Josh Pitzalis

Work Journal

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A good campaign

In many ways, a good campaign is like a good joke. A joke’s effectiveness lies in the choice of the right words, good timing, a convincing delivery, and a funny punchline. A good joke is memorable and easy to share. All of these factors ultimately depend on having an understanding of the values and beliefs of the audience and on the authority of the person delivering the joke.

There are many strategies for intervening in an issue but they can be divided into 3 categories: Interruption, Education, and Coercion.

Interruption

The important thing to remember when questioning the dominant narrative is to avoid preaching to the quire.

Sometimes an interruption might seem clever but it’s only going to appeal to like-minded people.  Those kinds of campaigns will be easily dismissed by the people it actually needs to appeal to.  If you’re going to question the narrative then you should be...

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One-armed push-ups and single-leg squats

This post is a summary of a book called ‘The Naked Warrior" by Pavel Tsatsouline. Tsatsouline is a kettlebell instructor that Tim Ferris holds in high regard. A lot of the principles in the 4-Hour Body have been adapted from Tsatsouline’s approach to fitness and strength development.

‘The Naked Warrior’ is about strength development using nothing but bodyweight exercises. 

Pavel reduces the complexity of a full-body routine down to two simple exercises: The single-leg squat and the single-arm pushup.

The claim is that these two exercises are enough to train the entire body sufficiently. You can add exercises to the program but there is little need to. The fewer parts your program has less likely you are to give up. Also, given that you only have so much time, the fewer skills you practice the better you will get at them.

The foundation of Tsatsouline’s approach is that strength is a...

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Content as consultation

Before I got into tech, I was a rehabilitative exercise coach for people with severe back pain.

I was effectively a very specialized personal trainer.

This meant that I ran my own business and everything else that goes along with it.

One of the hardest things I had to learn was the sales process.

I had a simple routine that I ran through every initial session with a potential client.

  1. It consisted of spending the first 10 minutes asking them questions about their problem and what their ideal outcome was. The goal here was really to disqualify them as a patient. I would only proceed if we were a good fit for each other.

  2. Then I spent 10 minutes assessing their flexibility, posture and muscle balance to assess the severity of the problem and the extent to which I would be able to help.

  3. I spent the last 10 minutes explaining how I could help.

  4. First, I made sure I addressed any...

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This content stuff is too much

Should the goal of content be search rankings or virality? Are we meant to be writing for existing users or new ones? Do we write the content or should we be focusing on user-generated content?

So far I’ve gone through:

  • Clickminded’s course on content marketing and social
  • Reforge’s growth and advanced growth program
  • I’m going through Ross Simmond’s 14-day distribution challenge
  • I just finished the first cohort of Makers Mark.
  • I’m almost finished with the CXL Growth marketing program.
  • I’m part of Demand Curve’s growth program
  • I’m subscribed to copy hackers and Neville Medhora’s copywriting course
  • I’m even doing on PR course with Dmitry Dragilev.
  • And I read all of Austin Kleons books. Again.

Did someone say course junkie? Yes, I know.

I know.

I just want to invest some time into writing some helpful content that helps the business grow. The more I learn the more lost I feel. Now I...

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Treat content as product

Karthik Sridharan posted this tweet about treating each piece of content like a mini-product. It resonated with me. I’m new to content marketing. Product I’m familiar with.

First off this idea immediately pulls apart this idea that you have to churn out shitty content on a daily or weekly basis. I think that’s one of the things I’m most uncomfortable with as I’m slowly stepping into a content creation role.

I have no idea where this idea that you have to churn out volume came from but knowing that I can just focus on creating a single piece of top-notch, meaningful content is reassuring.

If I was building a feature on a product my first question would be to orientate myself to why we are building stuff and ask “what’s the problem”.

There is no reason I can’t do this with content.

We have loads of users at Chirr App and some of the jobs they’re trying to get done are handled by pour...

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First 90%

This feature is almost done 💪

Here’s a 1-minute walkthrough of what we have so far…

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Database

Today was the first time I interacted with Chirr App’s database. Since I joined I’ve only ever worked on front-end code, no I/O operations. Today I work on letting people create custom prompts and that meant saving them to the database. It’s great to gradually go get deeper into how Chirr App works.

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Pairing

Started coding out the new tweet prompts feature with Tanja today.

prompts.png

We went through last week’s spec and broke it into little chunks of work together.

Then we grouped everything in Basecamp and now we’re picking of tasks one-by-one as we slowly build the feature out.

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Customers sign up and don’t use the product

Justin Jackson posted a great thread around the idea that people’s motivation to use something is outside of our control. His point is that there isn’t much you can do within a product to get people to use it on a regular basis.

He’s not saying that you shouldn’t focus on great UX or improving your onboarding experience, just that none of it’s going to matter if the underlying problem is around motivation.

A product cannot motivate people to use it.

A company called Marketing Experiments made the same point with this little heuristic:

Conversion = 4 motivation + 3 value prop + 2 (incentive - friction) - 2 anxiety

The single biggest factor in this formula is motivation. It’s more important than having a great value proposition, an incentive, being easy to use, or clearing up any reservations around a product.

Basically, it doesn’t matter how good the food tastes if no one’s hungry...

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Team features

We’re planning to bring team features to Chirr App soon. Spent today working through how we’re going to:

  1. Let people switch between multiple accounts

  2. Let teams invite people without having to share their company credentials

  3. Let team leaders approve posts before sending

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