling on my experiences and using them as stories to illustrate my points, and opening up a bit about my own journey.Have you left a rating & review yet? Please take a moment and do so as it helps bring this podcast to other small business owners (and I'd be forever grateful!) If you're listening on Apple Podcasts (formerly iTunes) please rate and review there. If you're not an Apple supporter, you can go toPodchaser: https://www.podchaser.com/podcasts/connections-coffee-confidence-1788572Thank you so much for your support!**Hey, are you wondering how to use social media so it helps you reach your goals instead of kill time?Let me show you the exact steps I use to make sure my client’s social media is strategic and cohesive so that you can use the socials to support your business without wasting time and getting frustrated.Take my half hour masterclass and by the end you'll:have30 daysworth of strategic content ready to be created,knowhowto create your own messaging to ensure each post or live is pushing you towards ticking off your goals,know myfour foundationsof creating the visual,and learn a few extra tips to keep you rocking.I work you through a live example so you can see exactly what I mean and how the method works in real life, not just theoretically. Go tohttps://www.janicefogarty.com/create-your-social-media-content-strategyto learn more.My Products:Don't Waste Your Breathguide on creating your own strategic messaging, based onyourbusiness goals. Get this download and learn how to speak clearly and with purpose about your business. (https://janicefogarty.podia.com/dont-waste-your-breath-get-your-best-message-across)Thinking about taking advantage of all the podcasts as opportunities to get your message out? You need my one page download onHow to be an Amazing Podcast Guest checklist(https://www.janicefogarty.com/how-to-be-an-amazing-podcast-guest)Wondering how to get incredible PR to grow awareness of your business but can't afford a PR agency? You need10 Places to get Publicity, Even with Zero Budget(https://www.janicefogarty.com/discover-10-places-to-get-free-publicity-even-though-you-have-zero-budget)Let's Connect!✔Join me on Pinterest😀✔Let's connect onLinkedIn✔AndInstagram!✔Connections Coffee Confidence Community on Facebook, my groupTranscript:So this week, as I write, is my birthday week. I’ll be 42 and I find myself fairly reflective, doing lots of thinking. Maybe it’s the age, maybe it’s the amount of change we’ve gone through as a family and that I’ve gone through personally. Today I want to talk you through being different and the urge to fit in.INTRORight at the outset, I want to be clear.I can only speak to my experience and somewhat that of my family as we can really only know ourselves. And I don’t presume to think we or I have a monopoly on feeling or being different. I know that sometimes there’s a necessity to fit in, there are issues around personal safety for being different. As a mom to children with higher needs, I have some lived experience with this, I can’t imagine dealing with it personally and have no place to address it so I’m not.What I do want to talk about is how your experiences, your decisions and the resulting consequences, they all make you different on the inside. This episode is a bit of a departure from my usual message driven style and I’ll be curious to know how this lands, please send me an email or post on my Connections Coffee & Confidence Facebook page and let me know what you think.Alright, let’s get into this.Well by the time you hear this we’ll be into September. My favorite month and not just because of my birthday. I love the changing colours that are so unique to this part of the world. And you don’t need to @ me on that one, there is science to back up that claim to uniqueness. But I love it. I love the snugglier clothes but there is still enough sunshine and heat for those summer dresses and last trips to the beach before the snow falls. You know what? I even loved school starting. And I was always doubly excited because I used to get school supplies for my birthday sometimes, like little extras. This is the time before you had to have 3 two and a half inch binders, one red, one light blue and one black, and so on. So I was pretty darn happy to have Strawberry Shortcake scribblers and funky erasers and whatnot. Parents wouldn’t buy them for their own kids but they’d splash out on name brands to spice up a birthday gift and I was considered odd because I relished the nice school supplies. We moved a few times while I was growing up so I was not only the new kid but the new kid who liked school supplies.But you know what? I even still write in my gratitude list that I’m grateful for a really nice pen or new journal. Could be my virgo tendencies, I don’t know.So in the last ten years, our family has gone through some massive upheavals and changes. We’re not alone in that. We’ve moved continent, crossed Canada twice. Lived with my inlaws and my parents. We’ve had numerous diagnoses that have impacted how we function as a family unit, how we interact with our communities. We’ve rented, bought and sold homes. We’ve been sick, gotten healthy and learned to all live, work and play together 24/7.All of these experiences and others I won’t bore you with, have shaped me differently to what I had anticipated. And I bet that’s the same for you.It’s that different aspect that I‘ve been reflecting on.For example, I speak differently to my parents and brothers, with a different accent and expressions. And different still from where we’ve lived, no matter where that is. I sounded Canadian in Ireland and by the time we left Ireland, I sounded fairly Irish. I’ve lost a bit of it and picked back up some of the Maritime accent but not enough to sound local. Sometimes someone will start to speak to me and there’s this moment after I respond where they try and figure out if I’m local or where I’m from. You can see it on their polite but curious face. I’m different.Sometimes being different is hard. It makes you tired to the bone and you wish you could just not be different. You wish you could be the same or at least feel the same just for a few moments, just to take the weight offUnfortunately, that’s not a long term strategy. And as understandable as it may be, it’s not a healthy one either.Those differences are what shape your voice. You know, that thing that helps you communicate with others. Not just the vibrations that come from your vocal chords but the way you speak, the mannerisms you incorporate, the ways you express yourself. The way you attract or repel people, run your day-to-day relationships and your business.Your voice defines you as being separate from others who might be perceived as the same by those who see you as part of a larger, blurry group they lump people in your industry into.And that’s a good thing. Because when it comes to your business, you want to be seen as unique. You want to be remembered for something and ideally something that is comfortable and natural to you.There are loads and loads of podcasters, if you hadn’t noticed. And many of them are women in what’s termed the marketing and business space. So at first and still now, it’s easier being in such a crowded space because it’s easier to do something scary when I think no one is listening. This could be the same for you when you started your business. You wanted to blend in because it feels safer, more comfortable. You had done something different for you but maybe you’ve done it exactly the same way as everyone else so how are you actually standing out?You use your voice.In my early episodes, I felt more stilted. I had only heard wildly successful female podcasters and I couldn’t be them - could I - but I felt the pressure to do it the same way. But my personality is kind of quiet and shy, I’m thoughtful and analytical and I felt like those traits would help me establish credibility with all of the strangers who, frankly, were not listening.But