How Facebook's #30 Employee Quickly Built 4 Businesses and Gained 40 Pounds with Weight Training (#75)

Noah Kagan on The Tim Ferriss Show

Noah Kagan was #30 at Facebook, #4 at Mint.com, and is the Chief Sumo (founder) at SumoMe, which offers free tools to help grow website traffic. To keep things extra spicy, he’s become a taco connoisseur and created 4 separate products that have generated more than 7 figures.

This podcast conversation is about all of the tools and tricks he uses to do it all.

Noah was my co-teacher in the “Starting a Business” episode of The Tim Ferriss Experiment, which is now the #1 TV season across all of iTunes. In the episode, we help a novice entrepreneur named Cindy to develop and launch her business in a single week. See all the details here, and be sure to watch the bonus hour of behind-the-scenes footage.

But back to the current podcast…

Noah and I cover a ton, including his favorite tools, apps, books, routines, and more.  It ranges from apps for preventing distractions, to how he blocks out time every Tuesday for learning, to how he gained 40 pounds of (mostly) muscle in the last six months or so.

If you loved the resource-rich business interviews with Ramit Sethi and Tracy DiNunzio, you’ll love this one.

So, here’s the interview, chock full of tools, cursing, and sexual innuendo…

You can find the transcript of this episode here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

#75: Tools and Tricks from the #30 Employee at Facebook
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If you can’t see the above, here are other ways to listen:

This podcast is brought to you by Athletic Greens (AG), my all-in-one nutritional insurance policy. It’s a whole food-derived greens powder that I’ve used since 2008 or so to cover my bases in a busy world. If I need to skip meals or eat sub-optimal food, AG allows me to worry less. For travel, I take pouches with me to prevent fatigue. For a limited time, you can try AG at 50% off! Click here.  It ain’t cheap, but I find it totally worth it.

This podcast is also brought to you by 99Designs, the world’s largest marketplace of graphic designers. Did you know I used 99Designs to rapid prototype the cover for The 4-Hour BodyHere are some of the impressive results.

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY:  Are you afraid of doing the “coffee challenge” that Noah describes? If so, why? If not, please do it and share the results in the comments. Feel free to share any other experiences with “comfort challenges” like those in The 4-Hour Workweek.

Scroll below for all show notes, links, resources, etc….

Enjoy!

Subscribe to The Tim Ferriss Show on iTunes.

Non-iTunes RSS feed

Links from the Episode

SumoMe: website, Twitter, Facebook

Noah’s blog

Peter Thiel

Alfred App

Facebook Newsfeed Eradicator

Schedule Once ($99 a year option)

Andrew Warner

Followup.cc

Perch.co

Myfitnesspal.com

Quest protein bars

Tuft and Needle

My Pillow

Parachute bedding

Steve Pavlina

Tucker Max

Monthly 1K

Darren Rowse

Shane Snow

Taco Deli

Gary Halbert Letters

Kopywriting Kourse

Draft

Hemingway

The Pleasure of Finding Things Out – Richard Feynman

Mybodytutor.com

Coach.me

Stickk.com

Dietbet.com

Withings Scale

The Online Coach – the SHUL workout

Pavel Tsatsouline

Travis Brewer

Email1k.com/tim

RAD Roller

Evan Williams Bourbon

Charlie Hoehn

Videofruit.com

Nutribullet

Datpiff.com

Travis Scott

Wale

Promise Ring

Router that Noah recommends

Books Mentioned

The Martian

Go the F**k to Sleep

Who — Here is Noah’s short and personal book report on Who. I have about 10 pages of notes from this book. It’s well worth purchasing (I prefer Kindle version so I can highlight and export).

The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing

Essentialism

The Ultimate Sales Machine

Million Dollar Consulting

The Sales Acceleration Formula

Smartcuts

SPIN Selling

Ogilvy on Advertising

Small Giants

Surely You’re Joking Mr. Feynman!

Starting Strength

Practical Programming

Show Notes

Noah’s ad for living in Austin, TX [1:39]

Noah’s favorite tools he’s using right now [6:26]

Noah’s health/fitness routine [13:43]

Noah’s mattress and bedding recommendations [17:08]

Why Noah organizes his dollar bills in his wallet [25:14]

What the coffee challenge is [30:54]

The 3 most important (but undervalued) things people should spend more time learning [45:43]

What REALLY changed the game for Noah in his writing style [47:59]

Why Noah blocks out 2 hours every Tuesday morning just for learning [58:54]

Noah’s tips for adding muscle [1:03:01]

Noah’s business rules [1:17:00]

Noah’s challenge to build your email list (prize included) [1:27:00]

How to get a custom email address added to your Gmail [1:33:30]

The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 500 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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484 Replies to “How Facebook's #30 Employee Quickly Built 4 Businesses and Gained 40 Pounds with Weight Training (#75)”

  1. I’ve gotten a couple new emails from friends, which is awesome! However, the true excitement from this task came from overcoming the fear of what others might think of me.

    As I crafted my post, I started feeling that sensation in my gut that I only get when something seriously scares me. I realized that the only thing standing in the way of a potential cuddle sesh with Noah, was my fear of how people would respond and what others would think of me.

    Once I fully recognized this, it was much easier for me to go through worst case scenarios, face my fear, and follow through with the action step I had set out to take. After posting, I felt liberated and free!!! Thanks so much for the inspiration 🙂 Yay comfort challenges!!!

  2. #NOAH

    I’ve gotten a couple new emails from friends, which is awesome! However, the true excitement from this task came from overcoming the fear of what others might think of me.

    As I crafted my post, I started feeling that sensation in my gut that I only get when something seriously scares me. I realized that the only thing standing in the way of a potential cuddle sesh with Noah, was my fear of how people would respond and what others would think of me.

    Once I fully recognized this, it was much easier for me to go through worst case scenarios, face my fear, and follow through with the action step I had set out to take. After posting, I felt liberated and free!!! Thanks so much for the inspiration 🙂 Yay comfort challenges!!!

  3. #NOAH

    One day into the experiment and I’ve gone from zero (I opened a new gmail account) to zero contacts… I posted my idea for a newsletter to my Facebook page (after accepting 6 pending friend invites to bring my total friends to 11) and opened a Twitter account. I did get one “like” and a comment on FB.

    Lessons learned:

    1) Choosing and refining a “muse” takes time and energy! And it will require tweaking.

    2) It takes intestinal fortitude to overcome the FEAR of failure, or success (“holy shit, they like my idea, now I gotta put up or shut the fuck up!”), and put yourself out there. However, it is incredibly rewarding to vault the wall of inaction and give it a shot.

    Maybe it will take more work on my part, and help from others, but, the world has not come to and end by trying!

    Tim, you’re an inspiration; love the blog and podcasts, own the 4HWW and Body, and the TV show is on my list!

    Noah, I’m looking forward to Tacos in Austin.

  4. # NOAH – Fuck You

    I just said that so you would read my message. You have probably been getting lots of messages that say how awesome you are and how they really enjoyed your podcast. (Sorry, I just listened to the Samy Kamkar podcast and couldn’t help myself)

    I know I won’t win, but I think you would find the topic of my planned site interesting. It’s about the need for and the inevitability of change in education (Not as obvious of a topic here in the southeast).

    2.) I just started asking for subscribers at 10:00am this morning and I have gone from 0 to 7 subscribers. I have no existing audience, and had not website, I just built a landing page last night/this morning, and messaged friends and family this morning. Not a lot of people, but 5 of those people are business owners or high level managers (Full disclosure: 2 of those are relatives so maybe I should call it 4)

    Proof can be found here: http://www.iqlie.com/noah

    3.) The most important lesson I learn from this challenge is that deadlines are really important. I have gotten more done in the past 2 days than I have with 6 months of thinking about this.

    P.S. I agree with a lot of other posts. This podcast and the podcast with Samy were two of my favorites. Interviews with Tim’s friends always seem to be the best.

  5. You should interview Mark Rippetoe. His training methods are very successful and, unlike the rest of the fitness industry, he is taking a very unusual (very high quality, low volume) approach to certifications.

  6. Has Tim ever done a how-to post or podcast on how he prepares for interviews or the secret to great interview questions? Would love to get a bit of his expertise on these topics. Thanks!

  7. Okay I’m just now listening to the podcasts for the first day, saw the t.v. shows this morning (awesome!) and seeing there’s a contest. I don’t know if I’ll get to the end of the show before the contest ends so, here’s an entry to win the mentoring – I WANT IT!

    Run down to SF’s public t.v. station. They have incredible equipment free. I’m sure you could work out some kind of 50/50 split and use some of the footage cut in a show for public t.v. and some for yourself. They’re normally very flexible like that. I ran a few t.v. episodes on spirituality (interview with Andrew Harvey, Ph.D.) where i cut my teeth on “how to build a show and learn how to edit in literally 24 hours.”

    It was brutal. Editing is hard. Editing an entire show by yourself, learning to edit, learning the program (brutal all by itself it looks like the controls for a rocket to the moon), and getting it on the air in 24 hours? It makes DifEQs look easy.

    I WIN! PLEASE! LOL (don’t even know what the da*n contest is)

    (Just locked down 90% of my website to upload aroma solutions to an app)

    1. P.S. #NOAH

      Since I just heard the show (about 80% now) and saw the contest – I grew my email list by 20 people today. We’re doing a group buy for Helichrysum italicum which is the number one skin essential oil to repair damaged skin (scars, etc.)

      Teaser: there are essential oils that improve memory almost as much as lecithin (sunflower).

      Warmly,

      Annette Vanderzon

  8. #NOAH

    Here’s what I did:

    I did a write up on an app that I made in 6 hours and sent it to different Facebook groups for App Entrepreneurs. At the bottom, I added the line to email me about my newsletter I want to start about my App Store experiments and the tips, tricks and hacks I find along the way. It didn’t convert very well, so I sent out messages to everyone who liked the post or left a comment asking them to join the newsletter.

    I also sent emails and messages to everyone who’s interested in apps that I know.

    I went from 0-15 subscribers.

    Lessons learned:

    – I’ve spent all of my life waiting for people to approach me when I need to be the one to go and approach them.

    – When people say No, you just thank them and move on. It doesn’t hurt at all. Why was I so fearful before?

    – The power of following up with people

    – Giving lots of value to people makes them want to return the favor. I have many great new contacts who are into apps now. Without the challenge I may never have even spoke to them.

    Although it wasn’t amazing email growth, it was pretty big personal growth. Thank you for the challenge Noah.

  9. #Noah

    0 to 39 emails in 72 hours. I have 375 Facebook friends, so around 10% reached out. Each of the past 3 days, I’ve sent out pictures of my unique suburban farm along with the invite to subscribe to my newsletter.

    I couldn’t ignore the serendipity and decided to take action. I am a young farmer who, just this season, started a suburban/urban farm. The model is: ripping out lawns and planting bountiful, productive, and edible landscapes. A much more effective use of water in drought stricken California.

    Newsletter will be about serious backyard veggie production, starting a farm from nothing, and general food and farm musings.

    I’m learning that this business will be limited to the amount of people I reach out to. Thanks for the inspiration to take action and reach out!

  10. #NOAH

    As soon as I heard this, I told myself I had to do something EPIC in order to start growing for my list. And so I did:

    To grow my list I needed something that most people won’t do.

    During 5 days, I wrote the most extensive and detailed guide on A/B testing strategies on the Internet. 6500+ words.

    My blog has on average 5 visits/day (only starting) and had a total of 5 subs, needed to find a way to get this article shared and seen. After reading OKDork extensively to find hacks (I’m addicted to your blog), I discovered Backlinko’s Skyscraper technique.

    I got to work:

    – Got quotes to insert in the post by 5 of the top CRO experts

    – Created a nice PDF of it as a content upgrade

    – Directly shared it with over 200 people through email (found through Buzzsumo)

    I- t got shared 100+ times over 24 hours. Not too bad for a 5 visit/day blog 🙂

    With the traffic, I got around 20 subs, BUT it had a subscriber conversion rate of ~9%.

    Here’s what I learned:

    – If you like everyone everyone else, you’ll stay like everyone else.

    – You can never hustle enough.

    – Tacos makes writing blog posts much easier

    You’ll love eating tacos with me.

    Our mutual friend Dan Martell once said this about me: “Raphael is one of the most impressive entrepreneurs I’ve met in my career and the best person to be leading this event. It’s not only his age, but his tenacity that impresses me. He’s thinks then executes – even if that means juggling between classes in highschool. We need to support him in everything he does, and hope it inspires others to start young and dream big.“

    I think it’s a fit, eh? See ya soon fat sumo!

    PS: I know you asked for some proof, here it is: [Moderator: link removed]

  11. #NOAH

    (Hi!) I am an Olympic athlete (London 2012, pentathlon), and a PhD student researching health implications related to energy efficiency in building operating systems (e.g., how you ventilate a building more efficiently and improve its air quality). I hope this isn’t cheating: I started two groups, each based on a strand of my current income-depleting pursuits that I want to make into income-generating pursuits. One is a newsletter from my insider athlete perspective on the upcoming Pan Am Games (where I will be competing on my home turf in Toronto) as well as the lead up and competition day at the next Olympics in Rio. The second is a newsletter based on my engineering research, about the health and productivity impacts from decisions about how we design and operate and inhabit our built environment.

    This is what I did: 9 high performers and counting

    My initial post on my Facebook page was shared by people with much bigger Facebook followings…A day and hundreds of “likes” later, I have nine people who have emailed to sign up. I was humbled by the interest, albeit objectively from a small number of subscribers in the first couple of days.

    This is why I say humbled: the cross-section of people who signed up blew me away. Among them are people I consider some of the most successful people in their respective fields… Math genius, financial superstar, track hero, successful architect, etc. And some of them I have never met or haven’t spoken to in years.

    This is – just part of – what I learned:

    Following the humbling experience of seeing who joined up, the best part was learning from their questions. What do cool people wonder about, in relation to what I know…? Here are just two: “Does being in a concrete building versus a log cabin affect the way I think or feel or behave as much as the outdoor environment?” and “ What you do to get over the feeling you get when someone stumps you?” I am probably over-writing here, but honestly I feel like I am leaving so much out already.

    Besides having a secret insight into cool people’s inner mental workings, and now tackling my unmade bed with newfound purpose each morning, I also learned from your podcast how to motivate myself (and presumably others with limited bandwidth to take on new things) into taking immediate action: make it a little competition. I think the “competition” element to this challenge of starting a newsletter, honestly, is why I’ve taken action. Even though I’ve long been wanting to do something that connects what I already do (sports/buildings) to what I want to do (worlds’ needs + my fun—> $). This competition carrot is a new arrow in my quiver to make me do stuff. Now aiming arrow arseward, and feeling good about the next steps.

    P.S. thank you

    for bringing to my attention the fact that Promise Ring are going strong. I have nostalgic-fond memories of them and Cap’n Jazz, my high school self’s band crush. Your endorsement released a splurt of endorphins (and wistfulness).

    -Donna

  12. #NOAH

    I started listening a little late this week, but I wanted to throw some info out there.

    I’m a political geek so I thought I’d start a newsletter on local elections for Texans. I already have about 20 people ask me about who to vote for in elections so I thought why not create a list so people can get more information on local elections because those are the hardest to find. The vision is to turn that into a website where people can ask questions of local officials or candidates. My thought is I can monetize it with ads from statewide or presidential candidates over time.

    I started by taking the photo and posting it on twitter and facebook. I didn’t get any responses. I then shared it on another facebook page I have, and got one person to sign up.

    So then I started asking people one on one. So far that has got me to 53 people. Then I had someone from RAMP (Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition) say they’d like to reach out to their Texas members and add them. She’s going to get me those names next week.

    I’m also writing a guest blog post on a Texas voting site on the importance of municipal voting and asking people to sign up there. That will be published tomorrow or next Monday depending on the publisher.

    So not a 100 yet but should be soon.

    Also, I’m in Austin next week. I’m going to be checking out Taco Deli. If you’ve never been to Texas Chili Parlor by the Capitol I highly recommend it. I’m addicted to their tacos and eat there at least 2/3 of the days I’m in Austin.

  13. #NOAH

    We grew from 0 email subscribers to 10 in 2 days. We were also able to accumulate 400 page views during this time.

    – The actual mailing list function only went up yesterday

    – We just registered our domain name 2 days ago.

    – Screenshot of our DNS entry: [Moderator: link removed]

    The most important lesson we’ve learnt? To take action — TODAY.

    We had the idea, tools, and expertise to create this type of service and product but never took action because we were going through hypothetical obstacles in our head over and over, essentially undermining ourselves before we even started. Reading the four hour work week, the obstacle is the way by Ryan Holiday (part of Tim’s bookclub), and finally listening to this podcast cumulated in finally taking action.

    Some other invaluable lessons learned during this process in point form:

    – It took us 2 days to go from having nothing to a website

    [Moderator: link removed]. If you do not have a deadline or pressure to finish you’ll never get anything done. Check out Parkinson’s law which Tim discussed in the four hour week.

    – We really believe in this product. But as Noah said in the podcast, if you can’t sign up your friends then it’d be even harder to sign up strangers. So I emailed some friends with who I often discuss investing and trading strategies and they all agreed to provide legitimate testimonials on the landing page. Basically we started with people close to you that can attest to your skill/expertise, realizing that if you can’t even convince them about your product then your job is only going to get harder.

    – Lastly, don’t let established competitors scare you. The financial education and analytic tool market is a competitive space. If you believe your product/strategy/service is better, just give it a go. Hypothetically going through how you can fail because the competition is X,Y,Z is simply conjecture and will prevent you from ever starting. Your success rate is exactly 0 if you don’t start, let the market decide whether your product/service will succeed or fail.. don’t fail because you never started! This may sound obvious but I struggled with this very fact!

    Finally a bit of self-promotion. If you are interested in quantitative investment strategies around exchange traded options then head over to optionhunt.com and sign up for the mailing list (alternatively you can follow me on twitter [Moderator: removed]). I post my trades whenever I make them and record the entire process, so everything is done with real money on a live account. I was a professional trader on the FX MM desk at HSBC and have extensive experience structuring vanilla and exotic options. Please note, the website and associated communications is for educational purposes only.

    Cheers and thanks Tim & Noah for the great podcast. Would love a chance to hang out with you guys in person 🙂

  14. #NOAH

    I started my own business largely inspired by the Monthly 1K course on Appsumo.

    This week I went from 46 subscribers to 93.

    Pretty interesting week:

    Emailed and Messaged pretty much everyone i knew.

    Crashed a slimming world meeting (which actually led to me getting a new delivery driver)

    Pitched a yoga class (target market)

    Asked 2 policemen (both said no)

    Instead of doing the usual sidestep, I got a sign up from one of those Greenpeace people who stop you on the street.

    I learned that having 1 goal allows you to concentrate your efforts and has made me much more effective the past few days.

    Doing the uncomfortable things i.e. actually talking to people about the business, are actually the most rewarding (and fun).

  15. #NOAH

    1) Thank you for the push to start the mailing list now – I listened to the podcast last night – took a selfie as soon as I got home, uploaded it on Facebook, saying I’m starting a mailing list regarding self-improvement, 2 people answered, joining it.

    In the morning I got the URL address and actually made a blog for it [Moderator: link removed] Went on a Facebook group that I was a part of, that I knew would be interested in this and got 3 more subscriptions! Since I got my first subscription last night at around midnight, I have managed to grow this 5 times, just saying. (Hey, small wins!).

    To sum it up – [Moderator: link removed] ; next step – choose the challenge (using coffee challenge for this, of course with due credit) and post it this Sunday.

    2) Most important lesson – being challenged is a great way to go around any fears we have for no particular reason. Start now – the more time you obsess over it, the more pressure you put on something that does not even exist yet.

    Thanks for the great episode!

  16. #NOAH

    Storytelling for the screen is something I’m massively interested in. I’d been toying with the idea of starting an email list on the subject for the last while too, so this is the perfect push to make it happen. Thanks guys!

    For the last few years, I’ve been reading every book on story, drama and screenwriting that I’ve been able to get my hands on, so I’ve amassed a serious number of resources that I’d love to recommend to others.

    Here’s what I did. Using Tim’s recommendation of adding a ‘+’ in my existing gmail address and set up a canned response that asked what area of storytelling specifically they’re interested in. I also changed my email signature.

    On Facebook and Twitter, I posted my message and a photoshopped image of me winning an Oscar [Moderator: link removed]. I also included an extra promise to reply send a link to my favourite joke when they signed up (It’s a little off-colour, you can sign up too if you want to hear it!).

    I also put this all out on LinkedIn and posted to some relevant subreddits and Facebook groups.

    In a little over 24 hours, I’ve gone from 0 to 22 which is really exciting.

    Biggest thing I’ve learned- leveraging your existing assets forces you to put the time into crafting the right message. And because there are people I actually know on the list now, I’m going to have to commit to making it ACTUALLY HELPFUL! Looking forward to building it from here.

    Also, automating it took a little while, but was really worth it.

    By the way, if anyone here on the comments is interested in signing up, (or judging me based on my choice of favourite joke…) [Moderator: link removed]

  17. #NOAH

    0 to 90 emails

    I learned how kind & supportive my social network was at sharing my newsletter request, everyone wishing me luck and tagging friends of friends. It has made me motivated to provide valuable content.

    PS I also did the Coffee Shop Challenge first (Got £5 off my gym membership) and this def gave me the courage to launch the newsletter. 2 phone calls for freelance work too.

    Thank you Noah and Tim. Have a great week.

    Well done everyone who got involved! Have a great time whoever gets to Austin.

    Pete (Belfast, Ireland)

  18. #NOAH

    Yesterday I was listening to this podcast episode with a fire in my gut to build a business empire without limitations on how incredible it can be… and NOW!

    I’m an ideas person, marketing savvy, ambitious and smart – yeah, so that’s great – but of no use when paired up with overwhelming fear when it’s time to implement.

    Noah’s challenge to take ACTION was a painful cyber foot up my butt.

    I blocked out the pessimistic ‘what if’s?’, pulled over my car and used that very moment post my picture and a leap into the unknown…. put it this way, I could have run down the street naked and felt more comfortable!!

    Subscriber count? 2 – TWO – yes 2. Not my mother, my sister or my neighbour, but 2 people I do not even know who WANT to hear from ME about travel fitness. These 2 people are my accountability, encouragement and significant part of my story.

    My (broad) goal is to create a movement where leisure travel is planned around the health and fitness lifestyle – if booze fuelled party trips, foodie tours, historical expeditions can be a ‘thing’, so too can treating your body like a freaking temple when abroad!!

    I’m so damn excited and motivated by the potential opportunity to work with Noah to fine tune my ambitious plans and how to monetise my hotel gym review website I so passionately believe in. What a generous and outward focused gesture!!

    BTW Thanks for your ongoing encouragement to create a freedom lifestyle Mr Ferris!! You empower so many budding freedom lifestylers to live life now.

  19. #NOAH

    2. List from 0-15 respondents-I now have a list!

    3. Could have used hashtags to expand teach. It’s a do-able venture.

    Thanks for the coaching!

  20. #NOAH

    I’m posting this now since I won’t have time tonight before the deadline.

    Great podcast. It’s always fun to hear Noah speak since he really does have real actionable advice that can be easily implemented.

    Here are the details of my email list experiment.

    I already have a list of 700 but I’ve never considered that a real email list since I took my LinkedIn contacts and uploaded them to MailChimp.

    My goal was to make a brand new list from scratch for Body Language and Charisma Training. I wanted a list that was organically grown.

    Immediately after I heard the podcast on Thursday, I thought to myself “That’s a great idea! I should implement it. I’ll just take a picture of myself on my phone and put it out there. Easy breezy. Well, I can’t do it at work though. I don’t want them to think I’m working on my side business on the clock.

    I’ll do it tonight.”

    Well tonight turned into Friday.

    Friday morning came and this looked like the perfect opportunity. “Except that,” I reasoned “my friends probably won’t check their facebook and linkedin too much on Friday. Or Saturday. Or Sunday”

    Before I knew it, it was Monday and then Tuesday morning and I still had not sent out a fb post asking friends to join my newsletter. Such a simple post and yet I had not done it after 4 days.

    Then it hit me: I was stalling. I was stalling because I was scared.

    I was scared that the process wouldn’t work. I was scared that my friends would think I was spamming them. I was scared I was wasting my time. I was scared I would fail.

    I was scared.

    Obviously I’ve been here before and yet I didn’t want to. I wanted to build my list from scratch, deliver value to my friends and followers, and maybe eventually offer them a product. And yet, I couldn’t do this simple facebook post.

    The Most Important Lesson I Learned

    Tuesday night when I was helping my wife get the kids into bed I realized that this fear doesn’t just affect me and my goals. It affects my wife and my kids. If I can’t face this fear what else won’t I be able to face?

    And like everyone says “This isn’t about the money.” It’s about buying your freedom and the freedom of your loved ones.

    The most important lesson I learned was that your actions (or inactions) have a ripple effect on you, your goals and your family.

    Not posting meant that I would be limited to my regular 9-5 and our choices would be dictated by whatever some guy several paygrades above me decided my salary would be.

    Or worse yet, will not sending this fb post trickle down to my kids? Will they one day also be afraid of doing something so simple just because I didn’t set an example? A precedent?

    I wasn’t willing to take that chance. I got the post ready in 10 minutes and finally pressed “post”. I sent it to my friends and then it occurred to me that I could also post it on LinkedIn and share it with my groups.

    It wasn’t until Tuesday night (last night) when I sent it out but in the less than 24 hours I have 9 completely organic subscribers to my Body Language and Charisma Newsletter.

    I am very proud of myself, not so much for the number of subscribers in the time allotted but more for having taken that step that I had not taken before. To top it off, I know these people are genuinely interested in learning about my service since they signed up for the newsletter. 9 qualified prospects!

    I’m looking forward to the Email 1k course to continue growing my new organic email list!

    Thank you Noah for your challenge and thanks Tim for having him as a guest.

    Ramon

  21. #NOAH

    Hey guys! since posting about my upcoming newsletter on Monday afternoon, gotten from 0 to 27 people.

    Main lesson learned: facing and overcoming the fear of getting no responses/rejected/laughed at. And also, how SIMPLE it is to do this.

    Thanks so much guys!

  22. #NOAH

    I echo so many of the statements on here. I have had an idea mulling around in my head but I was always afraid to validate them. I was afraid of what people would say, afraid of how people would react etc.

    Yet, the complete opposite happened. People have been helpful, encouraging and supportive overall.

    My list hasn’t had explosive growth like some other peoples, but I am pretty proud of it. I started a newsletter about the greatest coffee shops in the US of A. I have made it clear that I plan to release a guide highlighting the best of the best.

    1. List growth: I grew my list from 0-17 people without spending a dime. The other cool thing is that a majority of that 17 were complete strangers.

    2. Biggest lesson learned: It is always better to start like this because it is lower risk. I had it in my head that I was going to build everything out and it would be more “impressive” so more people would be interested. Also, I really liked what Noah said when he talked about how most things we buy are pre-sold… concerts etc.

    This was awesome. Thanks guys.

    Kyle

    P.S. If anyone wants to get first access to my guide on the best coffee shops in the US of A, you can here: [Moderator: email address removed]

  23. #NOAH

    FUCK,

    2) …It’s great to meet you ;). Grew a list from 0 to about 100 for now for our upcoming kickstarter project.

    3) Before listening to the podcast I had no idea how much email lists destroy social media. Digging into it, especially regarding kickstarter, people found that emails were 1000% more effective than social media (twitter, fb), and social media was already 400% more effective than in-house kickstarter promotions. I was also really surprised by how many people who were only acquaintances signed up. I’m reading Gladwell’s tipping point and it’s great perspective and shows how important the loose links are.

    ## my I’m-such-a-unique-snowflake-please-pick-me postscript:

    Here’s a fun game we like to play up in our mexican restaurants in beantown. You order the taco platter or combo plate; the one that comes with 8-10 tacos. Assuming your taco place is legit, tell them to put the hottest, ghost peppery, pipette-applied sauce BUT only into one taco before bringing it out. Everyone take a taco and down it. Taco roulette. Fun times!

  24. #NOAH

    Gosh what an episode. I listened to it on Tuesday evening and realized I only had 24 hours to do the challenge, oh crap! But I did it. After many years of being one of those people who had no motivation to do anything new or different, things started totally changing for me in the past few months (if we meet in person I’ll tell you the whole story). I quit my job, went freelance (I’m a product designer) and started a blog I had been meaning to start for over a year. I had already set up a newsletter for the blog but only had 2 subscribers… until today. I reached out to people on facebook, twitter, email lists, and text message and in about 8 hours I got (drum roll….) 12 new subscribers, for a total of 14 people! It kind of sucks, I know, but I have to say I’m super stocked nonetheless. The relative numbers are not so bad though. I’m estimating I reached about 200-250 people in these past few hours, so that would be a ~5% conversion. Not bad. The main thing I learned in these past few hours was how to stop being a wuss and to just throw myself out there. I felt extremely uncomfortable writing to two mailing lists I’m a part of, but I did it anyway. The other interesting fact I noticed was that only people I really know signed up. I didn’t see any emails from acquaintances or strangers even though I know I did reach people I don’t know. Next step will be to figure out how to go from relying on your friends wanting to be nice to you to actually providing something people want. In short, even though the result in absolute numbers was sort of pathetic, I feel like now I can conquer the world. Thanks for the challenge, sir.

  25. #NOAH

    I went from 0 to 3 emails but I received many comments and likes on my post.

    A couple cool things….

    1. I registered a webpage I had been putting off for a longtime called theluckytraveler.com

    2. i posted twice changing the photo and comment and got more likes and 3 emails after the second one.

  26. #NOAH

    Listened to the podcast late in the game, but I posted just before leaving work today. 3 hours later I got one! Putting myself out there practically terrifies me and I can’t pinpoint why…either way, biggest lesson is nothing will happen without taking the first fucking step. I’ve been paralyzed by analysis since I was a child. I feel like a different person now.

  27. 1) #NOAH

    2) My results are I grew from 0 to 135 emails in 4 days

    3) The most important lesson I learned from the process is I identified my niche and mapped out my connections in order to grow an email list. I reached out to my teaching team at my charter school, I singled out broke 20-somethings, and I’ve consulted with everyone that is broke, including my family (no money, mo problems). I need advice from someone who’s got it financially together vs. someone who is gives me tips from a Steve Harvey book.

    “No days off. I’m a workaholic.”- Wale

    – Don’t want to live like that

  28. #NOAH

    Started on Monday –

    Grew list for a health, fitness, and productivity newsletter that doesn’t exist yet.

    0-84 in 3 days.

    1 from asking the guy at GNC to sign up

    4 from posting on Facebook.

    11 from directly texting friends

    68 from asking my students to sign up (yes, I also offered 5 points extra credit!)

    I learned a few things in the process. 1. Don’t ignore old school methods – Walking around with a pen and paper or asking people face to face to sign up for your newsletter takes some courage but actually works very well. 2. Focusing on a singular goal really seems to help. 3. It was fun seeing how quickly I could collect emails. 4. Use your networks and people you already know.

    Also, I don’t have the results yet, but I asked a friend that manages a few gyms in DC to set out sign up sheets for my newsletter. I was trying to think of people in my network that have access to more people that would be interested in my newsletter topic.

    Thanks for a fun challenge!

    Ryan

  29. #noah

    I went from 0 subscribers to 37 subscribers to my as yet to be produced newsletter focusing on creativity and the creative process. The most important lesson for me was that I can start anytime I want to. I don’t need anybody’s permission to move closer to my dream. Thank you so much! This was a great exercise! I will keep you posted on my progress.

    Your Pal,

    Tom Booker

    [Moderator: email address removed]

    Austin, TX

  30. #NOAH

    I listened to the podcast Sunday morning but decided to use the contest as motivation to take some more action, even if I don’t win:

    -I created a giveaway to announce the start of the newsletter. Rules to participate were: Join newsletter, share the ad, leave a comment with one thing you want advice or need help with.

    -Posted it on the website’s FB page. I did an ad boost to my target audience of $10.

    -I shared this post with a few facebook groups where my audience is at, and I also posted it on the website’s twitter feed.

    -I asked the friends that have connections to my audience to share with these connections and join if they were interested. Several shared the post.

    -I got the SumoMe Smart Bar for my homepage.

    Results:

    -Went from 5 to 10 subscribers (= 5 emails)

    -280 to 301 Facebook followers

    – 1 new twitter follower

    – 9 new user registrations on marketplace website

    Here’s a little visual on the results: http://imageshack.com/a/img538/3942/kKuXt2.jpg

    Most important lesson learned:

    It was not a 3-day email home run but I increased my audience nevertheless with very little effort. Numbers tell me they move a lot on Facebook as well. If I move my ass and keep coming with value and content, they will come.

    I feel it would be so helpful if Noah gave me a few pointers for a day.

  31. #Noah

    90% Growth in Mailing List in 3 Days. Thanks Noah!

    Noah always says that you get out what you put in, so I really went nuts on trying to “put in” as much as I possibly could.

    I listened to the podcast on Monday so I actually didn’t start this contest until 2 days ago.

    I’m a huge Noah fan and using Noah’s SumoMe tools and his teachings I was able to grow the mailing list by 90% from 78 subscribers to 148 in 3 days.

    You Rock Noah and I hope I can have some tacos with you to celebrate!

    Here’s what was done:

    Phase 1 – Optimize Sales Copy on Squeeze Page and Throughout Site BEFORE Driving Traffic to the Site:

    Having recently taken Noah’s friend’s “Kopywriting Kourse” (Nevelle Medhora who also works at AppSumo), I modified elements of the squeeze page using the teachings. This involved making the copy more benefit driven and focusing on how the visitor will benefit instead of making it about “me”.

    This phase was critical as I wanted the squeeze page and site optimized the best I could before driving traffic to it from free and paid methods.

    Below is a summary of what was done:

    1. Improved headline on squeeze page to make it sound less “salesy”

    2. Improved copy on SumoMe Scroll Bar

    3. Improved copy on SumoMe Smart Bar

    4. Improved side advertisement to “sign up” on the blog portion of the site

    5. Added other media sources that I was featured in. This was for credibility building purposes (ex. Yahoo Finance, Canadian Personal Finance Magazines, etc.)

    Phase 2: Start Driving Free Traffic

    Below are the steps that I took in the 3 days. Keep in mind that because I was doing multiple initiatives at once, it’s difficult to know exactly how many subscribers each one generated (If you really need exact numbers from each source then let me know and I’ll do my best to pull what I can via Google Analytics).

    1. I published an interview with a celebrity in my niche (I run a new Canadian Personal Finance podcast and blog).

    2. I reached out to the largest personal finance magazine in Canada to tell them about the interview.

    Result: They posted the link to the interview plus an image to their official Facebook Page! This definitely helped significantly with subscriptions. I engaged with the post too and told others about it to drive engagement and to prove to the magazine that my content is worth sharing (i.e. goodwill and reputation building).

    3. I tweeted out that interview and included the interviewee and magazine in the tweet using the “@” (hoping that they would re-tweet).

    Result: Both the magazine and the interviewee re-tweeted my post!

    There was very small increase in subscribers but I did get some new Twitter followers plus now I am “associated” with these thought leaders according to Twitter. This helps with Twitter recommending me as someone to follow in that space.

    4. The resulting publicity also resulted in being contacted by one of the key bloggers in the personal finance space in Canada. This is a huge opportunity for partnerships, co-promotions, etc. as he runs and manages multiple sites in my niche and is very well connected to the industry in US and Canada.

    5. As per the suggestion in the podcast, I also changed my email signature with a call to action to join the list and receive “expert interviews and a free guides”.

    Result: Too early to tell but it’s now going out on all my emails so I’m sure it’ll yield some new subscribers as time goes on.

    6. Did a regular Facebook post on my personal profile asking friends to sign-up.

    Result: Fail. Probably too impersonal. So, I tried something new…

    7. I started sending out direct message via Facebook to my friends asking them to sign up. The response was immediate and HUGE. Almost every person that I reached out to that uses Facebook Chat signed up right away (these are the people that were on Facebook right as I messaged them).

