Something powerful happens when we connect with a targeted audience using the right language. Of course, our knowledge can likely help a wide variety of people, but when we niche down and articulate specific problems and solutions, our products start flying off the proverbial shelf.
Case in point, Julie Browne coaches people through unexpected identity loss. If that doesn’t paint a picture, think about unpredictable events like divorce, job loss, or maybe a health situation. Many people are left questioning who they are after losing a big part of their lives. (I know I was when I got laid off in 2008.)
So how should Julie think about marketing her broad expertise? She hosts a podcast and is starting to learn the terms and phrases that resonate with her listeners. In fact, Julie is already writing a book based on the patterns that have popped up.
In this episode, we talk about targeted audiences, finding the right messaging, book and podcast marketing, and we even touch on building communities. There are plenty of takeaways for you today if you're struggling to find clarity and focus in your business. Enjoy!
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AP 1244: How Do I Align My Messaging Perfectly with My Audience?
Pat Flynn: What's up everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to episode 1244 of AskPat 2.0. You're about to listen to a conversation between myself and an entrepreneur just like you. And today we're speaking with Julie Browne. Courage Ignite is a phrase that she always uses. It's her Instagram handle.
Julie Browne, Courage Ignite, and she has a podcast called Bold Becoming. And what she helps people with, I mean it took her a while to land on this, but what she really helps people with, she coaches people through and her podcast is about, is helping people through unexpected identity loss, for example, like when the rug gets pulled out under you.
And in this conversation today, we have a very, very lengthy conversation about making it easy for people to understand what it is that you help them with, because there's a difference between like the technical and more scientific way that maybe you approach or, or diagnose, for example, for lack of a better term, what your audience is going through and what they might need help with versus what are the words and what's the language that they feel and the emotions that they're going through, and language that they would respond to, right?
If you were serving an audience and you gave them more of a technical version of what it is they're going through, they're gonna be less likely to be attracted to that.
Now, there is something that happens, and we do talk about this, when a person can identify like the technical term for what they're going through, that feels very good to, you know, know that you're not alone, that other people have thought about this, that there might be a solution. Great. But the initial draw, the carrot, if you will, is not going to be that.
It's gonna be something else. So we discover what that might be for Julie today and we talk about her upcoming book and how we might be able to use the podcast to promote those things and a lot more. So I think this will be a great episode today for you. If you wanna sit back and take notes, you're welcome to do that or you can do that after.
So anyway, thank you so much to Julie and here she is. Let's enjoy the show.
Pat Flynn: Julie, welcome to AskPat. Thanks so much for taking the time to hang out with me today.
Julie Browne: Well, thank you for allowing me to show up.
Pat Flynn: Yeah, it's gonna be lots of fun. Why don't we get to know you a little bit First, Julie, tell us what is that you do and and how you got there a little bit.
Julie Browne: Well, how I got there is an awful long story, but I'm a former medical social worker, and then I had to stop doing that and for many years I've been trying to find a way to use my therapeutic voice again. And finally, I have come into doing coaching and somehow ended up starting a podcast last year and for, for a number of years I've been trying to find a topic to sort of teach on, and so I found my topic a couple years ago, unexpected identity loss when the rugs pulled out from under you. And so that's what my podcast is about, and now I'm writing a book about the same topic, Mastering Change.
Pat Flynn: Wow. Good for you. That's amazing. And when you say you like kind of put a podcast together somehow, like, like tell me about that decision and, and what that's done for you.
Julie Browne: Well, I did buy your podcast course way back when, when you were beta testing it, but I never used it. Sorry.
Pat Flynn: That's okay. That was, that was was, were you in at Shelene Johnson's event at, at that one?
Julie Browne: Yeah.
Pat Flynn: Nice. Yeah. Okay.
Julie Browne: And so I'm so happy that it all worked out, but I just kind knew that, well, I wanted to actually do a blog, but I end up writing too much.
