Q & A w/ Tom and Tim
If you're all interested, market tunis dot com is where I post new cartoons every week. I often draw cartoons about my day to day life, so you may see something from today's studio or questions show up in here, but I've really enjoyed having the chance to talk with you, and I definitely look forward to your to your questions and having having some conversation with you two. Thank you, uh, we want to say thank you very much for you. Everyone in the online audience has been loving what you're doing and, uh, okay, writer says he's very good at verbalizing these comments very shrewd mind so thank you, but we would love to ask you a few questions if you've got time absolutely fantastic. Okay, so just a teo to clarify from this last section again for lk writer so if his content in the means what is your end? That's? A great question so the end to me really is ultimately that relationship with the audience and it's and it's and thie content is what is what is the is the vocabulary what's make...
s that that relationship even possible and I love I love cartooning don't get me wrong the individual cartoons it's my passion, it's what I love to do, but ultimately if are just drawing cartoons in isolation. And I didn't have that audience that was responding to it and uh and make enclosing the loop it would just be a one way monologue and cartooning as a one lane monologue doesn't have as much interest in me there's something when you have a cartoon the laughter comes on lee when the audience puts themselves into it and connects and makes the joke funny you see this with a new yorker caption contest, for instance, where there's an image that may have some humor in it when you provide the caption that's what really makes it makes it funny and it's true even for a fully self contained cartoon you maybe bring yourself into the cartoon and that that exchange that makes it a dialogue ultimately is the end for me yeah, I have a question from the audience yeah, yeah great great content we just said you weigh talked earlier about what was it like before you had someone like tim on your team? How important for on author to have someone who can because your step is complex is a lot of parts to it yes is not you know one thing you just email market and that's it and you create website here is much more complex and I was just wondering how important do you think hiring someone who can really take what you're doing and bring it to another level it's vitally important, I really I would say it's vitally important, and I would also add the caveat that it's not a one size fits all solution either. There's that great quote from jerry garcia that you don't want to just be the best of the best. You want to be the only one who does what you do? Ah lot of the journey for me has been to figure out I write my own business plan and model, and working with tim to help set up that platform is an essential part of the model adapting it has been part of the journey, and and no one should go into this thinking that it's a tick list mentality it's ultimately applying the tools and the best way possible to your unique situation, I'd say. And I want to point out to those that how long did you put your cartoon out without a professional involved? Ten years you said, yeah, well, seven years without, yeah. Eso so you know, what I found is that a lot of times by trying to do something that you're getting like the last twenty percent, really so the most important thing was putting your content out in a way that you can get it out into the world. And yeah, a professional khun come in and like tweak some things that really make your vision come alive and like take advantage of like certain things you can't do on your own but the most important thing is giving away that people can consume it and now more than ever especially now more than when you started ten years ago you're able to go out and create your own stuff and so you're able tio create your own blawg you're able to set up your own newsletter much easier you know it used to be again what was so great about blogging was it allowed a nerd to not be in the equation right between me and putting find it online and now more than ever you can do that and not only can you do it but there's so many resource is like if you want to put a podcast just google how to start a podcast and you'll get tons information so what I really don't want people to take away from that is that okay? Well until I can't afford to have somebody come in and do it perfectly I might as well just not do it you know really like just tons of tools out there you can get started and get you know the eighty you know that eighty twenty thing get that eighty percent or get the twenty percent of work that get to eighty percent of the results right? Beginning that's smooth and the tools are better than ever before. When I was starting, this was literally an email newsletter, but male chimp, you know, which is a great platform didn't make a lot of stuff I had toe well hack on my own what I realized, the benefits of working with somebody like tim as I started to just decide where is that they ultimately want to spend my time? And for me, a lot of it was on the content creation and thinking strategically about the platform, but there's a lot of stuff that that enabled me to ex to accelerate my goals even faster by having, by taking my platform up to the next level. Questions, questions very just short explanations, I apologized for not getting all your names but hilarious, hysterical, very, very good people are really loving your work, tom, but the joy is asking our some of thomas best cartoons a result of you drawing them for your own entertainment? Yes, yes, and in fact, there is that there's a very important point because you don't want to get to the point where you're on ly creating audio content based on what you think the audience will like that's a dangerous line, too, if you're just creating it for for the audience, you're going to trip yourself up you're gonna have to many voices in your head and ultimately, I have to. I have to draw what I think. What I think is funny. Each and every time it has to go through that. That filter I use, I use what people send me on what I imagine, kind of. Their impressions are as input into the process. But ultimately, it's it's doing what I what I find what I find funny and engaging now that I do this full time it's funny that I I now whereas I used to use my nights and weekends to cartoon and my day jobs going in into marketing corporations. Now I have my day job drawing