Discussing our different approaches to launching a membership program
Over the last month, Jay Acunzo and I have both launched our own membership programs. And while we were in the thick of designing and launching those programs, we thought it would be a good idea to record a podcast about it.
This episode is part of “Jay Talking,” a series of conversations with my friend Jay Acunzo that are less of an interview, and more of a conversation between two creators in the trenches of building their businesses.
Jay is an author, a speaker, and a showrunner. He started his career in marketing working with ESPN, Google and HubSpot. He hosts Unthinkable, a storytelling podcast about creative people who break from conventional thinking to make what matters most.
In this episode of Jay Talking, we talk about how we structured our membership programs, the difference between creators following a Tesla vs. a Toyota model, the psychology of pricing a membership, how I presold access to the Creative Companion Club, and the uncertainties we didn’t let hold us back.
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Jay Acunzo 00:00
I love that stuff. It's what drives me. But my ego goes, well look at all these other creators and what they can do, they have more leverage, right? They have all these things. And actually there is a lot of leverage in client services. There is a lot of doors that get open and it is very profitable work if you don't have to do it well.
Jay Clouse 00:17
Welcome to Creative Elements, a show where we talk to your favorite creators and learn what it takes to make a living from your art and creativity. I'm your host, Jay Clouse. Let's start the show. Hello, my friend, welcome back to another episode of Creative Elements. We're back this week with an episode of Jay talking with Jay Acunzo. Jay is a marketer, author, podcaster, a listener favorite here on Creative Elements and one of my good friends.
Jay Acunzo 00:58
It's spooky, it's scary. It's cathartic. It's unthinkable, questioning best practices to create work that resonates. I'm Jake Acunzo.
Jay Clouse 01:13
I think every creator needs a couple close creator friends, people who know your business, your audience and have a sense for how it's changed over time. Those friends are such an important part of your journey as a sounding board and advice giver, even therapist sometimes. And Jay is one of those people for me, Jay and I talk several times a month already and are part of a mastermind group of other creators that we self organized. In this Jay talking series is meant to give you more of a fly on the wall experience listening to a more casual conversation between two creators to friends. It's not an interview. It's just the two of us sharing notes. The first episode in the series was episode number 81, where we talked about speaking businesses. This past month, Jay and I both launched entirely new products, both of our products, our memberships, but they are in two very different forms. For Jay, he's launching a program called Elevate, a short term membership with a small group of people.
Jay Acunzo 02:08
So Elevate is a small working group that I am piloting starting April 11th, a small group of about nine people, you might have heard the phrase accountability group, I think there's some degree of like, small group coaching is a thing in people's minds. But I'm calling it a working group because, you know, my personal professional mission is to help people make what matters. And I'm always paranoid that people like you and me Jay, create experiences and have social platforms where you know, you could follow us and listen to us and read us. And it's a form of hiding because it feels very productive. But at the same time you haven't produced anything. So I hadn't really built anything that was solely focused on the doing of the work, the making of the content.
Jay Clouse 02:51
I have some experience with working groups like Jay describing from my time building Unreal Collective, a 12 week group coaching program that I started in 2017 and was eventually acquired by Pat Flynn and Smart Passive Income. But this time I'm building a very different membership program. My membership is the Creative Companion Club, a membership community for creators who want to level up and go pro. Inside of the Creative Companion Club, we have about 75 creators today who are building YouTube channels, email newsletters, social media empires, cohort based courses, podcasts and even memberships of their own. My goal is simple, to personally help each of these creators expand their reach, increase their revenue, build new relationships, and find deeper resonance with your target audience. This way they can earn a real living with their creative work. And we're building an incredible community. Jay himself was an early member to help me kick the tires. We recorded this episode just a couple of weeks ago, when we were both in the midst of launching our membership programs. I thought it would be fun to give you an inside look at our different approaches while we were literally in the thick of it. I just had a case study and then the you literally texted me like, do you wanna do this now? Yeah, sure. Cheese, cheese and sour cream are great for recording. Jay filled his membership and kicked off his cohort just this week. And as I just shared, we have about 75 members in the Creative Companion Club now too. So thankfully, we both ended up with a great launch experience. So in this episode, we talk about how we structured our membership programs, the difference between creators following a Tesla Model versus a Toyota model, the psychology of pricing a membership, how I pre-sold access to the Creative Companion Club, and the uncertainties that we didn't let hold us back. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this episode. As you listen, you can find me on Twitter @jayclouse or on Instagram @creativeelements.fm, tag me, say hello, let me know that you're listening. And if you want to join the Creative Companion Club, we'd love to have you, just visit joinccc.com, that's joinccc.com and the link is also in the show notes. Okay, it's time for Jay talking with Jay Acunzo. You know, it's impromptu because I'm wearing my house jacket.
Jay Acunzo 05:09
You have a house jacket?
Jay Clouse 05:11
My house jacket is what I call this, I guess now it's trendy to call it a shacket, a shirt jacket. But I basically wear this same thing over top, whatever t-shirt I'm wearing for the day, everyday right now, because it's, it's got this thick lining with like fuzz kind of like the cool fuzzy hoodies that were invoked when I was in high school.
Jay Acunzo 05:32
Yeah, me too. I have a bunch of those.
Jay Clouse 05:34
When the dog chomps down on my arm, I don't feel a thing. So it's just like this wonderful puppy jacket. But anyway, it's not really a camera ready article of clothing. So that's how casual we're being today. I thought it'd be fun to get on and chat because we're both doing community oriented projects right now. While we're both like super immersed in thinking about what we're doing, why we're doing it, how we're doing it, I thought it'd be fun to chat about it, because we're taking two different approaches. And people listening may be considering either approach. Now, that'd be fun to chat about.
Jay Acunzo 06:09
Sure. I love it.
Jay Clouse 06:10
Tell us about Elevate.
Jay Acunzo 06:12
Hmm okay, so it's a small group, an eight week program, you know, it's application only vetting everybody that comes in is for folks that are beyond starting. And they're trying to level up and trying to elevate, they can sense there's like another gear, they sense it in other people, they can sense it in themselves. You know, occasionally, you just need someone to say that one thing do that, or let's pressure test your ideas. But it's a blend of one to one and one to few time with me. And then also the small group to work on actual projects, it is a working group, not a place to hide.
Jay Clouse 06:44
Let's get even deeper into the specifics of the format. So it's eight weeks,
Jay Acunzo 06:49
Jay Clouse 06:49
eight to nine people. What does each of those weeks look like?