what makes me me is that I have a dry and often sarcastic sense of humor. I’ve been an immigrant, I’ve done some travelling, I see things from different perspectives and have different ways of expressing myself. And I need to accept that it’s okay for me to be me, to speak like I do and let my observations come out. Because those are what will help me carve out more of a niche and get a bigger following.Um, hey, what will also help is if you could leave a fabulous five star review on Apple Podcasts or Podchaser for me. You’d be surprised at how much of a difference reviews make when people are choosing a new podcast to listen to. Thank you!Because I need to not sound like Amy Porterfield or Jenna Kutcher, they have those niches quite nicely settled. I need to sound like Janice Fogarty, whatever her accent or approach.And you need to do the same. Be yourself, I mean. Don’t be me. It’s not as cool as I make it out to be.Using my voice as a tool to help my podcast grow is one thing but in accepting it coming out in my marketing, in my interviews on other podcasts and or media, where there might be a new or larger audience, is still hard. Because there’s that desire to fit in. That desire to not stand too far out because what if?What if I make a mistake. What if I do it wrong and it can never be fixed. What if somebody hates me. What if somebody points out I’m wrong and everybody thinks I’m stupid. What if they don’t understand me. What if they judge me and find me lacking.So going back to Ireland for a moment, they have this delightful habit over there of combining occupations just because that’s the way it’s done. My favorite is visiting a small border town and heading to the local pub for a pint or two. And I ended up sitting on the counter while my husband sat on the freezer because the pub was also a glorified convenience store that sold a selection of groceries. And hardware goods. And was the undertaker.Of course this was a throwback to the early early years when the pub was the only place that had either the space or the cooler facility to store a body. And the family didn’t have far to go to mourn over their pints. Food and hardware items are required for living life, and every town had a pub so why not lump it all together? And it works so why change it?You knew the tourists because we were the ones with the quizzical looks. Like, am I really seeing this? Can I really buy pizza pockets here and you’ll heat it up in the microwave while we wait for the Guinness to settle for the rest of the pour? Ok. And the next town we stopped in, years later, that had the same set up, I walked in and didn’t bat an eyelash because of course.I tell you this because it’s a different approach to business. And your personal experiences and beliefs and skills, they might all come together to nudge you in a different direction than what’s considered the norm - in your field, your friends and family circle, your own head.Like your voice, it’s hard to accept that initial phase of being deliberately different. It’s hard to just decide to do it and buck the trend until... it’s not. Because you’ve decided and you’re tired of thinking about it and talking about it and writing your lists for and against. You just decide to do it and then it becomes easy. Until you are hit with evidence that you are different, you’re doing it differently, and it’s making other people uncomfortable or question your decision making and it becomes hard again.That fear, that level of difficulty is sometimes soul sucking. It can hit like a ton of bricks when you thought it was all going great and you were congratulating yourself for all of your awesomeness in backing your own capabilities and decisions.This is where knowing yourself, your voice, your strengths, and I think most importantly, your limits or boundaries are important. Because if you know who you are and you feel comfortable in your skin, you know you’ll survive the judgement and the fear in the pit of your stomach. Because if you have boundaries, you’ll decide whose opinion matters and disregard the others that pile in.I belong to a group for female podcasters and what I love in there is that we celebrate the first one star review. Because it’s inevitable that you are not going to be someone’s cup of tea. Someone will have a contrary opinion and they will feel entitled to share it, usually giving you a good taste of their voice, and it’s a sign of growth. When you first start up, your close friends will listen to support you. Maybe your mother. And they aren’t going to roast you publicly. But the danger with growth is that you grow. You get exposed to new people, to different concepts, to new ways of doing things and not all of it will go well.But we can’t grow without those less-than-stellar experiences. And we must continue to grow. So we have to push ourselves. We decide which risks are worth taking and we take them. We have the power to choose to value our experiences, to be true to them, and use them as gifts. And we have to just... do it, whatever it is, as best as we can.Because part of the fear is that judgement piece, and we might be able to have those boundaries around whose opinion actually matters to us but rarely do we exclude our own!I don’t know about you but I am my own worst critic. I will flip flop several times on this episode. Will I publish it? And if I do, will I publicize it as much as I do other episodes? Will I be embarrassed about it in six months time? A year?Maybe. Because to be honest, I’ve already done things on this podcast that have embarrassed me. I remind myself that I’ve done the best with what I had and what I knew at the time. I fix what I can when I have time and if it causes a big enough shudder when I think about it. But I leave a lot because time soothes my anxiety and people enjoy a journey. We all appreciate watching or listening as someone evolves, as they grow. We grow with them. And it makes us feel less different, to know someone else is squirming through their evolution, even if we’re evolving differently.Because we do want to fit in. We want to be recognized as a part of a larger something. It’s primal and built into our brains to be a part of the larger group, safety in numbers and all of that. But there’s a mix possible, to having our own voice, our own way of doing things, our own standards and expectations, along with being part of something larger. Even if it’s something we need to create ourselves. I think that mix level ebbs and flows as we go through different periods in our life but we need to find the strength and the confidence to be who we are and adapt that into our business, whatever any of it turns out to be.I’m not sure how I got here on this topic. It’s not my usual type of podcast. I’m usually rather structured with a point and this one had a loose moral to the story but not my typical fare. I guess I’m experimenting with trying out my own voice, letting my thoughts run. And I’m not sure if I was talking more to you or me throughout this one. Who knows. I know I flip flopped between you and me throughout. I hope you got something out of it. I hope you realize that there are times when we can settle and times we need to push, but through it all we need to be ourselves.And if you're already clear on who you are, well, thanks for sticking through this whole thing. If you’re ready to start using that voice of yours in your marketing and PR, I invite you to take my masterclass on Creating your social media content strategy. I go through my process for creating messaging and aligned posts for my clients to use in their business facebook pages so you can do the same for you. This content can be repurposed for all of the feeds, the key is the messaging and you know I walk you through that! SO I’ll link to that in the shownotes or you can go to my website for more details, and I thank you again for listening today. I’ll be back next week, a year older, maybe wiser. Until then my friend.
