Meet Scott D. Clary! Scott is a long-time HackerNoon contributor with over 20 published stories about business strategy. Amy Tom chats with Scott about hosting his podcast, building his career, and why he writes. ✍🏻
On this episode of The HackerNoon Podcast:
Follow Scott D. Clary:
Check out Scott's HackerNoon stories: hackernoon.com/u/scott-d.-clary
Read Scott's Meet the Writer story: https://hackernoon.com/meet-scott-d-clary-from-fortune-500s-to-early-stage-startups-and-everything-in-between
Connect with Scott at info.scottdclary.com
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[00:00:00] Amy: Ooh, baby. We are going to get into the T H I C CCC of it. And for those of you who are not hip enough to know that's the thick of it. And we are here today with Scott declared. Welcome to the hacker noon podcast. Scott, thank you very
[00:00:18] Scott: much for joining what's going on. Thanks for bringing me on.
I appreciate it. Okay. And
[00:00:23] Amy: of course, this is your host, Amy. Tom, thank you for joining. So today I wanted to bring Scott on the podcast to chat a little bit more about one of the. Stories that he wrote for hacker noon. For those of you who are not yet familiar, we are running a meet the writer series, where we want to hear from you, the writer, the contributor at hacker noon on your background, on why you write on what you write about.
And so let's get into it. Scott, the thick of it. Tell me how long have you been writing?
[00:00:59] Scott: Oh I've been writing for a long time, not always newsletters and blogs, but I've been in sales and marketing. I don't know, 10, 10 plus years, some iteration of writing now. Not all of that was for my own.
Brand, obviously understanding how to write really good copy to get emails open, to get, landing pages to convert was something that I was always focused on. And then something that I always did to build my own brand was to create website blog, contribute. So that's been about four years now where I've been writing for myself.
So putting out sales and marketing, entrepreneurship, startup blog pieces on my own site started a newsletter. Speaking about startup, basically growth stories and breaking down case studies of startups and how they achieved what they've achieved. So yeah, before years now.
[00:01:44] Amy: Okay, cool. And one of the things that I think is really interesting about writing and this meeting, the writer series is I want to know why you write.
[00:01:54] Scott: So I write because I'm trying to find the best possible way to communicate and build an audience around what I care about. So I care about sales, marketing, startups, entrepreneurship. That's been my core of what I've worked in, what I've worked around in my professional career, my nine to five.
So I want to build a brand around myself. I have to think of a medium that communicates what I know. And there was two, there was writing blogs or newsletters or podcasting and creating thought leadership content through audio and video.
[00:02:26] Amy: Okay. Yeah, that makes sense. And let's talk about some of the stuff that you write for.
So on hacker news, and at least you've got about 20 articles, 20 stories that you've written which one was your favorite?
[00:02:38] Scott: Which was which one was my favorite? I enjoyed the one about Mike Bloomberg and how he took his basically sold the idea of the Bloomberg terminal and built the Bloomberg terminal and took that to market.
I thought it was an interesting story that I don't think is a traditional startup story. And obviously people know him now as a billionaire and not, and the presidential candidate, Mike Bloomberg and not like entrepreneur. Mike Bloomberg. So I thought that was interesting story.
Obviously every story that I write in every case study that I break down, I also, I like the story because it's like a startup success story really. So it's hard to pinpoint one because there's definitely learnings. And every single one that an entrepreneur who's just starting out could learn from everything from their sales strategy, marketing strategy, growth strategies, struggles they've encountered along the way, but I thought the Mike Bloomberg one was really.
[00:03:28] Amy: Yeah. Yeah. I love how you break down the strategy and the like founder stories of these people and what made them successful. One of the articles that I remember editing for you was the only one. Yeah, of course. I added all the articles, the only fans of mine, which was. 'cause coming back around to when the only fans scandal happened.
I was like I remember Scott's article about how only founds got started and how the founder was like, oh no. Now we need to like, take off the I don't content from the site. So that
[00:04:06] Scott: happened right after I wrote that. And I was like,
[00:04:10] Amy: and make any sense. Cause his whole story is about like how you wanted to make a platform for adult content.
