In this episode , Jenn Donovan , CEO of Social Medial and Marketing Australia tell us the story and inspiration in creating this 310k member group Buy from a Bush Business and supporting small business in regional NSW.
She also explained in this episode why marketing is very important in small business particularly email marketing and social media channels.
She added a Small Business Community is the one way out if you feeling a self-doubt and they are the one who will push you and challenge you but also people who celebrate with you.
In this episode, we discuss these topics with Jenn Donovan
- [10:43] How to overcome Impostor Syndrome?
- [12:11] Why pushing yourself out of your comfort zone will only lead to your greatness?
- [13:42] Why customer avatar is important when starting a business?
- [18:34] Why niching your business to make it successful ?
- [20:09] What is human to human marketing
About the Guest
Jenn Donovan, marketing thought leader, change maker, coach and mentor for small businesses, keynote speaker and podcaster (Small Business Made Simple – 127 episodes and growing!).
Founder of Social Media and Marketing Australia, founder of the extremely successful community Facebook group – Buy From a Bush Business (currently 318,000 members) and the Co-Founder of Spend With Us – Australia’s answer to Amazon but only for rural and regional small businesses. Jenn’s takes her clients from Invisible to Invincible and is also a community leader, and a community believer and is on a mission to ensure the lost art of Human to Human marketing and community are seeded firmly in everyone’s marketing strategy in 2021 and beyond
Resources and links mentioned in this episode:
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- Join her Facebook Group, Like Minded Business Owners
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More about The Network:
Auspod Syndicate is your Podcast Hub for Australia’s Entrepreneurs and Independent Podcast Network – a united group of SMEs that share the mission to stay locally connected.
Entrepreneurs and business leaders are regularly featured to enable meaningful connections and conversations while keeping the world updated on the latest business trends and events in Australia.
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(Note, this was transcribed using a transcription software and may not reflect the exact words used in the podcast)
Jenn Donovan (00:00):
My advice to them is probably A just START I am my mentor always you know have the line ready, fire aim. So just get ready, fire and work it out as you go along like that, let’s just work out, you know, what needs to happen next as we’ve gone along. Because I think sometimes we spend too much time gearing up to start a business. When at the end of the day, we still don’t really know whether there’s any buyers out there, you know, down someone actually want the product or the service that you are going to provide. And B do they want it from you? So I think sort of, um, doing that research on who your ideal client is, and you know, where do they hang out then? So once you find out who your ideal client is, how do you get that marketing message to them? Is it podcasting? Is it social media? Is it email marketing? Um, you know, is it paid radio ads?
Podcast show is a production of Kangaroofern Media lab, which is all about supporting you to start and build a thriving business
Miko Santos (01:03):
Tribe podcast under AusPod Syndicae, Jen Donovan, a marketing thought leader, change-maker coach and mentor for small businesses, keynote speaker and podcaster with a small business made simple how had it 27 episodes and growing our founder of social media and marketing Australia, and also a founder of extremely successful community Facebook group Buy from a Bush business, which over 318,000 member and a co-founder of spend with us. And Australia’s answer to Amazon, but only for rural and regional small business. Jen take care of client from invisible to invincible and also a community leader and a community believer is on a mission to ensure the loss art of human to human marketing and a community are seated firmly in everyone’s marketing strategy in 2021 and beyond
Welcome everybody to this week’s episode, we really appreciate you joining us. This podcast really shows us how we can all learn, live and thrive off of each other. By sharing our knowledge through our conversations, we will impart some knowledge, ropes learning ourselves, how to progress even further. Here is your house.
Miko Santos (02:30):
Please welcome to tripod podcast under Auspod syndicate ,2020 AusMumprenuer making a difference gold award winner, Jenn Donovan, how are you today?
Jenn Donovan (02:44):
I’m awesome. Thank you. It’s always very hard to listen to your own bio back to you, but thank you. That’s a, this love that it’s great to be here.
Miko Santos (02:53):
Thank you so much. We know that you been creating a very successful Facebook group to help small business. Can you take us back? How did you get to where you are now?
