Connections, Coffee & Confidence


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 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 to learn more. (If you're on my email list you've been notified of your special pricing on my offerings!)

My Products:

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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.


Reputation 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 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 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 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.

More Episodes


Let Me Explain the Link Between Christmas, Perception and Your Marketing Work

Season 1, Ep. 70
In this short episode, I ask what we're waiting for - what those of us who should be on the mailing list for Overthinkers Anonymous are actually waiting for and I propose a simple solution to move past the chronic overthinking that slows us down. With a nod to my mom who in her usual ever so slightly sarcastic way of making her point, left this golden gem in my head: Christmas is coming... This translates into: what the heck are you waiting for?Also mentioned in this podcast:This is the podcast I probably listen to the most; it's fun, it's interesting, and there's always a fresh take on things I've thought about - and some I've never considered! This is the episode where one of them mentions marketing as a human experiment. 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: 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 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. ( 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( 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('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. I’m coming at you from our new home in Prince Edward Island - if you’ve ever read Anne of Green Gables, you know where I am. My freckles and I are fitting in well. And the new house has a new office which you may have seen if you’ve been on my Facebook or Instagram stories. Windows and everything. If you’re new, you don’t know this is a significant move from my Harry Potter style cubby under the stairs. Happy to be settling into a new home and being able to get into routine. I feel like I have a new lease of life, to be honest. And what’s interesting is that I have had a recurring theme push its way through to me, one that has come from some kind of surprising people. And if it’s coming from them, maybe you are experiencing it too. So let’s talk about it.INTROSo what are you waiting for?Seriously.Life is passing us by and here we are, waiting for something. My mother would always tell me that Christmas was coming when I was busy thinking something to death and then thinking about it some more. I believe she was implying I was taking too long to make a decision and take action.Are you waiting for Christmas?There are perfectly rational and reasonable times when waiting and thinking things through is appropriate. When there are safety concerns, the potential for significant emotional impact on someone else, or large sums of money involved, yes, have a good think.When it comes to making a pitch to the media, launching a new product or service, paying for an ad on your favorite social media platform or being yourself, that’s different.This often boils down to fear and fear can come from a variety of places. Usually it can be dealt with by educating yourself on the reality because your perception is clouding your view.I was recently messaging with someone I really respect, someone I admire in so many ways not least because of her accomplishments. And I was really nervous about asking her to come on the podcast because I was worried about the time she and I had talked and I had goofed the time difference. And it turns out she had completely forgotten the incident. We had a good laugh and she made a comment about Overthinkers Anonymous. And I’m sure if I googled that I’d find that someone has already taken that as a title for a book or a membership or something. Or maybe they’re too busy overthinking it.But there was a similar mini conversation in my Facebook group where myself and another woman were having a discussion about over analyzing things. Talking ourselves in and talking ourselves right back out of really great ideas and actions.Does any of this ring true for you?Do you circle around and around your ideas, looking at them from every angle before deciding to not quite jump but dip your toe in? Do you think about them for so long that when you do decide to take action, you find someone else has started while you had your head down?When we wait, we miss out. We miss out on opportunities to meet new people, to try new things, to see new places. We miss out on money. And what really gets me is that we miss out on knowing: knowing if we can. Knowing that we can. Because it’s the confidence we get when we’ve tried it and seen just what we’re capable of, that’s usually missing from those of us considering joining Overthinkers Anonymous.And even if we aren’t successful, that’s