Is social media something you can take or leave? It can definitely be a time-suck if you get stuck in the scroll or you’re not using it effectively. I’ve often said that you should have a presence on social media, especially if you’re an online business.
This week on the podcast, guest Maggie Gentry proves me wrong! She stopped using social media three years ago and continues to have a thriving business.
Of course, social media is just a piece of your overall marketing strategy, and having other visibility measures is important. Maggie shares how she maintains visibility without social media, how she markets mindfully, and why energetic capacity is incredibly important when it comes to how you show up online and in your business.
This isn’t to say that you should stop using social media. Far from it, in fact. But if social media makes you want to pull your hair out, there are other ways!
Mentioned in This Episode Podcast
- Sign up for Maggie’s newsletter here
- Follow Maggie on Pinterest
- Schedule a call with me
- Connect with me on LinkedIn
- Follow me on Instagram
About Maggie Gentry
Maggie Gentry is a thought partner to coaches and high-conscious entrepreneurs looking to intentionally grow their businesses with a focus on marketing operations. She helps her clients create proactive marketing plans and effective systems that support both the business and the business owner. Her approach lets values lead, prioritizes people over profit, and focuses on long-term sustainable growth over short-term gains.
Abby Herman 0:08
Hey there, and welcome to episode 247 of The Content Experiment Podcast, a podcast for service driven business owners who know that content is important, but that there is also so much more to marketing and business growth. Here we talk about showing up for your audience in a way that they want to hear and in a way that’s sustainable for you. This might mean publishing a weekly podcast or blog, but it also means paying attention to your email list, leveraging other people’s audiences, building relationships, and getting over the limiting mindsets that often hit when we’re reaching for the next level in our business.
Abby Herman 0:43
I’m Abby Herman, fractional Marketing Officer, content strategist and podcasts manager for business owners who want to make the marketing field easier and more streamlined. So they can get back to serving their clients and making those sales. I will show you how or I’ll do it for you while you do business in a way that works for you. I can help by supporting you through building and implementing a content and marketing strategy, taking care of the podcast management for you, or giving you the tools and resources to take this on yourself. I have a question for you. What are your thoughts on social media or marketing in general, a lot of my clients have hired me because they don’t have the time or energy for social media, or they’ve been exhausting themselves by trying to do it all. And they need to focus on their clients. And some just don’t understand social media at all. But they want to stay visible there.
Abby Herman 1:39
Well, this week, I am talking with someone who literally just let go of social media altogether for going on three years now. And she’s never been better. Maggie Gentry is a marketer, but she’s found other ways to market her business than social media. And here on this episode, she’s sharing why and what she has been doing instead to stay visible. She also shares what it means to market in a way that’s aligned with your energy and what mindful marketing looks like. This was such an interesting conversation. And if you listen closely, you’ll find that Maggie isn’t suggesting that everyone just let go of their social media accounts, or the way you’re marketing your business. But it does open the imagination up to other possibilities. Before you listen in, here’s a little more about Maggie.
Abby Herman 2:30
Maggie Gentry is a thought partner to coaches and high conscious entrepreneurs looking to intentionally grow their businesses with a focus on marketing operations. She helps her clients create proactive marketing plans and effective systems that support both the business and the business owner. Her approach lets values lead priorities, people over profit, and focuses on long term sustainable growth over short term gains. Here is our conversation. Hi, Maggie, thank you so much for being here today.
Maggie Gentry 3:04
Thank you for having me, Abby, I’m really excited.
Abby Herman 3:07
Yeah, me too. Me too. Before we get into the conversation, can you share with listeners what you do and who you do it for?
Maggie Gentry 3:15
Yeah, absolutely. I say that what I do is that I’m a thought cord, a thought partner for high conscious entrepreneurs. So really, what that means is that I am working with soulfully aligned entrepreneurs, and really supporting them largely in the service based industry. And being that brainstorming partner, and that sounding board that I think we often need and crave. When we’re doing this entrepreneurship thing on our own, it can often feel like we’re in a silo. So what I say that I do is that thought partnership piece is really expanding on your own ideas, being that mirror to reflect your ideas back to you, and asking questions so that we can dig even deeper into what is your truth, and then developing a strategy around that.
