Writing & blogging freelance for businesses with Erika Voeller

Writing & blogging freelance for businesses

Today I talk to Erika who is a full time copywriter and blogger. We talk everything from finding your brand voice to favorite social media platforms!

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Jenna Redfield is the leader of the Twin Cities Collective, the largest resource in the Twin Cities for bloggers, small business, entrepreneurs & creatives.

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So this episode, I talked to Erica voler who is a local copywriter. And she talks a little bit about writing and then we talk a little bit about social media and stuff. So I hope you guys enjoy this episode. And let's get going. Hi, everyone. Welcome to the Twin Cities Collective podcast. I'm your host Jen Redfield, and I'm here with my friend Erica today, and she's going to be talking all about writing. So you want to introduce yourself.

Erika Voeller 1:23

Yeah. Hi, thank you so much for having me. My name is Erica. I am a full time copywriter and a blogger and freelance writer on the side. And yeah, I'm super excited to be here. I love writing. And I love talking about writing. And it's what I do all day every day. So super excited. Yeah, part of this podcast.

Jenna Redfield 1:40

So when did you decide that you wanted to start writing? Like like it like Was that something that you decided in high school, like, I want to become a writer. I'm

Erika Voeller 1:49

a little bit yeah, I was part of the newspaper staff at my high school. And so I got a little taste of journalism there. And I enjoyed it. I've always enjoyed writing, you know, preferred taking error writing essays instead of taking tests when I was in school. But I didn't really like the sort of like the research and the interviewing and things like that, that went behind traditional newspaper writing. So I wanted to explore other avenues. And that's sort of how I landed on copywriting because it's a little bit more strategic, a little bit shorter form writing. And then my own blog was sort of just a passion project. And it kind of just blew up into something that people actually read, which is pretty cool. And, yeah, I think I've always been a communicator.

Jenna Redfield 2:33

That's awesome. Because I it's funny, because when I was younger, I like to write, but I was more about coming up with a story that I liked. And then as I got older, after college, I was like, I'm sick of writing essays, and I just can't. Now I'm terrible at writing. So it's just something I love to learn about. So I need hips. I just, I'm just I eat them up because I'm it's not something that comes naturally.

Erika Voeller 2:55

Yeah, yeah. And that's, I think it's an interesting point, because it is something that comes really naturally to me. And I, I forget sometimes that just like the little nuances, the grammar rules, and the style guides, and all of that. it's second nature to me now, but I know it's not for everybody. So I do like to talk about writing and help people out a little bit and just really get whatever their thoughts and passions are getting it out on paper. That's what I'm all about.

Jenna Redfield 3:22

For me. It's like I think about that the same way with photography and video and stuff. I it comes so natural to me that when people tell me their their experiences and say, Oh, I don't know how to do that. I just think to myself, Oh, wow, I, I feel like it's just, it's weird.

Erika Voeller 3:40

Yeah, you're like, Well, what do you mean, it's so easy. And then you think back to when you first started. I mean, I wasn't a good writer at first either and takes a lot of time. It just like anything else, it's something you have to do on a regular basis. And I think when it's your full time job, it can be hard to then go home and do even more of it. But that the importance of picking something doing something that you love? Yes. Because then you don't get as sick of it as you might with others.

Jenna Redfield 4:06

Yeah, because I can tell you really like it based on your post, you just do so excited about every time you write a post for So can you tell us a bit about your day job and what you do?

Erika Voeller 4:15

Yes, um, so I work at a marketing agency called Olive and company. And we are located in Northeast Minneapolis, relatively small. There's about 16 of us now. And I'm one of two writers. So I do anything from email campaigns to website pages, banner ads, billboard ads, brochures, basically anything that needs a headline subhead, somebody copy comes to me, I also do a little bit of proofing when it comes to other projects that we're sending out. But a lot of what I do is just making sure that whatever company whatever brand, I'm working with, their their values and their their tone of voice comes through. Versus you know, you just can't write for everybody the same way.

