Are you at a point in your business where you know you need to be more consistent with your marketing content, but don’t know where to start? Or perhaps you already produce content regularly, but know that it could be better?
In this episode, Latasha Doyle, Founder and CEO of Uncanny Content, a content and copy studio, will share with you her tips for creating a content strategy and plan that works for your revenue goals. This is the process she takes her clients through and that she follows for her own agency.
We’ll also get a behind-the-scenes peek at how Latasha was able to delegate client work to a team while still providing a high touch, high quality service to her clients. She’ll talk about how she decided how she wanted to operate and then built her agency around that!
Join our Free November Masterclass: How to Grow Your Agency the Right Way in 2023. Learn how to stop “winging it” and step into the CEO role of your business. Learn more here: https://nicolejacksonmiller.com/masterclass
Learn more about Uncanny Content: Uncanny Content Website
Delegate 50 – 90% of client delivery in 12 months or less: AGENCY Program Site
Hi, Latasha. Welcome to the show!
Thank you for having me!
I am excited for this conversation because we were just chatting and I told Latasha how I did a little survey for my Instagram followers, and a lot of people had mentioned that they wanted some support with generating revenue and very specifically, content strategy and creation.
And I was so excited that people shared that. Obviously I wasn’t hoping people would share one particular answer, but when a lot of people had shared that, I was like, “Oh, this is great because Latasha is the owner of Uncanny Content and is just really brilliant when it comes to content strategy,” and I’m so excited to have you here.
To start out, could you share a little bit about how you even got started with content strategy and creation?
Yeah, I mean, my path to where we are now is not straight by any means. I actually started freelancing in 2015. I was actually working as a full-time nanny, which, um, quite the career shift, but, long story short, was looking for resources for nannies. They didn’t have any on these websites that I was searching for. I emailed them and they said, “Hey, do you wanna write this for us.” And I was like, “they people to do that?” And then I started freelancing and then by February of 2016, we had just moved into this new house and I could no longer do stairs because I have a heart condition.
And so I was like, “I have to kind of do this thing full time.” So I went full time June 2016. So now we’ve been doing this full time for, I think six years now. I suck at math. I’ve been doing this for almost seven now, but, full time for six years, a little over and, it basically turned into, you know, “I’ll write whatever you need me to write.” “I’ll do whatever you need me to do,” and then it’s grown into… Like crap, I have too many clients and I need somebody to help me. And then that’s when I started outsourcing out to freelancers and when I was like, “This structure is no longer working.” So then I actually had to scale to a content agency, and that’s where we streamlined our offers. So we only offer retainer content strategy, management, and execution versus, ” just throw whatever you need that as and we’ll do it.” It’s been a, a wild ride , and I feel like we’re finally now in a place where we know what we do, who we serve, what we deliver, all of that. But it, it took six years to get here.
So the first time that you wrote content and got paid to write content, was that for the nanny blog?
Yeah, it was for care.com. Yeah. And they paid more than I got paid the whole week as a nanny.
Wow. Okay. So some light bulbs went off.
Yeah. Then after that other projects I found were off Upwork and Freelancer.
I don’t even know if Freelancer is still a thing. Um, and then Craigslist. So it was a wild time to be honest.
It’s so interesting because you’re incredible at copy. Was it just something that you’re like, “Yeah, I’ll try doing this,” and then you did it and you realized, “Oh, I’m getting really great feedback.”
I’ve always loved to write, so I was a kid, like I was writing Harry Potter fanfic before I knew what Harry Potter fanfic was.
And when I went through high school, essays were my jam. I just loved them so much. And then I got my degree a few years after I graduated high school and my college professor had asked me to help edit papers.
So I had always known that I. a “good-ish” writer. But obviously writing essays and writing sales copy are two entirely different things. I think the biggest thing for me is… I don’t like not knowing how to do something. So anytime somebody’s like, “Hey, can you write this?” One of my first projects was a media kit. And I was like, I have no idea what a media kit is. I googled it. I learned everything I could about it and I turned in what it was probably now in hindsight, a very sad media kit.
But I did it. It’s just a willingness to learn and dig in and get it right at all costs, I think was kind of what got me here.
Actually I just interviewed Julissa, who is also in the AGENCY program, a few hours ago, and she mentioned something very similar where she was like, I had never done this thing before. And I just said I’ll do it and I’ll figure out how to do it and it’ll work. And I definitely resonate with that.
