Episode Thirty Seven Features Annie Schiffmann of Downstage Media Talking About Digital Marketing.
My Key Takeaways:
Annie was a blast to talk to and I really learned a lot from her. She also was very candid in that she revealed some of the struggles th...
Episode Thirty Seven Features Annie Schiffmann of Downstage Media Talking About Digital Marketing. My Key Takeaways:
Annie was a blast to talk to and I really learned a lot from her. She also was very candid in that she revealed some of the struggles that she has had as both a Mom and a business owner.
In this episode Annie shares:
To learn more about Annie, her website is Downstage Media. She can be found on LinkedIn, FaceBook, and most Social Media as well.
Be sure to hit Subscribe in your podcast app so that you don't miss it or any other episodes.
[00:00:00] Greg Mills: Our guest today was backstage in 2010 at a big tech event that she was performing at when she heard the digital marketing expert, Chris Brogan share how companies were using this new thing called Twitter to increase sales right away. She knew that it'd be helpful for the off Broadway shows. She was in, that was struggling with ticket sales.
[00:00:20] She's the founder and CEO of downstage media. Since 2017, they've helped theater organizations have as much of an impact online as they have on stage. She's married to actor and musician, Rob Schiffman, and has two children with Beatles theme names that she's brainwashed to like musical theater without further ado.
[00:00:43] Annie Schiffman,
[00:00:45] Anie Schiffmann: Hey there. I'm so glad to be talking to you today.
[00:00:48] Greg Mills: I'm glad to have you here as well. We'll touch more on this brainwashing topic a little further on,
[00:00:53] Anie Schiffmann: kids are so easy to brainwash. It's amazing.
[00:00:58] Greg Mills: Now, Andy, can you take a few moments and fill in the gaps from that intro and bring us up to speed with what's going on in your world today.
[00:01:05] Anie Schiffmann: Yeah, well, really what I'm doing so much in the world is working with arts organizations about how to market their work better. So that way people will show up whether they're doing in-person events or whether they are live streaming events. And then also what I do is for the brands that are not in the arts space and specifically the performing arts space, then I will work with them to kind of add some theatricality and some excitement with that same kind of feeling that you have before an opening night into the marketing that they're doing for their companies.
[00:01:46] So I do that with my company, downstage media, and we have. Options where we can do the work for you. We do the work with you, or we show you how to do it yourself. So I don't know why I'm using the Royal we right now, it's just me. I it's a one woman show. It's a solo preneur operation, downstage media. So I don't know why I was using the Royal we right there.
[00:02:11] Greg Mills: Oh, I ain't going to call you out on it, so,
[00:02:14] Anie Schiffmann: It's okay. I just, you know, just for your fact checkers,
[00:02:17] Greg Mills: We hear it entrepreneurs over 40, you know, the role we as well. I probably should not invade your children's privacy, but I so badly want to ask how our little Helter Skelter doing.
[00:02:29] Anie Schiffmann: so Helter Skelter, they're doing great. You know, that's really their nicknames. Their actual names are, the white album disc one and disc two. actually, so that can be, that's a question I like to ask people is what names do you think my two children have? So you can have your listeners feel free to reply back, Greg, how do people usually get in touch with you from through social or through?
[00:02:58] Greg Mills: Mainly social on LinkedIn,
[00:02:59] Anie Schiffmann: okay.
[00:03:00] so there you go on LinkedIn. If you're watching this comment with what names you think my kids have, I have two girls. That's a hint and they both have beetles themed names and their names are not surprising names. I've wait, we didn't name like a daughter Jude or something like that.
[00:03:19] Greg Mills: So no egg man at a walrus.
[00:03:22] Anie Schiffmann: No egg men. And while we thought, if we had a third, that was the plan. But, um, you know, just none of that, none of that
[00:03:29] Greg Mills: Let's talk about your background before becoming a marketing guru. Extraordinary. How did you transition into it?
[00:03:37] Anie Schiffmann: So I was performing in a show off Broadway. That was an improv show. So everything was made up on the spot and we would oftentimes get hired to perform or to lead workshops for company. And, you know, a lot of times, especially using improvisation and the rules of improvisation to help sales teams get off their sales scripts or things like that.
[00:04:02] So we weren't performing at this big time meeting. And that's when I had heard Chris Brogan speak about this, you know, this thing called Twitter. And I remember being backstage and writing on my notes from that gig. Like I think that we can use this. I think that there's a way that we can use it because at the time the show that I was in would cancel the policy was we would cancel if there were more people on stage than in the audience, there were five people who would be on stage. You would be shocked at the amount of times that the show came. it?
[00:04:44] was awful. You get so excited to do a show, you're ready to do a show and then people just don't show up. And, you know, unfortunately the producers of that show just weren't ready to accept some of the changes that were happening in marketing that were basically free, right?
[00:05:07] Twitter was new. Facebook was new. These were ways that you can get in touch with your audience. And they felt like the only way that you could do so at the time was running ads in the radio and running ads and newspapers and all that like old school way of marketing. So around that time, social media was just dark and starting.
[00:05:30] And my husband and I were just starting our family and he was, he started then performing, In a show that would take him on the road a considerable amount of time. So I knew that having a couple of kids at home, just the whole process was going to be really difficult with the two parent lifestyle, you know, trying to get out on the road and do auditions.