Jenna Redfield 4:59

Yeah, that's a one thing I learned about. I do know, a few copywriters now after being in the entrepreneur world for a few years. But So can you talk to me a little bit more about like brand voice and all that stuff? Because I feel like a lot of the times I don't even know what mine is. And so it's fun how you can kind of tell? And how do you like decide on what a brand voice is? Yeah,

Erika Voeller 5:18

yeah. So I don't have the task of actually having to decide it, which is kind of lucky for me, I just typically get handed a guide, and it's like adhere to that. But our strategist or brand strategist who does do that, behind the scenes stuff, it really comes down to doing a lot of research and talking to a lot of people. So what she does on the onset of working with a client is really get down to the core of their brand. Who are you? What do you stand for? What do you want people to know about you? Are you playful? Are you fun? And conversational? Or are you more serious? Are you more informative? talking to people who interact with our brand on a daily basis, or a semi regular basis? saying, What do you like? What don't you like? Once those kind of things are established? That's when we might get into more of the nitty gritty of the voice and tone. Sometimes it's just as simple as like, yep, they use an Oxford comma, and No, they don't or, but it's establishing those rules so that it's consistent everywhere you go. So it's really sort of developing your mission, your vision statement, and your core values, and then deciding, okay, what language when am I going to use consistently across my website across my social media? So that no matter where someone finds me, they know exactly who I am and why I'm great, or why I'm different from the competition.

Jenna Redfield 6:39

Yeah, that's so important. Because you don't

Erika Voeller 6:44

you don't want to sound different than who you are, if that makes sense. Right? Right. I mean, you don't want to, you don't want to provide a false offering. You know, you want people to know right away, like, this is what you can get from me. Here's why I'm different than who else is out there. Here's why I'm better. Right? Yeah. Yeah, and I think I do think people struggle with it. I also think, given that I'm a writer, I noticed those nitty gritty things a lot more. When I look at brands, I don't think the average person goes on and is like, Oh, I misspelled that word, or Oh, they didn't use a comma there. And they should have, but I kind of like notice that stuff. And it makes a difference. Like it kind of goes back to that first impression of a brand. Are they you know, do they have an established brand? Do they have an established look and feel? Are they writing sentences correctly? Like it just sort of comes down to that professionalism? So to me, it's really important to some people not so much, but yeah, that's so interesting. So what kind of clients do you have? Like, what kind of ad campaigns you work on? Um, yeah, all sorts. We, most of our clients are either in the education industry or the med tech industry, we definitely have a focus on higher ed, because we think it's an untapped market in terms of the type of marketing we do as a lot of digital marketing, inbound marketing. So a lot of web based stuff, content, marketing, things like that. And schools have no shortage of content to share, because they have sporting events and research and a million other things going on at all times. But a wide range. So you know, some days, I'm writing the About Us section for a website and other days, I am writing a blog post sometimes it's, like I said before, super simple. Like, hey, here's a brochure and we just don't have a headline, can you come up with something?

Jenna Redfield 8:31

Yeah. So what is your favorite part that you do?

Erika Voeller 8:36

I think my favorite part is seeing the final product. So in a couple instances, for example, one time, I was able to see a billboard that I helped create cool, so I just like driving to my sister's place. And out of the corner of my eye, it was a digital Billboard. So it's sort of rotating through. And I saw it, I was like, Oh, my gosh, I helped make that. Like, that's so cool. And then another another time, I saw a banner ad online, that I had written the copy for. So that's me super cool. Yeah. Or, again, popping on a website. And, wow, I helped make that happen. That's

Jenna Redfield 9:07

what I like. So you told me before we started recording that you also do like freelancing and blog. So you have your blog, you freelance, and then you also work full time. So how you, first of all, how do you balance that? I'm,

Erika Voeller 9:21

luckily, all of those jobs are kind of, it's gonna sound weird. If I say, luckily, they're roller coasters, but it works out being a good thing. Because the workflow, it ebbs and flows, right. So they're super busy weeks, and then there are weeks where I have next to nothing on my plate at my full time job or from the freelance side, and vice versa. That way, I can sort of fill in the gaps with the other stuff. My personal blog doesn't get updated as often as I want it to, because I am bogged down with other work. But I'm lucky because a lot of my freelance clients are pretty flexible and pretty understanding. And I don't have too many yet either. And they'll usually send me something and be like, Hey, you know, hoping to get this back in X amount of time, if you need to push it, I understand. So I think just being honest about where I'm at, and like, I'm a big proponent of asking for help and raising your hand if you're drowning, right. So at work at all over pretty good about helping each other out and recognizing like, you know what, you have a lot on your plate, I'm not going to give you another project, finish what you have going on. So I really appreciate that too. Because it's easy for me to say, I don't think I can take that on. I am already doing 10 other things.

