25 May 2018

no clones required

Image credit: Unsplash

You don’t have to be everywhere in social media to make your mark.

When I was working in a fancy social media agency, we had clients who could afford a team to manage all their social platforms. We built content strategies, staged photo shoots, launched shiny campaigns that got covered in the trades, mapped out content calendars, and analyzed the performance of said content in excruciating detail. These were the kind of companies that were shelling out $10K/month minimum to be in the game.

But who’s rolling around with that kind of coin? Who has a team doing their bidding?

I can’t even get my cat to pose for pictures on Instagram. He pulls a Greta Garbo and shields his eyes with his paws as soon as I whip out my phone. Really, Felix? Really?

Even when my clients had big budgets I’d tell them that they didn’t need to be on every single platform in order to be successful. Rather, they needed to be playing where their customers played. And they needed to be present and serving at a level that makes their customers pause mid-swipe. My clients had to be surgical about understanding their customer in order to connect with them in a way that didn’t feel forced or phony. Don’t publish content for the sake of having something online, I’d say, which is the equivalent of opening your window every morning and screaming out into the street.

Everyone will think you’re fucking crazy, and if you live in New York people will simply shrug, pass you by, and eventually, tune you out.

Don’t listen to the Gary V minions. You don’t have to be the embodiment of spam to make your mark. You just have to pick one or two platforms and get good on them.

All the kids are chirping you have to go LIVE! In unison they shout, you have to have a Facebook group, a podcast, a newsletter, an Instagram pod, a retreat, a weekly Live, blah, blah, blah. YOU MUST DO ALL THE THINGS TO GET ALL THE MONIES.

I’m here to tell you that’s a pack of lies.

You don’t need to do all of the things, just some of the things.

First, start by assessing your brand and business. Are you selling physical products where images need to be at the fore? Or are you a novelist who wants to be read? Marry your product with you’re the behavior and habits of your intended audience. Then, evaluate what you’re best at and prioritize, based on your resources, time, and life, what platforms will make your work shine.

People who don’t know me have a perception that I’m extroverted, bombastic, and a worker of the room in real life when nothing could be further from the truth. I love writing. I love the barrier between self and others, which emboldens me in a way that connecting face-to-face can be sometimes challenging.

Writing is home to me and it’s been the way that I’ve sold myself for as long as I could remember. I compel people with words before they even meet me. Or I try to.

Facebook groups, retreats, Lives, and anything involving large groups of people give me anxiety on the level of vertigo, and I truly believe that if you suck at something, you’ll only shine a bright, glaring light on your suckage if you pursue that which puts your gifts in the dimmest light.

If video makes you want to hide under the covers, but you have physical products to sell, consider marrying your images with text that cultivates a relationship between you and your customer. It is possible to crawl before you leap.

I made a conscious decision for my business to let my writing lead the way. I can’t create beautiful Instagram stories or potent Pinterest boards, but I can tell you stories that carry a level of intimacy by way of your inbox. I can write medium essays that will inspire you to burn so bright you blast all the bulbs. And in true introvert fashion, I can start a podcast and a blog that puts my words out into the world in a way that’s thoughtful and deliberate.

Don’t put out anything less than extraordinary. Don’t put out anything that doesn’t move you. Don’t speak simply to make sounds. That’s how you’ll cut through the garbage and the noise because you’re being honest, compelling, and true.

Warmly, Felicia

This post originally appeared in my weekly newsletter. Each week, I send storytelling, marketing, and brand building advice, tips, and tutorials. Sign up here to get on my list

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What I’m feeling this week:

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Instagram

  • You guys. I’m having an incredible fucking year. I’ve published tutorials, thought leadership and essays I’m proud of, I’m working with incredible clients who are breaking ranks, I’m partnering with brilliant people on projects, my pipeline is healthy, my mental health is getting back on track, and I’m reorganizing my business so I can run it more efficiently. Sometimes you have to applaud the wins, especially when they’ve been earned.
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#fuckhustle #worksmarter #brandstrategist #freelancer #crushingit
  • What a day! Ive been floored and humbled by the tens of THOUSANDS who viewed my 8-part brand building series on medium (link in bio)! I’ve heard from four university professors who want to incorporate my work as assigned reading, the people who were grateful not to have to spend $2K on some wack course taught by an “expert” whose only success example is their personal brand.
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Today, I had a day of interviews that culminated in a presentation to the executive team. After it ended, several people asked if I’d considered teaching because I just delivered a master class on brand strategy.
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It feels good to know your stuff but still have the hunger and drive as a student!
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#brandstrategy #marketing #brand #freelancer #nofauxmarketer #therealdeal #beingboss
  • After a long week of hard work, I scored two new projects, paid some bills, wrote a ton, cheered my medium series, and planned for my trip east this weekend. Sometimes, you need a little chow reward, am I right?
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#freelance #beingboss #ladyboss #werk #friyay
  • I am OVER THE MOON, my friends. Medium just published my collection of 8 comprehensive tutorials on how to build a brand. Here's why I did it.
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Over the past year, I've seen faux marketers charge upwards of $2000 for courses on what I'm sharing for free. The difference being is that they haven't done the thing they're teaching for no one other than themselves and their personal brand. I've been doing this professionally for 20 years. And what makes me postal is the fact that what they're teaching is WRONG. If you don't know the difference between brand, branding, and brand platform, you shouldn't be selling a course on it. .

I also created this because $2,000 courses give access to an elite group of people. Not everyone can afford that kind of coin and I think knowledge should be shared and accessible by all. Especially if you're like me, privileged. I'm passionate about this to my core, and why you may think--meh, this is just a series of posts, it's so much more to me. It means people can learn for free or on the cheap. .

