“It’s a question of like, how are we behaving in our real lives right now that is differently from how we did even 10 years ago.”Jeni B
I’m sure most people would agree that the way we consume content has drastically changed over the past 15 years. But we’ve also seen major changes just within the past few years too, ever since the pandemic.
In this episode, Jeni B and I discuss how our consumption habits have changed over the last decade, how the landscape of marketing has changed, and the ways people are coping and adjusting to these changes.
We talk about how blogging, social media, and even just going about our everyday lives has changed and what that means for us as online business owners. How can we continue to engage with and support people?
Read the full transcript
Jeni B 0:00
In this frenzied pace of consumption and our poor, sweet little human brains are not evolving fast enough to keep up about this mess. And it’s stressful. And we are just experiencing so much cortisol in our day to day lives because of all this garbage that we have floating around in our brains. So the thing that’s interesting to me though, is what this means for an online business owner.
Meg Casebolt 0:24
You’re listening to social slowdown, a podcast for entrepreneurs and micro businesses looking for sustainable marketing strategies without being dependent on social media. Social media is a double edged sword. It’s a wonderful way to stay connected. But it also can feel like an addictive obligation. And it’s even more complex for businesses, your audience might be right there, but you’ve got to fight with algorithms to maybe be seen by them. So whether you want to abandon social media altogether, or you just want to take a month off, it’s possible to have a thriving business without being dependent on social media. This podcast is all about finding creative, sustainable ways to engage with your audience without needing to lipsync send cold DMS, run ads or be available 24/7. Let’s get started. Hello, everyone, welcome to the social slowdown Podcast. I’m Meg Casebolt, your host, and I am here with Jenny B. Jenny has been a client of mine, a friend of mine for many years now. And we won’t get into our history so much, I’m sure it will come up. But Jenny and I were having this fantastic conversation last month at a mastermind retreat, and we after a couple glasses of wine, but we shouldn’t
Jeni B 1:37
do a podcast about this. All the best ideas happen when you’re to drink, then it’s true,
Meg Casebolt 1:43
and you have maybe some cherries to eat, and some s’mores go in and life is good. And that’s when the true feelings come out. So I wanted to have a sober conversation here with Johnny, where we talk about the landscape of marketing and how it’s changed in the last 15 years really, and the ways that people are coping and adjusting with it. So Johnny, tell us a little bit about yourself and your history in the online marketing space.
Jeni B 2:11
Sure. Thanks, Meg. I got into online business in 2009. And I started out building websites and just provide as a service provider for people when you know, the online space was was fairly new. For the individual solopreneur out there, I actually started working with brick and mortar businesses and getting helping them make the transition to all online to you know, online marketing. But I was fascinated at the same time. This is like 2008 2009, I was watching blogging, unfold. And just seeing that the rise of like the cult of personality coming out for just very normal women. And they were sharing pieces of their lives and actually honing and developing their authority through this online platform. And so as I was, you know, growing in my own knowledge of sales and marketing and stuff I was I had this just curiosity about how all of these different principles that are tried and true, and just like, you know, gold standard sales and marketing principles, how would they apply to bloggers, and so those are the people that I ended up finding her who ended up finding me. And I did an early pivot to start working with, with bloggers, content, creators, influencers, that kind of thing. So starting in web design, of course, I had an early interest in how web design would help my clients sell more of their courses, sell more of their products online. And then over the years, just by having all different types of clients in all different niches, I really was able to develop my own authority in that space. So I had, I had a small business of my own consultancy, and it was biz mavens, and I sold that in, oh, gosh, 2019. Now to go work for a client who had just become phenomenally successful and needed somebody to stand at the helm and guide and direct things over there.
Meg Casebolt 4:22
And that is the short history. But you’re still because you’re still working within the online business space for this client, you still have your finger kind of on the pulse of what’s happening at a larger scale for an established business. So you know, sort of the gamut of how to start scrappy and how to start small and, you know, the ways that things were working in 2008 2009. And now you’re sort of seeing the other end of the spectrum of if there’s a very successful business. How does marketing change? How do operations change? What does that look like? So tell me a little bit about how you We’ve seen that change happened from the, you know, the early days of blogging, which, as an SEO person, it breaks my heart to say that’s because traffic was so easy to.
Jeni B 5:13
Yes. When social media platforms were in there, Nathan C, of course, they their biggest goal as companies is to get a bunch of users to move actual people’s eyes and bodies over to their platform, get their attention and keep it. And so it was those early days of blogging, were like the Wild West, it was just like, oh, everybody’s here. And you know, there’s, there’s lots of action happening all the time you throw up a blog post, you do a quick, but there was no live video back then. But like, you put up a post, I remember when they started saying, Oh, well, you need a graphic to go with this. Like, you should have a picture for people to look at when they’re over here. Right? I remember reading
Meg Casebolt 6:02
blogs, like sitting on my computer on Sunday morning and pulling up my feed because Google had like an RSS feed. Google Reader, it was called Google Reader. Yeah, I remember when Google Reader shut down. And I was like, how am I going to find my blogs anymore? And I had to move everything over to Feedly. And read it over there. Like that was the way that people consumed? Is they consumed? Maybe not even long form but written content? Because that’s all there was.
