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Creating A Joyful Blogging Business with M. Shannon Hernandez
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One of the reasons I started Brilliant Blogger is because I truly have a passion for helping people create businesses by turning their passions into profits. In today’s episode, I’m going to be talking to M. Shannon Hernandez, who has literally made this her entire business. We’re going to be talking about joyful marketing and how you can truly create a blogging business that you love waking up to every day. And it’s exciting because it’s fun.
More of a visual person? Watch on YouTube!
Thank you so much for being here. We are joined by M. Shannon Hernandez, and we are going to talk a bit about marketing and, just maybe give us a little introduction to who you are and what you do.
Shannon: Sure. Thanks so much for having me. I am a coach and consultant that helps other coaches and consultants learn how to market their business with ease and joy. And I coined a term and a methodology called joyful marketing, and it took a while to catch on, but as all of us know in business, I just kept using it and kept educating and kept talking about it and kept saying the good word.
And lo and behold, it’s a whole beast in and of itself now. And, I got my roots blogging way back when, before this business and understanding how people searched things online. I’m not a techie, but I just used how I searched things online. And then I wrote really great content that people found and that’s kind of how it all started, but I spend almost all my days now, teaching people how to market and sell from a place of joy and build a business that supports all of their goals and dreams that they have for themselves.
Adriane: That’s amazing. And I love this concept of joyful marketing. I love that it’s caught on because I truly believe that if it does not bring you joy, it’s not worth doing. Is that sort of what fueled what you do?
Shannon: I have to laugh. You said it so nice because front and center on my website, it’s says. You have to get behind this mantra to work like in this brand to be part of this community. And the mantra is if it ain’t joyful, we ain’t doing that shit.
[00:02:53] So you said it so much nicer, but I have such a way with like, just getting right to the point that people that resonated with people, right? Like what did I found? Like, I love storytelling. I love interviews. I love. Having interviews. I love being interviewed. I love story. And story is one of the greatest tools we can use in our blogging or in our marketing.
[00:03:17] And that was my passion that kind of fueled this whole thing. And what I kept hearing from people, cause I used to talk a lot about story marketing, then a whole bunch of other more famous people started talking about story marketing. They kind of stole my thunder, right? Like published books and did Ted talks and
[00:03:35] Adriane: [00:03:35] it’s all good.
[00:03:37] Shannon: [00:03:37] Yeah. How dare though? Right? There are those people that have been around way longer than me, like do that. But the interesting thing was, is what I kept hearing over and over from people is. Marketing sucks. It’s just not fun. I don’t want to do it. And I thought, okay, I’m in a birth of joyful marketing and see what happens.
[00:03:58] And you know, it’s a gamble, let’s be real. And anything that we think is a great idea at the end of the day is just one big gamble of a shit show to see if it connects with anyone and it connected. And, I’m glad it connected and I didn’t connect right away. I think a lot of people thought. You know, Oh God, here’s another person like coined in a term, but it’s been around long enough now.
[00:04:22] And I have become known as the joyful marketing expert and it just come to me. We’re going to make it great.
[00:04:29] Adriane: [00:04:29] What a thing to be known for though. That’s amazing. And so I think for me, and I think that this is going to resonate with my audience as well is I spent 10 years building a business. It was a nonprofit and I loved what I was doing.
[00:04:44] I was working in the performing arts, which is. I mean, there’s nothing better than getting to work with like acting and singing and dancing all day. But at the end of the day, I was so burnt out from working like a hundred hours per week. That when I walked away from it, I was like, I just walked away from the thing that I am more passionate about than anything I will ever be passionate about.
[00:05:07] And so if I’m going to walk away from this, then I’m going to love what I do. Right. Like, I didn’t just walk away from something that I spent, basically my entire adult life building to do something less than right. Like I’m going to, if it doesn’t bring me joy that I’m not doing it. Yeah.
[00:05:27] Shannon: [00:05:27] And you know, I think you and I share that I was a public school teacher for 15 years and I taught 10 years in Charlotte, North Carolina.
[00:05:38] And then my last five years were in. Spanish Harlem, New York city. And I loved teaching. Like if, think about it, I’ll, I’ll cry. Like I loved it, but love is when it all became about testing. And when they crammed 38, eighth graders into my classroom and expected me to work miracles in 45 minutes a day.
[00:06:02] Right. And put people in my class that. I didn’t care. Like come in at third or fourth grade level, I’m going to love you and teach you just like everyone else. But then don’t tie my salary to getting them up to a ninth grade level by the end of the year. And the politics became too much. And like you, I said the same thing.
[00:06:24] I love teaching and training. And I love captivating people with story and, and being at the front of that room and inspiring people. And I am not going to do anything that is not
[00:06:37] Adriane: [00:06:37] that. Yes. Yes.
[00:06:40] Shannon: [00:06:40] If the journey, you know, we talk about this journey, which I think is super important for the first few years of my business.
[00:06:46] I wasn’t joyful. Because I was sitting behind a computer blogging. Yeah. And I wasn’t front and center teaching. And so my business model had to morph with my joy and come back to that place of. Teaching telling story training and like getting people into a zoom classroom and just inspiring them to, to build a business they love.