[00:05:54] And I was really looking for more control over my life and the actor's lifestyle could give you. So I started at nap time and nighttime taking online classes, learning all about marketing, learning, all about digital marketing, learning all about social media marketing. And I learned everything that I could.
[00:06:17] And during that time, people started to say, Hey, you know about this stuff, I've got a new book that I just wrote, or I've got a show that I just launched . I want to learn how to use the social media stuff better.
[00:06:29] So I started downstage media in 2017 when my youngest daughter was going to school full time, like five days a week, all day long. Right. Because then I actually had the childcare that I wasn't able to have before. So that's when I launched the company and I made it so that way I can do it anywhere I can do it anytime.
[00:06:57] So since then I've become certified in MailChimp and I've become a StoryBrand certified guide. So I've just constantly been upping my skills more and more as I work in all different areas. Most of my clients are in the performing arts, but not all of them. I have definitely had clients that are doctors and lawyers and editor and chiefs of magazines.
[00:07:21] Things like that. And so that's how I've gotten to that point. Now, especially with the pandemic where people's budgets are wildly different, that I've offered a couple of different price points and services, depending on where those different companies are and based on what their needs and their skill levels are.
[00:07:40] So that's how I've gotten to where I am now. It came from the heartbreak of audiences not showing up
[00:07:48] Greg Mills: Okay. Yeah, I can imagine that would be devastating as an actor to look out and, oh, there's more of us than them.
[00:07:57] Anie Schiffmann: yeah, awful. And it was an improv show. So we would be asking the audience for suggestions. And so you'd be like you again, tell us something. Right. And you could see that there was this fatigue with the audience. , it's hard to know. What's worse when you have so few people in the audience or when the show gets canceled, it really hurts when your audience doesn't show up, you feel like you are working so hard, you're prepared and then, and nobody's there and you think what is it, what am I doing wrong?
[00:08:34] And a lot of times it's that you just need better marketing what your product is. Good. You just need to get better skills in place to get people to show up.
[00:08:44] Greg Mills: Okay. So what are two, two to three tips about marketing that most people find surprising that you share with them?
[00:08:52] Anie Schiffmann: okay. So I do mostly digital marketing, right? I think that one of the biggest myths that I like to dispel is that so often companies will come to me and I work with mostly small companies, right.
[00:09:07] Small businesses, and they'll come to me and they'll be like, oh, I know I need to be on Twitter. And I know I need to be on Instagram. And then now I've got to do reels and do I have to tick talk and Facebook and blah, blah, blah, blah. And I'm burnt out and I don't have the time. And I tell people, you only need to be on two.
[00:09:27] You only need to build your audience on two social media platforms and build your audience via email. You just need those three channels. And I also say, You should not build your audience on channels that are owned by the same company. So right now, Metta owns Facebook and Instagram. So don't make those, your two social media channels instead, choose two others, or choose one of them and then choose another one because you don't want to diversify.
[00:10:05] Right? So you don't want to put all your eggs in one basket.
[00:10:08] So that's one thing. Another thing is that email subscribers are more important than followers. So a lot of people think, oh, I don't need to build up my email list because that's so 2005, I'm just building my Tik TOK following because I want to monetize that.
[00:10:31] And I will say build your email list because at any time. I mean, I've been doing this a while now. Right? So when you read my intro, Greg, I was talking about when Twitter was a new thing, right? Twitter has been around for like 11 years now. I have seen a number of social media platforms come and go. Right.
[00:10:55] And you don't want to lose all of those followers also. I mean, I recently got put over the summer, I got put in Twitter jail. So it was for a non-profit that I was launching. We had just gotten all this press and we. Got put in Twitter jail. So basically like if somebody wanted to follow our account, this new account, we only like 50 followers on it.
[00:11:25] They would get a warning. It was like warning. This account may have restricted content or something like that, which it was a nonprofit, we were raising money for active, right? Everything was above board. And I got an email from Twitter a week later. So after all the press had gone out, after all these articles have been written and Twitter was like, we're so sorry for the inconvenience.
[00:11:47] It was an error on our part. Right? So you want to make sure that you are building your audience and you have control over it because at any time you can be put in jail at anytime you can be kicked off these platforms, it happens all the time and it is shocking. So I would say that that's the second one.
[00:12:08] So the first one is, build on two platforms. Plus email email is more important than for. And what a lot of people don't realize is that with the right automations in place, you can save hours and hours of your time. So I'm certified in MailChimp and I'm a big proponent of sending out email campaigns.
[00:12:34] Right? So that if somebody first says that they're interested in hearing more about you, that there is a campaign of emails that comes out, that you wrote once and you set it up. , but there's a number of different automations like that. I also automate my social media content that I put out. And I use a tool called meet Edgar, or I basically just create a whole batch of content and tell me Edgar, when I want it to go out on Twitter when I want it to go out on a I'm most active on Twitter and LinkedIn.
[00:13:13] So when I wanted to go out on LinkedIn and as just say, pick anything from this category and put it up at this specific time in this specific date, but you could take any of those 15 pieces that I've, I've already written. So those kinds of automations save me. And I already said before, I'm a one-woman show, right?
[00:13:33] That saves me hours and hours and hours. And when I share those techniques with my clients, they are shocked by how much time they can get back.
