More on Marketing
7 months ago
I Posted Six Times a Day for 210 Days on Twitter. Here's What Happened.
I'd spend hours composing articles only to find out they were useless. Twitter solved the problem.
Twitter is wrinkled, say critics.
Nope. Writing is different. It won't make sense until you write there.
Twitter is resurgent. People are reading again. 15-second TikToks overloaded our senses.
After nuking my 20,000-follower Twitter account and starting again, I wrote every day for 210 days.
I came across the strange world of microblogging.
Traditional web writing is filler-heavy.
On Twitter, you must be brief. I played Wordle.
Twitter Threads are the most popular writing format. Like a blog post. It reminds me of the famous broetry posts on LinkedIn a few years ago.
Threads combine tweets into an article.
Sharp, concise sentences
No regard for grammar
As important as the information is how the text looks.
Twitter Threads are like Michael Angelo's David monument. He chipped away at an enormous piece of marble until a man with a big willy appeared.
That's Twitter Threads.
I tried to remove unnecessary layers from several of my Wordpress blog posts. Then I realized something.
Tweeting from scratch is easier and more entertaining. It's quicker and makes you think more concisely.
Superpower: saying much with little words. My long-form writing has improved. My article sentences resemble tweets.
You never know what will happen.
Twitter's subcultures are odd. Best-performing tweets are strange.
Unusual trend: working alone and without telling anyone. It's a rebellion against Instagram influencers who share their every moment.
Early on, random thoughts worked:
My friend’s wife is Ukrainian. Her family are trapped in the warzone. He is devastated. And here I was complaining about my broken garage door. War puts everything in perspective. Today is a day to be grateful for peace.
Documenting what's happening triggers writing. It's not about viral tweets. Helping others matters.
There are numerous anonymous users.
Twitter uses pseudonyms.
You don't matter. On sites like LinkedIn, you must use your real name. Welcome to the Cyberpunk metaverse of Twitter :)
One daily piece of writing is a powerful habit.
Habits build creator careers. Read that again.
Twitter is an easy habit to pick up. If you can't tweet in one sentence, something's wrong. Easy-peasy-japanese.
Not what I tweeted, but my constancy, made the difference.
Daily writing is challenging, especially if your supervisor is on your back. Twitter encourages writing.
Tweets evolved as the foundation of all other material.
During my experiment, I enjoyed Twitter's speed.
Tweets get immediate responses, comments, and feedback. My popular tweets become newspaper headlines. I've also written essays from tweet discussions.
Sometimes the tweet and article were clear. Twitter sometimes helped me overcome writer's block.
I used to spend hours composing big things that had little real-world use.
Twitter helped me. No guessing. Data guides my coverage and validates concepts.
Test ideas on Twitter.
It took some time for my email list to grow.
Subscribers are a writer's lifeblood.
Without them, you're broke and homeless when Mark Zuckerberg tweaks the algorithms for ad dollars. Twitter has three ways to obtain email subscribers:
1. Add a link to your bio.
Twitter allows bio links (LinkedIn now does too). My eBook's landing page is linked. I collect emails there.
2. Start an online newsletter.
Twitter bought newsletter app Revue. They promote what they own.
I just established up a Revue email newsletter. I imported them weekly into my ConvertKit email list.
3. Create Twitter threads and include a link to your email list in the final tweet.
Write Twitter Threads and link the last tweet to your email list (example below).
Initial email subscribers were modest.
Numbers are growing. Twitter provides 25% of my new email subscribers. Some days, 50 people join.
Without them, my writing career is over. I'd be back at a 9-5 job begging for time off to spend with my newborn daughter. Nope.
Collect email addresses or die trying.
As insurance against unsubscribes and Zucks, use a second email list or Discord community.
What I still need to do
Twitter's fun. I'm wiser. I need to enable auto-replies and auto-DMs (direct messages).
This adds another way to attract subscribers. I schedule tweets with Tweet Hunter.
It’s best to go slow. People assume you're an internet marketer if you spam them with click requests.
A human internet marketer is preferable to a robot. My opinion.
210 days on Twitter taught me that. I plan to use the platform until I'm a grandfather unless Elon ruins it.
8 months ago
You can learn more about marketing from these 8 copywriting frameworks than from a college education.
Email, landing pages, and digital content
Today's most significant skill:
Unfortunately, most people don't know how to write successful copy because they weren't taught in school.
