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.

Julia: All right, everybody. The other day when I was thinking about what we should talk about on the podcast, I was thinking about what would people want to know? And one of the things that people tell me often is how consistent our marketing is, how great our emails are. And people just admire it. And it’s partially like I am tooting our own horn, I think that’s okay. But we have figured it out! It has taken a while, but I am bringing you guys two special guests from our team at Stratos who will kind of walk us through what the behind the scenes of Stratos Marketing looks like. So I’ve got Ryann and Kat with me. If you’ve been around for the podcast, you’ve met them both individually. So they will not be new to you necessarily. But real quick, I’ll have them introduce themselves also so you can learn whose voice is who. So Ryann, I’m gonna let you go first. Tell us a little bit about you, where you are, and one of your favorite things right now.

Ryann: My name is Ryann Marlar. I am based in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, which is an eastern suburb of Madison, Wisconsin. I’m gonna work really hard to not show my accent. Something I am really loving right now is summer close, but in fall colors. August is my favorite time of year. I don’t know when this will be recorded, but I love a tank top, I love a linen pant, but in, let’s say a forced green or a rest orange. 

Kat: Nice! 

Ryann: I really love this time of year for shopping for clothes, also school supplies. I haven’t been in school forever, but let’s be honest, who doesn’t love post-its and markers? As for what I do at Stratos, I am the Senior Content Coordinator. I’ve been at Stratos for four years. I just had that on my LinkedIn. It congratulated me, so that’s how I know that I’ve been here for four years, and I work on our marketing and our client’s marketing.

Julia: Sweet. All right. Kat, you’re up next!

Kat: Hello, I’m Kat Combs. I am based in Chicago, Illinois, but currently recording from Athens, Greece. I just got here less than 24 hours ago, and I’m already in the swing of working again, so that’s great. It’s like I’m getting used to traveling or something! At Stratos, I am our Operations Manager, so I make sure that our team has everything that they need to do their job. That could be due dates and deadlines, or systems and processes, which is why I am on this podcast episode, or softwares and services. Something I’m really excited about right now is probably going to the beach here in Greece. So I try to make it a habit to go on a daily basis, but that doesn’t always happen. But I did get back from the beach today, so it was nice to get some sunshine in before the workday.

Julia: All right. Now, we’re kicking Kat off the podcast because she’s a jerk for talking about the beach.

Kat: Oh, my bad!

Julia: So the reason I brought Kat and Ryann is because of things they already mentioned. Ryann helps with our content, Kat helps with our systems. I think both have created a marketing plan and a marketing system that has really worked for us. So we’re gonna talk about the good, the bad, the ugly throughout this conversation. I just wanna give you guys a view from five years ago when it was me, and then Ryann. At first, it was just the two of us, and it took us a while to actually do what our clients were doing. And I remember sitting down with Ryann and being like, “Okay, well, what are we gonna do to send out emails?” Because Ryann can attest, we used to not do that five years ago, because we were so busy creating stuff for other people. Ryann, do you remember any of those first conversations, or where we started? Do you wanna tell people about that a little bit?

Ryann: Yes. Where I was brought into at Stratos, or way back then, Julia Block Marketing, was we had a client that kept adding on, more of an a la carte client that we started with a little bit of social media, and then we added the different newsletters, and then we added websites. So kind of stacking those services on. And so as we got busier, that’s when our company grew. So that’s what I remember. From that, in regards to our marketing, it was like, okay, well, when are we gonna fit it in? 

Julia: I mean, it was just the two of us, and we were trying to get all this client work out, and so we were like, well, when do we do it?

Kat: What did you guys do in the beginning? Like, at what cadence? Were you sending out emails or were you even on social media at that point?

Ryann: We were on social media lite, definitely proof of life. And I remember sitting, I’m pretty sure we were in Gray’s Coffee Shop, saying, “We should probably do emails.” 

Julia: But I will say, some of those early conversations is where the concept of Marketing in the Wild came, because we were like, how do we make this easier for ourselves? Because we were maxed out on work, and so we were like, well, there’s only so much content that we can create. We were a two-person show at that point.

Kat: Which even now, and we’ll talk about this later, but even now, we have 10 people on our team, and we’re still like, we can only do so much content. 

Julia: Oh, for sure! 

Kat: We have too many clients to deal with to also go above and beyond in our own marketing

Julia: For sure!

Ryann: I mean, we have our internal marketing meeting tomorrow, and that’s when I’m like, “Oh yeah, I haven’t been able to do this part yet. Let’s talk about how we can fit it in.” So we’re still in the “how can we fit this in?” Which comes into the systems, which we’ll totally like, not a full pivot yet, but spoiler alert, we’ll talk about some of those systems and how they’ve been useful. And also when we’re busy, I wouldn’t say they’re not always useful, but we can’t always help ourselves when we have new client stuff, speaking for myself, who does have numerous client strategies due tomorrow, and also has to have our content stuff done.

Kat: Right! It’s like coming up with a system for it. So rather than just saying, oh, we need to send out emails, deciding at what cadence we’re sending out emails, and a general basis for what emails we should be sending when. Once we have all of that set in stone, we’re not making those decisions on the fly anymore. And so on a week where Ryann is super busy and doesn’t have time to write an email, for example, we know that the third Wednesday of the month or whatever it is, is gonna be this kind of email, so then it’s easier to pass off to somebody else, or it’s easier to repurpose old content because we know what we’re looking for. The systems are easy to pause when needed.

Julia: For sure! 

Ryann: This will probably intertwine with what you’re about to say, is give us a sandbox to plan, so our systems are there, but like Kat said, they’re malleable and flexible to suit our needs and our client’s needs.

Kat: You can’t think outside the box if there’s no box.

Julia: I love that! And I think that with the systems, what I’m hearing from you guys, and even Ryann, here’s a good example, probably two months ago, we were like, “Hey, we should start doing ‘ask me anythings’. They have not happened because we’ve been so busy. And so tomorrow we’re gonna be talking about, do we keep doing them or not? And what is the priority? And I think that that is also part of the decisions that we’re making all the time. Like, what is our priority? What is making us money? How are we serving our audience? And that’s what mainly Ryann and Kat, but the three of us, are talking through on a weekly basis, even if it’s just through Slack, like what is the most important thing? So speaking of, I’ve got a bunch of questions everybody, that I’m gonna be asking Katt and Ryann. I wish this was live so you guys could ask questions too, but bummer, this is prerecorded.

Ryann: They can send them in later.

Julia: Yeah. Send them in later to us. Maybe we’ll do a brunch and learn like this.

Kat: Ooh, fun!

Julia: What have you guys found that is working for us?

Kat: Our emails work. I mean, every time we have some sort of campaign or something coming up and we put together a few call to action emails, I say we, and Ryann, writes a few call to action emails and sends those out, every time it happens, and then we get an RSVP or we make a sale or whatever it is, we’re always kind of dumbfounded. Like, “Oh my gosh, our marketing works!”

Ryann: #ourmarketingworks.

Kat: Especially like Eventbrite, for example. So we’ve been doing monthly free webinar-style events, and every time we send out, “Hey, here’s our next brunch and learn”, then we get our SVPs. And every time, for some reason, we’re surprised.

Julia: I know. It’s crazy! I’m like, when are we gonna stop being surprised? I actually hope we never stop being surprised. There’s something delightful about seeing your marketing work. There’s something delightful about it.

Kat: It’s actually really satisfying.

Ryann: Well, so with that, whenever we have an event, our system is that we send three emails. We send an introductory invite, we send a last chance, right? That’s the sandwich. And then the one in the middle is either part of our traditional email sequence, or depending on the time, it’s maybe an extra email. So that’s that sandbox, right? We send three emails, you know what two of them are gonna be, and then the middle one is a, let’s figure out where we are in our timeline. Same thing with social media for those events as well, we have a last chance, we have an introduction, and then that middle one is kind of where are we in our strategy, what is needed? What is the priority?

Kat: Which reminds me, I need to post on stories.

Julia: Oh gosh! There’s always something to do, right? So I think anoth er thing that makes our emails successful, and I’ll do a toast for Ryann. Ryann is spectacular at writing email subject lines. She is the best person on our team who writes engaging subject lines that get people to open our emails. I think that that’s one thing that has worked really, really well. I think that another thing that I feel like has been a newer, more conscious reframe has been asking the question of like, what do our people want to hear? We’ve been doing brunch and learns, those are monthly webinars. We’ve been doing those for a while. We had a lapse for them, but we brought them back.

Ryann: Yeah. It’s coming up on three years of brunch and learns.

Julia: And so we did pause them for a while, but I would say in the past six months, we’ve started saying, okay, yeah, we have a ton of things that we could talk about, but what do people want to know?

Ryann: Yeah. And what are they already asking us to teach them?

Julia: Right! And that’s when our events started blowing up. We used to have, I would say two to three people show up consistently, which is great. 

Ryann: And that was great! 

Kat: Yeah, we loved it!

Julia: But our past few events, we’ve had 40 people register and things like that because we’re talking about things that are on people’s minds. Like hashtags was great. We did a month of content in one sitting. That one had a lot of interest. We have an AI one. By the time this is published, that will already have happened, but it’s things that people are talking about and wanting to know more about. And so, I think even that reframe was really helpful, at least for me to say like, okay, what do people want?

Kat: Which when you boil it down to that, it sounds so simple, like, why weren’t we doing that all along? But it was like a light switch. Like, oh, wait!

Julia: Because I think before, we were thinking about, well, what do people need? And they do still need everything. But that’s not what’s gonna bring people to us. And so eventually, they’ll get what they need, but let’s give them what they want first.

Ryann: It also happens organically in the process. So we know we’re gonna do a monthly brunch and learn, we know we’re gonna have an event. We recently had a Canva Hacks one. As we were in the event, I noticed people were asking a lot more design forward questions, and that people would need more help on the concepts of design. So then in that moment, I wrote in the chat, “Hey, would people want this?” People said yes, and then we were able to move forward.

Kat: Resounding yes!

Ryann: And we were then able to build from an event that we’ve done in the past, but be able to update it as well. And so that made it easier to plan ahead from serving the crowd that was already in the event. The captive audience, already had them there.

Julia: For sure! So my next question that I have is a little bit of something that’s a little bit more nuanced. What’s something that you’re proud of when it comes to our marketing? It doesn’t have to work or not, but what are you proud of?

Ryan: I am proud of making something out of – I don’t wanna always say nothing, but not a lot.

Kat: You are the master of that, actually. And I feel like it happens more in our marketing than in any client marketing, is okay, we don’t have anything. We have no plan, no goal, whatever. Take it and run with it, Ryann. And then she puts together emails, blog posts, social media posts about nothing, and it’s magic!

Julia: For sure!

Ryann: I’m like the meme with the woman looking at all of the math problems, but I know the solutions, instead of being confused. So maybe that’s just the matrix instead. I think of myself not always as a writer, but being really good at Tetris.

Julia: You are excellent at marketing Tetris.

Kat: You should be proud of this. Good answer!

Julia: We should change her job title to marketing Tetris expert. So Kat, what is something that you’re proud of?

Kat: I’ve honestly been really proud of how we’ve pulled in more team members lately. So for a while, we tried to simplify and say, okay, let’s only have Ryann working on our internal marketing. And to an extent, that’s still true, Ryann is the one doing all the strategy and the planning. But we’ve pulled in Emily as our graphic designer. Savannah does some graphic design, Emily does a little bit of content writing as well. And so we have more hands in it without saying, “Okay, now Emily’s gonna take over Stratos content.” Or, “Okay, now Savannah’s gonna do all the graphics.” It’s not that. It’s still very much Ryann’s brainchild, but we’ve been able to pull in more more voices in that.

Julia: For sure. I think one of my things that I am most proud of, for everybody here, I don’t actually see the marketing before it comes out. Usually, I see it when it is live. I might work on the backend of writing some blog articles or writing some content here or there, or helping with that stuff. But I have loved seeing our candid content. Like we just had a post go out this week about National Cat Day.

Kat: I think it’s actually International Cat Day.

Julia: Oh, sorry! International Cat Day. We will celebrate all the cats in Greece as well. 

Kat: Thank you! 

Julia: But seeing people interact with it, it has nothing to do with marketing, except that it is a hashtag holiday that we chose to embrace, but it is about our team culture. I think that when people look at our social media, they know who they’re gonna be working with. That’s what I love.

Ryann: But you have to be honest, it’s about our team, and here are cats. It’s like, no, we have cats that work for us and they have marketing titles. You’re welcome! 

Kat: These are their job titles.

Ryann: Yeah, they work here. I would say, we take it, and we still make it somewhat marketing adjacent.

Julia: And to that point, when I speak with prospects in a sales conversation, I would say 50% of them mention our team page and the pets on our team page. So if you guys go to our website, stratoscreativemarketing.com, and you go to the Team page, you will see all of these cats and also dogs on the bottom of that team page. And I think that people mention it because there’s something that connects us. I can then talk about my love for my dogs. Or like, they can tell me about their pet. It gives us a conversation topic. And so I think to take that and put it out in social media, you’re right, it is marketing adjacent in the extent that they have job titles. But we know that people love it and it helps create this connection point with our people.

So we’ve talked about the good, let’s go to the bad/ugly. What are some initiatives that we’ve tried that have not worked, they’ve fallen flat on their face?

Ryann: You can ask us anything.

Kat: Well, we just ran a summer sale for social media toolkits, and we sold a big fat zero. Not a single one! Which is funny because we ran the same sale last year on Black Friday, and we sold like two or three, which is great. We actually hit our goal. Whereas this time, we didn’t sell any. I don’t know why, and I would need to do a little more market research to figure out why, because in terms of our end, we did the same things. We did the same number of posts, we did the same number of emails, the language was very similar, so I don’t know why it didn’t work. We had evidence to say that it would work. We had precedents to say that it would.

Julia: There’s so many variables. And I think just to everybody, if you have something that falls flat on its face, it is normal to not understand why it didn’t work, and have to dig in a little bit, because it could be time of year, like we did it in the summer, maybe some people are checked out. Black Friday people are used to sales, so maybe that’s why it worked in Black Friday. We’re, for sure, gonna try it again. So it’s not like a ship that sailed, we’ll still use it again. But that’s always fascinating to have to figure out. So other things that we’ve tried and have not worked? Ryann, you mentioned ‘ask me anythings’. Tell us about that.

Ryann: Well, I think while we are polars of people, and that’s how we got our upcoming brunch and learner, one of them, when we try to be present on our social media other than scheduling our posts, like being on our stories trying to present things in real time, we cannot always do that.

Julia: Yeah. We’re busy people! I mean, that’s the honest truth. 

Kat: We have client work, we have dogs at home, kids.

Ryann: I don’t have dogs or kids, I don’t know why those are the two things I said.

Kat: Well, because you’re looking at us who have two dogs, three dogs, five dogs between us and one child. I get that. 

Julia: I mean also, we’re in Greece. I mean, we have to go to the beach and stuff. That’s a priority.

Ryann: I mean, what I would say about that is being on stories, we try our best for our own wellness. We work in social media, so we’re on social media. And guess what, I saw something the other day, you’re also, for fun, on social media. So you’re scrolling at all times. So then when you have to be specifically scrolling, that may not happen for our work. Or in our mindset, we have done such a good job of setting and forgetting in some ways that we’ve put it up. And then I was like, oh yeah, maybe someone asked us. And then it was already gone.

Kat: Honestly, it reminds me of, there was a while where I would scroll Instagram two or three nights a week, and I would find trending audios. Not because I was looking for them, just because I was scrolling anyway. And I would copy and paste the links and send them on Slack to our team. Then fast forward, I was still doing this on a fairly regular basis. So we were like, well, let’s post about it, let’s put that on our Facebook group. And then it got to a point that it made scrolling on Instagram a chore for me, and I didn’t enjoy it anymore. And so I didn’t wanna do it anymore. And I just stopped watching reels altogether, which makes me a worse social media manager. And so there’s a balance between finding what’s gonna be enjoyable and life-giving in working in social, and what’s sustainable, and then what you have to do. And so sometimes it’s like, you know what, I just don’t have to do this. I’ll do something else.

Ryann: And things change! Like now, you don’t have to do that because Instagram, you can click on a trending audio, and it’ll give you all of them. So you don’t need to, while we say we like to help people or be the ‘let me Google that for you’, we don’t even have to do that. Instagram shifted, pivoted, and gave everyone the tool to find them, so then you didn’t need to. 

Kat: And luckily, they did that very soon after I stopped scrolling and looking for trending audio. So the overlap was nice.

Julia: And I think that that’s where we adjust by re-prioritizing. So these are two very distinct examples of things that have not worked for us. One is our summer sale. We’re adjusting by looking at that and saying, okay, what worked, what didn’t? When it comes to time for Black Friday, we’ll look through all of the stats of those emails. Like who clicked, what happened, things like that. We’ll also look through the posts, see what worked, what didn’t. That’s how we adjust from something like that. Something like these ‘ask me anythings’, stories, finding trending reels, what we do is we take a step back and say, what’s the actual priority?

Kat: Yeah, what’s the goal? What does anyone gain from this?

Julia: And I think that when it comes to what makes us money and what makes us money in marketing, it is our emails. And so that’s where I think that if you look at all of the decisions we’ve made over the past year, we will more easily cut something out from our social strategy than we will from our email strategy because we know emails work. Social is good, and it’s important. We’re a social media agency, we can’t not do social, but if we’re gonna spend the time, let’s spend it on email and content for email.

Kat: And honestly, it brings it all back to our whole mission of Stratos, is making people’s relationship with social media better. That includes our staff and the people who are managing our own social media. And so, if it’s gonna make Ryann’s relationship with social media bad to have to post ‘ask me anythings’, and then go back and answer all the questions, we absolutely shouldn’t be doing that. That does not accomplish the mission of Stratos. Whereas if it’s life-giving for me to be scrolling and pulling all of these trending audio links, then I should absolutely do that. It’s making my relationship with social media better.

Julia: And then what are we doing in the meantime? Which for us, it’s creating content and scheduling on the grid, creating reels on occasion. I remember when reels first came out, and after six months, we were like, oh gosh, we should probably get on this train. We thought the train was gonna die and it didn’t. And then we felt a lot of pressure to create reels. And for a while, we did it. And now we’ve been like, you know what, this isn’t the best use of our time, so let’s take a step back and create reels as they come to us rather than creating reels because we have to. And there are clients that reels have to be in their strategy based on their goals, but we also have other clients that reels do not have to be in their strategy because it will not help them, and it’s just a waste of time. And so I think that that’s even been helpful for us, is to use that framework and apply it to ourselves, both for our own personal mental health, but also like, will this actually help our goals? No. So let’s just schedule stuff that is good, and let’s repurpose it, because also that is, I think one of our other magical ingredients to creating good marketing, is repurposing.

