I have two wonderful pieces of news today:
- The Embodied Business Community is open for enrolment with one 50% scholarship left and two fair payment plans to choose from, you can learn more & sign up here: https://yarrowdigital.com/diy-business-school/ and here is more info about the web design course: https://yarrowdigital.com/web-design-adventure-course/
- I have a new interview episode with the wonderful Amelia Hruby for you! Here is some of what we talked about:
- Leaving social media and finding joyful ways to share your work
- What works and what doesn’t in small business marketing
- Making our businesses more feminist
- DIY media as a creative future
- How the pandemic has changed Amelia’s work
I really loved talking to Amelia – there were lots of giggles and a few paws involved as well. This was the kind of conversation that left me feeling energised, hopeful and in love with running a small business. I hope you’ll feel the same!
Amelia Hruby is a feminist writer, educator and podcaster with a PhD in philosophy. She runs a small podcast studio supporting women business owners and creatives in sharing their voices, and works as the Programs Coordinator of Sister, home of Feminist Business School. She is also the host and producer of the podcast Fifty Feminist States, and the author of Fifty Feminist Mantras, an illustrated journal for cultivating feminist consciousness.
Amelia’s 100 ways to share your work + life that aren’t social media blog post: http://www.ameliahruby.com/blog/100-ways-to-share
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⋒ Hi, my name is Yarrow and I am your host.
My Embodied Business podcast explores what it means to build a small business with integrity, joy and anti capitalist values. I interview other small business owners and offer solo episodes in which I am answering questions around tech, strategy, more ethical marketing and creative livelihoods.
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Yarrow Magdalena 0:00
Hey, everyone, my name is Yarrow and you’re listening to the embodied business podcast. This is my second time trying to record this intro because I was just almost finished. And then Amanda jumped off the bed and started to drink some water really loudly as like, I think this is very distracting. But anyway, welcome back. Thank you for joining me, I’m excited to bring a really beautiful conversation to you. I was lucky to interview Amir will be who gave me so much inspiration and insight. And hope. I think we both talked a lot about leaving social media and finding other joyful ways of growing our businesses. And that was just really just making me feel good, you know, made me feel good and made me feel excited about owning a small business and the future. And so yeah, I hope you feel the same. A few announcements from me before I let you listen. The embodied business community is currently open for enrollment for another week or so depending on when you listen to this. And yeah, it’s really my pride and joy. It’s a whole year of business magic of community of monthly group support team workshops, weekly accountability posts, co working spaces and an updated course. And it cost being at $60 a month a year. There are two kinds of payment plans, they’re fair, it’s nothing added to them, you can pay in three or six monthly instalments if you like. And there’s a 50% scholarship available as well. And yeah, I’m gonna read a testimonial I received an ad two hours I’m a bit proud about add some hours and she right joining the body business committee is the best thing I could have done for my business was here. The support inspiration guidance, practical tools and genius ideas are received from diverse workshops, and valuable. I’ve been able to tackle technical problems and improve my systems, while at the same time reflecting on my personal journey and challenges in this capitalist society. through deep conversations with wonderful sensitive people. I didn’t know such a safe space was possible in a community of entrepreneurs. Six months into the programme, I’m still blown away by all the content available. And I’ve already gotten way more out of it than I was hoping for areas a brilliant facilitator, generous, clear minded, easygoing, and the most gentle and inclusive. Thank you so much for creating this truly medical space. For that made me super happy and friends who are listening to this. And you also need a confidence boost in your business. Ask for testimonials. And keep every single piece of feedback that you have a guide in a folder that’s so important for low days where you’re just feeling unsure about what you’re doing, or full of imposter syndrome, which is definitely something that comes up for me. So having a feedback for that is a really key thing. Anyway, check the embroidery business community out in the shownotes if you like. And also know that in May, I’m running a live round of my web design course, which I think should be super fun. That’s $150 and you get immediate access to the Evergreen course. Meaning you can start it get started right away if you want to. But you can also join us for that weekly live sessions in May. So that you can build your website in a container in a group of like minded people who do this with you and hopefully, cheer you on and offer you gentle accountability. So yeah, thank you so much again, and I’ll let you listen now. Hello, everyone. Gosh, I’m excited for this interview. I already know there’s gonna be so much juiciness coming. I’m speaking to Amelia Ruby, who is a part of the feminist business school and who has a PhD in philosophy which kind of want to know more about and her just generally the so much wonderful, encouraging hopeful work and writing. So thank you so much for making time. I’m really excited to talk to you.
