The challenge of building a business today is being generous with the work that you put out but also making sure that there’s an economic engine behind that work to support what you do. In this episode I explore a business model that checks both of those boxes: it has giving at its core, but it doesn’t shy away from selling at the appropriate time.
The Doug Neill Show: Episode #28
Recorded on July 6th, 2019
You can browse all episodes here.
The Business Model: Selling by Giving
0:35 – 10:22
Exploring the nuts and bolts of my business model, and how selling by giving lies at the core of that model.
- What this podcast is all about (the three pillars): building a sustainable creative career. I like how we defined the creative piece last week. Now we’re digging into the career pillar.
- The free things that I give away: weekly instructional videos on YouTube and Facebook and (formerly) a preview of The Verbal To Visual Notebook which led folks to my email list.
- The things that I sell (still in the same vein as the giveaways): online courses that dig deeper into the development and use of sketchnoting skills.
- One of the best ways to stay in touch with fans and turn some fans into customers: build an email list. I use ConvertKit, but MailChimp is a great option too.
- These giveaways are an important piece to the economic engine behind my work, a concept from Jim Collins that came up in Episode 9: Hedgehog Mode & The Flywheel Effect.
The New Giveaway
10:22 – 23:01
Sharing the details of the new giveaways I created connected to my email list: a set of sketchnoting guides (week-long email courses) that address a particular topic of interest to new sketchnoters.
- I’ve been sharing the progress on these sketchnoting guides here on the podcast. I talk about them in Episode 22: Repurposing Your Creative Work, and they also came up in Episode 20: Creative Retreat on a Cross-Country Train.
- The guides I made: Getting Started with Sketchnoting, Overcome Your Fear of Drawing, A Sketchnoting Primer for Teachers & Students, and Sketchnoting at Work. (I didn’t like how Process Your Past & Visualize Your Future was coming together, so I stepped away from that one, for now at least.)
- The tool that I thought I’d be using to create the guides: Procreate for iPad Pro.
- The 100% sketched guides were taking WAY too long, so instead I created them as email series, using the automation tools within ConvertKit. The edibility is a huge benefit of the email approach (not a bad way to build a course either – just write a series of emails to a friend who’s interested in the topic of that course!).
- I’m trying not to set expectations around the degree to which the new giveaways will impact my business. At worst, it will be a learning experience, and at best it will strengthen the economic engine behind my work here.
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Thanks for listening, and talk with you again next week!