[00:13:44] Greg Mills: Yeah, I can imagine, just posting for entrepreneurs over 40 on LinkedIn. Some of that I can automate some of that. I can't, but yeah, it can get time consuming.
[00:13:56] Anie Schiffmann: it can, and that's one of the reasons why it's so important. I think that you're only on a couple of platforms, right? So, you know, for instance that you're on LinkedIn. And I remember, and I listened to one of your episodes, not too long ago, where he was sharing some of the observations you've made about your LinkedIn account and then some adjustments that you've made because of those observations.
[00:14:18] If you're on four or five different platforms, you can't go into that kind of detail as to what you're doing. You're just spinning your wheels so much, just trying to put stuff out there. But because Greg you've chosen to only go, you're very targeted on where you send out your content.
[00:14:35] You're able to see those patterns, you're able to make those adjustments. You're able to see what happens after you make those adjustments. So I think it's, I think it's a super smart strategy that you have
[00:14:46] Greg Mills: well, thank you. I definitely stumbled into it. So what are some common mistakes that you see people make when they're, when it comes to marketing?
[00:14:59] Anie Schiffmann: well, I think one mistake that people make, and I understand why this is, is that they try to adopt too many trends too quickly and they abandon whatever strategies they came up with. So I'm sure that everyone, so as Greg and I are having this conversation today is January 11th. So I'm sure, you know, 11 days ago, A lot of people, or, you know, in recent weeks, a lot of people have come up with a number of goals and a lot of those goals are going to be abandoned by March or April because something cool and new is going to come up.
[00:15:41] Somebody is going to say to them, Hey, you really got to get on Tik TOK or somebody is going to say, oh, you should try this thing. And those goals that you like, you know, laid out in January or the end of December that were solid goals. Now, all of a sudden have been done away with. And I find that's really problematic.
[00:16:06] That's an issue that a lot of people have. another issue that a lot of people have is they think that they can put up the same content without really understanding. All of the diff like, without an understanding of the nuances of the channels in which they're putting it in, it's sort of that they're going wide instead of going deep.
[00:16:29] And so that's why I, again, I'm a proponent of only doing a couple of channels. So that way you can really learn, oh yeah, this kind of thing just doesn't work here. So I'm not going to do that on here. And you could tell the rookies because they're doing it, but you're not right. So that kind of stuff really becomes a parent.
[00:16:51] When you get to know your audience on that platform, when you actually spend time on that platform.
[00:16:58] Greg Mills: okay. Now, what do you wish you had known about marketing site? 10 years ago?
[00:17:06] Anie Schiffmann: I wish I knew how important email was, um, and email addresses. To building an audience. I wish that I knew that then. Because I feel like when I first started social was so new and it was so exciting that it seemed like I can't remember exactly if it happened around the same time, , I draw the parallel between social media and American idol, a lot that, you know, people talk, we're just talking about like, oh my gosh, you could have these huge things happen on social media.
[00:17:48] It's amazing. And I remember thinking like I'm a trained actor, I'm a trained singer and I know the odd. Of having the kind of American idol success are so that like, it's, it's just, it's so impossible. Right. But meanwhile, people were talking about social media that same way, like, oh, you, you, and then you go viral.
[00:18:15] And then all of a sudden you have sponsors and now you're making a hundred thousand dollars, blah, blah, blah. And, , that certainly happens. And I I'm, I have friends who are there and I am very, very happy for them, but I didn't realize how, it just wasn't as important as email was as building up your website.
[00:18:36] Also, I would say don't abandon your blog because all of that content that you're creating, first of all, a lot of the people that are doing well now started. By being very consistent with their content over and over and over again and showing up maybe less platforms again, but showing up consistently.
[00:19:04] And I spent a lot of time, figuring out this platform, figuring out that platform, figuring out this channel, what's the deal with chatbots. What's the deal with this and learning all of that kind of stuff and abandoning some core parts of my content strategy that would have been really, really helpful.
[00:19:25] I would tell my 10 year old self or not my 10 year old self, but myself 10 years ago. Oh really? It's the same Greg 10 years ago.
[00:19:33] Greg Mills: Yeah, I'm thinking right now. I should've Aidid you.
[00:19:37] Anie Schiffmann: No, I'd say it's going to be my birthday next week. I'll be 44, but, um, I, yeah, but I think 10 years ago I could have said start a blog or start a YouTube channel and don't worry about it being the best. Don't worry about it being perfect. Just consistently show up, just do it over and over. Just consistently show up.
[00:20:01] Greg Mills: Yeah, I'm right down the road from Mr. Beast. I've never met him. And I say right down the road he's a good honor in 20 miles away, I'm sure he's shivering at my mentioning his name, but, going viral, aside from him and maybe a few others.
[00:20:16] How do you even do that as a strategy?
[00:20:21] Anie Schiffmann: Right. You can't, you can't do that as a strategy. I also want to say I have, um, I studied with someone, ,
[00:20:28] her name is Rachel Miller. I'm a big proponent of her work in marketing. And in sort of like just small business marketing, she has, she said that a viral post is one that gets 10 times the usual engagement.
[00:20:45] And so, first of all, I think if you know that, and you know what your usual engagement numbers are like how much people are, you know, how many people you're usually reaching, how many people usually comment or retweet or whatever it is, you know, every platform has its own lingo, but basically if you're getting 10 times what you normally get that counts as a viral.