    8. I then started sending out private messages via Facebook to friends asking them to sign up (those that were offline).

    Result: A significant amount of them signed up. Not everyone checks Facebook every day so I think this would continue to trickle in if the contest was longer (and if I had the full week and started right away).

    Funny story and Warning: I actually ended up getting a warning from Facebook telling me that I’m not using the messaging feature the way that they intended it to be used. The message threatened that they will disable my messaging feature if I continued to directly message so many of my friends at once. So, I stopped messaging people right away through this method as I didn’t want to be put on Facebook’s “watch list”. If they didn’t give me this message I would have kept doing it and likely would have gotten a lot more subscribers.

    Lesson Learned: Don’t do this all in a single day. Maybe contact a few friends a day with personalized messages.

    9. With the success of reaching out to friends directly and actually personalizing the message, I did the same thing with email. I went through my Gmail contact list of personal friends and acquaintances and sent personalized emails asking them to sign up.

    In total I sent out 55 personalized emails today and got a bunch more subscribers

    Phase 3: Trying Paid Traffic

    I know Noah encourages doing free traffic first, but I wanted to try paid traffic in addition to free just to see how well it would work. Also the logic here was that if I set up Facebook Ads and Google Display Network Ads, then I could have those ads running over the 3 days while I am working on driving traffic through free methods (i.e. the ones I mentioned above).

    Logically this made sense so here’s what I tried:

    1. Promoted my webpage via Facebook ads.

    Result: Fail. I’m completely new to advertising on Facebook and I think my targeting and messaging need to be more adapted to this channel. I will keep trying at this in the future but it was difficult to create a successful Facebook campaign in 3 days with no prior experience.

    Hopefully Noah comes out with a course one day teaching us newbies some best practices in Facebook advertising but in the meantime I will keep trying and testing to hopefully find something that works (and invest more time in educating myself on the subject).

    2. Boosted my most popular post on Facebook.

    Result: Same as above. I need to work on this some more as the ad kept getting rejected due to “too much text”. I fixed it but then it wasn’t that good anymore so back to the drawing board. 🙁

    3. Created 23 ads (2 types with different size variations) for the Google Display Network. I ran them on sites related to my niche.

    Result: Similar to Facebook Ads, this is going to take more than 3 days to figure out. The % served was very low so I have to work on improving the ad quality, targeting, and sales copy I think.

    Once again, I’ll keep playing with this and try to figure it out until Noah comes out with a course on how to advertise via Google. 🙂

    Going forward I’m going to continue to run giveaways on my podcast so I’ve decided to use Noah’s KingSumo giveaway tool for that (Thanks for reminding me about it on your webinar today Noah! I’ll be buying it tomorrow for sure when I have time to play with it).

    I think that will be a great way to increase traffic as I currently always ask guests on my show to donate a prize for the listeners.

    Most important lesson learned:

    1. Start with your existing network and don’t overcomplicate things!

    I got much quicker and greater results just by reaching out to people in the industry, as well as existing friends on Facebook and emailing them, than I did messing around with ads. Ads are wonderful tools but start with the lower hanging fruit to get some traction and easier wins. Then later start looking into ads.

    2. Bonus lesson learned: Tell your inner fear to “take a hike” and keep moving forward:

    Even reaching out to friends and acquaintances to ask them to do something can be scary (i.e. fear of rejection). When I got that feeling of hesitation, here’s what I asked myself:

    What’s the worst that could happen? If someone doesn’t respond then so what? I probably wasn’t great friends with them to begin with and I probably don’t talk to them regularly anyway so it’s not like a relationship is now destroyed because I asked them for something.

    Also it’s a good way to learn which friends support you through your entrepreneur endeavors, and who are just genuinely nice people that don’t just think about themselves and want you to succeed.

    A nice side benefit is that reaching out to people also created and rekindled some old friendships. For instance some friends I contacted had businesses that I never knew about so now we can help each other out. With others it was just great to hear from them and continue the friendship.

    So in conclusion: You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain.

    Thank you in advance for considering my submission. I’ll be more than happy to provide screenshots and more details if you’d like.

    Also if Noah would like, I can even do a case study/video to show how I used the SumoMe tools and his teachings to achieve this.

    Noah & Tim: If you’d like the URL just let me know and I’ll gladly provide you with that, and any other information you need.

    Thanks!

    Kornel

    [Moderator: email address and phone number removed]

    1. Holy smokes! Nice work Kornel. Really goes to show how the difference between things staying the same and hitting your goals can be as simple as reaching out to people.

    2. #NOAH update (55% more list growth via KingSumo Giveaways!)

      Hey guys.

      In the podcast Noah mentions signing up for free to EMAIL1K to learn more ways to grow the list (it’s at email1k.com/tim). I did this and one of the tips is to use giveaways.

      Noah suggests using his KingSumo Giveaways plugin which I did and got awesome results (a 55% growth in my email list in less than a week and the contest is still running so even more signups will occur).

      I know the contest is over but I thought Tim’s readers would find this helpful.

      By the way you can check out the plugin from Noah here: https://kingsumo.com/apps/giveaways/

      Here’s what I did:

      1. I asked guests on the podcast if they could donate any books that they wrote. Everyone agreed to donate, so I now had 4 prizes for the giveaway.

      2. Used KingSumo Giveaways to launch my first official giveaway. Here’s a quick video showing how I set it up:

      [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kx6uRihFcdM&w=560&h=315%5D

      3. I Posted info on the giveaway on my personal Facebook page

      4. I Posted info on the giveaway on my site’s Facebook page

      5. Sent out a tweet about it, while tagging those involved in the giveaway hoping that they would re-tweet (1 of the 2 contributors did).

      6. Posted the giveaway on reddit in the Canadian Personal Finance sub-reddit (this is my niche so I wanted to target is specifically instead of blasting it out everywhere and getting banned.

      7. Posted the giveaway on my blog.

      6. On the last day of the giveaway (which is today), I sent out a final reminder to the existing mailing list and I also tweeted it out (because of this I anticipate the email list growth will actually be more than 55% since the contest ended).

      IMPORTANT: The way that KingSumo Giveaways works is that the more people share, the more ballots they earn for the prize. Therefore more sharing equals a higher chance to win.

      Currently we’re in the last day of the contest so I expect that many more subscribers will join as now there is real urgency since the contest literally ends today. Still, I wanted to report on the growth so far as I thought you might find it useful.

      Kornel

  32. #Noah

    With a new email address I gained a titanic 19 subscribers.

    However, I didn’t start a business. I’m gathering support for a crowdfunding campaign(s). I’m currently a veteran-senior in film school and about to begin preproduction on my own projects, so I often look for useful success stories and strategies that I can absorb.

    I was nervous, but I assume everyone who does this, at any level, in this phase of the process, is as well. However, I committed publicly. I’ve now made a promise to my friends and followers that I’m going to deliver something special, whether they subscribed or not (them likely knowing they’ll see it regardless). So in the quiet moments when I could watch Netflix, I’ll have this dark voice-cloud of, “He won’t do it,” hanging over me, and that’s exactly what I wanted.

    (I posted to Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Many ‘liked’ the photo-status, and so few subscribed. Young people.)

    I apologize if it’s in poor taste to post here, but if anyone wants to see high quality short films titled #RaidJesus, and Twisted Metal: Spectre in the spring, email me at [Moderator: email address removed] for my newsletter!

    In my spare time I aim to create a campaign for a feature film, but would like to bring in support via trust from my work on the above projects.

  33. #NOAH

    Got to this podcast a little late due to visitors from Texas (San Antonio, down IH35 from you Noah). Anyway, I really enjoyed the discussion and decided to take action on something that had been rattling around my brain for a bit. Posted this to Facebook late last night (Japan time), and have 18 signups (from 0) in about 12 hours. I got 33 likes and a bunch of great comments so I should be able to capture some more before the deadline via direct contact. I also added SumoMe to my blog and will be posting a blog soon with my experience and all the great input that inspired me to take this leap. I’m incredibly excited about the encouragement I’ve received already and plan on investing more in this creative side of my life. Thanks to both of you for sparking this action. Tim, I’m a avid fan of your podcast and I also heard Noah on James Altucher’s podcast. While I think it would be a fantastic experience to get coaching from Noah, I don’t have any unrealistic expectations about winning, and my motivation is really just personal.

    My FB post:

    Consider this a “Show Your Work” experiment. As most of my FB friends must know by now, Teresa and I have been living in Japan for almost 3 years (with a little over a year to go). We’ve traveled to some beautiful places and I’ve taken many thousands of photos. I’ve also been influenced by writers like Austin Kleon (http://austinkleon.com/show-your-work/). I’ve decided to embark upon a year long project to combine photographs I’ve taken in Japan, with a form of poetry invented here, called Haiku. I find the simple three line (5-7-5) structure of Haiku an elegant medium to express thoughts inspired by images. I’m going to create a piece of art each week combining photography and Haiku. (see my first sample below). If you send me an email at [Moderator: email address removed], I’ll send you a new piece each week. I won’t sell your email or use it for any other purpose 🙂 The email will include a link to a high resolution image suitable to display in a screensaver or print. I hope to have some fun with this. Thanks.

    Of course I also included my photo and here’s a link to my first photo haiku:

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/55493827@N04/17409907168

    1. Can someone please explain why I’m still “waiting for moderation” several hours after posting my comment and there are three more pages of new comments after mine? Thanks

  34. Oops, I just noticed I did #NOAH in lowercase on my submission. Sorry, I’m assuming it doesn’t matter I just don’t want to be disqualified in case you guys are being picky 🙂 My post was the extremely long one from Kornel. Thanks. Sorry, it’s been a long day and I’m a little sleep deprived since we have a newborn baby 🙂

  35. #NOAH

    So my e-mails grew from 0-0. Maybe it’s because I listened to your podcast a day earlier. But anyway, here is what I learned. When doing this, if you’re going to use social media as your audience, you should ABSOLUTELY have your followers put their e-mails in the comments underneath your post. Its just easier for them as they are already using the app. i.e. ” if you’re interested in the product place your e-mail in the comments.” Making them e-mail you is an extra step. You should get more e-mails this way

  36. #NOAH

    I listened to your podcast on my ride into work today and decided to take the challenge. The topic I thought of was Bicycle Commuting which is what I was doing while listening. I am offering Newsletters about Bicycling to Work through sun, rain and snow.

    I started with 0 clients.

    I now have 4 subscribers to a weekly email newsletter.

    Four people in 10 hours is OK but I want to scale it up. Given a week, I might have been able to hit 100.

    What worked best; dedicated emails to family and friends. I sent out 8 emails and 4 accepted it including a girl who I have never met that is riding her bike around the world. That is one hell of a commute.

    My downside was being too selfconscious to include a picture of myself with the bike. I will do that tomorrow.

    About the asking for 10% off coffee, I am afraid to try. Lets see if I can break that mental block in Austin. Maybe go to Amy’s for some ice cream and ask for the discount there.

  37. #noah

    First and foremost, thanks for lighting a flame under my ass to get this done. While I’d love to boast great success, but I only gained 8. I did everything you shared in the episode. The greatest lessons were 1. confidence in learning how to do something new and 2. the willingness to not take it personally when people in an overloaded attention-seeking world don’t see/connect with my message in the every fleeting moment of now that it is present. While I may be able to stay present, my message in a newsfeed won’t. I also learned that I need better favorites on my phone! While I would love to be chosen and have the opportunity to come learn from you in one of my favorite cities of all time (plus have some tacos since they don’t know shit about tacos in Vermont!!!), I and thrilled to know some new tricks, play with sumome, and stretch my comfort zone! ps- mole tacos are my favorites!

  38. #NOAH

    I’ve had an email list for over 4 months and in the last week grew it from 12 people to 124 people (more then a 10x growth), in just a few days.

    22 from the facebook post, which you can see by going here (https://www.facebook.com/tdmarz22/posts/10152901651316274_

    36 from my email signature (which you can see by emailing me :D)

    and the rest from reaching out to people via linkedin, in conversation, and private facebook messages.

    The biggest lesson I learned is that I already have a pretty solid network. The second lesson is that I always feel like things need to be polished and ready before I “release them”, but in fact just getting started is the key.

    As a side note Noah, I actually co-host the Build My Online Store podcast. Your recently were on an episode where my co-host botched the interview due to his computer malfunctioning. If I do end up winning the chance to be mentored by you for a day,I would love to share the experience with my audience, so the all the listeners of my podcast can benefit from your advice.

    Thanks for the great episode and I hope to get the chance to improve my eCommerce store with you, and share that knowledge on to a few thousand of my listeners.

    Thank you,

    Travis Marziani

  39. 1) #NOAH

    IQ test passed!

    2) I went from 0 subscribers to 8. Or as I like to think about it, “800% growth in just the first week. *sniff* Just in case Peter Thiel wants to get in on the ground floor of this rocketship”.

    I just posted my first blog post and am hoping to continually grow. 🙂

    3) The most important lesson I learned from Tim and Noah’s challenge is, just start. I don’t need to plan it to death. I can improve, I can get better, I can be the next okdork.com or 4hourblog.com. But none of that is possible if I simply won’t start. Worst case scenario nobody reads it, best case I can actually provide some value to someone’s life. Nothing but upside.

    “Many a false step was made by standing still” – Fortune Cookie

    Thank you both for the push. See you in the blogosphere and hopefully in Austin as well.

    Cheers mates,

    Jon

  40. #NOAH

    After a short and sweet post on Facebook, I closed the tab and got back to work. I chose to take my passion and hobby, craft beer, and put together a newsletter on information from our local breweries to some of the creative monsters across the country and world. I currently do consulting for a restaurant group as a small side gig so have a bit of an inside track folks may find interesting. My results for the mailing list weren’t too insane – about 30 people total since yesterday. However, one of the people who took notice was a gentlemen I’d previously worked with. He runs a website that provides information on all things concerning wine in New York state. Turns out he was looking for someone to write a column about the craft beer industry in New York. Having made the post yesterday I’m really pleased with the amount of people who have signed up to date and the awesome new opportunity it created.

    You never know what the hell is out there. I’m in a bit of a weird situation for most 28 year old guys. I adopted 4 kids, all under 6 at the time, when I was 23. I’m currently working with my father and sister on creating a scalable environmental waste water business in possibly the toughest market for it in the nation. I managed to get a job doing something I love and have a talent for while pulling out of my ass a way to fit it into my totally packed life. The most important lesson I took from this podcast is that whatever you want is out there. However it’s up up to you to get off your ass, start experimenting, and following through on whatever comes of it – even if it’s not what you initially set out for. For me it’s free press passes to awesome events all over New York but for someone like Musk, Zuckerberg, Bezos, or you guys, it’s changing the world.

    There is also the photo I’ve attached. I feel lucky in that there is a photo of the exact moment tacos entered my life as the only true and holy food group. http://imgur.com/3Wb5sMy

    Thanks for the consideration and keep the awesome content coming.

  41. #NOAH

    Went from 0 to 33 subscribers off of a post to Facebook. Am culling down both my personal and business email lists and sending a similar message to those as well. Unfortunately have been procrastinating…I think a little self sabotage due to my surprise that I had 33 signups right off the bat.

    Biggest takeaway – exactly what this exercise is about: just f’ing doing it. I had written the FB post the day after I heard the podcast, but took another two days to post due to fear. And then before posting I kept tweaking grammar, individual words, trying to make it ‘perfect’. But in the time it took me to do those tweaks (about a half an hour) I could have had it posted, replied to the comments, and moved on to emailing my existing network. Perfection is the enemy of good, and good is more than enough to get started, especially when just letting an audience know about something for the first time.

  42. #NOAH

    So I work in the Bank HSBC and I shot a MASSIVE group e-mail out to all the departments I know. (estimate 12k people) asking people to e-mail me if they want to join my writing club.

    Here is the e-mail!

    [Moderator: links showing email with exposed recipient email addresses removed]

    I managed to get 156 replies so far!!! (and still growing!!)

    I learned that:

    1.) sending mass group e-mails to colleagues I’ve never met is, as HR calls it “inappropriate”

    2.) Begging for forgiveness is MUCH easier than asking for approval.

  43. #NOAH

    I went from 0 to 2…It took me a couple days to get through the two hour podcast, so I only heard about the contest today, but at least I did it! It got me out of my comfort zone and jumpstarted my writing for my start up.

    “…the people in the middle don’t get heard…” at least i know I am not in the middle.

    The most important thing I learned is, while the advent of technology puts the world of possibility at your fingertips, you still need to put in the work.

    Thanks for the killer episode.

    *I have a picture of the proof, but I tried attaching it to this post and it didn’t work. Let me know if you need it!

  44. #Noah

    I listened to the podcast Monday night, and immediately got to work. I have wanted to start a blog for a while now, but never had the motivation to sit down and get it done. I took a picture of myself and posted it on Facebook and Instagram letting people know that I would start a blog in the next day and to email “Hell Yea” to my email address if they want more info. There were about 7 responses to the posts.

    Last night I created a WordPress blog, which took me about 10 minutes to set up, and I wrote my first blog post. AvivMeetsWorld is the name of the WordPress blog that I started. I spent about 2 hours writing my first blog. This morning, I put up anew post on Facebook and Instagram telling the social world that I created a new blog. I also emailed a bunch of people that I know letting them know about the blog, and asking them to reply with “Hell Yea” if they want to continue getting info.

    The results: I had 188 unique visitors to the blog, viewing the post a total of 271 times. I also had 49 people respond with a “Hell Yea”, which now make up my email list (I started with 0). The most amazing thing is that there are a couple people in that 49 people that I have no idea who they are.

    The most important lesson that I leant is that people respond to effort. It was pretty nerve wrecking putting my content up this morning. I felt really exposed to critique, but I received some very positive feedback. It was a fun day.

  45. #NOAH

    For about a year, I’ve been writing content for a blog about my experience with a disorder called trichotillomania. I felt like there were no real resources to turn to when I had questions of my own, so I decided to create a space to share my knowledge, ridiculous stories and the healthy changes I have made to combat this (totally awkward) disorder for which there is no cure. Unfortunately, I have not published any of it. The content sits in edit mode because it is never quite “perfect”. Feeling inspired as the podcast drew to a close, I drove straight to a barber and had my natural hair cut/styled So that I could go wig free for good. I opened social media accounts on Twitter and Instagram under the same header as the blog and finally mustered up the bravery to begin to share my experience. I’ve only gained a handful of followers, but I learned through this experience that no matter how helpful your story or content may be, it is not helping a single person if you are not actively communicating with your community. Thank you so much Noah and Tim for last week’s infusion of bravery that now has me rocking a pixie and reaching out to others. Time to stop editing and start posting.

  46. #Noah

    Greetings ALL…

    I’ll keep this short and sweet

    The podcast episode was GREAT and fitting that it wraps up with Noah talking about going to float which leads right into my business of starting a float center.

    The message I posted on Twitter, FB and Linkedin was:

    “I’m starting a news letter about floating and the benefits from floating. Email me at [Moderator: email address removed] ” (with picture of business logo attached)

    Results after 2 days = 0 email signups

    Modified the Twitter link to include Tim and Noah:

    I’m starting a news letter on floating and all its benefits. Email me [Moderator: email address removed] @noahkagan @tferriss

    Results still = 0 signups

    Facebook and Linkedin did garnish some comments and likes but no email signups…

    What I learn is that more education is possibly needed on what floating is so ppl could have been apprehensive on signing up…??? Secondly, don’t be discouraged by the results. Think smarter and digger deeper, this will drive me to work a bit harder at getting more ppl interested and educated on floating.

    There’s tons of float centers that I’ve reached out to recently and ALL have offered their knowledge and expertise in starting a float center. The float community is very supportive and willing to help in whatever way possible. The support from other float centers allows me to find strength and comfort to push forward with opening my own float center in the Metro Detroit area.

    If anyone IS interested in learning more about floating and its benefits, drop me a line.

    Tim and Noah, If ever in Detroit feel free to swing by my float center and REST

    Float On!

    Sean

    Motor City Float

  47. #NOAH

    I finished listening to the podcast on Sunday night, and Monday got to work. I have to say, this episode really lit a fire under me. Thank you Tim and Noah.

    Here are my results: Our email subscriber count went from 71,321 on Monday to 71,581 on Wednesday.

    Here’s what I did: On Monday we crafted a post for our website thanking people for being members of our email list and encouraging them to share the post with friends and loved ones. In the post was a link to sign up for our email list. The post was included in our regular Tuesday morning email newsletter.

    Later Monday afternoon, I created an automated welcome email for our newsletter list. It was something I had been meaning to do for a while. It thanked our newest subscribers for joining, told them clearly what they would be getting, and it had links to sign up to our Facebook and Twitter pages. We also encouraged them to share our newsletter with loved ones and friends.

    In addition to the post for the website, I crafted posts for our Facebook and Twitter pages with a link to sign up for the newsletter. I encouraged all of our social media followers to share the post with their friends as well.

    Here’s what I learned: Take action now. Don’t wait. I’ve been working on compilation of some of our best content for an e-book. The plan was to use this e-book as an incentive for people to sign up for our newsletter. I was waiting until the e-book was finished before crafting a welcome email with a download link for it. The e-book is still in process, and will probably take a while longer to complete, but just because we don’t yet have the extra enticement to sign up doesn’t mean we can’t have an interim solution in place: our new automated welcome email. It’s already been sent to 284 people, has an open rate over 43%, and in just over 48 hours is already generating new Facebook and Twitter fans and new subscribers by referral. I’ll look forward to the day when we have an e-book to give away, but we’ve got a great solution in place until that day.

  48. #Noah – On May 8th, I posted that I was starting a newsletter on using AR-15 & AR-308 rifles for hunting on both my personal (270 friends) and company facebook page (102 likes). This message was also posted to the facebook forum “Hunting with the Modern Sporting Rifle” (2483 members) and the forum at MSRHunt.com (300+ members). All signups will get an auto-reply welcoming them and asking that if they have any questions they would like answered.

    My email signature was changed to include reply “Hell Yes” to receive our newsletter.

    Installed SumoMe app ListBuilder on our website [Moderator: link removed] to capture newsletter signups from 1st time visitors.

    On May 13th, I reposted my newsletter sign up message to the company facebook page and company website, this time tagging Noah Kagan & Tim Ferriss. I also posted to our twitter account that I was starting a newsletter for AR hunters, tagging @noahkagan and @tferriss. I hope that was OK!

    Results – 4 signups

    Biggest lesson – I need to work harder on selling why people need to signup for our newsletter because there is a lot of competition out there. I wanted to try verbatim what Noah had described as far as how to word the post, and it may have not been as exciting as it needed it to be to draw people in. It may also be that my peer group on social media isn’t really my target market, though I did receive a signup that I would not have guessed was interested. The biggest thing going forward (and from receiving the SumoMe email barrage the last week) is that an entire marketing plan can be based around email newsletters. I have a bunch of great ideas planned which will help place us as an “Expert” and is best of all free!

  49. #NOAH

    We grew from 0 email subscribers to 10 in 2 days. We were also able to accumulate 400 page views during this time.

    -The actual mailing list function only went up yesterday

    -We just registered our domain name 2 days ago.

    The most important lesson we’ve learnt? To take action — TODAY.

    We had the idea, tools, and expertise to create this type of service and product but never took action because we were going through hypothetical obstacles in our head over and over, essentially undermining ourselves before we even started. Reading the four hour work week, the obstacle is the way by Ryan Holiday (part of Tim’s bookclub), and finally listening to this podcast cumulated in finally taking action.

    Some other invaluable lessons learned during this process in point form:

    – It took us 2 days to go from having nothing to a website. If you do not have a deadline or pressure to finish you’ll never get anything done. Check out Parkinson’s law which Tim discussed in the four hour week.

    – We really believe in this product. But as Noah said in the podcast, if you can’t sign up your friends then it’d be even harder to sign up strangers. So I emailed some friends with who I often discuss investing and trading strategies and they all agreed to provide legitimate testimonials on the landing page. Basically we started with people close to you that can attest to your skill/expertise, realizing that if you can’t even convince them about your product then your job is only going to get harder.

    – Lastly, don’t let established competitors scare you. The financial education and analytic tool market is a competitive space. If you believe your product/strategy/service is better, just give it a go. Hypothetically going through how you can fail because the competition is X,Y,Z is simply conjecture and will prevent you from ever starting. Your success rate is exactly 0 if you don’t start, let the market decide whether your product/service will succeed or fail.. don’t fail because you never started! This may sound obvious but I struggled with this very fact!

    Finally a bit of self-promotion. If you are interested in quantitative investment strategies around exchange traded options follow me on twitter at optionhunt. I post my trades whenever I make them and record the entire process, so everything is done with real money on a live account. I was a professional trader on the FX MM desk at HSBC and have extensive experience structuring vanilla and exotic options. Please note, the website and associated communications is for educational purposes only.

    Cheers and thanks Tim & Noah for the great podcast. Would love a chance to hang out with you guys in person 🙂

  50. 1) #NOAH

    2) 0 to 24 emails in three days. (proof avail on request)

    3) Significant lesson: Adding value to a larger population than one thought possible is simpler than expected; I now realize the enormity of the mental obstacles I’d previously put in the way of my own progress.

    Noah and Tim, this podcast was huge. Prior to listening I had a number of ideas bouncing around in my head in the area of entrepreneurship, but I was too ‘corporate’ to capitalize. Picking one value-added subject and running with it for this challenge was a mental sea-change for me. Thank you.

  51. #NOAH

    Alright, I want to start off by saying thanks to both Tim and Noah for setting up this competition and giving all of us such an opportunity.

    I also want to thank all of the other participants for taking part. I actually read through a lot of you guys’ posts and was beyond impressed at the initiative and hustle you guys showed. I learned so much from looking at your examples! I will definitely be adding some of the techniques you guys have used to my repertoire.

    Thanks to this podcast, I finally started building my first list. After listening to the podcast at 12 AM, Sunday morning, I wrote my first social media post and got started. When I checked the next day, the post wasn’t drawing enough emails (20 total), so I started contacting people directly, one by one. I pitched people at my church, at my classes in school (yes, I stood in front of the class, hat in hand), and at my Mother’s day dinner (LOL). Most of my list was built this way.

    This is coming from someone who didn’t even have a subscribe button/bar on his blog. I learned SO many things from this exercise so it’s hard to pin down one. I learned about people, pitching, myself, and the way that I have to conceptualize my content so it’s digestible for the people I’m creating it for. I learned that I have a huge gap in my knowledge about blogging & creating content.

    However, the biggest lesson was definitely: Be biased towards action. Take the path that requires you to act in a bigger way. You can always learn and refine later, but if you never act, you’ll never get anywhere.

    The end result as of now is 0-234. But the story is in everything that happened in between. I’ve condensed my 4 day journey into an infographic. A more detailed account of my process is covered there!

    http://imgur.com/tL1JCcD

    (I’m not sure if this counts as a personal link – email me if this link gets removed and I’ll be happy to forward you a copy!

  52. #Noah

    – From zip, zero, zilch 0 to 10 emails. Posted on Facebook (300 friends) and Twitter (38 followers) my new idea that I have been thinking about for a while; this podcast prompted me to just leap and get started. This was what I posted on Facebook (and shortened it for Twitter).

    “Hey! I’m starting a blog/vlog/email newsletter called ‘On My Way To 100’ where I share my research, insights, personal thoughts, even my lifestyle experimentation on my (perhaps) lofty goal to live to 100+ (and how others are doing it today) . I want you all to be there with me, living to 100+ too. It won’t be fun without you! If you’re interested in joining me, email ????+onmywayto100@gmail.com. I’m starting an email list and getting your feedback too.

    Cheers!

    -Kim”

    I have 20 likes on the post in FB. But not all converted to actually emailing.

    Proof: Here’s a screen capture of my 10 emails in gmail using the +filter (I didn’t create a fancy form as this is just a new idea I’m getting out there).

    (I don’t think the dropbox link will work here but I have it).

    – Most important lesson: Everything starts with a first step that you build on little by little — without that first step, well, you have nothing.

    – Second lesson: For me, to get over the fear of what others will think!

    Thanks for the great Podcast Tim and Noah. So much great info.

  53. #NOAH

    First of all thank you for taking the time to pay it forward by joining Tim Ferriss and creating a very inspiring podcast. After listening to the podcast about 3-4 times and giving it some thought over the weekend I decided to take you up on your challenge.

    During the past weekend, I thought about what I wanted to do as far as the subject of my newsletter and my potential audience. Like most people reading this blog, I have various interests and have developed the necessary skills without a structured foundation to support my expertise. I cook but I am not a cook, I program but I am not a programmer, I design websites but I am not a website designer, I work on cars but I am not a mechanic, I give advice to people but I am not a shrink and so on..

    So I had to really dig deep and figure out what I wanted to do. Having listened to your recent podcast a few times during my 2 hour commute, I heard in my head the words “keep it simple” and “small giants” .

    Do it right the first time around is what I thought so using the gmail+ method was out of the question for me. I did not want my potential subscribers to feel like I am running a make shift newsletter business. Thought about the Gary Halbert Letters, how I went and read his first essay from the 80s where he was talking about how people did not want to open mail that appeared to be metered mail.

    Thought about my facebook audience, my tweeter audience and my instagram following.. not much to write home about. I did not want to depend on people to sign up for my newsletter just because they owe me one, or to come here and pretend I gained a bunch of momentum asking my bible group to email me back.. hopefully you get the point.

    I wanted to start a solid newsletter that even if I do not win this challenge, I still end up with a kick ass newsletter and audience.

    So once I decided on the subject of my newsletter, I went and registered my domain name on Monday May 11th, around 6 PM Minnesota time. Set the nameservers to my small shared server and started working on a basic wordpress with a newsletter form from mailchimp… As I was trying to edit the style, I deleted a few necessary functions and the whole wordpress became invisible and not accessible anymore. So I had to go back to the server panel and delete my installation and start again.. but wait a minute, I thought about it again… keep it simple.. the domain name says it all.. so I simply forwarded the domain name to the mailchimp signup form directly on mailchimp website. So here I was all ready to go with a mailchimp list of 0. First user, I used my own email to test it out and yes, there it was , I was #1 on my own list.

    Went to facebook, instagram and posted a pic and a website address and said something like… starting a newsletter about this new car, subscribe if you are interested becoming a part of this newsletter. Posted it Monday night around 11 PM, so far received 13 likes and 2 shares. Same on instagram.. received like 20-30 likes.

    So for the past 2 days, my list grew from 0-307 people.

    How did I do it? It’s pretty simple really. I did what you talked about in the podcast. Use what you have available. The problem with most people is that they do not really know what they have available or are afraid to ask.

    In my case about 1.5 years ago, I read a story on the internet about a car that was marketed in Europe and the company making it had no plans to bring it to the USA. So that day, while I was driving home I started a change.org petition, asking and demanding for american customers to be able to buy this car. Soon after the petition started, I got a few signups here and there but nothing serious but people started feeling the same passion I had about it and eventually the petition was featured in a few high traffic websites. It grew and grew and grew and finally last month it reached around 25000 signatures and coincidentally the maker of this car, announced that they are going to be bringing it to the USA.

    So once the announcement was made, I did not want to simply declare my petition a winner and close it because then I had no way to email all these people again… so I kept it open until 2 days ago where I finally said the final thank you and goodbye to my supporters and in case they wanted to stay in touch, I provided a link to my new newsletter!

    So I emailed 24000 people saying thank you we won and if you want to stay in touch and stay updated, subscribe to my newsletter.

    During the day, I work very hard to support my family and after work I run my own manufacturing business run only by me. I make what I consider to be the best parts in the world for my market and your small giants reference on that episode meant the word to me because the whole scaling up and going bigger simply does not work for me. I am happy with what I am doing and cannot help but to find myself to compare myself with some of the bigger companies.

    So again Noah and Tim thank you for the awesome podcast. Through my new newsletter, I am going to market new parts for the new car and until it comes, I will probably market tshirts and other products but most important of all content!

    If I get chosen as the winner of this competition, it is going to be because I simply kept it simple and told you guys the truth how i gained 307 subscribers in 2 days. If I do not get picked, no harm is done, I am still coming out ahead with good chance at having a great newsletter following.

    All the best,

    Nikos

    PS please email me if you want to see proof of my email list, my change.org petition etc

  54. #NOAH

    Thanks so much for the rich episode of knowledge nuggets! Really good stuff…

    I just heard this last night on my way home from work (my “normal” job) and immediately went to my computer…

    My best friend (who also lives in ATX) and I (I live in Miami) just started planning the launch of our podcast on June 1. It is a motivational podcast that comes out every Monday, Wednesday and Friday – the name is MWF Motivation (get it?!). This week we have gotten aggressive about social media and started two instagram pages (@mwfmotivation and @salessuccess) and have gotten over 1000 followers in 1 week between the two. We also have started a Facebook page which now has over 240 “likes”.

    This challenge has kicked my ass into high gear. I just committed to writing a book I’ve always wanted to write. Now it’s real. I posted a picture of me and the cutest freaking dog ever and said:

    “BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!! I’m excited to announce that I’m in the process of writing my first book! If you’re like most of us, there has been a few “New Year resolutions” that have fallen short to become priorities. My book will help you create newer and better “Mid-Year resolutions” to help you finish your year in an amazing spot. Email me at [Moderator: email address removed] to get it for FREE once it’s done!”

    In 24 hours, the post has yielded 114 likes, 17 comments and 8 people that have emailed me. I don’t know very well the laws of mass-emailing and I also wanted to see how many people I can get to email ME and grow the list as organically as possible.

    In the next 24 hours, I’m going to “ride” this momentum and continue building the list and spreading the word. By June 1, our podcast will be launched and our book will be the “sponsor” of each episode for the first month. This will drive opt-ins on our site, which will grow our list. Once the book launches, i will give it to everyone who subscribed and opted in as well as run various promotions thereafter for opportunities on getting it for free, among other things that haven’t been created yet. =)

    I want to build a community and a movement. MWF also stands for “Movement toward a Worthy Future” and that’s what I hope to empower people to create in their lives.

    Lesson learned: I thought it would be a lot easier to get people to email me but hey, if it’s too easy…I don’t want it! I have your episode saved on all my devices and have listened to twice already. Even if I don’t win the contest, I’m grateful for the wealth of amazing strategies and knowledge and with hard work and consistency (and a little bit more time lol), anything can be done more than once.

  55. 1) #NOAH at the very top of the comment (instruction IQ test)

    2) I grew from from 0 to 5 emails

    3) I didn’t listen to the podcast until 3 days ago, but the biggest piece I learned from this podcast, is that fortune favors the bold, it is better to put yourself out there and find your audience than to spend time creating systems. Great podcast, really enjoyed it.

  56. had me at taco deli on this episode…taco deli takes the cake…torchy’s tacos honorable mention…cheers…

  57. 1. #NOAH

    2. Results: 0-1258 in 4 days. Listened to podcast Saturday evening and launched the plan on Sunday

    3. Lesson Learned: Know your core audience, don’t be afraid to fail when you start – fine tune and adjust. Don’t be afraid to contact people. People will engage and give you great feedback, you have to ask!

    Let’s dive into the numbers, business and what was learned in more detail. There was a ton of information revealed in this process. I left corporate America after 15 years to go out on my own to start a business. Had a passion for software, started a firm was sued and had to start over. Started a sports agency and spanned into a software company that tracks analytics around athletes and brands on social media. In the end we fell victim to a funding shortage and hit an interesting cross roads. But hey it’s all about the experience and what you learn in the process.

    This “challenge” falls at an interesting time. Nothing forces outcome faster than a condensed time line to produce something + a will to win. All of what you will read took place over 3.5 days. Keep in mind I still had to run a business that consumes a major part of my day. This was all on extra effort and taking action!

    We have been doing research on a series of natural supplements and remedies focused on reducing stress and increasing performance. I have become a human guinea pig for 60 days. Trying out herbs and methods, documenting my outcomes daily / hourly. Yet with any product launch we took the following traditional mindset: Find a market, solve a problem, create a product or service & take to market. So building an email list for potential clients was not in the cue for where we are in our development phase. Buckle up – lets go try something new!

