INFUSE JOY: A Podcast with Sarajane Case

Episode Twenty Four: On Content Creation

In today’s episode we are discussing the art of content creation, how to start and tips for making it work! — 

I get messages regularly from people wanting to begin a blog, a podcast, an Instagram account as a form of creative exploration or for a new business. I often get asked the same questions, where do I start? How often should I post? How do you decide what to write about? In general, where do you even begin? So, here are the top tips that I give people when they are just starting out in their content creation journey. This by no means covers it all, but, hopefully, this gives you a good place to start! 

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1. Combine your blog/podcast with your website. 

If you're blogging for business, keep your website and your blog together. You want people to get from your blog to what you offer easily and without frustration. This is why my top platform recommendations are Squarespace & Wordpress. If you aren't concerned with design flexibility you can go with wordpress.com or squarespace which are a bit easier to get started with. wordpress.org offers more control, room for growth and can eventually be less expensive. If you want to get started soon, squarespace would be a great place to start. 

2. Simplify your message. 

If you haven’t noticed, this is what I struggle with the most. I want to discuss everything forever. But, if you want to grow your audience swiftly it’s a huge asset to know what you want to talk about and keep it simple. It's a lot easier to gain followers if your message is clear. In particular, when you are starting something new, the clearer it is what you are talking about the better. You can always add on from there once your following is established and you think there's room to expand. We all have varied interests. It can feel like we need our content to encompass all of us. However, neglecting to tell people that you love knitting when you have a food blog does not mean you are being inauthentic or not being fully represented, it just means that you have a clear and concise message. Confused viewers don't stick around. If you have a large number of potential topics and are struggling to narrow them down, I suggest talking it out with someone and potentially putting a feeling out to your facebook community to see which topic is best responded to. Even better, ask yourself which one would be the most fun and just do that! 

3. Be consistent. 

I don't care how often you post on your blog or podcast as long as it's consistent. If you only have time to post once a month, that's totally fine, be honest with your audience about that and do your best to maintain that momentum. There's nothing more likely to lose your audience than going silent for a period of time without an explanation. They will eventually get exhausted at checking your page and seeing nothing new.  Let me be clear, I'm not telling you how often to post, that's up to you, just be consistent. I've had seasons where I blogged 5 days a week. It was awesome for me and my traffic was extremely consistent and growing. I'm in a season now where I can only post on this blog every Friday, my creative blog on Mondays and I send out a newsletter every Wednesday. That's enough content creation for me right now. Both blogs are actively growing still and my creative blog has seen posts receiving over 20,000 unique views even though I'm only posting 1 time per week. Consistency is much more important than frequency.

Now, I’m not telling you that you can NEVER take a break and this is wildly different based on your platform of choice. ( youtube and instagram are more forgiving than a podcast or blog where you are easily forgotten )  But, in general try to set a par that feels easily doable for yourself and only up that par when you know you can consistently show up. This also helps you to not get overwhelmed and stop creating all together. Seasons of our life change and what we can produce changes, just keep showing up. 

4. Buy your domain name.

It's simple. Your domain name costs around $10 most of the time and the credibility that it provides for you is priceless. Just do it. Both Wordpress and Squarespace even offer the option to buy your domain through them so it's incredibly easy. 

 

5. Determine themes and series.

One of the questions I get most often is 'what should I post?' When I was blogging 5 times per week it was incredibly helpful for me to have internal themes. I say internal because I didn't always tell people what they were, but, they served as a way for me to know what I would talk about which days. So, maybe that looked like: Motivational Monday, Tip Tuesday, Wellness Wednesday, Thoughtful Thursday, and Freestyle Friday. (alliteration is not a requirement) 

Currently, I do this with Instagram stories because it gives people something to look forward to and frees my mind up from having to figure out what to do everyday. I do mindset monday, wednesday round-up, Ask SJ & Day in the life’s. That’s 4 days of content covered every week!  Plus, it’s fun! 

