IT’S SEASON FOUR, EVERYONE! This year we are doing quarterly themes – and I’m so excited to bring you the theme for the second quarter: Business Strategy. I feel like as we go into the second part of 2023, it’s so important to be able to take a look at what you have done so far, and then look to the future as we prep for the rest of the year. Business Strategy is going to encompass social media strategy, hiring practices, internal business structure and more.

Today’s episode is with Tahnée Sanders – and brilliant journalist-turned-marketing strategist and we are discussing the “competitor” headspace, and how the heck we can get out of it. We discuss whether it’s important to be tuned into what your competitors are doing, how we can really hone in on what our customers really want, and her best strategy tips for us to create a social feed that caters to our ideal customers. You can find Tahnee HERE.

How To Get Out of the “Competitor” Headspace with Tahnée Sanders

Tahnée began her career quite literally off the beaten path in a small Australian mining town, where she was the country’s youngest daily newspaper editor. In one of many bold steps, Tahnée left her career in journalism and set off to travel to the Americas. A one year plan would turn into nearly a decade abroad. After trading her marketing and copywriting services to a small florist shop in Canada in exchange for knowledge on floristry, Tahnée was catapulted into the wedding industry. She went on to learn all the things about flowers and styling, and serve as a content strategist for wedding inspiration leader Once Wed, as well as If I Made, one of the first online learning companies for creative entrepreneurs. When she became a new mom in 2017, she knew she wanted to pivot toward a life that fulfilled her and provided more flexibility. Since 2019, Tahnée has supported more than 100 small businesses through her strategy sessions, Done-In-A-Day copywriting service and group coaching. She has also been featured on shows like If I Made a Podcast and has been a contributor for Fairfax Media and Real Weddings Magazine, as well as a speaker at summits like the 2022 Simply Business Summit, among others.



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Show Notes

  • What does hustle like a mother mean to you?
    • For me it’s about not settling for less than you desire and demonstrating to my own kids what it looks like to love what you do and to design a life that brings you fulfillment. I want my children to see that I don’t have to work. I get to work.
  • Tell us about your story and your journey. I know you said you started off in a much more traditional role before you jumped into entrepreneurship, so tell us a little bit about how that started.
    • I studied journalism, so I was a journalist. Did my three years of study. Became the editor of a daily newspaper at 26, youngest editor in Australia. Completely burnt out. Red flags were there. Not sustainable to work 70-80 hour weeks. Journalism is a 24/7 job. Moved to Vancouver, Canada with husband for a career break. Originally intended for one year but ended up staying for eight years. Worked in a flower shop doing marketing and social media management for free in exchange for learning to work with flowers. I loved working in a flower shop and became their wedding and event director, which got me into the wedding industry.
    • Combining my marketing and copywriting skills with creative entrepreneurs, I went on to work for a big wedding blog and helped create online courses for creative entrepreneurs. Originally, I was contracting, but when our child was born, I realized I needed to formalize my freelancing. I realized there were so many small business owners who just wanted help getting their message right or putting an online course into context. This led me to the realization that this is my jam, this is what I love, and why have I not called this what it is? This is a business. In 2019, I formalized my work and called it the Strategy Studio. I’ve been doing marketing strategy and copywriting ever since. I can’t believe it took me so long to realize this is what I was meant to be doing, but I’m glad that I finally found it.
  • Let’s talk about what competitors mean for a business. Do our competitors matter and should we be paying attention to them? What role do they play in our business?
    • The role of competitors can mean many things at different points in your entrepreneurial journey. Often, we put too much emphasis on our competitors, which becomes a distraction from our own mission. We should focus on how we want to bring value to our ideal clients. Sometimes we get exhausted by marketing, but it could also be saturation from consuming too much content from competitors. When we consume too much content from competitors, we give our brains zero capacity for white space and fresh ideas. Nothing feels original or worth saying anymore when all we see is what everyone else is doing.
    • I don’t think that we need to necessarily unfollow our competitors. I more just mean mute them. You don’t want your feed to be filled with what they’re doing. What are the things that bring us joy? What are the things that light us up, make us feel motivated, make us feel creative and inspired? How can you get more of that into your feed? But if you’re asking what we can do within social media to change what our competitors do to us, that’s what I would say. I would say just try muting them and see if you can’t get back to the point of that refreshing feeling of opening whatever app it might be. 
  • Sometimes I get so stressed when I open the app and I don’t even know what to consume. Everything is coming at me all at once, you know, what do you do with that? How do you make that feel better?
    • I say batch your content and schedule it so you don’t fall off the Instagram (or whatever social media platform you choose to use) train, so to speak. If you just shut down the app and not post for 2, 3, 4 weeks, unfortunately you pay for that. If you don’t wanna pay for it, what I can recommend if you want to give yourself a social media break is to batch and pre-schedule two weeks of content and just don’t open the app. If you need a break, schedule the content so your business doesn’t suffer the loss in engagement cuz at least something is still happening. If those two weeks away from opening the app every day are gonna give you the energy to show up again and do it properly, that to me is worth it.
  • Jumping back to competitors, are there things we should be looking at from our competitors? Is there some part of your market research that is good for your business?
    • I think there’s benefit in knowing what your competitors are doing…so you can make sure that you are still showing up with a point of difference. It’s good to know what other people are doing so we can be a little bit more intentional about being ourselves. I always say there’s enough work to go around and I love knowing what other marketers and other copywriters are doing, people that I really respect so I can share work. I don’t feel that there’s any benefit in following competitors that you don’t respect just purely for the sake of knowing what they’re doing. You can encourage one another, potentially refer work to one another, when the circumstances are right.
  • When you say pay more attention to your ideal customers versus your online competitors, how can business owners find those ideal customers? What does it mean to pay more attention to them?
    • I think often our social media feeds become consumed with people doing what we’re doing, like you said. We’re following other people in our space and the downside of that is that we stop communicating with the people who need us because we’re competing with the people who do what we do. And that isn’t how we’re going to get clients. So how we find our ideal clients on social media is by remembering what pain points it is that they’re looking for solutions to. So it depends on what your business is as to whether you are the type of business who has a one-time client, such as someone in the wedding industry, for example, whereas if you are in marketing or coaching or bookkeeping or accounting, whatever it might be, you obviously have a much higher likelihood of a retainer client or at least a repeat client. So it’s a little bit different based on the lifespan of your ideal client or customer. But I do say try and think about what is the life cycle of that customer and can you make sure that you are continuing to repeat your message? The reason I say that is when we’re consuming so much content from other people doing what we’re doing, we quit our message because we’re sick of hearing yourself talk because we think everyone’s talking about it. What actually happens is we’re quitting the message in the middle, so we’re quitting it cuz we’re sick of it. Just at the point that that new follower that only started following us three, six months ago has finally started to understand that thing that we talk about a lot.
  • Are there any last tips you wanna leave us with when it comes to getting out of this competitor headspace?
    • I would say just don’t put too much pressure on yourself to hear this conversation and go and change everything that you’re doing. That’s not the intention of it. But what I would say is, can you just try, even if it’s for a week or two, muting a lot of the accounts you know, that you look at every single day and just see what it feels like to not have that saturation point of content and start to see what it feels like to have those fresh ideas start, start dropping back in. And when you’ve got those fresh ideas and you get the chance to use them, does that bring back your motivation to commit to marketing your business? Because marketing should never feel like “I have to,” it should feel like “I want to” when I get to because it allows me to serve and connect with more of the people that I wanna do business with.
  • Where can we find you on the internet? Where are you hanging out and how can we get connected with you?

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