IN THIS ISSUE
- Why the “who” can be more important than the “how”
- What you should become a permissionless apprentice
- Why you should explore being a partner-creator
- Two profitable examples of partnering with creators
I wrote about starting over on Twitter in my Shootin’ the Bird newsletter a few weeks ago.
In that newsletter, I listed a few growth strategies and had the intent to deploy some of them to start growing my Twitter account into a distribution asset.
Boy, but the truth is, I don’t enjoy the grind that much.
In fact, when I zoom out, I see the absurdity in the way people are going about it.
Folks are posting non-stop “wisdom” every few hours, but also admitting that they just regurgitate or steal the same type of stuff and repost it.
It seems like a hard, insincere way to go.
The Category Pirates call this Obvious content which is just surface-level stuff that I find not very interesting.
There’s got to be something better.
Skipping the Line
The assumption most creators are making is that they have to replicate what they think they’re seeing online:
- Build a following
- Create a product
- Market the product
- Sell the product.
And all the while learning how to do all those things.
Have you ever noticed that the “how” is linear and slow?
And because it’s linear and slow, you might just give up and return to your comfort zone.
What if you could skip that long “how” line?
Good news! I have two ideas for you.
Nope, I’m not talking about enlisting Pete Townshend or Roger Daltrey (of the British rock band, The Who).
I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to know how to do everything. Instead, you need to know a little bit of the “how” supplemented with a decent amount of the “who.”
You need to skip that slow linear line and find people who can give you instant access to knowledge, insights, resources, and capabilities.
The “who” is non-linear, instantaneous, and exponential.
But I know what you’re thinking.
How to Find the Who
One of the best ways to find a useful “Who” is to use the Permissionless Apprentice approach.
Never heard of it?
Spend $1.00 (yes, that’s one dollar) and buy Jack Butcher’s course of the same name.
There’s much more to it, but generally, you can rely on The Law of Reciprocity to add unexpected value to someone who could possibly help you.
Here’s a brief sample of the advice from the course:
The idea is that you have something to offer (e.g. skill, time, knowledge) in exchange for possible future value through this potential connection.
It won’t always work, but you’re in the arena. You have a shot.
This is a form of partnership that a creator of any level of experience should be considering.
As Jack says, offer something of massive value practically from the point of your first cold outreach.
And then see how far the relationship can go.
If you’re lucky, maybe you can make pie together.
As an example of this concept, I created a PDF ebook of Justin Welsh‘s newsletters from the first half of 2022 as a “missing lead magnet” project.
I reached out to Justin via email and Twitter but got no reply. Justin appears to be quite selective with his time and his interactions.
No worries! As a permissionless apprentice, I was in it for the experience and the learnings which I am in full receipt of. I was either going to win big or win small; there was no possibility to lose in this endeavor.
You can download the ebook for FREE from Gumroad.
Sharing The Pie
Do you like chocolate pie? Heck, if you don’t, just imagine your favorite pie. I just want to tell you a story.
So I don’t make pie really at all, but the funny thing is, I’ve got a kitchen, I’ve got the pots, pans, mixers, and so on.
Probably have most of the ingredients too!
For the sake of the story, let me just say that I make plenty of things besides chocolate pie and people love those things.
But there is still no chocolate pie for me.
I have a friend who comes over sometimes; she brings a small paper bag and I always wonder what’s in it!
But I leave her alone for a couple of hours and come back to the BEST chocolate pie!
All she wants is a slice; maybe two if she has a hungry child at home.
If you could taste her pie, you’d know this is a good deal for me.
In some ways, she’s sort of a partner.
Creating Through Partnerships
I told you that story so that you could use a familiar context when I relate it to the creator economy that you and I are in.
In that story, I definitely found the “who” and I could definitely leverage them to start making my own chocolate pies.
But there’s a different partnership that I want you to consider.
Say I am the creator and I’ve got a lot of assets that I’ve built and accumulated over time. In lieu of the kitchen, the pots, pans, and ingredients, consider that I have an audience, working offers, and products.