Jenna Redfield 10:35

Yeah, that's so true. Because I feel like with a lot of people that do side hustle, it's just figuring, and I'm going back to being a side hustle, which is weird, because, you know, I was before and I'm like having to transition back to that, which is definitely interesting. And I now live in a different place. And so it's all a lot of changes. And it's just it's a very interesting. Yeah. So let's talk a little bit more about like, what you like to do personally, like, I know, we were talking about podcasts, right on the way here. So you said that you're like looking into some Have you started listening? I'm

Erika Voeller 11:11

not on a regular basis, but I am hoping to there's a couple I've heard of recently one is 99% invisible, which is it sort of just explores all the stuff that doesn't get talked about on a regular basis. Like one of the examples on their website is those sort of like bendy.

Like, I guess I kind of always

they kind of flapping in the wind. They're like, You know why? why those? How did those come to be and why cars was quiet car dealerships? That's

Jenna Redfield 11:44

so I'm gonna listen to this. Yeah,

Erika Voeller 11:46

yeah. It's like all those sort of things that you we just take for granted. You know? Why is it chair design, though? It is things like that. So I really want to get into that one. And then I don't know if you're familiar with the actress either way, she

Jenna Redfield 11:59

she's local.

Erika Voeller 12:00

Or no, no, she Well, I don't think so. But she is on a HBO show insecure.

Jenna Redfield 12:05

Oh, yeah. I know who that is. Yeah, yeah.

Erika Voeller 12:07

She was like, I love insecure. So I was like, a podcast, and she does what's called fruit. And it, she explores sort of, I guess, the, the expectations that come with hyper masculinity. So she talks with a football player about like, what it means to be masculine, what it means to be, you know, I think exploring sexuality, things like that, but just sort of breaking down those stereotypes and those tropes. So I'm really interested to start that into It's awesome.

Jenna Redfield 12:35

So you are also really, I see you all the time on social media. So what is your like? What is your favorite platform that you use?

Erika Voeller 12:45

I would say probably Twitter. Really? Yeah. But for kind of a weird reason. Twitter is the only social platform that I that is really for me more so than it is for my professional image, or my my clients or anything like that. I love Love, love Instagram, as well. But I feel like I've been sort of slacking on it lately. But Twitter is just it's so much fun. There's like never a dull moment, whether it's politics, or memes, or just jokes, you know, for me and my friends, we spent a lot of time on Twitter. Yeah, but I will say that the walls kind of come down when I'm on Twitter, and I'm not so professional girl. So

Unknown Speaker 13:25

does that.

Jenna Redfield 13:26

Like, where are you with like, your professional life, though?

Erika Voeller 13:29

Yeah, it does sometimes. And I'm very careful. I tread carefully. Like, I will throw opinions out there. But I'm very careful about the language I use. You know, I don't.

I try really hard to not like use profanity or anything like that.

Again, I'm really fortunate because I work in the agency world where it's super laid back. And you know, nine out of 10 of my co workers probably also have a really laid back Twitter. But then I was also sure to add opinions are my own in my bio, just in case. So good. Yeah, I think as I get older, I'll probably shift my Twitter to be a little bit more professional right now. It's kind of a mix. Like sometimes I reply, or retweet, like all of a company's blog post, or statistics and things like that. But then tweets later, it's like me and my friends joking around. So there's no

Jenna Redfield 14:16

there's no consistency. Yeah, that's kind of the same for me, because I recently switched it. I switched to degenerate for designs. And then I switched it back to john, for me, it's me, but I'm promoting my I guess I'm promoting myself, but also like my business, but also like other things, like I don't want it all to be general for this is. So I'm like, I'm just gonna go back to john Redfield, because that's, I don't know, I just felt like it was a little bit, not what I was going for. Yeah,

Erika Voeller 14:38

it's, it's hard to say in a niche, I think. And my website is kind of like that, too. Like, I just haven't Erica bowler calm and it started out as more of like a portfolio piece. But then I was like, I really want to blog. And I really want to blog about stuff. Like, just stuff that's happening in my life. I don't want it to necessarily always be about marketing or about writing. And so I kind of turned away from the idea of having a certain niche and I, I feel more energized about it. I don't know if others do or not, but it's working for me.