Jeni B 6:27
Right? Yeah. And so one of this is bringing back old and sweet memories mag,
Meg Casebolt 6:36
activating you in a negative way to No, not
Jeni B 6:38
at all, I have a lot of nostalgia for that period. Where it was very, the internet was a social place. We gathered together around these watering holes of individual people’s blogs. And we had conversations in the comments of the blog, if you remember this era,
Meg Casebolt 6:58
right. And I think that’s something that people forget is that these changes, while they may look different, are always happening. And when people moved by, you know, I was joking about like Friendster, but when people move from Friendster to Facebook, that was controversial. That was a big like battle in the time and this idea of growing an email list, and what’s the ROI of every email subscriber was not always the gold standard, it was not always the best practice, people had to adopt that they had to pivot they had to change. They had to figure out what works. So now that we’re, I don’t want to leave too far ahead. But like, in the modern day, we’re having these conversations about like, oh, organic, reach on social isn’t as much and you have to pay for ads. And even the ads aren’t working that well. And, and people sometimes are getting a little bit like, upset slash entitled to like, Well, it worked before. Now it’s not working anymore. And that’s nothing new. Right? Like 10 years ago, it was people going, I have to pay for an email list I have to get on. I don’t know, what was it MailChimp and Constant Contact. And that was probably it. Aside from the giant email platforms there, oh,
Jeni B 8:05
my gosh, I was your options. Yeah, I was moving people off of blogger on to self hosted WordPress, and people were losing their minds,
Meg Casebolt 8:18
I have to pay $10 a year for hosting.
Jeni B 8:22
It was a lot though. I mean, compared to free, that’s a lot that’s like.
Meg Casebolt 8:27
And then you also have to pay, you know, for each subscriber and you have to the the expenses were starting to rack up because I think companies were recognizing that this is a way that software as a service was a way to make money. And then it could make things easier, but it started to put these barriers in place.
Jeni B 8:46
Yeah, so one of the things there have always been changes that are happening. And of course, of course, you’re gonna see organic reach diminishing, because these are for profit companies, everybody’s like that, you know, the most recent freak outs that I’ve seen have all been about Instagrams feed kind of, you know, polling, like making it where you’re way less visible there and, and they prioritize the things that keep the attention of people better as their algorithms as as their analysts are discovering what it is that keeps people there, and then gets keeps people clicking on ads, because, guys, they’re a for profit company. I mean, like, hello, meta. Net has been in the game for a very, very long time. So it’s, the rules are changing, but I don’t think I don’t think that’s bad. I think it helps us as creators, as business owners as entrepreneurs, really go back, get back to basics and keep our keep our North Star dialed in where We’re figuring out, okay, who are my people? Where are my people hanging out? What do my people want? How are they consuming content? So rather than, you know, getting upset or frustrated or feeling like this is an end game, because where things used to be easy and simple, they are not any longer. Yeah. I mean, like, you know, a tick tock is has blown up, guess what buys like not to be not to be a downer. But that’s all dentists, you know that that algorithm is going to start to favor other types of content, a lot of which are going to be paid promotion.
Meg Casebolt 10:44
Like, it’s, that’s what happened. That’s how these venture driven products work, you know, they need to build an audience. So they can be in negative, they can be in debt for years and years, and then they have to start paying back those shareholders. So they start running advertising, that’s the model. But before we get there, I want to kind of when you were talking about how people were on the blogs, having the conversations in their communities, and then we kind of all came into social media. And now we’re disparate again, it almost feels like it’s like a, you know, those globes that get bigger and smaller. It’s almost like we went we were decentralized for many years, building these private, you know, separated communities where people were finding their own watering holes and finding their own communities. And the conversation was happening on the blog, and then everything got centralized into, okay, the conversation is now happening on social media. And for a long time, I’ve told people, you know, pre this kind of decentralization that seems to be happening now. I’m saying, like, turn off your blog comments, because no one’s on there anyway, right? We went from, from all the conversations happening in the comments to like, oh, well, now all you’re getting is spam comments. So you may as well turn them off, right? Like, and people are blessed. It’s, it’s, it’s almost like the Industrial Revolution, where it was like, there are farmers, and you know, your little tiny community of like, 150 people, because that’s Dunbar’s number. That’s all you need in your little community, and you’re all self sufficient. You have your blacksmith and your armor and your dressmaker, or whatever, you know, like, and then the industrial revolution happens, people have to go to the factories, they all move into the city. And there’s a benefit to being in the city, you know, everything’s right there. But there’s also the drawback of pollution. And I don’t want to take this metaphor too far. So people started. And then after, after World War Two, they start moving back out into the suburbs. And so there’s like, almost like a middle ground between these tiny rural communities, and the city where you have a larger population, you still have all those amenities, but you don’t have some of the drawbacks of the city life. And I think that’s maybe where we are in this pendulum swing, is, we started so far decentralized, we went really centralized. And now we’re drawing back from it. And there’s, I am not going to take this urban, into like gentrification and white light, but the idea curious, I haven’t thought this through at all, this is all fresh, but their site, I’m
Jeni B 13:10
here for it, and I am here for
Meg Casebolt 13:14
my political science to show you. My like, urban planning bug is showing up strong here. But you know, there’s a middle ground where we are finding ourselves now when people are pushing back and saying, like, well, how come what this centralized approach is no longer working? Okay, well, what do we do? Now? How do we figure out this middle ground between these two extremes that we’ve been in?