    1. Creation of the email: I focused on the health benefits of stress reduction and the opportunity to increase daily performance. Asking for those interested in this to join the monthly video newsletter. I tested 3 different messages – and crazy enough this one is the one that everyone responded to.

    The email:

    Noah,

    I hope this note finds you well.

    Some friends and I are starting a newsletter focused on natural remedies to reduce stress and improve energy levels for top performers.

    We all seem to run at 100 MPH and we all see areas it affects us.

    Fatigue, insomnia, depression, anxiety, infertility, heart disease & weight gain.

    We are doing a monthly video newsletter sharing info to address these topics and ways to stay healthy! Would love to add you to the group.

    What’s your best email, I can get you added.

    Knowledge is power! Have a great week.

    Cheers,

    Kolby

    Things people said in return to my newsletter invite:

    (also included in the Google Docs link below for viewing)

    “Good to hear from you and glad you are pursuing something that seems in line with your values.

    I would love to be a part of the newsletter. I’ve been doing Crossfit for about 18 months now and run a crazy lifestyle : appreciate any and all advice!

    My email is: AXXXXXXX

    Looking forward to it!”

    AS

    ——————————–

    “Thank you for reaching out to me. I am interested in your monthly Video Newsletter. You may add me with my e-mail of sxxxxx

    Good luck to you and your friends with the newsletter and have a wonderful rest of the day.”

    Thank you,

    BXXXXXX

    ——————————-

    “Sounds like a very helpful platform you’re working on. I can use any advice your team comes up with for stress mgmt and promoting overall health while running at 100MPH.

    Go ahead and sign me up. I hope all is well with you!”

    RXXXXXX

    Follow Up note: I started this mid way through the process to gather what people wanted to learn about specific to the question I posed. The crazy thing, PEOPLE RESPONDED! With detailed info and personal stories of there struggles. This data can now be used to assure what we talk about in the newsletter is relevant to what people want to learn about.

    Response sample to the follow up question that I posed after someone opted in for the newsletter: (this is one of over 152 that peoples responses – the responses are still coming in)

    The Text:

    Awesome thank you for your response!

    What is one thing that interests you about stress reduction?

    “I am actually putting a lot of focus into making significant changes to my entire lifestyle and approach to my overall health. Now that I am 44 years old, I have finally come to terms with the fact that the way I trained, ate, rested, and so on is no longer optimal for me. As such I am really trying to not only optimize my fitness, diet, and lifestyle choices, but also to increase my cognizance of the multitude of other factors that affect my health. As it relates to stress reduction, I find that the more stressed I am the less energy I have. I feel that I manage stress well from an psychological point of view, but I don’t think I am particularly attuned to the physical effects. Does that overly wordy explanation make sense?”

    2. Getting the message out / The numbers: Total 1258 signed up

    Facebook: 4

    Twitter: 0

    Instagram: 4

    Cell Phone: 52

    LinkedIn: 1198

    I sent out a mail merge with a personal message to 2800 people. Think about the conversion rate for a minute. That is a 44.9% response rate. I had only 15 people say, “Please remove”. I did get two phone calls from people asking me what the hell I was doing. Look at that conversion rate – shit you can call me anytime to complain you got my email with these numbers.

    3. The People:

    This is where things get really interesting. This was not a task of collecting emails. It was assuring I was clear in my messaging, and to capture an audience of interested people that could be potential customers in the future.

    Look at the LinkedIn number. That is huge. Our target market is not the 20 year old with testosterone oozing out of his pours looking to compete in bodybuilding. It is the 30-45+ year old office worker that wants to learn more on why they feel like shit and what they can do to feel better. That level of professional lives on my LinkedIn – not my other social media sites or in my phone.

    My email was welcomed! (screen shots, with names omitted in the link below)

    The types of people that responded: It wasn’t my mother, neighbor or close friends.

    Executives from the NBA, NFL, Hewlett Packard, IBM, VMware & Under Armour responded!

    You can’t pay to get to these people to answer your email! Yet they responded to my message and provided feedback on data that was important to them. I picked a core demographic for my product and the elite in this group verified the need.

    4. Opportunity:

    • 1258 people who have opted in to receive information. This is a huge base to build on!

    • 152 people provided data points on what specifically they were interested in. The data shared is invaluable! It will drive product offerings and good discussions in the future. Data continues to come in.

    • 10 subject matter experts want to contribute to content in the newsletter. This will be crucial in relieving the 100% burden on me to create.

    • 4 companies offered to pay for spots and features in the newsletter – read that again. There is an immediate opportunity to drive revenue on our first newsletter if we choose. We have an opportunity to collect $1K this week.

    5. Newsletter Development:

    I started the development of the outline, sections and content to be completed this week. Our goal is June 1st for the first newsletter to be published.

    After research on good templates that I could integrate video and pictures – I decided on Mail Chimp. http://mailchimp.com/

    The Entrepreneur Plan is free and allows up to 2,000 subscribers. You can send 12,000 emails to 2,000 subscribers. No contracts or credit card needed. If you need to upgrade to a larger plan its pretty cost effective from what I can see. I also like the security and reporting features that come out of the box.

    6. Summary

    • Have something people want or care about

    • Average efforts will give average results

    • Don’t expect or feel entitled to anything

    • We all start at 0 customers and go up from there

    I have included a few things for reference, and hope they can be used by others on this thread. All files can be downloaded from my Google Drive.

    o A custom template to track your activities, sign ups and messaging (Mailing List Spread Sheet)

    o Screen shot of emails from phone

    o Screen shots of the reference messages above

    o Screen shot of my mailing list – last names and emails omitted to protect the people

    Noah as a fan of hip -hop, some things to add to your play list at the gym.

    Kendrick Lamar / Mortal Man (Listen to the end)

    Pusha T / Numbers On The Board

    Closing Bonus:

    1. I have lost 30 lbs twice following principles from the Four Hour Body

    2. Tacos are my favorite – well Mexican food in general

    3. Drum roll please……my 4 year son’s name is Noah

    *(Drops Mic) – Seacrest out!

    I love reading all of the things people are doing! Stay focused and you can make amazing things happen. If you have any questions please list them below and I am happy to help you in the closing hours of the challenge.

    Cheers,

    Kolby

    1. Sorry for the double posting and diatribe. Thanks again for such a great podcast. Look at the amount of people that took action. It is truly impressive and exciting to see all of these great ideas.

      /KK

  58. #NOAH

    Listened to your podcast Monday night. Then read your blog, “Top 10 Strategies to Getting more Email Subscribers” that stated, “Method #1: Give something away.”

    I took your advice and I offered my new Udemy course, “Let Siri Save Time, Boost Productivity & Keep You Organized” for free.

    Since Monday night (the code had been turned off Tuesday)

    I received:

    • 449 new customers in the last two days. See chart and screenshot.

    • 5 ratings: four 5-star, and 1 positive 4-star

    • Positive comment in the question section

    • 13 votes to say the course is great.

    All this in under two days, while I was busy with other things.

    Here’s a chart to show the growth. Doesn’t update in real time, so here’s also a screenshot to show the number of students.

    http://www.ElaineWilkes.com/free10.shtm

    I also used your coffee challenge in other areas:

    • Asked for free shipping. Got it.

    • Called a company and asked if I purchased two products, could I get a discount. Got it, PLUS they added in extra pads.

    • Asked the phone company to lower my bill and they did!

    The lessons I learned from all of this are:

    • Just get going. Get started NOW.

    • That gets the ball rolling like a snow ball picking up momentum.

    • It was really fun getting so many customers with great feedback. Gives proof for the course.

    • Yes the mouse is better faster.

    And for my favorite lesson . . .

    • You have more to lose by NOT asking.

    Thanks!

  59. #Noah

    0 Emails to 101 Emails and counting….

    So I got a bit of a late start because I didn’t listen to the show until Tuesday morning…but i knew this was something I could do.

    For the past few weeks I was kicking around the idea of starting my own podcast. I listened to the show you guys did and thought this would be a great way to jumpstart my show when I launch in mid-June.

    So after I read the directions, i did exactly what Noah said and created a Facebook post with my picture, what my podcast was about, when it was launching and to contact me at my gmail+ with a canned response.

    After 8 hours I got 12 people that sent me emails. That alone might of worked if I had a full week, but with time not on my side, I knew I wasn’t going to net me 100 so I had to think of something else. I racked my brain to come up with a creative way to get 100 emails while still playing by the rules.

    Aside from the 12 subs, I noticed that I also got 9 comments to my fb post that didn’t actually subscribe to the gmail+ address. One was from a friend I hadn’t spoken with in 5 years who said she is part of a large association of entrepreneurs and knows about 270 people that would love to hear my new podcast.

    I didn’t want to come out like a douche and say please promote my podcast so your friends can sign up to my list, and I knew I had to offer her something of value. So I said that if could get 75 people to provide an email for a notification of when my podcast went live, I would do a free webinar training for her community. I’ve done a number of trainings like this before so it’s not a big deal..probably an hour of my time.

    To make it easy for her and her audience, I sent her a leadpages opt in link to my list. By the time i woke up this morning I had 62 email subscribers from her referral alone. Now at the time of writing this post (4PM CST), it is up to 89. Coupled with the emails from my Facebook post, that is 101 opt-ins on my list and growing 😉

    Now I have a list of interested people that I can use to launch my podcast next month that will help my rank in the new and noteworthy category.

    WHAT I LEARNED:

    It goes back to what Noah has stated in the past. Validate your idea first. I felt some resistance to doing a podcast. It’s a big undertaking that I don’t want to half-ass and I wasn’t sure if people would want to hear it. Because I shared my project with friends and potential consumers, I was able to validate that yes people would download my podcast.

    Also when you get stuck, start getting resourceful. Because I got started late, I knew that just hoping for emails from Facebook wasn’t going to get me to 100. I don’t have much of a twitter following so that was out. And I wanted to play by the rules so I couldn’t do a paid ad. I saw a former acquaintance of mine raise their hand who already had an established audience and I asked to borrow it while providing value in return. Essentially I got resourceful with what I had and created my 100 subscribers out of thin air.

  60. #Noah I have failed the e-mail list growth challenge. Charlie Brown won’t even talk to me. He says his tree has more upward mobility than my limp list. Possible reasons: After I listened to podcast Monday, I posted on two FB business pages, shared to personal page. zero response. Too much text, maybe? Uninteresting e-mail subject? No funny photo of my funny face. Tweet about same – same. I think that as the loser, I need mentoring more than anyone.The tiny list (62) I have for my current project only grows when someone buys from my online store and accepts marketing. If Mailchimp has a sign up form that will show up in that store, I can use that. They have lovely forms that seem to have no home at Shopify. My contact form works great though. The sign up I generated looks like codecodecode. So, I’m doing it wrong.

    I do love the + hack for g-mail though. It’s got a taco load of potential, and was fun to use. I used different ones for FB and Twitter so I’d know where they came from. When they came. …*crickets*

    The list will grow at my next two “live

    events with my product. It generates interest, and when potential customers see my *thing*, they are surprised, delighted, exclaim, “Wow”, or breathe that word with what I tell myself are reverence and awe. I will collect e-mails.

    If you are inclined to (gently) kick the but of a reforming zero improver in the direction of surprisingly good improvement, I’m the one. Or, I’d just tag along with the winner, because that person had much better ideas.

  61. #NOAH

    I went from 0 to 74 in 3 days! I have had an idea in my head for a long time, and your call to action is what finally got me to do something. I let people know I was starting a newsletter on how to live a more empowered life rather than just go through the motions. I have all of the email sign-ups in an email folder for your viewing pleasure. I posted on Facebook a few times, and on Twitter. A couple of my friends took it upon themselves to share my Facebook post as well. I also emailed some friends who are not on social media that much if at all.

    And now I need to do it! And I really need your help! So I sure hope I win this contest 🙂

    I learned a lot from both the podcast and from participating in this contest, including the fact that taking action makes me happy! I also was feeling like I just didn’t have the mental or physical energy once I got home from my demanding full-time (plus) job and after taking care of the needs of a busy family to actually do what was in my head, but I found that the excitement of taking action and challenging myself gave me the energy I needed. But I think the most important lesson I learned in the process is that I don’t have to actually have everything ready to go in order to get people interested and start a mailing list.

    Thank you for getting my butt in gear. Hope to see you soon, Noah!

  62. #NOAH

    I grew a new mailing list for a newsletter about creativity from 0 to 12 subscribers.

    The biggest lesson I learned, as with many other commenters, was to just start, and to believe in the ability each one of us has to bring people together. I’m an avid learner and a consumer of new information, I learn new skills rapidly and have been hooked on the content on this website, podcast, and now TV show since I ran into it only four months ago. My drive has always been to put myself at the intersection of creativity and service. However, most of what I have been doing recently is absorb information. This interview was so effective because it aimed right at the gut – just start sharing something now.

    A related lesson was that there are people out there who I’ve built relationships with who are genuinely interested in hearing what I have to say. I was nervous right before pressing the Send button, nervous that my aspirations would be crushed, that this would end up being a silly exercise and fall on deaf ears. What I have realized is that I have a story to tell, and that others want to benefit from learning what they can from it. It’s exactly what I do when I listen to this podcast, read memoirs, or talk to people I admire. Everyone has a story and everyone has a social network that benefits from sharing as long as you remain focused on adding value in every single interaction.

    I posted my photo and announcement on my social networks and personally emailed everyone who subscribed asking them “what is one thing you are trying to get better at this year”, with the purpose of using the responses as inspiration for future topics. I have been working over the last several days on a roadmap for the content, and my expectation is that once the project begins in earnest with the first issue in the next week, I can easily achieve 50 subscribers, with a stretch goal of 200 by the end of the summer.

    I come from a low-income community in Puerto Rico and have a background in economics and psychology. I ran a small nonprofit social enterprise after college, which led me to attend business school and to my current job at a leadership development program in Atlanta. I am immensely interested in both creative work and service, as well as continuous learning and self-improvement. My mission is to give back everything I am learning, and put myself at the intersection of creativity and service, building great products and connecting people to resources that positively impact their lives and help them tap into their full potential. There is so much to learn and so much to offer.

    Again, the biggest lesson is to start now. Thanks Tim and Noah for your inspiration.

  63. #NOAH

    I went from 23 emails to 96 emails in 1 week. My initial list of 23 subscribers took 3 months to build. So my goal was to double that in 1 week. But after your episode, I doubled that in less than 24 hours! I used TinyLetter (acquired by MailChimp), which tracked my progress — so I’d be happy to share my official results if requested.

    I’ve learned a few things, but the most important lesson I learned was simple: be authentic.

    Previously, I’ve posted very nice updates with beautiful images and cool tag lines. But there was something about the authenticity of just taking a picture in my office/bedroom on my iPhone, and being candid with “I’ve started a newsletter! Please sign up, because it would mean a lot to me”. Which I think accomplished a few things.

    1) It showed the real life version of me. Not a hand selected, polished advertisement. But the real me. The human behind the newsletter.

    2) It was an opportunity to try out the “The Copy Machine Study” from Harvard University, which concluded that simply giving a reason (a because), increased compliance up to 40% more than no reason at all.

    3) It allowed me not to take myself so seriously for once, which I think people sense, and find refreshing.

    4) It literally took less than a minute to post.

    There is so much more to explore, but this was an incredible lesson in authenticity.

    Thank you for your help.

    Sincerely,

    Matt Cooper

  64. #Noah

    Grew newsletter from 0 to 21 people (possibly 27)

    What I did:

    > posted on Facebook. Newsletter topic: tips and philosophical tidbits for life after college. I received 3 email responses.

    > I thought I posted on Twitter. My phone didn’t because there was no data signal in my office.

    > Some of the people who liked the pictures are people who I communicate personally via email. So I added those to my list

    > I messaged people who liked it, and whose email I don’t have to ask for a good email to reach them. Most provided with an email address. Currently waiting on 6 people (hence the possible 27).

    Lesson Learned:

    > People you know are willing to listen to you. Just ask for an ear.

    > Your family member are really excited about your potential projects.

    Thanks for the kick in the but

  65. Condensed Readers Digest Version:

    1. #NOAH

    2. Results: 0-1258 in 4 days. Listened to podcast Saturday evening and launched the plan on Sunday

    3. Lesson Learned: Know your core audience, don’t be afraid to fail when you start – fine tune and adjust. Don’t be afraid to contact people. People will engage and give you great feedback, you have to ask!

    Let’s dive into the numbers, business and what was learned in more detail. There was a ton of information revealed in this process. I left corporate America after 15 years to go out on my own to start a business. Had a passion for software, started a firm was sued and had to start over. Started a sports agency and spanned into a software company that tracks analytics around athletes and brands on social media. In the end we fell victim to a funding shortage and hit an interesting cross roads. But hey it’s all about the experience and what you learn in the process.

    This “challenge” falls at an interesting time. Nothing forces outcome faster than a condensed time line to produce something + a will to win. All of what you will read took place over 3.5 days. Keep in mind I still had to run a business that consumes a major part of my day. This was all on extra effort and taking action!

    We have been doing research on a series of natural supplements and remedies focused on reducing stress and increasing performance. I have become a human guinea pig for 60 days. Trying out herbs and methods, documenting my outcomes daily / hourly. Yet with any product launch we took the following traditional mindset: Find a market, solve a problem, create a product or service & take to market. So building an email list for potential clients was not in the cue for where we are in our development phase. Buckle up – lets go try something new!

    1.Creation of the email: I focused on the health benefits of stress reduction and the opportunity to increase daily performance. Asking for those interested in this to join the monthly video newsletter. I tested 3 different messages – and crazy enough this one is the one that everyone responded to.

    Follow Up note: I started this mid way through the process to gather what people wanted to learn about specific to the question I posed. The crazy thing, PEOPLE RESPONDED! With detailed info and personal stories of there struggles. This data can now be used to assure what we talk about in the newsletter is relevant to what people want to learn about.

    The Text:

    Awesome thank you for your response!

    What is one thing that interests you about stress reduction?

    2. Getting the message out / The numbers: Total 1258 signed up

    Facebook: 4

    Twitter: 0

    Instagram: 4

    Cell Phone: 52

    LinkedIn: 1198

    I sent out a mail merge with a personal message to 2800 people. Think about the conversion rate for a minute. That is a 44.9% response rate. I had only 15 people say, “Please remove”. I did get two phone calls from people asking me what the hell I was doing. Look at that conversion rate – shit you can call me anytime to complain you got my email with these numbers.

    3.The People:

    This is where things get really interesting. This was not a task of collecting emails. It was assuring I was clear in my messaging, and to capture an audience of interested people that could be potential customers in the future.

    Look at the LinkedIn number. That is huge. Our target market is not the 20 year old with testosterone oozing out of his pours looking to compete in bodybuilding. It is the 30-45+ year old office worker that wants to learn more on why they feel like shit and what they can do to feel better. That level of professional lives on my LinkedIn – not my other social media sites or in my phone.

    The types of people that responded: It wasn’t my mother, neighbor or close friends. Executives from the NBA, NFL, Hewlett Packard, IBM, VMware & Under Armour responded!

    You can’t pay to get to these people to answer your email! Yet they responded to my message and provided feedback on data that was important to them. I picked a core demographic for my product and the elite in this group verified the need.

    4. Opportunity:

    • 1258 people who have opted in to receive information. This is a huge base to build on!

    • 152 people provided data points on what specifically they were interested in. The data shared is invaluable! It will drive product offerings and good discussions in the future. Data continues to come in.

    • 10 subject matter experts want to contribute to content in the newsletter. This will be crucial in relieving the 100% burden on me to create.

    • 4 companies offered to pay for spots and features in the newsletter – read that again. There is an immediate opportunity to drive revenue on our first newsletter if we choose. We have an opportunity to collect $1K this week.

    5. Newsletter Development:

    I started the development of the outline, sections and content to be completed this week. Our goal is June 1st for the first newsletter to be published.

    After research on good templates that I could integrate video and pictures – I decided on Mail Chimp.

    6. Summary

    • Have something people want or care about

    • Average efforts will give average results

    • Don’t expect or feel entitled to anything

    • We all start at 0 customers and go up from there

    Closing Bonus:

    1. I have lost 30 lbs twice following principles from the Four Hour Body

    2. Tacos are my favorite – well Mexican food in general

    3. Drum roll please……my 4 year son’s name is Noah

    I love reading all of the things people are doing! Stay focused and you can make amazing things happen. If you have any questions please list them below and I am happy to help you in the closing hours of the challenge.

    Cheers,

    Kolby

  66. #noah

    65 subscribers in 3 days (as of 5/13/2015 23: and $0 spent!

    First off, thank you both for an amazing episode! So many great tips. Also if you guys haven’t picked up the Season Pass of Tim’s show on iTunes, DO IT NOW!!! (In the Governor’s voice) There’s over an hour and a half of Tim and Noah in the Behind the Scenes: Build A Business Episode running through call scripts that helped in my copywriting (mentioned later).

    I’ve been dragging my feet on putting myself out there for a while and this episode was the kick in the ass I needed. Come from finance and have begun teaching myself to code so the fintech space has been an obsession of mine (especially living in Manhattan). So I decided to launch a fintech newsletter (ddmirolli+fintech@gmail.com).

    Couple things about the launch before I get in to the metrics.

    1) Tim and Noah, the tech tips about Gmail were supremely helpful! Also, Buffer.com is a great tool for anyone looking to streamline social presence from one location.

    2) Listened to the podcast on the evening of May 8th (my fault) while flying to my brother’s college graduation. Family first meant I stayed offline all weekend after the initial post (my choice). This meant I started promoting on Monday back at a 70+ hr/week job. (any raised glasses from the audience?)

    My initial strategy was to post to several social platforms and groups.

    Facebook: MS in Finance group, personalized messages, Stellar group, study abroad group, and generic timeline posts to friends/followers

    LinkedIn: generic posts, and a published post about FinTech (via LinkedIn’s blogging platform)

    Twitter: Posts and hella @replies

    Instagram, Pinterest, and one post on Reddit that got downvoted to 0

    A post to Medium about FinTech.

    So here’s how it went.

    Facebook: posted several dozen times over the course of 3 days (each time with picture) with varying copy. Sent c. 78 personalized Facebook messages to colleagues from grad school which converted at c. 20%. Posted to the grad school group a few times but just resulted in a few likes and close friends subscribing whom would have through any source (same thing happened to the timeline posts with a few converting exceptions).

    By the end of Day 1 I had 23 subscribers. An okay start I guessed but not the type of runaway welcome I had hoped for. Start brainstorming ways to drive interest and watching some key #AskGaryVee Show Episodes for ideas. (Tim, possible guest?)

    Day 2:

    Decide that the best way to passively drive traffic to the site (my job is killing me) is to write a post about the future of Bitcoin (later posted to r/bitcoin and downvoted) and share it on Medium and LinkedIn. Spend all the time I would have used promoting the newsletter on writing the post. Finally finished it at 2 AM. Only got 6 subscribers on Day 2. This day sucked.

    Day 3: I hit the S-word

    The post goes live on Medium and LinkedIn with the best clickbait title I believe in, “Why Bitcoin is worth $0 and that’s good for the world”. Lots of likes but not many signups (call to action at bottom of article).

    F@#%!

    I go all in on social. What feels like hundreds of @replies (put a “.” in front so everyone can see) to ppl I follow, topic searches, or contextual adds to the many fintech companies and people I already follow. Also let the people and companies I referenced in the article know where to find it. Shameless plugs as far as the eye can see.

    I sent the 78 Facebook msgs today along with a dozen more posts to all social platforms throughout the day. Stuff was moving but not at the pace I wanted (it was getting late in the day and many of the colleagues I sent messages to live in the Eastern hemisphere).

    The real breadwinner? Good ‘ole SMS! When social media let me down I opened up my iMessage and literally began scrolling through every chat in my messages app and sending them some gender appropriate version of the following:

    “Dude, I’m starting a fintech newsletter and I want you on it!”

    That’s it?

    That’s it.

    That one f-cking line converted better than all my other work! (Side note: Twilio’s valuation is probably lower than actual after having experienced this)

    People would respond with “What’s fintech?” or “I don’t understand” or (my personal favorite) “ya I saw you talking about that on Facebook…” (really, guy?). But that started a conversation. It usually wasn’t longer than 3 texts before I had an email, many of these people I hadn’t spoken to in months. (Disclosure: did door-to-door sales in college so that likely helped)

    That’s all for now. Competition is over. It’s officially 12:09 EST (please don’t hold it against me, I’m still getting used to this Colemak keyboard). Reach out if you have suggestions of tweeks or want the email I used as the canned response.

    **Note: one thing you guys may come across is, like Keto or FinTech, most people aren’t familiar with it so you have to try and explain what it is, why they should care about it, and why they should listen to you, all inside of 140 characters – amount taken by the image that makes your post visible. This takes constant and obsessive iteration. Twitter’s Analytics site and Buffer are very helpful for this.

    Ok…that’s not all I did. I had my mom send out the link to her friends! On Mother’s Day! HA! Shoutout to moms!

    In pursuit of tacos,

    Daniel Mirolli

    1. #noah

      Forgot a few things you guys will find helpful. List is continuing to grow as Europe reads all my messages but contest is over and this is about helping y’all.

      Biggest lesson learned – this is hard work! I think so many of us don’t do something b/c we’re more comfortable with hypothetical success than real, haunting failure. With most things in life if you follow the ‘rules’ (like not laying down in a coffee shop) you can clearly chart a path to success. When you’re doing stuff on your own and you’re out in front every next step is a question mark which is why its so crucial to be constantly tweaking your approach based on the data you get. Take a step forward. Get data on response. Make decision. Move forward. Realize step forward was step backward. Analyze new data. Realize there’s a trend from old step to new step. Take another step. — Think that’s what it boils down to and what Tim and Noah mentioned about consistency, you have to always be taking another step.

      Things that helped: On the way to work I’ve gotten in the habit of relistening to old episodes. You know when you re-read a book you really enjoyed a year later and it’s like someone came in and rewrote the book? You just get so much out of it that next time. And that next time. And that next time. You go through experience that helps frame how you identify with information. I must have listened to this episode a dozen times over the past 4 days and each time I got something new out of it b/c I had just experienced some new problem in building my list that helped me pick up another nugget from Noah & Tim. I highly recommend this practice.

      On the health front of the podcast, unrelated to the competition: ProductHunt had a big welcome for the new “Fit Men Cook” iPhone app. Phenomenal resource for folks looking to bulk, save money cooking their own food, and have the recipes on them at all times.

      https://itunes.apple.com/app/id980368562

      Noah, you should Periscope a trip to Taco Deli!

  67. #NOAH

    It is nice to “meet” you via Tim’s podcast.

    2) As of this post my email list has gone from zero to seven in the last five hours.

    Unfortunately I did not see the blog post until last night and I finished the podcast this afternoon around 4pm. While driving home from the office I re-listened to the instructions again and came up with a newsletter topic.

    Once home I quickly created a new gmail address and then was off with the family to my oldest son’s soccer game. During the game I did my best to video my son playing with my wife’s phone while typing a facebook post on mine. I finally posted around 6pm on FB.

    Over the next hour I posted in two private groups on Linkedin. One was my college alumni group (2,739 members) and the other was the Eagle Scouts group (almost 42k members). I did not have a landing page or anything so I simply mentioned my newsletter topic–“Five BIG trends that are poised to explode over the next few years and how to get involved with them,” and asked people to send an email to my newly created address with the words Five, Big, or Letter in the subject heading depending on the platform. I did this so I could track the source. So far all 7 have come from Facebook.

    3) A close friend of mine (who has not signed up yet!) commented on the FB post and ask for a more precise definition of “trends.” I edited the post to say “Five BIG trends in the areas of science, innovation, and technology that are poised to explode over the next few years and how to get involved with them.” As I type this now I see a few other tweaks I need to make in the message, but I think two other issues are more important.

    A-I believe that the effort to complete the “ask” was too much. I speculate that greater results could be gained from having a link that directed to a landing page with more details where the subsequent ask was to enter an email address. The act of reading, having interest piqued, opening mail, typing or copying my email address, and sending and email is an inefficient process that requires too much of the prospect. I like the sequence of: reading, having interest piqued, clicking, reading, further piquing (is that really a word?) of interest, and finally entering an email address significantly more. It requires less of the the individual I am trying to engage(kinda of how there are more likes that comments and more comments that emails on my post). I will figure out how to make said landing page and then track the results.

    B-The message for Linkedin needs to be tailored differently. I propose that a more effective way would be to create a teaser post that drives the click through link to the landing page. A different audience needs not only a different message but potentially a different process.

    To be perfectly honest, I almost didn’t attempt this today knowing there was no chance I could attain the numbers mentioned by the some of the readers in the comments. I also didn’t want to screw up my sacred first attempt. But worrying about screwing up morphed to the attitude of “screw it” and this really helped me act upon ideas that had been germinating for several months.

    I view this as simply the beginning and I am challenging myself to get 500(wow, I really wanted to type 200 there) people on the list by the end of May. I did not do any direct appeals to my favorites/close network given the time constraint and the belief that this really could be something significant. I have not written a letter/post yet but already have ideas for over 30 of them.

    In conclusion(since I basically wrote an essay), I thank you both for the call to action and I especially thank Tim for not limiting the word count in his comments! I will continue to try new attempts to get my 500 subscriber goal and track progress along the way.

    Noah: I certainly will not win your challenge but if your time and inclination allow you to mentor an additional person I will pay my own way to spend the day with you and your team. I honestly had not heard of you before this podcast but your message/lifestyle resonates strongly and I believe in living my life in such a way that I can make the most of opportunities like this should they arise.

    Thank you,

    Jim

    **The list has grown from 7 to 8 as I was typing this reply! That’s a bit over 14% in about 40 minutes(slow typist). Annualize that………. ;)**

  68. #NOAH Just in time! I submitted an entry on both my personal Facebook account and Kafster.com account to get two different sets of followers exposure to the newsletter offering about our coffee roaster service. Since just doing this 10 minutes ago, I got 1 response. That might not sound like a lot but with my current email list of only about 15, that’s a 7% increase in 10 minutes. Pretty stoked about what will be waiting for me tomorrow morning.

    Best lesson of this podcast was to quit thinking and start doing. I think Noah is brilliant but I admire his initiative to just say “fuck it, lets take action” instead of over analyzing and never producing. That’s a total nutshell version but its helped me realize I have tools in my immediate grasp to help me project myself forward.

    Thanks for this opportunity Tim/Noah!

  69. #NOAH

    On the email subscriber front: I got 45 subscribers by posting to my social networks a few times. I offered friends a copy of my marketing templates and sent them to a basic landing page that I created for this test.

    [Btw, for this experiment, I wanted to see what it would be like to start from scratch. My list is over 18k and grows by 250 each week, mainly by using Noah’s tips that I’ve previously implemented — SumoMe, email signature etc but I didn’t include any of those regular sign-ups in my numbers for this.]

    On the free coffee front: I was nervous… so did a ‘low-risk’ practice ask at the convenience store for a can of Coke. She said NO. But it warmed me up so I then went to my regular coffee shop where they know me (so maximum embarrassment factor) and asked for a free coffee. She she YES 😉 I nearly chickened out but am pleased I held my nerve — it’s very uncomfortable.

  70. #NOAH

    This podcast was awesome. Noah, there’s a line in the movie Role Models that really reminds me of you, every time I listen to you give an interview or a speech: “Shit this kid really jacks you up!” You’re very motivating.

    I didn’t get hardly anyone to sign up as of yet but I feel like I learned a ton. The most important lesson was just to get started and take the first step. It was stressful, uncomfortable, and kind of scary to put myself out there but I survived and am excited to continue working towards building something.

    Thank you guys for all that you do.

    Dan

  71. #NOAH

    I launched my website, http://www.theguitarcloud.com, in early March and have had many paid ads running since. That has been the main source of my traffic. After 2 months of a few abandoned carts and no sales, I new I needed to do something different.

    Here’s what I have done since listening to the podcast:

    1) Cancelled my paid ads in favor of relevant traffic – signed up for a $10/mo app called Kit. through shopify. Turns out they have a contract with Facebook and have built an algorithm that intelligently scopes out relevant fans based on likes to your page/posts etc. and uses the information to target them via posts and ads. They can’t provide the user emails, it is against FB policy… that would be too easy anyway.

    2) Hired an SEO company to manage my FB page and generate more relevant content resulting in more page likes and engaged users. The idea is that the users will be picked up by Kit.’s algorithm and then re-targeted for ads and posts on my FB page (https://www.facebook.com/theguitarcloud).

    3) I setup an option for customers on my eCommerce page to create an account so that they will enter their email. I created a mail chimp account so these emails can be added to the mailing list for what will become my regular newsletter. Looking forward to building that list.

    As I mentioned in the first paragraph, my site is not converting at the moment so it is a bit of a challenge (not saying it’s impossible) to leverage existing customers to build my email list. That is why I am relying on social media at the moment or at least testing the waters.

    What I’ve learned: You need to learn how to crawl before you walk. In other words, I feel like I put the cart before the horse in trying to automate my site too early without putting the work and research into optimizing it and driving relevant traffic. Hence, the reason I’ve made the recent changes I’ve made.

    1. Update: I made the following post to my Facebook page tonight:

      Attention!!!! The Guitar Cloud is starting a newsletter… email [Moderator: email address removed] to sign up and receive more information about weekly deals and new products.

      Let’s hope the emails come pouring in!!!

  72. #NOAH

    This was a helpful, eye opening exercise. I am returning to the travel industry after a few years away. It took me a day to find an email address that I feel comfortable with and agonized about posting my picture since I am a very private person. I still have a great deal to learn about using facebook and other social media to my best advantage. So far, the most important discovery for me is that with new technology at my fingertips, I don’t have to spend nearly as much time or money as I did when I started my adventure tour company in the 1990’s (back then I had the vision of creating a website and it ranked among the top five in the travel industry, or the only one in some search engines). The speed at which such a project can now be accomplished is incredible. For example, in the past, it took me at least a month of work to produce and send out a newsletter, including writing, printing, folding, putting it in envelopes, stamping and taking it to the post office.

    My concrete result to date is overcoming my lack of information and experience with social media and the creation of an e-mail list, which I was able to accomplish within the past two days. I was thrilled to be able to mention to the facebook page my book in progress about shamans from the Amazon.

    I feel great confidence that my newsletter will generate both tour reservations and readers for my book. I’ve been searching for the best venue to let people know about my comeback, I couldn’t find it until I heard the podcast. My results from the mailing were 0, but I am not discouraged, I started with one client and I can do it again. Thank you so much for the podcast.

    Mili San

  73. #NOAH

    I started late. I listened to the podcast Thursday night and waited until Friday morning to get started.

    From that point on:

    I grew my email list from 0 to 65 (proof: http://imgur.com/UUkotY9)! I really wanted to hit that magic 100 and if I had 24-48 hours more I know I could do it. I think I will, anyways.

    But, having reached the deadline for this challenge, it’s time to reflect and after thinking about it, I realized that I’ve learned 3 things throughout this process:

    1. You can accomplish a lot with very little. Noah’s “post pic + email to Facebook” approach attracted my first 10-15 signups. My landing page (http://thetealetter.com) isn’t even mobile optimized. In order to build that landing page I cobbled together a landing page template and a MailChimp integration tutorial on Design Shack. It’s rough, ugly, and covered in duct tape, but it got me to 65 subscribers.

    (P.S. Noah: can you create an easy opt-in page product, please?!)

    2. Friends and family are an excellent resource–as long as you’ve created something valuable, worth their time, and is something they might want. I attracted the most sign-ups directly from friends/family. The second best source of sign-ups were the ones that resulted from asking those same people to share my email list on Facebook.

    3. Worry about perfection/scale later. Start by rolling up your sleeves and getting your hands dirty with manual labor. I personally emailed every single one of my 65 subscribers to ask them the following question: what’s one thing you’d like to learn about tea? Before I did this my biggest fear starting something like this was not knowing what to write about. I now have a list of content ideas that will keep me going for weeks and months.

    Plus one bonus lesson: magic happens when you take action. I’ve been sitting on the sidelines thinking about starting something like this for months, but that’s all it ever was–thought without action.

    When I finally decided to throw caution to the wind and launch this, the outpouring of support, the jealous comments (I wish I could do something like this!), and the offers from friends to pitch in and help with everything from design to email marketing knowledge to writing content was all overwhelming.

    Thank you Tim and Noah for inspiring me to take action and challenge myself to overcome fear and reach for success. I’ll never forget the lessons I’ve learned these five days.

    Mike

  74. #NOAH

    Grew from 0 to 102 confirmed email subscribers.

    Most Important Lessons Learned:

    Not much success utilizing Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Reality is I rarely log into my Facebook page (132 friends), and I opened a Twitter account the other night. I have 500+ LinkedIn connections (I know nearly all of them) but no success there either.

    Direct emails were effective. I sent out 1st emails Friday morning and received 10 subscribers. The email was very generic where I bcc’d contacts in groups of 15 to avoid being tagged as SPAM. 2nd emails were sent one by one and personalized (with just one or two very brief and unique sentences…in addition to standard copy). 2nd emails contained call to action requesting a response today! Also, provided multiple ways to subscribe (made is as easy as possible). Email responses increased and were immediate!

    This is all new to me so I feel pretty good about the results. Especially since there was no deliverable or website to reference…other than the promise of a newsletter. It is also a topic my contacts wouldn’t usually associate with me so there was some confusion. I’m confident there is an audience for my topic (see below). I’d love to talk about ways to grow subscribers and monetize Terms[ab]use over tacos and a cold beverage when we meet in Austin!!!!

    Topic: Newsletter called Terms[ab]use, and soon to launch website. The mission of the newsletter and website is to educate parents, businesspeople and children to help them make informed decisions when it comes to technology (Be aware of the tradeoffs of using a free, or paid, app on your tablet or smartphone, laptop, etc…).

    Thanks!

    Keith

  75. #Noah

    Did the challenge starting today and got 6 subscribers with just a couple of text messages and 4 tweets (hadn’t got any from the email sig yet)

    The results will be great from hear on out because of the one lesson I learned from the show which is this:

    I Need To Take Action, Not Become An Expert In Digital Marketing.

    I was justifying fear of starting with excuses like I needed to learn html, css and java first, or I needed to go through another webinar on creating a webinar or sign up for another email newsletter about how to grow my email newsletter.

    Long story longer I divested my learning spend (audible subscription, Lynda.com, hootsuite university) and signed up for a WYSISWYG website creator and cheap email marketing software with landing page creator. I took a quick content audit and realized I had enough old material to generate blog posts with and create a simple offer, and then just took action. I had been putting it together since last friday when I listened to the show and today is launch day! And since then I signed up to teach my own class about blogging at the local library to maybe help some others and share what I have learned from all you guys, found 3 others in my network who I can help along their own digital marketing launch AND even picked up one PAYING client!

    Anyway, I don’t have the numbers, but I have the heart, drive and ability. Plus could use a couple new taco places in austin, When I lived there (I’m currently in Houston) it was this wild place on 38 1/2 that would kick you out if you didnt order the migas the right way, and the East side taquerias.

    Talk to you soon.

  76. #NOAH

    Hey Noah (and Tim),

    I grew from 23 subscribers to 96! My initial goal was to double the my list in 1 week. But after this episode, I doubled my list in 24 hours! I used TinyLetter (by MailChimp) to gather emails, so I’d be happy to share my official results.

    I’ve learned a lot, but the most important lesson was simple: Be authentic.

    Before, I spent a lot of time designing banners, taking beautiful images, writing catchy tag lines, etc. But this time, following your advice, I just took an iPhone photo in my bedroom office. Then posted on Facebook: “I’ve started a newsletter! Please sign up, because it would mean a lot to me: (link)”.

    BAM! Doubled my list in 24 hours. Then went on to grow more than 4x my initial goal! I think this worked for a few reasons.

    1) It was authentic. It was the real me, and not another advertisement. It was a chance for people to connect with me and be a part of something “real”.

    2) It used “The Copy Machine Study” from Harvard. Where by giving a reason for a request (a because), increased compliance up to 40% more than no reason at all. (i.e. because it would mean a lot to me).

    3) It was simple and direct. Not too pushy.

    Plus, it all had the added benefit of taking less than 60 seconds to post! That was particularly eye-opening.

    It’s a modest list, but I’m eager to test more assumptions, and find what else I’m overcomplicating in business, and in life. Thank you for your thoughts and suggestions — both of you have been invaluable.

    Sincerely,

    Matt Cooper

  77. #NOAH

    I’m a web developer that listens to 3-5 hours of podcasts a day. I’ve been trying to launch a podcast website / web app for a while now, but in typical developer fashion, I had a million ideas, the scope increased infinitely, and I never actually launched anything! So I think a newsletter about podcasts is a perfect place to start, so when I decide to focus better and launch something, I’ll have a bunch of podcast fans to check it out immediately.

    I went with Tinyletter because they handle the anti spam law legalities that I don’t want to deal with and allow you to BCC a secret email address, so it’s just like using gmail anyway. I went from 0-12 subscribers and sent out my first newsletter on Sunday. I posted on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and reached out to a few friends personally, but apparently podcasts still aren’t mainstream enough to get people to rush to the signup form. The link to signup and see the archive is located here: [Moderator: link removed]

    I think this was the kick in the butt I needed. Great show.

    P.S. Don’t worry Tim, your podcast will be featured in next weeks newsletter under the “Podcasts in the Top 100 that are worth listening to” section. Just wanted to get more subscribers first ;).

  78. #NOAH

    Results: All starting from zero last Friday when I listened to the Podcast.

    – Emails from newly registered and made website – 26

    – Emails from Facebook posts – 4

    – Shares from Facebook posts – 5

    – LIkes from post – >100

    Most Important Lesson

    Going from 0-100 emails is a lot fucking harder than it seems. You know what though? This exercise really motivated me, I made a web site from nothing in two days and published it for the sake of this exercise. I put myself out there on my social networks and asked those who know me to do the same on theirs. I learned that if I am doing something I am passionate about, those who know me will spread the word. I learned that I’ve I’m doing something that matters, strangers will find their way to me. I hope for the opportunity to learn more from Austin. For the whole story visit my newly published webpage I provided to post this.

    Cheers.

    Bryce J. Wynn

  79. #NOAH

    Results: 0 to 967 emails.

    Most Important Lesson Learned: Start with content and substance first. I’ve tried blogging in the past, and it didn’t feel right nor caught on until I had something I loved to write about. I’ve been working on a startup, Cheerap, for the past 2 months and had an email list serve that I could leverage and it turns out people are interested in learning more about the backstory. Focusing on conversions or wording is good but its premature optimization if you don’t have substance.

    Premature optimization is like premature ejaculation: it might make you feel good but you and the audience are often left wanting more.

    Sincerest apologies for the language.

    Cheers,

    Danny

  80. #NOAH

    I grew a brand new mailing list from 0 to 17 subscribers in a little under a week. It doesn’t sound like much, but given that the list is programmer focused, I can see why the majority in my non-programmer friends would be interested to join. However, I am still motivated by this number.

    I think the most important lesson I learned is “just put yourself out there”. The hardest thing is that first step. Once you’re past it, the momentum will keep you going.

  81. #NOAH

    I had stopped my mailchimp campaign 9 months ago. This past week, I decided to restart it again. 46 subscribers as of Thu (May 7th). I made a list of people who knew my authentic self and started sending out text, facebook messages and calling them with a short message – “Hey, I’m restarting my Sunday newsletter. The goal is to help people live inspired and keep moving forward in life. Would you be interested to receive my emails?”

    On Sun (May 10th) 11 AM, the mailchimp campaign was delivered to 83 subscribers.

    On Tue night, I listened to this episode and when I heard Noah share the tactics, it made me smile. Tue morning (8 AM), I posted my pic along with a short copyright on my social media accounts (FB & Twitter). While the FB post got 100+ likes and a few twitter followers, I got 2 ‘Hell Yes!’ Every single email address counts. So in total, my newsletter grew from 46 to 87 (41 new subscribers) in 7 days (May 7-14).

    Lessons learned:

    1] The power of asking – All one has to do is ask. Sometimes people will say ‘Yes’ because they want to say Yes. Sometimes people will say ‘Yes’ because they cannot say ‘No’. Either way, you get a new email address to develop a new/strong emotional relationship. I’ve lately also realized that my Couchsurfing experiences have greatly exercised my asking muscles.

    P.S. In relation to the coffee challenge, I was in an Indian restaurant this evening and asked the server to give me 3 samosas for the price of 2. It worked perfectly fine! I had also included Ellen Langer’s advise that the success rate of getting a favor from someone increases when we give them a reason.

    “Can I get 3 samosas for the price of 2 because I’m your last customer for the night?”

    2] Permission Marketing – As Seth Godin says, it’s about delivering personal and relevant messages to people who actually want to get them. Treating people with respect is a great way to earn their attention. I believe a personal text/message/phone call allowed me to ask for their permission. And also asking permission from the people whose interests would match my newsletter content allowed for a better funneling rate than letting the majority make their decision through the social media post.

    Now fly me to Austin because I do calisthenics and also have a nutribullet.

    Happy Everyday!

    Cheers,

    Ankurman

  82. #NOAH

    I want to start by thanking Tim and Noah for the well timed kick in the ass. I had the idea a few months ago, but never quite got out of thinking and planning.

    My newsletter is focused on improving privacy and safety online, and is named Effective Paranoia. I was started with 0 audience 7 days ago. My current status is 30 email subscribers and 54 Facebook followers. I adapted Noah’s instructions from the podcast slightly by using a picture of my infant daughter instead of my ugly mug. You can see an example here: [Moderator: link removed]

    I sent similar themed messages out on Facebook, G+, and to everyone in my email contact list. As I got questions or feedback, I would tweak my subscription invitations and send out the updated ones.

    The most important lesson I learned over the past seven days is to hustle. After following Noah’s advice from the podcast, I focused on increasing my audience, and sending out the first newsletter to my subscribers before the contest ended. Due to the short time period, I couldn’t get mired in trying to make everything perfect. I just had to complete the next task in front of me, and hustle to get it done. Finally, I sent out the first newsletter 10 minutes ago. If you are interested head over to the Effective Paranoia website to check it out.

    Thanks again.

  83. #noah

    Tim and Noah, thank you both very much for collaborating on this podcast. Per usual, the content was high-density and really applicable.

    I have wanted to pursue my own business for some time, and your challenge was my catalyst for action. I am a Master Sommelier candidate, and dream of sharing my beverage knowledge with a wider audience. A newsletter made perfect sense for the first step. Having just caught the podcast on Tuesday night, I had just over 24 hours to complete the challenge. Parkinson’s law at work!

    Below are the steps I have taken. BTW, any readers who want to learn wine, EMAIL ME!!! -see #3, if the moderators allow it 😉

    1. Took a fun picture with my favorite things: Champagne and my Bruce Lee t-shirt.

    2. Posted the picture to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, with a call-to-action-caption. You can see the Instagram post here: instagram[dot] com/p/2nKn-fD_ZD/

    3. Asked potential followers to send me an email, with a new forwarding address I set up: archetypewine+4HWW[at] gmail[dot] com <<<<<<<< EMAIL ME HERE

    4. The email address is set up with an auto-responder, thanking the person for their interest, and asking them what beverage topic they would like to explore. I also added a signature to my other email accounts, to promote the newsletter.

    4. I also sent the message to individual friends and contacts, plus trade groups I am involved in, including the Guild of Sommeliers and the US Bartender's Guild.

    Results:

    In the last 24 hours, I have gone from one follower (my pet Jade plant), to 56 qualified followers. That's a 5600% improvement!!! It may not be 100 people, but nearly every one is an industry colleague or beverage enthusiast.

    Aside from the results in personal email, here is a snapshot from the Gmail account:

    dropbox[dot] com/s/6tvwqnroggfpg23/gmail.jpg?dl=0

    I have taken away so much from this exercise. Most importantly is that reaching out and taking initial action is both the easiest and hardest step. By clicking "send" on my post, it was like turning on a big anti-Godzilla robot. The project became real, and not just a fantasy in my mind, of which there are many.

    I am excited to write the first newsletter, and would love to learn more from you, Noah and Tim. I am an eager student, and humbly ask you to consider me for the prize.

    Thank you!

    Cheers,

    Nick D

    Seattle, WA

  84. #NOAH

    Results:

    1. Total results = From 0 to 4133 emails

    2. 6 prospects asking for (current) products that represent approximately $30,000

    3. More than 10 new products ideas handed straight to me from emails received

    4. Launch of a new business that I’m now committed to testing for 12 months

    5. One of the best days I’ve had in years, having fun talking with people and helping them see something they want and need really badly is possible

    The most important lesson I learned is: Just ask. Keep asking (including oneself). We all have resources.

    I learned that I have resources literally everywhere, right in front of me. I have to keep looking, and never, ever give up for any reason until I find what I’m looking for. Because it’s always going to be there, just maybe not where I expect it or where anyone else tells me to expect it.

    I received only a couple likes on my selfie, but no response to my newsletter announcement on LinkedIn. Then I caught myself getting sucked into the minutiae of whether or not I was “doing it right”. I was starting to go down a rat hole of learning Facebook and LinkedIn, which I don’t want to do. I stopped myself thinking Simple. Keep it simple.

    After walking around outside for a couple hours I realized the answer was right in front of me. It had been for years, and I never even realized it. I have had almost 25,000 people give me their email addresses in person over the past several years, people I’ve done business with in my business out here in Orange County, California. My lawyer flipped out when I told him what I was thinking, because he has to. That’s his job. My CFO said something akin to “that’s fucking brilliant”. I was about to do something very good, with good intention.

    To me, marketing was always about taking care of the customer in front of you. All of the sudden, I had a massive list in front of me, handed to me, that I’ve never used.

    So I emailed everyone. I reminded everyone who I was, and what I was doing. Within 20 minutes of sending the email I had two people email me asking me to please put them on my list. Within an hour I had several more. All day today 5/13 my inbox was filled with happiness, high-fives and shares across everyone else’s Facebook and twitter networks. My favorite comment came from a high-powered exec out there: “This is a friggen awesome idea. I sooooooo need this.”

    All I had to do was ask.

    I went into Le Pain Quotidien (coffee, expensive) in Newport Beach and stood in line this Monday. I was probably lucky, because the guy in front of me was being a complete asshole to the poor girl behind the counter, in what some people out here feel is a rather stereotypical Newport Beach style. When he finally left, she made eye contact, I just looked at her and asked if she was ok. She said yeah. I asked her if I could have a coffee and politely asked for a discount. She laughed. I laughed. We both smiled. She gave me a coffee on the house.

    Noah, I want to go eat tacos with you in Austin. Let me buy the tequila.

    1. For the 4HWW community: I wanted to add a note to disclose the mechanics of what enabled me to do what I did.

      I have about 1200 followers on LinkedIn, which I didn’t even realize until this challenge occurred. I have what I call a secret Facebook account I signed up for when I lived in Osaka for a few months. It has maybe a total of 10 friends, and I routinely ignored friend requests there (including my mother… I know, sounds awful… trust me, you haven’t met my mother). But when I simply started “asking questions” and looking for my alternatives, I realized my company page I had set up had 140 “friends” and some of these were big fans of what I was doing in my day job. That’s what made me look really carefully at the internal application I had used daily for years – a service management system that my employees and I use to serve our customers. I had over 25,000 customers who had voluntarily given me their email addresses with complete understanding that I could reach out to them with subject-related emails. Which I had never done.

      I was sitting on an advisory board for Apple at the time, and we routinely discussed the imperative of capturing email addresses with customer acknowledgement for purposes of evaluating CSAT (customer satisfaction) with net promoter score being one of five key metrics. I took this to a completely different level- If net promotor score correlates at some grand level with business success, what if you just asked every customer to refer to you as a measure of how satisfied they were? It was a real crazy out of the box idea. Some b-school professions scoffed and said it didn’t correlate. I didn’t care- it turns out it does correlate: If you perform what I call the “excellence test” with every single customer, to the degree you deliver on the promise to them (whatever it is- doesn’t matter) AND ask for referrals, you’ll get new business. It just happens to correlate really well with net promoter, which is an academic number that M&A due diligence guys like to hyper focus on.

      A couple words of warning for everyone, which have already been touched on by several other commenters here: It’s a very fine line between spam and valid, purposeful email. If you’re not 100% sure check with a good lawyer. I now have 12,825 subscribers to my email list, just barely over 50% of what I had started with. My email vendor got a little ancy with me when I tried the experiment, but I let them know what I was doing and asked them to stay tight with me on this. I looked at that customer list the same way I do my LinkedIn: People I know and had worked with, but I stay in touch with some much more than others. The same held true here- I lost over 5000 simply due to some emails being old/stale, and a few people got confused and even clicked the “spam” button in gmail- which flags your campaign as abuse. I reached out to each and every person personally (god, sooooo many hours of emailing) to remind them of who I was, and apologize for not reaching out sooner. I received some pretty cool emails from people because of that.

      This is a game-changer for me. My new business venture is a completely different model than my current business, but my current business community is excited about it. All they needed was to know about it. The photograph-selfie I took sitting in Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach (baby #2 is due 5/15- I’m stoked) and posted to LinkedIn and Facebook was just one iteration of what needed to happen: Tell people who value you what you’re doing, and let them do the work of sharing.

      Like Noah said, if that doesn’t work, it’s only going to be harder.

  85. #NOAH

    Who wants Tacos?!

    I grew my list from 0 to 55 subscribers, got $50 sent to me via Paypal, and a potential client ($400 project) on a brand new business over the past week using Noah’s advice.

    All of this just from posting to FB and from doing 5-10 live streams on Periscope, where I showed people how to source product from China and launch a profitable Ecommerce business.

    I was literally telling people to type in their email address if they wanted more info, and then taking a screenshot of the emails as they poured on the screen!

    This felt amazing, as I had spent $100 on FB ads and 3-5 hours on a website that yielded $0 and 0 emails.

    Things I Learned:

    1) Your idea means nothing until you validate it

    2) Don’t be afraid to ask people for money

    3) Provide value, build a following, and people will eventually pay you for it

    Noah helped me start my first profitable business, get my web app featured on Tech Crunch, and allowed me to quit my full time job a year ago and work on my business full time.