I actually I went to school for film and business and I got an internship. I would review screenplays. And I had to write an overview, like synopsis, and then a review. I had never done any of that before and so I was googling, I think I was sending friends copies and versions and I remember her saying, “This is the best we’ve ever gotten like best review we’ve seen, I’m like, okay, well…”
Honestly, I think there’s so much to be said about just the “figure it out method.”
Yeah, totally. Yep. That’s what was happening. That’s really cool. For those who are listening, mostly done -for-you service providers, agency owners, a lot of the feedback that I’ve received, especially after, as of the moment we’re recording this we’re in August, so we’re kind of coming out of the summer.
People have experienced slow months for generating new business. And so I think there, there is a focus on bringing revenue back into the company, bringing new clients in. So I’m just curious because I think sometimes people are like, I’m having this issue. What’s going to solve it?
And I’m wondering from your perspective, when it comes to content and the content that you’re generating, how important is that to being able to bring in more clients? Where does that fit?
Yeah, so I will say the biggest thing with any sort of slump is it’s usually you’re not alone. It’s a seasonal thing. People are on vacation, they’re checked out mentally. But I also think that the importance of content marketing, content planning and content creation in general is you create an ecosystem that kind of feeds into your lead bucket all year round for you. So that you know ahead of time, I’m gonna have this slump.
Hopefully you’ve had enough experience in your business to be like, I know summer is like pulling teeth to get these people to sign this contract or to get people to buy this, whatever. And I’ve found that by creating a content, I call it content ecosystem. So whether you are a YouTuber or a Podcaster, or you write blogs finding ways to still create that content regularly and then share it so that people are still aware of you, they’re still thinking about your all year round and you’re providing the either value or promotional content that gets their attention so that you may still have those slumps. I’m not gonna say that content’s gonna be like a cure for a summer slump in the seasonal business.
But it will really, really help you kind of navigate those times because you’ll be able to see: everybody still sees me, I’m still getting this engagement, these leads are coming. Or they’re actually coming in right now because I’ve got this stuff already in place.
I have clients who’ve come to me because they know they’re not being consistent enough. And they’re like, I’ve noticed a dip in sales, and it’s because I’m not showing up online. I’m not writing these emails. I’m not showing up in the places that I need to be showing up, but I don’t have the time. And so we create a content plan and write the content or whatever they need for it.
And then suddenly it’s like, “I have leads again.” Or, we had a client who has a course that she has had and waiting in the wings for months and she launched it and then didn’t really do anything else with it. And so we did a little promo for it in the middle of July, which is the slowest season for most people.
And she sold a whole bunch of ’em and she was like, “I cannot believe that that happened.” And I was like, “This is the power of regularly promoting your offers.”
Yeah. I’m a consumer as well and I know that I will stalk people for a while. Sometimes not. Sometimes it’s very quick. If I have an issue and I need a solution and I happen to see the person, I will buy right away. And sometimes I’m just over on the sidelines checking it out and then all of a sudden they send something and it happens to be the right time.
I’ve been nurtured for months. And now I buy. And so really, I’m taking a look at the sales cycle of your particular, I don’t know, group of people or just keeping that going I think is really important.
Yeah. I think that there’s an old marketing stat, which is, I hate marketing “best practices” in general, but there’s a saying that it’s like your audience needs seven touch points before they’ll buy from you. And it’s way more than that now. Like we live online, we see a brand so many times. And even think about the products that you love.
So like I have a skincare brand that I love. I get all their emails, I get all their socials. But I’m not gonna buy until I’m ready to buy and actually need the product. And the same goes for a service based brand where, I get it all the time from people too, where it’s like, “I love your reels,” or, “We love the stuff you’ve been saying, we just weren’t ready for you yet.” And then now it’s time and we’re ready.
So I’ve been literally warming up leads without me even knowing it this whole time. And then by the time they book with us, I don’t even have to sell anymore because they’re just like, “Tell me when you can start.” And I think that’s obviously my business, I’m not saying that’s for everybody, but that I just think is a really powerful testament to what content nurturing and value based content can do. Because you are warming leads without getting on a sales call, that’s gonna end in, “well, I’m not ready yet.”
Right. Or because I just heard about you. So tell us, what is the difference between a content strategy and then the actual plan and the creation.
