David speaks with Josh Spector, a newsletter publisher and an audience and business growth strategist.
Josh helps creative entrepreneurs to grow their audience and businesses and he also writes a great newsletter called For The Interested.
They talked about:
🎬 Josh’s early days in the entertainment industry
📺 Traditional media and digital media
💡 How to think about the value of your creations
🚀 The importance of starting things and taking action
📧 Building a newsletter from scratch
🤔 Setting the right intentions to build an audience
This is just one part of a longer conversation. You can listen to the earlier episode here:
Part 1: 🎙Creative Entrepreneurs Playbook with Josh Spector (Episode 41)
🎙 Listen in your favourite podcast player
📹 Watch on Youtube
👤 Connect with Josh:
Twitter: @jspector | https://twitter.com/jspector
📄 Show notes:
0:00 | Intro
04:18 | Josh’s early days in the entertainment industry
12:33 | Traditional media and digital media
14:41 | How to think about the value of your creations
20:03 | The importance of starting things and taking action
24:14 | Building a newsletter from scratch
31:28 | Setting the right intentions to build an audience
🗣 Mentioned in the show:
For The interested | https://fortheinterested.com/subscribe
Substack | https://substack.com/
👨🏾💻 About David Elikwu:
David Elikwu FRSA is a serial entrepreneur, strategist, and writer. David is the founder of The Knowledge, a platform helping people think deeper and work smarter.
🌐 Website: https://www.davidelikwu.com
📽️ Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/davidelikwu
📸 Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/delikwu/
🕺 TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@delikwu
🎙️ Podcast: http://plnk.to/theknowledge
📖 EBook: https://delikwu.gumroad.com/l/manual
My Online Course
🖥️ Career Hyperdrive: https://maven.com/theknowledge/career-hyperdrive
Career Hyperdrive is a live, cohort-based course that helps people find their competitive advantage, gain clarity around their goals and build a future-proof set of mental frameworks so they can live an extraordinary life doing work they love.
📩 Newsletter: https://theknowledge.io
The Knowledge is a weekly newsletter for people who want to get more out of life. It's full of insights from psychology, philosophy, productivity, and business, all designed to help you think deeper and work smarter.
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[00:00:00] Josh Spector: Not enough people do things. They talk about doing things, they think about doing things, they ask people about doing things, they buy courses and stuff, they learn about doing things. All of this stuff, but the vast majority people aren't actually doing things. And it's really the only part that matters, And a lot of times when I have conversations with people, it's interesting because they're asking me How do I get more clients? How do I get more followers? How do I do this, that or the other? And I'm like, well, what are you actually doing? right. Like, like start doing it. Like you're not going to get more Twitter followers by tweeting once every two weeks. It's just not going to happen,
[00:00:42] David Elikwu: This week I'm sharing part of my conversation with Josh Spector, a creative entrepreneur, a writer, and business growth strategist.
[00:00:50] David Elikwu: Josh helps creative entrepreneurs to grow their audience and businesses and also writes a great newsletter called For the Interested.
[00:00:56] David Elikwu: Now, in this episode, you're going to hear us talking about Josh's early career in journalism and in Hollywood. We talk about creativity and how to find inertia and develop a niche. We talk about writing and how to pick a focus, how to find the right audience. So I think this will be a great episode to listen to for anyone interested in building and developing a presence online and also developing their craft, whether that is writing or entrepreneurship or consulting, et cetera.
[00:01:24] David Elikwu: So you can get the full show notes, the transcript and read my newsletter at theknowledge.io. And you can find Josh online on Twitter @JSpector.
[00:01:33] David Elikwu: If you love this episode, please do share it with a friend.
[00:01:36] David Elikwu: And don't forget to leave a review wherever you listen to podcasts because it helps us tremendously to find other listeners just like you.
[00:01:46] David Elikwu: You've always been in the content space, which I find really interesting. And so I'd love to dig into some aspects of your background and figure out how you got to the point where you are at now.
[00:01:56] David Elikwu: And then we can talk maybe about a lot of what you do, which is helping people to, well, you're scaling your newsletter giving people advice, creators to scale their newsletters and scale what they do as well.
