People are bananas and the Worst Criticism

“I LOVE criticism about my creative work” – said NO creative PERSON EVER!

Actually, said no human ever.  

People ask me often if I receive rude replies to my emails and how I handle criticism.

Honestly, criticism has made me doubt myself often.

Some people don’t love my words, and I’ve received some mean comments and responses to my emails and other content.

Seems like the more content I put out there, in any shape and form, the more criticism I receive.

Sometimes I receive responses full of rage.  

Not only do people unsubscribe from my list, but I’ve been reported as a ‘spammer’, I’ve been told my emails are stupid and crappy, some emails have included a subtle ‘F*@$ you’.

Some of these unexpected emotional reactions came from content I write on behalf of my clients, from THEIR audience, and then my clients forward these responses to me. Ouch.

I used to take this personally and get really upset – I’d put my work on a long ass pause, and in some cases I’ve turned down clients because I thought my writing wouldn’t be good enough.

I’ve thought alot about this and at some point concluded, “Maybe there’s good information here, maybe I can learn from this?”

After a while, I realized, “NAH…. if someone is going to throw an adult temper tantrum at an innocent newsletter, then it has nothing to do with me or the quality of my writing.”

I think many people are going through some sensitive times right now, no use letting someone’s shit fit dictate whether your work will be seen or not.

Your words are important.

Oh and then also, I save these fun criticisms in a folder I call “people are 🍌”, to remind myself that it’s not about me, but just a hand of bananas  – and also they make great content!

People are bananas and the Worst Criticism

Keep sharing your voice!

I Need to Rebrand my Business + Build a New Website

On a recent call, I spoke with a G about her business.

She doesn’t do one thing, and she isn’t one thing.

She’s an artist, a tarot card reader and a nutritionist.

She thought her business ‘required’ certain things to grow her client base.

She said, “I want to rebrand + build a new website, so I’ll be able to be more focused with my message and get more clients.”

As we drilled down into specifics, she revealed that her business wasn’t earning as much as she’d like and she thought that she could ‘earn more’ if her website was more professional looking.

She said, “I want more work, I want to help more people, but I just don’t know how to ‘get more clients’.

If you’ve been following me, you know how I get a twitch in my left eye when someone says, “get clients”.. Because…

Clients aren’t for the ‘getting’ and the RIGHT clients can COME TO YOU with the right message.

Photoshoots, rebranding, new websites are just a distraction.

And you know where she got the idea that her website wasn’t professional looking?

Friends, family, some random experts on social media who said professional websites are the missing link to more clients.

Fact: Many of my clients have had businesses for 20+ years, without a website and no social media presence. 

It’s not necessary. 

I’m not saying it won’t be un-important forever, or that it’s not FUN, but if your business isn’t earning what you want it to earn, and if you’re still trying to figure out from where new clients are going to land, the website+rebrand can take a backseat for now?

Are you trying to figure out a good marketing strategy when scrolling social media?  Are you surveying non-experts for their opinion?

Stop it. 

If you want to attract new clients and understand exactly where they come from, I would suggest doing something else.   Follow these 5 steps:

1 – Define your target market – what are their problems, their needs, their wishes, their desires? What is missing for them?  What is your solution?

2 – Survey your target market – maybe you have a small email list, maybe you’ve been active on social media.  Ask them targeted questions and record everything.  Note their language and the words they use.  Present your solution to them and ask them questions about it (best if questions were open ended).

3 – Clarify your message according to the survey- create your brand voice, map out your main messages, your values and stories that support these (nothing like a great story, but if a story doesn’t have an underlying message, it’ll soon be forgotten).  Create a communication plan that supports your messaging.

4 – Create an offer that is an extension of your messaging – for example, one of my main messages is “you don’t need a website in order to grow your client base, you can do this by talking to a lot of people – in person, on social media, via email”.  My 1-DAY VIP OFFER (where we spend 4-5 hours on your business together), we clarify your message (so you can clearly articulate your work in speaking and writing), create an offer, and create a content plan to which you can refer people who ask about your work.