Abby Herman 4:17
And with that, can you share a little bit about what it looks like to work with you? And how does the way you’ve structured your client work to help you to live the lifestyle that you want?
Speaker 2 4:28
Mm hmm. Yeah, I am. I’ve gotten to the point now where all of my client engagements are custom engagement. So the the way in which we work together looks a little bit different based on what means that you have, but oftentimes at this stage, where I find myself is I’m working with folks that are at that fulcrum of making the transition between one to one to one to many, so they’re coming to me and supporting them with that content. up doing an ideation and creation of whatever that new offer is. And I think what I really love about how I structured my work now is this kind of goes against what we hear about you creating the one hero offer. And it’s just rinse, repeat. And I don’t know if it’s my Gemini nature or what it is, but I tried that, and they’re doing the same thing over and over, we got so monotonous. And I found that it was really unfulfilling for me. Also, the retainer model of doing the same consistent support for folks over and over month after month, week after week was also not supportive for me. So what I found to be really beautiful is that I structure all of my work now based on projects. And so even though I know there are folks who share about, you know, the instability of that, and yes, there’s a certain ebb and flow, but the time flexibility for me and to be able to schedule projects in a way that support my energetic capacity and knowing when I need breaks, I can kind of go hard for certain weeks and then fall back and take breaks for certain weeks. And that’s been so crucial.
Abby Herman 6:21
I like that, yeah, this, you know, I like the stability of the ongoing retainer model. That yeah, that feels really good to me the idea because I, you know, I try to treat and take breaks, and I do take days off and things but to have a a week or I have very little scheduled workwise. I don’t know what to do with myself, at all, so, but I love that you can do that. Alright, so you talk about marketing in a way that aligns with your energetic capacity. And you also talked about conscious entrepreneurs, can you share a little bit more about what that means? And like, how do you market in a way that aligns with your energetic capacity? What does that feel like and look like?
Speaker 2 7:10
Yeah, well, I mean, I think that this goes back to what I shared earlier about really wanting to develop a marketing strategy that is centered around the client, the business owners truth. And so what I mean by that is, I think that for many of us who are in the service based industry and service providers, like to, like we are our business to a certain extent, like there’s a funny line. So I know that that that comes with a lot of nuance and gray area. But what we have to offer is an intellectual property of sorts we so with that we have to be or I believe that we have to be well resourced in order to authentically and fully show up in that space. So to me that, going back to high conscious entrepreneurs, what I mean by that is folks who are in tune with who they are, and how they operate, how they want to operate, how they exist in the world, how that interplays with other people, with their clients, with their own ecosystem, not only of the business, but also of any contractors that they might be working with, how they use their business as a mechanism through which to see the change that they want to see in the world. And so if we’re going to do that, it all comes back to you know, I think that many people talk about this idea of having business be in service of your life. And so I think that in order to do that, and to do that, well, we have to understand what we as a human with finite resources and energy, what we’re capable of. So that looks like it can look like, how many hours in a day or a week do I feel like I can carve out for X, Y or Z? You know, and we might get into this in a little bit. But, you know, for me, I noticed that being on social media was such a drain for my mental health, like not only the time suck, but particularly the mental health component of it. And so I made a choice three years ago to get off of it. And that has helped tremendously. So and because of that decision, it’s like I was able to create a marketing strategy and build a business around that. So again, it’s like supporting what that truth was for me and in that moment. It was no more social media.
Abby Herman 10:03
So what does that looked like that? And the How did you create a marketing strategy? Leaving social media off of off of it?
Speaker 2 10:12
Mm hmm. So, and maybe this is a caveat, I will say that I still use Pinterest. I don’t know how you classify I think Pinterest. Is that like, interesting one that’s like, sort of social media kind of search engine?