Jenn Donovan (03:05):
So I actually started my career in law, so I out of uni started in law and I actually niched down into property law, so conveyancing and that was kind of what I specialized in. I leave on a farm in rural new south Wales. So where I live, there is no court system. that’s been an hour away. So I had a choice of family law or property law. So I chose property law. So I did that for probably, gosh, my spend 17 years or sorry that I did that. And, um, my best friend and I were sort of having a couple of bottles of wine one night and we decided that we didn’t want to do it corporate job anymore. We wanted to do something different. So we threw in our corporate job and we bought a retail business. We bought a rundown retail business.
Jenn Donovan (03:50):
We had no real retail experience except for perhaps our afterschool jobs when we’re at school and that’s pretty much where I found my passion for marketing and social media. We bought a business to be our own bosses. We soon learned that small businesses staff, small business is really hard and it’s not necessarily something you just get to play with if you want to be successful. So yeah, that was kind of where my love for social media marketing came from when I was in retail. When I started in retail Facebook didn’t have all the algorithm problems that it seems to have. Now. I don’t even know if Instagram existed. So the landscape has definitely changed a lot and I’ve just loved continuingly to learn you know, what’s next and what’s happening in the world and what’s working and what’s not. And so when we sold that shop, which is probably about four or five years ago now I started doing this.
Jenn Donovan (04:46):
So I created a company social media and marketing Australia, and I’ve started teaching small business owners, how to market themselves. I don’t do people’s social media for them. I teach them about social media and about marketing. I’m pretty passionate about email marketing as well as social media marketing. But my goal with these businesses just to make people have marketing a priority, because if you want more people to buy from you, then more people need to know who you are as such. And I guess as far as my you buy from a Bush business, goes in spin without sets, kind of all happened a little bit organically. I call that my kind of my side hustle and it really started with like, I live on a farm. So farming new south Wales, we’ve had horrific droughts here and because I teach social media marketing, I do a lot of traveling.
Jenn Donovan (05:41):
And this particular week I was traveling around new south Wales and it was the end of October and everyone was really sad. No one was looking forward to Christmas because when you leave in a small country town, they farmers don’t have money. Then the towns really struggle to have money. And everyone was just really sad. I knew Christmas, wasn’t going to be a strong economic retail time. And I guess I just thought, well, we found a, started a Facebook group and invited all those people and then invited all my friends and they invited their friends. Then maybe they could get more than the people who walk through their doors. And that was kind of the initial thought of, it was just Instagram Buy from the Bush hashtag was happening on Instagram. But a lot of small businesses in country towns didn’t get Instagram.
Jenn Donovan (06:29):
They didn’t get how hashtags worked. So, but they kind of all got Facebook. So I’m, you know, my podcast is called Small Business made simple and I leave that philosophy. I’m always thinking, how can I make it simple for people? And so Facebook group seemed like the simplest option. I didn’t know what I was creating though. Miko, I have to say, I thought I was just creating something small to help people for that one Christmas, no idea that I would end up, you know, 18 months later in the sort of like an elected mayor of an online city.
Miko Santos (07:03):
Do you have any inspiration when you’re creating this community group or influence
Jenn Donovan (07:10):
One was just to try and help people and trying to help people in the simplest way? I could, like I said, Buy for the Bush was hash tagging on Instagram, but people didn’t get how that worked. Whereas most people got how Facebook worked. Most people, you know, sort of knew how to do a Facebook group. And I guess I just got, you know, thinking, well, if that’s the simplest option, then let’s make it simple. So my inspiration was kind of trying to help people in the most simplistic way that I could for free because Facebook groups are free and therefore, you know, trading through them is quite free as well. And then I w I guess I was just inspired by the stories that I heard and, you know, how this group, this seemingly free Facebook group was really making a difference to people’s lives and livelihoods and little did. I know when I started it for, you know, drought, ravage towns, that Bush fires were on the way, and then we had a pandemic or we still are having a pandemic. And then for rural new south Wales, we’re also having a mass play on top of that. So, you know, like these rural communities does seem to be, keep getting hit with the next things. So if I can make someone’s life a little bit easier, or a little bit simpler, a little bit happier than that’s kind of the goal of the group .