cartoons and working on these campaigns and creating a lot of cartoons. And I use my nights and weekends to do projects entirely unrelated to marketing purely for fun and whimsy and that's. Great, teo, I do large scale paintings. The town where I live asked me to draw the phone book cover for the town. I do a lot of pro bono projects with with organ it with nonprofits and that type of thing, because that that brings that that's a whole different different level and ultimately, the whole thing. When the ecosystem works out, you can have all those different, different pieces of the puzzle. And they worked virtuously after working on a project like that. My other work gets better too, because I've had time to play and really put myself out there without, you know, without without boiling it down in the same way makes your brain shift gears well, that another one I think, is great from okay writer this was just a comment that he made was or she it was what a fabulous success story, but it takes so much time now how do you feel about what your thoughts do you think you have to be in it for the long haul? Is this something where you just you have to toil in obscurity for years and years and years before you khun suddenly make it? Or and this, I think, applies to boat it's a really good question. So I, um, on day one, I was enjoying it there's the old saying, if you if you do what you love for a living, you'll never work a day in your life. And on day one, even though I wasn't earning a paycheck from this, it was immensely gratifying. And and I think it's important when you're creating content is to look at your own motivations, and if it's purely around the economics, then you're probably not gonna be in for the long haul because it's going to feel like toil. But if you are, if you're creating it, because it generally it generally makes you happy, then you're going to you're going to join your going to do that because you really want to do that. And that was the case for may. It was a long journey from a timing standpoint, but it was it was a tremendously exhilarating ride the whole way, and I would do it over again even if I have to go back to an audience of one hundred people initially starting out of the air, the thirty five person email that I sent out, I would do it again because of that ction what, that and what? That what that meant to me, a lot of what we're talking about is figuring out how to leverage, um, stuff so that you you can get it to spread faster, right? Right? And so what we're talking about his things like, okay, you have this amount of time, I got a job, you know, and this probably um, here's a good example, a lot of writers there listening is you have a job, and you're trying to write on the weekends and nights and mornings and getting up at four thirty to get your writing done. And so what do we find that what do you find? That is the most that you can leverage the most? Right? So in your case, it was create this email list and getting out into the world, you know, hugh, how he's going to be here tomorrow? And for him, it was like putting out he decided to do an episodic siri's with his story. So instead of sitting down and writing a five hundred page novel, he released the first ninety pages first, just to get it out into the world, right? And he used the tools of amazon toe actually put it in front of new readers, so what's interesting is that you can use these tools to get in front of people, that you can accelerate things in a way that you couldn't before, you know, if you were back trying to do this and it was all print related, you're actually like handing out print copies like that would never work, but now we have these tools that can leverage it, um, and so what we're in. What we're trying to do here is cut away the noise the stuff that we spend a lot of time doing that's not helpful like spending tons of time putting stuff on twitter that's not doing anything and focusing on the handful of things they're really good this results and so yes it can take ten years and other times it can take longer and a lot of times you can do it in shorter times but it's really finding those tools that will make it happen the most efficiently coming from I c djourou's with us earlier visual is good for sharing but how do you share a forty thousand word peace for either of you so yeah and that's one thing I've actually look tom's work and some other illustrators I've worked with and be like well, you know all I do is like create words or like create these dumb little like videos that are basically power point presentations you know? Of course his stuff spreads he's a cartoonist it's cool it's funny you know? And I know a lot of people thought that too, but what I think comes down to it is just because like he was saying it comes down to the think it comes down to the actual content behind it if your cartoons weren't funny if they didn't strike a chord if they weren't true in these ways just because you could draw wouldn't make them spread it all and so I think it comes down to, you know, one of the things that we want to do in all this has learned how we can experiment, learn how we can try new things, and, you know, if you look back in my history is an entrepreneur as somebody that tries to not get fat as somebody who like, tries to stay on the diet, is somebody who tries to help people learn how to do marketing, I just try a bunch of stuff and see what works for me and for him, it was cartooning, and I've tried my hand and I hate it, and so the idea of doing it at night, I'm like, why would I do something I hate on the weekend? And so for me, I like to create another way, so I think it's learning the way that resonates with you and that comes easy to you, the creation to you and putting it out in that way, and people love to consume things and lots of different way, so don't use the fact that you can't draws a reason not to create use as an inspiration, like I'm going to find something that resonates with me in the way that I create, and then I'm going to sit there and I'm going to do that, and I'm gonna find people that want to connect with it, yeah. I think it makes a lot of sense everything I would add to that is's there's think about the model of the trojan horse and the idea with the forty thousand word manuscript is there a version of that that could be teased out a cz the tip of the iceberg that captivates people's interest and brings them in for the full thing? So think about those nuggets that can be that trojan horse of content that brings people in for me I think I might my