Wifi Money

Stacking Skills to Become the Internet's Next Great Creator

3 min read

Earlier this week a person totally unknown to me—he goes by the name A.M.— posted a video online. Inspired by Peter Levels—who is sort of the king of the Indie Hacking world—Peter tweeted about the video and A.M. kind of blew up.

I proceeded down the rabbit hole of watching A.M.'s videos, and it became very clear to me that he:

  • Has a ton of ambition
  • Has a lot of self-awareness
  • Is super likable

A.M. clearly has all the intangibles—what he needs is an opportunity. I proceeded to recruit him-in-public via Twitter and he signed on to work with us at Outseta. We're going to start by creating a docuseries on YouTube following his journey to make money online as an aspiring creator, and we're going to task him with growing Outseta's YouTube channel to 1,000 subscribers.

More than anything, I want to support A.M. in his journey to stack some new skills—I hope he learns something and we have some fun in the process. Along the way, I'm going to be sharing ideas or lessons with him that I think are important as an aspiring creator. Ultimately, the goal is just to help A.M. get to wherever it is he decides he wants to go.

My selfish motivation is hoping that he looks back 20 years from now and says "Peter Levels inspired me, and Outseta gave me a foot in the door."

The whole process is going to be authentic, unrefined, and unscripted—we're just going to focus on getting better with every episode.

Lessons for an Aspiring Creator

As we go along, I'll be documenting some of the key lessons or ideas that I think A.M.—or any aspiring creator—should embrace. Here are the first few from our call today. I'll update this post with links to each episode and some notes as we go.

Intro Call - Meeting A.M.

I had never met A.M. until today—he is in Kenya and we started out by having internet connectivity issues. We started with the basics of what's needed to make money online—he's got an email address and a computer, but not a checking account quite yet (he's working on that). I was able to send his signing bonus over to his dad's account.

We finally were able to get a recorded video call half working through a combination of his phone, Google Meet, and Wistia Soapbox. My objective with this first episode was to document us actually meeting and hashing out what the heck we're going to do as we work together.

In full build-in-public fashion, I am heartbroken to report that the recording got messed up—in our fumbling around trying to get ahold of each other, I ended up recording my audio but not A.M.'s. So you know I'm not lying, here we are meeting.

This is such a bummer because the call was SO GOOD in its authenticity.

  • A.M. was just genuinely shocked that anyone would give him an opportunity having never met him
  • I pointed out how he made his own luck by putting himself out there
  • He seemed surprised by the idea that anyone would pay him
  • I suggested he start a print-on-demand store to sell "Wifi Money" T-shirts that people could buy to support him—this is a phrase that he used in the video shared at the top of this post that a lot of people picked up on and appreciated. The idea here is that he'll learn to setup on online storefront and sell something with no upfront costs. He immediately expressed concern about feeling like he'd be taking advantage of his supporters by trying to make money off of them. We talked through why this experience would be valuable, how experiments like this will demonstrate whether people are willing to pay for something or not, and how he could position the T-shirt sales as a means of supporting him with the money being completely reinvested in his learning.

He is off working on some T-shirt design ideas of his own, but James on our team pulled together some early designs for him and he also asked his audience on Twitter for some ideas.

Here are the designs James from our team pulled together

A.M. liked this design concept
Here's another design someone shared with him via social media that he likes

If you would buy a "Wifi Money" t-shirt, tweet at him (@AMplayslife) to let him know and encourage him to get that storefront up!

A.M. also showed me some early signs that are very positive—they reinforced my feeling that he's someone worth supporting and investing time in.

  • I was actually pushing the "let's see if you can make some money doing this" angle on him—he reiterated that he's primarily interested in developing his own skills.
  • When I showed him the t-shirts designs, it was clearly very important to him that the product was something he was excited about and of good quality
  • He showed a real interest in learning more about Outseta and SaaS
  • He told me he was nervous and showed up wearing a nice shirt—he clearly cares and was taking this seriously!

Here are the lessons / concepts / ideas for an aspiring creator that I tried to leave A.M. with after our first call.

Putting yourself out there is how you create your own luck

A.M. made a video mentioning he was inspired by Peter Levels. Peter tweeted it out, and that's how I found and connected with A.M.. The internet moves in mysterious ways and the world favors those who take action.