6. Keep a note.

My other big tip for sitting down and not knowing what to write is that I keep a note in my phone filled with ideas for blog topics, newsletter topics, podcast topics and more. When I hear something or see something that inspires me to write a post, I add it to my list. That way when I sit down at my blank computer screen I can pull up the list and pick one that I feel resonates with me at that moment. 

7. Platform swap.

I love platform swapping for several reasons. 1. Because I love introducing you all to new voices and ideas. 2. Because I love an excuse to write. 3. Because, it gets your name out in front of a new audience and is one of the key ways to grow your following. Make sure that you are swapping with people that have a similar amount of followers as you if you can. That way you are truly helping each other out. Often, I find great joy in bringing people onto my platforms who are still building their audience - because I think their voices are valuable and I want them to be heard. But, for marketing purposes, I would stick to swapping with people that align in audience type and follower numbers. 

8. Create a calendar. 

I know how hard it is to create content consistently. One of my favorite ways to not neglect my platform is to create a calendar. Plan your content out a month in advance. That way you know what you're going to post before you even sit down at your computer. You can spend the week or days before sitting down to write the post opening yourself up to information and new ideas on that topic as well. It's also great for those of you who need specific photos to go with your posts. This gives you time to prepare. If you are someone who likes to follow your ‘flow’ of creative energy when writing or creating - I just suggest getting ahead of your creation which brings me to point 9. 

9. Write your content  ahead of time. 

One of my favorite secrets to not hating my life is to not procrastinate. This takes me out of high-stress emergency mode and puts me into steady steps forward mode. I really like steady steps forward mode. How do I recommend doing this with your platforms? Write your content a week or more before you post it. That way you have time to write, time to edit and then you can post. This also means that if you find yourself behind on your post you aren't without content. Also, fun fact, both Squarespace and Wordpress allow you to schedule posts out in advance. So, if you're the kind of person who gets bursts of inspiration one day and doesn't want to work for the next three days you can bust a bunch of content out at once and schedule it to post over several weeks. It's way better to wait an extra week to post than to post a bunch of content at once and run out of things to share before you're ready to create more content. 

10. Know why you're posting. 

Every blog should have an objective. It doesn't have to be to sell something. But, you need to know why you're doing it in the first place. Is it because you want a creative outlet? Is it to give people helpful recipes? Is it because you have information you want to share? Do you want to sell a product or service? Knowing why you are posting in the first place can serve as a great filter when it comes to what kind of content you want to put out. If you are using your blog as a creative outlet and you start working on a piece that doesn't inspire you, you get to stop doing that! If you are hoping to sell a product or a service that is unrelated to food but, you start posting recipes on a regular basis, that may not be the best way to go. Know your why. 

 

Remember in everything that you do, know that you are doing it by choice, let it be fun, let it serve the role that it is meant to serve in your life - no more and no less. You are in charge of the decision you’re making to create - you get to be in charge of how it impacts your life as well! Set yourself up in a way that feels good to you. Choose a topic you love, a frequency that feels fulfilling and a schedule that suits your needs! Happy creating! 

 

 

I so enjoyed talking about content creation with you today. Thanks for joining me for todays episode. As a reminder, leaving a rating and review in iTunes will help this podcast to reach more amazing listeners just like you and if you have a friend who you think could benefit from this episode, send it their way! In the mean time, I will see you next week! 

Episode Twenty Three: Persistence with Latoya Dixon Smith

Today’s episode is a tad different. We are entering into the fourth episode of the women of color series. With our current political climate I believe it is more important than ever that the voices of people of color are being heard. We will discuss all of the goal-chasing topics that you’re used to and then we will dive into a bit more specifically regarding racial justice. I am beyond humbled by these incredible women who have agreed to go on this journey with me. They are women that I already admired and now, I am even more in awe of them. Today I am talking with Latoya Dixon Smith

I met Latoya when she brought the Queen Photographers Conference to Asheville, I was honored to be able to lead a workflow workshop for an incredible group that showed up for that. Throughout that process and after I have been continually impressed with the intention and grace in which Latoya operates through the world. She is truly an example of professionalism and persistence! 