Jay Acunzo 06:54
So week one is a 60 minute strategy call with me. So we'll start by talking about what is it you're trying to accomplish, you know, at a context on you, of course, like get some of that second hand through the application. That's part of the reason I'm having it be application only it's yes, I want to vet people you know, and have decent policy as to who makes it in. But it also has nothing to do with your personal audience or logo fame on your LinkedIn. The application is also very helpful for me to understand what you're all about and what you're trying to achieve. So the 60 minute one on one strategy call with me is how we begin to plan out those eight weeks and focus you on being as productive as possible, because in serving my audience, and I'm sure you'll find the same thing, Jay, the number one reason people are not more creative, according to them, is time. And so we need to use our time together to work within the limitations of the stuff you're already working on, the resources you already have. You know, I think this is a problem with so much online education is it kind of forces you to find the time to go and take that educational experience. And then also, a lot of the content doesn't really understand your context. So a mentor would understand your context, that's what that strategy calls about, is molding the experience to your resource constraints, your aspirations, your projects, etc. So we go from the strategy call to three mastermind light calls, everybody gets a hot seat. So you get to jump on explain what you're doing everybody's present and in every call, you get one hot seat as a part of that total of three mastermind calls as a group, and we all focus on you for that period of time. And also two additional kind of like barrier busting calls really short calls with me about like, okay, we've checked in now, both as an individual and as a group, where are you struggling? Where you stuck? What questions do you have? Let's focus on just moving you forward this week right now fast. And so that blend of like one to one long form, one to one short form, one to few combines to help you radically focus just be ruthless about what you're trying to accomplish within a short period of time. So the punchline I'm hoping to all of this is near term results, but long lasting learning. So you're investing in yourself both now and what you're trying to achieve now. And also over time you leave better equipped to do, hopefully, anything you want creatively.
Jay Clouse 09:01
I like these group formats. I'm big on thinking about aligning incentives right now, especially in something that involves somebody's time who is in high demand. So you know, you mentioned that week one, you have a 60 minute strategy call with these people. Yeah. Would you be comfortable sharing a ballpark of what a typical 60 minute strategy call with Jay Acunzo costs?
Jay Acunzo 09:22
Yeah, I list my pricing on my website for clients, because I don't really negotiate like, I'm using it as a useful form of friction. You know, there's some things where I'll negotiate but usually, it's where I see an opportunity to, for example, develop a podcast for a client who's gonna put me on as the host, and they have a massive audience like that's, that's an opportunity where I say, maybe I'd negotiate down a little bit, but I just list my pricing so it is public. So a consulting call with me is 2500. And so for an hour, 2500. And, you know, I usually I am B2B. I'm not really working with independent freelancers. So you know, part of the small working group allows me to go down market in terms of the financing or resources available to a buyer to work with folks that might be up and coming creators or established creators, you don't have the budget of a B2B brand, necessarily to hire me as a consultant, or you know, an advisor. So it's a $2,500 ticket just for the call, and you know, the prep and post stuff as well, that goes into that. But the group, it's the same exact price for way more time together, and also asynchronous communication via Slack for eight weeks, right? So I'm able to do that, the finances make sense, the economics make sense, because it is one to few instead of one to one.
Jay Clouse 10:34
Right, exactly. And that is why I'm kind of getting out with the align incentives, because I've done some some group, like a working group before in the past also. And I liked that, because the typical customer that I could work with in that working group couldn't afford my hourly rate. But I could justify working with that person, because I'm working with a whole crew of them at once. And there are people that I want to work with, it's just challenging economically to try to work with them, one to one. So I think that makes sense. And that is like a good, good align incentive for you, as a creator to offer pretty direct, actually very direct one to one time helping people because there's this group component on the back end, kind of scaling your hourly rate.
Jay Acunzo 11:16
Yeah, and you know, this is a good transition to what you're working on, Jay. So I, last year, about 18 months ago, maybe at this point, I started tried my hand at a kind of more formal community group where it's like open ended, it's not this like eight week working group focused on you know, very narrowly a goal or a project, it was enrolling the community, you're a part of the community, and I'll find programming to help you and add value and also retain members, right, and then grow that membership. I tried that, and I tried it with a pilot group, I think I had 20 folks enroll, and about half of them were paid. And half of them were just like friends I invited or I gave away a couple of scholarships for folks who didn't have the funds. And so I had this group of 20. And you know, what I realized is A, that did not steer into my core skills, like I am a storyteller and a teacher, I'm very good at audience related things, or one to one consulting and you know, like high ticket engagement, I really enjoy that stuff. And like creators, it's like the Spider Man meme, creators who pointed me like I'm crazy. And I'll point at them like, they're crazy, because they're like, wait, Jay, you sell 10s of 1000s of dollars per contract to a few organizations a year, you're nuts. And I'm like, wait, you sell a few $100 of course to 1000s of people a year, you're nuts, right? We're just like pointing at each other like and Saturday. So you know, I'm staring into both my strengths. I'm really good at the deeper engagements, I'm good at the one on one mentorship, I'm good at that kind of stuff. And also my learning from doing that community group was when I sunset it because I realized I am not a community builder and nor did I want to do that. I offered a way out in two different forms, you could pick to the existing members, I would reimburse you and I did for some people, or I'm not going to reimburse you. But instead of the community group, we're going to have group calls for the remainder of the year, one a month for 90 minutes. And the people who chose that, it was like the thing they'd been looking for from the community group that they didn't really get and I didn't offer, they like emerge from each of these calls. So inspired, so fired up not even just because I was there. But because I was able to like corral direct sort of just like have each other, you know, have the group help each other. So equal parts may be my value in the group, and then on the small group calls, and I was like, okay, so that's something, I'm taking that with me. I've learned what not to do. I've also learned one thing that I might try. And when I started to scope a new course this year around this topic of creative resonance, which I've been studying and blogging about and writing about, and podcasting about, and that's my next book, at some point, I was gonna make a course, a recorded course. And a friend of mine said to me, well, the upsell you just told me you're going to do Jay, is the thing you should just sell, which is the small group workshops or working groups over a period of time. I was going to tack that on to the course. And she knows me. And so mentor style, she's able to say, given all this context Jay, you should just make that the product. Jay, you've done something different. You're taking maybe a different tact where you are a good community builder, you seem to genuinely love that. And that led you to the offering you're now focused on, tell me a little bit about that.
Jay Clouse 14:12
Yeah, different approach, but similar style of like questioning that led me to get to my answer. So the Creative Companion Club, it is more of a classic community membership, where the majority of our conversation happens in a digital forum. I am experimenting with having like a companion mobile app that's just a lot more chat based and free flowing and fun and real time feeling. And I do lean heavily into programming inside of the community. Because I think what people need when they join any style of membership is a very clear sense of how do I use this thing? How do I engage with this and get out of what I want to get out of it? And also, am I on the same page as the creator of the space that they're offering to me what I want? You know, so I think it's really, really important no matter what model you go with when you're building a membership, to be very clear about your purpose upfront and what people are going to get out of it, and then make it really obvious and easy how to get that thing once I've enrolled in this experience. So I similarly thought from the lens of sustainability, I don't have the biggest audience in the world. But I figured, you know, this, whatever membership I offer, I can probably get in the hundreds of people to join depending on the price. But communities at a level of like several hundred people get to be a lot, for a lot of reasons.