Jeni B 13:42
And this is the plight of anybody who lives in the suburbs right now? Right, which is, who is your community? Where Where do you find your community? You we end up I just think about my daily life, and I drive a distance for
Meg Casebolt 14:03
more than anyone I know, the driving.
Jeni B 14:05
Actually, Toyota should be sponsoring this. Because you’re on a driving,
Meg Casebolt 14:11
driving the forest school anymore. Now. It’s just a ballet and back and forth.
Jeni B 14:15
Yeah, so all the it’s a question of like, how are we behaving in our real lives right now that is differently from how we did even 10 years ago. You know, my kids are in ballet. And sometimes I get together with my book club, and sometimes I like every once in a blue moon, I get to have a party at my house. Or you know what’s happening with the neighbor. Sometimes you do just need to stand out in the yard and talk to the neighbors for a little bit. But it is fairly fragmented at the moment, and it’s not different people living like that are behaving in a certain way online. Then the way they are in their real lives. I think it’s you we’ve got con To nudity between how we as organisms are out in the world, especially post pandemic, you know, we’re our consumption habits have changed the ways that we get information. What we are even mentally and emotionally available for is dramatically different than it was in 2017 2018. You know, with the rise of the membership site,
Meg Casebolt 15:28
I thought, you know, for me, I think the big change for me happened in 2016. When all of the, you know, when when Donald Trump was elected, to be honest, I feel like the capacity that I had for online communication and online conversations changed and shifted dramatically and the way that I interacted with news, and the social media platforms were some of them were echo chambers, and some of them were battlegrounds. And, and to me, that was, I don’t want to say like the beginning of the end of social media. But it was a time where it went from being a playground to being a battleground. And, and I think that did play out in the way that people were communicating and in the offers that they were making. So you’re right, And to go back to where you were going with it this like online membership space, some of it was in Facebook groups, but some people were then going like, well, I don’t necessarily want to be here. I would like the decentralization was happening even then. And the way that people were gathering their resources and learning about things went through kind of a paradigm shift. So I’m sorry to interrupt, but yes, 2018 2019 memberships go.
Jeni B 16:44
Well, so you know, there was a time, when we have this mass adoption have, we finally reached a place where enough humans in, you know, kind of modern modern times we’re have the access to the technology, and the ability to use the technology and the user experience of all of our computers have individual like iPads and stuff just made made technology accessible to so many more people. And so there was a real feeling during that period of, oh, my gosh, I can learn how to bake sourdough bread. Like, I could do that. And there’s people like, people have been baking sourdough bread for 1000s of years, but it’s always been disseminated through like a person to person, like in person, then you get to where you could learn it from books, which is very exciting. And then you could watch people on video, which was incredible, because like, my brain works great for like reading text, and then creating the visual out of that I had no problem. It turns out, the majority of people don’t do that. So great. That’s not just like a super common.
Meg Casebolt 18:03
Adult Learning is not always meant for written word. No, it’s not. It’s very pragmatic. And like the kinesthetic learning the hands on learning visual audio, like the more you can give people, the easier it is for them to learn. And reading gets harder, you know, when you’re not in school anymore, and you’re not expected to?
Jeni B 18:21
Yeah, well, you and I are both readers. So we’re a little bit we’re a little bit like my seven year
Meg Casebolt 18:25
old. He’s a great reader. But there are times where they show him videos. And that’s what he comes home and talks about because he remembers it better. So I don’t want to get into like an adult learning, instructional design conversation here. But this idea that the way that people are processing information, the ways that they are choosing to learn is different. Even when you were talking about the rise of the memberships, I was thinking like I used to, like I said, sit down on Sunday mornings, I would read through my RSS feed, it was always Sunday mornings, because I wanted to see the latest post secret, right? And I, I would have my laptop because it was pre pre having an iPad, and I would have my Boston Globe and I would make myself a cup of coffee and I would sit on the porch and I would read a physical paper. Yeah, I hadn’t delivered on Sunday. So I could read the physical paper. I don’t know. Like, my kid just had to do a collage. And they were like, just cut things out from a magazine. And I was like, What are magazines? Right? Like, in the past decade, things have changed. If there’s something I want to learn. Yeah, you and I are both readers, and I’ll go I’ll go get a book about it. But I’ll go get an audio book about it. Because it’s easier for me to process nonfiction. When it’s being told to me or I like I was telling you, I just learned a whole bunch about polyvagal theory. I got a book out of library. I was like, this is a little hard for me to process. I went and googled polyvagal theory in my podcast app and was like, Oh, cool. I like this guy. He explains it in a way I understand. And I learned all about it from a podcast. So the ways and especially in this kind of fragmented world. We’re in our cars learning We’re not sitting and part of that might be you know kids are growing up, and we have less time to sit at our tables and read the Boston Globe. But like, the ways that we are acquiring and seeking out learning opportunities has revolutionarily changed.
