Welcome to the Marketing in the Wild Podcast. I’m Julia from Stratos Creative Marketing, where we are obsessed with finding real-life, in-the-wild stories about business and marketing.

Hey, guys! It’s Julia. I am tuning in from our basement. I don’t know if I told you guys this, but a few months ago, my husband started working from home. We are sharing an office, so we have navigated a lot of stuff now that we’re a married couple sharing an office, but overall, it’s a lot of fun. And so because of that, we moved our podcast stuff down to the basement. And so it is freezing down here. So I just want you guys to know that every time I record, I am cuddled up with a fleece blanket, sweatshirt, socks. And part of the problem is because my recording equipment is right next to the furnace, and I have to turn the furnace off every time. So when I say that this podcast is a labor of love, I mean it!

Anyway, I digress. Today I wanted to bring you some personal thoughts on a question that I’ve just been mulling over. How this came about, if you’re in our DIY club, you’ve probably already heard this question because I’ve been posing it a lot. If you’re on my team or have had conversations, this is my question right now for this season when it comes to content and comes to working. So the question I’ve been mulling over is, as we write content, how can we give people permission to do or think about things differently when it comes to our industry? This was spurred on by a post by Carson Murray. She’s a previous guest on our show. She talked about copywriting with us, but she wrote a post about how to become an industry expert. It’s a reel. I’ll link it in the show notes. 

Here’s what it says, how to become the go-to in your industry part one. Don’t be afraid to talk about things differently. Your dream client and customer hear the same words and read the same copy over and over again from people in your industry. Your fresh perspective on their problems and the solution you provide might be what they need to hear to make a move. How you communicate what you do matters. Let originality elevate your value. So I’ve been thinking about that. I was like, wow, that’s a really good thought. And obviously, it’s a simple thought! Like what if we talked about things differently? But then that went on, and I’ve had a lot of other conversations about what freedom in marketing looks like. How are we not pressuring people into making a purchase, or the whole idea of bait and switch? All of those techniques, people don’t enjoy. That’s why some industries have this terrible, terrible, terrible reputation.

But beyond that, how can we give people, give our audience, permission to do or think about things differently? What kind of content can we create in our industry that does that? For one, like Carson mentions, it’ll make you stand out because it’s original, but also, I do believe it’s gonna attract the right people. Because here’s the thing, by giving our community permission to do and think differently, we’re giving them the freedom they need to align their business with their personality, values, et cetera, or align their actions with how they wanna do things. So for example, a lot of disruptors are doing this. So for example, the one that just popped into my head was Planet Fitness. When Planet Fitness first came about, they created this space that they didn’t want people to feel pressure to look big, to be experts, to become extremely athletic. They just wanted to touch the everyday person. 

Have they strayed from that? Possibly. Some of their practices, I don’t really love. But if you think about Planet Fitness to its core, that’s what their intention was, was to help people think about exercise differently. Another example is we, at Stratos, just in the past six months, we started talking to people and telling them that they don’t have to do social media all of the time. It depends on people’s goals. People have felt pressure to be on social media constantly, and we have said, “Hey, wait a minute, you might not actually have to. Let’s talk about your goals. What do you wanna accomplish? And then let’s work backwards.” This has given people like our customers a lot of freedom to figure out how to do social media in a way that lines up with their personal life. 

For example, I know of a business coach who very adamantly wants to lead by example and take weekends off. So every Friday, she posts something and says, “Hey, I’m out for the next two days, FYI, but leave me a DM and I am happy to get back to you.” That is like leading by example, disrupting and aligning her social media practices for her business with the way she wants to live her life. 

Another example is Aerie. Aerie is one of my favorite companies. In 2014, they started the AerieReal campaign, and it was leading the way in body positivity. Body positivity was not a new concept, but this huge company that sells underwear and undergarments took this to the next level. They started hiring models that were not supermodels, and they started using unretouched campaign photos. By talking about these women’s bodies differently, they’ve differentiated themselves from their counterparts, in this case, Victoria’s Secret. And now Victoria’s Secret is trying to catch up because Aerie has disrupted. They’ve given permission to their audience to do or think about things differently. It’s not just about how you look anymore, it’s actually finding value in the differences, and Aerie has brought that to us and delivered it to women who perhaps were feeling bad about their bodies otherwise. 

