🧑🏼‍🚀 Blueprint 025

Building a world for world builders, the attribution of fandom, bangers + bingers + builders, Nick Bare

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

It’s been 25 weeks since I went on my own full-time.

Today’s topics:

  • 📈 | Week 25 recap and metrics

  • 💥 | My new approach to content: Bangers + Bingers + Builders

  • 🎯 | Nick Bare and the attribution of fandom

  • 🗺️ | I’m building a world for world builders

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 worlds. If that’s you…let’s ride ✌🏼👩🏻‍🚀

WEEKLY RECAP
Recap

Had a video go nuclear this week on all platforms…it was my take on the cult phenomenon behind Stanley Cups, a 40 oz. water bottle/cup that has become a bigger status symbol than Louis Vuitton (joking…kind of).

And even though short-form views are mostly empty calories, it felt good to see this one resonate with so many people.

The traction on this video plays nicely into something I’ve been thinking a lot about…my content strategy.

What type of videos should I make?

I’ve realized that people love following journeys more than any other type of content.

X person doing Y thing overcoming Z obstacle to accomplish A goal.

If I want to build a cult following around “Kallaway” as a brand, I need to be much better at storytelling through a journey.

I hadn’t really been doing that up to this point.

As of now, the only consistent content I produced around a journey is this newsletter…which in my opinion, has the deepest cult fandom of any content property I’ve created.

So here’s a framework for how I’m going to start thinking about video content across short-form and YouTube: Bangers + Bingers + Builders

Bangers

Bangers are pretty self-explanatory.

These are my attempts at videos that I think will generate the widest possible reach based on my current skillset today.

The Stanley video was an example of a Banger that fully connected.

In Banger videos, I’m specifically picking topics and engineering the script/edit to go viral.

The majority of the time spent is on optimization with the existing tools I have in my toolbox (vs trying to learn new skills that I haven’t yet validated).

Bangers are designed for one purpose…bring maximum new eyes into my world.

Now you might be wondering…why wouldn’t you try to create only Bangers?

In season 1 of my content journey, this is what I did. I tried as hard as I could to make all my videos go as viral as possible.

The problem with a Banger-only content strategy is that your following quickly becomes too wide.

And when your following is too wide, niche content designed to sell products performs poorly.

It gets throttled down by the algorithm before it reaches your intended audience because it didn’t resonate with everyone else.

If you have a 200K person audience, but only 20K are your intended demographic, a niche video designed for the 20K will never make it to all of them because it doesn’t appeal to the other 180K.

Said another way, if the algo takes a random sample of 100 followers, and 90 aren’t going to be interested in that content…it’ll flop.

Bangers typically come from fresh takes on trending stories.

And while it’s helpful to have spikey influxes of new eyes, what you really want is for your intended demographic to follow you.

For me, I describe this as creators, entrepreneurs, and builders, or those who aspire to be one.

Rather than have 10,000 new people across gen pop demographics follow me from a single video, I’d rather have 2,000 of the “right people” follow me.

This is so that when it comes time to sell a product or service, I have a higher density of applicability.

Bangers are helpful because they expose your profile to lots of new eyes at one time, but it’s important to optimize your profile (bio, pinned posts, pro pic) so that your intended audience are the ones that follow.

Bingers

Bingers are pieces of content designed to create a rabbit hole that your true fans can go down.

Where Bangers are designed to help expose your true fans, Bingers are designed to give them things to chew on once they find you.

I find that longer-form content is best suited for Bingers because it builds trust the fastest.

So for me, our podcast wknds and this newsletter Blueprint are two examples of Binger content.

If you’re a creator/builder/entrepreneur trying to use content to grow an audience, build brands, and sell products, you’re going to be happy spending 3 hours going down the wknds/Blueprint rabbit holes.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how to create Binger content through the short-form medium as well.

To me that looks more like a raw style of video where I rehash the best topics from Blueprints or wknds, but in a more snackable package.

I also think making series is a great way to create short content that is bingeable.

Instagram doesn’t have a great foldering system to help categorize series, but this can be done through thumbnail titles. It’s also easier to do on Tiktok and YouTube as playlists.