Jeni B 20:15
Right? So there’s there are two points here that I think are important. The first, the first of which is yes. How are we consuming content, especially, we all sat at home for like, except the frontline workers. But everybody, everybody like me, was sitting at home, surrounded by our kids cooking everything at home for at least six months there.
All right, you’re in Georgia, it was six months for you. It was two years for me. Yeah, things are a little different. Wait, no, can you believe you’re not in a red state anymore, though, we are not. set out to get the chance. To drink a lot here,
I guess. Absolutely. But the way we looked at our screens until we were blue in the face, and they were people who had not been like, I’ve been working online for like 15 years, there were people who had never worked like remotely before. And suddenly they were when they didn’t have to be working, they didn’t want to be looking at a screen. You know, people don’t are tired of watching Talking Heads explaining stuff. They’re like, you know, they have other places to be besides looking at screens all the time. So I think that, you know, our consumption of content is a big piece that’s factored into this. But the second piece is what has happened with consumers, and a changing consumer mindset. And what is the value of this knowledge of what I’m able to gain? So back to 2016 1718, there were online courses. And there were an as far as you know, online promotions, when it’s like a race to the bottom, where we’re going to sell the most information for the least amount of money.
Meg Casebolt 22:16
$1,000 worth of bundle for $20 $20 99% Discount you’re like, is it really though, but it’s Yeah. Who did the math on this because everyone’s willing to give everything away for free, what is the actual value?
Jeni B 22:36
Right. So we’ve we, there has been a sense where people have awakened now to this very artificial nature of value. And what I think is only worth what people are willing to pay for it. And so I did it with everybody else, we bought courses, and we bought products, and we got all of these these online virtual goods. But at a certain point, we stopped consuming them. And I think maybe some of it. Some of us were addicted to that dopamine hit that you get when you hit the buy now button, that it feels so good. And you get this temporary sense that when you hit that Checkout button, that you did it, you made your life better. And you think about
Meg Casebolt 23:23
who you’re going to be when you know all this stuff, and how am I going to help? Everything in here is going to help me make more money, every piece of this bundle. If I read it, I will suddenly make back not only the $20 I spend on it, but only the $3,000 value from this. Yes, there’s a purpose of who we want to be when we buy Yeah,
Jeni B 23:46
it that’s a big dream that that was was being sold. Lord knows I was I was part of the sales engine that was helping all of these things happen. And but it was like the zeitgeist was purchase information and see who you can become. And we all ended up with overstuffed hard drives which you don’t even have to phase over stuff hard drives anymore because now you just upload everything to the cloud and it goes away say it’s
Meg Casebolt 24:17
a drive to Dropbox but
Jeni B 24:19
yeah, your your but your your digital clutter becomes so much that you start. You start getting pause when you want to buy something new and you’re like, Wait, how many things have I bought in the past that I don’t use anymore? Like I didn’t even I went through to lessons. I never used it. I never logged in.
Meg Casebolt 24:37
I signed up so that way I could get access, but I signed up for everything at the same time. And I didn’t have time to log into all of them. And I don’t I don’t even have passwords for any of these.
Jeni B 24:46
Yeah, yeah. So still getting the emails even
Meg Casebolt 24:50
though I unsubscribe from the email because they didn’t do their segmentation correctly. Who would do that? You and I have a big email marketing bug. Yeah, we I mean, that’s, that’s podcast three,
Jeni B 25:02
it’s I guess three, I’m just gonna change them up here.
Meg Casebolt 25:06
So every month Johnny, if you want it
Jeni B 25:09
so well, so we’re where I’m where my brain is going with this is that consumer behavior has changed, we now have apps that unsold automatically find all the things we are subscribed to and like unsubscribe them for us, right because it has reached such a saturation, just yeah, this frenzied pace of consumption and our poor, sweet little human brains are not evolving fast enough to keep up about this mess. And it’s stressful. And we are just experiencing so much cortisol in our day to day lives because of all this garbage that we have floating around in our brains. So the thing that’s interesting to me, though, is what this means for an online business owner. Like it sounds to me, if I was just listening to this, like this conversation as a small business owner, who’s been around maybe since 2008 2009, when things were very easy, I’d be like, Well, time to hang it up. Gay, it’s over.
Meg Casebolt 26:08
The bubble is burst.
