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What We Talk About

You already know how important video is to your business… but how can you use that AND the power of regular productions to grow your reach, authority, and revenue?

Sheryl Plouffe will bring her knowledge of television production to help you use video the RIGHT way in your business. From how to develop the content to how to prepare to show up regularly, Sheryl will help you get started right now.

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Our transcript hasn't been proofed, so there will probably be some errors. Sorry about that!

Alyson Lex 0:03
We know that we need to create more videos in our business. Video sells, it lets people get to know us, we get to see our personality. What does that look like? How do we make it happen? Sometimes, we get so caught up in this idea that we don't know what it looks like that we never get started. And so that's why we have Cheryl here today. Because if there is anybody that knows how to create some awesome video in your business and use it the right way, she is the one to talk to. So Cheryl, thank you for being here with us today,

Sheryl Plouffe 0:39
Alyson and Jenny are so great to be here with you. This is an important topic. Now more than ever, I'm excited to dive in.

Alyson Lex 0:49
Now I know I introduced you as the person who knows about creating video, tell me why that is you have some history in TV and stuff, right?

Sheryl Plouffe 0:59
Oh, I have a history. But maybe that's another show. I have a history. Yes. In broadcasting. I spent 25 years in the media industry 17 of which I spent as a national television broadcaster. And so what I've done is taken the best practices and systems and ideas into what I do today as a video strategist and a repurposing expert. So a lot of what happens in the broadcasting industry is done on a skeleton crew, shall we say, or you know, you want to be watching your budgets you want to be watching, and really being very efficient with your time and energy and personnel. So a lot of that translates into what I do today on the technology front on the automation, front, repurposing, front, and even just the production front. So a lot of what I do can be virtual. And so that's really where I come from is from broadcasting.

Jennie Wright 2:05
What, go ahead,

Alyson Lex 2:07
no, you're fine, you're fine. So what does it mean to have like your own show online that you create?

Sheryl Plouffe 2:17
What does that look like? Well, for me, it's a live stream podcast. And that's how I've decided to format my catching on camera show. But what it really means to me to have a show is to have control over, in my case, you know, an organic marketing strategy, essentially, it's taking control of that and saying, Okay, I'm making the decisions, I'm making the calls as to who comes on the show what topics we discuss the direction of the show, the creative of the show. And so to me, it is really represents partly control, but also partly independence, you know, when you can create something of your own of that magnitude, just as you have here with System to THRIVE, we get the opportunity to find independence and find a system that's really going to work, if you've structured it properly, that's going to work for your business. So for me, it represents a few things, I think freedom as well, you know, we get to choose how big we want to make the show how often we do the episodes. And so everything's really within our control.

Jennie Wright 3:26
I really like that I love being able to create something I mean, before System to THRIVE, I didn't know Allison, and I could do something like this together. And we've sort of thought it up as we go along. And we keep changing it. We're into season three. And we keep having these wonderful, you know, ideas on how we can update and change it. So what would something like our own show be formatted? As are we talking about a podcast, a regular live stream? What does it look like?

Sheryl Plouffe 3:48
Well, I think people have choices here, right? In my opinion. And again, coming back to if I'm using the best practices from the broadcasting industry into what I do, and that permeates my thinking, then the live component is important to me. And that's not necessarily the right path for everyone. But from an efficiency perspective, in my opinion, it can be an opportunity for people to find those efficiencies by going live because it circumvents the post production which can often be time consuming, and also requires a certain skill set or you have to outsource and, and things of that nature. So I think that it's really about deciding what is going to fit within the ecosystem of your business. How can you structure that the best for you so that you can still focus on income generating activities after all, and I think that's the part that sometimes we miss, we see entrepreneurs who are, quote unquote, doing all the wrong things, right. They're focusing on the logo for five months when really, you should be having more conversations and more phone calls with people. So I think that the choices are are many, but for My My choice was to do it as a live stream, and then repurpose that to an audio podcast. But there are different, you know, ways that you can go about doing that. Really,

Alyson Lex 5:10
there are a couple things that you said that I really wanted to call attention to one, you've chosen a way that's the most efficient for you. And I really liked that because it yeah, we're if especially if we're running our businesses by ourselves, we are, right, you know, where I'm going with us.