5 – Communicate with as many people as possible  – put your content out there, be as visible as possible, share your message, make offers on email, social media and face-to-face.  When people ask you what you do, you can tell them with words AND refer them to your work on social media (FREE) or invite them to sign up to your email list, where they can receive content you worked on in #3.

Once you have these in place, you will have a lot more clarity about what your ‘new brand’ will stand for and what your ‘new website’ will look like.

In the meantime, you will have understood what your target customers want, how they communicate and if your offer resonates with them – you will even EARN money along the way.  

OH, and don’t think you have to have all the pieces above in place in order to share your message – you can do that imperfectly and immediately.  Once you start working on your message, so much will be revealed for you! 

As a matter of fact, I encourage all my clients to get ‘messy’ with it and to practice it before it’s perfect. 

Perfect will never come!

Either way and whatever you choose, there’s no right or wrong – your journey in this is unique to you.  

 

Adult Summer Camp

“Where are you heading?” asked the taxi driver.

I was in York, UK, on my way to meet up with my hot British boyfriend (more on that later).

“To York science park please,” I responded.

“Are you on vacation?”, he asked.  I responded, “No, I’m on work-cation.”

That’s been my usual joke every time I’ve since I’ve opened up my business.

I haven’t taken a REAL vacation, without my laptop and without thinking about work at all.

I’ve been thinking and worrying about work every single day these past 8 years.

And though I’ve been to beautiful places, my mind wasn’t ever at ease.

When I think of being ‘lazy’, I feel guilty – My mind tells me that in order to be effective and successful in life, I have to constantly be ‘on the move’. 

There’s no time to relax!

This behavior – no bueno.  And now, I’m paying for it with my health.

So, I’ve decided to take off in August – completely.  Except for meeting with my Messy Middle Mastermind ladies, I’m not going to do ANYTHING.

I’m not going to think about work at all, I’m not taking on new clients, and I’ve already declared it to the universe – she’s going to keep me accountable!

I’m only doing things that nourish my soul and feel fun!

So I’ve packed my bags, I’ve scheduled all content ahead of time (can’t leave you hanging without stories, rescheduled all meetings, declined giving presentations…

Guess where I’ll be going?? NOWHERE!  I’ll be right here, enjoying a month of “LAZE” with my little munchkin – that’s my version of summer camp!

If you’re looking for me, we’ll be at Legoland, riding our bikes along the Hudson River, camping in the Poconos and swimming at our town pool.  

How about you?  How will you spend August??

It’s never too late to make a list of things to do this summer.   I’ve made a list of all the things I want to eat, play and LOVE  in August, so that it feels extra relaxing and LAZY.

 

Here it is 👇🏼

Food:

1 – Culina Yogurt – this vegan yogurt is made of coconut cream and is by far the best one I’ve ever had (and I’ve had many).  I might even say this tastes better than regular yogurt.

I can only find it at Whole Foods.

2 – Cauliflower sandwich thins by Outer Aisle Gourmet – My nutritionist is encouraging me to load up on protein and fiber and these do the tricks.  Buh Bye bread, hello Cauliflower sandwich thins.

3 – The Pancake Factory – Please review the menu. Warning: browsing through the menu may make you gain 5 pounds. Enough said.

 

Good reads:

*-* Currently reading Cultish, which talks about linguistic patterns in cult-like brands.  I’ve been reading a lot about cults recently, because I’ve noticed that there are many ‘social media’ gurus who use language to build their brand and following, and as a source of influence.  I was creeped out recently by a coach I’ve been following, and then I noticed so many other people being cult-y – and then my friend, by chance, bought me this book – serendipity!  The universe wants me to know!

*-*Talking Shrimp newsletter by Laura Belgray a newsletter from a woman who writes for a living, and presents entrepreneurship and humanity in a way that makes you come back for more.

 

Podcasts:

*-* Outlier Mom My dear friend Kim Ziellinski launched a new podcast called Outlier Mom – for women who love being moms, but also want to be so much more, to get more alone time, to balance their time away and time together, sans the guilt-  to ditch the ‘should’s’ and do life THEIR WAY.

