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June 24, 2024

We are in the middle of gearing up for the launch of a brand new product. 

As I was working through the process, it took me back to basics and made me think, how do we promote this thing? How are we going to make sales? 

One question kept popping up: why do people buy? 

I wanted to find out the smallest building block for why people make purchases. 

So I went down a bit of a rabbit hole and I want to share what I discovered with you. It’s not new, but it’s valuable. 

It takes us back to first principles and asks, what is the simplest building block for business? And how can we create something successful out of that?

I think it’s easy to get lost in marketing books, courses, or advice from gurus and not truly understand why certain things work. I’ve been in business for 18 years, and even with all my experience, going back to basics was really enlightening. It was useful for understanding my situation and what I’m about to engage in for this promotion.

So, let’s dig into that fundamental question: why do people buy? What gets them to actually give you their credit card details and make a purchase? 

As far as I can tell, it all comes down to the humble transaction. There’s nothing smaller that you can distill business down into other than that. A transaction is the core of business.

Let’s break down the word transaction…

It’s like two words in one: trans and action. Trans means to cross, and the root meaning of action means to drive through. So a transaction is a crossover of money and a drive-through of goods or services. It’s an action that goes across and gets driven through.

There’s no business unless there’s a transaction. Your business isn’t successful until you have goods and services to transfer and get paid for them. If you don’t have that, then there’s no business. 

It’s as simple as that. 

The transaction is the most basic building block for business.

Once you’ve established that, you need to maximize it if you want to increase the dollars in your bank account. There are only three ways to do that: 

  • Have more transactions
  • Make transactions more frequent
  • Make transactions bigger

Think about how to get more transactions, how to make them more frequent, and how to make them bigger. These three things are the key to optimizing transactions.

Going back to the original question, why do people buy? Or more precisely, why do people transact? This is where it gets interesting. Let’s dig into it in more detail.

What does it take to create a transaction? There are three key elements: 

  • The Individual Creating the Transaction (ICT)
  • The Offer
  • Trust

You need the right person (ICT), the right offer, and trust. Without any of these three elements, the transaction doesn’t take place.

For the ICT: 

  • Who are they?
  • Are there enough of them?
  • Can you reach them?
  • Do they have money?

For the offer: 

  • Are you solving the right problem?
  • Are you solving it at the right time?
  • Are you solving it at the right price?

For trust: 

  • Reliability
  • Consistency
  • Integrity

All these elements must be aligned for the transaction to take place.

Let’s visualize something…

Imagine the ICT as a person with an unfulfilled desire. There’s an obstacle in the way, and your product or service helps them overcome that obstacle. Your offer is like a door with a lock that they need to unlock to access your product or service. The lock represents solving the right problem, at the right time, and at the right price.

Once they unlock the lock, they get access to your product or service, which helps them overcome the obstacles and fulfill their desire. After that, they’re likely to refer others to you.

This is the basics of business. Everything is built around the transaction, and understanding this can help you build a successful business.

We went through this process with our new product, and it was so revealing. We created a spreadsheet to map out the desires, obstacles, solutions, and offers. It helped us see what we were solving for and what we needed to improve.

Hope you found this useful!

Why People Buy

So, the last couple of weeks have been a bit of a rollercoaster for me. 

Not too long ago, I made a video all about my niche, my target audience, and my ideal customer profile. I was super excited because I had gone through a lot to figure it all out. 

I know how crucial it is to have that clarity when creating content. If you don’t know who you’re creating content for, it can be a nightmare.

I ran this idea past my wife. 

She’s a very clear thinker and asked me some tough questions about my target audience. 

It turns out, while it was a good niche, the problem was that it was too circular or meta. It reminded me of people who create content about creating content or those who build a business teaching others how to make money online by making money online. 

You get the point. 

It’s like a house of cards—too circular and lacking substance.

I didn’t want to fall into that trap. It’s easy to build your authority on shaky ground. 

At first, I really resisted my wife’s feedback. I was so convinced about my target audience because I had put so much effort into figuring it out. But she made me realize that if I wanted to create content about creating content, I needed solid case studies to back it up. And I didn’t have that.

Here’s the thing: 

  • If you’re teaching content creation, you need real case studies—not just your own, but from clients as well.
  • Your foundation has to be strong; otherwise, it’s too easy for everything to crumble.