Yeah. So the way that we do content strategy and you’ve kind of seen this I think I showed you in AGENCY but I start with milestones. So we call them milestones. As the content strategy, there are like the bricks in your foundation. So they are like, I am having this launch come hell or high water in October and in December, I’m gonna be at a summit or a conference or whatever and I want people to know about it so they can see it cause that’s social proof for me. So you take those two bricks and I call them milestones and you put them into your content strategy to say, everything that I have for the next couple of months needs to lead up to this launch. Or the last two weeks of December, I really wanna be talking about this conference that I’m going to. And then we work back from what do I need to reach my launch goals. So if you have that launch in October, it’s okay, “Well, I need to sell 10 more spots of my VIP day. So that means that, we kind of work back from there. So it’s like you have the bricks and then you have the flooring, and then you have all the stuff that happens on top of the house, right?
And then that’s when we fill in the little topic. So my launch is until October, but you know when this airs, it’s gonna be September. So you know, what am I doing in September to prime people for this launch? Like I don’t necessarily have something to promote right now, but I need to build that trust.
So that’s all content strategy. And then to me, the content plan is, this is literally the topic you’re gonna be looking at, this is what you’re gonna write for it, whether it’s a blog or you going to record a video. So we go from mapping out everything that we’re gonna be talking about at a high level to every day or every other day, or once a week, what are you doing? What are you sharing? And what platform are you sharing it on? That’s the nitty gritty part, is the concept plan.
Yeah, so I know that you work with different types of businesses that have different models. So, I’m curious for agency owners who have ongoing services that they offer, some agencies are seasonal and some just have ongoing offers, when it comes to those… it’s funny as you talk and I can see someone being like, “Oh, I don’t even have an event that I’m launching for… should I? Maybe that’s a question – should I have a season where I’m inviting people into a certain package? Is that helpful for agency owners? What do those milestones look like?
So I will say that the way that I do my content strategy is not based around larger milestones. Oh, we have this launch coming up or we’ll have this podcast as part of our milestones. So it’s like, okay, we need to build this into the content plan. But I don’t sell anything besides our retainer packages. Like that’s it. That’s the only thing we sell.
And I know on a given month I need to book at least one of those packages. So that’s a milestone for me. That’s a revenue milestone. It’s not necessarily a launch or an event, but it’s a milestone that I need to hit my revenue goals. I, for my agency, when I’m doing my content strategy, I start with my overall goal of the year, which is a revenue goal. I’m just money oriented, but, for other agency owners, sometimes it’s number of packages sold, or sometimes it’s clients who renew contracts. So if you have a three month engagement and you renewed to another three month engagement, maybe your goal is to get people to resign.
Or maybe your goal is I want to launch this new package. So maybe it’s like a little baby offer from your bigger package and you wanna just get, faster revenue generated that way. You wanna have a little tiny, I mean, I would call it a launch, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be, It can just be like, here’s a new package we offer. Maybe you wanna sell five those. So I count all of those things as milestones.
And then it’s kind of working back from there to see. Okay, so I have, let’s say two packages that I wanna sell in the next two months, what do I need to do that? It’s not just gonna be writing a blog and never seeing the light of day with. It’s gonna be okay, so we need to put this on the website. We need to write maybe a series of blogs about the specific pain point of these people are experiencing and push to a discovery call or inquiry list or whatever. And we need to be talking about it on social, which means we need to be posting about it or creating reels.
We need to be priming people to really know why this new offer’s for them. And there’s also the PR side of things that we don’t really do, but maybe you need to get on a podcast, maybe you need to be doing YouTube as like a lead gen effort. Maybe you need to go speak at a conference or a summit.
Things like that are all always for agency owners to get those leads and those eyeballs on their new offer or their launch or their milestone, whatever it may be. But I think it just all starts with getting super clear on what your milestones are as an agency owner.
I was going to ask you, where’s the first place that agency owners should start? And it sounds like that’s really where it is. It’s really identifying those milestones because that’s what then sets the sets the rest of the plan in place.
Right. And I will say, I think people, when they start talking about like content and copy, they’re not necessarily thinking, “Oh, I need to make another $5,000 this month,” or “I need to book one more client this month.” I think they think of it as like, I need to have X number of conversions, X number of all these things. All of that stuff comes when you have a larger goal in mind and it comes with, so for me and for the couple of other agencies that I work with, it literally starts with, we have a revenue goal to hit. How does that break down by quarter or month or number of discovery calls that need to lead to conversions, things like that. It actually starts with numbers and we actually work with a lot of our clients to be like, this is actually a revenue goal. It’s not just like, “Oh, I wanna book five packages,” or, you know, “blah blah, blah.”