Abby Herman 10:25
Yeah. So I consider it a search engine over social media for sure. Yeah.
Speaker 2 10:29
Yeah, I know, it’s one of those kind of, in between. Yeah, ones. So I still use Pinterest. But when I when I got off of, I’ll say social media, really, it was Instagram, it was the one that I focused on, mainly. And I was noticing even there that I was gravitating more toward long form writing. So what I decided to do was just instead of being limited to the character limit, in the caption, I would move those to longer form blog posts. And so I built up my blog on my website, and then even started exploring, how can I utilize that space for thought partnership pieces, or, I’ll say for thought leadership pieces, so that people can understand my philosophy. And then also, I have a whole series of blogs that have additional freebies, worksheets downloadables that are with them. So then I’ve created a handful of funnels to build my newsletter list. So really, where I’m focusing most of my marketing strategy is by building my email list. So my Pinterest, all of my pins are also going to those blog posts, particularly the ones that have the freebies with them. And so that way, is just trying to funnel it all into that one, that one space, which is the newsletter for me. So there’s that and then doing this. So podcast, interviews and podcast gifting. There was also an interesting switch for me around that time, where I think for so long, my focus was on trying to build relationships with clients directly. And the other big switch for me at that point was how can I build relationships with partners and collaborators. And that has been huge. So as a marketer, I have, you know, there’s one collaborator that is a graphic designer and web designer. And so, for years, we have sent each other business and so worked collaboratively on client projects. And so that’s been amazing. Where if I can build these really substantial relationships with folks that have similar values, and then it’s just a handful of other people who are doing their own business development, who are doing their own outreach that can bring me into their projects, too. And so that’s been crucial.
Abby Herman 13:21
I remember that back in the day. So I’ve been in business full time for 10 years. And I remember back when Facebook was the place to go, Facebook groups was the place to go. That’s how I built my business early on, because it was so much easier to get noticed on social media now that, you know, everybody it feels like has an online business, which I mean, I do too. I love it. I wouldn’t change it for anything. But, you know, there is so much noise out there. I think that what you’re doing, I mean, obviously, it’s working for you. And I think it works for so many people, I’ve talked to all you know forever about the importance of building your email list and showing up on other people’s platforms and getting in front of other people’s audiences and things like that. So I think the fact that you are just doing that, and not on social media at all, or very little, I should say, if we if we count Pinterest speaks volumes to the importance and the value of doing that of you know, being active with your email list, growing your email list and showing up and guessing and creating those relationships. That’s huge. That’s so important.
Maggie Gentry 14:36
It is and I mean, I think it also goes back to the energetic capacity and knowing myself and I mean, I’m the person that I much prefer having one on one, deep conversations and so then I think aligning my marketing strategy to knowing that about myself as well where, for me it feels energy positive for me Need to have one on one conversations with people. And so if I can make a point to do that. So it’s like the time that I was spending on content creation for social media now is just being redirected into having meaningful conversations. Yes. And not everyone leaves to a client or not everyone, is that really perfect fit or? And it’s just like it’s helpful to, it’s helpful to honor that. For me. It’s those one on one conversations, I feel like that’s where I can show up my most authentic self, rather than doing the, you know, yeah. Or you’re trying to speak to everybody.
Abby Herman 15:47
Yeah, yeah. Yep, I totally get that. I love that so much. So, you know, thinking about the social media, social media posting and creating content and things like that. There’s like, a lot of people think, well, I should do that. And I need to be doing XYZ or ABC for my business. And I should be showing up on video and on social media and posts and photos and all of that. Can you share a little bit more about like, how you have taken those words? I should I need to whatever and, and have a different approach to that?