So I was
[00:04:17] Scott: like, so he tried that multiple times and failed and just combined all his entrepreneurial lessons into the final iteration, which was only fans. But that was really what allowed him to succeed. It was that he was basically serving an underserved market. And then, but you saw the react.
So I released this article because I did the research and then wrote this article out and then just, I, it was like two weeks later when. The only fan said that they were no longer allowing like adults on the platform and like global backlash, like everybody was like, this is the dumbest miss decision you could ever make because that's half the reason why he was successful, it was serving an underserved market.
And then all of a sudden he just became like another patron. Yep.
[00:04:57] Amy: And then he was like, oh, ha. JK. We're actually going to allow adult content on the site still. And then I was like, wow, could have seen that one from a mile away because Scott declared his article told me.
[00:05:07] Scott: Yes. I think I appreciate, you're very kind.
I'm sure a lot of people could have seen that from a mile away, even if they didn't read the article. But yeah. Listen, if you develop that loyal customer base like only fans did, it's pretty dumped. To just pivot completely, especially because I can't remember the exact number, but it was something it's something like 90 plus percent of the creators on only fans are adult content.
So imagine this is like the to draw the analogy or to put it in perspective. This is like when mark Zuckerberg are starting to face. It was just targeted towards like higher education, right? All the colleges. So that's like saying in the first six months of Facebook, no more college students are allowed on Facebook.
Like quite literally, that's this that's the same thing that he was doing this. So it's, and
[00:05:47] Amy: then when you built that brown so strongly to it's like you can't pivot off of that. No, you can't pivot to target other creators after you're only fans. Excuse me. That's not a thing.
[00:05:59] Scott: No, I think that was still, I think that I think founders also have to appreciate like where they came from and what made them, who they are today and keep serving that community.
[00:06:07] Amy: Yeah. So how do you decide what startup story you're going to.
[00:06:11] Scott: Yeah, so I really just find companies that I like companies that I've found interesting companies that I've heard about in the news companies. Also to be quite honest, companies that have information about them out there. Of course, like it's easy to, it's easy to say okay, I want to break down snowflakes IPO or tender or only fans, but it's because they have a lot of information out there.
So what I do is I basically combined a founder origin story. With my background as a sales and marketing person, understand what that founder or that person did to get to where they are today and try and break down those lessons. Usually it's from like the lens of a sales and marketing perspective.
But realistically, like most of the companies that I do case studies on, like all that information is already out there. Like when a company IPO is when your company is only fans, when a company is tender, when a company is well, if the company is Bloomberg and Bloomberg terminal, there's a lot of interviews.
There's a lot of information out there. A lot of it is just finance information. Picking up the relevant points and then adding my context and my lens onto it. So that somebody who is like an entrepreneur, trying to grow a business can learn from somebody who's done it before. And that's what I really try and teach over when I do these studies.
[00:07:20] Amy: Yeah. One of the things that you mentioned in your article, your meet the writer article was about how much time it takes you to write a piece, which I think that a lot of people don't really realize like how much time and effort goes into writing content. So can you talk more about that?
[00:07:35] Scott: Yeah, sure.
So I so I'm very specific about what I like to write because if I don't time, block time off to write it could take longer than, so I think I put about six hours to, to write an actual piece if I'm not focused on it, if I'm not focused and I do this on Sunday. When I time block some time to actually do the research and then write out a piece.
If I don't focus, there can take much longer than that, but keep in mind what I am researching. This is so say six hours for, I don't know about 700 ish words. And I'm also coming from an area of expertise. So I the strategy component where I break down, like the strategy. I know that like the back of my hand already, because I've already asked you the strategy.
So I can read through the lines as to what this founder did at this stage. Just attract more customers or grow, or go into different markets or to sell a product, to take a product to market or whatever I already can see through that. So that doesn't take a lot of effort, but a lot of it is just research, finding the right information, compiling sources, double checking that the information that's out there is real that it's, that this is all accurate.
And then honestly, it's just. Getting into some sort of flow state, cutting out all the distractions and actually just writing for about three, four hours, doing a couple of rounds of edits. But this is I'm not a trained writer by any means. This is just my process. Cause I've learned what works for me.
