Jordan Ogren

May 20, 2022

🪞 The Lookback 5/14 – 5/20

Hiya 👋 Something I can't stop thinking about this week is how lucky we are. Sure, life could be better. We could have no war, inflation, or sickness. But still, life is incredible. When I want, I can start playing a symphony on my phone. I can learn almost any fact I want. And I have water every single morning. Maybe you are great at s...
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May 19, 2022

A simple exercise to remain grateful.

Have you ever thought back to a time in your past and thought: Those were the good ole times. I have—far too many times. I frequently believe that I can only experience the good days once they’ve passed—I can only enjoy the moments in retrospect. But that’s changed. I now believe we all can experience that feeling during the current mo...
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May 18, 2022

This is the best you could do?

"Your tax refund might be enough to cover the cost of new windows." This was the premise of a video ad from a local window company. It then went on to talk about why buying windows would be a good purchase. Seriously? Do you think I want to spend my refund on some new windows? How about a new Apple Watch? Or those shoes I've been eyein...
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May 17, 2022

The secret to writing well...

Let's talk about editing. It's something I read little about. Yet it's easily one of the more critical elements of writing. I understand that getting content on the page is challenging. But once you master the blank page, your next level is to master editing. Editing is where you take semi-good writing and turn it into excellent writin...
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May 16, 2022

Your marketing plan's most overlooked component...

The first component of an effective marketing plan is usually the most overlooked. Most plans or strategies include the tactical aspects (i.e., the content we will post or the platforms we will use). In addition, most have some level of goals or metrics. But few include what your plan should be based on: A diagnosis. The first thing yo...
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May 13, 2022

🪞 The Lookback 5/07 – 5/13

This weather has me feeling amazing ☀ It's crazy how I let externalities affect my internal state (happiness). It's essentially handing over control to things out of my control. That doesn't sound the smartest. That has me focusing on cultivating happiness regardless of the outside world. No matter if there is a war, a stock crash, or ...
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May 12, 2022

Don’t try to solve the problem. Do this instead...

Take two steps back. Every time you face a problem or opportunity, take two steps back and breathe. Don’t jump right into solving it. Please. This is especially for you if: - You’re someone who prides themselves on getting shit done, or - You’re someone who needs to be busy to feel productive The first thing I will do every time I get ...
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May 11, 2022

1 ≠ 1 in marketing. Let me show you why...

Numbers are just numbers. You know that. But then why do we get so hung up on reaching X subscribers or X views? We forget a core truth about data or numbers: 1 ≠ 1. A view from Sally, who is your grandmother, is not as important as a view from Sharon, who is in your target audience. Sorry, grandma. Having 55 subscribers with 25 being ...
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May 10, 2022

Writing won't improve your IQ, but it will do this...

Growing up with two older brothers was wonderful. I wore their shoes, learned from their mistakes, and had an easier time with my parents as they were worn out. But it wasn't all roses and sunshine. I've struggled with insecurity as the youngest child (I know, we all do to some extent). But specifically around intelligence. As the youn...
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May 9, 2022

The question no one is (directly) answering.

Last week I met the 43rd-best player in the world. Player of what? Why does that matter? Would it be any different if he was the 43rd-best basketball player rather than the 43rd-best dart thrower? Other than making far more and being 1000x more recognizable. There is a big difference between the two. But, they are still ranked the same...
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May 6, 2022

🪞 The Lookback 4/30 – 5/06

Moments of low clarity suck. It's challenging when you don't know what to do or how to move forward. You feel stuck. All week I experienced this. I am struggling to figure out how to move forward with my content (podcast + newsletter). I want to continue writing daily to improve my writing, but I'm unsure if this is the best way. That'...
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May 5, 2022

To hashtag or not to hashtag?

What are your thoughts on hashtags? I remember they were the craze in high school. Everyone was using them. Now, I don't find them to be of much tangible value. This resulted in me challenging a man on why he believes they are important. I asked a simple question: “Have you seen any tangible value from using hashtags?” His answer: “I s...
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May 4, 2022

The one thing your competition can’t copy...

““The company story is the company strategy.” – Ben Horowitz, Partner and Co-founder, Andreessen Horowitz.” Imagine you built the best designed and coded software. It kicks butt. You release it, and your target audience eats it up. You continue to add users steadily as you update and improve the product. Until one day… Microsoft become...
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May 3, 2022

This email is short. I promise.

Most people write too many words (myself included). We fail to get to the point and incessantly drone on. This is something I’ve struggled a lot with. Brevity is not natural for me. But, I use a simple trick when writing to be less verbose. The trick is to write whatever I’m writing without thinking–vomit it onto the page. Then imagine...
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May 2, 2022

Do you believe in the funnel illusion?