Jay Acunzo 15:38
Jay Clouse 15:38
And I didn't really want to introduce the chaos of hundreds of people joining all at once in trying to like form bridges of relationships between hundreds of people, like, every one of those people could have a relationship with every one of those people were talking about 1000s of potential relationships that could be created in a community of hundreds. And as the community builder, you're kind of the facilitator of that. So I thought for a long time about pricing, honestly, because I wanted the membership to appeal to the right type of person. And I didn't want to have a huge community. But I needed it to be economically incentivizing for me to put all the effort into it that I wanted to put into it. So it became a higher priced community offering so that price was a filter to bring in people who are really serious about going pro as a creator, people who want to make their creator business their full time thing. Yeah, it plays the role of filter and also incentivizing mechanism for all the programming that I do in there, which is kind of a lot. After a quick break, Jay and I talk about the two models of selling products we see happening in our arguments for and against each of them. And later, we dive into the specific strategies that I'm finding success with inside of my own membership, the Creative Companion Club. So stick around and we'll be right back. Welcome back to Jay talking with Jay Acunzo. Jay and I are taking two different approaches to selling our memberships, which reflects on both our target customers, as well as our viewpoints on selling products in general. And Jay wanted to talk about those differences.
Jay Acunzo 17:13
I develop shows for brands for those listening who don't know what, what the heck I do. And I also used to give paid keynotes but with the pandemic and also to little kids under the age of four, I don't, I don't really speak much anymore. So now I'm looking for that next level down where the in between it's less per contract or less per skew, for example, the skew's less, it's still not a ton of people, it's not $100 for 1000 buyers, it's $2,500 ahead for nine a cohort, maybe I'll do four cohorts or five a year. That's it. What I've had to come to terms with is when you sell direct to your audience, there's like two different creator models. And I kind of feel a little bent out of shape that one seems to be dominant in the zeitgeist. So maybe we can just like talk about this, Jay? And pick apart both sides, because there's good and bad in both.
Jay Clouse 18:00
Yeah, what are these models?
Jay Acunzo 18:01
Alright, I'll give you an analogy. Toyota and Tesla. Most creators, because this is the most visible creator in the world or creators in the world, they have this model want to be Toyota. They don't use this terminology, of course. It's lower dollar amount thing, applicable or purchased by many people. So it's applicable to a purchase by lots and lots of people. So that is the classic like, it's a course for not a ton of money, and I can sell it, you know, what in my sleep over and over again, I'm gonna get out of time for dollars, I'm gonna drop the price way, way down, I'm gonna sell it to lots of people. So there's more of a link between audience growth and business growth for the Toyota model. The Tesla Model is much different. The Tesla Model is it's a premium product, with a premium price tag, sold to fewer people. And I think it comes with an added benefit that when you start with the Tesla Model, everyone else who understands what you do or appreciates it, you feel aspirational to them. So at any moment, if you wanted to, you could expand your market and do so efficiently by just coming down market and capitalizing on what is basically existing demand. So Tesla does that, right? Tesla is starting to come down to market, you're seeing new models that are cheaper, they're selling more to families, et cetera. Toyota, however, could not just go up market to expand their market or capture higher margin or higher price tag business, they had to create an entirely new brand, Lexus, because no one buying a Tesla was like, well, am I gonna buy a Tesla or Toyota, right? They had to create an entirely new brand. So I'm perturbed by two things. One is, nobody tells us to creators and the incentive because of the optics of fame and big follower counts is basically do the Toyota thing. So there's like this implicit, almost insidious approach creeping into people's minds. And it's also limiting. It is profoundly limiting and very, very stressful to tie audience growth to business growth that closely. It is limiting because if you are known for the person who sells to everybody, the folks that are more discerning, maybe they're advanced in their career as an individual or they're a team building a great brand, they may not want to buy from you because your reputation either doesn't even allow you to enter their ecosystem, or it sort of doesn't feel like oh, well, you know, you don't talk to my type of person or company, right? So you need a Lexus brand, you need to spin something out entirely. So I feel like Tesla models are less stressful, if you can do it. They're very lucrative, good margin business. And also it gives you more optionality. So that's my bent. That's my rant. I'd love it. Like if you pick that apart and saw the good and the bad in it.
Jay Clouse 20:35
Well, before I interact with that, your last comment about appealing to a discerning customer, I think about this all the time. It's so hard, like you said, to try to grow an audience rapidly if the audience members that you typically have are discerning people, because discerning people are slow to trust something. That's who they are. It's what they what they do. What I see work for a lot of creators who reach some giant level of audience, you know, kind of your, your classic Twitter think boy, if you will, a lot of discerning people will see the tweets of these people and think that's pretty vapid and shallow. And we agree with that I know what you're doing. This isn't for me. But then that person does that so well for a period of time that their audience gets to be so big that now deserting people are like, well, but there's something I can learn from you because you're able to do this. And it's an interesting kind of like, return to that person. But I still don't think it's from a different lens. It's not like I want to buy your product. It's like, I want to glean from you what you were able to do successfully here, even though I was smart enough for you to not pull one over on me. So I do like that tension that you called out of difficult to try to grow rapidly if you are appealing to discerning people.
Jay Acunzo 21:45
Jay Clouse 21:46
The Tesla, Toyota thing is interesting also, because I see this play out in the pro and in the con, when I was at SPI last year, and we were building out the membership community, SPI Pro. A lot of the people who joined right away, were people who had been following Pat for like a decade. But Pat's content has continued to serve an audience of people who are mostly beginners. So you have these people who have aged and experienced out of being a beginner who had no way to interact with the creator, but still, like really love their work and credited them for a lot of their growth. And having this higher ticket item is this more luxury thing was finally a way for them to reengage so I feel like there is always going to be some segment of your audience. If you are starting smaller, who age with you that want to go upstream and reengage in a more serious way, if you open up that valve for them.
