Welcome to the Marketing in the Wild podcast. I’m Julia from Stratos Creative Marketing, where we are obsessed with finding real-life examples of the good, the bad, and sometimes wild, in marketing.

Julia: Everybody, I’m excited to introduce to you my friend, Annie. We are really lucky to have Annie on this podcast because we have tried to record this maybe five times, and the universe has been out to get us, so what she has to say must be really important. Annie, tell us where you are, what your business is, and how you got into this marketing world.

Annie: Sure! First of all, thank you so much for having me! My name is Annie Schiffmann. I am located about 20 miles west of Manhattan on the Jersey side in suburban New Jersey. I run the company Downstage Media, where we look at lean marketing teams, solopreneurs, creatives, people who have very few people in their marketing teams, maybe one, maybe two, no more than five usually. And then we help set up automations, and ways for them to create, vary, and automate their social media and their email so that way, they’re able to save time and do the things that they really wanna do. Because I just feel like what I’ve heard more often than anything is that there’s just not enough hours in the day. So that’s a little slice of what I can help people do. 

I realized after a while that I was often saying to my clients, “I’m obsessed with time, I’m obsessed with time’, and I realized there is definitely something to that. And so I thought I would kind of make that more of a point because the people who work with me are oftentimes also obsessed with time. They can’t figure out how to get all the stuff that they wanna do out there in the time that they have.

Julia: So often, I feel like there’s one person who’s the chosen marketing person on a team, and then they’re given the job that often in big companies, 20 people do. And it’s impossible for one person to do everything, but they’re still expected to. So what a cool way to serve those people! I love it!

Annie: I think the other part of your question was how did I get started in this? 

Julia: Yes. And we had to hit record because Annie was halfway through her story, and I was like, everybody has to hear this. So how did you get into marketing?

Annie: Here’s how I got into marketing. I was performing in a show off Broadway. When I first joined the company, we would do five shows a week, a show on Thursday, two shows on Friday, and two shows on Saturday. It was an improv comedy show, so everything was made up entirely on the spot. The producers were really just sort of burnt out. The show had been running for 30 years, and they just didn’t want to deal with getting more people through the door. And so they had a rule where if there were more people on stage than in the audience, they would cancel the show. We had five people on stage, and you would be shocked at the amount of times that we would cancel the show.

Julia: Wow. That’s crazy!

Annie: It was absolutely heartbreaking! As improvisers, we would often get hired by big companies, Crayola, Amex, Deutsche Bank, big companies. Pretty much every pharmaceutical company that you can think of, I’ve worked with in some way, shape, or form, because they’ll have improvisers come in and either A, make their big yearly meeting more fun, or B, they will have us help their sales team get off their scripts a little bit and be more active listeners, things like that. So one of these gigs that I had was at a tech conference. There was this marketing guy named Chris Brogan. He’s an author, he has written a number of marketing books, and he was talking about, at the time, this new thing called Twitter, and how companies could use Twitter to connect with their customers. 

I remember looking around at my fellow performers and being like, “I think we can use this thing to get more people to our show.” That’s when I started really diving into the world of marketing, specifically social media marketing before that was even a term. Basically, I was just like, I’m just gonna learn how to do this thing. And then as time went on – my husband’s also an actor and we have two children, and we had really small children – I realized that I needed more control over my life than the actress life gave me. So I decided that I was gonna learn, more than the average bear, about how to use email and how to use social media because those were things that I knew were part of the marketing world. And so at nighttime and at naptime, I just studied it as much as I could. I took a bunch of online courses, a couple of them by Chris Brogan, I read a number of books, including Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller, and that really resonated with me. 

Again, the improv show that I was in, about a half hour of each show, we would make up a musical. So all the songs, all the choreography, all the rhymes, everything was made up on the spot. And so in order to make that more fluid, we would learn basic story structure. So things like how there was always a world that you would create, and then you would have your main character, and your main character has a problem, and then usually, some person comes in to help them out, all of this stuff. And then here it was written down in Building a StoryBrand, all this thing that I had been studying and teaching my improv students for years and employing on stage, here it was for the marketing world. That was a bridge that I was like, yes, I get this. And I know that the people, because by then, some of my friends would be like, “Hey, I’ve got a new show that I’m opening up.” Or, “I just wrote a book. Can you help me understand how to use Twitter or how to use Instagram?” Instagram wasn’t even started then. And so, I could use Donald Miller as the bridge and Building a StoryBrand between what we already knew as theater people to what we needed to know to market our work.