Miko Santos (08:28):
Thank you for that. I’m sure your success in your business is not come easily. So what has been the most challenging things about starting your business?
Jenn Donovan (08:39):
Probably I’m a got two things have probably been the most challenging. I think, I don’t know if it’s a woman thing or whether it’s an entrepreneur thing, but that self doubt you know, I don’t really know everything. Should I really be telling people what do know? Like I’m not really an expert that whole self doubt that comes in, and that was quite prevalent at the start. I really didn’t know. You know, I’d been in a partnership with another marketer for a couple of years through Melbourne and like, I worked really through Melbourne, but that wasn’t kind of working out cause that was away from home so long, so much. So, so starting it I’m by myself was a little bit scary. And also I’d say a little bit of isolation is hard as well. I think, you know, I do live in a rural community.
Jenn Donovan (09:28):
There isn’t many people that, in fact, I don’t know anybody. I shouldn’t say that. I don’t think I know anybody who lives in my rural community, who has a podcast who does online webinars and that sort of thing. Like I’ve got plenty of friends who do outside my little community, but I’m a little bit different. So it was hard to find people to bounce ideas off or, you know, to get direction from.so I’d say probably self doubt and a little bit of self isolation or just isolation was probably some of the hardest things to come or to overcome and I think community is the one way out of both of those is creating or surrounding yourself with, you know, people who will push you and challenge you, but also people who will celebrate with you. Cause I think as small business owners, we don’t really celebrate the small things enough and we definitely should.
Miko Santos (10:24):
I know a lot entrepreneurs even they know they have, they have knowledge and their specialists being on Drake, a tech, we sometime, they also keep their imposter syndrome. In your case as a social media marketer, have you experienced imposter syndrome and how you overcome this?
Jenn Donovan (10:43):
The answer is a hundred percent. Yes. And I’m not quite sure I’ve overcome it because I think, um, you know, there are days when I still feel like I’m an imposter and I still have that imposter syndrome happening. They are getting fewer and further between which I guess means that, you know, I’m, I’m honing my skills and I’m, you know, shutting down that self doubt. But I think with imposter syndrome I yeah, I really do think that a lot of entrepreneurs have that, but I think it’s also because we are forward thinkers. I think anyone who is a successful entrepreneur is thinking outside the box, who is thinking differently to other people or willing to, you know, do what other people aren’t willing to do. That’s, that’s the glory of being an entrepreneur and to be totally on set. I really like the, I, the idea of being an entrepreneur but you know it it’s what I am, it’s, what’s working for me. And I think entrepreneurship and imposter syndrome, they almost go hand in hand for a little while because we are the people doing things a little bit differently. So yeah, I’m quite sure I’m over it yet. I don’t know if I’ll ever get over it, but go back to we’ll see.
Miko Santos (11:58):
So you say you, you’re saying you, you have to be thinking out of the box, why who pushing yourself out of your comfort zone will only lead you to your greatness?
Jenn Donovan (12:11):
I think, you know, that we’ve all seen that little meme that comes over social media that says, you know, nothing, you know, staying in your comfort zone, you know, nothing grand comes out of staying in your comfort zone and it’s just so true. Like it, once you get out of your compensating, it doesn’t mean that everything’s going to work. I do have, you know, a saying in my you know, one of my best friends keeps me on track with it. You know, we never, we never fail. We just either win or we learn like as entrepreneurs, I think, no matter what we do, we’re looking for the lesson, we’re looking for the lesson in something like, yeah. Okay. My podcast might not have worked or yeah. Okay. You know, my mastermind program that I tried to do might have worked, or that product might have sold, but what’s the lesson. And in normally as entrepreneurs, we ask smart enough and tough enough on ourselves to go. Yeah. Okay. So it didn’t work because I really didn’t have my heart in it, or I didn’t really market it as much as I should’ve or I didn’t talk about it as much leading up to the launch that I should have. Like, we look for the lessons and I think that’s what makes us different. And that’s what helps us to keep looking outside the box.
Miko Santos (13:19):
What advice would you give to other women’s and especially mom, just like you, I’m thinking about starting a business. If you say mom, some of them are always at home taking care of kids, but then don’t know where to start if they want to get their own business. So what is your advice to them?