Bingers inherently will not pull as many views as Bangers, but should have deeper engagement with a higher comment to view ratio.

Your truest fans will look forward to your Binger content the most.

Builders

Builders are videos designed to help build your skills as a creator.

The goal is to try a new storytelling framework, editing style, or infuse a specific editing technique.

As hard as it may be, you should not care at all how Builder content performs. It’s not for your audience, it’s for you to learn how to be better for them in the future.

You may be wondering…if it’s not for them, why would I post it at all?

For the same reason that 95% of courses aren’t finished even though the participant paid…without forcing yourself to post in public, you won’t actually learn the new skill.

For example, in my “Kallaway Season 2” video, I wanted to learn how to use masking to put myself on the TV screen (shown in the opening clip) and try using internet b-roll to tell a story (instead of my typical A-roll only style).

This video was designed for me to learn those skills, rather to pull a ton of views.

It ended up performing well because it helped show my journey (see below), but I didn’t feel bad that it didn’t go viral.

It’s important to infuse Builder content into your mix so that you’re continually trying new things and pushing the envelope for what’s possible.

Once you’ve honed a new skill from a Builder video, you then have it in the toolbox to make better Bangers.

— — — — — — —

Now to my point above, if people love following journeys more than any other type of content, how can I infuse more journey content into the Bangers + Bingers + Builders framework?

There’s two ways to do it.

Builder content is inherently journey contentwatch me figure out how to learn this skill.

So if your goal is to include more journey content, get better at showing the behind the scenes of you building new skills.

My homie Brandon Wang is a master of this. He showed the behind the scenes of building physical products for his company, Blanked Studios. Another good example is Zack Kravits, building a luxury bag brand.

The second way to infuse more journey content is longer-form, vlog style Binger content that happens to showcase behind-the-scenes.

Calum Johnson and Zach Pogrob are doing this. I’m going to start doing this on YouTube as well.

My strategy will be to film weekly Blueprint vlogs (horiztonal) and then create a highlight reel (vertical) on short-form to drive people to YouTube.

Btw, my homie Oren also has a great way to frame content strategy, following a wide → narrow funnel. If my framing resonated with you, you’ll like this video he made talking through his content strategy.

THE ATTRIBUTION OF FANDOM
The attribution of fandom, a birds-eye view of discovering Nick Bare

If you’re an entrepreneur, this will be the most important thing you read this week.

Quick context:

Attribution is how brands determine what drives a sale.

For example, if you click an IG ad and buy a product, that brand knows with 100% certainty that the IG ad is what “worked” to convert you.

This helps give them signal that IG ads are working and they should put more spend behind them.

But typically, attribution is hard to measure online.

This is because you might hear about a brand on a podcast, see an ad in the subway, get texted a link from a friend, see an organic video they made, and then type the brand URL into google and buy.

This shows up as “organic search” for attribution, but that’s a bit misleading.

The brand has a hard time knowing that all those other marketing sources fractionally contributed to earning your trust and helping to drive the sale.

This makes it hard for them to know where to spend more money to convert future prospective customers like you.

Here’s why all of this is relevant…

Recently, I went down a rabbit hole on Nick Bare, a hybrid athlete, founder of supplement company Bare Performance Nutrition.

I went from zero awareness to a fan in about 3 days. By the end of that 3 day period, I had converted and bought a product from Nick.

What’s interesting is analyzing how that happened…what were my points of exposure that converted me to a fan?

I call it the attribution of fandom.

This will help inform your perspective on why fans become fans.

I’m going to go through the full journey, what I thought in the moment, and why Nick won.

The context will be in yellow, my thoughts at the time will be in blue, and my analysis of Nick’s positioning will be in white.

Discovering Nick Bare

The only exposure I had to Nick Bare at the beginning of this was hearing his name mentioned a couple times from Sam Parr, co-host of My First Million.

Sam had said Nick Bare was a freak athlete, so in my head, that’s what I thought of him as. Other than that, I had never seen anything from Nick.

