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Elementality Podcast

Conquering Content Creation Fears With Becky Walsh

Does writing intimidate you? Or, maybe you fear public speaking? Perhaps you just worry about being rejected? Overcoming whatever holds you back from creating content is a must as content marketing converts prospective clients into clients.

On this Elementality, Dasarte Yarnway, Zach Ashburn, Emlen Miles-Mattingly, and Becky Walsh join Reese and Carl in a roundtable discussion to address many of the common concerns advisors face, including the fear of creating content as part of your marketing strategy. They offer steps you can take to overcome content creation fears. Creating content can feel personally risky. But you either succeed or fail when it comes to content marketing … and you’ll definitely fail if you don’t try.

 


Podcast Transcript

[music]

Dasarte Yarnway:
You identified something that was so crucial, which is that you’re scared to do the legion stuff. You have fear surrounding content and legion stuff, and you just gotta sit with that for a little bit. You know what I mean? ‘Cause I don’t think you get the answer immediately. It’s more so like, you know what, it’s that process of acceptance, you know what I mean? Like, I have this fear. Why do I have this fear? And if none of those fears, I could probably bet that none of those fears won’t stick once you get in tune with them and then you start to build your confidence in little baby steps to accept that, “Hey, I accept this fear, I have this fear. It does not have to stay. And this is my plan to defeat the fear.”

[music]

Abby Morton:
Hey everyone, it’s Abby. Reese, Carl and I recently had the chance to get together with several colleagues at a small gathering at Reese’s Cabin. The snow was lightly falling, and in the quiet of that intimate mountain setting, we were able to share ideas and openly talk about some of the challenges advisors typically face. The discussion was profoundly rewarding, and we wanted to share the conversation with others here on Elementality. We hope you enjoy.

Becky Walsh:
I feel like I’m in a really weird place because yes, I’ve just launched an RAA, but I am at 75% capacity. And I have…

Reese Harper:
Personally?

Becky Walsh:
Personally.

Reese Harper:
Which is how many clients? 40, 45?

Becky Walsh:
Okay, great.

Becky Walsh:
So the team that I have around me, it’s a… The CSR came with me and…

Reese Harper:
Nice.

Becky Walsh:
Client service rep. And she, I mean, she’s somewhere between a CSR and a financial planner. Like, I don’t know what her role is, but she’s also like, on top of operations, she’s just amazing. I was gone yesterday and she solved a hundred problems while I was gone.

Carl Richards:
Beautiful.

Becky Walsh:
And so the people that I’m going to be working with, my lead generation that I’m looking for, looking to work with ambitious women who want to have someone help them solve, answer their financial questions in a way that they feel seen, they can be their authentic selves, and they can work with a partner to, this sounds cheesy, but make the world a better place. So that’s my lead generation that I’m looking for. I have some ideas on how I can do that. Content generation sounds horrible to me in part because of performance anxiety.

Carl Richards:
Lead generation or content generation?

Becky Walsh:
Content generation.

Carl Richards:
 Okay.

Becky Walsh:
Lead generation I can do.

Carl Richards:
You need ’em both, unfortunately.

Becky Walsh:
Well, right. So I got to where I am through networking and referrals.

Carl Richards:
But putting yourself out there through content is like in, it’s scary or annoying or both?

Becky Walsh:
Both.

Reese Harper:
Is it draining?

Becky Walsh:
Some of it’s draining. Some of the scary is, getting tongue tied on camera.

Carl Richards:
You said the same thing about public speaking. Right?

Becky Walsh:
Public speaking.

Reese Harper:
Cameras are the worst. So don’t be afraid of that. [chuckle]

Becky Walsh:
And also…

Reese Harper:
Talking is scary? You talk great.

Becky Walsh:
I talk great. Unscripted, like at willing.

Reese Harper:
Sounds like a podcast!

Becky Walsh:
Okay. [laughter] So yeah. So you’re getting push back on me. I’m hiding. [laughter]

Reese Harper:
Nice to hide.

Becky Walsh:
I’m hiding. And I’m…

Reese Harper:
Ding, ding, ding, ding.

Becky Walsh:
Successful demand generation. Breathe, or…

[overlapping conversation]

Reese Harper:
You’re pretty smart. I would like to listen to your podcast once.

Becky Walsh:
Break even in the year is what I can do. Like the person who, the team that I want to have, I will break even in the year with that team. I think that’s where I need to be focusing. So, focus is the problem because I am enjoying everything that I’m doing. I’m enjoying meeting with my clients. I’m enjoying building the container in which to serve the clients. The getting the systems all set up, learn, you know…

Dasarte Yarnway:
New revenue is the like big blocker…

Becky Walsh:
New revenue. That’s the big blocker which demand gen, [0:04:22.4] ____.

