VINNOVATE Ep1. - It starts...
Building a newsletter audience, the machines have taken over, a 100 tweets thread
Yes! You didn’t unsubscribe!
This is probably the fifth iteration of my newsletter. Thing is, I love putting these together and sharing things, but time slips by. However, I have a routine, yes…this time I’ll get it right.
So, what is Vinnovate? Its been many things, from simply sharing cool stuff, the tutorials around social media and content marketing. Thing is, you run out of ideas if you stick to those verticles. So I’m bringing it all into one.
Every two weeks I will send out this email with info, interesting bits, tips, tricks, processes, automations, updates and loads more but not just siloed into Social Media, or tech. This is a curation of all the things that interest me, the things I do for a living, the experiments. (also this intro won’t be as long in the next one 🥳
Below are a couple of interesting things and then my favourite part taken from the original Vinnovate email : Five things. Five Things I’ve discovered, am using, find interesting and useful
Onto the good stuff…
The Machines have taken over….
One of my services for my clients is automation…. I found this out accidentally. Thing is, I am anti monotony. I believe in getting time back. So any time I find my self repeating a task, I seek out ways to automate it, then expand it.
I’ve been pushing this approach for a few years now, and have started using it even more in the past year. Every single thing that can be automated, should.
⏳ You get so much time back, even automating the smallest things
🥱 Monotony is destroyed
🗂 It helps maintain flow, instead of opening a whole load of folders, apps, templates you automate that sort of stuff so you can get into it quickly. Especially when creativity strikes
✅ Uniform - as in the same branding on templates, images and posts
🧠Concentrate on what matters and what you are good at. Save your energy for the good stuff
To get started, think of what is a pain for you to do, what is repetitive. Then work backwards. For example, you have the same slides in a presentation before you get to the main part. Create those slides in a template, then use automation to create them whenever you start a new one. The automation could include a way to title the presentation as well. Or look at different apps you use and how you have to update them all when something changes, could one app be the ‘Mother’ that then talks to the other apps and you only have to make the change in one place?
Start with IFTTT.com, then move onto Zapier then start playing with Integromat. Visit their libraries and tutorials. Build basic automations, then start looking into conditional automations.
Granted, this mail is not the place to show you a full tutorial, however, I’m currently putting together a book of every single automation I use and how to set them up and will be out in the next month. If you’re interested you can sign up to be notified here when it’s out
A new page to add to your Website
Ever heard of a ‘now’ page?
Website owners are adding a ‘Now’ page to their sites to let visitors know what they are up to. Think of it as a long-form Twitter on your own site. Nownownow.com has a list of users applying this approach. Plus I have recently added it to my new site. (launching very soon!)
The thing I like about it is the accountability. It’s like a public declaration of getting things done. For instance, if your ‘now’ page hasn’t been updated in a few weeks…what are you doing?
In order to make this frictionless and easy to update, I used Webflow’s CMS and built an easy and quick to update form. Now I just post a quick update and it reflects on my site. I’ve made it only display the latest three, so the page doesn’t get noisy. It also keeps the site fresh if I fall back on my blogging.
The 100 Tweets post
Last week I decided to create an epic tweet thread. All the tips and tricks I’ve learnt or applied in the past few years. I’m thinking of making this an annual thing.
If you haven’t seen it, here it is in all its glory :
Its been my hardest working post and has made me realise even more how your content should be informative and helpful. Followers have increased and engaged. From there I had more people sign up to this newsletter as they want more of that sort of stuff.
Twitter threads are where it’s at though. These are great as the publisher is sharing a bunch of informative tweets in one go. I’ve been using this approach a few months now and love it.
Handy tools for tweet threads :
Hypefury - a simple app to schedule your tweets. I used this for the above tweet. Easily add tweet after tweet and then schedule
Threader.app : This app pulls in tweet threads form those you follow into easy to read long-form posts. The other thing I like about it is using Twitter commands to save other threads. All you need to do is reply to the first tweet in a thread and type ‘@treaderapp please compile’ the bot will reply with a link to your compiled tweet thread.
Growing an email database so far…
Last week you probably received an email with me announcing the release of this newsletter. that was the first step, getting in touch with people I know or have worked with.
To do this, I exported all my contacts from my Gmail accounts into a CSV, removed a couple of duplicates, removed people I’d rather not be in touch with 😉 and a couple of ex-girlfriends (would have been awkward). From there I imported the list into substack and let everyone know my intentions. That exercise brought in almost 90 subscribers.
The next step is encouraging people to share - that compounding thing. If you invite two then 100 subscribers will bring me 200 (roughly speaking). On top of this, I made sure that my subscription page was set up before I published the 100 tweet post as I had a feeling it would perform better than my other posts. (plus it’s pretty much the sort of content this newsletter includes. - just me sharing some stuff I think you may find useful)
Say what? You want to help? Say no more. Here’s a handy little share button.
Funnels, lead magnets and all that probably do serve their purpose in database growth but they have been so overdone. My theory now is quality content. Let’s see how it goes. More on this next week.
📈 Newsletter Growth so far:
The Digital Product empire
I’ve decided its finally time to pivot my business into the knowledge industry. I realised, probably over the past few years that trading time for money is not scalable. Plus I wasn’t really enjoying it, just going through the motions really. What I did discover is that I like teaching and sharing. That tweet above was great to put together. With that in mind, 2021 is my year of digital products.
This image from Jack Butcher was the straw that broke the camels back
In other words, build once, sell many.
So, with that in mind, I’m taking the approach of a series of digital product experiments. Launching multiple products and seeing what sticks. Heres the first ones releasing in the next month or so:
📖 The content book (a working title) - https://gum.co/UOShC
⚙️ Automations vol1 - https://automationsvol1.carrd.co/
📚 The Online course site (using www.podia.com for this) - https://thecbpa.carrd.co/
🛠 The Consultants toolbox - a database of every tool, easily searchable. Supported by a Notion website for usage and tips
📄 Plus a few templates to sell.
I’ve created a digital products section on my community pages (currently building) where you can add your products and ask for reviews, feedback and help in getting the word out there. (Community build is currently migrating from FB groups and Mighty Networks to circle.so)
I’ll keep you posted on the learnings and growth techniques and of course discounts and betas for Vinnovate subscribers 😋
Some of these are affiliate links - got to pay the bills.
🛠 Super.so - turn your notion pages into websites. I’m currently using this to build a site to support my content book
🎨 Once I found a name, I run it through looka.com and am able to generate all my assets for social, print, websites and all that.
🎯 Ui8 - This site is amazing. My new website has a cartoony 3D theme and this site helped me find the assets I needed. Easily editable in Figma. (currently teaching myself Blender so I can make these myself)
💵 Gumspy - Airtable base of products on Gumroad plus their numbers and revenue. Great for digital product research and inspiration
Right, I’m outta here, got to prep some other stuff. If you enjoyed this first issue, please share this newsletter!
Where to find me:
Twitter : @vincenthaywood
Website: Launching soon
Network: Launching Soon
Instagram: @thecontentblueprint (working title)