Author:: [[David Perrell]] and [[Patrick MacKenzie]]
Tags:: #marketing #writing #[[Audience Building]]
Overview: [[David Perrell]] and [[Patrick MacKenzie]] discuss various topics related to writing and promoting yourself online.
4:45You should think about how your writing is framed online if you are looking for it to be used to promote your commercial work. “Blogging” has a poor brand within many high status employers, whereas “memos” and “essays” do not. Try to categorize your writing as these things rather than a blog post. These small changes can make a big difference. Don’t call it a “blog”, don’t put a date on it if it’s not stuff that will decay in importance in 48 hours, choose to write about things that will stay relevant, etc. #blogging #promotion #Portfolio
9:00Try to create a tighter brand for your writing. Find a niche and try to focus on that, although experimenting isn’t that bad an idea, at least at first. Good to also think about your interests that happen to be booming in the economy (for example, [[Patrick MacKenzie]] focused on the intersection of [[marketing]] and [[engineering]]). #branding #niche
13:00Even if absolutely no-one reads your essay, it’s still worth writing it because it produces an asset you can use. For example, you could use it as a proof of work to a future employer and that would make it a tremendous ROI. Don’t feel like you have to have a big audience before [[writing]].
15:00find where people you are writing for hang out. Hang out there, and gradually inject your stuff in there. Gradually, and in an authentic way, introduce your thoughts into people’s with large following’s posts. Some people don’t get annoyed by this – some people with large followings actively signal boost.
23:40Benefits of long-form [[writing]]. A lot of the common advice about writing short-form on the internet comes from people with certain incentives for following that model (e.g. [[BuzzFeed]]). You really need to understand your personal [[goals]] and what the incentive structure are for achieving that goal.
28:30As soon as you put something on a dashboard, people start to change their behaviour based on what’s on that dashboard. So – be careful of what you put on [[dashboards]]. #KPIs #metrics
30:00Discusses the so-called “death of blogs”. [[Patrick MacKenzie]] points out that people that wrote blogs back in 2010 are still around, but now they have moved on to incredible titles, like CEO or Senior Staff Engineer at Google. As a result, they no longer blog or call themselves bloggers. #blogging
37:20 [[Patrick MacKenzie]] is a fan of [[Ramit Sethi]], he is one of his favourite marketers and knows how to do the internet well.
38:00Discussion of recommendations for email lists. Email is something you can own – it’s difficult to take that away from you. There’s also something powerful that someone put up their hand and said “yes, I want to hear, in my inbox, what you are talking about”. It’s also less “risky”, since no-one forwards a newsletter for someone else to dunk on it (unlike what happens on Twitter). #[[Email Lists]] #Independence #control
49:00Culture of [[Stripe]] and how they maintain a high level of craft. Are [[craft]] and [[metrics]] somehow opposed or a different language? Incentives matter – if you incentivize shipping the best version of something, that’s what you get. If you incentivize always meeting deadlines, that’s what you get. #incentives
54:35What does making writing at [[Stripe]] do for the company? 99% of their word count is internal. Some companies in hyper [[Growth]] mode are doubling their number of employees each year. As long as that continues, over half of your staff have less than 1 year experience with the company. Big problem is spinning people up to speed and getting them into the culture – “[[democracy of the dead]]” – people who were there before can have tremendous impact by producing highly leveraged artifacts, like written documents. Writing helps transfer knowledge #[[Corporate Knowledge]] #[[Organizational Memory]] #leverage
1:00:00When should you go to market after building an audience? [[Writing]] and developing an audience first before developing software is valuable because you build a list of people ready to buy. You also learn more about how to build a great product by writing deeply about it. The MVP for sellable word products is much lower bar than [[MVP]] for software. #[[Audience Building]]
1:07:30What is a small software business that you admire? How do they use online writing and content to grow and validate the business? There are tens of thousands of profitable, successful software / SAS business that you’ve never heard of. It will be boring, very successful, and will be sold, and hardly anyone that isn’t a customer or an employee will be aware of it. E.g. Moraware which provides software for kitchen counter installation companies.
1:14:00What is the 1 thing you think the [[US]] should import from Japanese [[culture]]? [[Earnestness]] and [[optimism]] of ones [[work]]. A non-ironic embrace of loving what you do. There’s a lot of [[cynicism]] in the US. “Choose to do what you love” is bad advice. Better advice is “Learn to love what you do”. #Japan #happiness
1:18:30How did you go from being a kid with “I want to be a baseball player” type interests to who you are now – an expert in niche SAS? People underestimate the ability they have to change, particularly the way they think. [[Stripe]] hires for people that are ambitious and optimist. Hanging around people like that makes you more ambitious and optimistic! #Ambition #optimism
1:23:00The amount of luck you have in life is how much value you create times how many people you tell about it. Explain what you mean by that. It’s a mistake to think that if you just do great work, you’ll be recognized for that. It’s a key professional skill and you should probably get good at it. #luck #marketing
2:18 shows his results from building his online presence – 3 people built it, 60 million impressions per month.
3:00 Main components of his stack: [[The Pomp Podcast]], [[The Pomp Letter]] (letter every weekday), [[Lunch Money]] (YouTube daily show). All of this is driven by [[Twitter]]. “Everything starts and ends with Twitter” – it’s a traffic engine for every other product and platform.
6:42“Audience is the new currency”. “Those who build the audience have the power.”
