Answering 12 listener questions submitted on Twitter

We have a special episode this week! For the first time, I wanted to do a little listener Q&A episode…which I’m calling a Mailbag!

A couple of weeks ago, I posted on my social media looking for listener questions. So if you don’t follow me on Twitter or Instagram yet, be sure to do so! I’m @jayclouse on both.

So today I have 12 listener questions that I’m going to answer for you. This may be a little more free-form and rambly than a typical episode of Creative Elements, but let me know what you think.

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Jay Clouse  00:01

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


Jay Clouse  00:27

Hello, my friend welcome back to another episode of creative elements. We have a fun new type of episodes that I'm excited to try out today. But I want to start this episode with a thank you to Ryde aka fashion app enthusiast who left a review on Apple podcasts reading Jays podcast is simply the best, the production quality is super high. The guests are amazing and the format is uniquely engaging to 10 out of 10 would recommend and quote, thank you read those ratings and reviews go a long, long way. So thank you for your kind words. And if you haven't left a rating review for creative elements yet 10 out of 10 would recommend you do so please consider doing so on Apple podcasts or Spotify. My Spotify ratings need to catch up to my apple podcast ratings. They really do go a long way in helping me bring in great guests getting featured in the show growing it making this show just getting better and better and better over time. And I'm gonna give you a shout out on the show here as well. We have a special episode this week. For the first time I wanted to do a little listener q&a episode, which I'm calling a mailbag. That used to be a thing online. I don't know if people still use the term mailbag for submitted questions, but I'm bringing it back. We're doing our first ever creative elements mailbag here today. A couple of weeks ago, I posted to my social media looking for listener questions. So if you don't follow me on Twitter, or Instagram yet, please be sure to do so I am Jay Clouse on both, but I've taken those responses. And today I have 12, listener requested questions that I'm going to answer for you. This may be a little bit more freeform and rambley than a typical episode. But hey, we'll see how it goes. And I'm excited to hear what you think of it.


Jay Clouse  02:09

On to question number one, this came from Cory Haynes on Twitter, he asked if you had to switch lives with one Creator that you've interviewed. Who would you and why? Really interesting question, Cory. And it's a hard question to answer because it's easy to see somebody's work and kind of project onto that. But you know, you can't really know somebody's whole life without getting a look at their whole life. People that we look up to and respect to have an incredible body of work, who seemed like they have an amazing lifestyle, they're sharing the highlights on their social media that you think you want, you're not seeing the the fires in their lives, or the things that aren't going so good. So it's hard to just select somebody to go after let me preface with that. But if I were to pick a guest, or a couple of guests who have been on the show, and the lifestyles that they lead, and who I'd want to switch with, I'd probably look at an author, people like James clear, or Todd Henry, I really like what they've set up for themselves and their business, because they both operate really small teams, they don't really have full time employees, I think James has a full time assistant. But Todd, for example. And we talked about this a little bit in his interview, he structures his business around him at the center, having a lot of partnerships and collaborations with other entities and individuals. And it's on like a revenue share basis.


Todd Henry  03:32

I've structured my business in a way that allows me to kind of sit at the center of what's going on. And I've managed to outsource every individual component of my business. So I have people who helped me with my speaking engagements, I have people who helped me with my writing to go out and you know, sell my books and manage, you know, sub rights and all those kinds of things. With my, I have a publisher, obviously, for all of my books, but you know, my agent handles basically as the go between and handles all of those things. Similarly, you know, speaking, Bureau people handle what happens on that front as well. So I've managed to keep my overhead very, very low. But I've tried to maintain that philosophy, I keep my overhead low, I keep my team very small, and when, when possible, I keep them structured in such a way that they are getting a cut of my success versus me, paying them something that feels like overhead.