8/30/2021

3 People Your Business Messaging Must Speak To

Season 1, Ep. 65
The more you talk to your audience in terms that they understand, the simpler it becomes to get your message across. But what your audience knows and what your message means to them depends on who they are. Key Points:The First Primary Audience: Potential Clients or Customers (4:55)The Second Primary Audience: Past and Current Clients or Customers (6:26)The Third Audience: Influencers (8:18)Have you left a rating & review yet? Please take a moment and do so as it helps bring this podcast to other small business owners (and I'd be forever grateful!) If you're listening on Apple Podcasts (formally iTunes) please rate and review there. If you're not an Apple supporter, you can go to Podchaser: https://www.podchaser.com/podcasts/connections-coffee-confidence-1788572 Thank you so much for your support!**Hey, are you wondering how to use social media so it helps you reach your goals instead of kill time? Let me show you the exact steps I use to make sure my client’s social media is strategic and cohesive so that you can use the socials to support your business without wasting time and getting frustrated.Take my half hour masterclass and by the end you'll:have 30 days worth of strategic content ready to be created,know how to create your own messaging to ensure each post or live is pushing you towards ticking off your goals,know my four foundations of creating the visual,and learn a few extra tips to keep you rocking.I work you through a live example so you can see exactly what I mean and how the method works in real life, not just theoretically. Go to https://www.janicefogarty.com/create-your-social-media-content-strategy to learn more.My Products:Don't Waste Your Breath guide on creating your own strategic messaging, based on your business goals. Get this download and learn how to speak clearly and with purpose about your business. (https://janicefogarty.podia.com/dont-waste-your-breath-get-your-best-message-across)Thinking about taking advantage of all the podcasts as opportunities to get your message out? You need my one page download on How to be an Amazing Podcast Guest checklist (https://www.janicefogarty.com/how-to-be-an-amazing-podcast-guest)Wondering how to get incredible PR to grow awareness of your business but can't afford a PR agency? You need 10 Places to get Publicity, Even with Zero Budget (https://www.janicefogarty.com/discover-10-places-to-get-free-publicity-even-though-you-have-zero-budget)Let's Connect!✔Join me on Pinterest 😀✔Let's connect on LinkedIn✔And Instagram!✔Connections Coffee Confidence Community on Facebook, my groupTranscript:Sometimes my kids share something with me that leaves me politely smiling, kind of half laughing because obviously it’s funny - the hilarious gut busting of his brothers tells me I’m meant to laugh but I don’t get it. And sometimes something similar happens with my husband, like when we drove around what we hope will be our kids’ new school. He pointed out the air filtration system. I hadn’t the foggiest notion of what he was talking about, I just saw the big boxy structure attached to the front of the school. But to him, as a project manager who works a lot on new build schools, he knew that meant there was a woodworking shop inside. I’m sure had he been with any of his colleagues, they would have gotten the inference immediately.I’m not trying to say I’m completely out of touch with my family, although I’m not sure how much more I’m willing to learn about video games to stay really in touch with my boys, but I am drawing attention to the idea that how we talk, how we deliver our messages, needs to be tailored to our audience. When my son tells me about his score in Rocket League, I need him to explain that the number he just said is good as I have no context. And when my husband points out great features in architectural language, I need a bit of a translation. Why? I’m not the person they are usually speaking with. I’m not their usual main audience and therefore they need to be aware of the gaps in my understanding, the language they use, even how they hook me into listening in the first place.Your business is the same. You have different audiences to speak to but are you paying attention to them and how you talk to them? You might be quite confidently and clearly speaking to your main audience but leaving others politely smiling and worse, skipping on by. Do you know who they are? Today is about audiences.INTROWhen you think about what you’re going to say in your posts or in your podcast interview or your blog, do you think about who is listening or reading? Do you think about what they know or understand about you, your business, your product or service? And do you think about how the answers to those questions directly impact how you speak to them?I’m all about messaging. I love dialing in a good key strategic message, and breaking it down into sub messages. And if you were wondering, that didn’t sound any less geeky or cringy in my head but it’s the truth so I’m owning it. But even if you have messaging that is so sharp you could shave your bikini line with it and not worry about bumps, you don’t just create messaging and deploy it. That’s not the end of that process. That’s kind of the beginning middle-ish part. What’s the good of messaging if you don’t think about who’s receiving it?Let’s remember that your messaging is always linked to your goal. The way you talk about your goal and the way you lead people towards it will depend on who they are, their relationship to you and what you offer. You need to have a good handle on who your different audiences are, what they want and how they can get that from you, and then your messaging can be adapted to suit those people.There are probably as many ways to break down audiences as there are grey hairs on my head, which... is a lot if you haven’t seen my pic. But the standard variety breakdown encompasses two: primary and secondary. Which I will talk about but you know, I feel like there is a third since most of my audience is selling something - be it their product or their service. I feel like the primary audience can reasonably be broken into two so let’s look at those three audiences and how we need to think about them in order to tailor our messaging appropriately.The first audience on our agenda for today is the one everyone will talk to you about: potential clients or customers. Those people who you want to come and buy your thing, to buy your service, to book up your calendar’s billable hours. These people are part of the primary audience. When you’re developing a picture of these people, the usual questions apply such as what means something to them? What do they value? A lot of online experts tell you to ask yourself what the customer’s pain point is, what makes them uncomfortable and address that. And yes, that gets results. But I don’t want you to neglect the positive, as well. What excites them, what possibilities entice them, what are they hoping to achieve? Can you take your messaging and use it to speak to their desires and needs? Can you speak to their future ideas, where they see themselves in six months or six years from now - and do it without sounding like you’re doing interview prep?! This group often feels exciting or stressful to develop messaging for because they are somewhat of the unknown - you haven’t necessarily interacted with them yet, and if you have they maybe haven’t engaged back. You probably know more about these people than you think and I encourage you to be excited by the possibilities open to you in the different ways you can develop, tweak and twirl your messaging for this group.The second audience is the other half of the primary, they’re your current or past clients and customers. The people who have worked with you, bought your thing, followed your advice and enjoyed the experience. This group has had a pretty direct impact on your business as they’ve already given you the money that has allowed you to stay in business until now. These people are great because you probably have so much information about them tucked in your head or on a spreadsheet or intake form that will shape your messaging for them. And there’s research showing that a returning customer is worth a lot to a small to medium sized business. Marketing Tech blog indicates that a returning customer is worth ten times that of their initial purchase and other research shows that up to 61% of a small business’s annual revenue comes from repeat customers.So basically once someone has been introduced to you, liked the experience, they can often be counted on to continue to support you. And you already have a pretty good idea on how to talk to them because you've done it before... with success. This is brilliant news!When you’re crafting your messaging for them, think about what brought them to you and what you’ve provided for them. Who were they when they came to you? What were they looking for and how did they feel while they were looking? Or what feeling were they looking to capture by interacting with you? What happened or how did they feel once they got your product or service? And what are they now looking for? Can you bring them on that journey and reach your next goal? You probably have way more information about this group than you initially realize.The third audience is a little bit less concrete. They are influencers or secondary audiences. These people probably won’t spend the money directly with you, unless you persuade them to do so as a gift or a service for someone they care about or are responsible for. But they carry influence over your primary audiences. In a larger scope they can be celebrities or quasi celebrities. Have you ever bought something because one of the Kardashians or whoever likes and uses it. Or at least used it once for their Instagram feed? (Was that too cynical?)These people can shape the views of your customers and potential customers. So your job is to think about who can possibly have that kind of influence over your purchasers? If you sell a product such as bath bombs or handmade earrings, and your goal is to sell more, you probably want to go to larger volume outlets rather than one off sales as a goal. So who has influence over store owners or merchandisers? If you’re a professional, who has influence over your primary purchasers? I can almost guarantee that your profession, whatever it is, has people who say they don’t need you. Even when they do. So who has influence over them and their decision making and how do you talk to those people? What can you say to them to get them on your side, to align with you? How do you shape your messaging to open that door to supporting you?The more you talk to your audience in terms that they understand, the simpler it becomes to get your message across. But what your audience knows and what your message means to them depends on who they are. It’s not their job to interpret what you’re saying to them, to decide if you are providing value to them. That’s your job. And mine. And if you need help with understanding your messaging and how to change it to suit your audiences yet stay aligned with your goals, pop me an email at janice@janicefogarty.com. And if you want to learn more about how I create social media content for my clients that works for them, how I devise their strategic messaging based off of their goals then translate that into actual posts for their social media feeds, then head on to janicefogarty.com/create-your-social-media-strategy for my 30 minute masterclass. Because once you have your messages and you know your audiences, the next step of the process is actually getting those messages to them.And if you’re wondering, I have a pretty good handle on a weeping tile system to protect foundations. Because with practise and knowing your audience, tailoring your messages for them can become second nature and ensures they know what you need them to know.Thanks so much for listening and until next week, my friend.