Julia: That’s so cool! I have so many questions now that are not on the question list, because I didn’t know you had an improv background. I’m curious, you talked a little bit about there’s a story narrative that lends itself from improv to marketing, et cetera. What are some other things that you feel have made you a better marketer because of your improv background?

Annie: I think what first jumps out in my mind is that I am always thinking about the audience. So not only just as an improviser, but as an actor. When I went to Theater School, I studied directing as well. Think about when you go to a theater and you sit down, and a lot of times you’ll see the set before the show even starts, it won’t always be a curtain that rises, you actually see the set. So all of those sorts of things are choices that a director has made for the audience’s experience. And so, I think about that all the time; what is the audience’s experience? I think about this a lot with email, especially when an email comes across somebody’s inbox, what is their experience? If they click on this, where is it gonna take them? Is it gonna be easy for them? Are we ushering them through what they need to be successful? So that’s a huge thing. But specifically improv has helped me a ton with social because you have to come up with things so quickly. 

So little things, like when it’s a certain holiday, and you’re trying to bridge between that holiday and your brand. So if it’s a theater company, and let’s say it’s National Chocolate Day, then you could be like, “Oh, I know how to make that work. You’re doing Charlie in the Chocolate Factory and that opens in a few months, let’s really capitalize on that.” But improvisers all the time are trying to make things that don’t seem to make sense, connect. And we have to do that lightning fast as improvisers. So when I’m coming up with content, it’s never a problem for me to come up with dozens of ideas in very little time.

Julia: I love that! What a cool talent to have and what a cool skill!

Annie: The needy actor in me says thank you.

Julia: You’re welcome. You deserve all the compliments. I love Broadway, and every time I go, one of the things that I walk away with is how excellently things are thought through. I realize that you know way more about theater and acting than I do, and I just think of Broadway first as many people might, but I have thought a lot about that in terms of the experience, but also the excellence and how as marketers and even business owners, I’m like, what are we pursuing? Broadway still has budget constraints, but they can still make things that are excellent. What sort of things are we doing that are excellent within our budget constraints? And so every time I leave a Broadway production, I’m like, I can’t believe these people are so talented, and even the sets are beautiful. I went to an improv show a couple years ago, and the whole time I was like, how are people thinking this fast? I am amazed when other people can do things that are amazing, and I’m like, how can I then apply those same skills of excellence and amazing into my own sphere? That’s my 2 cents.

Annie: I love that! That makes me think of a couple of different things. One is that I often think about the Julie Taymor quote that I heard her say. Julie Taymor is most well-known for being the director of the Lion King on Broadway. However, she’s directed many other pieces for Broadway for many operas, films, things like that. But she says theater’s limitations are its power. I think about that all the time, I think that’s why I gravitate towards organic social versus paid social. So I don’t deal with ads, because I feel like I’ve often worked with performing arts companies or creatives that they just don’t have much of a budget at all. So then we have to get real scrappy real quick, and just think like, well, what’s the way that we can make this work? So I think about that quite a bit, that the theater’s limitations are its power. So when you look at a show like The Lion King, they didn’t train zebras to be on stage. Instead, they were able to create zebras or to create the idea of zebra, or the idea of an elephant without having to actually go through all of the other stuff to be so literal. And so I think about that often. 

I think also what you said about the idea of excellence is, one of the three tenants that I often strive for is theatricality. So just that idea that when you and I sit down, I’ve shown up and I’m prepared and I’m ready, and I want you to have the best experience that you could have while we are together, and there’s a theatrical element to that. I’ll usually try to elevate things just a little bit more, so that way, you do feel like, “Oh! This was kind of a special thing.” So I host many different events during the course of the month, usually two, three or four of them that I’ll be facilitating or I’ll be hosting. And so that way, creatives or anyone with a lean marketing team or a brand builder can just get a little bit more knowledge. I always think it’s such a joke when people are always like, “Oh, I just threw on my sweatpants so I could show up here to Zoom.” Like, if I were to turn my camera, I’ve got lights going, I did some makeup, I rep for you. I want to create an experience for you. And so much of that stems from that world of theatricality.