Latoya Dixon Smith is a wedding and lifestyle commercial photographer based in Greenville, SC. She has been widely featured in publications including The Huffington Post, Black Southern Belle, and Borrowed & Blue.  Along with photographing crazy-in-love couples who are mindful in their journeys together, Latoya finds her passion in educating and leading The Queen Photographers --a national community of black women photographers aiming to equip each other in business and foster a supportive Sisterhood. Outside of the photography world, she enjoys road trips with her husband Lee and their son, Kent. 

 In today’s episode we discuss how to be a true white allie, not just someone who means well without making a difference, we discuss how to handle creating more diversity in your promo materials and challenging others to have a more diverse line up. We also discuss gratitude and loving yourself well! 

Latoya is poised, heartfelt and honest and has been an example for me of how to operate in the creative community as someone seeking more diversity. I am so excited to introduce you to her today, so let’s dive in! 

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Episode Twenty Two: 17 of my Greatest Life Lessons!

In this episode I share the top 17 things I've learned over the course of my life! 

For those looking for Journey Books, you can check them out here! 

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17 life lessons! 

1. Wake up early and how I do that! 

2. Break down large goals or tasks into bite size pieces. 

3. You can change your story. 

4. Less is more! In friendships and business and in your home. 

5. The enneagram. 

6. The more honest you are the less you fear being found out. 

7. Learn and keep learning and keep learning. 

8. When something new comes in something old has to go to make room for that thing. 

9. Giving back is an important piece to living a fulfilled life. Until you do you will feel like something is missing. 

10. Everyone doesn’t have to agree with you and changing minds is done easier through believing that they mean well. 

11. Seek understanding not to win.

12. Quality over quantity

13. Savings accounts are the shit

14. Anyone’s problem with you is their own and vice versa. 

15. Don’t do minimum wage tasks - know your hourly rate. 

16. Everything in life is a choice. 

17. Write everyday. Not a ton but, just enough to be in tune with yourself on a regular basis. 

Episode Twenty One: Follow Through

In today’s episode we are discussing how to support yourself in the act of following through with your goals! What needs to be in place to aid you in the path to success! 

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  1. choice! You have to own that everything you’re doing is a choice. 
  2. most goals aren’t met because of habits that are preventing us from getting where we want to go.
  3. show up for yourself consistently ( personal check-ins & daily routines )
  4. sometimes you aren’t going to meet them… or not in the way you planned
  5. break them down into tiny digestible pieces. 
  6. dealing with fear
  7. create a path of least resistance
  8. finally, change your story! Stop calling yourself a quitter. 

Thank you all so much for being here! If you enjoyed today’s episode please take a few moments to leave a review in iTunes. That is the number way to get this to more amazing listeners just like you. Happy goal-setting and I will see you next week! 

 

Episode Twenty: The Value of Vision.

Welcome to episode 20 of the infuse joy podcast. I am your host, Sarajane Case writer, coach, speaker and brand new podcaster. In today’s episode I am sharing with you the value of vision! As I’ve been creating and promoting January’s Journey Book, it’s been really obvious to me that I need to be talking more and more about vision and goal-setting and how do it in ways that serve you. 

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When I say vision I’m talking about knowing where you want to go so that you can more easily create a path to getting there. So often we set goals without checking in and creating a thorough vision. 

The danger in this is that we have so much noise in the world. So many voices telling us who we should be, where we should go next and what they think is right for us. It can be so easy to go years without truly knowing why you made the choices that you’ve made. Without having a clear filter for what to say ‘no’ to and simply taking every opportunity that comes your way simply because you were presented with it. 

In work that looks like 10 years in a career that sucks the life out of you. 

In love that looks like being 3 years into marriage before you wake up and realize you didn’t even mean to do that. That you’re actually with someone who is not compatible with you at all. 

In finances that looks like having 20k in savings but, never leaving the country OR having a bunch of stamps in your passport without any security. 