8/23/2021

5 Ways to Forecast Change For Your Business

Season 1, Ep. 64
So this one time we stumbled into a beautiful little village in the mountains in Spain. And then we struggled to find our way back out. You can assume we eventually did because here I am writing and podcasting in English with nary a Spanish accent but what the heck does this have to do with business? I pull it together in this episode, all about where to look to forecast change and how to know if the temporary changes you made to your business to survive Covid are going to be enough.Key Points:Snoop the Competition (8:45)Trend Watch (10:49)Don't Be The Smartest Person in the Room (11:45)Get a Mentor: Not a guru! (12:40)Ask Your Customers (14:02)Also mentioned in this episode:Have you left a rating & review yet? Please take a moment and do so as it helps bring this podcast and the information to other small business owners (and I'd be forever grateful!) If you're listening on Apple Podcasts (formally iTunes) please rate and review there. If you're not an Apple supporter, you can go to Podchaser: https://www.podchaser.com/podcasts/connections-coffee-confidence-1788572 Thank you so much for your support!**Hey, are you wondering how to use social media so it helps you reach your goals instead of kill time?Let me show you the exact steps I use to make sure my client’s social media is strategic and cohesive so that you can use the socials to support your business without wasting time and getting frustrated.Take my half hour masterclass and by the end you'll:have 30 daysworth of strategic content ready to be created,knowhowto create your own messaging to ensure each post or live is pushing you towards ticking off your goals,know my four foundationsof creating the visual,and learn a few extra tips to keep you rocking.I work you through a live example so you can see exactly what I mean and how the method works in real life, not just theoretically. Go tohttps://www.janicefogarty.com/create-your-social-media-content-strategyto learn more. My Products:Don't Waste Your Breathguide on creating your own strategic messaging, based onyourbusiness goals. Get this download and learn how to speak clearly and with purpose about your business. (https://janicefogarty.podia.com/dont-waste-your-breath-get-your-best-message-across)Thinking about taking advantage of all the podcasts as opportunities to get your message out? You need my one page download onHow to be an Amazing Podcast Guest checklist(https://www.janicefogarty.com/how-to-be-an-amazing-podcast-guest)Wondering how to get incredible PR to grow awareness of your business but can't afford a PR agency? You need10 Places to get Publicity, Even with Zero Budget(https://www.janicefogarty.com/discover-10-places-to-get-free-publicity-even-though-you-have-zero-budget)Let's Connect!✔Join me on Pinterest😀✔Let's connect onLinkedIn✔AndInstagram!✔Connections Coffee Confidence Community on Facebook, my groupTranscript:Hello and welcome to today’s episode of Connections, Coffee & Confidence with me, Janice. Growing up, we didn’t do amazing and fancy holidays. Except for that one time there was a big thing at my Dad’s work and he ended up with a ton of credit card points. Those points paid for us to rent a hotel room, one room, for the five of us. But it was next to the pool, which was bat central but whatever, and we thought it was the best thing ever. And it was the first time we got to see Mr. Bean because we were in New Brunswick, Canada’s only bi-lingual province, and the only tv channel we got was French CBC. Mr. Bean, if you’re not familiar, has no talking so it was perfect. Proof you don’t need the perfect holiday to make family memories. But that’s not my point.I tell you this because now I’m going to tell you a story about this time I went to Spain and I don’t want you to think I don’t still, to this day a good 20 years later, recognize the extreme privilege of international travel. I’m going back to when I lived in Ireland, which is a story for another day, where it’s quite common to pop on a Ryanair flight and jump over to Spain for your holiday.But this one was a special trip because my now husband and I were going to Spain to meet one of my brothers and his then girlfriend. They had saved up all of their money to do a big backpacking in Europe thing and they were heading to Spain. My husband’s family have a villa so we were going to stay there, spend some time together, exciting because I hadn’t seen him for a year or two at that time and I missed him.One day we decided to go exploring, up into the mountains. It was gorgeous, as Spain tends to be. And we found ourselves driving through this little tiny village. No idea what it was called. We didn’t know then, either. No idea how we got there, we were literally just driving to see the sights. It was old, it was high up with views to take your breath away - especially me as I’m afraid of heights. Olive and almond trees everywhere. Just beautiful.But like all things, it needed to end and we had to go home. Except, there were no road signs. Shouldn’t be too hard, right? As we drove around, we noticed that the stunning vista we were loving was really similar to the one we had just seen a few minutes earlier. And pretty soon we realized we actually were seeing the same scenery, on repeat.We asked ourselves: How many roads can there be to get out of this little village? We really stumbled into this hidden gem of a community, shouldn’t be too hard to stumble our way back out, right? Turns out there were loads of little side roads off the main road, none of the directional signs made any sense to us, and the main road seemed to just do a loop around the village.So what in the world does this have to do with your business? I’ll pull it together for you after the intro.INTRONow, before I close the Spanish mountain top driving loop for you, I want to have a quick word about the masterclass I just released. If you’re interested in learning more about how to use social media to grow your business, as a tool to effectively reach your business goals; if you need a better strategy than only to batch create when the stars align and your hair is amazing but you’re scrambling for things to say; if you’ve been trying to use social media for your business but just aren’t seeing the results you want; I have something for you. I’ve created a half hour masterclass where I teach you my method for creating strategic messaging and using it in my clients’ social media to move them towards their business goals. I include my four foundations for each post and even walk you through a real Facebook post, breaking it down so you see each element in action. The strategy works for all platforms and businesses, and you finish it not only knowing my exact method but also with 30 strategic post topics, designed by you to push your business forward. There’s more information on my website at janicefogarty.com and I’ll link to it in the shownotes.Ok, Spain. We were very reluctant to try any of these side roads to who knows where. None of them were looking any more prominent than the others because logically wouldn’t you expect a road to a larger town or a highway to be bigger or somehow special? Fortunately, we weren’t the only ones seeing the same thing on repeat. A very old gentleman noticed we had driven past him a few times already. On the next pass, he was in his truck and ready for us. He tooted his horn and waved for us to follow him. So we did. And he drove us down the same road and a few minutes later pulled over to the right side of the road while indicating left. Then he hopped out and started waving and pointing for us to go left. Which turned out to be the road back to where we needed to be to get to the highway to get home. Bless his heart.And sometimes we reach this place in our business where we’re driving around and around, thinking everything is just fine. Until we realize it’s not. Until we realize our problem, our challenge. And in business, when we’re following the same path all of the time, it often means we’re missing what else is happening. Sometimes following the same path also means it’s harder for us to get off that beaten track, even if we have someone waving us off in another direction.Lots of us changed direction when Covid hit, to some degree or another. Some of us went crazy bananas and took this as a chance to do something so different to our norm. Some of us just