Reese Harper:
So that’s your one thing.

Becky Walsh:
Yes.

Reese Harper:
So I think that all of your energy and focus has to go to that one thing. Like I know we, we like to talk about, and get the plans a little… But if we don’t get today taken care of, not necessarily today, but this, you know what I mean? Right Now, immediately, then your other plans start to fall away. Right? So what I would just as a suggestion is, is find out how you can get that revenue the fastest way possible. And then you can come back and look at the other stuff. We find ourself in this situation, I’ve found myself in that situation with my businesses. And it’s like, okay, what am I doing with my time? What am I doing with my… ‘Cause it’s easy to chase the shiny things. And I’m not saying you’re doing that.

Becky Walsh:
Oh, I do that.

Reese Harper:
I’m just saying that what is, at the end of the day, like, I remember one thing that we focused on when I was at another place is if you got three appointments a day, it keeps the doctor away or whatever you wanna say ‘Cause you’re not stressed out. You get three appointments a day. Now that was a lead indicator, right? Three appointments, scheduling, trying to get scheduled, 15 a week means I’m gonna get this. What is that? Why is that important? Because I know that I’m gonna keep whatever my ratio is. If I can keep 10 of those 15, what am I making on the average appointment? How much revenue am I generating from that? So now I can back into my numbers and say, “Okay, if I’m getting this kind of client, I know I need to have this many meetings to get this client, to get this revenue, to get to what I want.”

Carl Richards:
That would be overwhelming for me.

Becky Walsh:
I know. Right? [laughter]

Reese Harper:
That’s how… But that’s just the…

Reese Harper:
Yeah, it’s good.

Reese Harper:
It’s the process to go through it. Now I know, like, “Okay, so if I didn’t meet, if I had to meet with five people and I know my closing ratio is 60%, then I know that I’m only gonna close this many people, and I need to meet this many people if this is what my revenue goals are.”

Becky Walsh:
Right. Yeah.

[overlapping conversation]

Becky Walsh:
I’ve got that from my initial… Not book building, business building days…

Carl Richards:
You can tell everyone.

Reese Harper:
You’re gonna be fighting that battle for like 20 years.

Becky Walsh:
From my initial days of building my practice. I have that spreadsheet. I can back into what those numbers are. So, it’s… There are all the shiny things to chase. I want the clients who trusted me enough to take the leap to come with me to leave this well established firm that’s three quarters of a billion to come to my cute little firm. I want to be serving them as well as possible while also doing this lead generation.

Reese Harper:
Yep.

Becky Walsh:
And that’s why I needed the team around me of the interns to like, “Alright y’all, do this so that I can serve the current and future clients.”

Carl Richards:
So, you really haven’t had to think about active demand gen because it was just moving. And now, it’s time to start thinking about what am I going to do?

Becky Walsh:
I guess it’s…

Carl Richards:
What does marketing mean for me?

Becky Walsh:
What does marketing mean for me?

Carl Richards:
Yeah.

Becky Walsh:
Yeah. Is it time? Are my clients who moved over settled enough for me to pay attention to something else?

Becky Walsh:
Yes.

Carl Richards:
Yeah. Well…

[laughter]

Becky Walsh:
Okay good.

Carl Richards:
It has to be time for some piece of it. And it would be interesting if you have one of the people that has capacity and say, “You’re my person that keeps me completely focused for 20% of my time, 30% of my time, 40% of my time around marketing.” And then just identify what’s the easiest low-hanging fruit.

Becky Walsh:
Yeah.

Carl Richards:
And I think the easiest low-hanging fruit is content creation around the niche.

Becky Walsh:
Right.

Carl Richards:
And I would just answer two question. Who is it for? And what does it do, right? And the easiest way to answer those questions is go interview 10 people who it’s already for. There’s 10 people in my niche. I’m gonna interview them. If you’re really crazy and brave, you could call those interviews a podcast.

[laughter]

Carl Richards:
But if you don’t want to, you just do it for the information you’re gonna get.

Becky Walsh:
Right.