Jay Acunzo 22:42
Yes, yes. I love that. And I also feel like, you know, we hear this pissy Maxim all the time, it's easier to keep an existing customer than when a new one, what the, you know, kind of giant names, you know, painting with very broad strokes here, what the viral tweets that you see from one account tend to be doing or what that person tends to be doing is arbitraging fear, arbitraging, you being a novice. So there's a lot of new people coming online, there's not a lot of new people using Twitter, a lot of new people to business. And what happens is, if you're like, okay, so this is the new thing, it's I don't know, crypto, it's whatever, take a thing doesn't have to be web three. But take something, this is the new thing, and I'm going to teach it and talk about it, etc. Eventually, people go, oh, I get it. And I'm also more discerning now. And I will choose who I'm going to go with for the long haul. And also the things that are built for the mass audience are sort of the average ideas for average people, right? So I've kind of focused my time elsewhere, that person is less useful unless they continue the arbitrage. So they'll say, okay, well, now the next new thing is this, and you have to be worried you're gonna miss that boat. And so what they're doing in many ways, again, painting with broad strokes, is they're constantly, there's always a next new thing you have to know, you never kind of age out or your taste doesn't evolve out or away from these types of people. And so on the back end, what they're doing is constructing business models where they can monetize in two different ways. One is to the audience because it's so big, it's not too dissimilar from a CPM or advertising model. It's a low dollar amount to lots of people. And the only way to grow, you know, advertising based revenue is you need more eyeballs, you need more people, right? Same with like a low dollar amount product sold to lots of people. But the other way they do it, is they flip there and you know, another form of arbitrage, if you will, they flip their aura or their their sort of perception into the premium thing. So they'll say like, I can now consult whatever brand here or charge some people a lot of money. And the reason you're opting into that is because I have this perception of look, I have a million Twitter followers, or you've heard my name. And so what I think is, well, actually, you can reap that reward when you have almost no followers and the more I've thought about that, the more I found all these creators who have almost no social presence that are making gobs of profit, and living a great life and building a business and doing meaningful work for their customers, their clients, their audiences by doing things like charging six grand for a two day workshop or virtual or in person for, you know, groups of 15 people or working with clients one to one or just they're just going full on into the premium model. And they never have to play this like arbitrage game. That to me aligns more with my values. I think that's why I favor it.
Jay Clouse 25:15
Yeah, I think another issue people have with making this Toyota versus Tesla decision. I think a classic fallacy people have, especially when they're just beginning to sell a product is to do a gut check with themselves of what would I pay this for this product? And the answer is always no, because you have the knowledge, you have the expertise, you have the ability to do this thing. So of course, you're not gonna do that it's impossible to separate yourself from the curse of knowledge to know how valuable that actually is to somebody who doesn't have it. And also doesn't have a lot of time, but they may have the resources to solve the problem with those resources instead, so they panic and they think, well, I wouldn't pay that so I'm going to lower the price. And that puts them back into this lower price, which necessitates bigger audience growth type of thing. And it is scary, you know, pricing.
Jay Acunzo 26:03
Jay Clouse 26:03
Creative Companion Club a $1,000 at a base level and $2,000 for the VIP level. That felt a little scary. But I also knew as a creator, the things that I invest in, are at that level, if not above, and we use price as a marker of not only quality, but we know it's a filter. You know, our friend Sarah mentioned, she saw somebody selling a, it was a mastermind program. And the mastermind program had two pricing levels, and there was no difference between the two. The text on the page simply said, pay for whatever level will put you in the room of people that you want. So if you see a price, you see, like, I'm going to join a mastermind, it can either be $2,000 this mastermind or $10,000 for this mastermind, you know, the people paying $10,000 are gonna be different people. And if you have the means, and those are the people you want to be around, that's what you purchase. Pricing is just such a trip on this stuff.
Jay Acunzo 26:57
Yeah, that was really interesting. It was like if you pay the higher tier your membership is going to be among the people who also paid at that tier, right? So the idea here is implied but effective, which is the folks that that tear are more serious, more successful, whatever you make assumptions based on who can pay that. And if you pay that you'll be around people that will help you in your career more so than if it's the lower dollar amount. So that's just the summary of that. I want to do, I want to acknowledge something, which is some creators are all for I want to price more, I want to capture more. And you know, like a great bit of advice I got there was, if you're not at least a little bit uncomfortable with what you're charging, you're charging too little. Like you should be charging a little bit more like you think this ask is a little too high. And this goes for everybody except the megalomaniacs out there. But there's another there's almost like a downside to this where you're saying, well, I actually said this when I announced elevate these working groups to my list. I had a PS section because I know there are very discerning like, I'm very fortunate, I have a small, but passionate and kind of long lasting very loyal audience, from a lot of premium brands. So I can charge higher amounts for whatever I offer. But there's a lot of independent creators, there are a lot of freelancers as I am both of those things. I also I think help people kind of get over some internal maker monsters like imposter syndrome and stuff like that. So I do also attract some folks that don't have the funds yet or maybe ever to pay for something like a $2,500 working group. And I get that. So what I decided to do was just preempt that and say in the email PS, just on the price here, I said, I understand that a premium product precludes some people from accessing it. But rest assured, here's what's going to happen with these funds. And I know you do this to Jay. And it's such an advantage we have when you can connect directly to your audience, you can say stuff like this. Number one, I said my free products will be supported by these funds. So I will continue doing the free things you were enjoying, because of this revenue. Number two, they will get better because of the ideas I'm learning in the group. So I'm like, this is what we do as creators, like we observe the world. And we use that as material for the free things that everybody can access. So as I'm working with these people in the small groups of Elevate, I'm going to be able to improve my newsletter and my podcast on everyone's behalf. And so I said when a few benefit, we all benefit. And then I also added something inspired by you because I think you mentioned something about the wedding with you and Mallory, I said I have two little ones at home under the age of three, under the age of four rather, and we're saving up for our next car, you know, I would like to publish my next book, I think I'd like to do it as a hybrid model. So I can retain the rights and give away a lot of free copies and do all these things you can't do through a traditional publisher necessarily. That's like also buying a used car. It's not cheap to do a hybrid published book. So I'm also trying to say I have stuff going on as a person too. And you'll benefit from my projects. Also I will benefit from the investment people are making. So like this is why I'm charging a good amount of money for these things because I'm trying to live my life.
Jay Clouse 29:46
I love that. So what Jay is referring to I did this experiment about a year ago where I added a block to the end of all of my core sales pages to say proceeds go directly to and for a while it was our first home and then it became our wedding and probably still is our wedding. I need to add that block to the Creative Companion Club page actually.
Jay Acunzo 30:04
Dog treats for Teddy. I think it's got to be dog treats for Teddy.
Jay Clouse 30:07
Well, Teddy has a thriving Instagram affiliate business now. So he gets all kinds of stuff for free.
Jay Acunzo 30:13
Of course, he does.
Jay Clouse 30:15
But yeah, I mean, we're humans too I think it's good when you can kind of close the loop on this because you can preempt it, like you said, but I had a partner who I referred somebody to him. And we don't have any type of shared, like agreement to say, I expect some kickback when I share somebody, but he knew they came from and he said, I want to actually thank you for this, became a big, a big client, a big project, can I send you some money? And I said, absolutely, you can. And then I told him exactly where it's going. I said, this is going straight to the honeymoon. So thank you, I think people appreciate that. Because it's like, where's this going? And oh, wow, I'm supporting your honeymoon. That's awesome.
