As Simon Sinek puts it, you have to find your why to be a successful entrepreneur and leader. The importance of defining your purpose is unquestionable but it is not the same with Phoebe Mroczek – marketing strategist and podcast host of Unbecoming. She throws light on this belief as she explains why it is more important to define your who first before exposing your why. On the side, she gives her insights on the true value of podcasting and scaling depth.
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Defining Your Identity with Phoebe Mroczek
I have Phoebe Mroczek. You have a podcast called The Unbecoming. I love that because that invites lots of danger and rebellion and not having to be a woman all the time. You are a coach and a marketing strategist. You got a lot of how-tos here in your bio about marketing and how to get downloads and do all that. While we’ll talk a little bit about that, I really want to talk a little bit about what your podcast is doing for you and your business and why you’ve chosen to do that. Because you really think that there are lots of things that are broken in the digital marketing world and I appreciate that perspective. Tell us a little bit about what your podcast is about.
My podcast is for anybody to feel as though they have been clouded or their life has clouded by judgment of themselves or expectations that other people put on you. How do you release the judgment and the expectation to actually do what you want to do and be the person you want to be? I’m talking to people who are building a business. I believe everyone builds a business as an extension of themselves. The way that I approach business is really the “who” behind the business. Everyone talks about strategies and I know those are all marketing strategies myself. Several years ago, Simon Sinek came in and said, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” My approach is I go one step further and I say, “People actually buy who you are before they ever buy why you do what you do.” My show is all about unraveling all of the judgments, expectations and talking to the people, the who behind the business as opposed to the strategies and all of that. We do get into that.
I love that because I’m not actually a big fan of the “why” because the why feels sometimes manufactured. Instead, I really want to dive deep into the “who.” I like the who of who’s my audience? Who am I speaking to? Who can I help? Who can I impact? In my world, business is about service and my impact is my service. How can I reach them is important, but who am I reaching and who can I help the most and get the most effective results for it? When you’re diving into the who, sometimes you have to investigate who you are first.
I was just talking to my podcast friend, Dr. Liz Hoefer of Is Your Head on Straight? podcast and one of the things that we’re talking about is the name that you choose for your show sets a tone for who you attract to. That helps really getting into, “Am I comfortable here, speaking about this all day, marketing about this all day, providing these services and doing this? Am I comfortable with that? Are people comfortable listening to that and are they attracted to that?” If those two things match, you’ve got a burgeoning business.
You always try to find the who. I think a lot of times people miss the mark with the who because they haven’t actually discovered who they are and they haven’t seen the parallels between what their life story has led them to be and where other people are coming from. It’s that intersection point that I think is the most important thing in business. I completely agree.
I think that’s so true what you’re saying about that. Sometimes they don’t know who they are. More importantly, I think sometimes they don’t recognize their own value and I find that with a lot of women especially, but men as well. They aren’t seeing the value of what they’re actually putting out in the world. They’re not actually recognizing, “I am great at this or I’m being this, I’m providing this. That’s a value and that’s who I really am.”
I think a lot of people don’t recognize their value because we were never taught to appreciate the uniqueness of who we are. We’re so confined to our definition or somebody else’s definition of what success is, in what we feel or how we show up to share as entrepreneurs, as women, as peers to support each other. It’s like, “If I look it through this lens of what success is to me, then maybe I’m not as successful so I’m not going to show up as powerfully.” Whereas once we redefine what our metrics of success are, then we see that we are successful. We are doing the thing. We can show up powerfully in support of others and in support of ourselves.
I love your approach, Phoebe, because there’s so much of the digital marketing world that is very male-dominated. You’re very unique in the digital marketing world. You only have to go to one Traffic & Conversion to know that 90% of the speakers are all men to realize that there’s something really missing here. It’s not that women are missing out on the boat, they’re just not promoting in that way. I like that your business is talking about paid and launch strategies because the paid model is actually part of what’s working. We’re being disingenuous too. I say this all the time to my audience of podcasters, “You are competing against big media companies who are putting dollars into the media launches of those shows. That’s what you’re competing against. Don’t kid yourself that independence can do this. They can. It’s just not going to turn out with the same results.”
Don’t start a podcast if you’re in it to make a quick buck because that is not the game that we are playing. Can you make a lot of money podcasting? Sure, but it’s more than that. It’s developing a relationship. My belief is that the best way to scale depth, which depth for me is the reason why I follow people, the reason why I make purchase decisions as an entrepreneur, as a business owner and also just as a human being is when I really connect with something or someone or a message or something. The best way I know how to scale depth is through podcasting, being in your ears is such an intimate thing.
It is relationship-building.
It’s sharing who you are. You should get paid to do that, to be able to show up. People pretend like podcasting is just for building a community and all that, which it is but there’s so much more to it than that. I think that we should all get paid to do what we love to do.
Your podcast has almost a million downloads.