Speaker 2 16:29
Mm hmm. Yeah, I mean, so for me, I like to think about it as that very curious toddler that’s always with me. So when I hear something like that, about I should do this, or I have to do it that way. Then I kind of hear my two year old self just been like, Well, why. And just so then it’s continuing to dissect where that’s coming from, and seeing, you know, for that particular person, whatever strategy they might be preaching, really trying to understand and get a more global view of why that has worked for them. And I think what also is really interesting is that, you know, they say, hindsight is 2020. So a lot of times people will promote a particular strategy, because they look back and they say, Oh, this is what worked for me. And what I think a lot of folks, perhaps discount is divine timing, and luck, and people that they’ve met along the way that gave them a particular boost of some sort. And so, I think because of because of that, we have to really understand for ourselves, what feels true. I go back to that, like, what’s your truth? A lot. So as far as the shoulds? Yeah, I think it’s just really, for me trying to understand where that’s coming from, for the other person, and to see if that fits for me. And so a lot of that we’ve talked about before, you know, many people will say that you can’t be a thriving business without showing up on social media. But I’m also I’ll say it’s a, I’ll say it’s a luxury, it feels like a luxury for me that it’s not true that I have to be on social media. But that’s also because I mean, look at the the numbers in my business, because I’m a service provider, I don’t need a huge quantity of clients, because my projects, are there a higher price point. So I just I do need, the fewer deeper projects in clients. So that helps a ton too. So I think it’s also understanding, you know, looking at that holistic perspective, people are talking about you, you should do XYZ, it’s like, well, why and what is it really that is driving that for them? If they are selling a $20 offering, then yeah, perhaps social media is the way for them, because they need the numbers, they need the quantity of people in order to reach whatever their revenue goals might be. So yeah, I just I have to go back and ask that a lot of just like, how does this align with my values? And if not, I can maybe tweak a part of it or leave it completely?
Abby Herman 19:33
Yeah. Yeah, I think there’s a lot of looking at what other people are doing and trying to, you know, copycat, emulate whatever, whatever you want to whatever you want to call it, and what works for one person is not necessarily going to work for the next person, for the reasons that you just stated. I mean, especially what kind of business do you have if you are One to one service provider, you don’t need a huge audience you don’t need, you know, to, you don’t need to have a 10,000 person 50,000 person email list, and you need the people you need the right people. And like you said, the, you know, building quality relationships and talking to people is might be exactly the right way to go.
Maggie Gentry 20:20
So, yeah, and, you know, I think that what’s also beautiful about this whole idea of the content experiment, right, is that if you, and also when you’re first starting out, I think it’s okay to look to others for ideas. And oh, I’ve never seen that before. Let me try it. But I think it’s the it’s like that mindset shift of, oh, this is the the, it has to be this way, or this is the only way to be successful. It’s that sort of it is that binary way of thinking that I think is problematic. And so if we can invite in that experiment, if we can invite in trial and error, then we can find our way here to whatever here is that feels really good for us. Yeah, I mean, I’ve been in business a little, you know, over seven years. So I didn’t know that this was exactly what it would look like, in year one.
Abby Herman 21:23
I was just having a conversation with somebody this morning about that, like, yeah, if I had known what would I have done differently? Yeah. You mentioned that your packages, the the engagements that you do, you don’t have packages, you have customer engagements with clients. And that’s because everybody needs something different in their business, every business is different, and everybody needs something a little bit different. So I love that you customize that. I do that to to a point in my own business, too. I, you know, work on retainer, but every business has different needs. And every business is, you know, a little bit different, their voice is different, their audiences are different, and what they’re selling is different. So I think that that’s really important to take into account, you know, from person to person, business owner to business owner.
Maggie Gentry 22:14
Yeah. And, and I think it’s, I mean, I’m guilty, too, you know, so I started my business in 2016. And so I definitely went through this whole Oh, wall, I should have a course or I should be doing these things that, you know, kind of seemed like, annually, there was like a new thing that was like the thing to do. And so I certainly fell victim to that as well. But then I think once I was able to gain the confidence in what felt good for me, but again, it was a matter of doing it, trying it.
Abby Herman 22:55
Absolutely. So you talk about the four tenets of marketing in on your website, can you share what those are? And how those can help us to be better business owners, better people better marketers, all of the things?