Amelia Hruby 4:04
Thank you for having me. I am thrilled to be here.
So I would love to start by hearing what you have to do and what you’re feeling excited about at the moment.
Such a good opening question. I love to write, I love to listen, I love speaking with people. All of that lends itself to all of the work I do which some of which involves podcasting, some of which involves teaching and mentoring. And I feel excited about all of those things right now and my immediate surroundings. I’m excited about the tulips that I just got that are blooming in my office. I’m excited about spring coming where I am and the the radishes But I have crowing about the garden growing out in the garden. And I’m excited for a new season of my work. As you mentioned, I have a PhD in philosophy. I finished that degree last June. And now that it’s almost a year since then I’m kind of really reopening, recharging I’ve been I feel like it takes the way they say it takes like, colloquially say that it takes half as long as you were in a relationship to get over it. I feel that way about a dissertation too. And a few more years, I’ll be ready to do another one. But I can really feel the shift, I think I’m starting to feel ready for some new projects, again, that I’m feeling really excited about about that, too.
Yarrow Magdalena 5:51
Yeah, bad. I’m sorry to just bring this on you because I haven’t really announced this question. But, you know, now that I’m sitting with this reality, I am also studying philosophy at the moment. And I had this funny exchange with someone the other day, who was like, Oh, so cool. So you’re reading all these books? That’s really interesting. But how do you deal with these really entitled, white guys in philosophy? I was like, You know what, I do it at a different university. And I don’t talk to anyone that’s good for you. But what, what has that been like for you? How have you found your thing within philosophy? And what did you write about? Yeah,
Amelia Hruby 6:37
I’m so excited to meet someone else whose work I really admire. And then it’s like, the little secret part of it that they study philosophy, not saying yours as a secret, but I didn’t know that about you. And that’s how I feel about it for myself is not that it’s a secret just it’s not at the forefront of what I normally share. But I do love to talk about it. So I I entered a Ph. D programme right out of my undergraduate degree. So I studied English and religion for my bachelor’s degree, and then I didn’t know what I was going to do after college, and I applied to grad school, I ended up being accepted to a very cool programme in Chicago, and I went and studied philosophy there. Gosh, I was 22 when I started that, and, I guess 29 when I finished so I was in that programme for seven years, I did about four years worth of coursework, and then three years worth of dissertation work. I also encountered a lot of fun title, white dudes, capital W, capital D there, and also kind of kept my distance in some ways. You know, for anyone listening, who’s in grad school, I was definitely somebody who worked really hard to have a life outside of grad school. And make sure I held on to some dreams and passions, even while I was immersed in like the intensity of that programme. And I have a lot of empathy for people navigating those paths of like education and life outside of that. In terms of what I studied, and how I found it. It’s kind of funny, when I look back, I’ve always had like, the same core question and philosophy, which is, shifts a little bit depending on who I’m reading, but has always been something about like how our relationship with like, the ways in which we experience the world, how they shape our relationships with other people in the world. And I studied that, and ethics and my bachelor’s degree. And then when I got to grad school, I got really interested in aesthetics and really interested in understanding our experiences of art and beauty from a philosophical standpoint. So I wrote a dissertation on as called towards feminist aesthetics. And in my dissertation, I had three core chapters and each chapter, I posed a hypothetical conversation between it’s gonna go a little philosophy nerd for people who are not into that. So I’ll like I’ll go deep, and then I’ll come back out and explain it and like everybody tears, and I will not take too much time on this. But the three chapters took a German idealist aesthetic thinker and a contemporary feminist thinker and put them in conversation. So I did a chapter on Alexander Baumgarten and Sarah Othman. I did a chapter on amanuel, conch and really goannas and I did a chapter on Friedrich Schiller and Audrey Lorde. And kind of unpacked ideas like talking about our experiences in art and beauty. I unpacked ideas like play, and ideas like What does it mean to think something without conceptualising? it? And questions like, what role? does love play in all of this? Or how to how do we get an aesthetic education? How do we train our perception in these ways to hold space for difference in our lives? And those questions, I still have, and they still permeate my work. But philosophy was one way that I explored them. And that dissertation was like, three or 400 pages worth of writing on all of that.