I can not write during the week because even though I think I can write when I look at that piece, like the next day, it's horrible. It's full of like it's full of spelling, grammar. Some of the sentences don't quite make sense. So I need to be. Really isolated to write properly and to write good stuff and to make sure that it's valuable too, because it's not just, it's not just writing things that are already out in the world.
It's about providing some insight and some context that somebody can learn from what someone else has done. And I think that for me, takes a lot of focus. I've tried to write like, after I'm done work for the day sit down and write while I'm in front of the TV, watching Netflix, it's all garbage out at that.
So that's why I try and time block on my weekend to get as much time as possible.
[00:09:33] Amy: Okay. And you have a nine to five outside of your content engine.
[00:09:39] Scott: Yes, I do. Yes. So do you want me to go into that? Yes. Okay, cool. So I still run a sales and marketing team. So for the past two and a half my whole career, I started off in sales, moved into sales leadership, moving to sales and marketing leadership.
For the past two and a half years, I have basically acted as CRO for an early stage startup. We were just acquired about a month ago. We were doing SAS products for broadcast. We were selling anything from audience engagement when you're running a, say for example, American idols on TV, and they're asking you to vote on your favorite singer, that would be our software running behind the seats.
And brought that to market. And then we were acquired I basically do everything from jumping on calls, to building a strategy, to hiring and onboarding a sales team, to hiring onboarding marketing team. And now it's been acquired. I basically act as leader of a small little innovation unit within grass valley, meaning.
I still have my keynote. I have my team of developers. I have my small little sales team, but since we were required, now we have a whole bunch more resources. I any new products that come out of my little development team I'm responsible for training the larger grass valley Salesforce on our.
Building how to take the market strategy helping find product market fit for our products. And then I, I hold I have a revenue bucket for for my products that I'm responsible for. So that's my nine to
[00:10:58] Amy: five. Yeah. Okay. So that kind of C career path seems like it perfectly set you up to run the success stories podcast.
Was that on purpose or did that happen accidentally.
[00:11:14] Scott: What he is reliable. I started it on purpose. As I start, I definitely started on purpose. I don't think the I don't think the success that I've seen with it was on purpose. I didn't really know what I was doing when I first started, but like most things that I've done for my own brand. Like writing.
I have a newsletter that I put out. I have the podcast that you just spoke about, all that was just done, knowing that I needed to have those things. And I wanted to communicate and build audiences. And that's the, that in my mind was the best way to build those audiences. So I knew that if I wanted to build a brand around myself, meaning that I want it to be invited to speak on sales and marketing things.
I want to jump on podcasts like this. I knew that I had to do that. By creating assets that other people would consume that would get to know me and build communities like with those assets. So letting these one
[00:12:03] Amy: leader on the subject.
[00:12:04] Scott: Yeah, exactly. How do you do that? How do you do that? You have to start a podcast, you create content that gives you a voice that allows people to consume who you are and what you know, and then over time you build your little tribe of people that really liked your message and what you put out there.
Yeah, started it full well, knowing that was something that I could use to build my own brand. Yeah, that was purposeful.
[00:12:27] Amy: Yeah. So you've got your nine to five. You've got your podcasts. You've got your writing. Do you sleep? Do you
[00:12:34] Scott: not often. I should. More, but not often, but now it's a good point because if you're going to start something, you have to have a S you have to have a process for it to be successful.
Yeah. There's been times where it's I wake up at six. And I'm working till five or six, and then I'm doing side hustle stuff till nine. And I don't have kids yet, so that's going to be an issue when that happens. But I think that part of what I've learned over the past two and a half years, so I started this personal brand stuff around the same time I was hired on with exciting the company that I was speaking about earlier that was just acquired by grass valley.
I started. And when I first started, it was just an absolute shit show. I didn't know what I was doing. I didn't know how to record a podcast and produce a podcast and upload it without spending a billion hours on it. I didn't know how to write a newsletter every single week. I missed weeks.
I met, I missed a lot and I was just trying to figure a process. So you learn different tools, you learn different workflows. Now I've hired people to help out with the show. So I, now I have some. Who else with all the editing, all the production of the show? That was me day one. For me, it was all about building a process that allowed me to do it.
