Save The Drama And Get Found Super Fast, Says Bethany Michaels On 'Bring Your Own Awesome'

Bethany Michaels, the Content Social Media Queen, dispels the myth “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Sometimes entrepreneurialism is crying in a closet and constantly grinding from day to day.

She shares about using Yelp to bring awareness to your business. Quite a unique interview as mid-discussion Broc suggests one thing that changes how Bethany sees everything.

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Dan: [00:00:30] Welcome to the Bring Your Own Awesome podcast. I'm Dan, the other guy here is Broc. Hey, Broc.

Broc: [00:00:33] Hey Dan.

Dan: [00:00:35] And the other awesome person on the line with us is Bethany Michaels. I'm so excited Bethany you could join us today. Why don't you start off, tell us who you are and what you do.

Bethany: [00:00:47] Hey, guys. I'm so excited to be here. Yes, I'm Bethany, and some days I don't really know what I'm doing but those days I'm trying to build my business and --.

Broc: [00:01:01] Okay, so, what's your business?

Bethany: [00:01:06] My business is called the Content Social Media Queen. We are -- I always just call it like the umbrella. It's just basically a marketing business, online marketing and underneath that umbrella I offer a few different services that I try to focus on which is social media management, blogging and newsletters.

Broc: [00:01:27] So are you generating the content or are you helping people get it in the right place?

Bethany: [00:01:33] We're generating the content. When I chose the name I didn't know what the heck I was doing. So I kind of position it as, it sounds like an individual is running the business. Well now I'm trying to get away from being a freelancer and having it be more of a business. So yeah, we're generating the content as well and then managing it monthly.

Broc: [00:02:00] So, what would the growth be? It is still just yourself, right?

Bethany: [00:02:05] I'm actually contracted out almost, around seven people now or seven individuals or companies that are managing a lot of my accounts for me. So, no, it's actually not just me anymore. That was a big decision because you have to make sure you're picking people that align with your vision, people that are going to be a great part of your team. For me, I wanted people who were experts not just like a kid from high school writing a blog because I wanted the quality of content to be something that fit with my vision.

Dan: [00:02:41] So, this is like the era of social media. I feel like it's very murky, right Broc? It's like a slip and slide, like I'm not even sure I'm trying to go up the slip and slide but I keep falling down. That's not a positive thing, right?

Bethany: [00:02:54] Right.

Dan: [00:02:55] You watch those YouTube fail videos, you can see lots of people getting lots of mistakes that feel like that's my world when it comes to explaining or building a strategy around social media. Maybe you can tell all of us here like, what have you learned about social media that all of us need to know so we stopped screwing up?

Bethany: [00:03:14] Well, that's a great prompt because I think you hit it right on the head that it's relatively a new thing. So, a lot of people don't know what they're doing. I would say that I'm an expert at this but at the same time I'm still trying to figure it out with everyone too and that's

probably not something you should admit as someone who has the name Content Social Media Queen but I'm constantly having to test and research and look at. Well, it comes down to what is your goal. So, so many people are like, "Oh I need to be on LinkedIn and I need to be on Snapchat and Pinterest and I need to be on every single platform". Well, the crazy thing for me is that I don't even do social media for my business which sounds insane but for me my goal is leads and I get leads through Yelp and I get leads through word of mouth because of the quality of work that I do. So for me, I don't need to be on social media. So I don't know if that's a weird --.

Broc: [00:04:21] I feel like we need to dig-in there.

Dan: [00:04:26] I feel like you're very right, Broc. I feel like it.

Bethany: [00:04:29] Where do you want me to go with that?

Broc: [00:04:31] So that's just interesting irony that we have a social media business helping people with their social media and yet your best business generation does not in fact come from social media.

Bethany: [00:04:44] It doesn't. I'm actually in the process of thinking rebranding because we help with social media management. I was telling Broc that I graduated with a writing degree. So my level of expertise is in the creative thought behind the social media campaign, behind the message that they're trying to convey. It's not necessarily - I'm not necessarily going to promise you that I'm going to get you X amount of followers because at the end of the day it doesn't match, it doesn't matter about your followers. It matters about what you're doing, who you're impacting and what the effect of that is for your business. If you have 50,000 followers on Facebook and it's not converting to any sort of value for your business or going back to your goal in the first place then it's pointless, then don't have Facebook followers. Sorry.