Yarrow Magdalena 10:36
That is so beautiful, I was out my little heartbeat. Because I think I’m at the stage now where I’m just really kind of confined in the beginnings of studying philosophy. And that’s just you know, what it is you get an overview, but it’s always really nice to see what, where people take it in the real world and what it does, but yeah, so thank you so much for sharing that. My next question is, potentially could go in many different directions for you to take away with your life, but what has the pandemic been like for you? And how has it changed your way?
Amelia Hruby 11:16
Just a small question. For me, the pandemic has been my kind of a myriad of things. And at moments I have felt very lucky. And other moments, it has felt incredibly hard and impossible to survive. I have a lot of huge life changes and accomplishments happen throughout the pandemic. So I already mentioned I finished my dissertation last June. So I defended that from my kitchen table and graduated over a YouTube video, because graduations weren’t happening. So I had a whole like, that was a beautiful and in some ways, grief process of like working so hard for so many years, and then all the ritual being taken out of a graduation. And then I, after that, I moved to states, so I used to I lived in Chicago for seven years while I was doing my degree. And then I Last summer I last fall, I moved to Lincoln, Nebraska, where my family lives. I’ve never lived here before, but I felt really called to be closer to them. And one of my uncle’s passed last summer, and I think that was the kind of I had decided to move before that. But it definitely felt like this moment of Wow, I really do. I need to be there to spend time with my family and get to know a lot of people in my family that I’ve never had a chance to know because I’ve never lived near them. My son is in Aries in my fourth house, which I think explains a lot of why I like family and foundations and all the fourth house stuff is really prominent in my life. So that happened, so I finished my dissertation moved states and then a month after I moved or no two weeks after I moved, my first book came out. So I wrote a book called 50 feminist mantras that as an illustrated journal for raising feminist consciousness and strengthening well being. And that came out in October, and I had a totally virtual really beautiful book launch for that. And then I started a new job in January with sr, which runs feminists Business School. So all of that is to say my experience of the pandemic was all of these huge, huge, momentous things happening amidst this backdrop of grief and isolation and
pain for all of us. And how has that changed my work? To be honest, I don’t know yet.
One thing that happened is that I left Instagram that was a big shift in my work in the past year, actually, I just left Instagram very recently, last week when we’re recording this. But you know, I think early on in the pandemic, I was on Instagram a lot and in 2020 I really committed to that platform and I invested a lot of money and time and trying to grow my following there to support launching my book because I was consistently told that that was good and necessary to do to have a book launch. And then by the end of 2020, I felt like I it was completely unsustainable for me to be on that platform anymore. So one way the pandemic changed my work is I left Instagram for good. But other than that, I think I will be discovering ways that the pandemic has changed my work for years to come. I have imagined years from now, I’ll be like, when did I start doing that this way? or Why do I feel that way? I’ll be like, Oh, yeah. That was that’s a COVID-19 shift that I didn’t realise. Until right now.
Yarrow Magdalena 15:42
So Me too. I was nodding along with so much of what you just said, and I feel the same. I’m really curious about these insights that we’re going to have years from now and also left Instagram last year. So welcome to the other side. Yeah. Thank you, I am thrilled to be here with you. It’s great. I love it. It’s great. It’s Yeah, it’s gonna be fantastic. And I’m so happy that you named the cost as well, because I think so often, we’re told whether or not we run ads and spend actual, you know, cash money on the platform, that is actually a really high cost in terms of the pressure to produce content, that the other related costs that we have, like, you know, time spent on photoshoots, and making graphics and writing copy and being live and stories and just sacrificing so much privacy as well, just so much ourselves. And I really want to challenge this narrative that it’s free marketing, because it’s really not.
