Episode 271: Leveraging Content Strategy to Reach Your Goals with Amanda Warfield

August 2, 2023

In today’s episode of the podcast, we’re diving into all things content strategy with guest Amanda Warfield! As a content marketing and launch strategist, Amanda joins us to share how we can leverage content strategy as online business owners to reach our unique goals. Whether you’re looking to increase client inquiries or sales, or you’re taking action to grow your email list or your overall reach, Amanda shares how content strategy may just be the missing piece in your overall content marketing plan.

Tune in for the full episode above!


Amanda Warfield is a simplicity-focused content marketing and launch strategist, author of the book Chasing Simple Marketing, and host of Chasing Simple – a podcast to help creative entrepreneurs uncomplicate their marketing and business.


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Please note this transcript has been auto generated and may contain typos.

Bonnie (00:07):
Hi, friend, and welcome to the Brand Strategy Podcast, a show created to equip you with the inspiration, encouragement, and clarity you need to build the brand of your dreams. I’m your host, Bonnie Bakhtiari, brand designer, strategist, and founder of The Illume Retreat. From sustainable Strategy to heartfelt encouragement. Each episode is designed to equip you with the tools you need to chase after your dreams, because you deserve a brand that empowers you to do what you love, can connects with your dream clients and offers a deep sense of fulfillment along the way. So grab a cup of coffee and join me on this journey, won’t you

Bonnie (00:45):
Friends? Welcome back to the Brand Strategy podcast, where today we are talking about leveraging content strategy to reach your goals with the incredible Amanda Warfield. Amanda is actually a repeat guest here on the podcast, and if you haven’t had a chance to catch her content before, I’m really excited to be able to introduce you to her. She is a simplicity focused content marketing and launch strategist, the author of the book, chasing Simple Marketing and Host of Chasing Simple, a podcast to help creative entrepreneurs uncomplicated their marketing and their businesses. Amanda, I’m so excited to get to chat with you. Thanks so much for joining me and nerding out with me over all things content strategy today.

Amanda (01:32):
Oh my gosh, Bonnie, I’m so thrilled to be back. I absolutely loved our conversation that we had for the previous episode, and so I’m just really excited to be here again and to get to, to chat and hang out.

Bonnie (01:43):
The feeling is so mutual, but before we dive into our conversation too, uh, if you’re up for it, um, share a little bit more about yourself and your incredible business and, uh, you know, all of that creates stuff.

Amanda (01:58):
Yeah, absolutely. So, like Bonnie said, I am a content marketing and launch strategist, and my focus when I am helping my clients and my students create their marketing is specifically on simplicity, because we tend to overcomplicate marketing because it’s such a vague thing, right? There’s just so many aspects to marketing and it’s really easy for us to try to do it all. And so we tend to overcomplicate it. And my mission is very much helping other business owners fit their marketing into their business without it taking over their business so that they have time to grow their business. And that’s so important because a lot of times we spend either all of our extra time marketing and thus no time working on those needle moving activities for our business, or we are so overwhelmed by our marketing that we don’t put any effort into it, and then we don’t see the growth results that we’re hoping for and that we need for our business. And so my mission is to find that sweet spot with our, with my students and with my clients.

Bonnie (03:00):
I love how you’ve really honed in on that sweet spot and how you can utilize your expertise in this area to help people kind of overcome that, those struggles that so many of us experience when it comes to content marketing, because you’re right, that is kind of a concept that like a lot of us, even if we’ve been in business for a minute, we think about content marketing and we’re like, okay, I kind of know what that means, but like what exactly does that mean? Um, and I know that we’re gonna get even deeper into that topic today, but, um, right before we do that, uh, I know that you have just published your first book and I’d love to hear a little bit more about that.

Amanda (03:43):
Oh my goodness, yes. Just recently chasing Simple Marketing Launched and the, the subtitle is a crash course and Content marketing for showing up, saving time, and growing your Business. And the entire book is just about, okay, what is marketing? What marketing should you be focused on? As far as, you know, there’s 200 million different marketing strategies out there, right? So which ones are right for you, dependent on what phase of business that you’re in. And then once you know which strategies that you can really focus in on, how do we simplify it, how do we simplify the content marketing specifically so that it doesn’t take up all of our time?

Bonnie (04:28):
Hmm. That is so exciting. And knowing how you walk people through everything from, you know, understanding more about marketing, to figuring out the different strategies that could work for them and their unique goals. It sounds like you get into a little bit of that content strategy, that kind of piece of things, is that right?