So time, blocking time to create the assets, time, blocking time to post and distribute. I spoke about the fact that I set it to the side time on Sunday to actually right. That wasn't always the case. And that's why I've only now been able to put out about one piece per week, one significant piece per week after I've blocked off that time on Sunday to just focus on writing.
And then usually after that period of writing, that's when I'll actually do my podcast editing review what my editor sent me and then set up like the, the show notes and the social copy and the emails for the week. So I worked quite a bit, but it's gotten better and it's not sporadic and I really hold myself accountable to that.
So if I'm not going to, If I don't block off that time on a Sunday, there's a good chance that my week would be a little bit chaotic because then I would try to keep up and still maintain that same posting schedule, that same content schedule that I would be for. But for me, it's all about setting up a process that is Yeah, the process that, you know, worth my schedule.
And if you have that process set up, then all of a sudden, all this extra side hustle stuff, all this content creation stuff isn't, as, isn't as daunting. But I think people just do it off the cuff and they just try and post a piece here and do a podcast and don't really have a plan for.
Okay. So if I record on Wednesday, one of my Sundays to my editor, or one of my blocking off two to three hours, edit this show. How long do I want to spend posting the show? And you should have everything like that mapped out already so that when you do create this, this cause you do it yourself,
[00:15:12] Amy: but like even hearing you describe it is overwhelming.
So how do you not get burned out with this like strict schedule? '
[00:15:21] Scott: cause? I said, you know what? The reason why I don't get burnt out is because I see. I know that sounds so cliche, but I don't get burnt out because I see every single week more subscribers, more followers, more downloads, and I see that incremental growth.
And I'm like, if I just maintain this, I'm going to get to where I want to be. If I maintain this, I'm going to get X amount of followers and I'm going to be able to charge speaking fees when I go speak at conferences. If I, if I. X amount of subscribers per day on my newsletter, I'm going to start being able to charge X amount of dollars for a sponsorship.
Same goes with the podcast. I see the progress and it's going in the right direction. And that to me is exciting because that's where I want to go. I love doing this stuff. So as long as it's moving. It's the same thing as when you're starting a company. If you start a company and you have zero monthly active users, but then, we, week one, you have five and then, week two, you have 10 and you can see that you're trending in the right direction.
Maybe there's things you can do to tweak the growth that you go a little bit quicker. But ultimately, that if you just last for five years, you're going to be able to sell this company for X million dollars because you're going to eventually hit. That critical, that critical that critical point where you have X amount of monthly active users, X amount of MRR, and as long as you're trending in the right direction, I think that's really motivating.
I think what happens is people start something and when you start anything, that thing is going to feel like you're doing that thing into a void when you're. Sending your newsletter when you're when you're putting out your podcast, when you're writing and you're pitching different publications, like for the first three months, six months, it's going to feel like nobody cares about you at all.
It doesn't matter which platform, what you're doing, how great your content is, how great a writer you are, how great an interview interviewer you are. It's going to feel like nobody cares, but then once you get over that, And once people start to care, you have this flywheel of activity. It's just going to start coming your way.
And I think that's probably the most, I'm like getting like shivers, like thinking about it, but it's like the most exciting thing. And like you ask, how do you not get burnt out because you love doing it and you see the progress. You ought to like, yeah. Some weeks. Yeah, for sure. Some weeks I'm like tired and I still miss, like sometimes I don't send a newsletter or sometimes I don't public publish a pod.
I try and publish podcasts on Sunday and Wednesday. Sometimes I don't publish it because just like life happened and it was like end of Q3. And I had bring in some, bringing some deals for like my actual nine to five. And like I was working overtime for work. I didn't have a chance to write, or I didn't have a chance to record or whatever, like it happens, but as long as you don't let yourself fall off.
In this content creator world and this, then you're going to eventually end up in the right spot. I always challenge people. If you want to start a side hustle, I don't care if it's content creation. I don't care if it's writing. I don't care if it's podcasting or if you want to start like a little side business, do it for three years.
And then if you haven't found some traction after three years, then I'd say you can be like, okay, Fine. Maybe this
[00:18:31] Amy: wasn't a fist long to do something without
[00:18:34] Scott: track. I would. I don't think that would take that long, but I think that you should think like that because I think it'll take about six months.