What is the actual revenue goal and how do we break that down by however they measure revenue. So some people measure by quarter, some people measure by month. And then it helps us really decide what is the plan? What do we need to do to really up this? And a lot of it, unfortunately, if they need to make a lot of money in a short little bit of time, it involves ads or PR or being more visually present, which is always the fun part because we can’t really help with that.
Do you find that, for people that you’ve worked with or even for yourself, that visibility can be challenging?
Oh yeah. I’m nodding vigorously over here. So one of the biggest things that people come to us and say, I wanna be more present without showing my face.
And that’s a valid, that is a valid thing. And that is such a weird time to be a business owner because now being a business owner is like you’re online, period. And especially as agency owners and the scale of agencies that you know are probably listening to this, the CEO is likely still the figure head of the business, or at least very involved with higher level team and it is not always somebody’s jam. Like it took me months to come around to reels because I was like, I do not want my face on everything that goes out. And I have a lot of clients who are like, I don’t have time to go live, or I don’t have time to record a YouTube video or a podcast. Like I wanna stay present, but all that they really have the bandwidth for is written content. And there is a way to do that, but it does take a lot more work than you being visually present or having somebody on your team be visually present. It doesn’t always have to be, the CEO. But people connect to people. So the more that you can find ways, even if it’s in like your DMs or going to conferences, you can talk to people one on one.
Again, I think content strategy, people just think of written captions and stuff, but it’s a marketing strategy at the end of the day. It’s how you’re sharing your message and your idea. And it’s not always just one Instagram caption’s gonna book you three people.
Totally. And when we go to talk about the actual types of content that you’re creating, are there different categories in terms of what people should be posting?
So I think the biggest thing here is that it always depends on the business.
I think that there’s so many cookie cutter content strategies out there, and it’s like, that’s great, but at the end of the day, it depends on, you know, maybe your people love to be on TikTok and they have not touched Facebook or email in months. Maybe that’s the case and you wouldn’t know that if you didn’t know your audience.
So I always make my clients start with the audience. Do you have a real example of somebody that you have worked with who can tell you how they found you or how they engage with your content? That’s gonna advise what we do. There may be some things that we try that aren’t necessarily what that one person or two people did.
For example, we have a client who she’s like, my audience finds me through Instagram and TikTok, like without fail. And that’s awesome, but I also want you to be doing blogs because she has a super specific niche. She has a lot of really high level expertise to share, and it’s really great for like FAQs. She’s a physical therapist, so you know what, if somebody has a question about this, send them a blog, like that’s actually saving you time and it’s serving as a boost for your seo.
So it’s not necessarily like everybody should be doing this, or everybody should be posting this kind of content. It’s starting with your goals for one, and your audience and the platforms that they’re on, and knowing what’s actually getting you results. Cause I know people who have gone all in on Instagram and have never booked a single client and they just get so frustrated. Instagram can still be used to warm up your leads, but it’s not gonna be where you find them or where you close ’em necessarily. It’s just knowing your audience and their journey.
If you’re an agency owner at this point, you probably know where your leads come from. If you’re just starting out and you’re like, I have no clue, then, maybe talk to that first client that you book and figure that out. And it’s gonna be a learning curve, you know, and platforms change. All the time.
Fun little things.
That’s so fun. And it’s reality. That’s just where we’re at. In terms of writing great copy, do you have any general tips for how to actually write something that lands with people?
This is where I get edgy cause I’m like, I don’t even know if I’m a good copywriter. This is just the crux of a creative brain. I think is just, you just assume everything you do is trash, even though I have all this proof that it’s not.
I’m so glad you shared that though, because you’re definitely not alone in that.
I know I’m not.
It’s really helpful to hear .
I think that we all think we’re trash at what we do and what we’re good at some point.
Meanwhile, I’m here and I’m just like, every time you or your team writes a blog post, I’m like, Ooh, this was great!
Oh, that’s exciting. I’ll have to let them know. But I take the biggest thing for me for copy. One, I’ll just give a really quick tip. Read it out loud. If it feels stuffy, it’s stuffy. If there are sentences that you stumble over reading out loud, people are gonna stumble over it, reading in their brains. And it’s gonna tell you, Does this sound like me? Does this sound like the people I’m talking to?
As an example, For what I mean between: What does it sound like? Does it sound like me? Does it sound like my audience? I cuss like a sailor. But that does not mean that everybody in my audience does. So we use cuss words sparingly on our website, whereas you get on a discovery call with me and I’m probably gonna drop an “f” bomb in the first two minutes and I just, I am the way I am.
