How To Get Back to the Marketing Basics
I sorta always judged tennis players for that loud grunt they made…
Until I started playing tennis myself.
Maybe you’re a Serena already, but I just started playing tennis for the first time in early May…. a week after my Dad passed away.
After his funeral and shiva services, I dove head first into my new hobby — sometimes playing twice a day.
Yeah, I have a tendency to go a little “all in” sometimes 🤣 (you too?!).
As much as I loved it, I didn’t love how uncomfortable every single thing about it felt: how to hold my racket, where to stand, how to keep score. It was all so new to me.
As someone who’d spent the last 6 years with her head down working towards building a business — I’d gotten a little comfortable in my bubble of not trying anything new.
It can be really uncomfortable to try something new, right!? To put yourself out there, to show up someplace where no one knows you.
I’m sure you’ve felt like this with your business, too —
Whether it’s showing up on camera more, or sharing more authentically — it can feel really uncomfortable to try something new (to us) and put ourselves out there for the world to judge (or so it feels).
That’s actually why I’m writing to you today.
Back in the day (aka 2016/early 2017), I used to write to my then-tiny email list 1-2x/week and pour my little heart out.
I’d share the truth of what it was like in those early days to build an online education/digital product-based business, legal tips directly in the emails, and my wins AND ‘losses’ in real time.
And then over many years, it went from a few dozen eyeballs on my emails, to hundreds, to thousands, to 10s of thousands — and I froze. 🥶
All of a sudden my cute little email list primarily made up of friends, people with the same last name as me, or friends-of-friends blew up to be predominantly made up of people I didn’t know & never would.
And although the kind replies, sweet DMs, and comments kept rolling in — all a sudden I experienced something new.People:
- complaining that my free stuff wasn’t free enough (lol)
- who were angry that my products cost money
- making anti-Semitic comments or telling me I “look Jewish” (yep, this actually happens more often than you think)
- telling me to shut up & that I had no right to share my experience being a caregiver for my cancer-stricken Dad
- demanding (free) content that’s specifically and uniquely designed for them.
It was (and is) a lot to take in.
People might think that when you reach a “certain level” in business, it’s “to be expected” or even that you deserve it, in some way. I think it’s just rude, entitled and uncalled for: but that’s just me.
It is, however, part of the job (not OK, just part of it, unfortunately) and one that I’m not alone in navigating.
And more than anything: it’s rare. It doesn’t feel that way when the sting of someone’s words lands in your inbox or in your ears, but when you put it in perspective: LOTS more people enjoy your work than those who criticize it. They’re just not always keyboard warriors 😉
So filled to the brim with this newfound fear amidst all the feedback — I did something I’m not super happy about, and something I wouldn’t recommend you do with your email list:
I started dialing it in.
I removed my quirkiness and story-telling ways and started writing super-safe, a little boring (in my opinion!) emails directing you only to my podcast episodes for On Your Terms.
Every time we put out a new Facebook ad, I wince and hope no one makes an anti-Semitic comment about how my nose looks (I’m aware that I’m Jewish — you’re not telling me anything people 😂).
The Philly girl who always wore her heart on her sleeve started second-guessing every minute detail and piece of content — wondering if it’d perceived the exact way I intended it to be.
But that’s all going to (start to) change as of today. Don’t get me wrong: it’s a work in progress. But it’s happening.
All this to say a few things:
- ❤️ Thank you for hanging in with me and hearing about the Ultimate Bundle birthday promo last week. Yes, in order to keep providing all of the free podcast episodes, blog posts, emails, etc coming — the business has to generate revenue.
- 🎉 You’re going to hear from me a little differently moving forward. Some might even say: I’m back baby — I’m back!
- 💌 I’ll still write to you 1-2x/week — sometimes sharing business lessons, more often sharing legal tips and business-building strategies. No, they won’t usually be this long. But I had a lot to say today.
- 🎨 I’m going to have fun + experiment with new email formats, prettier newsletter layouts, and sharing all sorts of helpful business-building content with you here (not just mine).
How are things going with your email list? If you’re not giving them as much love as you are your reels or TikToks — I want to encourage you to re-visit that strategy (especially if your sales aren’t what you want).
Shake things up. Try something new. Be more open and vulnerable with them about your topic/area of content. Share your own trials & tribulations (after you’ve processed them & have a helpful takeaway).
I’m actually shaking things up in my business in a BIG way and going back to some foundational marketing “hacks” that got me here in the first place. I’ve been inspired to shake up my content strategy (thanks to an incredible ConvertKit conference in June! Recap coming Aug 1 to my podcast), simplify my channels, and even diversify my ad spend + placements.
In case you haven’t listened, in the last episode of On Your Terms, I busted the “online business millionaire” myth (yep, it’s a juicy one) and broke down the difference between your income, what you report on your taxes, net worth + your business revenue. Listen to it here.