[00:07:10] Adriane: [00:07:10] Yeah. And I think that’s why so many people wind up getting into blogging that, that I’ve worked with anyway is that’s what. Pulls them into blogging is because ultimately they’re not finding joy in their nine to five, or they know that they would find more joy in being able to spend more time with their kids or traveling the world or whatever that is.
[00:07:27] And so I think that that’s a natural, that’s the natural attraction to blogging. and so that’s, you said that’s how you started was you, you had started blogging. So what pulled you like what originally worked for you to go down that road?
[00:07:47] Shannon: [00:07:47] This is an interesting story.
[00:07:49] Adriane: [00:07:49] All right.
[00:07:51] Shannon: [00:07:51] So before I did like, we’ll call it the last seven years have been marketing, right?
[00:07:57] Whatever kind of marketing it is, it’s been marketing, marketing, consulting, marketing strategy. there was a brief stint of time. my last two years of teaching that I broke my, I had a surgery in the summer. Cause that’s when I would have surgery as a teacher and they broke my foot. And I had to reset my foot and I lived on a fourth floor walk up in Brooklyn and I was so bored.
[00:08:24] I could not go anywhere like the summer. It was like a miserable summer. Like all I was doing, sitting around with my foot in the air and my friend called me her name’s Judy. And she said, she was the teacher as well. She said, I’m having a, a bridal party for my girlfriend, there’s going to be 10 of us.
[00:08:45] And at the time I had just been playing as a hobby, making handcrafted, stationary, just send it to people for their birthdays and whatever. And she said, can I. Will you make 10 for me, I’m like, this is the best project ever because I am so freaking bored. So I made 10 for her. I tried not to let her pay me, but she paid me.
[00:09:06] she said, no, you put a lot of time and love into these cards. And I, I realized a day later when my spouse said, well, you know, you have a business now. Somebody paid you for stationary. And I was like, Oh God, do I want a business? Like, I, it hadn’t even occurred to me. I was still like full force and teaching.
[00:09:26] Well, we set myself up a blog and I mastered Twitter, which I’m not there anymore because I fricking hate it. But at the time, I figured out how to use Twitter and I tied into the hashtag wedding Wednesday. And before I knew it, I was getting calls from around the world to design people’s handcrafted, stationary for their weddings.
[00:09:49] And it’s because I was blogging. So if you would have called me and said, I need an app. Indian themed wedding and pink and orange, and I want blah, blah, blah. I would do that interview with you on the phone. Right. We didn’t have zoom back then. And then I take notes and then I’d go do a design and I get it approved.
[00:10:10] And then I tell the story, I’d get a picture of the couple, I’d get a picture of them, what their vision was, I’d blog about it. And then I do the final product. People were fascinated by the story of how I took what they said and put it into stationary. And that’s really how my very first business, caught, caught fire and in a good way, but also the orders were so labor intensive and the work that.
[00:10:37] It was not profitable. I mean, I was so busy. I was teaching college at graduate level. I was finishing my graduate degree at Brooklyn college and I was teaching there as well. And I was teaching full-time in Spanish, Harlem. And. I would come home at 9:00 PM and have to do orders until 12 or two or three and try and get some sleep and get up and get back on that train to go teach again.
[00:11:03] And I finally realized like, this is crazy, but what I realized was blogging did this
[00:11:09] Adriane: [00:11:09] for me, me too. Yes.
[00:11:16] Shannon: [00:11:16] And so I took that knowledge and I said, well, Okay, this shit ain’t joyful. I’m like a horse standing up sleeping, trying to like, get these damn wedding invitations done. What else could I do? And I thought, God, I should just teach this.
[00:11:29] I should just teach people about really great storytelling and marketing. And that’s kind of how the whole thing snowballed into what it is
[00:11:38] Adriane: [00:11:38] today. I love that story. And it’s so funny that, that you realized that it was blogging, that really propelled what you were doing with business, and then that led you into what you were doing.
[00:11:47] Cause that’s so similar to what happened to me, but I want to talk a little bit more and I’m really intrigued by this idea of content personality, but I, I want to address, like maybe this would be a good segue for it. Maybe this is save this for a bit later, but I feel like. Bloggers, especially when they’re starting out, feel a lot of pressure to do all of the things.
[00:12:12] And it’s a mistake that I see them make, but they feel a lot of pressure to like, well, you know, obviously they have to be creating blog posts, but they have to do it all with it. Like some of them tell me, I’m going to, I’m going to try to do it two, three times a week, or I’m gonna try to do a new blog post every day.
[00:12:27] That is my worst nightmare and
[00:12:30] Shannon: [00:12:30] not joyful,
[00:12:31] Adriane: [00:12:31] not joyful at all. Like, can you even do it well at that point? And that they feel pressure to, they, they have to build an Instagram audience. They have to be on Instagram. They, they, at some point know that they need to be on YouTube, but they’re terrified of going on video.
[00:12:44] And I’m like, just chill for a second. If like, if, if you try it and you love it, then by all means, focus on that. But if you don’t then don’t do it. Like if social media is not, what brings you joy then? Get rid of it.
[00:13:01] Shannon: [00:13:01] So do it. Don’t
[00:13:03] Adriane: [00:13:03] do, it’s not worth it. It’s like you’re trying to build something, build it around what you love.
