🚩 Find Your Intersection - TRUST-able #07
The newsletter for experts who want to become trusted advisors online.
Attending one’s own duties and commitments toward others is not what can grant you trust from them.
To build instant trust you need to be able to truly care for the other.
Once you go out of your way to help, support another human being, without you being asked or deriving any personal benefit from it, you become someone trustable.
Pay attention: there’s fewer and fewer of these people these days.
Everyone is preoccupied with his own gains.
This creates an opportunity to do good, help change the world, and to stand out from mediocrity and conformism.
N.B.: This issue is entirely readable here, without needing to go to open a Google Doc. But if you like better the Gdoc experience here it is as well.
In every issue (7 themes - 21 resources):
1) How To Create Real Value
2) How To Cultivate Relationships
3) How To Communicate Effectively
4) How To Market Yourself
5) How To Get More Visibility
6) How To Monetize
7) How To Stay Always Ahead
1) How To Create Real Value
Find Your Intersection
To succeed, expertise, understanding, pragmatism and love are essential. Ikigai is a Japanese concept that represents the intersection of:
what you love,
what you’re good at,
what the world needs, and
what you can be paid for.
What you love: The intersection of your mission and your passion. This is what you’re truly enthusiastic about mixed with what you feel is your mission in life.
What you’re good at: The junction of both your passion and profession.
What the world needs: What you do that positively impacts your community. Your calling, vocation. What deep down, you know you’re meant to be doing. Not just for yourself, but for society at large.
What can be paid for: Literally.
Source: Kazuki Nakayashiki - “Ikigai Maps and The Curator Economy”
Move To Level 2
To create high-value content that builds trust and stands out, I’d consider starting to work on content at least from level 2.
Level 1: Simple Listicles
Curating a collection of items, resources, tools, in an organized fashion.
> Example: Best Tools & Resources To Name New Products
Level 2: Advanced Listicles
Curating a collection of complex ideas from different sources
Requires to be very well-versed in the subject.
> 5 Powerful Marketing Activities: Lessons From Successful Brands
Level 3: Guides / Deep Dives
Doing tons of research + speaking to subject matter experts, interviewing SMEs. Requires knowing the topic well enough.
> The Noob Guide to Online Marketing
Level 4: Experiments / Surveys
Picking interesting idea + testing it + sharing what you've learned
Success is determined by quality of questions and recipients' selection.
Requires thorough knowledge of given topic + practical experience +
sizable investment of time & resources.
> Link Building Case Study: How We Built Backlinks…
> The State of Link Building 2021
Level 5: Research Studies / Original Ideas
Original ideas, deep research, analysis and sharing of important takeaways. Requires big time investment, high competence and experience.
> How Long Does It Take To Rank in Google?
Source: Tim Soulo - Twitter
Study Scientific Research
An effective way to create tangible value is to invest time and money to access peer-reviewed scientific research and synthesize / extract key take-aways and strategies for the average entrepreneur.
Here two excellent examples:
See this critical analysis of the onboarding strategy at Blinkist
or this super-valuable collection of scientific-based principles that can deeply affect your online users
“106 Cognitive Biases & Principles That Affect Your UX”.
The guys at Growth.Design tap constantly into psychology research and studies to support all of their insightful critical analysis.
Alternatively, check out this insightful playbook.
“The Science-based Playbook of Pricing & Promotions”
Created by Thomas McKinlay this is an extremely valuable guide to pricing strategies based on actual research. More on it in the Monetization section of this newsletter issue.
2) How To Cultivate Relationships
Do Community Outreach
Reaching out is the new, manual, one-to-one approach to marketing. It is done by starting to tangibly care about those who are or could be your ideal customers.
Outreach replaces traditional advertising and interruptive promotion tactics with a true service spirit.
Reaching out is all about dedicating time to contact individuals in your market niche and taking interest in their problems by offering free useful resources.
“Community Outreach, or community-based marketing, is a manual marketing approach that consists of three main parts:
Making connections on social media sites
or niche-based communities,
Identifying users who would be a good fit
for your product/service, and
Making them aware of your company
in a value-adding way.”
Source: Kevin Conti - “How To Do Community-based Marketing”
Pinpoint Who To Focus On
To grow and nurture valuable relationships through a community it is vital to know, beforehand, who makes up your “tribe” (your ideal audience).
Too often we generalize, mix different publics and leave blurred borders defining who our true, core tribe really is.
But the more specific we are in defining such a tribe, the greater value and appeal we will have to them.
Here are a few templates that can be of great help in defining who makes your tribe and what characterizes them.
Source: Pinpoint Your People
Focus On the Basics
To cultivate lasting relationships and to grow a community of passionate supporters, one should stick to the very basic principles of community building.
