Kylie Slavik has revolutionised the way online marketing is done, proving that empowering story-based marketing can get better results than fear, hype, and scarcity. She has pioneered methods across Facebook and LinkedIn advertising, business storytelling, email copywriting, content marketing and strategic partnerships, generating multiple millions of dollars for her clients. She’s been behind hundreds of launches and funnels and done business with teams such as Gina DeVee, Bob Proctor, Brian Tracy, Arielle Ford, John Assaraf, and more. She is a big fan of ketosis, the Ocean, running, and writing.
Hey Kylie, can you introduce yourself to us?
I’m a brand storyteller for world-changing entrepreneurs and companies. I have a tendency to break a lot of rules in traditional marketing and start new trends by following what makes sense and how people really are as opposed to how advertisers think they are! For example, the average advertiser thinks that you can be easily tricked or duped into feeling or thinking something. I don’t agree.
At heart, I’m really an artist and I’ve been able to take my art and channel it into the digital marketing landscape telling stories and creating empowering messages that sell, that millions upon millions have seen. I’m just in my little corner of the world trying to have as much impact as I can.
Can you take us through your journey to where you are now?
When I was in my early 20s I started a spoken word poetry venue in Gainesville, FL called ThirdEyeSpoken. It was an incredible collective of artists and poets who got together to uplift the community through art and music – and we donated all the money coming into local non-profits. We took workshops into prisons and detention centres and women’s shelters. It was a movement on fire.
Then one day I got tired of the financial frustrations of having a day job in the medical industry and not making money from my passions. I wondered if it could be different. I pursued a career in massage therapy and was so successful at the marketing side of things, the holistic schools in my town invited me in to teach. I realised I liked that better. Through the advice of some of my spiritual teachers, I began a journey towards entrepreneurship and movement making.
I started in this industry as an Affiliate Manager working some very high-level business owners like Max Simon who is the son of the Chopra Center Co-Founder Dr. David Simon. He introduced me to high caliber leaders like John Assaraf, Bob Proctor, Mark Victor Hansen. They changed everything about the way I saw business as a force for good in the world.
A woman I met through Max’s company asked me to write an ad. I had no idea what I was doing in the ad world, but I knew how to tell stories from all my years as a performance artist. That first ad made over a million dollars in just 12 weeks. The rest is history!
What is a day in the life of you like as a life digital marketer?
I spend the first part of my day in meditation and exercise, getting tapped into my internal world. After that, I look at my tasks for the day, the week and the month and I decide what needs to be done that day and what can wait.
I spend most of my time with clients and working directly on projects. I get so many referrals that I don’t spend a ton of time marketing my business, it’s mostly just getting into the creative side of things, which I love.
I spend as much time at the Ocean in San Diego where I live as I can. And running, I love living a balanced life as an entrepreneur and don’t believe in the hustle and grind way of doing things, although I work hard!
How did you ‘accidentally’ fall into it?
I say that I am an “accidental digital marketer” because I never really had a background in business and marketing but I was always very influential and persuasive with whatever I put my mind into creating. I could get 200 people to show up to a poetry event in a very small college town that was mostly focused on beer and football. I didn’t realise that was the skill marketers needed to have, and it translated into ads and launches and growing brands in a very positive way. I never saw such a focused career as a digital marketer in my future.
Can you tell us how you are helping your clients to tell a story that can move a crowd in three minutes?
The reference to the crowds and 3 minutes comes from the poetry slam world where you get 3 minutes only to tell a story and hopefully advance to the next round.
I translated that power into brand storytelling. I help them find the moments that will connect most emotionally with their audience. First, you need to know that audience deeply and intimately so I work with them on that. Most people think they know their Avatar but they miss so much of what goes on emotionally and even spiritually with them.
Not in my universe! Once we know who they are we look for the dramatic tension and conflict, ask anyone in Hollywood and they will tell you that is what stories are built on! From there it’s just filling in relatable details, and helping the entrepreneur show what’s available to their ideal clients on the other side of a conflict or challenge.
Can you highlight 3 tips for those who don’t know how to get the right blend of empathy and vulnerability while still driving action?
- Don’t overshare! Save stories you are still processing for your friends and therapist. People want to know you have a solution to their problems so we don’t drag them into the problem when we don’t yet have a solution.
- Be generous with details. Don’t skip through parts of the story just because you think they are not important. Paint a picture in your reader or viewer’s mind by engaging all the senses. Can they see, hear, taste, touch or smell the details in your story?
- Have a climactic moment where a new realisation occurs and because of that a transformation. Show how you achieved some external goal by transforming internally, which is often where the real story lives. Demonstrate in real concrete and tangible ways how life has changed and what’s possible for them.
Who does the team involve behind you?
I have some people who take care of all my tech, an accountant and a financial advisor. I am partnered with a highly successful and prolific launch team as well. I try and keep it as bare bones as possible, I do my social media and copywriting.