[00:21:06] So a lot of times people think oh, they need to have millions and millions and millions of users or. And there are certain strategies that you can do where you know, that your content is going to get in front of more people. There are certain ways that you can kind of play that game a little bit, so that way you can get posts.
[00:21:27] So that way you can build that reach and build that engagement. But no, you can't plan for that. It's like, capturing lightning in a bottle.
[00:21:37] So the algorithms are constantly changing. That's why you want to have to, you want to get your audience to the places that you control as soon as possible. So that way you, your, you become algorithm proof.
[00:21:51] Greg Mills: right.
[00:21:52] Anie Schiffmann: So it's not as important. What I liked to do. , I had a client last spring and we were sort of revamping their YouTube channel.
[00:22:01] And I recommend doing this with, if you have a blog, any kind of like long form content, but take a look at your top five or top 10 videos for you, Greg. Like you can take a look at your top 10 podcasts and then see how you can optimize that.
[00:22:18] Can you put links to a lead generator on there? Can you update the post? So today I just posted a blog post. So if you go to downstage.media/blog, the most recent post that I have up there is me just retooling, a post that I have noticed people consistently click on and have for years. So it's a prediction post, right?
[00:22:44] It's marketing trends. Initially I'd written it in 2018, but I just looked up marketing trends. I made my own predictions. I talked about, you know, I oftentimes filter. What I talk about marketing wise through the lens of the performing arts. So I filtered those predictions through the lens of the performing arts and boom.
[00:23:02] We have it for 20, 22. And I know that's going to get a little bit more traction because it's got some juice behind it for whatever that reason was, right. The keywords were in the right place. People found it, it just happened to hit all the right notes that it needed to. And so because of that, then I'm able to use it and sort of redistribute it and make the most out of it.
[00:23:27] And I recommend that people do that with their especially YouTube. It's so easy to go in and change the description and then add in some kind of a lead generator that you have,
[00:23:38] Greg Mills: You may have touched on this, but I'll go ahead and ask what area of Martin. Do you believe is most important for entrepreneurs to master.
[00:23:47] Anie Schiffmann: I think it's really important to understand that your audience is the one that you serve and you should focus on them. And this is funny because that idea comes up in a lot of places where people don't expect. For example, on the about us page of your website, you might think that, um, you know, the about us page should be, we started the company in 1914 and my grandfather started it and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
[00:24:25] And you talk about your whole history and blah, blah, blah, but the fact of the matter is what you're writing should be about. Your audience, it should be about them. So the about us page could say something like, you know, um, at blah blah, blah company, we have been, serving audiences, amazing experimental theater for the past 65 years.
[00:24:52] And all of a sudden, then the audience knows, oh, this is for me. This isn't about them. It's about me because I responded to responded things when it comes to social media, when it comes to content, which is content that is about them and accounts that are up to date. So you want things to be up-to-date and optimized, and you want your stuff to look fresh and to be fresh, and then you want the content to be about them, about your audience.
[00:25:25] So it's really important. People understand that it is about the audience. So I have a Facebook group called the performing arts entrepreneurs. And last week I did a deep dive, like a training for 20 minutes. That's about agregious copywriting errors and how you can fix them. And so this isn't so much of an error, but it's a sensibility where you switch everything from first person to second person.
[00:25:55] So everywhere that you're saying, I, or we instead switch it with you. So instead of saying, I'm going to teach you all about X, Y, and Z. You can say, you will learn all about X, Y, and Z. So then all of a sudden, it's not about me teaching you this it's about you learning this. And so then the focus becomes on the audience, not on.
[00:26:25] You know, the brand, that's delivering that information and, and that is a shift that's really hard for people to make. But once you know that your audience revolves around like that your content revolves around your audience, that's when things start to click.
[00:26:41] Greg Mills: Okay. I know that when you were giving the example, I was trying to mentally rearrange it. Cause I can understand the task versus benefit, you know, no one wants to have another task thrown onto them or whatnot, I was having a hard time until you said that about you will learn well.
[00:27:02] Oh, okay. There we go.
[00:27:05] Anie Schiffmann: right.
[00:27:05] Greg Mills: Now, jumping around just a little bit? Is that, an example of Donald Miller's storyboard
[00:27:11] Anie Schiffmann: Yeah, I'm a StoryBrand certified guide.
[00:27:13] Greg Mills: story brand,
[00:27:14] Anie Schiffmann: Yeah. So Donald Miller wrote the book, building a StoryBrand, which I listened to the audio book a few years back and I loved it because that whole idea of using narrative structure made so much sense to me from a life onstage, from understanding how narrative structure works on stage.
[00:27:33] So then I knew I can easily share this kind of a thing of your yes, your audience is the hero of the story and you are the guide you are guiding them through, or I like to save, cause I, I like to use theater analogy is you're ushering them through all of the next steps. So the, so explaining how narrative structure.
[00:27:59] Can be used in marketing to people who are dealing with narrative structure every day in the art that they create was just a happy marriage as far as like a meeting of the minds. And yes. So that's where a lot of those ideas clicked for me in how you, you know, I already knew a lot of the tactics, right?
