oneonone

Step Up Your
Storytelling

My Process for Creating
Powerful New Marketing
Messages Every Week

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maria-qa

How do you consistently come up with new and valuable content for your solo mailers, newsletters and marketing?

— MARIA KYLE

Fabulous question Maria. For women entrepreneurs like us, producing consistent and compelling marketing content is one of our most important creative tasks, so I’m thrilled to share some insights into my process. I know it can feel like a challenge to have to always come up with something fresh, but I believe that when you allow life to truly inspire you, it can be effortless, effective and even fun.

Impactful marketing is all about great storytelling. And when your business is essentially a personal brand, the best jumping-off point for any story is your own experience—how you’re feeling, what your struggles are, what’s lighting you up right now and what new awarenesses you’re working with.

“Impactful marketing is all about great storytelling.”

Some entrepreneurs and companies may do well with expertise-based content, like information, nuts-and-bolts tips and how-tos, but I typically reserve that for my paid programs and trainings. Because what I’ve found my audience really connects to and wants to see from me is an authentic, behind-the-scenes look into my life. It also happens to be what comes most naturally to me.

Now I know you might be thinking, “But Gina, it’s easy to share your life when you’re spending the summer traveling around Europe.” Sure—living on brand is essential. To sustain and grow your creativity, you can’t just stay in deprivation-mode and never treat yourself to the things that make you happy in life. Thus, travel is a constant source of inspiration for me. But let me remind you that I did not launch my business from a villa in Provence, but from my kitchen table in my small apartment in Los Angeles, where my daily uniform was Lulu Lemons and a topknot.

As you can imagine, my life at that time was not all glitz and glamour. Like every new entrepreneur, I had my fair share of low-vibe emotions to contend with. There were plenty of days I felt bummed out, frustrated, fearful about money, upset over what someone said about me, or generally bored with my life—not to mention envious of those “living the dream.”

Thankfully I was able to work with those emotions, rather than let them stop me. I credit in part an acting course I took in my twenties, wherein my coach told me: “Whatever you’re feeling right now, use it.” Those words stuck with me, and whenever I’d sit down to create a new mailer, I’d start with looking inward and writing to myself, almost as if I were writing in my journal.

It was from that vulnerable, emotional place that I created some of my most powerful marketing messages. For example, one of my most-opened mailers of all time was titled, “Is your brand boring?” And it came from the very real place of feeling bored with my own brand! So it truly doesn’t matter where you’re at or what your life looks like. Whatever you’re going through right now, chances are the people on your list can totally relate. It’s not about presenting yourself as someone who has it all figured out, it’s about speaking authentically from your experience.

“Whenever I’d sit down to create a new mailer, I’d start with looking inward and writing to myself, almost as if I were writing in my journal.”

At the same time, you have to hold a vision for all that’s possible for you. If your purpose is to empower others, then the story can be as real and as raw as you want, as long as the message is ultimately empowering. If you want to talk about money fears for example, it’s not because you should make the call to action: “Please purchase my programs so that I can pay my mortgage this month”—that’s not going to work. Instead, focus on what it takes for you to feel that fear and uncertainty, and move through it anyway.

Even now that my life and business are more aligned with my dreams and desires, it’s not like I never deal with challenges, fears or failures. No matter how successful you become, life always has more lessons. To establish the coveted “know, like and trust” factor, people need to see the whole picture—the big wins and the humbling missteps. They love to see you looking glamorous with an epic skyline in the background—and they also want to see you fresh out of the shower with undone hair and no makeup.

“Is your brand boring?”

So when you’re thinking about your next newsletter, mailer, blog post, speech, whatever it is—start with you. Are you feeling elated? Excited? Depressed? At the end of your rope? As entrepreneurs, we’ve all been there. Behind it all, there’s a story that will inspire someone just like you. If you feel stuck or blocked, ask for Divine guidance. There is no shortage of ideas in the Universe, and each of us has direct access to that genius which is not of us, but in us.

To deepen your connection to that creative flow, remember that it’s never too soon to start living your dreams, even in the smallest ways. Whether it’s by going for a hike, taking time to meditate, stopping in a chic cafe for a latte, reading a great book, whipping up a delicious lunch, or treating yourself to a massage—whatever’s on-brand for you—make sure you’re allowing yourself some pleasure and beauty in this world. And trust that your desires are not a distraction. What you’re excited about is actually the best fuel for your creativity, and your impact.

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