Before we dive in to this week’s newsletter:
New pod episode is LIVE with Harley Finkelstein, a friend of mine and President of Shopify. We chatted about non-obvious ways to find mentors in your town and went deep.
Listen on Spotify and Apple or watch on YouTube with some visuals.
Tweet at us about the episode.
Let’s get into this week’s newsletter
So... you won't believe what happened. Jeff freakin' Bezos followed me on Twitter. Yeah, that's right, THE Jeff Bezos. I'm still in shock.
But this got me thinking - what if I could give you the inside scoop on how to build audiences and go viral, just like I did?
Let's break it down into non-obvious frameworks to make your content so irresistible that even billionaires can't resist smashing that follow button.
The Opposite Game: Find your niche and do the exact opposite of what everyone else is doing. Zig when they zag. Stand out by being contrarian, like predicting Clubhouse will fail when everyone's raving about it. That's how you get people talking.
The Storytelling Hook: People love stories, so wrap your ideas in a narrative that makes them hard to forget. Use vivid details and colorful language, like recounting the first time you tried virtual reality, describing it as "plunging headfirst into a kaleidoscope of pixels and wonder." That'll stick in their minds.
The Content Sandwich: Start with a hook (something intriguing), fill the middle with valuable information, and end with a call-to-action that leaves them craving more. It's like making the perfect sandwich – if you nail it, they'll keep coming back for seconds.
The Controversial Take: Don't be afraid to ruffle some feathers. People love to debate, and controversy drives engagement. Just remember to back up your claims with solid arguments, or you'll lose credibility.
The Relatable Touch: Be authentic and show your human side. Share your struggles, your journey, and your lessons learned. People connect with genuine stories and real emotions. We’re all human.
The Curiosity Catalyst: Pique your audience's curiosity by presenting incomplete or mysterious information that encourages them to dig deeper. Share a fascinating fact or a peculiar observation, like highlighting the peculiar properties of a rare, exotic plant that's believed to communicate with its surroundings. This will prompt them to investigate further, and they'll associate the thrill of discovery with your content.
The Relevance Remix: Take a popular or trending topic and put your own unique spin on it, ensuring that it's still relatable to your audience. By doing so, you can create content that feels fresh and engaging, while still tapping into the zeitgeist. For example, discuss the impact of a major technological advancement on a niche hobby or subculture, offering a fresh perspective that others may not have considered.
Now, let's get practical. Here are some examples of content creators who've nailed these frameworks:
Ask a Mortician: Caitlin Doughty, a mortician and author, tackles the taboo subject of death with humor, sensitivity, and curiosity. Her unique approach to a rarely-discussed topic has cultivated a dedicated and intrigued following.
Jenna Marbles: A captivating raconteuse, Jenna intertwines her life experiences and escapades into riveting video narratives. Her genuine connection and distinct storytelling flair have amassed millions of devoted followers.
Simone Giertz: Known as the "Queen of Shitty Robots," Simone Giertz takes the concept of technology and innovation and turns it on its head. Instead of focusing on cutting-edge inventions, she creates humorous and intentionally malfunctioning robots, blending comedy with the prevailing interest in technology. This clever twist on a popular theme has garnered her a loyal following and widespread attention.
Common pushback I hear when people are not really active on social.
Pushback #1: “But I have nothing to say”
Everyone has something to say. Think deeply about stories that are relevant to your niche. Dig deep, and then dig deeper.
Pushback #2: “It’s tough, I’d rather just focus my energy on X, Y, Z marketing channel”
The opportunity in building an audience on social is one of the highest leverage things you can do with your time.
Pushback #3: “It’s saturated. The world doesn’t need another Twitter, YouTube or Podcast”
When I started my podcast in 2021, everyone told me “it was too late”. I’m glad I didn’t listen to them. Now, it’s a top tech podcast. There is always room for fresh perspectives.
So, what's the takeaway from all this?
When you put yourself out there and create content that's bold, different, and genuine, you never know who might start paying attention.
Follow these frameworks, and you might just find yourself with a billionaire follower too. And that value of that is probably $1M+. And remember, the internet is your playground - so go out there, make some waves and have major fun.
I don’t have ads in my newsletter or podcast (to better serve you), but I do share some ways we can work together:
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Jeff is Zigging it!
You can listen here: https://playtext.app/doc/clggxhvqa0000ms0fh9qofukl