Jay Clouse  04:27

That's kind of what I'm looking for. I don't really aspire to having a bunch of employees. Because I'm not great at being accountable to other people, even if they are my employees. I feel accountable to these people that I'm hiring and supporting and their development. I'm in a place in my career right now where I really want to focus on doing excellent work, creating really cool in depth projects, and then partnering with people to help make it happen and bring it to fruition. So if you look at a James clear or a Todd Henry They are doing these massive projects, these books that they'll put out once every year, every couple of years. That's where really their creative input is going. And some of the sawdust comes out on social media, but they've kind of opted out of the short form always on trying to be relevant all the time game, which I really, really appreciate. And I would love to have a life like that Bo Burnham is another person who I think does that really well. Not a podcast guest though, so I couldn't use him as an answer. Another interesting thing about James and Todd in their businesses, they serve both a b2b and b2c audience. You think about atomic habits, and it's one of the most read books of the last several decades. I think that means that that book appeals to the general individual, his content appeals to the general individual, but a lot of his customers are actually larger corporations and big businesses who bring him in to speak. That's where a lot of his money comes from. That's pretty cool to have two sides of your business to have a b2b side and a b2c side. And the b2c side doesn't necessarily need to know that the b2b side exists, you don't have to market yourself as a b2b creator, to also have that potential to serve those customers in your business.


Jay Clouse  06:14

All right, on to question number two, which was also submitted by Corey Haynes. And that is okay, because I didn't set any ground rules as to how many questions you could ask. And this is a good question. He says, which creator are you most impressed by in the world and why? I just mentioned, Bo Burnham. And I want to put him into contention here because he is really opted out of the always on Social Media Creator life, even though you know, he was an early YouTuber. Now he does these giant specials, and he'll pop onto Instagram a week before the special airs just be like, Hey, I'm still here. And special is coming. And it blows up. Because people are so excited to see his work. And they know it's long form work. They don't need to see him all the time, even though they would love to. He's been pretty outspoken about his relationship to performing on social media and how much he thinks it's a bad thing. So it makes a lot of sense for his brand. It's really cool to see people who go against what culturally and programmatically these platforms are asking us to do. So I'll put bow into contention. I will also say I've been learning a lot about Mr. Beast lately, the YouTuber I think he's probably the biggest YouTuber on the planet. I don't know if he's hit 100 million subscribers yet, but he's very, very close. But the scale this guy operates at in his mid 20s is unbelievable the things he's doing right now with his warehouse and studio in North Carolina. He's been doing some some really great long form interviews on the Colin and Samir show. And even Joe Rogan, this guy is bringing creators mainstream to entertainment, he redid the entire squid Games series. In a YouTube video, he built the sets in his own confines of his studio, and had more views on that YouTube video than the Netflix series itself. So that's insane. That's crazy thinking big. That's really, really, really impressive for somebody in their mid 20s.


Jay Clouse  08:11

Question number three, this was submitted by Victoria, the midlife creator on Twitter. She says, if you were starting over tomorrow, what would you do the same? And what would you do differently? And why? Great question and one that I really want to spend some time on because I think so many aspiring creators need to hear this. If I were starting over tomorrow, I would start way more niche and specific with my message. And my message. I mean, who am I serving? How am I serving them? What is my unique view on the world that really makes me stand out versus other creators, and not even just today, but thinking long term a little bit, because the best way for you to find success as a creator is to have this unique message that is unique to you, and also will continue to be unique to you. Let me give you an example. Cody Sanchez is on the podcast and episode number 93. She has grown a ton over the last just couple of years. And why is that is because Cody understands something about creating online that we don't I don't think so I think it's because Cody had over a dozen years of experience in finance and in buying small, boring businesses. So she had this unique perspective out of the box that she could talk about, and have all of these examples and stories she could point to, to create content out of as time passes. Cody will have more and more experience with these boring businesses. She'll have more unique perspective than somebody else who's just coming into it today. Now there could be somebody who's been doing this type of thing for 20 years that comes in and they can compete with Cody. But if someone is just on Tik Tok today and sees Cody's videos, they're like, Wow, this is a cool life. I'm gonna start doing that too. They're not gonna be able to compete with her because she already has a head start In what she's been doing for years, and a lot of people, when they get started as a creator, what I'm finding is they want the lifestyle of being a creator. But they don't necessarily have the unique experience to pull on to create something unique and compelling and differentiated and defendable over time. So in the beginning, what I would do is get really, really realistically honest with myself and say, what is the unique viewpoint that I have that has been built over my unique life experience? And how can I be as specific as possible as to what I'm helping a very specific person to do? If you're 23? And just out of college? That's going to be tough, but you can say, Okay, what did I do in college way more than most people, and my audience is going to be other college students. And I'm gonna teach them to do this one specific thing. I think it was Dickie Bush, who said, In episode number 97, he said, You have to choose your boring, you have to choose something that you're willing to be bored over and talk about that for a period of a few years. And I don't think enough creators are willing to be bored, bored, not only in the message that you're sharing, and the transformation that you're promising a very specific person, but bored even in the platforms that you're operating in, you could really just run at one specific transformation for one specific type of person and talk about that on Twitter for two years, and come out the end of that two years with a bigger business than I have today. Because you've been really specific and become the person who was known for that thing. And you've done it on a platform that has built in discovery and shareability. That's what I would do, I would start over be way more specific, I would also potentially start this show as a video show. And we have some video coming soon, which I'm excited about. But I started creative elements thinking that podcasting would be a new audience acquisition vehicle. And that's really hard for an audio only podcast, Discovery just doesn't exist in podcasting, you really need to be on video, if you want your podcast to acquire new audiences for your business.


