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How To Create Courageous Content with Janet Murray


TRANSCRIPT AUTOMATICALLY GENERATED Diane: Hey, Hey, today's guest Janet Murray is a podcaster author speaker, and one of the UKs leading content marketing experts and specializes in audience growth. I was one of the last guests on her popular 450 episode long podcast, and pretty sure I wasn't the reason it ended. And I asked her to come on the show and talk to me about the risk she's taking with content. Hey Janet. Welcome to the show. Janet: Thanks so much for having me. Diane: Let's start with a little bit about your journey for people who are new to you. Janet: So my name's Janet, Janet Murray. And my thing is, uh, content marketing and audience growth. So what I mean by that is I help people to build online audiences, to get more followers, more fans, more subscribers. And how do we do that? We do that by creating. Engaging content kind of content that people want to come back to, that they want to binge on. That they really love that they get addicted to. And I've been working in the online space for about five years now. I was a teacher before then I was a journalist and this is my third career. Uh, but that's what I spend my time doing is, is helping people to, to build audiences and to do that. We there's no way around it. We need to create really engaging content. Diane: So I kind of love that you left your podcast, like at the height of its popularity, you know, that kind of leave them wanting more. I know I was personally super surprised when you announced it. And I'm sure it took like a lot of soul searching and a lot of thinking and a lot of strategy. And before we talk about all the why behind that, I wanted to know what you feel. Those 450 episodes taught you. Janet: Oh, wow. So much. So yeah, starting my podcast back. I think it was in. It must've been 2015 and knew nothing about podcasting. Just kind of thought I fancy having a go at this. This seems fun. I liked listening to podcasts and this feels like a good way to reach people. So although I was a journalist before and I was used to interviewing people and that was used to creating content, I guess it's a, it's a really different style of content. I was a print journalist. So although I was used to interviewing people, I wasn't. Used to doing the broadcast type of interviews. So I had to learn that and it's quite different. And when I listened to my first episode, Oh my Lord. I was just so much better by the end, but even then, like not, not good enough, which we might get onto later. There's some things that I think actually I should have worked harder on, but I mean, I learned about being consistent and what happens when you show up? So for me initially it was every week, then I went to two episodes a week and then I went back down to one episode a week. But when you show up. Every week, the average podcast, I think only lasts about two or three episodes. So just merely by the fact that you stick at it, you keep turning up and you keep delivering valuable content and people know what day it is and what time it is. And they start to expect it. And you become part of somebody's routine. That's. The biggest thing that I learned is just huge. You know, if you, if you keep showing up, then you're already ahead of the curve because a lot of people give up. But the key thing is, it's not about you. It's about adding value and it's always about. What can I give my audience? That's going to, whatever they need. In my case, they're looking for education and help in your case, you know, it could be entertainment or it could be inspiration, but whatever it is, if you show up and do it consistently, and you add value for your audience, then. You, you will be better than most people just because, because you're doing it. But the other thing I think I've learned, and it's something I really try and impress upon my clients is that we have to be a beginner. And if we're not prepared to go and make those first 10 episodes, when we sound a bit silly and squeaky and serious, then we're never going to get to the stage where we're a relaxed presenter who. Doesn't need to rely so much on their notes. Somebody who can jump on somebody else's podcast and talk because you're experienced at doing it, but there's so much value in just showing up and doing it and not overthinking it. So many people say they want to start a podcast or blog or a YouTube channel, and they spend so long thinking about. How are they going to do it? And what's the best platform and what it should be called and how long the episode should be, that they never actually do it. So just showing up and doing it, being consistent and adding value and just trying to get better all the time. But I think, I feel like I should be able to like give you something more hard hitting, but that is probably the reality. Diane: Yeah, I think there's something about podcasting that I don't know whether it's that kind of external deadline to like iTunes and Spotify, that makes it different from say a blog. That's going on your website in that consistency. So for me, I started a podcast because a, I prefer to talk and B I could not. Four years I could not be consistent in blogging. And when I did blog, it sounded so formal and corporate because that's my background. So I think consistency is a huge lesson from podcasting. Janet: Yeah, and people will get in touch. There's been the odd occasion where my podcast has been a little bit late going live for whatever reason, usually my fault, because maybe I'm in charge of that week and I forgotten to hit publish on the right bit or something. But but people will email. Where's your podcast. I, I, I, get it ready for my run or to walk my dog or to drive the kids to school. And if you can become part of somebody's routine, I mean, that's really, really powerful. Diane: So we have the 450 episodes. It's going well, you've got way better than you were at the beginning. People are listening to you and you decide, okay. for something new, something different. What made you want to change course? Janet: Well, it was quite a sudden decision. I'm not somebody I say it was sudden, but I think it was in the back of my mind for a while. And it was kind of niggling at me. Something was niggling at me and I couldn't quite put my finger on what it was, but actually when I