[00:28:23] I already knew how you execute something on Instagram, how you can create content for YouTube, how you can make, you know, do a Facebook live. I knew all those tactics, but then to have that overall ethos made so much sense. And especially to the people that I work with all the time, and then it's gotten really exciting when I'm working with people who aren't in the arts, who just get it because we all watch movies all the time.
[00:28:50] We all are hearing stories all the time. So to be able to break down. Those elements of a story into your marketing is really transformative for so many different brands.
[00:29:05] Greg Mills: Yeah, I can imagine if you were spouting statistics and, dates and whatnot, people's eyes start to glaze over, but if you could tell. Hey, I was working with this theater group and we implemented, X, Y, and Z strategies. And the ticket sales just shot off, through the roof. I could see that making a huge difference.
[00:29:27] Anie Schiffmann: Yeah. And you can bring in the facts and the stats, there are going to be people who need to see that there are going to be times when that's appropriate and vital, but it's where does that go in the story? Where does that go in the structure? So at first you want to say to people. We've got a problem. We have, hundreds of thousands of theater workers who are out of work right now, who aren't able to perform as much as they'd like to.
[00:29:56] And so you start off with that problem. And then you bring in other elements that add some point the statistics where you really get into, whatever it is for what you're talking about, that becomes vital towards the end. But at first you need to hook them in. At first, you need to let people know there, there is a problem here Darthy has to get into that storm right off the bat.
[00:30:22] So that way, then she can go through the journey that she needs to go through.
[00:30:27] Greg Mills: There been studies that have shown like that average, attention span has gone down to like 30 seconds and it's really surprising to me how much you just have to basically club somebody over the head with something, do you find that to be true?
[00:30:43] Have you had to teach that to your clients? Or is that something that I've just come up without a left field?
[00:30:50] Anie Schiffmann: I mean, it certainly is. It's been true for a long time that you need to tell people the same message over And over and over and over again.
[00:31:03] Greg Mills: Yeah. That's probably a more elegant way of saying club, people over the head.
[00:31:06] Anie Schiffmann: You can email clubbing them over the head.
[00:31:08] is, is a perfectly fine to use. But yeah it certainly is. It's nothing new, right? I mean, we all know. Can recite jingles two commercials that we know from when we were kids, we all can, relay slogans from brands and that's because they did that on purpose.
[00:31:29] They told it to us over and over and over again. That's nothing new. That's nothing new. What is new is that there are so many more channels. So for example, whereas on Thursday nights at eight o'clock, so many people used to sit down and watch the same show and they could all recite the theme song or whatever it is now that's changed.
[00:31:51] Now there's thousands of not only television channels, but so many other places where people can watch stuff. So you have to be more bold about sharing your message over and over and over again. This is where it becomes important to take the stuff you've already created and bring it back up.
[00:32:13] Right. And so repackage it, use it again. So for example, Greg, you have this podcast, right? So you could easily do an, um, an, excuse me if you've done this. So I'm sorry. I'm not saying anyone that Greg has not done this. I'm just this just off the top of my head, know, you could certainly say like, these are the top five podcast episodes from 2021, right.
[00:32:37] And then just boom, that's fresh content there. Cause you've just repackaged it. Or these are the top 10 episodes that we've put together for black history month, for example, these are the, the, top 10 guests that we've had, who are black. And so we want to highlight them during black history month.
[00:32:55] Right? So you're taking stuff that you've already created and you're repackaging it, but you're making some things the same every time. So people can grab onto that. So there is something that they can expect. So they know that you're going to send out that email every week, or they know you're going to have a new podcast that comes out.
[00:33:12] I know a woman. She has the yes, but why podcast? She has consistently put out an episode every single Monday for 254 Mondays. It is amazing to me. She's got kids, she's got so many other things going on, but that is something that. Well that she does consistently and her audience can rely on. So yes, it is being repetitious.
[00:33:38] It's being bold in coming up with content, but not always having to come up with new content. You could certainly repackage what you have so that you're able to make sure that you post something every week or, whatever it is.
[00:33:53] Greg Mills: Okay. Now I've done a little bit of that on LinkedIn with them, with regards to extracting videos and also, you know, repackaging people's quotes.
[00:34:04] Anie Schiffmann: Sure.
[00:34:05] Greg Mills: used that were used on the show. So,
[00:34:08] Anie Schiffmann: And cause a lot of times what will happen is podcasters will do that for the week that the show comes out and then they're onto the next week. And then all of that content just goes away. But then they're always like, oh, I have to come up with more content. No, you don't. You have all of this stuff over here that you haven't used again.
[00:34:27] This is good stuff that you created. Just use it again.
[00:34:31] Greg Mills: yeah.
[00:34:31] I see what you're saying, I guess from the podcast or perspective, you always want to be promoting the show that you're doing that week, but from what you're saying, I could be, maybe using that, crossposting it either, either on LinkedIn itself or on to Twitter or some other channel.
[00:34:50] Anie Schiffmann: exactly, exactly.
[00:34:53] Greg Mills: Okay. So what's going on with you? That's new and exciting right now.
[00:35:00] Anie Schiffmann: Wait, so I'm looking right now to see what is trending currently on Twitter. So the number one thing that's trending right now on Twitter, at least in my area is jeopardy right now, as we are recording this. And so that's the sort of thing where easily, you could see Greg, like, do you have any guests that you had on that have been on jeopardy in the past?