Jay Acunzo 30:52
Jay, what do you think are the characteristic traits that make somebody thrive under one or either of those models, the Toyota model, or Tesla, so I like I'll give an example to Toyota one, because it's easy for me to be a cynic and say, like, oh, it's, you're just making a commodity thing. It's like everyone's trying to learn a thing. And you pop out the course as quickly as possible to get in front of that demand before anybody else does. But ultimately, the information in that course, or book, or podcast, or whatever it is you're offering to your audience. It's not that differentiated, it's not that special. Like that's the cynical view. But there is a world where like, this is how I'm having an impact on my audience's lives and growing my audience in my business. So there's nothing wrong with either of these things. I just personally have a preference. So for example, on the Toyota side, I'd imagine operational efficiency has to be one of your calling cards. What do you see on either of those, the Tesla or the Toyota model? As other characteristics that a creator should consider. Is this a superpower, because I think that helps them make a choice for the type of model they want to develop.
Jay Clouse 31:50
Operating efficiency is a good call out because my first thought for the, the high growth, lower price product was being prolific, like you have to just be constantly putting stuff out, because every piece of content you put out is kind of a feeder, a call to action to one of those smaller products. And also, if your business model is tied to audience growth, you just need to be prolific.
Jay Acunzo 32:13
Jay Clouse 32:13
For the most part.
Jay Acunzo 32:14
Jay Clouse 32:15
On the higher end side, I think it really comes down to your ability to contextualize and synthesize because at the higher end, you're probably having more direct communication with somebody, you're probably doing more listening, and understanding and replying back and giving direction based on what they're, they're saying. So I think you you need to be a good listener, and be able to take in a lot of data points. Because if someone's coming to you, because you're a good listener, and they want your advice, they should want you to be somebody who has seen a lot of different situations, and can filter all of that experience in that knowledge through the lens of this person's needs and this person's experience,.
Jay Acunzo 32:57
Jay Clouse 32:58
Which is challenging, because most people filter everything through the lens of oh, here's what I did, which is just not a good approach.
Jay Acunzo 33:05
No, what I've had to be able, and I think there's a difference between, uhm, and this, this plagues a lot of creators to especially B2B, where there's like ultimate guides and playbooks and my simple system and all that stuff. There's a difference between blueprints and frameworks, blueprints are, I'm laying it all out for you. And this is what you will use to go build. And that's really dangerous, unless you know that they can do the things you do or want to do exactly what you did. And even then, I'd argue you just don't know all their variables. But so a blueprint is very prescriptive. And it is very much like follow this to the letter, and you will succeed or you will make the thing. Frameworks however, and other related heuristics, I think are more like kind of little tools, you can bust out on the journey to overcome obstacles on route to whatever you're trying to do uniquely as the person in my audience. So an example of a blueprint, I think, is pretty obvious. It's like, here are the 10 exact steps to take or something like that. A framework might be well, you're facing a tough choice. So use Eisenhower's Decision Making Matrix, that's two by two matrix that plots urgency, you know, and how important something is, how urgent it is, et cetera, right? That's a framework where you can bring out that tool as you see fit. But what I've done is make something complex that you may encounter, simpler to access or execute on. I have not prescribed exactly what you should do the way a blueprint does. And so for me, I can't stand blueprints. I came out of B2B marketing, where every B2B SAS company publishes blueprints. I have published more ebooks onto the internet than I care to admit, I was head of content for HubSpot. I worked for Google like these B2B giants that had you know, Google's consumer, but there I was in the advertising side of the house. I was chewed up and spit out by like, tips and tricks are us essentially.
Jay Clouse 34:55
It's almost like you've written a book about going against blueprints.
Jay Acunzo 34:58
Almost like I broke the wheel. I break the wheel wherever you find your books, aka Amazon. Yes, before I wrote, Break the Wheel, I was just a disillusion pissed off marketer. So I like frameworks. So that's something I learned about myself, it's hard won through a lot of frustration, as someone can tell. And so I realized, oh, there is a business model that supports this way of thinking. But my ego is pulling me towards the opposite, because it's so sexy sounding to say 10,000 people on my list, 10,000 people bought my thing. I went viral today on Twitter. But there's an alternative path where you don't have to care about any of that, where audience growth and business growth are not as closely linked. And you can care more about the things that I think I care about. So I would put forth that one as vet whether or not you liked the blueprint type of education, or publishing, or the framework style. Are you more of a prescriptive teacher or a mentor? You and I are interviewers, we can use that to our advantage when we talk to somebody in a mentor like capacity. And that's why I'm doing small working groups, because I can show up with less prep time than somebody else, and be really effective in the room in an impromptu way. And I'm also really polished as a speaker, because my years on the road as a professional speaker. So I can parlay all these things into the working group into the Tesla Model. And I'd encourage other people to like, interrogate their own skills accordingly.
Jay Clouse 36:13
Yeah, I love that when I went house shopping last year, and we were going and looking at all the different homes that fell into our search in terms of bedrooms and bathrooms and neighborhoods, it was very clear which homes had been built from a blueprint that we had seen before. And we immediately rolled them out. We said, nope, not what we're looking for. And I think a lot of people who you served your creator, are also very able to spot something that was created from a blueprint. And that's probably not what they're looking for. The other point that I wanted to make on that is, I think information wants to be free. So blueprints, things that are information that can be reliably replicated, will just get commoditized and pushed further and further down until they eventually are free. So part of the reason why I absolutely love putting a community at the center of my business is, you know, I wrote my tweet thread announcing this thing, I can't teach you to be a professional creator with a pre-recorded course. I can't teach you to be a creator with a cohort based course, you know, I need time, I need a lot of time, I need to adapt to changing world conditions and changing interests and context from the members. So the best way for me to help people get to the place they want to be, which is a professional creator, like you and I, I need to be able to have an ongoing relationship with them, where I can understand their context over a period of time and adapt, you know, whatever guidance and frameworks I give to them, over a period of time. When we come back, Jay and I talk about the concerns that we have about our chosen membership models. And I get into the specifics of my experience marketing memberships in the past both small groups and larger communities. Right after this. Hey, welcome back. Jay and I are both on the other side of our launches now. But when we recorded this, we were right in the thick of it. The launches have gone very well for both of us. But at the time of this recording, we weren't so sure that they would.
Jay Acunzo 38:20
So we're both launching these new offerings. We've sort of delineated, there's like very generally speaking two different paths or directions, you can go and you know, maybe it starts to blend over time you launch the Lexus version of what you do or you come down market. Because you're Tesla, it's easy for anyone to hear people on a podcast, especially one as great as your as Jay. People could be listening and going well, they got it all figured out. I have XYZ problem variable situation can't figure it out, like disassociate from what they hear on a podcast. So what don't you know, what are the unknowns and the concerns that you have in building this community of yours?