Sheryl Plouffe 5:29
Yes, if you're a solopreneur, more than any other state, or, you know, structure of a business, but if you're by yourself, and you're really doing everything, then live streaming is a great opportunity to be efficient and get that done more quickly. Right. And so, is there an opportunity to outsource some stages of that? Yes, there is. But I just think that there is something to be said, for the efficiency, especially as a solopreneur. It is more of a case by case basis, right? We have to analyze so many different factors to decide what is going to be the best structure for my show. So in my case, I'm on a lot of calls, I'm doing a lot of other things aside from my show, I'm actually running really an agency. So I have to really take that into consideration and say, Okay, what is doable, so that I can get the result that I'm looking for, but also fitting within the constraints of, you know, a work day, so they're not working myself to the bone, right, so that I have a life and that I can still do the things that I want to do with my family, etc. So I think it's not a cookie cutter approach, but more so an analysis and an audit of your own situation, and then deciding does this fit within the life? I'm trying to design?

Alyson Lex 6:53
Yes, I can't say yes, enough. So if you have questions about that, just hit rewind and listen to the last minute, because that's not important. Right. The other thing, the other thing that you said, was revenue generating. So I want to talk about this idea of your show. And, like, does it really drive sales? How does it do that? Can you give some examples of what that might look like?

Sheryl Plouffe 7:16
Sure. Does it drive sales directly? Um, I not so sure, right? Can it? Yes, of course it can. There can be that situation where you create an episode on a specific topic, and a person hears you from some place else in the world on a podcast, and they say, This is my person and I, and they call and you have a sales call. And there you go, that can happen. Of course it can happen. But more often than not what I really think the show format does for a business owner or an entrepreneur is it's getting us it's making people aware that you exist, right, the brand awareness is really one of the first steps in the whole journey of client relationship, right, we have to walk through those stages of the customer journey. And brand awareness is the first stage, you can't get to the consideration or to the decision phase, if you are not aware that that person exists and can help you solve your problems. So is it a direct correlation it can be but more often than not, it's about opening up that brand awareness, but also more importantly, building trust, right, it's huge. Trust is huge. And that hat that may need to happen over the course of time. So if you are doing something engaging, and you're and you launch a show, and the format is right for the lifestyle that you're designing, and maybe it does have a live component, and you're repurposing all of that, and you might need to maybe maybe it takes five episodes before that one person hears something that makes them go ding, I just heard the thing I needed to hear. And now I'm ready to reach out to go to the website and book the call or whatever that next step is and opt into the thing and, and look into what it is that this person is doing. So I think it's more about driving awareness, building trust, which then leads to conversations and subsequently sales if you're doing it properly.

Jennie Wright 9:20
I completely agree with that. So full transparency, I had a quote unquote, show I was doing a weekly video on my Facebook page, and you know, did it for a number of months. And then for whatever reason, I stopped. So I'm not really proud of that. But I'm very much encouraged by what you're saying today to actually read again. But what I want to ask you is how are people going to get started with this, if they're sold? They're listening to this right now and you love what Cheryl is saying? How are you going to get started? How often do we need to do this? Well, it's not overwhelming, and taking up all of our time, like you mentioned before, okay.