Jenna Redfield 15:07

Yeah, for me what I did. I don't know if I've, I think I might have talked about this on the podcast, I'm not sure. But um, basically, I split my blog into two. So I have a business blog, and I have a personal, okay. And so what's nice about Squarespace And what's nice about Squarespace is you can have multiple blogs. So basically what I did was I moved all the blog posts over that were in my like, regular blog into a personal blog. So like ones that were older that like were from a couple years ago that were like beauty or something that doesn't fit with like my business blog. So now every time I like have something to say, but I don't want to put it on like my main blog, I put it on my personal blog, which is buried deep within my website. And I usually only post about it on Facebook, right? Yes. On Facebook, it's all my friends, right? It's the people that I want to actually read it and not like I don't need the rest of the world to read it. If that makes sense. I really don't promote it too much. It's more just like very, like, I've talked about, like our personal things. And so I'm like, even though like my family still like why even put on Facebook? Like that's almost too public? Yeah, I'm just I am I was like, well, I feel like I need to be honest with people with what like I don't, I don't I'm not like, ashamed of like anything I have to say. So it's like, but at the same time, I'm like, I really know if I want like someone from like Africa or another part of the world like to read this because

Erika Voeller 16:20

I don't even know why. Right? It's a delicate balance. It really, really is. And I'm, I'm similar. Sometimes I post or share blogs on like LinkedIn and wherever else because they are more specified or more professional. And then the same as you sometimes I don't even share one or I just share it on Facebook amongst my friends. I think the challenge? Well, first of all, to your point about like, I just I want to put it out there. And I want to be honest, I think that's common among creatives. Like we all have this desire to share our work. So true setting, that's totally normal. But I also think it's really challenging to balance your personal and professional life. anywhere online. Like my Facebook is you. It's my mom and my sister and my niece and my friends. But it's also Twin Cities Collective and Oliphant company, and you know what I mean? So it's like, how do you get through all that content? Well,

Jenna Redfield 17:11

actually, this is another tip I don't have ever should, I guess either. But I actually, for Facebook, specifically, there's a way that you can actually split your audiences, you can make friend list. And so sometimes if I have something that I need to share with just my local friends, like I have a lot of friends on Facebook who will live all over the country. So if I just wanted to share something with people into Cities Collective, I have a like, so like, my friends who aren't creative don't have to see it. Like there's all these different size lists. I have a Twin Cities Collective list, I have like a local friends list. I have like an online friends list. Like every time I have something that doesn't need to be seen by all my friends, but can be seen by maybe like 200 of them and share in a specific category, then you can actually change who the audiences.

Erika Voeller 17:54

That's a cool tip. Yeah, that's a great tip, I'll have to look into that.

Jenna Redfield 17:58

It took me a while to like create the list because I'm like having to go through each person and be like, what list are they on? But you know, some of them can fit multiple lists. But yeah, so that was just that's a random fact that I have. Just because I am a pretty heavy Facebook user. A lot of my friends. It's funny, because I think they like watching me on Facebook, but they don't actually post them. Yeah. So like I every single time I see people, they always talk about whatever I posted on Facebook because they see it.

Erika Voeller 18:24

Yeah, I'm kind of like that. I mean, I do post a fair amount. But I don't interact with stuff as much as I should like, I definitely see it all I look at all my notifications. I scroll through my timeline. But it's like it's always similar. It comes up in conversation or someone's like, Hey, I'm hosting this event, or I posted the spot. I'm like, Oh, yeah, I saw that. Yeah, I didn't like it or comment on it. But I got

Jenna Redfield 18:46

it. You know, it was funny to me. People say they see it. I'm like, but you know, I'm guilty of that. I don't either like it is like I only like it if it's like something I'm like really like this great. Like I show them that I appreciate it or whatever. But yeah, sometimes you just keep scrolling. It's like you see it right? It's just you. You don't want anyone Yeah, but then yeah, so then I talked to someone in person. And they're like, Oh, I saw Mike. Even my parents and like my sibling, my brother. I just feel like it's crazy.

Erika Voeller 19:16

Yeah. And I think it's funny too, because sometimes I post and I, I almost have like a few people in my head who I'm like, oh, it'll be interesting to hear or see what they think about this. And I forget about like, hundreds of other people. You know what I mean? Every I saw someone to like something and like, Oh, I kind of forgot you were seeing

Jenna Redfield 19:31

Oh my God, that's true. Or if people comment, I've had this lately where people have commented on it. And I'm like, please don't comment. Like, that's weird. Like, it's just like that. For you. Yeah, yeah. This wasn't like you were at the intended audience for whatever the post was.

Erika Voeller 19:46

Like, okay, I don't know. And that's the game you play with social, you know, it's like, yeah, I get some, like flood comments and whatnot, too. But at the end of the day, like the good outweighs the bad. So um,

Jenna Redfield 19:57

yeah, I mean, it doesn't I guess not. I think about it doesn't surprise me that Twitter's your favorite because you are a writer. And I feel like Twitter's more about words.