started my podcast, I had a different specialisms. So I was in helping people to get pressed and PR because. That sort of made sense with my background in journalism. So I pivoted and actually renamed the podcast twice and people had kind of come with me, I've always felt that just because you can do something doesn't mean that you should do. And I felt like it wasn't like I wasn't enjoying it anymore, but I wasn't getting the, maybe the same excitement as I had done in the past, because it was the same format. I mean, I hadn't even changed the music since it started or anything like. And I felt like I wasn't excited about it in the same way. I wasn't not enjoying it. I still enjoy doing interviews. I still enjoyed recording my solo episodes and it was still doing really well, but I kind of thought, well, I could carry on. This is the easy path, like a caviar, just creating content that maybe I know that I could be doing better. And I know that I could be giving my audience. Better content, but you know, why, why not? Why change it? Cause people seem to like it, and I was just sat there one day and something was really niggling at me. And I couldn't, I couldn't put a finger on what it was and it was something to do with the podcast. And I suddenly thought, Oh my gosh, I don't have to do this anymore. Like I could actually do it differently and I could just start again and I could revisit it and I could. Put out something that's more fresh, you know, because I've changed in five years, I've changed. My audience has changed the way that I see things I've worked with so many more clients since then. So I think I understand more about content and an audience growth, and I understand so much more about what gets in the way of it. And I kind of felt, I thought I could, I could do this better. So why not? Why not just give it a bit of a break and come back with something, something new. So, yeah, it wasn't like a big sort of strategic thing, which I'm sure if Diane was doing it might be more strategic, but it was just a kind of gut thing. And as soon as I decided I rang my friend my, one of my business sort of best friends and said, Hey, I've had this idea. I'm going to end my podcast. And she was like, great. That sounds like a really good thing to do. We chatted about it for a few minutes. I thought about it and I spoke to my team and then we kind of put a bit of planning to action as to when we were going to end it and how are we going to do it? And and that was it. But yeah, I'm a big believer in just not. Carrying on doing something just because you can, and you can get lazy with your content as well. I think, and I think it's dangerous. Like if you get to the stage where, Hey, it's doing okay. and you know, nobody's complaining really, but I think that's a dangerous place. So I felt I wanted to quit before people started saying, yeah, that's not as good as it was before. Or, you know, I felt like I could do better. And that's it. Does that kind of make sense? Diane: Totally, totally. I think for me, when I'm listening to do it, I like you're right. I wouldn't need to know. Okay. So what am I going to do instead? And what is that going to look like? And how am I going to, like, what am I like 17 backup plans for this decision, but. Content wise, it's kind of what you're known for is taking that risk, trying that new thing while other people are still thinking, like, what are the 17 different ways I could think about this? You've already done the new thing. So where does that oomph or courage or, I'm trying to think of another word for it, but like that ability to just go. Okay. I've made a decision. I'm happy with it. And I'm going to try this new thing. Is it an experience thing? Is it a personality thing? Can we learn it? Janet: Yeah, it's really interesting question because I'm not even sure that I know the answer. I've always been quite impulsive and I've always been able to make decisions really quickly. That can be a bad thing. I was diagnosed last year with ADHD and one of the symptoms is impulsivity. So you could say as a bad thing, cause sometimes I make decisions very quickly and I make bad decisions quickly, but I found that when it's business related. And I find, I don't tend to, I don't tend to make the same kind of mistakes. I think in life I can make quite impulsive decisions, which can be quite destructive, but in business, I tend to have this gut instinct and I go with it. And I guess that's entrepreneurial-ism because if you don't have that kind of gutsy like this, I've got this idea. I just want to make it happen. You know, that is part of being an entrepreneur for look for lots of people. And, and I do think that everybody could learn to be a bit more. Courageous, I think, and I'm not suggesting that everybody could learn to just blow things up. I tend to do, because I've also like I've I've this week I've. Ended my Facebook page and starts a new Facebook page. Uh, I was working a daily email for a year. I finished that as well. So I am consistent, but I, I'm not, I won't sort of flogger, not even a dead horse, but if I feel that the horse is even kind of like ailing slightly, I'll be like, right. Let's move on to the next thing. But I think, I think you can learn to be more courageous. I don't, I'm not sure that everybody could learn to be that courageous. And I'm not always sure it's, it's the right thing. And it also comes with experience as well, because I have, I've walked away from many things before, and I know from experience that it's okay. And it's okay. Not to have a fully fleshed out plan. So yeah, it's a really interesting question. I'm not a hundred percent sure. I know the answer. it? could be that impulsivity. It could be that, but, but, and I think I have got the kind of personality where I don't need to know the details. And I imagine you might well be the opposite. I mean, I could often do with a few more of the details. It wasn't you know, it's like I could do with probably like half of you, but I can make, I can just make a decision and not know the details and figure them out afterwards. I think everybody could probably benefit with being. From being a bit more like that. And I think it's a muscle you can practice. So like, you know, when people say that they're scared about content or particular type of content, I'd never say just, you know, just go in there and do something