Sheryl Plouffe 9:54
I think if you have, you know, a system that's efficient, you can affect If we do an episode per week, and I do think that's the minimum that we kind of want to look toward, we do want to do at least an episode per week, you can do more, certainly the more efficient your system is, the more that you can, you know, have more episodes, but let's just say as a blanket statement, aiming for once per week is, is the minimum that you really want to do. Why is that important? Well, it's important because you want to consistently be in front of the people who you're trying to build trust with. And if you let four weeks, five weeks go by, and they haven't heard from you, you're not in their world anymore, you're not in their consciousness, you're not in front of them, you're not, they're not aware. So I think it's important to have at least that once per week, type of cadence and pattern, you know, schedule that you can adhere to, but the more efficient it can be, your system can be the more episodes that you can produce. So is that I don't know if that answers your question, Jenny, that the idea of once per week, I think is really paramount. That, you know, you mentioned something interesting about how you were doing the Facebook Lives and you were being consistent, but then she then you stopped, sometimes? Well, not sometimes it's often happens, where people maybe are not getting the right results that they want. And they're kind of questioning, gee, I'm putting all this effort in, and I'm not really getting anything. Typically what happens there is you want to look at what is the key message that I'm driving? Is that clear? Is that aligned to the things that I'm selling? And so from a starting perspective, I think it begins with an analysis. And like I said, some sort of audit of what are you? What is it that you're trying to do? And you'd be surprised to learn in most cases, you know, when I get on calls, or I'm talking to people or consulting, that clarity isn't always there. So we have to kind of start at that place and say, Okay, what is the goal that we're trying to drive here? And now we start to reverse engineer that and say, Okay, well, then let's do it this way. We're building this and this message is coming into play. In this particular case,

Alyson Lex 12:14
any and I actually do that pretty regularly. With this podcast, we say, you know, what's our goal for this not just as far as the message that we're putting out in the world? Because we do have goals and visions and things that we want to achieve? Just as messaging? But what do we ultimately want to get from this? And how are we doing with that? I think not just what do I want? But how's that going for you? Right? Well,

Sheryl Plouffe 12:42
you know, what, Allison, it's so interesting, because that message can change over time. And something that happens, I think, in entrepreneurship, especially with people who are starting out, they get very, they're afraid to stick to a message because they don't want to be pigeonholed into that, let's say five years from now, Gee, I don't want to do that video. Because I might believe this now. But what if I change my mind? What if my ideals change? What if my point of view changes, and I say, expect that to happen, it should happen? I think you're, if you're really out there, and you're involved, and you're out, you know, being seen and doing a podcast and being on other people's podcasts, your point of view probably should change over time. So it just, it solidifies the idea further of saying, we need to re analyze what the point is of all of this, because of the fact that your point of view, your ideals, your opinion, your belief system may change over time. So it's something I think you need to do regularly.

Alyson Lex 13:48
One of the things that I think probably contributes to an in the podcasting world, it's called pod feeding. And maybe in the live stream show world, it's show fading or something. But one of the things that I think contributes to it is kind of just running out of things to say, and not knowing what to talk about anymore, especially if you're not getting the audience feedback and that kind of participation to help you get that cycle. Right. So how do we figure out that content that we want to put out there? How do we know what's right?

Sheryl Plouffe 14:23
I think it's stepping into the thought leadership space, and drawing a line in the sand and saying, I am going to position myself and I'm going to put myself out there as a thought leader. So what does that mean? Well, it means that you have an opinion, it means that you are reading about what's going on in your industry, you're reading articles, you're consuming other people's content, not with the intent of of comparing yourself to them, but more so from a knowledge perspective, understand what's going on in your industry. And so once you can, once you really do that and make that a Practice, maybe even a daily practice where you read an article and every day or, you know, if you look at some of the top CEOs in the world, that's what they're very well read the reading all the time. So think of yourself, you are the CEO of your business. So, so act accordingly. And I think it's taking that thought leadership approach. Once you do that, and you really are in it, and you understand what's going on in your industry, and you're learning new things. Now all of a sudden content really becomes, as the easier because you have so many topics, if anything, it becomes a case of having to narrow it down and not having to scratch the bottom of the barrel to come up with a topic. So I think it is all about thought leadership and having opinions and ideals, you know, is one of the key tenants, I suppose, of not ever getting stuck in a place where you don't know what to say,

Jennie Wright 15:51
in addition, and oh, sorry. Sorry, I

Sheryl Plouffe 15:55
just wanted to say one other thing about that. And that is that, when you have your own show, you don't have to have all the answers, right, your guest is going to be able to fill in a lot of the gaps. So just as we're doing here, you're asking me questions, and I'm answering, when I have my show, and I'm have when later today, I'm going to ask my guests questions they're going to answer. So it becomes a collaborative effort between you and the guest. So that you don't have to feel the weight of the world on your shoulders to come up with all the answers.

