This episode of the podcast is a super special one for me. That’s because today’s episode was recorded during my live book launch party!
IE 178: Book Launch Party for Influencer Entrepreneurs
That’s right, I have released my first book, Influencer Entrepreneurs. I hope you all have your own copy by now, but in case you don’t, head right over to the website and place your order!
And when you do, be sure to download the FREE workbook to go along with your book. The workbook will be such a help to you as you go through the exercises in the book.
You Need to Get Your Message Out There! (Especially during Covid-19.)
The first thing I want to say is that when I was writing this book, I was thinking about all of you, my audience. If you are reading this, you are the very person I wrote the book for.
As influencer entrepreneurs, it is crucial that you get your message out there, that you let people know what it is you do and why.
And that is exactly what this book is about. In the book, I lay out a 4-step framework that teaches you exactly how to do it.
My 4-step framework teaches you how to truly advocate for yourself so that you can build your audience, grow your business, and make more money online.
As this book launches, we are living through unprecedented times in the world. Covid-19 is very much on the scene and are still in the middle of a worldwide pandemic. Many bloggers and influencers are taking a step back from their online businesses, unsure of how to move forward.
But in times like these, it’s more important than ever to get your message out there and grow your brand. Your people need to hear what you have to share and the solutions you offer for their problems.
Knowing Your Audience
One of the most important things you need to do when you first begin to grow your online business is to define your audience.
You will often hear the term “avatar” used to describe the specific person you are writing to or speaking to or creating content for. My avatar since the day I began blogging over at The Melrose family has been my lifelong friend, Luisa.
Luisa and I have been best friends since we were in 5th grade. (And no, I’m not telling you what year that was!) Luisa is a full-time corporate professional in Manhattan, and she lives with her husband and daughter in a suburb of Manhattan, in Northern New Jersey.
Luisa is a fantastic mom and she really dives into doing fun stuff with her daughter, so the content I created for my blog was always geared toward the moms like her, who work full-time outside the home but who want their time with their children to be special.
Be a Leader Who Includes Everyone
When Luisa moved to the town I grew up in, we were in 5th grade, and she was coming from Portugal into a tiny farming town with zero diversity and a small, tight-knit school community.
I took it on as my personal responsibility to make sure she felt welcome and like a part of us.
That feeling of personal responsibility for making everyone feel welcome is something that permeates my business to this day. I hate exclusion and I will go far out of my way to include anyone who is otherwise marginalized or excluded.
As a matter of fact, during our high school years, I purposely avoided having a “BFF” so that our larger group of friends remained intact and there was no branching off in 2s and 3s.
Be Purposeful in Who You Surround Yourself With
One of the things I have been very purposeful about over the years is the people I surround myself with.
Luisa and I share a lot of the same goals, so having her still be an important part of my life has been a wonderful gift. She knows me better than just about anybody except my family. She knows my parents and she was a part of so many of my childhood memories.
So, even though Luisa works in Manhattan in a high-rise building (where she sees celebrities on a regular basis because of her job), and I live in Charlotte, NC, where I work from home and run an online business, our beliefs are the same and we can support each other.
The PACK Framework
I’ve told you already that my book is laid out to teach you a 4-step framework for growing your audience, building your business, and making more money online. But let’s dive deeper into the 4 steps of the framework and talk about what each step entails.
In my live book launch, I had 4 special guests on to talk about each of the 4 steps.
P is for Positioning
Positioning is pairing something you love to do with something that others need and are willing to spend money on.
My friend, Phil Pallen, likes to use the example of the folks who are lucky enough to get picked to be on Shark Tank. He watches every episode, not merely to see the cool products. Because the products alone don’t make a successful pitch.
It’s the person who’s making the pitch that makes the difference.
We all want to do business with people we like. We want to do business with people who are kind, who give back, and who are trustworthy.
One of the things I stress, (like a broken record) is the need to niche down. My students and mastermind members would tell you that I am forever making them boil their businesses down to their core strengths and their unique avatar.
Once you know what you’re passionate about and what you have to offer, and who needs it and is willing to pay for it, you are now positioned to grow your business.
A is for Authenticity
I first met my friend, Tiffany Romero several years ago and she has come to be the first person I think of whenever we talk about authenticity.
When you’re building a business, it’s not only important to believe in what you’re doing; it’s absolutely critical that you believe in yourself! If you don’t believe in yourself, nobody else will believe in you.
