“One great way to think about it is, first of all, you probably don’t need a million followers. You probably like to be really successful. How many people would you actually need? Like there’s a marketing thing that people talk about a thousand true fans, if you had 1000 people that wanted to buy everything you put out, you’d be a really successful business.”
Welcome to Thrive by Design, the podcast for ambitious independent jewelry brands, looking to profit from their products, get ready to make more and sell more doing what you love, without spending every single waking minute doing it. Hey, and if you’re a creative fashion or product-based business, I want to welcome you to the show. I’ll be dropping big tips on launching, growing, and scaling your business. Spend more of your precious time using your creativity to make you ready. All right, let’s do this.
Tracy: Hey, there, I’m so excited to have a very special guest on the show today. Lacy Boggs, Lacy, thanks for joining me today.
Lacy: Oh, it’s my pleasure. Thanks for having me.
Tracy: Now, at least I don’t even sure when I first met you, but I’ve hired you to write for Flourish and Thrive Academy before. And we were in communication. For years, you were helping us with content marketing calendars you referred to as an SEO person, like so many things you do the vast collection and majority of writing and content creation and marketing. I’m just gonna say stuff because you do a lot. Yeah. And by the way, I’m totally sure we were talking before in the pre-interview. I’m totally obsessed with your headshots, they are like so perfect. And I think that we’re going to tie that into what we’re going to talk about today, which is leadership, marketing. So thanks for being here.
Lacy: My pleasure.
Tracy: And I want to hear a little bit more about your journey, like how do you become a writer? Like, how did you get into this industry? Like, give us the background and all the details?
Lacy: It has been a long and winding road. Let’s say that? Um, yeah. So I actually, um, I went to school to be a film major, I was going to be the next Sofia Coppola to direct movies and be fancy. And you know, God to Hollywood and realize that Hollywood and I didn’t really get along very well and had my quarter-life crisis when I realized I wasn’t going to direct Hollywood blockbusters. And actually, the first job I had after that was I was in PR for the fine jewelry industry.
So I’ve actually worked in the jewelry industry before. I was an account manager for a PR firm out there and did that for a few years. And then I went into journalism for a while I did travel journalism, and then I did food writing, which is super fun. You can get paid to eat. That’s pretty exciting. And then I got pregnant. And I realized that I worked for a hyper local, super local tiny magazine here in Colorado, which is fun, super fun, except that there were like four of us. And so I was working 60 hour weeks, I was you know, when we were on deadline for the month, I was there till two or three o’clock in the morning.
And I thought I am not going to be able to do this with a baby. And because infant child care here in Colorado is very expensive. More than half of my salary would have gone to putting my baby in daycare. So my husband and I decided I would stay home and be a full time mom. And I decided I would try to be a freelancer. So I started a food blog, which is what you did in 2011. Everybody was starting food blogs. And the blog itself did really well. I built a big following. I was getting like 10,000 visits a month, I got invited to guest blog for one of Martha Stewart’s websites. And I made like four figures for the whole year.
Tracy: Oh, geez.
Lacy: I don’t really understand the business model. Yeah. So at the end of the year, my husband took me aside, he’s like, thank you, I’m so glad that you’re staying home with our baby. And I’m so proud of you for starting a business and I need you to make a little more money. I was like, it’s okay, I’ve got a new idea. I think maybe people will pay me to blog for them. And that’s how this business got started. And that was eight years ago now. And we’ve been doing it ever since. And it started out just me and now I have a team of eight. And yeah, we mainly focus on content marketing, which is blogging, emails, podcast, show notes, stuff like that.
Tracy: Everything. Yeah, I love it. And we’ve worked with you and you are an amazing writer, which is awesome. And I’m always coming back to you because we were just talking before about another service that you offer, which is mining testimonials, which I think is really valuable for anyone who is trying to build an audience because testimonials are super powerful in marketing and in sales in any industry. Right?
