The Creator MBA | A Tactical Guide by Jay Clouse

Jan 18, 2024


Hey everyone, welcome back to the channel! Today, we have a special guest, Jay Clouse, a seasoned creator and entrepreneur, here to share his wisdom and strategies in what we like to call 'The Creator MBA.' This episode is packed with actionable advice and tactical tips that every creator, regardless of their niche, can apply to their journey.

πŸ“œ Video Overview:
In this in-depth discussion, Jay breaks down the essential components of building a successful creator career, treating it like a business. We delve into the importance of packaging your content effectively, creating multiple revenue streams, and transforming your approach to content development.

πŸ”— Key Topics Covered:
- Effective Video Packaging: Learn the art of making your content stand out in the crowded space of YouTube.
- Building Multiple Revenue Streams: Discover how to diversify your income as a creator and why it’s crucial for long-term sustainability.
- The Content Development Revolution: Explore the innovative idea of turning Sales Development Representatives into Content Development Representatives.
- Building a Content Engine: Uncover strategies to create a robust content system that consistently delivers value to your audience.
- Navigating the Content Landscape: Gain insights into the evolving world of content creation and learn how to stay ahead of the curve.

🎀 About Jay Clouse:
Jay Clouse is a creator, entrepreneur, and the mastermind behind Creator Science, a platform dedicated to helping creators turn their passion into a profession. With a wealth of experience and a deep understanding of the creator economy, Jay is here to share his knowledge and guide you on your journey to success.

πŸ“’ Connect with Jay Clouse:
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Jay Clouse:YouTube will be my biggest platform by numbers, which is crazy. Like, do I think it's the most lucrative right now? No. But in terms of just like pure audience size, YouTube will become the biggest platform here soon. And it's the youngest in terms of like time we've been putting into it. So it's pretty crazy.

Andy Mewborn:I think that's the thing that a lot of people get wrong today because what they say is, oh, I'm going to do this social media post. I'm going to do this launch, right? I'm going to do this launch and then the launch flops. And what is that? That's nurturing, building a relationship with an audience.

Jay Clouse:If you're watching Mr. Beast videos or any of these big YouTubers and I show up on your home feed, I'm competing with those machines. You know, it's challenging to create compelling packaging that out competes for the click with these people. And we've gotten a little bit better at that over time.

Andy Mewborn:The number of followers you have matters to a certain extent. It's a social proof heuristic. Just in general, people like big numbers. If they see, oh, he has X amount of followers, like this guy is a social media person.

Jay Clouse:There's a third party there though, that can change the rules that can take things away from you. You have a big LinkedIn following today, but they actually want to prioritize this type of content. Or maybe they pull a Facebook and say, well, actually this is like Facebook pages now. You're not gonna actually reach anyone in the feed unless you're a paying subscriber. That just changes your entire business overnight.

Andy Mewborn:Man, what is going on?

Jay Clouse:How you doing? I came in the room and it was already counting down. I'm like, oh man, we're doing this live.

Andy Mewborn:Oh yeah, we just got, this is how I do it. I do it raw. We just jump in and we, we go for it. This is the first time we've actually like met in person or I wouldn't even say in person, but like we've actually chatted via zoom. We've been internet friends for maybe like a year now or something like that. Yeah. Close to a year. Yeah, like that. But how's everything going, man? I see I saw you just hit your first million view video on YouTube. How's it feel?

Jay Clouse:YouTube's been a crazy thing over the last couple of months. We've we've really started to figure some things out, which is really exciting for the future. Within the next couple of weeks, like YouTube will be my biggest platform by numbers, which is crazy. Like, do I think it's the most lucrative right now? No. But in terms of just like pure audience size, YouTube will become the biggest platform here soon. And it's the youngest in terms of like time we've been putting into it. So it's pretty crazy.

Andy Mewborn:Wow. Like, so, so what's your strategy? Like what, what did, how did it grow so fast?

Jay Clouse:Well, the videos got views and the viewers like the videos.

Andy Mewborn:Yeah.

Jay Clouse:Views got views. Viewers like the videos, videos decide to subscribe. Um, we, we've gotten a little bit better at making videos for sure. Like every video we make gets a little bit better, but besides the video itself being better, I think what we've gotten a lot better at is packaging the videos. And you know this from the, even the things that you do on LinkedIn, like packaging is everything. Yeah, yeah, I think packaging is like a contact sport on YouTube. It's it's very intense. It's hard to win a packaging game when literally like the game of YouTube is getting on the recommended areas on the home page and in you know up next areas wherever YouTube places video recommendations. That is where the majority of impressions and views comes from. But you're competing with literally the entirety of YouTube based on that users preferences So if you're watching mr. Beast videos or a rack or any of these big youtubers and I show up on your home feed I'm competing with those machines, you know, so it's it's challenging to create compelling packaging that out Competes for the click with these people and we've gotten a little bit better at that over time

Andy Mewborn:And what are, like, I know we're getting tactical real quick here. I'm just curious. What are the components of the packaging that you think you got better at? It's the thumbnail, the title, and then, like, what else? Because that's the obvious stuff, right? Is there, besides the obvious front end stuff, is there anything there?