I was frustrated at first. 

I had this perfect target audience, and now I was being told it wasn’t good enough. But after some reflection, I understood her point. If I wanted to focus on video marketing for busy founders, I needed to do it for a separate brand. Then, I could talk about it on my personal brand. This way, it would be legit.

It’s easy to think you can teach something just because you’ve learned it. But you need to be careful. It can become too circular, and that’s a problem. So, I decided to take a step back to take a step forward. I went back to what I learned from Austin Kleon’s Show Your Work.

I love the idea of showing your work. It’s simple and elegant. 

If you share what you’re doing, like-minded people will find you. You attract an audience naturally. It’s not about seeking validation; it’s about sharing because you find it cool and interesting. That authenticity brings good energy and makes your content stable.

So, yeah, I’m taking a step back to move forward. I’m going to focus on showing my work. I’m doing a lot of cool stuff with my content and a new business that’s in the promotion stage. I can share all of that with you.

I’ll be sharing behind-the-scenes looks, the mistakes I make, and what I learn from them. I think there’s a lot of value in that. It’s real and authentic, and maybe you’ll find some lessons you can apply to your own life.

So, thanks for sticking with me as I navigate this content game. It’s new territory for me, even though I’ve been doing this for a while. I need to train my mind to think more along the lines of sharing what I’m doing. I’m going to reread Show Your Work to let those concepts sink in.

That’s where my thoughts are right now. 

It might be the wrong direction, but time will tell. For now, I’m experimenting and having fun, and I’m glad you’re along for the ride. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next post. Bye for now!

Circular Content Creation: A Dangerous Trap for Creators

Figuring out your target market or ideal customer profile (ICP) can be one of the biggest challenges for any business or content creator.

When you get it wrong, it can hurt your business. But when you get it right, it can make a huge difference. It’s the difference between being a mediocre brand and a successful one.

Pat Flynn has this process called Brand in a Hand that I tried, and it really helped me. So, let me take you through it.

I’ve modified it a bit to fit my needs, but here are the basics:

  • Little finger – People: Know who you’re targeting.
  • Ring finger – Passion: Understand what they want.
  • Middle finger – Problems: Identify their problems.
  • Pointy finger – Platform: Guide them to the right platform.
  • Thumb – Products: Develop products that solve their problems.

So, let’s start with People. For me, it’s founders. Why founders? Because I am one, and I understand them. I’ve been a founder for over a decade, so I know the ins and outs, especially those building software or online businesses.

Next is Passion. What do they want? In my case, founders who want to build a global audience using video. They’re not just any founders; they’re busy ones with a dream of creating a brand through video content.

Then we have Problems. This one’s easy. Founders are busy. They don’t have time to create content. They lack resources like tools, systems, and information to make video content quickly and efficiently. And consistency is a big issue. If you’re a busy founder, you know the struggle of being consistent with content.

Instead of Platform, I call it Path. It’s about giving them a pathway from where they are now to where they want to be. For me, it’s these three steps:

  • Produce content
  • Publish content
  • Promote content

Get these right, and you’re winning at the content game.

Now, let’s talk about Products. These are the things I’ll create to help my audience produce, publish, and promote their content. This will include both content and actual products or services.

Finally, there’s Proof. Proof that you can do the work. For me, it’s my 18 years of experience in video marketing. I’ve built multiple brands and achieved significant results in the video space.

One more thing that helped me was doing this exercise three times. I compared different target audiences to see which fit best with my experience and goals. This helped me refine my ICP and get even clearer on who I want to serve.

So, that’s the Brand in Hand process. I’ve updated my personal blog and everything to reflect this clarity. Thanks to Pat Flynn for this amazing process. It’s helping me hone in on my target market, which is a lot like me—busy founders who want to grow their audience using video.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave your ideas below and check out Pat’s video for more insights. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next post!

Unlocking the Secret to Identifying Your Perfect Customer

Struggling with content consistency? 

Me too. 

And let me tell you, it’s no walk in the park when you’re trying to keep up with daily or weekly posts. 

But guess what? 

I’ve found some tricks that make it a whole lot easier, and I’m excited to share them with you—especially if you’re juggling a busy life, just like I am.

