Content ideas

Origin Stories

I’d like to do a post exploring the origin stories of all the popular marketers and marketing thought leaders that are on my radar.

Steve Jobs, Guy Kawasaki, Seth Godin, Paul Graham, Gary Vaynerchuck, Mark Cuban, Tai Lopez, Tim Ferriss, Tony Robbins


It’s a brand that I like and I’d like to see it written about. I’ll probably do this on the ReferralCandy Blog. Links: 1 2 3 4 5

How to idiot-proof yourself as an ecommerce marketer. Make a list of 20-30 businesses that you really like. Evaluate what you like about them.  Look for businesses that are in your niche, in your interest. Watch webinars where experts dissect ecommerce stores – it’s one of the fastest and most effective ways to get a practical understanding of what a good store looks like, and more importantly, what mistakes look like (so you can avoid making them).

Don’t try to do everything at once. You always have limited resources, so you have to prioritize. Trying to do everything at once is usually a symptom of not wanting to do the difficult work fo figuring out what’s most important. If you have 10 things on your todo list, seldom is it actually the case that all 10 things are equally important. You might have 3 things that don’t matter, and 2 things that (if done well) have the potential to make more of a difference than all other 8 things combined, times two. Sometimes one thing done really, really well will completely change the game. But figuring that out is hard, so we often settle for mediocrity.

Prioritize one thing at a time.

Of course, the end goal is to have many mature channels that give you lots of customers so you can make a lot of money and achieve your goals. But you have to start by doing one thing right. That said, you’ll also want to avoid spending TOO much time on any one thing. This is a real danger – it’ll seem like you’re being meticulous, but it also means you’re wasting limited resources and moving too slowly.

Expectations vs reality. Expectation: Define marketing goals, achieve them, celebrate. Reality: Tough to have clear definitions, you have budget constraints, time constraints, tonnes of plans and everything is breaking.

Before you begin, you need to know what you’re trying to do.

What is your role, exactly? If you’re a one-person founder who’s running everything, then everything is your responsibility (until you’re able to outsource, delegate, hire and so on). Let’s say you’re joining an existing ecommerce company that’s doing moderately well, selling at least 100+ products a month. We’re not going to talk about how to make a great product (check out ABLS). Let’s talk about making a marketing…

What does every marketer need to do? What is his or her function? The point of marketing is to achieve marketing goals. And so the first and most important thing is to define what those marketing goals are, as precisely as possible.

Be precise about your marketing goals. If you’re just starting out, you might find yourself saying vague things like “build awareness”, “get more customers”, “get more sales”. That’s level 1 shit. As you develop and become better, you’ll want to make things more precise. Every business can theoretically have an infinite set of marketing goals, ending with world domination. You need to pick smart, stretchy goals that you can measure and achieve.

How do you achieve your marketing goals?

You have to break them down into actions, desired end-states. For businesses, revenue is a great metric – it’s a simple goal that doesn’t have . That said, it’s possible to get obsessed with that metric to the point of over-optimizing it and having adverse effects you might not have intended. You might con people into buying a product that they don’t like, use high-pressure sales tactics, etc to make more revenue for a quarter – but then find out later on that you’ve damaged your brand in the process and nobody loves you.

Work backwards from revenue.

Case studies of business mistakes

One Kings Lane, Nasty Gal,, Vine, Theranos, Homejoy, Google Glass, JFDI, Gushcloud, Formspring, Secret, Stipple, Pict, 99dresses, Zirtual

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