Tracy: You’re selling information or teaching people something or selling a product like jewelry or ceramics or wallpaper, whatever it is, so that’s fine. So I know you specialize in marketing and content creation and all the different aspects that are involved. It’s really hard to get all cohesive and stuff like that. So what are people doing wrong? Because I know that a lot of people really struggle with this, especially people listening to this podcast because oftentimes they are doing everything themselves and the content piece gets pushed by the side when they’re trying to juggle like orders and all the things that they have to do. So let’s talk about that.
Lacy: 100% Plus, I find that product-based businesses, in particular, get confused about what they’re like, What am I supposed to post other than pictures of the product? Like, what am I supposed to talk about? Right? So the way to make a cohesive story for your brand through your content is really to think about it as a journey, right? You’re taking people on a journey from not knowing anything about you to being your raving fan, right. And when you think about that, that’s what we’re doing all kinds of content and all kinds of marketing.
There’s an old school marketing formula or copywriting formula, called AIDA, and it stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action. And we used to do this in like sales letters, or even on a sales page these days, you want to hit all those points, right? You want to grab people’s attention, hold their interest, generate desire, and then get them to take action. But what I realized is that content marketing is basically that formula turned on its side. So we’re dripping it out over time. And my favorite metaphor for this is thinking of it like rocks in a river, right? So the person who’s never heard of you before is on one side of the river.
And a sail is on the other side of the river, and your content is the rocks in the river. Now, if you just scattered them in, like random, the people are going to get halfway across and then fall in the river and never be heard from again, right. But if you put them in consciously picking the right kind of content, putting it the right space apart, making sure it’s doing the right things, it makes it a whole lot easier to get to the other side of the river.
So the idea then is to come up with how do we put this in an order that’s going to help people understand what they need from me how I can provide it and then get them really excited about buying it when it’s a product based business, you know, especially jewelry jewelry is like a luxury item A lot of times, right, we think of it, it’s not a need. It’s not food and housing, right? But you’re still fulfilling a need for somebody, right? So once you discover and show people how you can fulfill that need for them, they’re super excited to become your customer. And that’s what content can do for you.
Tracy: I love that. And so one of the things that people are doing wrong is what I got from this is that they’re just they’re not really thinking about it strategically. Or they’re kind of just like, throwing spaghetti like I want to say throw it spaghetti against the wall. And it’s not really
Lacy: Right. If you’re just posting when you feel inspired, or just whatever comes up, or here’s my lunch, or here’s what I was doing today, there’s certainly a time and place for that kind of thing. But when you can make a plan and you understand the bigger why behind what you’re posting, it’ll be a lot more effective. Right?
Tracy: And you talk about something called Leadership Marketing. Do you want to explain what that is? Because I think this is a really interesting concept.
Tracy: Yeah, so this is some This is a term I came up with because I kept seeing people who were legitimately leaders in their niche in their space, right, which I know a lot of your clients are, they become leaders in their little part of the market. But they weren’t being leaders with their marketing, they were just following the cookie-cutter tactics that everybody else was doing, and expecting it somehow to make them stand out, right. But when you’re doing what everybody else is doing, it’s not going to make you stand out. So leadership marketing, to me, is the idea that if you’re a leader in your niche, you can be a leader with your marketing.
And so you need to take a hard look at what you’re doing. And say, is that right? For my business? Is that right? For my customers? Is that right? For my industry? Right? So those are kind of the three pillars of leadership marketing . What’s right for my brand and my business? What do my clients want?
What do my customers want to see? How do they want to engage with me? And then what is the greater industry doing? And can I? Am I gonna follow the trends? Or am I gonna buck the trends, right? And when you kind of combine those three things, I have a Venn diagram that I put out sometimes when they’re in that little middle spot, is your leadership marketing plan. And it’s gonna be a little bit different for every business, even if we’re talking to five different jewelry designers, they’re all going to come up with a slightly different plan, and the tactics we would give them would be different based on those goals, right? So if we have one brand, for example, that’s super traditional.
They’re going to have a different marketing strategy than somebody that’s really edgy, and really radical and different. Or, like if we have a brand that’s reaching women over 60 we’re gonna have different marketing strategies than someone who’s trying to reach Gen Z. Right? Exactly. So that’s kind of how we look at it.
