📻 — Daniel Vassallo and Randall Kanna: Building, Launching, and Selling Info Products via Gumroad

This is your Community, Daily.

Reading Time: ~ 5 min.

Good morning yenizens!

I know that many folks are taking things a bit “lighter” right now so I’m working through a few older videos and sharing my personal notes, as I am wont to do!

Two good links to share / read with your friends:

  1. Leadership in The Ownership Economy — This is some great alternative reading from the defi space.

  2. Build an audience on LinkedIn — Something that I need to start thinking about in a real serious way. Anyone an expert yenizen here I could connect to and pick their brain about this?

Have a good one folks!

To infinity & community,

— john


Just like yesterday’s issue, I was told (and asked) by many to breakdown this Questions and Answers time between Daniel Vassallo and Randall Kanna — which ended up being a fantastic choice to listen and watch because I learned a good bit.

The overview of their time is as-follows:

  1. Planning your Career Early on

  2. Gumroad International Payments Support

  3. Apple Pay Support

  4. Affiliate Update

  5. Selling an Info product

  6. Creating Digital Content as a Lifestyle Influencer

  7. Starting from 0 followers

  8. Building Credibility

  9. How Gumroad Discover Works

  10. Daniel’s Journey

  11. Living What You Are Saying Philosophy

  12. Upcoming Products

  13. Why Choose Gumroad

  14. How to Start your Writing Journey as a Non-native English speaker

  15. Gumroad Challenge Announcement

Let’s jump in.


Planning your Career Early on

Daniel shares first that he wish he had spent more time trying different things and not worrying so much about whether we “figure it out” — he recommends optimize for exploring different projects and in this way you can learn what you might like and dislike.

He talks about compounding but how it’s not useful to start compounding a skill or an interest or in a specific area if you also do not like many things about those experiences / skills. Nuance-y.

Making “small bets” as Randall mentions is what Gumroad is about to create the lifestyle that you want. Building an “info product” for Daniel was a major ‘”win” but not for just the money; he learned more about himself and what he likes and loves to do which was the best discovery.

(Daniel left a very nice corporate salary @ Amazon.)

Gumroad International Payments Support

A question about expanding payments into more countries — more currencies are something they are thinking next year.

The big push next year is “structured courses” which they’ve announced more recently called Gumroad University — which looks amazing!

Affiliate Update

They are doing more work in this areas as well, such as analytics for the users and customers. I know that affiliates work because I built a premium WordPress Theme 10+ years ago that did nearly $100k in sales per month via affiliates! Insane-level stuff; we gave our affiliates a 50/50-split.

Onboarding affiliates is also something that their customers and community have asked for and they are looking at improving these features.

Upsells? Maybe Q1/Q2.

Selling an Info product

How big of an audience do I need to start? Daniel reverses this question and instead challenges the audience to consider what their audience is already telling them. If you have a small audience this is still possible.

In Daniel’s case, he realized that people were constantly asking about his nuanced-perspective on software, entrepreneurship, and lifestyle design. So, he designed a product to answer those questions and present his experiences. This is very simple to do!

But, you should have a “sense” of something that you do do to bring value to your audience before you start building. He recommends have a strategy of knowing where your customers are going to come from — so it’s not worth just building a product and then hoping folks show up!

I believe in this wholeheartedly — I just tell people community first, everything else comes second.

Creating Digital Content as a Lifestyle Influencer

Daniel recommends to start selling an “info” product around the things that you already know — perhaps that you’re already helping folks do X, Y, or Z things via your audience or Twitter.

He goes even farther with a very simple and effective suggestion: Ask your audience what they’d like to know about! And then go and build that.

Done and done.

Starting from 0 followers

He suggests that if you don’t have much of an audience that you should build the first few products and give them away for free — to establish and build credibility.

He started the first nine-months by just sharing interesting things and his trip “out” of corporate work. He asked folks if they wanted to follow along on his trip and journey and a few hundred people followed him. That’s all he needed to get started.

His TL;DR is that sharing what you know and sharing publicly about the process can help you build followers more quickly — through blog posts, forum posts, tweets, and more.

Building Credibility

Daniel reminds the audience that you should only leverage your credibility if you have experience in the space and area that you’re sharing and building a product for.

If this is a new area then you can just position yourself as someone who’s sharing the process of being a newbie and how you’re growing your skills, career, community, and business.

He shares that he had initially wasted a lot of time on things that no one really cared about but he was able to test-drive different ideas and then land on the ones that resonated the most with his growing audience.

What’s crazy is that Daniel hadn’t done much online previously and had only started working in the space for “14 months” before he launched his product — that’s not a lot of time!

He encourages people to try new things, learn how other folk’s are doing things and then try it themselves.

+1 to that.

How Gumroad Discover Works

Ranks by gross volume. He recommends not making it the only distribution channel! Use your own.

He’s recently gotten about $8k in sales via the Discovery System.

Daniel’s Journey

He started using Twitter as his main channel. He experimented with ads here and there but he mostly he changed pricing as well. He wanted to do more paid experiments in the future.

His basic philosophy is to test and if it works, continue — if it doesn’t over a set amount of time, he stops and moves on. Basic, but simple system works.

Now, most of his sales are through word-of-mouth; he’s not talking much about the product itself. Referrals are working very well as current customers and community members are talking and sharing his work with their networks.

Randall mentions that the one big blog post, “Leaving Amazon” post.

Living What You Are Saying Philosophy

Daniel’s blog post was really about him living what he’s saying — walking the talk — so, it’s important to do what you say you’re doing.

I think this point is really a big deal and it’s one about integrity as a builder, creator, and community leader.

Upcoming Products

Daniel is working on a few different products: An ebook of lifestyle design and maybe a paid newsletter. He’s still thinking about how this might work.

Why Choose Gumroad

For Daniel, Gumroad was the one that he had wanted to use because he had respected the CEO and had read, followed his blog. He had also seen some other creators who had used it successfully — the social proof was enough for him to use it as his go-to.

Today, he still loves the simplicity of it all — there isn’t anything complex or difficult to figure out.

How to Start your Writing Journey as a Non-native English speaker

Daniel also has english as a second-language! To start, he just did a “brain dump” of his entire process or workflow that he wanted to describe and sell as a product. In it’s most raw form.

Don’t worry so much about it being not english-native: Focus on the behavior and the specifics of your steps. Practice will make you better, so keep trying and practicing the art of shipping your products.

And… that’s a good place to end.

Keep going yenizens — this 2021 year is going to be the best! I’m here to help, just let me know how I can serve you.