“Write (or create) drunk, edit (or execute) sober(ish).” ~ Hemingway (kinda)
I’ve discovered the foolproof formula for driving highly profitable viral traffic. It’s been proven effective with launching software, e-commerce, and consulting businesses.
It’s not easy, but it is extremely simple. Want to know what it is?
Do something ridiculous and absurd, but execute it unnecessarily well.
The “ridiculous and absurd” is what drives viral traffic while the “unnecessarily well” part is the key to converting those eyeballs into profits. This framework drives a very simple thought in people’s minds, “holy shit, this is hilarious and/or amazing… and it’s designed/developed surprisingly well…. who the fuck made this?!”
Those who aren’t meant to be your core audience, excited by their experience, share what they feel is a genuine experience (because they’re not being sold). Those who are inclined to ned your product/service take action by purchasing or contacting you.
In the case of consulting, there’s a very clear thought of “if they do this for fun in their (drunken) spare time… imagine what’s going to happen when I give them money!”
Beadswipe.me, a product “Groomed by iStrategyLabs” is a fantastical example of this in action. They’re a digital agency offering the standard spread of design, development, and marketing services. Leveraging this framework, they built something ridiculous and absurd so unnecessarily well that (after the first round of laughter) you start to question if it’s actually a real (serious) product offering.
100% of people will laugh, 10% will share, 1% will ask for a proposal.
What’s surprising is that the 1% of the 1% that actually convert into client work or a business partnership will often pay your bills for a year. Think that outcome is worth getting drunk and building your intoxicated creation the following weekend?
If you answered ‘no’ to that question, click here to unsubscribe.
Now that the cynics have left the room, we can talk data and see examples:
- mysocialsherpa.com — 450K pageviews and 2M media impressions first week
- thegifshop.net — 156 pageviews with 2.8% conversion rate in first 24 hours
- yourplacetonight.com — 11K pageviews and 600 emails collected first 30 min
… and yet my accountant refuses to let me write off my drunken benders.
Today, I’m proud to announce that my friends Courtney and Liza (after methodical preparation) have launched Delicate Estates — hilarious cards attached to wine.
They took a (very) drunken idea and turned it into an e-commerce store with both manufacturing and fulfillment handled by a third party so they could continue to work remotely and travel the world. They went slow, but they did everything right. While you might not be launching an e-commerce business, follow this simple guide:
If you can’t execute something well, don’t execute it at all.
When I launched My Social Sherpa there was nothing worth bragging about on the ‘About’ page. I had garnered no media coverage, no clients worth name dropping, and no (quantifiable) successes that would impress visitors… so I didn’t have one.
If I couldn’t fill an About page with awesome things — I wouldn’t have one at all. In lieu of that page, I added this intentionally vague paragraph (via archive.org):
It’s a ratio game, simple as that. You can increase the quality, impressiveness, etc. of any project by fucking with the ratios of what’s available for someone to establish a perception. It’s worth stating again, if you can’t execute something well, don’t do it.
You can always add, but you can never subtract.
Here’s the formula in a nutshell. Have a few drinks with 1-3 irreverent friends and prompt the conversation with orchestrated schema interrupts. This could be an action like dressing up to go to a dive bar or questions like “what’s something that never should have worked, but did?” Keep an even keel, sloppy drunk isn’t a productive drunk. My most profitable ideas come between whiskey number three and five. Flush out a few ideas and then sleep off the booze. Over the next week, tell the story of how you came up with the idea to a few friends from various walks of life. Share with as many people as possible and evaluate both who they are (personality, job, etc.) and how they react (where they get excited, confused, inquisitive, etc.) Find your “best idea” (i.e. the one most widely appreciated) and get to work.
If you’re subscribed to this list (especially at this point), I have no doubts that you already have a stable of these ideas. What’s the one that keeps coming back?