Ryann: Which leads to your next question.

Kat: Good segue, everybody.

Julia: What’s my next question?

Kat: How have systems helped us do better in our marketing?

Julia: That is the next question. Ryann, you tell us! When we’re like, okay, this isn’t working, Kat’s like, “Let me make a system.” Because that’s her magic! When it comes to you implementing things, what systems have helped you?

Kat: For our marketing, and we have used it in different ways for our clients, but for us specifically when we’re thinking about repurposing, we have a certain way that we do it. I’ll share a little bit, why not? We start out with long form content. So that may be a blog or a longer caption, and then we pull the thread to create numerous different pieces of content. Maybe that’s pulling a quote, maybe that’s taking a snippet and changing the caption around. There’s lots of different ways, honestly, and so the podcast episode would be a lot longer if I dug in all of those. We even have blogs and stuff that you can read about it. So I feel like we figured out ways that work for us and how we can take our long form specifically and pull it into specific different types of content. And then again, with that pivot and that adjustment, we won’t always do them all because they may not fit. So I feel like that works good for when I’m thinking specifically for our marketing and our content.

Julia: And so for our listeners, what that might look like is like, say you write a blog post or say you record a podcast, it’s a longer piece of content. And then you break it down into smaller chunks. We have a repurposing workshop that you all can come to that will talk about it. But making it into a reel version, making it into a carousel post, making it into a quote post. And so, what Ryann does, plus the help of a few other people on our design team, is they break it out. Ryann, you can correct me because I also don’t know what’s happening all the time. I would assume that you’re making it in chunks, but then you’re scheduling it out.

Ryann: Yes. So we make it in chunks, we share it, and then something else we also do is make, not only do we repurpose the text content, we repurpose the graphic content as well. And so it’s all on theme. So then when we’re talking about a subject all within our brand guidelines, but if you’re looking at reasons why you batch content, we put that post out a while back, whenever you see something that is similar or part of that long form, those posts will all look very similar because for one thing, that loops the audience. And so they’re like, oh, I recognize this. I remember this. I should pay attention to this. And also it makes our graphic designer not to think about pulling five different ideas out of wherever they’re making it. It also helps the workflow to keep it in that way as well. And that came out of convenience, because we would have a graphic designer create our carousel graphic. And I’m okay on design. As someone who has no training in graphic design, I say I am a little too toot. I am a nerd, if you will.

Kat: It is accurate.

Ryann: Thank you! I appreciate that! So I was like, well, why would I reinvent the wheel? I’m gonna take what they did and distill it while it works. And even when our other graphic designers work on it, we’re like, no, please use this formula of taking this basic design and distilling it down for familiarity, for all of that. It works in numerous ways.

Julia: Kat, what are some systems that you’ve seen that have helped us?

Kat: We have what’s called a newsbetter. It’s not a newsletter because we don’t send newsletters. A newsletter is an information roundup. Like, look at us, look at what we are doing. We don’t do that. We don’t have newsletters, we have newsbetters. It’s better than that. That’s it. That’s the whole definition of newsbetter. It’s better than a newsletter.

Ryann: We also love puns and stuff.

Kat: So we used to send out a newsbetter every single week. So every week, we were sending an email and it was always this roundup style of information. So Ryann was having to go and find content across a bunch of different platforms and pull it all together to write this full of content email. It wasn’t one main point, it was a whole bunch of stuff. People loved those, but we were putting too much work into them. We didn’t have any complaints from our newsbetters. People love our newsbetters still, but it just took too much work to do that every single week. And so we adjusted our schedule. And then also we were sending emails to a different audience for Marketing in the Wild podcast. So we would send a Marketing in the Wild email every month, I wanna say, and we were sending weekly emails to our Stratos list, but the Marketing in the Wild list wasn’t growing. It was too much going on. So we simplified. We said, let’s just do one newsbetter every month, let’s do one Marketing in the Wild roundup, just of the episodes that we published during that month, and we’ll send that once a month. And then on those alternating weeks, because that’s every other week, on the other weeks, let’s just send a simple plain text email that has one very clear call to action, let’s infuse it with the personality that people love about our newsbetters, but let’s make it simpler for our content coordinator, Ryann, to actually put together so that she’s not going out and searching for all this information. I’ve really loved that system and seeing how that has simplified the workflow, and so that Ryann’s not asking every Tuesday on Slack, “Hey, what do I put in the newsbetter this week?”