Broc: [00:05:43] No, I cannot tell you how refreshing it is to hear someone in social media say, "Hey, you know what, it's not about the number of followers, it's about the impact that you're having". We often we think of social media as the end result and forget that it's just a means to an end and we get overly focused on the social media itself versus, "What the heck is it that I'm trying to accomplish and what's the best vehicle for me to get there"?

Bethany: [00:06:09] Right. We started Facebook and Instagram and these ways, these platforms to reach people and to convey a message but I'm not sure where it's headed but I feel like there's a breakthrough coming, whether it's like through our apps or different apps or something where it's. -- Social Media is a lot of the time, a highlight reel or you just see these cute little captions that someone found from a quote that they research on pinterest but that's not really what's impactful. I think at the end of the day we still want realness, we still want to connect with people in a real way and when you're packaging things together and making it look all pretty on social media, "Yeah, they can work for them lifestyle businesses or you know certain industries", but I like the idea of bringing the rawness to my business. Even and I believe the lines a lot because I want to work with real people. I don't want to work with people that just want stales, stagnant-stock photo posted once a week. I want to work with people who are doing real crap and want to expose real crap and want to be transparent. So, you know what I'm saying? I think, we can't use social media for that, now more than ever. I guess that's -- I don't know what I'm saying anymore.

Broc: [00:07:39] Well, let me jump in right there because you're hitting on something that we talk about often on this podcast and it's the idea that there entrepreneurism has a shiny veneer on it. It gets glamorized and you already mentioned you don't have spent a lot of time on Instagram to see just how shiny and polished it looks and how instantaneous it's supposed to be and how amazing it

is. That's generally not real life that when we think about entrepreneurship and when we think about running your own business there's really hard decisions, long hours. When one of the things we use, we refer to it as living the dream syndrome. The highlight reel and then there's the actual what it takes to be in business for ourselves, what it takes to do that job. People are looking from the outside, think it looks amazing. Let me ask you, for you what is that rawness? What does your day look like? What is the grit behind the shiny?

Bethany: [00:08:47] I think you touched on a really good point that I want to expose more which is how much entrepreneurism is glamorise. Like, how much it's like, "Oh, we've come home, " and you're all like, "Do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life". It's like, "No", sometimes I want to rip out my hair, sometimes I'm crying in my closet. I think those are the things -- those are the conversations that I want to have with other business owners and just other people.

Broc: [00:09:18] I would absolutely love to see entrepreneurs post on Instagram pictures of them crying in their closets saying, "You know another it, live in the ground and" --.

Bethany: [00:09:28] I should make that my next post.

Dan: [00:09:30] I'm sure there's a I meme, there's that meme like Michael Jordan crying, right? So, I think we can have a Michael Jordan crying in his closet.

Bethany: [00:09:40] If not, we need to make of, one of us crying. Yeah. I'm very much with you on this Bethany and a great point. I love when Brock asked this question because you know it's very real that the stage, the award, the trophy, the close deal. Those are all trailing indicators. The last thing that happens in entrepreneurship, the things that everyone sees publicly and all of this overnight success talk really does damage to would be people, would be entrepeneur, people who arelistening right now who have an idea they've been sitting on for five or six years and just been too bashful to jump into it. What's your -- what keeps you going when you do have those moments where you're in your closet crying or you're upset, you're frustrated, you're all by yourself. What's your motivation?

Bethany: [00:10:30] Okay, money is a good motivation but at the end of the day -- I've always -- I think entrepreneurism is glorified but at the same time I know I've always had this spirit in me that wants to break out. When I read a little bit kind of more about you Dan and just breaking this mold that I always felt confined to in the office space of an 85 job and for me that's what keeps me going, "It's Okay Bethany. What are you bringing to other people's lives, to help them, to make a difference, to have that aha moment in their own business or even in their own personal lives to be motivated and to help other people?" It's Like a ripple effect and so if I can buy my creativity or my resources help someone else have that aha moment or make a difference in their business however that is, that's what keeps me going. It's not the work. It's the people, it's the people.

Dan: [00:11:39] Is that something that you say to yourself? I mean what some visualizing you're upset. I mean, I know I get upset too.

Bethany: [00:11:46] Yes.

Dan: [00:11:46] Is that something where -- so I revert back to running. I sometimes I just go screw it. There's two default things I go to. One is reading a book or getting some knowledge from somebody else listening to a book reading a book. The second thing I do is running and then because I know my attitude's shot, I'm wasting my time anyways. I just put running shoes on, go running, come back and they go, "Now I'm ready to go. now, I'm ready to go to work.".

