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S2 E19 How Life Design is Your Key to Happiness and a Full Life with Gaby Cevallos

S2 E18 Tapping into Your Feminine Energy to Create a Holistic, Soul-led Life and Business with Megan Hatfield

S2 E17 How Recess Came to Be and Advice for Building Your Own Community

S2 E3 How Did We Market Our Businesses Before the Internet?

Today in the online business space, most coaches would argue that everyone needs social media — and they mean everyone. As a creative, Diana tends to challenge the status quo. She raises the question: how can you get creative in the ways you market our businesses and not get stuck in a silo on Instagram?

In this episode of The Pollen Podcast, Diana shares how you can get creative about how you use social media to work for you. It’s a challenge to stand out if you’re simply copying what everyone else is doing. Looking at what you’ve done for your business, do you feel empowered by your level of creativity? Don't limit yourself by conforming to the social media marketing “blueprint”. To unlock your creative genius within, listen and learn how you can leverage social media, even if you dislike using it!

Tune in to find inspiration and finally get creative with your socials!

Diana's 90-day group course Camp Clarity is back and totally revamped. Apply now to learn everything you wish you already knew, like how to land dream clients, harness the power of social media, and make the money you deserve. Apply here.

👂 Here are three reasons why you should listen to this episode:

  1. Why social media isn’t the only way you can grow your business today.

  2. Understand what your current relationship is with social media and if it's time to diversify.

  3. Other ways you can market your business that don’t leave you relying on social media alone.

📘 Resources

🎧 Episode Highlights

[02:41] How Diana Coaches and Explaining Social

  • The coaching industry usually anchors on personal experience. Many coaches teach their students what worked for them, which prompts students to follow these guidelines to the letter.

  • Diana approaches coaching with a personal touch. She considers each client’s unique situation and needs.

  • In essence, “social” is when you tell someone about what you do. It covers social media channels like Instagram and TikTok, as well as email marketing.

  • Thus, Diana believes social also includes meeting people in networking events and how you present yourself.

  • Social media connects people all over the world. However, it can also become a rabbit hole of endless scrolling.

[06:48] Social Media Isn’t for Everyone

  • Diana’s client wanted to stop using Instagram for their business in just 3 months. Their relationship with the platform became unhealthy.

  • Social media is a great marketing tool, but it’s not for everyone.

  • Get creative and think back to how people did marketing before the internet.

  • You need to have an online presence to be credible. If social media is not for you, you can simply use it as a portfolio site.

[10:04] Diana: “Social media is absolutely important. You don’t want to be the gray avatar, the gray circle no profile picture kind of sketchy, [and] a little weird. You want to have a presence there, but it doesn’t mean you have to be on there 24/7. It’s not good for our mental health.”
  • Don’t immediately give up on social media without trying it out for yourself. Set your boundaries, identify specific strategies, and give yourself a deadline.

[12:50] Marketing Outside Social Media

  • If you’re using social media as a portfolio site, you still need to find a way to get people to know about you and your work.

  • Tune in to the full episode as Diana shares a client’s experience. Her client is a seamstress whose customer base is mostly locals.

  • Think about your social time and focus on the nature and locality of your customers.

  • Think outside the box and stop mimicking people you see on social media.

[16:16] Diana: “When you’re just in a silo looking at what everyone else is doing all the time . . . that’s not the way original ideas are generated . . . [Plan] time off of your freaking phone so that you can get creative and have a business that’s original and lights you up so that you feel really proud.”

[16:45] The 20% That Matters

  • Ask yourself: what is the 20% of all the tasks you are doing that move 80% of your business?

  • For example, if you’re noticing that 80% of your business comes from word of mouth, keep focusing on growing this word of mouth.

  • Once you’ve worked on this enough, then you can start to think about adding another layer of marketing strategy.

  • In the full episode, Diana shares her campfire analogy to put this into perspective.

[20:49] Get Creative About Your Business

  • Think about how you show up and where you feel most lit up.

  • Once you find something that makes you feel good, keep doing it.

  • If you have social media, get creative about how you go about it. Listen to the full episode for some ideas!

[25:33] Get Inspired

  • Look outside your industry to get ideas and inspiration.