 

Learning + Investing:

*-* Cryptocurrency – you’ve probably heard about Cryptocurrency by now, and if you haven’t, now is the best time to invest time in learning about it.  I want to earn more money and I figured – there must be a dozen ways to earn it, rather than just work for it (more “laze”, please).  I joined a mastermind led by my close friend Nicole Michal who teaches about trends, trading, investing in the cryptocurrency market.  This is the future of money, and I think it’s super important to get into a room with other women who are working on their financial savviness.  

 

Netflix:

*-* No list would be complete without listing at least one Netflix series.  I’m really into historical fiction and so my choice for the summer was The Last Kingdom – based on Bernard Cornwell‘s The Saxon Stories.  Set in 866, the story focuses on how one man (a Saxon raised by Vikings that invaded England) leads several battles and rallies for peace during a time of ongoing Viking incursions in the southern part of the country.  Of course, there’s violence, drama, sex + love – perfect for the summer!

 

Fashion:

I’m into light comfortable clothing this summer, non-fancy capsule wardrobe (that’s fancy for minimalist, lounging around the house and also wearing out).

*-* I love this dress!  I found it at Gap Factory and immediately bought 3!

*-* I love this jumpsuit – I dress it up and wear it out and I also sometimes practice yoga in it – so comfortable and made with high quality materials!

 

Fun in the Sun:

No links here, but here are things we’re going to do next month:

** Kayaking

**Paddleboarding

**Treetop obstacle course

**Zip lining

**swimming in a lake

**Speedboating

 

What are your plans for wrapping up the summer? Let me know below!

I’m such a mess

Before & after. Live on Instagram.

So many squares of notable, linear transformations. 

How do they get from B->A so quickly? 

Am I doing something wrong? When I decide I want to change something in my life or business, it looks more like:

  • Crying in the shower, asking ‘why me’.
  • Feeling anxious, stressed, doubtful, unsure
  • Questioning myself every day
  • Having freakouts
  • Lashing out at my child
  • Feeling negative all day
  • Having a huge to-do list but watching 4 seasons of the Last Kingdom (Uhtred, save me!)
  • Trying to meditate but it ain’t happening
  • Doing all the things I ‘should’ be doing and seeing absolutely no change.

Meh.  Why doesn’t anybody talk about the messy-in-between?  Those moments when things aren’t going your way & you find yourself crying in a dark corner alone, more often than not?

Those days when you want to keep working towards your goals, but see no reason to believe you’ll get there?

Oh and those days when you feel like you just can’t stay on track, so you stay in bed all day screaming to no one – “where are you AFTER?”

The average mis-leader will say, “This is where I started, and look at me today!  This is possible for you TOO in this same exact timeline, if you follow my formula” – but that’s a lie.

I wish more people would say, “ I wanted to have____________, I’m in the mess, this is what it looks like…”

Where are you, champions of the mess, deniers of “the after”?

I know you’re here.  

Why doesn’t anyone admit we exist?  We like to complain, to be negative, to feel badly, rage and we believe in acknowledging the messy moments for what they are – chaos, loss of control.

It doesn’t make logical sense to continue, that discomfort feels like it’ll last forever – it’ll never work! 

Those picture perfect IG squares are a scheme to make us feel badly about our version of the ‘before’.  We’re not stuck, we’re simply experiencing disorder.

I’m starting the Messy Middle Movement  – we’re in the shitstorm, we can share authentic shitty moments and say we’re NOT OK!  

We can keep going towards our goal, or not, but we know we’ll eventually get there. Because there’s no such thing as ‘after’, only how we experience the messy middle.