Erika Voeller 20:03

Yeah. And it's, it's a challenge sometimes to to like, get all my maths out. And 140 characters. And it Yeah, I would say that's probably true. As opposed to Instagram, which I would assume is maybe yours. Yeah. Yeah. Because you do a video. And I I enjoy photography and video, but I can't create it the same way a photographer? Yeah. So like, when I get a cool picture, I'm super proud of it. And I'm putting it up there. But unless it's like, you know, instead, we're gonna just stay on my camera.

Jenna Redfield 20:35

That's so funny. Because with my general designs, Instagram, I'm so perfectionist that I literally will not posting for like a week behind. Like, I can't find a picture of good enough to go on here and see exactly how

Erika Voeller 20:47

it's like I go, and it kind of goes in waves. Like, sometimes I'll take like, a ton of great photos in one week, because I was at a lot of cool events, or whatever it was. And then, I mean, right now, I think it was like, almost a week, though, since I've posted and I'm like, I don't have anything to put up there.

Jenna Redfield 21:03

But it's like, at the same time, like unless someone is like really super fan of you. They're not gonna really notice. Oh my gosh, people, but it's like I have to I forget about people. And I see them and I'm like, Oh, yeah. And then I see all the posts in the last two weeks. Oh my gosh, yes, I do that.

Erika Voeller 21:18

Constantly. I'm like, Oh, I hadn't been on their profile. And I missed all these I know, especially Well, I mean, I think it's Instagram's fault because they

Jenna Redfield 21:27

shuffle it all up now but now it's kind of based on who you look at the most pops up same with the like Instagram stories. Oh, yeah. Which is like I try to do Instagram story almost every day for Twin Cities Collective during the week, is this week has been crazy since I got this new job. But like I love I feel like it's gotten people more invested in this one Cities Collective because they see who I am. Right? before I'd never ever posted my face. If you if you look through the entire thing. The only time you ever see me on the feed is in group photos. And so I was like I need people to come to events and no boy Yeah, not be like where's the killer runs?

Erika Voeller 22:06

Should I think that's funny because I I think it was maybe the second or third and get up that we had it out. I'm part of the Northeast mastermind. And we were talking Alec and I remember how do you know agenda but then another person came in and was like, we asked, we asked her how do you know Jenna? She's like, I don't like I'm Cities Collective. I don't know who were like, Oh, interesting. Yeah. It's really cool, though, that people still hear about the community without even knowing you.

But yeah, it's and you know, you can't be

Jenna Redfield 22:35

you know, and that's the thing for me is I try to get to know everyone. But sometimes I was at an event recently, and somebody goes, Hey, it's me. Like, it's me, like, and I'm like, Who are you? Guys? Just like I like it took me like and then once I saw like her handle, I was like, Oh, I know what that is. Right? But when it when I when she's just like, Hey, this is my name. And I'm like, I honestly don't know if I've ever talked to you. Right? Like, I don't know who you are. Yeah, I was just kind of strange. And I feel like maybe it's because they feel like they know me really well. I feel like it's probably the same with like celebrities or something. Like, no, no, absolutely. It's weird, because they probably like get approached on the street and like, Oh my gosh, like, how are you in here? Like I've never met you before? Like they know that right?

Erika Voeller 23:17

Oh, absolutely. I follow a lot of people interact with people on social Who? I don't actually know on a personal level at all. Yes. And then I think to a lot of people, especially bloggers, they have certain names for their blog, and it's not necessarily their name. So I agree with you like I'll I can recognize handles left and right. But if someone's like, I'm this person. Never knew that was your name. Cool.

Jenna Redfield 23:36

I don't know what you look like, because

Erika Voeller 23:39

you are food bloggers? All Yes.

Jenna Redfield 23:41

Yeah. That's so true. I've never thought of that. Now. I think about it. That makes sense. Because I meet people. And I always want them to put more pictures of themselves on Instagram,

Erika Voeller 23:50

then it feels weird doing it as you know, on your own. True again, it's all about that balance. Yeah,

Jenna Redfield 23:56

I think there's there's a few people that have literally been friends on Facebook with for over two years, and I still haven't met and they every single time like we miss paths. Yeah, every event that I'm like, oh, hard it is

Erika Voeller 24:07

I try to go to I was really good at events at the beginning half of the year. And I got kind of burned out. And now I haven't been to some in a while. Yes, I sort of have like the same handful of people that I met in a couple earlier events. And I'm just like, holding onto them for dear life. Like let's maintain our connection. Interesting. Um, but I do need to start going to more events. Yeah,