Too often we get lost in tools and technologies that, while indispensable to provide the necessary infrastructure for a community, do not by themselves, provide the critical elements that sustain and grow a community of people.
These four key community principles are:
Source: Grace Lu - Twitter
3) How To Communicate Effectively
Write Like You Speak
To write in a way that people can easily understand, while enjoying it, the best approach is to say (literally) what you want to communicate, before writing it.
Imagine you had to convey your message to your 13-old nephew who knows nothing about the topic, but is quick and curious to learn. What would you tell him in words?
Say it and record what you say. Then write it and refine it.
“Compression is the essence of good writing.
…How do you get good at compressing your writing?
As humans, we have a natural talent for compression. Whenever we open our mouths to tell a story, we are compressing information by focusing on the dramatic parts and leaving out the boring ones.
But the same people who are solid storytellers when they talk forget how to compress ideas once they start writing about them.”
Source: David Perell - Monday Musings Newsletter (March 21 2022)
Forge Better Titles
Using fill-in-the blanks templates to write effective titles, when you are not an expert already, saves lots of energy and time while gradually teaching you the ideal approach.
To write great titles for your articles, guides, ebooks or ads, check out this super-useful set of templates.
Source: Jess Cook - “How To Write Compelling Ad Headlines for Creative Testing”
Use Colors Wisely
Full set of useful color picking and creation tools.
Super-useful to create harmonious color palettes for branding, design and presentations.
4) How To Market Yourself
Start a Newsletter, Not a Blog
This is the best strategy any entrepreneur wanting to move his first steps online should take: start with a newsletter.
I say so because I started in 2000 doing exactly this, and I have learned over these years that there’s no better, personal, more intimate and effective communication channel than email.
REASON #1: Collecting emails.
Starting a newsletter leapfrogs whatever you will do with a blog at the beginning: Collecting email addresses is [quite often, almost always] the point. It is the point because unless you can send updates and new stories to those who have liked what you write, how are you going to get them to come back to read your blog?
REASON #2: A newsletter IS a blog
Most email newsletter platforms basically integrate a feature which makes your newsletter issues become public articles of your blog. (See: Substack, Medium, Revue.) On the other hand Starting a blog can be costly if you want to buy a domain, get hosting, pay for a theme etc, etc.
REASON #3: Starting a newsletter is fast, free & frictionless
You can sign up + write + publish your first newsletter in less than an hour.
Source: Dylan T. - “Don’t Start a Blog - Start a Newsletter”
Create Blockbuster Content
Most digital entrepreneurs publish content of mediocre value. It is rare to see long, in-depth, well-researched content that one wants to bookmark, print and share with others.
Lack of understanding coupled with an home-assignment attitude. Few understand - let alone desire - the importance of leaving a mark, a legacy that survives the test of time.
But it is only by going way beyond what most others do that one can reap the great fruits that value sharing can afford.
“Research of the data by Harvard Business School professor Anita Elberse shows that blockbuster content is receiving a larger percentage of the attention pie than ever…
…the central reason that the blockbuster model is so powerful [is]:
In markets where there is a “winner-take-all” dynamic,
it’s best to have a model that focuses on
becoming a winner,
because winners receive disproportionate rewards.
The higher quality something is in terms of the underlying ideas and how it is packaged, the more likely it is to be shared over and over.”
Source: Michael Simmons - “Blockbuster: The #1 Mental Model For Writers Who Want To Create High-Quality, Viral Content”
Answer in Public
Answering public questions online is a great strategy to be perceived as an expert. This can be done inside social groups, on blogs by using comments, but most of all by answering public questions on popular platforms like Quora, Amazon, Facebook, LinkedIN, etc..
To this end I invite you to check out this useful tool that allows you to instantly see which are the most in-demand questions to be answered on just about any topic on Quora.
N.B.: To use this tool replace the last word in the URL in the links that follow, with your own topic of interest. Like this:
*If your topic is made up of two words, use this other template:
Queue for Quora
Also check out:
Q-Stats (Chrome extension) - provides insights on any question on Quora
5) How To Get More Visibility
Notify Everyone You Mention
A great tactic to get greater visibility and fast traction is the one of notifying everyone who you have featured in your newsletter, blog or social media content.
You reach out to let these people know they have been cited to make sure they are aware of it and so that they can in turn tell their readers.
“More often than not they’ll happily share your content mentioning them with their followers on social media, generating more exposure for you.”
Source: Chris Osborne - “How To Create a Curated Newsletter (with lessons learned curating 300+ myself)”
Share Your Secrets
A good strategy to use to pick topics to write about.
Freely share your secrets.
“My blog posts regularly go viral and are read by 100k+ people.
I'm able to do this thanks to one simple trick that allows me to consistently create content that resonates.
Share your secrets.
