Christopher Murphy · 7 October, 2020
Summary: You can speed up your content discovery and creation process by using strategies to save time. In this short – and in development – article, I'll explain my approach for The School of Design.
When I read a book, listen to a podcast or watch a TED talk or YouTube video, I focus on trying to capture the value of the writer or speaker in short, sharp notes.
I then use these notes as the backbone to create content for my Twitter account.
If the tweets help others, that's a win. Even if the tweets get zero engagement, writing them helps me to internalise what a writer or a speaker is communicating and helps me to remember it. It also provides a useful set of notes to refer to later, that’s another win.
This approach is another way for me to move value out of my brain – and The School of Design's Slack community – and hopefully help a wider audience via The Library.
As long as you’re priming your brain – nourishing it through reading, listening to podcasts, watching videos… – you’ll have content.
The secret is to establish principles to turn the inputs into outputs.
Repurpose and Reframe
One of the fastest and most efficient ways to supercharge your content creation is to repurpose your content, moving it from A → B.
For example: I reply to a thread in The School of Design’s Slack community and I move it from Slack → Twitter, as in the screenshot below. This can then be moved again, from Twitter → Instagram, perhaps as a carousel.
This content might then be repurposed again, perhaps expanded upon into an article. That article might be used for The School of Design’s blog or The Library.
I'm now using WhatsApp, Slack, Mighty Networks, Zoom, Email… – everywhere I share my thinking – as the backbone of my Twitter output. This simple act of repurposing and reframing has helped me upend my content creation enormously.
The following are a short collection of ideas that I've developed after reading books and listening to talks.
Each chunk is a possible tweet, but also a chunk of thought that I could expand into a post for the website.
What’s the customer journey?
Whether you run a studio of one or a studio of hundreds, think of your business as a customer journey.
How do you onboard your customers? What touchpoints do you use.
The traditional ‘big launch’ is dead, here’s how you launch today:
- Build an audience.
- Earn that audience’s trust by giving them value.
- Identify opportunities (X, Y, Z…).
- Transfer X, Y, Z… to audience, they transfer £ in return. *
- Happy customers tell others.
Sell value, not time.
The trouble with selling time as a business model is that it ties you to time, and time is finite.
If your business is products that capture the value you offer, you’re no longer a prisoner to the zero sum game.
Ask for money.
You won’t know if your startup’s going to work until you ask for money.
People will tell you all kinds of nice things about your startup. Money, however, speaks considerably louder.
If people won’t pay, go back to the drawing board.
The first principle of pricing: Charge more.
Start high. Get uncomfortable with your price. Don't start low. Once you're low it's hard to move the price to where it needs to be.
You can come down from a higher price.
Take that price… and use it to think about:
How do I create value that's worth £2,400… It forces you to raise your game.
Money = Attention
When people pay, they pay attention. When people pay more, they pay more attention.
If you’re building a community-focused business charge for access and your users will invest (more time, more energy) in the community.
Higher Price, Higher Value
Don't tie your price to what it's costing you (marking up). Tie your price to what its value is.
Charge a higher price and focus on delivering to that value.
Marketing, Stories, Social media, Testimonials
Life Work Balance
Put life first and you change everything.
The order in which you list items fundamentally alters the meaning:
- work-life balance
- life-work balance
I used to be work-first, I'm now firmly life-first.
Successful founders are like professional athletes.
- train hard;
- they embrace the support of a coach;
- they celebrate their wins;
- they learn from their losses; and
- they build in time to rest.
To build a successful business, do all of the above.
Learn from professional athletes.
• Training • Winning • Recovering
You need to be doing all three.
Don't get lost in the 'one more feature' trap.
If you can't sell, you can't sell. Fundamentally rethink. Don't get lost in the 'one more feature' trap.
What's the one tweet version of your business?
What's in your manifesto?
Your manifesto should share the mission that you're focused on. It should clearly define what you're trying to change.
Don't cynically shrug this off. I encounter so, so many people who can't quickly and clearly communicate what their business does.
You can only change something if you acknowledge it. This is one of the biggest barriers to progress I encounter.
Useful list here.
I’ve booked hotels on my last two books, worked a treat, but the cost adds up.
I now drive to remote locations – almost daily – and write there: space for thought, limited internet, limited distraction.
Car parks, park and rides, often free or subsidised, are perfect.
Pay attention to spelling and grammar. If you ignore the little things you might also ignore the large things.
<!— Amazon One-Pagers: People will think that if you ignore the little stuff, you are probably also careless with the big stuff. —>
To improve as a writer, you need to be writing every single day.
The more you write, the more your confidence grows (and… the more you write, the more your confidence grows).
It's a flywheel.
Links to others’ work…
If you haven’t seen @asburyandasbury’s ‘Text Radio’:
Note to Self (TK's AMA)
Watch TK's video on building an unstoppable sales funnel (it will help you grow revenues). Also watch the entrepreneur law of attraction video (will get your mindset in order).
Question for TK:
I’m running The School of Design and I’m in a quandary. I want to help as many people as possible, but helping founders properly takes considerable amounts of time. How do I square that circle? I’m starting to think I can mentor a maximum of 18 people a year, is that sustainable?
I think I need a set of additional – infinitely sellable – smaller educational packages. I give these to members of The School of Design (insiders?), but sell them to non-members (outsiders?).