[00:02:06] Josh Spector: Sure. So first of all, thanks for having me on. what I do now basically is I help creative entrepreneurs grow their audience and business. And there's two main ways that I do that. One is as a consultant, so I work with some people individually and then the other is really through my newsletter, which is called For The interested.
[00:02:23] Josh Spector: It is a, it's kind of two newsletters in one. It's a daily are on weekdays I send a one paragraph and sometimes only one sentence a newsletter and then on Sundays I send a longer one. it's a blend of original content and blog posts. I create as well as curated content with a real emphasis on specific, actionable stuff.
[00:02:49] Josh Spector: So really things that, with everything I share, I try to think about, I aim for valuable, not just interesting. So it's the kind of stuff where, what can someone do after they read this article or watch this video, or listen to this podcast clip. I want them to be able to consume it and then actually put it to use to grow their audience or business. I've been doing this full-time both the newsletter and consulting for about six years now. Prior to that, I had a career of about, it's crazy to say this, but almost 20 years. I live in Los Angeles. I worked for a variety of entertainment industry internet tech, media companies, and journalism.
[00:03:32] Josh Spector: So I've done a little bit of everything. I worked at a PR agency. I worked as a journalist for the Hollywood reporter covering the film industry. I worked in marketing at new line cinema. I worked for a startup comedy website, and most recently, or before I went full-time consulting, I ran digital media and marketing for the academy of motion pictures and the Oscars, for about five and a half years. And then continued to take them work with them as a consultant after I left. I ran digital media for about nine Oscars broadcasts, And so kind of a blended background. And even now it continues where I'm a creator, I'm a creative entrepreneur myself, but I also help creative entrepreneurs with marketing and audience growth in business.
[00:04:18] David Elikwu: Man, that's a stellar background. I'd love to know what drew you to this to the entertainment industry, because I mean, a big part of the, the span of your career was in that field, whether it's as a journalist or as a content and marketer, what drew you there in the first place?
[00:04:33] Josh Spector: So I always loved entertainment, I love pop culture, I studied journalism in college. When I first went to college, I thought I wanted to be a sports writer, then I went to University of Maryland right outside DC and got really into politics and thought I wanted to become a political journalist.
[00:04:50] Josh Spector: And I actually had an internship, like kind of a full-time internship for a semester where I covered Congress and covered the Supreme court, which if you want to be a political journalist, this is, that was like the greatest thing ever. And I hated it. So I realized this was right around the, I think it was like the second semester of my junior year.
[00:05:10] Josh Spector: So I realized, all right, well, I don't want to be a political journalist, but love the entertainment. So I was like maybe, maybe an entertainment journalist, that led me to come out to LA, which led me to sort of, you know, my first job was in PR and then, sort of went from there. I think what's interesting and where, I graduated college in 97. So the internet was around, but social media wasn't really like, you know, obviously it was very sort of early on. I think my first, the first blog I started was in like 99 or 2000. So you couldn't even YouTube wasn't around, like, I don't even know that you could easily upload photos back then. So it was a very, it was a very different, a very different time, but I think the real turning point for me, or sort of the connection between entertainment industry to digital social media stuff was I had a production company with a friend of mine and we were trying to develop TV shows and movies and stuff, not successfully, but trying, but trying to develop them.
[00:06:11] Josh Spector: And I wound up getting into producing live standup comedy shows in LA. And in doing that, I got to know this was probably like 2006, 2007. So it was like the MySpace era and got to know all these up and coming comics who were just starting to like post on my space and just starting to make videos and like YouTube was new.
[00:06:35] Josh Spector: And, and what I realized was all of these talented people were starting to create stuff. We're starting to post it online and I started a blog, just curating the best of the funny stuff that I saw these people making. And what was really interesting, the sort of tipping point moment for me was during the day I was, you know, my partner and I, and his production company were trying to get meetings with comedy central development executives and trying to, you know, pitch stuff and couldn't get anyone to pay attention. And then I found out that those same people who wouldn't take meetings with us, we're sourcing talent from the blog I was posting. And it was like this, like this huge light bulb moment of like, oh, this internet, social media stuff is in the round. Like it shortcuts the whole system. And now, you know, with where the world has gone, this all seems obvious.