Always get paid (something) up front

I encourage every creator to collect at least some percentage of their payments up front, at the beginning of a project—especially when you're working with someone you don't know for the first time. It protects you and keeps you from having to chase clients for payments. I offered to pay A.M. the signing bonus to emphasize the importance of this and demonstrate that good clients are willing to do so.

Continuous improvement is everything

I can certainly help develop A.M.'s skills and teach him plenty about start-ups and marketing—but frankly I know very little about YouTube growth. We're going to figure it out together, and the objective is just to get better with every episode we record. Starting with actually recording the audio...

You can pre-sell products before they even exist

I encouraged A.M. to sell "Wifi Money" t-shirts because I think that's just such a great catch-phrase but also to demonstrate that you can presell products without requiring any cash up front.

"You" are the special sauce

People are not going to watch our YouTube episodes because of me—A.M. is magnetic, and I reiterated that people buy products from creators because of them. Our individuality is the ultimate differentiator, and I want A.M. to drive whatever work we do together.

Capture momentum when you have it

We talked about the importance of momentum and how he has some of that right now thanks to Peter Levels. It's part of the reason I want him to launch the online store relatively quickly, so people can support him and become involved in his journey.

That's an overview of where we're at with this project so far—A.M. has officially made hundreds in Wifi Money! We're going to meet and record together once a week. A.M. is off recording his first video for Outseta's YouTube channel—we'll post that sometime next week so you can get to know him a bit better.

As for A.M.—he seems excited.

We would love it if you follow along by subscribing to our YouTube channel!

Episode 1 - Meet AM

Alright everybody—Episode 1 of Wifi Money is officially live on YouTube!

Beyond that, A.M. and I have agreed to meet every Friday morning for an hour—we'll be talking about the upcoming week's YouTube video and any other skills that I can help him learn. As part of that, I'll be sharing resources in these posts that I shared with A.M..

A.M.'s focus this week is on identifying the skills he's most interested in learning—I'm going to pair him up with resources and tools to help him learn those skills and look for areas where he can get practical experience applying those skills at Outseta. A challenge for me that I've already identified is A.M.'s interests a desire to learn is so large, I need to help direct and focus his learning so he's able to build these skills in enough depth to be dangerous. You can't be an expert in everything, so we need to identify where it's OK to "just know enough" and which skills he really wants to go deep on.

Resources that I shared with AM this week:

We also changed the terms of our initial agreement slightly—I had planned to pay him $500 when Outseta reached 1000 YouTube subscribers, but I think it's important that A.M. stays motivated and is rewarded as he makes progress. Our YouTube channels is at 432 subscribers today—when we cross 500 subscribers, he get's paid $100. Then an additional $100 for 600 subscribers, all the way up to 1000.

If you enjoy this series and following his journey, please subscribe! I also created a "Wifi Money" playlist on our channel so new subscribers can binge these episodes. Next week A.M.'s video is going to focus on researching and then learning to pitch Outseta.

Episode 2 - Learn to Pitch

Last week I spent time with A.M. focused on showing him Outseta's software. Honestly, the process of walking A.M. through our software and explaining what each of the key features does probably helped my ability to pitch Outseta even morso than his own. When you've worked in tech forever, concepts like a CRM or a help desk become second nature—when you need to explain what they are and how their used in the context of a SaaS business, you learn to crystalize your own language that much more.

Beyond that, I found myself learning just from A.M.'s bluntness as he learned about Outseta. At one point he said to me:

So why would I spend $39/mo on Outseta when I can just list products on Gumroad for free?

Comments like this are refreshing and a reminder of the mindset many buyers likely have when assessing Outseta against alternatives. This led to subsequent discussion about how Outseta's payment processing fees are much lower, so if you sell even a modest volume of your product Outseta's going to be substantially less expensive. Beyond that, the additional tools that we offer reflect even more in savings. A.M. quickly came to grasp our advantages as well as Gumroad's, as I came to grasp how much I'm learning just by introducing Outseta and many aspects of working with start-ups to him.

A.M.'s objective in this video is simply to deliver a verbal pitch for Outseta—what is it, who it's for, and how it's differentiated. His learning is going to come through hearing your feedback—so please comment or let him know what you think he did well and how he can do better.

Resources that I shared with AM this week:

The first skill that A.M. is interested in learning is copywriting, so next he's going to be writing some actual prospecting emails to send on behalf of Outseta.

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March 29, 2024

This was so wholesome, what you’re doing and how your documenting is so brilliant. I’m very invested and would definitely buy wifi money shirts haha