Here’s how I teach my clients to “ride the mess”:

    1. Ground in your body – know that coming back into your body will always help you get out of your head. Much of the mess is experienced in our minds, and when you activate your senses (smell, taste, hearing, sight), you will move out of your head more quickly.  Some suggestions – go for a walk, diffuse essential oils, get a massage, stretch, touch something soft, hug someone  and just FEEL YOUR BODY.
    2. Acknowledge how you feel –  shine a light on those feelings, thoughts, even when they bring you discomfort.  When you are feeling stuck and like nothing is going your way, take a seat, breathe deeply and allow yourself to feel the emotions.  You don’t need to ‘do’ anything – just be with them.
    3. Surround yourself with people who are compassionate, understanding who will listen to you – The best thing to have is a shoulder to cry on, the worst thing to have is ‘advice’.  To experience the mess fully, understand the lessons and bounce back stronger, and you’ll want to hear yourself and have someone your trust hear you too.  Advice is tough to take in when you’re ‘in the mess’, so choose to be around people who will want to listen and make you feel comfortable.
    4. Don’t scroll on social media – This is completely subjective to my experience, but I know myself, and in messy times, I tend to compare myself to others.  Social media exacerbates comparison-itis in me.  If that’s not you, carry on 🙂
    5. Write lists & doodle – There’s no better time for creative expression. Writing lists will keep your mind organized!  Write out lists of times when you’ve handled messy situations, of times when you’ve transformed, of things that happen on a good day, of things you want to experiences, places you want to visit, new restaurants you want to try… and doodle away right on those lists. These actions shift your current line of thinking and shift your focus towards activating your creative mind.

You’ve got this!  The messy middle can feel intense, but how you experience it is up to you.

This one thing was life-changing and helped me focus

Over the last year, since the pandemic shut down the world, a deluge of overwhelming feelings and inability to focus have been my battleground.

I noticed that I was being very reactive, constantly picking up my phone to see ‘what everyone is up to’ – signaled by a ‘ding’.

I thought that if I was responsive, crossed things off the list more quickly, did ‘more things’, it would alleviate the stress.

Instead, I decided to put my phone on silent mode.   You won’t hear me saying, “I decided to exit out of social media..” because honestly, I like being there!

But silent mode – life-changing!

I missed a lot of calls, I wasn’t available on whatsapp chats right away and I didn’t get notifications from Facebook.

I stopped checking emails and answering messages as soon as they came in.

But nobody died, and I managed to respond to all the important ‘callings’.

I stopped unconsciously reacting to every single ding.

This relaxed my nervous system, every day, little by little.

I noticed that my day was more calm + quiet.  I could focus for longer periods of time, and I had so many new ideas for work, content and how to help my clients.

And also, every day, new, tragic world events emerge.  

Fires, a building collapsed, an assasination, anti-semetism on the rise, floods.

I can’t help but think about the effects of it, the impact on people, the animals, the environment.

This means more stress to the mind + heart, feeling less in control, less connection to my ground.

These world events are going to keep happening, and I’m going to ‘feel’ them, but NOT unconsciously reacting to every ‘ding’ that calls to me, has given me a lot more rest and an ability to focus on the important things.

So you see, creating more space in my mind and calm in my body was the answer to relieve the stress – not crossing to-do’s off my list or getting mad at world events.

When my clients say, “Elinor, it’s so hard to focus, I have so many things going on, where do I even start?”  Besides asking them to put their phones on silent mode, I also give them my 3 Steps to relieve distractions, overwhelm and get back to center.

  1. Notice – Be an active observer of your thoughts – pay attention to the exact thoughts that pop into your mind and just observe them, intentionally.  For example, It’s great to take a walk because of ill feelings and discomfort… but if you just infuse some awareness and intention into this walk –  AKA:: “I’m walking to soothe my overwhelmed feelings and I’m going to come back and figure out what I was thinking that was causing me to feel this way”…is 80% of the work.

This is the step where you are gathering information.

** Remember: the WORK is to PRACTICE SOOTHING, NOT “REMOVING”

  1. Pause –  No more information is needed at this point – just tuning into the moment and your body.  From the previous step, you already know something uncomfortable is happening, you are practicing active awareness and just noticing what is circulating inside your mind.  This step is all about pausing time and feeling into yourself. Does that sound weird? That’s because it is, haha, but only if you’ve never practiced this before.  The more you practice this, the more ‘normal’ it will seem.

Pay attention to scents, textures and what you are seeing in front of you.

