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Notebook

A public collection of ideas I'm still thinking through and trying to make sense of. Be gentle - I'm writing out loud.

Stewart Hillhouse

Commodity + Brand = Novelty

How strong is your brand? It's a hard thing to measure. A quick way to find out is by asking your audience: "Will you buy a t-shirt from me?" To see the power of a brand, start by looking at merchandise. Presuming your main business is not selling t-shirts, asking

Stewart Hillhouse

How To Serve Your Audience

“What’s in it for me?” Every reader, listener, or viewer of your content is going to ask themselves this question. It might come off as selfish, and that’s because it is. Nothing is more valuable than our time, so we should be as selfish about it as possible.

Stewart Hillhouse

First Ask: What Am I Really Sick Of?

When asked how his show Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee originated in a 2017 interview, Jerry Seinfeld replied: "It’s very important to know what you don’t like. For me, that was talk shows [with] people who are really there to sell their show or product. A big part

Stewart Hillhouse

Making Use of The Network Effect

The term Network Effect was popularized by Robert Metcalfe, one of the co-inventors of Ethernet. The Network Effect describes a situation where the value to an individual user increases as the number of other users sharing compatible products increases. Facebook, Uber, Airbnb are all modern examples of products that wouldn't

Stewart Hillhouse

The 3 Ps of Content: Purpose, Platform, Project

The first step in building an audience requires that you put out content. Content allows you to externalize your thoughts and opinions. This will create opportunities for likeminded people to find your ideas and become attracted to your work. In order to consistently create content, there are three aspects you

Stewart Hillhouse

How To Get Started Sharing Content Online

There are no original presentations, only original presenters.When you first begin to put your message out into the world, it will start off feeling extremely awkward. You'll feel unprepared, unqualified, and likely unoriginal. But it's not about the originality of your ideas when you start. That will come later.

Stewart Hillhouse

The Content Feedback Staircase

Creating content is the cheapest and fastest way to get validation of an idea. But some types of content require much more time and effort to produce. I've found that getting feedback on your content is similar to a staircase. You want to start with a low risk style of

Stewart Hillhouse

Serve Before You Sell

Modern marketing can be summarized in 4 words: serve before you sell. The premise is simple, but the execution can take many forms. Let’s break down the two statements. What Does It Mean To Serve?Service means intentionally offering your time, knowledge, or resources to another. For a business,

Stewart Hillhouse

Are You Building A Person-Based or a System-Based Business?

In Michael E. Gerber's The E-Myth, he says: "It's been said, and I believe it to be true, that great businesses are not built by extraordinary people but by ordinary people doing extraordinary things."That sounds great, but what does he mean by extraordinary things? He carries on to explain

Stewart Hillhouse

Why I Write In Public

The experience of writing in public, for all to read, is much different than writing for yourself. I find writing for myself is an exercise of documentation - I did, felt, saw this today. Writing in public is an exercise in communication. To Get ClarityMore often than not, I begin

Stewart Hillhouse

Swimming Upstream From An Idea

When I come across an interesting idea, I used to take it at face value: "Well, that's cool. Whoever thought of that must have been really smart." But that singular idea often doesn't tell the whole story. There's more to know and understand. Ideas are like a flowing river. There

Stewart Hillhouse

You Can’t Catch Waves From The Beach

When I was working out West for the summer, a group of us took a long weekend off and drove to Tofino, British Columbia. The beaches of Tofino are known for the best surfing in Canada. After renting surfboards and wetsuits, the instructor taught us how to get up on