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Ace In The Goal – Clarity Lab Issue 83

by | Jul 28, 2021

Hi friend,

I’m back from vacating and still digging my way out from my inbox after a week, but I’m back in the saddle with the curation engine fired up for you.

Is it just me, or is it really weird that March 2020 has had 513 days in it?

If time has been distorted for you as well, I hope that you’re at least getting a lot done. This could be our most productive March EVER.



Substack Get’s Ghosted

As I suspected and wrote about a few months ago, the newsletter author exodus from Substack has begun. (This is my first tech prediction to come true, so I get to call myself a “futurist” now, right?) Substack might be easy to use, but they take a large cut of paid newsletter earnings, and apparently they aren’t moderating what’s being published on their platform as they said they would. With some anti-LGBTQ publications writing on Substack (which are going against Substack’s own policies), many authors are migrating to Ghost. Why? Because the authors aren’t happy with, for example, anti-trans content being published on Substack. Katie Nibbs at Wired has the details on the Great Migration of writers from Substack to Ghost. I’ve been following Ghost for a while now, have taken it through my testing procedures over here at the Lab, and will publish a full review on it shortly. The short of it: it’s much better than Substack.


Simple Is As Simple Does

“Fancy writing doesn’t just conceal ideas. It can also conceal the lack of them. That’s why some people write that way, to conceal the fact that they have nothing to say. Whereas writing simply keeps you honest. If you say nothing simply, it will be obvious to everyone, including you.” That’s Paul Graham, legendary investor and programmer, with a reminder for us creators to write simply. [ ] (If you run an online business, you’re a writer, even if you don’t think you’re a writer.) Paul encourages us to write simply. Write short. Don’t try to impress people with big words that few people understand. And, I would add, if you help people solve a problem with clear, straightforward writing, you will not long for money.


From The Cradle To The Cave

I have a little side project: I’m compressing the knowledge I’ve gained, or picked up from others, along the journey of building successful small businesses over the last 14 years.

The aim is to distill what I’ve learned into fundamental principles that function like building blocks: you can combine them to create your own approaches to marketing and growing your business.

A few days ago I went up to a small cave in the mountains near my home to write. There was a steady cool rain coming down but I was dry in my little writing cave. Here are the summaries of a few of the principles I wrote about that day:

#11: Whatever you find yourself repeating in your consulting or coaching sessions are the things you should capture or record and put into a knowledge product. You can then sell that product over and over without having to repeat yourself. The product could be videos, audio recordings, written articles, ebooks, webinars, a paper book, etc.. This is how you scale and monetize your knowledge. This is how you multiply your time. Teach once. Capture it. Sell the captured version many times.

#12: Counterpoint: Sometimes people want to be taught in a live setting with other people present, even if it’s just a live video class with other students. Live learning with a group of other people is old-school, but new for online learning environments.

#30: Don’t move fast and break things. Move slow and be useful.

#38: Help first. Sell later.

#41: The only thing that stands between you and a potential customer visiting your website are words, whether they’re written or spoken. To get someone to buy something from you, you’ll need to use the right words. Arriving at the right words for your target market is part science and part art. To get the right words, you’ll have two choices: learn conversion copywriting yourself or hire a skilled copywriter who can write words that get people to take an action.

#45: How can you make a product or service that is so good that your customers can’t help but to tell their friends about it? If your product isn’t remarkable, no one will make remarks about it. Word of mouth marketing is the best kind of marketing. Make things that people will tell their friends about.

If you’re curious, here’s the view from the cave, which sits at 12,000 feet:



The Prophet of Zoom

Speaking of creating things that are remarkable, here’s something that’s squarely in the remarkable content category. A lot of “ultimate guides” out on the web aren’t very ultimate. This one, however, is insanely good and useful. It’s an Ultimate Guide to Giving Presentations On Zoom, by Oli Gardner. It’s free. It’s long. It’s in-depth. And it’s oh so good. Even if you don’t do presentations with Zoom for your audience or customers, it’s still helpful if you use Zoom for meetings (and as life in the never-ending pandemic drags on, are there any people left in the world who aren’t on Zoom calls regularly?) Also, you’ll learn how to take 15 years off your age with Zoom.


Ace In The Goal

“Ever wonder why content marketing works so well for some businesses — but doesn’t seem to do anything at all for others? Curious about why some content that seems great doesn’t do anything to build a business? ‘Content is king’ has been an online cliché for years now, but it’s not true. It’s never been true. Content all by itself — even terrific content — is just content. It won’t transform your business or get you where you need to go, until you add one thing…” That’s Sonia Simone, co-founder of Copyblogger, leading into 10 Content Marketing Goals Worth Pursuing. Even if you’re a seasoned marketer, this list of goals for your content is a great reminder of the jobs your content should be doing.

I hope the rest of your week goes well over there!

Keep going. You got this. You’re a business pilot. Just point the nose of your plane up and give ‘er some throttle.

~Forest Linden
Award grinning futurist with one accurate prediction.


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