Amanda (04:49):
We do, we do get into it a bit. It’s not a deep dive into strategy because it’s very much more of a foundational book as far as understanding what it is that we’re doing, because we can’t create a strategy without really knowing what our goals are and what we’re trying to do. But we do dive some into strategy because, you know, it’s not enough to just put content out there. You have to have a path forward with that content in order to make sure that it’s actually doing what it needs to do for your business.

Bonnie (05:16):
That makes so much sense. So what exactly goes into a content strategy? Like what, what does that exactly mean and how is this something that can help online business owners reach their goals?

Amanda (05:32):
So I think it’s important before we dive into what strategy is to talk about what it’s not, which is a content plan. And so often in the online space, I mean, let’s face it, most of us did not get an mba, right? We, we stumbled into our business by accident, or even if we chose it, maybe it was a later in life decision after we got a degree or we didn’t get a degree at all. Most of us don’t have MBAs. And so what ends up happening is that we use the terms content plan and content strategy interchangeably, but they’re actually two very different things. You can think of the content strategy as the structure inside of a skyscraper. It’s the support beams, it’s the, the not pretty stuff, right? But the plan is the outside or the decor and all the things that are nice to look at.

Amanda (06:28):
A content plan is simply knowing, okay, this is what I’m going to post about and this is where I’m gonna post about it, and this is when I’m going to post about it. And what we tend to do is we tend to start with the content plan. We sit down and say, okay, what am I gonna post about this month? What’s my strategy? We think we’re creating a strategy, but what we’re doing is just, okay, I’m gonna post about this topic this day on Instagram, and I’m gonna share this on Facebook on this day, and I’m gonna do this on this day. And we map it out and we think, okay, here’s my strategy, let me go forth and do it. And then we get frustrated because our content isn’t actually making us sales, it’s not actually growing our email list. It’s not moving that needle for us. And the problem is, is that we don’t have those inner structures. We just have that pretty handout of here’s what I’m gonna post about and when, and there’s no support underneath the content that we’ve created.

Bonnie (07:27):
That makes sense. So it sounds like, um, and I know that that’s something that I’ve definitely done in the past before I really understood how content strategy fit into my overall content marketing plan. But it sounds like that’s something that we do when we find ourselves feeling like, oh, okay, I I, you know, I’ve got this incredible business, I’ve got this service or this product that I’m really passionate about. I wanna get it out into the world so that I can help people, I can make more sales, I can, you know, reach whatever that goal is. But, um, in our haste to have that impact, we focus on just getting the content out there, but we’re not actually being as strategic as we can be, right?

Amanda (08:12):
Absolutely, yes. And when it comes to strategy, the difference is that your strategy goes back to your calendar and it goes back to your goals. And you have to work way, way, way backwards before you even get to the process of what topic and what date and what platform you’re going to post on. And so there’s all this prep work that has to happen in order to know what you should be talking about. What should those topics be? How far out should you be posting about a certain thing before a launch? What’s the customer journey look like? And all of these different pieces of it that go into the strategy. And when you just start with the plan, all of that gets forgotten because it’s really hard to piece that together if you haven’t sat down to do the, the prep work, essentially.

Bonnie (08:59):
Oh, yeah. That makes all of the sense to me. So in addition to, you know, the necessity of having that strategy in place, so then we can eventually start to create those plans, what mistakes, if any, do you see online business owners making when it comes to kind of taking those steps with creating a content strategy in the first place?

Amanda (09:23):
So not really understanding their goals and exactly how many of each, you know, offer they need to sell. And all of that is a, a huge one. But the other problem that I see a lot is that, well, two problems I’d see a lot. One, we tend to think that if we post about an offer, that that means people are automatically going to say, yes, I need this when we really have to warm our people up and we have to take them on this entire journey to get them to a place where they’re even ready to think about our offer. And so that’s a big problem that I see often is people think, okay, well I know that I need to, you know, get three new clients this quarter, so I’m just gonna post about my offer over and over and over again. Or more likely they probably are gonna post about it once and then feel frustrated when no one books off of that one post, but I’m gonna post about it and that’ll work.

