🧑🏼‍🚀 Blueprint 050

Grooves, Content Armies, Scheduled Rest, The Future of Attribution, Content Factories

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 50 weeks since I went full-time.

TODAY’S TOPICS:

📈 | Week 50 Metrics

🏇🏻 | Grooves

💂🏻 | Content Armies

🎯 | The Future of Attribution

🏭 | Content Factories

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 👩🏻‍🚀

WEEK 50 METRICS & RECAP

Active Channels: YouTube | Instagram | X | Tiktok | LinkedIn | WavyWorld

Took my first full week off since October…spent it in Cabo with some friends. A few highlights were Acre, Flora Farms, and El Farallon.

Given the vacation, I wanted to quickly share my thoughts on scheduled rest & recovery.

I’m the type of person that will work nonstop until burn out. I’ve always been like this.

In a weird way, entrepreneurship is my favorite hobby, so it tracks that I don’t love taking breaks from it.

I’ve always found that prolonged breaks take me too far away from “go mode” and usually require a multi-day ramp up period to get back into things.

I always looked at this as a negative.

But here’s the flip side…

When you’re working the same way consistently, you start to cut grooves into the world.

Think of these grooves like an indentation on a track that your wheels can slot into.

The deeper the grooves, the easier it is to predictably steer and the faster you can go without crashing.

But here’s the catch…

Most disruptive ideas live outside the grooves…in the space between the predictable middle and the edge.

If you’re looking for original thinking and new ideas, you need to spend time outside the grooves.

The best way to do this is to step away from the track for a few days.

What you’ll find is that with enough time off, your grooves get filled in and paved over.

When you show back up, the track looks fresh again, and you can cut new ones.

If you don’t like taking rest, you should schedule it to help force this process.

CONTENT ARMIES
Content Armies

Over the last few days, I hit the 200K follower milestone on Instagram (took 9 months to hit the first 100K, and 12 months to hit the next 100K).

And fwiw, I think Zuck’s hyperviral July 4th post had some runoff views/follows that flowed to my account.

But interestingly, if you look at the metrics dashboard from this week, I produced zero new content, yet drove 521K views and added 3K+ followers.

This is a perfect example of content armies…a framework for how you should think about your content.

In Blueprint 012, I wrote about how content is like digital land.

Each new video is like a mini property that can produce cash flow via brand deals and platform CPMs.

This hints at the capture benefit of content.

But as I sat in Mexico, watching my views/followers go up while I chugged mojitos, I thought of a better framing to describe the benefit of content…armies.

Most people look at their content as art.

It’s a piece of creative that they dreamed up and put out into the world.

This art, if beloved by a viewer, could drive a follow which would lead to that viewer seeing more of their art and eventually becoming a fan. With enough fans, money should follow.

Most artists get upset when new viewers don’t like their art. They let it get to them and dictate their approach for their next piece.

This is the general approach to content creation and the influencer world.

I think about it differently.

To me, each video is like a wind-up toy salesman…

I sit in my room, wind it up as much as I can, and then release that salesman into the world.

As soon as I let go, that salesman starts knocking on doors recruiting new customers on my behalf.

Some salesmen have long duration motors and can last for weeks. Others flame out after a couple of days.

The more salesmen you have in the field knocking on doors, the more customers you get to buy your products.

The collective of active salesmen creates a sales army.

The beauty of the sales army is that it will work for you while you sleep.

With the right messaging and offers tied to your content, a single salesman can drive thousands of conversions.

If a salesman runs of out gas too quickly, I note this and adjust moving forward.

Again, most of this is fairly intuitive but hearing it explained with different metaphors can lead to an unlock.

THE FUTURE OF ATTRIBUTION
The Future of Attribution

In Blueprint 025, I wrote about the attribution of fandom.

This was a segment where I walked through the step by step content funnel that redpilled me on Nick Bare and Bare Performance Nutrition.

I listened to him on a podcast and 36 hours later, I bought his protein powder.

Essentially, it’s a peek into how creator funnels work and why creator-led brands, if positioned correctly, can crush.

In Mexico, I spent a lot of time scrolling through social media, trying to zoom out to 10,000 feet and truly understand how different content was impacting me.

I realized something…attribution is going to change dramatically.

If you’re not a marketer, attribution is the process identifying which traffic sources are responsible for a sale.

Let’s say you’re thinking about buying a new pair of Nike running shoes.

You might first search Google for Nike running shoes, then you’ll be hit with a Google Search ad for the running shoes, then you hear your favorite running influencer talk about shoes on their next podcast, you watch a bunch of short-form videos and see that a different influencer is wearing certain shoes you like, you click into the comments to see that someone has asked for the name and model, you see it and type “nike.com” into Google and then press buy.

An unsophisticated marketer would attribute that sale to “organic search.”

This is obviously not super helpful to the marketing team, and they are blind to the fact that activating one or both of the creators that influenced you probably had more to do with driving the sale than their paid search ads.

And so on…

I’m not a professional marketer, but I love thinking through the intersection of buyer psychology, marketing, and content.

I believe the future of attribution is a super long-tail…meaning it may take dozens of exposure points before you consider buying.

Most of those exposure points will come through passive content consumption (you see things used/worn/tried by a creator without a paid endorsement).