Jay Clouse 38:54
Well, thankfully, it's already at a level of membership, where there's very good participation. And people are beginning to exhibit behaviors that are not dependent on me, meaning, you know, someone comes in and introduces themselves. It's not just me saying, hey, welcome, all the people are immediately saying, hey, we're glad you're here. I had an experience a couple days ago that was just like, mind blowing. I mentioned we have a chat based mobile app. And one of our members, Sarah said, hey, I want to start a thread on strategically thinking about going full time as a creator, I have this agency, the agency is killing it. It's awesome. But I really want to be a creator full time. So I want to start a conversation about that. I said, that's great. Please post it in the forum, because I have a feeling that that is something I'm going to want to reference over and over and over again. So I knew this post was coming. I got a notification that she posted it. I took three minutes to record a loom response myself, and two people beat me to responding to zero. So that's like a community builder stream is like, okay, the people here want to be here, they're active, they're helping each other. The unknowns are always retention, you know, it's an annual only membership. So a year from now, will people decide to renew, will everybody decide at once not to renew, that gets a little bit cleaned out over a period of months as people join, you know, next week, next month, two months from now, three months from now. But that's always an unknown is retention. And also right now the core of this model is what I'm calling these shared focus sprints, which are essentially, very lightweight, cohort based courses that are only available to members. We just finished one on creating a high converting sales page or landing page, it was a three week sprint, we had three live calls. And between the live calls, I was recording a pre recorded video with guidance to basically say like, here's how I would go about this, here's the framework I would offer, here are some options that you can model
Jay Acunzo 40:45
Showcasing your work or teaching in general?
Jay Clouse 40:48
Both. It was like, it was saying here are different examples, different styles of landing pages. And here's how I think about all of them. Chuck, here are some literally examples of different landing pages, I would loosely bucket them in either kind of like a an immediate email subscribe landing page or a longer form product landing page. And here are examples of both. And so I think that's actually going to be the biggest poll to this membership is these like structured, frequent, cohort based courses that are only available to members. But we'll find out because a lot of people join something like this because they want accountability. But then bad habits kick in, and they immediately run from the accountability. So it's, it's kind of figuring out how to best help people who have already said, this is something I'm interested in, continue to follow through on that commitment to themselves for the betterment of them and the community as a whole. What about you?
Jay Acunzo 41:38
So many concerns, my friend, unlike you, I do not have a long track record of creating initiatives and offerings sold to groups or everybody. Again, most of my business historically, as an independent creator, has been client work, developing podcasts, documentary series, often hosting them, I love that stuff. It's what drives me. But my ego goes, well look at all these other creators and what they can do they have more leverage, right? They have all these things. And actually, there is a lot of leverage in client services, there is a lot of doors that get open and it is very profitable work if you know how to do it well, you know, the way you structure contracts, all these things, the minutiae of which I really love. And we have a mutual friend collaborator who talked about, I always have a well designed PDF for something, because
Jay Clouse 42:25
They really do. They're incredible.
Jay Acunzo 42:25
thank you, thank you. So I pride myself in my website's design, and also the documentation that hangs off of it. But you get really good at documentation that you can send externally for clients, right? So leaning into that feels right, what still doesn't feel quite right as developing initiatives sold through some kind of sales page, not an invoice, not a statement of work, to even nine people at a time. So I have concerns about how does this pilot go? Will I fill it? Am I pricing too high? Am I offering too little? Am I pricing too low? Am I offering too much? So everything right now is a question mark. And that's why the more I approach these things, the more I'm like, what I have religion around is the model, this Tesla idea, that approach, not how I execute it. That's a test. Everything's a test, right? What can I sell? What can I offer? A ton of stuff, for example, I'm getting a lot of pressure from my audience, essentially to own the theme of B2B storytellers. Not brand story but B2B storytellers. I think everybody at a B2B business and every B2B creator should be a great storyteller, no matter where they show up. If they're being interviewed on a podcast, if they have a podcast, if they're launching a new product via a sales email, or if they're selling to a client, every single place you show up from fundraising, to fun conversations gets better when you communicate if you're a masterful storyteller. And so I'm getting a lot of pressure from my audience to just own that outright, because they want to learn, they want to use it, they see what I'm doing. And I'm very appreciative of that. But that's a big unknown. It's like, do I want to hitch my wagon to that theme forever? But at least I have that option, right? Like that's, that's the benefit of any creative business, where you do get to interact with your audience, is you get your ideas, pressure tested really quickly, and you can vet where to go from there. So that's why I'm actually heartened by this decision, because the trade off I made was Toyota or Tesla. Cool, I'm picking Tesla, how do I execute it? TBD. First car off the track is this, you know, it's not even really off the track. It's the concept car for what could go on to the assembly line eventually, are these working groups, but I can see a lot of scenarios where I do more things in B2B storytelling and all that stuff. So yeah, literally everything is a question and I do not want anybody listening to this to be like, Jay, in this case, it comes out it has anything figured out because we're all figuring this out as we go. So there's no reason you can't, you the listener can't do.
Jay Clouse 44:47
This is a thought for folks listening as much as it is to you, Jay. When I was doing my working groups with Unreal, back in 2017 through 2020. What I found was I had really good success, if I had a 30 minute call with somebody who was on the fence, I just had to figure out if they're on the fence. And so it was like, either I kept a CRM, which I did. And anytime I had a conversation, whether it was an email exchange, or whether it was literally a coffee with somebody locally, and we touched on something that made me think it'd be a good fit, the next time this opens up, I would follow up with him. And I would just say, hey, opening the accelerator backup, if that's interesting at all, we should have a conversation, no pressure, no expectation. And so the wind in that email was have a conversation real time, because I knew in that conversation, if it was a fit, it would become obvious and they would want to sign up. But you know, at a level of scale that I know you are, that's harder to do unless you literally email and it's like, hey, here are a bunch of 20 minute slots on my Calendly. First come first serve, if you're interested in this program, specifically. But people could also abuse that and just say I want 20 minutes of Jay's
Jay Acunzo 45:56
That's well that again, Tesla versus Toyota, if it's a Toyota model, like that doesn't scale with a Tesla Model it does because I can say I can be more discerning, I don't need it to be through a tool, I can just one to one email people and say, you seem interesting, like, this is how I would treat my speaking businesses. There are two types of gigs, there was a sort of pipeline gig and a backstop gig. A backstop gig, your back was against the wall, there was nowhere else you could go, this is one organization hiring me to speak, I should be very finicky and firm on my rate, because they're not going to hire me for another probably two years at best. And even then it's unlikely. But a pipeline gig fills your pipeline with leads and business. So it's a big Trade Association Conference, you're on the main stage of a giant event or what have you, people in the room can hire you so you can keep going professionally. So the same can be said of when you're in the Tesla mode, you can look at each individual you're interacting with and say, how likely is it that this person is serious about buying this? Or how likely is it that you know I could in a pilot setting, for example, except folks from known brands or with a known reputation as an individual. So I could ask them for a testimonial like you can make these very discerning almost one to one decisions that you just can't, if the object is I need a list of 100,000 people, hell, even 10,000 people, and I need to sort of open things up scalability. So it's non scalable, and I'm using air quotes given a certain model. But in my model, it's actually profoundly efficient. Because it helps me it's like the decision that helps lots of other decisions on the back end, snap into place.
