The Titanic Syndrome is something I’ve created to explain what we do when we go “all in” on our personas and forget about the Ice Cream Sundae approach to all areas of building our business, brand and career.
Content Personas are an important part of building out a smart digital strategy — and it is also a smart way to build out your business and career.
Careerpreneurs, especially creative careerpreneurs, often struggle with negotiating their salaries, compensation packages and job responsibilities. In 2016, I wrote an article for Levo League on 5 Fierce Ways to Increase Your Salary. In that blog, we talked about building out a mastermind, talking to people in different stages of their career and more, but what we didn’t discuss is the ability to create different compartments of your personality to separate the happy, fun creative self from the no-nonsense business self.
That’s partially how Vix came to be. You see, I love being the fun, creative person but, as you build a business, you need to also be the billing department.
As a solopreneur, I found it easier to compartmentalize the different parts of who I was in order to fulfill the roles I needed to build out as I built my business.
These days I’ve got a full team to support billing and client tasks but before I did? I built out separate emails for the individuals who I would eventually hire. I had an assistant and a billing coordinator account that I managed.
This concept works… for a while. And then? Then you start to compartmentalize so much that you end up blocking off your story, your purpose and your passion in a way that actually takes away choice in your life, business and career.
Here are 3 ways to combat this to have compassion for yourself and to accomplish all of your goals.
Define Your Boundaries
Understanding your unique boundaries is key to creating a business and life you love. Boundaries in business range from hours of operation to the way in which you communicate with your client. Defining your boundaries allows you to share your personality without compromising YOUR unique and valid goals.
Understand Why You Titanic
Getting to the root of your compartmentalization techniques — as in what past story you’re still telling yourself around why you HAVE to keep the walls up — is another part of unlocking the true keys to your success. This takes a LOT of self-work, tears and all of the journaling (and sometimes, the help of a mental health professional plus an amazing support group of fierce friends) but it is SO worth it.
Determine If SOME Compartments Are Key to Your Success
There are some things that even this digital expert likes to keep private. And that’s ok. You don’t have to share every aspect of your story with every person you connect with. One tactic that really worked for me? Testing the waters — seeing how far I felt comfortable floating in a sea of uncertainty when it came to what I shared online, with clients and in my business and personal relationships.
Life is a journey — and I firmly believe most of that journey is on a river — don’t sink your ship before you hit the sea, that’s when the journey truly gets interesting.
What do the words “seasonal marketing” mean to you? Do they conjure up visions of sugar plums and dancing bears? Maybe your favorite season is apple and pumpkin spice season, scarves and hats galore.
Seasonal Marketing not only refers to the holidays and actual seasons, it also refers to the dates on the calendar and those national days of X that align with your business.
Right now, for example, I’m running a 15% off all packages booked by midnight on Friday as a tax refund special. And I’ll bet your inbox is full of offers from big box retailers with the same marketing messaging.
Why does this work?
It works because we are all programmed, in one way or another, to be guided by a calendar. Monthly, seasonal or quarterly, our calendars define periods of growth, success and opportunity.
And it is vitally important, especially for online entrepreneurs and e-commerce companies, to stay connected to these trends and be ready for new ones that may pop up at any given time.
I know you’re probably rolling your eyes right now. Because you’re already trying to stay connected to so many daily trends, and thinking about one more may just put you over the edge, right?
There are two ways to tackle managing these seasonal trends:
- Editorial Calendar: If you don’t have an editorial calendar for your social media marketing, blogs, videos and brand promotions, you are missing out on a massive opportunity. Creating content ahead of time is great, but how do you know exactly what to DO with it once you’ve got it if you’re not planning it out?
- US Holidays: If you’re not based in the US, use a calendar that represents the area where you live OR, better yet, the area where your largest audience resides. Another thing to consider is religious holidays and observations which may not be ideal for every audience. Some audiences may be more receptive to religious trends than others or, if your audience is made up of people who practice a different religion than the one you do, you may want to consider adding some additional religious holidays into the mix.
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Whether you’re a courageous careerpreneur or a badass ladyboss or a fearless freelancer, the way you negotiate your salary is vitally important to your monetary success. Your salary doesn’t ever have to define you but having monetary goals isn’t a bad thing and understanding the best way to sell yourself is the first step to achieving them.
Social Media and Selling go hand-in-hand. Understanding the value of the tribe and brand you’ve built online and how it translates to dollars in your bank account can be a difficult concept to grasp, but it is an important one.