And so I never did that. And then in this business course last year that they said, Okay, start a podcast. And so I started one and then it didn't go very far. And cause I wasn't interviewing anybody, I was just sort of talking off the top of my head cause I didn't like really have a clear topic. And then later in the year I got an actual podcast class, and I still didn't quite have the topic. And then I realized, oh, let just do the topic that I love, which is this identity loss and forced identity transition. And so what it's for me is it has shown me with no doubt that my topic and the material that I bring is of value because of what I hear from the listeners.
And so it just propels me to like continue forward and then plus, it's just been so interesting talking to so many people. And what I wanted to have happen has happened, which is after you interview a certain number of people, you start to see patterns. And so now I have those patterns and now I'm able to write this book, which will then, you know, hopefully get the message out.
What I wanna do is get the message out that we don't have to be in this, in the closet with our identity transition. It takes longer than we want, longer than we think, and people get tired of hearing about it. And so we, we go in the closet with it and I'm trying to sort of actually make a cultural shift.
And so that's what I'm trying to do.
Pat Flynn: That's so good. And I love how you are using the podcast to understand what do people actually need help with? What's the language that they're using? What are the commonalities? And, and now you're turning it into a book which is, which is fantastic. Before we move on, Julie, where can people go to learn more about your work and, you know, website, all that kind of stuff?
Julie Browne: You can find me on Instagram at @JulieBrowneCourageIgnite or on Facebook. I think that's the best place right now.
Pat Flynn: Cool. Courage Ignite. I like that terminology or that name. Is that the name of the brand or the coaching program or, or what you have?
Julie Browne: That's the name of my business. I don't actually know the difference between a brand and a business.
But anyway, I came up with that in a Seth Godin marketing course where, you know, you go through all these layers of, you know, how to come up with all kind of things and, and I like it.
Pat Flynn: I like it too. I like it too. So, It sounds like we wanna talk about, well, how do we actually spread more awareness to what it is that you're doing?
How do we grow the brand? How do we, how do we market this thing? Is that, is that where you wanna focus on today?
Julie Browne: That is, because lemme tell you, one of the problems is the language that I use is, unexpected identity loss, and people instantly think it's identity theft, and that's not at all what it's about.
And then when I use the word identity transition, forced identity transition because of this identity loss, then it goes into, you know, gender transitioning stuff. And so it's been a little bit, it's just not so straightforward.
Pat Flynn: Yeah. I mean, that's a big thing that needs to be figured out, right? Because if we can't necessarily connect easily at that level. Then it then, then how are people gonna be able to not just find you, but you know, share you, Right? That's how things spread is through sharing. We could do as much work as we can to do search engine optimization or get in front of people through ads, but it's when people share with each other that that exponential growth continues to happen.
It's people linking to your stuff on other blogs, it's people talking about your podcast, on their podcast. There are some things that we could do here. Number one, we could do a little bit more research and even have conversations about how people describe this or, you know, maybe there's a more medical specific term, or maybe this is the medical specific term and it is actually confusing, but how might people talk about it with others?
So finding communities that exist and finding out what these people, or how these people are relating to each other is gonna be really key, right? That terminology, those definitions, that's something that you can then pull out, and I'm sure you have some ideas, but here's the second part of this. You take a stance and you create the terminology you get, you can invent it. Right? And you, you can become known for that. Maybe that becomes the tagline of your book, and then people are like, What is that? Well, this is what I'm calling this, because how everybody else talks about it becomes confusing. And so you can actually step up to create that.
And that's a thing that a lot of creators don't even think about. Right? We are often just playing curator.
Julie Browne: Trying to fit into other people's boxes.
Pat Flynn: Exactly. Exactly. But what if you created a better box? How does that resonate with you? What, what are your thoughts on that?
Julie Browne: That's super exciting. One thing that, though, that I did leave off is that in my book program, my teacher helped me come up with sort of the larger topic that my topics is connected to, and that's basically the pace of change and mastering change.
My topic is the niche, and so actually that's the working title of my book is Mastering Change: Why The Most Successful Individuals Learn To Harness Life's Most Challenging Moments To Become Who They Want To Be. And so within that is the identity transition, but without using that cumbersome clinical language that nobody really knows about.
