Welcome to episode 6 of Dreamchasers! Bronwynne Powell has this massive, magnetic smile, and a passion for being intentional with her time online.
As a small business owner based in South Africa, and with over a decade on the newsroom floor and government branding, today she writes about productivity in technology.
She joins me to talk about how to be productive with your use of tools, where she is choosing to spend her time online, the problem with tool fatigue, how to stand out as a brand, and why simple strategies will always keep things moving.
As a ‘parent in training’, she’s chasing her dream of inspiring people the way she was as a child, but doing it from home in ways that matter to her.
Dreamchasers is the interview series for people who want human marketing on a zero budget. I’m your host, Dominic de Souza. Listen in for tips and insights, for 15 minutes a week. It’s the dreamers who make the future. Chase yours.
Summary & Notes
Time is like water running down a mountain. If you have nothing to catch it in, it will all run away.
We’re bombarded with distractions all day. Running an app-tracker showed Bronwynne where she was spending so much of her time. It surprised her.
She discovered that she was spending 2 hours a day interacting with clients, and 3 in emails. She decided to reverse that.
A big problem with platforms is the issue of meaningful conversations.
‘Deep Work’ completely re-evaluated her relationship to social media. She dropped Facebook, to focus on platforms that were constructive, deliberate, and intentional for her:
- LinkedIn brings valuable professional insights. People share their knowledge so freely, and are always excited to engage.
- Instagram is to engage with like-minded people, and the powerful use of stories.
Important questions to ask ourselves:
- How am I using this platform
- How long am I going to use this platform
It is critical how we are able to connect to a global community of professionals.
On the flip side, there’s also a fatigue to tool use. She read that people aren’t downloading new apps. How do you commit to a set of tools? You can’t be everywhere, using them all, and they may not be relevant to your business.
It may be so easy to download and install live chat on your website. But is it going to be valuable to your time? Is this going to add value, or be another item on your list to manage, another app you won’t open?
If you’re thinking about adding an new item to your tool stack, be careful about overload.
She started out on the newsroom as a reporter, excited to see her byline in the newspaper. After 9 years, went on to do branding and PR for government for economic development, tourism, and technology. In the last 2 years, she’s now returned to her roots, blogging, and learning about writing.
Growing up, everyone had interacted with the daily paper in Cape Town, the Cape Argus. That experience of passing the paper around the family, and seeing how it impacted the community fascinated her.
Seeing the rise of disruptive technologies like Twitter and social networking, she focused on how modern ways that people receive their news, and what’s next.
Branding & Values
“A brand is a promise” – Debbie Millman. This idea has Never been more relevant.
We don’t like to associate with brands that do things we disagree with. Stating your values and what you stand for, how you see the world, and the things you want to accomplish, do many things for your brand.
One thing is that you’re ‘screening’ your clients and leads.
A lot of things that people do are commodified. Not unique or relevant. But including your story can help you stand out, more than anything else.
In her research into copywriting, she came across too many websites that were too pushy in their sales and marketing.
She focuses on a three-part process; here’s your problem, here’s how I know what you’re struggling with, and here’s what I think can help you.
The kinds of clients she works with are very much aligned with that. “We shouldn’t have to scare people into working with us.”
That’s what’s so important about content; every blog, video, and status update is a chance to help someone.
She focuses on data-rich stories.
She’s very careful to do good research, and provide clear links to supporting documentation and studies.
She’s trying to bring stories into more of her writing, they are instantly more instructive.
Identify small habits that you can follow every day.
Say you wanted to write a blog post a week; it can seem overwhelming if you have 50 things to get to on a daily basis.
But break it down, and choose to spend 20 minutes a day on your project.
Create a process for it. For example, for staying on top of her blog: every day for 6 days, she does something different.
- choose the idea you’ve been thinking about it.
- First draft
It’s all so much more doable. Small incremental deadlines move us closer to our goals. She relied on this strategy recently to get her through a cold. It showed her the importance of having a system, a process.
Her business continues moving forward, no matter how she feels.
So allocate 20 minutess a day, and stick to it, and you’ll have an archive of amazing content.