  • In the full episode, Diana shares some exciting combinations for industries you’d never think about.

[27:59] Diana: “Let’s start being creative about being creative, and not have to fit in a box, not have to have the product suite that everyone else has, and really start creating new things in this world, new experiences for people, because that’s why we’re here.”

Enjoyed this Podcast on Getting Creative with Socials?

Go beyond what others are doing. After all, we’re creatives, aren’t we? If you’ve been doing socials like everyone else, now’s the time to take a step back and reassess!

Pollen is a podcast for Creative Entrepreneurs—just like you! If you enjoyed this episode of Pollen Podcast, subscribe and help us spread the word by sharing it! Your dream life is there for you to take — and you can help others find lives they can love too.

Leave a review and share it! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐If you enjoyed tuning in to this podcast, we'd appreciate it if you wrote us a review. You can also share it to help other creative entrepreneurs and freelancers.

Have any questions or want to leave a suggestion? Come say hi on the 'gram, @dianadaviscreative! You can also subscribe to my newsletter for travel updates, learn about special projects, and get tips and tricks for the creative entrepreneur life!

Connect with me on Linkedin: Diana Davis Creative.

Thanks for listening! Stay tuned to my website for more episode updates and other exciting programs and resources!


Diana Davis: You're not being original and creative when you're just in a silo, looking at what everyone else is doing all the time. That is not the way ideas and original ideas are generated. So, plan to go like on a walk in a field outside, plan to get away from the screens, plan time off of your freaking phone.

Welcome to Pollen, the ultimate podcast for helping creative entrepreneurs like you build the business and life of their dreams. Want to finally make money doing what you love, work with your dream clients, and turn your creative gifts into a thriving business? I'm your host, Diana Davis, business coach, Gemini, manifesting generator, matcha enthusiast, and full-time nomad. My mission? To empower you to unleash your creative gifts and build a career and life that fills you with passion.

Here's the deal. I went from creating a six-figure photography business to helping amazing creative souls like you build your own empires. So I've been there, I get it. Whether you're an artist, designer, writer, yogi, or anything in between, this podcast is your treasure trove of inspiration. So grab your favorite notebook, maybe a matcha, and let's embark on this incredible adventure.

Hi, Pollen. I'm so excited for you to listen to this upcoming episode basically touching on do we even need social media and how to get really frickin creative as creatives about the products and services we offer? It is a spicy one. I really want to hear what you think. So please share this, please DM me, please let me know, rate, review, all the things we love it. It's so so important to us. We appreciate it so much.

So a couple of announcements. Camp Clarity has started, round nine, it is 2.0. Right. So we are totally redoing the modules this round. The branding is new, it's just really refreshed. It is not too late to jump in. We've only had our welcome call if you are listening to this when this episode airs, and it's not too late to jump in if you're ready to roll. Otherwise, you can jump on the waitlist for the next round, which will start this fall.

We also have ASCEND, the mastermind, which will be starting around late August, early September, you can hop on the waitlist for that as well. And hop on the waitlist for our retreats that are happening in 2024. All right, without further ado, let's get spicy.

Hello, Pollen. Welcome to another solo episode with me. Today, we're going to talk about: do you really need social media? How can we be creative about our own business and not just follow a blueprint of someone else's? Which includes, how do we get more clients? And does it have to be on Instagram? Do we have to hop on the TikTok train? Do we need to be doing YouTube shorts? What's the deal?

What I really pride myself on and talking with my clients on is that I am so not here to just tell you how I've done my business and have you regurgitate that. I think a lot of the coaching industry gets a lot of flack because it seems like an MLM scheme, where I just teach you exactly what I've done. And you go do that. And you get more people doing that. And then you teach those people, and they teach those people.

I've always really wanted to stray away from being a coach that just coaches coaches because it does feel like that sometimes. And there's nothing wrong with being a coach who coaches coaches. I absolutely have coaches in my programs. But I really want to approach coaching every single individual person, even when it's in a group course, to really make their business and their plan and their product suite work for them and the way they market that product suite. And that includes social media.