Julia: I love it! Right now, I was reading some trend reports for 2023, and experience was a big deal before the pandemic, like creating experiences, but now that people are leaving their homes more, going back to work, creating these non-digital experiences for people is one of the things that people are predicting will be trending in 2023. I love the idea of theatricality. I feel like that alone just kind of emphasizes this, how do we wanna show up? But then what do we want people to experience? No matter what our business is, whether it’s online.

Annie: I think it was Bruno Mars who said, if we’re gonna show up, we’re gonna show out.

Julia: The great Bruno Mars!

Annie: Yeah. It’s like Julie Taymor, Bruno Mars. This is the echelons in which we’re running right now. 

Julia: I love it! So going back to social media, one of the things that you have done is created a content creation formula for organic social. I would love for you to walk us through it. I’ve heard incredible things from a lot of our colleagues about it. And you’ve kind of teased at it a little bit where it’s an easy way for people with lean marketing teams or solo teams to really come up with these brilliant ideas. So can you just walk us through it?

Annie: Yeah, sure! The issue that I would often hear from people is that they would not know what to post on social, and they weren’t sure how often to post it. For about five years, I was making all the content for my clients. And most of them were in the performing arts world. And then when the theater shutdown happened in 2020 with COVID, then very quickly, it became clear that the clients that I was working with just did not have the budget anymore to be able to hire somebody, nor did they even know when they were going to have a show running again. So I changed from doing it for them to showing them how to do it. And that was often what I would hear. On the flip side, when I was doing content for more businesses, doctor’s offices, lawyers’ offices, doctor’s office would say, “We offer certain things, but our social doesn’t reflect that, and so then the phone isn’t ringing, or people aren’t signing up, or people don’t even know about these additional services that we offer or these different products that we’ve unveiled.” 

And so what I decided to do was create a system that I needed, especially towards the tail end of things. Towards the tail end of it, I didn’t wanna make content for clients anymore. But I had clients who were willing to pay me a lot of money to do it, and so I was like, okay, I will of course do that, but I wanted it to take up as little time of my time possible, and I wanted to take up as little of their time as possible. So I created this thing called The PAGER method. It seems though everyone loves a ‘90s throwback, and Pagers were a big deal when I was in high school in the ‘90s. It became a pneumonic device that I started using when I was creating content, and then I would tell other people how they could create content because it told them not only what to create, but how often to create it and how to drive the ROI that they needed, as well as still build the community. 

So here’s what it is; each letter stands for something different. P stands for promotional materials. This is any promotions that you have coming up, I will sometimes call it pie content. So promotions, initiatives or events that you have, anything that kind of has a shelf life to it, that is a limited time only, it’s only happening on these days, it’s only happening at this time. This is the kind of thing where if you have this stuff coming up, this will help people actually sign up or do the thing. We don’t have anything like that, for when people are like, I don’t really know, we don’t really have any sales coming and we don’t have any webinars coming up or any shows. Then I’ll say, “Then this is just when we will point people towards your brand. So we will point people towards your brand or your lead generator, something like that.” 

I have created this really fun way that you can take a BrandScript – I’m sure some of your listeners are familiar with that a BrandScript is, and I assign it numbers, and then you can roll a dice and basically take two different numbers that you’ve rolled, and you squish them together and you make your social media content from there. 

Julia: I love it! We talk about that, but I love that you gamified it.

Annie: Yes, totally! The trouble would be that when I was making content, I would usually have my talking points in the BrandScript, but I would kind of use the same ones every time. This way, I would still be able to create varied content that’s all around the same idea. So if somebody had a workshop coming up, or they had a show opening, or they just wanna let people know about their lead magnet, then you could do that. And if you have a 10-sided dice at home, cool, I’m not judging you for your dice. I love it, I support it. But if you don’t, you could just go to roll dice on google.com, and you could easily get a 10-sided dice.

Julia: I also wanna say that this feels very fitting with your improv background, that you’re like, let’s take two random things, because let’s be honest, on a BrandScript, some of them are easier to connect than others. And you are like, if I get a hard one, I’m gonna do it anyway.

Annie: Yes! I do have to tell people when I’m sharing this method with them. I’ll be like, “if you find that you can’t easily squish two ideas together, if they feel too disparate, fine, just move on to another one. Let’s be fun.”

Julia: I love it!