Amelia Hruby 16:44
Yeah, yeah, I cannot agree with you more i a lot, I think the way I I, because of how I am, as a person, my I shared my whole process of getting off. But that was kind of like the final thing I did on Instagram was unpack how I made this choice and what I was doing instead and all these things. For anyone familiar with human design that’s listening, my profile is three, five, which relates to that, because that’s somebody who’s going to go like experiment and figure out how stuff works, and then share it with everyone. So I, I went through that, and I share that to say that I completely agree with what you’re saying. But Instagram is not free marketing. I always just say that it was way too energetically expensive. For me. I think that it produced this sort of codependent anxiously attached relationship that if I felt like it forced me into like, I had to constantly be paying attention to it. And I had to be worried that I was going to upset it if I did the wrong thing, or if I was gone away for too long. And as someone who has been in human relationships like that in the past and worked really, really hard to change my life so that my relationships didn’t function that way. Something really clicked when I was like, Wow, my relationship with this app functions that way now. And I know this feeling, and I worked so hard to move past it. And that was a really clear moment for me that I had to leave. And I’ll just say to because I’m a big believer in being like super transparent about money, like I also did invest, like dollars in, not in ADS. I never bought Instagram ads for myself, but you know, I spent money on photoshoots I spent money on Instagram strategy, I spent money on branding. And I would guess that I mean, 1000s of dollars to try to grow my platform. And it’s not that it didn’t work. It did just I couldn’t the trade off was never gonna feel right to be, like I said to energetically expensive.
Yarrow Magdalena 18:58
Yeah, that totally makes a lot of sense to me. Thank you for sharing. And it also beautifully leads me to my next question, which is about podcasting. You have a purpose as well. And you seem to be really into in the media to say I would love to hear what that’s been like and what you love about podcasting, how that has maybe changed this past year and where you see the future of your work growing and sharing.
Amelia Hruby 19:25
Yeah, I, I love podcasting. What’s funny, as I often will say, like I love podcasting, more than I love listening to podcasts. I do listen, I’m a very particular listener. I think especially leaving Instagram, I’ve become super selective or like curatorial around whose voices I am listening to. I think that’s just a result to like the overload of trying to take in 1000s of voices on Instagram all the time. So I listened to about Three podcasts and I’ve never miss a single episode. One of which is our mutual friend Mary Grace allerdyce. This podcast homebody that I have heard every episode of met you were on recently. And I loved your episode. And that’s actually kind of how we had reconnected because I went back and refound all of your work that I had not been connected to, and a few months or maybe even years. So I love I love that about podcasting and about podcasts themselves, which is I always think that they are inherently conversational, and they always mean you’re in dialogue, even if it’s a solo episode, or just one person talking, I think the voice is created to be in conversation. And I love highlighting voices. That’s what I love about recording conversations. I love listening to voices, I love thinking about how we listen, and what listening means. That’s something I’ve been doing some personal and philosophical work on lately. And I, as you mentioned, I also run a podcast, it’s called 50 feminist states, I interview feminist activists and artists across the US. Before the pandemic, I was doing road trips and travelling to meet people and see where they worked and record interviews and their locations. Since the pandemic that has shifted. I am not travelling, obviously, or I hope that’s obvious. And I’ve done some remote interviews, but I kind of actually shifted the whole platform to be a fellowship platform. So instead of me travelling, and spending money on that, I took the money and the rest of the money I had crowdfunded on my Kickstarter campaigns, and I funded a podcast fellowship. So I’ve been teaching three really amazing, aspiring podcasters how to record and produce their own audio. And we’re about halfway through that process. So this summer, I’ll have some really amazing episodes on the podcast, with the three of them sharing either their own stories or interviews they’re doing with listeners, I’m really excited about that. And just that sort of podcasting to me, is such a beautiful DIY medium. And I know that you are also as a maker and I have made scenes for many, many years now and love making scenes. And I just think there’s so many overlaps or like resonances, maybe between ziens in podcasting, I think that, you know, audio work, or like radio production, is like a really kind of opaque industry to get into. But podcasting, like anybody who has a smartphone can make a podcast. And I love that the same way that anybody who has paper and pen can make Xen. And I think that that is really powerful. And so for me, podcasting is always about like trying to share the skills and trying to get more voices out there. And and like because of the strong feminist values in my work for me, there isn’t I do, like have an emphasis on women and gender nonconforming and non binary voices. But you know, I love that podcasting is available to anyone. And so I also run, I do production work for a few clients. And I’m working on kind of opening a small podcast studio to work with more people, and help them develop and produce their podcast through a combination of kind of ongoing production work or training them and how to do their own production so they can have a podcast that they’re really proud of, and that shares their ideas with the world.
