Build a Badass Business Podcast | Diane Sanfilippo

Build a Badass Business Podcast #18: What to do about multiple passions, websites, and social media accounts



  1. How to get focused when you’re multi-passionate and feeling unsure
  2. The debates over multiple websites
  3. Deciding whether to have multiple social media accounts or focus on one

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Build a Badass Business: Episode # 18: What to do about multiple passions, websites, and social media accounts

Coming to you straight from her basement home office in suburban New Jersey, this is Build a Badass Business with Diane Sanfilippo. Diane is a New York Times bestselling author and serial entrepreneur. She’s here to teach you how to grow and develop a successful business you love, and how to create raving fans along the way. Here she is, your host: Diane Sanfilippo.

Diane Sanfilippo: In this episode, I talk about how to get focused when you’re multi-passionate and unsure. And the debates over multiple websites and social media accounts. Let’s jump in.

Dr. Scott Mills: Cynthia asks, “Hi Diane! I’m going a little crazy here with no job, no money, and a creative mind that doesn’t stop. I’m a doer and a dreamer, I want to do something that makes me happy and brings me income. I have applied for jobs at Athleta, Lululemon, Trader Joe’s, where I think I will be happy working in any of these places, but it’s taking some time. Help me do or find anything that can help me. Please, where do I start?”

And then there’s a warning: “This might be challenging to understand. She says I was a caregiver for the last 6 years. I was an English teacher back home; I went to business school but did not finish my degree. I came to the states to do a 2-year program as an au pair, then I got my student visa and went to school for 2 years until 2013. I got married and relocated; I am currently 29 years old, I do not have a college degree yet. I do not wish to continue watching children, I wish to give my career a turn. I’m an avid reader of blogs; I read everything related to health and fitness, and I’m a wellness enthusiast. I’m a self-proclaimed foodie. See, I even noticed that I switched gears on you from telling you my experience with kids and wanting something different. I’m excited about having my own blog, which I’m working on.” I think that’s it.

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok, so Cynthia, the thing that I’m seeing here in your question is that you actually need to get yourself focused a little bit and pick a goal to hone in on. So obviously you have a lot of different skills and passion and all of that good stuff. I was in a really similar situation years ago where I definitely had a lot of different passions, and my passions were in directions of marketing and business and running my own business and kind of working for myself and {laughs} it makes me laugh even as I list all of the stuff out; I think of the scene in Coming to America and they’re at the bar, and the one girl is like, what I really want to do is write my own songs and produce my own songs {laughs} and she just goes on and on with all this stuff she wants to do. And I think for a lot of us, we have all of these passions, but there are a couple of things you could really do to get yourself focused again, and this is really where I took myself where I was feeling that I had all these passions and I didn’t know how to harness them into something that would be a career.

This is really applicable for anybody who feels super passionate about a lot of different things, but just doesn’t know how to make a career out of it. I would say that this is a really important part, because anybody can start a blog, but what will set you apart is the foundation that you have. So, what I’m going to say is, I think getting some sort of education, whether that is to finish a degree program or get some kind of certification, whether it’s a health and wellness certification, whatever it is that you’re most interested in, and something that you think the curriculum of what you would study is very interesting to you.

So for example, when I was feeling kind of in the existential crisis, I don’t know what to do, I’m passionate about health and wellness but I’m really only educated and trained as a graphic designer and marketing person, so I didn’t know what to do about that, and I was feeling really lost. I also was feeling really bored with my work. That sounds like something that’s probably happening with you, or was happening in the caretaking world, is that you become kind of bored with it.

Typically becoming bored is a sign that you need further education and experience to do something new. So I went back to school for nutrition at that point. I found the program that I went to, which was Bauman College, and it’s based in Berkeley, California and also Boulder, Colorado, and they also have an online program. So I highly recommend their program to anyone. It tends to be cost prohibitive for some folks because it is, I want to say it’s about a $10,000 investment, and it’s about a 2 year program. There are others that are less expensive, but I found that that program was extremely comprehensive, and the curriculum was really on point, sort of close to the paleo lifestyle if it’s something that you’re into currently with your health and nutrition passions.

But, getting that education, it does a few different things for you. One, it obviously gives you a foundation to feel very secure in what you’re saying to people, not only from an educational standpoint but so that they know you have a certification behind you. You’re like, yes, I went to school for this, I studied this, I’ve gone through some sort of system that says, ok, this is what I know and this is what I can help you with.