Jeni B 26:11
It was first, or maybe their identities were so tied up in the easy success of you know, five, six years ago, three years ago, even that, now it leaves, it leaves people with this huge existential question of was I ever any good at this to begin with? Did I have a skill? Or was it just easy?
Meg Casebolt 26:37
Is it timing, or is it success?
Jeni B 26:40
And it’s both? Of course, it’s it’s both and but the easy place for us to go is to just say, well, that’s enough, I’m, let me just cash in my chips now. And there, I was talking to a tech guy. I know Ted. And he was saying that he’s got clients that are closing down shop or you know, selling things off. And just saying that was a nice run. Thank you. See you later. But for those of us who are still excited about serving people still really passionate about providing value and teaching and like helping people’s lives become better. Where do they go with this? So you were talking Meg about this, you know, kind of rural to urban, and now we’re like maybe somewhere in the suburbs of online existence.
Meg Casebolt 27:30
We got we got a digital digital minivan is now my new thing, I guess.
Jeni B 27:38
Here we go. I’m going to be traveling to my different destinations. We’ve even gotten to where, you know, groceries are delivered to us, right? They the groceries come to where we live. Now we don’t go to grocery stores anymore. If you told me that in 2007, I would have Shut the front door that is never that is even do that. And just the Jetsons,
Meg Casebolt 28:02
like, we have like a butler pantry and the food just gets delivered to you through that. How cool would that be? That’s the next one. Guys. I’m that’s my idea. Don’t take no you know what, take it, take it, install it in my house. But I think another piece of this puzzle is that those folks who had it easy or who timed it right? Or who were it, I mean, who were in the right place at the right time, whether that is you started earlier than others or you landed in, you know, fate, you started Facebook groups when Facebook groups were the rage, and then you you hit something good. And so you started teaching other people how to do it. That can be very confusing for people who did not hit those bubbles. were things that worked. Everything that works, stops working as well when more people do it. That is the nature of scale is I’m thinking of like the three part video series that everyone burned through a couple of years ago. And the more three part video series I saw, the less likely I was to sign up for the three part video series because I was like, Well, I didn’t watch the last 23 part video series is because I don’t consume content through video. That is not the way that my ADHD brain works. I cannot sit and watch a talking head so I don’t sign up for them anymore. And now we’re seeing that decrease. And the way that people are launching is always always changing. So if you’re not innovating, if you’re following, then there’s going to be a certain level of drop off, that happens but the people who did innovate, are going to declare their innovations and tell you how well they worked. So there’s a certain level of skepticism that we as consumers need to bring to our buying habits. And that we as creators need to recognize and not dismiss from our audience. We you can’t expect people to behave the way that they behave 510 15 years ago because not only has the internet changed, but People have gotten smarter, and they’ve been
Jeni B 30:01
burned. Yeah, for sure.
Meg Casebolt 30:05
What’s the what’s the way that you can still engage and support and be in relationship with people? Maybe that’s the answer, right? Like, maybe it’s dammit, I gave away the answer when I asked the question. That’s my answer anyway, maybe it’s not the big picture, mess media answer. But I think for me, and I’m assuming the same for you, because we have very similar values about this stuff. It’s like, we were small in our little blogging communities. And we went big when we went on social and I think the other part of this pendulum swing is going back to being small, and intimate, and relationships and collaborative and freaking feminist,
Jeni B 30:48
we spent a long time you know, you taking a year to create a big program, and then that was going to be the ship that we would sail off into the sunset in and it was like the, the one ring for all the rain, right, it was not One Ring to rule them all. To rule them, thank you gotta get me on, it’s over here, man,
Meg Casebolt 31:10
you gotta get the nerd going here,
Jeni B 31:12
the One Ring to rule them out, like you were gonna have this one signature offer. And this was going to be your ticket. And now just sit back and all you got to do is figure out how to sell it on repeat. And hey, you can buy my $2,000 course to learn how to do that, and,
Meg Casebolt 31:30
or join the membership. And then you just need to keep like, you know, 500 people for $30 a month and there’s your money. You know, like you don’t know about the churn, you don’t know how many emails you need to maintain people, there’s always a big promise with a hard delivery, no offense.
