Conquer Your Content – How to reimagine your socials
Disclaimer: Work Wife Wine Time supports the responsible consumption of alcohol. Once your content is aligned with You there’s no need for that second glass of red because you’re content creating with purpose.
Get your hands on a copy of Mel’s Content Creation Roadmap at www.workwifewinetime.com.au/meld.
Hello, ladies, it’s Mikala in the driver’s seat today for our podcast episode, and I have a very special guest, Mel Daniels of Meld Business Services. Now I’ll let Mel tell you a bit more about who she is what she does in a minute. But I first came across Mel a couple of years ago when I was putting together some email marketing funnels for a client. And Mel happened to be writing content for those funnels and I believe back then Mel you were still in the VA sphere?
So not quite doing what you’re doing now. But you were leaning into the content side of things. So the reason I’ve asked Mel on the podcast today, is to talk to us a bit about how we can avoid the overwhelm that we feel when creating content for our businesses. And I know that that is something that I really struggle with. I love the idea of writing blog posts and social posts. But when it comes to actually what to write about and how to write it, and then how to share that, I have a really hard time trying to get my head around that. So I’m going to throw over to you, Mel. So if you can just tell us a bit about who you are and what you do.
Awesome. Thank you so much for having me, Mikala. It’s really exciting to be here today and to share with your listeners, everything about content today. So I’m a content strategist and coach. And I empower women to grow their business through strategic content that connects, nurtures and converts their ideal client. And I guess that’s a fancy way of saying that I really help them get to the nuts and bolts of their content, why they doing it, what they need to do to get there and actually implementing it for them as well, in some cases.
Fantastic. I didn’t know that last bit. That is very good to know. Thanks, Mel. So tell us a bit more about how what you do actually helps businesses?
Well, yeah, okay. So like I said, the end result is it helps them grow. Because once they really understand the client journey, and once they understand how to use content in a more strategic way, rather than a real haphazard way. So I think that a lot of people kind of think, ‘Oh, I need to write an email today and go and write the email and send it out.’ Or, ‘oh someone’s just told me that I need to blog every single week. And it has to be 1000 words, and it has to include 10 keywords. So I’m going to go and do that now.’ So I kind of pare all of that back, and just bring them back into a space of understanding what exactly do I need to do right now, in order to achieve the goals and objectives I’ve set for myself, especially when it comes to the content side of things. So it’s really about creating those real genuine connections and relationships with your clients. And really understanding how to actually produce more content in less time, and reducing that overall overwhelm as well.
You have 100% caught my interest. I love what you said about being more genuine. That’s something that I also struggle with, like I want to get my message across, but I find that the way I’m doing it just doesn’t always feel right. So I think that that’s really interesting. Um, so what prompted you to go out on your own and start your own business?
Okay, yeah. So like you mentioned in the introduction, I actually started four years ago as a virtual assistant. So a very different role to what I have now. But I knew that I didn’t want to go back into the corporate space after I had my children. I know a lot of women feel this way as well as just, you know, that corporate grind, if you like, and the pressure and the guilt that you can feel. It just was not going to do it for me at all. So I was a full time mum for about 10 years and I loved every single moment of it. You know, I didn’t believe that that’s what my life path would take. Yeah, and I was, you know, in my early 20s, even after I had my first child, I really thought that I was going to go back to the corporate space after six months. But you know, things change life throws things at you. And it turned out that I didn’t go back into the corporate space at all. So after 10 years, by chance, a friend of mine actually contacted me, she’s a lawyer, and she works by herself, and said, ‘Do you know anyone that can help me out, I’m going through a really busy period.’ And I went, ‘yep, me!’ So I went and worked for her for a few hours, every week, and I quickly realised that that’s something that a lot of people needed, they needed that person that they could rely on in the peaks of their business.
And not necessarily someone full time because they didn’t necessarily have the work or the cash flow to be able to sustain that. So that’s what kind of prompted me to start my virtual assistant business. And along the way, I really found out that I loved the content side of things. So I loved writing emails and blogs for people. But what I didn’t love was seeing so many women in business, taking a haphazard approach to this. And, you know, like I said before, they would really focus in on one part of their content, and really focusing on that, which was great, but without taking a holistic view of everything that they could possibly be doing in the content space to achieve their objectives. So that’s kind of like my story in a nutshell. So I did that for about four years. And then about six months ago, I decided to really focus in on the content side of things. So I call myself a content strategist and coach now. And you know, even that, in itself has probably taken a lot to actually say, I don’t know how confidently I just said it then. But you know, we all experience imposter syndrome along the way.