This is the step where you’ll use your feelings, activate your senses to help you relax.  Just taking a few deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth will help you ground into your body and tune into the moment.  You don’t need to ‘do’ anything here – just BE.

  1. Trust – What is your next best step? Once you relax your body,  you will feel like the overwhelm has lessened. And this is where the BEST ideas will start flowing to you – grab those ideas and write them down. Choose one and TRUST it is the next best step for YOU, because you chose it. Don’t look back – your choice is good enough in that moment.   Only YOU know the next best step, and I highly suggest you take that step, without asking for others’ opinions.

What are your thoughts about this 3 Step Process, let me know below.

At the Jersey Shore

Have you ever been to the Jersey Shore?  

Along the boardwalk in Seaside Heights, there’s a ginormous “Saltwater Taffy” sign. 

You can see this sign from miles away.

The shore and boardwalk mischief are part of our DNA as Jerzians, and I was always the sarcastic a$*h@le that would ask, “can anyone tell me where I can find some saltwater taffy?” on every boardwalk stroll.

What made it funny every time was that people would actually look around and seriously respond with “I’m not sure” or ”I’m sure we’ll find some place that sells it on the boardwalk.”

With a straight face – completely ignoring the sign ahead.

Because..

Our minds can only take in so much information, and so whatever is most important will capture our attention at any given moment.

Sometimes, the answer seems just too simple.

How many times have you found yourself overcomplicating situations instead of just doing the simple ‘thing’? 🙋🏽‍♀️

Either way, your mind won’t always follow the easiest path forward and it’ll selectively tune into the important items of the moment.

Which is why, when clients say to me, ”but I already wrote about that, isn’t it boring to repeat the same message?”

No no.

People develop preferences towards things that are familiar to them.  

Just like the big saltwater taffy sign, your content is a marker that says, “here I am, this is what I do, here’s what I offer and I’m here to help.  I’m open for business”

Let people get to know you through your content.  Create your body of work – a central place people can go to when they want to know more about your business and whether you’ll be a good fit. Consistency will create familiarity.

Most people will read your content for a while before they tell you about it.  But if you keep showing up they’ll feel comfortable engaging with you.

Here are 5 Steps to writing great content quickly that’ll let people know you’re open for business and get them to line up outside your door.

1 – Clarify your message – what is your main message?  Don’t overcomplicate, it’s probably much simpler than you believe.

2 – Main supporting points – What are 3 main points that will support your main message? It doesn’t have to be 3 points, but 3 is a good place to start.  

3 – Short story – think of a relatable, short story that encapsulates your main message or one of the supporting points. People love stories and a story will reinforce your message in people’s minds.

4 – Call to action – what action do you want your audience to take? Some calls to action are ‘click here’,  ‘sign up to my newsletter’, ‘download my freebie’

5 – The False Voice © – In order to be consistent with your message and to keep putting yourself out there, you’ll need to tap into the inner critic and shine a light on it.  It’s the best way I’ve found to overcome fear of judgement and criticism when opening up our creative genius to the public.  Giving space to the False Voice ©  has allowed me to keep content flowing and shared consistently – I never want to miss a week!  What thoughts are you having about your content and sharing it publicly?

Here is a collection of inner criticisms I’ve heard from my clients over the years:

  • I don’t sound professional 
  • I don’t have anything interesting to say 
  • What I want to say has already been said a million times 
  • I don’t have proper grammar 
  • My accent is too thick 
  • I don’t know what to talk about 
  • People are going to judge me 
  • I will wait until my message is perfect

Do any of these sound like yours?  You’re not alone.  They are not truths, but the only way to overcome them and see that they are false is to be aware of them, listen to them, let them make you feel uncomfortable and publish your work for the world to see anyway.

Comment down below and let me know if you hear yourself saying any of the above – or maybe yours sounds different – either way, let me know what it is and I’ll respond right back with what you need in order to dismantle it.

don't eat so much

“You shouldn’t eat so much”, said my dad.

If you know me, you know how much I love cooking and feeding.

Food is a big part of my culture, and if you’re Israeli, you know, our fridge is never empty.

