What You May Not Know About Me – The Ultimate Blog Challenge

What You May Not Know About Me – The Ultimate Blog Challenge

 What, I Guess,  You Need to Know About Me…

Here we are ol’ blog numero four, of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. This time around the blog challenge calls for a post about the things that people may not know about me. I guess that is really a pretty broad or general thing to write about – and how much ( or how little ) that you may know about me really depends on how much attention you have been paying or the length of time that you have been following along. For instance, if this is the first time that you have ever read anything that I have written and have found yourself here for some random reason then you probably don’t know that I am a content marketing strategist or that I have been working online as a freelance contractor for over six years now.

If you absolutely have no clue about what I do or how I do it – well I suppose that you wouldn’t know that I have been able to sell my services as a content writer, consultant and “occasionally” as a visibility coach, merely by being incredibly visible on social media platforms like Facebook.

And – I guess, if you aren’t familiar with my style or “The Brandie Peters Brand” then I guess then you wouldn’t know that I pride myself on leading by example and experimenting constantly, so that I can share with people what I have found works, and doesn’t work in regards to online marketing, specifically the art of “selling yourself”.

In addition to this – you’d probably never guess ( okay maybe by my tone of voice or the visuals I have chosen ) that I am a bit of an anarchist shit disturber. Meaning, I love to challenge the status quo – question norms and do things a little bit differently than my peers.

One of my favorite quotations is

” Everything that is popular is wrong” ~ Oscar Wild

You may have noticed that “working online” and the whole concept of the “freedom lifestyle” has become very fashionable to the millennial generation. As a consequence of this coaches of all types, online entrepreneurs selling all sorts of products and services, and self-proclaimed “gurus” are running rapid in the online space. Some are authentically successful at it… and some, well not so much…

I like to think, that I started working online before it was the cool thing to do ( or before “I knew” it was the cool thing to do ) and the way that I went about it was fairly simplistic…Apply for work as a freelancer, bid and pitch on many jobs, get hired for a few of them, do the work, bring in a bit of income – rinse and repeat.

During the “rise” of the online entrepreneur “trend” I was working behind the scenes as a one person SEO content mill for a company based in California that specialized in *yawn* geo-targeting for businesses in saturated markets. I have – and I am not joking – written millions of words of copy on every topic imaginable – including, quite literally the kitchen sink. During the 3 years, I spent paying my dues as a search engine copywriter and later consultant/strategist I had my head in the sand and had no idea about what was happening in the “online world” where all of these like, twenty something perfectly branded expert coach-ey people were emerging and trying to establish themselves as internet celebrities. For me, that wasn’t even a thing on my radar – the Kimra Luna’s and Zachary Spuckers of the world didn’t enter into my knowledge bubble until I went out on my own and started to try and carve an identity for myself in the social media space.

When I started publishing content about “how to sell your services online for new freelancers” I was instantly compared, “oh you are like them” – and that’s how they came to be something I knew about –

And although I have nothing but respect for those who have already “made their millions”  ( wish I was them some days ) with programs, packages and the like, I regret to inform you that still isn’t me and frankly, I am still really grassroots in the way that I do things.

Produce content that demonstrates my talents.

Get hired on for a project.

Do the work.

Rinse repeat.

All the while I am building my own tiny little following and creating my own “thing” if you will – I am actually quite skeptical about how “formulaic” it has all become for others, like they are just trying to make themselves EXACTLY like all the others because they “believe” it will make them successful.

What I have noticed is that for every amazing Kimra or Zachary there are dozens of wannabe-preneurs just trying to duplicate the success of these leaders and it frustrates me!

What they are trying to do is “skip a step” of actually becoming good at something before they go out and try to teach others how to do it. Instead, they just buy into this idea of putting “branding before business” and razzle dazzle, before proof of concept and whip up some copycat course on Facebook Ads, Visibility, Personal Marketing & Branding – then sit back and wonder when their product doesn’t sell?

I think the missing mark is that if you assess the success stories others like again, the Kimras of the world – they worked first, HARD – to become good at the thing that they eventually sold to others as a knowledge product. That’s the difference between being a “self-proclaimed expert” and a genuine expert.

