🧑🏼‍🚀 Blueprint 042

Content trends, creators are the new celebrities, platform slants, Ryan Reynolds, 4 quick creator mindset checks, hair regrowth

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

It’s been 42 weeks (10.5 months) since I went full-time.

TODAY’S TOPICS:

🚀 | Creators are the new celebrities (Ryan Reynolds Billionaire Playbook)

🎯 | Platform Slants…you should think about your content differently

👀 | Content Trends…a series of one-liners summarizing content trends

🤯 | 4 quick creator mindset pulse checks

🧰 | Kallaway’s Toybox…I regrew my thinning hair with these 4 steps

Have been getting great feedback about the audio versions of Blueprint. You can listen to this episode on Apple & Spotify.

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 👩🏻‍🚀

RYAN REYNOLDS BILLIONAIRE PLAYBOOK
Creators are the new celebrities

This week, I dove down the Ryan Reynolds rabbit hole (say that 5 times fast).

He’s a billionaire, but only made $150-$200M from acting.

The rest came from super savvy business moves over the last 6 years, which I broke down in my video.

But here’s what I found pretty crazy…

After analyzing his playbook, I realized that it can be replicated by any creator in any niche.

This was his billionaire blueprint in a nutshell:

  1. 👋 | Build relevance - He spent 20 years building a name for himself through acting

  2. 🔥 | Develop a marketing engine - He launched his production studio, Maximum Effort, in 2018

  3. 💰 | Buy into boring businesses in sleepy industries - Over the last 6 years, he bought stakes in Aviation Gin, Mint Mobile, Wrexham FC, Wealthsimple, 1Password, etc.

  4. 🧐 | Take over the marketing in those companies - Maximum Effort becomes the creative agency of record, Ryan becomes the face of the brand

  5. 📈 | Grow the businesses with better marketing - People think Ryan’s gin is better than corporate gin because they like Ryan and his jokes

  6. 💰 | Sell the businesses back to a bigger company in the space

  7. 🔁 | Repeat

Now people in my comments were obviously trying to to dispute this playbook (lotta chatter from the cheapseats in the back)

“Sick video brah…all I have to do is be Ryan Reynolds and this will work.”

But I don’t think that’s true at all.

Here’s my controversial take…creators are the new celebrities.

In 10 years, most of the attention will be controlled by niche creators with earned relevance.

We’ll go from 1,000 notable celebrities to 100,000 notable creators.

The audiences will be more fragmented, so instead of 10M followers for a single celebrity, each creator may have 200-500K, but their audiences will be much more targeted in a single area.

Ryan built his relevance via acting and with a gen pop audience (arguably the hardest path).

Creators that own niches will have a much easier time running this playbook.

Now here’s the hard part and something I’ve been thinking about…

The reason Ryan won big wasn’t because he was Ryan Reynolds (although that definitely helped)…it was because he was able to build a marketing apparatus, Maximum Effort, that could effectively scale him via video.

Creators will need to figure out how to build their own versions of Maximum Effort so that they can run a company’s marketing without fully diluting their own personal brand.

If a creator tries to do this without having a marketing engine, they will be forced to repeatedly advertise the same product over and over to their own audience.

This will lead to fatigue and most fans will eventually churn away from the creator.

Imagine if every 3rd video I made was about a supplement. Most people that were fans of mine would stop watching because it would feel like a shill.

Instead, the creator needs to create content for the brand, using their notability in the space, without diluting their personal channels.

This is most easily done by leveraging a separate creative/marketing team.

If creators are able to figure this out…buying into sleepy brands, reviving them with better creative, and growing them with cheaper customer acquisition, is a playbook that will work until the end of time.

PLATFORM SLANTS
Platform Slants

When I started making content, I chose short-form video as my preferred format for a few reasons.

The top one was that I could repost the same video across Instagram, Tiktok, YouTube Shorts, Snapchat, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

It felt like a cheat code…being able to grow on 6 different platforms with a single piece of content.

And that worked well for a while, but then I started noticing platform divergence.

Interesting little sub-cultures and platform-specific preferences that were causing my videos to perform wildly differently across platforms.

Then, I started adding in this newsletter (email), podcast, and YouTube long-form.

And my goal was simple…

Take a single content idea and repackage it natively across every platform.