Julia: For sure. That’s helped. So obviously, we’ve got a few more minutes. Hopefully everybody has enjoyed this. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but we like each other and we like hanging out.

Kat: Yeah, we can sit here and talk forever.

Julia: This conversation could last forever.

Ryann: This podcast episode just deployed for us to hang out and share that.

Julia: Seriously, I don’t see you guys enough anymore. We talked a little bit about where we started, where our marketing started. It obviously did not happen overnight. We’re five years in, it’s better than it has ever been before. We’ve talked about the systems, we’ve talked about things that we love, that we’re proud of. Anything else that you could say, like, this is what has gotten us to this point?

Ryann: I think it’s the good old, get the right people in the right seats on the bus.

Julia: Tell me more!

Ryann: We have recently started a new system where we’re sharing more, we’re collaborating more. The jury is still not fully in. Jury’s out. But we’re trying to figure out where people’s strengths are, and how that can make our marketing and our client’s marketing better. Kat talked a little bit about, some people are making graphics, some people are doing content, things like that. But we’re really working on that for sustainability of workflow, so we’re getting the best out of everyone’s ability. Example, earlier, we talked about like, I can Tetris or pull something out of nothing. So when we’re working on content for clients, I will go in and I will get all of the ideas and suss them out and brainstorm that information, so then someone who knows the client a little bit more, but maybe not sure what to write about, or is a stronger writer for that client can go in and pull out the ideas and write quicker. It’s not always about quickness, but turnaround and workflow is different. And then also then pass it off to, if they are not a graphic designer, but we have a stronger graphic designer, then that person can do the graphics. And then so while we’re sharing everything and spinning all those plates at the same time, we’re also being able to hone in on what we can do the best and shine on, and that’ll make it better for us and our clients.

Kat: And I mean, with our own marketing, Ryann, I feel like your strong suit is really hooks. We talked about email subject lines already, we talked about pulling content from nothing, but you’re also just really good at generating ideas. And so in our Stratos marketing, it was like, okay, how do we free up Ryann so that she can just come up with good ideas? And part of that was having me come in and actually set up, okay, this is the cadence of emails, this is the repurposing structure so that Ryann can just focus on making those posts and that content the best that it can be instead of also trying to figure out when to post and what to post. We already know when and what to post. Ryann gets to just make those posts really good.

Julia: For sure!

Ryann: And make it happen, because when all you’re doing is ideating, you can’t always make it happen.

Julia: For sure! I love that. Last question, favorite marketing tip for anybody. 

Kat: Repurpose your content.

Ryann: Batch your content.

Julia: Wow!

Kat: I was really excited about it too. I was glad we said different ones. I mean, they’re the same but different.

Ryann: Well, but you do this at the same time. If you repurpose your content and batch it all at once, that’s quite lovely.

Julia: I think what I’m hearing is obviously, we’ve seen different iterations of what Stratos marketing looks like from the very beginning to now. Our goal, like Kat said, is to help businesses improve their relationships with their social media especially, because I don’t think marketing has to be hard.

Kat: And it definitely doesn’t have to be miserable!