Tracy: Okay, awesome. What are some of the recommendations? Like how does someone really dial in to this? Or like, how do they stand out and be a little bit different? Like, I’m thinking of like, what are some of the tangible takeaways that people can do to kind of get into a space of being a leader in their marketing?
Lacy: Yeah, I love this. One of the exercises I do a lot, have you read the book, Blue Ocean Marketing?
Tracy: I did a lot of Ocean strategy.
Lacy: Yeah. So the idea of Blue Ocean Strategy is that you kind of look at what everybody else is doing in your space. And you see where you can be different or where your strengths lie in comparison to other people. So um, you know, they kind of have a chart that they use if you google Blue Ocean Strategy chart, you’ll find examples. But basically, it’s like, if everybody in my industry is zigging, I want to zag so that I can stand out, but you don’t just zag for the sake of zagging. You try to say where I am good at?
Where can I excel? So in jewelry, as an example, maybe you really like doing those process videos where they have the head shot, and they watch you doing something cool, setting a stone or polishing something, or whatever. And not everybody is doing those, maybe that’s where you’re gonna zag, you’re gonna do that on igtv. Or you’re gonna do that on Facebook Live or something. A great example I saw this once was for an artist. And he was doing Facebook Lives in his studio. And he would have a string quartet come in and play while he was painting. And it was almost like bringing brick space to the internet, right? It was an experience, and you could bid on the painting or buy other things of his art while this was going on. So that was one way he was really differentiating himself.
Tracy: Wait, I love that. Because, first of all, it probably is so soothing to watch them paint and listen to music at the same time. So random and different, like it would look like you could do the same thing. I think with jewelry making too, in a way or any product. You know, we have a ceramicist Gitti Linder. I interviewed her a couple, maybe a month or two ago. And she’s doing awesome right now she’s got some partnership with Tik Tok and she quit her full-time job and all these things. Like I could see her doing something like that, like behind the scenes like, you know, shaping her ceramics with music in the background.
Lacy: Okay, so you hate video, that’s not going to work for you. We have to find what’s your own thing?
Tracy: Yeah, exactly. And a powerful tool. I think the reason why people get so scared of video is they feel like they have to show up and just talk to the camera. But really, it doesn’t have to be that hard. And, you know, we were hiring for a content manager over here Flourish and Thrive. And we were talking about some other things that you do, etc. One of the things that I loved is that, you know, watching someone we want as part of the submission process is to submit a two minute video, sharing with us why you think you’re a good fit for this position. It’s so funny, because like, everyone’s got their different things. It’s so fun to see how creative people can be on video.
And they’re not not all of them. I think one of them was actually someone who was like, Oh my God, this woman’s amazing on video, but like everyone else was like, it’s not really like their thing. But they did different things that made them stand out by shooting the video. And there’s so many things that you could do with content. That way, too. That’s a little bit of a sidebar, but I thought, I think it’s interesting, because, you know, if you hate video, think outside of the box of things that you can do. It doesn’t have to just be you talking head on the video.
Lacy: And totally, you could be talking over slides. If you don’t want your face on there over pictures, or like I was saying, like, just shoot what you’re doing instead of yourself if you’re nervous about showing up on video. But also I find that doing video, the more you do it, the better you get, you just get more comfortable it gets, I can talk to an empty room for days now.
Tracy: I know exactly. You know, it’s so funny that we have a bonus that we give in our programs, and we’re selling it with our Ultimate Holiday Sales Machine bundle that we call the storytelling framework. And it’s about getting great testimonials, showing up on video and using it for selling and it’s like one of the things that just like crushes it because when you know how to like, frame the video in a way and you show up and you’re a little bit prepared, then you’re not just like rambling and talking about nothing you’re like actually, there’s an agenda behind it. And what you want to say is like focused in sequential order, and then there’s a call to action at the end where it gets people to take an action you know, all the things yeah.
Lacy: That’s awesome.