Jenna Redfield 24:26

I love events. And it depends on the event, though, because I've definitely tried a few networking groups or whatever, where I'm just like, this was not for me, you know. And so I feel like you have to, if that's like your first one and you don't like it doesn't mean that all of them are bad. It just maybe that one might not have been great. And maybe you should try something else. And we do have a list on our website and probably not like plug it right now but have like a meetup groups that meet locally that you should check out because, you know, go to what I go to I say go to a smaller one, one that isn't like 100 people, one that's maybe like 15 people, because I feel like you're forced to talk to people. And it's very much a little bit more laid back and not so much like you're in a room with 100 people and like randomly find someone to talk to

Erika Voeller 25:07

Yeah, it can be super intimidating. And even I mean, I consider myself to be pretty extroverted. Even for me, I'm still get pretty nervous at those events, bigger ones, for sure. And it is the smaller events where I've had the most success because you have a chance to sort of at least meet most of the people there and maybe really connect with a couple. Yeah, I think you make a good point. Try out a bunch of them. Yeah, there's no shortage. Yeah.

Jenna Redfield 25:32

And there's more. I mean, it's funny, like when, when one of them like ends and other ones beginning

Erika Voeller 25:38

constantly getting advice on Facebook. Yeah. Like, I'm always like, yeah, I'm so interested in that. And then it's just a matter of figuring out what works with me. Yeah, at all. But yeah, there's no shortage.

Jenna Redfield 25:47

Yeah. Have you been to any that you've liked lately? Or that you went to earlier this year? which ones would you recommend?

Erika Voeller 25:54

Yeah. Well, I'm going to on Tuesday, I'm going to an event hosted by millennials in Minneapolis. I've heard of a, and I don't even remember, the topic is escaping me. I'll have to look it up. But I'm going to go to that one. But actually, the BMA event that I met you at Korea still takes the cake. I met a lot of really cool people there. You know, you Kayla, Marilyn, that was like the best event ever. And I actually was planning to go with a friend that night, and then they build last minute. And I was really nervous to go on. I almost didn't go. Because again, I was like, I'm the kind of person who can just walk up to someone and be like, Hello, who I am. But that was a really good event. And there was so many good tips.

Jenna Redfield 26:41

Good advice. Yeah. That was one of timber Tula, right?

Erika Voeller 26:45

Yes. Oh, yeah. And that was, you know, Sarah was sweet. rude. Like, sharing her cup. Yes. Yep. That was the first time I met her. Yeah, yeah, exactly. Like I met so many good people. Keep in touch with Yeah. I think back on that event a lot. And I'm like, this is why I need to go to my events. Yeah, that was super good. I'm sure others are super good, too.

Jenna Redfield 27:03

Yeah, I think our last event was really great for that, because I met a lot of people I hadn't met. Yeah. And so I'm like, hoping we haven't decided on our next event. Like Twin Cities Collective is gonna be here, which I haven't mentioned this podcast, I probably should. We are at Studio co work, which is my new day job, I guess. Just enter the podcasting booth. And I talked about it on the last episode a little bit. So you, if you want to learn more about it, just But anyways, yeah. So we like I don't I kind of want to have like a mix of like larger and smaller events, just because I feel like, like the larger events, you get more chances to meet more people. But smaller events. I feel like you have more in depth. And it's a little bit less awkward. Definitely.

Erika Voeller 27:43

Yeah, I think I've been to both approaches. And I think in the bigger ones, then you have to be even more proactive. And again, some people can do it. Some can't like I had no problem. I went to one of it while you were at that one to the one I did. Yes. Yep. And that panel, I that was so great. But I had to go out of my way to like, reach out to them. And be like, Hey, I saw you and I didn't get a chance to talk to you because there are a million people there. But I'm interested in your work. Here's what I'm, here's what I want to talk about, versus at the smaller ones. Like the BMA event that we went to it was like, there's so much time to just kind of mingle and you know, eat good food and good drinks. And then it was a little bit more intimate. Yeah, I think there's a benefit to both. And I want to go to some more Twin Cities Collective wants to because there's, I feel like we're growing.

Jenna Redfield 28:31

Yeah, definitely.

Erika Voeller 28:32

Everyone I've ever met from Twin Cities Collective has been awesome.