Carl Richards:
When you walk out of each interview, you pick up the voice memo, and you record, “This is what I heard, this was interesting.” You do that with 12 dentists, you’re gonna hear something like, “I feel chained to the chair. I feel trapped at the business,” right? You do that with five entrepreneurs who’ve have a successful exit, and you’ll hear things like, “I want some money over the wall so I can keep doing this entrepreneur-ing thing. I want you to protect the money that I promised my spouse I would never lose.” I know that ’cause I interviewed 10 of them. They all said that. So, you’ll hear those things. And each little bit of that, each interview becomes contents next. Now you put those… Let me see if you like this…

Becky Walsh:
Who’ll puts those?

Carl Richards:
You, the person… The little person at your firm.

Becky Walsh:
Okay.

Carl Richards:
You can say, “Here, put this on LinkedIn… ”

Becky Walsh:
Okay.

Carl Richards:
Put these on… Give these to the local newspaper.

Becky Walsh:
Right.

Carl Richards:
Find the trade magazines that these people that who it’s for, belong to, right? And then, as you’re building an artifact, and being careful about not… You could say white paper. You could say book. Along the way, you’re getting a bunch of contents next, right? So, you walk out of a meeting with one of the people that you’ve interviewed. And you heard something interesting. And you say, “Wow, that was interesting in my phone.” You can hand that voice memo to just another person.

Becky Walsh:
Right.

Carl Richards:
That person can type… You don’t ever have to type it or know where it shows up, or you could be shielded from the entire impact of it. I don’t know where any of my stuff… I get emails from myself all the time now that I’m like, “That’s really good. Who wrote that?”

[laughter]

Carl Richards:
Right? Because I’ve recorded it and the team’s taken care of it.

Becky Walsh:
So, that’s… The part that I’m scared of is not the interviews. It’s not the talking. It’s not the… So, as you were talking, other part of my brain just wrote down seven names of people. And the reason it’s only seven is ’cause I have limited time.

Carl Richards:
Seven is, you could list that quick. Yeah.

Becky Walsh:
And so, I’ve got probably 20 people who I could do those interviews with. It’s the… I’ve done that. Now, there’s all of this content. I don’t wanna touch that part.

Carl Richards:
Yeah. So, the way you think about that is where do those people hang out?

Becky Walsh:
Right. Yeah.

Carl Richards:
What do they listen to? What do they read? Can I hire somebody to get the stuff that I have now written, spoke, whatever? It’s a pile of content. Can I now hire somebody to get that stuff in front of that, where those people hang out…

Becky Walsh:
I already have that team hired.

Carl Richards:
Yeah. Well, then…

Becky Walsh:
So, it’s…

Carl Richards:
You just need to say, “I want you to get this.” Sometimes that’s called paid ads. Sometimes that’s called writing on the industry trade journals. Sometimes that’s called LinkedIn. Then, if you know who it’s for, one of the powerful things about knowing who it’s for is you know where those people hang out.

Becky Walsh:
Yeah.

Carl Richards:
You know what they read. You know what podcasts they listen to. You know what conferences they go to. So, if you know that, then you just have a… You just create the piles of content. And you just have a matching problem. Sometimes you have to pay for that match. And sometimes you can figure out how to get that match free. And you can give somebody else that job.

Dasarte Yarnway:
I think you just, you identified something that was so crucial, which is that you’re scared to do the legion stuff. You have fear surrounding content and legion stuff. And you just gotta sit with that for a little bit. You know what I mean? ‘Cause I don’t think you get the answer immediately. It’s more so like, you know what? It’s that process of acceptance. You know what I mean? I have this fear. Why do I have this fear? And if none of those fears… I could probably bet that none of those fears are… Won’t stick once you get in tune with them. And then, you start to build your confidence in little baby steps to accept that, “Hey, I accept this fear. I have this fear. It does not have to stay. And this is my plan to defeat the fear.” And I think that’s what you have to walk away from this conversation with. Because you have other pieces, right? You have the team. You say that you don’t like to speak, but you’re damn good.

[laughter]

Dasarte Yarnway:
You know what I mean? You have 45 clients that believe, trust in you, who were able to move with you.

Carl Richards:
You were able to write down seven names…

Dasarte Yarnway:
You were able to write down seven names. You have to move the fear out the way.

Becky Walsh:
That’s right.

Dasarte Yarnway:
So I have a suggestion…

Becky Walsh:
So, the answer for what that fear is, is who am I to shine bright? So, it’s a Marianne Williamson quote. I don’t know if you’re familiar with it, but “Who am I to shine so bright?” And the question is who am I not to? Because I don’t serve anyone by not.

Carl Richards:
It’s scary to put yourself out.

Becky Walsh:
And all of you do, which amazing.