This could even mean a weekend or a long weekend or week-long certification, and that’s absolutely fine as well. When I first started studying nutrition, I did the CHEK holistic lifestyle certification, and that was just a level 1, it was a long weekend. What I was able to help people with from that was exactly what they taught in that program. It wasn’t to the extent that the nutrition consultant program was, but it was something and I could help people. The truth is, you can help people in a lot of different ways in a lot of different levels, so you don’t need to have 2 years of education and experience under your belt to get started helping people, but I do think that small steps, maybe a small certification that doesn’t have a lot of prerequisites is a good place to start, and then kind of taking that next step forward to picking something that you want to learn about.

That’s really the most important thing when it comes to deciding what educational program to go back to or what kind of certification; you have to choose based on, is this interesting to me, do I want to learn this? Because the end result or end goal that you might have from a certification, most of the time, and this is going to happen more often the longer it takes to get that certification, but when you start and what you picture as your goal of what you’ll do with that education and certification, from when you start to when you finish is probably going to change.

Because when I started the certification from Bauman College, I thought that I was just going to work one on one with people. And I don’t say just meaning that’s lesser than writing books or teaching seminars; I just mean, that was the scope of what I thought I was going to do. So I only thought, ok I’m going to work with people one on one. Maybe I’ll connect with some chiropractors or naturopaths who need a nutrition consultant to help people in their office, and that’s what I would do and that’s what I envisioned for myself. However, as I moved through the program and go to know myself a little better and started working with people one on one, I definitely found that I do better in a larger setting where it’s kind of one to ten or one to 50 or one to 100. I just feel better and am more comfortable in that scenario, and I also am not somebody who does as well with a lot of the emotional work that needs to be done one on one with people.

So I think it’s really important to; this is something Gary Vaynerchuk talks about a lot, auditing yourself. I’m really quick to audit myself and very quick to say, either I’m not great at this or I don’t love doing it, and it’s not where I’m using my talents best. At the same time, not everyone is built to speak to large groups, it’s scary and intimidating to a lot of people and it’s uncomfortable. The same way doing one on one consulting for me got to a point where I was like, I’m not really comfortable doing this. I don’t love it, and I don’t feel this is the best use of my skills. So there’s a way to kind of separate that.

I think the most important thing to do when you’re a dream and you have a lot of different passions is to get yourself focused and pick something that you can do to get studying, because the other thing that will happen outside of your evolution of what you think you’ll do with that education is you’ll meet people along the way. You’ll take new courses, you’ll get more education, and inevitably, the trajectory with what you’re doing with what you’re learning will change.

Dr. Scott Mills: Janelle asks, “I have a serious questions for. ☺ I own a fitness studio and have a separate website for our facility. I also have a sizeable public following now and have been sitting on whether or not to create my own personal training website for myself as an independent fitness expert. I have staff working for me now, so I would be able to budget time to work on this, and I also have a publication coming out that seems marketable for both local clientele and clients abroad, should they find me via the internet, which” she adds, “has already started to happen. Are two websites too much in terms of workload for flooding traffic to your business? Should I leave a blog up for my studio, or just keep blogging for new website? Should I continue the blog for both websites? I would really love your feedback on this, as I have to make this decision rather quickly. Thanks.

I have an upcoming publication coming out, and have received inquiries for coaching services outside the US so I feel as though I can capitalize on my overall presence by creating A) a personal website, and B) a studio website for my local clients.”

Diane Sanfilippo: Hey Janelle. I know you. I know you in real life! {laughs} So, it’s really fun for me to be able to answer all of your questions, and those of you who we have met in person, please feel free to submit the questions, because I do love being able to answer it knowing that I know who you are and I know a little bit about you. So, Janelle, I definitely think that you’re in a situation that you can have a separate website for yourself. If you own a business that’s locally oriented like you do, you have a studio; it’s relevant and important to have content and information that’s focused on the studio and what people can get from the studio in a specific location. But what you’re doing with your new business venture, it does make sense to kind of split that off.

So a perfect example, as you know, our friend Jen Sinkler, she’s a great example of this. She is a trainer and a co-owner at the Movement Minneapolis, and she also has her own website,, and her own business, which is Thrive with Jen Sinkler. I think this is a really good example. Are two websites too much in terms of work load? I don’t know. {laughs} it kind of depends on how you structure what kind of content is going onto the different websites.