You've heard of the marketing funnel, right? 1. Awareness 2. Interest 3. Consideration 4. Intent 5. Evaluation 6. Decision While I think it's an okay framework, it falls short. It does not map to reality. It's a mirage. Like seeing water in a dessert, you pray it's real, but the last five times you had a similar experience, it was in y...
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April 29, 2022

🪞The Lookback 4/23 - 4/29

That was a crazy week. Sunday feels like yesterday with the software launching, my mom's birthday, and my shin exploding. How about you? How was your week? What did I do this week? • I failed to release episode 5 of my podcast (🤦🏼♂) • We launched MyTalentPlanner software and V2 of the website (See V2 of the website: https://www.mytalen...
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April 28, 2022

My new mantra for life.

"Strong beliefs held lightly." That's a new motto I've adapted. Why? Life is too short to do the opposite, "Weak beliefs held strongly." We should have strong beliefs backed by research and experience. But we should hold them lightly, willing to update and refine them with better data and experiences. To live a better life for ourselve...
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April 27, 2022

This is a hill I'm willing to die on...

I believe most humans should write daily. I mean, we all do, whether through emails, a report, or a social media update. But I'm speaking about a dedicated chunk of time to write. 15-30 minutes where all you do is write. What does that look like? • Structured writing about your feelings in a journal • Brain dumping whatever is on your ...
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April 26, 2022

Sometimes brief ≠ good <> CR17

I'm all for short and snappy content. But sometimes, if you are too short, you will fail to cover your pitch fully. This leaves the reader unsure of who you are and what you're selling. This leaves them confused, which typically doesn't drive results. Today's ad feels a little empty and lifeless. I hope to pump some life into it. Who: ...
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April 25, 2022

Today is launch day...

I never thought I would say this: I’m part of a (Saas) startup. (Do I buy a tesla now or later?) Seriously though, I’m excited for this opportunity and for the fact it’s with the same group of people I’ve dedicated the last four years of my life with. Stop The Vanilla went on a mission two years ago to figure out an answer to surviving...
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April 22, 2022

🪞The Lookback 4/18 - 4/22

Another week down. How did you do? I did okay. There were a few things I wish I got done, but overall, it was a productively peaceful week. What did I do this week? • Released episode 4 of my NEW podcast (listen here: https://share.transistor.fm/s/e70af690) • Prepared to release V2 of MyTalentPlanner's website next week (See V1 before ...
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April 21, 2022

Something (new) is in the water...

I have some big news... I'm starting a weekly newsletter. It's called a Newsletter On Marketing. It will showcase podcast episodes, interviews, and hopefully longer-form articles I plan to write. But that's not the point of this email. I was recently at dinner with a friend. We were eating some fantastic pizza, and I told him I was sta...
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April 20, 2022

Why the generation effect matters to you and I.

Have you ever heard of the generation effect? Even though I have been doing it for over a year now, I didn't. So, let's define what it is: “The generation effect is a robust memory phenomenon in which actively producing material during encoding acts to improve later memory performance.” That's the highly scientific definition of it. I ...
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April 19, 2022

Copywriting > Selling.

"Copywriting is sales at scale." Rather than selling to one person at a time, copy allows you to sell to many at once. The challenge is writing copy that is as compelling as you would sell. Unfortunately, most writing on websites, cold emails, or sales pages is robotic and not persuasive. It's much easier to charm someone through speec...
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April 18, 2022

Burn every marketing book you have.

Most marketing books are useless. They preach fading strategies. They contain survivor bias. And are usually a slog to read through. There are fewer than 20 books on marketing you need to read. Some examples of must-reads are: • Ogilvy on Advertising by David Ogilvy • Everybody Writes by Ann Handley • Scientific Advertising by Claude C...
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April 15, 2022

You are what you (critique)....

A superpower of mine is being critical. I can poke a hole in just about anything. I can find something to improve everywhere. But, as you can imagine, this quickly turns into my greatest weakness. I can be overly critical and focus only on what’s missing (just ask my wife). One night, this became apparent when Katie and I went on a dou...
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April 14, 2022

Your secret weapon in marketing 🧪

The more you do, the less you can accurately test and measure. Think back to science class and experiments. When experimenting, you start with a hypothesis. You believe that by altering X, Y will happen. The experiments’ goal is to prove or disprove that hypothesis. The five main components of an experiment are: 1. Control variable: An...
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April 13, 2022

The hidden costs of creating content.

Content is not free. Just because you can post it for free or email it to 100 people doesn’t mean it doesn’t cost you anything. There’s the production cost. Whether it’s your time writing an article or paying someone to edit your podcast, creating content costs money and time. There’s also the opportunity cost. Rather than shooting tha...
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April 12, 2022

Why stagnant subscriber growth is... GOOD.

Not everyone flew a Lockheed P-38 Lightning during WWII. Not everyone will give birth to a wet-looking alien; I mean human. So, to gain specific life lessons, you need to seek out those with specific experiences we will never have. Now, some of the lessons from the legendary fighter pilot man could be the same as the woman who was the ...
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April 11, 2022

Do this to avoid “bad” marketing.

Go to the roots. That’s a mantra I tell myself religiously in marketing. It helps ground me in what is true by asking better questions. Let’s say we are trying to run an ad in our local paper. Of course, you could start by asking what it should be about, what the design should be, or the headline. But that’s not starting at the roots. ...
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