Jay Clouse  12:04

Question number four comes from Trent Anderson, and it's a little bit of a right turn from what we've been talking about. He says what kinds of guest pitches actually excite you as a host? I love this question, because I get so many bad pitches on the show getting exciting pitches is a rare commodity. So let me tell you the secret, I get excited about pitches that actually fit the format of the show. I can't tell you how many pitches I get from people who are agency owners, and they're just trying to get on a podcast. And they think my show is about creativity and they run a creative agency. It's just not a fit. The show is about content creators content entrepreneurs. So first and foremost, I get excited about a pitch that actually knows who I talk to on the show. And the person being pitched is that type of person. When somebody pitches me a creator, I love it. It also means a lot when they have done some research and actually listen to the show. There have been some PR agencies who have this really clever tactic of leaving a positive review on the podcast, and then screenshotting them leaving the review. And putting that in the email to me as a pitch. I'll be honest, I like that, that means a lot. But if it's not a good fit for the show, it's still going to be a no. But if you are a good fit, and you leave a review, and you screenshot it and put it in the email that is very, very good. That gets me excited. I have also been getting this pattern of people who email me to pitch themselves in the headlines like Hey, I love Korea Development. And I get so excited. Like, yes, you love the show. And then immediately after there's pitching themselves. And to me that feels disingenuous, it feels like they might not actually love the show. They just wanted to pitch themselves to be a guest. And now I actually have a negative reaction of them because I had this immediate positive reaction like yes, I love when people tell me they love the show. But if you're doing that, just as a setup, to come on the show, I'm a little upset.


Jay Clouse  13:56

We need to take a quick break. But after the break, I talk about some of the highest impact questions that I've asked on the show. What I would do if I was just starting a podcast today, how to fight against shiny platform syndrome and more. So stick around and we'll be right back.


Jay Clouse  14:13

Hey, welcome back to the special mailbag episode. Question number five comes from Claire Emerson on Twitter. She asks, What is something that you hate to admit that you struggle with? I hate this question. To admit that I struggle with something. I would say that I struggle with the last 10% of making something absolutely great. When we think back to my second episode of the show with James clear, he talks about a plus work.


James Clear  14:41

Tim Urban and I have talked about this the difference between doing a plus work and a minus work. And it sounds like a fairly small thing and it's like hey, and a minus or B plus like that's pretty good, you know, nice job, but actually in any sort of media, books, podcasts, YouTube, social media, the internet It provides infinite leverage. And so all the returns are at the tail end. And so doing a plus work is it's not like 1x, or 2x, or even 5x. Better, it's like 100, extra 1,000x better.