Amanda (10:17):
And that’s just not really the case. You also have to lead people into it. You have to make sure that they’re aware of what their problem is, and they’re aware of your offer and the fact that your offer can solve that problem and what exactly it is that they need. And all of this stuff, there’s all of these additional pieces of the customer journey that we tend to leave out when it comes to our content. But then the other thing that we tend to do wrong is that we forget about the algorithm. And I am very anti worry about whatever the algorithm wants. I don’t think we need to worry about, you know, the best times deposed or trends or anything like that. But what we do have to be aware of is the fact that the algorithm, it’s only gonna show our content to a very few select number of people when you post something, I don’t have numbers because they don’t release that data, but you know, you can expect that the smallest sliver of your audience is actually going to see that piece of content, which means that if you only post about something one time, most of your people haven’t seen it.

Amanda (11:23):
And so you have to post about something over and over and over and over. You have to become this broken record in order to make sure that your people are seeing it. But even on top of that, there’s the marketing rule of seven where someone has to see and hear about something seven to 10 times before they’ll take action on it. So whatever number of posts you need to put up about a specific topic, well, just to get it seen, well, you’ve gotta multiply that by seven or 10 to make sure that people are seeing it enough. And that’s not, not something that’s gonna happen in one launch or one promo period, but it’s something that we just have to recognize that it’s going to take time to nurture our people into our different parts of our funnels. And if we’re not keeping that in the back of our mind, it’s really easy to get frustrated.

Bonnie (12:10):
Mm-hmm. , mm-hmm. , I understand that well, in hearing you talk about these kind of common mistakes that you see online business owners making and sharing these helpful tips on, you know, kind of what to do instead. I, I’m starting to wonder what are some first steps that you would recommend for someone who’s just getting started with creating a content strategy that’s focused on those results and not just creating a pretty fun content plan?

Amanda (12:39):
Absolutely. So the very first thing that you wanna do is actually, it has nothing to do with your offers. It has nothing to do with your goals. You wanna go back to your calendar and really map out what your year is going to look like. And by that I mean personal things. When are you going to be on vacation? When are you going to take time off? When are you going to, you know, need to have a slower month or a slower quarter? And mapping that side of your life out first so that you can fit your business into what you’ve got going on? I know that’s something that you’re super passionate about and making the margin and making the space for yourself and allowing your business to support your life versus the other way around. But it’s something that we so often forget about, and we end up creating these, these points of contention almost between our life and our business where, well, I forgot that my kids are gonna be on spring break this week, and that means this month I’m gonna have way less time to work on this project, and I have this huge launch coming up that I didn’t account for, and now I’m stressed and I’m frantic.

Amanda (13:53):
And so the first thing that you wanna do is go back to that calendar and say, what is happening in my life? Let me map that all out for the year to come so that I know when I have times of more work time and less work time.

Bonnie (14:10):
Mm. I love how you prioritize this approach of looking at the calendar before we start creating this like, barrage of content. Um, you know, regardless of what platforms we’re using or social channels that we have, thinking about how we wanna show up and when we can show up and how we want our content to drive the efforts in a way that supports the kind of life that we want to live or honors the kind of availability that we have is such a smart and intentional way to approach it. Because I can think back to the times before I really took the time to create a content strategy for myself, and there would be kind of this panic posting sort of, you know, process happening where I would be like, oh, I’ve got, you know, this launch coming up and I, you know, need to talk about it.

Bonnie (15:01):
And so now let me, you know, run around like just wild and try to put something together. But instead, when you focus on looking at the calendar and being aware and conscientious of your personal time and your professional commitments and the kind of growth that you wanna see in any given period of time, whether that’s the entire year or whether that’s, uh, you know, a quarter at a time that provides this really powerful perspective in my experience, that changes everything from, you know, creating content just to create content, to creating content that actually drives the results that, um, that impact your business and impact your life in the long run.

Amanda (15:48):
Absolutely. Well, you, you know, you mentioned the panic posting and what ends up happening when you’re posting like that and you’re in this panicked, I’ve gotta get something up. The content you put out isn’t serving you, it’s not serving your business, it’s not serving your audience, right? Because you’re, you’re so stressed and you’re just trying to get anything up, versus if you are being really intentional, specifically around promotional periods about the time that you have and the availability that you have, you’re gonna be able to create content that is more, you more strategic, and that is gonna do more for your business in the long run, versus just trying to throw anything and everything out there.

Bonnie (16:27):
Mm-hmm. , I get that as you were sharing that, um, this kind of thought popped into my head of how I see, and as a marketing expert, I’m sure you see this as well with your students and your clients, um, just the way that social media has evolved over recent years, I think a lot of us as online business owners and entrepreneurs have felt this pressure to create content like we’re content creators. And I have some thoughts on this, but I would love to get your perspective, because I know that this is an aspect of the work that you do and ways that you support your clients and your customers that, um, or your students that you probably have some thoughts on this.

