Earlier this week, the BOF Debrief podcast came across my radar from BTF Guest Lecturer Alex Daly. It's an episode about how to make sense of the DTC reckoning. In their discussion, they talk about all of the brands that were "innovating" and "disrupting" only to land back in traditional brick & mortar and wholesale accounts. They specifically call out the brand Ayr, which, a few years ago, was inescapable on social media due to the amount of cash they'd spend on ads. But the thing was, it wasn't until Ayr reverted to "old-fashioned" techniques of snail-mailing a catalog that they could actually grow into a profitable company. Co-founder Maggie Winter said, "The catalog changed our business." I was not surprised to hear this, as you might have guessed, because that understanding is at the core of Beyond the Feed. It's a message I was speaking about last August, when BOH tried to tell us that everyone was going to be shopping online. (That's a fun one to go back and re-read!)  


Beyond the Feed is about the future. It's a course that helps you put together a plan that works for your company—with its unique customer and nuanced point of view. Rachel Budde, the founder of Fat and the Moon, said after taking part in BTF this past winter,

"Participating in 'Beyond the Feed' gave form to the intuitive insights I had been feeling about a changing social/social media landscape. Holly is someone I look to for the upcoming forecast on cultural consciousness. Take this class if you want to be part of a creative and constructive response to collective shifts, rather than react to its downstream effects." 

So why do entrepreneurs struggle to change? Why might we be thinking just one more reel a day, a few more dollars on ads, or a hop over to TikTok is actually going to help us grow? If found the answer this morning, reading our September book club book, Imaginable. In it, author Jane McGonigal explains Normalcy Bias and how it impacts our ability to see the future and make a change.

"Normalcy bias is defined by psychologists as 'the refusal to plan for, or react quickly to, a disaster which never happened before.' It's a state of denial that most people enter by default when confronted with evidence of novel or growing risks." 

When thinking about our marketing plans, disaster might sound like an extreme word, but it's often what I see. And that mostly happens because entrepreneurs lack media fluency, truly understanding how the landscape works and what some of the lingo actually means. That's why we've brought Jaime Miller from OMD Worldwide on board to lead a guest workshop diving deep into this aspect. If you've ever mistaken your ROAS for an actual an ROI, Jaime will open your eyes. Part of challenging our normalcy bias is realizing we didn't understand how things were actually functioning online in the first place. 

Once we've laid that foundation, we'll focus on relationships because even the companies with the most digital marketing growth have the strongest relationships IRL. We're lucky to have Harling Ross Anton and Matt Little of Nice Thing Going join to take us with a workshop that will bring our customers to life in vivid detail and expand our understanding of using partnerships to grow. Suppose you're still defining your customers in demographics and think partnerships mean an Instagram giveaway to gain more newsletter subscribers (LOL!). In that case, this will expand your mind with possibilities and deepen your awareness of who is actually vital to your business growth. As winter grad, Sara Berks of MINNA says, 


"This year we’ve been really examining our customer base to get to know them on a deeper level so we can create stories that inspire them. Marketing today isn’t a one-size-fits-all and pay to play won’t work for everyone, so it’s become even more important to get to know your customer, who they are, what they do, and what drives them to shop with your company."

That class will prep you to get the most out of our guest lecturer Marc Rabinowitz from Squarespace. Marc is probably one of the most vibrant and fun teachers I've worked with. Are you still speaking in features? Thinking the images online will speak for themselves? Focused on product shots? Come work with Marc and he will transform how you think about your message. 

Because only once you have those things dialed in should you think about amplification. And that's where Alex Daly & Hailey Murphy of Daly come in. Alex, known as the crowdsourceress, knows a thing or two about getting the word out there. She started her career in amplifying crowdfunding campaigns helping founders raise 25 Million for the products! They're here to teach us how to amplify our message without ad spend and think about the difference between awareness and growth and why that matters. 

On the final day, we've got two key speakers joining. Isabella Giancarlo of Tarte Studio will workshop us on reconnecting to design that isn't about performing for an algorithm but instead about your nuanced visual storytelling. And finally, we'll work with Emma Grace Moon, affiliate marketing consultant, to learn about the power of affiliates - in both a product and service-based capacity. As we said at the beginning, it's all about relationships. 