cartoon spreads far more white lated anyone coming to my site and reading the full article but those that do you know it is you know, those that do came in because of the cartoon and then the article brings them in and then they stay and maybe supply supply comment and it's rippling levels of engagement for some of you engage with reading a forty thousand word manuscript thinking about what the the part of your content that could be teased out that comforting people and at the very initial level as an interesting exercise I think macleod who's a cartoonist you know? Yeah yeah, of course. Um so he put his cartoons out and create a block posts around him before blogging was even a thing he was doing this and and then his books turned into basically edited versions of block post put together as a continuous thought and they became best sellers and so he released his book, he wasn't thinking it is a book at the time, but he was just putting content out, and he took this stuff that resonated the most, the cartoons that resonate the most and put them together, as you would say in a forty thousand word book that he could then sell, make money on spread in that kind of thing. So, um, you know, like you're saying slice and dice and come up with different ways you can put out in the world you mentioned that you had then a out bought bound one time where you sent it to your friends, thirty five people that were in the field and then from there that spread, do you do you think that's an important part of you know, you're getting yourself out there where you're out bounding some of it so that you're not just waiting for something to happen because that was a step outward, obviously, and some spreading happened from that write something I think about it a lot, and I think there's a lot of room to experiment with this even further I've won. One of the ways that I've started take subsequent steps outward is to repackage my content and then syndicate that to various magazines and web sites that have followings as something that they can run as an ongoing siri's there and leverage their platform effectively teo learn from from their audience and there are few places where I do that chief content officer your magazine for instance in the world of content marketing, which is where I'm I have a lot of my focus it why work work applies there and I could take something that I've done I can I can add to that and expand it and then taken outbound steps what they're putting in front of their audience I definitely air on the side of pull rather than push so I'd rather do that where the audience is there it's an environment where they're looking for content I definitely wouldn't want to be aggressively pushing my content on people who aren't interested so it's a continuum but I think that I'm trying to experiment with the right way teo be proactive about how to get it in front of different audiences for sure reframing you're content is really good this idea of taking your content and looking at it from different perspective so you could talk to different audiences you know, for me um, you know, I started my business, I started working with a lot of business book authors and so of course what kind of referrals am I gonna get more business book authors, which has been great? I love my business book authors but was really noticing this hole of like I have nothing to speak directly to fiction writers with I've studied them, I have some ideas, but I can't say, well, look what I've done with this fiction writer, so I looked out into the world and I'm like, hugh howey, I want to work with you, howie, and so I tracked him down and we started working together, and now I'm able to put content out about how I'm helping fiction writers, too, and so I take the same content, and I can just kind of reframe it depending on who I talk to and where I see holes that I want to reach people. And so I think you can look at your content and think about it in new ways and think about it of like, okay, I wanted to speak to this type of people, and I do it very simply, like I do this in my head all the time, if I if I was at a party and somebody a fiction writer heard that I work with authors and they came up and said, well, what would you say to a fiction writer? What would I say to them? There's my content. Right? You know it's very simple like I was talking about in the last session I tried to think of like I'm talking to one person I think you do this to you know, while you're a fan of your own work, you have somebody in mind that you're writing for your having this the marketing guy in the cubicle kellogg's right? You know, you're that's the guy you're writing for you're not writing for this guy over here, these people over here that's who you're thinking of when you create your cartoons and you can kind if you wantto branch out that's what you do is think about okay, who is that person? How would I talk to that person and then look for opportunities to talk to those group of people and just reframe what you're content around that exactly the most viral thing that I've ever done was after giving giving a talk at google about marketing for fifty minutes, I boiled down my talk just into simple cartoons and a little bit of writing cartoons a lil bit of writing as a longer piece and even though it was quite a long piece, it and I was basically repurpose ing content that I had put out word and openly and threw my block into the public eye but stitching it together that way it became the most viral thing that I had ever done and I felt some confidence because people have responded so well in the audience. And the individual bob blawg post had done well had I sat down to pen a block post to go viral and write something long like that, I would've been flying blind and so there's. A lot of opportunity, I think, getting your there's a there's, a quote from the founder of wordpress that ideas need oxygen. You can't fully tell how your ideas would be received until it's out there, which means every day it's it's, you're keeping it to yourself, it's dying, deprived of the oxygen of the real world, which I think is an interesting thing. If you want the oxygen of the rural world to engage with your content to make it that much stronger and then it gives you confident that you can, you can repackage it, reformat and and serialize it in different ways. You know, this has been fantastic really appreciate you joining us today, tom. Internet chat rooms of being alive. So many great comments. I think our audience would like to say a big thank you also, thanks very much.