    I have learned some of the most important lessons in business from him, just from consuming all of his FREE, no BS content.

    Anton and Team,

    If I win, I will show up with Tacos, Tequila, and Rap music.

    Thanks!

    Mark Fazzini

  86. #NOAH

    I grew the mailing list for my personal blog from 1 (spoiler alert: the 1 was me) to 32 between Friday and today. My incentive for joining was that people who joined could have an open line of communication by which they can tell me what they want they liked or disliked and what they want me to write about (I only had three blog posts before this ask).

    The most important lesson I learned was have one goal. Why? Because it makes your decision making process trivial. Should I post this on social media? Well does it help grow my mailing list? Then yes.

    Should I watch this video of baby seals? No.

    Should I create content? Well having content to see on the site is the reason people go to blogs, so yes.

    Should I read this article about how to club baby seals? No. And you should probably never read that article, you psychopath.

    Having one goal made the normal time that I spent on the blog extremely productive. I knew exactly what to do. Grow. My. List.

    There were three mediums I used to grow my e-mail list

    1. Social Media: I started the challenge as Noah had suggested by posting something up on my Facebook and Twitter feed about forming a mailing list for my blog so people can tell me what they would like me to write about. This had mixed reviews.

    Facebook: 4 requests to join my mailing list.

    Twitter: 0 requests to join my mailing list.

    0 requests. Ouch. That one hurt the ego a bit. Something did not quite add up though. Whenever I post a blog post, I get something like 20 likes and a number of text messages telling me how great they thought the article or content was. So it had to be that they are not seeing it or they don’t care. Makes sense. People are more likely to comment on a piece of content or a post than they are to comment or like my post about joining a mailing list and in the grand scheme of things, why the hell should they care if I build a successful mailing list? So I did the 80/20 analysis here and realized that I was probably wasting my time on social media if the goal is to accumulate as many e-mails as possible in a 6 day period. I need to just go directly to the people who have in the past told me they loved what I wrote.

    2. Word of Mouth: 3 requests out of 3 asks. 100% conversion rate. But it requires a massive time investment. I need to sit down and talk with people and then find a way to work my blog in to the conversation. Frankly, I started to feel like I was forcing my agenda and was not being engaged in the conversation. So I stopped this, but would follow up with other people via text if I got some sense of “they sound a little bit interested”.

    3. Text message: 25 requests out of 30 asks. This was my “list maker” so to say. Text message was easy. And it was already a habit. I already talk to many people throughout the course of a day via text message. The key was just working it in to a conversation at my own pace. The 5 people that rejected me were all people who I rammed it down their throat. I open the conversation with “Join my mailing list! Be my friend! I am needy!” After those failed attempts, I realized I needed to fix my approach. New approach: start conversation, work blog in organically. Huge success. Ends up people like you more when you aren’t forcing your agenda on them. Weird. There is a sales lesson in there somewhere.

    I really enjoyed this exercise. I learned a lot from keeping my eyes focused on one goal. So much so that I am going to keep it as my goal for even longer. Until I reach 100.

    How am I going to continue to grow my list? Well I am going to use my Facebook to promote my content which seems to get more likes and shares than my mailing list. This will drive traffic to my site where I will begin setting up more options to sign up for my mailing list. (I still need to look in to things like SumoMe.) With this mailing list, I will begin to engage my “fans” to ask them what they liked and disliked about my writing style or subjects. This will begin to give me an idea of what I really have to offer people that they are not getting else where. Do they want to hear more about my opinions on sports? Meta-learning? My hometown of Strong Island? Underwater basket weaving? With an open line of communication to the people who already like me, I can begin to understand their problems and help them craft solutions to those problems and from finding commonalities in these problems, I can come up with an idea that people will pay for. This will also help me quickly validate business ideas that I have in the future with a “let me know if you guys would be interested in X, Y or Z.” From here, I can start to understand my “fanbase” a little better and come up with a killer free gift that people would be interested in to incentivize them joining my mailing list. The path actually seems very clear to me right now through the one goal lens.

    This has really been a game changing challenge for me. I am usually the guy who just endlessly reads books and doesn’t follow through with the advice. This challenge helped me realize that my main issue is not that I am trigger shy or “lack motivation”. It is that I do not set ONE clear goal over a defined period of time and assess how it is working for me along the way. This is how I plan on operating from here on out. The clear focus on one goal will help me to clarify every decision in the future in every facet of my life. Thank you, Noah.

    I am not afraid of doing the coffee challenge. But, it did not aid me in growing my mailing list so I did not do it during the course of this contest. Instead I engaged the barista in a conversation about how her day was going and meandered in to a conversation on where she spends the majority of her time when she is on her phone. She said she spends a lot of time on Facebook. She follows blogs on fashion, but she would be interested in one that covers her favorite topics. I guess that is what I have learned as well. People are quite obviously interested in maximizing their enjoyment when it comes to deciding what blogs they read. They enjoy what they enjoy. I guess this was one of those moments in time where I suddenly understood why everyone stresses niche marketing when entering the online world. People have infinite choice but they are only going to go to the ones that best meet THEIR particular needs. I will reply to this post later on in the week when I get a chance to go try out the coffee challenge.

    Oh yea and Noah, GO BEARS!

    Kevin Rapp

    Cal Berkeley ‘12

  87. #NOAH

    Holy crap this works! I literally caught this podcast 24 hours ago but since then emails have been rolling in ever since 🙂 Also enrolled in email1k.com and there’s lots of great stuff there as well. Highly recommended peeps.

    Summary of Results:

    68 emails in exactly 22 hours (proof http://imgur.com/hgK0OlP and http://imgur.com/hIKQfYk). Doubt it’s the highest number increase, but I’d bet it is the highest % list increase per hour 🙂

    Here’s exactly what I did:

    1. Scheduled out posts on Facebook and twitter saying”

    “Hey guys! I am starting a free newsletter/video series on how to make awesome online courses – what has funded my travel across the globe for the past year. Email me at [Moderator: email address removed] to get in on this while it’s still free :-)”

    [attaching pictures of me people have liked a bunch in the past because they are colorful and eye-catching]

    2. Shared the first and third round of these posts in about 10 relevant facebook groups that would be super interested (i figured the “sharing” of my post would also help increase visibility on Facebook versus reposting)

    3. Set up an auto reply (too long to include here) saying I was working on the videos series, a prompt for them to reply with their biggest question, and and a CTA to click to tweet (auto populated with a similar message to above – about 1/3 of respondents actually followed through with this!)

    4. Added a signature to my emails with a version of the “hell yes” strategy Noah described – it made me laugh and figure it would for others too

    5. Then realized my auto replies were going out with this signature attached (basically as a confusing redundant email) so I quickly turned the signature back off!

    The Results:

    About 20 emails in the first 1-2 hours, and a total of 68 emails in <24 hours – a ~60% increase of my current email list. Extrapolating over the next week (if I had caught the podcast the first day) I should end up getting well over 200 emails, a 200% increase of my email list.

    And the coolest part is that the emails are from people who are SUPER excited and ready to be turned into raving fans when I put this email series together next week!

    My Next Steps:

    1. Email an old dead list from several years ago with a similar offer in an email series – hopefully should nab a couple hundred more emails

    2. Implement some of the strategies from email1k like syndication, content upgrades, and a giveaway contest

    3. Make my actual content/video series encourage virality via built-in sharing strategies

    4. Goal – (starting from 113 subscribers) get to 1k subscribers in 3 weeks, then 5k subscribers in 8 weeks (I have a product launch coming up which should support this)

    Biggest Lesson Learned:

    I have been a perfectionist pansy about my email list until now. I’ve been putting off sitting down and focusing on it (even for just a few freaking minutes) because when I think of it I envision intricate funnels and autoresponder series – upsell, conditional emailing, the whole jazz. By overcomplicating things and not getting started I was falling into one of the most common traps that befalls entrepreneurs (doh!).

    Why it would be cool to hang and grab tacos with Noah…

    1. I love tacos (duh)

    2. I tutored ESL students in college 😉

    3. You want a success story

    4. You probably don’t remember, but Noah you actually gave me props for my hustling skills a year ago. And I always work my butt off 10x any advice, mentorship, or resources I am given. E’ry day I’m hustlin’!

    5. I’ve proved this by one-upping your jerky biz experiment (ok so I was on a team but still!) [Moderator: link removed]

    Tacos still on me – just like last time 🙂

    Grant

    1. UPDATE: It’s now been just under 48 hours since I listened to the podcast and took action, and have now crossed 200 on my list (started at 113) – woohoo! Again super excited to see what this number is after a week. I plan on using this momentum to trigger some exponential growth now that I realize growing a list doesn’t have to be super difficult (fingers crossed).

      – Grant

      P.S. The timestamp of my post shows after the deadline, but that was due to delay of moderator approving

  88. #NOAH

    The results for growing my list were small from 0 to 6, but it was actually taking the step to start to grow the list that was huge. This was the kick in the ass I needed. When Tim described the guy who listens to his podcasts and writes down on his phone “what he should do,” that was exactly me. This time I took action, and it felt amazing to get things going.

    I’ve been wanting to get a newsletter going for the past six months to begin building a sales list for our new app, and this advice/challenge from Noah could not have come at a better time. The biggest thing I learned is that there’s no perfect time to start these types of projects, and that you don’t need a fancy tech solution. You just need to do it. If you want to create or build something new, you just need to get it started one way or another to get that ball rolling.

    For us, this challenge is perfect timing. We have been focused on developing a new app for the last six months, but we’ll be spending the rest of this year focused on growing lists, increasing awareness and driving sales. We’re in a perfect stage to get some mentorship from Noah on how to get insanely focused on selling our product to grow our business.

    Thanks guys.

  89. #NOAH

    Hey guys!

    I wanted to grow my mailing list, so i can reach out to more people about podcasting. I’ve attached the links to my posts, as well as a YouTube video describing what I learned through the process.

    What i’ve learned:

    https://youtu.be/NP-3zHTIWv8

    [Moderator: links removed]

    Cheers,

    DJ Watson

  90. #NOAH

    I have been talking myself out of participating in these contests as another bullshit excuse I am convincing myself not to get started on things that I am afraid.

    Started 37 hours ago while listening to the Podcast on Vacation/Working in the Riviera Maya. 0 subscribers, 0 Ideas, 0 belief in my own success with a newsletter.

    As of 40 minutes ago 78 Subscribers to my Mindsmithing Newsletter. New Twitter Followers 12 up from 81, 9 new FB Friends up from 1022, and lots of traffic from all sources.

    In Total, 22 short of 100 which means to me I likely would have greatly exceeded this goal had I listened to the Podcast and acted sooner.

    Most profound things I learned from this exercise:

    1. Quit being such a pussy and at least give some of these strategies a try.

    2. As much as an ass that Noah can be (I say this because he says things I need to hear they are just not as kind and refined as I would like to hear things presented), if you just listen to people have succeeded before you, the learning curve is dramatically steeper. I’ve been using APPSUMO for years and Noah is growing on me as I mature.

    3. I need to get off my ass and actually take action!

    4. I have 7 years of kick ass Social Nueroscientific and Chronobioligical content in my Evernote and library of chicken scratched journals to share with my subscribers, this shit could actually get big.

    5. My forecast was gravely lower than the actual results (even with family members on the list).

    6. Getting started and taking the first step was the hardest part – thank you Noah for the challenge.

    Another absolutely great Podcast and series of strategies to utilize! Thank You Guys!!!!

    Post Script: Noah if we do meet one day my promise to you – I will prepare you some of the most supremely decadent tacos to ever grace your palate.

  91. #Noah I found the podcast at 11:30 on the closing day so I am not going to make the deadline. I wanted to tell you that the information you shared is amazing, and I am going to do it anyway. I put up my pic and started a newsletter tonight!! I learned that I can quit waiting to be successful and start now without spending a lot of money. I’ve had a podcast for months, but thought I should wait until I learned more. Thank you and thanks Tim!

  92. #NOAH

    My favourite podcast since the Schwarzenegger episode.

    Unfortunately, I didn’t listen to it until yesterday. However, I had launched a small campaign to generate waitlist signups for a muse business I’m testing on April 26, so while most of my waitlist signups (23 of the total 31) fall outside of the eligibility period, I thought I’d post my results and lessons learned anyway.

    For anyone interested, here are my results (with dates) in Mailchimp:

    https://www.evernote.com/shard/s305/sh/901537ed-e121-4e96-bdd4-71f76ee077a1/ac3bdead896f8a3516a3322c69af1bd7

    Here are the results of the ad I ran on Reddit:

    https://www.evernote.com/shard/s305/sh/6ff59b36-1518-44b8-a042-218c7a12f3f1/f6c73c05177517a411d56a6f3d245c82

    My goal was to get signups who were complete strangers. I didn’t want to rely on the compassion of friends on this, because very few of them actually fall within my target market. All of the 31 signups, including the 8 that fall within the eligible dates, are complete strangers who found out about my product through the Reddit ad above.

    The main lesson I learned is that Reddit can be an incredibly effective source of targeted traffic. I had never played around with Reddit ads before, and I was happily surprised that ~10 of clicks from Reddit converted. If there’s a subreddit that matches your target market, definitely check it out.

    Cheers,

    Dan

  93. #NOAH

    Aw CRAP! no more time! I only heard the podcast 2 days ago, but being the procrastinator I am, I kept meaning to do it until the last minute. Its amazing what you can do in a couple hours tho! I sent out the tweet as suggested and got 2 responses (and a fav from Noah – Thanks man!). I wanted to do everything for free so I set up a free site on github pages using a free responsive template and used appsumo’s super easy tools to create a signup form for FREE!

    Biggest lesson: Just do it! stop waiting for the world to do you a favour and go out and start making it happen! Thanks Noah and Tim for the motivation and inspiration. I’ve recently quit my day job and this is actually getting me moving – its an even better prize than visiting the US of A!

  94. #NOAH

    Just listened to the podcast today. I’ve had an email list for my physical goods ecommerce business for years. Signup rates have doubled since we started using SumoMe earlier this year.

    Started a new list for an ecommerce consulting biz that I’ve been talking about for the last few months. No plans to jump into the biz immediately but am building a list so it’s there when I’m ready, which will likely be when I see there is a demand.

  95. First of all fabulous podcast and awesome challenge! This is the stuff that should be taught in school or perhaps we don’t need much school anymore when stuff like this is available for he or she who seeks it out 🙂

    I loved the idea of the competition because it meant trying out something new but relevant to me and seeing other creative ways of tackling the list building issue.

    The Start:

    I was in the 0-100 category and started yesterday 5/12/2015 (just listened to the podcast)

    and ended up with 27 new emails.

    What I worked with:

    I had curated niche related topics to a FB Page, Tumblr, Twitter and Pinterest around eating a whole food plant based diet for a few months.

    I used your ‘gmail + idea’ and a free instapage landing page.

    The FB Page had 210 likes, twitter 580, tumblr 1670 and pinterest 2650.

    What I did:

    First:

    I posted and pinned the following message in a few different variations to all profiles:

    We are starting a newsletter about becoming a ……. This will help you and your loved ones a eat better, lose weight, and improve your health without giving up your life!

    Please sign up and share with anybody who is thinking about making a change!

    You can join us by emailing us directly at:

    [Moderator: email address and link removed]

    Second:

    I sent about 320 individual messages to my pinterest followers with a sign up pin:

    Hi …, hope this finds you well! We’ll be launching a newsletter soon and wanted to give you a heads up 🙂 You can sign up via our page:http://….instapage.com/ or by e-mailing us directly at …+newsletter@gmail.com – subject: newsletter and first name IN email. All the best!

    I also send a handful of direct messages to my twitter followers

    What happened:

    The ‘indirect’ mode:

    Through posting to all accounts I received some likes 2 comments and a total of 2 sign ups. I boosted 2 post on FB for for $2 but remembered Noah saying to preferably use the free route.

    The ‘direct’ mode:

    This worked a lot better because it actually started a few conversations, what is your newsletter about, do you have a website and many ‘thank yous’.

    A total of 25 people (a whopping 7.8% – crushing direct mail any day of the week) signed up as a result of touching base with them directly. I had absolutely no personal contact with any of them before other than sharing pins.

    Here is one snippet of a conversation minus name and email address: What I have learned

    Reply to DM:

    Thank you. I followed the link. I sent my email but incase it doesn’t go through I’ll leave it again on this XXXXX. Hope to hear from you soon. And thank you for including me. I have made many changes in my life and health. I have lost 64 pounds so far on my new journey. I’m not a vegan though. I don’t plan to be but def want to learn more about eating healthy. I also follow a few vegan recipes as I still enjoy a lot of vegan recipes has to offer. So again thank you.

    Me: Awesome, what a great accomplishment XXXX! Thanks for sharing. We are still hashing out some details and will be in touch once we get started. Keep at it and be well 🙂

    Reply: Thanks so much. Looking forward to everything ahead with the link you sent me. Good luck. Will be in touch.

    What I have learned:

    Some platforms work better than others to establish a direct relationship.

    It is possible to motivate people to sign up for a list if their interest align with your topic – no personal relationship was needed in my case

    Currently (platforms can change any time) it is possible to scale this model. I only contacted about 320 of the 2650 pinterest followers. I did screen capture the pinterest process with Jing and would outsource the repetitive aspects of it to grow the account and list.

    Hi technology was not needed in my case. I will say that all but 3 people signed up via the insapage landing page vs signing up via email.

    What’s more:

    Thanks for putting on this contest guys, it was a ton of fun!

    I learned a lot, got a kick out of reading the comments and will be able to apply some of it shortly.

    I can provide screenshots and more if needed

  96. #noah

    I also really enjoyed podcast.

    I did challenge and posted on my Facebook and went from 0 to…. 1. But I was still very excited

    What did I learn. I am not super tech savvy it took me much longer to find where to activate the auto respond feature and set up the auto respond. I did think it was cool to learn about the addition of + and an identifier to email to increase its versatility.

    I also learned that I will do this again but once I have content developed. As I got the email and a conversation ensued but I still didn’t have a concise newsletter to send on the topic I had chosen . also I need to do it on linked in.