Reads I Recommend:

Books I recommend:

  • High Output Management, Andy Grove
  • Confessions Of An Advertising Man, David Ogilvy
  • Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg
  • Made To Stick, Heath Brothers
  • Influence, Robert Cialdini
  • Trust Me, I’m Lying, Ryan Holiday
  • Unleash The Ideavirus, Seth Godin
  • Predatory Thinking, Dave Trott

Tools I recommend:

  • Google Analytics
  • WordPress (unfortunately)
  • Trello
  • Ahrefs
  • SumoMe
  • Twitter
  • Buffer

Further reading: Tools I’ve used as a SaaS Marketer


  1. Why I am a marketer & why marketing
  2. Learn marketing by analyzing what’s worked on you
  3. What is marketing?
  4. What is positioning?
  5. What is SEO?

How to:

  1. How to get better at marketing
  2. How to be a ‘world-class’ marketer
  3. How to distribute content as a marketer
  4. How to prioritize what to write for a company blog
  5. How to develop an online writing career
  6. How to deal with creative anxiety
  7. How To Write Good (For The Interwebs)
  8. How to social media (also see: A utilitarian approach to social media)
  9. How to start a content marketing effort
  10. How to become a content marketer
  11. How to plan a content marketing strategy
  12. How to hire content marketers
  13. How to run a content marketing team
  14. How to evaluate content marketing success
  15. How to make the most of existing content
  16. How to write good email subject lines
  17. How to write good emails
  18. How to curate stuff decently


  1. Fictional Content Marketing Case Study: Selling Candy Online
  2. What it’s actually like to do content marketing
  3. The constraints content marketers have to operate in
  4. Can content marketing be artful?
  5. Content should be modular
  6. Consider the reader
  7. The customer is an abstraction
  8. The beginning of the end of ‘growth hacking’
  9. Prescriptive thoughts about social media
  10. The different vibes of different social media platforms
  11. People fixate on tactics too much
  12. The Marketer’s Curse
    • Marketers often care about things that regular consumers might not necessarily. (Curse of knowledge)
    • I’d then quote some successful people, touch on some psychological theories and outline a course of action to emphasize how marketers can do better jobs by focusing on what the customers want, and what the precise steps along that path are.
  13. The importance of taste
  14. GoPro vs Contour
  15. What motivates your customer?
  16. The role of marketing in a bleak, meaningless universe
  17. Help people figure out what they want or need
  18. Elon Musk’s marketing toolkit
    1. pick epic problems to begin with
    2. language usage (gasoline cars)
    3. superlatives (biggest, fastest, first, largest)
    4. referrals (PayPal, Tesla)
    5. Media attention (we live in a simulation)
  19. The history of listicles (and why people love them so much) – PG pointed out that they’re finite.
  20. What are my favorite marketing campaigns?

Principles of Content Marketing

  • Utility – it has to help you do something
  • Simplicity – it should be easy to understand, at least better than competitors
  • Resource-sensitive – it should be mindful of the limitations of the reader/user

Content Marketing Mistakes

  1. Not specifying the audience
  2. Not specifying the problem
  3. Repeating what others have written
  4. Misallocating limited resources (wasting time)
  5. Not working backwards from keywords and search terms
  6. Not working backwards from distribution
  7. Not quoting existing relevant material
  8. Wasting too much time researching each piece
  9. Not hiring freelancers / interns sooner
  10. Not collecting leads sooner

Stuff to edit

  1. cmv (break into subposts)
  2. perverse incentives in marketing
  3. What I’ve learnt about marketing
  4. The most important thing about marketing [12
  5. Different scales of marketing (ants vs elephants)
  6. People overcomplicate things
    1. entrepreneurship = problem-solving
    2. business = customer-serving
    3. customer = pattern of human behavior
  7. It all begins with product-market fit


    • Faster Horses
    • Steve Jobs- “You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work back to the technology – not the other way around.” – [1]
    • UserOnboard- what superpowers will your product give people? Once you figure that out, I think you have to figure out- what are the fundamental human things that we care about? And
    • people to tweet
  • How I approach writing and creating content.
    • Why is ecommerce worth caring about?
      • Because commerce is worth caring about. Ecommerce is just a new way to do one of the oldest things people have ever done. And it’s exciting because now the barriers are much lower and anybody can start their own business.
  • social media as a utility, and how my approach to navigating it has changed over the years. Also, different responses from different audiences in different areas.
  • 4 Types of Social Capital (reply/read of T.T.)
  • Many Kinds Of Marketing (P&G)
    • I never understood in the past why people might market something like P&G
    • it’s about the employees, and the shareholders, the stock, the brand
  • 1 year at work. What I’m proud of. What I’ve learnt. Questions to ask. What is ecommerce? What are ecommerce platforms? What is marketing? What is b2b? What are startups?
  • Social Commerce
  • Rant about terrible curation
  • Social Media “Secrets”
    • “Hi I’m @visakanv and I’ve helped ReferralCandy’s Twitter account grow organically from about 100+ followers when I first joined the team, to almost 2000 now. I’m especially proud of this, because we’ve been growing this very organically, by doing things that don’t scale. I’ve chatted with folks about their bathrooms, I’ve chatted with X about metal music, all sorts of things.”
    • Look for opportunities to delight. “Yes, and”. Amazon rep pretending to be Thor/Odin. SkyScanner rep joking about 47 year layover.
  • Personal Intro stuff (for marketers are weird)
  • Statement
  • Post mortems at work – what mistakes have we made? what would I have don’t differently


  • Stuff people share
  • Viral studies
  • Reddit studies
  • Post tailored for GH
  • Vertical-specific marketing/WOM posts
  • best of seth godin / seth godin examples
  • cindy gallop marketing / examples
  • al ries
  • clay christensen examples
  • malcolm gladwell examples (pitchman, ketchup, writing style)
  • leo burnett marketing examples
  • ogilvy marketing examples
  • marshall mcluhan
  • hero’s journey in marketing

Earning word-of-mouth by… (based on existing body of work)

  • being best-in-class
  • creating new class
  • Great positioning
  • Solving a hyper-specific problem
  • Reaching out to people 1-1
  • Influencer marketing
  • Joining communities

Customer Acquisition Calendar

  • How X fashion ecommerce businesses acquired their first customers
  • Crafts? Jewels? Books? Saas? Software businesses? Boeing?
  • How the largest companies in existence got their first customers
  • Kickstarter,  indiegogo, crowdfunding?
  • Customer acquisition lessons from the largest social movements- KONY? Civil rights?
  • Customer acquisition models: hunter or farmer?
  • First few customers vs at scale?
  • Identify your best customer acquisitoon channel and doubling down
  • Studying your own customers? Spoil them silly.
  • List of customer acquisition tools, apps, plugins?
  • Things to do before you start acquiring customers at scale

Mcdonalds rebrand, Why Coke advertises, the psychology of faces on cars, things I wish someone told me when I was in college,

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