Ep #324 – The Era Of The Creator: Uplevel Your Content & Creative With Our Insider Process

Sep 30, 2021

Last week, I made a bold claim that most entrepreneurs are resistant to hearing, but is the reality of marketing today:

We have entered the era of the creator.

What does this mean for your business?
For your content strategy?
For your marketing strategy as a whole?

If you’re trying to grow a business online, you must step up and become a creator.

That means incorporating more video, Reels, stories, and really innovative creative into your strategy if you want to stand out, attract an audience, and continue generating leads and sales.

But it’s not enough to put out random content and hope that it takes off. You have to be very strategic and intentional with the content you create.

In this episode of the Not For Lazy Marketers Podcast, I’m sharing my team’s exact process that we’ve implemented internally and for our partners for upleveling your content and creative for both your organic and paid strategies.

Tune in for all the clarity you need on what is no longer optional, but required to succeed in the era of the creator!

Did this episode inspire you to create your first Reel, test out a new type of creative, implement a better process for creating content? Send me a DM on Instagram (@emilyhirsh) and tell me all about it!

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READ THE EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Emily Hirsh:

Hello everybody, and welcome back to the podcast. I hope you guys are having an amazing week, an amazing day. I have been feeling on fire right now. It’s been a good last few weeks. I share the good and the bad with you guys. I did a podcast like a month ago about how business can be really hard, but I’m in a place where I’m in a lot of momentum right now. We have overhauled our offers. We relaunched phase one last week, which is our complete done for you highest level package. And on October 4th, our prices go up because we added a ton of support in that package. We basically do everything within that package now, landing page edits, copywriting, content ideas, high-level strategy, deep strategy messaging work. You name it, we’re doing it. I asked myself the question of “how do I guarantee our client’s success while making it as easy as possible for them?” and that crafted where we landed. So I’ve been feeling so excited about that, super excited about my software that’s launching in January. 

Then on top of that, I’m doing this challenge, I’ll share really fast for those of you who like to hear some of those details. I did the 75 Hard challenge, and it’s like a whole program. If you haven’t heard about it, you can look it up, but there’s a 75 day challenge, and then there’s phase one and phase two, and those are 30 day challenges. You basically complete this whole year, I think he calls it the live heart program. I’m not a die hard Andy Frisella fan, but I do like the program. So the last 30 days of the year, like to the 30 days to the year mark, that you started 75 Hard, there’s phase three. Phase three is everything that’s involved in 75 hard, plus a cold shower, plus your eight critical power tasks, which is like eight things you have to get done every day. For me, I put meditation and journaling, things like that on there. Then you also have to have a conversation with a stranger every day and perform a random act of kindness, and those are two different things. 

It has been really hard because, for me, I sometimes go days when I don’t even leave my house if I’m really busy working. I mean, I’ll take my kids to school now, but I don’t really talk to strangers when I’m taking my kids to school. Then I come home and I’m working, and then I’m with them after work, and I just don’t really leave my house. So now I’ve had to not only be in the thick of all the work we’re doing overhauling our offers and kind of overseeing that in different multiple capacities – because we’re ultimately gonna have three phases of this so we’re in phase one right now – oversee my software company that I’m building, and then do this challenge. Which requires many days me to be like, “okay it’s four o’clock, my nanny leaves in 30-45 minutes. I have to stop everything, even though I’m buried in work and I need to go work out, or I’ve got to run to the grocery store because I need to go talk to the cashier and do a random act of kindness.” I’m on day eight now, so that’s good. I thought I was going to fail because I was like, how the heck am I going to talk to a stranger every day? I’m also a massive introvert. To me, I was like, “this is terrible,” and like on day two and three, I literally was like, “why am I even doing this? I’m quitting.” And then I was like, “no, I’m not going to quit. I don’t quit,” so I kept going. 

So I’m in the middle of that. I just feel in such momentum. I think there’s really something to be said for when you take control of your life with that level of discipline. For me personally, I just thrive on having a very disciplined life, both professionally, personally with my health, with everything. That is I think what I loved the most about this challenge is it just optimizes your life to the maximum, because when you’re on the challenge, you can’t create an excuse. You can’t be like, “oh, I’m too busy to work out today.” Which is what happens sometimes to me, especially if I’m really busy, like I am right now. I will have all the intentions in the world to get a workout in before my nanny leaves for the day, and then I get buried in emails or I get to start working on a slide deck of some sort, and then my day is over and I don’t have time. 

