It’s A Wrap! Rocky Mountain Marketing’s Best of the Best 2021 with Katie Brinkley

Well, 2021 is ALMOST a wrap! One of the highlights of 2021 was the rise of social audio. I joined Clubhouse in January and it changed the course of my business in ways that I could never expect. ⠀

I have spoken on two news channels regarding this new social audio platform and have been taking the stage daily to share social media tips, Clubhouse tips, podcast tips, and more. I’ve also spoken at multiple in-person and virtual summits and appeared on more podcasts than ever before. It was definitely a game-changer! ⠀

This year was also big in short-form videos such as Instagram Reels. There’s no doubt people are drawn to catchy, fun, but informational video clips, thus Instagram announced in June that Instagram is no longer just a photo-sharing app. Instagram head, Adam Mosseri, said that they are now leaning into entertainment and videos like that of the competitors such as TikTok and Youtube. ⠀

All these highlights and more were featured in this year’s episodes of Rocky Mountain Marketing. I’m so honored to have had some incredible people join the podcast and share their wisdom. Here are the top 5 most downloaded episodes in 2021. We touched on everything from Instagram Reels to business growth to mental health. ⠀

5- Donovan Dreyer – What You Should Know About Your Mental Health and Your Business

4- Amanda Abella – Work Smarter, Not Harder: The Secret To Selling A High-Ticket Offer

3- Amber Sigg – Put On Your Blinders and Focus on Your Own Race

2- Kendra Swalls – Do Instagram Reels Really Work For Your Business?

1- Sue B. Zimmerman – Top Instagram Strategies with The Instagram Expert ⠀

Learn more about Katie and Next Step Social Communications:

Katie Brinkley 0:02

Hi friends. I’m Katie Brinkley, and you’re listening to Rocky Mountain marketing. This podcast is all about helping Colorado based small business owners, entrepreneurs, realtors and professionals discover the strategies and systems that take their marketing to all new heights. Let’s dive into today’s episode.