Maggie Gentry 23:13
Yeah, absolutely. So I like to think of mindful marketing as really the the embodiment of like everything that we’ve been talking about here. So the four tenants are flexible, consistency, connected individualism, embodied wealth, and responsible power. And so with that, you know, the first one, if we go to flexible consistency, you know, and some of that one feels a little oxymoronic. And the idea that I love about or what I love about it is this. Yes, there is something to being consistent, but also acknowledging that we are not machines. And so if the consistency is at the detriment of your own well being, then how, again, can we invite it like, that’s the point to invite in that flexibility. So it’s finding a rhythm, or ritual, if you will, to the content, or to whatever structure, you know, business process or practice, but allowing the humanity in there to so and allowing that to change at whatever point. So, you know, at one point, I was doing monthly blogs. Now, I’ve changed that to quarterly. And that feels really great. And also, it’s like, I have a library of blogs that I’ve built up over the years. So kind of it, it feels good at that point. So that’s an example of what I mean by that flexible consistency. So I found a new cadence that seems to work for me and where I’m at in this stage in life, the connected individualism so I’m in I have It’s a tough time with that word, individualism anyway. But I think the idea is, you know, we are interdependent beings. And so how can we acknowledge our uniqueness and really play into our, our strengths, and also realize that we do not exist in a silo, and that we, there is a lot of beauty and support to be had by connecting with those around us by utilizing resources that are already there. And so in whatever way we can, is it that, you know, thinking about business, is there a way to source or even credit the people who you’ve learned from so that you make sure that you are not claiming certain ideas to be your own? Also, it can be something like this, where how can we support one another, and conversations and show up? As you know, for me right now, being a guest on your podcast is supporting you by creating content for this episode that’s going to go out at a certain time. And I hope that what I share is a value to your listeners. And then also for me, it’s supportive, because if someone resonates, who’s listening, that’s amazing. So it’s a way that we can collaboratively support each other. So how can you think about that with your marketing strategy, then the third one with embodied wealth? So that is really acknowledging you, as business owners? Are there ways that you can build into your pricing strategy ways to give back so I feel like I’m seeing more and more of this, where we’re having not just the typical, here’s one price for the thing, and it’s just this exchange? But can we think about scholarships, or tiered pricing? Or is there you know, typing, that’s just a part of your structure, so that you’re giving back a certain percentage. And also then acknowledging that that wealth is 360s. So not that it’s only giving back to the community, but also to yourself, so how are you ensuring that you are adequately adequately paying yourself as well, so that you can continue to give back in the ways in your personal life that you care to. And then lastly, with responsible power, so it’s acknowledging to that with when we begin this process of marketing our business, we are using words, and we’re actively trying to, I’ll say, push a message. And so in whatever way, do we acknowledge that we have power in doing so. And so as a business owner, and as a brand, we have to really, I believe, own up to the way in which we are perpetuating our values, and we have also an opportunity to live our values. So whether that is and the pricing structure that we were talking about. And so if you’re really passionate about a particular cause, then you can be very explicit about that. So and I think it’s being cognizant of the words that we use. So you know, I think marketing has this history of manipulation and urgency tactics in scarcity mindset and using psychology for some nefarious reasons. And so how can we actively decide not to use the countdown timer, even though we know that that might encourage someone to purchase but how else could we flip that script so that we aren’t creating nervous system dysregulation offer a sale? Because I don’t think that that’s kind or thoughtful, or what anyone in this world needs?
Abby Herman 28:53
I agree, I agree completely. So the this scarcity mindset and the marketing messages, and all of that is so embedded into the online business space, I get ads all the time for funnel builders and things like that, that just feel sleazy. I’ve read some of the books, I’ve attended some of the workshops, and it just doesn’t feel good. And yet, it again, it’s so embedded in the whole marketing landscape and online business world. When clients come to you, how do you navigate that conversation? And how do you you are maybe maybe you don’t get clients coming to you with that language because of how you have structured your business and how you present yourself online. But I’m just I’m curious what that looks like for you.
