Is there such a thing as joyful marketing? For those of you who find the whole ordeal incredibly frustrating, the phrase can sound like an oxymoron. But by the end of this episode, Paul Higgins’ guest will have you think otherwise. M. Shannon Hernandez was a university professor that helped people with writing. Now, she takes that passion to help people put joy in their marketing. Yes, marketing can be enjoyable when done right. Still skeptical? Join in and let the ultimate joyful marketer change your mind and your whole relationship with marketing forever.

Joyful Marketing With M. Shannon Hernandez

Build Live Give. Mentoring with Paul Higgins

Welcome to the show. If you’re a first-time reader, I hope you enjoy it. If you do, please subscribe. If you’re a long-term reader, I’d love to get your feedback. The show is only as good as the feedback you give me. The guests make a huge difference but also the feedback that you give me. Our guest was a university professor that helped people with writing. She has now taken that passion into helping people put joy in their marketing. I know joy for many of us, certainly from my experience, is that joy often doesn’t come in marketing. I find marketing incredibly frustrating, but our guest talks about how you can change that relationship with marketing and also gives you some fantastic techniques. What I’ll do now is hand you over to M. Shannon Hernandez from You will get lots of value from her.

Welcome, M. Shannon Hernandez to the show. It’s great to have you here, Shannon.

Thank you so much. I’m excited to be here.

We’ve had a great conversation in the past to learn a lot about what you do, but it’s your chance now to share it with everyone reading now. Let’s kick off with the Build section. When someone says to you, “Shannon, what do you do?” How do you best describe that?

I help coaches and consultants fall in love with their marketing, joyful marketing and business growth strategies. That’s what I do. I am teaching, helping people with all organic strategies. I don’t use any paid advertising and I don’t teach any paid marketing. It’s all organic and relationship building.

Joy and marketing for a lot of us doesn’t come in the same sentence whether it’s either before or after the word. I must admit the hardest part I found with my business is marketing. As a Marketing Director at Coca-Cola, I understand a lot about marketing but marketing my own business is like I say this then someone else will look at it and say, “Maybe you could have said it this way slightly.” Everyone has got a different opinion and it gets very confusing. When someone writes their LinkedIn page or their website, what are the right words to convey that joy in their business or convey their business in a way that their ideal clients can understand it?

I say that joyful marketing is the thing but the joy starts here. It’s an energy, it starts from within. The whole reason that this whole Joyful Marketing Movement came about was because I was countering many people who hated marketing so much. I was like, “I’ve got to bring people to the other side of things.” We’ve got to come to the other side. Messaging, marketing and selling all go together and they can be tricky. If you’re not saying what the right people need to hear, which are your people or you haven’t clearly defined them, it takes a long time to get a lot of traction. My brilliance is being able to listen to someone’s business and get right to what we talk about, which is what is the one person, the one problem, the one platform plus email and how have you positioned yourself as the one solution? When you can simplify that, it opens a lot of things up. It doesn’t feel overwhelming and we can get to the joyful side of things, which is messaging, marketing that leads to sales so you can give back or do all the things you want to be doing on the other side of your business.

Joy is when you are aligned with your values. If your marketing runs in alignment with your lifestyle values, it can be joyful. Click To Tweet

I see a lot of LinkedIn profiles every day. Often, it’s throwing the wide net. They’re all things to all people. I don’t know if you’ve got an example where a consultant came to you that was right there then you’re able to give them a very clear profile.

I wrote an article with this example for Medium. I had a health coach come to me and that’s very broad. She said, “I help women get healthy.” I was like, “That’s the biggest fishing that I ever heard of in my life.” That could be mental, spiritual, emotional, diet. That’s so much. I said, “What are you passionate about?” She said, “I’m passionate about helping women with emotional eating habits that they don’t understand are running the show,” under the surface of everything that’s going on. I said, “We narrow it from women getting healthy to women and emotional eating. If we could take this one step further because women are really big, who do you want to be working with?” She said, “If I could work with women like you who are CEOs and they’re successful. They have to understand that their health is an important foundation for keeping this operation going.” We came up with a tagline of, “I help women CEOs match their health to their wealth by understanding emotional eating patterns that are underlying what’s going on.” The business opened up because now people were paying attention. It’s not just women getting healthy but women CEOs, emotional eating, health match your wealth. It was such a brilliant example to share here too.

I couldn’t agree more, I always use the simple phrase, “I help X through Y to achieve Z,” which is exactly what you said. That makes it so much easier. It’s also about the header at the top too. I always say it’s like a billboard. If someone’s going to drive past your billboard, what would you say? They wouldn’t have a massive photo of you when there’s already a profile photo. That doesn’t mean anything to anybody hitting your profile. I think that’s pertinent. You talked about this content personality wheel in your LinkedIn profile. Tell us a little bit more about that.