really ballsy. Like, I'd be like, well, try this first. And then once that feels comfortable, you can up the ante. So. Yeah. It's I think it's, it's, it's something that you can practice and get better at. I'm not sure you can go from being like, not courageous at all. And the other thing about courage with content is that I guess we're all different. And I ran a challenge recently and Instagram wheels challenge, where I was getting people to make them for the first time. And I was saying, look, you know, for me, what feels like courage to me is very different and what feels like coverage can feel very different in your business journey. So for some of my clients just making a real. Even if they're not in it, you know, that is a massive thing for them, for somebody else. It might be showing their face with something when it's somebody else, it might be you know, doing a trend and, you know, whisking people, laughing at them or saying, well, she's too old to do that or whatever. So I think we're all at different stages. And what feels like courage to all of us is probably going to feel quite different. But I think we can all benefit from pushing ourselves a little bit further than, than we think we can go. If that makes sense. Diane: thinking of like your reels, the two that always stick in my mind are your kind of greatest showman reel. And then every now and then I'll see a reel and I'm like, Jen, are you on your coffee table? Like, what is, what is going on yet? So I do think people will look at your content and think that's super courageous. I don't know if I can get into my garden and the greatest showman outfits, even my most extroverts. Friends would probably have some, some kind of reservation. So for those of us who are more nervous and wanting to take some of those baby steps, how do we figure out where that limit is for us? And then what the starting point is? Janet: So again, this is one of the reasons for changing out the podcast, because I think my understanding of what gets in the way has changed a lot. The more people I've worked with and the more I've understood. And so. I guess the first thing will be to think about what is it that's stopping you. So sometimes it can be about tech. I mean, I had a client who said to me that she didn't make Instagram stories. I made this little video where at the beginning of it, I swiped the date away and she was like, Oh my gosh, like. You have just changed my life because I haven't made Instagram stories. Cause I didn't know how to split the data away. And so sometimes it can be at the tax. So it's like, what is the problem here? Is it the tack? Is it that you're worried about what people think is? it that your you know, you're worried about judgment. You're worried that people might laugh at you. They're the most sort of common things, is it that you think almost like you're too. Good for it. There's so many different things that are going on. And I think just have, I've seen particularly with wheels where people like, you know, It's almost like it's this sort of cheap form of entertainment and I'm better than that. And I know that probably covers up insecurities underneath possibly, but I think it's really understanding like what it, what it is, what's the problem for you. So for some people, it really is about being nervous and it's about getting on camera for some people. It's the text. So it's thinking, well, what do I need to help me make the next step? For some people it might be with the TAC unit, you need help with it. You know, it might be that. You're just unsure how to make the thing. If it's about fitting nervous, um, I would always suggest just baby steps. So an example that comes to mind is I had this client called Zoe who was an artist and she was very character and she wanted to do video, but she was terrified. And I said, well, just show your hands, you know? So could you do some sketching? She was a fashion illustrator. Could you just sketch and show us. Shahbaz, you know what you're doing. And she did that to start with and she did a little bit more, a little bit more. And then one evening I was on Instagram and this live just popped up and there was Zoe selling her paintings talking to camera, and I was like, wow, like I would never have expected this, but I think sometimes it's a little bit of just baby steps. You don't have to show your face to start off with what is it that you would feel comfortable to do? Sometimes it's about accountabilities so these challenges are quite good because everyone else is having to go. Then, you know, and I think it's again, it comes back to understanding yourself what motivates you. Like I'm quite goals, orientated and quite competitive. So if I wanted to do something that was challenging me, it would probably motivate me . So I'm interested. I What do you think is, gets in the way for you when you think about doing those scary things? Okay. Diane: I think it's interesting. I'm really not a video person. Like it's just not my happy place. but I think because I get super in my own head about like, Oh my gosh, like that my hair looks funny or the background looks sunny or the lighting's off. And, and when you said I'm super competitive for me, I'm the same, I'm super competitive. So if the comp be perfect, Then I'm like, well, Janet: Okay. Diane: but interestingly, I can remember my very first podcast episode. Cause someone was saying to me the other day, I really want to do a podcast, but I hate the sound of my voice. And all they wanted to do podcast interviews. And I said, well, when I did my very first podcast interview, the day it came up, like literally I was refreshing the like Apple app until it loaded because you and I are in the UK it's and we get it sooner. And then I had to quickie listen to the whole episode to make sure I hadn't made some like massive blender in it and then got all caught up in my voice. But now I don't even think about it. I edit myself speaking twice a week. And so I think for me, What gets in the way from me is always the starting, I intensely dislike the beginner phase of anything. I like things to be smooth and perfect. And so when you have to learn all of those new little bits, it's frustrating and I think people are like, Oh, just do a story. It's 24 hours. I'm like, but it's 24 hours of just, what if it's not, you know, the best story or the funniest story or