BOSSES IN THE WILD // Kathleen on the Creative Empire Podcast

April 27, 2018

Kathleen was recently a guest on Christina Scalera and Reina Pomeroy’s podcast, The Creative Empire, where they talked a lot about creating content for your business. So in today’s minisode, Kathleen is digging into her philosophy on creating content for your business and offering tips on how to get in the right mindset for creating content. You can listen to Kathleen’s full episode of The Creative Empire here >>

This Episode Brought to You By:
"The best content you can create is the most honest truth you can share."
- Kathleen Shannon


More from Kathleen

Braid Creative

More from Emily

Almanac Supply Co.


Kathleen Shannon 0:00
All right, the being boss book is here,

Emily Thompson 0:01
and you can buy it wherever books are sold and bosses. It's beautiful.

Kathleen Shannon 0:08
If you've bought the book and want to help us make it a bestseller, please leave us a rating and review on Amazon.

Kathleen Shannon 0:19
This being boss episode is brought to you by twenty20, where creative minds get authentic real world stock photos. If you're looking to tell a true story through your brand to deliver an honest message to your audience on social media, the photos you use will matter. twenty20 has crowd sourced millions of photos from a community of over 350,000 photographers, all available under a simple royalty free license. Today, they're offering listeners of being boss a five photo free trial to start yours right now go to That's the word 20, then to slash being boss to get five free photos.

Kathleen Shannon 1:02
What's up bosses as of recording this, I am like hours away from getting on a plane to New York to celebrate the launch of the being boss book. The first I wanted to pop in and tell you that I was recently a guest on Christina Sclera and Rena Pomeroy's podcast, The Creative Empire, where we talked a lot about creating content for your business, which is something I am entirely familiar with. Because creating content was how I first attracted freelance clients back before I even started braid creative. And it's how I've grown my branding agency braid creative into what it is today. And it's obviously the backbone of what we've created here at being boss. I mean, we had enough content to write a whole book about it. And we may or may not already be planning a book number two. So here's a clip from my episode of the Creative Empire.

Christina Scalera 2:01
So Kathleen, when it comes to one of the things that we also hear a lot of complaints about from our audience is that I hear you and I love that you've served your audience well. But now, what we see happening a couple years later, is it's a little more saturated, and people that are employing maybe some of the same techniques, obviously done in a different way, they can't create the same kind of content in your voice. What they see happening is they're attracting more of their competitors to their blog through Pinterest strategies, blogging strategies, and they're not attracting their clients, their ideal client base. So everybody's told them to get onto Pinterest, to, you know, blog every day, get your SEO up, you know, get your following up. But the problem is that a lot of these people are attracting their, like fellow creative design studio competitors, or freelancers that are competing with them instead of the people that they want to work with as clients. So it's a lot of traffic, a lot of people coming to the website that they're seeing, but they're not necessarily seeing the same kind of profitability that these other people that have come before them that employed these strategies have, do you think that you did something different? Because you did attract your ideal client base? Was it highlighting certain clients? Or was there any kind of technique or strategy because you were so intentional, with great creative that you use that you feel like is different than what you're seeing out there?

Kathleen Shannon 3:25
I mean, perhaps not. Maybe I was just one of the first doing it. And so it's, you know, continuing to work and attract, I mean, I've certainly attracted some of my competitors. And then I created an offering where they were hiring me to, you know, so that's where I've probably pivoted around some of that. And really, you know, I think that part of it is just creating the kind of content that makes my dream clients feel like I'm in their head. And so I'm literally taking questions that I get from my newsletter from actual potential clients or creatives. And I'm turning that into content. And so that might be the same strategies that, you know, the folks that you're referring to are employing as well. And they're not just getting their dream clients. So my biggest recommendation with there would be to get really clear about your offering. You know, one thing that I'm seeing happen a lot all over the place is that people are being too vague with their deliverables. So what is it that you're actually delivering to your client? How are you changing their business or their life? You know, whether that is a painting, or a website, or a logo, you have got to know what it is that you're selling, so that you can very clearly articulate how someone can buy. So if you're still attracting your competitors, I don't quite know the answer to that. That's, you know, I I've experienced that myself, but I've also had a lot of other branding suits Yours hire me to help them with their branding, which is kind of, you know, interesting and very meta, but I love being able to do that. So I think it's just continuing to put in the time and hours and without being able to diagnose or speak to someone one on one to see what their specific situation is, or the kind of content they're creating, it's really hard to say, you know, what the problem is, but I would stop worrying about, you know, the Facebook ads and the Pinterest strategies. And that's, you know, that's the thing that I kind of find myself falling into, like, man, why am I not spending, you know, $15,000 a month on Facebook ads to then make $8 million a year, and I'm just not, you know, I'd rather spend my time really focusing on again, being the best podcaster I can be being the best, you know, creative director I can be, and not worrying so much about, you know, the tactics that really seem like a flash in the pan, I feel like those things are always changing. And I don't want anyone to be feel left behind, like by me saying this. And I don't want them saying, well, Kathleen told me to just not worry about Pinterest. But I do think that those can be distractions from what it is that we actually have to offer and deliver our clients.