 

I guess what I am trying to say in a roundabout way is when people ask me why I don’t have a virtual product like “a course” for mass sale. Or when I get questioned about why, the approach I take is different than what you will typically see, or what has become conventional my response is really this:

 

#1: I am still experience building – yes, I do have the knowledge to share but I am not at the level that I feel “I would have to be” in order to mass retail a product like that, nor do I even know if I would want to. Courses right now feel REALLY trendy and I do well just selling consultations and one on ones, it works for me “small scale” – and allows me to continue to do work that I love.

 

#2: Copying what is working for others and just hoping the formula works for me has never been my style. I personally don’t believe in it. And if you look at how many people actually are successful and how many people are actually “making it” by going that route – Well, the ratio is like 1 in a couple thousand. There are so many of these fakey gurus out there trying to emulate these experts…. my thought, why don’t you put in the work and actually BECOME an expert?

 

Now I won’t lie to you. I used to think differently – and I wanted everything to happen quickly and I hoped to have lots of money that came in easily ( who doesn’t ) – For me, it was about two years ago the switch flicked and I realized, that it was going to be an exhausting, unrewarding journey to try and be another “emulator” – a person trying to duplicate the success of others and follow a trend that, frankly, isn’t working for the majority.

 

On the other side of that, I had a simple system that had worked for me so far. Find one person to buy for me, make them a client, do the work, bring in a decent income – grow a real legitimate ( but modest business ) selling my services. Much less dramatic – but certainly more fruitful. What can I say, it turns out I am old school?

 

I guess if you are brand new ( or someone who just didn’t know this about me ) THIS would be the most important thing that I would like to share.

 

Every day, I think about what is currently trendy, what appears to be popular and then I compare that directly to what I know and believe works.

 

Becoming a respected thought leader, as I mentioned in my last challenge post, is certainly an aspiration of mine, for the future.

 

However, even more than that I aspire to not be lumped in with the masses who are trying to just “skip the steps of doing and learning” and appoint themselves experts, something they just aren’t… not quite yet.

 

I have strong feelings about this because I think it is damaging and unfortunate to have so many people hustle and grinding at the wrong things. Instead, of going to work, getting good at something – actually DOING IT for awhile before they try to sell their knowledge base to others.

 

To me proof of concept and strategy is EVERYTHING – and the best possible guinea pig is yourself. You are the most amazing project that you will ever work on. Why follow someone else – thinking by being and acting like them, things will work out for you? It won’t because you aren’t them. So instead, why not just be you, do things your own way and enjoy the process.

 

I say,

 

Don’t ever underestimate the value of carving your own path. You can be one in a batch of a million doing the exact same thing as everyone else. Or be one in one, doing it 100% your way, the only of your kind – where the odds of success are much higher because the only person who you are competing with is yourself!

 

 

 

My Vision For The Future – The Ultimate Blog Challenge

My Vision For The Future – The Ultimate Blog Challenge

 

 SHARING My Vision For The Future And The 3 Philosophies that will get me there!

 

The third blog post in the Ultimate Blog Challenge, calls for me to write about my vision for the future. “The dream” if you will. For me, the dream and what I consider to be my 5-10 year goal are one in the same. What was that quote pinned up in every elementary school classroom?

 

 

 

“Aim for the moon, even if you miss you’ll land among the stars” ~ W Clement Stone

 

 

Cheesy perhaps, but what I have found in my brief 5-year entrepreneurial journey is that it is more or less true. If you set for yourself an extraordinary goal, and consistently work towards it, whether you land on that metaphoric moon or not you’ll still be way further ahead in life, than someone who never pursued anything.

 

When I first started out “working online” I had a very modest vision and rather meek goals. I simply wanted to make enough money day to day, so that I could justify staying home to raise my son and not have to go work at the mall ( the only job I had previously known was an assistant manager at a teen-targeted retail store ). Not that there is anything wrong with working in a retail position, or having a “normal job” – in fact, on the hardest days I daydream about it. How easy would it be just to stand and smile, fold some sweaters, say yes mam’ no mam’ and count somebody else’s money in the register at the end of the day? Certainly easier, than just trudging along TRYING to get an online business to work. Riding the wavy entrepreneurial roller coaster one day you are on the top of the world, then next day you are at the brink of despair, panic and plausible defeat. The reason my online writing career started at all was because I was struggling in a doldrum depression, after finishing my diploma in Motion Picture Arts Production and finding myself pregnant with my first child, back in my loathsome home town, and feeling as if my life was over. Always a “big dreamer” I had naively believed that I would grow up to be something ( or someone significant ), a creative person with a million ideas a minute – I wanted to put my brain to use in a career that challenged me. Acknowledging the limitations of my small, hometown of Medicine Hat, I realized that in order to have the career I desired I would need to create it myself. That’s where it began, I was a reluctant entrepreneur, I began to pursue creative work online “just to pay the bills”… and that was the original dream, big goal, and nothing else was that far ahead considered. All I wanted was a little bit of money here and there, to pad our bank account ( my husband was the main provider ) and to find some work challenging enough, to keep my creative brain nimble.