Yarrow Magdalena 24:14
That is so exciting. I’m really excited for people who get to work with you in that way. And also for all the listeners to get more podcast and a totally agree with what you’re saying about DIY culture and themes and podcasts and the beauty of that. Yeah. And I would love to hear it. You already touched a little bit on you know what your future plans are. Your next steps may be but how are you running your business? What’s happening behind the scenes and what is working or not working at the moment?
Amelia Hruby 24:48
Yeah, so I I would say that at this particular moment. I really kind of have run mostly like a freelance practice. Not that that’s not a business it is. But there are a lot of I say that because there are a lot of ways I do want to kind of evolve it into a more self sustaining business. So I learned how to podcast because I was volunteering at a community radio station as a DJ, and they needed someone to help run their local music interview podcast. And so I started doing that. And I, they taught me everything that I know. And then I, like, knew how to podcast all of a sudden, it was a very cool exchange of skills, and one that I’m really grateful for. And then over the past few years, I’ve just taken on podcast clients, and just done sort of training small training sessions and production work for people who are running their own podcasts. And it’s been a real joy. And sort of at the start of last year, I got a bunch of new clients all at once, which is a freelancers dream and nightmare. It definitely, I was like, Yay, more money, more clients, more projects. And I was like, Oh, no, I have no systems to support me and getting all this work done. And also, I’m trying to finish my dissertation. So I kind of hit that moment, I think a lot of freelancers go through where there’s like this sort of bubble happens where like you weren’t quite ready for what came your way. And at that point, I really decided I had to focus on my dissertation, I really wanted to get that done. So I kind of backed I really contracted my podcasting work, and took on more of a role and my part time job. And that was really nourishing. And now I’m feeling really excited to kind of take work with the clients I have, it’s a new clients and figure out how I can build a virtual podcast studio, which to me means you know, I’m not the only person working in it. So I love producing for people and I but what I really love is talking to people about the podcasts they want to create, and helping them see how those podcasts can support and grow their businesses. So I have this sort of dream or vision that’s coming together about how I can really build out resources for entrepreneurs and small business owners who want to create podcasts that are going to support their company’s growth and support their growth, while simultaneously empowering them to share their story and get their voice out there because I think nothing connects like a voice. And yeah, I feel like I would kind of fall over with my answer. Maybe you have
Yarrow Magdalena 28:13
follow up questions. Another was beautiful and great. And yeah, makes sense. And it’s always really interesting to hear how people have decided on what they want to focus on and how that came to be and what the different influences and stages where I said, this is great. And I would love to hear more about other than podcasting, how are you sharing your work at the moment? And where do you see your energy maybe being redirected to away from social media to other spaces of sharing and making community.
Amelia Hruby 28:47
So part of getting off Instagram for me as the I made a list that we can definitely share with your community group, the podcast, but I made this list called 100 ways to share your work in life that aren’t in social media. And it was really more of a kind of a personal challenge for myself to come up with 100 things I could do that are not Instagram or Facebook or LinkedIn to share what I’m up to. And both in like a work sense of my offerings and product and services, but also in a personal sense of just like what I do with the cute pictures of my dog now that I’m not alone. It’s just been a huge question mark in my life the past few weeks. Like I do, I just text them to all my friends individually. That’s what I’ve done so far. That’s what I do too. So
good. I’m glad others feel this way.
