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🧑🏼‍🚀 The Blueprint 008

The Artist Gap will explain all your frustrations as a creator, switching costs, The Juice vs The Sauce, splitting time and more!

Welcome back to The Blueprint, a series where I share an unfiltered, behind-the-scenes look into my journey as a full-time creator & entrepreneur.

For context, it’s been 8 weeks since I went full-time on my own. I’m super grateful to be on this journey and appreciate all of the love and support from everyone reading 🙌

Today’s topics:

  • 🧮 | Week 8 metrics & earnings

  • 🫠 | The Artist Gap

  • 🧠 | A collection of creator mindset hacks

A reminder that this internet game is not zero-sum. Everyone reading this can win at an unlimited scale. I’m writing this for the internet astronauts building their own digital worlds. If that’s you…let’s ride ✌🏼👩🏻‍🚀

POST PERFORMANCE

Here are links to this week’s videos if you want to check them out (my favorite to make was #3):

  1. 🚀 | Mr. Beast is gonna make a startup famous overnight: Watch on TT | IG | YT

  2. 📱 | Apple unveils a few surprises with the iPhone 15: Watch on TT | IG | YT

  3. 💬 | AI video dubbing just blew my mind: Watch on TT | IG | YT

  4. 👰‍♀️ | Sharing your wedding photos just got way easier: Watch on TT | IG | YT

AUDIENCE GROWTH
Weekly Recap

It’s been two full weeks without a “viral banger” video (viral banger = 1M+ views). 

At this stage, the lack of traction still affects me, but less so than it did in the beginning…a byproduct of consistent reps for almost a year.

What makes the content game so difficult is that I don’t know why the traction has slowed down. 

I’m following the same creation process and storytelling approach as before. Same topic picking method. Same cadence. Same posting time. Same quantity of videos.

If I had to guess, it’s that my average performance is slowly reverting to the global average, as more high quality storytellers join the short-form medium. Before, my C+ was a B, because there were less people attacking short-form with purpose. Maybe now my C+ is actually a C+.

So the goal is to:

  • Increase my hit rate (frequency of As and Bs)

  • Increase my average “off performance” videos to back above the global average

As a result of the drop in traction, you’ll notice my growth, channel income, and reach have slowed down significantly as well. This reemphasizes the need to build monetization channels outside of CPA/CPMs (working on this).

Here’s a quick summary of my other biggest takeaways, observations, and learnings from this week:

  • 🏆 | Wins: Of my 4 videos this week, I was very happy with my final product on AI video dubbing. Making this video blew my mind and allowed me to learn a couple new editing skills (the rewind editing effect at the beginning, 4-in-1 language screen). If you haven’t watched that video, you should (link above).

  • 🧐 | What’s next?: I’ve been thinking a lot about how I can take my content to the next level. It may sound silly coming from someone with 400K followers, but I feel like my current format and delivery won’t be able to scale to millions. When I watch the top creators, their delivery feels like they are talking with me vs selling to me. When I listen back to my own videos, I cringe at myself practically screaming into the camera, creating a preachy delivery that doesn’t seem super relatable. I’m pretty introverted and low emotion normally, so I really try to overcompensate on the vocal delivery when I record. I’ve been thinking a lot about how to evolve my content. When am I at my best? What type of videos am I uniquely suited to make based on my interests, skills, and experiences? How should those be packaged? I just moved to a new apartment and am going to set up a new studio look and infuse some big changes moving forward. Kallaway Season 2 is coming soon 💪🏼

  • ⚙️ | Tiktok: The Tiktok algorithm has changed. My north star for a viral video used to be a 10% like/view ratio. As long as you were getting 10 likes per 100 views, that thing would sail to the moon. Things have changed. If I had to boil down “how to go viral” to one metric, it’d be share rate. If more people are sharing your content with their friends, your video will spread faster. So the question is…how do I drive more shares? 🧐

STRATEGY

The Artist’s Gap

Lately I’ve been obsessed with this concept I call “The Artist Gap.” It perfectly explains all creative frustrations I’ve ever had.

Hopefully sharing this as a mental framework will help you work through future rough patches in your own creative process.

The Artist Gap is the difference between your skill level today and the skills needed to create your desired output.

The wider the gap, the more frustrated you’ll become and the harder you’ll have to work to keep yourself in the game (because the harder it will be to live with mediocrity).