Jay Clouse:Yeah, I mean, the title and thumbnail can only exist if there is an idea inherent in the video. So it really starts with the idea of the video and then how you present that idea with title and thumbnail. And a lot of people don't have a very clear idea of what makes the idea compelling, so they don't know how to make a great title out of it. And we do an interview show, right? So the typical thing that you see for interview shows is they package the video around the person. You know, it's like, hey, you know, we interviewed J. Clops and that's the idea. And so for somebody to want to click on that, they have to really not only know who I am, but care at all, because it's not really that clickable unless they really know me and want to hear from me. So we stopped making our interviews, you know, about the guest name and more about whatever the topic is that we want to explore with that guest, because you'll see you'll see other shows who try to title an interview like a couple of topics that they cover in that interview, but the interview itself is like an hour or longer. And so if I click on the video because I liked one of the topics in the title, once I hear that bit of the video, I'm going to click off. So retention isn't going to be super high. So like wide ranging interviews just don't really work on YouTube. You really want to be very targeted on a specific idea so that you can really package the whole video around that one specific idea.

Andy Mewborn:Yeah. Yeah. This is a great point. And like that makes total sense when you like step back and think about it. Like a lot of this comes down to common sense. Like the more you think about it, the more you the more you learn, we overthink. And it's like, yeah, like people really have to know J. Klaus, right. Or Andy Mewborn if they click on that video. And like, to be honest and be flat, we both have audiences, whatever. But like, it's just, you know, like, if you really care about me, you know, and here's the thing. And if you really care about me, you probably will see that, like, oh, I've heard what he has to say a million times over anyways, if you know me that well, right? And so.

Jay Clouse:We don't have a global YouTube audience. The first two videos we published had my face in the thumbnail and we quickly realized that's not a compelling piece of this. This is not what people are going to click on it for. They don't know who I am. It has had an impact on our guest strategy, though, too, because what we found very quickly was, oh, the the guests who are known or relevant to a YouTube audience aren't necessarily the same as the people that we have on the audio show. Like I've been doing a series on the audio podcast about writing a book. And I spoke to this guy. He's he's great. His name is David Moldauer. He's deep in the book publishing world. Nobody would know what he looks like. And a YouTube audience probably doesn't care about book publishing. That much like there's search traffic for it But you're probably not going to make it on a ton of people's homepage talking about book publishing So yes, it's it's been it's really changed our entire process the more we've we've thought about and gotten better at packaging We will package the video before I do Like the questions for the interview. I'm doing an interview after we talk with somebody and we know that What the video will be titled what the thumbnail will look like We know the arc of the interview and we decided all that before I had the conversation Wow, so you're really That's interesting because now your comments conversation It's very focused.

Andy Mewborn:Yes, right. It's gonna be very focused cuz cuz you're cuz you're like, oh, you know We've already done all this work on packaging it you've already come up with the idea. Does that give you anxiety though? Do you feel like sometimes it might make it less interesting? Or what do you think?

Jay Clouse:I think it's reduced by anxiety. Because before, I was trying to cover a bunch of ground and I was hoping that the sum total of it was good. Now, I'm not trying to cover that much ground. I'm just trying to go really deep into this one small plot of land. And so I know it's the research can be more specific. It can be more narrow because it used to be, you know, when the show is just audio. A lot of my interviews were like a profile of the person, you know, like here is a look at the career trajectory of this creator and be people like Seth Godin and James Clear. There's a lot to dig into. There's a lot of research to do. You're trying to become familiarized with somebody who's been doing this for 20 years, 30 years. And now it's not about understanding their entire career trajectory. It's I have this specific idea that I want to explore with this specific person. I can prepare for that with good questions and thinking through some scenarios. And all I have to do is show up and be curious and know that at the end of the day, we're trying to answer this specific question for the viewer.

Andy Mewborn:Wow. Yeah, I guess that would, it's almost, it almost comes like my backgrounds in B2B and like, you know, when you, when you go into a sales call, almost, you know, what the topic's going to be, you know, the agenda, right? Like you're setting it and you're kind of guiding the conversation. It's very similar to that. Kind of what it sounds like, which, which does make sense. So another thing that comes to mind is your research process is probably pretty heavy then. You come up with the idea, walk us through, what does that look like? I'm very curious.

Jay Clouse:Yeah, at this point, basically, everyone that schedules with me, I have this little automation that runs that when you schedule through SavvyCal, which is my booking thing, it makes a database item in Notion for the podcast guests. We have a template for that. I have my assistant do some basic research of like, hey, pull a bio for this person, pull the relevant links to their different profiles, And then it's a collaboration between me and my YouTube producer to decide on the package. And I just do whatever research I think is necessary for me to feel ready to talk about that package. And sometimes it's not that much. Like the interview I'm having after this is a friend of mine. I've already done two conversations with him. I know him well. I don't feel like I have to do a lot other than know like the bullseye we're trying to hit. And we're good. But if I don't know the guests that well, I'll typically, um, I'll check out their work. I will listen to a couple of interviews that they've done, uh, one on whatever is like the most, uh, legitimate, well done podcast that they've been a guest on. And another, that's just like very close in terms of time. Like, cause I want to know what's relevant for them right now. A lot of times that's pretty much it. But I typically book people on the show that I already have good familiarity with their work anyway. Um, yeah, yeah. And so a lot of it's kind of done over just being a fan, being a fan and you're constant.

