Do you believe that if you stop creating new content, your business will die? Not so (and I bet you never thought you'd hear me say this.) But my interview with Reina Pomeroy of Reina & Co. dispels the myth as we explore the what, why and how of taking an intentional content hiatus and how it can be the best thing ever for your marketing, business and life!
Reina Pomeroy is the Founder of Reina + Co and the Creator of the Profit & Serve Program. She helps creative entrepreneurs get laser focused so they can book more dreamy clients with ease, get paid to do what they love, and have the time to enjoy it. She is a Coach, Speaker, Educator, Author of the Big Plan for the Creative Mind, and Podcaster. Reina is a host of the Creative Empire Podcast and the Fueled with Heart Podcast to educate new entrepreneurs. Reina’s work has been featured on the Entrepreneur on Fire Podcast, Entrepreneur.com, Brit + Co, The Huffington Post, and the Rising Tide Society. Find out where you should be focusing in your business over at www.reinaandco.com.
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 didn't really hang my digital come in, we're open sign because I didn't have a website for about four or five months until after I actually started my business. So I was open for business for quite a while before I had an official thing, and I started out as a coach, but my prior life was as a social worker, so I didn't really know how to really dive into this online space.
- The previous business stuff I had done was as a local wedding planner, and so I knew what it looked like to be an entrepreneur, but I really didn't understand the online space as much. And so I kind of dabbled in Facebook groups. I kind of dabbled in trying out social media, but I really, what I'm really proud of at the beginning that I did was to spend time on really discovering the space, discovering the needs of our people, and that was kind of intuitive.
- It didn't come from taking a course or anything like that. I just, I think a natural listener, and so I just wanted to hear what people were experiencing and how I could really support them with my training and my work in the past. So that's kind of where I started. And now I have evolved multiple, multiple times over with the different offers that we've put out into the world, and our one-on-one coaching has evolved as well.
- And so there's just been a lot of different changes, and now I'm focused on delivering this program that we call Dreamy Client Magnet where we help people book more of their dreamy clients and make more money so that they can enjoy the time and the life that they have that they build with their businesses. And I also just focus on one-on-one coaching through a half day intensive as well. So I'm really just excited about the journey, like the twists and turns. I know you know this about me, but we've been through so many twists and turns, and so it's been fun to kind of explore that and to see where we've landed.
In terms of legacy – what is the big mission you’re here to accomplish with your business?
- This is such a fun question and I don't often get asked this on a podcast. I'm so glad we're digging into it. This is something that I've written from the very, very beginning of my business, is that this company, Reina and Co, is not about Reina. Even though Reina is the first word in my company name, it's all about the And Co. And the And Co's mission is to really embody the fact that we believe that women are the anchors of our communities and our families. And when women are empowered, whether it's financially, or through business, or whatever means in our communities, we are able to serve in a higher way and we are able to make waves in a way that the world has never seen before.
- And so when women are more passionate, and are aligned to their purpose, and they have the empowerment of the power that is, and knowing that they have the capacity to change the world, we have the ability to move our society forward. And so right now as it stands, our mission manifesting is pretty small, but I see it in such a big way that we can make huge leaves and huge impact through empowering women. So even though the way that we're doing it currently is relatively small, we're touching a couple hundred people, a couple of thousand people through the work that we're doing right now, ultimately at the end of the day, I would love for it to feel like a movement, to feel like an impact beyond just our company.
- And so one of the things that we're doing right now is building a school through Pencils of Promise. Our sort of philanthropic efforts are born out of the fact that I think that literacy is one of the most empowering things that we can give to children in the world and also girls specifically, where in parts of the world where education is not a priority to be able to give that to girls and boys too, but I think girls who really are empowered to be able to think critically, it's just something that I think is undervalued.
- And so that's something that's really important to me. I saw this in inner city Baltimore where I was working as a social worker, that being a student and having that identity is really, really powerful for kids. And then the other thing too that we do with our company is, besides our direct work with our students and our clients, is that we give to Kiva every year, for my birthday specifically, but I really just, I try to do this every quarter. As I give myself a bonus, I try to fund a Kiva loan because there is somebody in a different part of the world who is also trying to start their businesses up. And just being able to give $25, $50 at a time allows them to do something really cool with their idea.
- So that's the legacy that I hope to give the world. Specifically for my family, I really just want them to know that they are capable of changing the world, that they have something to offer, whether it's coaching, that's probably not their trajectory, but that we have the power to do something that's different than just the normal nine to five grind.
What's the #1 burning question you get from your community about contingency and what-if business planning and what do you tell them?
- Yeah, so the number one thing that I feel like my people are curious about or are just burning to try to figure out is, how do I get more eyes on my business? And I know you talk about this in terms of getting more eyes on your stuff, but I think the traffic is something that's really important. But at the same time, I think we forget about the fact that the person who is in front of us is the most important person. And I have constantly worked on this for myself and constantly talked about it with my clients, is that the volume of clients is great after a certain point, but for most service based entrepreneurs, the priority is to focus on the one problem that you solve for the person who is right in front of you.