8:30It’s hard to build an audience. You want to ask yourself what the value you want to create, what does the end result look like, and do you have the time / energy / dedication to attempt this? Comes down to man hours and time.
6 Principles for growing your audience
Persistence is the most important thing (9:40). It takes time, and audience building starts slow. True for everyone, even those with huge followings. #persistence
Productize yourself (11:25). Every hour is something you can dedicate to a different product. Break up your day and optimize every hour – “how am I dedicating time to production of an asset that can be monetized later on?” What is your “[[Return on Attention]]”? #production #Productivity
Focus on one platform at a time (17:00). Benefits: 1) [[focus]] (how can I win on this platform and how can I be successful?) 2) if you grow the first platform it helps you build the second one, because you push people from your first platform to your new platforms. The big [[social media]] managers and influencers will often advise to do a whole bunch of platforms at once. When you don’t have the resources of [[Gary Vanyrchuk]] (had 15 people working for him on a holiday!) then it’s way better to focus on one platform and get good at that.
More content is better than less (22:25). [[Anthony Pompliano]] started out just Tweeting articles and pulling out the most relevant tidbit and just tweeting that, because he was unconfident and didn’t know what to Tweet about. People don’t listen to all your stuff. It’s like Netflix, give as much as possible and give the audience choice. More content means more people being interested in your content which means more followers. #[[idea generation]] #[[growth hacking]] #Twitter
Create once, publish 5 times (26:00). E.g. podcasts – publish as audio, publish as video, take cuts out of it and publish interviews, tweet out links to videos. That is a mechanism that should always exist try to do this as much as possible. Streamline thought creation process and expand how you can use that content to a bunch of platforms. It helps to have a set process and organization – “when we record a podcast, then we do x, y, z”. #marketing #leverage #Strategy
You owe the audience everything (29:15). [[Anthony Pompliano]] spends a ton of time going through comments and responding. Often fairly safe, canned responses and emojis. Occasionally, you give a detailed thoughtful response. This gets the audience to become emotionally involved, and feel like they are involved and important. Not scalable, so he’s now at the point where he can’t respond to everything. The audience is why you can monetize, it’s the reason why you’re here. #engagement
Use spacing and punctuation – make it easier to read
Lists increase [[virality]] – super clear, digestible.
Links hurt [[virality]] – links are the exact opposite, you have to click the link to get the information. Also, Twitter doesn’t want users to leave their platform. Put the content first and then the link later. Rather than sharing, actually talk about the top things you took away from the article and summarize things.
Hijack viral tweets / large accounts. [[Anthony Pompliano]] would put up alerts for big accounts like [[Donald Trump]] and he would race to respond as fast as possible. He would do something to get a lot of engagement, audience looks and checks out his profile. The big accounts are doing your marketing for you.
Reply to everyone
DMs are the real [[Linkedin]]. People are responsive, and there’s very few people on Twitter that have someone else running their account for them.
Set up your profile up for success. Where do you want people to go? Put the link in your profile. Write it out so people know the kind of content they’ll get. You can get tons of traffic on your profile if your tweeting gets lots of impressions.
Set a consistent schedule & don’t miss. People subscribe expecting something, so don’t miss. If you do a paid list like [[Substack]], focus on getting free people then converting them to paid, don’t focus on getting people immediately to paying. Most people want to window shop. You have to ease them in.
Build your free list – give more than you extract. You are in their inbox, so you better be sure you’re providing value.
Don’t be afraid to ask people to subscribe, whether it’s other social platforms or to your paid list. Know what you’re worth.
Find like-minded audiences & do link swaps. Figure out how to work with the people in those audiences. “If you like X, you’ll definitely like this thing Y I’m doing”
Identify “inflection points” and promote them in advance. Sometimes you know you’re going to be putting out something good. Rather than waiting until you publish, promote in advance: “on Monday, I’m writing something about X, if you want to read it, subscribe”. After you publish it, say “I wrote something about X, if you want to read it, subscribe so you get more like this”.
Use email as a distribution point for all content. In the bottom of the email, put links to all your other things – podcast episode of the day, sponsors. Just use a template and fill it in. Passive links pay off
Use the banner to explain what you cover and how often.
Don’t be afraid to ask people to subscribe.
Create more videos.
Optimize the video title, description, and thumbnail for SEO. [[YouTube]] is the second biggest search engine in the world. Look in [[Google Trends]] to see what people are searching for.
Use the description for passive links (link to all your other social platforms). Use that distribution you already have.
Pin the comment to top of comments with top link. Single best thing to do on YouTube if you want to promote other things. E.g. “pomp writes a daily letter to these kinds of people, here’s the link”. Whatever you’re optimizing for, pin it at the top of the comment.
Create an outro with each video. That 15-20 second outtro can just be a pre-recorded clip and you just drop it in.
Authors with new books are always looking to promote their work
Record via Zoom to get audio and video
Good microphone and good lighting is important
Use micro content to promote individual episodes
Transcripts and show notes for SEO
“If you’re going to try this, make sure you are ready to dedicate hours a day for a decade”. Just trying it sometimes or just doing one day a week – you will get frustrated, won’t build an audience. #persistence
Businesses of the future will build the customer base first and then build the product. When you write and build an audience you get feedback about what they want. As a result when you launch a product, you don’t have to pay for any advertising. #Strategy