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Getting Beyond Yourself: Taking Your Ego Out of Marketing KDS: 123
Episode 1236th December 2023 • The Kim Doyal Show • Kim Doyal
00:00:00 00:57:29

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My friends and I recently revived something we used to do years ago.

But first, a little backstory about these friends…

These are my high school friends, and still, to this day, are near and dear to me. I’ve known one of them since kindergarten, another since 6th grade, and the rest are all from my freshman year in high school. So these are lifelong friends.

By this stage in life, we’ve been through a lot together.

Graduations, careers, marriages, children, loss, heartache, joy, moving… you name it.

There have been times when we’ve been super close and incredibly active in one another’s lives and times when life was so busy that it felt like a challenge to have dinner together.

This is just life.

I get that, but I always miss them when I haven’t seen them in a while.

So… the thing we recently revived was our “ornament exchange.”

My Mom used to do this when I was a child, so in my early 20s, I started an ornament exchange with my girlfriends. The original ornament exchange was handmade ornaments; we made one for each person.

This way, you’d leave with 6-10 ornaments, which was great when we were all starting our homes and didn’t have kids.

As life got busier, we changed things up and would bring one nice ornament (and we started buying the ornaments).

I don’t remember when we stopped doing this, but after finally getting together for dinner in October, we decided to revive it and make it happen.

Even though not everyone could make it, it was soul-filling for me.

However, I was struck by something.

We did the normal catching up that you do when you haven’t seen each other in a while (although this was less catching up since we saw each other a couple of months ago), and then, as the night progressed, the conversations got deeper.

I felt deep sadness for some of the things my friends shared.

Partly because of what they had to go through (or are going through) but also because they hadn’t shared what they were experiencing during the most challenging part.

And I know I’ve done the same thing.

This is what being busy can do to us.

And while I can’t speak for my friends, I’m sure there’s a piece of truth to this for them as well.

And that is that you don’t want to ‘bother’ people when you’re in the middle of something challenging, especially if you haven’t talked to or seen them in a while.

The crazy thing is that I know I could pick up the phone and call any of these women if I were in a crisis, and they’d all be there for me. No questions asked.

And the same is true on my end.

There is SO much power in sharing, being vulnerable, and telling our truths.

The only way to do this is to get beyond ourselves… and remove the ego.

This brings me to how this plays a significant role in our business and marketing.

I talked with another friend I hadn’t talked to in over a year. This is a woman I connected with years ago online. She’s on my email list, worked with me, and bought some of my courses.

Over the years, we became friends (this happens with many of my coaching clients).

She’s in Europe; I’m in the States… It never ceases to amaze me that I have people I consider dear friends worldwide.

Anyway, we’ve been friends for years, and she’s seen my transition from the WordPress Chick into my personal brand.

She said something when we were talking that I realized was kind of a superpower of mine. She also said she uses me as inspiration on her own journey, which I know is part of my purpose in this lifetime (to inspire).

She’s in a place where she’s pivoting her business and said that I was constantly pivoting (and bear with me here – I’ll explain more of my pivots in a second), and I never seemed to care.

This idea that we’re supposed to pick one thing and only do that forever is nonsense.

I talked about this in the episode where I was inspired by Dan Koe (episode 121; you can listen here).

This idea that we should pick one thing, focus only on that, and never veer off course or talk about anything else is silly.

We’re multi-dimensional people with varying interests.

Now, before you think I’m off my rocker here and am telling people to create an ‘Everything but the kitchen sink’ kind of business, I’m not.

What I am saying is that it’s OK to talk about and create content that, on the surface, might not feel like it’s relevant to your niche.

What does this have to do with your ego in marketing?

Everything.

What gets in the way of trying things out in marketing is fear, which is 100% ego.

When I think back to when I was a child and had zero hesitation about trying things I was interested in, I remind myself that we’re here to create and that the adults (and the world), could use a little more childlike curiosity.

We’re supposed to try, learn, grow, and make mistakes.

That doesn’t stop because we grow up, become adults, start a business, and “choose a niche.”

Most of my interests overlap in one way or another, and at the end of the day, they are all part of my creativity, drive, and what inspires me.

This is why I hate “niche down” advice.

I spent ten years in a niche (WordPress) and felt incredibly stuck towards the end.

Which is why I pivoted to my personal brand.

I have zero regrets or judgment about having niched down with WordPress because everything I did was new, and I was learning as I went.

Which is the beauty of where we’re at today.

The internet marketing/creator space isn’t “new” anymore; making money online has become much more common for many people (beyond people who are hard-wired to be entrepreneurs); side hustle is a widely understood phrase.

People are fed up with corporations, commuting, and basically working hard to make other people money.

I know that’s a huge generalization, but it’s more common than not.

More people would probably like to join the ranks of self-employment, but it’s scary AF when you have a family, mortgage, and other responsibilities.

Then, some people also prefer a steady income, benefits, etc. (not that any of that is guaranteed either).

Back to why I hate ‘niche down’ advice.

This makes getting started incredibly difficult when you’re unsure what it is you want to ‘niche’ into.

You have to test and try things to see what resonates, what sticks, what you’re good at, and where the people are you want to help.

The same is true when you want to pivot.

Without testing the waters, you’re more or less guessing.

Although I will say that when a ‘guess’ comes from deep within and is an intuitive nudge instead of a thought of ‘maybe this will work’ – sometimes that’s all we need.