You may not want to make six figures (and that’s ok) or you may want to make six figures in six months (that’s ok too!) or you may never want to leave a steady corporate job with a solid paycheck (also fine!) but you probably do want to find a way to feel more fulfilled in your career and more valued by your boss, team and clients.
Even if you are your own boss, there’s something to be said for being truly grounded in who you are, what makes you unique and what you’re selling.
As someone who tripled their corporate salary in four years, I can tell you it isn’t easy. As someone who built a six-figure business in six weeks by selling her skills, I can tell you THAT is the key.
Step 1: Identify Your Strongest Skills
Your job title and description rarely, if ever, covers all of the things you do on a daily basis. And it definitely doesn’t cover what you actually like to do. That’s where identifying your strongest skills comes into play. Take a legal pad, notebook or fresh document on your computer and write down everything you do in a day. Do this daily for seven days. If you have two jobs or more, make sure you’re writing this down for ALL of your gigs.
Step 2: Create a Salary Composite
Use a salary calculator (salary.com or payscale.com) to determine what someone with each of your strongest skills gets paid. Then, create a range for your top three skills. Have more than three skills? Group them in groups of 3 and create a salary range for each. Once you’ve done that, you can create a median range when you start to look at specific job postings.
Step 3: Sell It like a Pro
Selling your skills means understanding what your audience — whether that’s a client, potential boss, hiring manager or individual person — is looking for when it comes to your value to them now and in the future. Highlight past work, testimonials, unsolicited praise and a deep understanding of the skill set you’re discussing at any given moment in time. Test your skills by practicing with a friend or recording yourself to understand where any potential slip-ups might occur and how you can recover to continue the negotiations.
Once you’ve covered these three steps it’s all about practice. Practice with your girl gang, your mentor, your dog… practice saying these skills and why they’re valuable in the shower, in your car and while you’re doing your daily tasks.
Weave your skills into the very fabric of your being in a way that they are there for you to acknowledge, accept and access at any time you wish.
You are a powerful negotiator, lean in to that and you will get everything you desire.
PS: Learn your boss style with this quick quiz!
Whether you’re a courageous careerpreneur, navigating the 9-5 or a fearless entrepreneur, working for yourself for the very first time, everyone gets into a rut with their business and career. EVERYONE! Anyone who says they haven’t is lying. And they may very well be lying to themselves but you don’t have to believe them. Why? Because no matter where you are on your journey, there are slow periods that can be downright exhausting!!
What’s a Badass Boss to do?
Take a Mental Health Date.
Mental Health Date: An activity that takes 2-5 hours and allows you to unwind. It is not something you must do but something you choose to do. Examples include spa pedicures, leisurely walks in a park and quality time with a good book on your couch. Cousin to Mental Health Days but most effective when a full-day is unsustainable at any given point in time for any reason.
As a kid, I used to take Mental Health Days off of school. I continued the tradition through college and in many of my 9-5 jobs as I climbed the corporate ladder. I would take myself out to breakfast, to a second workout class for the day, to the movies. Most times, the events I chose simply unfolded as the day happened, a blissful way to spend time with your number one fan (YOU in case you were wondering).
In my first six months as an entrepreneur, I realized that taking a full day would not provide the benefits I had come to know and love. Because if I actually convinced myself to take a full day, I’d be jumpy and agitated, worried about what was waiting for me in my inbox. So I started to experiment with Mental Health Dates.
Now, as I round third on my last quarter of my second full year in business for myself, I can say hands down that these Mental Health Dates have greatly contributed to my success (my multiple six-figure success).
The best way to take one is to set an away message on your email, saying that you will be out of the office for a few hours and will return emails later in the afternoon. Once you’ve had a few MHDs under your belt, you can experiment with just wrapping your day a bit early and simply allowing yourself to enjoy the blissful unknown an afternoon date with yourself can bring.
The key here? Not checking your email. That’s why it’s important to have a separate system — BEYOND texting — for your clients to contact you. To keep them out of your personal space when you’ve decided to take some time IN your personal space for enjoyment.
And then? Then it’s all about the activity you need most at that moment in time. Sometimes it’s lunch with a friend or a good book, other times it’s nap or an organization session.
Whatever it is, make sure YOU take the time YOU need to succeed… and don’t let your mind convince yourself to use this time for personal work… that is another conversation altogether and has nothing to do with a MHD.
PS: You might like this Badass Boss Style Quiz. Find out your boss style today!
Boss. Lady Boss Badass. Fierce Freelancer. Courageous Careerpreneur — no matter which word sings to the fire in your soul, you are a Boss. This quiz will help you figure out which boss you are and how to use that to your advantage in your life, business and career.