When I talk about social, I incorporate not only social media, Instagram, TikTok, email marketing, all of that, but anytime that you are literally forward facing to someone else telling them about what you do. So I include social as literally meeting someone at a bar and telling them what you do. Meeting someone at a networking event. How do you present yourself? How do you talk about yourself? What is that elevator pitch of what you say when someone says, “what do you do?”

It's like, “Oh my God, I am a coach for creatives, and I am so passionate about debunking the idea of the starving artist. I actually used to be a photographer and graphic designer until COVID hit, and I realized I really wanted to help other creatives bring their businesses to life. Now I get to do that full-time. I'm a nomad. I get to work remotely with people from around the world, whether it's photographers, yogis, graphic designers, and help them build their businesses,” right?”

That is social media. That is being social. That's telling people, no matter what platform it's on, whether it's a barstool or your Instagram, who you are, what you do, and why the hell you care. Why the hell you do what you do. So here's what happens in my world, even though I teach social media and I teach the confidence to show up on social media and how to be authentic there and learn to love it and reframe it, versus being like, “Oh, my God, I have to show up on social media today.” It's about I get to serve my people today.

However, social media can be really toxic. It can lead you into a scroll hole, all of a sudden, our phones telling us that we've spent eight hours on our screen that day, we've been scrolling TikTok on our bed for four hours. We don't go to bed on time because we get lost in that just dopamine hit after hit, right? I've been there. I am the person that cannot bring her phone to bed. If I do, I will be on it for an extra hour, and then I get bad sleep. And that affects literally the rest of my week. So I get it, there's a lot of toxicity around social media.

It is literally designed for us to be addicted to it. It's a little scary. And it's scary for our future generation. It's like, it's a lot. So there are clients who I've worked with that we get into the social media, we really work on the limiting beliefs, we do the strategy, and they've tried it for three months, and they decide, “You know what, Instagram’s just really unhealthy for my mental state, I just can't be on there all the time. I compare myself, I get into the scroll hole, I'm not present, I'm not, you know, even present with my partner at the table because I'm scrolling Instagram,” or whatever the case may be.

We look at that and go, okay, this is not good for you. I'm not going to force this thing on to you, this strategy. Even though social media is an amazing free marketing tool, and I highly recommend it, there are other ways. So I just want to go back to when we didn't have the internet, right? Like, I want to think about how we can get creative and how we can be the people who were posting their fricking flyers on telephone poles, right? Putting their stuff up with, you know, the little tabs with the phone numbers, had a coffee shop on the corkboard.

What were the kinds of things that people were doing before social media? And can that work for your business as well? And I will say right now, I think no matter what, it's really important to have a social media profile, at least, with content there so people can kind of go to that spot with knowing you're a person, knowing they can see your work, knowing that you have some sort of presence.

I do think that's important. It's just like having a website. Like if I don't find you on social media, and I'm about to hire you, we actually talked about this in episode two with Jamie. She was looking for DJs for her wedding. And when they didn't have an Instagram profile, it's kind of weird, right? Like, do you exist? What's the deal? Why don't you? So it's important to have that portfolio, but it can act just solely as a portfolio if you want.

You can put it in your bio as like, not really on Instagram, here to connect over email. I have a lot of, not a lot, but a few clients who just like viscerally cannot handle social media. It's not good for their mental state, and we're not going to force anyone to do anything and say this is the answer. So that's what they do. And they encourage people to go to another route, go through email and connect with them. And that's a big part of it, too. Like where are we sending them?

If we know social media is part of the pipeline, no matter what people are gonna look you up on Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, whatever. And we have that space for them to at least land and how do we kind of direct them down the correct pipeline to eventually inquire and pay for our services and experience impact from whatever we're doing for them, whether you're a chef and you're selling a cookbook, or whether you're a photographer and doing a photo shoot, right?

That being said, social media is absolutely important. You don't want to just be like the gray avatar, like the gray circle, no profile picture, kind of sketchy, a little weird. You want to actually have a presence there, but it doesn't mean you have to be on there fricking 24/7. It's not good for our mental health. Do I think you can create boundaries around social media and make it work for you and make it an amazing tool? Yes. Do I do most of my business on social media? 100%. Do I love showing up because I've created such an amazing community there? Abso-fucking-lutely. But if it's not for you, it's not for you.