Annie: That is P, promotional stuff. That’s one element of things. Another element, because the idea is what kind of stuff should I post? So promotional stuff, you wanna make sure that you’re putting that out regularly because this way, people will know what you actually do for your business. So then the next element is articles. Now, articles is encompassing articles that maybe you’ve written blog posts, or articles that you’ve appeared in, any kind of earned media. But I also lump long form content into this; so podcast episodes that you are on or that you’ve created, YouTube videos that are longer than three minutes, like when you’ve got a long how-to video or something like that, you wanna make sure people know about it. That also goes into this as well.

Julia: Articles, are these all things that you have either made or been part of the making process, or can it also be things that you find interesting?

Annie: That’s exactly what I was about to say. If you’re like, “Annie, I don’t have a blog, I don’t have a YouTube channel, or I do, but it’s a mess, and I don’t have a podcast, and nor do I appear in any of those spheres”, then you could also curate content. So basically, you find other stuff that other people are putting out, and then you simply add your 2 cents onto it. Because this way then, your feed becomes not just a billboard because if you’re only putting promotional material up, it’ll feel like it’s a commercial all the time. But you also want them to feel like you are putting smart content or engaging or inspirational content in front of them, whether you’ve made it or not. Whether you’ve made it, you’ve appeared in it, or you’re just like, this is something I think that you’re gonna value. So that’s another element. 

The next is General. This is probably the step that most people are posting already most of the time. How-tos, myths, just any kind of general thing. This is where I often put holidays in there, any kind of informational stuff about your business. This is the kind of stuff that if you’re only posting this kind of thing, the owner of the company or the producer of the company is gonna say to you, “Yes, this is great that you’re putting up this cool stuff or this fun stuff, but that’s not really helping to drive sales.” But you are like, “Yes, but that’s helping to build community, that’s helping to build authority, that’s helping you show empathy. All of that stuff is also important.” So that’s why you wanna make sure you have them in the mix. An equal amount in the mix. So that’s the next element of things. 

A lot of times I’ll say, figure out what are your five or six or seven main ideas? And then that’s the kind of stuff that you wanna post in the general category. And maybe just switch up the format in a whole bunch of ways. So maybe one time you’re doing it as a story, another time you are talking about this basic idea. I’m a big proponent in only being on two social media platforms. If you are a lean team, you don’t need to be on more. And so I might say that in a live video, I might also say that on just a still shot, or I might say that just with a video that I only do a voiceover for, or I might put it in a story. It’s the same idea, just a few different formats.

E is engagement posts. Engagement posts are the kind of posts that are designed to get your audience to tap, swipe, slide, comment with a picture, comment with a GIF, comment with an emoji, anything like that. Because although organic social has changed, although the platforms have changed, although the algorithms have changed, I’ve been looking at this space really closely for over 10 years. There’s a couple of things that I have found to be true. One is that if you interact with someone else’s posts by commenting, liking, sharing, whatever it is, odds are pretty good that you are going to see that person’s posts more often. On the flip side, the algorithms will usually show your posts to a small percentage of people. If that small percentage of people is engaging with that content, then the algorithm for whatever platform is going to show it to a few more people, and a few more people, and a few more people.

So in order to get your content in front of one person more often, and in front of more people, you wanna make sure that you have somewhere in your content mix, posts that are designed to get people to interact with you. So engagement posts are what you wanna make sure you’ve got in the mix. And again, you could do this in a whole bunch of different ways. I just listed a whole bunch of them there. It’s gonna depend on the platform. Oftentimes, the platforms will tell you what they want you to do. So if you open up LinkedIn right now, it’ll say, do you wanna write some text? Do you wanna add a picture? Do you wanna add a poll or do you wanna add an event? So guess what? We’re gonna throw a poll in there, because clearly LinkedIn has just said, we want you to do polls. Boom! So there you go! 

R is random. So this means that you can just pick anything from any of those and just throw that in the mix. I use a scheduler, which allows you to upload content into a library, and then it will randomly choose anything that you’ve said could go in that mix, and then it will just put it in there. Because pretty much everything that I’ve said so far is evergreen, or it’s evergreen to a certain point. So you can just say, don’t post this after a certain day, so then it will still put it in the mix. When you do that P-A-G-E, and then R potentially, it just depends on if you have that with your scheduler or if you wanna add that into the mix, then that means that one of each of those letters, you’re posting five times a week, for example. 