 

It wasn’t until about 2 years into my online writing career that the real vision for the future started to reveal itself – and the dream, once I realized it, was so terrifying that it actually took 4 years before I was able to say it out loud.

 

I want to be a recognized marketing strategist, I want to have an impact on many people through the work that I do, I would like to travel the world as a keynote speaker – stand in front of a room and tell a story about how I went from anxious wreck to high performing entrepreneur – who built something significant from scratch. I want to inspire other people to pursue their creative dreams and become an advocate for the world where people do what they are passionate about for a living, where they don’t spend 99% of their time despising their 9 to 5 life, then come home, sit on their ass and binge watch Netflix.

 

That’s really my vision – that’s really my goal – because, for me, the only way I was able to escape the anxiety and depression that ruled my life ( from the age of fourteen onwards ) was to find something “in life” that gave me a superior purpose. The joy ( and esteem ) that comes from waking up every day, and choosing your own adventure – and feeding yourself, providing for your family, doing something that rarely feels like work is incredible. In fact, if there was a way to bottle that and sell it as a pharmaceutical, it would be the most powerful anti-depressant in the world. I firmly believe, without a doubt – that “we” were not meant to despise the majority of our existence, only to collect some pay, that if you are lucky enough – allows you to slightly enjoy the meager amount of time that you actually have personal ownership of.

 

Now, I know some people who read this will think I’ve just bought into a trend.

 

It is true, advocation for the freedom lifestyle and the concept of pursuing your passion – are both very “trendy” right now in the Zeitgeist.

 

I recognize that what I have landed on; a desire to pursue my dreams and encourage others to pursue their dreams is a rather cliche’ vision – and, if you wanna pop my bubble, “this vision” is something that has been done and is being done, at this very moment as we speak.

 

However, the fact that something has been done ( or is popular ) should not be a deterrent for something that you truly wish to pursue…

 

You see I feel confident that my story and my voice are unique enough, to differentiate me when the times comes and when I finally get to the level where someone may actually care what I have to say – the way I get there, and what I have to share – will be original enough that “somebody” may just want to listen….

 

That said, I am not there yet – I am still in the process of aiming but that’s my moon, and frankly, I feel that it is surrounded by many possible stars where I could potentially land on throughout the way.

 

What gives me the gumption to say this? That my rock star vision is possible – that I could be one of the next big thought-leaders in my industry, that I could possibly take it far enough – what gives me that nerve?

 

 

Three things actually – feel free to take this philosophy on as your own.

First of all,

“Money is the consequence of doing something well!”

When I first started out money was what motivated me, just enough money to make the work that I wanted to do, possible to do and justify the fact that I was going to attempt to build something for myself.

BUT, somewhere along the way, I realized that the pursuit of financial gain was not a very fulfilling one, and if your main motivation is monetary, then you will always be willing to compromise yourself for a dollar.

Shortly after, I realized something else. If you are good at something – like, stand back, drop your jaw in awe impressive, people will pay you as such. Therefore, I invested myself in just becoming REALLY just that good!

And guess what, Money comes. It always comes. I work every day – sell when I can. And money comes… as a consequence of being good at what I do. It is no longer the reason I do what I do.

I firmly believe that this “idea” will, in the end, be what allows, me to be successful

Secondly,

“You lose nothing by trying”

I have been laughed at when I tell people “my dream for the future” – but I have been laughed at for many other reasons as well.

Small minds, tend to laugh at things that they can not understand. It isn’t personal.