whatever. So I think for me, it is it's the perfectionism of the starting phase that really gets in the way of not basically not wanting to look like a twit Janet: Yeah. Yeah. I think a lot of people in particularly successful people, I find this people who've been maybe very successful in a corporate career, and then they come into the online space and. They're often perfectionist, but also they're like terrified about Larry from, from, you know, their old firms, seeing them and, and, and, and, you know, it sometimes happens that people in corporate where they don't understand what you're doing, and they're like, what are you doing? Getting on Facebook live. And like, you know, so I think you do have to be, you have to kind of get your head around that a bit, but I'm interested to know what got you. Moving with the podcast and Diane. So. How did you get past your perfectionism with the podcast? Diane: a couple of things. I think one was just a need. Like I knew I was not getting consistent content out and that continuing to just kind of try and blog was me just bashing my head against a wall. It was making me unhappy. It wasn't helping my business. And then I was in a kind of podcost set up group program and essentially bribed us. That if we launched by the 1st of September, everybody who launched, , the people who were running, who had big audiences would share our podcasts with their audience. And so for me, any cost benefit analysis, that was just, it was a no-brainer and I was up and running without even really thinking about it I had a deadline and a bribe. Janet: Yeah. Diane: You know, they're going to be wrong when COVID hits. I had a Facebook live series that I did with people. I went on my friend's Instagram. No problem. She has like, I don't know, 80,000 followers before we went live. I was like, Ooh, I just didn't think about it. I think about it. So it's almost for me, like if there's a necessity, I'll risk sucking at it. Janet: Yes. Interesting. So, I mean, one thing I I'd say for anyone who feels the same, because what you're saying is so familiar, like I've heard people say Bowie similar before it's well, you do, you need to do video. Maybe you don't and maybe that's something you don't have to worry about because you are producing regular content just because everybody else is doing reels or whatever, it doesn't mean that you have to do it. But if. If you could see that there was a reason that you eat it, it's just plugging into, you know, if there was a reason where you thought, do you know what? I really do need to do this for someone like you I'd be like, okay, let's just, yeah, let, let's kind of find that compelling reason and the deadline and the competition or whatever it is that, that motivates you to to get you to do it. It's interesting because I was chatting to some other I think it was on a clubhouse or something, some business owners about this, and they were saying things like I'm actually. Just having to put makeup on and you know, or just get yourself ready that we had a whole debate then about, should you wear makeup on video? And some people felt strongly that you shouldn't, but some people felt, they felt that they shouldn't, but actually they felt that pressure too. And like this led to this whole massive discussion, but for some people it's about the attack, not the tech itself, but the tech setup. So like one thing that I've done is I've got a second phone now set up on a tripod. So that if I'm making excuses. Oh yeah. But I've got to set my tripod up and I've got to do this and my actually having the equipment, but having it set up in the right place to do it, just to making it really, really easy. I Think you strike me as the kind of person, Diane, that if you really wanted to do it and you had a need to do it, you would just do it and you could totally do it. It's just that there isn't. That that need there for you is that you need a purpose. You need to understand why you're doing it for it. And you would, you would do it. Great. I think, but Diane: I resonate hard with the light hair and makeup thing because I'm a curly girl. So it's not like I wake up in the morning and have to brush my hair. There are limited days in the week where my hair is like not in a messy bun kind of thing. And maybe there is a bit of just, Hey, like that is very much a part of my brand. You know, I am at events and hoodies and jeans and converse. So maybe there is that element, but that's a really, I think, useful excuse for women. Janet: Yeah. Diane: In that like, Oh, I'll do a real tomorrow when I've done my hair and makeup. And one of my friends say to me, well, why didn't you batch your reels? You're the queen of batch everything. So why don't you do makeup once a week and we've still not got there. So I'm not sure it's a valid excuse, but it's an excuse. Janet: that process that we're going through and thinking about where what's holding you back. And if you did want to do that, what are the things you would need to do? So for you, it would probably will be batching, you know, because you're a good batcher and you have proved that you can batch successfully focus. And that would make sense. But the, yeah, the whole, the whole thing for me is, is looking at like what, what really is going on. But also for someone like yourself, it might be about having structure. So this challenge that I ran, I actually gave people pretty much templates to follow, to make the reels. Cause that can be part of the problem as well as that. You know, so it's like, okay, so in the first, how many seconds you do this, the second, you know, and I'm not, I wouldn't advocate that everybody does that all the time, but when you're first getting started, sometimes what's holding you back is actually just what I don't really know what to do. And is that gonna, is that good or is that good or is that good? And, and, but as if some, for businesses like yours, I mean, we're kind of going off the courageous thing, but no, we're not weirdly because we're talking about the things that get in the way of people creating content. But like people are obsessed by systems, like, and. So I have clients who often say, well, who'd want to see a reel of mine because I just sit at my desk and I do spreadsheets, or I, you know, I do bump, but actually people love seeing that there's somebody I follow called Vanessa Lau. And she does