[00:13:09] Yeah. Always. So, you know, what would you say in response to someone who feels that pressure to, you know, Well, I need to be using Instagram because if you have a blog, you have to build an audience elsewhere to try to bring more traffic in them and, you know, feeling all that pressure to be on multiple platforms, develop multiple types of content.
[00:13:31] Shannon: [00:13:31] Yeah. Well, first thing I want to say is if you’re starting any sentence with, I have to, or I should. Don’t
[00:13:37] Adriane: [00:13:37] do it. Yes.
[00:13:40] Shannon: [00:13:40] That’s the birth thing. You
[00:13:40] Adriane: [00:13:40] don’t have to do anything.
[00:13:42] Shannon: [00:13:42] No, you don’t have to do any of that. Yeah. and you know, I’ll be real honest. well, this is your expertise and I’d love to ask you a question first before I answer this.
[00:13:55] Sure. Do you think people today that are blogging need to be on other social media, outside of their blog to get found?
[00:14:04] Adriane: [00:14:04] No. Absolutely. I don’t either. Absolutely. Either. I mean, se like that’s why you learn SEO as a blocker essentially, or at some point, like once you do start to gain traction as a blogger and you, and you understand really that, you know, learn how to blog first and then figure the rest out and then, or maybe make some money and hire someone to do it for you.
[00:14:26] Shannon: [00:14:26] Yeah.
[00:14:27] Adriane: [00:14:27] If you, if you feel like you need to do that and it, and you don’t like doing it or whatever, that’s, that’s what I would say is, Yeah, just a very short answer.
[00:14:36] Shannon: [00:14:36] Good. So I agree with that. Perfect. And I was like, well, I kind of been out of the blog scene for a while, so I better ask the expert
[00:14:46] Adriane: [00:14:46] on that
[00:14:47] Shannon: [00:14:47] because here’s the thing.
[00:14:48] So this is a great segue into content personality. Perfect. The content personality wheel is a quick quiz on my website. You can take, and it’s seven questions that take you two minutes tops. And it, it shows the best way that you show up to other people, not what your strength is. Or what you like, but how you best show up to other people.
[00:15:13] Now I always considered myself a writer. My teacher said, Oh my God, you’re such a great writer. I wrote a book when I left teaching. I’m like, Oh my God, I’m an author. So when I developed this quiz and I took it. I didn’t come back as a writer and I had an identity crisis and I was like, Oh, my quizzes broken.
[00:15:32] Adriane: [00:15:32] This
[00:15:32] Shannon: [00:15:32] shit is not true. And I took it and then we tested it. And Tuesday like thousands and thousands of people that want to have more joy in their marketing. I’ve taken this quiz on my website. And what I had to do is I had to look at the results and the results said, yeah, you might be a great writer, but how people best experience you and will therefore buy from you is video.
[00:16:00] And why am I saying this? Because your bloggers, the bloggers, listening to the show and the people that you’re attracting, you may love to write. And you may think you’re a great blogger and you probably are. But if people experience you in a different way, in a different energy that you’re writing, can’t convey.
[00:16:24] That’s where a lot of people just keep doing the blogging thing or the video thing or whatever it is. So I would encourage everyone to take the content personality wheel. It doesn’t mean you quit blogging, but at least it could give you insight on what social media platform, when you’re ready might be really awesome for you.
[00:16:42] If you come back video. Go to YouTube start doing Facebook lives like ASAP, right? If you come back visual, that’s a great place for Instagram. It’s a visually driven platform. And so, it’s a beautiful, tool to help people understand. How do people best experience me. And also that means sometimes we have to let go of our ego, like I did and say, well, I’m going to like migrate from writing so much.
[00:17:14] And I have, I have embraced the video and my business has exploded in the past two or three years. but I want to teach, I want to train. So we’re right back to like the beginning of the conversation, right?
[00:17:27] Adriane: [00:17:27] Yeah. That’s. First of all, I feel like I want to go take that quiz.
[00:17:35] Shannon: [00:17:35] I want you to take it. Yeah.
[00:17:38] Adriane: [00:17:38] And I’m very, I’m good to know what I would come back.
[00:17:40] I think I would come back as video as well. but I would be curious to see that result, but it’s, it’s interesting to me because I’m in the process of developing my own quiz, but it’s based on like, what’s your entrepreneurial type, but based on that, I planned on tying it into, like, if you came back as.
[00:17:58] Like I have one that’s, the artist is one of the types that I’ve developed and that is like, then, then go toward Instagram, because that means you’re, you’re visual, you’re creative in that way. And so that could be a different conversation for different days.
[00:18:12] Shannon: [00:18:12] I think that’s fast.
[00:18:13] Adriane: [00:18:13] That’s fascinating. that we keep having these things line up, like while I’m doing that too.
[00:18:18] Well, I did that. but would you say like, is it worth it to so say someone does come back. It’s video. And so you’re saying, you know, get on Instagram lives, Facebook lives, YouTube start creating video content. Would you say that someone should focus on that one thing and that one thing only? Or is there like a secondary?
[00:18:42] Shannon: [00:18:42] Yeah, so the quiz used to have a secondary, so you would get your top two and it just created a lot of anxiety and people. Like seriously, it was not serving them.