First Exposure: I saw that Nick Bare and Sahil Bloom were guests on My First Million, a podcast that I enjoy. So I started listening.

Pretty quickly I learned that Nick was:

  • A hybrid athlete (spends a lot of time both running and lifting)

  • A business owner (runs a successful supplement company)

  • A content creator (uses content to drive sales for supplement company)

  • A good dude (seemed like a nice guy, trustworthy and authentic)

As I listened I was thinking, “I like this guy.” He comes off smart and super likable. He’s also very applicable to me as someone that’s interested in health, trying to add running to the mix and focused all day on using content to build businesses.

As a guest on a podcast I already liked, my guard was down and ready to learn about someone new. Nick did a really good job of being his authentic self and talking about the topics that permeate through everything he does…hybrid athlete, content creator, entrepreneur.

So Learning #1 is that if you’re trying to convert fans, you should always be sharing your perspective around topics and ideas that will show up in other places across your ecosystem.

Learning #2 is that it’s helpful to go on other platforms where there is already a warm audience.

Trying to convert new fans through an algorithm is neutral at best, but going on podcasts where fans are already excited to hear their favorite people (Sam) talk to their favorite people (Nick) is a big advantage.

Learning #3 is how important it is to be likable. When you’re likable, people will magnetically gravitate towards you sooner. It’s a big advantage to be default likable.

During the podcast, Sam referenced being a guest on Nick’s podcast as well as his favorite YouTube video that Nick created, a documentary about him running a 100 mile race in Leadville.

Now what’s important is that Nick didn’t bring up these things actively trying to promote them.

Sam (the person I trust) is the one that brought them up, gushing about how great they were and how the quality was so impressive.

Learning #4 is that it helps to build a library of super high quality content that is so good others can reference as they talk about you. Don’t actively promote your stuff unless people directly ask you to.

People don’t like being sold to. They’re happy to buy when a high quality product organically solves their problem, but they hate being sold to directly.

Because of this MFM podcast, the next day, I searched for Nick’s podcast. I was looking for his episode with Sam Parr, couldn’t find it, but saw that he had an episode with Chris Williamson (host of Modern Wisdom), someone else that I trust.

So I listened to the full episode (90 mins).

By this point, I’ve now consumed nearly 3 hours of Nick’s long-form content and have already made up my mind that I trust and like him.

This is what I call, the conversion point.

Notice that it only took 2 long-form content pieces before I was fully bought in that I liked this person.

When you’re the intended audience for someone, that is often how quick the conversion can happen if the messaging is strong, the content quality is high, they’re being authentic, likable, and not trying to sell or scheme them.

After listening to Nick’s episode with Chris, I found his episode with Sam and listened to that whole piece as well…I’m now 4.5 hours of content in on Nick Bare.

Throughout the episodes, Nick’s guests (specifically Sam) bring up his other businesses, the supplement company as well as his training app for hybrid athletes.

Again, Nick is not actively pushing these things. His guests are the ones bringing them up and then he candidly and openly talks about them.

Nick realizes his goal is to make you want to be more like him, by visualizing and describing his life.

If you do want to be like him, he’s made products (supplements/coaching) that will help you do that.

Learning #5: He realizes his job is not to open the door to those products. His friends, colleagues, guests, and other fans will open the door for him. His job is to make sure those products are messaged correctly and above the expected quality threshold when the door is opened.

Again in this episode with Sam, he mentioned the Leadville 100 documentary and how amazing this piece was.

This time, Nick provides more context around what it was, why it was so hard to film, etc.

Nick also mentioned his marathon prep videos and Sam talks about how those were the first ones he watched.

So naturally, I go to YouTube, find Nick’s channel and watch his video about running under a 3 hour marathon for the first time.

Now to this point, I’m a fan of Nick the businessman and the athlete, but I’m not yet really bought into him as person.

On podcasts, he is really good about spreading his beliefs and covering topics he cares about, but it’s on YouTube where you really become invested in him as a person.

So I watch his sub-3 hour marathon video. Then I watch his sub-2:50 marathon video. Then I watch his sub-2:40 marathon video. Then I finally get to the Leadville100 documentary.