[00:07:28] Josh Spector: Right? You see people all the time building huge social media followings and building their fan bases and getting opportunities. But like, that was not a thing back then, right. So, but it was such a light bulb and I was like, wow, this is really interesting that I can't get the traditional way of the entertainment industry, the gatekeeper system and everything else.
[00:07:48] Josh Spector: I can't get anyone to pay attention to me, but I put this stuff online and people are somehow finding it, that was sort of the first moment that I really realized, okay, there's something here. And I think from that point on my career, even though I continued to work in the entertainment industry for a while, it really started to shift more into digital, more into build a direct relationship with an audience, with a fan base, whether it be entertainment, content, or business content, and ultimately my own stuff.
[00:08:19] Josh Spector: You know, my newsletter is the engine for my entire business now, right. I've done zero outreach to get clients. They all come to me because they've seen my newsletter, they've seen my blog posts or word of mouth from a previous client, right. So in some ways the very preliminary lesson that I learned all those years ago, I had just continued to sort of iterate on and obviously the world has changed and shifted in this direction and the tools are better. And and I've learned as I've gone, but that's sort of the transition.
[00:08:51] David Elikwu: I love that, and I think so much of what you said connects to something that I talk about a lot, which is this idea of being able to generate serendipity. And the more that you put out on the internet, putting things out there, just create opportunities without you having to interface or without you having to do any more work.
[00:09:09] David Elikwu: And funnily enough, exactly what you were saying resonated with me, because it reminded me of one example that I have is that I write my newsletter in a very similar way. and I like speaking. And so I often occasionally get booked to speak at you know large companies or, different places. And it's so funny that right at the beginning, I used to actually have to, I still do pitch to speak, but, you know, I used to have to like really hunt people down and have to pitch. And you have to prove that your ideas are worth sharing, but funnily enough, you know, I remember having to do that at the beginning.
[00:09:39] David Elikwu: And then even just in the last year, I've done two talks now where someone has seen something that I've written on my newsletter and said, can you talk about this? And so so now I don't even have to, I remember the very first this talk that I did. It was that this this huge company, I did it for their whole London office and I spent probably like two months trying to, first of all, figure out what I'm going to talk about and then boiling down the ideas, trying to figure it out, pulling the script together, pulling the slide together. Whereas now I take a newsletter that I've done. I'm attaching slides to the ideas. Obviously it still takes some work, but you know, I've already proven that I can think about this idea and now I just have to be able to deliver it.
[00:10:17] David Elikwu: And it's so interesting how, by being able to build this body of work, you can turn it into, into different things.
[00:10:23] Josh Spector: Yeah, It's funny. Like one of the things I think about, individual pieces of content, a blog post, a newsletter, a podcast episode, a video, even all the way down to a tweet, right? Each one is like a stock or an asset that you can buy and the only cost is the time it takes you to create it. And it can potentially be infinitely valuable, right? I have blog posts that I wrote years ago that I took maybe a couple hours to write that are still getting me new client leads, still getting me new newsletter subscribers, who then buy my products or courses or whatever.
[00:10:59] Josh Spector: And it's really interesting now just like stocks, they won't all work, right. You'll get more value from some than others, but that value has the potential to compound over time. And I think a lot of people, when they are creating stuff, they think about it, their assessment of whether or not it worked, their assessment of the value of that piece of content. They're looking at way too short a timeframe, right? So they write a blog post, they put it out, they go, oh, it didn't really get a lot of clicks or it didn't really lead to anything, but they don't realize that, especially if you create something that's relatively timeless, which almost everything I create is evergreen. I don't create content that is tied to sort of news or, you know, Twitter announcing some new feature. I'm not writing about that because it doesn't matter. I'm more likely to write about here's how to, you know, here's clever ways to use your pin tweet, write something that is going to be just as relevant. Here's how to provide value on Twitter, that's going to be just as relevant years from now as it is today. And that's very purposeful, right? Because I understand that that extends the window in which I can get value from that content.
[00:12:12] Josh Spector: And I think when you think about it like that and approach it like that, it changes both how you feel about sort of the success or failure of a creation. And you understand that I'm not limited to how many people read this blog post today or this week, right. And it just over time and it compounds in value.
[00:12:33] David Elikwu: Yeah, that resonates with me so much. The analogy that you gave of a piece of content being like a stock is sensational. I'm definitely going to be boring that and making note of it, but that that's such a brilliant analogy.