But when you know somebody’s reading that website, it’s not to be misleading. It’s literally still that they know that we’re capable of having a professional conversation. There’s a little bit of that personality involved, but it sounds like us, there’s a, a couple of “s” bombs dropped in there and then there’s, really logistically thought through copy. But it sounds like us, and it sounds like the people who are coming to us who want something a little bit edgier but don’t wanna be dropping “f” bumps in their copy. That’s one of the number one things people say when they talk to me is I don’t cuss in my copy. And I’m like, I know .
It’s okay. We know that.
Yeah. But they always have to throw that caveat in there because they know me and the content that we produce, but I have a couple of clients we just wrote sales pages for and I’m like, this sounds very like you, but your audience isn’t gonna know what this is. So if you’re thinking like, Oh, okay, well I have this signature, oh gosh, I’m trying to think of an example.
Signature mentorship for “high level entrepreneurs” is a phrase, and it’s like, that sounds really good to you and maybe your coach, but to the people who are just looking at this, they’re thinking, “Okay, I know what mentorship is, but am I a high level entrepreneur?” It just sounds a little stuffy, right? So what is the mentorship for? Who is it for specifically? Maybe it’s a mentorship for, photographers who are craving community and guidance. Make it as simple as possible. Don’t make it sound too cool. I think that’s one of the biggest things is we think copy has to sound clever.
Not what I just said, but it doesn’t, it can be straightforward and it can be honest. And that’s sort of my roundabout rant. I think that so much copy is templatized and we’ve heard from people who maybe shouldn’t be giving copy advice that it needs to sound a certain way or you need to use these psychological principles and it ends up sounding robotic or pushy or bro market-ery.
And what we really want is for people to see something, read something, hear something, however you’re delivering it and say, “Oh, that hit.”
Yeah. I’ve definitely been part of programs that have offered templates and have used them and like I’ll go through and read them and I’m like [face of disgust].
You can absolutely customize them to make them your own.
But the thing is, most people struggle to do that because they’re not copywriters or they think, “Okay, but I have to have this framework because my coach said I had to have this framework, people, I can’t change this. Because that changes the framework. It changes the outcome.”
It just feels like a slippery slope when the truth is, some of the best selling copy I have ever written for clients… it does not look like what you think copy looks like.
It’s not cute, it’s not pretty, it’s not polished, but it’s very real and it sounds like my client and it makes a human connection, I think, more than anything.
There’s nothing I love more than reading something that I’ve written or I have a team member who does our writing too, that just totally lands and it feels a hundred percent like me and my values and, I mean, I’ll write some of this and sometimes I’m like, I hit it and other times I’m like, I don’t know… There’s something that’s still off about this, but I don’t know what it is. And this is just my best and I’m just gonna go with it. I think this happens with branding too, and I can see it happening with copy as well. When you get it right, there’s just this feeling of truth behind it and being able to show up as you are in a truthful way. It feels freeing in some ways.
Yeah. Oh yeah. And I think it’s just that moment of if you’re writing your own copy, it’s like what you’re saying, it’s you nailed it.
And you know that when you share it, I think there’s a certain level of excitement that comes when you know you’ve got the right message and you share it differently versus somebody who’s just following a formula or somebody who’s I think I’m supposed to say this. They share it like that. Kind of ” Yeah. You like this?” Versus somebody who’s like, You know what I know exactly who you are. I know exactly what you need, and I’m here to help you and it’s gonna be awesome. I’m trying so hard to not cuss.
I’m pretty sure you can cuss here. I think I just have to put like explicit or something on that.
I’ve been really trying to not get you to have to add that to your podcast. But I think that if you have those moments as you’re writing your own copy where you’re like, this doesn’t feel ompf yet. Take a break. Come back to it. I know that a lot of you are waiting for the last minute to write content and copy, so I know that when you get there you’re just like, Oh, this is gonna have to do, just take like a 10 minute break, I swear. Don’t stare at your phone. Don’t do anything. This is one of my biggest writer hacks is I literally go sit out in my backyard and stare at blades of grass. Or I pet my dog, or I have an elliptical downstairs, and I’ll go do that. But I don’t look at anything and I’m probably puzzling it out in my brain, but I’m deliberately trying to distract myself.
And then I come back and I can see the holes a lot easier. It may not be my best work ever, but I saw more of the holes and now it’s ready to at least go onto the next stage. And if you have the time, give it a full day. Let it bake.
Yes. I think that’s so true when you’re thinking through copy, but also anything, if you’re really feeling stuck or like you can’t quite figure something out, just giving yourself a break, using another part of your brain, getting away from it and allowing you to come back.