The narrower the gap, the closer you become to your desired state, and the happier you’ll be with your process.

This applies to all creative mediums, from writing and photography to coding and shoe design.

Here’s a more tactical example (using my journey)…

My goal is to be able to use my videos to make a ton of money, unlock priceless access, work with my favorite brands, and meet amazing people. Sounds simple enough!

So naturally, I think about people who have used videos to do that. There are lots, but let’s take Sam Kolder or Peter McKinnon.

When I first watched Sam and Peter’s videos, my first thought was, ”those are sick, but I could eventually learn how to do that.”

So then I tried making a video.

Their skills were 99/100. My skills were 1/100. That’s a huge gap.

When my video turned out super lame (because of course it did), I got sad/frustrated/angry/etc.

Most people quit right here because they look at this huge skill gap and assume they’ll never be able to close it. It’s like looking at Everest from the base. Holy shit that’s gonna be hard to climb.

But in this example, I kept going.

Over time I slowly unlocked more skills. I started to climb up. First 5/100, then 8/100.

I’m still not anywhere close to 99/100, but I’m getting better.

My “Artist Gap” is shrinking, and I’m starting to feel better about my work.

Here’s the truth…

The only way to close that gap is to build real skills on your end.

There is no cheat code. There is no shortcut.

If there was a 1,000 hour course you could take to become Peter McKinnon, hundreds of thousands of people would have taken it and we’d have hundreds of thousands of Peter McKinnon’s running around.

That course doesn’t exist and we only have one Peter McKinnon because there is no shortcut to developing those skills.

You develop skills by biting off a tiny bit more than you’re able to chew, struggling through it, learning, developing scar tissue, and repeating.

If you’re a 2/100 today, do a 4/100 project. Struggle to do it, but do it. Learn. Become a 4/100 and then keep going.

But know that you’re not going to like the 4/100. Because in your mind, “good” is 88/100.

The true winners build the patience to keep grinding until their skills catch up to their vision.

As soon as you understand it’s unreasonable to expect beginner skills to produce master output, you’ll be less emotional about your current state and more willing to keep going.

MINDSET ROUNDUP

Here are a couple of quick mindset shifts & frameworks I’ve been using to help level up my life and content:

Switching Costs

The most expensive things in your life are switching costs. Every time you think about the errands you have to run or you pick up your phone in the middle of a work sprint, you’re introducing friction into your creative thinking. That lapse in concentration, even if only for a few seconds is keeping you from being great.

I was shocked to find out that it can take 15-20 minutes to get back into a flow state after you’ve been knocked out of one. Think about how many times you pick up your phone during a 2 hour working window…

Your mental overload and scattered brain are drowning your creative potential. Do everything you can to eliminate switching costs.

Splitting Time

To build on the above, I try my best to bucket my days across Health, Business, Art and Family to best eliminate switching costs.

I like to keep my day free flowing within each bucket to allow for creative tangents and activities, but I’m fairly strict about the blocks.

For me, my ideal schedule (during the week) looks something like this:

  • Health (6-9am)

  • Business (9-11am)

  • Art [making videos] (11-5:30pm)

  • Family (5:30-8pm)

  • Health (8-9:30pm)

If there’s interest, I can go through a deeper dive into each bucket, but this has really helped me partition out my days to best optimize for output.

After my initial health block, I feel like I have won the day internally, no matter what else happens.

The Juice and the Sauce

Sadly, this is not a smoothie shop that also sells pasta sauce. This is a framework I use to help me think about how I’m trying to build my personality online.

The Juice is a metaphor for someone that is an X-factor. When someone “has the juice” it means that you want them on your team. They have that dawg in them. They are someone you don’t want to go up against because they have relentless competitive drive. An example of someone with the juice is Tyler Denk, the Co-founder of Beehiiv (the email platform I’m sending this on). Whatever it is…this guy has it.

The Sauce is a metaphor for swag. When someone “has the sauce,” they are buttery smooth. They’ve got charisma (the rizz for the boomers reading this), that silky smooth delivery. They are the person that is beloved by everyone because everything they touch turns to gold. They eat chocolate imported from Switzerland only. An example of someone with the sauce is Karl Shakur. Everything Karl puts out is dope.

The goal is to have both the juice and the sauce. Having both is god mode.

SHARE

If you liked today’s post and you know another creator building their own kingdom on the internet, it’d mean the world if you shared this with them 🤙🏼