It's Gotta Ebb if it's Gonna Flow | Internetly Vol.5
On being in a creative slump, pushing past our boundaries, and how to write a high-converting landing page for a digital product.
The way you start and end your days is something of an ignored art form.
Every morning, we draw open the curtains of our lives with unenthused ambivalence, scrolling through social media before getting ready to perform. After the production, we prepare to drop the scene and go to sleep. We’ll become slightly inebriated. Supercharge our thoughts with anxiety. Scroll once more.
It doesn’t make for a very good spectacle.
Ironically, not many are aware of this ubiquitous ritual. Even fewer of us can describe the ominous feeling of lack that follows us throughout the show.
Brené Brown, a research professor on vulnerability, strength, and courage describes this sense of lack quite accurately:
For many of us, our first waking thought of the day is “I didn’t get enough sleep.” The next one is “I don’t have enough time.” Whether true or not, that thought of not enough occurs to us automatically before we even think to question or examine it.
Before we even sit up in bed, before our feet touch the floor, we’re already inadequate, already behind, already losing, already lacking something.
And by the time we go to bed at night, our minds are racing with a litany of what we didn’t get, or didn’t get done, that day.
We go to sleep burdened by those thoughts.”
Our compulsive need to check social media within the first and last minute of our day exacerbates this sense of insufficiency. The barrage of information, a flurry of notifications, flashes of curated pictures fuel our anxiety.
I now draw the curtains of my day with more intention. I’ve swapped social for reading. I listen to Stephen King’s On Writing in the mornings and close with Michael Singer’s The Untethered Soul in the evenings.
My show plays out differently now. It’s not perfect, of course. But the feelings of inadequacy have quieted. Whereas social media sucks you into a vortex of “I want, I need, I should,” books transport you to new worlds within their pages. And within their expansiveness, we don’t think about what we might be missing.
🖼 On Becoming a Prolific Creator
This Week: Finding Reassurance When Creatively Uninspired
I bring to you on a silver platter another TikTok on creativity.
You know I talk a lot of 💩 about social media, but there are some stellar clips in there if you’re lucky enough to find them.
Abraham Piper makes videos on simplicity, creativity, language, and puzzles. I loved his recent video where he discusses what to do if one is in a creative slump.
There are the obvious antidotes: go on a run, read a new novel, call an old pal, drop acid (hah). But the less-obvious solution is simply accepting the fact you’re uninspired.
The universe operates in ups and downs. Waves. We often interpret these as good or bad, but it’s just the neutral pulse of existence.
Apply that to creativity. If we’re going to have times of inspiration, we have to have times without it. It’s gotta ebb if it’s going to flow.
But that’s good. It means it’s coming. It’s always coming.
You’re just in the trough of the next wave of creativity.
It’s comforting to think of the universe as an objective force, neither good nor bad. It simply exists. Rather than resisting the negative state, which only deepens it, we must remain open and accept being uninspired for what it is.
Your next wave will come.
Creativity moves like the ocean, it ebbs and flows onto the shore of our lives. 🌊
🥒 Content Diet
I’m only bringing forward one resource this week instead of the usual three. But it’s a good one, I promise. 💊
I. Stephen King on Fear in On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
Stephen King is on my mind quite a lot recently as a result of listening to his audiobook almost every morning.
I’ve been falling down his rabbit hole and this particular quote of his stuck out:
“The scariest moment is right before you start. After that, things can only get better.”
While he’s talking about writing in particular, we can apply this to most things in life. Fear is an object, an illusion created by our subconscious to stay within our comfort zone. We build these thick walls out of thoughts to give us a sense of control and predictability.
When we walk towards these walls and dare to push past our boundaries, our alarm system goes off. It triggers fear, anxiety, malaise. But if we brave the discomfort, rewards await. We push past our artificial walls. We are free.
Stepping aside from my philosophical blabber for a moment, this quote reminded me of two posts I stumbled on this week.
This is what happens when you begin sharing what you know and putting yourself out there. If you push past the fear of exposure, you’re rewarded with recognition, confidence, and even job offers.
So, just start. Once you do, the scariest part is over.
The scariest moment is right before you begin creating. 👻
✍🏼 Freelancing Journey
This Week: Some Lessons on Landing Pages
For the past three weeks, I’ve been working on Daniel Cosana’s landing page for his online course, The Notion Academy.
We’ve been through a miniature journey together. He’s located on the opposite ends of the world in Bali while I’m in Brooklyn. We’ll get on calls when the sun is leaving his side of the world to warm up my hemisphere.
I’ve spent hours researching how to make his landing page pop and stand out from the competition. Because I’ve learned loads from this project, I thought I’d extend one or two lessons if there’s a fellow copywriter reading this newsletter.
Here’s what Dani’s landing page looked like beforehand.
In copywriting, there’s something called the caveman test. To quote Donald Miller;
“A caveman should be able to glance at it and immediately grunt back what you offer.”
Here, our little caveman doesn’t have the faintest idea of what’s going on here. It’s something to do with Notion, but what exactly about it?
I made the following suggestions. And for the record, I made these mock-ups on Canva. I am not a designer nor is Dani paying my desginer skills (clearly).
Here’s why this works:
The new header signifies Daniel owns a new niche: learning how to build systems within Notion. He’s the one and only solution.
The subheader is where we get specific on how the product delivers value. Because Daniel’s systems save upwards of ~5 hours a week, we tallied it to approximately 260 hours a year of saved time. This makes the prospect go, “Wait, really? Tell me more.”
Our call to action is clear and straightforward.
To the right, we show a picture of Daniel’s program in action. The goal of the image is to show off the product and to set up a buying environment.
Lastly, we plaster social proof. Our initiative is to give the impression that this program is a hot commodity. To give the prospect a sense of FOMO, if you will.
I’ll stop here, but I’m pleased with our progress so far. It’ll be interesting to see the conversion rates once the page goes live. I’m also taking Daniel’s program to up my own Notion game, and I’ll keep you posted on how it changes my workflow and productivity.
P.S: If you’re interested in learning more about landing pages, I strongly suggest you check out these two resources. They have become my bible during this entire process.
Marketing Examples - A Step-by-Step Guide to Landing Pages that Convert
Julian Shapiro - Growth Handbook: How to Write a Landing Page
When designing your website’s landing page, make sure it’s simple enough a caveman could glance at it and grunt back in two seconds what they’re being offered. 🦕
If you’ve made it this far, thank you so much for reading!
Loved it? Felt ambivalent about it? Random thoughts crossing your mind while reading it?
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Enjoy the rest of your lazy Sunday ☕️