One of my favorite content marketing brains, Lacy Boggs, is joining me this week on the Rebel Rising Podcast. I've known Lacy for years and her ability to spread your message in a unique way while crafting your brand still blows me away. Today she's sharing all about Leadership Marketing, which I think is something that's super revolutionary and that every entrepreneur should practice.
This episode is for you if you're worn out from the same content marketing that is being displayed on repeat. As Lacy points out on the episode, when we are all following the same marketing practices, our audience only sees the marketing instead of the messaging. Why? Because what works for one person doesn't work for another.
Lacy is sharing how she is rebelling against this cookie cutter marketing to help her clients' brands stand out and what the world would look like if everyone chose to do the same. You can learn to break through the noise by capitalizing on what you know works for you and your audience.
Tune into the audio:
Resources Mentioned in the Episode:
Michelle: Hi Lacy. Welcome to the Rebel Rising podcast. I'm so happy you're here.
Lacy: Me too. I'm so excited to be here.
Michelle: Yes, you are one of my favorite content marketing brains on the planet, so I am looking forward to this conversation.
Tell me, what are you rebelling against?
Lacy: Oh my gosh. So right now I am rebelling against cookie cutter marketing. And what I mean by that is, I've seen ... We were just talking about this before we hit record, but I've seen so much lately where somebody comes out with a blueprint, or a formula, or a whatever it is that you're going to follow to get your marketing, and it's going to be amazing, and it's going to get you so many sales. And this is not to throw shade at the actual people selling the blueprints, because the blueprints are popular and because they work, right?
Michelle: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Lacy: But then they get to a certain point where they reach a critical mass of popularity and everybody and their dog is doing the same thing to market their business, or launch their product, or whatever it is. The problem with that is that our customers get savvy to it, right?
Michelle: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Lacy: And so when they get savvy to the marketing, all they see is the marketing. They don't see the message. What I mean by that is if I'm launching something and I'm like, "Oh, there's going to be three videos, and then there's going to be a webinar that you can attend for free and I'll teach you." Everybody's like, "Aha, the webinar is a sales call, and we just want to skip to the end."
Lacy: The point is they're seeing the marketing, they're not even listening to what I have to say in the videos or on the webinar or whatever. I can be saying great things, but people are like, "Meh, been there, done that." So I am trying really hard to rebel against that kind of cookie cutter marketing because we can take what works from all of those things. We can take what works and what works for us and what works for our clients, but we have to build something new. And we have to put the puzzle pieces together in a way that works best for our business, our clients, our brand voice, whatever it might be, to make sure that we're actually getting the most out of it. If we just do a cookie cutter, you're not getting the most out of your marketing. And I think this is a problem I'm seeing so much.
Michelle: Yes, I would agree with that. I've always been the savvy type. As soon as I found out about the three video thing, I'm like, "Oh, this is another three video thing. The three video launch series." Or the challenge funnel, or the webinar funnel. I mean, it's all been done to death. We have these big gurus teaching them. And it's not that it doesn't work, but it might work the way they say it will for you.
Lacy: Right, exactly. The problem is I think that people take it as gospel.
Lacy: And that's what I want to challenge is that you don't have to do it exactly like everybody else is doing it to get results, and you might actually get a lot better results if you tweak it and make it more your own. I mean, I just worked on a launch a few months ago and they wanted to do a challenge with videos and they knew ... We knew that their ideal customer was a time strapped business over. So we were not going to make 20 minute, 25 minute, 30 minute videos every day for the challenge because the time strapped business owner isn't going to sit there and watch it, right?
Lacy: So we actually switched it up and we came up with a challenge where the videos were five minutes long. You could either watch them one a day, or we did post them all at once. You could binge if you didn't happen to have 25 minutes, and the stuff for the challenge fit on a single Post-it Note. That was our hook, like, "We know you're busy. This challenge fits on a single Post-it Note. And then we'll tell you something really important about your business." And it worked really well because they were like, "Oh, you're actually getting me in what I need. You thought about me, the audience. Shocking." Right? I mean, that's the thing I'm always preaching about, it's you really got to think about what your audience needs. If they're time-starved, why are you creating 20 minute videos?
Lacy: Exactly. And the whole point of the challenge was for them to see how much time they were wasting, so it was like we don't want to waste more time. That will not endear them to us.
Michelle: "Let me waste more of your time by showing you how much time you're wasting."
Lacy: Exactly. Exactly. So you have to step outside the box and say, "Okay, we think the challenge is good for our people. But the other parts of this model aren't going to be good for our people, so we're going to switch it up."
Michelle: Yeah. And I think what's interesting there, it's really a call to innovate.