Jennie Wright 16:30
That was a good point. Because when Alison and I started this show, before we started this podcast, and it's it's audio and visual, like audio, there's there's video involved in this. But before we did, we were like, What are we going to talk about for an Allison by the way, I totally blame her for this. She's like, we're gonna do two episodes a week. And I'm like, What are we going to do for like, over 100 episodes in a year? How are we gonna talk about all this, but having guests on really helped because it kind of took the pressure off of us, which was lovely. We liked our guest episodes. And in the early days, we stressed about our own episodes so much. But I want to try to transition this over. Allison, I have noticed through this whole podcast because we take notes while you're talking. And we're like, oh my god, her makeup is perfect. Her lighting is amazing. She sounds phenomenal. But you've been doing this for you said over 20 years. And we expect that you're going to be amazing at this. My lighting is kind of in today, because I got the sun coming in at a certain angle, and all sorts of things. But how do we encourage people to do a show where we don't measure ourselves on the perfection of a broadcaster who has been doing it for 20 plus years? Who looks amazing and sounds amazing. How do we get out of that in that Ness, like the necessity, the necessity for perfection?

Sheryl Plouffe 17:45
Well, thank you for the compliment, first of all, and it's true, yes, I did spend a whole professional career doing this. So I admit, you know, I do have some skill around this. But it's like anything in life, if you want to become proficient, if you want to increase your skill level at any task, you have to start, you've got to start somewhere. And it's funny, I'm working with two clients right now, or I'm walking through how I do my process to teach them how to do it. And they both suffer from the same thing that you're that you're talking about, which is that the compare site is right. And I have to work hard to, to encourage them to just be yourself and get out there. Of course, I believe in putting your best foot forward, right? Like, do what you can use what you can be resourceful, put your best foot forward, I'm not saying just roll out of bed and start your show. I'm sure you put a little bit of effort into it. But it doesn't have to be to the level of perfection or the level that you might see somebody else who you like and admire. It doesn't have to be at that level, it can be at your level. Right? It The important thing is to start to do it. And it's easier said than done. Right? Because people have a lot of insecurities and other issues that are going on. What I would recommend is to look at it and say, what is the end game here? If I'm going to launch a show? What is the benefit that's going to come to me in the long run? Well, so many things, right? growing your business, brand awareness, trust leads, fans, followers, clients, I mean, the benefits of it, in my opinion, outweigh the insecurity that you might feel in a moment. That is worth still doing it even though you're scared. Still doing it even though you feel uncertain. You might not have 100% clarity, maybe you have 85% of clarity. You're good to go. It's good enough. One of the things that my husband who's also a longtime TV broadcaster and I both talk a lot about and as the idea of make it good, then make it great. So if you get out there and make it good, it's at least started the trains on the track the ball is rolling, something good can happen now. But if you never put the train on the track, you're stuck in the same place you've always been.

Alyson Lex 20:22
That goes along with what I tell clients about their copy is I'd rather see bad copy than no copy, because you can fix bad copy. And one of the things that as you were speaking, I was thinking, do how do I do this? Like, how do I show up? Good, and then work. Sometimes I'm just not having the hair and makeup day. And so, you know, I make sure my teeth are clean, and I put maybe some makeup on or the hair up into a you know, I look good enough to go on the video. It doesn't need to be perfect. And getting to that point took like six years so right and

Sheryl Plouffe 21:04
I get to you know, I It depends how I feel. Some days I do feel like putting on some makeup and doing little something with my hair. I might even put a little curl in it. But only if I feel like it's really about how I feel. And I have done many videos where I'm minimal makeup maybe sometimes no makeup. I have done videos with my hair in a toss up in a bun because it's three days dirty and like

Jennie Wright 21:34
I've done the real you the real you know you'll meet a real you all of this. Yeah,

Sheryl Plouffe 21:38
real me. I you know, even dressing up and wearing a suit jacket or pairing was just how I feel today. This is actually really representative of how I am. But I'm just as much the girl who's going to put on a ballcap. And I'm still going to do the video.