Jenna Redfield 28:36

I mean, I definitely like try to attract the right people to make sense. Because I even posted today in the group, I was like, like, a lot of people have just been like, not following the rules. And so I had to post and it's like, hey, like, you know, if you're going to be to self promo, like, we you're not going to be allowed in this group. Like, I never have a collaborative space. And so I definitely want to keep it that way. And I that's why I like, I have to moderate everything post Katrina, like, I can't let this go crazy. Or people will just be a spam spam zone. Oh,

Erika Voeller 29:04

absolutely. I mean, Twin Cities Collective was really like the first sort of online community that I joined. And then I was having a lot of success. So I was like, well, maybe I should explore some others. And there are definitely groups out there that are just like a free for all. And there are like, yeah, thousands upon thousands of people. And everyone's posting like every two seconds. I'm like, I cannot keep up with this. I mean, I would scroll and scroll, assuming that I was like weeks into the content, I'd be like hours and, you know, it was like this isn't worth it.

Jenna Redfield 29:34

True, because then it's like at the same time, you don't think you were probably never going to be seen? I think I found some good Facebook groups that I've actually gotten a lot out of, but they've changed over time. So even if they were, for example, I will, I will say rising tide. I know if you've heard of that one I have. Yeah. So that is had to like 30,000 people or something hands crazy. But when I started with that group, there was you know, a couple thousand like maybe two or 3000. I was there like right when it started, which was in 2015. And it was right right at the time when I was starting my business and stuff. And so there was the literally the most helpful group. But now it's gotten so big that they have had to make a lot of changes lately, with moderators. And they have actually their own app now that has its own. It's mostly for people are looking for like referrals and stuff, because that's what kind of turned it into. But I and now they've actually changed it so that they have to approve posts, which that's kind of like a stage you get to at one point is where it Where do you let people just post and then you delete it later? Or do you write like a lot like for I would say 80% of the posts that people post on our wall. They're not allowed to delete a lot of

Erika Voeller 30:41

I think that's a fair precedent to set. Like, I think if you just say that on the onset, which you did, it's right there when you first put it on the Facebook group. I think that makes sense. because like you said, otherwise, it's just going to be like self promos. Yeah. Right. Yeah. And it's also like a really delicate line. Like even when I share like Wednesday is my favorite day because I love sharing my new them always like I would really love if you like read this. But you know, don't feel obligated. Maybe that's like the Minnesota and then reach

Jenna Redfield 31:06

out to but I'm like, I don't want to like force you to read it. I don't have to click on right. That's the thing about Yeah, the ones I like the ones that post to Yeah, I think that having that, that post every week that everyone it also looks forward to is super important to me. Because I think otherwise, if everyone's just posting their blog posts randomly, it's like, who sees what, like, there's no, there's no order to it? Yeah, I like

Erika Voeller 31:28

it. And it's, I mean, you know, I've come to sort of recognize familiar faces. And I know now like, Oh, yeah, I always really liked her blogs. Like, I am going to click on that again. And honestly, I think probably like, I don't know what the percentage would be. I should maybe look into it. But I think a huge majority of my readership comes from since Oh,

Unknown Speaker 31:47


Erika Voeller 31:48

Yeah. Awesome. And that's how I learned about one of my freelance clients. Like, she was like, Yeah, I found you on the directory and disease. like heck yeah. Like that's awesome. Awesome. So you know, I then it's again, you you almost have like, another side community because the same few people are like commenting on your content. And I'm part of a Twin Cities Collective Instagram pot. Yeah.

Jenna Redfield 32:08

There's like a few. There's a few. Jen runs that for us. Yeah, she's really good. Because I was like, Adam. You can run it if you want to. It can be either to Cities Collective, you can run it and so she loves doing it. I'm like, that's great. I just can't keep

Erika Voeller 32:22

up with a lot of them, too. Yes, we were the one I'm a part of just reached capacity. Oh, yeah. And I was like, Oh, I was trying to get into like, I have a another Instagram account. And I was like, Oh, I wanted to promote this one. And she's like, I'll put

Jenna Redfield 32:35

you in a different one. Okay, feel you don't you part of like, I can't keep up. I know. Because I feel like I was in one for a while. And I just literally couldn't keep up. Yeah, it was one pot. Like it was like six people in it. It wasn't like, That was too much. For me. I was like,

Erika Voeller 32:48

I can't every once in a while. I try to keep up with it. But every so often, I'll have to like dedicate a good chunk of time and literally, like scroll to the top and like, click on everyone's thing and be like, okay,