[00:12:44] David Elikwu: And I think it's so accurate, like you say, because what it's really about is this power of compounding. And I was actually just thinking about this earlier today with so, in the process of building my newsletter and as it's evolved and lived a few lives over time, even though it's only a few short years old, and some of that growth has been hampered by lack of consistency at the beginning. But even in the most recent iteration, so previously I started it on Substack and I'd moved it to its own platform, right at the end of last year, because I was like, you know, I really want this to be able to grow and become its own thing. And I was thinking of how to build and scale it. And so I was like, okay, first step is moving to its own platform.
[00:13:23] David Elikwu: And then the other thing is actually being able to generate SEO because if I'm honest, my personal newsletters and essays that I write are just generated purely by self-interest and an interest I think of people, but they're not SEO friendly, they're not, I'm not doing any of the tactical stuff with that. I just want that to be what I want to write. But then simultaneously I was like, okay, let's also write articles that are such a board that do provide clear, concise answers in a way that will be discoverable.
[00:13:48] David Elikwu: And it's interesting because, it's something that you do and well, at least in my experience, the impact is not immediate. I did not immediately reap the benefits of that straightaway. It's not like I write this article and suddenly thousands of people are coming from Google every day to visit it. But what I'm noticing is that now as of this month, for example, suddenly, well, it's been growing over time, but I think suddenly there was a big jump where the very first articles that we put on the site in November, December are now suddenly getting a thousand plus organic just from Google clicks a month.
[00:14:23] David Elikwu: And that is, you know, but it's taken that time to warm up or whatever it is that happens on Google, but I can see how the value of that now compounds over time, just because of something that I did six months ago. Now it's growing, it's growing, it's growing every month. And now the amount that is compounding every month, it's starting to grow massively.
[00:14:41] Josh Spector: Well, I think also the way that people think about the value of their creations. I think a lot of times they just think about it in terms of traffic and traffic is great and valuable, but creating stuff even that doesn't get a lot of traffic can unlock other value. And this goes to this sort of you're creating assets.
[00:14:59] Josh Spector: Like I, one of the things I say to people a lot of times is like, don't think about it as you're creating content, thinking of it as you're building a content library, right? So you're building a collection of resources that you can use in a variety of different ways. So for example, I might write a blog post that let's say it doesn't do very well. It doesn't get a lot of traffic, it's not even after years, SEO is not work. Like there's no, it's just it, right. I created it and sort of, it didn't go anywhere. But three years after I created it someone on Twitter or someone emails me. And they asked me a question and I happened to have already written this blog post, which answers their exact question. And I'm able to send it to them as opposed to trying to answer their question, or as opposed to getting on a call with them or whatever I'm able to go. Hey, here is this thing that I wrote three years ago that nobody seemed to care about, but it is exactly the answer to what you want to know, and that person reads it, and it sure enough is exactly what they want to know.
[00:15:57] Josh Spector: And they see they're able to access my expertise, my thought process, and they turn back and go. That was amazing. Can I hire you? Can we do a consulting call? Can you help me with whatever? So that post, that was a total flop and never got any traffic three years after I wrote it gets me client. Which arguably could be more valuable depending how you define value, but could be more valuable to me, then another post that gets a ton of traffic, but doesn't actually lead to anything.
[00:16:25] Josh Spector: The other piece of the value that I think people miss is, and I'm a huge fan of a huge believer in consistent production of content, right? So I publish my newsletter every week for six years. And now for the past, whatever six months or whatever, every weekday as well, a short version. I've written a new blog post basically every week for the past six years as well.
[00:16:49] Josh Spector: When people create content sporadically, you don't even know what it means to work, right? So they post something. And by the way, this is also true with social media, right? Whether it's tweets or Instagram posts or Tiktoks or whatever you're doing. If you're only posting stuff sporadically, you don't really even know where the baseline is for you, right. So you might put something out and you might go, oh, it got a thousand views, that's awesome. What a hit, but you don't know if a thousand is actually good for you or not, right. Whereas if you posted, if you post, for example, if you post three pieces of content, the only thing you have to measure is those three pieces of content. So you don't really know what worked, what didn't, you're just comparing, maybe all three were bad. So the one that you think was good, wasn't actually good. It's just that, you know, the baseline is low, right? The more you produce the better you're able to judge and assess what actually resonates with people. Because especially when you're starting out, you don't have a huge audience anyway. So you know, it's tough to gauge.