Jennie Wright 21:53
Absolutely. I think I think the point is, let's get the video out. Let's get the let's get the message out. Let the message speak let the content speak for what it is versus let's not focus in on Oh my hair, oh my face on my this on my that. Like, I have a real and a lot of people may feel this, but I have a real thing where you know, I, I lost the feeling in my face when I was 19 because they took up my wisdom teeth and they severed a nerve. I lost the feeling in my lips and my tongue and my teeth. And I had to relearn how to say, you know, anything that touched the front of my mouth to this, all of that had to be retaught. And if I'm nervous, I mess it up. So being on video early on was a struggle, but I had to really focus on my enunciation because if not you can understand. But I still did it. Even though I didn't look great and my lighting wasn't great and my this and that I think the message has to be the first thing and that's that's the the thing that has to really shine. And now

Sheryl Plouffe 22:49
you're three years in so into the show, right? I think you said three years

Jennie Wright 22:54
Yeah, three years with the podcast and nine some odd years during the business. But video wise, I don't even think I touched video until what Alison like said five years ago. No, all I

Alyson Lex 23:05
know is we look back and how far have we come?

Sheryl Plouffe 23:10
Here's this is an interesting experiment for those who are feeling apprehensive and and dealing with that compare situs and all that, go back the Pick any guru that you follow today, any big name could be Marie Forleo, or anyone Gary Vaynerchuk, whoever go to their YouTube channel and look at their videos in from from oldest to newest. And look at the beginning of their YouTube channels. And I think you'll be shocked. You'll say to yourself, Wow, that's where they began. It looks nothing like what they have today. 10 years, 12 years into it and many millions of dollars later. But they started in a basement with a brick wall they started with not the fancy setup, they started without a hair and makeup crew like they started there. And so you have to just find a way to get out there and do that. It's interesting to you. As you were talking Jenny, I was thinking about the correlation between messaging and how you show up in the world. So my I do want to show up in the world. With my hair done sometimes and makeup on sometimes I also do want to show up with the baseball cap. And because that does align to my message. So my message is progress over perfection, but showing up with your best foot forward. Right? And so if that's true, then I need to find ways to represent that and be willing to show up in the baseball cap because it supports my belief that it should be progress over perfection and that you should do the video anyway. And then so those are the things that as an entrepreneur, business owner, you have to think about how am I showing up in the world and is that am I really walking the talk and that that's where that that that connection comes in to how you You show up to your message.

Alyson Lex 25:02
I think that also plays into the struggle with consistency. Because if you have a show, and it's time to record or broadcast and you're not feeling like you're showing up, you don't, you're not having a good hair day, you might be more willing to just say, forget it, and allow that inconsistency in. If you're feeling insecure about your content, if you're feeling insecure about the way you're showing up, if you're not willing to show up in that baseball cap, right. And so by working on that aspect of it, we also kind of work on that consistency part too. I know that's Jenny's favorite word had to throw it in there a couple times for

Sheryl Plouffe 25:43
there's so much fear. There's so much fear in this industry. And especially for people who haven't maybe been doing this yet, they haven't launched a show yet. There's fear. So how can you overcome that? Well, I think it's about you know, finding ways to to be consistent. Yes. And it's really looking at an examining the difference between reasons and excuses. Because there's so much fear, a lot of people want to put in front of themselves. Reasons why they ought not to do the thing that's scaring them. So, oh, I couldn't possibly do this episode today. Because I don't know my gray is showing, and I need to go to the hairdresser and get my hair done first, before I do the episode. Really, like no one's noticing that or caring about that? You do. But you might be putting that up as a wall for why not to do the thing that scares you. And there are so many examples of that, like technology is a really good example of that, where people say, Why can't possibly launch this show, I don't have a proper webcam, I can't possibly do the show because my lighting is whatever or there's, you know, I don't have a such and such background. So many reasons that people put in front of themselves. But those are just, those are just walls that we put up to protect ourselves.