Reese Harper:
We all feel that way. [chuckle] So that’s the thing you need to…

[overlapping conversation]

Reese Harper:
One thing that I’ve done over and over and over is like, it’s really important to just fire yourself from the job of deciding if you have anything that I didn’t say.

Carl Richards:
I have a suggestion…

Reese Harper:
Like it’s done. Yes.

Carl Richards:
So I think everybody’s saying the same thing of you’ve got the tools, the tools are actually there mostly assembled.

Reese Harper:
[0:13:24.4] ____.

Carl Richards:
Correct. You’ve got a barrier. And I’ve had the same barrier, and maybe not in this room, but compared to many, I made a lot of content, and an exercise that I do probably quarterly did on the way out here on the flight, and I would encourage you to maybe just do it, is you’ve had at least a month of your firm op like ops, like, not registering, like you’ve been meeting people and moving things. Think back on what were the questions you were actually asked by clients. And I would suggest that client notes don’t count, don’t go back over through client notes, ’cause that’s our, like, we’re in… We like put ourselves into notes sometimes. What are the questions they actually ask? And just make a list. Like, no wait, no barriers, no nothing to do with it. And I know like it’s premiere if we have a list already when we go to create content, and I try to keep that list updated.

Carl Richards:
Sometimes you don’t or sometimes you just need something fresh. Make a list with no judgment at all. “They asked this, they was asked this, I was asked this.” And at least for me, the most amazing thing happens that when you remember who asked it and you remember exactly what they actually asked, the where should I answer that or whatever, it becomes a lot more clear. Like if this client asked this question and I wanted to answer it, this is where they would find that answer. Is it a blog that I can share and email them locally? Because I want to be in the local women’s business journal. That makes total sense. Or if it’s on YouTube, you might kind of draw that out. But all that, there’s no, there’s zero barrier to making the list, call it a rough draft so that it can be wrong.

Becky Walsh:
Right.

Carl Richards:
Just a list of questions that you’ve actually been asked very recently so you’re not like, “Oh, I don’t know if they still care about inflation.” Doesn’t matter. Like you just got asked it in the last few weeks.

Becky Walsh:
Last few weeks.

Dasarte Yarnway:
Alright. And I don’t really hear a sphere of the actual content creation and it’s a fear of actually putting it in the world.

Becky Walsh:
It’s the fear of maintaining, and aside to bring my emotions back into check, my executive coach, her specialty is working with sensitive strivers, and so strivers who also have emotions and empathy, and so I embrace the emotions. I don’t wanna bite off too much. I don’t want my husband and kids to be like, “Where are you?” You know? “Hey, dear, are we ever gonna get to see you again?” Because I do have the team in place and I do know how to have other people do the work that they’re best at, and we do the work that I’m best at. So that like, moving the content to places where people can get it. That I can do. It’s the tension. It’s the balance. It’s the…

Dasarte Yarnway:
Who am I to shine brightly? All that stuff?

Becky Walsh:
Yeah. All that.

Dasarte Yarnway:
Well, the one reason I thought I wanted to go through the tactical stuff is just, it’s super helpful to me to be really clear, this isn’t a tactical problem, right? Like, those are all, now… One of the reasons we sometimes do this, like tactic, tactic, tactic, tactic is like, at the end, I wanna be able to say, now there’s no place left to hide, let’s get really clear about what the problem actually is. The problem is actually tension and fear. It’s not a tactical thing. So we run around researching tactics.

Becky Walsh:
Right.

Dasarte Yarnway:
Because we don’t wanna face the fact that the problem is actually, I’m just scared to do this. Like, I’m scared for all the reasons you’ve talked about, fear of failure. Like what will people think? Who am I? Which is a big question we all ask ourselves. And so if we can get to that then it’s like, now we know what we’re dealing with. This is why Seth go, Seth refuses to get tactical because he wants, he’s like… Those are just places to hide. But I think we understand that sometimes we actually don’t know what to do. So let’s clear up all the tactical stuff. So now we can say, “Okay, cool. Now let’s get clear about the real problem.”

Becky Walsh:
Right.

Dasarte Yarnway:
The real problem is you’re scared and we’re all scared. And now, well, now we know what we’re dealing with. But when we go trying to find the next book on the tactic, we can say, “Oh, that’s just me hiding.” What if I sit with the fear, get familiar with it, get the other kind of help, call a friend, call any one of us, “Okay, I’m having this problem.” ‘Okay, cool.” Like, now we know what we’re dealing with. And hardly anybody ever gets there. Most of the time everybody’s just stuck on the tactical gerbil wheel because they’re all hiding. Like we talk about this as a company all the time. We’re just like, “Advisors are so good.” And it turns out, we’re just humans, like humans are just so good at hiding.