Jenna Redfield 33:00

gonna take like, read your cat. It does take a while. And that's the thing. And it was so funny. So last week, on the Instagram follow for some reason we had so many people post on that. Well, last week interesting. Like, like, over 100. And so I was I was going through it. And then I saw a bunch of people were like, I'm almost there a guys like you're going through and following everyone. And I was I was like, so touched. I was like, like the fact that they would go through so much effort to follow like everyone, because I know like, usually I say like, follow everyone. But I'm like, this is a lot of people to follow. I mean, I don't expect everyone to I mean, I expect you to follow at least some of these people, but not all of them. Yeah. And I feel like you should get the same in return. But it's like, I was like, thanks, guys. posted. I was like, thanks for like, all the effort of following everyone. Because that's like a lot of dedication. Totally

Erika Voeller 33:44

plus, like, I mean, I usually will, you know, check Facebook periodically throughout the workday. And then I'm on a browser and like after I click on enough profiles, it's like starting to get slow. You know? Yeah, like 10 Instagram tab. But it is exciting that we're growing because there were like, a few weeks, every once a while where I'm like, I already follow you guys. I promise. I'm looking at your profile. Yeah, if

Jenna Redfield 34:08

I Oh, yeah, that's true. Well, I think also, we've kind of i think i think the podcast has actually helped with that. Because people like it. Somebody joined the group. I think it was either today or yesterday. That's like I you know, listen to the podcast. So that's how I found out about the group. So I know. And so I always forget, like, I know, I make the podcast and I forget that people actually listen. Yeah. Yeah. And I actually heard a story. I have to remember her name. But I met her at the last event we did, and she was listening to it. So shout out to you at her desk in in Dallas, where she moved here. And I was like, Wow, that's so crazy. It's really good. It was Joe. I believe that was her name. So shout out to you for listening. Not in Minnesota. I was like you might be our first non Minnesota listener. But really interesting to like, see the

Erika Voeller 34:53

demographics on?

Jenna Redfield 34:54

Yeah, well, it's weird because I host with Squarespace. Okay. But I have a really bad I don't have the best analytics for. So you have to like go through something else. But I honestly do not want to pay like five bucks a month to like, find out how many people are listening. So Squarespace can do it. But like I kind of wish I knew like which episodes are doing better than the others, you know, so that I can kind of focus on those kind of episodes. Because like people told me they like a specific one them like, Oh, yeah, that's a good one. But I'm like, What did you like about it? Right? And I'm like, What? Like, I feel like I need to do more surveys or something. Just Oh, yeah. I would love to put maybe I'll post later today and ask people how many have actually listening because yeah, I think that it's funny because a lot of times I forget people ever listen to like every single episode like Oh, I remember that episode was like so and so in there like 9am it was Yeah, shoot

Erika Voeller 35:39

me this week. Like, preparing for this. I was like, Okay, I can't listen all these like, yeah, you know, I tried to like every so often, especially I know the person I'm like, Oh, for sure. Yeah. But, man, you take like two weeks off, and all of a sudden you like

Jenna Redfield 35:53

I took last week off and I was like, just just use this week to catch up. Yeah, I was like, I know you need it. And so that was kind of funny. Well, thank you so much for coming to the end of our podcast session. So can you tell us where where we can find you online? Well, yeah,

Erika Voeller 36:06

handles and everything. Absolutely. Um, so my, my website is just Erica bowler calm. And my Instagram is Erica rose bowler, which is my full name. My Twitter is roller coaster men help people know how to pronounce their names like roller. That's probably the primary stuff. I'm on LinkedIn as well. But if you I mean, essentially my my websites, the hub for everything so you can find links to everything else.

Jenna Redfield 36:32

Yeah, through there. Cool. Awesome. Well, thanks so much for joining us. Thanks for having me. This will be lamp on Monday. So okay to go. there for that. All right. Bye, guys. Thank you guys so much for listening to the conversations with creators podcast from the Twin Cities Collective. Make sure to head over to iTunes to subscribe to this podcast so you won't miss an episode. New episodes come out every single Monday. And also make sure to give us a review so that we can get more people listening and so that we can give you even more episodes podcast. Make sure to also check out our website Twin Cities Collective com where you can learn more about us join our Facebook group join our online business and blogger directories as well as learn more about events that are coming up that we host every single month. Thank you so much again to Allison hall for creating our awesome podcast cover photo as well as Nicola hi les for the use of the song in the intro and altro. Thanks again, guys for listening and I'll see you next week. Bye