Jennie Wright 27:13
They're really they're really, they're really manufactured reasons when the fact is nobody really cares. At all, nobody cares. People care more about the content. And you're your own worst critic, and you're the person that's holding you back. Which leads me in to the fact that I think that people need to have some way to sort of figure this out and to overcome it. And you've mentioned a couple times, like how to do this, and how to create these shows and how to work in this space. But do you have any resources for the listeners on actually doing this thing? You mentioned that you may have a system before I kind of want to get a little bit more detail there? How can you help people actually do this?

Sheryl Plouffe 27:54
I am teaching this now I am since I launched my process and how I have set up the automation and how I'm producing the show and I do a multi stream live approach and then repurpose it to audio. I've had some interest from people saying, hey, I'm interested to know how you're doing this science, really teaching this now, one of the best ways I think to reach out to me would just be to my email right Cheryl at Cheryl PLIF calm and just say I heard you on System to THRIVE. With Jennie and Alison, tell me more about it is probably the best way. But I do have some resources on my website at Cheryl POF calm I have a resource bundle. And in that bundle are a variety of different tools and assets that you can, you know, download and take a look at one of which is my nine affordable tools that I use to produce, manage and publish my show. And so you got to see the nine different tools that I am using in conjunction with one another. And I also share five time saving content strategies, and 180 different video prompts for those who are wanting to do a little bit of live streaming but kind of don't know where to start. They're like Mad Libs style fill in the blank type prompts to help you. So that's a resource bundle that's on my website.

Jennie Wright 29:14
You said Allison's favorite two words. Mad Libs.

Alyson Lex 29:18
I love that I so had there not been a copyright issue with that word, I would have launched a product called Marketing Mad Libs. And I'm still salty years later that I can't do it.

Sheryl Plouffe 29:32
I hear you are so helpful people, it can be really helpful to have a jumping off point so that you can sort of envision you go oh, here's the framework. If I just put this word in and that word now of sudden I've got something sometimes it just it requires just a little bit of a push to to help people see Oh, from a creative perspective. Oh, that's how I could say that or that's how I could go out there and and talk about a subject

Alyson Lex 30:00
Well, what we'll do is I am going to go download that little bundle. So I'll grab the link, we'll make sure we put it in the show notes to this episode at system to thrive.com, as well as links to all your socials, your YouTube, all that good stuff so people can check you out. And then we'll also put a little button there with your email addresses so that they can just get in contact with you directly. Because I think people need you.

Sheryl Plouffe 30:23
Well, thank you so much. This has been really fun to participate. And I love your questions. They are thought provoking, which I love. And I think hopefully helpful to those who are listening and watching because this is important stuff in this day and age now more than ever, and I was saying this long before the pandemic, right video is no longer a nice to have. But it's pretty clear now that the direction is video, and I'm happy to help in any way

Alyson Lex 30:50
I can. Where you feel really

Jennie Wright 30:53
honored to have somebody of your caliber be on our show. So we're just really thankful. And you and I have talked back and forth a bit and Facebook chat and things like that. So I'm just really glad to have the connection, and be able to share this information. We love having people like yourself on the show who can give us a bit of a deeper understanding who are true experts and gurus in their field, so to speak. So thank you so much for taking the time. We really, really do appreciate it. Thank you very much. Absolutely. And if you've been listening to the show, and you absolutely want to check this out, go to system to thrive.com. Check out Cheryl's episode, everything that Alison mentioned and that Cheryl mentioned are in the shownotes and you can find them there. And if you're not already, please do make sure you're following us wherever you're listening to your favorite podcasts. We hope every one of them so thanks so much for being here, everybody. We'll talk to y'all soon.

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