[00:17:52] Josh Spector: So I think that's the other thing of like, understanding that even if you create stuff that doesn't quote unquote work, it's giving you another data point so that you're able to identify even the small fluctuation of like, oh, when I talked about that thing, let's say Twitter, for example, right. Maybe you don't have a big following. You don't get a lot of engagement. The difference between something that gets five replies and two replies is sending you a signal. And the more you put out there, the more you start to understand, Okay, that idea is resonating. Maybe that's the idea that I should turn into a blog post, or maybe that's the idea I should tweet more about, right. Like, but you need to take shots. You need reps, you need to put stuff out there in order to get that data as well.
[00:18:39] Josh Spector: Like there really is no such thing as a flop because even if something flops, you're still getting a valuable data point of it. If you analyze your stuff, which is the other thing lots of people don't do is they don't actually take a step back to strategically look at like, and think about like, why do I think this thing worked? Why did this not work? You know, when you're producing a volume of stuff, you're able to go. I notice when I do this, it tends to work better than when I do it this other way. So all of that stuff is value that I think people don't think of because they're caught up in traffic metrics or likes or whatever.
[00:20:03] David Elikwu: Yeah, I absolutely agree with that. And even just on the ending point of what you were saying, I think a lot of people are also afraid to start and they're afraid to start because they're afraid to fail. And just like what you were saying. I think, people ultimately they still want to be good, right? The whole point is that you want to be able to say that you're good at doing X, but the whole point is it's just like increasing your batting average, that's the analogy that I use. You can't have an average if you don't have something above and below the line, right? There's no, if you only do something once, how do you know whether that's good or bad, you have to keep doing it and figure out based on where the other balls hit. Where your average is? What does good look like?
[00:20:42] David Elikwu: And once you figure out what good looks like, then you can figure out what great looks like. And you can figure out a way to grow and expand from there. But if you don't even take enough shots to get those initial data points, then you're not going to be able to grow in the way that you would like to.
[00:20:55] David Elikwu: And I think you will end up just being hampered by whatever activity that you've done, even if it was good, you won't necessarily know until you've continued to put things out there and continue to develop. And like you say, also being able to learn from the things that you have done and being analytical about that.
[00:21:11] Josh Spector:
Oh, no, I was just gonna, I was just gonna say, as far as the starting, you know, I also think, it seems really simplistic, but it's very true. Not enough people do things. They talk about doing things, they think about doing things, they ask people about doing things, They learn, they buy courses and stuff, they learn about doing things, they, all of this stuff. But the vast majority people, aren't actually doing things. And it's really the only part that matters, right. And a lot of times when I have conversations with people, it's interesting because they're asking me whatever it is, right. How do I get more clients? How do I get more followers? How do I do this, that or the other? And I'm like, well, what are you actually doing? right. Like, like start doing it. Like you're not going to get more Twitter followers by tweeting once every two weeks. It's just not going to happen, right. Like, you're not going to grow your newsletter by occasionally posting a newsletter. And you're not gonna grow your newsletter by spending three months trying to figure out which email service platform to use. Like they get bogged down in all the tech and all that anything. And like, it just go do things and you'll figure it out as you go. And also it's a huge competitive advantage. Like most people don't, it's a mate. Like it seems so simplistic, but most people aren't actually doing things.
[00:22:31] David Elikwu: Yeah. And that's a huge thing, like on Twitter, you're on Twitter, I'm on Twitter. It's so interesting. How, as much as people complain, I think there's a lot of people maybe they'll copy other people or whatever it is. There is still this huge distance between people that create and people that consume.
[00:22:45] David Elikwu: And the people that create is such a small number compared to the people that consume compared to everyone else. And it's crazy when you think you see people on Twitter with, you know, 10,000, 20,000, 200,00, 2 million followers, all of those people you don't see because they are not tweeting. So many of those people that are not actually creating anything, it's such a small number of people that create.