Jenn Donovan (13:42):
My advice to them is probably A just start I am my mentor always you know, had the line ready, fire aim. So just get ready, fire and work it out as you go along like that, let’s just work out, you know, what needs to happen next as we’ve gone along. Cause I think sometimes we spend too much time gearing up to start a business. When at the end of the day, we still don’t really know whether there’s any buyers out there, you know, down someone actually wants the product or the service that you are going to provide. And B do they want it from you? So I think sort of, um, doing that research on who your ideal client is and you know, where do they hang out then? So once you find out who your ideal client is, how do you get that marketing message to them?
Speaker 1 (14:27):
Is it podcasting? Is it social media? Is it email marketing? you know, is it paid radio ads? There’s so many different ways that you can get to your ideal client. Um, and also looking at your competition a little bit as well. I think doing a competitive analysis is one of the best things you can do. Not only when you’re starting out in business, but even when you’re in business, just, I’m not about what other people are doing, but sometimes just having a little peek over the fence and seeing what’s happening over there can really help you in your own businesses as well. You know, if you’re thinking about starting up a candle business, but there’s 20 other candle businesses in your suburb. Okay. So what’s, what’s going to be different about yours. How are you going to make your candle business different? I’d say one of the best ways that you can make your candle business different is you because no one does you like you.
Jenn Donovan (15:21):
So putting yourself front and center as part of that business will definitely help. But you know, you’ve got to, if you wanted to do that, you’ve got to think outside the square, you know, there’s a social media marketing coach, but probably every street of every corner in Australia. So how do I, you know, look different? How do I you know, get seen in such a busy and noisy marketplace, you know, I’m still, you know, doing that every single day. He, what can I do different? How can I get more traction? How can I get out there and, you know, and be seen by more people. and it’s no different for any other business owners. So my advice would be start. And then my other advice would be do some research, find out who your ideal client is and really discover what’s going to make you different in the marketplace.
Miko Santos (16:08):
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Miko Santos (17:08):
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Miko Santos (17:31):
Create a limited podcast for one monthly price invite team member. See your podcast stats and distribute to apple podcast, Spotify or Google podcasts. Check them transistor.fm. Thanks so much for listening to and supporting the show. We spent a ton of time creating it. Please do consider supporting those who support us. We put all the deals or the discount codes, everything all in one place. australiapodcastsyndicate.com/partners Is where you can find that australiapodcastsyndicate.com/partners. Again, do consider supporting those who support this show. This show is creating a cessation with kangaroofern media lab. Australia’s independent podcast management agency. And now back to Jen Donovan on Tribe podcast and the AusPod syndicate. So you’re saying you have to do you have to niche your, your business to make it successful
Jenn Donovan (18:34):
And Niche at least stand out from the crowd. It’s at least got to be a little bit different. Like, you know, again, if we use candles, for instance, you know, candles, all smell beautiful, you know, they’re, they’re all probably packaged quite beautifully. So what’s going to make yours a little bit different. you know, where are you going to put it to stand out? And again, I would probably like, I know in your little introduction, we talked a little bit, you introduced a little bit the concept of human to human marketing. Um, that is something I’m really passionate about. And basically it just means showing up in your own business, not hiding behind a logo, not hiding behind the product or service that you sell, but actually being front and center and showing people who you are, what you stand for and why you are doing what you’re doing. And I think if we use candles as an example, that’s how you can stand out. You’re talking about why you make those candles, why they’re different, how they’re going to benefit the person who buys them and, and your story behind how you got there. How did you get to be a candle making business? I think that all ties into standing out from the crowd. So niche possibly but also just, you know, humanizing your brand because people do business with people they know like and trust.
Miko Santos (19:53):
So are you saying the art of human to human marketing? I’m a little bit interested in on that concept is that, is this, it’s just like a personal branding and a business branding. That’s a different scenario.