A short story was somebody called me and she was crying. She was very upset and she had signed up for this year-long coaching program. The time had come that it was the end of the year. She was being flown out for the last part of this program, which was to go to some hotel in California. She was to come out three days of being locked in this room with the manuscript. She was sobbing about it. She did sign up for it. She knew it was coming. She probably thought like many of us, “I have nine months to get prepared for this.” She called me on the phone and she was very upset because she said, “I don’t want to write this book. I need a topic. I don’t even know what I’m talking about.” I laid in bed that night and thought about that conversation. I was hearing a lot of this, “Writing doesn’t give me joy, long-form writing, content, writing books. I’m petrified of going on video. What can I do? Video is all the rage.”

I came up with the idea of a content personality quiz. If you could identify the way that you best show up in your marketing, that translates well to others, how revolutionary would that be? You wouldn’t be wasting a lot of time doing these things that you don’t want to be doing. That quiz came out several years ago and it has changed people’s lives around the world. Mainly, it either shows them exactly what they already knew or it shows them exactly what they’ve been avoiding, and they can let go of all the rest of the stuff and just focus on the one way to market themselves that is joyful and gets them results.

What did that turn out to be for her?

She was audio, which is why she didn’t want to write this book. She had built relationships in this program. I had her take her iPhone and dictate. Within a few weeks, she had a book she’d been putting off for years and years. Just because you don’t like writing doesn’t mean you won’t have a book if a book is your goal but how can we get you there in a way that’s joyful, doesn’t burn you out and make sure that you still have the energy to do the other things you want to be doing?

BLG 283 | Joyful Marketing

Joyful Marketing: When you simplify marketing, it doesn’t feel as overwhelming and you can get to the joyful side of things.


This might be a very obvious question but when you say joyful and someone says hate, what does joyful mean to you? How do you best describe that?

My own definition of joy is I’m in alignment with my values. I’m running my business and my marketing in alignment with my lifestyle values. What do I value? Do I value travel most? Do I value safety and security? What are those values? I have inner peace and I’m able to be present. That’s my best definition for joy.

It’s important when often I’ll say that people are struggling with their marketing message because they are trying to be someone that they’re not. The alignment with the values and for me for example in corporate, I had a wonderful career at Coca-Cola as a branding company, but the values weren’t in alignment with mine. I’d read a daily reflection and I’d take, “This is a person I want to be in life,” then I’d go to work and be someone different. A lot of us run our businesses that way as well. That’s what’s important to get someone like Shannon in to help. My assumption is that it’s very difficult to extract that yourself and that’s certainly been my personal experience. What about you? What normally stops people first from seeing someone like you? What’s the revelation that they arrive at when they work with an expert like yourself?

A lot of people haven’t done the work to understand what are my highest lifestyle values. I’m not talking about trust and integrity. I’m talking about how you want to be spending your time in your business and outside of your business. That’s what I say is where the magic happens. People often come to me because they’re maxed out on one-on-one and their energy is drained. They want to move to a group but they want it to be a quality group program. This is a very specific example but then they have these things like, “I’m scared I’m going to lose the deep connection.” We know that connection is the value or the relationship that I have with the one-on-one to go into a group. It’s certainly a valid concern because we see this happen a lot in group programs in our industry is it loses the effectiveness.

If you get too many in the group or if the group isn’t aligned with how you want to be serving them, there’s a lot that goes on here. They come initially because they want to grow and expand but they’re not sure how to do that where they’re not going to burn out. They’re not going to spend more time, more revenue or do these things that are not in alignment with their values. When they leave, they have a beautiful joyful marketing plan that addresses three things. They experience more joy in their business and in their life outside of their business, they experience more revenue and they experience abundant time off. That has been the thing that people have gravitated to in me is the joy with the time off. We can be consumed with our business. That the work can never end but how do you build a sustainable model that gives you more joy, more revenue and more time off? That has been my guiding question for the last several years. That’s the fun thing to dive in with people.

You talked before about organic. What’s your version or definition of organic? What are some of the better organic channels for coaches and consultants at the moment?

For me, organic is I create amazing content and people reach out to me. There are lots of other things that could be organic. For example, I create amazing content. I put it everywhere and hope that people reach out to me. That is not organic. That’s working. I create amazing content, I spam everyone on LinkedIn and their messenger, nothing happens. That is not effective organic content to me. If we’re going to just be real, it’s I create content and when people interact with it, for me, the word is experience. I want to give people an experience every time they listen to me on a podcast, see me on a summit, read an article of mine on my blog or Medium. What is the experience I can give them? That’s an elevated version of great content. For me, it was the experience. How can I interact and build community? Organic for me that’s working is I create amazing content, wherever it goes it goes but people are booking on my calendar. They’re reaching out to have me be on a summit. They want me on their podcast. This to me is effective marketing where you’re not draining yourself by the spray and pray method. There was something else you asked.