Tracy: It is awesome. It’s actually a really awesome resource. And you talked about these stepping stones, right? Like if you’re trying to get someone across the river already scattered the stones are not going to be able to get across. Let’s talk about that in planning content. Because like I know a lot of people are just like, you know, we talked over here about developing know, like and trust and filtering your content through a sort of like what Gary Vaynerchuk talks about in Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook is like, you know the value, add value, add value, add value and then pitch them and then die. Same thing. So what’s your recommendation in particular for product-based businesses and things that are like, you know, I feel like what the audience that we serve, you know, jewelry and creative products, there’s really like a story and a message behind it. So how would you filter that into planning content? And getting ahead of it and having enough interesting things to say, I guess, is the best way to put it?
Lacy: Yes. So I always talk about product-based businesses, especially what I call thinking sideways. So you know, when we think about, like, the biggest product brands out there and what they do on social media, or on their website, or on their blogs, most of them aren’t just talking about their products, right? So like, think about Dove – Dove soaps, what they’re known for in their commercials and their media and stuff is talking about body positivity, right? It’s not necessarily about soap. It’s about you know, all women are beautiful, and you know, all these things.
Redbull is another really good example, because a lot of their media stuff is about adventure sports and stuff like that. It’s not actually about the drink. Um, anthropology is another really good example of this, if you go to their blog, yes, of course, it has their beautiful clothes and their beautiful stuff on there. But there’s also like, cocktail recipes, and how to host a dinner party and like all these things. So they have done what I call thinking sideways, what else is my ideal customer interested in, that I can talk about? And so those are sort of those value ads that Gary Vee talks about?
How can I continue to give to this audience? That’s not just about like, oh, here’s my new piece, buy it now, you know, because eventually they get sick. Even if they love you, even if they adore you and want to see everything you have, you know, we can add value by doing things a little bit differently. So one great strategy is just to sort of start mind mapping. What else? Is your ideal customer interested in it? Are they interested in art? Are they interested in music? What kind of lifestyle are they living? Are they busy moms, and you can talk about things like that, right?
And then you can either curate information, so if you’re not an expert in whatever art, music, whatever you can, you can curate and say, I found this great link. This really caught my eye, that kind of thing. Or you can bring in somebody else who is an expert, bring in a guest, interview somebody, all these different avenues for content start to open up. But it all relates back to the person you want to reach. And it can relate back to your products as well, right. So if you’re a busy mom is your ideal customer, you might have a capsule wardrobe jewelry collection that you can say now you never have to worry about. Because I’ve picked these four pieces that you can work with, that kind of thing. And then all of a sudden your product fits with that content that you’ve been putting out.
Tracy: I love it. Okay, so. And I love the suggestions. I think people struggle, sometimes with coming up with these like other ideas, because like, really, content marketing is a long game, it’s not something that is always going to get you results fast. And so that’s why marketing requires you to have multiple channels and multiple ways to get traffic and build engagement, audience building, and stuff like that. And that’s we’re always working with her over here about that, which I think is super important and super valuable. What do you say to the people who are struggling to kind of get traction with their content?
Lacy: Sure. That’s a big problem. Like we’re all shouting into the void, right? And there’s so much content out there. In any particular niche, you’re competing with a lot of people, regardless of how big or small your little niche is. One great way to think about it is, first of all, you probably don’t need a million followers, you probably like to be really successful. How many people would you actually need, like there’s a marketing thing that people talk about a thousand true fans like if you had 1000 people that wanted to buy everything you put out, you’d be a really successful business, right? And maybe you want 10,000 people because you really want to build a movement, or you want to be multinational, or whatever it is, but like you maybe don’t need millions.