And that’s probably something I really needed to focus on, over the last six months to get over that fact that I can call myself this. And it’s so silly, isn’t it? Because, you know, so many of us have amazing qualifications, amazing corporate experience, have, you know, overseen massive budgets in our corporate life, but when it comes to ourselves and doing something for ourselves, kind of a little bit difficult sometimes. But that’s my story.
That’s fantastic. What did you actually do to make the shift from being a virtual assistant, to being a content strategist and Coach? I mean, obviously, you’ve just talked a bit about how your mindset has needed to change.
What did you do to sort of support that and get moving along that path?
Yeah. So I invested in a business coach at the beginning of this year, and it was six months of very intensive coaching. And it was sincerely one of the best decisions I’ve made in my business life, my business journey so far. I was super reluctant to ever hire a coach, which is kind of funny, but I always felt like ‘why do I need to pay someone to be accountable to them?’ But I soon realised it was so much more than that. It’s so much more than just the accountability. It was the ideas, the advice, the experience of the coach that could put me down a certain path, knowing the little intricacies and getting me to do the things that I didn’t really want to do, as well. So I had, such resistance in terms of doing research to my target market, which is crazy, because, you know, research is one of the best things that you could possibly do for your business, but I had so much resistance. So she really helped me kind of kick my butt in that respect, and just get out there and do it and it has been one of the best things I’ve ever done. So investing in a business coach was a huge step, to me making that change in my business direction.
That’s fantastic. And it is like, generally, to get someone who’s good. It really is a large financial outlay. And I think that comes into the mindset a bit as well. It’s like you have to have some, some level of belief that I’m worth it, and I can do this. And I know when I had a coach a couple of years ago, and I’ve been doing coaching on and off ever since. But that’s what it was for me. It was really hard to just go ‘You know what, I know I can do this. I know I can take my business to the next level and do what I want to do. I need to make this investment and I want to feel okay with that.’ Did you have a similar sort of experience?
Oh my goodness. Yes, Mikala! Most definitely. Yes. I think that, you know, you kind of hit the nail on the head when you talked about mindset as well. So getting over that hurdle of ‘I’m worthy of investment’ was huge. And just the guilt that I felt in even trying to make that decision to spend that much money on myself and my business but I can see now in hindsight, and hopefully, anyone who’s listening to this episode, who has been thinking about investing in themselves or their business, it is an amazing thing to do, as long as you find the right person who you connect with in terms of values. And in terms of experience as well, I think that that’s so super important. It is so worth the investment. You know, even if it’s just six months like I did, it’s really an amazing way to take your business to the next level.
Yup, that’s right. And then, you know, even if it is only six months, you then just learn those skills, and those thought patterns and mindset patterns that you can keep building on and keep working with.
Oh, I love that, Mikala. Yes, absolutely. It’s such a huge learning curve. And the things that you walk away with are going to help you, you know, forever, basically.
Fantastic. I’m so pleased to hear that. That’s excellent, Mel. Alright, so now we’re going to come back to the content creation side of things. So I’ve talked a bit about how I really struggle with content creation. And when I say I really struggle. Last week, I sat down for two hours to try and write out some social media posts for a four week period. And I was only looking at about 12 posts over that four week period. And that took me somewhere between two and three hours, to come up with the content and just work out what I wanted to say. And that clearly is not a good use of my time. And then yesterday, I spent probably another two hours writing a blog post. And for me that blog post is a lot more, it was actually a teaching moment for me telling my audience how to start preparing for Christmas, and why you need to do it now in your business. So for me, there was a lot more value in that, because I’m aware that writing a blog post, you can then use that content in other ways. However, I’m aware of that. But when it comes to actually doing it, I really struggle. For example, last month’s blog post, I probably should have been able to come up with a whole lot of ways I could use that when I was writing my social posts.But, yeah, that didn’t quite work out that way for me. So for those that are listening, and can relate to my story, and just really struggle to get their head in the game, when it comes to creating content for the business, what is the first piece of advice that you would give us?
