Developing an Authentic Content Strategy with Dellea Copeland
Dellea Copeland is an entrepreneur, marketing strategist, storyteller, and recent graduate from the Simply Business Academy. She has executed 5 & 6-figure program launches for her clients and now uses that knowledge to teaches others how to create high-quality content that converts (in half the time and with way more ease).
Although we both believe authentic is one of the most important elements to building your audience and to building your business online in a fun and sustainable way, she and I have had some great conversations simultaneously eye-rolling to the term (this is one of those said conversations). She is honestly one of the most authentic and self-aware people that I have ever met and her content online is so raw, so real, and so in your face (in the best kind of way). And, today, she wants to show you just how she does it, so you can attract your dream clients and have fun doing it!
Today, Dellea works with entrepreneurs as a marketing strategist helping them live their best lives through storytelling and a fun approach to marketing. But, she didn’t always know that’s what she wanted to do.
Only a few short years ago, she was devoting her focus and energy to grad school. She wanted to make a difference and the public sector seemed like an amazing place to start. The problem? She didn’t have the drive or passion for it. So, after getting her masters she went in search of that drive.
She started a blog and began to experiment with a variety of different projects. She chose to have fun exploring her passions and creating her life.
Honestly, this period of my life was actually so fun because I didn’t have the pressure of, I need to turn this blog or this project into something, just explore it. I was just being creative.
And, then one day, she landed herself a position as the content director for a marketing agency—no degree in marketing and no “real” experience other than the free work she had done for previous employers and the time she spent helping her mom build her business from the ground up.
I always knew, since I was a kid, that I was supposed to be doing this.
After some time spent working (and hating) the agency life, she pivoted her dreams once more and started working with online business coaches. And, now, here she is, 6-7 months later, running her own business and helping other entrepreneurs do the same.
What is storytelling relative to marketing? And why is it important?
At the end of the day, marketing is about connection. It doesn’t matter what strategy you use. If you’re not making a connection, then you’re not going to take people through the journey they need to go on to become a part of your community or to become paying client.
Historically, the best way to make a connection with someone is by relating to them. And the best way to do that is through storytelling—to show up and be yourself in all spaces.
It’s about making people feel like you have walked in their shoes. You know their pain points, you’ve been there, and you are someone who can help get them to the other side.
I can sit here and tell you, “yes, I’m Dalea I have all of these qualifications”, but that doesn’t really matter unless I tell you my exact story of how I struggled with marketing, my first business or how I’ve worked with this person, you know, it’s just a different field.
Storytelling is not about you. It’s about your audience.
A good story is one that centres your audience.
Think about who you’re writing for. What do they need to hear from you?
They don’t need to hear your stories of success all the time, they need to learn from your falls.
They want to hear that I failed and they want to hear how I got past that. And so I talk about my failures and my everyday. And I do it in a way that’s like not always a lesson. Sometimes I just have feelings and people relate.
VULNERABILITY + FAUXTHENTICITY
It’s so important to have people that you can be vulnerable with and connect with.
I know that the million businesses and projects that I tried to do by myself before, I didn’t have a single person that I could talk to about what I’m going through or what I’m doubting. I didn’t even know how to verbalize these things. Now I have those tools and I also now have a community that I can talk to.
It is incredibly important that you learn to embrace vulnerability with your audience and with others in your life. That vulnerability will translate into content and connection.
But, for those who are new to content creation, it can be very difficult to tell the difference between someone who is legitimately showing up as themselves and someone who is showing up as a contrived, authentic down to earth version of themselves.
If you’re authentic, whatever that means, it doesn’t have to be contrived. You don’t have to think about it. Just show up, open your mouth, and see what happens. It is really just doing what feels good and being confident enough in yourself to be ok with that.
THE STRATEGY (How do you fit storytelling into your marketing plan?)
The most important thing to remember, if you’re going to show up and be vulnerable in sharing your experience, is to make sure that the thing you do choose to share is somehow related to business. Just be sure to relate whatever you’re sharing back to your audience and your business.
You have to balance your more vulnerable content with educational content, content that really moves the needle and is high value.
Take a breath, take a moment, examine it, and then express yourself.
Is there a formula?
Short answer: No.
You don’t always have to share your feelings in order to be authentic and you don’t always have to share educational content to sell your offer. It’s about finding the balance and leaning into the cycle of business that you’re in.
If you’re not launching something and you’re just building your audience, then maybe you want to show up a little bit more personably. But, always keep in mind that your audience is seeking to learn from you in one way or another. So, don’t forget to educate.
Let them know what you have to teach them and why they should be consuming your content, and then continue to build that relationship. From there, you can just move with the cycle of business that you’re in.
It could look something like this: Drop 3 posts a week with one being educational, one being inspirational, and one being entirely relatable + fun.
Just don’t overthink it. Sometimes you just need to do what feels good to you right now.
Social Media VS Content
So when people start in business, they think they need to be everywhere.
I have very experienced entrepreneurs come to me because they need clarity.
“I don’t know why the needle is not moving for me.”
Well, where are you creating content? They’re like talk Instagram, my Facebook page, Facebook group, LinkedIn, Twitter, for some reason.
You should master one platform before you move on to the next. Just be sure that it’s one that is in your control.
You could create these great captions, educational, beautiful, and long-winded and then Instagram could disappear…along with your work.
Social media platforms can change the rules at any time—your followers aren’t really yours.
Do not build your whole business on Instagram.
Choose a medium that will allow you to contact your followers outside the platform and really go in depth on the topic you’re exploring. That could be blog posts, podcasts, YouTube Videos, and email lists.
That’s where the actual content that counts is built. It’s on those platforms.
People can really get to know you and that’s where people actually go and buy from you.
I’ve worked with so many entrepreneurs where they make all of their money through the emails that I send for them versus all of the posts that ask to “click the link in the bio”.
Unless you have a super engaged audience on other platforms, the content rich platforms, are where you audience will really enquire about your business and services.
Because the content that really moves the needle is content that builds trust.
That’s why educational content and social proof is so powerful. It shows that you’re an authority in what you’re teaching. That’s how you have to make people aware of your offer and aware of you.
From there, people have to like you.
Because what sets you apart from everyone else is who you and your audience are, and who you are to each other.
Instagram is really great for content that builds awareness about a brand and likability, but that trust factor, again, lives on a different type of platform, a content rich platform. And so that’s, to me, the content that counts.
Above all else, be sure to be you!
The big thing that holds so many people back from having success with their content is their own expectations.
They think that content needs to look like this content or needs to sound like that content. When the reality is there is no rules. You have to find a way to create content that feels good or you just won’t do it.
When my clients come to me, one of their biggest issues is not just that they’re spread too thin, but they hate creating content. And I’m like, no, I love creating. It’s so easy to me. So let me make it easy for you.
So, how do you actually WANT to create? What feels fun to you?
Create one rich piece of content from that place and then use it to repurpose across all your other platforms. Repurposing your content is the key.
You have to repeat yourself in order to gain visibility and, don’t worry, not everybody follows you on all the different platforms. So it’s not like you’re repeating yourself to the same people.
There’s so much pressure to show up a certain way. So pick what you really feel most comfortable doing and go all the way into that.
Make sure to check out Dellea Here:
Storytelling For Sales: Delleacopeland.com/s4s
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