Jay Clouse  15:12

And that idea just rings in my head all the time still to this day, and how the returns are in the tail end of the people who really do the top top percentage of work. If you think about an exponential growth curve, it's literally that the number one search result on Google gets twice as much traffic as the number two result. And then on down the line, it gets three times as much traffic as the third result. So doing something that is like tippy top really great is where you see the biggest returns. And to do something really, really, really great. I think you need to do this extra. You know, if you think about a Pareto principle, I think 8020, what is the 20%, you can do to get to 80% benefit, the people who really stand out, go beyond 8020, they're not trying to do the 20% Vegas 80% of the way there, they're gonna do 100% That gets 100% the way there. And in the beginning, I don't think you even have the luxury of doing that. Because of nobody's listening, during that great of work can be exhausting take all of your time and fall on deaf ears. And in the beginning, you need to get some practice some reps. But I'm going to state right now where I think I've done really good work for a long time. And to really grow from where I am today, I need to do a plus work. And that takes finding proprietary unique information. doing my own research, having more like primary research discussions with subject matter experts, developing frameworks, it's hard, it's hard to push yourself to do that extra little bit of work and polish to make something truly, truly great, because you just want to ship it and get feedback. But that is where I think there's a huge opportunity for me right now. I'll also say that one thing I struggle with is building relationships with other big creators in the space. What I'm noticing more and more about how things are really done today. And how people build big audiences, is they leverage the audiences of other big names. And they do that by building genuine relationships. But it is a very intentional pains, taking time required process to do the outreach, and then have conversations and serve that person and help them out and build these relationships. And I'm an introvert, and I haven't done that super, super well. But, you know, if I was a lot better at cultivating relationships with the people that have on the show, and they wanted to see me win, and so they're willing to throw a retweet behind something I write every now and then that would really push me and the show forward. And part of it honestly, is probably making the ask to say hey, what can I do to support you? What can I do to help you. And in the beginning, when you don't have a lot to offer, it's hard to do that. So a lot of people will build relationships with people that are at their same relative size. Justin Welsh had a conversation about this on the ship 30 for 30 podcasts ago, it's called something about like writing or something. And he talked about his intentional practice of building relationships with people at his size, all the way as he grows.


Justin Welsh  18:20

It's kind of like a, I don't want to use the wrong word here. So I'm not going to try that. It's like a system, right? Where there's like different tiers, right? Like, okay, I'm zero to 5000 5000 to 15,000 followers, right? Doesn't mean you're a better smarter person, the more followers you have, in fact, some people with a lot of followers, I don't think are that smart at all. But there is like a quantifiable thing there. You can look at somebody's other someone else's Twitter account and be like, That person has x followers, you can see that it's tangible. So what I tried to do is, as I grew, I tried to connect with people who were at a relatively similar level, to me in terms of followers, I felt like I wouldn't get big time, they wouldn't be too busy. Like, I'm not the kind of guy who has 800 followers on Twitter and is going to reach out to navall Raava Khan, right. Like I, I know, there are people who will do that. I'm not that guy. So all I did was connect with people who I thought were interesting in creating useful and valuable content, at my level,


Jay Clouse  19:20

for lack of a better description. And that's really, really smart and very systematic. And that's why he's been so successful. But I struggle with doing that because I want to make friends, but it feels like I know, it's not about building transactional relationships. But even if you realize that is what works and you realize, well, I'm not trying to make a transactional relationship, but I want to make a relationship because I know that will help me. Yeah, but it still feels kind of transactional. So I have a hard time getting myself into that space, but I know that would actually help me grow quite a bit.


Jay Clouse  19:54

So question six comes from the pod printer. I believe his name is Todd, what question She has landed the most impact for you when you interview someone further down the line than you. So I think what Todd is asking here is what questions in your interviews when you get the response from somebody, these people you interview are further down the line from you. What question are you asking? It's really helping you and delivering big impact to my business. I like to ask about major inflection points that people remember these pivotal events that created momentum or put some other things in motion. All the creators I have on the show have a story. And they know looking back the pathway that got them to where they are today. But it also seems pretty clear that they can really point to a string of just a few major pivotal events along that pathway that really got them to where they're going. And I think when you ask somebody, you know, what were the inflection points, what were the major pivotal events, and they can pull out just a couple of these things and points to them. That's really something to learn from, because everything in between, is what we already know, it's being consistent. It's making good work is trying to get better all the time. But it's these pivotal moments that people point to where it's a conversation they had or an opportunity that happened or something that they launched that had an impact that they didn't realize they would happen. Those pivotal moments are where I glean the most insight. And honestly, looking back on the show and the pivotal moments that people talk about a lot. A lot of the time, there's a lot of luck and timing involved, that were these pivotal moments. You know, it's Tim urban saying, well, in 2014, when I was publishing on my blog and putting it on Facebook, Facebook was trying to show that they can push reach of articles, so they could eventually sell ads against that.