Welcome back to the final episode of 2021, of Rocky Mountain marketing, who, I can’t believe that we are already at the end of the year. And I’m excited to do this episode because we get to revisit some of your favorite episodes, we’re going to do the top five episodes that you listened to this year of Rocky Mountain marketing. And I’m not surprised that these episodes were the most listened to, you know, we saw a lot of changes happen in 2021. We saw we saw the rise of social audio, the clubhouse, the wisdom, the the fireside green room, we saw all of that really come out and establish itself as needing a space in the social media landscape. We also saw the rise of reels or short form video, we we saw how important it is to have a presence with your face with yourself. In some aspect of short form video is on Tik Tok. It’s on Instagram, it’s even make this way over Han to Facebook. And who would have thought that we would see so many changes just happen in one year. I know that when I was thinking about the trends of that I would look forward to 2021 that short form video and social audio especially were not on my radar at all. You know, and that’s the thing too is social audio. It’s I love that it did establish itself as being so important in the social media landscape. Because let’s be real, not everyone wants to be on video. Is it really important for your business to show up on video? Yes. Will it help you build a community around your business around your businesses, social media, if you have a video presence? Yes. But the thing I love about social audio is that you don’t need to do makeup, you don’t need to have dance moves, you don’t need to be able to lip sync, you can just show up and talk to your authority you can show up and get amazing market research of what your ideal clients and customers are asking questions on. So these two mediums that really kind of established themselves over the past year of 2021. They both they both I think makes sense. And I think that in 2022 they will continue to evolve, they will continue to need to be paid attention to what whether it’s you or someone on your team that is establishing your business on social audio. Or if it is someone on your team that’s helping create the reels or the TIC tock videos you have to be doing. One of them you have to be showing up and speaking to your authority. I know that for me social audio was absolutely a game changer as clubhouse especially as you all know listening to the podcast here. I podcast I guest on many podcasts, I guess did on over 25 podcasts this last year. And I was guesting on one a week and it it definitely got a little a little overwhelming doing so many guesting and guest spots and guests having Rocky Mountain marketing here. And for those of you that don’t know i have i have another podcast I have a podcast for the NFL and my co host is is over in Scotland but that is a twice a week podcast. So I was doing a lot of talking. But it really was social audio that changed so much for my business this last year I was able to get up on stages and speak I was able to make amazing friends I was able to find new business partners new people to do business with not everyone you know was it was a sale that came from clubhouse you know, I definitely found a number of people to do business with for my business. And I mean, like I said before some amazing friendships. I made friends with Kendra, who’s been on the Rocky Mountain marketing podcast a couple times. Katie Gunther, who’s been on the podcast Allison likes I mean, the list goes on for people that I was able to connect with and meet on clubhouse and it really just turned into a great relationship, a great friendship. And it’s one of those things where I know that Kendra and I have talked about this on on our Clubhouse stages together and being an entrepreneur can be hard. And being a solopreneur can be really hard. And it’s not to say that you don’t have a supportive family or you don’t have a supportive friend group. But there’s certain struggles and certain wins that only another entrepreneur understands. They get it when you close that sale or they get it when you’re just are frustrated. And you’re saying I don’t know what to do next. And that’s what I found with a lot of the the connections that I made over on clubhouse. I think that one of the biggest things that I’ve learned from diving into social audio, whether it is clubhouse, or again, fireside is where I do spend a lot of my time, no matter what social audio platform you decide is the one that makes the most sense for you in your business is that if you’re not on it, if you’re not on one of these social audio platforms, someone else in your industry is. And if you have been taking the time to build your business, if you have been putting out with all of the knowledge that you have, with all of the different skills that you have, there’s something for you to share. There’s something for you to help educate others on. And that’s one of the the basis is of Rocky Mountain marketing here. I mean, I love hearing the stories that different entrepreneurs here in Denver can share with us, I wouldn’t be where I am at my business today, if it was not, for so many people that were two 310 steps ahead of me with their business journey if they hadn’t sat down and talked with me, when I was first getting started when I was just starting on my journey and and that was the basis of, of Rocky Mount marketing was to hear the story, What mistakes have you made, what have you found works for you. And that’s what you can share on these social audio platforms. I think that it’s definitely also completely changed the way that we communicate. Having these podcasts, I mean, over 55% of the United States population has listened to a podcast, if you’re not taking the opportunity to speak to your authority to speak to your expertise, again, somebody else in your industry is. And if you’re not a talker, I totally get it. I come from radio. So I mean, I can talk, I can talk to myself for a very long, extended period of time. But not everyone wants to get up on stage or wants to get behind the microphone and speak. But there’s still a wonderful opportunity for you to hear about the struggles that your ideal client and customer having, there’s still the opportunity for you to network at lightning speed, I can’t tell you how fast some of these communications and connections that I’ve had social audio have evolved and grown, just because of being in the same clubhouse room as them. And it’s definitely something that I see sticking around. I think that it’s a great part of your marketing strategy to consider, in addition to your Facebook, your Instagram, your LinkedIn, whatever your your social media platform is of your choice, there is a reason that social audio stuck around and that there were so many copycats, I mean, Facebook has it, Twitter has it, all of them, you know the big guns have their own social audio platform, no matter which one you decide to go on, I think it does make sense to pay attention to it. So social audio, I think is definitely going to stick around and in 2022 short form video, that is absolutely something that’s going to stick around in 2022. And again, if you are not taking the time to learn about reels or tiktoks, or paying attention to some sort of video for your business, you are going to get left behind. So without further ado, let’s dive in to the top five episodes of 2021. And number five on the list is with Donovan driver, what you should know about your mental health and your business. I am so glad that I was able to connect with Donovan, he again we met in a clubhouse round. And he’s here in Colorado. And we talked all about the importance of being an entrepreneur and still paying attention to your mental health, being mindful in the workplace. And I loved Donovan shared some great tips, a great concept with a stoplight. Let’s take a listen to what he had to say.

