Talking Growth #02: Audience First, Founder Led Sales, Commerce x Media

September 22, 2020

I'm coming up on two months in CA which sounds crazy just typing but seeing New Yorkers dining outside with layers of clothing on sounds even crazier. I don't miss that life. Palm trees and 80-degree weather in the fall is for me.

On our plate today, I highlight my current social media strategy for growing my personal brand and Growth Roadmap, I highlight the tremendous upside for Walmart in the current TikTok deal, and share some insight around commerce and content creation.

🌱Talking Growth

Growth Marketing Database - When I first had the idea of a Growth Database I honestly didn't think it would be something people. To my surprise, the original Growth Database proved to be a hit despite having a poor UX. That's why I'm happy to announce the v2. of the Growth Marketing Database. My vision is that the database will grow into a resource for those looking to learn, a source of truth for successful Growth & Marketing strategies/tactics, and a community for founders, growth practitioners, and others to converge (more on this down the line).

GMD Updates:
- Founder Led Sales
- Growth Loops and Where to Find Them

Project Popeye - Nerd alert, one of my favorite things to do is give my projects a code name. Something out of the ordinary and fun. Insert "Project Popeye". Project Popeye is my social media strategy for how I plan to lean more into building my personal brand and the Growth Roadmap brand. In a nutshell, my approach is to educate and curate. Educate growth marketing expertise with a focus on macro strategy and social/content. Additionally, curate quality content/examples to help increase distribution by tapping into the network of existing influencers.

Founder Led Sales - I've always been more of a sales/marketing and product-oriented founder. I'm technical ish, but don't expect to be able to push serious code. Still, as Growth Roadmap is in the 0-1 phase, I've worn the hat of head of sales as I steer the ship forward. This in turn has put an ever emphasis on growing my social capital.

The personal brand of a founder is becoming ever more important as the barrier of entry to building products becomes lower. Now more than ever, the tables have turned and founders are becoming the distribution channel for their products.

Build an audience and then build a product. Or, build an audience while building a product.

example from Jack Butcher


Social Media
If you're a founder, one channel to definitely prioritize is Twitter. Find the key influencers in your niche, follow them, and while you're creating your own content, make sure you're always commenting and interacting with the influencers you followed. This way you can tap into their network (ideally the same niche/universe as yours) and start gaining followers.

Identify the Slack Groups, forums (e.g. Reddit), and Facebook Groups where other founders or end-users live. Be active in these communities and create a consistent series of content that showcases your expertise and pain point that your product will address. This allows you to build trust, build a cult following, and start those conversations for getting customers become easier to initiate. With all things regarding growing your business, create a rigid strategy but be flexible with your tactics. From there test, test, and test some more.

Want more info on Founder Led Sales?
Dru from Trends: Personal Brands
Hacker Noon: Founders Should Be your Best Sales People

📰From the news

Oracle & Walmart Win TikTok(Pt. 2) - What seemed like a sure-fire win, has quickly turned into a state of confusion as no one quite knows whether or not the TikTok deal has gone through. Regardless, I expect some form of agreement, to be announced soon while the interim winners appear to be Walmart and Oracle. This deal opens up the possibility that Walmart may actually be able to compete with Amazon in the Commerce wars.

With access to TikTok, Walmart now has a mountain of data to capitalize on but that mountain data falls within its target demo.

Data from Numerator

This creates the opportunity where Walmart can take a page out of Amazon's playbook where they either copy trending products and push their own products in front of audiences.

This creates stiff competition for commerce brands and third-party sellers which now have to compete with each other and Walmart. Still, Walmart fails in comparison to Amazon Prime in terms of subscribers and fulfillment, but through their TikTok win, they have the opportunity to close that gap through increased commerce sales, the capture of first-party data, and the ability to capitalize on the data of the next highly valuable target consumer, Gen-Z. Time will tell, but Walmart x Oracle is one of the largest and most visible examples of the convergence of media and commerce.

🎤From the people

Religious Content Creators  - we live in a creator's economy and we're seeing this extend into other areas of life such as religion. What that means is that no longer are the days that you can build something and people will come. Religious organizations are understanding this and utilizing platforms to acquire and retain their followers.

My .02 - every company is a media company. Content is no longer a nice to have but a must-have.

Office Clothing - COVID has impacted various industries with different head and tailwinds but that rings true more often with apparel brands. If you're on the fitness side of things you probably saw an uptick, but if you're on the work clothing side of things, you probably noticed a downward trend.

My .02 - I vowed never to work or remain in a work environment where I couldn't wear a grey t-shirt and jeans to work, so I'm biased here but I do see office clothing coming back as more of the workforce misses the office lifestyle.

💡 Inspo

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