Book Review

Justin Jackson’s book Jolt: Marketing Tactics for Programmers, Designers, Freelancers, Makers, and Entrepreneurs was a great way to start off the year.

It really does give you a Jolt of inspiration.

This book is a great resource for marketing your new product, software, idea, book, or any project that you want to promote. It teaches you to, “Be different, break out of the mold, and surprise folks”.

Justin provides case studies, examples of websites and services using data that you might not known before.

Show Up First

One of the stories he provides is about being first to the party:

There is a first mover advantage that you get on any new platform. In the early days of Twitter, people who grabbed a foothold there were able to amass a big number of followers, even though they might not have been famous elsewhere.

I joined Twitter in May 2007 and can attest to this. Those of us that were there at the beginning ended up with much more engagement with early adopters, forged friendships, and benefited from the platform. Whale is an upcoming platform that I’m seeing the same pattern emerge as I did then.

He goes on to say:

You can set yourself up to create [luck]. Quantity is what gets you to quality. Start placing little bets; try a bunch of things. One of them might work and become big.

This is great. Validate your ideas. Try to see what works, evaluate the data, and keep iterating on what does work. That’s the key. Look back at what you’ve done, revise, and keep pushing forward.

Quit copying “best” practices. Following the crowd just means you blend in. You don’t want to fit in; you want to stand out.

Trying to follow someone else’s success like a recipe, will set you up to be average. What worked for them may not work for you. All the variables aren’t the same. That is why it pays to look at your data, see what works and fine tune your approach based on your unique situation. Be inspired! And be authentic.

Authenticy and Getting Attention

Be sure to check out the story about Twitter Electrocution.

Without giving away the full story and history of it, you have to read it for yourself, but Justin mentions that “Someone submitted their site to Hacker News and Reddit. Soon, they were receiving shocks nearly every second.”

It’s shocking!

The lesson here is clear: in an online world where everything can be manipulated, people are looking for authenticity.

Be real and be you. That gets attention.

Actionable Ideas

One reason this book inspired me so much is that it is full to the brim with ideas that you can execute right now. Not vague concepts, but real ideas with actual services that you can leverage to reach your marketing goals.

Know your channels and be engaged. What are you doing with:

  • Blog
  • Email
  • Newsletter
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Snapchat
  • YouTube

This really hit home with me.

Treat them as channels for your company or personal brand. Do you have a schedule for publishing to your blog or Instagram? Those that are effective in marketing themselves or their product are consistent with it. Come rain or shine, they know that they have to engage.

All companies have customers. Lucky companies have fans. But the most fortunate companies have audiences. An audience can be your secret weapon.

This is how you build your audience.

What do they want?

Find out what your customers want.

What topics come up repeatedly? What’s everyone struggling with right now? What’s on people’s wish lists? Where do people get stuck? What truth about themselves are they hiding? In what ways are they oppressed? What products, apps, and websites do they use regularly? Who are their heroes? Who do they aspire to be?

Then test it, validate those ideas, and run with it.
What are their pain points? Offer solutions, offer them relief.

So Much More

I could go on with more examples that really inspired me, but at that point, it would be a reprint of his book 🙂

If you want examples of how to build your own swag store, how to set up an email course that you can sell to your audience, produce a podcast, motivate yourself, and be entertained along the way then check out this fantastic book. Highly recommended and glad it was my first for the new year.

Get your copy at: