When For-Profit Connections Don't Measure Up

How much content marketing is “enough” to be considered a success?

How many people do you need to connect with for your content marketing efforts to feel worth it to you ...10 - 100 - 100,000? How many people can you safely and effectively work with to cover your expenses, make a profit, and provide benefit? Are you trying to reach the masses because you think that’s expected of you? Is amassing followers, fans, and subscribers the endgame for you? Are your content marketing efforts strictly for revenue growth?

Increasing your audience and subscriber list means nothing if you’re not delivering in a way that best serves your tribe - your core circle of influence and loyal clients.

If you’re able to genuinely connect with only a handful of people to provide quality work, networking, and a sense of community, shouldn’t that be enough? #AskingForAFriend

Work-Life Balance is a Myth

There is no perfect formula that will help you practice self-care. #DoYou instead.

For years I have struggled with trying to find a perfect work-life balance formula and you know what I’ve finally realized? Work-life balance is a myth; it’s the elusive white unicorn we don’t want to admit doesn’t exist.

How many times have you said to yourself, “I’ll feel so much better about working [insert: your job, a project, a volunteer op] when I finally learn how to balance working [insert: your job, a project, a volunteer op] with taking care of [insert: myself, my family, my dog, etc.]”

Yup, me too.

My light bulb moment happened when I realized that the best way to handle, deal with, overcome, and release my work-life balance unicorn quest was to give myself permission to stop searching for the fairy tale pony.

I live with OCD that manifests itself in hyper-focus on projects. I have found that rather than attempt to completely shut down “work” focus, I do better to shift my attention to other projects, in doing so I’m able to give a part of my brain a rest plus this keeps me sane and productive. Sounds crazy but I’m more likely to succumb to burnout when I stay on one project and I get anxious if I try to force myself to stop working for the sake of somebody’s rigid work-life balance formula.

For example, when I’m feeling stressed about writing - what to write, how to write it, etc., I stop agonizing about it and instead, I shift my attention to create social graphics or website updates.

How do I balance project work with the rest of my life, say domestic duties or family stuff? When something needs doing around the house, I do it. When the hubs and I need time together, we take it. Don't be afraid to shift gears.

I know you’re probably thinking that I’m not resting by working and living this way, well, it works for me and that is the unicorn. Realize that there is no perfect cookie-cut formula for work-life balance. Everyone has different circumstances and level of tolerance, when we exceed our tolerance, we suffer. When your mind and body have had enough, listen to your energy and do what you need to do in order to rest and reset.

No one can tell you what creates balance for you except you - you are your best self-care advocate. #DoYou. Do what you feel works best for you with an understanding that there will be times when you ebb and flow and bob and weave. Don’t beat yourself up for failing to adhere to some fantasy about work-life balance from someone else’s perspective.

Don’t get me wrong, this is not the same as taking a mental health break where it’s necessary to take complete and total attention and focus away from any and all things “work” related - that’s called a vacation.

What’s your experience with work-life balance?

The SHINE Lite Blog + Brief are resources brought to you by SHINE Media Co.

Are you a busy lady boss who’s ready to delegate your admin tasks? Learn more about SHINE VA Talent [here].

#WorkYourSHINE. #StayLit. Keep it, Lite.

What is "Community-focused" Content Marketing?

Get to know how SHINE Media Co can help you grow your tribe.

When choosing a company or professional to assist with your branding and digital marketing needs, it’s super helpful to understand their ethos just as much or more than promised deliverables. In as much as I want to gain your business, I believe that the journey of a collaborative enterprise begins with gaining your trust by building a rapport.

Let's begin with an introduction to SHINE Media Co and why community-building is so important in the work that we do.

Socialpreneurs believe in creating relationships and building communities that honor the social responsibility that we all have to one another. They seek to make an impact on the issues that matter and to play a bigger part in the way our world evolves.

SHINE Media Co offers:

  • Consulting - Professional brand development and digital content marketing strategy for socialpreneurs.

  • Education - Resources to help entrepreneurs value authenticity and consistency in honing and executing their brand’s digital footprint.

In short, we help socialpreneurs to SHINE a little brighter.

Who’s at the Helm?