Donovan Dreyer 9:06

So when I created the traffic light, or really evolved out of a bunch of conversations with kids, that there’s really just three levels when it comes to all the emojis in the world, all the emotions in the world, all of the stress possibilities, there’s really just three levels. And so this is why I attached each one of them with a color of the light is because if you’re in the green, you know how you’re doing is something you can handle it on your own, it’s self help is going to help how you’re doing with a green level of stress. And if how you are is is worse than that, and your stress is higher and it’s tougher than you can handle on your own. Well, that’s why you’re actually in the yellow level. But somebody in your everyday life could probably help you out with that stuff. But if it’s beyond you, plus it’s beyond people in your everyday life. Now you need the mental health professional. So that’s the final type of help that matches up with the red zone. So when we see those quote unquote red flags in life. Now we know exactly what to do, we got to get our kids, even if I’m a dad, counselor, I would need to get my kids in the hands of a mental health professional because I’m not objective. As the dad, even though I would kind of fit the category, we got to get that mental health professional in the red zone, so that we don’t miss the red flags. And we don’t, you know, end up having to be too late like it was for those three kids. But the early detection is there’s a defined yellow, and there’s a defined green. And it’s also helps with what not to do, we don’t need to hover, if they’re in the green zone. They’re improving their EQ, their emotional intelligence, their coping skills by working it out on their own. And we don’t need to jump in as parents and referee every little thing between siblings in the yellow zone, they’re going to be able to conflict resolve together, like they’re in their everyday life, working those conflict resolution skills in the middle yellow level. So it really helps us not only know exactly what to do, based on what level somebody is at, it also helps us figure out what not to do. And yeah, that’s the system I devised in response to mom’s plea.

Katie Brinkley 11:08

A green yellow red that Donovan shared with us was a great eye opener, for just taking a step back as a business owner as a human being and evaluating where are you with your life? Are you green? Are you can you handle all the stress that’s going on right now by yourself. So yellow is a time to ask friends and family for help and then read, is it time to seek help from a professional and I love that, that I was able to get Donovan on because, again, as an entrepreneur, as a business owner, it can get overwhelming. And especially during a pandemic, where we’ve been isolated from so many of our friends and family, paying attention to your mental health is essential. So I love that Donovan came in at number five for most listen to episodes for the year. Up next at number four was Amanda obey. Amanda came on the show. And her episode was work smarter, not harder, the secret to selling a high ticket offer. Now, Amanda avaria. She talked all about scaling and systems and processes. And I love this episode, because we talked about changing our business from that, that one man show changing from a solopreneur to a business owner entrepreneur agency, what taking that next step for your business. And in this upcoming clip, she breaks down the top three ways

Amanda Abella 12:35

to scale. There’s really only three ways to scale, right? It’s intellectual property, its systems and technology. And it’s hiring people. So let’s take the two most basic ways people scale intellectual property versus an agency intellectual property is basically you take what you’ve been doing with people one on one and you create a system out of it, you create a framework out of it, you create a process out of it, right. And with our clients, we help them create the actual programs and process plus we’ll help them create frameworks and assessments and all that kind of stuff. But it’s your intellectual property, right? So it could be a series of videos, and you sell the videos at a high ticket price, depending on what it is you’re teaching them, right? Or maybe it’s group coaching, something that leverages your time. So That’s option number one for scaling. Option number two for scaling is building an agency, right? So when I was a freelance writer, which you’re basically a marketer, it’s okay, well, do I want to build an agency? Do I want to have subcontractors under me? And then I had to ask myself a question. I’m like, does that fit with the way I want to live my life? Well, the answer was no. I did not want to manage that amount of people.