Being visible online, living in a rather eccentric fashion ( not having a regular job I suppose is eccentric, around here ) and choosing to prioritize my career – has made many aspects of “normal life” impossible. Many people who I used to relate to no longer relate to me. Yes, there are certain sacrifices that you make when you choose to pursue such high aspirations.

What keeps me going though is the truth that, nothing bad will happen to me for having tried.

If things don’t work out I’ll end up somewhere between here and there, and it’ll still be further from the place where I originally set out from. There is absolutely NOTHING WRONG, weird or strange about having amazing dreams!

I have no idea, when it became “okay” to tell people otherwise, to try to push them back into place – and those who do this, are doing it to make themselves more comfortable in their position. It has nothing to do with you, the dreamer.

Last,

“Why not me?”

Finally, this simple question – is what allows me to continue on in the direction that I am currently heading with zero shame or modest doubt.

When I say my vision is to be one of those keynote thought leaders, to stand on a stage, share stories about pursuing your passion – work behind the scenes on amazing, impactful projects – and inspire others through my work. It may sound vague and unspecific, but I have hashed every aspect of this out of my vision.

Step one, build a portfolio of experience

Step two, connect with many people 

Step three, develop and share my philosophies on passionpreneurship

Step four, make the right moves business wise that will allow me to rise to the top of my industry

Step five, there it is!

When you break it down it isn’t impossible for me. And if you learn to strategize your own life ( work backward from the goal that you have ) then it isn’t impossible for you.

And the best way to take something distant, and seemingly impossible into the realm of “possible” is just this: understand that SOMEBODY is going to get to do it. SOMEONE is going to get there. That space in the universe that you dream of filling, exists – and why shouldn’t… why couldn’t it be you?

You see, there is this certain plaguing disenchanted in the general population that large dreams ( visions for the future ) are better left for someone else. That we, as people should submit oneself, to something small, easily captured – so that we never suffer the disappoint of failure that could hypothetically ruin our spirits.

What they don’t tell you is that most people’s spirits are ruined the day they gave up on their dreams.

The day they refuse to have any greater vision for themselves, and simply settle for what seems easy and obtainable rather than chase something that seems possibly, impossible – but yet, somehow other people, who are not you, will somehow manage to get there.

I have chosen to live in a world where I am not obstructed by these limiting beliefs. I know, that doing something extraordinary and interesting is a greater challenge, certainly. However, the minute you set out towards that difficult goal you already inches closer to it, than a person who never took a single step outside of the comfort zone because they were afraid of failing. “Pursue fearlessly” rings in my ears, even when I am afraid of my own humongous goals, I whisper to myself, pursue fearlessly!

 

 

This Blog Post is Part of The Ultimate Blog Challenge Read Other Blogs On This Topic:

My Ten Year Vision, Jody Aberdeen

 

Goals for The For The Future, Daniela LaFave

 

Authenticity Is It Just Another Marketing Buzzword?

Why “Authentic” Is Not Something You Can Fake – So Don’t Even Try!

These days everyone in the marketing world is talking about “authenticity” and the importance of being “authentic” in your marketing message.

Authenticity is a tricky one when it is paired with marketing because marketing itself is about making something seem as appealing as possible in order to generate sales.

However, authentic is defined as:

a:  worthy of acceptance or belief as conforming to or based on fact paints an authentic picture of our society

b:  conforming to an original so as to reproduce essential features an authenticreproduction of a colonial farmhouse

c:  made or done the same way as an original authentic Mexican fare

This means that in order for something to be perceived as authentic it must be genuine and have unique distinctive qualities.

Since marketing, is very often about encouraging people to buy into something – for the purpose of profit. And often leans more towards what is trendy and cool, rather than one it is raw and real – well the two ideas don’t really go together in the same breathe.

In today’s Facebook Live Replay I talk about these two contradicting ideas and how you can put authenticity into your business and actually make that a complimentary part of your marketing.

This video goes good with last week’s about finding your own voice and not being afraid to “be yourself” – give that a watch also!

Cheers!
~ brandie

The Importance of Finding Your Own Unique Voice

A Discussion About Finding Your Own Voice and Identifying the Value That You Bring By Being You

Not everyone is going to like you, and that is a good thing! In today’s Facebook live I talk about how in life ( and in business ) you are not going to be everyone’s up of tea.

