When it comes to marketing your business online, do you find it hard to balance business strategy and structure with showing up in an authentic and genuine way every time? 

If the answer is ‘hell, yes,’ then you’re not alone, and you’re in the right place. In this week’s episode of The Whin Big Podcast, Katie shares her insight on blending marketing strategy, planning, and income with self-compassion and showing up authentically.

This week’s episode is sponsored by our free LIVE training – the 6 steps you need to sell online. This training is perfect for you if you’re new to selling online and want a clear, simple strategy to reach your sales goals. There are two live sessions this month so click below to book your place (recordings are available if you can’t attend live).

Authenticity: more than just a buzzword

This week’s episode of the Whin Big Podcast was inspired by the conversation Katie shared with Emma Worrollo in episode 73. In the podcast, Katie and Emma talked about the dilemma around the need to serve your audience by sharing real, authentic messages while protecting your boundaries and productivity by creating a marketing plan and a strategy to make money.

From Katie’s conversations with business owners over the past two years, she’s well aware this is not a unique challenge. However, most people struggle with it, and it can have a serious impact on the way you market and promote your work.

“I’m not sure it’s possible to do both perfectly. To have the perfect business strategy and be perfectly authentic in every piece of content you produce.”

Allow yourself to be imperfect

If you’re tuning into this week’s episode of The Whin Big podcast to find the perfect way to tackle this challenge, then you might be disappointed. The Whin way is not about finding perfection, it’s about accepting ‘good enough, and for Katie, that’s all about self-compassion.

Caring for yourself, being kind, permitting yourself to be yourself is so much more important than the never-ending hunt for perfection.

A Whin Big slice of business advice

Groan. Sorry, we won’t overdo the pizza puns; that’s a promise!

You could compare your business to a pizza. To work properly, both pizzas and online companies require a structure. Make sure you listen to the podcast to dig deeper into the steps you need to build your business pizza.

To make a great pizza, you need three essential components: a base, sauce, and cheese. Toppings make it interesting, but the number of toppings can vary, the types of toppings can change. While they make a difference to the taste of the pizza, it’s still a pizza without them.

It’s the same idea for an online business, where the basic structure is a sales page, sales pitch, and a freebie (also known as a lead magnet or introductory offer).

Sales page (base)

The base of your online business. This is where your customers will learn everything about your product, programme, or service. It includes the results you provide, empathy, and relationship building. A sales page gives all the information customers will need to decide to buy.

Sales pitch (sauce)

This is the secret sauce to bring your audience to your sales page. There’s many ways to do this, but the most successful is through a planned email sequence. This is Katie’s preferred method.

Freebie/lead magnet (cheese)

Your freebie is what brings the whole process together. It’s what brings your audience into your business through your mailing list (so you can send them your emails).

Content (toppings)

Just like toppings, what you do next is up to you. You can do lots, or you can do little – but so long as you have the three main components in place, you still have an online business. People will still be able to buy from you without the content ‘toppings’.

A pizza divided into 8 slices. The left half is labelled "Pizza: Base, Sauce, Cheese, Toppings" and the right half is labelled "Business: Sales page, Sales pitch, Freebie, Content".

Keeping it simple

If you have too many toppings or choose ingredients that don’t compliment each other, your pizza becomes unmanageable (messy, soggy, or not very pleasant to eat). If you focus on too many content methods that don’t work together, you can end up with an unfocussed, stressful process – and that’s where it gets hard to show up online, offer value to your audience or feel connected to them in a genuine way.

The focus should be on adding tasty, helpful content toppings to the mix, so they complement the work you’re doing in the online business.

Three ways to find authenticity without the overwhelm

Katie shares so much detail about each of the following ideas in this week’s episode, so if you love the idea of finding an easy way to balance structure and authenticity, then the podcast episode gives you so much more insight.

Here’s a quick overview:

1: Content planning

Katie doesn’t use a detailed planning strategy for The Whin’s content, but she does find it helpful to have a small, manageable plan for the next 1 – 3 weeks.

That being said, she doesn’t recommend drafting out a month’s worth of content and social media posts because it’s tiring and boring – and the copy can sound and feel stale. Furthermore, this kind of planning goes a long way to feeling inauthentic because the connection is lost over time.

Katie prefers to focus on the purpose and topic of the content. Each post has a job, and the details and text can come later. So it’s still authentic content but is on plan.

2: Authentic vs. pragmatic

Katie brings up the point that it’s impossible to be completely authentic in your business marketing because your audience needs content that helps them to buy from you. Sometimes our authentic selves want to lie on the sofa and watch TV, and while it’s great to see behind-the-scenes from time to time, people won’t buy from you if that’s your only authentic content!

“I’m not sure it’s possible to do both perfectly. To have the perfect business strategy and be perfectly authentic in every piece of content you produce.”

3: Make more out of a single idea

Sometimes you won’t have a plan. For example, you might be in a phase where you’re growing your audience or gathering ideas for your next launch. These are essential parts of business development, but it can feel awkward when it comes to your content – what do you talk about?

Katie recommends taking a post or idea and develop it further into other pieces of content.

Example:

  • You do an Instagram Live for 10 minutes
  • Save it as an IGTV video
  • Take 1 or 2 ideas from the video and turn it into a Reel
  • Talk about it on Stories and invite your audience to reply
  • Share the responses in stories for extra coverage

This can help you feel so much more authentic because you started the process with one authentic activity. Energetically, you wanted to go live to talk about your topic. You were connected to it. Adopting and developing it into other content means extending it into different directions rather than going back and trying to feel authentic five more times for five more posts.

Do you prefer your marketing strategies and sales training without the pizza metaphors?

If so, then come along to one of our FREE training sessions this month. We’ll got into lots more detail about how to build the foundations of this kind of business, but without the cringe-worthy pizza metaphors… Register your place today.

The Instagram Rule Book

Do you ever feel like everyone’s playing the Instagram game, but nobody’s explained the rules to you? This is episode 70 of The Whin Big Podcast, where Katie runs through the four aspects of Instagram marketing. Consider this your very own Instagram rule book!

We look at how to apply...