Now it’s like, you have to get it done. There’s been days where it’s like 6:00 PM. I’ve done dinner with my kids, and now I’m like sorry to my husband and you’ve gotta watch the kids, I’ve got to go do my workout. So it just makes it a non-negotiable, and I think that’s why I like it the most is because it makes your life so optimized. I’m getting so much done every day, professionally, personally, across the board. So anyways enough about me, what the heck, this is too long talking about me. 

Let’s go into what I’m talking about today, which is how to uplevel your content and creative. Last week at our info session, if you were on it, I kind of made a pretty bold claim. I said we’re in the era of the creator in marketing. I’ve seen a few people say something similar to this, but in a way of saying you should become a creator, like you aren’t one right now, you aren’t an influencer right now, you should become a creator. What I’m saying is that if you’re an online business owner, if you’re an entrepreneur, if you are a CEO, if you’re trying to grow your business online, you have to start looking at yourself as a creator. Because if you look at how you attract an audience, which is the root of how you grow your business, how you build your brand, an audience leads to getting leads, getting an email list that you’re growing, which then leads to sales. 

So the first step is you have to grow an audience. You have to grow a following. You have to get people paying attention to your content in order to do that right now in this current climate, and it’s not changing. This is not going to change. This is like, we’ve moved into this and this is the next thing. You have to be a creator, meaning you create really innovative, intriguing, sometimes funny, different, entertaining content. When I said this statement when I was in San Diego with my sales director, we were talking and she always likes to ask me, “what do you think is happening? Is this still gonna work? What is the future going to be like?”  I said the statement that I think the reality that nobody wants to face is if you’re an online business owner, you now have to be a creator. And you know what? I get it. 

If I hear that and in the beginning I was like, “I don’t want to do that.I want to just be a CEO. When I grow my team, I want to have these visions. I don’t want to be doing reels. I don’t want to be doing videos all the time. I don’t want to be trying to find these trends. I don’t want to be doing it.” But once I really came face to face with this fact, I was like, “how do I make this work for me in a way that I’m still able to grow my brand and support our clients with this?” That’s what I’m always looking at. How do I do that in a way that’s not going to take six hours of my day? That’s the real question.

Whenever there’s something like that, instead of going, “man, I have to be a creator. I have to create videos all the time. I better block off four hours of my day, or five hours of my day every day, or 10 hours a week,” I asked myself, “how do I make it work for my schedule?” Because I know for a fact, I don’t want to be scrolling TikTok. I don’t want to be scrolling social media. I don’t want to be finding ideas. I want people to tell me what to do and I can batch record it in two hours every other week, or once a month, and that’s it and it looks like I’m always recording, and it looks like I’m always creating content, but in reality I’m not. 

So I questioned that, and I was like, “how do I basically create a brand where it seems like I’m always on social media, but I’m actually not really ever on social media?” Because I have a lot of things to do, and two companies now to run, and kids I like to be present for and completely off my phone for multiple hours a day, and my health, and all those things. I really questioned that, and with that, we created a process that has worked very well for me, especially in the last four to six weeks as we’ve really rolled it out. We’re now moving that into with our partners, which is what we’re calling our clients now at our highest level service. I think that this is really very valuable, so what I’m going to do is share this process so you can go execute it in your business. Also, if you want it done for you, that’s what we do for our partners now. 

So again, the problem I’m solving for myself, for other CEOs, is this number one, the fact is you have to become a creator if you want to market your business online and you want to have a brand that you grow an audience online. You have to become a creator. Now what that means for you, you can decide. Does that mean you’re the face of all the videos? It doesn’t have to, usually that’s easier and oftentimes more effective, but it depends on your brand. Does that mean you have a persona, a face of your brand that you create? Does that mean that you highlight customers? Does that mean that you highlight a doctor? 

