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Market Like Jesus – Clarity Lab Issue 82

by | Jul 13, 2021

Hey friend,

I’m on vacation now, trying to keep my laptop closed as much as I can. But I love writing to you so much that I couldn’t help it. So I opened the laptop…and the newsletter below happened.

If you haven’t noticed yet, I tend to recommend things that are longer and more in-depth. I suppose that’s because I read a large number of books, and in contrast, a blog post that takes 30 or 45 minutes to read, or a podcast that lasts for 2 or 3 hours, feels short to me.

Given my tendency to link to long-form content, here’s my suggestion if you don’t have a lot of time to read, listen, or watch things: pick one thing that I link to, click through, and go through the whole thing (if it’s interesting to you, of course.)

See what you can pull out of it that could help you in your business. Pay attention to the quiet thoughts you have in the background that might seem completely unrelated. Some of my best ideas come to me while reading books or blog posts or listening to a great podcast. Most often, the ideas I have are only tangentially related to the topic of the piece I’m listening to or reading.

The mind is weird, okay, well, maybe it’s just my mind that’s weird, but from my neuroscience research, it seems there is some scientific evidence for the fact that the human brain likes to make new connections between seemingly disparate concepts.

So, the fact that ideas come about one thing when you’re consuming content about something unrelated doesn’t surprise me.

But I get that we’re all busy, and it can be hard to carve out time to consume long-form content. So, pick one thing from today’s list and dive in.

If you find a piece interesting, I promise you there will be something in there that can help you in your business. If your business can run better, then I will have met my goal of helping you reach the financial and life freedom you want, and then I can close the laptop and go back down the beach with a cold root beer and a good business book with a feeling that I accomplished something good today.

This basically means that if you don’t read at least one piece from today’s newsletter and get something good out of it that can help you feel freer in life, I can’t go back down the beach, which means you’ll wreck my vacation, so, you know, don’t do that to me, okay?


Market Like Jesus

If you hope to write and publish a book one day, you’ll want to read this article by Taylor Pearson, who details how he sold 5,000 copies of his book in the first month and then sold 30,000 copies within the first six months. His secret? Market like Jesus.  As Pearson points out, have you ever thought about the fact that Jesus might just be the most successful marketer of all time? He came up with some powerful ideas over 2000 years ago, he’s got a market adoption of over 2.3 billion people, and his ideas created a multi-billion dollar per year industry. (I feel like I should read the Bible again. There might be more going on there than I thought.)


How to sugar-coat a Twitter pill

Michell Clark, writer, author of Keep It 100, and co-founder of The Creative Summer joins Stew Fortier to discuss how he’s built a loyal, enthusiastic following of 72,000+ people on Twitter by leaning into who he is. Michell lays out nine actionable things to do regularly on Twitter to grow your following. Notably not discussed: some of us will need therapy to get to a place where we can do the Twitter for our business.


Audience Intelligence Agency

The better you know the people you’re trying to serve in your business, the more successful your business will be. What are their interests? Where do they spend time online? Who do they follow? What kinds of words do they use to describe themselves? You could call this kind of data “audience intelligence,” and finding it at scale is very hard. Unless…unless you have a tool like Sparktoro, which is a new audience intelligence data gathering tool that crawls the publicly available social profiles of millions of people and gives you insights into your audience’s interests. Scott Ellis had a recent chat with Rand Fishkin, the co-founder of Sparktoro, about why this kind of information is valuable and how Sparktoro can help you find it.

Inscribed on the pediment of the temple of Apollo at Delphi in Southern Greece are the words “Know thyself.” That’s important but equally important is knowing thy customers. If the Oracle of Delphi were around today, you know she would have an online course, and she would have to know her customers as well as she knew herself.


Annarchy in the UK

Anne Handley writes a wildly popular newsletter called Total Annarchy and has grown it to over 50,000 people in three years. (Hi. I have list envy.) How did she pull this off? Joe Pulizzi had a Clubhouse chat with her about it a few days ago, and she spilled the greens. You can have a listen to it here or catch my notes of the main points below:

– Ann publishes every other Sunday morning because her newsletters are longer, more introspective. People are more interested in reading things like this on Sunday. (Hmmm…maybe I should publish my newsletter on Sundays.)
– she writes each newsletter as a letter to one person.
– she’s going for opens and a relationship with her readers. She doesn’t go for clicks.
– she does a lot of public speaking, which is a significant way she promotes her newsletter and gets many new subscribers.
– she’s visible on lots of podcasts and promotes her newsletter there.
– Getting referrals from subscribers is her biggest growth tool.
– she asks people in her welcome email, “what did you hope to learn here, and what can I help you with?” That gets engagement going, helps her future emails land in people’s inboxes because when they respond to that welcome email, it sends a good signal to internet service providers that she’s not spamming people. It also lets her know what subscribers are interested in.
– she responds to as many of those welcome email responses as possible.
– she doesn’t do double opt-in confirmation.
– she’s not getting direct revenue from the newsletter.
– it’s not a paid newsletter. There are no ads.
– she gets requests from readers for paid speaking gigs.
– she gets paid for promoting other people’s things to her audience (which is essentially affiliate marketing.) She only does a few of those a year.
– the newsletter is a side gig for her. She has a full-time job running Marketing Profs.
– she doesn’t gate her content (meaning, there are no opt-in forms to get her free offers. Site visitors can download them without entering their name and email address.)
– smaller stories from everyday life can resonate more strongly with more people because they can relate to these stories more easily
– a big part of her success in growing her list is that she had 20 years of experience and reputation building in her industry before launching her newsletter.



What makes a good podcast episode truly good? What makes it so remarkable that you get hooked into a show, subscribe, and look forward to every episode? That’s a question that has consumed 25 years of Alex Blumberg’s life. Alex was the former host of Planet Money on NPR, the host of one of my favorite podcasts, Startup, and co-founder of Gimlet Media, a podcasting media company.

I’ve been a fan of Alex and his podcasts for years. The first season of Startup is still one of my favorite examples of a narrative, documentary-style podcast that I’ve ever heard. I still think about it even though it first aired back in 2015.

Speaking of that year, Tim Ferris interviewed Alex in 2015, right as he was in the middle of starting Gimlet media and making a podcast that documented the whole thing.

They dove into what exactly makes a good podcast so good. Alex is a master storyteller and takes you behind the scenes so you can see what goes into creating a podcast that is so gripping it gets millions of downloads for every episode.

Every time I hear Alex talk about making great podcasts, I want to make a great podcast. But then I run into this minor problem I have: what the hell would I talk about?

Okay, that’s it for this week. I hope you get something good out of one of these pieces because I want to go chill in a beach chair and read more books.

~Forest Linden
New York Times Best-selling Author Reader

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