#21 A Story of Action and Feeling with Marsha Shandur

I stood in line to get lunch at the conference surrounded by nobody I knew and I was running the internal dialogue that I almost always get at conferences between sessions through my head "I'm here to meet people, I should talk to someone, I don't know anyone, do I talk about what's for lunch? Oh, they are already talking to each other, they don't want me interrupting them, I wonder where my friends are (look around hoping that they're coming to join me), Lara! You came to this event to meet new people not to stand around talking to nobody" when I heard someone in front of me talk about B-school. 

I'd taken B-School! I could offer insight about B-School! I should say that I took B-School. They probably wouldn't mind if I joined in. Okay! I can do this. So I picked up all my nerves and I piped up to the people in front of me who were not talking to me at all "I did B-School!" and they did not glare at me for interrupting, and they did not smile and nod indulgently and turn back to each other continuing to talk without me, but they happily included me in the conversation about the program and all the things we loved about it. The person who had brought up B-School was Marsha Shandur - one of the best contacts I ever made at a conference (I even went to summer camp because of her - find out more about that in episode 6 ) , and she joined me on the podcast this week to talk about storytelling. 

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Marsha has an incredible knack for storytelling online and in person. Her blog engages readers and creates an emotional connection with them - like you really feel like you're part of her inner circle by reading what she shares online. So, how can storytelling help your business? By making an emotional connection with your audience.

What is storytelling?

Storytelling enables you to emotionally connect with your readers which is important because our brains respond differently when we hear facts versus stories. Unlike with facts, we can picture ourselves in a story, which enables people to use a good story to really impact a person.

What makes a great story?

Less narrative.

Being able to incite emotional response.

Granular details! Share the little details – BE the story.

You don’t need a crazy story – just a regular story that people can relate to.

You don’t have to share the entire story. Share snippets! Bring people where you want them to be.

How can I tell a compelling story?

Walk around life with a notebook and pen or use your notes app on your smartphone noting anything you think is a story. Remember that it’s not about telling everyone everything about you; you’re sharing your personality and how you view the world.

Then write the story. Take out the extra details that don't impact the story and instead stick to the action scenes. They key is to not put into too much detail, but instead focus on feeling. Focus on how you felt without taking away the essence of the story.

Don’t start with the end of the story because people won’t pay attention or they’ll focus on the story based on the ending. And don’t throw in spoilers – movies don't reveal the result of action scenes before the movie really starts, so don’t do it in storytelling. Tell the story in chronological order.

Where can you use storytelling in your business? 

You can use storytelling on your blog, on sales pages, in person, at networking events, as a speaker – anywhere there is an opportunity to connect with people instantly.

Bonus Marsha tip about leaving comments on blogs

Comments on blogs are like sunshine pouring into your heart. They mean a lot to the people creating the content.

Resources & Links

Marsha Shandur’s Website

Marsha’s Special Secret Website for Social Media Simplified Podcast Listeners

Social Media Simplified on iTunes

Subscribe on Stitcher

Simple Start Your Business Notification List

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#20 Facebook Community with Jordana Jaffe

I love online communities. I love being able to make business connections, friends and clients. Lately one of the places I have spent a lot of time with are Facebook Groups, including my own Facebook Group, The Biz Studio. But are Facebook Groups a good tool to market your business?

Facebook Groups are a great way to engage with other entrepreneurs and also a great place to find people to work with – including clients. I recently interviewed Jordana Jaffe, a Facebook Group Strategist, who not only runs her own successful Facebook Group, but also offers paid programs on how to manage a successful Facebook community.

Jordana created a Facebook community in October 2014 that has become super successful and then figured out how to replicate it by going backwards and retracing her steps to find out what worked and what didn’t work.

What are some of the advantages of a Facebook Group?

Facebook communities allow you to connect with others and grow your network while you are home in your cozy PJs.

The perfect networking tool for introverts and homebodies.

Can a Facebook Group help grow your business?

