🧑🏼‍🚀 Blueprint 039

Reinvention, wavelengths, ramps

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

My goal with Blueprint is to provide an unusual level of openness and transparency into my highest leverage learnings, ideas, metrics & frameworks to help you level up your content and storytelling.

It’s been 39 weeks (9.75 months) since I went full-time.

Today’s topics:

  • ⌛️ | Reinvention

  • 〰️ | Wavelengths (you’re focusing on the wrong thing)

  • 🛣️ | Ramps (how to increase audience portability)

  • 📈 | Week 38/39 metrics

A reminder that the 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 👩🏻‍🚀

REINVENTION
Reinvention

My apologies for missing the post last week. I was off-grid at Coachella 🤠

Did my best to bring lots of value below. As things resonate, please reply and let me know!

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If you’ve been reading Blueprint for a while, you’ll know I’ve been in a funk for the past few months.

The tl;dr of my creator journey thus far:

  • Stage 1: Initial surge of activation energy, no clue what I’m doing, militantly committed, rapid skill improvement

  • Stage 2: Explosive growth (much sooner than I thought it would happen)

  • Stage 3: Overthinking, shifting strategies, slowing engagement, plateau, wandering

When I look back 10 years from now, this will be the post that changed things for me.

Something clicked (which I’ll describe more below).

If you’re into lifting, you’ll know the common belief is that most gains come in the last 1-2 reps.

The reason you do the first 6-8 reps is to wear your muscles down so that you can microtear them in the final 1-2.

It’s the healing of those microtears that spurs muscle growth and makes you stronger.

But here’s the key…

If you never go through the first 6-8 reps aggressively (the pre-tear phase), you’ll never get to the strength gain phase.

I look at my first 18 months in the content world as my pre-tear phase.

I’ve had ups, downs and experienced lots of unexpected emotions.

But I realize now that my struggle throughout the last few months was simply tearing my mental muscle so that I could rebuild it back in a more optimal way.

And I’m not talking about “rebuilding” content strategies and playbooks (although those also need to change), I’m talking about fundamental beliefs, attitudes, and operating systems at the core level.

I needed a reset of my mindset, feelings, and thoughts.

I’ve been aggressively studying the icons of our era (e.g., Kobe, Schwarzenegger, Jobs, etc.).

When the great ones reflect on their journey, they almost always reference some mental shift.

A turning point moment that changed everything for them.

This is often a one-way door and the catalyst for everything great they achieve moving forward.

A complete reinvention.

Not to be dramatic, but I’ve started one of my own.

And as I’ve begun my own reinvention process (remapping my thoughts/feelings/beliefs), I’ve also unlocked much needed clarity about how to evolve my content.

It’s funny…once you start improving your base state, the tactical, surface-level changes seem to become more obvious.

I’ve deployed some daily rituals to help “lock-in” this elevated base state (which maybe I’ll walkthrough in a future Blueprint post if there’s interest).

But for now, here are a couple of the tactical adjustments I’m making to reinvent my content. I will have militant focus on these for the next 30 videos:

  • Approachability/Relatability - Viewers feel most connected to content that feels approachable and relatable. This is the “you’re talking 1:1 with a friend” concept. The feeling of relatability is made up of tone and body language. I’ve never been naturally great at this, as to me, most of my videos still come off as scripted bursts that I’m sharing “to you” vs “with you.” To build a cult fan base, the creator must feel approachable at scale. This approachability is my number one priority to improve in this next set. This means changing both my delivery style/tone as well as the format. As you notice me trying this over the next 30 videos, I’d love to get your feedback on if it’s working

  • Idea Selection - The video topic selection and unique framing (idea) dictates most of the success in short-form content. If you’re not making stuff people find interesting, they won’t share it and your videos will perform poorly. I’m going to spend much more time on idea selection and incubation. A rough breakdown of my current time allocation for a video looks something like (10 mins on idea, 20 minutes on script, 15 minutes on filming, and 3-4 hours on editing). This means the majority of my time is spent on things that probably don’t move the needle in the edit. I’m going to shift this ratio so that the majority of time is spent finding and refining the idea/script and significantly reducing the editing lift

The big takeaway from this section…if you aren’t doing what you want to be doing, you should consider reinvention.

Target the most core aspects of your mindset that you don’t like (lack of gratitude, complaining, negativity, etc.) and reset those first.

This will clear the blockages in your mind and unlock everything else.

The cool thing about the internet is that you can be whoever you want to be, and reinvent yourself as many times as it takes until it works.

WAVELENGTHS
Wavelengths

I’ve been focusing on optimizing the wrong things in my videos.

When it comes to improving at anything in life, there are a few variables in play:

  1. Volume - How much are you doing it?

  2. Frequency - How often are you doing it?

  3. Jump - How much better are you getting from one rep to the next?

  4. Wavelength - How long are you taking between iterations?

Beginners focus on volume and frequency.

They say something like, “If I do a lot of this, and I do it daily, I’ll win.”

This is wrong because it doesn’t factor in jump.

Most people assume they’ll get better with more volume, but this isn’t always the case if your not hyper focused on the incremental improvement from rep to rep (jump).

So when beginners graduate to a more advanced level, they leave their volume/frequency where it is, and focus exclusively on jump.

Now they say something like, “If I do this a lot, and I focus on making the biggest jump in skill from one rep to the next, I’ll win.”

This has been my mentality up to this point. This is what you hear all the gurus say. I thought it was the cheat code.