Michelle: And I am creative.
Lacy: Well, what I'm calling it, is I'm calling it leadership marketing, because what I see is that all of my customers are leaders in their space. You wouldn't be an entrepreneur if you weren't a leader, right? You'd be back in cubicle nation being a follower because that's what you do. And so people are leaders in their space, but they're not leading with their marketing. They're not taking a risk, they're not innovating, they're not getting outside the box. I think when you find that sweet spot between what the data is telling you, what's your customers want and what you like to do, what's your brand voice is, that's where leadership marketing happens.
So it sounds like leadership marketing is the change you want to create in the world.
Lacy: I think it is. It's only two words, does that count?
Michelle: I like it though. I mean, it really throws down the gauntlet and says, "Okay, if I want to be a leader in my industry, how can I also be a leader with my marketing? How can I do something different?"
Lacy: Exactly. I mean, that's the thing. We all live in a land of noise right now. You are an online entrepreneur, you are just on a constant war against all the noise. And the way you break through the noise is to do something different. It doesn't have to be bigger, it doesn't have to be shinier, you don't have to become the next marketing guru and sell your blueprint. You just have to figure it out what works for you and your clients.
Michelle: Yes. And that is how you show leadership. No, I love that idea. So are you helping your clients now figure out what their marketing leadership is?
Lacy: No ... Of course I am. Yes.
Michelle: I was going to be like, "Lacy, this seems like a really big opportunity for you. Maybe we need to chat about this."
Lacy: No. That is what I love to do. And when we do strategy sessions with a client, that's where I want to start. I think part of what sets us apart is that we do start by looking at those three things. So like, what is the data telling us? Because what's working for you, Michelle, on Facebook or Instagram or podcasts or whatever may not be working for me because we have different people, we have different audiences. So what is the data showing for you and your business? What are your clients saying? How do they want to interact with you? What do they need? And then what are you comfortable with? I can't tell you how many times people come to me and they basically want permission not to blog, which I think is hilarious. They come to me and they're like, "Well, I'm killing it on Instagram. Do I need a blog?" And I'm like, "No. If you're getting all the business you can handle and then some from Instagram, great. Go with God."
Lacy: I have some caveats to those messages, but it's like, "You don't need my permission. You don't have to blog if what you're doing is working or if you hate to write, do a video, do a podcast." It doesn't have to be one thing, and that's where the leadership marketing comes into. If you can be a leader by doing something different on a different platform or different channel or a different medium, by all means let's do that thing.
Michelle: Yeah. Well, and for me I've been thinking a lot about taking one marketing asset and then using it in different ways. So for instance, I have a webinar and I love giving webinars because I love teaching. And I actually teach on webinars, it's not just like one giant sales pitch. So that's different. But I'm also like, "Well, what if I just made this an on demand training that you could just get anytime you wanted to-
Michelle: ... learn more about messaging and when you should be working on your messaging?" I was like, "Okay, I could do that. And then I could also divvy it up into three different parts." Just really just like, "What could experiment with to see what works for my people?"
Lacy: Well, and how can you use that same piece of content, that same ideas, that same knowledge and reach different aspects? So for example, one thing I'm beating the drum loudly about lately is that I think some podcasters are really missing a bet because they only produce a podcast and maybe a short little show notes that goes with it that says, "Oh, we talked about X, Y, Z." Whereas if you turned that podcast episode into a written article, you're reaching an entirely different segment of your audience, right? Because-
Lacy: ... there's always going to be people who can't or don't choose to listen to a podcast for whatever reason. And then you're also getting all the SEO juice that you wouldn't normally get from the text, you can syndicate it differently, you can chop it up differently. So using the exact same message, the exact same thing you're already producing, but let's turn it into 50 different things ... Okay, maybe 50 is and exaggeration, but a lot.
Michelle: Exactly. Exactly. I think that's really smart. I mean, that's something I do with this podcast. I always have a transcript for the interviews. And for my solo shows, I turn those into blog posts because it doesn't take long to clean that up. And I know I have people who like to read versus listen to a podcast.
Lacy: Totally. Totally. It's an accessibility issue too, because there's always going to be a segment of your population that for whatever reason can't listen to a podcast. So you're reaching different people at different state ... Basically you're showing up where they want to be as opposed to being like, "Well, I only like to talk so I'm only going to do a podcast." Well that's great, but have somebody else turn it into an article or whatever. I actually had a woman I was working with who she makes one video a month, it's usually 30-40 minutes long. A teaching video. And then her team divvies it up and they make at least 30 pieces of content that they use from that one video. So it might be a graphic with a quote on it, it might be little snippets from the transcript that they can post to Facebook, it might be audio clips that they can post places, it might be whatever. But they have ... that's their deal. They come up with at least 30 pieces of content from that one thing she produces.
