Do you find yourself stuck with content creation because you don’t know what to write or create a video about? Well then you have to listen to this episode where Heather Crabtree and I discuss her simple but powerful approach of turning your signature process into the pillars of your content strategy. You definitely won’t stay stuck for long with this approach!
Heather is a Business Strategist and Founder of The Savvy Community.
With a law degree in hand, she started her first post-law firm business hours at age 24, gained a business partner at 28, and sold the business 6 years later to start her current business. Now she mentors and speaks to lady entrepreneurs around the globe each year, encouraging and teaching women how to run a Savvy business + live a fulfilling life. She loves to share business tips, real life mamahood, leadership advice and bring awareness to pediatric cancer.
Business aside, Heather is also a proud mom to her littles, London and Lane, and wife of 14 years to her husband, Cole.
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?
- I've learned to shorten the story because it can go on for days because I've been an entrepreneur for 15 years now. But, I started out in law. I went to law school, started out as an attorney, and I realized that that was not what I wanted to do. I did that for a year and then I did not like it at all. And so, about a year or so in, I decided to quit my job and I wanted to do something completely different.
- I wanted to do something creative and not just what I called push paper anymore across the desk. And I started my own event planning company. I tell the story of I just had my computer, literally that's all I had. I had nothing else. I had no background in event planning, I knew no one. I was living … I'm from Indiana, I went to law school in Oklahoma, and I moved to Phoenix. I went down that path of creativity and in the event planning world. I did that for the first four years.
- When I started doing what I do now, when I sold the event planning company, that's when I went fully into doing what I do now, which is business strategy and building communities. Yeah, that's where that all started, and how it got me to where I am now.
- I was at a retreat this past weekend and I was telling people that, I said, “We're so worried about how we're going to get to the next thing, and we forget to look out what got us to where we are, and how those dots connect.” And they do connect, sometimes it's hard when you're in the thick of it to see how it's connecting, but it's beautiful when you can look back, and I guess that also comes with age, or experience. You can look back and go, “Oh, wow, that was meant to happen then, and this is how this worked out, and this is how I met this person.”
- It just all beautifully connects somehow. Well, maybe not always beautifully, I wouldn't say it was beautiful journey through the whole thing, but definitely learning teachable moments throughout that are big dots on the line for me, of, “Oh, that's when that happened and that's when I made a change,” or, “That's when I met someone new, and that's how I got to this space.” So it's really cool to look back and see how you need all of those things, how you can't do it on your own.
In terms of legacy – what is the big mission you’re here to accomplish with your business?
- I grew up in a really big family, my Dad was one of 11, and so I've always had community, always. I don't know what it feels like to not have it. In fact, I was talking to one of the people on my team today and a few of my members are on maternity leave, and I said, “I need people. I need you all to get back so that we can have our chats and I can feel a part of this team.” But I've always felt that. I've always had that. I look back at my life that I've lived so far, and say, what was the common bond?
- And that was bringing people together, connecting people. I'm a connector, I'm a community builder. I love bringing people from all different walks of lives and seeing what is that common bond that they have. I just happened to do that again when I started this business, and said, “Okay, I don't feel like I've ever really belonged.” I didn't feel like I belonged in the legal world, I didn't feel like I really belonged, even though I was there for 11 years, in the wedding and event world. And then when I came into the coaching consulting world and the online business world, I felt really alone again.
- And when I go back to where it starts, those are the cornerstones of, if we truly feel successful or if we become successful, are those things there? Do you have a community? Do you keep showing up? Are you being visible? Are you allowing people to see you and hear you? Are you accepting of that? All those like deeper, deeper things that sometimes we overlook because we want to hear about strategies and tools.
What's the #1 burning question you get from your community and what do you tell them?
- There are two. I think it depends on where you are in your business and your life. So the first one is visibility, how do I get people to see what I'm doing? And again, I think that goes back to just showing up and having the courage and finding the courage and having people support you in that, and showing up and just keep showing up, even when it really, really, really, really gets hard. I'm talking the hardest moments in your life, keep showing up because you are worth it. You are meant to be here. You are meant to do great things in this world.
- I think the other thing too, the other part that I get asked a lot as people that are specifically for business stuff is where people are shifting in their business. And this is where I love to work with … I love that zero to three years because I can see my younger self and help those people. But I also, where I'm really, really good at is those shifting moments, those transition moments in your business and your life. You're trying to figure out, “Okay, I've, I've gotten here, I've found success, now, how do I go to that next step?”
- You hear this a lot, now, but what got you there is not going to get you to this next space that you're trying to go to. And so helping people within those shifting and transitions within your business is, I feel like my golden nugget. That's where I'm really, really, really good, on finding …. And it doesn't all come back to strategies and tools, again, it's about, where are you in your life too in realizing that your business is a part of that? And just stop compartmentalizing where your life is over here and your businesses over on the other side, they have to work together.
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?
- Yes. I do get this question a lot, and again, it makes me go back and go, “Wow, okay, let's look where we've come from, where we began,” and I think again, how … You'll see the pattern in each of my stuff, like in each of the different industries that I've been in, is that I haven't been scared of starting. Like I've just started, I've put my feet out there not knowing where they were going to land, honestly. And just finding the courage in myself to know. But I've always been that person also that just knew like I was meant for more. And again, I think that all goes back to deeper things than just being like, “Here I am, I can do everything.” That was instilled in me.