And I think, especially for agency owners, it’s like sometimes it feels you just gotta get it done, like you were saying. Because there’s so many other things to do, but there is something around efficiency and I know that if I’m just trying to get something done and I know it’s not my best work, it ends up taking me longer. And so I know those moments where I am able to walk away or just do something else and come back to it. The stars align and I end up being able to write something so much faster.
And I will say I always do better work after a break and after having little rants in my head or with other people. We as agency owners, we know our stuff. Okay? We know our stuff, whether we believe it or not, myself included. We know our stuff and we have that moment of: I see something that’s happening in my industry and I’m gonna get fired up about it. So I always use that as a little kick in the pants if I’m feeling like whatever I’m writing is just not landing. I think about something that kinda pisses me off. For you, it may something that like excites you in your industry, like you’re seeing more and more people switch to agencies or whatever it is.
Maybe that’s what gets you going, but think about what really motivates you and gets you like jazzed up inside. Rage is my go-to. But it doesn’t have to be yours. And I think that really helps people just channel whatever it is that you need to get that content or copy. And then have people read it out loud.
And by people I don’t mean your mom or your cousin, I mean people who are in your industry or like ideal clients. No, no. Mom should ever have an opinion on your copy. I’m sorry. Unless she’s a professional copywriter and even then, I’m not sure .
I know you have to pick the right person for anything. You know what I mean? Like for anything. My husband’s very good at some things and other things, I’m just like, No, we’re not gonna go there.
So let’s shift to you and your agency and being an agency owner. I know you offer very high touch services, and I know it was really important to you to be very thoughtful around building a team and delegating and even developing parts of the delivery process that you have with your clients. And so I’m wondering if you could talk through your thought process around how you balance having a team deliver the client work and serving that, that team and that process, but then also still serving your clients.
Yeah. Yeah. I think the biggest thing for me, and this is part of why I started working with you, because when we talked, I was like, “These things are so important to me, and I’m gonna fight you if you try to tell me I can’t do them.”
And you actually literally said that.
I am stubborn, I will do what I want. But I think it was just having that space to know that like my standards are still gonna be met and by my standards, I understand that my standards are not everybody’s standards, but there’s a reason this business has grown to the scope and size that it has, and it’s because of those standards. I firmly believe that. I did have to do some work changing my standards to the business standards, and only I could deliver these standards to everybody in the business can deliver the standards. That was a lot of work for me mentally.
What was that? Because that’s really important. So you said your standards versus business standards, what’s the difference and what did you have to shift?
So I was seeing it as my standards are always gonna be higher than what a business could deliver. So like I’m holding my hand up really high and the business standards are down lower, right?
My biggest concern was that my standards being all the way up here would never meet, the middle ground or the business would never meet. They’re just all different levels. And what I realized is yes, some of my standards could maybe go down a little bit. Like I was burning myself out. That was not healthy. But I think when it was shifting to, okay, these are the standards I will set for the business, I’m elevating the business standards to what I know we can do, and then it was, I am hiring a team that can meet these standards. That’s it.
There’s not gonna be like, “Okay, well there’s this contractor who kind of meets the standards, but not really.” Or, ” I’m just gonna have to let that slide. I don’t let things slide.” But I really had to work through, Okay, these are the structures we’re gonna put in place to make sure these standards are met. These are the people that we’re going to have to invest in to make sure these standards are met.
And that was 2020 when I decided: we’re growing this thing and I don’t know what I’m doing. But that was the first thing I kind of had to address was my standards can be the business standards. I have to know how to create this framework though. And that was part of where obviously you came in, cause I didn’t know how to do that.
But I think that the next part of balancing both it high standards with the team, it was all structure. We had to redo our Asana. We had to redo how we communicated with our team. We had to redo how clients requested work, and then it was getting very clear on what my non-negotiables were.
I don’t think I’m a control freak, but I do love having touch points. I love our clients like, I love them. I roast them all the time on our reels because I love them so much. But I wanted to keep that contact with them. Like I wanted to still have I still have weekly calls with, six or seven of our clients and those touchpoint are super important to me.
And yes, we have other people involved in those touch points now. So I’ll have one of our writers shadow me on those calls or our writers deliver all of the content and copy now, but I am the one who the client can go to if they’re having a crisis over their latest launch because they don’t know if it’s gonna be what they need. They’re like, “Hey, I had this idea for this other email. Can we add this into a sequence?”