Andy Mewborn:Um, yeah, you're probably staying up with them on social media too. You're probably like seeing what their content is on social media. You're always seeing that what's new with them, what they're about, what they're pushing now. What is it that they're pushing that their audience is engaging with, right? Like, which is super interesting. So, well, going to that topic, one thing that I was like, crazy about wanting to learn from you today is, is where do we think we're going with B2B creators, right? And like, there's this new thing of like, B2B creators in What that really means, I don't know. I'd love to hear what that means for you. But for me, it's like the closest thing I can come up with is like LinkedIn creators, right? Like with these people that are more focused on like the B2B side, selling more SaaS, more higher ticket kind of packages versus like beauty e-com products, right? So I just want to start with you and kind of see like, where do you think that's going? Because if I were to put myself in a bucket, I would say I'm a B2B creator. Right. More often than not. So I want to kind of hear where you think this is going and your overall thoughts on that.

Jay Clouse:I haven't really wrapped my mind around this term. I don't know if it needs to exist or if it's something that somebody who is trying to, I don't know where it originated from, but I can see a world where this originated from somebody who was like, I want to coin my own language around something. Because I've heard very different. I've heard very different definitions of what this means. Like my audience is other creators. They're all running businesses. Does that make me a B2B creator? I certainly don't associate with that. I've also I've also heard somebody talk about B2B creators in the lens of I'm the CEO of a software company. We're realizing that content needs to be our marketing strategy. We are going to hire a creator to basically be our in-house creator and marketing strategy. That to me is a more clear distinction of what that means. It's like, it's a role in an in-house team. That makes sense to me. That's something that is a different style of creator that I think warrants a conversation. But, um, you know, B2B versus B2C, if I'm just, you know, doing the same platforms and I'm independent, I don't really, I don't know. I don't, I don't see the need to call it out.

Andy Mewborn:Well, what you did call out was something interesting I'm hearing too, which is these companies hiring a creator as like the main marketing strategy, almost to be like the face of the company. And I think that's interesting. Like, and I think it's too early to tell, but maybe we can make some, some predictions here, which is like, is it better to. hire one creator and get this person to kind of be the face of the company, creating all this stuff, or, or is it better to have more of this like higher influencer creators and create a system around that? You know, like, like, what do you think? I mean, we're, and again, we're all just brainstorming here, right? What's the best way I'm currently building a company, right? A SAS company. And so I'm, I'm thinking through this as we speak.

Jay Clouse:Well, I think that both will continue to exist because I think they're both potentially effective. If I'm hiring influencers to create user generated content, that's going to come with more trust out of the gate, I think, because we believe the recommendations of third parties more than first parties. If you are a creator on behalf of Walmart, of course you're gonna say Walmart's products are awesome and we should buy them. If you are just somebody who is already known for creating great content and you make a video going into Walmart and saying this product is awesome, more people are gonna take that seriously as a potential recommendation. So I think we'll see both in the strategy because the UGC paying influencers and content creators to talk about our products works. But I also think that the way we're doing marketing internally at companies is going to change and we'll see people hiring creators. It's a risky thing though. If I'm a company and I'm hiring a creator to kind of be the face, I'm actually more interested in hiring two versus hiring one. Oh, why? Because if you hire one person to be the face of your company and they do a really good job at it, which is like the goal, we hope that happens. They're going to have a ton of opportunity to leave and they will at some point. And if that happens, then you're completely starting from scratch, having to start from really ground zero. Whereas if you have to, like we really saw this years ago when Barstool was building out their podcast network, they're like hyper localized sports podcast network. there was more resilience in the model when there were co-hosts of podcasts and markets because if one co-host left, there was still continuity even if you had to bring somebody in. And so that's what I would be doing is having two people because then it's less likely that we are starting from complete scratch whenever one of those people inevitably leaves.

Andy Mewborn:Yeah, yeah. And maybe one strategy could also be like, you know, one thing I think I consider myself a creator as well as like a founder. Right. And so like, you know, we're building Distribute now and I'm a creator. So I kind of have like, okay, the face of the, of the company. So, which is great. Don't get me wrong, but it's hard for a lot of founders to do that if they don't have an audience. Right. And so, you know, it's my company, so I'm stuck with it and I'm going to like make it work. But it's interesting because what I've been also doing is realizing that like, how do I add more horsepower to this myself, right? And I think one strategy that I'm going to take here is using my leverage as a creator to recruit the other best creators. and strike deals with them, right? And use it as almost a recruiting, just like you would recruit the best engineers if you're a great engineer, right? And you kind of using that as a lever to say, well, my moat or my, you know, my unique advantage here is that because I'm a creator, I probably have a better recruiting possibilities than if I were just, you know, a founder trying to go this way. So even if you, the thought that I had is even if you aren't a founder, Right. And you want to recruit someone to be the face. Part of their goal should not only be, hey, you're creating content, but you're also recruiting other these creators to mitigate your risk, as you mentioned, of it just being that one person, that way you can, that one main creator, that way you can actually have other people. Um, so that, that's kind of one thing that came to mind, right. Is cause that is a scary thought. Yeah. Because if these people are everywhere, once you're everywhere, you get hit up every day. Like you, right. Like, especially if you're working for someone else, you get hit up every single day. Hey, I know. Cause I hit up all these other people every day that are, that I see are great creators. And I'm like, Hey, you want to come work with me? Right. Like I do it all the time. Um, so that would be interesting to see now, is this the main playbook? I don't know. This is the playbook that I'm trying to run.