Jenn Donovan (20:09):
It’s a little bit of a combination of both. So it’s personal branding within your business, I guess it’s, um, you know, if we look at the fundamentals of who we buy from as humans, as you know, who you buy from and who I buy from, there’s almost an element of, you know, the person who owns the business is the person we like, or, you know, we like the person who’s serving us if it’s a multinational or something like that. So we have that human connection with somebody or to that business somehow. And we do business with people that we feel align with our own business values, you know, um, you know, people who have the business values of, I don’t know, without being controversial, I don’t want to use any business varies. but you know, people who have, we just align ourselves with business values that we have, you know, people who don’t want to buy products and only want to buy Australian made products.
Jenn Donovan (21:06):
We’ll shop with people who make Australian made products over and above people who don’t make Australian made products. And they’ll often do that with the people that they know who makes the product. So if the person who, you know, makes the knitted shawl or is making the fire pit or something like that, they have that connection with them. And so I think it is very much personal branding. Yes, but it’s done within your business branding, concepts and strategies as such. I just think every business should have a human face and unless you’ve got big bud, it’s like the people who have the golden arches we that’s the way we can stand out. We didn’t, no one does you like you, so you need to become part and front and center of what your business is and what it stands for.
Miko Santos (21:59):
Thank you so much for that. A more elaborate explanation about human to human marketing. It’s a little bit, different concept because most of now our specialty to be brand doesn’t have like that human to human connection. So what has been
Jenn Donovan (22:20):
Really good way of being competitive against multinational, small business owners have that advantage of being able to connect with people on a more human level. So it’s actually a really good win for small business. over multi national. Sorry to interrupt.
Miko Santos (22:36):
Yeah. That’s all right. Yeah. So what has been the best thing about starting your own business aside from helping the small business to get up and get running on their marketing? Because some small business, does it know what to do? They have a, they have a retail shop, but they don’t know. They don’t have it. some of them doesn’t have any website. Some of them doesn’t know what is Facebook. So, yeah.
Jenn Donovan (23:03):
probably for me having my own business, one of the best things is that I get to make the rules as I go along. I think that I am almost unemployable now. I don’t think I could turn up to an office Monday to Friday nine to five. I, I’ve got a little bit used to making my own hours and it’s not that as entrepreneurs, we don’t work hard, but sometimes meanwhile, take the afternoon off and then work till two o’clock in the morning because that’s, you know, what suits our soul that’s when we’ve come up with these most creative idea and things like that. So I’ve enjoyed my own business for that reasons, for personal reasons, being able to make my own hours and also being able to work with who I want to work with. I do, you know, probably three or four discovery calls a week with potential clients.
Jenn Donovan (23:55):
and some of them just aren’t my people and at the end of the call, you know, you get that vibe and you kind of like, yep, okay. I don’t really think we can work together. Whereas if you’re working with someone else, you just get the file or, you know, it, especially in law, you get the file, whether you like it or not type of thing, you know, you just need to do the work. So I enjoy working with people who want to work with me and who really want to up their business and are willing to listen. I’m willing to make changes. And more than anything, marketing’s about test and measure. It’s not a mathematical science. It doesn’t have an answer. A lot mathematics does. It has a, you know, swings and roundabout, what works and what works and what doesn’t work, but also realizing in three months time that might not work anymore. And you need to go back to the drawing board and try a different strategy. And to me, that’s what makes marketing just so beautiful. I love the test and measure of, um, marketing.
Miko Santos (24:53):
Thank you so much for that. Before we wrap up the, our podcast show. Can you give us an overview of your podcasts and advice shared during a typical, a typical episode of your podcast?
Jenn Donovan (25:13):
Oh, that’s a, that’s a really tough question. Cause I’ve got 130 episodes. I’m not quite sure any of them have a typical theme. Well, I take that back back, actually, my theme is simplicity. So my podcast is called small business made simple, and that is my goal to make business just a little bit simpler for you because business is hard. It’s not easy, but it should be a little bit simpler. So I’m always wanting to share a tip or a trick on how you can make your business life a little bit simpler. Um, whether that be, you know, a, um, a guest that I might have on that might talk about a new type of strategy for marketing that you might’ve thought of, but that really might appeal to you such as, you know, podcast interviews or something like that, or whether it’s a step-by-step process of, um, you know, how to, uh, oh, I don’t know how to use Instagram reels, for instance, maybe it’s, you know, a bit of a step-by-step along there I’m giving you three or four action points to try.