Oh, okay, rightio. So if we’re going down the content creation path, I definitely recommend that you, like you do, have at least one piece of focused content. So a piece of focus content is either a blog, a podcast, or a video. So that one piece of core content that you produce on a regular basis, whether it’s weekly, fortnightly, monthly, whatever it is, that you produce, consistently and regularly for your ideal clients. And the reason that it’s really important to have at least one of these, you know, meaty pieces of content for your business is so that you can reimagine it. Okay, so reimagination is just another word for repurpose, or reuse. But I love to use the word reimagine. Because it really describes all the possibilities and the creativity that can come from that one piece of focus content.
I love that word way more, like just automatically makes my brain go ‘Oh!’ Whereas repurpose, it’s like, ‘Yeah, no, that doesn’t inspire at all.’
Exactly. And isn’t it amazing the power of words as well. You know, when we use a word in a more positive or a different light, it can have such different meanings. The reason I use reimagination is, there’s a little story behind this, is because my daughter is really into Disney at the moment. So she’s 12, she went through the Disney Princess stage, renounced Disney altogether and she’s back into Disney in a big way. So much so, Mikala, that she actually has her own podcast about Disney movies.
That is fantastic!
I know crazy, right? So she’s all things Disney at the moment. And the things that I have learned from her about Disney over the last few months has been absolutely hilarious. But one of the things is that Disney, and in particular their theme park division, uses a job title called Imagineers. And Imagineers have the amazing ability to come up with these wild and wacky creative ideas and try and bring them to life. And I just think that that’s so exciting, that’s just so creative and the possibilities, and you know, nothing is off boundaries. It’s limitless, basically. So I really have kind of coined that phrase, ‘reimagine’ because it really invokes the possibilities that you can have with your content. So anyway, that’s a little side story.
I love that story. That is fantastic!
So, reimagine is your key to filling your content calendar. And I can give you a few tips, if you like Mikala.
Fabulous. Okay. So, with your core piece of content, there’s going to be three to five bullet points or headings that you can utilise, I usually use those bullet points as subheadings in my blog. So the way that I structure my blog is that I have the main title or the heading. And then I have three to five sub headings, and I write a paragraph on each of those. Now, the key to this particular structure is then it’s super easy for me to reimagine this. So each of those paragraphs becomes a tip in itself. Okay, so from one piece of core content, you can have three to five tips that you can put into your social media calendar. And I literally copy and paste that paragraph into my social media. I might tweak it a little bit. But it literally, is a copy and paste. So that’s like three to five posts right there. Easy. The other thing that I do is I pull out some quotes from the blog and create graphics out of them. So it looks like that, you know, I’m a key expert, because I’m sprouting all these amazing sentences. But really, they come straight from my blog. So another easy piece of content that you can put into your social media.
I’m loving this Mel. Keep it coming!
Should i keep going?
I’ll keep going. And the beauty of these tips and quotes, also as well is if your content strategy is around participating in Facebook groups, you can quickly and easily share those as well. Most Facebook groups have tips or wisdom days. So, once again, it’s a simple copy and paste and maybe a little bit of a tweak in terms of the relevance to what’s happening in the world at the moment. But basically, it’s just a copy and paste. And then you can, depending on what platform that you play on with your social media, there is a thousand different other ways that you can repurpose. So as an example, my blog becomes one to two Facebook Lives. So usually, it’s the off week that I write my blog. So one week, I’ll write my blog, the next week I’ll do the Facebook Live.
Then each of my subheadings, or each of my tips from my blog becomes an Instagram story. So Instagram Stories are only a minute long. So you can’t really say that much in a minute. But they just become a story that I record. So that’s another easy piece of content as well. My Facebook Live, I download and then re upload as an IG TV.
Oh, wow, okay.