That's the most effective recipe to create content readers love.
It makes sense if you think about it.
When you’re scared, it means the content resonates with you personally at some level. Hence chances are high that it will also spark something in anyone reading it.
Readers really appreciate it when you say what thousands of people themselves secretly agree with but never had the courage to say.
Readers definitely value when you teach everything you know and don't hold back anything.”
Source: Jakob Greenfeld - Twitter Thread
“Of all the ways that a product can be discovered on the market, “word-of-mouth” is by far the cheapest and most effective one.”
Source: Lenny Rachitsky - “How People Discover New Products - The Seven Places We Learn About New Stuff”
6) How To Monetize
There’s a lot of valuable info out there, but it is often costly and time-consuming to get to it and to extract its essence.
That’s why those who do can create a sustainable business overnight.
They study, extract the essence and they share it in simple words and with examples. Here’s one good example:
“Pricing is one of the most profitable marketing levers out there.
You probably know about price anchoring, and that $2.99 feels cheaper than $3. But those discoveries are from 30+ years ago.
Marketing scientists have since discovered countless new ways to make prices and promotions more appealing and profitable. For example:
Flat-rates sell more and for more (Kienzler et al., 2021)
“For $0” converts better than “For Free” (Koo & Suk, 2019)
Pick-your-price increases sales (Wang et al., 2021)”
Source: Thomas McKinlay The Science-based Playbook of Pricing & Promotions (paid $35)
Show a Hand Touching Your Product
How you show your product can have a direct impact on how much you sell it. Scientific research proves there’s a significant difference.
“Product attitudes and sales increase
when you show a hand touching your product
from the viewer’s point of view.”
A hand touching a product in an image, video, or VR experience increases how much people:
Like the product
Are likely to buy it
Are willing to pay for it
For the effect to work, the hand:
Must be seen from a first-person point of view, giving the feeling it’s the person’s own hand
Must touch the product, ideally in a relevant way (e.g. feel a shirt’s texture or hold it, not punch it)
Doesn’t have to look like the viewer's hand. It can be a real hand of any skin tone or gender, and can even be a digital recreation of a hand (e.g. a stylized hand, an alien’s ‘hand’ in a video game)
Source: Thomas McKinlay - “Show a Hand Touching Your Product”
Compare Paypal and Stripe
Which is best for online payments?
Source: Kelsey Johnson - “Stripe vs PayPal — Which is Best for Online Payments?”
7) How To Stay Always Ahead of Competitors
How To Achieve Goals
Goals represent a destination where you want to end up.
And knowing where you want to end up is certainly vital to get anywhere.
But, setting goals doesn’t do anything for them to actually be achieved. It only sets an expectation.
What makes a difference is what you DO, - after - setting that goal.
What project you set up to reach that goal.
“Projects, NOT GOALS, are where things actually happen.
Project are where INTENTION meets ACTION.
A Goal without a Project is a DREAM.
A Project without a Goal is a HOBBY.”
Source: Tiago Forte - “Why You Don’t Achieve Your Goals”
Start with Yourself
42 insightful tips for those wanting to improve their lives.
I found many inspiring suggestions in this thread, but the one that got stuck with me was this one:
“Try to make one room in your house
as beautiful as possible.
The world presents itself as a series of puzzles.
Some of which you’re capable of solving
and some of which you’re not.
If you want to change the world,
you start with yourself
and work outward.”
Source: Dr. Jordan P Peterson - “42 Rules for Life” - Twitter thread
Take Action Before You’re Ready
“Preparation is often procrastination in disguise.”
The expected approach in life is to start doing new things only when you know/feel that you are completely ready for it.
On the other hand, taking action before you are ready paves the way for discovery, experience, learning and for leveraging your initial enthusiasm as an action-oriented trampoline instead of being just a dreaming nest.
It is by taking action right when ideas strike that one can go beyond the expected and the ordinary.
Inspired by: Tiago Forte - Forte Labs
From the Heart
Hear the Hum Within
“Who knows doesn’t talk. Who talks doesn’t know,”
Ursula K. Le Guin in her translation of the Tao Te Ching.
“Something strange and wondrous begins to happen when one spends stretches of time in solitude, in the company of trees, far from the bustle of the human world with its echo chamber of judgments and opinions — a kind of rerooting in one’s deepest self-knowledge, a relearning of how to simply be oneself, one’s most authentic self.
The more we are tasked with speaking, with orienting lip and ear to the world without, the more difficult it becomes to hear the hum of the world within and feel its magmatic churns of self-knowledge.”
Source: Maria Popova - Brain Pickings - “Kahlil Gibran on Silence, Solitude, and the Courage to Know Yourself”
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Thank you for mentioning Glasp's article!
Very good content. Thanks!