Jay Clouse:Right? Yeah, I think, I think, uh, I think you're right in that if you have, if you are known as somebody who's creating good content and you've built an audience, then aspiring creators who have the chops, but not the results yet, they'll want to come work for you. But it's, it's a tough thing because everybody that you or I would want to hire, they're good enough to do it on their own. If they're not now, they will be very, very soon. And they'll have that opportunity to go out on their own. Uh, they'll have the opportunity to join another team, you know? So like right now you have the ability to recruit them, but then you're gonna have to think, what is it about this opportunity about working with me that retains people and makes them want to stay here? Because they're going to have a lot of options. They're gonna have a lot of choice. And so even once you get them in, you've got to differentiate the experience to be something where they can't imagine it being as good elsewhere.

Andy Mewborn:Yeah. Yeah. And wow. Another thought came to mind. I agree because it's like this. It's almost just like normal. It's almost like you got to find the gems right before they're actually gems before you got to find them early and look for the potential. Right. One thing that I thought this is a crazy idea that I've had. Right. And you've heard companies what they're doing is they're saying content is the best way to create demand today. Right. Like this whole cold emailing that that was a arbitrage channel, you know, let's call it five years ago. I helped create the system that did that Right. Which is the one sending all. So we created something that then now it's become widely used, which is great. But with that. It's also changed what is arbitrage channels right now that are working to build pipeline and businesses, right? And I think content, people are realizing that's the way. Unique content that has a great message that's packaged correctly that maybe, you know, has an enemy and all the great marketing storytelling stuff, right? Now with that, I'm thinking, holy crap, you have these SDRs is what they call them in like B2B companies. I'm sure you've heard of it. Those are like the cold callers and those are the people doing the cold calling. Those are like, they're not the salespeople. They're like the people setting meetings for the salespeople, right? And I'm thinking, OK, well, if that's not working anymore, what if we change this sales development rep to a content development rep where we hired kids out of school that had this potential to create great content, but create content that was optimized for getting leads online? And how would you do that? I don't know yet, but this is an idea I had where you're still giving these people potential out of school to say, hey, here's how we generate business today. And they could have a system of like, all right, post once on TikTok at 5 a.m., make another one for 12 a.m., make another one for 5 a.m. I don't know what the system is or what that what that would be, but I love the jam with you on that. Like, does it sound like a crazy idea or what do you think?

Jay Clouse:You know, I'm I'm cynical. I mean, I think it'll work in some ways, but there are a lot of companies like, you know, if you if you sell an engine part for a lawnmower and that's your business. I don't think creating content on TikTok is gonna drive leads for you, right? This works for some businesses that are probably predominantly fairly consumer focused, or at least there's a lot of decision makers out there. Because social media is built for scale. It's just what it is. So it just, it'll be hard to create content that is extremely niche and built to generate leads and have that hit the algorithm in such a way that the first impressions it gets are the right end user that gives it a signal this is good and it goes beyond that. And that's also assuming that you've hired somebody who's good at doing that, which I think that creating content, it's absolutely getting more competitive all the time. But it's it's really hard. Like the people who are reaping the benefits of that arbitrage today have been in the content game for years and they're like they understand how it works. I do think that like Gen Z generally is a pretty good pipeline for hiring people that can do like especially short form vertical video content. But if you're, if you're doing that, uh, as a lead source, I think that you have to have a fairly broad potential audience for the products.

Andy Mewborn:Yeah. Yeah. It might not work specifically for like, as you mentioned the lawnmower part, right?

Jay Clouse:And like a lot of these companies that have these big budgets and big teams who are hiring SDRs, like they are doing like an enterprise game, big contracts, but not that many decision makers. I'm not as close to b2b though. So you can you can tell me I'm wrong and I've got a narrow view of of these companies But it's it's it's a matchmaking thing, you know, like you the way social media algorithms work you post a new thing It says I think I know who the audience for this thing is I'm gonna send it out to them if they respond well to it It'll spread and spread and spread and spread and so to if you if you don't have broad appeal and the thing that you make you're really hoping that they initially expose it to the right people, or it will just crater.

Andy Mewborn:Yeah. There's one company that I think, if we do a breakdown here, one company that did do this well, I think, right, in this kind of like, get people, at least in the B2B SaaS world, right, is Notion. Notion, I don't know if you've seen them on TikTok, but You go to what they did to grow their business, using content to get leads, people to sign up, right? From a software perspective, not e-com. It was genius. They like, there's this chart I saw. I wish I could pull it up, but it was like Notion's growth. And it was when they started TikTok. And if you go to their page, they're not posting that much. But what they've figured out is some affiliate program where they're getting all these people to basically say, here's my daily life in Notion. Here's how I organize my calendar in Notion. Here's how I do this thing. And why I'm bringing this up is because you're right. I think in the sense of. you have to have a product that's almost broad enough to make that work, right? Because Notion, if you think about it, you can do- It's so flexible.

Jay Clouse:Yeah, it's so flexible. Just about anybody, if they're willing to learn how to use software, could find a use for Notion. And so, all these people who already have directed audience who care about a specific thing, if I'm somebody who has an audience who cares about productivity, or even if I'm somebody who has an audience that cares about habit tracking, you know, or something as crazy as like watering plants, you know, or like raising plants. Here is how I keep track of the schedule for, you know, nurturing my plants in notion. Those people, you wouldn't necessarily say like, Oh, this is the core customer of notion users, but there's a clear use case for it. So yeah, something like that is super extent extensible. Same with like a Zapier or like software has a lot of things. Yeah, I'm constantly discovering like all these big. Like massive companies that are so seemingly niche like a friend is telling me about this company who makes. The specific part of the wheel of semis and they're like a multibillion dollar company. And I've never heard of them. And they're just here in Ohio. And it's like this insane thing where it's like, this is a huge company has a huge budget. It's hiring people that might be thinking about content, but how in the world would content work in that situation? I don't know.