There’s all these little things that I think that maybe other agency owners don’t necessarily want, and that’s okay. But that’s what the balance looks like for me, is I’m sort of the idea siphon. So everything comes in through my brain and my team now, like I’m building in more buffer, but we have systems in place for the other things. Like we know this content’s gotta go out, we don’t need to all know that the client is having a crisis over this launch, or we all need to know that the client wants to add another social post. Like I can assign that out or, an assistant can assign that out.
But it’s just getting super clear on what I really wanted to be involved in. And it turned out that I didn’t wanna be involved in all the writing, which as the writer is weird, but I did want to be involved with my clients. And as an introvert, that was very weird.
So it was just being super honest with what I wanted and what I was seeing and what I really felt like I was the best at, and building a business that supported everything else from there. I think that the way that I built my agency is maybe a little bit different from how most people think of an agency because I’m still very involved and all of those things.
But I think that the principles are the same. Getting clear on what you want your role to look.
Yeah, and what you want to offer your clients because the fact that your clients had the ability to reach out if they are questioning a launch or wanting to add something in and want to talk to somebody to get some, it’s really consulting and advising and then you can share with the team.
And right now that’s you and it might always be you and I just think about other businesses where maybe the agency owner doesn’t want to be involved, but if that is still important to them that they can build that into their process. They can have a team member that does that. I think sometimes we think about creating scalable offers or streamlined delivery means removing a bunch of stuff from it, and that’s not necessarily what it is. It’s figuring out what actually needs to be here to deliver the result that we’re promising in the way that we want to deliver. And sometimes the result is creating a compassionate environment for clients to feel comfortable reaching out. Right. And it’s different for every agency, every owner. So really getting clear on what that is and then figuring out, okay, how do we make this work with having a team and evaluating for yourself: where do I wanna be involved in this? And then what does that mean?
So I know that was something that was so important to you, and I like that you haven’t lost that element. You’re still involved, but you’ve been able to delegate a lot of the other things that you’re just not interested in.
Yeah. I will say that it felt scary and still feels kind of scary, especially if mistakes are made by the team and I’m like, “Oh no, all the principles that I set for this business are falling apart.” But, I think that it’s just being honest with nobody expects you to be perfect.
And I’ve been very transparent with all of our clients as we’ve made the shift. So if you’re a business that’s growing into an agency and you’re kind of like, “Do I tell my clients that I’m gonna have a team now. Like, how does this all work?” This is a big thing for agencies, just being honest. Just telling them, “Hey, this is what’s happening.” And even for me, I got on stories today and I was like, “Hey, I have to let my first employee ever go today, and that sucks.” But now my clients all know. There’s internal shifts, you can probably expect to see a couple of things, and we’ve communicated that privately with people who would be directly impacted.
But , I think it’s just that like we’re all human and especially in online business, I think that more than ever, we’re just craving that. We just wanna get this stuff done well, we’re not accepting anybody being perfect or but those are all like things that I think that we tell ourselves when we build an agency that like, well this has to be smooth and it has to be perfect.
And obviously you don’t wanna like totally botch it, but yeah, there’s a way to do it and make it human as well.
I think the communication is the most important aspect in many ways. And I was just having this conversation with my husband. We’re doing some renovation work and I don’t know if you have ever dealt with contractors or if anyone listening has, but, I was warned, and there’s been some things that have gone well. There’s been some things that have not gone well and there’s been some things where, we are renovating a kitchen and so it was the manufacturer issue of the cabinets and then there’s some installation issues and I was like, I really wish the contractor, he had team issues. And I was like, I really wish this contractor would have just said, “Hey, this is where we are right now. This is what we’re doing. This is the reality. This is what the plan is.” And I would’ve been like, “Great! Yeah, sounds good.”
And some people might have had a huge problem with that, and maybe they’re not his ideal clients. But it’s like, yeah, I get it. I am running a business too. And, and even if I wasn’t, I get that there’s issues and supply chain issues right now and all of these things. But things totally pop up. I make mistakes. Other people make mistakes and it’s when people can be proactive about it or address it. And even knowing that you’re letting someone go on your team as a client, it’s like, oh, this is being handled. Isn’t that part of the reason why we hire an agency anyway? So that I don’t have to do this? So I think that transparency is just really important.
Yeah, it is. I agree.
Is there anything else when it comes to, if somebody’s out there and they’re realizing that they need to change their delivery, which probably also means that they need to change up their packages a little bit and just find different ways to streamline.
And it may mean having communication with clients or having conversations that might feel a little bit difficult. Is there any final advice that you would give around that just having gone through building an agency yourself?