Yeah. But I think that people think after three months forget this, I have too much stuff on my plate. You know how many podcasts there are
but you know how many podcasts there are in the world that have 10 episodes, right? And that's it like a lot.
[00:18:58] Amy: Excellent. I made it more than 10 episodes for my personal, but
[00:19:01] Scott: these are not hard facts. I'm not pulling these data points from everywhere, but I'm sure if you looked it up, I wouldn't be so far from the tree.
A lot of people just give up. How many people do you see that are posting? And then all of a sudden they don't post for six months. They just get.
[00:19:16] Amy: Yep. I started my, I started a podcast in the pandemic because I was bored and I needed something to do. And I was like, cool. Let's do podcasting.
Everyone else is doing it. Why not? And I saw probably four or five friends who also started podcasts, who I beat out, like in the long run, just kept going. Like people started dropping off and I was like, yeah, I'm still going. I got this. Because yeah, it's the consistency.
[00:19:43] Scott: It's all about the consistency and that's when you have to that's what it takes to be successful in anything, but most people just don't want to put in the effort and continue to put in the effort again and again, until they see those results.
[00:19:57] Amy: Yes. But as a content creator, do you not get tired when you have made a piece of content, it gets consumed for 30 minutes and then you got to do it
[00:20:06] Scott: again. Yeah, I a hundred percent. That's a I think it would be a lying if you said that you didn't some times get a little bit disappointed if the thing that you worked so hard to create, didn't hit.
Now I think that you have to focus less on that and more on the long-term. I really just believe you just can't focus on the
[00:20:25] Amy: message.
[00:20:28] Scott: It's going to be more than one. It's
[00:20:30] Amy: going to be one, the one that's going to be, you can't focus on the results of one piece. You have to focus on your results overall is what you're saying, correct?
[00:20:39] Scott: Correct. Yeah. I think that, that's the only way to do it because if you do, if you can optimize. So if you could optimize in the micro, you can optimize in the piece by piece and you can test different things and you can. Test, how you structure an article. You can test how long you want your article.
You can test which topics you discussed, and maybe you look for micro improvements, but also like realistically there's other factors that you'll never be aware of that could impact. Whether or not your article hits, like maybe you just have the right amount of keywords in it and Google picks it up. And then all of a sudden that's going to draw some traction, even though the actual content was not much greater than what you put out last week.
But I think that you can try and test and optimize, but realistically, you look at trends, you look, you focus on the macro. You look at trends, you look at long-term growth and if you're trending in the right direction, if you're doing. On an article, more people reading it are on hacker noon, liking it, or whatever week over week.
Or if you're looking at the traffic, that's hitting your website. If you're just regular blogging and you see the traffic picking up, month over month, I think that's indication that you're trending in the right direction. And I think that's what people have to look for versus, okay. I put out an article or I tweeted something and it got zero traction.
I also think that people see. Always be not only just creating, but I also think people should be looking to people who have created before for clues as to what good looks like. I don't believe that you have to reinvent the wheel. Like I speak about, not focusing on the micro focus on the macro focus on long-term trends, but I also look for people who have done that thing before.
So I look for. People who I liked their newsletter. I looked for people who I liked their podcasts. I looked for people that have great Twitter, followings, great Instagram followings. And I just figure out what they do well and model my stuff after them. And I provide my own lens and, I talk about my own stuff, but realistically for newsletters, I love the first 1000 and I love atomic habits by James clear.
I think it was a great newsletters for podcasts. I look at a good podcast that used to be similar to what I do was like London real. Now he's more focused on crypto and stuff like that, but he was for a long time just interviewing incredible people and other podcasts be like a Tim shares is a great business type interview podcast.
For every single social platform. I have somebody that I look to on how to create great content. So on Twitter I look at Matthew Kobach or Jack butcher Instagram. I looked at Chris DOE. I'm trying to think what else, YouTube. There's it's actually, YouTube is tough for business content to be quite honest, but I just look at yeah, YouTube is actually very tough for business content, but what's his name?