Somebody came up to me after my presentation at T&C in San Diego and was like, “well, I specialize in helping people with type three diabetes and that’s like a very intense topic. It’s not funny. How can you create a Reel about that? I don’t understand.” I was like, let’s pull up TikTok right now and look at this. If we just type in diabetes, and of course instantly came up with videos of patients, people with the diabetes, sharing about taking their medication, or doing what they have to do, a doctor talking about it. She’s like, “I can’t be the face of this brand.” And I said, “no, you don’t have to be, but you need to go find inspiration for how do you want your message to show up? That could be highlighting a doctor, that could be highlighting patients, or somebody who is playing the role of a patient if they don’t actually want to be highlighted, because it’s a private thing.” So you have to start creating, you have to start thinking outside of the box and I challenge you not to be like, “oh, well that doesn’t apply to my brand. My content is too heavy. It’s too depressing. I can’t create reels.” Ask yourself, “how could I create Reels that would still attract an audience and be valuable?” 

So first thing it’s identifying that we are in the era of the creator and what that means for your brand. Then number two, it is how do you step up to that level and to that reality, without it taking all your time as a CEO and while maximizing your time to be the most efficient and effective? Because I believe in growing a business, over and over, the one resource that we don’t have unlimited of is time. So how you spend your time should be constantly scrutinized and intentional. I also believe you shouldn’t be working 50 hours a week. I work 30 hours a week because I can’t fit it all in otherwise. I set my life up for that. I know that I can not spend all this time constantly recording video, but I need to make it look like I am. So that was the problem I was trying to solve with this process. 

So the first thing is identifying that creating Reels, creating video is a must. The first step in this process is getting clear on what your goal is for your content. So deciding just, “oh, I’m going to create more content,” that isn’t enough. You have to get clear on what is the goal with this content. I think a lot of people make this mistake where they’re just like, “okay, I see that I need to do Reels, so I’m going to start doing random Reels and then I’m going to see what happens.” So the questions that our team has started asking our partners and what my team started asking me, my creative team is imagine that you are a leader of your audience. You are leading this group of however many people, where are you trying to take them? What is the answer to that question? I actually love this question. I hadn’t been asked it before and I really sat with it for a day or two. I was thinking, wow, if I think of myself as a leader of all of these people who are finding my brand or following me already, where am I trying to take them? Where am I trying to take you guys? So I created that answer because that can guide my content.

The other piece is what do you want your audience to feel when they’re on your social media or engaging with your brand? What is the message that you’re trying to get out to them? And another question, piggybacking off that is what makes you different than all the other brands out there in your niche? So there’s obviously a lot of marketing experts, a lot of people with agencies or courses, supporting people with digital marketing. What makes me different? What do I know? What secret weapon do I have that they don’t have? How do we portray that in our content? So, number one, where are you trying to take your audience? If you’re leading them, where are you taking them? What do you want them to feel when they consume your content, when they follow you on social media, when they watch your Reels? And number three is that piece of where do you want them to feel? And then where are you trying to take them?

With that too, you have to consider how do you attract your buyer? Because when I started thinking about this, I was like, well I want people to understand that I’m a mom and I’m also a business owner. One thing for me that’s so important is creating freedom, creating the life of whatever my definition of a perfect life is, and understand that. Then my team came back and was like, okay, well, how do you want that to translate into attracting your buyer related to your offer? Because that’s also an important piece with your content is you don’t want to just be putting out random content and trying to build a following if that following isn’t gonna actually buy your offer. So it needs to tie back to your offer itself. 

You can provide that value and create that experience for your audience, but it also should be building that authority about what you’re the best at why you’re different than everybody else out there. Why you are the expert, what you know that other people don’t know. What you have that other people don’t have, whether that’s your process, your experience, your knowledge, your team’s knowledge. That needs to be clear in your content. So then when you go to start planning content and planning different angles and different ways that you’re planning content, you can make sure that number one, it’s creating a different experience than other brands. Number two, it’s building authority. And number three, you are attracting that ideal customer, because that’s the goal with your content. 

So that’s the first step before you create any content, you’ve got to get clear on the messaging of your content and what the goal is of your content. Another question you can ask yourself is if I fast forward in 30 days or 90 days from now,  what would look like success for me if I was to visit my Instagram, or I was to look at the ads I’m running, what would success look like? I mean, how big would my following be? What would my audience be saying? What would the engagement be like? What would I feel when I am looking at my content and just getting clear on that? So you can go start to build that. Okay. 