My one little decision tree situation that I want to present to you though is, is it because like, do you not want to show up on Instagram, because first of all, it's scary? You haven't tried it, you haven't reframed your relationship with it, you haven't really like given it a full shot of what it can look like? If that's the case, then I encourage you to take Camp Clarity, or take one of my base camp masterclasses and try it out and implement the actual strategies. And give yourself a deadline.

Right now it's July, I'm going to give it my all. I'm going to go on social media, I'm going to create really good boundaries, where I have maybe a two hour limit per day, I have certain time blocked out my calendar so it's not during dinner, and I'm not answering things that were times. And I'm going to have like maybe even a mindfulness app, which you can download, where it makes you breathe for five seconds before you open social media so that it's not just a muscle memory thing.

Whatever boundaries you need to create around this, do that. And give yourself a timeline. It's July, and by September, I'm going to reevaluate. But in that time, from July to September, I'm going to really give it my all and stop letting those limiting beliefs and doubts and just like “uggh, I hate this” kind of victim mentality creep in and just decide, “I'm going to do this and it's going to be the best experience it can be. And I'm going to reevaluate in September, and if it's just tanking my mental health, then I'm going to make adjustments.” And maybe that adjustment is just getting off Instagram. But it's very rare. I only have had like three clients fully need to do this.

But again, like we're creatives, I want to be creative about the solutions for our business. And it's not just a one size fits all blueprint ever. And that's what I love about working with so many different types of industries in my coaching. So, we go back to if we're not on social media, and it is just a landing pad and a portfolio piece, how do we get our stuff out to our clients or future clients, right? And I go back to that posting a fire on a telephone pole.

I have literally had clients do this lately, in 2023, because sometimes you have something that is actually local. For example, I have a seamstress client, she actually had an epic, government seamstress job. She's a professional sewer. And she quit that when she joined Camp Clarity and went full-time on her own. A lot of her projects are so hyper-local.

Now, if she was to create a course for sewing or do virtual lessons, that would be one thing, which is a beautiful addition to her product suite. Right? You can absolutely do that. That would be a virtual situation where she would definitely want to get on Instagram, and really start nurturing that message and that product and plant those seeds so people know what she's doing.

Even if she's thinking about that in the future at all, I highly recommend that she's doing that anyway, so that when she is ready to launch that sewing course, people are like, “Oh, duh, I've been following you forever, and of course, you're doing this. and of course, I'm signing up,” right? But as far as like custom projects, wedding dress alterations, custom wedding dresses, all of these things that she was doing, it's local. It's not like she's going to be able to sew through Zoom. So there is a time and a place for that as well.

Can she get into local Facebook groups and post about her services? Can she literally go to a coffee shop, which she did, and post fliers on the corkboard and even hang out there for a while and just like see who she can meet, who she can socialize with, part of social, and spread the word about who she is what she does, and how she wants to help people, right? So you need to look at your business and go, “Do I have a local audience, an in-person situation?”

For example, are you a photographer that literally needs to do in-person photoshoots? How can I really prioritize my social time to nurture that? Maybe I should actually be spending the hours that I would spend scrolling on social media, going to local networking events, and meeting people. And maybe those people aren't our clients, but I guarantee you they know someone one introduction away who is going to be your photo client, right? So we can't just go into a course or go into a coaching program and say, “Okay, this coach has all the answers, she's done it before. And I'm going to do it just like that.” Because it's not a blueprint, especially as a creative.

I want you to start thinking outside of your industry outside of just like what you're seeing online. That's another reason to create some boundaries around Instagram, the comparison game. You're not being original and creative when you're just in a silo looking at what everyone else is doing all the time. That is not the way ideas and original ideas are generated.

Plan to go like on a walk in a field outside, plan to get away from the screens, plan time off of your freaking phone, so that you can get creative and have a business that's original, and lights you up, that you feel really proud of. Right? I love this analogy, or more like method and equation, of what is that 20% that you are doing that moves that 80% of your business?