Katie Brinkley 13:44

So for me, the answer became, okay, you’re going to scale the route of intellectual property. And what I have found is most people, that’s usually what they ended up leaning toward, because they just don’t want to manage a bunch of people and run an agency and all that, but it totally depends on the person. It’s true. I mean, that’s where with my business, I was at the point of getting ready to scale. And I was like, Okay, this is where I’m going to start hiring people and bringing in, you know, Junior social media managers, and maybe I’ll bring in an assistant, and then COVID happen. And then number three episode, most downloaded episode of 2021, for Rocky Mountain marketing was put on your blinders and focus on your own race, with Amber SIG. Now, Amber, and I talk a lot about what you would do differently. What What mistakes have you made as a business person and Amber shared some great advice about mindset? Let’s have a lesson.

Amber Sigg 14:44

That mindset is everything. I call it horse blinders. You obviously need to look at your competition, to say hey, what am I getting into? Who am I competing with? But the biggest thing that we struggle with, especially when we’re starting isn’t mindset, you see someone else doing really well on social media or you see someone else getting more engagements than you, or you’re pitching it to friends and family, and other business professionals, you know, and they’re like, Oh, that’s such a great idea, you’re gonna do great at it, but then nobody’s really working with you or signing up. That can become very defeating very quickly, you know. And so I would say, the mindset, and as I like to put on your horse blinders, have faith in you have faith in your plan. You know, it’s just like when horses and jockeys are running a race, almost everybody across the board trains the same way is looking to run the best time and the best race they can run, the underlying rules are saying the same across the board. However, that individual jockey and that individual horse have a connection, and they have a plan. And the reason they put blinders on a horse is so that horse and that jockey can stay focused on their race and the race they are running. And so if you can just have faith in that, and get your mindset to back you, then you’re going to go a long way with it. I mean, it’s going to take work, I’m not saying it’s not, but don’t let the outside influences immediately discourage you keep that mindset of, I have faith in this, I believe in what I’m trying to go after. And the mindset needs to be I need to run my race.

Katie Brinkley 16:19

I love that piece of advice from Amber. And I think that it makes so much sense it one, I did exactly what she said I when I put the blinders on, and I focused in on my own journey. Everything for my business changed. And it was so hard, because I had to unfollow a lot of people on social media that, that I looked up to that, that I really enjoyed seeing their content. And I looked up to them. But when I was only seeing all of their highlights, I was looking at what they were doing. And now man, they have so many likes, they have so many comments, I do posts like that, why isn’t it happening for me, but when I, I unfollowed them, I turned off the notifications. And I just started focusing on creating content that made sense for my clients that made sense for me and my brand, and focused in on my own journey. Everything for my business changed. And and I think that that’s it’s hard. That was one of the hardest things to do, as a business owner was to put on those blinders. But when you do, you focus on what makes you you what makes your business different than everybody else is out there. Because especially with social media, there’s a lot of people out there that do what I do. And the reason that people want to do business with me and next up social communications is because of us. It’s because of what we have to offer. And that’s definitely one of the the biggest changes that I saw for my business. When I put on those blinders, I stopped worrying about seeing what everyone else’s highlight reels were because I wasn’t seeing the years of hard work that they’d put into it. I wasn’t seeing the social media posts that flopped. I wasn’t seeing the course that didn’t sell, I was only seeing their successes and so realize that everybody’s business journey is different. And your business journey is truly remarkable is truly special because it is exactly that it’s yours. Now let’s move along to number two on the 2021 most listened to episodes of Rocky Mountain marketing, and it is do Instagram reels really work for your business with my business. Bestie Kendra swallow. Kendra came on the podcast and we talked all about reels, the latest form of social media content that we just can’t get enough, I guess out here and that people just can’t get enough of whether it’s Tik Tok, or Instagram and now Facebook, people love those short form videos. And Kendra came on and talked all about whether or not you should be spending the time with this new content strategy. Should you pay attention to reels will it work for your business? And this is what she had to say.