So maybe my Ryan Reynolds short became a 10-minute stretched out version for YouTube…maybe I wrote something similar to the above in my newsletter, etc.

I wanted to do less work and get more reach from it. Come up with less great ideas, but put them everywhere.

I assume most people reading this that make content have a similar objective.

But upon reflection, I’m not so sure this is the right strategy…

Because of something I call platform slants.

A super quick aside…

I spend most of my free time thinking about human psychology.

I love the chess game.

If I do X, and most people respond with Y, what should Z be, so that I get them to take A action.

I’m a nerd, I know.

So I applied this to content, and realized that most users have base behavior patterns that differ across platforms.

When people sit down to use IG Reels/Tiktok, they’re not usually looking to be educated. If they find something useful, they’ll bookmark it, but most people using these platforms are just looking to be entertained.

The act of rapid short-form scrolling is just not optimal for education.

On the flipside, when people subscribe to email, they’re doing it to learn or unlock product discounts.

When people go to YouTube, it’s a healthy mix of entertainment and education.

When people go to LinkedIn, it’s purely for education to improve their work performance.

And so on…

The point is…different platforms are designed for different user behaviors, so repurposing a single content idea, especially one that’s super skewed towards either education or entertainment, won’t work.

The natural slants of the platforms are just too different.

A better strategy is to pick your target audience and then educate them on the education platforms (LinkedIn, YouTube, email) and entertain them on the entertainment ones (Instagram, Tiktok, Snapchat, Shorts).

Even if this means making different types of content altogether, it will probably lead to the stickiest audience.

My view is that each platform should be treated like an island.

The cross pollination potential between them is much weaker than people think.

If you lean into the platform specific slants, you’ll have the best chance at being known on every island, which is how you become ubiquitous in the long run.

CONTENT TRENDS
Content Trends

Here’s a few “one-line” content trends I’m noticing…

  • 🛒 | Tiktok Shop - I can’t believe how good Tiktok Shop is at crushing for both brands and creators. Creators can make $10K/month easily with super simple product videos. If you’re bored and want to try content, this is the easiest way to monetize right now

  • 👻 | Snapchat - I predict Snapchat Spotlight is going to become a worthy Tiktok competitor out of nowhere. I currently have 54K followers on there and noticing the view counts spiking. I would be cross-posting your shorts here as a hedge. Takes 30 extra seconds.

  • 🚀 | Tiktok View Boosts - If I were Tiktok, I wanted to incite a rebellion against the US ban, I would view boost all good videos as much as possible (to create bigger creator rewards and more loyalty). I’m starting to see this. Short-term moneymaking opp via Creator Rewards

  • 🎁 | YouTube Shopping - YouTube recently launched an Affiliate hub directly inside of YouTube. Only works for accounts with 15K+ subs. Think this could be huge and undercut Amazon affiliates

  • 📲 | Content Preferences - My greenscreen content is outperforming my cinematic style in both views and new followers. This video (78K views, +426 followers) vs this video (42K views, +52 new followers). Maybe it was the jokes in the first one?

4 CREATOR MINDSET CHECKINS
4 Creator Mindset Checkins

This is the 3rd week in a row that I’ve shared quicker mindset hacks that have helped me. Hope you’re liking them!

1. Do you love the work or what it could lead to?

Most people that want to “become a YouTuber” will look at famous YouTubers and imagine what life would be like if they could become them.

Access, money, fame, fan love, etc.

But few spend time envisioning what the day to day work as a YouTuber actually looks like (editing 8+ hours per day, responding to comments, hundreds of videos without feedback, etc.).

This is common across most careers…people idolize the end and ignore the work in the middle.

Before diving into something, you’re better off questioning, “Would I enjoy the daily grind of this if the end point outcome never came?”

Almost all of us would say no.

If this is the case, you should strongly consider picking a different route.

Because the truth is, if you don’t love the work, you’ll never get to the idolized state at the end.

To play devil’s advocate, if you looked at every project with this short-term skepticism, you’d probably never start anything.

And that may true…

But I believe there are optimal paths for everyone’s natural skillset, yet many pick an alternate route because the dream of what “could be.”

Don’t dream of what could be…think about what will be on Monday at 8am.

2. Binge banks

This is a concept that my friend Dylan Jardon came up with.

