Posts tagged business
My top 5 podcasts

I have a podcasting habit. As an enneagram 1, I’m all about effective use of time and podcasts are one of my favorite ways to learn, recharge and get inspiration while running, walking, driving or cleaning. I like to bring up the podcasts I listen to on the regular which leads to the frequent question, “hey Lindsey, what are you listening to lately?” from friends, family and my team at work.

top five podcasts

Whether you’re a podcast lover like me or curious where I get many of my ideas and motivation from, here’s a list of my top 5 favorite podcasts.

Building a StoryBrand with Don Miller

This one is my favorite for marketing and a bit of business sense. I’ve been following Don Miller and the StoryBrand formula for a couple years and it’s transformed how I approach copywriting and putting together a clear marketing message. The podcast is easy to digest, light and entertaining while providing a ton of great ideas and inspiration. If you’re looking for great general marketing advice that isn’t too technical, you really need to check this one out.

The Craig Groeschel Leadership Podcast

Been a long time listener of this one and it’s absolute GOLD for anyone in a leadership position or working with a team. The episodes are usually about 20-30 minutes long and the content is well developed - if you use the website, there are leader notes for discussion. I often use his podcasts as conversation for my team at work.

Lore

A guilty pleasure. Normally, I’m hitting play on something a little more serious but when I need a mental escape from the daily grind, I choose Lore. It’s a storytelling podcast that digs into historical myths, legends, odd occurrences, mysteries and anything creepily fascinating. It’s extremely well done and offers a completely different type of entertainment than binging Netflix. I get so hooked on some of the episodes I can actually listen to them while I run. Yeah, they’re that good.

Rachel Hollis’ Rise Podcast

I’ve listened to quite a few girlboss podcasts in the last year or two but Rachel’s is the one most consistently offering the kind of content I can appreciate and apply. She lands incredible womaneur interviews and offers a ton of vulnerability in sharing her own story. It always feels like I’m in the same room, completely welcomed into the conversation she’s having with special guests. This is one to listen to whether you’ve got goals to reach or need a consistent voice of wisdom in your life.

EntreLeadership

Fascinating interviews with successful business owners and high achievers, EntreLeadership offers exceptional coaching for business owners and leaders. The focus is that combination, but the stories exposed offer vastly more insight and inspiration applicable to every area of life. The episodes are normally around an hour and sometimes combine interviews with TED talk style clips from Dave Ramsey & Co (EntreLeadership is under the Ramsey umbrella) speaking engagements.

The five best things I did for my business in 2018
boss babe

This has been a big year for Lindsey Wagnon | Brand Writer. The business went from concept to concrete with four new clients and considerable traction on following. I’m still navigating so much, but I can pinpoint a few specific things that helped a lot! If you’re a girl boss in the early days of launching a business or side-hustle, I highly recommend doing the following.

I created and kept a strict calendar

In addition to this side-hustle, I work full-time as a marketing manager, am on the church worship team, run plus do a HIIT workout most days and am mom, wife and friend as best as I can be. I also require a 9:30 bedtime on weeknights (much to Philip’s dismay.)

Consistency comes after so much trial and error, and that’s okay.

Pretty early on I realized this side biz won’t fit in if there isn’t time allocated on the calendar. So I went to work finding the time. I currently have 9 hours a week blocked out - and that’s on weeks I’m not leading worship. I’m motivated to keep lists and stay focused during those few hours a week and you know what? It’s been enough! All those time management gurus are right about the fact that you really can squeeze a lot of productivity out of a short amount of time if you do it right. I also learned how to get most of my monthly marketing content written and ready to go in 4 hours, which I explain in detail on a Facebook Live over on my Facebook page.

I got brand headshots

This was THE BEST investment EVVVVAAAAARRRRRRRR. I had been thinking about brand headshots for months before I finally asked my friend Sarah if she had an opening in her photography calendar. In about an hour, she captured the absolute perfect combo of business photographs. I now have a fully stocked library for my website, emails and social graphics. It’s an amazing difference from the poor, fuzzy and badly cropped iPhone pictures I was defaulting to. Good photography is so underrated and can change your brand look and feel instantaneously.

lindsey wagnon branding

I kept a posture of learning

I’ve been devouring podcasts. Building a StoryBrand, Often Ambitious, Rachel Hollis’ Rise Podcast and EntreLeadership are a few of my top picks. I love hearing how others are building their businesses, marketing advice and the great storytelling that comes out of these. They keep me inspired when I’m tapped out or clueless about next steps.