I have two different websites; I have the 21-Day Sugar Detox program and Long ago, I separated them; at one point I tried bringing them back together and then I realized that truly the people who want information for the 21-Day Sugar Detox, I wanted to separate that out because I was going to be talking about so many other topics on my main website, so I really didn’t want to mix up the content and flood one website with so much focus on that one program that, if somebody never wants to do the 21-Day Sugar Detox, of course there are mentions of it over on my main website at; however, the folks that are on the program ,when they’re on it and they’re going through that 3 weeks or even the pre detox to the post detox, I want them to have a hub that they can go to to get articles and recipes etc. and not be distracted by maybe a treat recipe that I consider paleo friendly, etc.

So if you have content and information that’s really targeted in a certain direction, you want to make it accessible for the people who are not necessarily local, and I think also if you had blog posts and something that you’re selling, like your eBook or whatever the program is, on a website that looks like this is relevant to a certain location, people might be turned off and think, well I can’t get help from her because she’s in Pittsburg and I’m abroad, or I’m in California, or whatever the case may be. So I do think having a separate website would be relevant for you.

You’re name is pretty easy to spell, so maybe it’s just your name dot com or if you have something else in mind, you could go with whatever is on your mind. But I think that would also create a platform for you to do more things that kind of reach more people and are stepping outside of the gym. So it is relevant and important to decide what the content strategy is going to be for both of those sites so that you’re consistent in both places. Whether that’s an every week thing on both of them or not quite as often, whatever the case may be, I do think it’s relevant to set that up separately and make sure that you’re giving information on the fitness studio blog that maybe is; if it’s relevant to everyone, share it on your ,main blog and just put some kind of teaser or link from the studio and just say, hey I posted this over on, whatever it is you’re going to actually call the website.

I think you can definitely go ahead and have two different sites ,because that will give you that flexibility and freedom to do whatever you were going to do with your personal stuff, and not worry that it’s not location specific anymore.

Dr. Scott Mills: Meredith asks, “Love the Build a Badass Business podcast, and group! Its great getting the inside scoop from someone who is clearly successful at turning her passions into marketable businesses. I know you’re now branding everything under your own name, which makes a lot of sense given how successful your brand has become. So I’m curious what you have to say about managing social media accounts, plural. That is, separate accounts for personal friends, a business, a second business, etc. How do you balance multiple businesses across social media? It seems strange to share accounts if 2 self-run businesses have nothing to do with one another, and would have entirely distinct audiences. Is it best to mesh some things together but keep others separate? And then should each be the same across all platforms; Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc. Looking forward to your advice, thank you! I’d appreciate you speaking to this generally, but for me, specifically, it’s all about mostly three potential distinct selves; my personal life, my health blog, and my new ASL teaching/tutoring business. The health blog and ASL learning seems incompatible and so sharing both on one account may not make much sense, but I’m at a loss for what to do and don’t want to be juggling too many names. Thank you for all you do!”

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok, Meredith. I actually do have different accounts for Diane Sanfilippo, and I’m talking mostly about Instagram right now. So I have a Diane Sanfilippo account, and a Build a Badass Business. Actually, I just think its @BadassBusiness. However, because it’s difficult to log in and out of Instagram from my perspective, I actually don’t really use the @BadassBusiness account that much. The way I see it, the thing that makes you different and unique and interesting to your fans and followers is the thing that’s not the same as everyone else. So I personally feel that you should just keep one account, and I don’t know that it should be your name.

If people don’t know you that well yet; I said this on a previous episode, I think the time that I switched from Balanced Bites, I had @BalancedBites as my Instagram, to @DianeSanfilippo, I felt strongly about doing that because I wanted to start talking about different things that weren’t food related. However, I do think it slowed down the growth of my account very, very strongly. When I look at other accounts who have similar content to mine, and also similar profile in terms of social media following elsewhere in terms of books and all that good stuff, I think changing to my name really slowed things down. It wasn’t as recognizable to somebody who is new and doesn’t know me what I’d be all about.

If you see @DianeSanfilippo posted something or somebody tags you on a picture from Diane Sanfilippo, it’s a little bit less of a connection immediately than it would have been to Balanced Bites. Right away, they know I’m going to be talking about health, most likely, and food, but maybe the word Balanced would have told them something more about what I’m doing.