Kathleen Shannon 6:18
Now, I want to continue the conversation here and dig into content for a minute, it is one of my favorite topics. But it's also something that a lot of our bosses get hung up about. So first, I want to be clear that the best content you can create is the most honest truth you can share. So that doesn't mean that you're, you know, spilling your guts or telling all of your deepest secrets. It's just saying everything you can as true as possible. So when I was first starting with freelancing, I wasn't writing about how to build a six figure business because I had zero experience with that. Instead, I was writing about what I was doing to organize and build my business with zero experience. Now, you know, I think that also what you write is kind of shapes what you become. And this is something that my sister said a long time ago, and even today, I was talking to one of my favorite creative friends on the phone. And she's a multi passionate creative, who's into wardrobe styling and interior design and real estate. And she felt like she had to have everything perfect before she really launched her business. I said, you just have to put it out there. You just need one client at a time. And those clients and how you shape that experience and how you continue to share and market that experience that will shape what you become. So even if you're writing about something that you barely have experienced, in as long as you're being completely honest, you will continue to grow into that. And this is something I'm even playing around with, you know, as I'm growing as a creative, I'm constantly writing and talking about things. You want to become the person and the creative that I want to become. And you know, again, it comes back to just being incredibly honest with your experience and your expertise. I want to share what I know, I want to talk about what I aspire to be.

Kathleen Shannon 8:18
But I don't want to hold myself back, you know, and I don't want to make anything up. So I want to share what I know. And nothing more, nothing less. And something else I didn't mention in this interview is that I think as creatives sometimes you need to put your blinders on to avoid distractions and comparison traps. This is something I've been experiencing lately where, you know, I look at all the incredible creatives out there. And I think well what do I really have to offer. So I think that this is where you just hunker down and you do your work because it's what fulfills you. And it's in doing the work that you'll find yourself and what it is that you really want to share. That said, you know, a lot of people ask me how you come up with new content and how you get your gears turning. And I always find myself most inspired in two places. One, whenever I'm going for my daily walks, it always just unleashes the thoughts. I love listening to podcasts. And I can start to, you know, be introduced to new concepts and start to riff on my experience with those concepts to create your new connections and, and connect new dots. And I also get really inspired whenever I read books from other thought leaders, I think that books are a really great place to get really legitimate information because it's been thought through and written out in an incredibly articulate way. I also love with books that I can highlight things and make notes in the margins. So what I really want to do today is emphasize that you don't need to follow current sales and marketing trends, but instead get really clear about what it is that you want to be known for. What kinds of conference So you want to be having, and then it's your job to create the content that you know will help you get more clients or attract more of your tribe to you. Alright, I hope that this will inspire you to go listen to the full episode of the creative Empire. You can check that out at or wherever you listen to podcasts. Talk to you soon.

Emily Thompson 10:28
All right, excuse me, while I pause this for a moment and let you in on the most exciting news I've maybe ever shared. Kathleen and I have had a baby, a book, baby. That's right. The being boss book is out and available for you to purchase. It's been a long labor, but it's here and it's beautiful, if we must say so ourselves.

Kathleen Shannon 10:48
We wrote this book to help creatives like you cultivate the confidence it takes to take control of your work and to make money doing what you love so that you can live life on your own terms. And because that mission feels so right deep down in our bones, we're here to ask you for some help. We need to get this in the hands of every creative who suffers from fraudy feelings, who's stuck in mindsets that keep them from creating the thing, and who struggled with charging what they're worth.

Emily Thompson 11:15
So first, buy this book for yourself. Because if you're a fan of this show, you're going to love what we've got going on in the being boss book. Note, we highly recommend getting the printed book, we've made it to be held and written in and become an accessory on your desk.

Kathleen Shannon 11:31
Second, send a link to a friend. anyone you know who could benefit from some boss awesomeness in their eyeballs. It's filled with full color photos, worksheets and tips for being boss if they're gonna love it.

Emily Thompson 11:44
Third, leave us a rating and review on Amazon. Our dream is to skyrocket this book to the kind of success that has every creative in the world feeling like a total boss. So your support there would mean everything to us. Now, go to being boss club slash book for links to purchase or head on over to wherever books are sold. Thank you for your continued support. It's because of you that we've been able to bring this book into the world. Now. Let's get back at it.

Kathleen Shannon 12:13
This minisode was brought to you by twenty20. Check them out at that's t w e n t y 20 as in the slash being boss.

Emily Thompson 12:27
Did you like this minisode Be sure to check us out on our website at There you can find more from being boss including our full episodes minisodes and blog posts. And while you're there, be sure to sign up for our mailing list so that you can get access to behind the scenes and exclusive content from Kathleen and myself to help you be more boss in your work and life. Do the work be boss