Amanda (17:11):
Oh, yes. We, we can tend to think that we need to, this really gets me with the algorithm, like I mentioned earlier, but it also really gets me with trends and trying to follow all of the latest trends on TikTok or Instagram reels specifically. And that content doesn’t do anything for our business, right? But yet we feel like we ha we have this pressure of, oh, I’ve gotta stay on top of the trains. Everyone else is using the sound, so I have to use it too. Whereas what we should actually be paying attention to is the strategy behind what people are posting and then evaluating whether or not it’s right for our business in this moment.

Bonnie (17:56):
Hmm. So instead of feeling that pressure to stay relevant and engage in all of these trends that we’re seeing across TikTok or Instagram reels, giving ourselves the sort of internal opportunity to check in and ask, does this actually align with my content strategy? Does this actually align with what I’ve got going on in my business? Instead of just putting together, you know, another real or another TikTok video in a hurry in order to capitalize on that trending audio or whatever. Is that kind of what you’re saying?

Amanda (18:31):
Absolutely. And if we even take that back a level and we just look at the fact that we feel this compulsive need to be on social media 24 7, it’s not necessary because your social media should not be your main content driver in your business. Uh, for anyone listening, if that is the only place you’re putting out content, I highly encourage you to figure out a different way forward. If nothing else, an email newsletter is going to be so important for you as a business owner because your social media can disappear at any time, and your social media also only gets seen to the smallest, gets shown to the smallest fraction of your audience. Whereas you send an email and that’s going in every single person’s inbox that is signed up for your email list. That doesn’t mean they’ll open it, but they’re all gonna get it. And they’ll have to make that decision of, do I open it and read it or do I just delete it? And they have to actively choose, whereas social media is so passive, and so we get caught up in this whole, okay, well, I’ve gotta put out five reels a week and I’ve gotta show up on stories every single day. And it’s just not necessary to truly move the needle forward in your business.

Bonnie (19:39):
And I’m honestly just getting tired hearing you describe all of those steps, , because that’s not, that’s not where my energy is best utilized in my business. And I know that for some people, you know, that is a fun outlet and they enjoy doing that. But just for me personally, I know that if I feel that pressure to show up that consistently and at such a high volume on, you know, social media that’s gonna, I’m, I’m eventually gonna burn out. And, you know, thinking about how we’re building businesses that have longevity at their foundation, right? These are not like one and done concepts. These are not for most of us things that we want to like, burn quickly and brightly and then burn out. We want to be doing this for a long time, and we want for our work to have impact over the years.

Bonnie (20:31):
And so when I look at my marketing efforts through that lens of longevity, I think about, okay, what are the ways that I can connect with my people that honor my energy, that support the quality of life that I wanna experience in my business that are strategic and are going to like noticeably move the needle on these metrics that matter for me? And so that was a personal decision, and I’ve talked about this multiple times on the podcast in the past, but that was a personal decision for me that has, um, been a great business decision and also, uh, a great personal decision. So I’m, I’m encouraged to hear that you are showing people that there is a way that they can connect with their ideal clients or customers or students online that doesn’t require them to be leaning so heavily on the social media as their primary lead generation strategy or place.

Amanda (21:31):
Absolutely. I mean, it’s exactly what you just said. You know, you’re the CEO and it’s not the best use of your time. And especially recently with social media, I mean, we all know Instagram engagement is tanked. No one is getting reach at this point. It’s not a growth platform. And, you know, we could go into a whole thing about, uh, nurture strategy versus growth strategy if you’d like, but it’s not a place where you’re going to see growth. And so you really have to view Instagram specifically as a place to check in and to touch in with your people, but it’s not where you should be trying to grow. And I think a lot of us in this space are having a hard time making that time, that mindset shift of, well, Instagram used to be a place where I focused my content on trying to get growth, versus now it’s more relationship building.

Amanda (22:24):
And honestly, relationship building’s so much easier. It’s so much easier than this super strategic growth mindset. And it’s, the growth mindset just is, it’s a waste of your CEO e time, basically. It’s one thing if you can hand it off to a strategist or a social media manager or something like that, but most of us have very, very limited capacities as c e o. There’s only so much we can do and achieve in a week, right? We we’re trying to not do it all. So really asking that question of, is this platform worth my time and energy?