[00:18:56] Then they were like, actually questioning. Is it true? Is it not true? Which one should. So we’re like, actually let’s just give everyone their top one and then help them like be amazing at it.
[00:19:07] So, you know, it’s interesting, I’m having conversation with my tech BA next week. His name is Lou and we’re actually revisiting. Reviving my blog. It’s not that it’s been dead, but it hasn’t been a strategy since I went and scored video two years ago in my business exploded. Right. So I don’t, I, my business lives on Facebook and my group.
[00:19:36] I have an amazing Facebook group. That’s focused all on marketing and selling, for coaches and consultants and zoom and. What I would love to do is take the videos which we have backed up. Right. And repurpose them to the blog, but I need to actually write or transcribe or something and make sure the SEO is there.
[00:20:02] Or Lou does it, but we’re going to be talking next week because, I feel like, gosh, with the momentum we have on the video side, if I could pull that back in to the written and the SEO side, because at the end of the day, that’s where it’s at. When people are searching stuff online. I wonder what might be possible that, that kind of slipped away when I went on away from blogging and fully embraced video.
[00:20:31] So I think people, you know, you should do what you love. First of all, and you should not write two or three posts a week or one a day. You’re going to hit a wall and burnout. I did that once.
[00:20:47] Adriane: [00:20:47] You sure will. There’s no better way to burn out than try to just like constantly produce content.
[00:20:52] Shannon: [00:20:52] Yeah. And I think that one of the things I’m passionate about and I teach in my programs is how can we.
[00:20:59] Create one amazing piece of content each week and repurpose it so that it works for us. And that I think is where strategy a little strategy comes in, but also, letting yourself off the hook and not pressuring yourself to keep creating because the world doesn’t need more and more and more. It needs quality.
[00:21:27] So a quality piece of content each week or every other week, and then learn how to use it and make it work for you. I think that is where the magic is.
[00:21:38] Adriane: [00:21:38] Yes. Quality over quantity every time, always, always, always. And that’s, sort of coming back around to what you were saying, like that’s, what I’m currently doing is I take, I take these podcast recordings and I.
[00:21:54] Put them on the podcast. I make a YouTube video out of it. And then I transcribed them to put it into a blog post and just go, it’s very time consuming, but cleaning it up a little bit. And I’ve because that’s all I have time for right now. And so it, I think that works. but let’s say someone comes back, let’s assume since people listening are probably bloggers or watching.
[00:22:18] so that say they come back with. With written with writing. Is there, is there content personality? Like what, how do you approach, how do you approach that I guess is with their result?
[00:22:31] Shannon: [00:22:31] Yeah. So when you take the quiz, it’ll tell you your top result. And then, there are actually 33 things. You can do within writing blogging is one of them.
[00:22:48] And so over the, you know, across all five content personalities, and I should probably just name them. So people know it’s written video, audio live in person, and most of us right now are doing that via zoom because just what’s happening in the world. and then visual. So those are the five. so across all five of those, there’s 157 different ways that I’ve identified to create content.
[00:23:17] And Britain has 37, so I really help people navigate. and listen, if you love blogging. Don’t be sad if blogging, isn’t your answer. I need to reiterate it.
[00:23:31] Adriane: [00:23:31] Don’t
[00:23:31] Shannon: [00:23:31] have an identity crisis and don’t freak out because the answer is how people best experience you in your marketing, not what you love to do.
[00:23:42] Okay. So, anyway, there’s supports around building your email list. creating, engaging newsletter. This is for every content personality, creating, engaging, newsletter campaigns, learning how to tell story either visually or on a podcast or whatever the, the thing is it’s, it’s, it’s such a robust body of work that has really just helped people understand.
[00:24:12] If you love, if you come back and your answer is written, there’s 33 ways and there’s probably more, I just stopped
[00:24:20] Adriane: [00:24:20] that’s enough to know, but there’s
[00:24:22] Shannon: [00:24:22] three ways that you can get your word out in written
[00:24:26] Adriane: [00:24:26] written format. Yeah,
[00:24:29] Shannon: [00:24:29] I quite a lot of, it’s a really cool, it’s really cool to see what people do with their results and, what they choose if they choose to navigate to another.
[00:24:40] Type based on their results and everyone who does stop by the way gets way better results. So
[00:24:46] Adriane: [00:24:46] I would actually recommend that. Yeah, I would, I would agree with that. Like, I, I would say that if you are blogging, you should figure out what is, you know, your zone of genius or what is. W what is the thing that’s going to, build out what you’re trying to do based on what you’re already passionate about or what you’re really good at or what you can really identify with is if you’re blogging, figure out if, you know, should you be on video, should you develop a YouTube channel to help drive traffic back to your blog?
[00:25:15] Should you develop a podcast to bring people back to your blog? Should you, you know, should you just focus on email marketing if you really are the written type? Is that like, does that make sense to you? Or is that, is that like no, now you’re spreading yourself too thin.
[00:25:29] Shannon: [00:25:29] No, it’s good. And the number one thing is joy.
[00:25:33] That’s what everyone
[00:25:34] Adriane: [00:25:34] wants to remember.