Recently, I’ve been dealing with a health issue, making me nauseous and wired-tired most days.

I have no desire to eat.

I’ve put on extra weight, I feel like crap.

I’ve been working on improving my eating habits and healing.

And I have to say, it’s a challenge to eat more, when you’ve been programmed to think that eating less will make your body look better, feel better about yourself.

So, this nutritionist comes along, assesses my habits and says,”Elinor, if you want to heal, you have to eat more.”

At first, I wanted to punch her in the face and run away 😂.

But now, I strive to eat alot more than I’m used to.It feels uncomfortable. Mostly due to thoughts about eating and what it’ll mean when I look in the mirror.  

When a thought enters my mind about it, I try to remember it’s someone else’s voice (a non-qualified assessor of nutrition and health).

Yet, 2 weeks in, I have more energy and feel lighter, like a functioning human.

Every “body” is different.

Why are we being told, as a society, that eating less is better?

“You should eat less” – with all the (mis) information out there, it’s easy to get lost.


Some of the messages we receive online, go unchecked – so much of it is misleading and causes harm.

As is with your business-Just because one person had a successful run with their marketing strategy, doesn’t mean it will work IN THE SAME WAY for you.

How can you tune out this noise?

 

Here are questions you can ask yourself to assess whether something is RIGHT for YOU:

1 – What are you used to doing? Do you like doing this, or are you doing it because you think you ‘should’? 

2 – Was there a decision made by someone else on your behalf about what you should do?

3 – What are the thoughts you’re having about doing the ‘thing’?

4 – Do you like the above reasons?

5 – What else is possible for you, other than what is happening right now?

6 – Is this something YOU want or is it something someone else wants for you?

7 – Does the idea of taking part in this ‘thing’ feel natural to you?  Does it make ‘sense’?  Does it feel heart opening?

This 👆🏼👆🏼 is how you find YOUR voice in all endeavors.  This lesson pops up for me over and over again, and it breaks my heart to see so many women come to me finding themselves in situations that aren’t right for them.  

Work on tuning out the noise by focusing on what you want, what’s right for you.

Always ask yourself, where does THEIR VOICE end, and where does my ‘RIGHT’ begin?

what's everyone up to?

“I wonder what everyone is up to” is the harmless thought that enters my mind, right when I’m about to scroll through social media.

Harmless scrolling, I just wanna see what’s out there.

And After scrolling, do you find yourself having these thoughts?

My email list doesn’t have enough subscribers.
I was JUST thinking about this one idea, now SHE’S doing the same thing.
My content isn’t interesting enough.
I don’t know what to write about.
I don’t have any likes or comments.
What’s so special about my offer?

These thoughts were also expressed by my clients and people in my community these past two weeks.

(Truth be told, I hear myself asking the same at times).

And when I dug deeper, I realized we had one thing in common.

It’s an ailment of our times. It’s called Social Media Scrolling and Inevitable Comparison-itis (SMSAIC).

It’s a real thing.
And here’s something else that’s real. We can’t make social media go away, and we enjoy it too.

Social media is good for life + business – it’s free advertising and free reach. It’s also good in surveying your network and letting everyone know what you’re up to.

I love me a good social scroll – current obsessions include Celeste Barber’s posts (pee in my pants kinda funny) and Rudy Rochman, a Jewish- Israeli rights activist who created a movement to bring Palestianians and Israelis together to solve their conflict.

BUT, if you’re the kind of person who sees what everyone is up to, and then turns this info into ‘emotional’ info (no judgement I do this too), you might be suffering from SMSAIC.

How do you know it’s affecting you? You’re constantly asking yourself the questions above 👆🏼👆🏼 and sprinkling on some thoughts about why you shouldn’t promote yourself on social media or anywhere else for that matter.

And we can’t have that.

You know what I think? I think that the theory of portfolio diversification in finance applies to social media scrolling dilemma, and there’s a way to do it and still feel good about it.

If investors figured out how to mitigate risk in investing, so can you when it comes to mitigating risk of SMSAIC.