Jeni B 31:46
So we got to a place where we like, you know, create this really awesome product. But we spent months creating this product and it was going to we were going to spend lots of time and energy potentially money producing that course doing the video and having the video edited. And, and then we were going to spend five years selling the same exact one thing. But people aren’t buying these V’s large scale. You know, contrary to the the people who are out there saying I’ve sold $7 billion worth of x and y and z, and I’m going to teach you to do the same. The context was different. It was a different time. So one of the things that I’m excited about right now is the place where instead of focusing all of our energy on like the perfect, the perfect one product, and then all of these sales funnels that are going into the same thing. And 57 different ways to get people to buy the same one thing. I’m more excited about things that feel a little bit more intimate. So let me give you an example. Young Pablo is a poet that I follow online, and has really come up in this. I’m like looking for his book here. Yeah, clarity in connection is one of the last he’s got a new book that’s out. But he as part of his book launch, he had just a live workshop that was on Zoom, and you preorder his book and you got to come to a live workshop, the production value, like what it costs to produce that thing. Almost nothing like he had somebody there that was like helping just helping mute people when they were unmuting themselves, right? This was not even a like the webinar format. This was a Zoom Room. And there were like 300 people in the room. In the comments are, like, blowing up over there. People have people having conversations and like resonating with what he’s saying. And he led it was not even if I’m thinking about like really strong pedagogical technique, right? How are we going to teach these principles? You know what people didn’t care? They wanted to be in the room with Diego. That’s what he in
Meg Casebolt 34:07
the room where it happened. Zoom where it happened. Whoa. No, I want to deep down inside a table. You said
Jeni B 34:17
you said other sausage gets made that like people just wanted to be in the room with Diego. And it was a one hour thing. And he sat and he did his teaching. Very minimal amount of teaching. He gave people time to do their own writing. Like if you’re scared of, of blank spaces and like like dead air time, don’t go to a writing workshop, right? Because it’s like they give you they give you time to give you time to go and do your stuff. And you do write writing. And then he called on people one by one just they would put up their hands and they shared the little piece that they had written. And there was this sense that I have not had Since like 2008, in these blogs, where it’s just a bunch of people, they’re there because they want to be with the Creator. But even more than that they want to be seen. They want to participate in something that is happening at a point in time. And like, I sat in a park with zoom on my phone, and I just sat with my little notebook, and like in my folding chair, and I participated in it, it was beautiful. I the same exact thing. Cory mascara is a meditation teacher, and he is leading these, like, this is not a $2,000 high value production course, this is a $25 live workshop on a thing, I came to it last night. And it was, you know, there were like 300 people on the call, and then he’s gonna have that just kind of in his bank. But we don’t want enormous vaults full of information we’re never going to actually consume, we want to be there, we want to set a time and a date, and to be in the room with somebody and be seen, to witness and be witnessed. And so this is this, like middle mid range products that are live, that like if you ever wanted to get into be an entrepreneur when the bar was not so so so, so high now was a fantastic time.
Meg Casebolt 36:24
Yeah. And I feel like it’s part of that, like it used to be you needed to have 1000 true fans, that was the thing is 1000 true fans, 1000 people who really loved you, and if they wanted to buy from you, and they would, you know, if they were big ambassador for you, they’d buy whatever you put out, and they’d be part of it, and they’d share it and you need that 1000 true fans. And then a couple of years ago, the research came out, they’re like, you need 100 You need 100 true fans, and fans is a word I’m not always comfortable with because it feels very one sided. It feels very, like I am giving a monologue to my fans, not I am in a relationship with my fans. But there’s something about that intimacy that we’re moving back towards. I think Seth Godin calls it like your minimum viable audience. So you don’t need to have, you know, 3 million people on your live stream, you can do 300 people on a zoom call and let them be a part of a community, even if they don’t know everyone else in the community, the only thing that they have in common with the other people in that space is you and you are the leader. But you are creating a space for them. There is such a desire for that right now. Yeah, I know, it’s like my program, people are like, well, I like learning the stuff. But I learned more from coming and just having conversations around these topics and, and being tagged into Hey, what do you think about this? And how does this apply to me and, and having those taking the theory and talking about how it’s relevant to me as an entrepreneur is very different than I’m going to go watch these six modules of 20 minute videos, and then submit my homework and you know, like, what, that larger scale approach is not going to get that same excitement as being in the Zoom where it happens.
Jeni B 38:14
Yeah, we’ve we’ve all been had the experience of feeling, we’re just one, we’re just a number. And especially post pandemic, we want to be human. And we want to see each other. So if creators are so tied to the way things used to be even four years ago, you’re going to myth this, this is a great opportunity. And no, we’re not having $100,000 launch. This is actually something even more special. And I think about is like the waiting room like we’re at this time in between where it’s like, you know what I’m going to do, I’m gonna take, I’m not going to see this as a, everything’s gone to hell, I’m going to quit or I’m going to double down and I’m gonna sell it harder, like the same stuff, sell it harder. More hustle,
Meg Casebolt 39:05
hustle, don’t sleep, don’t eat just.