Tim Urban  21:35

So in 2013, this is another way I think we got a little bit lucky 2013 Facebook was like a, I think they were trying to show. They were just starting like paid ads, allowing content creators to pay to have their stuff put on new season target targeting, you know, and all that. And I think they realize like we have a goldmine here. Because the amount of inferred data we have on the targeting, we can do like there's never been anything like this for creators. And that's true. And they're like, We want to make a splash. I just my guess I don't know, I haven't confirmed this. But for a small, you know, three or four of six months, they made it so cheap. And so this is when BuzzFeed was really blowing up. This is when Upworthy came out of nowhere blew up viral Nova, there are all these sites that book and we've what happened to be starting at the same time. So we would pay something like 500 bucks. And it would go to like half a million newsfeeds like some crazy thing just for a small amount of time. And it was like, wow. And so it brought all these people in, who wouldn't have seen it. And I put this like drawing on. So Facebook was by far our biggest engine. That's not true anymore.


Jay Clouse  22:44

That is just a timing, lucky thing that won't exist exactly the same way. But tells us hey, look for platforms that are up and coming that are doing new things, trying to feature new types of content. And if your content fits that try to be early on to the wave. That's the insight.


Jay Clouse  23:04

The next three questions are from Azur shod on Twitter and once again, there were no ground rules. So three questions. Three good questions are fairplay. The first he asks, imagine you have no big following listenership or network, you have just started a podcast, how would you approach big names coming on your show? Great question. In the beginning, if you have no network to call on where you can't actually ask a favor of somebody who is a big name, for example, James being the second interview on the show, he actually lives in Columbus, Ohio here. And I've said this a couple of times, he and I knew each other before I started the show before he published atomic habits. So that was just a straight up favor that I asked him to say, Hey, would you be an early guest? This thing doesn't exist yet. I know this is a favor to me, would you do that. And owning up to the fact that this is a favor, really helps. You know, even if you are reaching out to somebody cold that you don't have a relationship with, they know it's a favor, don't hide from the fact that it's kind of a favor, you have to show that you respect them and their time, so much that they respect you for your self awareness and initiative and reaching out to them. And that means going beyond just a cold email because these people get cold emails or cold DMS all the time that just has the pitch written there, you're not going to stand out if you don't even have a show yet or you don't have a following or listenership or a network, what I would recommend doing is doing a video pitch. Make yourself human recorded video of yourself talking directly to that person. And they know you took the time to do this personally for them, because you're going to mention their name in the video. And if you really want to go an extra step here. This seems kind of crazy, but I think this would work. Buy a domain name. If you're trying to get a hold of me. You can get the domain name Hey, Jay and host your video pitch to me on that website so that when you email me you put that URL there to say hey, I record a quick video pitch for you. And I see that you have gone On so far as to get a dedicated domain, I'm going to click it, it has my name in it, the video is used speaking to me personally, this really stands out in terms of effort you're putting into this. I know as a favor, but you showed me so much initiative. And if you respect my time and not try to rush me into doing this uncertain period of time, if you are low pressure and self aware, I am much more likely to say yes.