Jay Clouse 47:28
Yeah. And you find out a lot about where your copy, which you think is just amazing, is falling short, because even stuff that's like written there, when people ask like, well, here's my concern, I'm wondering, like, how does it work? What's the structure like? And you think it's literally on the page. If this was the stopper of the question, how did you not find that? But then again, customers, right? How do I make that more clear and apparent. The other challenge that I always had doing a group model was people wanted to know who else is going to be in the group before they committed, which created this like, intense staring contest for weeks before the deadline. And so as always, like, I need to get someone who really believes in me, who is awesome to commit. And then when I'm having these one to one conversations, I feel comfortable sharing and divulging the fact that this is someone else's gonna be in the group, another domino falls over. And then suddenly everybody wants in at once, but communities about the people. So no matter what your model is, people need to have a high degree of certainty that the people who are going to be in there are the type of people that they want to pay to have access to.
Jay Acunzo 48:30
And you know, one of the most powerful things that any of us can do, no matter your model is to understand who your audience is intimately do some quantitative investigation that looks like a survey and maybe some other data through some kind of technology solution. But mostly, it's serving the audience and asking the right questions. And that comes through one to one conversations, like the most transformative thing I've ever done for my business. And I need to get back to this honestly, is offering to both my podcast subscribers and my newsletter subscribers, five half an hour calls available every month, first come first serve. And I would make sure that people weren't, you know, booking back to back months, where for 15 minutes, I would just ask questions of who they are, what they're dealing with in their work. I wouldn't ask about my work. I wouldn't ask about my, your ideas for my work, I care more about where are you struggling, what problems do you have that I might be able to solve eventually? And then the second 15 was, whatever you want. We could talk, we could just catch up, you could ask me questions, or we could talk about your work. And I would ask some questions and the first 15 of each call, I'd evolve it because it's like, oh, I've been learning this for a little while. I kind of want to know this next for my audience. So people go, well, that doesn't scale. And I'm like, no, the calls themselves don't scale. But the insights I'm learning inside of them scale magnificently.
Jay Clouse 49:38
That reminds me something else that I wanted to share for the listener who might be interested in their own community membership. One of the things I bucketed time for right away for the Creative Companion Club was to have a weekly 60 minute office hours. Then as kind of like a bonus, especially the beginning as like the people who are joining early. We're just like really early adopters and I want to pour the love on the people that are there early. I started opening up these 30 minute hot seats, which are one to one discussions, but we did them on Zoom. So I opened it up for the community come live if they wanted to watch and interact in the chat, and then I would publish that hot seat recording in the community as well. And that was all known upfront that that's going to be recorded and shared with the community. The feedback I'm getting from people who are just watching hot seats is incredible to the point where I've actually de prioritized office hours a little bit, instead of doing one every week, I do one every two weeks. And I've used that two hours every game as four additional hot seats per month. And so now I'm doing 30 minute one on one coaching calls inside the community for the same time that I've already allotted. And the people who are getting 30 minutes of one on one attention are like this is incredible for the price, and the people who miss things but wanna watch replays, it's a lot more obvious what I'm going to learn from this hot seat that was oriented around a specific problem than watching a 60 minute office hours where the questions happen organically. And frankly, I don't take notes on like, here's the timestamp of when this question happened. It's just not as good of a recorded experience.
Jay Acunzo 51:06
That is such important learning like that's why I'm excited to pilot this group, because it hasn't started yet kicks off April 11, through the week of April 11. Because once you get on the back end of a test, you can really then improve the next thing like, again, every every single time I launch anything, I'm like this has to succeed, I really want because my ego goes this has to succeed. And then hopefully my cooler side prevails. And I don't mean cooler like more culturally fluent, because not like a backwards sale years ago, no one is conflating me with anybody who's doing anything cool anymore. But like, calmer heads prevail, when you're like, what is the point of this thing? It's to learn. It's actually not to drive revenue. But I have to charge the full fee, because I'm trying to learn one data point is, are people going to buy this? And I had debated and you gave me some good advice to, do I reach out to some friends and fill this with a few free seats. Do I lower the price? Do I do anything that basically changes this into a different product, essentially, to pilot it. And all my friends who are much smarter than me said no, because you're not going to learn, you're not going to get good data, it has to be the thing as you envision it at least right now take a stab. And so to folks who are listening, I would say you're probably looking at or thinking about all these different trade offs about projects you're either already building or might launch. And the most important thing you can do is decide what is this for if you launch it. It's not for it to work, it's for you to learn, it's to get signal to course correct on the back end of that, because right now you don't have any data. And secondly, it's to get on the other side of a trade off as quickly as possible, especially because so many of the trade offs we make are reversible. It's like if I do this again the next time I could change the price, I could change this, I could change that like we overvalue or I think over deliberate rather on a lot of trade offs that ultimately are easy to change. And not too many of them change our work for months or years on end. So once you get on the back end or decide, it's like you can breathe again. And you can push forward. So decide what the project is for. And then as you deliberate all these trade offs, have that conversation, is this reversible? Or is this something I could do again and differently to learn if I took the other course, what would it be like? The answer is usually yes. So make the decision quicker, and only deliberate at length for the things that do feel foundational, and there's very few of those things.
Jay Clouse 53:26
It's a good point about how to kind of seed things early. And I think context is important here also like for a live working group. I don't think it makes a whole lot of sense to have free seats and lesser scholarships, and you can control the quality of the person or discount it because we're worried about make sure getting things filled. It's like the freelancer who starts discounting themselves. And they're doing these projects for not nearly enough money. And suddenly that person is telling their friends who also want the service for not nearly enough money, you like have to set the precedent upfront. It's really important. Yes, there's some magic in finding a way to get people to pay early before you even launch the thing. It might come down to just like knowing your audience and knowing some of your biggest supporters and giving them the opportunity early because there's been a lot of magic around the launch of the Creative Companion Club, because when I launched it, it already existed, like the landing page isn't theoretical in any way I could take screenshots of like, here's the community, here's what's going on inside. There are 50 plus members in there already because I've just been dropping breadcrumbs to my audience along the way, and people found a way to the rabbit hole of the secret door that I let them join early. But that's a hard it's a difficult thing to do. And I feel like we would need a lot more time to talk about that strategy unfortunately.