I've been obsessed with copywriting for two years. I've read 15 books, completed 3 courses, and studied internet's best digital entrepreneurs.
Here are 8 copywriting frameworks that educate more than a four-year degree.
1. Feature — Advantage — Benefit (F.A.B)
This is the most basic copywriting foundation. Email marketing, landing page copy, and digital video ads can use it.
How it works (feature)
which is helpful (advantage)
What's at stake (benefit)
The Hustle uses this framework on their landing page to convince people to sign up:
2. P. A. S. T. O. R.
This framework is for longer-form copywriting. PASTOR uses stories to engage with prospects. It explains why people should buy this offer.
Dan Koe's landing page is a great example. It shows PASTOR frame-by-frame.
3. Before — After — Bridge
Before-after-bridge is a copywriting framework that draws attention and shows value quickly.
This framework highlights:
where you are
where you want to be
how to get there
Works great for: Email threads/landing pages
Zain Kahn utilizes this framework to write viral threads.
QUEST is about empathetic writing. You know their issues, obstacles, and headaches. This allows coverups.
Tom Hirst's landing page uses the QUEST framework.
5. The 4P’s model
The 4P’s approach pushes your prospect to action. It educates and persuades quickly.
The problem the visitor is dealing with
The promise that will help them
The proof the promise works
A push towards action
Mark Manson is a bestselling author, digital creator, and pop-philosopher. He's also a great copywriter, and his membership offer uses the 4P’s framework.
6. Problem — Agitate — Solution (P.A.S)
Up-and-coming marketers should understand problem-agitate-solution copywriting. Once you understand one structure, others are easier. It drives passion and presents a clear solution.
The issue the visitor is having
It then intensifies this issue through emotion.
finally offers an answer to that issue (the offer)
The customer's story loops. Nicolas Cole and Dickie Bush use PAS to promote Ship 30 for 30.
7. Star — Story — Solution (S.S.S)
PASTOR + PAS = star-solution-story. Like PAS, it employs stories to persuade.
S.S.S. is effective storytelling:
Star: (Person had a problem)
Story: (until they had a breakthrough)
Solution: (That created a transformation)
Ali Abdaal is a YouTuber with a great S.S.S copy.
8. Attention — Interest — Desire — Action
AIDA is another classic. This copywriting framework is great for fast-paced environments (think all digital content on Linkedin, Twitter, Medium, etc.).
It works with:
writing on thread
It's a good structure since it's concise, attention-grabbing, and action-oriented.
Shane Martin, Twitter's creator, uses this approach to create viral content.
8 copywriting frameworks that teach marketing better than a four-year degree
9 months ago
This Landing Page is a (Legal) Money-Printing Machine
and it’s easy to build.
A landing page with good copy is a money-maker.
Let's be honest, page-builder templates are garbage.
They can help you create a nice-looking landing page, but not persuasive writing.
Over the previous 90 days, I've examined 200+ landing pages.
Top digital entrepreneurs use a 7-part strategy to bring in email subscribers, generate prospects, and (passively) sell their digital courses.
Steal this 7-part landing page architecture to maximize digital product sales.
Landing pages require offers.
Newsletter, cohort, or course offer.
Your reader should see this offer first. Includind:
Clear, persuasive, and simplicity are key. Example: the Linkedin OS course home page of digital entrepreneur Justin Welsh offers:
A distinctly defined problem
Everyone needs an enemy.
You need an opponent on your landing page. Problematic.
Next, employ psychology to create a struggle in your visitor's thoughts.
Don't be clever here; label your customer's problem. The more particular you are, the bigger the situation will seem.
When you build a clear monster, you invite defeat. I appreciate Theo Ohene's Growth Roadmaps landing page.
Exacerbation of the effects
Problem identification doesn't motivate action.
What would an unresolved problem mean?
This is landing page copy. When you describe the unsolved problem's repercussions, you accomplish several things:
You write a narrative (and stories are remembered better than stats)
You cause the reader to feel something.
You help the reader relate to the issue
My favorite script is:
"Sure, you can let [problem] go untreated. But what will happen if you do? Soon, you'll begin to notice [new problem 1] will start to arise. That might bring up [problem 2], etc."
Take the copywriting course, digital writer and entrepreneur Dickie Bush illustrates below when he labels the problem (see: "poor habit") and then illustrates the repercussions.