[00:35:29] Right. And so could you easily highlight something like that, right? Or I'm just trying to see, like, usually there's something. Um, music Monday, or, you know, there's all those kinds of different hashtag days of the week that happened. Right. So you can anticipate when it's going to come out and then repackage stuff that you've already done in those, you know, in that way.
[00:35:54] So that way, yes, maybe LinkedIn is where people will go to get the fresh content, you know, that's where they're going to get the latest episodes of your podcast. And then maybe on Twitter though, is where they're going to get sort of a, a revolving door of your greatest hits of the info that you've given out.
[00:36:13] The great quotes, the little videos, the snippets, all of that kind of stuff.
[00:36:18] Greg Mills: okay. I could see that.
[00:36:21] Anie Schiffmann: So what am I excited about? I'm really excited about the. StoryBrand marketing live stream plus arts accelerator that I've just put together in launched, because what that entails is two days of attending the StoryBrand marketing live stream. And during that time I will work with you and I will facilitate.
[00:36:46] So that way, what you're hearing, I will filter through the lens of the performing arts. So often people will be hearing these marketing things and they'll say, oh, that only applies to roofers, or that only applies to accountants. I have no idea how that's going to work for our nonprofit. I have no idea how that's going to work for our improv group.
[00:37:05] And so I can facilitate that. In the moment. So, you'll learn from Donald Miller, you'll learn from JJ Peterson. You'll learn from all of the StoryBrand experts. And then as a guide, I'll facilitate you during that two days. And then over the next 45 days, I will meet with you periodically and say, Hey, remember the end of the StoryBrand marketing live stream.
[00:37:29] You got that five point plan. How's your plan working? Are you able to figure out how to set up those nurturing emails? Let's get your MailChimp going, let's get that working for you. And so then I'm able to kind of lock arms side by side with that person. And we're able to, in the span of basically 45 days revamped their entire marketing plan and really have their marketing in place.
[00:37:55] So I like to say that, you know, so the StoryBrand marketing live stream happens a number of times during the course of the year, but right now there's one that's happening in February. So. Sort of saying to people like you could have your, all your marketing goals for 20, 22 done checked, done off the, you know, like on your, to do list by April.
[00:38:20] So it's really exciting. And I put together the five marketing missteps that most artists make. And so you can find that on my website and go to downstage.media. And if you click on arts accelerator, you'll see, I mean, spoiler alert, you don't really have to be an artist to take advantage of this video that I created.
[00:38:42] Um, and even a lot of the aspects of the StoryBrand marketing live stream plus arts accelerator will certainly work for those who are not specifically in the arts, who aren't specifically in nonprofits. I always speak through that lens, but it doesn't necessarily have to
[00:39:00] be so, but if you go to downstage dot meeting, You'll be able to see the arts accelerator there.
[00:39:06] And, uh, it is really exciting. We're getting some great results there. I just use the Royal, we, again, that would be weird, but, but yeah, I guess we being like my clients and I are getting some really exciting results from it. So I'm looking forward to this next batch. That's going to start up in, uh, in February.
[00:39:23] That's sort of the next class, so to speak.
[00:39:26] Greg Mills: Can you explain any T's never-ending tickets and how that how's that helpful?
[00:39:34] Anie Schiffmann: So Greg and I know one another from the discord channel, uh, the tilt, I first got interested in NFTs and end ETS. Um, now I just feel like there, there must be a way that those in the arts songwriters can, can capitalize off of what's happening right now in this web 3.0, so I'm going to say first and foremost, I am no expert at all in this.
[00:40:06] I just wanted to be on the forefront of learning what it is. I wanted to learn about it sooner rather than later. So I was the same way with, social media is the same way with messenger marketing. I just find it very interesting and I like to see how can theaters. So that's why I joined the tilt.
[00:40:27] That's why I started getting into crypto and really genuinely curious about it. Um, so I, I don't know exactly if I explained never any tickets, but this is my understanding of what it is. And this is how I'm thinking arts can, the arts can use it. So, you know, for never ending tickets, any teas there, they're kind of like NFTs in that you buy them, you usually buy them using some kind of cryptocurrency.
[00:40:55] It seems like, a theory on is what is the currency that seems to be most used right now. And then you can basically.
[00:41:05] buy access to that event. In perpetuity, right? So you use your Ethereum and you buy this ticket and then whatever the parameters are of that ticket, right? Whatever the fine print is, is available. And so that fine print though, instead of just like, sort of being in your email or being on a website is stored on the blockchain. And so it's a way for everyone to kind of be able to see what those parameters are and then what you can do almost like to take it really old school, to the idea of like a timeshare that it becomes an asset, right?
[00:41:46] So you can sell that asset just the same way. Like you might sell your grandfather's timeshare that he had in Florida. Right? So those couple of weeks he was, you know, able to sell and you could do the same thing. I think this is very interesting for theaters because it gives, it can give you that sort of upfront money sort of like any like a subscription might.
[00:42:11] Right. But it's a new way of using the web to do it and using web 3.0 and. These different parameters that we have now available. I have not seen any theater companies yet using it. I think theaters, I don't understand right now. Why? So for those of you who don't go to Broadway shows all the time when a new show opens on Broadway, playbill comes out with a specific. Issue like a specific cover that shows that it's opening night. Right? And you may have seen that this is a trend that's happened for years now, is that when people go to the theater, they take a picture of their playbill and you sort of know like, oh look that person's going to see the music man. Or people say, see it all the time with Hamilton, right?