So here’s the thing, that’s the question that I pose to you, is how can you start thinking about your industry differently? Or are you so bought into what everybody else is doing that you’re speaking the same messages? People are looking for freedom and truth, and when you can do both, even within your marketing, people are going to be attracted to that. It’s no longer about promising, over promising metrics for us. It never was. But that’s what a lot of our competitors do. They overpromise, and then they can’t deliver. Or they over promise, but they don’t tell you, “Hey, actually, we’re gonna get you a ton of followers, but we actually bought them”, which is gonna screw you over in the long run. People want truth. They would rather I tell them, “Hey, I think we can get you this many followers for this much cost”, and be able to show,
Hey, this is where I’m getting my numbers.” That is what people who I want to be aligned with are attracted to. 

Yes, there are still people out there who will buy whatever, or they really are interested in the vanity metrics, but when I think about what I want for Stratos, what I want for Marketing in the Wild, I want us to give people permission to align their work with their values in a way that other companies might not be giving them permission. So obviously, there are a few things that are constraints, like the financial industry still needs to follow laws that are designated to them. You still don’t wanna underpromise or overpromise, you want to be true, you still have to make contracts with people to protect yourself. I totally get it. There’s still things going on that are outside of our control that are constraints that we may not be able to totally talk about things differently. 

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Here’s some other ideas that I had. I have met a few sales coaches recently that have started talking about sales differently. Like it’s not just about how many meetings you book, it’s not just about the numbers. Those things are important, but it’s about serving humans, and realizing that there is some ROI that you cannot track. Another one that I really love is our cousin remodeling her kitchen. What are contractors known for? Delays, delays, delays, over promising, underdelivering, et cetera. This contractor has done things so differently. Our cousin had to make all of her design choices before they would put a date on the calendar, and then she couldn’t switch them. Like she had to be so sold on them. She had to be ready for them. They had to do all of the plans, they worked with the architects, all of the planners, and then they set the date.

So here’s the thing, you guys, it’s been like a year and a half in the making. Her new kitchen is almost done, it’s been a year and a half in the making, but this contractor, by being super specific about these dates, he can say, “Well, once we get started, we’ll stay on track and finish on time.” They have done it. It’s amazing, you guys. I’ve never heard of a contractor sticking to a schedule as well as these people have done it. But imagine if, as a contractor, you come out and say, “Hey, there’s no reason for us to be delayed. Like if I make this schedule and we put in contingencies, barring a natural disaster, we should be able to finish this on time. If you’re a contractor, you might push back and you might say, “Hey, there might be other things at play.” And that is true, but what sort of things can you start saying, “Hey, we actually are gonna do this differently than the rest of the people in our industry because then that’s gonna be what people purchase.”

Roger and I have talked all the time about redoing our kitchen, and this contractor is a little bit more expensive than some others. But when I think about the time, and the pain, and the cost associated with time and pain for waiting for things, I’m like, “Maybe it would be worth paying somebody a little bit more.” Will we redo our kitchen? No, it probably won’t ever happen, but we think about it a lot! 

Anyway, I read this quote this morning. It was actually by an email that was sent from Meta’s headquarters. Meta is Facebook and Instagram’s parent company. It said, when we act on our values, we show others what matters to us. It was talking about this as a trend in social media, which it absolutely is. Gen Z is in a way demanding it of us to say, “Hey, let’s stand up for what we believe in.” Millennials are too. I’m gonna lump my generation in there. But when we act on our values, we show others what matters to us. And so then I think that basic question when it comes to content creation, how are we telling people about our values and how are we showing them that we’re acting on them? And maybe that’s by giving people permission to think differently, to think differently than all of the things that they’re being told to do. 

So I’ll leave you with that question. What kind of content can we create for our industry that gives people permission to do or think about things differently when it comes to the industry? That’s my question for you this week as you’re creating some content. Hopefully it spurs on some really, really good thoughts. I know it has for us. How are we giving people permission to think about marketing differently? Marketing that’s not all about the sale, marketing that does produce sales, but helping people think about marketing in a way that looks at the long run. Guys, if you have any questions or if you have any brilliant examples of this, please send them over. I would love to see them. Until next week.

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 wanna 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.