So that being said, I do think, if it’s uncomfortable for you to incorporate 2 things then you don’t have to do it. But I do think that the thing about your ASL teaching and tutoring business, I think there are ways to inject small amounts of that and balance it out within the one account, because that’s how people get to know, like, and trust you. They want to know what you’re all about; they want to know what’s different about you than someone like me. What I’m posting with food pictures and nutrition information and what people like Bill and Hayley of Primal Palate might be posting, what makes you different?

They talk about homesteading and starting a farmstead in their backyard; should they separate that account just because it’s not specifically nutrition and healthy? No. it’s totally related, and everything that we do, if you’re one person, it’s all related. So you’re probably going to have people who come follow you for one thing but, hey, what if somebody wants to follow you to talk about your ASL tutoring business, but then they learn something about nutrition? I think that’s actually really cool.

The other thing there is that honestly, it’s just a pain in the butt to log in and out of different accounts. So what I actually do with the one other delineated account that I have, which is the 21-Day Sugar Detox, I actually have a social media manager who does all of that. So April on my team she manages social media for the 21-Day Sugar Detox on Instagram, on Facebook, and I don’t think we’re super active on Twitter with it, but she manages all of that, and I’m very transparent about that. So I have that program, it’s separate, and I’m generally not the one who’s logged in there. With Instagram, you can’t have two people logged into one account at the same time, so that really kind of helped us make the call there, but that’s how I do it.

I’m probably going to keep things under my main name @DianeSanfilippo. I’m kind of doing the same thing on Facebook where I have the main page, and every now and then I’ll say, hey, for my entrepreneurs, here’s the latest podcast episode, and I’m modeling people like Chalene Johnson and Gary Vaynerchuk is definitely more targeted with what he does, only on marketing and social media, but Chalene Johnson, obviously she talks about health and fitness, and she talks about marketing. And that’s really kind of the model that I have. You know, obviously, she and I have very different business. She comes from a long line of very successful fitness businesses, and multi- multi-million dollar company sales and all this stuff, and you know, I see myself a bit in what she’s doing but also what I do is very different and kind of on a much smaller scale. The amount of people that I’m touching at this point is a lot smaller.

The kind of little background insight about me is I actually knew who Chalene Johnson was probably, a little less, maybe 7 or 8 years ago because I got certified with her Turbo Kickboxing certification. So funny, I’m sure some of you listening who are certified with my 21-Day Sugar Detox Coaching, it’s like this little glimpse of where can things go and how can I grow things with those of you might be kind of along for the ride with what I’m doing with that program. Anyway, I was certified by her program years and years ago and never ended up teaching it, but I knew who she was and I knew her name. Then years later, she kind of popped back on my radar because of this whole marketing thing. I find all of it really, really interesting.

All of that to say, I would keep it under one account because that’s going to be easier for you to manage, and you’ll find that you’re probably inconsistent with posting on two separate accounts, but what I would do is try and name the account in a way that is probably health oriented, because that will help attract more people to you. So if the account name says something about health, or nutrition, or wellness, and then in your little bio blurb, maybe put a little something about the different things that you’re interested in, and as you post, make sure that people can get to know you. I think that’s relevant and important that people do get to know little things about you.

All along as I’ve been talking about health and nutrition, I’ve told people, I’m an entrepreneur at heart. This is not something that I’ve fumbled along the way to figure out, because quite frankly, marketing and business and connecting with people, that’s the thing I’m best in the world at. It’s not nutrition. Nutrition happens to be the field that I got into because I’m extremely passionate about it, but my foundation as what I feel most confident talking about, you know I did my talk at PaleoFx, I had an outline, I don’t rehearse things, I just get up on stage. I’m not scared to talk about it, I’m not nervous, because it’s what I’m the best at, of my skills. {laughs} Not saying I’m the best at it compared to everyone out there, I’m just saying for me, if I write down what am I best in the world at, that’s it. And helping other people to find how to make this stuff natural to them.

So there you go, hopefully that helps you and definitely come let me know on the group page, Meredith, and hopefully that helps.

That’s all I’ve got for you today. Don’t forget to subscribe in iTunes so you don’t miss an episode. And drop me a review to let me know what’s speaking to you from the show. If you want to get in on the conversation and you haven’t yet joined the group already on Facebook, head on over there and join the Build a Badass Business group. I share insights and tips regularly, as well as answer your questions right there on the page. Do work that you love, and hustle to make your business grow like your life depends on it, because it does. Thanks for listening, and I’ll catch you on the next episode.

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