It’s 2am at this point.

Of course, each of these are breadcrumbs tagged at the end of other videos (which is great optimization from him and his team).

What’s most important is that as you watch these videos, you become invested in him as a person and want to be like him.

These videos show you who he really is. Who is wife is. Who his team is. His coach, etc. He built a world of characters with him at the center.

Again, in these videos, he’s not trying to sell product. He’s trying to sell a lifestyle.

If you want to be like him, you’ll want to take the products he takes…which he happens to sell.

It was at this moment I realized why YouTube and long-form content is so much more powerful than anything else (if done right).

It drives narrative and storytelling around a journey. That journey builds trust. That trust build fandom. Those fans buy products and amplify the narrative.

Now that’s a flywheel.

Learning #6: Once I’m in the flywheel, eventually I’ll come across his products at the right time. Which is exactly what happened.

I watched a different one of his videos, saw him walk through his training app (which has running + lifting workouts) and subscribed.

This is how real fandom and attribution works on the internet. And it happens everyday across thousands of creators for millions of fans.

Here are the learnings distilled and how I plan on adapting my content to leverage them:

  • Be likable. The fastest way to convert a fan is to be on topic for what they’re looking for and likable enough for them to be willing to go down the rabbit hole

  • Lean long-form. If it takes 60 content minutes to convert someone, it’ll take fewer long-form pieces to get there. I’ve gotta go much heavier into long-form

  • Drive narrative around a journey. People like following journeys much more than fact-based stories. Find a way to show more of the journey

  • Be consistent in the messaging. Across my own platforms and as a guest on others, be consistent about the things I’m known for and what I like to talk about

  • Grease the rails. The reason Nick’s content funnel worked so well is because he spent time to make sure everything connected (messaging cross platforms, one youtube video leading to the next, talking about one medium on another, etc.). Help lead people from one thing to the next

  • Optimize for quality. The reason I kept watching his YouTube videos until 2am is because they were really really good. If you try to game this with low quality and volume, it will not work in the long-term. Keep quality high

BUILDING FOR WORLD BUILDERS
World builders

My experience reflecting on Nick Bare’s fan attribution flow made me realize how important it is to define who you’re building for.

Nick is building for the hybrid athlete…people who want to take both running and lifting seriously.

So who am I building for?

World builders.

So far, I’ve been messaging that my desired audience is “creators and entrepreneurs.”

That framing is way too broad…so it’s time to tighten it.

What’s a world builder?

Have you ever seen the famous picture Walt Disney drew of his empire (above)?

Walt is a world builder.

A “creator” is someone that makes something. You could be a content creator (someone that makes content) or a cabinet creator (someone that makes cabinets).

As far as I’m concerned, being a “creator” is like saying you breathe air.

Everyone that makes anything is a creator…so the phrasing is way too broad to messaging against.

A world builder is someone like Disney that has the intention of stitching multiple businesses, projects, and experiences together for an intended audience.

Content is often the glue/storytelling layer that helps connect the different projects and broadcasts the ethos.

Ever since I started thinking about entrepreneurship, I’ve always wanted to build my own world.

For me, it just so happens that I want to build a world of world builders.

It’s a little meta, but my goal is to spend the rest of my life making content, products, services, experiences, and physical spaces that attract other world builders.

Funny enough, every time I try to sketch out my Disney “world map,” I overcomplicate the process and get lost.

This is one of those things where the dots won’t connect until I look backwards 10 years from now.

In other words, I’m not quite sure what products, services, and experiences I’ll build, but whatever they are, they will be for world builders.

I’m going to convert everything I do and say moving forward to this nomenclature.

VIDEOS FROM THIS WEEK

My best content from this week:

  1. 🤖 | These robots taught themselves to make coffee: Watch

  2. 🥤 | Stanley Cups are the Louis Vuitton of Drinkware: Watch

  3. ⛽️ | Someone should create a chain of luxury gas stations: Watch

  4. 🦖 | wknds (008) - Here’s how to make winning content in 2024: Watch / Listen

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