[00:25:35] Shannon: [00:25:35] Yeah. And listen, I had a podcast for my book, my first book, and I did it. I did 34 interviews. My book was about leaving teaching and why I was choosing to leave teaching. And at the end of the day, the 34 interviews, I was like, I am never producing a podcast again.
[00:25:56] I fricking hated it. I loved the interviews. I love going on people’s podcasts and getting to know awesome people like yourself and their audiences, but me having to sit down and like, I just didn’t like it. There were just parts of it. I didn’t like, and I outsourced some stuff. It didn’t matter. It wasn’t, it’s not my joy.
[00:26:15] And by the way, audio is number five for me out of five. So. Y w I hadn’t created this tool yet. So,
[00:26:24] Adriane: [00:26:24] but now it
[00:26:24] Shannon: [00:26:24] makes sense. It just wasn’t joyful. so joy is like the leading factor, but I do think once bloggers get their feet wet, they understand SEO. They’re not running themselves ragged, and they really want to think about expanding their reach.
[00:26:42] They probably should find a channel to drive traffic back. to their blog, because at the end of the day, that’s what we all need to be doing.
[00:26:53] Adriane: [00:26:53] Like
[00:26:53] Shannon: [00:26:53] people, you know, they used to say, write good content or create good content and people will come. It’s just not true anymore. You better be having good content that people can find and that they want to stay.
[00:27:08] That is the key. That’s the trick.
[00:27:10] Adriane: [00:27:10] How do they find it? How do you get them to stick around? Yeah. Yeah, which is true because you are, I’m intrigued by this idea of, of, you know, creating marketing based on storytelling, because that’s, that is what really is compelling to people is as a good story is what is the most compelling?
[00:27:27] I found that working with a nonprofit. That that is the key to nonprofit marketing, for sure. And I’m sure it expands, you know, through all different industries, but when you are so focused on, well, I need to write for SEO. I need to write for SEO. How do you integrate storytelling with SEO?
[00:27:49] Shannon: [00:27:49] You might not like my answer.
[00:27:51] All right. I’m scared to say it. I don’t write for SEO. I freaking write really great content.
[00:27:59] Adriane: [00:27:59] Well the said,
[00:28:01] Shannon: [00:28:01] and then I send it to my tech VA who does whatever he needs to do to get that. Yoast to be green, which I used to know all this stuff, but I don’t have to know it anymore. My business is big enough now that I have somebody that does that for me.
[00:28:18] Yeah. So I focus on my zone of genius, which is producing amazing content, telling stories that sell that’s what I call it. and then he goes in and makes the key word and. The phrase and the snippet and the title and the whatever else needs to happen, they publish it. Yes. It’s all this language still relevant.
[00:28:42] Adriane: [00:28:42] Well, no, I actually like your answer.
[00:28:45] Shannon: [00:28:45] So,
[00:28:46] Adriane: [00:28:46] so there’s that. So for first, for starters, I like your answer because there, I think there are two sides to SEO. Like truly, I think what you’re doing actually does help your SEO because. There are two sides of it. And one is the algorithm component, which is what your tech VA is doing for you, which w when you’re a beginner blogger, you probably don’t have that luxury, but that’s, that’s what he’s doing for you.
[00:29:11] But then there’s a human element. And that is if you don’t connect with someone within the first hundred words, let’s say. You’re going to lose them anyway, and it’s going, that’s going to tank your SEO and they’re not going to keep reading. They’re going to click the back button. That’s not good for your SEO.
[00:29:25] So there is absolutely a human element involved in writing for SEO. You’re just not doing the other side of it, which is totally fine. Cause you’re getting someone else to do it.
[00:29:36] Shannon: [00:29:36] It’s totally fricking joyful.
[00:29:39] Adriane: [00:29:39] Yeah.
[00:29:42] Shannon: [00:29:42] And for everyone listening, you can get here too. If you are slogging through the SEO. No, that I was there nine years ago.
[00:29:52] And I did that shit for four years, learning how to do it. And now my business, I have five, five people on my team now that I pay every month. Now my business, I just get to do my zone of genius and, and sign clients and, and have, have a good old, joyful time, like being in my zone of genius. But I had to slog through that stuff.
[00:30:14] I had to learn it and there’s nothing wrong with it. You need to know it. I mean, if my tech VA ever quits or whatever, someone’s going to have to do it. So I’d have to just like call you up and say, can you give me a refresher? Like I need a crash course on the back end of this stuff. But at the end of the day, you’ve got to be human.
[00:30:32] People have got to connect with you and you can’t do that. If you’re trying to write for SEO. Be a human first go back. And
[00:30:44] Adriane: [00:30:44] if you’re trying to write for the algorithm, the algorithm. Yeah. Yeah. It’s it’s problematic because it becomes so robotic sounding. That’s I mean, the, the keyword stuffing is. Is the appropriate term for it, but it’s so obvious when people do it.
[00:31:00] Like I’ve read an article the other day that I don’t remember. It was, it was very clear. The keyword that this particular person was trying to, to rank for. And it was like every headline had that specific term. It was like, you know, the nine ways that you can do X and X is the keyword. And it was like a way number one to do X way number two to do.
[00:31:21] And I was like, this is so. Uncompelling and so robotic and it just doesn’t, you have to write for a human first and that’s really the truth. So like I have a, I have a blog business membership. That’s what brilliant blogger is. And it’s. What I try to teach my students. And it’s really tricky is to get good at SEO.