Set your vision and allow that to guide your decisions. That way when a job opportunity comes your way - you know what you want and what you don’t want. Know what you’re looking for in a partner so you can more easily recognize those characteristics in a potential mate. Allow yourself to get clear on what you value so that you can prioritize your finances to support that. 

It’s so easy to create a life by accident. To wake up 5 - 10 -20 years down the road and realize that you’re living someone else’s dream. A kind of patchwork mash-up of everyone else’s hopes for who you’d be. 

I want to encourage you to embrace choice. Know that you have the right to choose, that you can create a life by your own design and it all starts with allowing yourself to get clear on what that even looks like. 

The next thing I want to express about vision is that I don’t want you writing one for 10 years from now. 

I want to push you to write your vision for 6-months from right now. 

I know that sounds crazy and like I’m not telling you to dream big enough. But, the reason I teach 6-months is simple. That’s what you have a direct effect on right now. That’s what you can realistically prepare for. 

You can daydream about 10 years down the road, but, what I find that does is it serves as a really great procrastination tool. It allows you to not work on your dreams and hope that they will one day come true by some kind of osmosis. 

The hard truth is that dreams don’t drop out of the sky and land in your lap. You’re not going to be walking in the grocery store one day and have someone walk up to you and say, “You! You should publish a book!” 

Dreams are built by small  - incremental steps built toward the larger dream. And you really should start now. 

Beyond that - you aren’t going to be the same person in 10 years that you are today. Think about who you were 10 years ago. What did you dream of? What was your ideal life? 

I can tell you that I was planning to be a world famous wedding photographer 10 years ago. Now, the thought of shooting one more wedding makes me want to pluck my eyes out. Not because I didnt love it then, but, because I wouldn’t love it now. I have changed. I can say that in 10 years I want to publish a book, but, the truth is that that’s what me now wants, so why not let my current self work toward that instead of ignoring her and hoping that future me will get it together. When future me may have an entirely different dream. 

So, who do you want to be in 6-months? What do you want your life to look like? How do you want to feel? Get clear on it so that you can really begin making moves in the right direction. 

For those of you who want a little more support in this process, I’ve created a completely free guided visualization meditation. It’s 10 minutes and will take you through the practice of eliminating expectation and allowing yourself to be get clear on what your really want. You can download that at sarajanecase.com/meditation

If you’re listening to this in real time, this is your gentle nudge that if you’re looking for a day planner for 2018 and want to dive deeper into vision and goal-setting in January, you can subscribe to journey books at journey-books.com The January book is dedicated to this topic and is supported with video trainings on all things vision and goal-setting. Sign-up by the 8th of december to receive a january book. 

If you are listening to this after the air date and want to subscribe to journey books. subscriptions never close and you will have access to all of January’s video trainings on visioning and goal-setting throughout the rest of the year! 

Thank you all so much for being here and I will see you next week! 

 

 

Episode Nineteen: Habits I Changed as my Business Grew

In today’s episode I am sharing with you the top habits that changed for me and my business as my business has grown! 

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Habits I changed as my business grew: 

- didn’t take all coffee dates 

  • i used to fill my time with dates with people that were lovely, but, weren’t contributing to my business or paying me in any way. I’ve had to get cut throat on what I say ‘yes’ to. 
  • Now, I have ‘buy me coffee’ as one of the offerings in my online shop. 

- designated meeting times

  • when I first started coaching - for the marketing business i had with a friend.It became vibrantly obvious that there needed to be boundaries around when I took meetings. I was finding myself scrambling to get work done in the 15 minutes between meetings and then I’d totally forget to calculate travel time leaving me in a near panic to get from one meeting to another. We’d also find ourselves meeting with people until 9pm only to wake up and meet again first thing in the morning. There has to be some time to run your business. 
  • Now I take meetings on tues,wed,and thurs afternoons. I always have mondays free to work, mornings free to create and fridays free to use as my flex day.  

- email hours

  • having designated times to check in with your email solves all of the email problems.  

- no emails first thing

  • this is a relatively new development. But, our creative energy thrives first thing in the morning. I’ve been using that up on emails and then draining myself.  