The tale of transformation
Every landing page needs that "ah-ha!" moment.
Transformation stories do this.
Did you find a solution? Someone else made the discovery? Have you tested your theory?
Next, describe your (or your subject's) metamorphosis.
Kieran Drew nails his narrative (and revelation) here. Right before the disclosure, he introduces his "ah-ha!" moment:
Social proof completes any landing page.
Social proof tells the reader, "If others do it, it must be worthwhile."
This is your argument.
Positive social proof helps (obviously).
Offer "free" training in exchange for a testimonial if you need social evidence. This builds social proof.
Most social proof is testimonies (recommended). Kurtis Hanni's creative take on social proof (using a screenshot of his colleague) is entertaining.
Reveal your offer
Now's the moment to act.
Describe the "bundle" that provides the transformation.
Whatever you're selling.
Include a product or service image, what the consumer is getting ("how it works"), the price, any "free" bonuses (preferred), and a CTA ("buy now").
Clarity is key. Don't make a cunning offer. Make sure your presentation emphasizes customer change (benefits). Dan Koe's Modern Mastery landing page makes an offer. Consider:
Offering isn't enough.
You must give your prospect an ultimatum.
They can buy your merchandise from you.
They may exit the webpage.
It's crucial to show what happens if the reader does either. Stress the consequences of not buying (again, a little consequence amplification). Remind them of the benefits of buying.
I appreciate Charles Miller's product offer ending:
The top online creators use a 7-part landing page structure:
Offer the service
Describe the problem
Amplify the consequences
Tell the transformational story
Include testimonials and social proof.
Reveal the offer (with any bonuses if applicable)
Finally, give the reader a deadline to encourage them to take action.
Sequence these sections to develop a landing page that (essentially) prints money.
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10 months ago
A Day in the Life of Lex Fridman Can Help You Hit 6-Month Goals
The Lex Fridman podcast host has interviewed Elon Musk.
Lex is a minimalist YouTuber. His videos are sloppy. Suits are his trademark.
In a video, he shares a typical day. I've smashed my 6-month goals using its ideas.
Here's his schedule.
Not woo-woo. Lex's mantra reflects his practicality.
"I remember the game's rules," he says.
Sleeping 6–8 hours nightly
1–3 times a day, he checks social media.
Every day, despite pain, he exercises. "I exercise uninjured body parts."
He imagines his day. "Like Sims..."
He says three things he's grateful for and contemplates death.
"Today may be my last"
Then he visualizes his goals. He starts big. Five-year goals.
Short-term goals follow. Lex says they're year-end goals.
Near but out of reach.
He lists his principles. Assertions. His goals.
He acknowledges his cliche beliefs. Compassion, empathy, and strength are key.
Here's my mantra routine:
Four-Hour Deep Work
Lex begins a four-hour deep work session after his mantra routine. Today's toughest.
AI is Lex's specialty. His video doesn't explain what he does.
Clearly, he works hard.
Before starting, he has water, coffee, and a bathroom break.
"During deep work sessions, I minimize breaks."
He's distraction-free. Phoneless. Silence. Nothing. Any loose ideas are typed into a Google doc for later. He wants to work.
"Just get the job done. Don’t think about it too much and feel good once it’s complete." — Lex Fridman
30-Minute Social Media & Music
After his first deep work session, Lex rewards himself.
10 minutes on social media, 20 on music. Upload content and respond to comments in 10 minutes. 20 minutes for guitar or piano.
"In the real world, I’m currently single, but in the music world, I’m in an open relationship with this beautiful guitar. Open relationship because sometimes I cheat on her with the acoustic." — Lex Fridman
Then exercise for two hours.
Daily runs six miles. Then he chooses how far to go. Run time is an hour.
He does bodyweight exercises. Every minute for 15 minutes, do five pull-ups and ten push-ups. It's David Goggins-inspired. He aims for an hour a day.
He's hungry. Before running, he takes a salt pill for electrolytes.
He'll then take a one-minute cold shower while listening to cheesy songs. Afterward, he might eat.
Four-Hour Deep Work
Lex's second work session.
He works 8 hours a day.
Again, zero distractions.
The video's meal doesn't look appetizing, but it's healthy.
It's ground beef with vegetables. Cauliflower is his "ground-floor" veggie. "Carrots are my go-to party food."