- And so we have done, at Reina and Co, a pretty decent job, I think, of nailing down who our avatar is, knowing who are Visionary Jordan is and how we can serve her, and being clear on that is a couple of different things. So I think the first thing is really listening to what they are curious about, they're struggling with, they're wondering about, and being able to be the solution that solves that. And so that's something that we've done from the very, very beginning and yes, absolutely, we want you to get more eyes on your thing, but ultimately at the end of the day, you don't need thousands of thousands of people to be paying attention to you to sell a coaching package, or a copywriting package, or graphic design package. Right?
- If you're trying to get into passive income, and you're really trying to sell thousands of courses, you're definitely going to need those traffic sources, but as you're getting started, as my community is trying to build their authority, it's not going to necessarily be from volume.
What do you think is one piece of advice that you have for, let's say, Visionary Jordan who sees everything that you've built, the success you've had doing it, and they want to create their own version of that, but they have no idea where to start. They're maybe feeling a bit overwhelmed. What advice do you have for them?
- Understand that you are a person first in your business, and this is such a weird answer, right? It's like, oh, you can like work on Facebook ads. That could be a strategy.
- For me, as a very introspective person, my biggest thing is, as an entrepreneur, we have to grow our being side, not just start doing side. I think the capacity to build a business is infinite, right? We can all do it if we have the wherewithal, but at the same time, you cannot sustain that without taking care of yourself, without understanding yourself, and understanding what motivates you, what fires you up, what gets you really going, rather than just looking at the numbers.
- And I think where people get tripped up is they see somebody else's success, and they're traveling along a similar path and saying, “Well, this is what so and so did,” and kind of doing the same thing without understanding that there were a lot of mine, trip … What am I trying to say? Things that we trip on and things that we kind of stumble upon along the way that you don't necessarily hear about. And I think that those failures are part of how we get up as entrepreneurs, and that is what makes us stronger after we get up.
- And so know that you have to learn how to do that and how you navigate kind of those pitfalls in our businesses. And the being side is just as important as the doing side. So one of the things that I do in my business is to really spend time reflecting in my business, and doing a lot of reflection work, and holding the vision work because I am very much a doer. If you were to go between, are you a skyscraper, visionary, or builder, an action taker, I am very much an executer. I'm a get it done person, and I really struggle with the visionary part of it. And so I literally have to intentionally spend time and carve out time in my calendar to do this work because it's part of the work.
- So I think just to answer your question in a little bit of a shorter soundbite is to say, you have to spend time not only looking at what everyone else is doing and like the best practices, but understand yourself, understand your personality, understand what motivates you, what lights you up, what gets you really fired up, and combine that with the things that your audience is needing to get from you as a solution.
So shifting gears to marketing – How do you stay motivated and inspired when it comes to content creation (especially after all this time)?
- So Reina and Co has been producing about three years worth of content weekly, and so that's a lot of content. And I know you're a content machine too, so you know about this, but it takes a lot to show up to create content, whether it's free content, or paid content, or somewhere in the middle, freebie content. And our latest effort was … So we've done a couple different things. We blogged for multiple years, and we noticed that our audience wasn't really reading our blogs, and Pinterest was going okay, but it wasn't as effective as I think I could have used it.
- But I noticed in having Creative Empire Podcast and being a podcaster that our listeners were downloading at a significantly higher rate than our blog was being read, which is such an interesting reflection, right? Because content is still content. How we consume it, I feel like, is how we want to produce the … Like where people are listening or where people are reading is where we want to be.
- And so we started a second podcast just for Reina and Co called the Filled With Heart Podcast. And it was a little bit of a gear shift from what we had done before, but basically it replaced our blog, although we created show notes for it, so it kind of ended up being our defacto blog. We had content upgrades for every single one, which I'll point out that since our leads were so warm and people were very invested in the podcast episodes, our download rates are like 80 percent, like no lower than 75 percent for each of them, which is kind of crazy. And so that was really interesting to see.
- And now we're at a point where we're not creating any consistent content. We've made this commitment that I think our audience is pretty tired from hearing from us so regularly, and I wanted to kind of stave off the content creation so that they could also catch up on some of the things that we've already created, and repurpose some of those things that we've already created, and really leverage what we already have as well as the fact that I think that the consistent content creation makes people feel exhausted, and it makes them kind of tune out.
- lso, I don't know if you noticed this, but I have had in the past so much backlog of stuff that I need to go back to and the stuff that I feel like, “Oh, I need to read this, but it's not relevant at this immediate moment.” And so I have like such a vault of stuff that I feel like I need to go through, and I partially consume it, but I don't quite digest it. And so just stopping the content for me has been a practice of, it's okay not to consume all the content, folks. Right? Like it's okay for you to see that it's there and you know that when you need it, you can come back to it.