Yes. So that’s another way to reach your different audiences with the same piece of content. And you’ll notice with all of this as well, I’m not talking about creating more, it’s using what I’ve already got in different ways. And I think that people sometimes feel a little bit reluctant or hesitant to do that. Because they think, ‘Oh, my audience has already heard this on Facebook, why would they want to hear it on Instagram as well?’ But the thing is, not everyone on Facebook sees or hears what you have to say, simply because of the algorithm. You know, the reach sucks. So putting it on Instagram, you know, you’re potentially going to reach the same people, but they might not have seen it on Facebook anyway. Even if they had seen it on Facebook, what you’re simply doing is reinforcing your message. And what can be better than that? Because we all know that people need so many touch points with us, and hear our message so many times before they will actually purchase with us. So no, I say go for it, share the same things, you know, tweak them slightly, maybe. But basically, it’s just about creating more content from that one piece of content. So that’s my really big tip, Mikala, is to use that one piece of focus content and reimagine it
That is fantastic. Can I ask you a question about using like your blog content and turning it into video for the Facebook Live or whatever?
Do you use it as the topic and then you speak freely on it? Like, how exactly do you go about translating it from a blog post, or, you know, the paragraph point to an actual video, because that’s what I struggle with. I mean, I’d like to say that the reason I don’t do it is because I don’t know how, but the reason I don’t do it is because I don’t like being on camera, but I’m going to be working on that.
I’m so the same, Mikala, like Facebook Lives and video, freak me out to no end. However, I’m a very structured, organised person. Therefore, for me to be able to turn up on a Facebook Live, I need to have that comfort that I have that structure and organisation behind me, and when I know that I do have that, then it becomes much easier for me to do. So all I do is, my blog is literally my Facebook Live. So I will write down those five sub headings that I already have in my blog. And I will speak freely on each of those points. So my Facebook Live is not a 20 minute Facebook Live, it might be five minutes if I’m lucky. But that’s five minutes that I’m talking to my audience, they’re getting to see and hear my knowledge and expertise in action, not just read it, they’re actually getting to know me as well. So if I can have that structure behind me, then I can turn up easier. I’m not gonna say it’s easy. It’s far from easy for me, some people are great at it, but me, no. But just having that structure behind me, really, really helps.
I like that. I like that a lot. I think that would help me get my head in the right place to be able to do it. So thanks for that, Mel. That’s really helpful. So coming back to the main piece of content, so the blog post or the podcast, etc. What are some tips for working out what to do for your main piece of content?
Oh, okay, so to decide whether you’re going to do a blog, or a podcast or a video, first of all, is the first question. So what are your strengths? What do you love to do? But most importantly, it’s about you. What time, energy and resources do you have available to you to actually get it done. And this idea is really at the core of everything that I teach. And it’s coming back to understanding what is possible for you right now. Because, yes, reimagination, we could just do everything, couldn’t we, we could put the video on YouTube, we could do something on LinkedIn, we could make a Pinterest post, we could transcribe things, it could be everything or anything. But in real life, we don’t have time to do all the things. And we don’t have the energy and resources to do all the things as well. So it needs to come back to what you have available to you, and what you love to do. So that’s how you choose the type of focus content that you’re going to create. You know, we just spoke about the fact that I love writing. So it’s natural that I do a blog. You’re amazing at talking. So you know, you’re fabulous at the podcasting side of things. And some people, you know, really love to show up on video. You know, like I just said, I don’t love it. So that’s why I don’t make that my core piece of content. I prefer to have that structure behind me to be able to get on camera. So that’s kind of the things that you should think about when you’re considering what piece of core content to actually create. And then when it comes to what to actually create itself, what are the things that I should actually talk about? So there’s a few things that you can think about. The first is obviously around your ideal client. What challenges and struggles that they’re having right now? What do they need to know, to be able to work with you?
This all comes back to that research stuff doesn’t it?
It does. It really, really does. I mean, you can kind of guess. And you can do a bit of research in terms of going through Facebook groups and what have you, but really to get those answers exactly from their mouths is just absolute gold, drilling gold. And then another way to get some ideas on what to actually write about is what I call knowing your source themes. So knowing those things about your business, that are at the core of your business. So that is in basic terms. What do I sell? Who I sell it to? Why do I sell it? And what can I share that’s going on in my business or personal life as well? So once you kind of have all of those ideas, kind of written out or sorted, then you can kind of pick and choose which ones you want to do, and then really focus in on a particular aspect of that topic. So can I give you an example, Mikala?
Yeah, please do.!