Carl Richards:
It’s scary no matter what stage. Like it was scary the first article I pushed on my blog and it was scary still this week. But what you do is you just lean into a deeper version of authenticity, get more and more comfortable. And it always feels the same. It always feels the same. It’s just that when it’s scary, you know that, you’ve either crossed the line, sometimes you do.

Becky Walsh:
Right.

Carl Richards:
And that’s too far. But the feeling of like far enough to be authentic and not just be a robot. Like that’s when you know your voice is coming out. And I think that’s really, that’s what you’re fighting and that’s what I’m fighting and that’s what all of us are fighting…

Dasarte Yarnway:
That’s why they chose you.

Carl Richards:
Yes.

Dasarte Yarnway:
Your voice, you hide behind the fear, they don’t get you. You know what I mean? They don’t get you. And that limits, the growth that you desire, because they want you, but you want to give them yourself behind the fear. You know what I mean? So you have to… The you that’s gonna take it from 500,000 to a million to 1.5, to 2. You know what I mean?

Becky Walsh:
Yep.

Dasarte Yarnway:
Is the you without fear in the way. That’s the only way it works.

Reese Harper:
I might push back on that and say it’s totally okay to just be scared and even let them know you’re scared, like…

Becky Walsh:
Oh, Yeah. That’s authentic.

Reese Harper:
“I wasn’t sure about putting this out there, but I actually really thought you needed to hear it because I just had this conversation.” And it can still be present in the video or the blog or the podcast or whatever. You don’t have to get past it first, that’s what I mean.

Dasarte Yarnway:
I’m actually not even interested in doing things that aren’t scary.

[laughter]

[overlapping conversation]

Becky Walsh:
And I think…

Reese Harper:
You’re really good at that, you practiced…

Dasarte Yarnway:
All I’m saying is that I’ve built my life around the idea that if I’m not doing something that may not work pretty regularly, I’m not interested anymore, I’m not interested in questions I know the answers to. And so I think you can take… But I still feel it.

Becky Walsh:
Right.

Dasarte Yarnway:
So I think you can take that feeling and transmute it a bit, and instead of seeing it as a stop sign, see it as a source of fuel. And because that fear, at least the version I’m pointing, now look, there are versions that are a little bit… Sometimes for some people, this is bad advice. I know people that Imposter Syndrome is actually a syndrome, like you need help with that. That’s a different strain of Imposter syndrome. The version that I’m talking about, is not that. It’s like, for me, that version of Imposter syndrome was at every cool thing I ever did, so why would I want to get rid of it? ’cause it was at my wedding. It was at the birth of every one of my kids, like, “Who am I? Where’s the order’s Manuel?” Like, “Who thought this was a good idea?”

Carl Richards:
It’s still at the every hire, every person I asked to join my team, like am I worthy of their trust? Every customer, you just… It’s an ongoing, every…

Dasarte Yarnway:
If you personified it, and it was a person, which I’ve done, it’s Homer Simpson’s boss [laughter] Mr. What’s his name? Mr. Smithers? Mr. Burns. Mr Burns, and Justin Castell has sent a bobblehead that I have on my desk of Mr. Burns. If you personified it and you looked at every cool thing you’ve ever done in your life and you looked at who was there. Mr. Burns was at every event. That’s what happened to me is I was like, “He was there”. So it was like, wait, I want more of those events now with the appropriate rest and the appropriate, like I can’t be on the edge all the time or else you just gonna end up a broken human. So I think the transmuting it a bit to me is valuable.

[music]

Abby Morton:
Next time on Elementality.

Matt Mulcock:
We’ve created, it use the word culture spot on, we wanna protect that at all cost. Right, I’ll tell people this, when I’m interviewing new team members or possible new team members is number one for us is we wanna protect our culture, and this culture of no one is afraid to come and push back at any level of the company to say “This doesn’t feel right,” or “we’re not asking the right questions,” or whatever. So I think that as long as you protect that culture and you continue to cultivate that culture, and you give people the feeling of autonomy and purpose behind that, they share in that purpose together, I think that helps you as you grow.

Abby Morton:
You can learn more about the Elements Financial Monitoring System at getelements.com/demo. And schedule a time to talk with one of our friendly financial planning experts. Elementality’s executive creators are Reese Harper and Carl Richards. Elementality is produced by Abby Morton and directed by Jordan Haynes. Have a good one.

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