Jay Acunzo 54:44
There are so many trade offs, so many little things that depending on your model, depending on your project, like you know, I just got an email from a very large SAS company that I had talked to a person probably nine months ago like hey, I do this thing that you're trying to get better at. Let you know we had some prior hits treat with each other, like, this is a new thing I do, just FYI, if you ever have a need, like, thought I'd flag this, and nine months or six months later, she emails me and says, like, hey, I want you to consult on this. That's how my world looks, it's very much not, I'm gonna launch this thing and track these people on through, like, here's my funnel, and here are all my automations. That's not my world. So you have different trade offs and different decisions to make. And it looks very different depending on the model you're going to build. And, you know, I think if there's any sum up of all this too, for me, it's knowing that there's different approaches, being okay with picking the one that fits you, knowing what would fit you, that's most of the battle, because everything else on the back end is a trade off, or a test to learn to experiment to get some data and grow. And so most of us are trying to do the same kind of model, I think we need to just start by realizing there's actually lots of ways to build this kind of creative life of ours.
Jay Clouse 55:51
Yeah, I mean, there's so much blueprint, launch information out there about how to do launches the right way. And I ended up throwing all that out the window, even with this quote unquote, launch, for a product like this, for a Tesla level product, these are not impulse buys. Launches are really for like, warmed customers and or impulse buys. So I'm looking at this launch as like, hey, I know that this is going to be the first of six times that you're gonna need to think about this before you make a purchasing decision. I want the launch to be splashy enough that I'm reaching a large part of my audience to know that this exists. So that when it comes up again, a month from now or two months from now, it's not a surprise. And you know, you're starting to think about this might be for me, because it takes some people a long time to commit to something especially a discerning audience.
Jay Acunzo 56:41
Right. So give me those two dimensions again, they are its launches are for warned members of your audience.
Jay Clouse 56:48
Warmed, as in like
Jay Acunzo 56:49
Jay Clouse 56:50
Jay Acunzo 56:50
You can also say warned, like,
Jay Clouse 56:52
Hey, this is already coming, right, which means it's not even really a launch. It's kind of like an unveiling,
Jay Acunzo 56:57
It's way easier to open a restaurant successfully, when it's already aligned, waiting at the door, right? Like, it's just the why hide it, the fact you're building something. So warming the audience up, and then the impulse buys, that goes away, the higher price it gets the impulse buy part that goes away.
Jay Clouse 57:12
100%, it comes down to like what your market can bear and what type of financials they're working with, because $1,000 is not the same to every person to some people. $1,000 is an impulse buy to most people $1,000 is not an impulse buy. So it's not something that you can just make a quick decision like, yep, unless you knew was coming, or you're looking for something specifically like this. So you know, this is to say, for any product that you're launching, if you're trying to go upstream and have more of a Tesla Model, in our parlance here today, your launch may not be super, super, splashy, and he may want to think about how to change your approach from the cookie cutter launch tactics that you're gonna find online when you search for him.
Jay Acunzo 57:52
I love it. Jay, this was great. It was really nice to commiserate with you over a new thing I'm working on because you do it. You do it in office alone somewhere. And it's like I, wooh, here goes nothing, and also everything. So when you when you texted me and you were like, should we just do this? And you were like, do you want to do it now or do you want to do Friday? I was like, right, effing now, please and thank you. So if nothing else, I got a lot out of this. I hope other people did too. And if people do have questions about any of this stuff, I am a complete open book as I know you are to to contact either of us on Twitter, we should have a conversation.
Jay Clouse 58:30
Thanks so much for listening to this episode of Jay talking with Jay Acunzo. I would love to hear if you enjoy these episodes, this little mini series on the show. If you enjoy this format of show a more casual conversation between the couple of friends. Please tweet at me, let me know. I've been spending a lot of time thinking about community and memberships over the last couple of years. And I feel like I've really learned a lot. I poured that knowledge into making what I believe is a really remarkable community with the Creative Companion Club. And so far, it seems like everyone agrees with me. This week, we're kicking off a shared focus sprint, which is kind of like a lightweight cohort based course in the community focused on creating a signature lead magnet. So if you're focused on converting more of your traffic into email subscribers, this sprint is perfect for you. And last month, we focused on creating a high converting sales page or landing page. So between those two sprints, which you can get access to as soon as you join the Creative Companion Club, you can really do a better job of attracting traffic and converting that traffic into email subscribers. Just visit joinccc.com or find the link in the show notes. That's join ccc.com. If you want to learn more about Jay and Elevate, you can visit his website at jayacunzo.com or his Twitter @jayacunzo. Links to both are in the show notes. Thanks to Jay for being on the show. Thank you to Emily Clouse for making the artwork for this episode. Thanks to Nathan Todhunter for mixing this show and Brian Skeel for creating our music. If you liked this episode, you can tweet @jayclouse and let me know and if you really want to say thank you, please leave a review on Apple podcasts or Spotify. Thanks for listening and I'll talk to you next week.
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Guy Raz is an independent producer who has been described by the New York Times as "one of the most popular podcasters in history.”
Thomas is a YouTuber, podcaster, and author who helps people become more capable and productive.
Chris Do is the founder of The Futur and CEO and Chief Strategist of Blind, a Brand Strategy Design Consultancy.
Sam Parr is the co-host of My First Million and the founder of The Hustle. My First Million is one of the top business podcasts on the planet, generating more than 1 million downloads per month.
Tiago Forte is the creator of Building a Second Brain. Tiago has spent more than 10 years researching and personally experimenting with a new way of organizing our digital lives and improving our productivity as creative professionals.
Dickie Bush is the creator of Ship 30 for 30, a cohort-based course and community of people developing a writing habit in 30 days
Codie Sanchez is the Founder of Contrarian Thinking and Cofounder of Unconventional Acquisitions. She helps people think critically and cashflow unconventionally while allocating to what she calls "sweaty & boring" small businesses.
Hrishikesh Hirway is a musician and podcast creator. He’s the host and creator of Song Exploder, an award-winning podcast and a Netflix original television series, where musicians break down the creative process behind their songs.
After saving $100,000 at age 25, Tori quit her corporate job in marketing and founded Her First $100K to fight financial inequality by giving women actionable resources to better their money.
Marie’s transition from agency job to full-time freelance, her discovery of online education, her foray into creating a software product, the origins of Notion Mastery, and why her inconsistency hasn’t slowed her down one bit.
Andy J. Pizza is an illustrator and the host of the Creative Pep Talk podcast.
Austin Kleon is the New York Times bestselling author of a trilogy of illustrated books about creativity in the digital age: Steal Like An Artist, Show Your Work!, and Keep Going.
Tim Urban is the writer of the blog Wait But Why. Tim writes about topics including artificial intelligence, brain-computer interfaces, alien life, the size of the universe, and more.
Ali Abdaal is a Cambridge University medicine graduate, now working as a junior doctor in the UK's National Health Service (NHS). He started making YouTube videos in his final year of medical school at Cambridge University in the summer of …
Matt D'Avella is a filmmaker, YouTuber & podcaster that explores what it means to live a good life. Matt directed Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things, which was acquired by Netflix in 2016.
James Clear is a personal development keynote speaker and New York Times bestselling author of Atomic Habits.
Seth Godin is one of the most prolific writers on the planet.