If you've ever worked with or wanted to bring in a team to help you execute your marketing and content strategy, you may feel some squeamishness around letting go of control of your brand voice and vision. This theme is all over this week's episode where I interview Brittany Darrington on how she's used connection, collaboration and delegation to build her impressive Corporate Misfits empire.
Brittany Darrington is a serial entrepreneur who has started companies in several spaces which include retail, e-commerce, and non-profits. She is on a mission to help millennial women entrepreneurs define their own success and build a business they love. She is the founder of The Corporate Misfit Club, Corporate Misfit Apparel, and has helped more than 3000+ women start a business. Brittany went from working a 9-5 that gave her anxiety and panic attacks to building a business she loves that generates 7-figure income within less than two years.
Key Takeaways from this Episode
What has your business journey looked like from when you first hung out that digital “come in, we’re open sign” to where you are today?
- When I first started my business, like many entrepreneurs, I had no idea what I was doing. I did it out of just wanting to get out of my nine to five. I was feeling like I was missing something and I felt unfulfilled and I thought, “Okay, starting a business is something that I think I can do.”
- The first apparel company that I started, which was a sorority line, it actually flopped. It was a complete failure. I invested $4,000 into my business, six months worth of time. I quit my nine to five and I launched and literally shortly after I launched, no one was coming to my website. I couldn't get people to buy from me and I felt like I was forcing a sale down someone's throat in order for me to just generate sales. So when I launched I did not launch properly and I had to go back to that drawing board and I had to learn how to properly market my business, how to position myself so that I can get in front of my ideal customers and then build my tribe.
In terms of legacy – what is the big mission you’re here to accomplish with your business?
- One of the things that I want to leave behind, my legacy, and what I'm doing currently through my businesses is I'm looking to make an impact and to really help and support entrepreneurial women who are just getting started.
- The impact that I'm looking to make is how do I help women not only build a company, but how do I help them to build a business and use that business as a vehicle to help make a impact within their community. Whether that be giving back to a nonprofit or a charity or them starting their own organization to be able to help other individuals who might need their efforts and their supports.
What's the #1 burning question you get from your community and what do you tell them?
- One of the questions I always receive is how do you start a business? I think people think there's some magic tool to it or there's some special pathway that we can go on in order for us to just start that business, right? And so what I always tell people is if you want to start a business, then I want you to become obsessed with failure. I want you to become obsessed with having some bumps in the roads and being able to overcome those bumps and jump over those hurdles, even if you feel like you can't do it.
- It's so many people forget that failure is part of the journey, and if you look at failure as a bad thing, which failure can set people back, right? But if you look at failure as a learning experience, what did I learn during that failure or what did I learn during that speed bump? Then all it does is it helps you to get to that next level and it takes you a step further, even if it doesn't look like it was a success. That learning lesson takes you a step further.
What is one piece of advice you have for online business owners who see what you’ve built and all the success you’ve had doing it – and want to create their own version of it but have no idea where to start?
- I would tell them to start being their authentic self and sharing that with the world. What happens is that there are so many people who try to be a cheap carbon copy of someone else. So they go and pay attention to their social media and they start trying to talk like them, write like them, do live videos like them, but they're not being their genuine and authentic self. And one of the things that I would say is you have something so amazing to offer.
- You have a unique gift that no one else has and if you try to be like everyone else, if you try to copy the person that you see that's on chapter 20 while you're on chapter one, then all you're doing is you're cheating yourself and you're cheating your audience of your unique gift.
So shifting gears to marketing – How do you stay motivated and inspired when it comes to content creation (especially after all this time)?
- One of the things that helps me to stay fresh and up to date with content and really be able to share my unique voice is being able to communicate with my audience. I'm not afraid to go and just identify my ideal customers and ask them questions, identify how they talk, listen to language, and really pay attention. Is what I'm saying resonating with them? Am I using their words? Are they talking about a coffee and a latte or are they talking about grabbing a glass of wine? What are they saying and how can I bring in their language into my voice connect with them?
- Because content is really all about building relationship, but being able to speak each other's language and so it keeps me motivated to go and learn more about my audience rather than just thinking automatically I know all I can about them and when I write content and copy, that, “Oh, I know exactly what they need. I know exactly how they feel.”
- I don't always know, so what motivates me to continue to refresh that and keep it up to date is going and really getting to know who I'm working with, getting to hear them and speak with them through Facebook lives, through Instagram lives, through in person events and just really being able to connect with them.
How does content work in your business. What do you handle and do you have a team that helps? Fill us in!