puts on a content on air table. I don't know if you'd use air table, but and people love it. Like just looking at how she puts their content plan together. Like someone like you I'd be like fascinated just to see. Your content plan and to see some of your organization, and you wouldn't need to put your face on that video, which would solve your hair and makeup problem as well. Like you could just do like a, let me show you how I do something or really people playing that kind of stuff. You know, let me show you how I organize my week or my day or whatever, you know? You could not even put your face on video at all, you know, so. Diane: Maybe, maybe my next podcast batching day becomes like a, like a mini time lapse, real for people to see like all the Janet: Yeah. Yeah. But I would actually love to see the documents that you create as well, because I bet you that better than fine. And you don't have Diane: Do you want to see all my automations from when someone applies to how zaps into the Google doc for show notes and everything? Janet: the kind of thing thing for like, I mean, you don't to give away all your secrets, but people love that kind of the geek out on that kind of stuff. And so sometimes I think it's, but when people are thinking about being courageous, they're thinking always that, Oh, it has to be me talking to camera, but actually there are lots of other ways to create really engaging content. So, so yeah, I mean, that's. Yeah. It's like find out what it is that's really stopping you because it probably will be quite individual to you. And, and think about what have you, what has worked for you in the past, you know, to get, to get you, to create content and see if you can find that it's really funny. Cause I didn't use to like video, like believe it or not, I used to hate video, but I really liked the real format. And I like, I like live video because I liked the fact that. You don't have to get it perfect. And in fact, being able to cope with it, not being perfect is, is a skill in itself. You know, it's like doing radio or TV. But I found that when I used to record YouTube videos, I, I just didn't like myself on them because I was so tense and like, you know, and, and the real format I love because you're having to, it's a challenge to get. In a very short 30 seconds or a minute for Tik TOK, you have to get a lot across you know, a lot of, of course, a lot of information. And I really liked the challenge of that. And I like the more rough and ready side of it. So some of it, I mean, this is what I talked to my clients about is you don't have to do what everyone else is doing. And part of it is about finding the right platform for you the right way to create content, just create. I have clients who obsessed for years, like, should I do a podcast or YouTube? Doesn't matter, what one can you stick to? Like, it doesn't matter. Like, Oh, but isn't YouTube better. Well, it doesn't matter. They've both got, you know, they've both got really great qualities. Having a blog has got great quality, but like you've found videos to iron. If you can't stick to a blog for whatever reason, but you can stick to a podcast, do a podcast, you know? So yeah, I think, I think. They're the sort of key things to have a think about, but it's really interesting. A lot of people think it's about being introverted or extroverted. I'm actually quite introverted character, but I like, Diane: one would believe from your real. Janet: I am introverted, but I just like prancing around that. I like, performing arts, like, so, you know, I'm that quiet person who comes to life on stage kind of thing. So it works for me, but. You know, a lot of people are never going to do that or never want to do that. And I think that's fine as well. Like not thinking you've got to create the content and this is, I guess, part of my new, you know, new courageous content thing is being courageous enough yet to say, no, like everyone's doing that, but I don't want to do that. Fine. You know, so yeah. There's, there's many aspects to it, but I hope hopefully that's a few ideas. Yeah. Diane: I think it's also for me, I want to show up on content in a way that's recognizable as me. So what I found when I was blogging, as if people had read my blog and then they make me, you've got this very kind of more formal corporate-y style and. Then you meet me in jeans and a hoodie and converse with my wild hair. Normally cracking up, laughing at the back of it, the veins, and there's this kind of jarring motion, which is then doesn't make people trust you. And I find when I try to do video, because I'm trying so hard to make it perfect that then when you meet me, it's a completely different. You know, for me and in a small group versus in front of a big group. So I think there's that element to it as well is me wanting to make sure that whatever I'm producing is very recognizable as me, I guess. Janet: Yeah. Yeah. And I think that is important. Definitely. Diane: So let's talk a little bit about courageous content and what direction Janet Murray is taking in the new world. Janet: I guess I used to be one of these people that was like, because I'm quite hardworking. And if I want to do, I'm not saying that other people aren't by the way, but because I'm just like, My natural inclination is to kind of work 20 to 20 hours a day. And I don't know where I get it wrong, but it's just like, Oh, well, if you want something hard enough, or if you want something enough, you can just work for it. And you can just, just get there and. I think when I first got online and I was seeing people trying to create content, build the audiences and struggling, and people were saying, Oh, I've got imposter syndrome or I've got this going on. Or I've got people pleasing syndrome. I think I was, I hate to admit it a little bit. I've only like, Oh, for God's sake, just get on with it and do the work because, you know, I was a journalist and it was my job to create content. I couldn't say I had writer's block or that I wasn't feeling it. I just had to show up and. Do the work, but the more people that I've worked with over the years, I have to admit, I guess I was wrong. And I think, but I certainly think that it's not an excuse, but I think people's emotions play a much bigger part in how they show up online or don't then I think, I, I think I underestimated. How important that was