So that’s one way to look at it. First of all, you may not need as many as you think. The second way to think about it is that I always think about it as borrowing somebody else’s stage. That’s the fastest and most economical way to grow your own audience. So even when you even buy advertising, you’re borrowing somebody else’s stage, right? You’re paying to be on Facebook stage or Instagram stage. But you can do the same sort of thing with partnerships. So do that same thinking sideways exercise again and think who else is reaching the audience I want to reach and can I do a partnership with them? And maybe that partnership looks like showing up to talk about your collection. Maybe you do a giveaway. Maybe they do some kind of ad and you give them a product, that’s all like up for grabs all day, all kinds of tactics. But when you can find a couple of those great partnerships, that’s a really fast and effective way to start growing your audience. Because they’ve already got that audience. And once you offer them something new, they’re going to come over to you.
Tracy: Okay, love both of the things that you said, because we talked about 1000 true fans over here a lot. In fact, it’s part of our core, Laying the Foundation, we talk specifically about that, because you don’t just, it’s really not about having, like millions of followers, it’s about having those dedicated, like hardcore people, if you had 1000 people shopping for me every single year, like We did this strategy about this. A while back, I did a webinar on it too. And I was talking about, you know, for my business, you know, I needed five customers a month.
So if you do the math, that’s like 60 people a year for customer three business, because that was like my bandwidth that was like, What would get me to my financial goal. And like all the other things, when I think about my average price point, and all these other things, but someone else they might need 10,000, you know, people a month, but they have a low price point if they’re trying to even hit the same financial target. So I think something that’s really important to think about, and I just want to highlight this here, because people do not think about this enough.
They aren’t strategic enough with the numbers. And if you can really work backwards to think like, how much traffic Do I need on my website, when we know that if you have 100 websites, visitors a day, at a 1% conversion rate, you will make a sale a day, if your website converts, right? And now a horrible conversion rate. If you’re doing better than that, then awesome for you. And if you’re doing worse than that, that gives you something to take a look to shoot for.
Tracy: Yeah, exactly.
Lacy: Yeah, exactly, And then the other so glad you said that. Because you can work backward. Like if you know you need five people a month. That means you need 500 visitors to your website every month, and then you know, and you’ve got a goal. And then you can say what marketing tactics are going to get me 500 visitors per month.
Tracy: Exactly. And the second thing you said about these partnerships, because I think most people think about influencers, like having someone post on Instagram. But Jason, my boyfriend’s been talking about this a lot. He’s like, What if you were to write on offers, and he’s talking about this maybe for Flourish and Thrive Academy. But also like, I think this is a really powerful thing that you could partner with other brands to do the same thing. So use the example earlier like Anthropologie, sharing cocktail recipes. And this made me think of something I like, temporarily moved to Arizona during COVID. And now I almost officially moved to Arizona, after I just went back to New York City and like, packed up a bunch of my stuff and shipped it here and moved here. And in that process, like in the interim during COVID, and stuff like that when you’re here I was like, Jason, we need possibles. And so I liked buying stuff from Crate and Barrel.
So I got some of my favorite bowls. I love eating food out of bowls. Don’t ask me if it’s a weird thing. But I love it. And I got this package from Crate and Barrel. And they came with a right on offer for naked wines. And I’m like, you must read my mind because I ordered wine glasses in there. And I ended up ordering or joining the membership for this naked wines thing. And this is like a, you know, shameless plug for naked wines super cheap. And all from like nice and small, vintage viners. But this is a good example of something like that. So think about how you can like partners with a similar brand. We’re about to have our retreat for a Momentum program here at Flourish and Thrive. And one of the topics we’re talking about is dialing in audiences for advertising because people are confused about how to do it. When you’re doing it on your own.
Your first tendency might be like, let’s say you’re selling yoga pants, I heard this from someone else. I can’t remember who I was like listening to a podcast or something. But let’s say you’re selling yoga pants, like you wouldn’t necessarily want to target Lulu lemon or like to use them as one of your interests. You’d want to maybe target the water a water bottle company or something that’s referring to yoga because you’re automatically like competing with Lou lemon then from using them as retargeting. So think outside of the box like other types of brands that are parallel to yours that you can build an audience now, I kind of went a little bit on a tangent, but I think I loved both of those things that you said.