Lex's keto diet includes 1800–2000 calories.
He drinks a "nutrient-packed" Atheltic Greens shake and takes tablets. It's:
One daily tablet of sodium.
Magnesium glycinate tablets stopped his keto headaches.
Potassium — "For electrolytes"
Fish oil: healthy joints
“So much of nutrition science is barely a science… I like to listen to my own body and do a one-person, one-subject scientific experiment to feel good.” — Lex Fridman
Four-hour shallow session
This work isn't as mentally taxing.
Lex planned to:
Finish last session's deep work (about an hour)
Adobe Premiere podcasting (about two hours).
Email-check (about an hour). Three times a day max. First, check for emergencies.
If he's sick, he may watch Netflix or YouTube documentaries or visit friends.
“The possibilities of chaos are wide open, so I can do whatever the hell I want.” — Lex Fridman
Two-hour evening reading
Lex ends the day reading academic papers for an hour. "Today I'm skimming two machine learning and neuroscience papers"
This helps him "think beyond the paper."
He reads for an hour.
“When I have a lot of energy, I just chill on the bed and read… When I’m feeling tired, I jump to the desk…” — Lex Fridman
Lex's day-in-the-life video is inspiring.
He has positive energy and works hard every day.
Mantra Routine includes rules, visualizing, goals, and principles.
Deep Work Session #1: Four hours of focus.
10 minutes social media, 20 minutes guitar or piano. "Music brings me joy"
Six-mile run, then bodyweight workout. Two hours total.
Deep Work #2: Four hours with no distractions. Google Docs stores random thoughts.
Lex supplements his keto diet.
This four-hour session is "open to chaos."
Evening reading: academic papers followed by fiction.
"I value some things in life. Work is one. The other is loving others. With those two things, life is great." — Lex Fridman
Theresa W. Carey
11 months ago
How Payment for Order Flow (PFOF) Works
What is PFOF?
PFOF is a brokerage firm's compensation for directing orders to different parties for trade execution. The brokerage firm receives fractions of a penny per share for directing the order to a market maker.
Each optionable stock could have thousands of contracts, so market makers dominate options trades. Order flow payments average less than $0.50 per option contract.
Order Flow Payments (PFOF) Explained
The proliferation of exchanges and electronic communication networks has complicated equity and options trading (ECNs) Ironically, Bernard Madoff, the Ponzi schemer, pioneered pay-for-order-flow.
In a December 2000 study on PFOF, the SEC said, "Payment for order flow is a method of transferring trading profits from market making to brokers who route customer orders to specialists for execution."
Given the complexity of trading thousands of stocks on multiple exchanges, market making has grown. Market makers are large firms that specialize in a set of stocks and options, maintaining an inventory of shares and contracts for buyers and sellers. Market makers are paid the bid-ask spread. Spreads have narrowed since 2001, when exchanges switched to decimals. A market maker's ability to play both sides of trades is key to profitability.
A broker receives fees from a third party for order flow, sometimes without a client's knowledge. This invites conflicts of interest and criticism. Regulation NMS from 2005 requires brokers to disclose their policies and financial relationships with market makers.
Your broker must tell you if it's paid to send your orders to specific parties. This must be done at account opening and annually. The firm must disclose whether it participates in payment-for-order-flow and, upon request, every paid order. Brokerage clients can request payment data on specific transactions, but the response takes weeks.
Order flow payments save money. Smaller brokerage firms can benefit from routing orders through market makers and getting paid. This allows brokerage firms to send their orders to another firm to be executed with other orders, reducing costs. The market maker or exchange benefits from additional share volume, so it pays brokerage firms to direct traffic.
Retail investors, who lack bargaining power, may benefit from order-filling competition. Arrangements to steer the business in one direction invite wrongdoing, which can erode investor confidence in financial markets and their players.
It has always been controversial. Several firms offering zero-commission trades in the late 1990s routed orders to untrustworthy market makers. During the end of fractional pricing, the smallest stock spread was $0.125. Options spreads widened. Traders found that some of their "free" trades cost them a lot because they weren't getting the best price.
The SEC then studied the issue, focusing on options trades, and nearly decided to ban PFOF. The proliferation of options exchanges narrowed spreads because there was more competition for executing orders. Options market makers said their services provided liquidity. In its conclusion, the report said, "While increased multiple-listing produced immediate economic benefits to investors in the form of narrower quotes and effective spreads, these improvements have been muted with the spread of payment for order flow and internalization."