Then the next pieces of this process seem basic, but I’m telling you people overcomplicate this. So the next thing to do once you’re clear on that is to start doing some research and just start looking. Literally go on TikTok, go on Instagram and just start looking at content, typing keywords, look at the videos being made, look at the reels being made, and find a list of 15 to 20 that you’re like, I could create those. That vibes well with me. I feel like I could make that. That resonates with my brand. It checks off those boxes of what we previously just talked about. Building authority, making your audience feel something, all of those things. Now this is the piece that I am having my team now do for clients, because you might be in a place where either one, you enjoy doing this or two, you need to do this for your business because you can’t hire it out yet. But when you can hire it out, I don’t think this is the best use of your time as a CEO. It can actually take a good amount of time because you could easily spend two hours on TikTok and probably find about 20 of the videos that are like, okay, this is relevant to our brand, this is something that I can create. 

What I have now is my internal team goes and finds all of these Reels and these videos and puts them in a slide deck for me. Then when it comes to recording, I have all these lists. So our team is now doing that for clients, because when you do this research, it’s not just like finding the top 10 videos. It’s finding top videos, trending audio, innovative ideas, different creative, and then also making sure you can create it yourself and it resonates with your brand because you’re not trying to be random with your creative. You want to be innovative. You want to go after what’s trending, but you also want to make sure it’s you. 

That’s one big thing with content is I want you to never lose sight of your brand and your values and who you are now. I’m not saying that you’re never going to be uncomfortable when you’re creating content. I think that pushing ourselves, like to create reels for me, it was like when Facebook live video came out. I mean, if you remember that, however many years that was four or five years ago, I remember the first Facebook live video I did. I was like, I am an idiot. I feel like that, you know, “I’m terrible, but I’m just gonna do it and I’m gonna keep doing it and I’m gonna get better every single time.” tthat’s the same thing with recording video and Reels is for me now. I mean, I’m better every time I do it. 

I’m not saying you’re not going to be uncomfortable, you should be a little bit uncomfortable, but I’m saying don’t ever lose sight of your values. Don’t just record a Reel because you’re like, oh, that was cool, so-and-so did it, this is totally not me, and still do that. For example, if I recorded a Reel where I was promoting something around like templated marketing, or eating a bunch of junk food, or working 50 hours a week, those are all things that I would never do because that goes against my values of my brand. That’s why you have to be clear on what those are. 

So you find the list. Find more than you’re planning on recording because once you go to record, you’re most likely going to not want to record everyone. There’ll be some that you’re like, oh, I’m not in the mood, I’m not in the mood for this audio, or I’m not in the mood to do this type of a video, and so you skip that one. What we’re doing now, depending on a client’s a budget, we will be finding three to 10 new angles and Reels that they are going to record every month. Then their only job as our partner with us in their marketing is to record that. That’s all they have to do. Record the raw footage, then they send it to us and they edit it. 

That’s what I’m doing as well. My team finds all the videos. I record them, I batch it together. That’s also key. What I would recommend probably doing is like every other week having just two hours, that’s all you need to do this, to actually record it. You could even probably get away with once a month that you just spend two hours. So here I am saying, we’re in the era of the creator and you have to become a creator, but I’m saying, if you do this right and you get support, you only need to spend two hours a month doing this. So it’s all about the process that you have set up. 

So you take that list. You record 80% of what you’ve been asked to record. So if you have 20 videos, record 16 to 18 of them, and then you give that back to your team or you give that back to our team and we will edit them, add the captions. Here’s the cool thing with Reels is you can spin them so many different ways. Like the audio on Reels, you don’t have to know exactly what you’re going to use it for when you record it. So I record reels that I just know that there’s a lot we could do with it, and it feels right to me, and I feel comfortable recording it. Somewhat comfortable, I mean, I definitely feel silly sometimes doing them, but I’m getting more used to it.

Then we spin that if we need it for a podcast post, if I need it for a certain ad, different ways. That’s the cool thing about them is it’s not a video. I actually prefer them to videos where I’m talking and saying, “hey, go sign up for my webinar.” Because number one, it’s more entertaining. And number two, it’s not like me having to script it or have bullets to read the videos. So in a way it’s actually easier. You don’t have to have good audio because you’re putting audio over the Reel most likely, unless you’re creating a unique one where you’re talking and you get to have music. If you think about it that way, in some ways it’s easier than just recording a video of yourself talking, which I think is even harder to do. So that’s the benefit of it.