[00:31:47] It’s not something that you can just learn because it’s instinct, it’s instinctual as well, that you have to learn how to find that balance. And ultimately that would be a great place to be in to say, like, I’m just going to write the outline or I’m going to write the story around it. And then someone comes in and tweaks it for.
[00:32:05] SEO for the algorithm side of things, but it’s tricky to learn how to do that, but always start with the human first. Yeah, always.
[00:32:14] Shannon: [00:32:14] I agree. And I say to my students, no matter what kind of marketing they’re doing, the human is. Vulnerable. The human is authentic. It’s a word that’s thrown around a lot, but I don’t care.
[00:32:29] It’s real. The human is real. Everyone can listen to this podcast. Watch this video. Come find me on Facebook. Look at my, website and know. Shit. She’s real. Like she just talks the same all the way through whether I’m reading her newsletter or watching her, like, people love that about me. And when I do live a bin events and they say, Oh my God, it’s just like, you are online.
[00:32:53] Well, I’m real. I’m like, I’m a real human being. That’s being real with people. And it’s gotta be first and foremost in all of our content, if, and guess what that means. You got to have some courage, you got to be willing to be visible and you have to be willing to tell your stories, not all the good rainbows and unicorn ones either, but the ones that kind of stopped that people can actually relate to of where you are now.
[00:33:22] And that is the power of storytelling at the end of the day.
[00:33:26] Adriane: [00:33:26] Yeah, well, especially, I mean, you have to get good at telling your own story too, because like, if you’re, if you are, if you’re blogging, if you’re building a blogging business and I tell people, you know, it’s, it’s a business because you’re trying to make money with it.
[00:33:40] It’s either a business or a hobby. And so you’re trying to build a business around your blog. You will, you’re developing a personal brand. And so if you are trying to build a personal brand and people feel like they don’t know who you are, you might get traffic, you might get really good at building the traffic component of, of your business and where people are consistently coming, but are you retaining them?
[00:34:02] Which is the second side of that key that you mentioned is, you know, how do you, how do people find you, but how do you keep them there? And that’s building an audience, right. And if you don’t, if you’re not real, like you were saying, like, I completely. I completely agree with that and feel like that’s, that’s something that’s consistent with me as well, is what you see is what you get no matter where you find me.
[00:34:26] but that’s, I think that’s the key of a personal brand is learning how to tell your story and making feel, making people feel like they know you and they connect with you. Yeah. And that’s, I can see how you’ve done that very well.
[00:34:41] Shannon: [00:34:41] Thank you. And I want to say the other thing, and this is like a vulnerable thing for me.
[00:34:47] when my brand really started growing and what I mean by that is I was being asked to speak. I was being booked on podcasts. I was being flown into present at such and such. I was, holding my own classes and just things were like going right. Like they were, I was being asked to come teach in other people’s communities.
[00:35:08] I, I forgot where I was going with this. This is about being vulnerable and human. Oh, when your brand gets big, I started pulling back because I was scared and I was scared that I don’t know what I was scared of. The feeling that I was scared of is that. Gosh, how am I going to stay accessible and personal?
[00:35:35] If I get this big, that was the thing in my brain. And I was scared about it. And that’s actually when I started my Facebook group, because I didn’t, I wanted a place to gather people and to build a community that no matter what happened, the people who wanted to engage with me, they could engage with me in that community.
[00:35:54] And it was a fear I had about building this personal brand and being so real because at the end of the day, people love the realness, but you also get some weirdos.
[00:36:08] Adriane: [00:36:08] And
[00:36:08] Shannon: [00:36:08] you get some who
[00:36:09] Adriane: [00:36:09] you are not wrong,
[00:36:12] Shannon: [00:36:12] you get some stalkers and you get people who say really mean things and they don’t know you from Jack.
[00:36:18] And guess what? In a Facebook group, I can boot those assholes out,
[00:36:23] Adriane: [00:36:23] like in my world. Yes.
[00:36:27] Shannon: [00:36:27] So the thing about being real it’s the flip side is, yeah, people love it. The other flip side is. You got to grow a little bit of a tough skin and you got to kind of increase your courage and your confidence because they’re going to come at you.
[00:36:41] And my biggest question to this day. Very very vocal as a marketing strategist about my business numbers, because there’s a lot of shady shit, bro marketing going on in the world that they’re not telling you the whole truth. I have a $500,000 a year brand without ads of any kind. And I am proud of it. It is because of my content.
[00:37:04] It is because of my relationships. It is because I’m real. And there are people who hate that. I say that there are people who are like, there’s no way that’s happening. I publish my numbers all the time. It’s happening. And like, you can come into my world and you can see it. But as this brand grows, my biggest fear is I don’t want to be calm and accessible to people because it’s what they love the most.
[00:37:30] And so then it’s like, how am I taking care of my energy? How am I taking care of myself so I can show up and be the leader for the people who, who are there. And this is not just about blogging, but I think it’s a fascinating conversation because if you’re building your business and your personal brand, right.
[00:37:48] You’re going to experience these things along the way.