Absolutely. In fact, last year 90-95% of Jordana’s clients came from Facebook Groups and she had a six-figure income with 60% profit! If you are excited about something and commit to it, success can come from it.

Tips to running a successful Facebook Group:

Consistency – post and comment consistently (don’t just ‘like’ posts)

Know your intention

Share inspiring content

Be real – share messy moments as well as successes; humanize yourself

Open yourself to vulnerability

Remember, your Facebook community will only be as engaged, active, and present as you are!

Resources & Links

Jordana Jaffe’s Free Gift

Jordana Jaffe’s Facebook Group (Gena + Jordana & Your Magical Business)

My Facebook Group : The Biz Studio Facebook Group

Sign up for the Simple Start Your Business Notification List

Social Media Simplified on iTunes

Subscribe on Stitcher

#19 Creating Engaging Content For Your Community

This week Rebecca Stanisic from A Little Bit of Momsense joins me on the podcast to talk about creating great online content for your community.

Tips for getting started

  • It's important to remember that creating content is not all about selling, it's about building relationships.
  • Figure out what your voice will sound like and the feelings you want to convey. You're creating expectations for your audience so they not only know what to expect, but they also start wanting that kind of content.
  • Know your audience - have a clear picture of who you're talking to. This will help you figure out what kind of content they want so you can find it. It will also help you assess the content that you find.
  • Vet all your content - you shouldn't just share without reading and making sure that whatever you're sharing with your community really does fall in line with how you want to be known and what your audience expects.

The 4 Cs

Becky has 4 Cs that you can use when thinking about the content you are sharing with your audience.


Consistency is not only about consistently sharing content on a regular basis, but is also about making sure that your content is consistent with itself. Remain within your audience's expectations by having a clear idea of what you share and consistently delivering that.


Think about who you can build relationships with to help grow your online community. Are there businesses that are a good fit for your audience? Share their content and partner with them to create promotions to add value to your audience and open up opportunities to have them do the same for you.


Not everything needs to be exactly about what you do, but it needs to compliment it. If you are someone who sells children's clothing you can talk about other children's activities, but you wouldn't talk about plumbing. Figure out what makes sense at complimenting content for your audience.


Connect to your reader with emotion, or with their funny bone. Think about how your audience will react and make sure that it will speak to them on a level that will evoke emotion.

A great last tip from Becky, have a look at the last 10 things you've shared on any channel. Do they convey what you want people to know about you as a first impression? This is a great way to measure how you're doing.

Resources and Links

A Little Bit of Momsense (Becky's Blog)

Becky on Facebook

Becky on Twitter

Becky on Instagram

Social Media Simplified on iTunes

Subscribe on Stitcher

#9 Community will help you grow your biz

I have no idea how anyone can grow a successful business without surrounding themselves with other entrepreneurs. It can be lonely and isolating and there is so much you just don't know until you've tried this entrepreneurial thing.

In this week's episode I talk about some of the ways that I think people should look for community based on my own personal experiences. 

1) Masterminds

I love my Mastermind group. I've been a part of a few over the years and I plan to help people set up their own groups in the future (stay tuned for more information on that). 

A Mastermind is a safe place to talk about all things business with people who not only are sympathetic and supportive, but who are also ready to tell you when you're wrong and send you truths you may not always be ready to hear. I think every business owner should be a member of one, whether they pay for it or create one themselves.

2) Follow people with knowledge

There are so many great and knowledgeable professionals out there. They're out there trying to create community - on Twitter, on Instagram, and on their Facebook pages. Be a part of their communities by taking part in conversations, by soaking up their knowledge and by asking questions. It's the best way to find the people you'll trust and be ready to pay to help you in the future too.

3) Online communities

There are so many great communities online. Some are a part of existing programs (all my Simple Start programs come with a private Facebook Group for example) and some are open to the world to join and take part in.

I've started my own group call the Biz Studio and I'd love for you to come over and check it out and join!

Links & additional resources

Mastermind Blog Post

Magical Business Academy

Freedomhackers Facebook Group

The Biz Studio Facebook Group

Social Media Simplified on iTunes