Mental Health, Being a CMO, Fan-Driven Marketing - a Video Issue

Some updates on what you can expect, and some videos I've made that you might like!

Mental Health, Being a CMO, Fan-Driven Marketing - a Video Issue
This might be my favorite video thumbnail that I've ever made.

Hi everyone!

A shorter edition of this newsletter today with some updates on what you can expect, and some videos I've made that you might be interested in 😃

Upcoming Essays

I've been working on some ambitious essays for this newsletter that will take me a while to finalize. To give you a preview:

  1. Part 2 for On the Birth of a New Internet – what is "the social web", why does the internet need to change, and how online spaces define our identities.
  2. The Single-Platform Creator Trap – why this newsletter moved to Ghost from Substack, accountability to audiences, and why placing your bets on someone else's platform is never a good idea as a creator.
  3. The Fallacies of Digital Media Business Models – following up on my response piece to The Verge, why everyone blames marketers for media failing, and recent journalism layoffs.

As usual, expect some pretty deep dives, unexpected metaphors, and a wide variety of marketing takeaways. I've been doing much more research than usual for these pieces, and I'm really excited for y'all to see them.

As another sneak peek, here are snippets of some of my initial link-dumps:

Recent Videos

I've been making more videos lately and I think some of them might appeal to all of you who enjoy my ADMD essays. Here are three highlights, two from me, and one from a guest podcast interview that I appeared on:

I Have a Mental Illness

Picking a thumbnail for this video was really hard because I looked too sad in most of them.

This might have been the hardest video that I've ever filmed. As I wrote about on here, I recently got diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).

It's been the most difficult diagnosis to accept, and I've received a lot of them over the years. Getting told that your core concept of who you are, your personality, is pathological and needs to be changed is... tough to process.

But on the other hand, that diagnosis has been one of the best things that have ever happened to me. I finally got answers to so many questions that I've been asking about myself my entire life. Better yet, I now have a well-defined and scientifically proven treatment plan for claiming control over my moods and emotional pain.

I'm looking forward to healing. And I started by being upfront about where I am right now and how my mental illness affects everything I do: my personal life, professional connections, writing, marketing work, and business.

This video sounds the most like my ADMD essays out of anything I've ever published.

My First Month as a Fractional CMO

Am I doing this whole "YouTuber Thumbnail" thing right?

For the past month, I've been working as a fractional Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) for Optemization, an agency that helps startups and enterprise tech companies improve their operations in Notion.

In this video, I talk about my experience and what my work has actually looked like.

WARNING: This is quite a nerdy in-depth marketing discussion.

I walk you through:

  • My audit of Optemization's marketing gaps
  • Original research as I dig into some SparkToro data (from their V2 beta!)
  • Quotes from real sales calls and internal Slack conversations
  • My PSTT framework (Purpose, Strategy, Tactics, Testing).

Here is a full-size graphic for my framework for y'all (whoops, I had a typo in that entire video):

A graphic showcasing four floors of a tower labeled "purpose", "strategy", "tactics", and "testing".
My PSTT framework for building a sustainable marketing foundation.

Guest Interview: Fan-Driven Marketing & My Career Journey

I LOVE Ramli John, his work, and especially his Marketing Powerups show. So I was delighted when he asked me to come on as a guest and chat with him about:

  1. The power of fan-driven marketing
  2. My fan-driven marketing flywheel
  3. The story of how SparkToro harnesses the power of its fans
  4. A secret career power that has accelerated my career.

Spoiler: my secret is simply liking people. And enjoying connections with cool folks who do awesome work. No more.

If you prefer to listen to my interview as an audio podcast, check it out on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. And you can read a text summary on Ramli's website as well.

Also, don't I look kinda cute as a pixel avatar? I was so excited to see it that I couldn't stop bothering Ramli about the publication date:

A circular avatar with a blue background of a pixel portrait of Mariya Delano, a white woman with brown hair and blonde tips.
My new pixel self, courtesy of Marketing Powerups.

Thank you for reading through this unusual issue of ADMD and we will be back to our regular programming of overly emotional 3,000+ marketing deep dives next time! 👀

Special Offer: Get 1 Hour Consulting With Me for 50% Off

I don't usually do self-promotional stuff on my newsletter, and it feels cringe to do it now but... I've been trying to learn to not hate myself for sales.

My self-esteem tells me that asking for anything from others is bad, that I don't deserve to want things or express my desires. But I'm proud of the work that I do. And I know that I can help others.

So, in a little experiment to try and get myself a bit more comfortable with asking for work and money – I love my newsletter audience and I would love to help you all with your marketing questions.

If you have a marketing problem that you want to pick my brain on let's talk it out! Until Feb 10, I'm offering up 1 hour consulting slots only to all of you who follow ADMD. And since I do treasure your dedication to this publication, all of these appointments will be 50% off at $200 per session instead of my usual $400.

Please sign up for a consulting slot using this link and I'm so excited to meet you! 🙈

Musical Minute

"Anxiety:Clarity" by Portugal. The Man feat. Paul Williams.

"You can't take this back
Because the present has a past
Now you're stuck here forever

Heavy games
You can't take this back
Because the present has a past
Now you're fucked up forever"

The present really does have a past. Although I refuse to believe that one can be messed up forever, the lines still resonate a fair bit. Also, this entire album from Portugal. The Man is kind of incredible.

Fun fact: Portugal. The Man are not actually from Portugal. In fact, they're from Alaska.

Top 3 Reading Recommendations

  1. "Reality Status: Escapism" by Christina Garnett. A wonderful read by one of my favorite marketers on fandom and why we need stories to believe in, especially when our reality might feel bleak.
  2. "Coming of Age at the Dawn of the Social Internet" by Kyle Chayka. I resonated with Chayka's story so much that I immediately wrote to him gushing about this essay. I have since happily purchased a signed copy of his newest book, Filterworld.
  3. "We’ve Forgotten How to Use Computers" by Ian Bogost. I LOVE Ian Bogost's writing. I read everything he ever published on the Atlantic and I've owned a copy of his "How to Talk About Videogames" book for over a year. His newest article is great as always.