Wynn-ing Ways: 3 Eye-Opening Insights From My Work to Redesign My Business Structure and Marketing Strategies

A work-in-progress

A year ago, I discussed the abuse of attention in marketing in my Tragedy of the Commons series. Those three articles highlighted the problem but didn’t offer a solution.

I did that on purpose.

Sort of…

Before writing the article you’re reading now, I went back and looked over my “old” content—the ones before the big change. They always shared something topical, but like most marketing pitches, they made a call to action—offered a book I was trying to sell or a podcast I wanted you to listen to. This is Marketing 1.0.

Then things changed.

My research and conclusions drawn from my work on Advantage rocked my world and left me wanting to change everything.

computer 767776 1280

I knew things needed to change but didn’t know what to change to get cumulative advantage working in my favor.

I looked at my website, email, and ads and knew it was all wrong.

It was not just a new funnel but an experience that introduced authors to a new way of thinking and helped them implement this new way.

An adoption of André Chaperon’s  ideas of treating everyone as a customer well before money exchanged hands.

The Tragedy series identified the problem: users’ attention was being held hostage and abused by social media. 

Tragedy of the Commons galvanized readers (and myself) to action. If you said, “Yes, I agree!” it was demonstrated by clicking and engaging with my content. You followed me over to this current series of articles.

You followed me over…

Then what?

You got a front-row seat as I completely overhauled my marketing strategies, essentially building the proverbial airplane in the air.

I also chose to do this in the open.

I shared how I was walking away from some of the most powerful tools in marketing—tools like exit-intent pop-ups and lead magnets. I made it hard to sign up and even harder to find my products.

As I write this, I’m thinking about how to put this into context for you since you’re curious about how to do this for yourself and perhaps share my feelings of confusion, curiosity, and lack of direction.

Here comes the big admission. I don’t have this figured out. I don’t have the seven secrets of advantage on post-its notes next to my computer. I’m here figuring this out along with you. I may only be one step ahead of you in the journey.

Too often, gurus act like they have the secrets of the pyramids, and for a price, you’ll learn the secrets, and all will change. They are like doctors who tell you to take two aspirin and call them in the morning. They know the effect it will have but not how it works.

Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) was first synthesized and manufactured in 1899. Since then, billions of patients have used aspirin to treat countless cases of fever and inflammation. It’s a household staple. You’ve probably used it yourself or given it to your children. But do you know how it works?

Probably not. In fact, it wasn’t until 1973 that a published paper demonstrated how aspirin worked. Seventy-four years of the producers, prescribers, and users not knowing how it worked but being able to see and feel the results.

pexels artem podrez 5726835

Likewise, we can see that cumulative advantage works, but we’re still learning how and why—and how to make it work in publishing, specifically.

Just like the scientific community worked to discover aspirin and explain how it worked, together as a publishing community, we can encourage, inspire, and challenge each other to become the best we can be at treating our readers like human beings rather than transactions.

So, a year after raising concerns about how we treat readers and trying to figure out MY Wynn-ing Way, here is what I learned:

  1. Marketing is about nurturing relationships and experiences, not transactions and products.
  2. Treating your writing as a business and the concepts of Advantage should be systematized into a process that produces cash flow by delighting readers with your intellectual property.
  3. There is a better way!

That last one is the biggest.

WE (you and I) can build a process-driven publishing company that collects cumulative advantage.

You can call it your Wynn-ing Way or a process-driven company. The name isn’t important. What is crucial is that you build a system that makes more funds and fans.

For me, that meant creating a serialized newsletter and shifting content on my website. It meant changing business processes to focus on funds and fans in a systematic approach rather than silos.

You’ll need to determine how you’ll create the experience, define your customer’s journey, and build the systems to support your collection of funds and fans.

You may feel like you’re at version 0.0 or maybe along with me on the path to something better, but you may also feel like you’re building the plane as it flies.

I still don’t claim to have it all figured out, but I can show you what I’ve learned about human behavior and how we can use those ideas to build our brands.

Next week, I will discuss procrastination, comparison, and the application of what I’ve covered in Wynn-ing Ways.

What comes after Wynn-ing Ways?

I’m excited and anxious about the next series.

Season two will be an in-depth exploration of influencing publishing at the microscopic and mesoscopic layers.

I’m excited because I’ve learned how powerful some methods can be for getting groups to act as we want them to act.

I’m anxious because of how you may all feel when you learn how often these strategies are manipulating us.

But like I’ve said, I’m collaborating with you. You need to know how to use these tools.

This will be a year-long investigation of how aspirin works and work together to make it work for you.

Join me in my continuing exploration of creating a great author business—with integrity so we can hold up our heads knowing that we are additive and positive.

Read: How to Overcome Comparison and Procrastination in Your Writing