We each have a different journey in life and in building our businesses.
That’s why sharing what you know and what you’ve learned is never a bad thing. It’s not about competition; it’s about helping each other and building each other up.
When we share our hearts and where we are in business and life, we help others. You have no idea how sharing your heart will help somebody else and can even change their life.
And know this- sometimes your opinion might not be the popular one. But if it’s authentic to you, you can bet that somebody somewhere also needs to hear it. You can also bet that you are going to repel others.
But when you are true to who you really are, in the online space and in person, you will draw others to you and you will make connections that you could never have made otherwise.
Authenticity, as defined by Tiffany, is:
- Delivering the truth
- Delivering it with kindness
- When people know their name is safe in my mouth
- Having others’ backs when they aren’t present
- Calling others out when they veer from what they promised themselves
Authenticity, which is the same thing as your personal integrity, should be what drives every decision you make.
If you make decisions based on what’s popular or what others say you should do, you are not being authentic and you have lost your true voice.
C is for Confidence
When I think of someone who has shown a powerful level of confidence in her business, my mind always goes to my client and colleague, Katy Huie Harrison.
When I met Katy for the first time, I was astounded to learn that she was just starting her online business because her confidence showed through in everything she said and did.
Katy shares 2 things about confidence that I think everybody needs to hear.
The first is that confidence is cultivated, not born.
Katy was the kid who was known for hiding behind her parents’ legs whenever someone who didn’t live in her house came near. If you had told childhood Katy or anyone who knew her that she would one day be speaking about confidence, she and they would have laughed.
But Katy was forced into behaving with confidence at age 24 when she became a professor to college students her own age. She had a choice- act like she belonged there or be eaten alive.
She chose to claim her place and own it.
She changed the way she spoke, beginning with enunciating more clearly. She also left behind the high-pitched, scared girl voice of her younger years and began to speak in a deeper, louder voice.
Next, she adjusted her self-talk.
You’ve all heard the phrase, “Fake it till you make it.” And while there is some truth to that, and while Katie definitely had to fake it at the beginning with her students, she also wants to help us all understand that at some point, we are no longer faking it.
We are actually taking little bits of what’s true in us and amplifying those truths.
So while she wasn’t prepared to teach that college class, she knew that she was an intelligent person who loved to learn and who cared deeply about her students. And that’s what she repeated to herself whenever her confidence would wane.
If you tell yourself a lie for long enough, you will begin to believe it over the truth and over your own personal experience. Imagine if you tell yourself those small truths about yourself over and over again.
Imagine saying over and over to yourself the things you’re good at. After you do that for a period of time, you will begin to not only believe it but to act on it.
And that action causes your confidence to grow even more.
K is for Kindness
Kindness comes across in everything you say and everything you do. It’s the attitude with which you approach people. And when it comes to kindness, one person came to mind immediately.
Kami Kilgore runs the Everything Food Conference, which is a huge conference for food bloggers. I have been privileged enough to speak at the conference several times.
One of the first things I noticed about Kami was her desire to put others first in everything she does. She is always asking what her people need and how she can serve them.
Kami says we have a “drastic absence of kindness,” especially in the online world. It seems that so many people automatically assume the worst of others instead of the best. The way she can stand out and cause her brand to stand out is simply by exhibiting kindness.
We sometimes falsely believe that kindness means we become a pushover or can never stand up for ourselves, and Kami says that is absolutely not true. Kindness is being a direct communicator.
If someone is trying to manipulate you, in business, or in your day-to-day life, it is a kindness for you to handle that head-on. Not with a spirit of revenge or anger, but handling the offender with kindness as you directly speak what you will and won’t accept.
Kami teaches her team members to do something that I just love, which is, when someone is trying to manipulate you or just being plain outright nasty to you, how can you show them such a display of over-the-top kindness that you completely throw them off?
If someone leaves you a nasty comment on a post or a nasty review on a podcast, how can you respond in kindness, simply to show that you will not get down in the dirt with them?
A lot of hard situations can be diffused simply by showing that over-the-top kindness.
When you surround yourself with people who have high expectations and who share the same thought processes, they share those with you and you take them on as yours.
You mold yourself to what and who you surround yourself with. You grow as a result of being around them.
Okay, if you haven’t downloaded your FREE workbook yet, go do that now! It will provide you a place to work through the exercises in the book. And if you haven’t got your copy of the book yet, what are you waiting for? Get your copy today!
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