[00:37:51] Adriane: [00:37:51] No, I think it’s, I mean, I do think it is very relevant to blogging really because it’s, I mean, whether you’re trying to just. Just generate traffic or whether you’re trying to build an audience or both, like you have to show up for your people every day.
[00:38:06] How do you show up for your people consistently? And that’s, you know, just being, being willing to show who you are as a human being, which is very vulnerable and scary. and it’s. That’s where my worlds start to collide because that’s so much of what acting is about. When I look at the performing arts side of things like that is a conversation that I had every day with an acting student is you have to be willing to be vulnerable and show who you are because that’s sort of a side note, a character on a page is never going to be as interesting as a human being.
[00:38:42] Right. But that’s when you show up for your people. In a vulnerable way and just allow yourself to be yourself. You’re right. Not, everybody’s going to like you not, everybody’s going to appreciate what you’re doing, but wouldn’t, you just rather be real with people and, and bring all the P like, if you get, even if it’s 20, 30% of people hear you and say, I don’t really identify with that.
[00:39:07] Or, and 10 of them, 10% of them say, like, I just flat out. Don’t like, What you’re saying, don’t like, you know, the way you’re promoting this, don’t like, whatever, then you don’t need them. You don’t need those people. It’s I think that this is such a unique thing to realize about business in general, regardless of what, what business you’re trying to build, because I’ve been in business a long time.
[00:39:31] And that’s how I approach blogging is when you try to speak to everyone, you speak to no one. So just be willing to find the person who is going to identify with what you provide in a way, in a way that brings you joy. Like you just bring this all the way back around, right?
[00:39:49] Shannon: [00:39:49] Yeah. Yeah. And I agree, like you can’t be everything to everyone, so you might as well be true to yourself.
[00:39:55] So when you lay your head on your pillow at night, you can say, I am who I am and that’s who I am. And this is my mantra. I am who I am and that’s who I am. And those that love me can stay. And those that don’t, I don’t really care. Like I can’t get wrapped up in their stuff. There’s people for them to, they can keep, keep on their journey and go find the people who resonate with them.
[00:40:17] Yeah, and it’s, that’s been a hard lesson. but I’m in a good place now and have done a lot of personal spiritual and inner work to
[00:40:28] Adriane: [00:40:28] get there. I think that’s so important though. I love that. it’s, I mean, it’s a hard place to, to get as a, as a business owner, that’s a hard place to come to. Not everybody gets there.
[00:40:43] but I feel like that’s when the journey is. Gets that’s when the journey is the best. Yeah.
[00:40:50] Shannon: [00:40:50] Yeah. And I want to say one more thing. I’d love to hear thoughts on this. I years ago turned off my blog comments and I directed everyone who wanted to comment to my Facebook group. Because I knew energetically, I could not sustain the robust amazingness of my Facebook group and whatever was happening on the blog.
[00:41:11] Like I didn’t want to split my energy on my YouTube show. All the comments are turned off. I direct them to my Facebook group and my newsletter. You want to watch me teach you come do that in my Facebook group. So even though I’ve used different channels, media for marketing and platforms, I’m sending everywhere to one place to have a conversation.
[00:41:30] And I’ve often wondered like, Oh man, have I like shot my SEO in the ass? Like by turning off the comments, but at the end of the day, my sanity and my joy prevailed over that. So I’d love to know what your thoughts
[00:41:43] Adriane: [00:41:43] are on that. I think that that is a perfectly acceptable thing to do. And I mean, it definitely, isn’t hurting your SEO.
[00:41:51] Like, you know, it might give you a few more words on your page. Like how many blog comments do you think you’d really be getting if you are, if you are turning away, hundreds of people from commenting and all. A hundred, 200 of those people understood what your keyword was and was going to insert your keyword into their comment.
[00:42:12] Like if they’re not doing that, then forget it. Who cares unless you’re doing it, you know, for like additional market research, basically, where you’re trying to understand the questions that people are asking and, and that sort of thing, then you can, you know, that’s, I think that’s where comments are helpful.
[00:42:29] It’s not so much about SEO is it’s more about continuing to understand your audience better, but. I love that I’d never actually thought about instead of commenting sending them to a Facebook group or to some, you know, whatever channel you want to send them to. But I, I actually love, I love that idea.
[00:42:48] And I think therefore,
[00:42:54] Shannon: [00:42:54] if it’s joyful, we’re doing it. And the reason it’s joyful it’s because I only have to go one place to have engaging conversations. And I don’t know, spread all over the place.
[00:43:03] Adriane: [00:43:03] And ultimately, I mean, when you build, like you’re building a community, you’re not just, you’re not just trying to, you know, Drive traffic.
[00:43:11] You’re not just trying to build an audience on your blog. Like you’re building a commute. That’s what Facebook is great for is you can use it for the things that bring you joy. Like there’s always two sides of, of how to, how to function with a blogging business. With, with any kind of business really is how do you serve yourself and how do you serve your people?
[00:43:32] And Facebook is so good for. For you, how do you serve yourself in your business is you get to do what you love in the place that you enjoy doing it. And you serve your audience by giving them valuable, consistently valuable insight information, and have them be a part of something through a Facebook community, not just sending, you know, a random comment too.
[00:43:55] God knows who on the other side of the screen.