So I made this list, I made the list for myself. But I also really wanted it to serve as a resource for all of the people I talked to, which is tonnes of them, who told me that they’re only on Instagram because they feel like they have to be for their business or their art or their community. And I think that so many of us stay or have stayed on Instagram, because of that conundrum. Because of that, like I have to be here. It’s the only way. And I think that I totally empathise with feeling that way. But I also think it’s like a false narrative that Instagram is trying to convince us about that, like it is. Instagram wants us to believe it’s the only way but I don’t believe it’s the only way. So I made this list of 100 ways to just basically be this moment of like, hey, it’s not the only way here are 100 other ways. And the first one on that list is start an email newsletter. So that is a place that I’m sharing right now. And I love like writing and offering a lot of resources there and making community and inviting people to reach out to me when they read, I sent out a very long letter over the weekend about leaving social media and you know, included this resource and other resources, I also made a pretty extensive list of all of the apps and services that I’ve used to replace Google, Facebook and Amazon in my life, and so that we can, I can share that with you too. So I really love, I love creating community through those sorts of like values, aligned offerings, I like sharing resources with people, sharing them what I’ve learned throughout the process, my process, any process I’ve been going through. And so my newsletter is a place that I like to do that I also for folks who are in the US or have a US phone number, I send free feminist mantra texts every Monday, those mantras are from my book, I wrote the book, from an Instagram series that I used to host called feminist mantra Monday where I post a mantra on Instagram every Monday, and then I compile those into the book. And now I’m kind of taking the book and taking all the monsters from the book. And I send out a short text message every Monday morning with a mantra and a little prompt for the week. So that’s another way. I love sharing my work and creating community because people can text me back and tell me how things go or what they’re up to, which has been really nice. I think podcasts create great communities. And I love creating community through my podcast and being a part of other people’s communities through their podcasts. And then I also really love like, I love doing workshops and events and panels and sort of those opportunities to be available and open with people gathered at the same time like that. That’s always been a real sweet spot. For me. It’s why I love teaching. It’s why I love speaking. I just love being in conversation. So that those are like a handful of ways that I’m working on making community I’m sure I forgotten other things, but people can there. I mean, like I said, I have a list of 100 of them everything from write yourself a theme song to stand outside and shout out the sky to figure out SEO on your website. So I’m working on doing all of that stuff. Now that I’m off Instagram.
Yarrow Magdalena 33:45
So cool. I feel really, really excited about these lists. And thank you so much for being so generous in sharing that with us. That’s great. And the texting is super interesting as well, to be honest, my Intuit had was like, Oh, my God, people can text you back?
Amelia Hruby 34:01
Well, I yes, I agree with that. And what I will say is that I use a service, I don’t send the text from my phone, I use a service called call multiplier. So when it’s not my phone number, and when they text back, it goes like into that little app online and I can log in and look at it it does none of it comes straight to my phone because I agree that would be incredibly overwhelming because I’m texting like almost 200 people every week, so
I would not want to do that from from my phone.
Yarrow Magdalena 34:34
I’m so glad that’s great. Gosh, there’s so much more I would love to know and also I want to respect your time but I have one more question I would really love to dive into if that’s okay and which is around conversion rates. And I find that that’s such an interesting theme, right? Because I love thinking about community and communication and we humanising The process of building a business will be. And then also sometimes I find that it can be really frustrating for people to first kind of realise that you have to, in a way speak to a lot of people to find a few clients. And that’s, that has nothing to do with the value of your work or, you know, how, how you maybe not how you cook for us, but but what the potential of your work is. And I think that the way that we’re conditioned through social media is so numbers based and so much around, like, has my follower count grown, or, you know, how many people have liked this and actually, has changed so much over the years? And that’s not something that we have had control over. So how do we shift into more of a space of generosity? Yeah, I wonder what that’s been like for you emotionally and just kind of like coming out of it now and looking to other spaces. And by the way, I love dogs in the background. I have, for some reason they’re sleeping right now, which is very unusual. But I’ve had so many amazing pets on the podcast, so do not worry.