Pat Flynn: Like how would you describe to just like me or a person you're having coffee with, like what does that actually mean?
Julie Browne: So what it means is that when you have the rug pulled out from under you, you've been forced into this change that you didn't ask for, and it's the process of grieving your losses and then making new choices to rebuild who you are.
Pat Flynn: So I'm hearing words like old life, new life, the idea of radical change. Right?
Julie Browne: This is a transformation.
Pat Flynn: Transformation. Oh my gosh.
Julie Browne: That word is so overused.
Pat Flynn: It, it is overused. You could use that to your advantage, right? Not just naming your book transformation, for example, cuz that could mean anything, mean anything from a transformer toy to, you know, a gender change. Versus some other words that go specifically around that.
And maybe it starts with honing in even more. Maybe it's specifically career transformation. Right?
Julie Browne: No, cuz it's not only about career, right?
Pat Flynn: I mean, that's a part of it, right?
Julie Browne: That's one thing. Yeah.
Pat Flynn: What I'm saying is like, take my niche, for example, entrepreneurship. I mean, that's huge, right? That that could be digital, physical, eCommerce, coaching agencies, whatever.
But if I start with a specific part of that, for example, if I say, Hey, I'm gonna help for right now, not the book that you're writing, which is going to encompass all of this. It's like, In a particular podcast episode, I'm gonna say, Hey, for all the authors out there, I'm gonna help you build your book writing business in this episode.
And wow, now the author who's going through that in their life right now. I can talk to them about the exact situation they're going through. So in your case, it might be specifically, and I just use that example for careers like, okay, one episode is like radical life transformation, identity loss and identity gain as as a result of losing your job.
Because when you lose your job, you don't even know who you are anymore. I know this because I felt that too when I got laid off and I had to make certain life choices, I had to consider who I was or what my goals were gonna be, and I think that particular episode is gonna relate to, really hard, a specific group of people, but also, and this is where it's counterintuitive, that episode, although it's niche to those people in those specific moments of their life that can be now talked about and shared with other people who they know are also going through the same thing.
But it all encompasses entrepreneurship down the road. I still teach book marketers and digital product people, physical product people, all the same, principles. Need an email list. You need to know what your audience is talking about. It's all the same thing. It's just now packaged differently in these individual episodes.
It's like, because we're talking about awareness and spreading the word right, and people will spread when they'll spread the word, when it's easier for them to talk about something because it's something that they're going through, right? It's the story of a guy who invented a, a bug spray, a universal bug spray.
It literally killed every single bug, but he sold it in the store and nobody bought it because people don't have a universal bug problem. They have an ant problem, they have a spider problem, they have a roach problem. So he took that same formula, put it into a different can, and it just sold out. So I'm just trying to challenge you a little bit with, on your individual pieces of content, how you can use that to connect and spread, but they all channel back to what it is that you're ultimately teaching.
All the same principles, all the same, you know, the book that eventually people are going to read, right?
Julie Browne: So that is exactly how the book is structured. I have these, this introductory talking about identity loss, forced identity transition, and then I have these principles that people use to overcome it.
And then in the last section three, it's applying the principles and I have it broken into three categories, health, relationship, and career, So exactly what you're saying.
Pat Flynn: Oh, look at that. So you're pulling like a piece out that is, it's like a small piece of a much larger hole, but that piece is so people can find themself.
Exactly. Exactly. You, you got it. When you said you don't know who you are anymore or something to that nature that I had goosebumps when you said that cuz that is a feeling now that anybody in any part of their life could relate to. When you say identity loss, I'm not thinking of necessarily like, you know, credit card theft or anything, but I just don't connect with that phrase, right? But when you said what exactly you said earlier, I wish I could play it back specifically, but it was like, when, when you don't know who you are anymore, I mean wow, that's so heavy and, and draws me in.
Julie Browne: I do have some bullet points and that's one of the bullet points in the introduction.