and how much it could get in the way and how much coverage, you know, how much being courageous in your content. And, and there was a kind of defining moment where one of my guests and my podcast, it was quite a few years ago, sort of turn the tables on me and was coaching me and said, I think that what you do is, yeah, you teach people how to create engaging content and you teach people how to build audiences, but what you really teach people. It has to do is to be courageous because you, you get out there and you do it, you get on the new platforms, you you're, you lead and you other people follow. And, and you're not afraid to give something a go to try something to, to give things up, but you also encourage other people to do the same and you try and make it easy for them. You try and give them templates or encouragement or whatever it is that they need to do it. And so it was really about. Just time and time again. I was just having conversation after conversation with people where I was like, you, you have everything you need to do there. So why aren't you doing it? And it's it's emotions. It was like not lack of courage so much, but sort of, cause that sounds negative, but needing to be a bit more courageous and just needing to somebody almost to give you a push off the side Just to kind of go, come on, like just, just do it, just go for it. And so that's really where it came from. And so I'm not going to be, I'm going to be changing the format a little bit. I'm still going to be answering a lot of the questions and. Yeah, my podcast previously was, you know, really practical marketing advice and content advice that people could apply in their business still wants to do a lot of that, but I also want to be a bit more courageous myself. So in some of the episodes that I've got mapped out, I want to talk about things or say things that I maybe I've wanted to say, but. I haven't wanted to say for fear of offending people, myself, or for fear of other people disagreeing with me. And I'm usually fairly comfortable. Cause that's a whole other conversation we could have. But I think another thing that really holds people back with content is being worried that people disagree we'll disagree with you, but the trouble is if you're creating content where no one ever disagrees with you, then your content is just, Yeah. whatever people, you know, if no one ever. It says, Oh, I'm not sure about that. Or like, why do you think, think that, or even just strongly disagree it's like your content is generally probably not landing with anybody and you're not really making an impact with your content. So. Diane: started much of a conversation then with anyone. Janet: it, yeah. because if you know, it's not about being deliberately controversial or provocative, but if nothing you ever say, if no one ever comes along and says, well, you know, I'm not sure about that. Like, could you do it like this? Or, you know, is that right? You're probably not making any impact at all. And if you're creating content, that's not. Ha, it's not connecting with anybody emotionally. They're, you know, they, they're not driven by anything you say or do. Then it's kind of a bit of a waste of time and I don't want people to waste their time with content. So, so I, I, I've sort of given myself almost as mission to say some of the episodes, I guess, will be a little bit edgier and I will be saying some of the things, you know, I'm generally fairly fearless about saying what I think, but there are certain things I might've held back. About a little bit sort of the marketing advice and talking about particular products or services or whatever, for fear of offending or saying the wrong thing, but I'm not, well, no, actually I think I'm going to be a bit more courageous. Um, but the other thing is that I feel that a lot of It's easy when you have a podcast in the marketing or business space to kind of just roll out the same old interviewees, like the everybody's head. And you're like, Oh yes, this person I've heard them or whatever. I, I think we've all become a lot more conscious about being more diverse and looking for new voices and not just rolling out the same people, but. I think often the best content creators, the people that I look at and think, wow, you are just brilliant. I've learned so much from you. They are not in the business or marketing space. They're often just people who've gone Instagram, Tik TOK, and they're just like being like, Hey, I just. Want to create this content because I think it's fun. And then they, they, they get feedback from the audience and then they say, Oh, this seems to be working. So I'll do more of this. And, and then they grow this massive platform and all they did was just show up and do what great content is about. They, they the time to understand that audience and to create content that resonated with them and to get better and better at it. Other thing you mentioned earlier, Diane is this is a real problem, but for, for lots of people is, is being prepared to be a beginner. I found myself saying so many times over the last, like few months to people. Look, when you start a business, What makes you think that you're going to be an expert at creating content, unless you were doing that in your previous job, like people get paid to create content like for brands and for companies, you know, they, they, even do degrees in it. So what makes you think that you would start a business and you would automatically know how to create really amazing content for your Facebook page or Instagram? Like what would make you think? You know, you don't expect to be amazing other things in your business, but I think. With content, it's actually having the courage to say, okay, well, I haven't done this before, or haven't done much of it. Then I need to give myself a bit of time. I need to be prepared to fall on my face and maybe make a few mistakes. So it's also trying to provide, if that kind of makes sense. That's the sort of more supportive environment for people, because I do think there's an expectation sometimes. Like, okay, I've started a business and I'm going to post some stuff on Facebook and I've never done anything like this before. Oh, Why is nobody responding, what's going on, but actually you need to learn it and you need to get to grips with it. So, so it's about, I hope that kind of makes sense. It's more