But this makes another huge assumption…that you actually know what to improve. Said another way, that your incremental improvement is in the direction of what the market wants.

In the beginning, it’s pretty obvious what you should be improving, because you suck at almost everything.

But as you close the “easy gaps,” it becomes harder and harder to know where to focus your iterative improvement.

So one of two things start happening:

  1. You make large improvements on things the market views as irrelevant and end up wasting time (e.g., the typography design in your videos is way better)

  2. You slow down between reps to try and figure out what the next big jump should be and end up wasting time

And when you do this, you start plateauing…like I am right now.

Because most of the incremental improvement I’m making isn’t what the market actually wants.

My big mistake was that I ignored wavelength.

It turns out, wavelength is the most important lever of all to optimize.

Okay, so it’s a bit nerdy, but what is wavelength?

This is a picture of a wave.

Wavelength is the time between two waves.

So for content, think about it as the iteration speed between one video to the next.

A low probability approach to winning (my current approach) is to make content using low wavelength and high jump. This would be something like posting a video every 3 days, and aiming for a 6% skill improvement from one video to the next.

Why is this suboptimal?

Because it assumes that the 6% improvement is actually what the market wants.

Often times, that 6% improvement is either 0% of what the market wants, or more like 1%.

Because after you’ve solved all the easy stuff, you’re just guessing and what you should improve next.

And if you guess wrong, now you have to wait 3 more days to get additional signal back from the market before you go again.

This is carrier pigeon type speed.

A better approach is high wavelength, but low jump. This would be something like posting a video every single day, but only shooting for a 1-2% skill improvement from one video to the next.

Because this way, even if your 2% improvement wasn’t what the market wanted, you can go again much sooner with a different 2%.

Your guessing matters less here so you can afford to be wrong more often.

We’re getting pretty nerdy here, but the point is that it’s actually much better to iterate way more often with much smaller improvements.

And this is because in aggregate, you have a better chance of covering more of the “right distance” by taking six 2% moves than taking two 6% moves.

This thinking is common in startup product development, where the companies that win are the ones that iterate their products as often as possible, changing as little as a single variable at a time.

The takeaway is this…you’re probably not shipping frequently enough and you’re over-optimizing on the wrong things.

RAMPS
Ramps

I wrote in week 35 about audience portability, and how it’s the second most important metric in audience building (behind trust).

And portability is key because it’s the process of getting your audience to follow you across different channels.

Here’s the part I didn’t fully explain…

The way to improve portability, is to focus on ramps.

Chill Tony Hawk, not those ramps.

Ramps are the internet connectors between audience islands.

They are these…

K’nex

The dream state, of course, is that every one of your followers automatically consumes your content on every platform.

You post one thing on IG that they see and then they drop everything they’re doing and manually find and follow you on Tiktok, YouTube, X, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Email Newsletter, etc.

This obviously isn’t how things actually work.

Instead, creators are constantly trying to transport followers from one place to another through ramps.

Here’s an example of a ramp…

I have my Instagram page and I have this Blueprint newsletter.

When I make a video on Instagram, my goal is that someone likes it so much that they click to my profile, see the CTA in my bio, “My best content learnings & frameworks👇🏼” and then clicks to the Blueprint landing page to subscribe.

Here’s what I didn’t fully think through originally (and should be helpful to you).

Imagine ramps with various slopes.

All cars can get up a 10° ramp, but only certain cars could make it up a 45°.

Princess Diaries

You need shallow ramps to increase portability.

Ramps are made up of two components:

  • The Ask - how are you framing the ask for the follower to go to another platform and what are they getting out of it?

  • The Driver - who is the audience and how does that match to the ask?

Let me explain this using myself as an example.

I want as many people as possible to subscribe this Blueprint newsletter.

Why?

  1. It’s where I have my best, highest value ideas

  2. Less platform risk through email (IG could boot me from the platform, but nobody can take these email addresses)

  3. Easier to monetize email than IG

  4. Easier to communicate about my own products through email

  5. Higher open rate on email than social media

So clearly, there’s a big incentive to get people to email.

Now let’s look at my ramp.

My ramp from IG to email is an in-depth newsletter about content frameworks and creator learnings.

So when I have a video go viral about Taylor Swift, and most of the 1M+ viewers are not interested in content, my ask becomes a super steep ramp.

And the conversion will be super low.

This means I either need to create a more shallow ramp designed to capture more of those Taylor Swift fans OR I need to focus on making content that more specifically targets the type of people that would want to take the ramp (marketers, creators, entrepreneurs).

I’m currently testing a strategy to keep my content broad but make it easier to build shallower ramps.

This is the framework that you should use to analyze all of the ramps between your content channels.

In a perfect world, they are all consistent…meaning you have perfect alignment in the type of content you make, who views that content, what that type of person wants, and what your ramp gives them.

Never thought I could have connected K-nex and Princess Diaries in the same post but Jupiter and Uranus are in alignment today so here we are.

WEEK 38/39 METRICS
CONTENT FROM THE LAST 2 WEEKS

My best content from last week:

  1. 🎵 | Making AI music like Frank Ocean with Suno: Watch

  2. ⛳️ | The Masters rejects $250M in revenue every year: Watch

  3. 🎶 | Is this the “ChatGPT moment for music”: Watch

  4. 🎥 | Premiere Pro’s new major AI features: Watch

  5. 🐶 | Private jets for dogs: Watch

  6. 🧑🏼‍🚀 | Blueprint 037 - Content infection factors, Elon's hidden brilliance, rabbits vs buffalo, turning 31 years old: Read

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