Being Boss can mean a lot of things. Mostly? It means understanding your needs in all areas of your life, career and business and going after them unapologetically.
Life. Career. Business.
It may sound crazy but splitting your career and your business actually make the most sense. Women, specifically, don’t often discuss long-range plans. We may think about them, hope, wish and dream about them but we don’t always give ourselves permission to take the time to flesh them out.
And you deserve that time. Everyone does.
The best way to earn more money in your professional life? By being informed about your OPTIONS and GOALS.
Creating solid goals for yourself is step one to making the badass CEO moves your business will require.
And why do I keep saying business? Because even if you’re working a 9-5 for someone else, your business IS your career. Treating your career like a business will allow you to step outside of yourself, separate the emotions and move forward without fear or stress.
The rest? That’s the fun of the journey.
Take this quiz to find out your boss style and don’t forget to share it with your friends!
Creating content is something all digital media marketers and online business owners are often tasked with doing in order to create a successful business with followers that convert to clients. In creating that content, you have a choice. You can vet the sources, give credit where it’s due and make sure that your audience has the context they need to succeed OR you can just create content for monetary gain without thinking about any of these pieces. You get to choose, but choose carefully… for in this choice is either incredible success or an incredible struggle. Which will you choose?
Content Creator. Journalist. Writer. Producer. Content Marketer. Blogger.
No matter how you identify, you are writing words with a goal in mind for a large audience.
That’s what connects us.
What separates us? Well, that’s ethics. And that’s where my mission to civilize the content marketing industry comes in.
If you’ve ever watched The Newsroom, you know the term “mission to civilize.” If you haven’t watched it, here’s a quick rundown — the anchor decides that he and his EP are going to give the audience the content, context and counterarguments they need to make their own decisions.
And it’s the same here.
Hear me out — an informed public IS an important piece of being a journalist and that’s what The Company (CVM Group (CreatiVix Media)) is built on. Storytelling that Sells, created with Ethical Content Creation.
How Does That Fit into Marketing?
Marketing is even more dependent on Ethical Content Creation than the Media. Why? Because, in marketing AND the media, we sell our names, our brands, our credibility.
And in marketing, we often align that with products.
So if you’re selling a product or, in the case of most thought leaders, your expertise as the product, and it doesn’t live up to the promise you made? That means that you’ve let down your audience.
Sometimes, this isn’t intentional — products break, users don’t understand the premise, you get the idea but when it comes to sharing content and curating content, connecting influencers with your audience or, if you’re an influencer, connecting your audience to a product? THAT comes with great responsibility.
Ok, Ok, I Get it… Now What?
Journalists — yes, everyone in The Media — are taught the Code of Ethics. The Society of Professional Journalists provides this Code of Ethics to help journalists understand the requirements of their position and their power.
I believe that these four tenets can be used in creating ALL forms of content, for all verticals and purposes.
The Content Creator’s Code of Ethics
Here are the top three things content creators (looking at you, too, marketers!) need to consider when creating content.
Give Credit Where Credit is Due, Always
If you source User Generated Content, give them the tag. If you pull content from Facebook to Twitter, give them the tag — if you pull a blog from someone else, give them the link. Basically, if you pull ANY piece of content — and you do that 95% of the time!! — from someone else, give them the credit. If you ask someone to contribute content to a Summit (like I’ll be doing in The Content this February!) or to your Podcast, give them credit! Linkbacks, tags and promotion are all possible on the Web — don’t ever leave it out.
Find the Source, Protect the Source and Vet the Source
Don’t know the source personally? Find it. Find it, give them credit (which protects them!) and vet them (this protects you). How do you vet them? Journalists would do an interview but that’s not always applicable — the best way to vet a UGC submission OR just regular content that you want to vet is to see what else they’ve shared and check their social feeds. Make sure you’d be proud to be among them in any space.
Content + Context = Quality
When you’re marketing yourself, your services or your skills (that’s what you DO as a careerpreneur; more on that soon!), it is not always important to provide another side in order to give the audience the information they need to make a decision on THEIR terms. However, giving them context IS important because it allows them to take the information you’re presenting and do their OWN research. Context can be as simple as providing some examples of your past work, past client testimonials or even just an email that you’ve put in your “yay me file” (the email folder where you save alllll of your digital pats on the back) or it can be more complex, depending on what you’re marketing.
If you think about these three things as you build out your content, you’re always going to be on the “right” side of things, no matter which code of ethics you follow AND your success will follow along too — highlighting your audience IS the key to great User Generated Content.
And great User Generated Content? It’s what generates more leads, more sales and more space to serve.