about trying to get under the skin of, you know, what this stuff is really about and to help people move past some of their, their blocks, which we've kind of talked about already. Ready? Diane: yeah, kind of like what's holding you back and then they can go back and listen to the 450 episodes on how to build their audience, you know? Yeah. I always think one of my favorite pieces of feedback that I get on the podcast is, Oh, I I'm so pleased. You introduced me to this person. Like you said it's often the same names. And so I'm excited when somebody meets somebody new on my podcast. but I can already see that in the, what, six months or whatever that I'm doing, it, how much easier it's got for me to do everything. And so there is a part of me that's okay, how do I stretch this? How do you find that? Next step, how do you push that boundary? Once you all comfortable doing something already? Janet: Yeah. And it's something I've identified only recently. And this is the thing that we're always developing and growing as content creators, but it kind of occurred to me. There's like four phases to growing an audience. So like the first phase is consistency. We talked about at the beginning, like just showing up and. Doing it every week or day or whatever. The second phase is about engagement. So, Okay. so now I'm doing it regularly. How the heck do I get somebody to respond to me? Because if you can't get somebody to respond, they're not going to buy it from you. The next stage is about growth. Okay. So, I'm creating consistent, consistent content. People are engaging with me. They're talking back to me. So how do I get more of these people? And then the next stage is like the conversion stage. And so I've started to identify this kind of like these. For these four stages and to kind of look at it as your sort of content journey as being this. One stage it's like you're saying supporting people through the next stage. Okay. And through this stage, like, okay, what, what most people get stuck right at the beginning, the consistency, like I'm doing it regularly. So what, why is, why is my business not exploding? And so it's almost to try and support people to say, look, Hey, there are some stages here and you're probably going to hit some tricky bits. And like you say, Diane, like, you're going to need to stretch yourself. But you might not necessarily know what it is you need to do to stretch yourself. So what can we do at each stage to kind of get better? So, yeah, so there's that kind of, you know, I'm understanding almost like what I'm teaching more and getting more sophisticated in how I understand it. And. And then I'm able to communicate it. So I'm still going to do a little bit of practical tactical stuff. But like you said about introducing new people, like, I felt like that as well as like, you know, I listened to somebody else's podcasts. I heard an interview with you and I was like, Oh, that's really good. I'm going to just reach out to this person and say, You know, come on my podcast. I'm not sure that all podcasts is do that. Like listen to other people's content, like look for new talent. And I know there's been times when I'm busy when you fall into the habit. Oh, well I know that person and I could just ask them that would be really easy, but again, I I'm almost pushing myself to be courageous enough to actually to ask some people on my podcast. I think Oh no, they never say yes to me, but you know, I'm going to ask them anyway. So, it's about yeah, for me, it's about. Like just pushing yourself to the next stage and seeing, seeing what else there is there, because I think we've all got a little bit more in us, I think. Diane: I think the community aspect of that will be really interesting because one of the things that is the hardest about starting a podcast and anybody who starts a podcast will tell you is , you produce four episodes and they're out there. And like 20 people have listened to them. And 15 of those people are your friends who have downloaded them because you stood over them while they did it. And. That kind of growth is so slow. And you do have that Facebook lives, Instagram lives, only two people are watching. Why should I bother? And for me, the thing that got me over the hump was a friend started a brand new podcast in a market. He knows nothing about at the exact same time as me. And he would tell me his download numbers. And I'd be like, Oh, okay, I'm on track. This is where it's supposed to be. And I think having that space that you're creating where people can be like, Oh, it's normal for this to feel scary. It's normal for this to feel hard. It's normal for this to not get the same engagement as the thing that I've been doing for three years I think is more and more important as more and more things go online. And so do we know when that podcast is starting? Janet: By the time this goes live because you're so well organized. It will probably definitely be live by then. And they've got a new website coming up and having photos taken today for new website brand and yeah. Blowing up quite a lot of things in, in, in my business. For a bit of a new start. Diane: Oh, I'm very excited to see where all of this is going to go. So before we finish up, I always like to ask my guests a couple of questions. Number one, what is your lifestyle boundary for your business? Janet: My personal Facebook. People. messaged me, like randomly to ask me questions or to ask about working with me all sorts of different things in my personal Facebook. And although it's tempting because they're potentially clients or customers, I do have a Facebook page and I do have a website and an email. And so I don't answer people and it sometimes pains me a little bit, but I've actually put a big sign up on my personal Facebook that says, this is my personal Facebook. Because I feel like I've got loads of business friends on my, on my business, Facebook, but on my personal Facebook, but that is my space for family and friends. And that's, that's my boundary. Diane: Yeah, I have a very similar one with my personal Facebook. If we haven't met online or in person in some way, and you send me a friend request, it's not happening. Janet: Yeah. Diane: Like I have Instagram, you can message me on LinkedIn. You can email me, but I also have that kind of hard boundary on my personal Facebook. We have so little, I think that