Asking for Things vs Providing Value

A surprising revelation.

Hello there, Jordan here 👋

Two wagging tails.

Two wet noses.

Two dogs trying to climb up the kitchen counter and grab my lunch.

My plan was to munch on my sandwich while learning how Facebook ads work. I wasn’t giving that away without a fight. But I was not prepared for what happened.

🐶 Asking for things (from a dog’s perspective)

I was at a friend’s house. He was away for a weekend with his wife doing one thing or another in the UK. I popped over to walk their two dogs.

“The sandwich in the fridge is yours”, the note said.

When we gathered, they made those delicious sandwiches so they made one for me apparently – to thank me for taking care of the dogs.

I forgot about lunch so this was a welcome surprise.

But I wasn’t prepared for that amount of pressure.

Mr. Richy, the Corgi, started doing everything in his power to get me to give him a piece of the sandwich. Tricks, spins – he even tried to jump and grab it.
(failed miserably due to his super tiny legs)

Mr. Charlie, the Cavalier, took a different approach – he started being calm and nice, showing me how good of a dog he was. He wasn’t trying to steal my food, just threw a dirty look or two in that general direction.

Two choices, I had to pick one:

  • Option A: Keep all of my food and risk serious emotional damage.

  • Option B: Cut down my carbs and make the two doggos even happier.

But while thinking of what I should do, I thought of all the similarities between this and creators.

🗯 Should you sell yourself as a content creator?

As creators, we often face a choice similar to the one Richy and Charlie:

  • Option A: Sell yourself – make the ask and risk people judging you for being pushy or not delivering enough value.

  • Option B: Provide so much value that you don’t need to sell yourself.

At work, that can be asking for a promotion vs helping even more people. On Twitter, that can be selling with Tweets vs selling in DMs (or not selling at all).

No matter the case, it’s a tough choice to make.

I was deep in thought, completely ignoring the Facebook ads video on my phone.

And then it hit me.

“I should give some of my sandwich to those cute furballs!”

It took giving away half of my bread before I realized the answer to my creator dilemma:

💡 Giving value AND selling yourself

While giving away my bread, I thought about my doggo – Asta the Beagle.

He tends to be hyper annoying around food, making sure that I and everyone else knows he wants food. He sells the idea that he’s hungry at 200%.

But he’s all-in in the cute dog stuff as well.

Outside of food time, he’s all snuggles and play and tricks. He’s fun and provides value (and cuteness).

The key is both giving value and selling.

But the trick is balance.

On my Twitter profile, I’m not selling in the classic sense, I’m not asking for money.

But I want something even more important – your attention and brand.

So my framework is simple:

The Value-Sales Framework:

  • Give value without asking for anything in return at least 90% of the time.

  • Sell or ask for things 10% of the time.

This simple framework has given me more reach than I could dream of. I’m heading to 5,000 followers after 2 short months and a lot of what I make is getting more love than the posts of accounts 10X my size.

I hope it serves you as well!

Your biggest fan,

💡 Idea of the Week

You need to accept the fact that you’re not the best and have all the will to strive to be better than anyone you face.

— Roronoa Zoro

⚙️ Tools, Apps, 'n' Gadgets

Here are today's picks:

  • One Pager — One Pager is a simple yet surprisingly cool way to build online courses AND make them so enjoyable that people want to finish them.

  • Augie — Augie uses AI to help you create videos by adding subtitles, GIF overlays, and animations to your video. Free early access.

  • Learn Prompting — Prompting is the skill to learn in 2023. This website makes it easy and it’s free.

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🔦 Creator Spotlight

Shoutout to Diana and her excellent story on Never Productive, that’s surprisingly about sales. It was fantastic!

📰 Last Week with Jordan

This is the most important message from this week – I updated my shortcut for ChatGPT with the new official API and it performs fantastically:

That was it for today. Have a great week and I'll see you next Sunday!
— Jordan

PS: Help me out by sharing this with a friend who'll find it useful 🫶