- So that's been sort of my mindset shift recently, and I've been having a lot more fun with content creation as of late. I have been sending out regular-ish emails, like weekly emails about topics that my people are asking me for. So I go on Facebook live to talk about them rather than necessarily having to have it be scheduled every single Wednesday because that's what we were doing for Sunshine Mail for three years.
Can you walk us through a typical content creation day for you? What’s your process for creating new content look like?
- It's actually really amusing because I sat down today and I was like okay, content day, here we go! I'm definitely what I call the inspired content writer in that if it's not the day, it's not going to happen. Like I am not … I can't produce content on a schedule, it just doesn't work for me, but if I allow myself the space and I'm inspired, I can spend like eight hours writing content once I get into the groove. I think for me when I'm attempting to have a content day and it goes well, then usually what it starts off with really strangely is a bit of a dance party. I like to have some 80s music blaring and a bit of a … Just to get rid of all the anxiety I feel when I first look at that white screen.
- Because I know today might not be the day, so I kind of am like … I'll relax myself. Then let's assume it's the day that it's going to happen, I've usually got a stack of ideas already so as I've been listening to podcasts or reading books or things have occurred to me in the shower, they're usually stored as notes and those have gone into a Trello board ready for me to pick. What I'll do is I'll pick the idea that I'm the most excited about because the idea is to get something on paper as quickly as possible and I'll just free write. I'll free write against the clock, which I actually learned from you, which works brilliantly for my competitive nature. I'll give myself 15 minutes or 20 minutes and I'll race the clock to basically write a blog post where I'm not really caring too much about grammar or spelling or is that the best way to say something.
- Sometimes that will continue in with me feeling really in the zone with that content and I'll finish it, so I'll actually go through it and rewrite it and make it look good. Sometimes I'll be like okay, that's enough on that one and I'll pick the next idea that I'm excited about just to keep momentum going.
So this is going to be, I know this answer is probably in flux for you, but how does content work in your business? You've given us a little bit of a sneak peek, but let's get down to the nitty gritty systems. And even during this content break, and I want to be clear here, this is an intentional decision, content break. But how does content, the nitty gritty of it, work in your business? What do you handle? Do you have a team that helps with … Fill us in!
- But for the blog side, I would open up a Google doc, which is probably the most difficult part of the content creation process for me, and sitting down and creating that or I guess it's a Google spreadsheet, opening it up to figure out what my ideas are, where we were leading things to, and once we had that over arching strategy, I would open up a Google doc and start kind of bulleting out the topics that were the subtopics for that blog post.
- And then I would create the actual tweetable. I would create, what was the highlight of this? What were the pieces that we really needed to have highlighted, and make sure that these were the high points that we wanted people to be searching for. We went through a couple of rounds of titles, and then after that, I would just hand it off to my team. After I wrote the blog post, I would hand off to my team, and they would create the graphics. They would pull the quotes, they would schedule the posts, they would schedule all the social media, and I would just kind of approve it. But for the most part, it was kind of templated at that point. And so we've got it down to a system, they put it out into the world, and it was good.
- On the podcast side, we were just getting into the flow of it, Episode 24, which is when we ended our Filled With Heart podcast. But we would outline the topics, kind of like the blog posts, and then I would record it and have it edited. The notes that I took before I recorded it basically got turned into longer form show notes because I'm really bad at going off the cuff when I'm not doing an interview. So I found it really difficult, actually, to record solo shows than something like this. So yeah, interviews are so much easier, I feel like.
- But once we had that document for the show notes, we would link everything that needed to happen. Oh, something else to note is that we had a content upgrade, a freebie for every single episode, and so I created that inside of the Google doc as well. And then my team would turn it into a PDF, and then set it up in LeadPages, and everything would kind of work magically behind the scenes, and their wizardry make everything work.
- Oh, and then can I also add that every single piece of content that we had created in that kind of weekly system was translated into Sunshine Mail that went out on Wednesday each week. So my team was also in charge of that.
How would you define a content empire as it relates to your own business and what you’ve built?
- So my content empire is a library of content that we've created with our Visionary Jordan in mind. And its purpose is to serve, its purpose is to educate and normalize the things that we experience in our businesses. And my hope in all of the content that we've created is that we give permission for the things that don't seem like the mainstream message. My hope is to give courage to people who need it in the moment.
Latest content or marketing tool discovery? This isn't a discovery, but I would say Instagram story swipe up. I just got to 10,000 followers. So the swipe up has been a fun thing that we've been trying.
Most profound business book you’ve read? Pumpkin Plan by Mike Michalowicz.
What is one marketing trend that you're passing on for now? Bots. Ew.
2018 or 2019 planner of choice? Well, for 2018, I've been using the She Plans planner by Ashley Staum. I actually haven't purchased a planner for 2019 yet, but I know I'll be using PowerSheets again. It's not a planner by any means, but it's an intentional planner.
Where would you invest $5,000 in your business today? I'm going to invest in you because I want us to work together for you to help me create our evergreen funnel.