Where can you see yourself within the next 3-5 years?
Hopefully revitalising the rainforests and helping get all the plastic out of the Oceans. I want to work with companies like Patagonia and 4Ocean, visionaries who are making money in conjunction with preserving the beauty and health of this planet and reversing the damage.
What strategies do you have in place when looking at the expansion of your business?
Tapping YouTube and LinkedIn. Possible running more Search Traffic on overlooked platforms like Yahoo and Bing. Also utilising more Joint Venture partners since collaboration is so powerful and I have a background in it.
Can you tell us what areas you have struggled in professionally?
Staying focused and organised. I’m a disaster walking when it comes to that. I’m an artist and I make a lot of decisions in business with my heart while overlooking things like systems and data.
Have you ever had any other mentor? If so how has this benefitted you to grow?
I almost always have a mentor. I think it is vital for anyone providing coaching or consulting to work with different coaches to stay on track. My mentors have ranged from Maori Elders to Tibetan wisdom keepers to a Cherokee medicine woman… all the way to some of the biggest players in the digital ad space, copywriters, storytellers… I am always learning!
What outlets do use to market your services?
Right now Facebook, LinkedIn, and my email list.
Which methods are you using to build your own support network?
Mostly my intuition. I have a dream team of supporters which includes business coaches, network chiropractors, therapists, peers, and friends.
What do you believe are the common misconceptions about digital marketing and how are you using your platform and voice to educate people more?
That it’s easy! It’s a real profession. It takes a lot of dollars and hours to crack the code and it won’t come easily to those who are in it for the wrong reasons or have entirely selfish motives, especially now. That all you need are the mechanics, and the money will flow. For example, slap up a website or a landing page and an autoresponder and people will just find you and buy.
You actually need to understand your audience and marketing intimately for this to all work. And tell a great story. I work tirelessly to educate good-hearted people who care about the planet and each other on what it really takes to succeed and bring their dream to life. I do this through video, podcast interviews, social media, and email channels as well as my numerous coaching programs.
What would you like to see changed for millennials in business?
I think the millennials are rocking it! I would like to see those who are socially focused and focused on more than just material success to be encouraged and supported… they are literally building our future!
What is the best piece of business advice you have received to date?
“Don’t do it” By a restaurant owner. What he meant is that everything in life requires an incredible amount of work – and to only do the thing that you literally cannot do. Like you absolutely have to do it because it’s in your blood, spirit, and bones. Otherwise, just get a day job.
What is the number 1 critical lesson you have learned in your career so far?
Don’t count the money until it hits your bank.
How do you create an evenly balanced work and personal life?
I simply have learned through the 70 hour work week grind for years as a launch manager, that business problems can wait, but life and love cannot. I lost an important relationship for me in part because I put business ahead of love. I’ll never make that mistake again!
A seminal point in your career so far?
Generating $1.25 million in 12 weeks telling stories from my laptop in my pyjamas.
What gives you ultimate career satisfaction?
My clients really “getting it” it’s like when the lights go on and they make a lot of money and they help a lot of people and they see how much freedom they really can stand and allow in.
What challenges have you seen to have been presented during the growth of your business?
Constant online changes like new privacy policies and laws. Major things like Net Neutrality and SOPA/PIPA. The constant change in technology. Tech not working when it’s supposed or when it’s really critical! Constantly needing to produce game-changing content. My team coming and going. Also, learning things like tax preparation, forming corporations, doing all that the right way when no one really talks about it or teaches it.
Which other leading entrepreneurs and pioneering game changers do you also admire and why?
Michael Margolis is definitely one of my favourite humans in the story space. He’s working with companies like Facebook and Google and Hulu, and literally changing the fabric of human communication. What’s not to like there?
Alex and Andrew the 2 Surfers gone co-founders of 4Ocean, which is cleaning the plastic out of the ocean. Marc Angelo Coppola, a guy whose heart inspires millions of people on the daily to put their true heart and talent to work – to make money paradoxically by thinking first about the mission and what is truly sustainable for humanity before profits.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
My favourite all time book is ‘Winning The Story Wars’ by Jonah Sachs. I’ve read it at least 10 times.
Top 3 go-to Podcast channels?
- ‘Business Of Story.’
- ‘Jen Mavros Show.’
How do you define success?
At the end of the day, do you feel satisfied? Are you happy with that you have right now? The ceaseless quest for more will never result in happiness. But if your drive is aligned with a higher purpose, that to me is the way to do things.
What does #BEYOUROWN mean to you?
Don’t let others define you. Follow your crazy, untamed heart. At least once a day, don’t make any sense. Do the thing you know you are here to do, follow it when it’s hard. Chase it when it’s crazy and everyone else thinks so too. These are the true leaders who change the world.
Finally, what can we expect from you next?
More story courses! A podcast. A book called ‘Story Marketing Method.’