Now, back before Twitter was a train wreck, and we are recording this in January 2023, some people felt you had to post five times a day on Twitter in order to get any traction. So you could do one of those a day. Some people also, they’ll have certain platforms that they’re not really all in on, but they still wanna have a little bit of a presence. LinkedIn for example, some people are just sort of like, I just post once a week there. Great! If you’re gonna post once a week, you figure in the month of January, here, we’ve got five Tuesdays, we’ve got five Mondays, so you could post one of each of those letters during the course of the month, and you are still knowing that you’ve got a nice content mix in there. So that’s the PAGER method right there because it tells you not only what kind of stuff to post, but how often to post it. And it still goes with best practices where Gary Vaynerchuk says jab, jab, jab, right hook! So he says that you shouldn’t have any promotional stuff more than 25% of the time. Some people have the 80/20 rule for promotional materials. This still applies to that.

Julia: I love it! I think that the bottom line is some people that we work with are worried about being too promotional, and then because of that, they don’t do any of it.

Annie: Yes. Exactly!

Julia: Or then we also have the other people that we see their social media and we’re like, you are actually too promotional, and I want to unfollow you. I think that this does give it a really good evenness. One thing that you briefly touched on that I wanted to ask a question about is, we use Instagram for our purposes, you’re not saying all four of these things, five of these things have to be on the grid. You’re saying it could be some of it on the grid feed posts, some could be real, some could be stories. It could be a mix of the formats.

Annie: Right! Because the formats are gonna change. The formats are gonna change, the popularities of the formats are gonna change. If we were talking about this three, four years ago, I probably would’ve mentioned live video way more often. But now here we are, like you’re saying, reels are way more popular, at least what people go on more. So when I sit down to create social media content, and what I recommend people do is when they sit down, they should create at least five different posts. I have blog posts that come out every Friday. So if I want to promote that blog post on social, that’s gonna be, if you’ve been paying attention, it’s A, articles, very good! Way to go, Julia!

Julia: 100% for me?

Annie: 100%! Way to go! And so then I will create five posts. Potentially, the copy might be the same, but the format will be different, or the format will be the same, but the copy will be different. So for example, if I’m posting something on Twitter, I might just post a link to that blog post, and then I know that the featured image that’s gonna auto-populate. But based on what the roll of the dice is, I might switch up what my copy is and just come up with three or four or five different posts with the same visual. And so that’s what I recommend people do, is you either keep your text the same and switch up your format, or keep the format the same and switch up your text.

Julia: What I think makes it so easy is even if we’re thinking about just formats, you can have that text in the caption on a grid with a beautiful picture, then you could literally have that same text overlaying a stock video or a video of you doing something for a reel. And then you could do a speaking floating head for your stories reading off the same text. And so, what I love that you’ve done is you’ve just made it really easy for people, in a way, taking out all of the excuses. I say that as somebody who also does not have time to do her own marketing. We all are pressed for time. Time is sacred, and so to be able to break it down and make it easy. The other thing that I like about it is that it also gives people the ability to say, hey, I don’t actually have time for stories, or I don’t feel comfortable on stories, but you can still make sure that there’s an even amount of content going out in whatever your preferred format is.

Annie: Exactly! I love teaching this to other marketing companies because if you have, I’m gonna use the word talking points because this is a StoryBrand savvy audience, if you have a brand script for a company, I recommend creating a BrandScript for an event that they have coming up. Just make sure that you know what the problem is that the event is solving, that you know how people can register for whatever it is. I also use BrandScript as the outline for blog posts or for longer format things, because when you have those outlines, those talking points, that BrandScript, whatever it is, in place, that could be handed off to someone else. So that way then, you don’t have to be the subject matter expert and you can create. You don’t need to be the subject matter expert, and you could create your promotional posts, articles, posts, because you’re just mining a blog, or a podcast, or a long-form video. You can create engagement posts right there, all of that stuff you don’t have to be the expert on. 