Okay. So this is actually something that I cover in my Master Your Content, course group coaching programme, as well. But in its simplest form, for myself, at the middle, or the core of my zone of genius is teaching and empowering women around content strategy. So one of my source themes, or the ways that I do that might be through email marketing, as an example. So now I’ve got my source theme of email marketing, what does my ideal client need to know about ideal marketing in order to work with me? They will need to know how to create a lead magnet as an example, or automated emails. So in order to create a lead magnet, what do they need to know? They might need to have a guide to creating the ultimate lead magnet. So now I have my topic, the guide to creating the ultimate lead magnet, I come up with my three to five bullet points on that. So I might cover things like what platform to use, how to actually choose my lead magnet, the pros and cons of different platforms. So I’ll cover those bullet points in my blog, and then, you know, just write 100 words on each of those bullet points. And I’ve easily got like a 600 word blog, so becomes really quick and easy to create that piece of focused content, once you know your source themes, and you know your ideal client as well.
That is a great strategy. Mel, tell us a bit more about the mastermind that you’re talking about.
Oh, okay. So Master Your Content is basically just a group programme that I’ve recently started, it’s a four week programme. And we take the women through how to come up with all of the ideas and inspiration for your content, how to sort them out, how to actually create that piece of content, the process around reimagination. So we get to actually write that process out and put in concrete exactly what we’re going to create and when, and then we plan for the future. So putting that into a content calendar and seeing all the possibilities that we can actually do to use content in our content calendar.
That is fantastic. And is that course available at the moment? Or have you got another intake? Because I think you just did an intake not long ago? Do you have another one coming up?
Yes, yes. So I’m planning for another one at the beginning of the new year. So that will really help women to start 2021 with a clear idea of all of the content they’re going to create for the entire year. So that’s the exciting part of it that you can actually forward plan all of this content, it doesn’t mean that you know, you have to use it and you can’t be a little bit flexible with it. But if you know exactly what you are going to write, or produce or record, before you sit down to do it, then you just saved a whole bucket load of time because half the problem is procrastination and not knowing exactly what to write. Like, I remember when I first started writing my blogs, I would sit down and go, ‘okay, Wednesday morning is my blog writing day, this is great. Sit down, mm, okay, What am I going to write about?’ and I would waste an hour trying to think about things or research things.
Yup, I can I can relate.
My goodness, and whereas now I have the entire year planned. So at the beginning of the year, I come up with 26 ideas of what I’m going to actually write about in my blogs. And I know that Wednesday morning now when I sit down to write I have that topic already. And usually I have my bullet points done as well because I sneakily do my bullet points whenever I have five minutes to spare, like if I’m waiting for my daughter’s come out of singing lessons, I might jot down five points for my next blog. So it’s all about the time saving side of things as well when you’re creating.
And I love time saving. That is my jam. Oh gosh, what was the question I was just about to ask you? Oh! So you do a whole year’s worth? You sort out and plan your whole year?
I do, I do. And I know that that sounds so daunting, but it’s really quite an easy process once you know the steps. So yeah, I create a whole year’s worth. And that’s not to say that I don’t, you know, I might sit down to write a blog and might be topic that I think ‘mm, it’s not really relevant for right now or it doesn’t fit in with what I’m focusing on in terms of my promotions.’ So I might just switch it around. I’m not saying that I’m not flexible. But to have those ideas and have a few backup ideas as well is just an absolute time saver.
Yeah, that excites me enormously. Before we go on, I think you better tell everyone where they can find you.
Oh, okay. Yes, I love to hang out on Instagram and Facebook. My handle is @Meldbusiness or you can find me on my website as well, which is meldbusinessservices.com.au.
Fantastic. I think I’m actually already on your mailing list. So I’d be interested to hear when your next course opens, because I love, love the idea of doing 12 months of content or at least organising it and working out what I’m going to do that excites me enormously.
Yeah. excites me too. And I love seeing that transformation when women go, ‘holy heck, yes, I do know a lot of stuff. I do have so much to share with my audience. And I just have this amazing bank of content I can pull from.’
Think of content, you’re saying all the right words that are just getting me all excited. And I have to say now, I actually took my kids. We went to the states last year, and we all went to Disneyland. And when we came back, they discovered that I think it’s on Disney Plus, there’s a whole lot of series about Disneyland and the Imagineers and all that sort of thing. So now every time you say reimagine I keep getting like that little flutter of excitement from Disneyland. That’s really gonna help with my content creation now.
