The Problem with Marketing Is Not You (Seriously: An Imaginary Person Named "Not You")

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I need to say I'm sorry for something. So here goes...

I'm sorry I focused so much of my time lately on serving Not You.

Not You is this ghostlike idea of audience growth. Not You is who I turn to when people ask how big my show is. Not You is kinda like You, but more of You. NotYou adds commas to metrics -- metrics that mean who-really-knows-what.

I've been focusing too much of my time on serving Not You. And not You. And that is totally wrong.

I'm sorry.


Here are just a few ways I've focused on serving Not You lately:

  • I stopped doing 1:1 video calls with You, preferring instead to spend that time promoting the show to Not You. (I remedied that with my signup sheet a few weeks ago. I'll be sharing another soon.)
  • I hesitated to switch to seasons, even though I knew it would improve show quality, for the stupid fact that Apple Podcasts favors weekly publishing over periodic publishing, thus ranking a show for Not You to see. (I made the call to use seasons on September 1.)
  • I scaled back my search for better stories to share with You, hunting instead for promotional tactics to increase the show's reach to Not You. (I spent all of October fixing this, banking 29 new story leads to research.)
  • And worst of all, I've been holding back a few completed episodes from You, because I thought I'd instead release all seven at once to get the biggest "pop" -- a pop so big that Not You would notice.

But who cares if I reach Not You? Who cares if Apple dings me? Who cares if I release episodes on an ad-hoc basis? Who cares, so long as You love the show?

I cared. Ugh...

I've been focusing too much of my time on serving Not You. And not You. And that is totally wrong.

I'm sorry.


I think my problem is that I had my priorities straight. Yup. Straight. My priorities matched some kind of imaginary, logical, linear list that, if used, will create some kind of imaginary, logical, linear growth. But great things happen crooked. So I better have priorities to match.

I'll be focusing too much of my time on serving You. Instead of Not You. Because that feels totally right.

I'm excited.


Starting now, I get my priorities crooked. I promise to invest an irrational, lopsided amount of time serving You, instead of Not You. If someone I admire in marketing says to me, "Jay, seriously, it's a nice idea, but you really need to care more about show distribution and growth," then I'll know I'm on the right path. After all, Not You isn't real. Not You will never not be anything but a non-existent thing. (Wait a sec... counting the negatives in that sentence... OK, I think I got it right.)

But You? You are very much real. And You are real great! You support the show. You help me improve it. You care about the mission. You rally others to join this mission.

You're bothered by suck. You care about craft. You can't stand commodity work, question best practices, and trust your intuition.

Alllllll those great things ... are things You do. Not Not You.

Thank You. Or, rather, Thank God For You.

I've been focusing too much of my time on serving Not You. And not You. Starting today, it's all about You. Not Not You.

(Err... You know what I mean...)

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Posted on November 8, 2017 and filed under IDEAS.