- But, I think that the underlying foundations of every business are actually, if you don't build those properly at the beginning or if you don't pay attention to them as you're growing, those have the potential to crumble. And so, what I teach specifically female entrepreneurs, is my framework is the Savvy Business Roadmap.
Can you walk us through a typical content creation day for you? What’s your process for creating new content look like?
- It looks a little different depending on how I'm creating the content, but for me, it always goes back to the Savvy Business Roadmap, and then at what level am I creating for. Am I creating for people that are newer in business? Am I creating for … That's where the base of everything that I do is, it's off of that roadmap. That's my framework.
- And I think that's a key. I think that that has been a big shift for me because I think when I've tried to add all these other things that I'm not really good at, it's been very apparent of like, I'm outside of my wheelhouse. I'm really good at business strategy and seeing the bigger picture and being able to laser focus in on other people's businesses, but I also don't want to go too far out. There's a lot of stuff that can fit in that six checkpoints of the Roadmap, but I like to bring other experts in that can speak to those specific things. I'm really good at, “Let's keep the whole business flowing and this is how we're going to do it with the Roadmap, and just keep going back to the Roadmap.”
- Everything I do content wise is based on that, and we've tried a lot … I've been in business for a really long time. I've had this business for four years, we've had everything really. And I think that, one of the things about my business and me that I think … I'm willing to try things and go, “Okay, that didn't work, we're going to move on.” Sometimes I'm willing to move on quicker and my team is like, “No, we got to test it out a little bit more.” But I also think it's dependent on where I am in my life. In the past two years, I've had big personal things happening, and so I wasn't able to be in it and be doing a lot of content creation. We relied on what I already had done.
- And so I think you'll have to look at that. But I also … We tried video, I wasn't able to video a lot, I was in the hospital with my daughter. And so I think that you have to find what works for you in that point of your life. Video wasn't going to work for me, but I'm going to be coming out with a podcast, so that will be a big content piece. And then I do a lot of free stuff and a lot of trainings and stuff like that on the different levels. I have my free stuff in my Facebook group, I love to go in and help people. And then there's the membership, and then the masterminding group program that I have.
- I guess it all comes back to the central core of the Roadmap, and everything's based on that content wise. It's the way that I've been able to take my crazy brain of like all the ideas and make sure we're focusing in on these specific parts, because otherwise, I would just be talking about everything because that's how my brain works. It's like explosion of all the ideas and all the stuff. It's a framework to keep me in check as well.
How would you define a content empire as it relates to your own business and what you’ve built?
- You have to find out what is your core message. And that goes back to what I said to the heart of your business. Like what is it that you're really wanting to help people with? And sticking to that core message, that's going to be where all your content comes from, but I think a lot of times, we feel like we have to do more. We have to talk about this and that and all the other things.
- And really what that does, it can really water down your message. And so I think you have to figure out what that core message is and stick with that or what your framework or what your method is, whatever it is that's specific to you and how … Because let's be honest, real honest here, a lot of us are teaching a lot of the same stuff. What makes us different is that you have to relate it into how you do it, because your message and how you get it out to the world, that's going to resonate with some people, other people, it's not. And so, the question I get all the time is, “Well, but this person's already saying that.” I'm like, “No, but they need it told by you and your way of teaching it.”
You have an incredible community called the Savvy Community. Can you tell us more about it? Who is it for?
- The Savvy Community is my paid membership group, and we have the Savvy Business Owners, so everything's savvy. We have Savvy Business Owners group, which is the free Facebook group, that you come into first. And then the paid membership is the Savvy Community, and that is where you'll find, honestly, what I was just talking about. You'll find the Roadmap, you'll find trainings, you'll find that it's not just me, it's other experts coming in and sharing what they're really good at, and it's about community, again.
- I think that especially, because my audience is female entrepreneurs, we all feel like we're alone, but when you really see and you really open yourself up, because I see this every day when people I talk to in my community or if I'm coaching my clients, everyone has the same struggles. It's just that we feel like they don't, because we're seeing again, the highlight reel of what people are going through. And so I want a place that we can be really open and we can share the challenges, we can support each other and we can have those confetti moments of like, “I just did this amazing thing,” and everyone can raise that lady up and be so excited for her.
Latest content or marketing tool discovery? I'm getting into the podcasting world … I guess there's a lot of tools. I don't know a specific one that I'm like super pumped on. But again, it's something that I haven't done before, so it's been really fun to see what's out there.
Most profound business book you’ve read? Lead with Heartby Patrick Sweeney and Tom Gartland and Imperfect Courage by Jessica Honegger.
What is one marketing trend that you're passing on for now? I am passing on YouTube as a marketing tool right now.
2018 or 2019 planner of choice? I like to do everything digitally, so everything is in Asana or in my Google Calendar, but I also use the PowerSheets from Lara Casey.
Where would you invest $5,000 in your business today? I actually would need more than the $5,000, but the thing that I really want to do is I want to become a part of a mastermind of people that are at the level I am in my business.