For example, you might have, let's see. You might have a Reiki business, right, and you really love to do in-person Reiki, and maybe you have some virtual as well. 80% of your business might be driven from word of mouth alread.y 80% of your clients come to you from someone saying to someone else, “Oh my god, I had an amazing Reiki session with this person.” And that's how people come to you. Pay attention to that.

Really look at the evidence of how clients are coming to you and don't stop doing those things. That's the 20% that you're doing that's moving the 80% of your business. So I want to picture it like a fire. So we have stoked this fire. We are burning hot, it's ready for the marshmallows, right? It takes a while.

Have you ever built a fire? Takes like a minute to get a good fire going. Sometimes the wood’s too wet. Sometimes we don't have enough kindling. Sometimes we're out in the middle of nowhere and have to like scrounge up dry grass. Sometimes we run out of wood, whatever the case may be. So it takes a little bit to like nurture this fire. That's one fire and pretend that's word of mouth and that's also, we're still in the Reiki business here, that's word of mouth. And that's like our in-person sessions, right?

That's the 80% of our business that's bringing in money and the 20% that's driving that is the word of mouth. So we want to keep stoking that fire, we want to make sure that fire doesn't go out because we've worked really hard to build it. So pay attention to that fire, we want to keep it going. But before we start another fire, like, okay, now we want to really focus on social media because I feel like that could be really good for my business. Maybe it doesn't happen right away.

Maybe I don't get a client strictly from social media for six months. But now that I have this fire going and all I have to do is like add a log once in a while, I can start to build and cultivate this other fire that is social media. And that could lead to a lot of other things. Right? And maybe over here, we want to write a frickin book. But let's work on the social media fire and get both of these fires really rolling and roaring to where all we have to do is add a log once in a while before we start a whole other fire. Because juggling three fires is a lot. Are you still with me? Campfire analogy? Let's go.

So that's what I want to think about in our business. And whether you use so social media not, some of you love it, some of you are indifferent, some of you frickin hate it, which I want you to work on. I don't want you to hate it, I want you to decide to leave and detach from it if it's healthier for you. But if it's like a hate relationship, there's probably some limiting beliefs that we need to work on before we decide if we're leaving Instagram or not.

Again, caveat, want to make sure, I don't recommend not being on Instagram. But if it is not serving you, and you've tried the thing, then by God, there's so many other ways to cultivate your business. Word of mouth, literally posting flyers on a telephone pole, posting things to a coffee shop, being and posting in Facebook groups, networking, all of that stuff. You get to be creative about your business. You get to decide what it looks like. You get to show up wherever it feels the most alive.

Because I guarantee you, if you feel lit up by how you show up and where you show up. Like I love to show up on Instagram, it's my favorite place ever. My community is there. I have built such a cool group over on Instagram, and it feels like a community. I haven't even dug into TikTok and YouTube and all of these things because I have such a place on Instagram and it feels so supportive to me. So wherever you're feeling most lit up, in general, you should probably keep trying to do that thing. Because I really believe those are like little breadcrumbs from the universe of like, “keep going, keep going, keep going. This feels good,” right?

If you're lit up about it, your people are going to feel that too. 100%. That's what magnetism is right? Just like emitting those vibes and people being like, “Wow, I can feel her energy.” I get that all the time on Instagram, “I can feel your energy. I just love your vibe on here.” Right? Because I'm excited to show up. I'm not faking it.

That being said, get creative, though. Even if you have social media, can we do some guerilla marketing? Can you literally spray-paint your frickin website on the sidewalk? I don't know. You've seen it. If you're in New York, you have like, is it the Persian poet? Always spray painting things and quotes and beautiful affirmations on the sidewalk. And then people post and tag them on Instagram, you know, mural artists, all of these things like, how can we get our stuff out in a creative, fun way?

Is it being a speaker at an event? Is it doing a collaboration workshop? Like I just did a Financial Gym workshop on worth, and I got in front of a lot of new people. You can guest coach for people, you can guest artist, what would you even call that? Like be a guest artists, I guess. So I just got a tattoo yesterday and so many of these amazing artists are actually traveling artists. So same thing, you don't have to be a coach to do this. You can go “I want to go to New York,” and be a guest at a tattoo studio for two weeks. And that's the thing.