kind of tweaked what we were doing already or slowed way down while we tried to retain some sort of security.But the world is still changing and things probably are never going back to the way they were. So the changes or tweaks you made as a temporary measure, they may now look like not enough. They were fine for the interim but time is moving on and you gotta ask: will they stand the test of time?This is the moment when we really need to start paying attention, gathering information and clues to what might be happening, what new changes might be coming down the road and how we can deal with them. How they might impact or even improve our business. We don’t want to be like the board of Blockbuster and have the CEO tell us we should move to a subscription model, only to dismiss the idea. The joys of being small is that we can continue to make changes as we see fit. The trick is being paying attention and remaining open to the information presented.But where do we pay attention? Who will be our guru now? And how we can we trust any one guru?I have five suggestions for us to use to gather reliable information to digest. Five ideas to of places to gather our clues starting with some basic snooping.First port of call is to look at competitors. Very few of us are doing something unique so odds are there is someone else you can look at. You might even know your competition and this is where you put your relationship skills to use, and ask to meet to discuss. Not only is it so helpful to network with someone who just gets what you do but it’s also helpful to see if someone else’s experiences and practises match your own. With any luck, they are trying something different and you can gauge from each other which is the way forward or even adapt the method even further. But you can also do the step-removed snooping and check out their online presence. Maybe they offer a different package, use different language, whatever and you can have a think about whether they are just targeting a different client and that’s totally cool, but are they targeting a different client because they know something you don’t? Are they targeting mid-size companies because smaller businesses don’t have the funds to pay for your service, for example? A word of caution - don’t get caught up in the they’re doing something different, it must be better oh my God I suck trap. Don’t do it. Maybe something safer to do is to look at similar businesses in the same industry or sector. So if you’re a family lawyer, a professional, you look at other professionals. Be it a real estate law practise or an accountancy firm. If they are somewhat comparable, have a look at how they are operating. Are they moving to operate online? Scaling back their services? Niching more? Why do you think that might be? And is it applicable to your business? If you're a hairdresser, check and see what the personal trainers or nail techs are doing. You want to look for a comparable type of business that has been successful, growing steadily, and is known for being progressive. What are they doing and can you do it too?Another method that doesn’t require you to leave your chair is to check online research and data resources. There are companies out there whose entire business model is to watch trends, to gather the data and analyse it; many will create sector- or industry-specific forecasts based on the data which you can use to base your decisions from. Now, full reports are usually for purchase but sometimes they are free or the excerpt will give you enough of a clue as to whether you want to purchase or even give you an overview, a feel for how things are predicted to go. Try your professional association if you belong to one or check companies like Bloomberg for these reports. Google it and see what comes up; you never know which PhD or Masters candidate just published their comprehensive review on exactly what you’re looking to learn. Honestly, I’ve been surprised a few times exactly that way.Speaking of professional organizations and networking, what about networking with your professional organization? Or with community business leaders? You want to find a room, physical or otherwise, where you are not the smartest person. Where people have different experiences, different paths and glean what you can from them. Try Quora or Reddit; blogs, podcasts or the social feeds of industry influencers or thought leaders. Places where the chitchat’s happening. You’re listening for and asking about things they’ve been doing differently, processes they've been changing, things that haven’t been working or seem not to be working like they used to.And if the idea of talking to lots of people is a bit overwhelming, try a mentor. Many business associations offer a mentoring program and often your local government-led business centres do as well. You can even just approach someone you’ve admired and ask. And it should be a safe ask for you, too, because it’s a flattering thing for most people to be considered mentor material. What you’re looking for is the opportunity to pick the brains of someone who has been there done that and maybe even seen some of the current trends that she knows are just that - a trend. She - or he - might be able to tell you which things remain constant in business, what used to work that is coming back into favour or even see that you are, in fact, knocking it out of the park and be who you need to remind you to celebrate your accomplishments. I had asked earlier who will be your guru and I just want to take a moment and suggest your mentor not be a guru. You need someone who can balance you out, push you forward, and answer your questions. They are not the be all and end all when it comes to information because one person’s experiences are just that - one person’s experiences. So a mentor - not a guru.And you know what source might be the easiest to tap for information? Your current client base. The people you have already worked with in the past or are working with right now. Have a think about what people have been coming to you with or what they’ve been talking about as you’ve engaged with them. Have a few people been mentioning the same things or asking the same questions? Or just ask them what’s changing in their lives and how you can help make it easier. Have you noticed that one of your services just isn’t really getting much uptake over the last few months or year? Maybe it’s time to re-evaluate based on current trends or just ask a trusted customer, someone you really thought would benefit from that service or product, why they didn’t purchase. Obviously, frame it as a help to you and not scolding for not buying your clearly amazing thing. But ask. Because the information is probably good. And if it involves something you can control or work with, then you know what to do.But here’s the thing. You’re the boss of your business. You were smart enough to get where you are. You’re smart enough to know to keep scanning the environment for opportunities and threats. So you’re smart enough to take the information you’ve gathered from your sources and evaluate it. To take the time, step back and mull it over. To watch for the signs of change and if you don't understand the signs you see, to look for someone who is willing to help. Not everyone is as lucky as we were to have someone notice you’re lost and wave you in the right direction out of the good of their heart, sometimes you have to ask. Which reminds me of another trip to Spain with my husband where we ended up in a different travel-related challenge that ended up with us climbing and jumping off of an 8 or 9 foot fence to a dusty alley while a busload of passengers yelled to ask where we were going. But that’s another story, for a different time.If you enjoyed this episode I’d love you to bits and pieces if you could leave a review on itunes, and if you don’t do Apple, you can leave a review on Podchaser; I’ll leave the links in the shownotes.And until next week my friend, thanks for listening.I love Landish products because I appreciate a natural approach to my well-being and love to support Canadian. We drink5 Mushroom Hot Chocolateevery night - except when we feel like it's aGolden Lattekind of night! (AndPure Canadian Marine Collagenis a staple in my morning smoothie.) By usingmy referral link, you can get 20% off of your first order -->https://bit.ly/2SEOqzl
8/16/2021

But What Do I Talk About?