Diversification is the process of allocating capital in a way that reduces the exposure to any one particular asset or risk. A common path towards diversification is to reduce risk by investing in a variety of assets – not just one.

So, what does this have to do with social media scrolling? If you are investing time and thought-energy in what other people are up to (one kind of asset), you need to intentionally ALSO invest time and thought-energy in What you’re up to (another kind of asset).

When you do this, consistently and often, every time you have thoughts about yourself as a comparison of other people, you ALSO remember your OWN accomplishments and the value of your own products and services (AKA your own lane).

I’ve compiled a list of questions you can write down, keep next to your laptop, next to your bed and answer every day (bonus points if you use a pen and paper – it adds an extra sprinkle of magic in your memory).

1 – Who would benefit from my work?
2 – What is the message I want to share?
3 – Why is my work important? And why is it important NOW?
4 – What is a need I am fulfilling?
5 – What am I offering?
6 – What is my ‘je ne sais quois quality’ and how can I integrate it into my offer?
7 – What have I accomplished so far in life and business?
8 – What have been pivotal moments in my life and what were the big lessons?
9 – When have I been wrong about something I thought I couldn’t achieve?
10 – When have I listened to my intuitive nudges and what was the outcome?

Most advice you’ll receive, will tell you to stay in your own lane.

While that is true, we can’t help but indulge in a wee bit of strolling on other people’s lanes.

BUT, we can also empower our own thoughts about ourselves, that’ll help us remember that behind the square on Instagram is just another human being whose life/business/ situation isn’t better than ours.

Taking away scrolling, is like taking away my evening ritual by the firepit with a full dropper of CBD + a glass of wine haha.

For now, I don’t want to give it up.

On one of my monthly Q&A calls, I chatted with L,  a pediatrician of  20+ years, who was in the middle of a pivot.

She was starting a brand new company for first-time moms based on a proprietary process she’d created, and she was really excited and inspired to help new moms stop feeling overwhelmed.

And she asked the classic question – How will I get clients?

And this reminded me about that time I signed up with a coach for a $3,000 program, because I thought she would reveal something earth shattering about ‘getting clients’.

This coach said, “my process of working social media took me from making $20K to $54K per month”.

“Here’s my Messiah!”, I thought.

I urgently wanted business therapy and someone to fix my stuckness, and so I didn’t ask the right questions – not of the coach and not of myself.

I just wanted clients. Obviously, she knew how to market herself like a pro.

I signed up for this program, and I realized pretty early that her process was very basic, the coaching was basic at best and her process wouldn’t ‘get me more clients’.

Womp womp 

But I was still struggling, because If I had what worked, I wouldn’t be stuck, right?

** How am I going to get more clients?

** What’s missing for me?

So what the F was actually missing? Nothing in excess of what I already had at that point.

1 – I wasn’t thinking about my work and experience in an empowering way – I just thought I was doing ‘one more thing’ that everyone else was doing.  I knew the value of my work logically, but I didn’t really ‘feel’ that value when I was putting myself out there.  I somehow forgot I had a big network, work experience, and that people were already paying me.

2 – I wasn’t directly asking for business.  I was making offers on “some” of my social media posts, but I wasn’t communicating how I fulfill a need and telling people I can help them in a direct manner.

3 – When social media didn’t ‘produce’ immediate results, I got mad and threw the laptop at the wall, and gave it up.  I called it social media trauma.

4 – I didn’t talk to enough people face to face.  I expected social media to do it for me.

5 – I didn’t focus on my clients and THEIR SUCCESSES – I didn’t celebrate that enough privately or publicly ( – – >> one of the best ways to get clients to come to you is to share success stories of your clients being the heroes).

I hope these will help you, so that you don’t end up wasting time and so much money like I did.

Nobody can do any of the above for you.

It’s much easier to think we need to find some ‘trick’ to ‘get more clients’, but my lessons were clear and I assured L she’s not starting from scratch.

She needed a reminder and she needed to use her voice.

Why do we think we’re starting from scratch? It’s common when we start new ventures.  We forget about all the things we accomplished in the past, and we definitely don’t remind ourselves of what we learned so that we can apply it to the next thing.