[00:43:05] Whenever anyone goes to see Hamilton, they take a picture of the program of the playbill. It is not optional. So I do not know yet why companies like playbill or Disney has its own version, which is called stage bill. I don't understand why they have not made those into NFTs. Those opening night programs could certainly be made into NFTs and then they could be collectibles.
[00:43:30] Right? So just the same way that you might collect a baseball card, the same way that you might collect some other piece of memorabilia, you can absolutely collect that. And then you might get the JPEG of that opening. Playbill, and maybe also included with that is a ticket to go see the show 10 years from now.
[00:43:53] Um, so that way you can help keep the show running. You could kelp help get audiences to show up 10 years from now five years from now. Also, maybe it could include a song that was cut and MP3 of a song that was cut from the show. Maybe a demo that people have exclusive access to. I feel like there's so many different ways that it could be used in theater.
[00:44:16] And so that's why I really like what Joe Pulizzi is doing with the tilt. And again, I'm taking what I'm seeing him do and I'm filtering it through the lens of the performing arts to see, does this idea have legs?
[00:44:29] Greg Mills: Okay. It sounds like you need to reach out to playbill or Statesville. So action item to do for tomorrow.
[00:44:38] Anie Schiffmann: That's right. Yes. This is now on my to-do list.
[00:44:42] Greg Mills: Okay. Speaking of what's been the most difficult part of running downstage media for you
[00:44:48] Anie Schiffmann: Childcare. Absolutely.
[00:44:51] Greg Mills: are you talking about yours or the, uh, other people?
[00:44:54] Anie Schiffmann: no. I mean, yeah, well not a loyal weed. So the whole team here at downstage media, um, no, I, I, as I said earlier, I started downstage media and I really like, if you are listening to this and you are either, uh, a single mom or I it's just, it's different. The mental load is very different on moms.
[00:45:17] It became very apparent during the pandemic. I almost had to shut down my entire business when the kids transitioned to virtual school, because at the time I had a six-year-old who literally didn't know how to tell. And so now everything that she was doing was on the computer, the only way that she was learning, she didn't know how to use a computer really.
[00:45:37] I mean, like she'd used it , but certainly not enough that I could be like, Okay.
[00:45:40] great. You're good for the next few hours. So I started downstage media when my kids were both in school five days a week by design. I did that by design. My husband travels about two thirds of the year. So if he's home great, but it's not really a plan that he's going to be around.
[00:46:04] I mean, my husband's very supportive.
[00:46:05] Greg Mills: No, I understand.
[00:46:06] Anie Schiffmann: I hope you all understand.
[00:46:07] but it's just as far as the day-to-day mechanics. Right. And, um, so then I had to really get used to. Snow days are going to happen. What are you going to do? I live in New Jersey. What are you going to do when snow days happen?
[00:46:22] What are you going to do when, um, when you got those random days off those random half days that are in service days or this and that, like those are, so that really was difficult for me to figure all of that stuff out. Luckily, my kids have gotten more self-sufficient over time, of course, because they've gone from being a four year old and a seven year old to now they're eight and 11.
[00:46:47] So now when they have virtual school, they, I am able to say, okay, are you good for the next couple of hours? Great. I absolutely think there's still so much that is just by default put on moms. I would love to ask , most, households that have two working parents, who knows the name of the kid's pediatrician, who knows the last three gifts that the kids have had to give at a birthday party , you know what I mean?
[00:47:19] Like all of that extra stuff that is foe that falls on moms is, um, and it really does fall on moms. There's been a number of articles that have been written about it. I don't know exactly how it works out for, with same-sex households and things like that. But certainly when you have two working parents, the mom has to carry the mental load.
[00:47:40] And that has really been very difficult and often debilitating to the point of when the shut down happened. I almost completely shut my doors. And I switched from doing a lot more of done for you, social media marketing to overall marketing consulting, because I just couldn't keep up with the day to day creating content because it was too hard with two kids at home.
[00:48:13] So I completely in the summer of 2020 revamped, what downstage media's offerings were. Um, and then I did, did just revamp them one more time, um, recently with the StoryBrand certification, but a lot of that revolves around childcare.
[00:48:32] I had to mute a lot of people on Twitter for a while because, and I mean, everyone's pandemic has been very, very different, But anyone who is sort of childless and is like, I have all this time and I don't know what to do with it. It was really hard for me to see that kind of stuff, because I felt like all of my time was in a day taken away from me.
[00:48:59] And all of a sudden it was like, you know, you've, you've got to try to try to get work done. You've got to try to get groceries from somewhere. And then you also have to teach to children's school. Which I know is very different from homeschooling. So,
[00:49:14] Greg Mills: But still something you weren't planning on having to
[00:49:17] Anie Schiffmann: right. Homeschoolers get to plan on it.
[00:49:19] It's a calling, it's a way that they've designed their household. This was very different and was sort of thrust upon. Uh, upon me and I just so many women that I work with and so many articles that I've read. It's like, you know that so many times just all of this came crashing down on women.
[00:49:39] Greg Mills: Okay. Now, I don't know whether you have the time. Do you, how are you doing now?