I'm sharing detailed tutorials, downloadables, graphics, and extensive vetted resources for further learning, including free online courses from MIT, Google, and more. You know, reputable brands.
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Check out the collection via the link in my profile. If you like the tutorials, clap more than once and share. Thx!
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#marketing #brandstrategy #branddevelopment #howto #contentstrategy #storytelling #research #freelancers #freelancerlife #beingboss
  • My freelance career is nearing its best-by date. This realization didn’t come from some climactic third act. Instead, it was an acknowledgment of a simple truth: everything expires. The shiny and new loses its sheen and pallor. What once made you bolt out of bed becomes the thing you run from screaming. You tally the things you keep losing, which loom large and incalculable. You’re bombarded by seemingly motivational Instagram quotes that tell you to keep working, keep hustling, keep pushing through it. What the platitudes neglect to add is that some battles should be abandoned. Sometimes it’s okay not to play your hand and to walk away from the table. There is a difference, albeit subtle, between what’s hard and what’s Sisyphean.
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Yes, I want to go back to full-time. Yes, I have no idea how I’ll pay rent this week but I’m surprisingly calm because there are some things out of my control.
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I do have a whole slate of morning interviews for a role back east later in the week so I’m pumped about that. Check out my new medium post (link in bio).
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Image: cosmaa / Getty Images
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  • I’m honestly crying tears of gratitude. I should tell you that I’m not a cryer. Unless it’s those Sarah McLachlan animal shelter commercials and then I’m a puddle. But I’m getting really excited about how this @medium series is coming together. I’ll probably top 50K words including the downloadable resources. And I’m even more humbled that my friend @lorissas (we’ve known one another since 2002 and we’ve worked together since my book publishing days) created these gorgeous custom graphics. I really want my collection branded in the blues and to reflect my vibe as much as possible. I’m spending my own $ to license photography and illustrations.
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All because I’m really fucking tired of faux marketers who don’t know of what they teach. Or they teach what has worked for them, their blog or IG, which doesn’t necessarily translate to big brands. Then you have scammers who make it hard for the legit marketers who have to go through hoops because companies have gotten burned by incompetence.
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I also want to make use of my educational privilege. I went to an excellent private college and Ivy League graduate school. I had the privilege of working for brilliant marketers, from whom I learned everything I know. And I want to share that as much as possible. For free. This is my goal in 2019–create and share tons of pedagogical content. For free.
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I’m so excited!!!!! Shout out to @omgstephlol for believing in my vision and putting up with my craziness.
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#fuckfauxmarketers #makinguseofmyprivilege, #brandstrategy #marketing #marketingtips #strategy #thehustle #freelance
  • THIS WEEK. Well, let’s see... I wrote a total of 32K words, accepted an offer to be one of a few operating owners of a funded content start-up (no $ now but I think this will blow up), I had another interview with an agency in Philly and we talked money, balance, neuroscience and I like their vibe. I’m not moving cross country just yet so let’s all take a pause. I finished a good book, started another. Got my mammogram results back—no cancer! I got angry with my health insurance company like the rest of America. Part of me hopes I can get a full-time job so I can enjoy a consistent paycheck for a hot second. Celebrated a month off the sauce (let’s not get telenovela about this). I cleaned my house and burst into tears talking to my bankruptcy attorney because apparently no one cares that you’ve been making on-time payments for over a year and you’re going through a rough patch. It stormed and I loved it and prayed for more rain. It’s sunny now. I have a first line for a new chapter but I can’t write because all I’m thinking about is work and how I’ll make rent. But here it is: “Love in their home had become its own form of violence.”
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I met up with @bhatmon who always makes me smile and if I move back east she’ll be the one true thing I’ll miss. I listened to podcasts, read science articles, and wished that I could get a neuroscience degree but a kind reader pointed me in the direction of MIT’s free classes so I’m jazzed. I emailed a rescue service and filled out an adoption application but no one ever wrote my back so that made me sad.
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I have no idea how I’ll at for anything but I can’t freak out over that which I can’t control and like that. And love is kind of violent if you really get to thinking about it.
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I’m annoyed that I’ve lived get for over three years and I haven’t seen nearly enough. And on it goes.
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#weekendvibes #weeklyrecap #realtalk #instayum #thehustle #amwriting but am I?
  • Love can sometimes create its own form of emotional violence.
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I used to rummage through photos as a means of being cruel to myself. You used to be thin! You used to be slightly fashionable! You used to be disciplined! And as the edges softened, as your wont to do as you get older and let a lot of the hardness within you go, it occurred to me that the things I used to want and love were violent. I was ruthless to my body to get it to a certain shape instead of eating to sustain myself and moving to feel. I went at everything so hard! Then I worked all hours of the day and night until it made me literally sick. My hardness, my love and desire to look and be a certain way, was hurting me.
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Now. I’ve softened in all senses of the word. I’m calmer. I have a different (and healthier) view of my body and what it means to be beautiful, and I have strong boundaries that guard against the people with whom I work and the projects I’ve taken on. I’ve fired abusive clients. I make clear when and how I work. And I put me first. I have a lot of writing to do to make $ to pay rent this month but I rested yesterday because I need it. I didn’t realize how tiring writing could be when you’re doing it for 10-12 hours a day. Sometimes you need rest.
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Now, I look for pictures like this when I’m happy. When I’m laughing as feeling joyful and hopeful. Because I’m trying to be kinder to myself.
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#tuesdaymotivation #bekind #beingboss #boss #thehustle #amwriting

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