Jay Clouse  25:24

Question number eight, how do you fight against shiny platform syndrome? If you're not familiar with shiny platform syndrome, it's something that I wrote about in my newsletter creative companion. I will link to it in the show notes. But you should subscribe if you're not already at Creative companion dot club. Shiny platform syndrome is very similar to shiny object syndrome, but it's just speaking to the creators urge to start a new profile on some other social platform. Let's say you've already been trying to do Twitter for a while and you might think, Hey, I should do tick tock sounds like tick tock is the place I'm going to do that too. I think that for creators starting the biggest opportunity is being very specific and doing one of these platforms as well. Or if they're very related, like Twitter and LinkedIn, you could use most of the same content on both tick tock in reels and YouTube shorts, very related, but doing like Twitter and Tiktok. Probably not a winning strategy. It's just too different and you're spreading yourself too thin, probably too early. So how do I fight that? poorly? I'm losing all the time. I just started tick tock last week. So if you're on Tik Tok, find me at Jay Clouse on there. We're starting to play around with video clips for this show. But I think about the restraint that I see from other people. When I'm trying to fight this, I'm thinking about the restraint that other creators have shown quoting Dickie Bush again from episode number 27. He's stuck with only Twitter for so long. He stuck with it for so long, because he said he felt like he had a lot more to go in terms of growth on Twitter. He just joined LinkedIn. But I am nowhere near Dickies numbers on any platform. Why am I spreading myself across so many of these when I could just try to do one really, really well put all my effort there, do it really, really well. Because once you build up on one platform that you enjoy, it's so much easier to build an initial audience on another platform by moving that large group Over and Getting started that way. So try to find restraint, look at other people who have restraint, it will serve you if you're able to do it for a long period of time.


Jay Clouse  27:29

Question number nine, the last question from Azur. Thank you again, as I've heard so many great questions here. He says, How do you increase resonance on your podcast? What do you do to increase resonance with your podcast listeners? Honestly, all I tried to do is follow my own curiosity on the show, I build a pretty good business for myself. Now, as a creator, I'll break $200,000 This year easily, it's not impossible that I could also hit $250,000. But in a lot of ways, I'm still just getting started. I'm learning alongside all of you. And I don't need the polished glossy versions of people's stories. Looking back in retrospect, I need the real stuff, what actually happened to help people get from here to here. And so when I talk to these creators, what I'm really trying to do is get into specifics about decisions, they made things, they tried things that failed, but they don't often talk about and aspects of their success that were important that they don't also often talk about, it could be a relationship that they already had, or maybe they had funding from some other project that they could put it into this, or maybe they didn't have to work for a while because they're collecting unemployment, like those things have come up. And it's hard to look at people's stories, and try to take the path they took if you don't understand what that path really was. And people often have unfair advantages they're not talking about. So what I'm trying to do to increase resonance on the show is two things. Follow my curiosity and ask questions about people's journey that they don't usually get asked to get the real answers. And also highlight folks who are really closer to the breakout point. I love talking to people who have been creators for 10 years and have an incredible career and we know them by name, and they're amazing. But often their story is not something that we can really learn that much from is people who are doing it right now in the trenches and finding things that are working right now that we can take and apply that really help because they're building from the same starting point that we are just ground zero not that long ago. So that's what I'm trying to do to increase residence here on the show.


Jay Clouse  29:37

We have three more awesome questions coming up about how I stick to my content schedule, how I never run out of guests in my pipeline, and how to figure out what your audience wants and to make a digital product. That's coming up right after this.