- quarterly evaluations

  • ya got to check in with your business, make a plan and know where you’re going so that you can keep this truck moving forward!  

- saving money and paying myself a salary

  • this is just practical. Creating space between getting paid and paying your bills is a giant stress relief and helps you to invest back into your business. 

- turned people down who wanted to hire me. 

  • yep! Not everyone is a good fit and this only creates frustration. 

- prioritized giving value 

  • contribute to your mother fucking audience.

- shorter to-do lists

  • running to-do lists are shame machines.

- don’t take advice from people whose results you don’t want. 

  • finally, when people begin selling things to you or giving you advice you want to make sure you want their outcome. Don’t take medical advice from someone is always sick. Don’t take productivity and systems advice from someone who isn’t producing a ton of stuff. Don’t take business advice from someone whose lifestyle doesn’t appeal to you. etc. Don’t let someone build your website if you hate their website. 

Episode Eighteen: Your goals - Your Timing with Nesiya Fann

Welcome to episode 18 of the infuse joy podcast, I’m your host, Sarajane Case. Writer, speaker, coach and brand new podcaster. Today’s episode is a tad different. We are entering into the third episode of the women of color series. With our current political climate I believe it is more important than ever that the voices of people of color are being heard. We will discuss all of the goal-chasing topics that you’re used to and then we will dive into a bit more specifically regarding racial justice. I am beyond humbled by these incredible women who have agreed to go on this journey with me. They are women that I already admired and now, I am even more in awe of them. Today I am talking with Nesiya Fann. 

I actually photographed Nesiya’s wedding way back in the early stages of my business and we’ve kept in touch ever since. 

Nesiya Fann is a Woman with passion to make all of her dreams come true, a wife , a Mother, someone who loves to explore life and take others on the journey with her. Under her alias ‘Bianca Fly” Nesiya hosts Beautiful Butterfly Radio Show. A podcast dedicated to the idea that we are all always blooming.  Through the show Nesiya has interviewed amazing People all over the world and doesn’t shy away from  topics that most stray away from such as divorce, domestic violence, racism , sexual orientation and more! 

 Nesiya lives by the belief that Life can be Amazing we just have to take the time to Explore it Fully!

 In today’s episode we discuss the importance of staying educated, conquering the fear of child birth and truly enjoying where you are. 

I find Nesiya to  be so kind and present and absolutely vibrant! I have loved knowing her for all of these years and couldn’t be happier to introduce you to her here. Let’s dive in! 

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Episode Sixteen: Chasing your dreams at any stage of life with Alrinthea Carter.

Welcome to episode 16 of the Infuse Joy Podcast, I’m your host, Sarajane Case. Writer, speaker, coach and brand new podcaster. Today’s episode is a tad different. We are entering into the first episode 2 of the women of color series. With our current political climate and the events in Charlottesville I believe it more important than ever that the voices of people of color are being heard. We will discuss all of the goal-chasing topics that you’re used to and then we will dive into a bit more specifically regarding racial justice. I am beyond humbled by these incredible women who have agreed to go on this journey with me. They are women that I already admired and now, I am even more in awe of them. 

Today I am talking with Alrinthea Carter. I met Alrinthea at the Queen Photographers Conference. I was there speaking about workflows and Alrinthea was attending and just blew me away with her bright shining personality. 

Alrinthea is a rural photographer based in Greenville, SC. Her artistic focus is on the abandoned buildings of the southeastern United States. Her work aims to tell the stories of the souths factories and homes left behind. Silently consumed and reclaimed by the elements to brush aside the kudzu curtain to reveal the treasure troves of machinery, classic architecture and gorgeous color. Her work has been published in the south carolina review, emory's journal, pembroke magazine, and select galleries. When not shooting old buildings she is co-executive producer and founding member of alchemy comedy theater in Greenville, SC. 

In today's episode we discuss navigating depression, living the life of your dreams regardless of what stage of life you are in and whether or not it's ok to say you have a black card. 

I find Alrinthea to be so easy talk to, down to earth and absolutely vibrant and I'm sure you will too!

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