Hi, I’m Jae Hermann, the Chief Marketing Officer at SHINE Media Co. My goal is to assist small business owners to create customized community-focused brand strategies and digital marketing plans to improve their content delivery, conversion, and retention. Additionally, I provide copy editing and editorial guidance to startup business bloggers.

The “Why”

I live by "People first, work second." Community-building is at the heart of everything that I do because I know that we are stronger together. I want to partner with wellness professionals, global community advocates, small biz owners, and solopreneurs who are working to serve a greater good; I want to do good work with good people.

Content marketing and brand storytelling are in my blood, marry that with an engaging and innovative company and I'm sold. I love working with impassioned people, I love startup energy and I love exploring opportunities to contribute to successful brand campaigns that benefit our global community. I know the potential and strength of a "tribe" aligned in values and purpose because I created one.

How it started.

On the heels of founding an eco-friendly fashion jewelry line, I had a desire to promote a fun, yet educational “green” online space, so I created a digital publication dedicated to environmental sustainability and conscious living. The “mag” grew to +12K readership and 40K daily unique visits in less than three years, which was no small feat back in 2007.

As a driven self-starter, I learned how to create a robust and interactive magazine-style website using WordPress while also managing a team of five editors and +20 freelance contributors. Collaboratively, we produced and shared weekly lifestyle articles, peer interviews through vlogs & podcasts, and product reviews. I was also chiefly responsible for all digital marketing, social media, and ad sales for the mag, all of which I learned along the way.

I started Modern Hippie Mag as a solo endeavor but its success stemmed from the combined talents of the “tribe” - my team of fiercely talented writers and creators. Strategic alliances with several Fortune 500 Green sector companies helped too.

In my years since working on the mag, I've had the pleasure of founding two marketing companies and in doing so I created customized systems for managing editorial & creative content projects. My content planning system begins with professional development-->brand identity & positioning-->website and blog development-->social media outreach-->newsletter campaigns-->sales funnels (when appropriate), all of which are built on the foundation of collaborative enterprising.

To read more about my professional career, connect with me on LinkedIn [here].

SHINE Media Co Inspiration

Helping small business owners create and manage authentic brand marketing through blogging, social media, and newsletter campaigns to build and sustain their tribe is fulfilling work for me. I love digging in to get to the heart and essence of a brand story and I love helping business owners to become better storytellers and ultimately, better community leaders.

Your business is not an island; your business is a community, your tribe.

Are you suffering from “snow blindness” because you’re too close to your story? Allow me to give your content fresh eyes. Infused with a new perspective, together we can highlight your unique contributions, products and services in a way that showcases your authentic brand message to those who want and need to hear it - your tribe.

7 Ways SHINE Media Co can help you to grow your business and community.

SHINE Media Co can help you to:

  1. Develop an authentic brand identity

  2. Gain clarity and focus to develop your brand message and content strategy

  3. Stay inspired and motivate you to remain on track with your goals and objectives

  4. Create goals and objectives for your content

  5. Create community-driven content

  6. Organize your content distribution with customized tools and resources

  7. Grow your audience without the benefit of paid ads

Don’t lose the opportunity to create genuine connections and relationships with your tribe because your brand positioning is dated or disconnected from your brand identity. I can help you ensure that who you say you are and why resonates with what you’re offering to the world.

SHINE Lite - The SHINE Media Co Learning Portal

“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character - that is the goal of true education.” - Martin Luther King, Jr.

SHINE Media Co shares educational, instructional, and industry resources to help entrepreneurs learn about brand authenticity and how to stay current in a rapidly evolving digital landscape.

Your time is an investment that I don’t take lightly so I write content for the SHINE Lite weekly blog, bi-weekly brief, and member-only subscription with the goal of giving you goodies you can use in brief bites, excluding this post, of course.

Expect the SHINE Lite content to focus on digital marketing, specifically content marketing & brand storytelling, social media marketing tips, brand development, business startup tips, newsletter campaign bits, and WordPress tips.

SHINE Lite blog - Weekly blog posts (typically 500 words or less).

SHINE Lite Brief - A bi-weekly newsletter providing 5 links and short blurbs (50-100 words or less).