Yeah, I will say that we’ve had to have some hard conversations with people who didn’t fit our model moving forward. And they weren’t necessarily ideal clients to begin with, but as we changed and really honed in on we only offer the service and this is what that looks like. There were a couple of people, a couple of brands who just didn’t fit into that. So it was gently letting them know that like, “Hey, we’re making internal shifts. We know we’re not the best solution for you. Here are a couple of other ideas that we have for you.” So we give them a couple of other solutions, and if we had people to refer them to, we did so. But I think the biggest thing is that as an agency, you’re going to probably have to increase your rates and you’re gonna have to change your deliverables or your contact communication process.
I always start, and this is the same with content and copy, I always start with the value to them first and just say like, “Hey, I have awesome news for you. We’re gonna be adding in an account specialist who’s gonna be the one who’s communicating with you moving forward. Or, ” hey, actually we just added a new reporting process so now every month you’re gonna be getting xyz. But what that means from you is that we’re gonna need access to your Google Analytics or whatever. But that’s an additional benefit to them. And then followed up with, we need access to this, or your contact is changing or this will increase your rate.
But I’ve found that just being excited about the changes we’re making, rather than white knuckling it and hoping that nobody lets you go. Which I’ve also done, that’s turned out okay. But I find that the more excited I can be about the changes I’m making, the more excited my clients are. And they’re excited for you.
Like your clients or your ideal audience, or your people, they want you to succeed too. So all you have to do is be like, I’m super excited to share this. Here’s what this means for you. Obviously if there’s things that they need to approve or give you, then you know, please let me know how you feel about this.
We can talk about it if you need to communicate more or whatever, but just leave with that excitement. And I think that counts for content and copy too. The more you like what you’re saying, the more people like to hear it.
For people who want to consume your incredible content that your agency puts out, where can they find you?
Our funniest stuff is on Instagram @uncannycontent, and then you can also find us at the website: uncannycontent.co. And we have a blog there and everything too.
And I will say, like I said before, I think already that your content is just incredible. And I think it’s great because you’re a you’re a content agency and you also produce great content for your agency.
And I know it’s, it can be really challenging for agency owners to do for themselves what they do for other people. Actually, if you wouldn’t mind quickly sharing, if you have any advice around this. Were you always putting out content? Was that always very easy for you? Even when you were doing it yourself?
Yeah, I was always putting out content.
It was not easy. Got it. And I also rebranded in 2019, so it was my name versus the brand name. And so when I rebranded it was like, okay, so this is where we changed into like re-language and ours and whatever. But that’s also when I kind of like up the anty because we had this new brand and it was like clearly we’re not just you’re average Upwork freelancer, this is an agency. But I also realized very early on that I am more of a fly by the seat of my pants poster, and that’s not a good content strategy for anybody. So I knew that I needed to have a regular content plan. So that was basically like I am going to write one caption for every week. And then I can post whenever the hell I want to on reels or feed or whatever. So all the reels that you see, I record them the day I do them. It takes me four minutes and I’m just like, this is in my brain and I gotta get it outta here. But I wrote one to two captions outside of that, this is before reals were a thing, and now my team helps me generate reel ideas or I come up with reel ideas and keep them in a bank. And I write the captions. We have the blog for, I think November started already.
I work really well if I work ahead. You have those pockets of time where it’s like, I don’t really wanna do that thing right now. I’m gonna procrastinate with something else. So I’ve kind of found ways, and to be quite honest, I’ve outsourced to my team because, I hate thinking about what I do.
Yes. That’s so funny. I had a conversation with someone who’s in PR and she said, I’m going to become a client of my business and have a team member handle.
That’s exactly what we’ve done now. So, I do the reels and fly by the seat of the pants posting, but then we have, two or three people that help write captions. They take turns and we have somebody creating graphics and somebody scheduling.
It’s the same process that we use for our clients. I just, I come in and review stuff and make sure that it’s all up to par. And then it gets posted. And it’s like, “Cool, I don’t have to do that.” It did start by creating that framework to make sure that I actually was being consistent.
Yeah. And so if you’re listening and you want tips on writing and writing great copy your email new, is it your email newsletter that goes to your blog? Okay. I know I read it.
Yeah. We have a newsletter.
Really great information. I think that there, there was one on cutting out fluff in your writing. That was really helpful. I’m sure there’s probably called something way better than what I just said. But yeah, definitely check that out.
Latasha, thank you so much for being here.
Thanks for having me.