[00:43:58] Shannon: [00:43:58] Exactly. Yeah. Okay, cool. I’m glad you like it.
[00:44:04] Adriane: [00:44:04] I validate your idea.
[00:44:06] Shannon: [00:44:06] Okay, good. Perfect. It goes back to what we said. Like you don’t need to be in 52 million places or emails, right.
[00:44:14] Adriane: [00:44:14] Because when you’re trying to be all those places, you’re not going to be in any of them. You’re just stretching yourself too thin.
[00:44:19] Shannon: [00:44:19] No, I have just now in, December. This December coming.
[00:44:25] I am just now going to take a course on Instagram and it’s because I’ve been rocking my Facebook and it’s been so much fun and I’m also embraced a lot more art. So for the video viewers, they can see, I I’m teaching now using this I’m teaching marketing concepts. Using visual journaling. So this is the midst of a three little three part series that I’m doing this week in my Facebook group called the competent expert evolution.
[00:44:56] Adriane: [00:44:56] And
[00:44:57] Shannon: [00:44:57] isn’t that fun? I’m so excited about it. So yeah. Right now, and I’m painting more and I’m creating, Instagram makes a lot of sense for me to, to go have fun with it. I mean, I put cooking and like, it’s just more of like a personal thing, but I’m looking forward to pulling in my Instagram audience now that I have a visual component, to what I’m doing over to Facebook.
[00:45:21] Adriane: [00:45:21] Yeah.
[00:45:22] Shannon: [00:45:22] Can them to Facebook
[00:45:23] Adriane: [00:45:23] people who can’t see that, her just listening. And can’t see that. Can you explain a little bit about. What, what that is the sort of what the visual representation is.
[00:45:34] Shannon: [00:45:34] Yeah. So super cool. Yeah. This is how I’m going to teach marketing all of 20, 21. I’ve decided I love it because it’s very joyful and I’m getting a very good response.
[00:45:43] People can see it broken down. So what I have here and, and I can even, send you a copy of this. If you want to put it in the show notes for people to see.
[00:45:52] Adriane: [00:45:52] Yes, absolutely.
[00:45:54] Shannon: [00:45:54] So this says the competent expert evolution, and it’s a confused little person here with question Mark and kind of a frown. And they’re like, Oh my God, how do I get over here to this star person?
[00:46:07] That’s like, The shining star. And so I’m doing a three part series and the first part is, do you know your zone of genius? That was yesterday. And I helped people to determine the difference between their zone of genius and their zone of excellence. Because when we say in our zone of genius, that’s where the joy is.
[00:46:22] And it’s where the, the, ultimately the money is a lot of money because you are the only one who’s doing what you’re doing, which is like joyful marketing, right? It’s like what I’m doing today. I’ll go live in my Facebook group and I. Part two is, are you visible? So this all about marketing strategies within the content personality and what results do your clients get?
[00:46:43] Because at the end of the day, you can talk about how great you are, but if nobody knows the results that your clients are getting in your courses, in your programs, whatever it is, They don’t really care because they want to pay you for results at the end of the day. And then over here, one of my favorite things to teach people a sales strategy.
[00:47:04] So are you comfortable asking for money? This will be part three and it’s all about, You know, the art of asking for sales, the sale and asking people to come work with you. And I teach something exclusively called invitation selling. So this is so fun. Right? And then you can see this was yesterday as we zoomed out.
[00:47:28] And it’s, that was my show notes. So as I’m teaching and streaming into my Facebook group, that camera’s. Down on my computer. and then I have one for each day that’ll just be marked up and then people can download the show notes from my Facebook group and take it with them. So this is my joyful place for marketing at the moment.
[00:47:49] Adriane: [00:47:49] And why wouldn’t it be like that’s so fun. It’s fun. Yeah. It’s really fun. Good for you. That’s I mean, I feel like this is a good time to say, like, where do people find you if they, if they want to know more and work with you, and if nothing else take that content personality, content, personality, wheel
[00:48:10] Shannon: [00:48:10] quiz
[00:48:11] Adriane: [00:48:11] quiz
[00:48:12] Shannon: [00:48:12] on personality quiz.
[00:48:13] so you can find the quiz that M as in Mary Shannon hernandez.com. Slash quiz backslash quiz. and then if you want to hang out and have fun, and I hope you’ll join me in my Facebook group, it’d be really fun to have. the name of the Facebook group is called marketing and selling for coaches and consultants.
[00:48:35] And I do trainings every single week and there’s so much fun. and I’d love. Anyone to come ask questions, be part of a loving community and, and see the joyful side of things.
[00:48:48]Adriane: [00:48:48] Shannon. Thank you so much. One more time for being here and chatting today about how you can truly create a business that is joyful, that you love to do. If this is something that your interests. In turning your blog into an actual business that you can have so much fun working in. You’re just basically making money, having fun.
[00:49:11] Then I would invite you to come check out my free training, how to create consistent. One came months with your blog. You can find firstname.lastname@example.org slash. Class, if you liked what you heard, I would greatly appreciate it. If you did leave a review, sent me a message on Instagram at brilliant blogger.
[00:49:30] And let me know your favorite parts, what you would like to hear in the future. I love connecting with people and I would definitely love to connect with you as well until next time, have a great week.