Amelia Hruby 36:11
Great, cuz you’re gonna hear them. I appreciate that. I’m over here trying to like mute and unmute. As they they just came in from their their morning walk. So they’re excited. They expect treats every time they come in, as I started giving them treats every time they come in, which is a huge mistake. They trained me well as i, this is a great question. And I love that you asked it because it’ll let me like nerd out on business a little bit, which is something I really like doing. I’ve worked with basic kind of a category, I like to call it creative women entrepreneurs for almost five years now first in Chicago, and then through my job at Sr. And I think that there are so many powerful women, gender nonconforming and non binary babes who are running businesses. And this, like, the sales piece is so hard. And I know so many of us struggle with it. So, you know, I really think that part of the reason I love podcasting so much is I do think it’s a very high conversion sales tool. I think that, like I said before, the voice is a really powerful way to get to know and get comfortable with someone. And I think that conversion is so much about trust for those of us who are running businesses that are based on services and values that we believe in. So we’re not trying to you know, sell by having the lowest price or having like cornering the market with our like, patented, whatever. We’re not trying to do that. And I think really, so much of it comes down to client trust, and we want people to see what we have to offer and trust that we’re going to deliver them deliver something really valuable. And I think the voice is a wonderful way to cultivate trust. So I love podcasting for that reason. I also, like, agree with you that social media convinces us that the most important thing is having the biggest number of followers. But any any social media strategist worth their salt will tell you that engagement is a much more powerful metric than following the number of followers you have is largely a vanity metric. It’s really about how many people see engage with and engage with your content. And that’s where I think something like an email newsletter gives you significantly better metrics on that on how many people are opening and clicking and you can track who’s doing what and I get that that sounds a little you’d be like Big Brother a but it’s really useful information and I think as a small business owner or any business owner, you need that information you need to know what’s resonating and what’s not. So that you can figure out what you should offer what you should charge for it. And so I think getting off social media is helping me focus on actually important
And which is you know, which is how many people are opening the emails how many people are you know, subscribe to my text messages, I think to like I consider those texts. That’s like a much more intimate exchange that people inviting me into like their texts I say like take with the utmost responsibility because When people text me, I hate when companies text me, I’m like, stop sending me text updates, I don’t want this. So I really appreciate kind of the different ways that we can be in touch and the different kind of levels of intimacy and our connection, our I guess, being between me and my community, or me and potential clients. And I’ll just like kind of wrap that up by saying something I wrote about in my last newsletter was, wrote this line that I think it’s really important, and I was just trying to, like, basically, I just said, like, your digital consent is sacred, and I honour and celebrate it. And I think that starting from there, with how I sell, it’s just a totally different ethos to offering services selling services, converting clients, than the general sales ethos of like, let me give, let me convince you to give me access to you so that then I can kind of manipulate you. I that’s not the ethos I want to have, I really like to I’d rather focus on this sort of consent based sales, freedom based sales, like freedom is one of my highest values, and I want that in my work, and I want to offer it to my community and clients to
them too. And, and I really love leaning into this idea that this is something that we’re all up and not maybe not all of us, you know, but I feel like, I’m just having these conversations more and more often. And that’s such a contrast to how I was able to express this in the very beginning of my business six years ago. So that makes me feel really hopeful. And I think there’s also moments where I feel worried that we’re just not there yet. And it’s hard to swim against the stream as an example, for example. As you can tell, I have a lot of feelings. Yeah, repeating myself great. Is newsletter marketing around a launch period, like I usually have a really slow and steady pace. And I don’t email people too often, I’m very transparent, upfront and letting people know way in advance that something is opening, and then they have time to decide. And sometimes. And you know, it’s silly to compare these kinds of numbers, because there’s always so much more going on behind the scenes that we don’t see and that people sometimes intentionally don’t share. But this feeling of like, Oh, my gosh, do people even open an email, when they know there’s probably six or seven more coming? And because that’s just what we’ve become used to? Is it less effective to just kind of take it easy, and, you know, try to make that space. And I totally know that in my heart of hearts, this is what I believe I wouldn’t want to do it any other way. I want to give people space to decide I want this to be an empowering experience. I only want people to say yes, we’re who really are right for the thing that I’m offering. And that feels good to me. And also, we have so much work to do. And that can feel heavy sometimes I think,
oh, certainly I completely agree with all of that just it’s really hard to go against the current as you’re saying, and especially when you are paying attention to metrics, and you’re you’re, you know, you’re doing your sales process and the most like, sort of empowered and sovereign way possible. And then you’re looking at the numbers and being like, Well, nobody did open that email. Guess about that? I guess nobody. Since they didn’t read it, they don’t actually know that I’m only sending one more email. And I think it’s so for me, it’s just Oh, is this delicate balance between holding all of that space?