Then there’s you, the pie maker with something in a small bag.
You don’t seem to have many assets that I can see!
In lieu of being a pie maker, let’s presume you have a particular set of skills, knowledge, time, energy, or any other kind of resources—things I don’t have or are not willing to bring to bear if I even have them.
You come along with an offer to partner with me to use my assets to create an add-on income stream.
You offer to stay out of the way and invest your time and whatever magic was in that small bag.
All you want is a piece of the pie—a slice of that income stream once it’s created.
That’s a good deal for all, right?
Would I prefer 100% of nothing or 60% of the new money pie that was created with my assets?
And did you just skip a long line that many creators wait in?
I think you did.
Examples of Partner Creators
To drive this home, I wanted to list a couple of concrete examples.
Repurpose Creator Content
I’ve mentioned this idea before, but presume you have a creator or influencer who operates on a couple of distribution channels.
As an example, let’s say they produce a newsletter that acts as a funnel for their front-end products.
Their newsletter likely exists in email form, but may also be shadowed on the web.
You’ve watched this creator for a while and it looks like they aren’t doing anything more than those things, so you spot opportunity. Remember those opportunity goggles!
Here’s your idea: compile those newsletters into an ebook for the creator to use as a lead magnet; in true permissionless apprentice style.
You could stop there and enjoy the relationship capital from your new creator friend. Will they answer your emails, like your tweets, and so on? I think so!
But say you added your favorable product reviews and curated the reviews of others; possibly from the creator’s own list of reviews.
And say you sprinkled your affiliate links for their products into that ebook.
And say you plugged your newsletter and the newsletters of others using an A/B SparkLoop link system that split referral credits with the creator.
If this creator, gets 100s of subscribers a day or promotes their lead magnet elsewhere, that’s a lot of potential affiliate income for you.
You see the opportunity, right?
You’ve mixed your time, energy, skill, etc. with their content assets to create an asset of your own.
If you don’t have your own assets, you can still find a way to leverage those of others.
This happens in the physical world all the time. Banks loan your money. AirBnB rents out your houses. You borrow money to buy a house. And so on.
Take those ideas to the creator world.
Sell Back-End Products
I wrote about this idea pretty extensively in The Back End Marketing Agency, but the idea is to help a creator sell more expensive back-end products on a different marketing channel.
So that I don’t duplicate that previous newsletter, let’s presume a different scenario.
Say, I’m the creator and I have a high-ticket mastermind that I typically sell only through email marketing or Facebook groups.
You watch me and see that those channels are all I ever use and you spot an opportunity.
You come to me and propose the add-on marketing strategy of using direct mail to fill those masterminds.
You offer to fully fund the mailings and train and manage a virtual sales team (also funded by you).
Say the high-ticket offering is $5,000 and you get 30% or $1,500 for each sale.
You leverage my existing marketing assets, although you adapt them for direct mail, so you aren’t having to create too much.
Essentially, whatever you create for me is meringue on my pie. I wasn’t going to do direct mail and I sure don’t want to have a sales team to manage.
It’s a win-win for us both and my only risk is that you somehow embarrass me. But I de-risk by having a first right of refusal on your marketing messages.
Do you see the opportunity?
Here’s what you get:
- Large sales commissions
- Proven marketing assets
- Portfolio and experience
- Potential for a long-term partnership.
Remember, you just showed up with time, energy, some skill, and a bunch of guile. You didn’t have the creator’s assets (e.g. products, following, etc.).
Food for thought, eh?
There’s a lot of room in the Creator Economy even for folks who aren’t creating.
I’ve given you two ways to think about partnerships to either more quickly become a creator or to collaborate with creators. You skip that long line in either case.
So if building a following on Twitter has you discouraged, keep plugging away, but be open to the possibility that you can focus on partnerships and be successful right away.
Live long and prosper.
P.S. If you liked this newsletter, please consider leaving me a testimonial to help me spread the word.