[00:23:06] David Elikwu: And so many people feel daunted by the people that have the huge followings, not realizing that all of the other people are, you know, they are out there. They're just not creating anything. And sometimes it's just about you stepping into the void and starting to create something that allows you to start generating that inertia.
[00:23:22] Josh Spector: Yeah. And I forget what the exact stat is and I'm probably going to butcher it, but basically it was some version of, essentially like on social media platforms, right. 90% of people do nothing. They just consume, they don't engage, they don't like, they don't retweet. they just are passive consumers. That's 90 percent, right.
[00:23:43] Josh Spector: And I think another 9% don't create, they don't post, but they might reply, they'll like, they'll share, they sort of engagers, but not creators. And like 1% are the only ones that are actually creating and putting stuff out there. So, just by doing that, even if you're creating garbage, you've already put yourself in the 1% of people who at least have a chance, right. A chance to improve a chance to get better, a chance to learn. Cause you just, you're not gonna, you know, you're not going to learn, but without doing that.
[00:24:14] David Elikwu: So, what were the early days, like if you build in your newsletter in your platform, because one of the things that I'm interested to know is, did it feel like a pivot if you were doing maybe more entertainment oriented stuff, working at the comedy business previously, did it feel like a pivot or was it a very natural transition where you were able to scale almost seamlessly?
[00:24:32] Josh Spector: So as far as the newsletter goes, it's certainly evolved. So for years, like I said, my first blog was in 2000 or 1999. And for years I would just, number one, blog anonymously. I was not comfortable sort of being out there, whatever. Number two, I would talk about all sorts of stuff. Like it wasn't really to provide that like again, back then, it was very different also, but it wasn't tied to any sort of business goal. It was just like what a lot of people do even now with newsletter is like, just whatever I feel like writing about and whatever, right. And what would happen is I would start these blogs stick with it for three months or six months and then bail on it. And then I'd start another one. And the same thing when newsletters, right? Like very sort of start and stop for years. When I had worked for this comedy startup website, which wound up failing, and then I went out on my own and, before I went to the academy of motion pictures, there was about a year where I sort of started consulting basically full-time. And what was interesting about it was at that point, I had never really used these, what I had learned or what I believed I had learned about sort of how to grow audiences. I never really used to grow my own business, right. So I was like, all right, here we go. Let's see if all these things that I've been telling comedians and doing to help grow traffic at this comedy website. Like, let's see if I can do it to myself. And at the time I was focused on basically helping comedians use social media and marketing to grow their audience. So I started a site called connected comedy and literally I was blogging every day. It's interesting. Like, it's very similar to what I do now, except it was very hyper, like comedian focused. Whereas now I'm more broader, or like creative entrepreneur focused.
[00:26:23] Josh Spector: So I started blogging every day and I had a newsletter with that. it was more an email less than a newsletter. I mean, technically it was a newsletter, but I would sort of just send out whatever blog post I had or whatever.
[00:26:34] Josh Spector: And you know, and it worked and I was getting clients who, it's funny because when I started it, I thought my initial clients would be comedians who I already knew. And what happened was it was comedians from all over the world who had just found me through the blog posts and whatever. So again, another lesson of like, oh, this, you can put content out there and sort of build a business on this. It doesn't just have to be like people that, you know, quote unquote in real life and whatever. So that I stuck with for sort of longer than I had. And that was the first time, you know, one of the first times that it was really, I was the face of it. It wasn't really anonymous. Like it was much more quote unquote professional.
[00:27:12] Josh Spector: So I had that going and then I went and got the chance to go go work for the academy, motion pictures. And I did that, but I kind of kept connected comedy on the side for a little while as I was doing that. So I had that, I had built, you know, an audience of probably a few thousand subscribers to that, newsletter slash blog.
[00:27:30] Josh Spector: Then a couple of years later, I started another thing called A person you should know. And it was a daily, like brief profile of like, what's funny, in retrospect, I now see it was like all creative entrepreneurs, but at the time I was just like, oh, it's interesting people that are sharing their expertise online. So I wouldn't interview them, but I would go find a bunch of their best stuff. And just sort of in this very like six or seven sentence thing with a bunch of links, like, here's a snapshot of who this person is and what they think and check out this article they wrote, or this video or this talk, they gave whatever.