I’m not running like a manipulative sales cycle, while also being attuned to the realities of sales psychology, and trying to have a balance between those things, trying to have a balance of like, I don’t want I’m not I don’t want to like price this really high and then slash the price just to manipulate people into saying it’s that like, it’s lower, so they’re going to buy it. But I do want to understand that people, a lot of people don’t buy something unless it’s on sale. So maybe I should have some sort of sale on that thing. That’s it’s so impossible to naturally have like a product based example more than a service based one. But you know, I think that I don’t have an answer for this yet. And there are some very like, smart, savvy people I see online talking about different sales strategies in this way. But I’m always just trying to keep for me that I know that as long as I’m being really conscious around it. I’m doing my best. And I know that, you know, I just tried to keep a really strong connection to my intuition and to my, my gut. And, you know, if I, something doesn’t feel quite right, then I just don’t do it, even if I think it would be the best sales strategy. And that that’s hard to do. Because sometimes I have to check in and be like, Is this not for the right, because it’s wrong? Or does it not feel right, because I’m scared. And I have to ask myself that question, too. But I think the world would be a better place, if more of us were like, if more
took more time to think about how they sold things in a way that centred respect and empowerment, and if more consumers took the time to think about what sales triggers these big companies are using to get them to buy and we’re more critical of and resistant to those manipulative technologies, because they are technologies, right? Like, there’s a reason that when I order a pair of pants, two days later, I get an even deeper discount on more pants, or if I leave them in my car to not buy them. There’s technology that emails me to tell me, I should still buy them and gives me a coupon to get me to actually do it. And I’m not saying those things are bad, but they are, I think manipulative technologies. And most of the companies that can afford to just like offer deeper and deeper and deeper discounts. Like, those discounts have a cost. And generally the cost is to the planet are the people making the thing. So I’ve been trying to also, as a consumer become really aware of that and the choices I make and how I spend my money. And then doing that as a consumer feeds back into the choices I make in my business and how I sell things.
Wow, that makes sense. Thank you. And it’s a beautiful and and hopeful note to end on. I would love to know what you’re currently offering and where people can find you and connect and get your text.
Yeah, right now the two main things I’m sending out my newsletter and the text messages, you can find both of those on my website, which is a million freebie.com. There’s a button in the upper right that says free feminist mantra. If you click there, you can sign up to receive the text messages. And then you can subscribe to my newsletter from the bottom of my homepage as well. But I’d love love to write to you with respect and empowerment. I’m trying to be really thoughtful about when I send those newsletters and and how full of goodness I want each one to be. And then I am currently taking on new podcast clients so people can always email me to reach out if you have a podcast project that you want to work on together. Or if you’re already running a podcast and you’re in need of some production support, I’d love to talk to you about that. I am currently in the process of if I guess I’d kind of launching a whole business around that. But I do have plenty of offerings that we can work on and look at together in the meantime. So yeah, those are those are I think the best ways to find me right now.
Thank you. I will link to all of that initial note as well so people haven’t had a chance to vote down they can find it there and connect that way. Thank you so much for everything that you said today. It was really a beautiful and uplifting station and I’m just feeling get up have been a small business owner it’s a good thing is that it’s a great thing.
I think there’s so much power in small business and I I celebrate it every day. Thank you