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Michal Kankowski, marketing strategist: “Build in Public.”
1. How and when did you make your first dollar online?
It was June 2020. The pandemic just kicked in, and I wanted to create something for myself. An economic crisis is one of the best times to start a new venture (AirBnB, Uber, WhatsApp – they all started right after the 2008 crisis).
I wanted to find some viral marketing case studies to get inspired emotionally. But there was nothing on this topic online. Or even if it was, the articles always suggested that it was pure luck. Which was absurd to me. There are always very strong emotions (psychology) involved in everything that goes crazy viral.
So I started my own freemium newsletter disclosing the strategies and psychology behind viral marketing campaigns.
Within the first 3 days, I got 800 subscribers!
A week later I launched a Premium tier, which included 3 viral marketing case studies per week, instead of one, and the next day I got my first client at $15/year.
You can read the full story here.
2. How long does it take between the idea and this first dollar?
Around 2 weeks. Today it would be muuuuch faster. But back then I had no experience in creating websites, so 90% of that 2 weeks was just figuring out how to make it work.
3. What best actionable advice would you give to someone who wants to start TODAY?
If you have plenty of ideas and don’t know which one to pursue, decide which one would give you the most leverage to kickstart the other ones later on.
When you have that already figured out, go straight to Twitter, make an account and start writing about your ideas. Building in public is one of the best and easiest ways for marketing your product. This is also a good way to validate your idea.
After that, figure out how you can make your marketing as effortless as it’s possible, by, for example, creating viral features. Viral features give you an opportunity to switch the marketing side of your business to your customers.
Another thing is your business model. If you charge your customers $50 a month, you only need 167 of them to reach $100k ARR.
After that, double down your actions on Twitter, and go to TikTok. TikTok is one of the easiest platforms to go viral. And you can repurpose these videos also on Instagram and Youtube.
If you don’t know the strategies for Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, Youtube, and Viral features, you can find them all on the Kickstart Side Hustle platform. I’m sorry for the shameless plug, but that’s why I’ve created it for. It’s hard to find this information online on your own, and know which strategies are the best ones, and which one sucks.
4. What resources would you recommend to a beginner?
Once again, I would recommend the Kickstart Side Hustle platform, because it includes all the best strategies and frameworks for each of the channels mentioned above, plus hundreds of viral marketing case studies which provide frameworks for the best marketing practices known to men – that was the point of that platform.
You could also go to YouTube. There are plenty of good videos, but there are hard to find, unfortunately. Y Combinator channel provides one of the best information on startups.
5. Who would you recommend to follow?
@mich_kanka – shameless plug again, but I tweet relevant threads on this subject daily
Behavioral economics & virality
I’ve created the biggest library of viral marketing case studies & cognitive biases in marketing, packed into 2-min frameworks