- Well first off, I am dyslexic and so when I decided to go into the online space, I was terrified, this like scared me because I was so nervous on writing something incorrectly or just kind of talking out of order by mistake or whatever it may be. I was so terrified to even go down this path of doing something online because I knew a lot of writing and copy had to be created in order to create content for what I was looking to do. So the first thing I did was I hired someone who was in public relations. They were excellent at writing, they were excellent at storytelling and really being able to position a brand messaging. We were able to really identify the language and the brand positioning that we wanted to put out there for our audience to see and understand and relate with. So that was the first thing I did.
- Over the last pretty much three years I would say, all of us actually have our hands on content. It's through our social media, it's through video, it's through email marketing, it's through our sales page, and our copy that we use whenever we're selling something or even our product and our service descriptions and things like that. We all have our hands on content, but we all find ways for us to make sure that we're all in alignment with each other and we're still speaking in a brand voice versus how one individual would write something or would say something.
- I am a control freak. I literally love to have my hands on everything and I was freaked out. When I brought Lindsey on I was so nervous that she was going to turn my brand messaging into something else or she was going to make it sound like I was this corporation and I'm not. And I was so freaked out on it that everything that she wrote, whether it be something to media so we could get write-ups or if it was just something regarding social media, I wanted to overlook it.
- At that time I was hindering myself and I was hindering my business because I was micromanaging and the moment I finally decided that if I continue to micromanage her one, I'm going to possibly lose her, as for working with me and two, I am keeping myself from doing what I really need to do, and the whole reason of bringing her onto the team was to take something off my plate. So I had to learn how to let go and really trust and share my ideas in the beginning and really discuss what we want the expectations to be and the outcome to be, so then we could let Lindsey run free and do what she needed to do in order to get that project or that portion of the business done.
Can you walk us through a typical content creation day for you? What’s your process for creating new content look like?
- We spend usually the first three days of the month and also the last three days, so we spend about six days out of the month where we focus on content creation. So and the very end of the month we focus on new content for the upcoming month because we plan everything out in batches. So we plan any content that we are going to provide to our audience in a batch. And so we think about what do we want to focus on this month?
- And so we plan that out at the beginning, I mean at the end of the month, and then at the very beginning of the month, we spend the first three days going through and actually executing. So everything that we planned those last three days of the month, we then execute at the beginning of the month and we break it down into projects for each of us.
- At first, I wasn't for it. I was like, “Why can't we just do it as we go?” And I realized that when we do it in batches, it makes your life so much easier. It just makes it so easy to get things done because then you can concentrate and focus on other things and you have all your content done. For us, we do it in six days, so it makes the other 24 to 25 days out of the month easy. We're like, “Okay, cool. We got this.”
How would you define a content empire as it relates to your own business and what you’ve built?
- So a content empire of how it relates to my business is connecting and collaborating with other entrepreneurs who are in the online and digital space and working with them and collaborating and putting them in front of our audience and also vice versa, so that we can not only just build off of our own current content and our copy, but also get more in front of our ideal audience and then also build a larger community and start connecting people together and start collaborating more. So that's what we've kind of focused on over the last couple of months.
I know you have an amazing paid community (with the best name too) “The Corporate Misfit Club” – can you tell me a little about it – like who it's for, the cool things you get up to in there?
- The Corporate Misfit Club, it's something that my team and I wish we created when we started our business, but one of the things is the Corporate Misfit Club is an online community for female entrepreneurs who are looking to start their business or they have already started their business, but they still need the support and they still need to learn things along the way in order to help them get to that next level within their business. So in the Corporate Misfit Club, what we do is something called business bundles where each month we feature a guest expert that comes in and teaches on a specific topic that relates to business that can help them within their company.
- So for example, we might have content copy like with you, and we also have marketing, we have how to just do business planning, and how to do sales funnels and so much more to help guide each of the individuals in this club step by step so that they can apply this information and use it within their business. Another thing that we do to help make sure that education is just up there and helping you to grow, is we have like a book club. In the book club each month we feature a fun new book where it's not only going to just be a book to read within the book club, but it's a book that will help you to grow in your business. And then we have live trainings where myself and also my team will get on and coach the female entrepreneurs in our community to help them and guide them and help them get over some of the hurdles that they might be facing within their business.
Latest content or marketing tool discovery? Iconosquare
Most profound business book you’ve read? DotCom Secrets by Russell Brunson
What is one marketing trend that you're passing on for now? YouTube.
2018 or 2019 planner of choice? I am obsessed with Bando and I love getting the one that says I am very busy.
Where would you invest $5,000 in your business today? I would invest $5,000 into marketing in my business.