fine. The world doesn’t end and we come back from that with a better idea of how to do it next time or if, in fact, we should never do that again.When we don’t over analyse and simply create a thoughtful plan, leaving to chance the stuff we can easily handle and mapping out the big things, we get the opportunity to test and revise, to rethink and do it again.We need to do to improve - both the work and ourselves.An interesting thought is one I heard on another podcast, the David McWilliams podcast which I’ll link to in the show notes. I can’t remember if it was him or his guest who had said it but one of them said that marketing was just a human experiment.Did you hear that?It’s just an experiment!You know how in science class you learned or maybe had the opportunity to do actual experiments? Where in scientific theory, it’s actually based off of not knowing and trying to find out? Where if the experiment doesn’t prove the theory, neither you nor the theory are wrong, the theory just wasn’t proved right. You don’t come into it at all, it’s not you who is right or wrong - it’s the theory that’s being tested.And when I heard that sentence, marketing is a human experiment, it just felt like so much of the weight had been lifted.Do you feel it?It’s an experiment! And we all experiment at those things we’re good at, those things we’re confident about and comfortable with. Maybe you’re like me and very confident in the kitchen; I bet you experiment in there all the time. You know how it goes and if it doesn’t go exactly right the first time, once you’ve taste tested the results you know that you need to dial back the garlic or punch up the balsamic or the lemon was good but next time you’re trying lime because you have a suspicion that’s what’ll knock your taste buds right off your tongue.Or maybe you know how to experiment with clothing. Or technology. Or compose music or put on make up or one thousand other things. You experiment and if it doesn’t go exactly right, that’s ok. You can fix it.And what if it was exactly the same with your marketing and PR?You just tweaked your message and your visuals when the first attempt didn’t land as you wanted.You just tried it on a different platform or pitched a different journalist?What if you just tried it? With a plan, like you’re not just diving in headfirst with a blindfold on - you know the basics of what you’re doing and you do it to the best of your ability, but you do it. You try it.Have you ever noticed how much energy you can put into overthinking? Some people are nervous fidgeters, they expend a lot of energy. I’m more of a sit still while my mind races for hours and hours kind of analyzer. After I had the boys I learned to channel those sessions into sitting in front of the laundry that needs to be folded but still, there is an energy that you’re putting into thinking things into oblivion that you could be using elsewhere.What if you took even half of that thinking or nervous energy and put it into actually doing what you’re thinking about? Imagine what you could accomplish?Imagine what you could learn about yourself, about the idea, about your potential audience, about your market, about the practicalities if you took that brain space and put it towards good?It’s funny because I say I can talk myself out of anything. And I was rolling that idea that marketing is just a human experiment around in my head - ok, I was rolling it around for a while but hey - new province, new house, new school for the kids - there is a lot rolling around inside my head recently! But it made me wonder what would happen if I took my amazing superpower to talk myself out of anything and just flipped it. Just like that. Instead of talking myself out of things, I just talked myself into them. What would that look like?Think it would be like those books and things you read or hear about where people decide to say yes to everything for six months or a year. But not as extreme. Because I know that when I start overanalyzing my ideas, I’m doing it out of fear. And that fear is based on a perception that I’m not good enough or smart enough or that people won’t like me (please please send me an email or tag me on Instagram if you get that reversed reference, doggone it!)And I bet you’re the same.What if we chose to look at it as though it’s just an experiment. We’re just testing something. It has nothing to do with us, it’s a theory we’re testing. No reflection of our worth, it’s a human experiment. What if all of those things you were worrying about were just like my worry of that woman thinking I was a doofus who can’t tell time or understand time zones? What if those fears are just our own perceptions? Not reality.Would you find it easier to get things started, to get them going, if you were just testing an idea? Because Christmas is coming, no matter what religion or belief set you might have, there is a well known date on most calendars and I bet you have something you’ve been rolling around in your head for the last while.I guess the big question is - what are you waiting for?