Kendra Swalls 19:15

I think that’s the first key is that it does need to relate to your business. It’s one thing to like, you know, you’re scrolling through reels and you see these fun, like dances and trends and like funny little things. And those are all great and if you can find a way to relate them to your business, then use them. But I think the key is you need your videos to all fit within your niche. So you know for example with mine, I focus a lot on you know, mom life because my audience is particularly women and moms. So a lot of my videos might revolve around like being a mom or being a mompreneur or they evolve around like, you know, being a business owner things like that. And so it would seem odd if then out of the blue I posted a reel where I’m like doing some random dance trend but no There’s nothing to do with my, you know, with my brand. And so I’m like, if I can find a way to relate it back, you know if I can do the fancy like dance and relate it back to my business fine, but I’m not going to go out there and like do that or I’m not going to do you know, you see some of these trends on Tik Tok that have you know, I came thing want to top my head right now, but the audio doesn’t match my audience, you know, maybe it’s has language in it that I wouldn’t use or it’s just it doesn’t fit. So I think the first thing is to have clearly defined lane that you stay in. So it’s kind of like, okay, I’m going to stay in this lane. And then if you’re going through like scrolling through reels or tick tock, when you do see something that you’re like, Oh, I really like that audio, ask yourself, Does this fit inside my lane, can I make it work and not in a forced way, but in a way where it’s like, okay, I can use this audio, but maybe put text on it that has something to do with my audience or my niche or a piece of content that I want to share or talk about, or you could find a create your own audio. So there’s kind of there’s I say three different versions, there’s, you know, music, so where you go in, and maybe you have like a trending song, or you can search for like a popular song. And you can do like music, and maybe you’re either pointing or like showing something or showing a product that you have, you know, or showing a video of something, you know, maybe without your face in it. And then there is the lip sync, which is where you have like a fun little phrase or saying or a quote from a movie or a TV show, and you’re mouthing the words, you know, and applying it to your niche. And then there’s the one where you’re creating your own original audio. So those are the ones where maybe you have a tip you want to share. So if you want to say, hey, here’s three ways that you can XYZ, and then you, you know, very quickly give those three points. So those are kind of what I say are the three main types of like reels content pieces. And then on top of that, the other thing I would say is whatever it is you’re sharing, make it like the smallest tidbit. So go back to like your your best Instagram posts, okay, that you’ve created. And maybe you shared three really great tips in that Instagram post. That’s three different reels you can create, you know, you can say tip one, the first one and then part two could be Tip two, and then part three could be Tip three, because if you try to cram too much information into one reel, people aren’t going to read it, they’re gonna be like, Oh, that’s too much keep going. But if you just give one little piece and let that stand alone, then the next reel you can create can add to that and have a second piece to it. So stay within your lane, create content that fits your nation, your brand, don’t try to go outside of you know what you’re kind of known for on Instagram, or on Tik Tok. And then try to keep it which is this is an issue I have because I tend to overshare things like I want to give people the firehose of information when I really just need like a little bit at a time, but try to keep it to like little bits of information at a time so that you’re not overwhelming your audience.

Katie Brinkley 23:00

I love it. Whenever Kendra comes on the podcast, she always has so many great tips to share and and like I was saying back at the beginning of this week’s episode, I think that if you’re not paying attention to reels if you don’t want to step around in front of the lens, as Kendra puts she is a photographer. And so for her to make that transition from behind the lens to in front of it. I love that she breaks down. Yes, I understand that it was hard. But now that I’ve done it and I’ve committed to having that as a part of my social media strategy, I like it, and I need to be there because if I’m not, I can’t somebody else in my industry. So take a listen to the full episode about rails with Kendra because I think that she shares some great ideas for you to start incorporating rails into your sport tech talks into your social media strategy and she has a lot of understanding and she has a lot of great tips for when you’re just getting started. Now the number one most downloaded episode of 2021 that betta Alright here it is. The top Instagram strategies with none other but the Instagram expert herself. Su B Zimmerman. Now Sue and I have had the opportunity to spend a lot of time together over on clubhouse. I help her host of weekly rooms. So we host rooms over there on clubhouse three times a week. So she and I have the opportunity to talk a lot about Instagram and she’s been teaching Instagram for over nine years as the number one marketing tool for you to use for your business. She comes on to Rocky Mountain marketing and it’s no surprise with the amount of stages she’s spoken on stages all over the world. It’s no surprise that she is the most downloaded episode of 2021 Let’s have a listen to the biggest takeaway from her episode.