Jeni B 39:09
Yeah, I see it as this invitation to go back to our roots of being with our people. And so you know, if if Diego does an event and makes $3,000 from one event that’s not time wasted, especially because then you can pull out your super ninja skills and go back and analyze the chat thread after the event is over. And see what are people saying that that means like then then you go undercover and you’re like, Oh, are they telling me secret stories about their felt needs in this chat, just because they feel so free and open to talk about stuff. And that’s where the idea of your next one comes up
Meg Casebolt 39:55
the data mining of that is it’s the market research at that point. Everything can be, oh, you know how I feel about this everything is market research, every company can,
Jeni B 40:04
you could not pay a market research company like that for $50,000, they could not come up with data, as good as what you can get yourself by looking at what your people are saying, finding your followers on their Instagrams and going and looking at who are they following? What are the comments that are being left on their account? How are they answering them? What are the things that they are? I almost said retweet or retweeting. What are the things in their feed that they’re posting of other people’s, like, we have this unparalleled ability to not get the information second hand in a very, like sterile and whitewashed way from Google where we’re just like clicking the buttons, oh, they want somebody who follows this person. And let me let me let them do the
Meg Casebolt 40:57
segmentation for me versus me going and doing the research and having the conversations, you know, I think you’ve said to me before, like we went from, for the past 10 years or so, like we had access to scraped information that was private about what people really wanted a demographic information shopping behavior. And because that scraped information was available to us for a fee, whether that’s, you know, buying email lists, or running social ads, or something along those lines, like it kind of made us lazy, because if you have access to a giant list, and you can pay to just access a segment of it, that is more likely to opt in or to email you like you don’t have to work as hard because you can cast a wider net, and just pay for, you know, your lead acquisition. And, and that is a much different approach to what we’re talking about here. And people got really used to having access to that publicly available private information is really what it is that sometimes illegally captured publicly available information. And when some of these legal privacy decisions are coming down and making this scraped information harder to access, you have the choice of fighting it, and getting mad about it, or getting scrappy, and going back to basics and saying, Okay, there’s information that I have. And here’s the thing, it’s like, it’s like jobs to be done theory where it’s like, there’s information that I want to have about my clients. And I can get that information at a mass market level by like, looking at this data and having someone else slice it and dice it up and having them go out and find my people. Or I can get this information from my clients directly, in a way that involves consent. Right, that they are coming to me that they are opting into me or that I am going to where they already are. It doesn’t always have to be them finding you. I know I often go that direction because of my expertise. But it doesn’t always have to be that you are creating the community or you are creating the content or you are the hub of the conversation. Sometimes you can just tap into what already exists and where people already are and start having conversations in the pre existing communities without needing to be you know, in the middle of the Social Media City, you can go into communities that are already existing, they’re harder, because they’re not centralized. But they’re deeper. And they’re, they’re going to convert better if you’re having these conversations. Because, yeah, they understand you there’s there’s a shorthand, there’s a language if you find like, we don’t talk about Reddit very often, because I use it for my own personal use, not for my business. But like, there were subreddits where I’m like you people get me find me on the romance book subreddit, and you know that I’m like, Oh, I love that one too. And after you read A Court of Thorns and Roses, here are the five other authors that you should be reading because they have a very similar style, but they don’t have some of these problematic issues like I’m there. But I’m not like, Hi, I’m Meg Casebolt. Fodor, well, you know, like, I’m just a user and a lover of these, you know, like, I’m a member of this space. And do I have personal connections and DMS with these people? No, but are they my friends who are giving me book recommendations? Yeah, you know, like, it doesn’t always have to be this like deep, deep friendship in order for you to get get and give value that does or does not turn into a sale. But sometimes it just feels really good to be in community and connection.
Jeni B 44:37
Yeah, the there is nothing like voice of customer research, when you know what it is that makes a person. You know, what are their underlying reasons why, what are the stakes here? What’s going to happen if they don’t solve this problem that they have, like, what is it about that problem that like, that is The most painful piece of that problem. And I think for a while we get used to, I will create a 12 module course. And I will solve 12 different pieces of this, what if you could just solve the most painful thing? Like, right? What if What if there’s like a snake that’s actually like biting them and attached to their body? And if instead of waiting this really, really, really long time, we’re going to say, how to identify snakes in the wild? And what are the dangers of poisonous versus non poisonous? And what are the potential like solutions? What if you could just go over and get the damn snake off their arm, right and go from there, we don’t have time to wait around for something that’s going to take you six months to produce. And, you know, we’ve got tools now that we never had before, even like ConvertKit gives you the ability to just have a purchase right there on their, like, within their email platform, you can just give a value exchange, and have have a quick event, it doesn’t have to be high, high production value, it could just be simple and easy and solve people’s problems. And that’s when people Amanda Palmer, you know, has it has a famous TED Talk where she’s talking about the like being able to ask for what you need, because you were out there giving. But we as creators have spent so long behind our desks and our funnels, and our D personalize, like, ways of getting in touch with me and the assistants and the like, you know, we have removed our, our human selves from the equation. And what Amanda Palmer was saying is be a person, be a human to your people, and they will show up for you is we have an opportunity to to not be thinking about, Oh, well, this year, I’m going to have a $10 million dollar business in six months, guys, Cinderella stories happen. But I am not putting I’m not sticking my happiness on that happening instead. And I’m not even saying don’t make money, make a buttload of money, absolutely do that. But if you’re not able to do that by like scraping, questionably gathered data and you know, sticking it in the system and getting out magical purchases, then what better way is there to go back and know your people very well. The people that make it through this next business cycle that’s happening right now are the people who continue to be scrappy, who have not like developed this tough exterior of having to have a following the advice of the gurus, guys, there is not one piece of Guru advice out there, that is going to apply to all businesses equally. That’s just not the way things are working, you’ve got different markets are even consuming information differently. So your best bet is to stay close to your people and to know them. And if it’s time to start opening up and looking at other audiences that know them to write depends.