is Our real estate these Janet: exactly. I mean, I'm, you know, my phone's pinging all day or different platforms. It, it can get really overwhelming, but I think that that is my space for my friends and family and any business friends that I choose to, to allow into that space. But it can feel hard. Even if somebody is asking about working with you, I find that really tough. But I think no, because don't, you know, if somebody does become a client, I don't. Well them messaging me, my personal Facebook all the time, asking me questions and stuff, you know, and I do have quite, you know, if I'm working with people, coaching, I always have really clear boundaries and members like what the working hours are and if there is any one-to-one or any email or to how much time and, you know, so, but, but I find people will try and push, push that. And if they want to get a hold of you, it's the personal Facebook they'll go. Diane: Yeah, that's how they've reached you in the past. You've taught them that you're available in that way. Janet: So that's my, that's my big, my big boundary. Yeah. Diane: And finally, what's the worst piece of cookie cutter advice you've been given Janet: Okay. Diane: an owner? Janet: Piece of advice as such, but I talk about this quite a lot. So when I was first getting online and wanting to launch online courses and memberships, as many people do one to many, I remember buying a blueprint from a very Famous blueprint that everybody was using at the same time, you might know the one, I mean, and there was absolutely nothing wrong with this blueprint. It's great. It was a great process and I'm sure it worked really well for people, but, you know, I launched my first course and I sold 13, which was not like, you know, I was expecting to make. Tens of thousands of pounds and, you know, I was quite far off and I think it's, it's not a piece of advice almost, but it's almost a whole culture that prevails, which is this idea that you or I could rock up online after doing something else for how many years. And we could get the same results as somebody who's been doing it for donkey's years has. A team behind them as a million dollar business has money to invest in Facebook ads and all that stuff. And thousands of followers, a massive audience, that's a crucial thing as well. And so it's not one individual piece of advice, but I think there's a lot of gurus and people out there who they neglect to mention that until you've basically that, you know, the millions lbs launch strategies are not going to work when you've just got on line last week and you have 200 followers. on your Facebook page or whatever, you've got to put the work in and. You can't fast track that bit. And so I would just caution anyone not to fall for that stuff. Yes. There's some good stuff in there, but you can't use your 10 strategies in year. One of your businesses, basically what I'm getting at. Diane: a hundred percent. And I couldn't agree with that more. I always say to people, unless you want to be the exact same person in the exact same circumstances and from the exact same starting point, you can't just take the exact same steps because you also don't know anything about behind the scenes that their personal life. You know, they could be like me, who doesn't have a partner or kids to worry about. And you're at home with somebody who's got a full-time job and three kids who have been homeschooled. So I do think that's a very pervasive myth in our business and I'll call it a myth because that's polite. Well, this has been such a fun interview. Thank you so much. I am excited to listen to the new podcast. Where is the best place for people to connect with you? Janet: So my website, Janet murray.co.uk, but Instagram is where I hang out the most. It's at Jen Marie, UK, and that's usually the best place to connect. And it's really nice if you've listened to this interview. It's always nice. I'm sure Diane would say this. If you tag us both in and let us know that you've listened it's always really nice to, to hear how people found you. And if, you know, if you're a new person who didn't know about me before, that's great, you know, to to connect that way. Diane: And definitely go check out the greatest showman real. If you're just scrolling, you’ll spot it. Janet: Yeah. Diane: Awesome. Thank you so much, Janet. Janet: Thanks so much for having me. It's been a really, really enjoyable chat. Thank you.

It is not just the beginner who needs courage to keep their content fresh. What would it take to stretch you right now? Would you stop your 450 episode long high-ranking podcast?

Janet Murray walks you through why she did exactly that and how to be more courageous in your content to catch your ideal client’s eye at every stage of your content journey

Key Takeaway

You have to be prepared to be a beginner at each stage of the journey or your content becomes stale and your audience will lose interest.

We talk about

  • What putting out 450 episodes taught Janet and why she closed it all down
  • The most common reasons for avoiding something new in your content 
  • The 4 stages of content 
  • How to get started no matter which reason is holding you back
  • How Janet is showing up more courageously with her new show
  • Janet’s lifestyle boundary for her business
  • The worst cookie-cutter advice Janet’s been given on her business

About Janet

Janet Murray is one of the UK's leading content marketing experts and specialises in audience growth.

She is the creator of the Social Media Diary & Planner – an A4 desk diary that helps coaches, creatives and entrepreneurs plan and create content that helps them grow their audience and generate leads and sales for their business.

She is also the founder of 2021 Sorted and the Build Your Online Audience programme – the only online membership programme exclusively dedicated to audience growth.

Janet is also a podcaster, author and speaker, who has spoken all over the world about content marketing and audience growth


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The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this podcast episode and article are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this article or episode. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this article. Diane Mayor disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this article.