Collectively podcasting, over million. I was a co-host on a show a couple of years ago and then my current show. I am actually launching two more shows this year. I am full in on podcasting. I’m definitely doubling down on it.
I launched my fourth one this year. All of them are active though. Every couple of months I’m on one of them. The other three, I’m all active in. Obviously, we’re all in. That’s our business. That’s so interesting that you’re going in and I see that from a lot of digital marketers actually going in with multiple shows, multiple purposes because the niches are really an interesting model. Being able to then translate that into coaching, sales, product sales or whatever it is that you’re looking for. Are you finding a great tie between podcasting and being able to then sell the right things?
A lot of people talk about sponsorship being the only way to make money in podcasting and it is like creative dance. One of my shows that I’ll be launching is all about the local podcasting. As far as my niche, it’s very specific to moving to Austin. It will be very specific to Austin. There will be sponsorships. That is how I will make money on that show. On my current show, Unbecoming, it’s all about what I’m selling. I’m selling myself, I’m selling my coaching services, group programs, events and that’s how I’m filling those things. Then the other one will be more of selling from a podcasting angle. I was like, “Why this is so impactful?” There are so many different ways to make money from podcasting, but it’s just being rewarded for doing the thing that you love to do, showing that consistently and giving a ton of value.People actually buy who you are before they ever buy why you do what you do. Click To Tweet
The theme set by the International Women’s group is #BalanceforBetter and I added #LifeInHarmony because balance sounds really lonely and I don’t like that idea. I want to encourage team and family and support systems and that sounds a little more like harmony at the end of the day but #BalanceforBetter. How do you do that?
I have a hard time with the word balance in general because I don’t necessarily believe that I balance in my life. Mine is more of a prioritization strategy in my life. What do I value and how do I prioritize what I’m doing to fit in line with my values? I’m looking at business and life as all one thing. People compartmentalize all the time and that has never worked for me. I’ve tried really hard be able to turn off the business and be personal. It doesn’t work like that for me and for a lot of my clients. What I would say is just get in alignment with your goals and your values. From the values, you can then determine your habits and in those habits, that’s how you show up consistently.
It’s all about the small wins for me. I spent several years trying to figure out how to balance my life and my health and fitness and my relationship and then I got really burnt out on that. I was like, “What if it wasn’t a balance necessarily? It’s this fun little dance where some days I’m going to be better in my health and fitness than I am in my relationship. Then other days I’m going to really high on the relationship and my business is going to be really high too. Maybe my spirituality is going to take a little bit of a dip. I know what my values are, I then know what my goals are and my daily habits. I’ve broken it all down into what’s important to me and what’s important to me is going to look a lot different than what’s important to you even if they say the same thing. We say relationship, but my relationships are different from your relationships. Getting really clear on that is how I have managed to achieve this level of integration.
That’s why I call it harmony because in harmony you are playing with others or you are playing with parts. There could be different pieces of music. There could be different instruments. You’re playing with those things and some take center stage and some take the back seat and that’s okay. To me that’s exactly why I added that to our hashtag because I thought that’s actually a little more about how I view it as well. You’re not alone. You are the fourth person who said, “I don’t really even know I want balance.” I love that that’s how we’ve gone now because I actually do think that setting that up is setting us up for failure.
There’s so much pressure, especially as women. I have a lot of clients that are moms and I asked a lot of my friends that are moms, I will be a mom at some point one day. When I asked them, I used to be like, “How do you balance work?” That used to be my go-to questions in random dinnertime conversations and repeatedly I felt the amount of pressure that it was to be a great mom and have a business and have it all and do it well and elegantly and look amazing and all this. I was like, “That’s not real life and that sounds like so much pressure.” I am not cut out for that.
If I could mom-advice you, if you’ve it figured it out, then you’re really not ready for it. If you know what you’re doing, then you’re just all kinds of wrong. In and of itself is anything. It’s an experience. If you take joy in the experience part of it, then you’re going to find all the things that flow in front of you. My kids are completely different from each other. You’ve met Alexandra so you know how her brain works and you know she is. For me, there’s a lot of joy and there’s a lot of confidence that comes from, “I raised one, now I’ve got a couple of little ones around.” I have a nine and a four-year-old, two in addition to her. They are who they are. They’re each their own persons. My life is very different now than it was when I had Alexandra and I was very young. I’m at a different stage and so my parenting is totally different. To even think that I knew what I was doing because I already had them, no it doesn’t work like that for anyone. You’re not going to be alone. Don’t worry.
I know. I have a lot of friends that are parents and I am like, “I think I got this.” I got this but I don’t got this.
Get yourself a village because that really makes a lot of difference in the world.
From being a mom to building a business.
You got started in digital marketing and I just want to get a little bit of who you are and you’re there in the Austin area, which I totally love. I have spent a lot of time there in the last couple of years and I love the community there. There’s a lot of digital stuff going on in Austin. How did you get started in that?