A little more detail about what to expect from SHINE Lite:

  1. WordPress tips and resources - SEO, plugins, link building, tags, keywords

  2. Blogging tips and resources - how to start, stay organized and inspired, how to take advantage of guest post opportunities

  3. Newsletter and e-marketing campaigns - how to get started, how to get organized, and grow your tribe’s inbox trust

  4. Social media marketing tips & resources - how to manage your social updates, industry news - What’s new with Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, etc.

  5. Content creation tips and resources - Canva tutorials, writing tips & resources, e.g., grammar, sentence structure, overcoming writer’s block

  6. Productivity tips and resources - Get the gist of new apps, gadgets, websites, books, podcasts

  7. Motivation and personal growth inspiration including self-care bits

Here are a few recent SHINE Lite blog posts:

The SHINE Lite Subscription ($5/mo) is member-only content that is typically a compilation of a few of my published blog posts pulled together to create a comprehensive eBook or an original how-to eGuide released as monthly downloads:

The last piece under the SHINE Media Co umbrella is SHINE Virtual Talent - Executive-level admin assistance for busy lady bosses. Click [here] to see a list of admin tasks you can outsource today.

The Roundup

How you show up, who you show up for, where and why are the foundation of your brand identity and the cornerstone of building strong and engaging relationships with your tribe - the folks that trust you. Isn’t that the desired endgame in creating a business, to encourage community involvement that collectively benefits us all? I sure think so.

Your story is our story, let’s tell it together. We create a beacon for change when we align our values to serve a greater good. Together we can make a difference.

SHINE Media Co - Community-focused Brand & Content Strategy - Creating bright ideas that bring us together.

Are you ready to grow an engaging community for your business? Connect with me at getSHINEMedia.com to schedule a complimentary discovery call.

5 Key Components of Blogging

A great blog starts long before you choose your WordPress theme.

Are you a new WordPress blogger unsure of where to begin in your blogging journey? There are lots of elements that contribute to blogging success, namely choosing a well-designed blog theme, adding plugins to broaden functionality, and ensuring that your blog navigation is clear and concise are just a few. However, there are other essential components that you must have in place before investing your time and resources to create your blog.

Before diving into the art of blogging, you should have a clear understanding of 5 key components - you have to decide why you’re writing; what purpose your blog serves, who you're writing to, how you’ll address them, and in what format you intend to write your posts.

Here are the first 4 key blog post components:  

  1. What is your “why” or purpose for writing and sharing? Please consider, what your reader wants versus what you want them to have. Ask yourself, how does what I’m sharing benefit my reader?

  1. Who is your audience? Who are you talking to? It’s a lofty goal to attempt to be all things to everyone. Determine who your audience is, be specific.

  2. How will you address your audience, what is your tone? Your tone isn’t only your voice but also how you intend to present yourself to your audience.

  3. What are you sharing? What form will your content take?

For example:

  1. Why - Purpose:

    • Teach - offer personal wisdom or life lesson

    • Inspire or motivate - encourage personal or professional growth  

    • Inform or announce - an industry highlight or new business concept

    • Offer some humor - just for fun stories or personal experience

  2. Who - Audience:

    • Women

    • Ladies in wellness industry, empty nesters, first-time moms

    • Ages: 35-55

  3. How - Tone: formal versus casual (e.g., casual tone is conversational - talking with someone versus talking at them), using bright and cheery colors and graphics or a muted pastel palette.

  4. What - Types of Content:

    • Personal essay (typically +1200 words)

    • Standard post (400-500 words)

    • Product review or /recommendation

    • 3-5 minute podcast or video post

Once you’ve outlined your 4 key blogging components as highlighted above you’ll have the basis for writing your About page; this goes a long way in ensuring that your audience understands who you are and what your intentions are for your blog.

The fifth key to blogging success is creating a plan and schedule for when you will share content with your audience. A well-constructed and executed blog calendar will go a long way in helping you to stay organized with several weeks or months of blog ideas so that you won’t find yourself chasing what to write and when. We’ll dive into the art of creating an epic content plan in an upcoming post. Stay tuned.

Want more biz tips, tools, & resources to grow your social media & newsletter + WordPress scoops? Subscribe to SHINE Lite - the SHINE Media Co blog [here].

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