Here’s what I told her (and what I would tell you if you came to me with the same question):

“It might be simpler than you think.  Make a list of what you already have, the people you know, your skills and experiences, use your voice to talk to people about what you do, and talk about it knowing that it’s valuable and needed.  Ground in this and remind yourself that you have a unique way of delivering your product  / service.  You’re not starting from scratch, you have a big network full of people who love and trust you with their kids.  Go out there, talk to people, before you sign up to any program.  After you’ve done this, let’s talk again and assess what happened together.”

Please, don’t sign up to any program, without first understanding WHY you’re signing up.  

My big lesson was: Nobody can reveal things about social media that you can’t read online by yourself, and nobody can talk about your business for you, nobody will promote you like you can!

Use your voice.  I believe in you!

 

When I tell people to share more of themselves publicly, I’m met with A LOT of resistance.

Because they think I mean they should be on social media sharing every detail of their lives – like, “Hey, this is my lunch” or “Here I am at the dentist getting a root canal.”

But what I ACTUALLY mean is to share your story. Your audience wants to get to know YOU, the person *behind* the business.

But instead of thinking of sharing as spilling the most private parts of your life for the entire world to see (remember The Real World MTV?), go into it with the mindset of starting a conversation and creating connection.

Storytelling allows people to make sense of the world and derive more meaning from their lives, and telling a good story will deepen the connection with your audience. 

What personal experiences can you share, in story form, that would move your audience?

One simple topic that never fails is sharing what’s been happening in your life and business.

As a matter of fact, if you write an email with a subject line, “what I’ve been up to” you’ll get a higher-than-usual open rate and direct responses.

Guaranteed.

Another one that my audience loved reading was called “holiday horror story”.

It was a story about how I was hacked during the holidays, while standing on line to get tested for COVID, and the lessons I’ve learned.  

Everyone loves a good holiday horror story.

You could talk about why you started your business, what you’re currently working on, what’s coming up next, why your work matters right now, your plans for the summer, your battle with your landlord in court, a horror story. The possibilities are endless.

The more you share authentically and use your voice to share your message, the more you’ll hear yourself saying, “Whoa, people are responding to my emails!” 

Here are my BEST TIPS for sharing stories via email and social media that will create engagement and clients:

1 – Write your story, as you would tell it to a good friend, in a non-formal friendly tone.  Sometimes I record my voice and then I transcribe it (lots of free apps for this).

2 – Center your story around a clear message.  Thread your message throughout.  I shared this holiday horror story once, and it would have been a great piece of drama, but I shared it with a strong message and enrolled a few clients to my program as a result.

3 – Embrace drama and descriptive thoughts and feelings.  People love it when the main character of the story struggles with a big challenge.  I read somewhere that it’s OK to be cruel to your main character in the story.  If you’re the main character, describe all the thoughts and feelings of the struggle in the story.  I always get consistent feedback that people love it when I articulate the struggle in detail.

4 – Clear structure – A good story will have a beginning, middle and end. A successful story will start with a little bit of context, transition into an inciting incident, build up to a climax, maybe depict some more unexpected challenges, where the main character doesn’t yet give up, and ultimately arrives at a satisfying ending.

5 – Ask your audience questions throughout the story that get them to think about what it would be like for them in this same situation, once again, threading in your main message – this creates engagement and responses.

Here are some responses I received after sharing my Holiday Horror Story:

We’re drawn to people who show their humanity, who share their journey, unfiltered, mistakes and all.

When you share a story, you’re not seen as just someone who’s selling a product/service, but someone who actually goes out and interacts with the world, has relationships, conversations, failures, wins, and palm-to-face moments.

I’ve been writing emails and sharing videos with my audiences consistently for over a year.

Telling stories has created a lot of engagement and clients.

You’d be surprised how sharing your story will create engagement.

Telling stories doesn’t have to be complicated – just provide an “insider look” into your thinking, your why, your life experiences –

whatever you feel inspired to share is what will inspire the most.

 

It’ll be a game changer for your business.