#30DaysInPublic, Stealing Work, Audience Building

Sunday Beam #


April 25, 2021

Good Sunday 🌞!

In last week’s Sunday Beam, I tried a long-form style. After getting feedback and reflecting, I decided to go back to the old style - short with doses of inspirations - because that's what a newsletter is for! And I can always dive deeper in my blog posts (and you can click on it).

Okay, about my life at this moment, I’m literally overwhelmed 🙁 by the amount of content I need to produce every week. The list is incredibly long, and I find myself revisiting my batchtasking system every 2 weeks to make it work.

In this 2-min video, I talked about how I’m able to write more tweet threads in less time.

Other than that, Avery 👶 is growing nicely - 1 week from being 4 months old. In Chinese culture, we celebrate 100 days for newborn and here is our family photo that day 🧡.

This week, let’s talk:

🔥 #30DaysInPublic

It is official! The 1st cohort kicked off this past week and I can’t be more grateful that one common goal brings 17 builders together. The goal is to build an audience in an authentic way.

Twitter, where we build in public, is a battlefield where actions are happening every second. And our #30DaysInPublic cohort is a training ground where builders not only learn #BuildingInPublic techniques, but they get deployed into the battlefield to make things happen.

I absolutely love that we’re all learning and taking action at the same time. I’ll continue to share more.

😱 I’m referencing people’s work #Stealing?

For this, I don’t mean copying someone’s idea. That’s a different topic.

When I was 12 years old, I was obsessed with the Internet. I learned Microsoft Frontpage for web development. My go-to strategy was to look at the HTML & CSS of my favorite websites, inspect their front-end code, and recreate a similar style myself. I was referencing someone’s work to learn and to create.

Now you might ask - is that stealing?

Honestly, in my view, the Internet is built upon everyone taking reference of one another's ideas.

There is a major difference in copying someone’s idea and trying to make it similar to steal and referencing and learning from someone’s best work and inject those elements into your own work.

It is one big open playing field, and I don’t think we should be shy or embarrassed to admit that we’re learning from others.

When I decided to start Public Lab’s community, I took inspiration from Monica Lent’s Blogging for Devs. I truly enjoy Monica’s style of building in public and she seems to be doing an excellent job to provide so much value to her community members. She is a role model!

I became a member of her community and I also emailed her to let her know that I’m creating a new community and I learned a lot from her. I was thinking “Hmmm… will she ever reply me? I'm literally saying I'm here because I want to learn how you run things.” 🙄

And she didn’t just reply me, she shared even more with me! 🤩🤩

It is totally okay to reference people’s work, and if you take that chance to be transparent, you’ll not just feel better but something amazing might happen.

P.S. Of course not everyone is going to take it nicely like Monica.

😖 Writing is not your bottleneck in audience building. This is.

If you’re following me for #BuildingInPublic, then you’re likely interested in building your own audience.

One thing I notice is that most of you can write. And, in fact, some of you can write really well.

What’s stopping you is not your ability to build an audience or to write, it is how you tackle accountability and consistency.

Without figuring out a way to achieve these two, you’ll never achieve your new goals.

👉👉👉 I broke down accountability and consistency and shared how I tackled them in this blog post. P.S. I shared my business model too 😱

💡 Inspirations

4 Painful Lessons I Had to Learn Again with My New Startup

I’ve been following Leo’s writing since he co-founded Buffer. A legend alongside Joel. In his new blog post, he talked about a mindset “Not knowing is more intimate”.

I firmly believe so. I’m not an expert in #BuildingInPublic, I just happen to know a little more than you. And while I’m sharing a lot of resources and tips to help you out, I’m still learning with all of you. This makes me feel much better than having all of you rely on me as an expert.

What about you? Are you taking a “learner mindset” while teaching and guiding others?

Writing tools I learned from Paul Graham

This is a good article to learn about writing. BUT, I have another reason to share this with you. If you’re keen on building an audience:

  1. Breaking down famous people’s work is a great way to make a useful piece of content. Who doesn’t want to learn from these famous people?
  2. You’re leveraging this famous person’s credibility to build your own. People reading this piece of content wants to learn from Paul Graham, and they learn about the author Ahmed Soliman as well.

I did the same when I was first starting out: Best Copywriting Examples by Dave Gerhardt

Can you pick your favorite person and break down their work or strategy?

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