[00:28:05] Josh Spector: I did that again for about a year and a half or so, and that had built an audience. So I had a couple thousand connected comedy subscribers. I had a couple thousand a person you should know subscribers. And I was starting to blog more personally on my personal site. And so by this point, I already knew that like I was a big believer in email lists and newsletters and the way to reach people.
[00:28:26] Josh Spector: So I had a list there that also had a couple thousand subscribers. So I got to this point, and this was around six years ago, around the time that I left to go full-time consulting on my own. And I had these three lists, all of which were good and successful, but there was like no real overlap. So when I wrote a blog post, I couldn't really share it with the connected comedy audience. If it didn't have anything to do with comedy. I mean I could, but it didn't make sense. I had a person you should know, which is all about featuring other people. So it didn't make sense to share my stuff, right. And then I had my own list here and I was like, number one, it was just unwieldy and weird. But also I was like, I'm not really doing connected comedy anymore, even though I still sort of have this thing, a person you should know, I was sort of starting to phase out a little bit. And like, so there was this weird overlap. So what I did is I collapsed all three less. So I was like, let me see if I can streamline this and collapse all three lists into one list. And what would a newsletter look like that could potentially cover all three of these audiences? I knew some people would leave, but I was like, you know, what could I do?
[00:29:33] Josh Spector: So I came up with this format that basically initially was very broad and I didn't even, I didn't even really have a name for it at first. I think I just called it like, 10 ideas worth sharing or something like that. And it was just 10 sort of links and summaries. And my idea was, I can throw the comedy stuff in here, I can throw the person you should know stuff in here. I can throw my blog posts in here, whatever. So I did that, and so when that started, and that's what it became for the interested, when that started, I probably had maybe 7,000 or so subscribers from the three lists. And I would say over time, you know, maybe half of them eventually bailed. Cause it wasn't, you know, wasn't the same thing they had signed up for. So I wound up with about 4,000. And so that then after a couple months or whatever, I came up with the name For The Interested. It became that, and so from that 4,000 it's gone and evolved in over time. I niched down more to sort of create, you know, originally I think my original tagline was, it was like, "Ideas to help you become better at your art work and life." So very broad, but as sort of improvement thing. So those early issues, you know, they might've had something about how to get a better night's sleep. They might have had, like, it was much, there was this sort of creator type stuff, but then there was also the kind of general self-improvement stuff.
[00:30:53] Josh Spector: And I eventually honed into really being audience and business growth tips for creative entrepreneurs and which very much aligns with my consulting and the work that I do. And, cause at a certain point I was like, I'm not sure why I'm sharing all this self-improvement stuff. Like that's not really what I want and even who I want to attract. Like, not that there's anything wrong with it, but it just didn't align with my ultimate goals. So yeah, so it started with around 4,000, but again, that's misleading because that was years in the making to get to that point. And, now I'm at about, just under 19,000. So,
[00:31:28] David Elikwu: Awesome. And was it always intentional that would feed your consulting and being able to get clients and generate that side of the business?
[00:31:35] Josh Spector: It was, I would say sort of, so I always value. I always viewed from the very beginning and this probably goes way back to like anything, like I always viewed having an audience is a huge asset, right. So even if it wasn't directly, like I want to get people and have them hire me to do this, that or the other, I always understood that this would be a really good, valuable thing to have, right. I did not use the newsletter and really still to this day, I did not really promote my services in it at all. So it was not that I didn't set out going, I need clients, let me go get a newsletter to get clients. I view it as its own product. And I get clients because they read it, they read my original blog posts. They sort of go, wow. I like this guy seems to know, I wonder if he can help me. So it was partially intentional, but I wouldn't say I always viewed it as its own product and for years, but I think probably the first four years I did not directly monetize it at all. I have since built a solid ad business around it, so it has become a source of revenue, but that was never the point. For me, it was always about build an audience that I have a connection to. And that will create all sorts of other opportunities, whether it be clients, whether it be products I can sell, whether it just be a network of people and opportunities. So that's sort of how I thought about it. It was not sort of promotional driven at all.
[00:33:03] David Elikwu: Thank you so much for tuning in. Please do stay tuned for more. Don't forget to rate, review and subscribe. It really helps the podcast and follow me on Twitter feel free to shoot me any thoughts. See you next time.