[00:49:45] Anie Schiffmann: Thank you for asking Greg. I'm doing well. Everything's going okay. I've got some time.
[00:49:52] Greg Mills: Okay. so can we talk about the operation in Libya with regards to the brainwashing?
[00:49:59] Anie Schiffmann: Yes. Yes. Um, So, the operation Libya, you know, right before we started recording, Greg said, I'm not going to ask you about your operation and Libya. And he did it as sort of a, a joke as a wonderful host, just loosening me up, not realizing so much of my training wasn't improv. And I was like, yes, let's talk about Livia.
[00:50:23] But as far as the brainwashing is concerned, I mean, I think that, you know, I've sort of, I joke that I brainwashed my two kids to like musical theater, but the fact of the matter is your kids are going to gravitate towards what you love and what you get excited about and what you're passionate about.
[00:50:39] Right. So, my husband's a musician. I play a number of instruments. I read music. I love musical theater. And so like anything, when you start sharing the ins and outs and what makes this cool to you, two little kids and, you know, you're sort of each other's worlds so much, it's, it becomes very easy to, uh, to brainwash them to like it.
[00:51:04] Greg Mills: So, what I'm hearing is your family is like the Incredibles in the Euro. Y'all are all superhero action spies.
[00:51:12] Anie Schiffmann: right. We're all actions instead of having these superhero powers, we just have various, performing arts powers.
[00:51:19] Greg Mills: Okay. A good deal then see you managed to actually not go so far off in the improv world is I thought you were going to go.
[00:51:29] Anie Schiffmann: There you are, I want to stay on, I'm going to stay on message. There's the marketer in me coming out.
[00:51:36] Greg Mills: All right. Let's get ready to wrap this up. Is there anything I have not asked about that you'd like to talk about or add.
[00:51:44] Anie Schiffmann: Well, I think it's important to measure where you are with expectations that make sense for where you are. So often people will try to compare it, you know, they'll say, oh, I don't have that many followers. Or, you know, I don't have that many, whatever it is, I don't have that many visits to my website or whatever.
[00:52:08] And a lot of times they're comparing themselves to enormous brands like Coca-Cola or the sort of American idol of podcasts. Right. All of those different things. And so when you start looking at apples to apples, then you can realize like, no I'm doing Okay. I'm doing all right. So I think that's important because it's very, very easy to get discouraged in creating content, in marketing your work, in putting out what it is that you love right Now and what it is that means a lot to you and how you can connect that to your audience and how you can solve all of those problems for your audience.
[00:52:49] And it can get very, very discouraging very quickly and very easily. You can get wrapped up in the wrong statistics. You can get wrapped up in the wrong metrics or analytics or whatever it is, but as long as you've, you've got your path, you've got your goals. And you stay with them and you stay consistent with them and you keep thinking about your audience and what they need and their experience.
[00:53:17] Then you will find that you are going to grow. Maybe not necessarily as quickly as you hear other people do. Maybe it wouldn't be exactly the same as people who are profiled and Gary Vaynerchuks book crushing it, like whatever it is, but you're going to get there. And if you need someone to help guide you, then seek out people who can do that.
[00:53:43] You can head to downstage.media. Like I said, many of my clients are in the performing arts, but not all of them, especially for the, do it yourself and marketing mentor. Group that I have where you just get that kind of coaching and say like, what are the perf, you know, like the key indicators that you need, what is the next step of what you need to do?
[00:54:06] You don't need to be everywhere and all over the place. Let's just focus on these three things for the next three months. So I think it's being gentle on yourself and being gentle on where you are and leading with that.
[00:54:26] Greg Mills: Okay. Now what's the number one piece of advice that you can give for our listeners. And you may have just given it by the way, but put you on the spot again.
[00:54:37] Anie Schiffmann: Want to underline again.
[00:54:40] how important it is to. Create to build an email list and to build a list of people, outside of just your followers to, to bring them to your ecosystem, because really things are changing. Things are changing all the time. Um, just the other day, um, or actually a couple of months ago, the editor in chief of a theater, like a trade publication got kicked off of Facebook.
[00:55:12] He has no, no, you, we figured it out. Why he got hacked and then they kicked him off and it's like, he's the victim here, but still it can happen any day. It can happen. Anytime it can happen to people who think they are following the rules. It can happen to people who are following the rules, like what happened with me on Twitter.
[00:55:32] So it's important that you just get those email addresses, build the audience that way. Um, Build on a couple of other social media platforms just to grow your audience and to grow your reach. And, um, yeah, I mean, I think, and, and then, like I said, sort of be, be gentle on yourself, know what your goals are and go towards them versus trying to do all the things.
[00:56:00] Greg Mills: okay. Now what's the best way for people to check you out, Andy, and to get in touch with you.
[00:56:06] Anie Schiffmann: The best way to get in touch with me is to go to downstage.media. So www.downstage.media, that's where you'll be able to find out about the five marketing missteps. That's where you'll be able to reach out to me. I've got my social channels on there. And then also you can, send me an email right from there.
[00:56:27] So all of those ways all start by going to www.downstage.media.
[00:56:34] Greg Mills: Okay. Perfect. Well, that's a wrap. Thank you, Annie, for being my guest on entrepreneurs over 40.
[00:56:41] Anie Schiffmann: Greg. Thank you so much. You've made me feel better about being over 40 I'm in such good company.