10 Tips to Improve Your Writing Confidence Right Now

Season 1, Ep. 69
One of the things I get asked about the most is confidence in writing, communicating. So I came up with this list of my top 10 tips for gaining that confidence. Pick which one works for you for the project you're working on right now and put it into action!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: 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 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. ( 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( 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('s Connect!✔Join me on Pinterest😀✔Let's connect onLinkedIn✔AndInstagram!✔Connections Coffee Confidence Community on Facebook, my groupTranscript:Hello and welcome to the Connections, Coffee and confidence podcast with me, Janice. This might surprise you but one of my earliest dreams was to work at Dairy Queen. And if you aren’t in a country lucky enough to have a Dairy Queen, let me break your heart by telling you what you’re missing. It’s a fast food chain that yes, offers hot food but the real beauty is that they offer treats like blizzards where they take their ice cream (actually ice milk but we aren’t going to split hairs here) and blitz it with candy pieces and flavours of your choice, and dipped ice cream cones, and sundaes and banana splits and my personal favorite the peanut buster parfait - layers of ice cream with hot fudge sauce and peanuts. So when a new DQ opened up in the town I lived in in high school, I took myself down and got a job. Just like that, I fulfilled one of my life’s goals.Fortunately, I had other goals left to conquer such as becoming a published author. And I’ve been published publicly before, in magazines and newspapers in Canada and Ireland, but not under my own name. Because I usually do for others what you do for your own business, write. You might not think of yourself as a writer, you might shudder in horror or laugh your head off at the idea of you being a writer but trust me when I say, you are a writer.Off the top of my head, I know you write emails, text messages, social media posts for sure. And you probably write product or service descriptions, maybe a sales page, website or landing page write.Something that is often asked about when people join my private facebook group is writing - getting confident in writing, knowing what to write about, how to do those things with comfort and ease. Okay, comfort and ease are my words but people ask about writing a lot. And when I talk to them, it’s because they aren’t comfortable, it doesn’t come easy and therefore it’s hard.So today I am bringing you ten tips on gaining writing confidence. These aren't in a strategic order, you don’t need to start at number one and master it before you move to number two; not at all. You pick what you need as you need it, work on it, try it out. The tip you focus on could well depend on the situation you find yourself in and that’s just right, too.So I’ll start with this tip I’ll call number one and it’s sort of ironically called get started. The worst thing to do is to stare at that blinking cursor, the one that seems to reappear in a slow laughing rhythm. Put some words down and break that rhythm. Often the first few words are the hardest or the least sensible or the most muddled but they are words and those words lead to more and better words. And that’s what you’re after. So get started.The second tip is for you to Practise. Keep doing it. You might not feel like writing or rewriting that sales page, and that’s cool. But if you know it’s something that needs to be done, take a practise run at it. You aren’t committing to anything, you’re practising. Take the pressure off the act of writing, just try it out. And if some gold happens to fly from your finger tips well, that’s a bonus. Copy and paste it into the real version of whatever you were practising. You may have expected me to say practise like write the same thing fifteen times. And if that works for you, then do it. I know I write about four or five, sometimes more titles for my episodes. But any more than that and I drive myself crazy. I use a headline analyzer and check the SEO and the readability for each title, pick the one that works the best and roll. But I always have those practise headlines to help me.Another note about practise is that Seth Godin has written in his blog every day for well over a decade. And he talks about how not every post is solid gold. But it’s practise. And if it works for him to show up and practise every day, there’s probably no harm in us trying it more days than not, eh?The third tip is do not expect perfection. There’s nothing to kill that creativity, to stifle your ability to access words from your brain, than the pressure of writing and making it super awesome. And awesome on the first go. Ugh. It is better to be done and done well now then to be perfect in, well, you and I know things are never going to be perfect. So do it to the best of your ability and move on.Fourth is a common piece of advice from me: Have a point. Nothing helps focus your work like, well, having a focus. When you have a goal that you’re working towards, you’ll find it much easier to decide what to say and to say it well. This is where my eguide on messaging can help you - a workbook that walks you from your goals to your messaging and helps you find that focus. I’ll link to it in the shownotes and you can also just go to to see for yourself. But when you know what you’re talking about, when you know what the end result will be, that will always help shape what you actually say.Fifth is to keep in mind who you're talking to. It’s much easier to communicate with someone when you know who they are. Have you ever gone to a party that your friend begged you to go to with them, where you don’t really know anyone other than that one friend? And then you don’t quite know how to speak to people straightaway. But once you’ve had a chance to chitchat a bit, get to know a little bit about the crowd, it’s easier to talk. You know if you’re in a room full of masters degrees, entrepreneurs, stay at home parents, married couples, single parents, employees, friends or colleagues or whoever. Once you know who you’re talking to, you know how to communicate with them. It’s part of being strategic as a communicator, you know who your audience is.Tip number six for gaining confidence in writing is to ask yourself why the person you’re talking to cares. It’s not the same as what’s your