Season 1, Ep. 63
We're all working on our reputation, whether we know it or not, every day. You can't get around it. But you can be intentional with how you create your reputation and this episode introduces one tip for doing that effectively: storytelling.Key Points:Why you want people to talk about you (2:14)Practical Exercise: Brainstorm Session (4:12)Stories in Action (6:16)Social Media Strategy (8:26)Also mentioned in this episode:**Hey, are you wondering how to use social media so it helps you reach your goals instead of kill time?Let me show you the exact steps I use to make sure my client’s social media is strategic and cohesive so that you can use the socials to support your business without wasting time and getting frustrated.I’m releasing my masterclass on my strategic social media content method on August 18, 2021.By the time it’s over:you’ll have30 daysworth of strategic content ready to be created,you’ll knowhowto create your own messaging to ensure each post or live is pushing you towards ticking off your goals,thefour foundationsof creating the visual,and a few little tips of my own to keep you rocking.I work you through a live example so you can see exactly what I mean and how the method works in real life, not just theoretically. Go tohttps://www.janicefogarty.com/create-your-social-media-content-strategy to learn more. (If you're on my email list you've been notified of your special pricing on my offerings!)My Products:Don't Waste Your Breathguide on creating your own strategic messaging, based onyourbusiness goals. Get this download and learn how to speak clearly and with purpose about your business. (https://janicefogarty.podia.com/dont-waste-your-breath-get-your-best-message-across)Thinking about taking advantage of all the podcasts as opportunities to get your message out? You need my one page download onHow to be an Amazing Podcast Guest checklist(https://www.janicefogarty.com/how-to-be-an-amazing-podcast-guest)Wondering how to get incredible PR to grow awareness of your business but can't afford a PR agency? You need10 Places to get Publicity, Even with Zero Budget(https://www.janicefogarty.com/discover-10-places-to-get-free-publicity-even-though-you-have-zero-budget)Let's Connect!✔Join me on Pinterest😀✔Let's connect onLinkedIn✔AndInstagram!✔Connections Coffee Confidence Community on Facebook, my groupI love Landish products because I appreciate a natural approach to my well-being and love to support Canadian. We drink5 Mushroom Hot Chocolateevery night - except when we feel like it's aGolden Lattekind of night! (AndPure Canadian Marine Collagenis a staple in my morning smoothie.) By usingmy referral link, you can get 20% off of your first order -->https://bit.ly/2SEOqzlTranscript:Well hello and welcome to this episode of Connections, Coffee & Confidence with me, Janice Fogarty. I don’t know if you know this or not, but people talk. They might even talk about you. But what are they saying? Is it what you want them to say? And, more importantly, can you influence what they’re saying?Essentially what I'm talking about here is reputation management, traditionally something you needed to hire a PR professional to do for you. But these days we’re all creating and managing our own reputations, whether we realize it or not.So what can you do to start being intentional about it? That’s today’s topic.INTROReputation management. It’s a massive topic, really detailed and nuanced and so much fun to work through. Unless, of course, you’ve made a massive slip and are in damage control mode. Then it’s less fun. That’s when you’re grateful you had the foresight to establish a good reputation to work to save and it’s probably the time to hire a professional. But for your regular day-to-day, there are some things you can do yourself to get people talking about you and influence what they’re saying.Let me just check in with you first - are you squirming a bit? Even a little at the idea of having people talk about you? Because I get it. Many of us create logos and brands and put those things out there to represent our business. Many of us do things like talk about our offerings until the cows come home but never talk about ourselves. Because it’s much more comfortable to talk about the things we do because we believe in them, but talk about us? Shock and horror. No thank you!Allow me to make a case for doing just that.When you talk about yourself, you naturally draw attention to your services, your business. And usually you can do it without looking like an advertisement. When you talk about yourself you stir up a bit of good old human curiosity, sometimes referred to as nosiness. But we want to encourage that to a degree and in a controlled fashion, we want to draw attention to your business. Talking about yourself also allows you the opportunity to discuss your expertise, again drawing people back to your business. Discussing your services, your capabilities, that’s building and enhancing your reputation. There’s no craziness involved, it’s just talking about you and what you do.And the nice thing about being an entrepreneur involved in this aspect of the business is actually being the expert - not just in your business but about yourself. There’s no one who knows you like you do.So essentially what I'm saying is that talking about yourself in your business is good for business. But what does this mean in practical terms? Oh, I love the practical stuff.Ok. Grab some paper and let’s have a wee brainstorm session. Think about your experiences and your background. Think of the funny things that have happened in your business, that time you attempted to speak to your client in their native language to create relationship and you goofed. Or the time you saved the event by knowing the correct angles to take the pictures that would look amazing but not show the massive red wine spill on the dress. Or the time you got a lovely email from someone about how they love a specific product of yours for the way it makes their child or mother or themselves feel and why you created that product, how the email made you feel, how it inspired you to create a new product line. What about a funny story about what happened while you were studying for your degree or certification? Something that kept you up at night, something you aced, something you discovered you loved. Tell a client story, how you met them, how you help them, why you like working with them. What can you talk about that illustrates your experience and expertise, your personality or character? Write all of those down.Now have a look at those ideas. Which could you comfortably make public? Obviously, if you were the one who spilled the wine on the dress you had to take the pictures of, that’s not a story you tell. But think about the stories that will really create a connection between you and the person you want to do business with. Which of these stories will appeal to them? Which will paint a picture of you as a person and a business woman?So great, now you have a few stories to tell that will help increase your reputation. But what do you do with them? Oh, my love, what do you not do with them?! This is the fun part, and you need to start with the things that are fun or else you’ll talk yourself right out of doing them. Start with your favorite story. Your best one. Probably one you’ve told before and gotten a great response to, why not?Now run with it. Elizabeth Arden once said, “Repetition makes reputation and reputation makes customers.” Oh, and she’s Canadian too, eh. Just a little tidbit for you. But she intuitively knew about creating and managing a reputation, she did a fantastic job of it for herself and her company until she grew her company so large that she took on professional help, of course. So take with her advice, and mine, and run with your stories. Often. On repeat. These are the anecdotes you tell when you speak to the media. The stories that warm up your audience the next time you give a talk or a presentation or webinar. They break the ice on your next podcast interview. These stories go on your website, peppered throughout - wherever relevant - to make your point about a product or yourself. Heck, these stories are prime material for an About Me page if you have one. And if you don’t, here’s the beginnings of one for you.If you take a step back and look at the stories as a collection, what do they tell you? Is there a theme? A common thread that runs through many of them? Or something that stands out as particularly descriptive or indicative of you, your business? Something that can become or even inspires a motto or a tagline? A tagline that you pepper everywhere. Even on a tshirt, your twitter or Instagram bio?Which leads us to using social media to humanize your brand, build your reputation. If you’re interested in learning more about how to use social media to grow your business, as a tool to effectively reach your business goals; if you need a better strategy than only to batch create when the stars align and your hair is amazing but you’re scrambling for things to say; if you’ve been trying to use social media for your business but just aren’t seeing the results you want; I have something for you. I’ve created a half hour masterclass where I teach you my method for creating strategic messaging and using it in my clients’ social media to move them towards their business goals. It’s exactly what I do and I include my four foundations for each post and even walk you through a real Facebook post, breaking it down so you see each element in action. The strategy works for all platforms and businesses, and you finish it not only knowing my exact method but also with 30 strategic post topics, designed by you to push your business forward. There’s more information on my website at janicefogarty.com and I’ll link to it in the shownotes.And you know what? Stories like the ones you’ve brainstormed fit perfectly in this scenario, when you have stories designed to showcase a particular part of your personality, your expertise, your experience, social media can be the perfect place to tell them. Go live. Write a post. Take a picture. And repeat. Because remember Elizabeth Arden, repetition creates reputation and reputation creates customers.Another brilliant person to quote is Oscar Wilde, the Irish tend to be incredibly quotable, it’s part of their charm. But he once said, “There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.” You can influence whether people are talking about you and your business, and you can have a hand in deciding what they say by putting material out there for them to discuss. Pick what you want them to know, to talk about, and share that wherever you can. If you need help getting this process started, mapping out the strategy, send me an email at janice@janicefogarty.com because this is something I love helping people with. And if you want to learn how to work social media as a tool instead of as a looking glass into everyone else’s life and business, check out my website at janicefogarty.com and get my masterclass. Of course the link will be in the shownotes.Thank you for spending your precious time with me today. But now I want you to take ten minutes and actually do that brainstorm ok? This stuff here is a quick and easy win and who doesn’t need that today? I’ll talk to you again next week. Until then, my friend.