Jay Clouse  29:51

Welcome back. We're in the homestretch of this mailbag episode three more questions to go. Right now. I've got question number 10. From Paul lemon Les Paul asks, You have always evoked this sense of calm, stick to itiveness that we all need a bit more of, what do you attribute this consistency to? Well, first of all, Paul, thank you for that compliment. I appreciate that. I would attribute this to my time in journalism. When I was in college, and I was studying journalism, they just really drilled into me the value and importance of deadlines. And if I committed to writing a story, that meant I was committing to having that story done by a specific deadline given to me by my editor. And if I did not complete it by that deadline, I was screwed. Because the story wouldn't run, they would not have space for it, or they wouldn't have it in the space that they allotted in the paper. It was just bad, bad news. And that experience just really built an incredible respect for deadlines in my life, my whole life is ruled by deadlines, my calendar time blocking. And so I think about deadlines as a commitment, it really followed through and built this, this healthy relationship to commitments, I'm slow to commit to new things. Because when I do commit to something, I'm really committed, I'm committing to it for a period of months, probably years. So anything that I've stuck to over the years is because I've committed to sticking to it, there's a risk there, you know, you could commit to something, and then it's not showing results, and you're so stubborn, that you're gonna keep sticking to it. You can overcome a lot with just brute force and repetition. But you know, when I make a commitment, it's usually here's what I'm doing. I know, it's not going to show quick results, I'm going to assume that I'm doing this for six months to a year, if it's even more unproven, and I really feel like it's just an experiment, I'll usually put a shorter timeframe on it. Like, I'm going to do this for three months, and then we'll see if I do it after that. But I would really, really, really encourage you to try to build a healthy relationship with deadlines and commitments. It's hard to do I know. But here's what I see a lot of people fail at, you have a task list, or you have deadlines for something, and then you don't hit those deadlines. What that actually does in your subconscious is change your relationship to your own word. You know, like if you're thinking about my word is my bond, when you prove to yourself that you don't listen to the commitments that you make, that just gives your brain the permission to rule things out when they become hard and feel like Yeah, but I've given up on stuff before, so I'll do it again. So anytime you're starting to miss deadlines, you need to like wipe the slate clean, you need to tell yourself, hey, this is not okay. I didn't hit this deadline. Here's the new deadline. And then you need to hit it. Because every time you do hit a deadline, you start to build this respect for deadlines and commitments in your brain. And you start to know, if I commit to something on a timeframe, it's going to happen by that timeframe, maybe it's not to the best of my ability, maybe it's not everything I wanted to do. But if I'm committing to a timeframe, I'm going to get it done by that time. Really encourage you to start to build that relationship to commitments and deadlines in your mind and start small, just one at a time.


Jay Clouse  33:15

All right, question 11. Our penultimate question. If you're not familiar with the word penultimate, by the way, incredible word means second to last. Genial asks, How do you ensure that you never run out of podcast content backlog? So essentially not missing your podcast release frequency? Great question. I just record more interviews in a release, it's actually pretty simple math. If you record two episodes per week and your release one, you're going to never run out of episodes, you're going to build up and actually are going to have twice as many episodes as you are releasing, it gets you in a really good spot. But you can span that out. You know, if you record three episodes over a two week period, you're still ahead. If you record five episodes over a four week period, you know, you're still ahead. So what I do is I like to get way ahead on recorded interviews. So this is never an issue so that I always have enough dry powder is what I call it, to put together an episode produce it, get it ready for publication, and to put it out there. Plus, when you're working with people who have the names that I bring on to this show, they often need to book months out in advance. So I need to have a lot of interviews recorded in the immediate term, if I'm trying to get big names to fill in the gaps. You know, for the weeks that it might be until I interview that big name. So I really just tried to get ahead on interviewing, I have my pipeline is in notion. So I'm constantly looking at that to see how many weeks of episodes do I have recorded and scheduled? I'll show myself these are recorded. And these are the interviews that are on the schedule. People have given me their commitment they're going to show up at this time, and I want to make sure that's healthy. I'm usually looking to have at least six in that pipeline. But usually it's more like 810 12 The more you get ahead on having and interviews recorded, the more you can swing high and try to get bigger names because you're not trying to turn an episode right away, you actually have more confidence that you're going to keep filling your week to week. So you can take the time to build the relationships with bigger names and try to get introductions and work through backchannels. Just to get it on the calendar. And that's what I've tried to do.