I actually started teaching what I know. I started a couple of years ago with Canva actually. I keep getting asked all these questions about graphics. It was random. Then the founder of Canva was on my first Webinar, which was horrifying. She found out about me. Somehow, I had 1,200 people register for my very first webinar, which was bizarre and scary. Then I did it and I was like, “I’m going to teach what I know.” I went from Canva then to Facebook ads and funnels and creating that for people in their launch strategies. If you’re going into someone’s business, the Facebook ad part led me straight to the evolution of my brand. It started with Facebook Ads and then I would look at their opt-in pages, their landing pages, their email marketing sequences and just thought, “This is not going to convert. I’ve got to now help you with that too and I can do this,” and I just got better at it.
I’m watching the conversion rates and I was watching all of the data to tell me what was happening. Then I realized, now I’m like a full-service launch agency almost. From there, then I got into really helping people coach. I had a business partner and we were helping to coach people to get from six figures to seven figures and what did that look like. Then I just realized it’s actually not about the figures for me. It’s about the heart, the intention and how you want to design your life. From that, that’s where I straddle the fence. It’s a really fine line for me between being a personal coach and being a marketing strategist and a business coach because it’s one and the same. Now I call myself this, tomorrow I call me this, but it’s the same thing.
This is the thing. It was a couple of years ago and he’s one of our podcasters right now. We met at an event and we had a great conversation. We were talking about starting a podcast and I was like, “I’m happy to help you start one. This is what we do every day, we’ll get you going.” Then he said, “I’ll follow up with a call.” Then when he followed up with call and he was like, “I really like to hire you as my mentor and coach.” I was like, “I don’t do that.” I was like, “You get it. It comes with my services. It comes with our program. You can have calls with me and all of that goes on.” I didn’t really consider that I was both a strategist, a consultant and a coach. All of it is built into the way that we provide our services. You’re right, that label doesn’t work for most people anymore. It’s just too small.
You also have to speak the language of the person that you are trying to attract. A business coach is not 100% what I feel I am, not always. A lot of times I’m a borderline therapist, which is great because I love that. I love the inner workings of what makes you who you are and why does this not work and why are you playing small and all of that. That’s actually what I love. How does that get communicated through your business? That’s what I need to do. Those are the results that I need to produce as a coach. I also need to speak the language. Nobody’s looking for a business therapist. You’re looking for a coach and you’re looking for a marketing strategist. I’ve got to speak your language, put my sign out being like, “This is who I am.” Once you get inside, “This is what we actually do.” They don’t even know what they need sometimes, but it’s my job to tell them.
We’ll make sure everyone can find you. They can find The Unbecoming Podcast. You’re syndicated everywhere so that’s not a problem. You mentioned something and that was you are inspiring connection and change to be more yourself and I’d love for you to leave us with your thoughts on that.Once we redefine what our metrics of success are, then we'll know we are successful. Click To Tweet
I feel the way to a scale impact, the way to scale depth is through podcasting and through connecting with other people in a way that feels authentic and genuine to who you are. I know authenticity and vulnerability are being thrown around like buzzwords, like candy, but it really is important to figure out who you are. How you communicate that in a way that feels in alignment with what you’re trying to create in the world, who you are, how you want to show up. My biggest takeaway for all of this is to figure out who you are before you ever figure out why you’re going to do what you’re going to do.
Thank you so much for sharing that and thank you for joining me on International Women’s Day. I love that we have so many powerhouse females on our platform. I love that you all are so different in your personalities, in your businesses and in your mindsets. I love that because it gets me jazzed all day long.
Thank you. Happy International Women’s Day and the only last thing I’ll say is that, especially if you’re reading this and you’re a woman, we need more female voices, especially in the podcasting world. It is so important that everybody is represented no matter what you look like, sound like, what your tastes are and your preferences. We have got to show up for each other and we have got to get our voices heard. That is something that’s really important to me.
Thank you for saying that. That’s what I’m trying to do. Thank you, Phoebe.
About Phoebe Mroczek
Phoebe Mroczek is a podcaster and marketing strategist who helps online entrepreneurs create a profitable business that is a reflection of who they are and what they want most.
She is the host of the Unbecoming Podcast, a show that helps entrepreneurs release judgment, expectations and past conditioning to redefine their metrics of success and live a fun, free and fulfilling life.
Over the past few years, she’s built an online marketing business that helped established entrepreneurs refine their paid ad and launch strategies, created a podcast she co-hosted with 900K+ downloads and organized various in-person events, masterminds, and online communities.
Phoebe believes that while what we do in the world is important, we’re meant to do so much more in life than just work. As a curious explorer and recovering perfectionist, she’s traveled to more than 60 countries on 6 continents, been cage diving with great white sharks, camped in the Serengeti and motorbiked across Europe.
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