I can't remember his name. He does a whole bunch of SAS video content. And I had him on my show and I'm blanking on his name now, which is horrible. I'll find it. And I'll send you links to all the, put it in the show notes, but you find like you find your person on every platform that you're trying to figure out how to optimize your content on that platform and look at how.
Create a content because they're the experts and they're in that particular platform. And then you just find a way to take your content and to convert it into that style or that medium. Yeah, that's really all there is to it. And I just keep that's. I focus when I want to consume content.
I'm looking for inspiration for me versus just mindlessly consuming. And then. Outside of that. I just focused on creating and creating as much as I possibly can. Because even if you don't have someone to model content creation after, even if you're for example, creating on Tik talk and you don't have a great business person on ticked off before, cause the new newer platform, and you're just trying to learn it yourself and you don't have anyone to look to to help learn from then I would say just start creating and 50 pieces later, your content will be better than when you first.
I don't know how, but it will be it just really
[00:24:30] Amy: anyways. Where is the coolest place that your writing and personal brand has gotten you?
[00:24:37] Scott: That's interesting. The coolest opportunity that I never actually took on. Was actually a trip to keynote at like a sales and marketing and tech conference in Morocco, which was just before COVID I never actually went because it was COVID was just starting. Yeah,
[00:24:56] Amy: that was really cool. It was very fun.
[00:25:01] Scott: Outside of that, I've probably done it. I'm sure. 50, 50 to 60 different like talks podcasts in the past year. I had
[00:25:14] Amy: said about public speaking.
[00:25:17] Scott: No, because I did it before I did before. COVID it's a little bit it's a little bit weird going out again after COVID, when you've been like doing just zoom.
Conferences and zoom, zoom, speaking things for the past two years. But I think I still like the in-person because I think there's an energy to it that you can't replicate virtually. Growing up. I was very nervous about it, but I don't think that I see that's another thing too. I just don't afford myself the opportunity to think about what I'm nervous.
That's something they just jumped head first into stuff and figure it out as I go. But that's what I think that's what you have to be like. This is not just a content creator thing. This is like a life lesson that you're always going to be nervous about things you've never done before.
[00:26:01] Amy: sure. Except when you're public speaking, then everyone sees you doing
[00:26:07] Scott: yes, no, you're not wrong, but if you are that nervous, then just don't wing it, then just prep. Yeah.
[00:26:13] Amy: That's true. What is the largest audience that you've publicly spoken to in person?
[00:26:18] Scott: Okay. Yep. So not, it's not like a stadium.
It was a, it was at a university. It was a start-up club at a university and actually at
[00:26:26] Amy: Laura university, but I really tanked it is real.
[00:26:31] Scott: Yup. Real
[00:26:33] Amy: bad. Little real bad.
[00:26:36] Scott: No, I think tank it, I was a little nervous, but also I've only ever done things that I know and I love talking about.
So even now when you ask me questions, I just start going off about stuff because I get so amped up about it. If I'm talking about stuff that I truly love. Like I forget that I'm in a room with a whole bunch of people and just start talking like the same conversation. If you approached me at a coffee shop and started to ask me about sales and marketing and startups and whatnot, or content creation or whatever, I'd be talking to you the same way.
I'd be talking to a group of a room of 300 people or a thousand people, or more just because I get so excited about some of the stuff that I do talk about, but.
[00:27:12] Amy: I am. Maybe it's also a practice makes perfect because I'm really also excited about things, but I also cannot speak to 300 people.
[00:27:22] Scott: I think practice for sure. I think if you do get nervous and this is something that I have to do more of in terms of public speaking engagements, find a way to categorize. And list out that sequence of thoughts that you're going to bring to the table and present to people.
Because I also know that if this is, I'm not a public speaking expert by any means. But I do know that if you do get excited about stuff, It's almost like you just try and tell everything all at once and for you, it makes sense because you know how all those pieces connect in your head, but to actually teach someone something it's very different than you just blabbing about it and being all excited about it.
So I think that's something that I look again, not like a professional public speaker, but I think that's something that would really help is just to like, list. List out your points at least ahead of time. So at least you have a float to what you're speaking about so that you can stay on track and you don't forget things and have to double back and say, and if you forget something and you didn't provide context for points, I think that's important as well.