Speaker 2 29:52
Yeah, it still does happen occasionally. But I think I because I’ve been pretty open about it. Um, my approach, I don’t get it as much. But often, what I’m doing is just again, asking the question and just like, hey, I’m noticing this or this feels, I’m getting a sense that this is feeling a little sharp. Let’s say like, is there another way that we could reword this? Or
Abby Herman 30:19
like that word?
Maggie Gentry 30:23
Yeah, but even the language that we use, so just thinking about, so if you’re building this funnel, and it’s like, exploding offers and trip wires, and, you know, so even the language is really challenging. And so for me, it’s like, in whatever way possible, I try to, I try to point out to the client, and then also see where there are opportunities where we can soften. Or if it’s feeling really transactional, and like a one way conversation, how might we shift that so that it’s Invitational. And so you know, a lot of it’s like, we know that action verbs can be really supportive for getting people to do the thing that we want them to do, click on the button, buy the thing Buy now buy today. So and again, it’s not that I don’t want to soften it so much that then the desired results of bringing people into the program or to buy the thing that really could use it aren’t doing that. But I see how can we encourage a question instead? I think questions do a lot. So you know, are you ready? Will you join me? Things just like that slight shift seemed to be, at least for me, they just feel softer? I mean, that I keep coming back to that. It’s that. And again, by asking the question, to whoever’s reading it, my hope, is that they can then check back in with themselves like, do they want to join me? Are they ready? And if so then like, Yes, it’s here for you. But it’s a way I hope of coming back to the client and trying to create an experience and a whole customer journey that honors that whoever is on the other receiving end of it is an autonomous, highly educated, beautiful human being, rather than just a user or another statistic. Yes, that feels really good like that.
Abby Herman 32:34
Thinking about that, and how I make purchasing decisions myself, that feels so much better than just being another sale being another dollar.
Speaker 2 32:48
Mm hmm. Yeah. So good.
Abby Herman 32:51
Before we wrap things up, but can you share with listeners if they could only take away two things? From this whole conversation? What do you hope that they walk away with?
Speaker 2 33:01
Hmm. Gosh, that’s great. I would say that, my hope is, they would walk away with one, really allowing themselves to take the space to inquire within and allowing that inquiry to then guide them to their next right step. So it doesn’t even have to be two or three or 10 steps down the line. It’s what’s that? Tiny next right step. And I think the second would be, have fun with it. And I don’t want to be little any struggle are very real need to make money because also that is a reality of the world that we live in. But have fun with the experimenting. And allow yourself to try new things so that you can find what works for you.
Abby Herman 34:07
Yes, I love it. Maggie, where can people find you online?
Maggie Gentry 34:12
My website, which is just my name, MaggieGentry.com. That’s the best place because yeah, you can find me on Instagram, but there’s nothing new there.
Abby Herman 34:23
I love it. I’ll make sure I have a link to your website in the show notes. Thank you so much, Maggie for being here and for chatting. This has been really eye opening and, and thought provoking for me.
Maggie Gentry 34:36
Thank you, Abby. It’s been a pleasure.
Abby Herman 34:40
One of my biggest takeaways from this conversation is something that I’ve talked a lot about before and it’s actually in the intro of every episode. Getting in front of other people’s audiences and building relationships is so important in today’s online business world. I also loved Maggie’s four tenets of mindful marketing flexible consistency connected individualism, embodied wealth and responsible power, and I’m looking forward to reading her content. To find out more about each of these. If you found value in what you learned here today, be sure to share it on social media. Take a screenshot of the episode on your phone and shared on Instagram stories. You can tag me at the content experiment, or head over to LinkedIn and connect with me there. I plan to be spending a lot more time on LinkedIn in the near future. Be sure to tell me that you found me on the podcast when you send a connection invitation. The more you share this podcast with others the more we can get it into the hands of more business owners just like you who need to hear the message that they are not alone. Until next time, take care.