And so what happens is, is that when people actually do know what I'm talking about and they have the label identity loss it sort of is a comforting thing because they hadn't ever had it packaged and understood it, and that's what happened to me. That name dropped in my lap at like 7:30 in the morning during an existential crisis, the topic. But I have to get them there before I can give them that.
Pat Flynn: Right. You can't lead with that. It's like a person who goes in for some medical help it's the difference between a doctor saying right up front you have, and then they offer this huge Latin name for a disease, and you're like, I don't even know what that means.
I can't connect with that. Versus talking about the symptoms. Hey, I know that you experienced migraine headaches like every single week. You have these rashes that develop when you stress out or whatever. And again, I'm not a doctor or anything, so I, I don't know what I'm necessarily saying, but then a person go, Yeah, I feel that. Mm-hmm. Exactly. Thank you. You know exactly what I'm going through. And then you go, Well, we have a name for that. That's long Latin name. Now I feel comfort because you shared. Oh, A, I'm not alone in this. B, this is something that you do know about and so I'm not weird. And three. Okay, then well, that means that possibly there's some cure for this because you now have identified it.
And so if you lead with identity loss, It's not going to work, but if that's where they end up, I think that's, like you said, comforting. I love that word for that.
Julie Browne: And that's what I love about my podcast is, you know, there's 1,000,001 podcast about overcoming adversity and my podcast is about overcoming adversity, but I keep being able to draw it into this named part of overcoming adversity, and people appreciate that and it makes it, it just makes it more interesting, I guess, for me at least.
Pat Flynn: So what I was saying earlier about like creating your own term for this, I don't think we need to do that because that term already exists. It's identity and loss in this sort of way that you're talking about it.
But what needs to happen is all these conversations and these relatable things beforehand or the thing that a person's going through that they can sort of see themselves in, that then gets drawn into, well, this is what it's happening here. So what's, what's the name of your podcast?
Julie Browne: Bold Becoming.
Pat Flynn: See, if you named it Identity Lost Podcast, like how would that resonate?
It wouldn't come across, right? But you do talk about identity and loss in your show, so I love that you're doing all the right things. I just think that we might be able to put more gusto into ownership of, you are making this movement here, right? You are taking lead on this versus like what we were saying earlier, playing in everybody else's boxes.
Like, no, no, no. This is a new box and this is, it's more important and there's a mission here that I'm on, that I, we're all in this together kind of, right? So what might that mean for you from this point forward as far as taking ownership of that responsibility for that mission and that drive?
What maybe different or newer actions might be required of you?
Julie Browne: Well, so that's sort of the why I'm doing this book is to really get it consolidated and you know, have a little framework.
Pat Flynn: Book is a great idea. Yeah. How are we gonna have people find the book?
Julie Browne: In my book class they have this audience building and that's what I'm supposed to also be doing.
And I guess I'm not where I was last year, completely terrified and not able to show up at all because I've done this podcast since December, and also I did some Facebook Live every week.
Pat Flynn: Oh, good for you. You just literally jumped in deep end to, to get comfortable.
Julie Browne: Yeah. And so now I see that, you know, when, when I, that actually what I talk about is a value.
And so that's where I am right now is I need to start doing posts about my book. So I don't mind doing the posts like all of that. I got my feet wet last year and I'm not, like, I'm completely. graduated from being paralyzed, or even like showing up here talking to you live.
I mean, this is not what I would do last year. But I didn't have it all, you know, it's like I gotta have it consolidated my own mind before I show up and talk about it. And so it's getting consolidated and yeah. What I guess was paralyzing me right now is, is really asking people to be beta readers for my book.
Pat Flynn: Sure that's exactly what you wanna do, right? You wanna get people to check out the book. You want to share parts of it already and let people know. I mean, book marketing doesn't happen when the book is finished. It happens even before the book is written. So the fact that you would know that already is great, cuz you can get ahead of it and you can build authority through the examples.