Meg Casebolt 48:24
There’s an early adopter of SEO. He’s sometimes called like the father of SEO, because he created the term. And I heard him say once every keyword has its own algorithm, which is a nerdy way of saying like, every single option out there has its own things to consider, right? Like every business should have its own approach to marketing and sales and operations, because each of us is different. There is no one Google algorithm, like every every keyword has its own algorithm. Every business has its own approach to doing things. And if you’re following a framework, it may work for you. There are general best practices and rules that apply to every keyword and every every, you know, search engine result. But every everything that people are looking for is slightly different. Every audience has a slightly different need. And if you can tap into fixing one thing, then that will help people just really like fall in love with you and become one of those true fans.
Jeni B 49:28
Yeah, I don’t think we can. I don’t think we can hold too tightly the way we’ve done things in the past. Like, I do not advise it like there’s a white knuckle death grip on the, you know, the six module course as the way that your business looks right now. I think necessarily we need to be fluid and like you were saying scrappy. We need to be willing to look at all of this. All of the things that we’ve done in the past US and Marie Kondo the heck out of them be like thank you for your service, you have done great things, you, you know, six module course, you’ve done great things for me. And you are no longer like what got me here is not going to get me there. And so holding, like letting loose this death grip that we have and the way that we’ve been doing things or the way things should, should be, it should be easier to do this, this, they told me this would work. It’s not working. Well. Yeah. So staying curious Ted law. So I am a forever fan of TED law. So but, you know, staying curious also keeps you happy. As a content creator as a as a producer of information and a solver of problems, staying in that curious space, and not getting over into like, the tough grizzled old lady that’s like not not budging an inch. Right, let’s, let’s stay light, stay fluid, and we will all stay happier creators, and ultimately, you know, people buy from people that they know, like and trust. So, you know, for those of us who’ve been in a long time, it’s tempting to say, well, this is what the 20 year olds are doing. And I’m not 20 anymore, so I shouldn’t be doing this. Your people are there, your people are there. And if you guys want, you know, examples of different people who are even, you know, silver haired folks that are doing really incredible things on social media and connecting with people, you know, they are out there, and they’re doing amazing things. It’s just, they’re staying playful.
Meg Casebolt 51:45
I have nothing else to say, I think you just nailed it right there. So I am going to wrap up this conversation without a call to action. Because it was just a conversation. And sometimes that’s okay to just talk about things and be in dialogue with each other. So you as a listener, listener, if you’re out there, if you’re still listening after talking for an hour. Tell us what you think. And you know, what, don’t, don’t ask me because I’m not going to read it, send me an email, and I’ll take a screenshot of it. And I’ll Voxer it to Jenny. Okay, that’s how this is going. Let’s take this, like third party system out of it. You don’t have to do the URL to slide into my DMs and tell me, just send me an email. Make it love it for search.com? Tell me what you think. And we’ll talk about it. Right, let’s have let’s go back to intimacy. Let’s go back to Conversations. Let’s go back to these exactly what we’re talking about in this podcast. Well, thank you, Jenny, so much for being a guest for sharing your wisdom with us.
Jeni B 52:49
Thanks so much bag. It is. It’s been it’s been a wild ride in online business. But I I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited just to see what happens with where we are right now. I, it’s easy to look out there and see all of the doors that are closing, and we’re so focused on those that we don’t see all of these other, you know, all the other little cracks in other doors behind us maybe or beside us or around us or you know, that are actually opening up. There’s never been a better time to know your audience. But also to know the other creators in your space, the ones that are newer to your space, the ones that have been around forever. Just just staying in this place of curiosity. So I’m so glad we get to have this conversation. Mag and as soon as you hit stop on this recording, we can go full blown Hamilton song into part and I
Meg Casebolt 53:47
was actually thinking it would probably be like, let it go let it go. Like that’s.
Jeni B 53:52
I have three little girls. I am I’m still traumatized by that one.
Meg Casebolt 53:56
Yeah, I can understand that. But they’re like, I don’t care what the world will say Let the storm rage on, you know, just like, cold never bothered me. Let’s do this our own way. Let’s step into that power that we have. So we’ll leave it there. Thanks, Meg. You’re great. Thank you so much for listening to the social slowdown podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe or come on over to social slowdown.com and sign up for our email list so you never miss an episode. We’d also love if you could write a review to help other small business owners find the show you can head over to social slowdown.com/review Or grab that link in our show notes for easy access. We’ll be back soon with more tips to help you market your business without being beholden to social media. Talk to you then.
Please forgive any typos as this transcript was automatically generated by otter.ai.