point; this tip is about the audience, the person or people you’re speaking to in your writing. You can think of it as being generous with your intentions, if that makes it easier for you. It’s often easier to write when we hold in our minds what it is the recipient will find value in from your words. It’s not just a sales tactic, it’s helpful in all writing.Tip number seven is to give it time and space. This is a phrase I’ve borrowed from child psychology but it exactly describes what works for me every single time. This is commonly known as editing but honestly, I struggle to edit my own words. I read it exactly as it’s meant to be read or spoken, I go off of what was in my head versus what’s actually on the page or screen so I miss the goofs; my brain fills in what was supposed to be there so I miss the gaps. I need to give my work time as in, don’t rush the edit to publish, and space as in think of something different, do something else, before I go back to edit so I can do so with a clear brain that may have forgotten the details that were flowing through me, making it easier to catch what I originally missed putting down. Sometimes that’s not possible, I know I’m not the only one who mmmm shall we say doesn’t always plan the best or is stricken with inspiration that you simply must post right this minute which doesn’t allow for time and space editing or life simply happens and you gotta publish now or it becomes less timely and you’ve missed making your impact.That’s where tip 8 comes in. Say it. So this works in two ways, you pick which suits you. First, whatever you’ve written, whatever for, whoever for, read it out loud - not in your head - out loud! And you’ll catch what you’ve missed, at least most of it. When I was a speechwriter for a government minister, you can bet your last dollar that I not only paid attention to how she spoke, her rhythms and her speaking style, but I also read every speech out loud before handing it over to anyone else. So I caught the things, the awkward phrases that read well on the page but people don’t really speak like that, or the less than perfect word to make that point. Reading it out loud made it, whatever it was, better. Try it.The second way this works is to say it out loud first, then transcribe it. I like to write. I had someone reach out to me from my past for help and in the third email he commented that he didn’t remember me being so chatty. And that’s because I’m comfortable in my writing. But also because I’m over forty, I'm a mom to three neurodiverse boys, and wife to someone with a strong personality; I’m not the exact same person who he knew all those years ago. Same as you - your experiences shape your voice. So if your voice comes more naturally to you when you speak or sing or whatever verbal exercise works for you, then do that and take what you need for your posts. You might think you’re only good at going live when your communications strength comes from actual verbalization but that’s not re-using your content creation in the most efficient way. Go back over some of your really great lives and pull the quotes or even full paragraphs worth of words and repurpose them into posts. They’ll be brilliant because they’ll capture your best voice and your message and they’ll appeal to those in your audience who prefer to read than listen.Tip number nine on how to write with more confidence is to personalize it. It might be another way of saying be authentic but it feels less catch-phrase-of-the-moment and more, well, like me. How would you say that to a friend, to your sister, to that co-worker you used to really enjoy chatting and having a laugh with? When you can speak as you would to someone you’re comfortable with? How would you say it then? Can you capture that for your material? Can you relate it to something that has happened to you or worked for you or you’ve seen in others? And sometimes it’s easier to speak about something that happened to us like it happened to someone else and that’s ok, you’ll tell that story in a wonderfully clear way because you have full confidence in the details. And that clarity, those details, make the communications feel good for both you and your audience. When you feel good, you’ll be more confident to do it again.Last but not least, perhaps the most important tip of all actually, is number ten. Have fun. Seriously. When’s the last time you were just living in that moment, laughing your head off or feeling so full up with contentment, at peace and smiling because that’s where you were meant to be at that moment. Not concerned about if you had the right word, if you looked good, what someone might think. What platform, what time of day, what clothing, what setting, what style of delivery feels really good for you? Do that. Sure you can’t always choose what’s the most fun but you can recapture that feeling of having fun and inject it into whatever you’re doing in the moment. Try saying to yourself straight up and out loud: holy heck, I am having fun! I am frigging loving this. Or however you might speak to yourself in moments of great enjoyment. Your brain will follow along. It wants what’s best for you and if you tell it you are having fun writing copy for your sale page or product descriptions, well it’s all in on the fun and won’t notice that you’re doing work. The better you feel doing that work, the more confident you’ll become in doing it.So there you have it, my top ten tips for gaining confidence in your writing. And really, I think you can extrapolate these tips to all communications. You want confidence when you communicate. That doesn’t mean you aren’t nervous sometimes or you aren’t scared every once in a while; it means that you do it anyway, and that you just do your best to do better every time you try. So don’t forget if you want help on your messaging, you can download my guide and workbook from my website or you can pop me an email and we can book an appointment to see where I can help. In the meantime, I really want to know which tip stood out to you the most. Write it down and tag me on Instagram at janiceefogarty so I can see! And until next week my friend, have a fan freaking tastic rest of your day.

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: 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 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. ( 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( 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('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.