8/9/2021

5 Ways to Rekindle Your Creativity

What do you do when your creativity takes a hit? When you can't find a spark to nurture, let alone fan into a flame of amazingness? When you can’t think of a single thing to post on FB or Instagram and you are wondering if anyone would notice if you skipped sending an email to your subscribers. Or you think you’ll just re-use last year’s product line for this year’s new season release. Today I have five ideas for regaining your creativity.**Hey, are you wondering how to use social media so it helps you reach your goals instead of kill time? Let me show you the exact steps I use to make sure my client’s social media is strategic and cohesive so that you can use the socials to support your business without wasting time and getting frustrated.I’m releasing a one hour recorded masterclass on my strategic social media content method on August 18, 2021. If you’ve listened to this podcast before, you know that I firmly believe in using social media as a tool to move your business forward and this masterclass lays out exactly how I do it. By the time it’s over:you’ll have 30 days worth of strategic content ready to be created, you’ll know how to create your own messaging to ensure each post or live is pushing you towards ticking off your goals, the four foundations of creating the visual, and a few little tips of my own to keep you rocking. I work you through a live example so you can see exactly what I mean and how the method works in real life, not just theoretically. Go to www.janicefogarty.com to get on the waitlist or better yet, to join my email list - because my email subscribers and facebook group members always get first dibs and special pricing on my offerings. Key Points:Do what you love: Even when you don't feel like it (5:06)Try something totally different (6:16)Get into nature (8:09)Get your butt in gear (10:02)Clear your mind: Focus (11:43)Also mentioned in this episode:https://play.acast.com/s/connections-coffee-confidence/its-not-socially-acceptablehttps://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-68632-9https://shows.acast.com/connections-coffee-confidence/episodes/not-living-the-cookie-cutter-lifeMy Products:Don't Waste Your Breathguide on creating your own strategic messaging, based on your business goals. Get this download and learn how to speak clearly and with purpose about your business. (https://janicefogarty.podia.com/dont-waste-your-breath-get-your-best-message-across)Thinking about taking advantage of all the podcasts as opportunities to get your message out? You need my one page download on How to be an Amazing Podcast Guest checklist(https://www.janicefogarty.com/how-to-be-an-amazing-podcast-guest)Wondering how to get incredible PR to grow awareness of your business but can't afford a PR agency? You need 10 Places to get Publicity, Even with Zero Budget(https://www.janicefogarty.com/discover-10-places-to-get-free-publicity-even-though-you-have-zero-budget)Let's Connect!✔Join me on Pinterest😀✔Let's connect onLinkedIn✔AndInstagram!✔Connections Coffee Confidence Community on Facebook, my groupI love Landish products because I appreciate a natural approach to my well-being and love to support Canadian. We drink5 Mushroom Hot Chocolateevery night - except when we feel like it's aGolden Lattekind of night! (AndPure Canadian Marine Collagenis a staple in my morning smoothie.) By usingmy referral link, you can get 20% off of your first order -->https://bit.ly/2SEOqzlTranscript:Hello and welcome to this episode of the Connections, Coffee & Confidence podcast with me, Janice. We’re heading into what are known as the dog days of summer. Where the heat has settled in, sapping your energy to do anything but find somewhere to relax and cool off. It certainly takes a toll on your desire to be productive and creative. But no matter what time of year, the inevitable always happens. Your spark, your inspiration, your creativity takes a dip. It might not happen often but when it does, it can be... stressful. As a matter of fact, I find it tends to happen when things are already stressful; nothing like a pile of stress to stifle your enjoyment of, well, pretty much anything.So what do you do when your creativity takes a hit? When you can't find a spark to nurture, let alone fan into a flame of amazingness? When you can’t think of a single thing to post on your facebook or Instagram and you are wondering if anyone would notice if you skipped sending an email to your subscribers. Or you think you’ll just re-use last year’s product line for this year’s new season release. Today I have five ideas for regaining your creativity.INTROBefore I dive in, I want to give you a heads up that I’m releasing a recorded masterclass on my method to create strategic social media content on August 18, 2021. In it, I’ll lay out the exact steps I use to make sure my client’s social media is cohesive and helps them reach their business goals. If you’ve listened to this podcast before, you know that I firmly believe in using social media as a tool to move your business forward and this masterclass lays out exactly how I do it. By the time it’s over, you’ll have 30 days worth of strategic content ready to be created, you’ll know how to create your own messaging to ensure each post or live is pushing you towards ticking off your goals, the four foundations of creating the visual, and a few little tips of my own to keep you rocking. I work you through a live example so you can see exactly what I mean and how the method works in real life, not just theoretically. Go to www.janicefogarty.com to get on the waitlist or better yet, to join my email list - because my email subscribers and facebook group members always get first dibs and special pricing on my offerings. And, it goes without saying, I’ll have all of this information in the show notes for this episode.So creativity. Everyone has some form of creativity, some of us are lucky enough to get to use ours in our work. And I say ‘lucky enough’ but to be real, it doesn’t feel like such a blessing when you need to create something but your well has run dry. You know what? That’s actually a really good example of when you know your creativity has dried up, you resort to trite sayings such as ‘the well has gone dry’. Not terribly creative although still fitting.Even when you aren’t using your creativity at work, you want to encourage a certain level of it in your personal life. Creativity helps you with problem solving, with seeing different perspectives, with generating new ideas and new ideas can lead to all kinds of amazing places. Or nowhere, but they’re fun to have and fun is good. Creativity is recognized as a character strength because it’s recognized as contributing to a person’s perceived wisdom. Creativity and innovation are frequently credited as the source of increased positive feelings and hope. It feels like no matter who you are or how you use it, creativity is a terrible thing to lose.But it happens.So what do you do to bring yours back to life?My first suggestion is to do what you love to do, even if you don’t feel like it at the moment. Like to read? Grab a book or a magazine - try for some actual paper in your hands as the tactile experience is more immersive but get some words in front of you. If you like to pet your dog, I’m sure he or she won’t complain. Paint, cook, I bake. Baking is something I need to focus on because I usually go for a new recipe and it takes my mind off of whatever. It’s my safe space and I usually know how to tinker with a recipe a bit to make it my own and that immersive and sensory process lifts whatever’s blocking me. But that’s me. If you’re deep in a funk, you might not feel