And isn’t that fabulous that you are getting that little flurry of excitement because so many people see content as these big burdensome thing?
Yeah, I dread it normally.
Yes. And I think it’s kind of a bit sad from my perspective, because I love it so much. But I just think that if we can flip the idea that content creation can be easy and joyus, then creating it becomes easy and joyus as well.
I love that. That is fantastic. So Mel, do you have any freebies that you would like to share with our audience?
Oh, I certainly do. So I have the content roadmap. So that is a free download that you can download to really help you understand the exact types of content to use at each stage of the client journey. And we haven’t spoken about the client journey today, Mikala, but that is something else that they can learn about if they follow me on social media. So just quickly, the client journey is how you take someone from not knowing anything about you to becoming a raving fan. So there’s kind of different stages within that client journey. And so this roadmap will give you the exact types of content that you can use at each of those stages of the journey to encourage your ideal client to move on to the next stage of the journey with you.
That’s fantastic. And I have to admit, I actually downloaded a copy of that a while ago. So I have been following you for a while and it is very interesting. It is a really handy tool to get you starting to think about the kind of content that you need just as you work with clients, like you said, right from when they first become aware of you. I think it covers right through until when they finish working with you or you know, avatar return clients. So yes, that is fantastic. Now, before we go, Mel, I’ve just got a couple more questions to throw at you. These are just sort of like the traditional questions from the Work Wife Wine Time podcast. Okay, so my first question is, do you have any work wives?
I do. Yes.
Who are they? Do you want to give a little shout out to them?
I would love to! I would love to give a shout out to Eliza in particular and Katie, I mean, they have been with me on the entire journey, this business journey. They started at quite similar times as well. So yeah, I feel like that this journey would be very different without them.
And how do you connect with them? Like do you guys live near each other or?
Luckily I live near one of them. So yes, we do catch up for coffees every now and then but the other one, it’s more about the zoom catch ups.
I love a Zoom catch up.
Yeah, as well as the occasional emails or text messages of like, you know, ‘oh my goodness, I can’t believe that this client is asking me to do this.’ You know, ‘what on earth am I going to do?’ So it’s just about the advice that you get from them and the support as well, isn’t it?
That’s it. It’s the celebrating the wins commiserating over the difficult times. And yeah, and having the ‘oh my gosh, can you believe this happened?’ conversations
Which, I believe, I have lots of those.
That’s awesome. Now, Mel, you’ve given us a lot to think about today, particularly me I’m, well, I have thankfully done my content for this month. I’m actually looking forward to sitting down in December and having a look at things and starting to plan stuff out. So I was just wondering if you’ve got one final thought that you’d like our listeners to take away from this episode?
Just one Mikala?
Ah, look, I’ll let you have a maximum of three!
Yes, let’s just stick with one. I would like the listeners to take away that where they are right now, they are enough. They are enough in terms of what they have to give to the world. And also in terms of what content they’re creating, as well. So I’d really like people to think about the you in content to think about the time energy and resources that they have available to create their content. Because without that, you’re going to be right back at the beginning in that space of overwhelm. And I don’t want that for you or the listeners, I really want them to enjoy the content creation process, realise that they have so much knowledge to share with the world, and that they are more than enough right now.
That’s fantastic. And I just realised we forgot to mention it earlier. If you’d like to get hold of a copy of Mel’s Content Creation Roadmap, you can do that either via her website or via our Work Wife Wine Time website. So the address is www.workwifewinetime.com.au/meld. So last question, Mel. What is your drink of choice?
I’m with you, Mikala. I’m a glass of bubbles at any opportunity. It does not have to be a celebration.
I love a glass of bubbles.
Every day is a celebration. Every hour of every day, well, maybe not quite. After lunch. Every hour after lunch is a cause for celebration.
Awesome. Thanks so much for your time, Mel. It’s been an absolute pleasure having you on the podcast, and I look forward to hearing more about your course.
Thank you. And thank you so much for having me and giving me the opportunity to share my message, Mikala, I really appreciate it. Thank you so much.
It’s an absolute pleasure. Thank you.