But like you said, practice makes perfect. And if you prep a little bit, it goes a
[00:28:24] Amy: long way. Yeah. No I'm pretty sure that you're definitely a professional public speaker. If you done 300 before, I'm pretty sure you're
[00:28:34] Scott: good. I think the definition is if you get paid for it, I haven't gotten paid.
No, I haven't been paid. So that's the definition of professional versus amateur, okay.
[00:28:44] Amy: That's fair. Soon I have this w I've got a good feeling.
[00:28:49] Scott: I appreciate.
[00:28:51] Amy: I appreciate it. Alright, cool. What do you think you're going to write about next?
[00:28:57] Scott: I don't know. I just wrote about their nose and Elizabeth Holmes.
And then I guess that's really topical now because she's going back to. Like she's been like, she, her trial's just starting now. So that was fun. And also a radio station contacted me at a nowhere on Twitter and asked me to speak about that story. Yeah. So that's good. That's cool. What am I going to write about next?
I haven't decided yet to be quite honest, like in all seriousness, I, Sunday morning, I'll figure out something. And I'll go, I go into the rabbit hole. It's because again, these are not these, like I'm not, reinventing the wheel when it comes to these articles. For me, I think that there is a for creators.
I think that something that you can do, which I've done is throat. All the pieces that I've put out into the world is understanding someone else's story. And unpacking it, providing context, and then teaching it to your audience in a way that's digestible for them. I think that there's some value in that because all of this information is out there.
And like you said, even when you put out your podcasts, like you, you sometimes, it's a flash in the pan. It's like you spent six hours creating this content and all of a sudden it's forgotten it's because there's so much information out there. And when there's so much information out there, We don't need any, it's always great to have great new information, but realistically we need context and we need clarity on that information so that it actually provides value to us.
And there's so much noise. I think that what I do with interviewing people, for example, interviewing people, I'm not telling anything new, I'm interviewing their story and I'm pulling out insights from them in a way that is digestible and hopefully actionable to somebody who's listening. Articles are the same thing.
These are not startups and no one's ever heard of, to be honest, if no one's ever heard of them. And they probably don't have a ton of lessons that they could teach you anyways. Cause they're not that big. I'm trying to, I'm just trying to take a little bit of my career, take a little bit of my experience, find a great story and teach that over to somebody who is trying to start their own thing or wants a little bit of inspiration.
And for me that. That's, that's what I'm trying to do. And that's why I just figured out a company to start to do a little bit of research down the rabbit hole. See, I listened to a lot of interviews for these as well. So it's not just, it's not just like reading research. It's like listening to interviews and the founders are doing because they'll drop some of their tips than some of their strategies.
And a lot of that stuff is just lost in some of these interviews. So I try and bring that to to my audience as well. Cool.
[00:31:34] Amy: What is your number one piece of advice for someone who is looking to use writing to build their personal brand?
[00:31:42] Scott: My biggest piece of advice is to just write is to write as much as pot, because the reason why a lot of people don't write is because they feel as though they have writer's block and they feel as though they're not creative.
So if somebody wants to write. All you have to do is keep writing and eventually you will get good content. You will start to you will start to, after you write a whole bunch of bad stuff, but stuff will start to come out. Also I think it does help if you focus on topics that you're passionate about, because some of that passion will come through in your writing as well.
But I think the best tip is okay, so you want to use writing to reach your audience? Time block like four hours. Don't let yourself get up. Just focus on writing, shut off your phone. And after four hours, if you allow yourself to do nothing, but write on a topic that you're passionate about, the end result of that four hour session will be something that I think will be valuable to your audience.
I think that's something. I think people give up too easily, even when it comes to writing because they just sit down, they don't know what to write, just start writing and what will come out of that session will be something that's useful. And that could be the first iteration of your newsletter, whatever that thing is and use that process to consistently write out content.
That's good enough to put out into the world. And then after you have a process to consistently create content that's accepted. Then you can focus on improving it and optimizing it and getting feedback from your audience and seeing if they like it. So yeah, that would be
[00:33:16] Amy: my tip. Okay. I love how you say that.
They only think they have writer's block. It's true.