I call this passive placement.

Brands aren’t paying the creator to talk about their product…they’re just giving it to them for free, hoping they like it enough to use it occasionally.

To me, as a non-marketer, I would think the best creator activation strategy for brands would be to get their products into the hands of as many niche relevant and niche adjacent creators as possible, without doing paid activations.

What does this mean in plain English?

If I’m selling fleece running hoodies, I should:

  • Skip the $10K-$50K campaigns with top running influencers

  • Make a creator map of the top 1,000 running influencers (niche relevant) and top 500 fitness influencers / top 500 entrepreneur-focused wellness influencers (niche adjacent)

  • Send the fleece running hoodies to all of them

Brands call this influencer seeding.

The problem with this strategy today, is that the influencers that get seeded are in the top .01%.

They have hundreds of free products coming weekly…which means a) they are less likely to actually use yours and b) their endorsement will be surrounded by other products.

Instead, you want to find the long-tail smaller creators with 2,000 followers that will actually wear the fleece in every 5th video. This will drive more conversion.

The problem with this, as any sophisticated marketer will point out, is that it’s really tough to measure.

And this gets back to my original point.

The future of attribution will look like dozens of exposure points across many niche creators, without knowing which tipped the buyer over the line.

I think there are several products/companies that can be built to solve for pieces of this:

  1. Enabling creator mapping by niche

  2. Making it easier to influencer seed at scale to smaller creators

  3. Retroactive identification of untagged product placement and helping influencers tag

  4. Creating a tracking solution for the big hair problem of creator attribution

CONTENT FACTORIES
Content Factories

When you hear the term “content factory”…what does it mean to you?

To me, a content factory is a place that produces unlimited, amazing content ideas…day after day.

A common question I get asked is, “How do I come up with better content ideas for my niche?”

Here’s exactly how I think about this question when I consult for brands.

  1. The Perfect Viewer - The first thing you have to do is figure out who your ideal viewer is. If you could have a lineup of all 7B people in the world, who is the one person that most perfectly aligns with what you’re selling? When you figure out who that person is, all you have to do is make content that appeals to them. So step 1, figure out “The Perfect Viewer”

  2. What Does That Viewer Like To Watch? - Weirdly, your goal is not to get your product in front of this viewer. Your goal is to build a channel that viewer likes to watch. If people like you, they will eventually buy from you (if they have the pain point your product is solving for). Again, this sounds counterintuitive, but it’s the winning strategy. The tactical question then becomes…”How do I figure out what my perfect viewer likes to watch?”

  3. Guess or Ask - The correct market research process would be to find a sample of these viewers and get them to tell you what they watch. This is often time consuming and could lead to muddied data (people don’t always do what they say). A quicker path to experimentation is to guess. Most people watch content across three buckets…for enjoyment, for general learning, to solve specific relevant problems

  4. Create Formats by Bucket - Next, create repeatable content formats for each bucket and begin testing. When you find one that begins working, cut everything else and go all in on this until it stops working.

Let’s go through an example of this in action.

Your company is selling high-end ($800-$1,000) snakeskin boots for women. You have a physical store in Austin, Texas, but will ship all over the US.

Step 1: Who is your perfect viewer?

Your perfect viewer is a 32 year old girl in Austin with an annual salary of $150K+. She is into wellness, but also loves going out. She is one of the trendier people in her friend group. Etc.

Step 2 + 3: What does your perfect viewer like to watch?

For enjoyment, there’s a good chance she watches similar content/shows to other upper middle class millennial women in Austin. This could be anything from lifestyle influencers in Texas to wellness influencers in LA. She probably has a set routine, works out at the same classes or high-end gym, etc.

For general learning, this could be a wide range of things (outdoor sports, cooking, fashion, reading, etc.). As a cheat code, I would avoid solving for this content bucket initially because it can be so broad.

For specific relevant problems, this would be things like “what women’s fashion trends are popular, what should I wear for X, outfit inspiration, etc.”

Step 4: Create formats by bucket

For the enjoyment bucket, the first place I’d start is making content about popular influencer/celebrity clothing/outfits at various events.

This will overlap with the type of content they enjoy watching, enable cult hopping from famous celebrities and establish you as someone with credibility for understanding fashion.

If you personally (as the business owner) aren’t interested by this stuff, hire a creator (ideally that is exactly like your perfect viewer) to build this for you. If you don’t have the money to bring someone in house full-time, partner with someone currently in the space as pay they a monthly retainer to make 3-5 videos per week for you.

This news remix style will crush…but will have a smaller hit rate for conversion to the boots.

For the specific relevant problems bucket, I would make content styling women for certain events.

Maybe it’s on the street content walking up to women that look exactly like your perfect viewer and asking them questions about their clothing or outfit combination.

Maybe it’s you giving a pair of your snakeskin boots to people on the street to try on and filming it, etc.

When you run the set-up through this framework, the format ideas will come out in bunches.

The key is that you need to have someone on your team that matches the vibe of your ideal customer.

If you’re a 57 year old leather master that makes the boots, you’re probably not the best person to be the face of the content for this target demographic.

If you like this style of tactical walkthrough, lmk and I can write more in the future.