So, a bit about me. I’m not a full-time content marketer. I’m an entrepreneur with a video production agency, and I’m knee-deep in launching a software startup.

Time is a luxury I just don’t have, so I’ve had to come up with a killer plan to stay on top of my content game.

  • Topic Clarity: Knowing what to talk about is half the battle won. I use ‘value-based content’— a term I came up with after learning about values from Dr. John F Demartini. It’s about aligning your content with your true values, not the ones you think you should have. It’s a game-changer.
  • Show Your Work: Thanks to Austin Kleon’s book, I’ve been simply showing what I’m working on. Like this post, it’s a peek into my process, and it’s authentic. That’s what clicks!
  • ICP – Ideal Customer Profile: It’s a work in progress for me, but creating content around my values is slowly helping me define who my business serves best.

Now, about that publishing schedule…

It’s unique to everyone, right? 

For me, it’s a mix of medium and short form content—no long-form podcasts yet. I’ve got my hands full!

I keep it super simple. Whether it’s a video on YouTube, a post on LinkedIn, or a quick email newsletter, the key is to make it quick, simple, and clear.

My short form content? 

It’s all about repurposing. 

I chop up my longer videos into bite-sized clips perfect for platforms like Instagram or TikTok. And for editing—I don’t touch it. I have a team for that, but even they follow the mantra of simplicity. Quick edits, captions, and boom, it’s ready to go.

And that’s how I roll with content creation. 

It’s about finding that rhythm that works for you, keeping it simple, and staying true to what you value. 

That’s how you hit the consistency nail on the head.

Unlock consistency in your content strategy

Struggling with taking the perfect screenshot on your Mac? It can be a real pain, trust me. Luckily, I’ve stumbled upon something that’s made my life a whole lot easier, and I think it’ll do the same for you.

As an online entrepreneur with around 18 years in the game, I’ve been on the hunt for the ideal screen capture tool. Something that’s more than just hitting ‘Command+Shift+4’ and hoping for the best. You know what I’m talking about, right? A tool that actually has features that can help with annotating and organizing your screenshots without breaking a sweat—or your flow.

I’ve tried a bunch over the years. Started with the basic Apple screen capture, moved on to Skitch, which was awesome until it got all clunky post-Evernote acquisition. Then there was Droplr – it was cool for a bit, but ended up being outdated, buggy, and pricey. Total buzzkill.

So, I kept searching and finally, I hit the jackpot with CleanShot X. If you’re on a Mac and you need to capture your screen like a pro, this is it, my friend. I’m not kidding. It’s a game-changer.

  • Quick access? Check.
  • Annotating tools? You got it.
  • Cloud sharing? Oh yeah.

And it’s not just about the features. It’s about how they make your life easier. Let’s dive into how I use this stellar piece of software.

With CleanShot X, capturing a precise part of the screen is as simple as pressing ‘Shift+Command+4’. No more fuzzy edges or missed details. Plus, this nifty zoom feature lets you see exactly where you’re about to capture. Pure magic.

Once you’ve got your screenshot, the editing interface is where the real fun begins. Highlight areas, draw arrows, add numbers for steps in a tutorial—heck, you can even blur out sensitive info.

And sharing your captures? A breeze. Drag and drop your screenshot into any app—Slack, Messenger, WhatsApp—you name it. It’s like they designed this tool to make you forget the word ‘hassle’ ever existed.

Let’s talk money, though. They’ve got options that won’t make your wallet weep. For solo users, it’s a one-time purchase with a $19 yearly renewal for updates. Got a team? It’s just $8 per user per month, billed annually. A small price to pay for smooth sailing with your team’s communication.

Speaking of teams, over-communication is key. With CleanShot X, making things super obvious is a piece of cake. The clearer you can get your point across, the fewer chances for miscommunication. And that, my friends, is priceless.

I can’t recommend CleanShot X enough. Check it out at And no, you can’t game the system with the licenses—I’ve tried. But hey, they offer discounts for multiple computers, so if you’re pairing up with someone, take advantage of that.

Bottom line: CleanShot X blows the competition out of the water. If you decide to give it a whirl, I’m betting you’ll be as stoked as I am. Thanks for tuning in, and catch you on the flip side!

The ultimate screenshot app (Mac)

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