Andy Mewborn:Yeah, that is crazy. Like stories like that, where it's, it's, it's like those websites you see that are like from 1990 or like, you know, boom that basically are all just text. And then you kind of, you learn about this business and it's like, oh yeah, they're making like a hundred million dollars a year. And it looks like it's, you know, was the web 1.0, which is just crazy. And you still wonder how in the hell do they make that work? Right. Um, and maybe it's just timing, just being, being in the, you know, Charlie Munger and being in the market, Warren Buffett for a long time, you know, um, big part of it, which is, Yeah, yeah. I think with the content game too, thinking about that, like people talk about like, oh, how do you make money in the markets, right? This is a creator analogy that I'm coming up with on the spot as we speak. It's time and market is the most important thing. I think it's the same thing with being a creator. Right. It's like time and market. Yes. There's a lot of people see these people blow up or they're like, this person came out of nowhere, but little do they know, like you've been in the content game, what you were helping, uh, what's his name? Make his podcast. Right. Uh, Flynn, Pat Flynn. Right.

Jay Clouse:Well, I didn't have on the podcast, but we, yeah, I worked at a couple of years ago. Pat's been in the market since 2008. Uh, yeah. Have you heard of the, uh, have you heard of the Lindy effect?

Andy Mewborn:No, no, no, no. Tell me.

Jay Clouse:So the Lindy effect, it's it's this idea that the longer that something non perishable exists, the longer it will continue to exist. So it was named after this this deli in New York City called Lindy's, and it was like the longest running open deli for a long time and somebody noticed or like, actually, if something is non perishable, if it exists, there's actually an equation that somebody made for I think it was Nassim Taleb that put this together. He was like, if this restaurant exists for five years, it'll probably exist for another five years. And I think there's something similar with at least consumers of content. Like I feel like if somebody listens to my podcast for two years, they're probably gonna listen to it for another two years. Uh, I see some like flaws in this because it kind of suggests like, well, then nobody would ever give up on anything because if I listen to it for a day and listen to it for two days, if I listen to it for two days and listen to it for four days and it just expands forever. But there is something of like, I think the longer that you survive, the more likely that you will continue to survive.

Andy Mewborn:Yeah. Yeah. And you, maybe there's a threshold there, right? As you said, the flaw, like maybe it can't be for like one month and then you'll exist one month, but maybe it's like at least a year or two years. Yeah. Like where's the threshold on that? Like that might be something interesting, but that, that, that is crazy that they named it after what a sandwich shop in New York.

Jay Clouse:Yeah. I should just pull it up over here.

Andy Mewborn:That's cool. That was, yeah, that was, that was clever. Um, I love that. That sandwich shop is probably like, hell yes. Like we've got this formula named after us. They'll probably be around forever. Right. Um, now I want to talk to you about something that came up here, which is one of your recent tweets, Jay. And this recent tweet was amazing because you said, Here it is. After six years as a solo creator, I earned $50,000 per month. Congratulations. That's a baller, first off. If I was starting over, here are five things I'd do to reach the milestone faster. Start a weekly newsletter, publish daily on social media, offer one-on-one consulting, roll out newsletter sponsorships, and create a digital product based on what I've learned with my audience, right? And then with these, you'll be creating three lines of revenue, consulting, sponsorships, and products. Amazing, right? So I agree with you. The one thing I'm curious about here is, man, creating content can be easy, right? Hitting publish or whatever, not overall, but let's say you wrote something and they hit publish, like coming up with the right things to say, definitely difficult. With this here, way of thinking, like I kind of want to hear your way of thinking behind this and why the multiple revenue streams, why not just start with one, right? And kind of what you're thinking was behind this tweet.

Jay Clouse:Well, it does start with one. I'm thinking through, I'm a very data oriented person and I'm someone who mitigates risk a lot in his mind. So something I've just seen with data over and over and over again is that the fastest way to generate revenue is to sell your time. Like people value it. It's getting a job is selling your time. Consulting is selling your time. People pay a premium for your time because your time is very scarce because you are scarce, right? So that's like the fastest way to generate meaningful revenue and it doesn't require a large number of customers. So if you're able to generate meaningful revenue without a large number of customers, then you should be able to reserve enough time to build the content business. And I think I would still start with email or at least very soon after I was doing social media on some platform, I would still add email into the mix quickly. Because I think that's what makes your creator business more resilient over time. Lindy Effect email's been around since like the 1980s. I don't think it's going anywhere anytime soon. And when I look at different platforms that creators can build on, I divide them into what I call relationship platforms and discovery platforms. Discovery platforms have some sort of mechanism for organic discovery. They have an algorithm that is connecting great content with consumers because that platform is monetizing with ads. And so if you create great content that keeps consumers on the platform, you're rewarded with more attention. Discovery platforms are social media, YouTube, even Google search. There's a third party there, though, that can change the rules that can take things away from you. You have a big LinkedIn following today, but they actually want to prioritize this type of content. Or maybe they pull a Facebook and say, well, actually, this is like Facebook pages now. You're not going to actually reach anyone in the feed unless you're a paying subscriber. That just changes your entire business overnight if you don't have the business built on something that is more in your control. Relationship platforms are email, podcasting, SMS, and even private communities output in here. If you're able to get people into those platforms, that is just a decentralized utility that is building a distribution mechanism that you own. So I would bring in email still very, very quickly, even if You know you realize well for me to get reach. I need to be operating on a discovery platform. That's true the game in my opinion is Use discovery platforms to get in front of new people, but you're quickly trying to move those people into email Training time for money is not something you want to do for forever most people who get into this game and so a good next step is either sponsorship or Building a digital product I think both are fine. You could do either one first. But again, sponsorship requires or depends on a third party. That's not even your audience member. Your audience member is already a third party. They are introducing a second third party, which is the company, which is not as resilient. Ultimately, I think like the purest form of this creator business is I have a distribution system that I own that reliably communicates with people who want to hear from me. And my transactions are between me and that person who I'm creating value for.