Then the book becomes just basically the natural part of the conversation you've been having with your audience for so long. But the one thing I would recommend is, like the next time we chat, whenever that might be, I wanna get this sense of feeling that this is like, I didn't feel the confidence yet in what you're teaching, It's like a tone, belief, more ethereal thing versus like just what you're saying. Like this is what I was talking about earlier about stepping up and taking ownership. And it's a difference between going, Well, you know, I guess it's this or you know, I help people with this versus, Okay, here's what happens. When a person goes through a life change, their world gets rocked. And what happens is two things. You can go down this deep dark hole or you can learn about identity loss. And so I think, I think you're, you're ready. I mean, you have a book coming out and that's going to put you on the map and that's going to level up your authority just inherently, but it needs to come from, from within.
And it sounds like you've already started that process of putting yourself out there, getting comfortable with that. And that's a hard thing to do. That's what separates those who are successful from those who are not. Those who want that, but aren't going to take that action. And then people like you, Julie, who are putting yourselves out there a little bit outside your comfort zone, but that's where the growth, a little bit , but that, that's where the growth happens.
So I'm very proud of you for what you're doing and this is so important. I mean, you're changing lives with what it is that you're teaching and that should hopefully get you through a lot of those hurdles that are gonna come across your way in this book writing process, in the brand building process.
So I, I hope this was encouraging to hear, and I'm just, I'm in full support of what you're doing.
Julie Browne: Thank you so much. I guess the one thing that I didn't wanna say that I know that I is the next step is to have some kind of, group that's actually interactive because the Facebook group, it was pretty dead.
It was only me showing up. Well, there was tiny bit of engagement, but hardly anybody showed up. And so that's what I don't know is start a group and know what to with it.
Pat Flynn: Yeah, I mean, we have some resources on the SPI side of things. As far as community building, that's been the big focus for us the last couple years, and so we have a lot of resources to help you with that.
But I think a community is great, not just because, yes, you could potentially have people pay to get access to, but even if you didn't, you're getting access to literally your target audience and their thoughts. Their opinions, their stories, and they become people who could come on to your show at some point and then probably be the best testimonials you could ever ask for.
So, you know, I would just recommend diving into SPI and the community related stuff that we have. I look forward to seeing what the next steps are because you're right there, and I think this is gonna be really inspirational episode for people. So one more time can you tell people the name of your podcast and where they can find all of your work?
Julie Browne: Okay, I'm Julie Browne, and the podcast is Bold Becoming, and you can find me on Instagram at JulieBrowneCourageIgnite or Facebook, JulieBrowneCourageIgnite.
Pat Flynn: Awesome. Well, thank you Julie. Appreciate you coming on and being vulnerable and like just showing up today. I think there's a lot of great things in store for you in the future.
Julie Browne: Thanks, Pat. Really appreciate this.
Pat Flynn: All right. I hope you enjoyed that conversation with Julie Browne. Again, you can find her a podcast Bold Becoming, or you can reach out to her if you have something to offer on Instagram. Julie Browne, Courage Ignite. Thank you Julie. I appreciate you and thank you the listener for listening all the way through.
That means a lot. And I appreciate you. This has been so much fun to connect with all different kinds of people who talk about all different kinds of things, who target all different kinds of audiences. And it's funny because a lot of the principles that can help with your business and, and the growth and your amplification of your message, it, it doesn't matter who you're sending that message to.
These principles remain the same no matter who it is you're talking to. So I'm hopeful that episodes like this, which yes, are very specific to certain people in the situations, can help you too. And from what I've heard, the feedback from the audience who's listening here, it does just that. Sometimes you have to think about it a little bit. Other times it's just super obvious. But hopefully there's been some golden nuggets here for you in this episode. And I look forward to serving you in the next one.
If you want to do yourself a favor, hit that subscribe button since you're here so that you can make sure you don't miss the upcoming episodes. And I look forward to serving you then. Until then, cheers, take care. And, always, Team Flynn for the win. Peace.
Thanks for listening to AskPat at AskPat.com. I'm your host Pat Flynn. Our senior producer is Sarah Jane Hess. Our series producer is David Grabowski. And our executive producer is Matt Gartland. Sound editing by Duncan Brown. AskPat is a production of SPI Media. We'll catch you in the next session.