Great content, consistency, having a strong message, treating people well, building a brand – these things will stand the test of time. Click To Tweet

It’s platforms. I get the content, the vessel. Where do you best see it being delivered? What platform?

The platform question comes back to the content first. I’m going to give an example. If you take the content personality quiz and you score highest in video, we should be matching your platform to the results of the marketing personality. If you score highest in writing, maybe we’re going to get you to do blog, book writing or whatever that looks like. The platform question is often confused. People are hopping on bandwagons like, “Clubhouse is all the rage.” I hate Clubhouse mainly because it’s audio, and audio dead last of my content per se. I am not going to Clubhouse. You could not pay me $1 million to go over there. I went and looked at it. I was like, “Not for me.” The platform question becomes what is my content personality, how could I match the platform to it and not what’s working now because you and I have been in business long enough to not all. It’s all going to cycle back to great content, being consistent, having a strong message, treating people well, building a brand. Those are the things that would stand time.

If it was video, for example, would that be like you believe in doubling down on say YouTube or is it video across multiple platforms? How do you advise on that?

I am of the mind that simple is better. If video is the thing and you like the vibe of LinkedIn, maybe getting your video approved for LinkedIn. If you like Facebook, those seem to be where your people are and you’re doing Lives on Facebook. If you want to go use one of those streaming things that goes to all the places, that gets a little tricky. It waters some content down because each platform is built to talk to people in a specific way. If you’re doing this whole live stream video to a lot of places, it can be a little messy. There is a way to do it. Do you want to grow a YouTube channel? Do you want to put your video on your blog and have people interact on your SEO? This is a great example of match your content personality. Pick one platform and do it well. Be present, be the expert and be visible. Those are the things that work overtime.

I think there is a bit of a Venn diagram where you’re matching the personality, the content matching to that is brilliant, but it’s also where your audience is as well. Even though you might love Facebook, it doesn’t mean that your audience is on Facebook. I agree, double down on it but make sure there’s an alignment to who your ideal client is. The last part of this is a lot of people say, “I’m just not a great writer.” I know I’ve got to produce content but the example before where the lady likes to do audio not to particularly write. How do you help people come up with content? I know it’s going to be aligned to their personality, “I don’t even know where to start. I don’t have ideas. Posting on LinkedIn sounds great but I don’t even know where to start.” How do you help people in that situation?

This is a great question because there are many parts. A lot of people say, “I’ll go create content but I was a writing teacher for many years in eighth grade.” It’s not just go get an idea. That’s not how any part of the creation works. For me, how I’ve helped people is, “What do you want to be known for? What are some themes within that?” What I say to my clients is the only time you’re going to hear me think small is what’s your content. We got to think super small. That’s what works. We have this umbrella of what you want to be known for. What are some themes? What are some sub-themes? If a theme becomes a month, let’s say it’s about how podcasting can grow your business. What are four sub-themes? We can develop content each week. One sub, two sub, three sub, week four is four sub. From there, it’s no longer an idea problem.

When people say, “I don’t have an idea of what to write.” It’s because they’re thinking so big and broad, they can’t get it narrowed down. Once we solve what do you want to be known for? What are the themes? What are the sub themes? Now we can move into how are we creating those within your content personality? Which platform are we going to show up on? It’s not like a one magic pill solution. There are many pieces to this. Even to take it a step farther, Paul, within that is like “If I need to produce a piece of content every week,” if that’s your goal. What day are you drafting? What day are you editing? What day are you publishing? Getting people on a schedule like that is what works because otherwise, it’s too big of a topic. It’s overwhelming to the brain to come up with all of this and try and sit down and do it.

BLG 283 | Joyful Marketing

Joyful Marketing: It’s easy to get consumed with your business. How do you build a sustainable model that gives you more joy, more revenue, and more time off?


If you can have that structure and then build off that structure, that would be fantastic. Remember you can find out more about Shannon at Before we go into the Give section, I’d like to talk to you to work out if you’re going to have a sales machine that’s going to make your ambitions. I have got an assessment, you go to It has 14 questions, 3 minutes. The most important thing at the end, we will rate you in certain brackets. There’s a call to action, which is to have a call with me where I’ll take you through a plan. It’s not a sales call, it’s a plan on what are the gaps and then how you can best fill those. The next is the Live section, Shannon. What are some daily habits that help you be successful?