Andy Mewborn:Yeah. In the email, I'm with you on the email. There's this, uh, I saw this chart and I should pull it up and show you, but it's like the ROI of all the different channels, right? Like puts together paid ads, uh, in the email ROI. And I should show you this chart. You'll be mind blown. Cause you're spot on is like 41 X that have paid ads over time.

Jay Clouse:That was huge.

Andy Mewborn:It was in a book by Sabri. He wrote this book called Sell Like Crazy, right? And in the book, he basically goes over this and why people should to do more email and capture emails. And if you're doing paid ads, why you should get emails and nurture people. And there was two big things here. The first, and don't quote me on 41% or 41X, but it's something huge like that. Like once I find this chart or whatever, we'll look at it. If that's the ROI on email, then why don't you do more email is the thing, right? Because I will tell you the amount of people that buy from one social media post versus me having nurtured them for six to nine months is way different, right? And I think that's the thing that a lot of people get wrong today because what they say is, oh, I'm going to do the social media post, I'm going to do this launch, right? I'm going to do this launch and then the launch flops, whether they do a new course or whatever. And I think doing a course is cool, but all the stuff to prep for it, they haven't done. Right. And what is that? That's nurturing, building a relationship with an audience. And I think this is why sales today, like when we talk about selling anything online or whatever, needs to be rebranded to nurturing because really that is what it is. Right. It is not whether you're selling, you know, sponsorship or a B2B SaaS product, that's a hundred thousand dollar contract. Most of the time people are not ready to buy. And this is why most of the time timing is what kills deals per se. Right. And there's this other stat, which is amazing, which is if you look at any target market at one time, only 3% of people are ready to buy your product in any given target market, right? Like 3% of people overall that would buy your product are ready to buy at one time. Then you have to figure out how to find those people, right? But what do you do with the other 97% that aren't ready, right? You got to, you got to nurture them. Right. And this is why I'm saying like, and again, I'm obviously, you know, my software product pushes building your email list. Like that's what we do. We have the lead magnets. Right. And so this is why I started this, this product, because, you know, when we started Taplio, which was, you know, LinkedIn scheduler tool, I don't know if you use Taplio or not. I believe you probably know what it is, but yeah. We started that, the main way we grew that business was with lead magnets, right? And we went from zero to a million in recurring revenue in nine months. How do we do that? Guess what? We built lead mags and we got emails and we nurtured the hell out of people. And that was people like, what's the secret? And I tell them the secret. That was the secret, man. We knew people aren't ready to buy yet. They need to warm up to it. So we built free lead magnets, whether it was courses, challenges, or actually another free carousel generator was one of them, right? And then we said, what is the next step that you're going to take after using this free thing? Oh, that's Taplio. So we've reverse engineered and we said, think back, what do people need before this? And now we've taken that trust level from a one to a five versus asking people to go from a one to a fricking 10, you know? And so that is kind of where I'm always urging people today, whether it's creators, whether it's salespeople, whether it's anything is like, dude, do the free email course that read the free email challenge, the free thing, like get people in there first and give them that first nugget that they're like, oh, shit, you know, like Jay knows what he's talking about. Right. Yeah. And then see them. Plant the seed and then water the seed, man. It's because I know you have a green thumb, Jay, based on your Instagram and stuff. I do not.

Jay Clouse:My wife has a very green thumb.

Andy Mewborn:So yes, I'm glad we're on this topic because I'm just like, this is, I just, I really, being a creator, I want to help other creators and I just want them to see that like, yo, Please start building your email list because the number of followers at the end of the day does not matter. You don't own that. Like it does in some sense. I don't want to say it doesn't matter completely, but right. You don't need to have 300,000 followers to sell anything. As a matter of fact, the people with, I've seen some creators with 500K followers that can't sell anything. Right. Yeah. Which is crazy. We can, we can go on that whole topic, but.

Jay Clouse:I think, you know, we're wired to like the feeling of reward and some people get good at being rewarded with social media likes or follows or whatever. And so that's all they pursue. And then they realize, Oh, there's nothing behind this though. And I think there's actually a huge risk to growing too quickly on social media, because you can kind of tap out specific market that you're trying to reach on a platform. And then all you can do is is nurture and try to reach all of those people at once. But it's likely that a lot of the people you reach when you're growing really quickly, they're not even seeing what will become some of your best work. They're too early to you having like the systems on the backend to serve them and to both create and capture value. So I'm, I'm kind of really enjoying being in this perpetual state of like slow come up because it like, I think you can like literally peek on some of these platforms and it's like, okay, that was interesting, but he hit this level and it's not really moving from there. And now he's just trying to like continue to do the things that got in there in the first place. But I, I like kind of the slow bill. The slow bill gives you a lot of space to build out the backend. So as you do have big spikes, you're able to capture more value from that, that success.