Julia: For sure! And I think that that’s where we, over the past few years, have been trying to strike a balance between what do we need to do to grow, keep our clients happy, keep clients coming into the door to have conversations with Bryce, who’s our sales person. What do we need to do to that, but how can we do it in a way that really protects our time, protects our mental sanity, protects our own boundaries also, while also not neglecting the work. Because again, between us all, we could figure out a way to be on stories all the time. Do we want to? No, none of us really wants to. It’s too much work. But we also know even if we did, there’s no guarantee that that would equal more business. And so I think that that’s where we are always trying to take this nuanced approach, and I think that that’s where it is helpful to have multiple brains to talk through some of this stuff. I can say with certainty that I would have never gotten our marketing up and running while I was solo. It took me and Ryann doing it together to be able to get it to happen. And now we have Ryann, and Emily, and Savannah, and Sophie, all of these people who are weighing in on marketing for us. Ryann is still, like Kat said, it’s her brainchild. And we’re strategizing between the three of us, but it takes a team to do it well. And I don’t think that you have to have your whole team built out, but soft pitch, come and talk to us, obviously, we’d be happy to help!

Kat: And that’s what I was gonna say, is if you’re listening to this as a solopreneur or a one-person marketing team, and you’re like, oh crap, I need to hire people, and I don’t have the money to hire people, that’s not what we’re saying. I don’t think that’s what we’re saying. We’re saying farm out the things that you can, outsource the things you can, and then consult on the things that you have to do. Bring somebody in just to bounce ideas off of. Soft pitch for our brainstorm sessions. Come, bring your ideas to us.

Julia: That’s a hard pitch right there. It’s free!

Kat: True! Good point. Come to brainstorm sessions and just tell us what you’re thinking and see if we have ideas for how to make that work better for how you can work smarter, not harder to make those things happen. You can manufacture a team without actually having to hire people.

Julia: For sure! But also if you wanna pay us money, we won’t say no. 

Kat: Oh, absolutely! We’ll do it for you if you want, but if you wanna keep doing it, that’s cool too!

Julia: Yes! And that’s what I love about where we’re at right now, is we are figuring out ways to work with a lot of people. We have our resource library that was recently redone, we have our brainstorming sessions for people. We honestly don’t want people to feel like they’re on an island when it comes to their marketing. We want them to feel like they’ve got the support system, even if it’s just showing up to our free brunch and learns. That’s what we want for people. So if you need any of those links, they’ll be in the show notes. Also, you can DM any of us. Real quick, where can people find you if they wanna follow you? Obviously everybody, go to Stratos Creative and follow Stratos Creative. That’s like the duh answer. But if people wanna get to know you Kat, where can they find you?

Kat: You can find me at @KLCombs95 (https://www.instagram.com/klcombs95/?hl=en) on Instagram. I have collaborated with a Stratos reel very recently, so I’ll be tagged in that reel and you can find it close to the top of our feed.

Julia: Sweet! Ryann, where can people find you?

Ryann: I am on Instagram, and I am @Ryann_lianne (https://www.instagram.com/ryann_lianne/ ), which is my middle name. Yes, my parents made me two names that are very similar but not similar enough. I was recently clubbed on a Stratos reel. Well, it’s the Barbie thing!

Julia: Really? Except, you guys, by the time this comes out, it might not be that recent, so you might have to scroll down.

Ryann: I’m gonna pin it to our reels so that it’s there for a while.

Julia: Barbie will forever be at the top. When we talk about priorities, Barbie is a priority. 

Ryann: Julia, where can people find you?

Julia: You can find me at Julia Block Pearson. (https://www.instagram.com/juliablockpearson ) I guess I should have asked if you guys didn’t care if people followed your personal accounts, but that ship sailed.

Ryann: We collabed on a Stratos reel, I think we’re open to it.

Julia: Sweet! Well, everybody, I hope this was helpful for you guys. It was fun for me to just get to show off these two people who have become a really important part of the Stratos team, but also just really great friends in the process, who are working in their magic spots. They are in the right seats on the bus, that is Stratos. So thanks guys. I really appreciate you both.

Kat: Thank you. This was fun!

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.