So I wanted to kind of bring it home for people so they can understand, like different ways of using it. Yeah, I have another question for you. Because it’s a big thing. People get super overwhelmed with planning content. And most people in my best guesstimate, unless they’ve been working with us for a while. Or even if they’re working. I mean, I’m even like a last minute, patching thing together person. How can you get ahead? I mean, like you’re doing everything in your business a lot of times or you’re working with a very small team and people are bootstrapped. What’s the best way to get ahead girl because like I know people are struggling and they’re like, I forgot to post on Instagram all week because of it.
Lacy: Yeah, yeah. That’s such a huge problem, especially when so a lot of times people feel like content falls off their to-do list because it’s not an immediate revenue generator, right. It’s like I Have to make the product in order to sell it. So that’s more important. But as you said earlier, like content is a long game. And if you neglect it now you’ll feel it later. So we do have to kind of keep that on our to-do list. So the first thing I want to say is I would love to give everybody listening, a free copy of my content editorial calendar. Let’s just say you can go to https://lacyboggs.com/flourish/ And we’ll put it there.
And the content calendar I use with my clients, and people who take my courses and everything, but it’s basically it’s in Google Sheets. But it’s just so you can see everything at a glance. And there’s a video that goes with it to show you how to use it. But basically, my philosophy is having a plan is half the battle. Because then you’re not sitting there on a Tuesday going, Oh, what am I gonna post on Instagram, you have a plan made ahead of time. So even when you’re not feeling inspired, you know what you need to do, right? This is especially important for longer forms like Instagram, you can snap a photo of your desk or something and be like I’m working today. And that can go okay. But when you’re doing bigger content, like a blog post, or email newsletter, or podcasts or videos, right, a lot more goes into that. And it really does pay to plan those out a little further.
So that’s my first tip is really give yourself an hour and just plan the next month or two months or three months, if you can figure it out of what it’s going to be and use your sales, use what’s going on in the world to inspire your content. Tracy, I know you teach things about like having, oh, I’ve lost the word having collections that you launch. And you can plan your content around those collections. So not just like, collections coming, yay, which is good. Always do that. But even before that you can have like, behind the scenes, like here’s my mood board for my new collection.
Here’s what I’m thinking about, here’s why I’m doing this in the fall instead of that, right, there’s a lot of content you can create, yeah, to support a launch. And when you have those sort of guideposts on the road, it helps you figure out what your content needs to be to support those sales going down. So just giving yourself an hour, every couple of months to really plan out. And it doesn’t have to be like I’ve written the title, and I know exactly what this email was gonna say. It can just be a concept. But that way you’re not starting from scratch, you’re not staring at a blank page.
Tracy: Yeah, the best way to do it, that’s a really good piece of feedback. And thank you so much for that calendar, I’m actually going to download it. One of the things that I wanted to say is that, like, you know, if you think like, you can sit down and think about what are all the big milestones that we’re going to be hitting like in the next quarter in the next year. We have some designers in our momentum program that they’re like, oh, I, I developed all my content for the entire year. Everything I was like, wow, that’s impressive. And the reason why I think that’s impressive is for two reasons is like, number one, how can you even think that far in advance, but number two, like I always change my mind. Yeah.
Lacy: I’m like, the plan doesn’t have to be written in stone. That’s the other nice thing. Like even if you have a plan, and you get to that week, and you’re like, Nope, that’s not what I’m gonna do this week. That’s okay. Just move it to the bottom and do it some other week. Right. But that way you’re not sitting there one day going. I have no idea. And I have to send this out today.
Tracy: I love that. So, Lacy, this has been awesome. Where can everyone find you and download your content calendar one more time?
Lacy: Yeah, so the content calendar is going to be at https://lacyboggs.com/flourish/ And that’ll be just for you guys. And then you can find all my stuff at Lacyboggs.com. There I blog a lot. So there’s plenty of free information. I’ve got a free library you can sign up for. And I mostly hang out on Facebook and Instagram. So you can stop me there too.
Tracy: Yes, and we’ll have all those in the show notes as well. So make sure that you check out the show notes for this episode. And thanks for being here, Lacy.
Lacy: Thanks so much.