Andy Mewborn:Yeah. Well, I teach this in, in brand 30. So we've had like 4,000, um, I have 4,000 people gone through brand 30, which is the course we do. Right. And it's basically we've helped 4,000 people start creating on LinkedIn, which is awesome. I started this two years ago. It blew up and it's amazing. Right. And so this is all LinkedIn creators and We do a cohort every month and a half or so. And when we do this, the thing that's interesting is people come to me and they say, Andy, you have some of these posts that just like go viral, right? And like, how do you do that? I want to do that every time. And I go, no, you don't. You don't want to do that every time. And I'm going to tell you why. And we're going to break this because going viral is dumb AF. And I'll tell you why. Because If you're optimizing for the feeling of the dopamine hit of, oh my God, this hit a thousand likes or, oh, this hit, you know, 300, whatever, you know, 300 comments, whatever. That's great, y'all. But I'll tell you how many leads I got from my business off of that post. little to none. Right. And the way I look at social media is as a tool. Right. And and personally, when I have enough, when I hit my number of what the number of money I want, I'm going to throw my phone away and never go on social media again. Right. Like like that. I use it as a tool right now. I want other people to use it as it's a marketing tool. And so when I look at this, I go, you don't want to do this. However, that's not to say You don't want to you don't want to do broad content all of the time because things that go viral that what they are is they're very top of funnel content. Right. There are things that appeal to many different people. Right. There are people that are like that, you know, Johnny over there and Sally over here and they can all relate. It's super non niche. And what happens is you mentioned this. It gets you discovered. Right. But what gets you discovered does not get you revenue. Right. And this is almost the nurturing process of posting online is, you know, we have this, basically this framework where we go like, okay, like you want to think, I think in threes, the power of threes, right. You want your discoverability post. You want your post that basically helps build a relationship with your audience, which is fun. And then you want the sales post, right. And the sales post, so it's the one, two, three, right. Now, how often do you want to do the sales post? I would say one in every 10 posts, right? You don't want to do every post salesy because then it's whatever. Now, this is kind of this framework that we work off of, but going back to that, I agree with you. You don't want to do the fast build because what happens when you do this fast build is what I've seen, right? With some people that have gone through brand letters and all this is once they get there and then they want to say, oh, how do I monetize? They're basically having to go back and start from zero again anyways. Because they're then having to build up their credibility and their expertise in this area to sell something. So they're kind of like clawing back to where they could have been six months ago, but they cared more about the likes and the comments. Right. Yeah.

Jay Clouse:If you're trying to serve person A and you're chasing virality at the same time, as you said, that's going to be broader content. It's going to appeal not only to person A, but person B, C, person D, person E, person F. And all those people might've enjoyed it enough to click follow and follow you. So now you have a follower base that is not just person A, it's person A through F. And the next time you publish something, the algorithm is going to expose that to all of your followers, person A through F. And if it's really catered towards person A, but it's shown primarily to people B through F, it's not going to perform well. And so now you're constantly fighting your own audience because you're hoping that the thing that you're crafting for your core customer, customer A, is actually shown to customer A early on in its existence. Or it will just get torpedoed immediately and it won't go beyond the initial people it was shown to and actually reach the people it was meant for.

Andy Mewborn:Yeah. Yeah. And it's almost like, uh, and I battle with this too, man. I think it, like you have to battle with it sometimes, right. Of like, shoot, this feels very vague and boring to me, but I know it's going to work and get me discovered. Like, do you, do you ever feel like that with your content?

Jay Clouse:Do you ever feel like, like, man, you just don't do it. I don't do it because of exactly what I'm saying. Like, then you have to fight your own audience. My initial followers on LinkedIn came from doing LinkedIn learning courses. I'm a LinkedIn learning instructor and my core students were following me because they enjoy the course, but my courses were based in product management. They were based in freelancing and I even had a course on venture capital. So the majority of my followers were people who cared about product management or freelancing or venture capital. And it took me a long time to get enough following of the people I actually want who is creators to actually get traction on any one of my posts because it was being shown to this audience of people who it wasn't meant for. And when you're doing this like vague widespread, I'll get a lot of impressions and whatever on this. It's just creating this very difficult headwind when you try to do something that's more specific. That's my opinion, but I, I don't do any of this broader based stuff because to me, like having big numbers in terms of followers, it's all a social proof heuristic. And I don't think I need that anymore. I'm much more interested in the majority of people. I want so much alignment between who the thing is for and who is following me so that I can be really efficient in everything that I make. And when I go out with something new, it's relevant to all these people that are following me around. I don't care that I could have twice as much engagement by posting a selfie and talking about some broad story that's going to get a lot of people relating to it, I'm going to make something that's specific for the people that I'm making this for. Because that's going to make every subsequent post more likely to hit those people. And as you said, one in however many of those things will also be a sale type thing. Yeah, I this is this is the way I operate, but I think it continues to leave a high ceiling on my growth potential because growth moments, big, exciting things. Those are marketable moments. And I want to stay on the come up for like as long as possible. I never want to feel like I hit it.