It's like an artist residency, then you get in front of a whole other platform of people. And now if you're like an artist in Copenhagen, which is where I'm at at the moment, if you're a tattoo artist here and you went to New York for a week, and you went to Barcelona for a week, and you went to LA for a week, now you have people talking about you literally all over the world, and your books are freaking full and you can raise those prices. That's cool. That's guerilla marketing.

That has nothing to do with Instagram, but Instagram is a part of it. We weave it in a way where we have a place where people can actually go and share our stuff after they experience us in real life. Instagram is your business card. When you are networking you say, “Hey, let's connect on Instagram.” And then you send them a DM right in that second saying, “Hey, Sarah, it was so great to connect with you at the Six Degrees Society event,” so that when you go back, you know where you met that person and she knows as well.

Now they're hopefully following you. They're in your world. And if you are feeling good about posting on Instagram, they can keep up with you without just like an email kind of connection where you're probably going to lose track of each other. Instagram is still an integral part of it. If I get a tattoo in Copenhagen, which I did, I then need something to be able to tag and share if I want to share that with my audience.

Whether the tattoo artist is super active on Instagram or not, she needs to have a portfolio there for me to tap into and share so people then can click and go to her work. And then it's important to have that call to action in the bio saying how we contact them if I want a tattoo from you. So a lot of tattoo artists will say like, “Do not DM me. Email only,” and it's in their bio and it's very clear. So make the stop signs, the yield signs, the one-way signs, the street signs very clear to your audience. No matter if you're active on social media or not, they still need to know where to go.

The last thing I will end this and leave you with is, can we look outside our industry to get creative about what we are creating in our product suite for our business? So we did this a lot on the Greece retreat in May. And we really brainstormed around what our business could create that's kind of out of this world, and maybe not even something we were thinking about or might even pursue. We might not even pursue it, but it starts our wheels turning.

For example, we had a nutritionist that decided to make an affirmation Oracle Card Deck, right? Like one of these Oracle card decks for her people who want that kind of vibe, because she does breath work, and she does movement, and she does eating disorder, recovery, and all of these things. And to have an Oracle Card Deck would be so on-brand for her and what a cool thing and add on a $50 purchase that is a physical item that most nutritionists don't have.

What about a designer who is wanting to create a festival that is full of creators, right? These were all real-world examples within the retreat that we wouldn't maybe have thought of or really pondered on, if we were just thinking, “Well, most nutritionists do this, or most designers do this.” So, actually, the prompt was, and you will hear this more from Julia and an upcoming episode about branding is, “Look outside your industry at something that inspires you.”

Let's just take a festival company, right, which was one of the examples. A festival company who turned their festival into a yoga kind of festival. I think it's Wanderlust? And she was like, “Okay, how do I make my brand like that? If I was to do a festival, how would that look for me as a branding designer?” So these are the types of things where we get to create out of thin air and so much more fun products and services than just like one-on-one coaching, one-on-one photoshoot, logo design, you know what I mean?

That's okay, too. But let's start being creative about being creative and not have to fit in a box, not have to have the product suite that everyone else has, and really start creating new fricking things in this world, new experiences for people because that's why we're here. That's why us as artists are meant to be out here doing business if you're an artist that wants to be making that your business.

With that, I would love to hear your thoughts and your ideas. I would love to hold those for you. It's so fun to have that back-and-forth brainstorm and collaboration and just to say it out loud to someone. So I would love for you to DM me and tell me what your industry is, what you do, and a company that inspires you, and how you could do something like that in your own business. And we can just chat about it just like friends.

I'm dianadaviscreative on Instagram. I am very active there even if you choose not to be, which I'm giving permission slips today for that. But I would love to hear from you. I would also adore if you shared this episode with your people, and tag me, and give it a review. Of course, a five-star review would be amazing. But if you think less of it, like be honest. And if you're on Spotify, you can do that. If you're on Apple Podcasts, you can rate and review.

All of that stuff is so, so, so helpful for me who is giving this information and coaching for free to get out in front of more people because I want more creatives like us to be empowered and inspired. So thank you so much for being here. This was a fun one. Sending you so much love. Can't wait to hear from you.

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