Sue B. Zimmerman 24:54

Instagram is a village and it’s approaching I think 2 billion monthly active users Now, and you need to communicate with your audience, not all the people on Instagram, right, and you have five ways right now to do that strategically, posts in your feed, doing stories, doing a real igtv. And going live. And in each one of these neighborhoods, you can do video. And the reason I think that Instagram is really leaning into video is because that’s where the real authentic content gets created. Because you can’t hide behind your voice, your body language. Are you looking at the camera and talking to me? Or are you hiding behind some Canva created graphic and so now more than ever, people want real people want authenticity, and Instagram is leaning into that with their announcement. And you can be very strategic, and each one of these to be neighborhoods to create that video content that’s relevant. Now, I do want to say full disclosure, I’m not saying don’t do photos, but videos is what’s being preferred. And so that’s why we teach a lot of our content strategically, which you can see in our feed around the power of video and what you need to know.

Katie Brinkley 26:19

I love the way that Sue breaks down the different ways to post on Instagram, because let’s be real Instagram is not just a place for photographers anymore, where you can post some some pretty pictures and expect expect the sales to start you know, falling in, there are a lot of strategies, a lot of different ways to post on Instagram now and and they all exist for a reason. You need to pay attention to these different ways and show up in these different avenues for your audience. Because biggest lesson here is everyone consumes content differently. Whether it’s watching a short form video, whether it’s watching a long, long form video, like a YouTube video, or whether you’re connecting with people through stories, Instagram Stories, Facebook stories, and talking to them about your life, whether you’re writing blog articles, on LinkedIn, all of these different types of content exist for a reason and content is king content is what will help your business attract the right followers and the right buyers. And more than anything, this is the biggest thing I see happening in 2020. To one word, community. That is what social media is all about. Are you building a community, around your business and around your brand? And we can say all you want to say about the likes and the comments and the followers, but really, it’s the people that follow you that are your biggest brand advocates, they might not be buying from you today. But they’re telling their friend about you or they’re speaking about when they saw you on Instagram Live and you were talking about how you were putting that flower arrangement together or, or what how you were connecting with that that customer and the testimonial that they gave you on how their car wasn’t working anymore, but you were the one that make their cars, were able to figure out what was the problem with their car and, and got it working. And that’s the stuff that your audience wants to see they want to see you. And the biggest way you’re able to build a community around your business is by showing up as far as showing up and being you and as Sue said in her episode, I get it. It is hard to show up in front of the camera. Not all of us grew up with the phone in front of our face that she so eloquently puts it not all of us grew up talking to a lens. And it can feel uncomfortable, it can feel weird, but you have to be able to connect with people because as we saw with 2020 with the pandemic, people are still wanting to connect with others. No matter if you live down the street or whether you live in another state. Social media has made it very attainable to make friends and business relationships all online. And the best way to do that is by showing up showing your face and building a community around your brand. So with that said 2021 is in the books. Let’s look forward. Let’s look and I can’t wait. 2021 is in the books. And I can’t wait to see what 2022 has in store. Thanks so much for listening to this episode of Rocky Mountain marketing. As always, I’d love to hear from you. You can visit my website at Connect with me on LinkedIn or check me out on Instagram. Let’s keep taking your marketing to new heights.