I read an article this week by my friend, Jamie Northrup, of “Minimalist Hustler” (I highly recommend you subscribe; it’s short, sweet & to the point every day).

He ran a personal challenge and test for himself in November (2023), which he published on Twitter and Medium (daily, I believe) to see which platform was better for growing his newsletter.

The good news?

Medium won out.

Read “Is X (Twitter) Better Than Medium To Grow Your Newsletter?” here.

This is good news to me for two reasons:

  1. I prefer writing long-form content. Whenever I write tweets, I feel like I’m pontificating, creating platitudes, or talking ‘at’ people. I know, I know… there are courses and tools to help one get better at writing tweets. But if I enjoy long-form more, wouldn’t it make more sense to focus on getting better at writing long-form?
  2. Elon Musk drives me crazy. I waffle back and forth between cutting off my nose to spite my face and supporting my convictions (this is called being a human being). I’ve been on Twitter since 2008… I may just keep ‘pushing content’ to Twitter, but I think I will follow in Jamie’s footsteps and test Medium vs. Twitter (see? I don’t even want to call it X).

Let me be clear about one thing:

Nothing in me says you should create a ‘catch-all’ website for a business. Unless your focus truly is ‘lifestyle,’… it won’t serve you to create content on multiple topics that are entirely unrelated.

What I am saying is that not only is it ‘OK’ to pull different aspects of who you are and what you like into your business content, but it’s imperative these days.

No one knows what SEO will look like now that AI has entered the picture. My content started slowing down immensely when I felt I had to create based on keywords or my niche. 🤮

And c’mon… ranking for things like content marketing, email marketing, and newsletters?

Good luck.

I already hated doing keyword research before AI… let alone now.

Vulnerability in Marketing is Magic

Circling back to the story I opened with about getting together with my friends.

There’s another element to that story that left me with an overwhelming feeling of needing to make a conscious decision to stay in better communication with my friends.

There are two sides to this coin:

  • One side is that everyone is busy. That’s just a fact about life today – we’d be here all day if I went down the rabbit hole of life before technology and how we seemed to make more time for people (then again, much of my adult life has included technology).
  • The other side is that we can choose to stay in touch. Just like we make conscious decisions to exercise, brush our teeth, journal, travel, go to a movie, whatever… I think it’s vital that we make the time to stay in touch with people we love.

After this last get-together, I promised myself that I would do this.

With the two friends who are going through challenging situations, I made a point of reaching out via text.

It was nothing major, just a simple acknowledgment that I knew they were going through some difficult times, had a lot on their plates, and I was here for them.

Both were super grateful.

I also always make a point of telling my girlfriends how much I love them.

Now that we’re all in midlife, there’s a different level of compassion and empathy for one another that I think only comes with age.

The more vulnerable you can be with the people who love you, the easier it is to start being a little vulnerable in business.

And it truly is magical.

Here’s a comment from someone who shared my podcast on Facebook after I thanked him for sharing:

What vulnerability looks like for YOU is personal.

You’re the only one who can decide that.

My therapist has taught me something that I’ve learned to use when I’m not exactly sure how I’m feeling: to pay attention to what I’m feeling in my body in the moment.

After doing this for years with her, I’ve learned these three things:

  • Anger/frustration is usually in my head
  • Sadness/grief is in my chest/heart
  • Excitement/nervousness is in my gut

Excitement and nervousness often have the same physiological feeling in the body; most of the time, it’s excitement.

So, if you’re thinking about sharing something that makes you a little uncomfortable, you’re probably a little bit excited because there’s an unknown element.

“How will people respond?”

“Am I crazy for doing this?”

I would guess that most of the time, you will be excited.

I want to differentiate one thing, though… and this is important.

Ready?

Testing and trying things in your business differs from hopping to thing to thing to thing.

I’ve been saying I want my business foundation built with steel and concrete.

Once that is solidly in place (from my varying pivots and lessons learned along the way), then I can get into putting the rest of the ‘house’ up, so to speak.

Then, I can drill down into the decor, which, in this case, would be the tactics.

Solid strategies based on consistent effort with only a few things.

I can test and try new tactics when those all work the way I want.

I was reading (and will probably reread while taking notes the second time) a post by André Chaperone called “Manifesto: Product Launch Marketing.”

Holy moly, did this article get me excited! It’s SOOOOO good!

The TL;DR is that product launches (based on Jeff Walker’s Product Launch Formula) are:

  • Not working the way they used to
  • Not as profitable as people think – see the screenshot below (this is directly from the Manifesto: Product Launch Marketing article):

There’s such an allure for the vanity metric of a BIG launch… but when you look at numbers like this?

That’s a hard pass.

You could do those numbers independently, without JVs and affiliates (I highly recommend you read the article; the JV manager made more than the creator), with a great offer, some paid traffic, and an engaged email list.

There’s always the argument that you get email subscribers from the launch that you can sell to in the future, but not a lot of people who are addicted to launching are doing long-term email marketing or content that builds a relationship.

I’ve done little launches on my own, and that’s plenty for me.

My friend Maritza Parra made the same amount of money on her own with Facebook ads, a webinar, and a great offer (you can listen to that podcast here).

At the end of the day, removing your ego from marketing means tuning out the noise, managing your mindset, and doing a little entrepreneurial adulting.

Doing the things you don’t always want to do so as to create a life you love.

I don’t think this is supposed to be easy, but I do think it should be fun.

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