like you want to do it at that moment, but if it’s something that you really love and you give it a solid chance, often you’ll find your flow and slip into a state of relaxation. And a relaxed mind and heart are creative.My second suggestion is a bit paradoxical. Try something totally different. You know how they say a change is as good as a rest? Well, here’s your opportunity to try it out. You might surprise yourself with what you find you like or have a hidden talent for. When you try something new, that’s when the potential for increased problem solving and perspective changes come into play. And even if it turned out to be something you really didn’t like and will never do again, it unlocks something inside of you, something that tells you: you are a survivor; you are a ‘keep your feet firmly on the ground’ person, you’re more of a nightclub groover than a ballroom dancer. There’s no wrong thing to come out, barring physical or psychological damage of course but I assume that you’re choosing a safe and legal activity. When you think about the outcome, don’t fixate on the concrete - look at outside of the thing you made or the whatever it was. I guess it’s in the perspective you use to review the experience that opens you up. Were you exhilarated by the physical, is it a clue to try something else active? Were you lost in the process but not the steps themselves? Like, you enjoyed having a series of activities that led you to the end but the things themselves didn’t rock your world - and maybe you can look at trying to incorporate more pastimes that involve a workflow or revisit your own workflow. Worst comes to the worst, you may have met some new people, crossed something off your to-do list, and got a story to tell in your next live or in your email. All is not lost if you have a story. See? It’s in your perspective!Third on my list is getting into nature. I know it’s not the easiest thing for everyone to do on a grand scale but even if you have a window box or a flower in a pot on your desk - give it some time. I am not ashamed to say I talk to my plants. And my dog but that’s widely accepted, right? There’s research that plants grow bigger when you speak to them but I’m talking about communing with the plants for your benefit; extra flowers or whatever are a bonus. But if you can, get outside and be amongst some trees or water. Try taking off your shoes and standing on the ground, just some bare earth. If you can get to water and have a swim or walk the lake or creek or beach, soak it up. I’d even suggest finding some puddles and having a serious jumping session - guaranteed to make you laugh if nothing else but that still gets you outside. I could go into the whole discussion about earthing but I can’t find great science behind it. The Japanese have forest bathing where they walk in forests and the research shows that the air in the forest positively impacts walkers’ immune systems so there is something to the whole nature thing. And you know what, people tend to feel better after time with nature. So you do what you can with what you have access to. Personally, some of my most creative peaks have come after significant time in nature, be it walking the local beach, camping in the rocky mountains, or just weeding the garden. I’m a firm believer in this one.Fourth suggestion is to get your butt in gear and move. I don’t care what you do, do something. Walk. That’s free. Do laps around your apartment, your property, the local park, the street in front of your day job, whatever. Go to the gym or get a Zoom trainer. Try Tasiya Haist from episode 24 if you want someone to work with and don’t know where to start, her details are in the shownotes and I’ve linked to the episode so you can get a feel before you approach her. Maybe you pop some music on and dance in the kitchen or living room or your bedroom. Try the gypsy kings or something with a fantastic latin beat to make you shake your booty and feel like a million bucks. Or maybe that’s just my jam. Get whatever shakes the cobwebs out and makes you feel like the most incredible person to grace your stage and hit repeat. Try kickboxing, yoga or pilates, swimming or skydiving. Get a second hand bike and a helmet and see how you go. A recent study and of course that’s linked but forewarned, it’s the actual scientific report not a synopsis, anyway the study showed that physical activity impacted a person’s innovation and creativity. It wasn’t that activity increased someone’s mood and then they were more creative, the innovation is a direct result of the physical activity. So move.My fifth suggestion is to clear your mind. Or focus it on something. I know, I basically just said two different things there but roll with me, I’m about to get a bit soft and woo here. It’s often difficult for us to be creative when we have so much rolling through our mind. And when’s the last time you cleared your mind? There’s a wealth of information on meditating and journaling but I’m not going to inundate you with any of it. What I am going to do is tell you I journal every day because it helps remind me of what’s important and allows me the opportunity to clear out what isn’t. And I do the pen to paper journaling, completely tactile, and usually with a coffee in hand and before anyone else is up. That gets a bit messy sometimes, like in the summer when my youngest is up at the crack of dawn to cram as much into the day as possible so I hang out with him instead, let him kick my butt at games like Yahtzee or cards. But I know when I’ve been a bit lax in journaling because I struggle to focus, there’s too much happening in my head, so I make the time to do it. When I need the extra help, I find a guided meditation on YouTube and I’m grateful to be on Heather McGregor’s email list - do you remember Heather from episode 52? She provides regular opportunities to meditate with her and those sessions sweep the cobwebs and blocks and allow your flow to percolate back to life. That episode is linked in the shownotes, too. But the guided meditation works for me because it focuses me on what I’m doing instead of just floating through and finding myself mentally writing my grocery list, listening for the washing machine to stop and well whatever else is causing me to lose focus in the moment. But that's me. Find what slows you down, clears your heart and mind, and releases that band from your chest or your head that stops you from expanding and blocks your creativity. It might be in conjunction with physical activity such as yoga or even tai chi, doing double duty on the creativity block breaking. But maybe it’s a solitary action of meditation or journaling or painting, something that provides a focus for your brain, allows you to release the noise. Even just breathing, and Heather walks you through a breathing exercise you can do anywhere anytime to stimulate your flow.Look, I know there are a thousand different things that you can try out to get yourself in a more creative state. The five I suggest today are to do what you love or do what you’ve never done before; get into nature, get moving, and get clear. These suggestions are kind of contrary to each other in some way. Try this or try the exact opposite. But there are as many options as there are people so check in with your gut, see what it’s telling you and follow it. Because what is consistent is the reported positive benefits of all of these options on your creativity. And that’s what we’re focused on today, flaming your creative spark back into a flame for the betterment of your work and your life. Such a cause is well worth a bit of experimentation, right?Thanks for listening. I‘ll be back next week so until then my friend.