“I want women in business to make a shit-ton of money and be happy in the process,” declares M. Shannon Hernandez, Marketing Strategist. With that courageous and unflinching honesty, it’s easy to understand why people within her circle call her #ShanLion. M. Shannon Hernandez has made it her mission to teach and inspire others to dream bigger and bolder — and to make every decision rooted in joy.
As founder of The Confident Expert Program and creator of the Content Personality™ Wheel, Shannon has helped entrepreneurs across the globe build their dreams into reality through joyful marketing solutions that fit their unique voices. Shannon’s bold approach may make some uncomfortable, but her clients consistently say her authenticity — both online and in-person — is the magnetic pull that attracts them to her.
Based in Brooklyn, Shannon started her career as an entrepreneur in 2012, after a week of solitude following the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. She was working as a teacher at the time, within the walls of the New York Public Education system. Realizing she had been living in “robot mode”, Shannon spent the week writing and reflecting on her life. “A line in my journal stood out to me. It said: ‘I deserve to be happy again,’” she reveals. From that journal came her first memoir, Breaking the Silence: My Final Forty Days as a Public School Teacher.
Her education continued beyond the classroom. Two and a half years into her journey as an entrepreneur, Shannon had “a very disturbing phone conversation” with a woman who signed up for a yearlong coaching program which included writing a book. This woman felt paralyzed by the idea, begging Shannon, a then-writing consultant, for a topic. Shannon asked the woman if she even wanted to write the book. The woman said no. “She was crying, and by the end I was crying,” Shannon confesses. “I said two things to her: ‘you should never be forced to do things you don’t want to do. And you should go fire your coach, because that’s not coaching.’”
After the call, Shannon lay in bed, wondering how she could help people stay aligned with who they are through their marketing. That night, her trademark Content Personality™ Wheel was born. Consisting of five categories (Written, Audio, Video, Live-In-Person and Visual), the wheel has helped thousands of business owners get clear on what style of marketing brings them joy.
Creating the Content Personality™ Wheel spurred Shannon to take another look at her own marketing. As a writer, she assumed she would fit into the Written personality. “Written came up third, behind Video and Live-In Person. Talk about an identity crisis,” she grins. Initially, she doubted her results, so she had members of her community take the quiz and provide feedback. For many people, the quiz turned out to be life affirming and all of their comments were positive. She re-took the quiz and got the same results. “At that point, I switched to Video and Live-In-Person, and my business absolutely exploded,” Shannon shares.
Her regular videos embody her idea of The Confident Expert. As she explains: “It’s about a feeling you possess and stepping into that feeling, being consistent as an expert in terms of marketing and sales.” She has funneled her intricate knowledge of the process into The Confident Expert Program, which is bursting with information, ideas, and tips to sharpen and hone your marketing and sales strategy.
Shannon doesn’t shy from vulnerability, either. Her videos — capturing every color on the spectrum of human emotions — can include laughter, tears, anger, sadness, and optimism. “It’s just how I show up,” she explains. And her clients love her all the more for it. “They see I can run a business being myself and they aspire to have that for themselves.” Her fierce courage and determination to succeed have earned her the nickname #ShanLion among her friends and followers.
Not everyone is into Shannon’s honesty. She admits that the hardest challenge she’s had to face is haters. She recognizes that what she says can trigger self-worth issues in others: “Because joyful marketing is really about selling, and selling is really about worth, and worth is really about how much you value yourself. So, I refuse to be the voice that lives in the bubble and talks about marketing without talking about worth and value, because that’s not helping anyone.” That, Shannon emphasizes, is the problem with marketing.
Shannon says 80 percent of a business budget should be dedicated to marketing and sales. “If you don’t market and you don’t sell, you don’t have a business. You have a glorified, expensive hobby.” A poll she conducted revealed 93 percent of business owners don’t have a marketing plan, let alone a budget to help them put that plan in place.
Why? Shannon believes it’s because people don’t know what marketing is or how to implement it. “In my program, you learn what it is. You’ve got to be consistent. I think the biggest thing is people get bored before they get results.”
Shannon confesses this is something she struggles with in her business too, so she reaches to outlets like her Luv Rocks! project for creative relief and expression. She encourages people to pick up a hobby instead of re-arranging their marketing strategy and creating more programs if they hit a slow period in their sales.
M. Shannon Hernandez is a voice of clarity, a streak of vibrant color against an indistinguishable, grey sky of online marketing noise. Through her Content Personality™ Quiz and The Confident Expert Program, Shannon helps entrepreneurs find marketing solutions that bring them joy. While some may not appreciate #ShanLion’s spicy style, everyone who works with her agrees it’s that exact fire and authenticity they crave in a consultant.
Looking into the future, M. Shannon Hernandez wants to help more women make a shit-ton of money, in a way that brings them absolute joy. “I think women and money change the world. I think women who understand how to use money as a tool and how to create lots of it can change communities, families, and legacies.” Roar on, #ShanLion.