Bonnie (22:58):
Mm-hmm. Yeah. I love having questions like that, that I can utilize to check in with myself to assess whether or not an action that I’m about to take or, um, uh, a series of practices that I’m about to participate in are actually an alignment with how I wanna be running my business and what serves my goals and what serves me and my team. Um, I know ho honestly, I think you and I could probably talk about this like all day long because there’s just so many nuances and there’s so much that goes into not only content strategy, but how we’re showing up in all these different spaces online or in person. Um, but I would love to hear your thoughts on a final piece of advice or encouragement that really resonates with you and that you would like to share with those who are tuning in today as they take everything you’ve been sharing today on board, and they now are doing the implementation and they’re going forth and working on creating those results driven content strategies.

Amanda (24:06):
I think just a reminder that your marketing is part of your business, but it’s not your business. There’s so much more that you as a C E O have to be working on and decisions that you have to make. And so really give yourself permission to take that step back from your marketing and ask yourself, is this worth my time? Is this connected to my goals with my business? Is this going to drive results? Versus just saying, what are some topics I could talk about?

Bonnie (24:40):
Hmm. Once again, that intention, that purposefulness in every strategy that you’ve shared has just come through yet again, and I love to see it and I love to hear it. Uh, I know that those who are tuning in today are gonna want to know where they can connect with you and learn more about working with you, learn more about the book, all of those great things. So where can people find you on the innerwebs?

Amanda (25:07):
Honestly, like you said, there’s, we could talk about this for hours because there’s so much nuance that goes into marketing. All of it can even fit into a book. But the best place to find me and to learn more about, you know, simplicity focused marketing and the strategy of content marketing and how you can implement into that, that into your business in a simple way would be going to get the book. You can go to Amazon and just search Chasing Simple Marketing. You can head to amanda warfield.com/book and that’ll let you know how you can get it yourself. But I would say that’s probably the best starting point for learning more about, you know, my philosophy on marketing and how you can start to get really strategic with yours.

Bonnie (25:47):
Mm. Amazing. And for those who are tuning in today, I can personally attest that Amanda knows what she’s talking about. She is such an expert in this area, and she approaches this concept that feels in some ways kind of complex and a little bit abstract in a way that is simple. And so just the fact that she has titled the book Chasing Simple Marketing and that Chasing Simple is such a consistent theme in her brand, it really comes through in everything she’s doing. So, of course, in the show notes today, we’re gonna have the link to the book. We’re gonna have not only a recap of our talking points, but a full transcript as well. So you can head to brand strategy podcast.com and click on the latest episode link to find all of those resources waiting for you there. And Amanda, I’m so grateful for you sharing more about content strategy, content marketing, and really how we can be pursuing this concept of connecting with our ideal clients, with our goals, with the trajectory that we wanna experience in our businesses through our marketing and intentional and simple ways. So thanks so much for really diving into this with us.

Amanda (27:01):
Thank you so much for having me on. Again, Bonnie, this was just always a pleasure to speak with you.

Bonnie (27:06):
It is always such a joy. The feeling is so, so mutual. Well, friends who’ve been tuning in today, thank you again for tuning in and for your support. It’s always such an absolute joy to get to share conversations like this with here in the, with you here in this space. And so if today’s episode with Amanda really resonates, or if you have a business bestie or someone who you know could really benefit from her insight on content strategy, be sure to pass this along. And until next time, I’ll be cheering you on from Waco.

Bonnie (27:42):
Thank you so much for joining me today. Friend. Before you go, I would be so grateful to receive your feedback on the Brand Strategy podcast. If you enjoyed this episode or the podcast in general has helped you grow your brand, I’d really appreciate it if you left us a review in iTunes. Your positive reviews enable the brand Strategy podcast to continue to grow and reach like-minded creatives just like you. Thank you for all your support and encouragement as together we pursue building brands with purpose and intention. Until next time, I’m cheering you on from Waco.

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My name is Bonnie – I’m a brand designer, strategist, and writer which all adds up to one eclectic conglomeration of qualities that enables me to serve you well! Past clients have dubbed me "the Joanna Gaines of brand design," and I've had more than a few call me a dream maker, a game changer, and a design wizard (my Harry Potter-loving heart didn't hate that one, let me tell you!). At the end of the day, I'm a big-hearted creative who will get teary-eyed as you share the heart behind your business; who will lose sleep over the perfect font pairings and color selections to bring your brand to life visually; and who will work tirelessly to empower, encourage, and equip you to share your work with the world intentionally. 

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