I’ve also been listening/observing my audience. I may have a general plan or direction but I can’t be inflexible to change when I’m repeatedly asked for help with something or recognize a gap in my communication. Your own fans have earned the right to inform your business by being loyal and providing feedback.

True progress comes with specific greatness, not general mediocrity.

I stayed minimal when I wanted to go maximum

I have a hard time being patient. When I have a new idea or hear of something that works great for someone else, I can get laser-focused on that thing. But true progress comes with specific greatness, not general mediocrity. I’ve had to rein in my impulsiveness with the business to focus on making a few things great and waiting for the right time and opportunity to expand into more.

This applies to many aspects of business, but with marketing specifically, you want your primary hub - a website, a Facebook group, a blog, an Insta account to be the absolute best it can be before you start using other platforms to send people there. If they’re disappointed or confused at the ultimate landing place, you’re going to lose them. Many of my marketing plans start with “your website needs work/updating/attention” because this is exactly what’s happening to that ladyboss’s audience.

I nailed down a consistent look and voice

This one was tricky for me because it was truly a development over time. I didn’t know if I liked a certain social template until I’d used it a few times. I didn’t nail down brand colors until I recognized what stock photos I kept gravitating toward. I didn’t understand how much writing a blog on social anxiety would resonate with my audience until I put it out there - and then kept putting it out there.

Consistency comes after so much trial and error, and that’s okay.

What have you done for your business or side-hustle that has been a game-changer?? Comment below :)

This is what's keeping your brand mediocre

If you're a small business owner trying to figure out why your pretty fantastic company can't break through a growth ceiling, it may be this: You're trying to be everything to everyone. 

female business owner

I know that's not easy to hear, but from what I've seen in my time of helping brands become more extraordinary, this is absolutely the most common reason many businesses never climb from mediocre to outstanding. You may dream of serving more than one type of audience, and your long-term strategy may be to branch out into a wider variety of products or services, but if you leap from narrow to wide too quickly, you'll get in your own way. Here's why. 

You haven't spent enough time learning how to reach the one.

To have a growing brand, you have to hone in on one primary target. And if you haven't figured out who that is, you're probably not excelling as quickly as you could be.

Learning to communicate with one type of audience takes time. You have to live in their world for a while, learn their language and develop marketing messages that work for them. If you haven't done this, you shouldn't assume you're ready to reach anyone else.

And if you're scratching your head, wondering who your primary audience is and how you can more effectively reach them, this is a good time to take me up on my free, 20-minute consultation. 

Your marketing will lose power. 

In your business' first few years, your marketing (website, emails, print pieces, social media posts) should be geared toward that primary audience we just talked about. When your home page or emails or social posts are for too many types of people, you're not going to get the attention of anyone in particular.

The mom isn't going to hear what she needs to hear from you to become truly interested in your product. The teenager isn't going to care what you have to say unless it's relevant to him. The man isn't going to pay attention if the look and feel are not at all his style. 

Marketing that's spread too thin over an array of people groups will do little to help your brand grow.

Your customer service may not be ready.

digital marketing agency

Us boss babes (and boss guys) tend to be the driven, idealist type, which means we often leap before we look. Great for the launch phase, not great for the build phase. One of the questions I ask business owners when they want to increase their marketing is what their plan is for taking care of the new leads it will bring in. When you take on too many, too soon, you can ruin your customer service reputation and tank your business. Marketing PLUS a great customer service plan go hand-in-hand. 

When you have the plan and manpower in place to take care of added demand, that's when you should pull the trigger on a marketing boost. 

Hopefully, if any of this describes where you're at, I've saved you from a few bad business decisions :) And if your new strategy is to increase your pull with your primary audience, I'd love to help you move in that direction with some sound advice

As always, comment below what was helpful to you, or if you have questions! Later, biz friends!