Vinnovate ep 3 - Build, eat, remember

⏰ Generate branded social assets in minutes, 🍔 Create a restaurant at home, 🧠 Remember your kindle highlights


How you doing, welcome to episode three! I’m taking a different approach this week, well from a content point of view. I figured that these newsletters are read as they hit the inboxes and that readers may have limited time. Plus, in the original Vinnovate newsletter I used to keep it short and sweet and it worked.
So moving forward, less long posts within the newsletter. Let me know in the comments if you agree. Here we go :

In this episode

⚙️ How I built 1500 icons in 2 mins and sold them on Gumroad

🍔 Eat restaurant food at home

🤓 Stop consuming, start producing

💡 Five things

📧 Newsletter growth update

How to build digital graphic products in minutes and sell them.

I’ve recently run an experiment using automations. Now I’m no graphic designer, but I noticed a trend for people wanting to customise their iPhone icons with the new iOS update. With that in mind, I thought I would create an icon pack and see how it did.

Problem: An icon pack needs around 100 icons at least to be called a pack. Generating 100 individual icons in photoshop or illustrator would be a pain in the ass. (It’s doable with batch processing, but I wanted an easier way.)
And it is via Automations. (I’m currently building a full tutorial for this) But from a topline point of view: Use Zapier, Dropbox, Airtable and Banner Bear.

Bannerbear is the main automation here. The site allows you to build templates of an image to fill in with other content and then produce variants easily. For instance, you can create an image with a coloured background and a text box floating over it. Then using a form you can just replace that text and churn out images. Like quote posts for Instagram. Or build templates for all the social channel dimensions, add dynamic fields and only have to add content once and all your social post assets are good to go

I’m currently putting together a tutorial for this, but what I managed to do was drop a bunch of icons into dropbox, then the automation would take them, add a background, download back to dropbox and rename the files. This would take hours in photoshop, the automation took 2 mins. There are some great Marketing Automation tutorials from banner bear here

Next thing I did was upload them to Gumroad and put them on sale. You can see the results here:

Creating a restaurant at home

Seems to be on-trend for what we are all going through at the moment. I bloody miss my favourite restaurant dishes - be it takeaway or cool restaurant. So I did a bit of a search and thought I would share with you some of the secret recipe sites out there :

Get these if you can:

  • Sous vide this one: Annova (best steaks ever)

  • Slow cooker: Great for indoor pulled pork

For the recipes you miss:

Top secret recipes - US-based but a couple of familiar faces in here

Restaurant Secret Recipes - This one has Ikea’s meatballs

Signature Restuarant Recipes - Mcdonald’s nuggets in here

Fakeaways - Nandos Peri-Peri wings in here

If you don’t feel like cooking there are a number of (UK) restaurants offering kits to make at home: Restaurant Kits or there’s always Uber eats right?

Now go cook and eat.

Stop consuming and start producing

What information consumes is rather obvious: it consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention, and a need to allocate that attention efficiently among the overabundance of information sources that might consume it.

Herbert A. Simon

I recently took a different approach to getting things done. I was reading book after book, watching video after video, podcast after podcast. Collecting info on how best to do things, improve things and whatnot.

The problem is, you think you are making changes or moving in the right direction when what you are really doing is just consuming. Not applying. It’s great to always be learning, but I came to a point where I needed to execute. Take everything I’ve learnt and use it.

I’m now controlling the input vs the output. 20% learning and 80% output. I also apply any new learnings straight away. You retain better when you apply it and learn quicker.
I only consume on demand, say for instance I come across something I don’t understand or need more answers to whilst producing, that’s when I can take in new info. (I have a table in my Notion listing out things I want to learn, but will only get to them as I need them)

Now, instead of delaying by wanting to learn more, I’m producing at a much faster rate and learning as I go along.

Some tools to start producing :

Webflow / Carrd - quickly build a website

Figma / Adobe XD - mockup your idea, prototype it

Gmail - send that email you’ve been meaning to, yeah that one

IAWrite - Start that book, or blog post (it plugs in as well)

Podia / Learndash / Skill Share / Udemy - Start building that course you want to sell

Upwork / People per hour / Fiverr - Outsource what you can’t do

Substack / Revue / MailerLite - Start that newsletter / Mighty Networks - Build that community

Obstacles are just tests to see how bad you want it

Ironic I’m saying this in a newsletter 😉

Five things

📖 Readwise - Great for storing your Kindle highlights, pocket saves, Airr podcast clips. Plus it gives you a daily highlight feed so you can remember them. Great social sharing functionality too.

🎮 2020 has game - reminisce about this ‘wonderful year’

👨🏻‍💻 Paste from we transfer - good looking presentations in half the time. Currently using this for my courses. PowerPoint is overkill. Check out Paste, go through the tour. Plus collaboration!

☕️ Niche Zero Coffee Grinder - I love my Aeropress coffee in the morning with my hand-ground fresh beans. But this grinder looks amazing and it’s silent and precise. Coffee lovers unite.

💡Mojo Vision - Apple will be releasing their glasses and Facebook too very soon. Cannot wait for proper AR, at least they may look less geeky than Google’s first attempt. This link is for AR contact lenses concept. Very cool.

Newsletter update

Slow growth this week. A majority of signups are coming off the back of my email signature. - just going to blindly email people now till I hit the next goal 😉

I’ve taken my eye off the ball this week as I prep my book for launch. One thing I’m adding to the book and its companion site is a link to my other online channels, namely this newsletter. It will be interesting to see if that has an effect.
I am considering a paid campaign, but feel that may bring some low-quality subscribers. - plus paid is intrusive, I’d rather a new subscriber had read, listened, watched something I had put out there and then chose to subscribe. Means they like what I have to say.

Having said that I’ve hit the 100 subscribers goal. Just keep an eye on the engagement rates. Next goal 1000. More experiments to come

📈 Newsletter Growth so far:

101 subscribers ↑3% (pw:98)

One way to help me grow this is to share it with anyone you think would enjoy it by clicking on this lovely blue button :

Share vinnovate

New section: Self Plugs

Coming soon, Content Ideas machine. The book is finished. I’m now finalising designs. If you need ideas for podcasting, videos, posts, blogs and more - this book is for you:

Automations Vol1: Still in draft but a book on every single Automation I use from business to personal. Sign up to be notified here

An idea for a very cool Podcast and supporting book - If you are into NoCode, you may like this. More to come. Tools to use: Descript and (these are great if you are podcasting)

That’s it for this week, have a lovely weekend and see you next Friday