So if you are creating content for a client and you don’t know a whole lot about optimizing your hormones, that was one of my clients. I also had a doctor who was a functional medicine doctor. I don’t know this stuff about the body, I don’t know any of this stuff. But I knew what was in the BrandScript, I knew what was in that blog post, I knew that I could mine that for material. And so that makes it really easy too, because you realize how much stuff, and if you create, again, five different posts that are just pointing people towards that lead generator, and then just throwing it into the mix. And you’ve got a couple of different things that are in the mix like that, let’s say that you wanna let people know about downloading the lead generator and you want people to know about scheduling an intro call, I don’t know. Basically, your call to action or your transitional call to action. If you make five of each one, five posts that are based on those two calls to action, that’s 10 right there. You’ve pretty much got 90 days of content already done for promotional stuff, and you only had to know two basic elements of the business.

Julia: I love it! You’ve made it so easy. One other question that I had that I wanted you to tease out is you said only two platforms for lean marketing teams. Tell me more about that.

Annie: Everybody hates me for this. 

Julia: I don’t! 

Annie: Great! People don’t understand because I have so many people who are coming to me now, and they’re like, “We think we wanna get on TikTok.” And I’ll be like, “Great! That is great! You can get on TikTok, what is going to go?” I firmly believe that you need to be on two social media platforms at the most. Unless you have a team of five or more, then we could talk about it. But if you’ve got five or less on your marketing team, two platforms that are not owned by the same company. So not Facebook and Instagram, because they’re both owned by Meta. Julia, I’m older than you are, so I’ve been around for Vine, I’ve been around for Periscope, and both of these were at one time owned by Twitter, so you don’t wanna have them owned by the same company because if one goes down, you wanna diversify. That’s basically the reason.

Julia: You’re not that much older. Don’t worry. I was also around for those. That makes sense!

Abbie: Let me say a little bit more why, because there’s a couple of reasons why. One reason is that you start to get to know your audience better when you have less of them. You start to recognize, who are the people that are always commenting on Facebook? Who are the people who are always commenting on TikTok? You start to get to know those audience members, and it’s too hard to do that on two or three or four platforms. Your brain just can’t quite handle it. Another thing is when there’s an algorithm change or a new feature introduced, it is a lot easier to keep up with that, and be able to optimize that when you’re only on two platforms. Otherwise, it just feels you’re playing whack-a-mole with algorithms and features that are being introduced all the time. So if there’s two you can handle it. Maybe I’m saying this because I have two children. Maybe if I had more children, if somebody has five children, they might be able to be on five platforms. I don’t know, Julia.

Julia: I have one, and I don’t think I could do it.

Annie: One platform?

Julia: One kid. 

Annie: Got it!

Julia: I feel like there are other people in our industry that might be like, you need to be everywhere, but I don’t believe that either, because also, different platforms require different things. TikTok requires video. If you don’t have video, you should not be on TikTok in some form or fashion. I think that your method has simplified it for us, but the more platforms we add, the more formats we are required to have, which then complicates it. And so, I think that, like you said, if you’re obsessed with time, you need to be obsessed with two platforms. And I love it! I love that you’ve defined that.

Annie: Everyone always says, where’s your audience hanging out? Make sure you’re where your audience is hanging out. I also like to bring in, where are your strengths? So when I work with stand up comics, obviously they used to love Twitter because you could easily fire out some one-liners. And if you’re a sketch artist, you’re gonna love TikTok, because you’re okay with being on camera. So I not only look at where your audience is, but I also look at where your strengths lie and what’s in the zeitgeist. There’s a reason we haven’t brought up Snapchat at this point. It’s just not as much in the zeitgeist. Also, what’s gonna work with your workflow? So I was very resistant to Instagram for the longest time because I feel like editing video is an enormous time suck. Instagram made a very clear adjustment towards video. 

I like to use Meet Edgar as my scheduler. As of right now, they do not pay me to say that. We are currently in negotiations. So just know that by the time you are hearing this, if you download my Meet Edgar from a link, I don’t even know where you get the link, but I might get paid. I probably won’t, but I might. Anyway, the fact of the matter is I can write a blog post, I can have Meet Edgar read that blog post via the RSS feed, and I can have it via AI, create five different variations of that blog post to basically tweet out. And one, I don’t have to worry about my hair being nice or my makeup being nice, or being camera ready or editing, I don’t have to worry about any of that stuff. That is already done. That’s five pieces of content, that is done.