So you record those videos and then you’re going to use those videos and pair it with your content and your ads. If you have an organic following, a cool strategy to do is post the Reels and whichever ones do really well, like if you have one that totally takes off, figure out how to take that reel and turn it into an ad. But turn it into an ad that’s actually going to strategic content. So not just promoting the Reel on Instagram, but taking the video, downloading the video and using it for your webinar, or using it for your sales ads. That means you might have to change the angle of the Reel a little bit, but from posting organically that people really resonated with it so then you can take that and utilize it with your ads because it was kind of proven as content. 

They’re seriously oftentimes I’m like, “that Reel was so good. Everybody’s going to love this one. It’s hilarious,” and then it doesn’t do very well. Then there’s one that I’m like, “that’s so stupid that I even did that,” and it just like blows up. You never know what people are going to really like. I think if you have a following, using that following to test that out is beneficial and then take that and run it as ads when you run Reels as ads. I just want to clarify this because it can be confusing. You’re not running it as a Reel. It’s a video. So you’re downloading the Reel as a video file, and then you’re using that as your ad. 

Now I’ve talked about this a lot, but Facebook and Instagram are prioritizing both organically and paid, those videos because they’re in massive competition with TikTok. So the algorithm is going to be to your advantage with that and it’s content that people are really hooked to. I truly believe Reels and TikTok and watching them on Instagram too, are becoming like the new TV that people are watching. I know that especially the younger generation, instead of watching TV, they’re watching these people and I’m blown away sometimes by what I see on TikTok. 

I’m like, “oh my gosh, that must have taken that person hours to create something like that.” The level of creative is really incredible. The good news is you don’t have to be to that level. The other thing with Reels is a lot of them are lip-syncing. You don’t even have to do it perfect. In fact, it’s actually better if you don’t do it exactly perfect. So don’t stress out about having the timing exactly right, or looking silly. Just commit to posting them. Just commit to putting it out there, using them in your ads, using them with your content. I promise you it’s going to improve your results. 

So that is our process in upleveling your content and your creative, both for organic and paid. It’s honestly a really simple process, but some of the key components of it that I’ll reiterate are number one, before you do anything, making sure you have that clarity around your content and you answer those questions I went through and you’re clear on that. As with anything, your messaging is really important. You shouldn’t be just doing things randomly. You should be doing things intentionally while also leaving room for like, let’s try this and see what works, but still being clear with the goal of your content and the themes of your content. 

Because you can get carried away if you go watch TikToks of completely irrelevant videos that wouldn’t make sense to your audience, or you wouldn’t be able to spin it to being relevant to your audience. You still want to provide value. Oftentimes the value comes in the description, but it’s not random. You’ll notice people doing Reels really well, or when I do realize, like my goal is still to provide some sort of value even if it’s very micro. I’m not just randomly doing this free entertainment. Yes, I’m doing them for entertainment and so people engage and watch them, but I also want to provide value with it. So that’s one really important key component. 

Then as a CEO, as an entrepreneur, you’re asking yourself, how do I step into this era of being a creator and also do it with a minimal amount of time? Because it’s not a good use of your time to be scrolling TikTok, like ever. So creating process. You can get support with that, it’s really not difficult to do. That’s why our team is now doing that for all of our clients, because I don’t want our clients doing that. I don’t want them to have to be scrolling TikTok to come up with ideas for their ads. That is our job. That’s what we’ll be doing. We tested it out internally and then brought it over externally to clients. 

So that is my process. I hope you guys got value out of this. I hope to see you guys posting some Reels. Send me a message if you did your first Reel, or this inspired you to go do them. Like I said, you’re probably gonna feel a little uncomfortable. There’s definitely days I’m recording these and I have to go outside and do something and I’m like, “my neighbors probably think I’m crazy,” but also let’s be real. How cool is it that this is our job? It’s just so funny. Sometimes I record a video and I’m like, “this is insane that this is what I have to do to grow an audience now online.” Who would have thought acting, and drama, and this level of creative was what you were going to have to do to grow a successful online business? It’s very intriguing to me and kind of cool that it’s our job, as long as we have clear process and we’re not overwhelming ourselves. Thanks so much for tuning in today guys, I’ll talk to you next week.