Jay Clouse  35:21

Okay, question 12? Here we go. Last question from Shreya. On Twitter, how do you know what your audience wants and make a digital product based on the demands? Great question. For me, it's about pattern spotting. What are people asking me in terms of questions right now? What are the things people keep asking me for help on or my opinion on that says these people hold me in a higher regard to help them with this specific thing? That might mean that they are willing to even pay for my help on that specific thing. But what is the problem that people are constantly trying to solve or even look at your clients? If you're doing client services right now? What are the problems that you're solving for them right now in a service based way, that is something that is ripe for a digital product, in my opinion, I also really love to pre sell things because it D risks the time and effort to develop a new product. Let me give you a couple of examples. When I first created my first courses, which were on freelancing, my freelancing school courses, I developed three courses, business for freelancers, marketing for freelancers, and selling for freelancers. I developed them just like, in my basement, he no in the dark, just went off and made them made slide decks, came out with I think, 48 lessons, three courses, didn't tell anyone that I was doing this, by the way. And then I put together this email sequence that I found based on a template for how to do product launches, and the thing just flopped. It just did not do well at all. I had two people purchase, I know exactly who they are, if they ever asked me for a favor, I will move mountains for those people, because they still made me believe that this was worthwhile. But that was a terrible process of building a product in selling it. Super high risk. I mean, I spent probably six months developing those courses before I tried to sell them and then generated $800 or something. Terrible return on my time, right. So what I do now is I pre sell things. And the first time I did this was with my podcasting course podcast, like the Pros podcast like the pros has sold close to $23,000 worth of sales. It's a $200 course. And what I did with this was I woke up one morning, and I had the insight man, people are asking me a lot, how do I produce creative elements to sound so good. So what I did was I went into my teachable account, I created a sales page for a course called podcasts like the pros. And I even mocked up the curriculum of it to show like, here's what the course would look like if it exists. Then I emailed my audience and said, Hey, a lot of people asked me about making a podcast that sounds really good. I will make that for you. If 10 People buy it on presale. So I had that insight of people are asking for this people want it, I came up with a course idea and structure that I could theoretically make. And then I emailed people about it and said if 10 People buy this and commit to it, I will develop this course and release it by this date. And what I did was show the price that it would be at retail, which was $200. At presale I said you can get it right now for half off, if you're willing to buy it at presale and show me that you really care about this. That really derisk the project because more than 10 people bought it on presale. And then I could go back to that same list and say, Hey, we just had 15 People buy it on presale, I'm going to make this course, you can still get it for 25% off until the course is done. So I had like a second round of pre selling at a slightly higher rate that again, people bought into because it was cheaper than the retail price that people now knew would be real because I was making this course. So I think I sold close to $10,000 worth of this course before it was even published, which is awesome. Completely de risked it. But again, it came from the insight of people wanted this last story, I'll tell you, with the creative companion club, my membership community that I launched in just march, I pre sold that as well. And what I did was I was just leaving breadcrumbs in my email newsletter, which again, you should subscribe to at Creative companion dot Club and On Twitter, just saying, Hey, I'm building a membership community. I have nothing to show you. I have nothing to really tell you about it. It's going to be for people who want to go pro as a creator. If that's interesting to you, DM me, and you can join right now for half off sight unseen. I had, I think 30 People join a half price before anything existed. So then I had a living breathing community of people that I was learning with and constructing with. And by the time I actually wanted to launch it publicly and create a sales page, I could just wrap their stories in screenshots of the community itself. and say this exists, you can join it, here's the full price. And it wasn't painting a picture of what could exist. It was just documenting what already does exist and saying, if you want to join this, come on in. It was awesome. That community now has generated almost $40,000 in sales for me this year, which is more than I've generated in sales for either of my courses. For you know, the lifetime of their existence is just incredible. So, listen to patterns sria. Listen to what people are asking you for what they're looking up to you for in terms of advice, and that is what you create a digital product around.


Jay Clouse  40:35

That is it for today's mailbag. Our first ever mailbag. Thank you to everyone who wrote in, I would love to hear what you think about this format. Just shoot me a message on Twitter or Instagram at Jay Clouse, let me know, do you want to see more of these in the future? What would you change about them? I like this format. And if people like it, I think I'll do more of it. Because I can even do this as a second episode. Some weeks as opposed to a dedicated episode. Could be a fun little series, so please let me know tweet at me or send me a message on Instagram at Jay Clouse, or if you prefer for it to be private. You can email me Jay at Jay And if you have your own listener questions, send me a voicemail. I'd love to record some of those questions and actually play your voice. Just visit creative and click the voicemail button on the right side of the page. I will use that as a repository to pull in some of these questions for future episodes. Thanks to Emily Klaus for making the artwork for this episode. Thanks to Nathan Todhunter for mixing the show and Brian Skeel for creating our music. If you'd like this episode, you can tweet at Jay Clouse and let me know 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. The longer a Sonic universe