Michelle: That's amazing. And it's funny because that kind of goes on another thing that I've been harping on. I'm not real great at this one, but it's really about creating those assets that, yeah, you do it once and then you create the 30 different pieces of content and you reuse it. And it's so funny because people are so afraid of reusing their content and I'm like, "Trust me, nobody's paying attention."
Lacy: Nobody knows.
Michelle: I even have to remind myself that, I'm like, "Oh, but I have posted this before." I'm like, "Oh gosh, that was six months ago."
Lacy: No, I run into that with clients all the time. They're like, "Is that allowed?" Yes. Yes, it's fine. Nobody will know. And if they do know, they're not going to care.
Michelle: Oh, literally, no one will care. And I think it's smart. It helps you stay on message, it helps you get known for your message. It helps you be a leader, it helps you produce content that actually gets consumed in a way that your people want.
Lacy: Well, and let's do more with less, right?
Lacy: Because god knows we all have a bazillion things pulling us in a bazillion different directions. Especially when you're a small business owner or when you are the face and a name behind your brand, there's only so much you can do. And you need your time to be focused on what only you can do. And so when there's team members, or places like my agency or wherever, where you can get some of that off your plate but still make the most of your time and your words and your expertise, I think that's really valuable.
Michelle: It is. My question for you is, what do you tell your innovators who like to create all the time? Like, "Oh, I have this new idea."
Lacy: Yeah, that's tricky because I love new ideas. I love innovators, but the problem is just what you were just saying a minute ago. When you're coming up with a new idea every other 50 seconds, you're not staying on message necessarily. And we live in the Twitter attention span culture where if you're trying to use your content to sell something, you have to be really consistent because one ... studies have shown this, one deviation from your sales message and people are like squirrels, they're gone. You cannot deviate from the message, especially when you're in launch mode or you're really promoting something hard. Otherwise, you lose people. You lose people and they fall out of your funnel, or they fall out of your ... They just aren't paying attention anymore. They're paying attention to whatever that squirrel thing was. So I actually have a trick for people who have this problem. Every time you have one of those squirrel ideas, write it on a Post-it, or put it in a notebook, or put it in an Excel spreadsheet or somewhere.
Lacy: Capture it because it could be amazing, we're just going to be more discerning about when we share it. It's not that the idea is bad, we just have to be a little more discerning about when we execute on the idea.
Michelle: Yes. Yes. Well, and when I create audience journeys for our clients, it's like, "Okay, great. You have a new idea. Where does it fit in your audience journey? Oh, great for sales? Then it goes in the solution portion, put it there and then use it when we're doing that. Not when you're trying to build your and get people to be aware of you and that you exist."
Lacy: Well, the same is true when you're blogging. If you're blogging... I say blogging because that's where my brain goes, but it's the same for podcasting or video blogs or anything. When you're creating a sequence of pieces of content that are leading towards something ... which PS, spoiler alert, you should be doing all the time.
Michelle: Yes, you should be.
Lacy: These ideas go into certain buckets, so you have to be ... Let's say we're launching something. We have to grab attention first. We have to get attention on the launch first, and then we have to develop an interest in what we have to say, and then we have to generate desire and then we can ask for the action. Right?
Michelle: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Lacy: So when you have all those crazy thoughts, like I said, I love Post-it Notes. Put them on Post-it Notes, and then you can sort and be like, "Ooh, that's an attention idea. That's definitely a desire idea." Et cetera. Et cetera.
Michelle: Yeah. And if you feel the call to create it, create it in the moment and then just save it. Yeah, save it. Save it for when you're in that season of your business where you're like, "Ooh, I need to drum up some desire for what I'm going to be selling here soon." Then you have it and it's ready to go. That's a great way to do it because I work with a lot of innovators and I myself do this too. I always have a million ideas, but it's hard to reel it in because you're like, "Oh, it's such a great idea. I want to tell everybody-
Lacy: Yeah, totally.
Michelle: ... now."
Lacy: The thing is, it is a great idea. So capture it, keep it. But you don't have to tell everybody right now. Or tell your best friend, or your mastermind, or something, get it out, journal it out. Feel those feelings and let it out.
Michelle: Well, and I think that's also part of leadership, right?
Lacy: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Michelle: Leadership marketing is also leading yourself.
Lacy: And it's about discernment, it's about knowing what to do and when, where to press the buttons, which levers to pull at a particular time.