Jenn Donovan (26:17):
And then other episodes are just a little bit of I guess you know, marketing counseling almost. So, you know, we need to make this as a priority and this is why it needs to be a priority and this is how it can help your business. So some of my episodes are a little bit of a nudge as such you know, just to make it a priority and stop making it a sometimes, um, activity because you know, it work as a sometimes activity. so yeah, that’s kind of, they generally they’re between probably 15 minutes and half an hour depending my guests tend to be longer episodes. They’re my solo episodes, but yeah, that’s about the overview and you can basically find it wherever you listen to podcasts in your favorite podcast app, where you might listen to this one.
Miko Santos (27:10):
What is your big plan in the future on your business?
Jenn Donovan (27:15):
Oh, what’s my big plan. To be honest with you for the last 18 months, one of my biggest goals is to do more speaking. I want to do more speaking. I love the one to many business model. I like to stand, you know, and teach someone. I love the aha moments that people might have in the crowd. It’s like, ah, man, that’s makes so much sense now, but of course I keep getting interrupted by these pandemics. So that goal just keeps getting pushed, even though I’m doing lots of webinars, I’d like to eventually get on more stages, um, you know, to do, to travel and to talk to people. So that’s probably one big goal. And I guess my other goal is just to, um, yeah, just keep being happy and keep putting my word out there and keep helping small business owners, um, especially rural small business owners, rural and regional ones.
Jenn Donovan (28:12):
That’s why we have the marketplace, which is kind of like our little Amazon, but only for rural and regional businesses. So sort of helping more small business owners in rural areas, get their business on the map in front of more and more people. Yeah. I don’t know. It’s I don’t like to forward plan any more past about 12 months, but, you know, I, I’m not sure one day, you know, certainly getting onto some in boards like rural women’s boards and things like that to make a difference. I think that’s what my life purpose is, is changing. You just make a difference to other people’s lives in a good way. You
Miko Santos (28:51):
Have any final advice or anything else you want to share to our listener and audience, especially women’s who is thinking of being an entrepreneur, getting into the integral in your journey or space.
Jenn Donovan (29:05):
Yeah, look, I did say before, you know, just start ready, fire aim. The world needs more action takers. The world doesn’t need more people thinking they are going to do something, but I also think we need to surround ourselves with the right people. You know, there’s an old saying, you know, you are the product of the five people you hang around the most. And I think it’s just so true. And in business it’s even more true if you can hang around with people who talk business and you know, no business, and perhaps they’re a little bit further along the business, doesn’t matter if they’re not in the same industry as you, but just to be able to talk to people, you know, get ideas of people, shoot ideas around, you know, uh, over a cup of tea or a coffee or something like that.
Jenn Donovan (29:53):
I think surrounding yourself with the right people is one way that you will expedite your journey into being a small business owner or a successful small business owner. A lot quicker know, like I love my husband to death. We’ve been married 24 hours for 24 hours, 24 years. but you know, I don’t necessarily talk business to him very often because he doesn’t get it. whereas you know, my best friends do. So I talk to them about business. So I think surrounding yourself with the right people and, um, yeah, just taking some action, just doing it and see where it goes and look for the lessons.
Miko Santos (30:33):
Can our listener audience who is watching here on Facebook and YouTube and Vimeo connect with you online?
Speaker 1 (30:40):
Yeah. So my website is socialmediaandmarketing.com.edu. So you can come over there and see everything there is to see. You can listen to my podcast on the small business made simple podcast otherwise. yeah, I’d love to connect with you on Instagram. So I’m at @JenDonovan_over there, but yeah, just reach out. I’m fairly visible on most, most platforms. So you’ll find me somewhere for sure.
Miko Santos (31:10):
Thank you so much, Jenn Donovan and thank you for guesting to Tribe podcast under Auspod syndicate. Thank you. See ya.
Jenn Donovan (31:18):
No worries. Thanks so much for having me.
Miko Santos (31:21):
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