Bethany: [00:12:10] Yep.

Dan: [00:12:11] Those are my go to, I don't mind, I apologize for it, I don't really hide it to many, that's what they do. Do you say those things to yourself? What's The literal process you'd go to? I think a lot of people are looking for this, they're stock and they've been stuck for days or weeks or months or years or decades and they just take it out of their own way. What do they do? What's the actual thing you recommend they do?

Bethany: [00:12:34] I think for me I've always been a people person so I have people in my corner, people that I've built kind of like a network and so for me it's actually having conversations and being able to speak my frustrations to other people who would understand. So Chanell is one of those people for me. Sometimes I just give her a call. I'm crying, I say, "Dude, I just had a client that you know this happened or I'm crying in a closet", and even just being able to vent that out and just get it out and then be able to kind of process it or I like to journal and I like to see, "Okay, this is where I'm at". I also like to look back and I have photos and I have journal entries of where I started and I like to just meditate on the fact that, "Bethany, just a year ago you were doing this, you were having these problems and look you still have problems but there are different problems and you're on a different level", so it's kind of just getting that clarity and perspective of, "Okay, yes, this is hard but at the end of the day it's so worth it", it's worth it and then when I'm able to verbalize it or process it and put it into perspective then I'm able to take a breath and say, "Okay, where are we going to go from here? You don't need to make a thousand decisions right now. Let's make one decision to keep going".

Broc: [00:13:57] If you were to look back six months, a year from now, I want to build on what you were just talking about there because it is easy to not notice the progress that we're making and it is very helpful to look back but I want to make this little future focused here so six months, a year from now if we were having a follow up conversation, what would be that next level? Where Would you be then?

Bethany: [00:14:20] I think I would be in a place where I either have a product or something. Maybe, I would be more consulting. So for me, I want to be freed up to not be working in my business so much but to be having more freedom to work on my business or being able to do kind of I guess higher level things. So whether that's traveling to different clients and doing more consulting. So, I guess I'm hoping for like consulting or a product where I'm able to do all my business and be more free.

Broc: [00:15:03] Those are two very different things. What kind of consulting are you thinking or what kind of product are you thinking?

Bethany: [00:15:09] I think, that's the problem, I have no clue because I just kind of realized that. I didn't really think I was an entrepreneur but I realized that I think I am. I just don't know how to turn it into something because right now I feel very much like the wizard in Wizard of Oz who's behind the scenes kind of doing all everything behind the scenes but I don't have -- I'm not stepping outside of that to create a product where I'm the expert and that people can trust me with my product. So part of me is -- I think I'm leaning more towards consulting because I like conversations, I like helping people and I like them being able to step away from a phone call or a meeting and saying, "Wow, that made a difference. Wow, I understand something that I didn't before.".

Dan: [00:16:04] As a guy who has been in consulting for a decade plus, I think you know your focus on helping others is exactly where you need to be. So kudos to you for having that attention right from the start. How do you get started on this dream? I love what you share with Broc. You're seeing a year from now, this is what you're going to be doing consulting. How do you get started?

What Do you think the next step is for you?

Bethany: [00:16:33] I know it's so weird. I recently had two inquiries, two leads that were interested in consulting. So I've been doing consulting services the past couple of months with a couple of clients here in Orange County and it's been a dream for me. It's been so and it's been valuable for them because I think I like it so much because there's something specific. They're seeking me out for and it's something I have a lot of knowledge and so it just for me it's like an immediate payoff of, "Wow, I just helped this person understand something". I guess the seed has been planted. I just don't really know how to water it or how to make it grow because it's there. I just don't really know how to make that grow.

Broc: [00:17:27] Well, you answered my next question actually which was, I a little confused because you said, "Hey, I want to get into consulting", and then you immediately followed up with, "Oh, and by the way I mean consulting", and so you're already doing it like you just said, "Hey, I kind of realized I was an entrepreneur sort of. Yes, you're already doing it. There is no kind of set bar that you have to get there. What is that next step?mI want to just spin the question here. You are already there, you've got your own business, you've expanded it, now the stage where you're looking at how can I grow even further, how can I better focus it to fit. What I want to do to be able to provide that deeper level of meaning and impact for people. If someone were a few steps behind you, how would you recommend they go about getting consulting clients? What's The first thing they should do?

Theme music ("Runaway") by Shadow of Whales:

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