Story, Offer

Back to the story.

We arrived on Bali shortly before Xmas 2019 with the intent to spend three months figuring out what to do next. I had some ideas, but all I knew for sure was that I wanted to keep doing creative things with data… just not in institutional finance. COVID was still weeks away from hitting the news.

Soon COVID was on the radar and I had launched tiny poems, a project that indulged my creative side and allowed me to explore the intersection of big data, social media, and process automation. By mid-February I had a process that leveraged paid Twitter and Facebook advertising to develop an idea or a product and wrap a community around it at a tiny fraction of the cost of traditional social media advertising.

But how do you sell that?

Then I remembered the Russell Brunson quote I mentioned last time:

It’s not about building a product.
It’s about building a community.

Seemed like a good place to start, so I went out and bought his latest book on the topic, Expert Secrets. The subtitle has changed in the latest edition, but the previous one really spoke to me: The Underground Playbook for Creating a Mass Movement of People Who Will Pay for Your Advice. I read it cover-to-cover in about a day, and was utterly hooked!

Some of it was about sales funnels, and I really felt like I was too early in the game to use that stuff: I was still exploring my new process and figuring how it worked. But it wasn’t too early to build a community of interest, and much of the book is about how to develop the story and the frameworks around which the ultimate product is organized. So I got started.

Over the next 30 days, as COVID began to dominate the news cycle, I used my new technique to generate tens of thousands of Twitter and Facebook engagements, across several projects, at well under a penny per engagement. That’s about 1% of the usual cost. I was bootstrapping, using the process to promote itself, and the momentum was palpable.

Then three things happened almost at once:

  • Twitter and Facebook both shut me down hard. Seems I had violated an unwritten Term of Service: thou shalt not  redacted  with our ad revenue. Probably could have seen that one coming, but I was instantly and irretrievably out of business.
  • COVID descended like a shroud and the world went into lockdown.
  • On March 26, we held our first RINGKNOCKER Virtual Meetup.

There are some deep lessons in the next part of the story. RINGKNOCKER began and continues as an act of service. If it ever breaks even, we’ll all celebrate together. 😁

But it is also a technology development platform, and the resulting Tribify Engine is really the answer to my original question: What next? Anyway more on that later.

Meanwhile, do yourself a favor and read one of these three books:

They are available in all formats, including audio if that floats your boat. And start with whichever title speaks to you… you’ll probably wind up reading all three regardless.

Just don’t let the titles fool you: Brunson’s books are not primarily about sales funnels, nor even really about selling! What are they about?

They’re about creating something valuable… crafting a compelling story about it… finding people who will resonate with that story… and then serving them to the limit of your ability.

Who wouldn’t want to do THAT?

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