Michelle: Mm-hmm (affirmative), absolutely. I love the idea of leadership marketing. Now I'm like, "How can I show more leadership in my marketing?"
Lacy: Ooh, I love it. Thank you.
Michelle: Okay, here’s my final question.
If everyone acted on your message, what would the world be like?
Lacy: That's such a great question. I think that marketing would be a little less spammy, a little less used car sales mini, and a little less pushy. Because we're all living in this era where everybody thinks they have to get their share of the pie, "We got to do this thing or that things we can get more of the pie." I'm like, "Just bake another damn pie guys. There's room for everybody." And I think if you are a leader with your marketing just like you are already a leader in your space, you come to the realization that you only have to talk to your people, right?
Michelle: Yes. That's what I talk about.
Lacy: You don't have to be spammy because people will self select. If they're not your people, they're not going to come because they don't resonate with your message and that's okay. But there's enough for everybody. You don't have to spam everybody in your LinkedIn with your message because you're in this scarcity mindset, right?
Michelle: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Lacy: You can put out the message and the right people will come to you. When you're a leader, when you're doing leadership marketing, you put out the message and the right people will come to you. And that's an easy thing to say, of course there's things that have to go into it, you have to promote, you have to do it in the right places, et cetera, et cetera. But this is really what I've seen to be true over and over and over again. Do I have time to just tell a quick story?
Lacy: Okay. So I was working with this company for a long time and they sell men's clothing, like technical men's clothing, and I was brought in on their rebrand because they had spent tens of thousands of dollars on this rebrand before where they'd gone from being the scruffy startup Kickstarter brand to this very fashionable one. They'd hired a fifth avenue branding agency and they became this fashion brand. Well, it absolutely tanked. They lost market share, the sales were down. They ended up calling it the sad model rebrand because all the guys were making sad faces. So they did another rebrand but more money, but brought the business owner, the starter, the guy who started the whole thing back into the brand because he started on Kickstarter and so all the guys liked him. They liked his personality. So we brought him back into the brand and I spent three years working with them to get his blog going.
Lacy: It was all from his perspective, we told all his crazy travel stories and all this stuff and how he needed to invent these pants so he could do all this crazy traveling stuff. And what happened was eventually he decided they were ready to do angel investing instead of just Kickstarter funding. And so we wrote a blog post about it and we sent out an email to promote the blog post to his list of about 10,000 guys who buy pants, and at the bottom of it, we said, "PS, if you're an accredited investor, reply to this email if you're interested and he'll get back to you." He got about six inquiries.
Lacy: Three of them turn into $300,000 in angel investment for his business because we had spent three years building up that know, like, and trust factor. Showing him as a leader in his space and not being another sad fashion brand.
Michelle: Wow. That's amazing.
Lacy: Yeah, so that's what leadership marketing can do when you apply it consistently and really strongly with your brand.
Michelle: Yes, and I do think it is that standing firm and letting people resonate and come to you, and not get into that scarcity mindset because I think that's the trap. That's why we fall for all of the bro-marketing, and the ... like, "Oh, but this is going to be the thing that solves everything in my business."
Lacy: We all want the easy button. I want the easy button, I'm sure you do too.
Lacy: If it existed, I would know about it. Okay.
Michelle: Yeah. We've been in business long enough to know that that easy button does not exist.
Lacy: No. I always feel like ... I remember Oprah used to say like, "If there was a pill that made you lose weight, I would have it." I think the same thing about marketing like, "If there was an easy button that you could just push, I would know about it."
Michelle: Yes, and you would have all the people flock to you and they'd be having their wallets out.
Michelle: Yes, it doesn't work that way. It is really about showing up as a leader, being on message, owning your power, doing things differently.
Lacy: Doing things your own way. Period.
Michelle: Yes. I love it. I love it.
So Lacy, tell us where we can find you online.
Lacy: Sure. I am at
lacyboggs.com. And if you go to
lacyboggs.com/rebelrising, I put together a little page for the listeners of this podcast specifically. It's got a few little freebies for you. You can download my editorial calendar template. Or you can get the case study of the $300,000 email if you want it, it's on there as well. That way you can keep up with me and see what I'm doing.
Michelle: Ah, yes, and you should definitely
follow Lacy. Lacy and I've known each other for many years now, and she just has a brilliant mind for content marketing. And once you've got your great message going, she should be the one you check out.
Lacy: Totally. Well, after you've worked with Michelle, you should come see me because we can do so much with your 3 Word Rebellion.
Michelle: Excellent. Thank you so much, Lacy, for joining me today.
Lacy: It's been my absolute pleasure. Thank you.
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