[00:33:23] Scott: Yeah, it's true. It's it? Because people give up too easily or they say they have writer's block before they even start trying to write it's incredible. What will happen when you actually start? I have writer's block two for the first. Maybe five to 10 minutes, but if you are a distraction-free, if you are just putting out content, if you are, if you want to use a pen and paper, that's cool.
I, I use a laptop, but like the point is if you actually start writing, you'll be very surprised at what starts coming out. And words will start to flow and everything will start to get a little bit. Yeah,
[00:33:55] Amy: I think a key word that you said there too is acceptable. An acceptable level of content.
Just start as long as it's an acceptable, you can publish it, go for it. Unless you're going to publish on hacker noon, then make it really.
[00:34:13] Scott: Yeah, exactly. I would say that somebody who is writing on hacker noon, the types of content that hackronyms publishes is a little more technical sometimes. But I think people that are writing about that, they probably are more tactical individuals that can speak to those types of. So I would argue that even if somebody who is a developer or an engineer or somebody that loves AI or blockchain or machine learning or robotics, or any of like the super like niche topic, like if they sit down and start writing some of the things that they've learned or they've done over the past week at their job.
I would argue that's probably acceptable enough for yes,
[00:34:49] Amy: it is. Please do. And also it's like imposter syndrome too, of like writing. Like I can't write about that. Everybody knows way more about that than I do. But no, you can write about that because somebody is going to know less than you.
[00:35:04] Scott: And that's actually another point too. I think that content in general or writing, yeah. Doesn't matter what you're trying to create. I think that when you document what you learn and you document your journey and you document the things that you have to learn that along to be great content.
[00:35:22] Amy: yes. Like your journey to learning. It could be good for then.
[00:35:26] Scott: Yeah, I think so, because if you're just documenting what you're dealing with on a day to day and in, in an environment that's relevant to your audience, I think that alone is useful. There's times where I've just gone and then quick little, like I've never translated this into into like actual, like written conduct because I try and be like a little bit more, like I have it a certain style that I like to do for my written content, but.
Instagram and I'll throw up like, just like an Instagram story of me just talking about things that I was dealing with throughout the day and how I tried to come to some sort of, conclusion as to how to deal with this problem or that problem, or a thing that I picked up from one of the, someone on my team and how to deal with that.
Problem in the workplace or, a problem that I have with the customer or a leadership thing that I just thought about. It's just things that I'm living and that's hopefully stuff that if I'm experiencing it and I'm learning from it, that can be something that can, first of all, just help build a little bit of your brand and humanize you a little bit.
Cause you're also learning, but it'll also hopefully be helpful. Even one person that sees it and they'll be like, yeah, I thought about that particular problem. At some point in my career, I'm glad that, Scott spoke to this. If he does a lot of stuff like this, I want to become part of his tribe.
And that's how you build a tribe. You don't build a tribe. Only speaking to your community, you speak like you build a tribe as part of your community. And I think that if you have those moments where you aren't a hundred percent perfect, and you speak about the process and you speak about learning and you speak about growing as an individual in your own.
I think that helps build a tribe as well, because it's not just me teaching everything. It's me trying to figure stuff out.
[00:37:03] Amy: Yeah. Yes. Okay, amazing. What a beautiful note to end on. Okay, Scott, where can we find you and what you're working on online?
[00:37:12] Scott: You can find most, everything does have a website.
So Scott D clary.com. You can also find me on social. Yeah. Any socialist at Scott B Clary. If you want to, if you want to check out my writing hit up hacker noon, I'm pretty sure I'm at Scott declared on hacker noon as well. I tried to make it the same across everything. So you can find all my business case studies on hacker noon there.
Or if you want to just connect with me on social. Yeah. That's Scott declaring anywhere.
[00:37:36] Amy: Amazing. I will put all those links in the show notes. Thank you very much, Scott, for joining the hacker noon podcast.
[00:37:42] Scott: Thanks for having
[00:37:42] Amy: me. If you liked this episode of the hacker noon podcast, don't forget to like it, share it, subscribe it, do all the things I love you guys so much.
And also you can find hacker noon on socials as well. LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook at hacker noon. Connect with us. We love you. Anyways, stay weird and I'll see you on the internet. Buh-bye.