First, I exercise every day. I live in New Jersey, and it’s really cold now, however warmer days are coming but I just got the right clothing. Being outside in nature and exercising is magic for me. I’ve got to move my body, that helps me feel alive. Also, I worked for several years and I will say I worked on my sleep habit. I now have my cell phone go off at 7:30 at night and it stays in the kitchen. I go to bed between 8:30 and 9:00. I sleep all the way through the night until 6:00 or 6:30. This is the most amazing but I had to work on that. That was many years of undoing my cell phone near my bed. The other habit is I honor my calendar. If I’m working, I’m working. If I’m playing, I’m playing. That has been a journey in and of itself but as a CEO, it’s been necessary for my mental health to turn it off when it’s time to turn it off so I can come back fully charged.

Maria, your partner, they are reading now. What would you like to say to them about the support they’ve given you?

She has been invaluable. She always every morning asks, “What are you excited about today?” It’s such an amazing question to start the day with coffee. It makes me think like, “What am I excited about today?” Even if I’m not excited about something, she will make me find something to be excited about but a true support system. As a spouse, it’s been invaluable to my success and my courage to take risks that might not pay off immediately but knowing that the support is there is reassuring.

The next section is the Give section. What’s a charity or a community that you support and why?

For years, I have been giving to an organization in Africa called the Joy Collective. They are an organization that helps widows and their children learn permaculture and give seeds, water, soil, all the things that they need to start self-sustaining. First, it started as being able to feed themselves because at this particular place in Africa, if you are widowed, you are put into the street. It was this outreach of one heartbreaking widower and her children put on the street because she doesn’t have a husband. How are they going to take care of themselves? How are they going to feed themselves? I started working with this beautiful tribe through the Joy Collective. Not only do they now grow all their own food and they’re a purely sustainable women community that have come together and formed friendships. Neighboring tribes are coming to learn from them how to grow their food and how to have a business outside once your needs are met, being able to sell the extras and teach that. That has been so gratifying to see this happen over the years.

Thanks for sharing. It’s an amazing project and well done for supporting that. The last section is the rapid-fire section where I ask you some questions and you give me some rapid-fire answers. The first one is what are your top three personal effectiveness tips?

When it comes to marketing, simpler is better. Click To Tweet

Sleep, exercise, honor my calendar.

What’s a piece of technology that is essential to running your business?

Acuity Scheduler. I need people to cook a link. I cannot live in email.

For your source of ideas, I know that you help people take their ideas into valuable content but what about for you? Where do you do thought bubbles?

I do a lot of time in nature, it gives me great ideas. Also, painting. I have started abstract painting and it’s nice that the brain will do the thinking while you’re putting the paint on the page.

The last one is the big one. I always leave it to the end because of that. What impact do you want to leave on the world?

My mission is to make every single space online or offline that I show up in more joyful than when I got there. That is my impact.

You’ve done that. Thanks for sharing your knowledge, energy and putting a smile on our faces. Everyone that’s read it, you can find out more at You’ve got an assessment yourself that you can give to people. They can go to What do they give when they fill that out?

BLG 283 | Joyful Marketing

Joyful Marketing: Pick one platform and do it well. Be present, be the expert, and be visible.


That’s a Joyful Marketing blueprint. It’s to take you through how you’re viewing marketing now versus how you might could view it through the lens of joy, and to start building your own blueprint to expand your business with joy.

It’s a pleasure having you on the show. Not often people put joy in the same sentence as marketing but given the tips and the resources that you’ve given, it will help with that.

Thanks for having me. It’s super fun.

I hope you found joy in that show. I certainly did. I thought that the comments around all the education piece around the personality wheel and also about the structure of how you take a huge topic and break it down was excellent. If you use that structure, it can certainly help you post on platforms and certainly for us, LinkedIn. B2B business is still the best one to go to. Also, if you got a lot of value and joy out of this, please mention Shannon. Her website is If you also want to work out whether you’ve got the right sales from changing to meet your ambitions or fill your ambitions, please go to Please take action to build, live and give.

Important Links:

About M. Shannon Hernandez

BLG 283 | Joyful MarketingM. Shannon Hernandez is ALL ABOUT THAT JOY in life and biz—and specifically is known around the globe for her Joyful Marketing Methodology.

She works with online coaches and consultants—teaching them how to market and sell from a place of joy and intuition first—and build a profitable business that includes abundant time off.

Shannon is a sought-after expert in the world of joyful marketing and online business strategy, and she champions and rallies coaches and consultants to build the business and lifestyle of their dreams.

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