I’m fascinated by backstories.
The combination of experiences, decisions, events, and luck that lead people places they never could have imagined.
As with most successful stories, it’s a tale of failure turned into opportunity, curiosity that creates value, and a blend of luck and ambition.
It’s also a reminder success is often sparked by a willingness to lean into that which interests you and the commitment to see where it leads.
Now, on to this week’s ideas…
1. 100 Things To Publish In The Next 100 Days To Grow Your Audience
“This key to this strategy isn’t publishing 100 posts — it’s sharing 100 pieces of VALUE.”
This post is a prescription.
Rather than explain my philosophies about content and audience growth, I cut right to the chase and tell you exactly what to do to attract more people to your creations.
My recommendation of 100 things to publish in the next 100 days to grow your audience includes a break down of the three types of content you’ll need to create and a day-by-day recipe of exactly how and when to post it.
2. How To Build A Career You’ll Love
“Always share best practices and don’t worry about giving any proprietary knowledge. It’s a good trade. It’s just smart.”
Everyone’s career journey is unique and yet…there are similarities to be found in the backgrounds of successful people that you can apply to your own journey.
Bill Gurley does just that in this 60-minute talk where he breaks down how to build a career you’ll love and shares the fascinating backstories of everyone from Bob Dylan, to Bobby Knight, to Katrina Lake.
He uses each story to illustrate the importance of five guidelines to follow including to hone your craft constantly, develop mentors in your field, and embrace peers in your field.
Btw, I found this link on Blake Robbins’ Twitter account.
3. How To Get 300,000 TikTok Followers In 60 Days
“Your first 5 videos seem to count the most to determine if the algorithm likes you. Use some of your best content first.”
I love when creators share exactly what they’ve done, what they learned in the process, and what happened as a result — this one definitely fits that description.
David Nihill offers an epic breakdown of how he got 300,000 followers and 22 million video views on TikTok in 60 days including how he got started, how he engages with commenters, how he edits his videos, and more.
Btw, I got this link from Ben Rosenfeld.
4. Most Of Your Content Is Probably Targeting The Wrong Audience
“You need to appeal to an audience that has both the ability to amplify and channels on which to spread the word.”
I talk about the importance of targeting a specific audience with your content all the time, but this one offers a slightly different — and equally important — take on the subject.
Rand Fishkin points out most of your content is probably targeting the wrong audience and breaks down the four audiences you need to reach: Current customers, potential customers, potential amplifiers, and the broader community.
Btw, I found this link in Elisa Doucette’s newsletter.
5. A Brutally Honest Case Study Of A Self-Distributed Film
“We’re going to go deep. We’re going to look into the production budget, I’m going to share with you my marketing numbers, and yeah, we’re going to crack into my Facebook ad account and you’re going to get the skinny on how much was spent and how those ads performed.”
Jeff MacIntyre is an Emmy-winning filmmaker who recently decided to self-distribute a documentary film.
In this 45-minute video (and transcript) he shares a brutally honest case study of his self-distributed film.
While things didn’t work out so well for the film, this video is packed with lessons for anyone trying to sell their creations directly to an audience.
My Final Words Of The Week
Back in 2013 I launched a newsletter called Get Creative.
Here’s what I wrote about it at the time:
“Welcome to my first official GET CREATIVE email! I’m looking forward to sharing the creative stuff that inspires me with you and hearing from you about all the cool things you come across and/or create.”
That concept may sound familiar because it sounds a lot like what For The Interested has become.
But here’s the thing: The Get Creative newsletter flopped.
I got a few subscribers, published a few issues, and quit.
Maybe it wasn’t good enough.
Maybe I wasn’t interested enough in doing it.
Maybe it just wasn’t the right time.
But three years later, in 2016, I launched For The Interested and have published it every Sunday since then to an audience that now includes 25,000 subscribers.
The concept may be similar to that 2013 newsletter, but the execution and level of commitment I’ve put into it is completely different.
So are the results.
I share this as a reminder that just because something you try doesn’t work, doesn’t mean it can’t work.
Give it another shot three years from now.
Or, give it another shot when you’re prepared to REALLY give it a shot.
Have a great week.
PS — If you dig this newsletter, I’d love for you to share it with others who might enjoy it.