As we all know, Twitter has imploded, and so I thought, well, now’s a good time for me to really dive in with Instagram and really start using what I know from the PAGER method to be really experimenting on my own with reels. I knew live videos because I used to have a live show on Instagram, but just all that kind of stuff. But I think that knowing your workflow is also super, super, super important for what you have time for when you’re gonna jump into a platform. 

Julia: Right! We have several clients who don’t feel comfortable on video, and that’s okay. And when they send us video, it’s not awesome. And that’s fine. But they’re incredibly knowledgeable, and so because we do done-for-you work, then what we’re doing is taking that knowledge from that video, distilling it into a caption. But if you’re a solo team member, you don’t have time for that. And so, it’s almost like picking your lane and doing it really well. Going back to excellence, figure out what you have the bandwidth for and do it really well. And that’s where your people will find you.

Annie: And that might just be one then. If you are not very tech savvy, it’s gonna take you a little bit longer, but you decide, I’m gonna plant my flag in Instagram, and I’m gonna do this stuff, then fine, then just do Instagram plus email. Grow your email list as well. So that’s why I always say, be on two platforms. Grow your audience on two platforms plus email.

Julia: I love it! Annie, if somebody wanted to start implementing this today, what would you say their first step should be?

Annie: I think they should go to downstage.media/pager, because they can download my little numbered script.

Julia: Oh, perfect!

Annie: Plus there’s the link to roll the dice on Google Dice there. So that can get them started. I have a ton of blog posts about it. It’s all gonna be in the book that I’m writing, but right now, it’s all in blog posts. So there’s a ton of information right there. Plus, once every quarter, I do a webinar where I go through the PAGER method. It’s really fun, very interactive. As you can imagine, I pull out a lot of my improv tricks, and we have a very good time. So the next one of those is on February 2nd, but I think that this won’t have aired by then. At least I hope not, because I wanna get my negotiations with me. I always have another one of those coming up. There’s one of them every few months.

Julia: We’ll have all those links in the show notes. So anybody, if you cannot remember, downstage.media.

Annie: Downstage.media/pager, that’s where you’ll find all of those things. You can go there, you could download the stuff, you could see the blog post, you can register for the events. It’s all right there.

Julia: Sweet! Awesome! And so otherwise, if people wanna stay connected to you, where can they find you? Which social platforms can they find you on?

Annie: You can find me on Instagram at @AnnieSchiffmann, https://www.instagram.com/annieschiffmann/?hl=en, and you could find me on LinkedIn at Annie Schiffmann. https://www.linkedin.com/in/annieschiffmann You see? There we go. Two platforms not owned by the same company.

Julia: Perfect! Annie, I really appreciate your time and your wisdom. I know that everybody’s gonna benefit from this, just in being able to simplify while still creating really, really good content. Thanks for being here.

Annie: It’s just gotten outta hand, so we’ve gotta sort of reel it in a little bit. We’ve gotta reel it in. Thank you so much, Julia. Thank you for having me on. When you are listening to this, if you are hearing this and if you’ve gotten to this point, please DM me on Instagram with the word spinach so I’ll know that you heard this, and we’ll kind of go from there.

Julia: How are you gonna remember that that’s from here? Do you remember these things?

Annie: Yes. I’ll definitely remember it. And I’ll give you a little bonus thing. If you DM me with the word spinach, I’ll give you a bonus tool. Like a PAGER method planner or something like that. I’ll give you something fun. So there you go. Boom! 

Julia: Well, everybody, go find Annie Schiffmann on Instagram or LinkedIn, only two platforms, and DM her the word spinach, which is actually my least favorite vegetable!

Annie: I’m sorry!

Julia: Annie, thank you. Everybody, we’ll be back next week with some more info. I hope that this PAGER method becomes a part of your content creation formula.

Julia: Friends, thanks for tuning into this week’s podcast episode. I am so glad that you have, if you’ve enjoyed it as much as we have, I just ask you to subscribe so you know each time we have a new episode coming out. If you loved our podcast and want to give us a rating or a review, I promise we will read each and every one of them. A special shout out to our friend, Carson Childers, who is producing our podcast. We really appreciate him and all the hard work that he’s done for us.

Also, thanks to the Stratos team. They have been behind the scenes doing all of the graphic design, brainstorming, et cetera, et cetera. Really, this wouldn’t be possible without them. I’m thankful for each and every one of you guys. Lastly, listener, we’ll be back next week and I hope you will be too.