What I have found ( specifically in my experience being a visibility coach ) is that many online entrepreneurs are terrified to be themselves, because they are worried that it may put certain people off from hiring.

And although, being a position where you are able to pick and choose who you work with is a blessing, I do believe that “being yourself” and putting your true personality into your content and into your brand will allow you to connect the right people whom you actually want to work with.

Typically what happens when someone tries to be an “every man” or appeal to everyone with their business is that they end up being bland, boring and non distinctive. Now, this may be an okay strategy if you have something brand and boring to sell BUT if YOU ARE THE PRODUCT OR SERVICE BEING SOLD then, it is in your best interest to attempt to set yourself by putting yourself into your marketing, in the most authentic way that you possibly can.

That said, knowing who you are – and knowing what you want that “voice” to be can be difficult to discover.

I personally, have tried on many different styles and ways of presenting myself in the evolution of becoming me – and finding a certain comfort level with myself, that I put out there on the internet.

I will be the first to say honestly, that branding itself in marketing tends to be over emphasized and overrated. A pretty brand does not pay bills. And what your logo looks like… matters less than you may think.

However, who you are at the core, and what you share with the world, is going to be what distinguishes you from your competitors and lead to the right people choosing you.

Knowing this, i highly recommend that you start to work on finding that voice and becoming comfortable with sharing your unique attributes with the world.

If you want to hear some tips on how to do this, you’ll have to watch the Facebook Live Replay all the way through. Do know that the process of “finding you” doesn’t happen all at once, and it sorta just happens by “doing” and trying different things, until you land in a place that feels right.

Anyways that’s my two cents for today. Thanks again for watching / reading!
Cheers!
~ Brandie

Organic Reach Tricks I Use on Facebook

Facebook Live Replay Organic Reach Tricks For Facebook Page Posts

This Facebook Live Replay ended up being a two parter because of technical difficulties with the internet. If you want to watch “just the tips” video two is where most of the good stuff is.

The inspiration for this Facebook Live was this Facebook Post:

I had run two experiments with articles on my BP Creative Marketing Strategies FB page. For one I boosted the post for $8 dollars with the target of people in Alberta Canada who like web design, Wix, Squarespace, and WordPress.

For one I boosted the post for $8 dollars with the target of people in Alberta Canada who like web design, Wix, Squarespace, and WordPress.

For the second one, I proceeded to network the article organically in Facebook groups, on my own Facebook profile, and on relevant pages.

The result was an organic reach of 1700 on the post I shared organically and a reach of 1500 for $8 on the paid boosted post.

My reason for running this experiment was to demonstrate that YOU CAN get organic reach, greater than your paid reach if you take the time to network your Facebook content.

Is Facebook Pay to Play?

A lot of people are under the impression that Facebook for business pages is only paid to play. Meaning if you want any sort of reach for your business page content that you have to boost it or make ads. Although you certainly won’t get much organic reach if all you do is plop posts up on your Facebook business page, you can increase organic reach by networking a link from your Facebook business page and sharing it to different places on Facebook. Of course for most people what this comes down to is a question of time versus money. If you have more money to spend networking and promoting your content then, by all means, use the paid function. However, if you have the time to share your posts, don’t forget to take advantage of the organic content networking opportunities that exist.

Why is Your Organic Reach So Low On Facebook?

One thing that I did want to address in this Facebook live video is the real reason why your Facebook Organic reach is so low. No, Facebook is not being mean to you!

Organically anything you post on a Facebook biz page typically goes to 2%-3% of your following.

Facebook gives you a leg up by showing your post to the people who follow your page who are most likely to engage.

If they bite your Facebook reach is gradually increased.

If they do not, then your reach stops.

For this reason how far a post goes without any paid promotion is a good indicator of the quality of that post and how interesting it is to the most engaged members of your community. If you aren’t getting much organic reach on Facebook, then chances are – your post is not what your audience wants to see or that Facebook is sanctioning it because it has the qualities of an ad ( FB does not want to advertise for you unless you pay them )

Often, when people complain about how little reach they get and how impossible it is to market on Facebook these days ( without paying ) it is because they are trying to push traditional advertising content through the algorithm, and are being limited by the natural content quality gates that Facebook has established.

If this is the case for you, go back and look at your content strategy. Are you creating posts that people actually want to interact with? If not, you need to overhaul your approach to content creation.

~brandie