And every day will start with a 2-hour lecture from me where we'll touch on everything from clarifying your vision and business goals to learning the audit that is the culmination of this work. You'll walk away with an understanding of how to choose the right strategies—both online and IRL—that align with your culture and your customer's psychographics and are also the very best medium for your message. As with all of my courses, there will be an abundance of worksheets and resources with each lecture. Still not sure if this class is right for you? A word from an original attendee, Stephen Tracy of Keap Candles


“Having worked within an advertising-driven tech company, we always found being on social media spiritually and emotionally exhausting and uninspiring. Yet we did it out of a sense of inevitability. Holly's original class or running a business without social media in 2020 helped us gain the confidence to stand proudly in our point of view. We let our personal experience guide us, and “reclaimed our joyful time” by shutting down our social media within a few months. We’re coming up on two years without any active social presence and continue to find plenty of other impactful ways to spend our time that help us flourish.”

Whether you're product-based or service-based, a solopreneur, or leading a team, I hope you'll join us for what is shaping up to be a very rich week of learning and community building!

What's more, each of the students who have shared a testimonial here—Fat and the Moon, MINNA, and Keap Candles—are offering all students a little something special! Once you register, you'll receive a discount code for both Fat and the Moon and MINNA and a special link from Keap to get your very own scent-to-home candle sampler. Think of it as a little back-to-school shopping, supporting entrepreneurs doing good in the world, and building the future alongside you! 


BTF launches September 26th and runs through September 30th! Please see the full schedule and curriculum overview in the 2022 Program Manual

  • Day 1 12pm-5:45pmEST
  • LECTURE - BUSINESS GOALS - In the first class, we will clarify our business and marketing goals for growth so we ensure all of the strategies we choose build towards achieving our vision.
  • GUEST WORKSHOP - Jaime Miller, OMD Worldwide
  • Day 2 12pm-5:45pmEST
  • LECTURE - VITAL RELATIONSHIPS - This class will help us understand our customers on a deeper level—beyond demographics. We will use the concept of psychographics to identify strategic partners, key network relationships, and opportunities for growth beyond the feed.
  • GUEST WORKSHOP - Harling Ross Anton & Matt Little, Nice Thing Going
  • Day 3 12pm-5:45pmEST
  • LECTURE - CORE COMMUNICATION - Once we understand our customers on a deeper level and know who we need to connect to for growth, we'll discover how to shape our message based on benefits and the role our product or service plays in our customer's life.
  • GUEST WORKSHOP - Marc Rabinowitz, Squarespace
  • Day 4 12pm-5:45pmEST
  • LECTURE - AMPLIFICATION - Now that we know what we're trying to achieve, who we need to connect with, and how we want to communicate, we'll look at where the best place is to meet our customers that both align with our goals and their psychographics. We'll audit our platforms and look at opportunities beyond the feed—both online and IRL—to build our strategies for growth.
  • GUEST WORKSHOP - Alex Daly & Hailey Murphy, Daly Communications
  • Day 5 12pm-5:45pmEST
  • GUEST WORKSHOP - Isabella Giancarlo, Tart Studio
  • GUEST WORKSHOP - Emma Grace Moon, Affiliate Marketing Consultant
  • CLOSING REMARKS - Wrapping up the week.
  • STORY SHOWCASE - The last day will include an opportunity to share your key takeaways with a small group of your peers.

In addition to 8 hours of lecture from Ask Holly How, we'll have 12 hours of participatory workshops with an awesome line-up of guest lectures. Please see their full bios in the 2022 Program Manual

Jaime Miller, OMD Worldwide

Harling Ross Anton & Matt Little, Nice Thing Going

Marc Rabinowitz, Squarespace

Alex Daly & Hailey Murphy, Daly Communications

Isabella Giancarlo, Tart Studio

Emma Grace Moon, Affiliate Marketing Consultant

The Early-Bird fee for this program is $1250 due in full by 8/26/22. The Standard fee is $1500. All fees are non-refundable. You may also include team members for an additional. $500.

To register, email me!

For full details including more history, the benefits of the program, what you'll. take away and FAQs, check out the 2022 Program Manual


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