Who is Paul?
Paul Jarvis shows people how to kick ass at the intersection of creativity and commerce since 1999. As a trend-buster and business strategist, Paul has collaborated with some awesome people and companies, including Danielle LaPorte and Marie Forleo, and his writing reaches over 50,000 people every month.
He’s also becoming well known for his articles and posts about creativity. His viewpoints will challenge many existing beliefs about blogging. I have fallen in love with his work while researching this post. His philosophy very much aligns with my own and I think he brings more humanity to the blogosphere.
- Freelancing and Product Creation: Paul Jarvis on Creating Meaningful Side Projects
- How to be rich like me
- How To Create A Self-Paced Email Course
Paul Jarvis was also able to use Twitter cards to create a signup form as part of a tweet. You can see the result here. He said it was easy to set up. “google twitter cards. then google mailchimp integration with twitter cards. took about 5 mins total ”
It can only amplify value in the work you do. It can’t create value that isn’t present in the work itself.
Promoting yourself doesn’t make you better at the work you do. Doing more of that work is what makes you better. I don’t think promotion is wrong or even evil, I just think it’s a definite second place in where we should all focus our energy and attention.
Offer help first
Long before I’d start selling anyone anything, I’d be building a relationship with the people I had helped in some way. I wouldn’t build this following so I could “promote at” or sell to them later. I’d build and foster relationships with these people so I could continue learning from them. It’d be a mutually beneficial relationship, since they’d receive my help and I’d receive their knowledge.
Don’t expect anything
Feeling entitled to anything past common human decency and respect comes across as gross. Pay your dues and if you want something, earn it by doing everything you can while expecting nothing. Acting like you’ve put in your time and now deserve more than someone else will get you nowhere but thought of as an ass pretty fast.
via Succeed at Anything.
Picture ideas as experiments
Experiments don’t “fail”—they simply prove or disprove a hypothesis. For example, despite my day job as a designer I had the hypothesis that I could also write an e-book. I then simply started writing. I didn’t focus on the outcome, how the book would be received or what others would think of it. I figured, “let’s give this a try”.
Framing my side project as an experiment didn’t sound as bad. Experimenting is the only way to prove something, to get that nagging idea out of your head.
Being able to read your content is the most important thing on your website
A person visiting your website isn’t necessarily a customer—they’re just someone wanting to learn something from you. They aren’t going to buy, subscribe or do anything until they’ve had a chance to learn what you have to say.
People don’t like being distracted when they’re trying to learn something. Ads, popups, sidebars, share buttons, etc are distracting (and annoying). They are serving your goals, not theirs. Obviously the more you promote everything, the more some folks will take the bait. But is this a long-term strategy? Is it sustainable? How many people are you losing because they’re soured by distractions?
We need you
Not the you that you’re supposed to be, not the you that you think we want you to be, but the real you. The you that scares us a little because it’s so honest (and even weird).
Make your own map
So since there’s no map, why not make your own? Why not shape your work into something that works for you? Something that you can be happy with, because it aligns with your values. You might enjoy it more. And if you don’t, you can always change it up and adapt.
Make your newsletter signup smarter
There’s no denying how important mailing lists are—they’re the best way to talk to your audience, since your content shows up in a place they hang out at most of the day (their inbox). I just think there are better, more honest and smarter ways to entice others into signing up.
And if you think what I have to say has some value, then sign up for mine—all you get in return will be articles, jokes and stories. Free gift not included.
Make something useful
Marketing, promotion, and connecting what you sell to your potential audience is important. But what if we collectively took a step back to see if what we’re producing is useful? Or spent more time building, making, creating? I’m not saying everything digital is an ephemeral waste of time, I’m just saying there’s currently too much of it. And moreover, there’s too much talking about it.
Target requests specifically to the person you’re asking
Make sure what you’re asking for is something the other person knows about or does. I’ve been asked several times for a favour that isn’t even related to my skillset. Or been for something I’ve been vocally against (which the other person would know if they looked at my site or my tweets). This comes back to engaging first, and asking second. If you engage first, you’ll know if the ask is appropriate.
via How To Ask
Being real to your audience is hard. Fucking hard. It polarizes, it puts people off, it draws lines in sand on perfectly nice and otherwise-untouched beaches. But it also draws people closer. It separates from the herd and allows individuals to truly connect with each other.
You are responsible for the work you create
Don’t create something if you can’t stand behind it.
Steal entire ideas
Shamelessly use them as a base or starting point (although I don’t recommend using these for profit). Iterate on them until you’re comfortable with your process. The iterate more on what you think would work better. Then steal from lots of sources and do the same thing. Iterating until the process is sound and the end result has embodies your voice and creative hand as well.
No man/woman is an island, and nor can a self-publisher also be
You can’t create a book in a vacuum and hope to do much of anything with it. Nor can one person be so talented they can care of every aspect and do a great job of each. Or, I suppose one person could, but it’d be a stronger end product if others were involved for feedback, advice and input.
Trying to follow a formula, script or tactic to get more traffic, sales or followers never works in the long run
It screams inauthenticity. Your goals and desires echo in everything you do, even if you think they don’t. So if you’re focused on going viral or being popular or selling something, it’ll show. Copying what others did to gain success just makes you sound like an echo instead of a voice.
Unsubscribe from any newsletter you don’t immediately want to devour
The less full your inbox is, the less you have to deal with and the less you have to filter through when the next email comes in.
via Work Better.