The premise is that your goal as a creator starting out is to build a deep bank of great stuff, so that when someone stumbles across your 86th video, they have 85 other ones to binge in one sitting.

Binge banks are a helpful framework for minimizing sadness when a great rep doesn’t get traction.

Because even if a video doesn’t perform well, it’s a great addition to the binge bank.

When you’re picking content to make, ask yourself if you’d be proud to have it in your binge bank.

3. How to kick a funk

If you ever get brain fog, anxiety, self-doubt, constant overthinking, or anything you’d consider suboptimal mental performance, this is the solve.

It works every time and I’ll explain why below:

  1. Go to the nearest gym

  2. Don’t run, incline walk, or do arm circles. Grab the heaviest dumbbells/kettlebells you can safely carry.

  3. Find an open walkway and take 50 steps forward while holding the dumbbells at your side (this is called a Farmer’s Carry). By the 50th step, your forearms should be on fire. Put the dumbbells down. Turn around. Walk back the 50 steps you came. Do this 30 times. If you know how to safely deadlift or squat heavy, these work too. Must be heavy weight

  4. (Optional if you have sauna available) Find a dry sauna and get in. It’ll feel great…at first. Around the 13 minute mark, you’re going to start feeling pretty warm and uncomfy. Most people get out at 15 minutes. You’re going to 20. Every 30 seconds for those last 5 minutes are going to feel like someone is roasting your body like a s’more. Good. You’re going to sit through it

When you get out of the sauna, you’ll feel great and realize that an hour passed where you weren’t thinking about your anxiety or worrying about whatever that small work thing you had on your mind.

Here’s why this works.

Our brains are a seek and destroy weapons system…the greatest ever created.

When you don’t give it a physical challenge to focus on, it will invent a mental one so it has something to do.

Heavy lifting and sauna will trigger flight or flight in the sympathetic nervous system and all focus will go to solve it.

It’s very important you do this on a daily basis.

Most people don’t lift heavy to build a beach body (although that is a nice side effect)… they do it to fatigue their brain’s weapons systems enough so they can focus on the things that matter.

If you don’t put your body under duress consistently, you should.

This works every single time.

4. Posting my 300th video

I just posted my 300th short-form video.

Proud of the milestone, but still have a long way to go.

Here’s a collection of observations I gathered from this first 18 months making content: Link

KALLAWAY’S TOYBOX
Kallaway’s Toybox

I used to have super thick hair as a kid. At some point around 25 years old, it began falling out at an unnatural rate.

Male pattern baldness doesn’t run in my family. This was clearly stress related (because I hated my job at the time).

Last year, I decided to regrow my hair. It worked. This is the protocol I used.

Hair Regrowth Stack:

  • Jolie Shower Head: If you’re using an unfiltered shower head, your normal shower water is probably too hard and not great for your hair. We started using this and I noticed a big difference. At the end of my shower, I turn the water as cold as possible and drill my head with it for 3 minutes. This triggers coldshock proteins to release (same effect as cold plunge)

  • AM: Biotin gummies: Take daily. These might be placebo by they taste damn good

  • PM: Hims Minoxidil + Finasteride Topical Spray: Every night, I use this Hims hybrid spray. Finasteride pills are known to have ED as a side effect...didn't want that. This is one of the first clinically approved sprays with both using finasteride as a topical. This is a huge factor in stimulating the hair growth.

  • PM: Dermapen - 1x per week, I use the 1mm dermastamp automatic pen to punch holes all over scalp (where hair loss occurred). This helps reinvigorate hair growth and enables better absorption for the spray

  • PM: Momentous Sleep Stack - Maximizing sleep is great for hair regrowth. Every night, I take the Momentous Sleep Stack Bundle (as per recommended by Huberman), which includes Apigenin, Magnesium Threonate, Inositol, and L-Theanine. Sleep like a baby

WEEK 42 METRICS AND CONTENT

My best content from last week:

  1. 🎆 | Adobe Firefly launched Image 3 Model: Watch

  2. 🚿 | Jolie’s playbook to go $0 → $30M in 3 years: Watch

  3. 🫡 | Ryan Reynolds billionaire blueprint: Watch

  4. 🧑🏼‍🚀 | Blueprint 041 - Headscratching content experiments, the insane story of Wesley Wang, two creator mindset boosts, Kallaway's Toybox: Read