Andy Mewborn:The number of followers you have matters to a certain extent. And that is, as you mentioned, it's a social proof heuristic, right? People see, people just in general, people like big numbers. If they see, oh, he has X amount of followers. Oh, he's the check box. Like this guy is a social media person, right? Like, and you're right. I think that is really the only thing that matters, like matters about the number. It's the only thing that matters.

Jay Clouse:And we get, we get, we get addicted to the reward of like big numbers on our post. And so we keep doing that because we keep chasing it. But it like, it just doesn't matter. It just waters down who you're trying to reach and it makes it harder on going. Um, Also, I think I think it develops a different type of relationship. Like I think when you are when it feels like, man, everything this guy posts is like the question that's on my mind when it's hyper relevant to everyone that it's hitting. I think it builds deeper trust or deeper trust faster.

Andy Mewborn:How are you listening for signal around your topic? You mentioned, oh, this guy understands me right now. How do you listen for signal? Are you using certain tools? Are you just going through your comments? What are those signals for you, Jay, to make sure you're staying true to what you want your message to be? You mentioned search volume earlier. So maybe we're using some vidIQ to see what people are searching. How do you stay on top of that?

Jay Clouse:I just feel so attuned to my audience. And part of it is probably the comments on things. Because again, since my posts are very targeted, all the responses are very targeted. Everything that I publish is just very, very targeted. So all the feedback on it is signal. Um, in my email sequence, I have a two email welcome sequence. The first email says, if I were to dedicate the next issue of this newsletter to an issue you're currently facing, what would that be? So that's gold every day. If they don't respond to that one, they get a second email that says, Hey, what's going on in your world that led you to sign up for this list. So that's gold. I have a membership community of about 200 professional creators. And so every post in there is very specific. It's the answer your question is like it's it's not an effort. It's it's all I hear is the specific issues and questions of my specific Core audience, so it's it's I don't know. I wish I had a better answer. It's just very easy for me

Andy Mewborn:Yeah. Yeah. You're just in tune with the audience. Right. Which, which, which makes it interesting. This is for me, you know, something that's been difficult is, is, you know, I've kind of run multiple things. Right. And so you kind of have like audiences that kind of overlap, but kind of don't, which is great, but sometimes it kind of like screws you. Right. Because you're like, shoot, like I, I know what I should be doing. I should be posting this specific thing, but then I have this other thing over here and I have to post about that sometimes. Right. And so it's kind of this like, oh, battle back and forth. And I'm like, shoot, what is the solution? I don't know. Like, I just I still haven't figured it out, to be honest with you. And I'm like currently battling that. Right. Because it's like you have this I have this LinkedIn kind of community that I started a couple of years ago that's doing well or whatever. Right. And it's all about how do you create content to generate leads, right? Build your personal brand on LinkedIn specifically. So it's niche in that way. But I also have a software company. Right. And it's lead generation still. But is it like how to do things on LinkedIn? Not really. But you can use it on LinkedIn in some ways. Right. You put a lead magnet on your profile or whatever. So I don't know, man. Like, what are your thoughts on that? Like, have you ever experienced that or am I just shit out of luck here, Jay?

Jay Clouse:Well, I killed a bunch of projects like I I came to a conclusion like right now I want to be closely associated with Creators and so everything I post is creators everything but I care mostly about email and different distribution or relationship platforms, so I am trying to drive people to email which can exist as a from name of from creator science like you're you're building equity in that brand That's what people are opening so that J Klaus the person can continue to grow and evolve over time I don't think I would do multiple projects at once Again because this exact issue like you have to be a person on social media You can't can't effectively be a brand as much like yeah, you could create LinkedIn company pages and publish mostly through there There's still like good opportunity there. You could do the same on Twitter have you know multiple accounts and That's now twice as much effort. You could be funneling all that effort into one thing. And, uh, you know, really building close association between your name and one thing. I'm probably going to do that ongoing because it's just really hard. It's really hard to try to be associated with multiple things in people's minds. Um, I think it just like really gets in your own way.

Andy Mewborn:You're telling me like it really really does and it's it's it's hard to focus, you know, it's hard to like It really is hard to be like, okay, i'm gonna do this and then I have to think over here and think over here. So trying to tie it together, right? There's a couple little tricks to do some tie-in, right? But then again, as you try and do that, you go more top of funnel, right? Yeah, it's going to get more generalized. Trying to be more generalized, exactly. Which is interesting because, yeah, it's just tough, man. It's just tough. So if anyone ever really figures it out, let me know. I haven't been able to do it. But yeah, Jay, this has been good, man. This has been a great conversation. Want to end it on a note, giving you a plug, right? Like what are you working on right now, Jay? You mentioned the membership community, what's some other stuff I think that would be helpful for creators, because that's your whole world, right?

Jay Clouse:Yeah. Everything is creator science. I'm helping people become professional creators. So if that's interesting to you, whatever platform you prefer to, you know, learn from, we've got a newsletter, we've got a podcast, we've got a YouTube channel, all named creator science. So find whatever is most helpful and, uh, you know, we'll get you on your way to making some good money actually doing this.

Andy Mewborn:Yeah. Yeah. Amazing. Jay. Yeah. You're the man. Um, well it's been amazing dude. And frigging maybe in a few months or something, we'll have you back on. We'll, we'll do a recap and, and some updates on everything going on.

Jay Clouse:Thanks for having me, Andy.