The SEC allowed payment for order flow to continue to prevent exchanges from gaining monopoly power. What would happen to trades if the practice was outlawed was also unclear. SEC requires brokers to disclose financial arrangements with market makers. Since then, the SEC has watched closely.
2020 Order Flow Payment
Rule 605 and Rule 606 show execution quality and order flow payment statistics on a broker's website. Despite being required by the SEC, these reports can be hard to find. The SEC mandated these reports in 2005, but the format and reporting requirements have changed over the years, most recently in 2018.
Brokers and market makers formed a working group with the Financial Information Forum (FIF) to standardize order execution quality reporting. Only one retail brokerage (Fidelity) and one market maker remain (Two Sigma Securities). FIF notes that the 605/606 reports "do not provide the level of information that allows a retail investor to gauge how well a broker-dealer fills a retail order compared to the NBBO (national best bid or offer’) at the time the order was received by the executing broker-dealer."
In the first quarter of 2020, Rule 606 reporting changed to require brokers to report net payments from market makers for S&P 500 and non-S&P 500 equity trades and options trades. Brokers must disclose payment rates per 100 shares by order type (market orders, marketable limit orders, non-marketable limit orders, and other orders).
Richard Repetto, Managing Director of New York-based Piper Sandler & Co., publishes a report on Rule 606 broker reports. Repetto focused on Charles Schwab, TD Ameritrade, E-TRADE, and Robinhood in Q2 2020. Repetto reported that payment for order flow was higher in the second quarter than the first due to increased trading activity, and that options paid more than equities.
Repetto says PFOF contributions rose overall. Schwab has the lowest options rates, while TD Ameritrade and Robinhood have the highest. Robinhood had the highest equity rating. Repetto assumes Robinhood's ability to charge higher PFOF reflects their order flow profitability and that they receive a fixed rate per spread (vs. a fixed rate per share by the other brokers).
Robinhood's PFOF in equities and options grew the most quarter-over-quarter of the four brokers Piper Sandler analyzed, as did their implied volumes. All four brokers saw higher PFOF rates.
TD Ameritrade took the biggest income hit when cutting trading commissions in fall 2019, and this report shows they're trying to make up the shortfall by routing orders for additional PFOF. Robinhood refuses to disclose trading statistics using the same metrics as the rest of the industry, offering only a vague explanation on their website.
Payment for order flow has become a major source of revenue as brokers offer no-commission equity (stock and ETF) orders. For retail investors, payment for order flow poses a problem because the brokerage may route orders to a market maker for its own benefit, not the investor's.
Infrequent or small-volume traders may not notice their broker's PFOF practices. Frequent traders and those who trade larger quantities should learn about their broker's order routing system to ensure they're not losing out on price improvement due to a broker prioritizing payment for order flow.
This post is a summary. Read full article here
6 months ago
In his final days, Steve Jobs sent an email to himself. What It Said Was This
An email capturing Steve Jobs's philosophy.
Steve Jobs may have been the most inspired and driven entrepreneur.
He worked on projects because he wanted to leave a legacy.
Steve Jobs' final email to himself encapsulated his philosophy.
After his death from pancreatic cancer in October 2011, Laurene Powell Jobs released the email. He was 56.
Read: Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson (#BestSeller)
September 2010 Steve Jobs email:
“I grow little of the food I eat, and of the little I do grow, I do not breed or perfect the seeds.” “I do not make my own clothing. I speak a language I did not invent or refine,” he continued. “I did not discover the mathematics I use… I am moved by music I did not create myself.”
Jobs ended his email by reflecting on how others created everything he uses.
“When I needed medical attention, I was helpless to help myself survive.”
The Apple co-founder concluded by praising humanity.
“I did not invent the transistor, the microprocessor, object-oriented programming, or most of the technology I work with. I love and admire my species, living and dead, and am totally dependent on them for my life and well-being,” he concluded.
The email was made public as a part of the Steve Jobs Archive, a website that was launched in tribute to his legacy.
Steve Jobs' widow founded the internet archive. Apple CEO Tim Cook and former design leader Jony Ive were prominent guests.
Steve Jobs has always inspired because he shows how even the best can be improved.
High expectations were always there, and they were consistently met.
We miss him because he was one of the few with lifelong enthusiasm and persona.