Build in Public & Grow with Twitter: Interview with Kevon Cheung FTH: 098
Where to Connect with Kevon Cheung
Website | Twitter | Build in Public Cohort | Find Joy in Chaos Book
Kim Doyal 0:01
Welcome to F the hustle. I’m your host, Kim Doyal. You want a life that is meaningful and exciting. In this podcast, we’ll talk about launching and growing an online business that fits your lifestyle. F the hustle is all about doing good work, building real relationships, and, most importantly, creating a business that supports how you want to live your life. You don’t have to sacrifice the quality of your life today to create something that sets your soul on fire. And yes, that includes making a lot of money. So we’ll be talking about selling, charging, what you’re worth, and how earning more means helping more people. My goal is to help you find freedom and create a business on your terms. Hey, what’s going on, everybody? Welcome back to another episode of FtheHUSTLE with Kim Doyal. I am your host, Kim Doyal. I’m really excited today because I swear to God, come on. I feel like my good friend, come on. And we’ve known each other for like two months or something. But this I feel like it’s been a long time coming, but it hasn’t we met a few months ago. My guest is Kevon Cheung. Did I say your name correctly?
Kevon Cheung 1:04
That’s correct. Very good.
Kim Doyal 1:06
Okay, I was like, you know, it’s funny, I have a tendency I do this. And I’m like, Kim, you need to clarify this before you actually get on the interview. But anyway, Kevon and I connected through Twitter. And I just kind of fell in love with his content and what he was doing. I signed up for his free email course, in which he’s going to talk about everything he’s doing. And one of the best things that I just love about this is his follow-up sequence. He said, hit reply, and tell me, he said I reply to every email. And he did. And I just thought this is friggin brilliant. I shared what he was doing. It was just a really fun engagement. And so come on. Thank you for being here today.
Kevon Cheung 1:45
Yeah, thank you, Kim, for having me here. Seriously, I reply to 100% of my email. But sometimes, like seven days, late 14 days late, like today, I was replying to emails 14 days late. But late is better than never showing up. Right. So that’s my, that’s my way of doing things.
Kim Doyal 2:04
Oh, absolutely. And you know, it’s funny simply, I obviously love email. I do so much with email. I still it’s kind of almost my preferred choice of communication. But I like to get into conversations with people. I think it’s, it’s fantastic. So all right. We’re gonna talk about everything. I love starting with the backstory. And you do this full time now you’re a full-time creator, and I should we should clarify for people. So our time zones are a little bit off. It’s eight o’clock in Costa Rica. Where are you? And what time is it for you right now?
Kevon Cheung 2:33
Well, I am based in Hong Kong is 10 pm over here. But if you ask me, I am living on my computer right now. Because most of my friends are actually online, I just feel more connected to people like you, who were doing similar things where we’re passionate about what we do, and it’s hard to find it locally, honestly.
Kim Doyal 2:56
Oh, you know, it’s crazy. I was I’m from Northern California, San Francisco Bay Area, and I was out in the suburbs. So it was very, it felt very difficult for a long time. Like nobody gets what I do. Nobody understands.
Kevon Cheung 3:09
I guess I feel the same way.
Kim Doyal 3:12
Yeah, absolutely. And I’m a big believer that online friends are friends. So how long? I’d love to hear your backstory. Like I said, what got you into doing this? You know, many people, you know, maybe it’s just a desire or quitting a job, whatever. But how did you start your online journey? What were you doing before?
Kevon Cheung 3:30
So you know, the kind of life-changing point for that is 20 months ago, I felt like a nobody. And I will tell you why. Because I have been in startups all my career for nine years before 2020. So I worked so hard for the startups I work in or the startups I co-created. So the last one, I was the CEO and co-founder. But then, for some reason, the growth is not there. And I feel like I shouldn’t burn more of my investor money. So at the end of 2020, I walked away. And then suddenly, I was like, Oh, my God, what should I do next? I felt like a nobody because I pour everything into the company. And if you Google volunteering, there’s nothing. So I felt pretty bad about that. And then I was like, hmm, this time around. I think I failed enough. And maybe it’s time to do something under my name. And then, I got to know about creating online writing online. And then my journey started there. So it was pretty wild.
Kim Doyal 4:35
Well, it is. So let me tell you about the startups. Do you want to talk about that? Was it in like a technology software company? What were you what were your start-ups? The
Kevon Cheung 4:44
The last one was the SaaS company. Yeah. But I worked on it for about 18 months. But you know, I came back to think that the biggest problem is that I never understood the customers because I was always in a rush, and I’ll tell the people who are listening to this, I had a bunch of funding. And I think that really spoiled me because I just have a huge team that I need to manage. And then we also spend on marketing. So we do not really understand what we’re doing, but we just starting to do it. And that was not good. So I decided to put a plug.
Kim Doyal 5:25
Yeah, well, good for you. I mean, that’s that had to have been a big decision after getting funding and hiring people. I can’t imagine that that was an easy decision to make.
Kevon Cheung 5:35
It is, it is not easy at all. But I know, as an entrepreneur, you just have to do things like that. Because there are opportunity costs, the more you go on, the more money you’re burning, and it’s not good for anyone. So I don’t know, I’m just kind of, I didn’t overthink it, I just pulled the plug, basically.
Kim Doyal 5:59
That’s awesome. You know, that’s kind of how I operate too. I tend to be like, just No, I make a decision, and I move forward. And I’m like, let’s just do this, and especially when it’s time for something to end and something else to begin. It’s like, why, why drag that out? And not everyone has a comfort level with making decisions. But I’m definitely like, you know, burn the boats, like, oh, yeah, I’m, you know, I mean, I moved to Costa Rica, I’d never been here, I was like, I’m gonna do it. Let’s go.
Kevon Cheung 6:26
You know you know what, I did that to my relationships, too. If you’ve, I’ve sensed that it’s not working out, or we don’t have a future. She’s not gonna be my wife. I just, you know, and it there. And then, you know, I met my wife, like, six months after I ended the last one. And then I fell in love with her right away. And the second, I think it was the second day, I knew she was going to be my wife. So if you don’t end stuff, new stuff is not going to happen. That’s my belief.
Kim Doyal 6:57
It totally is. And it’s trusting that process, right? Okay, so you make this decision, you pull the plug on the SAS? What did you jump right into the sort of creator world? Or did you start? I don’t know, you know, maybe digging around and looking at it, and how did you fall into this space?
Kevon Cheung 7:19
Okay, so I didn’t know such thing as creator, you know, I was taking a break, I was like, Oh, my daughter is arriving in two months at that point. So it’s my first child. So maybe I should take a break and be with my wife a little bit more.
Kim Doyal 7:37
And by the way, your daughter is Darling,
Kevon Cheung 7:40
Thank you. Thank you. I think I talk about her too much online. Now, some people might be turned off by that. But anyway, I was just like, exploring new territory. And I’m the type that when I take breaks, it’s not really a break. I’m like, learning and figuring things out. So at that point, I knew that people talk about online writing like I saw some blogs, people say, they write openly about their journey. And then they started creating courses. And then they work on a company, they got funding, like all kinds of stuff started to happen when you start writing and put yourself out there. So I was intrigued by that. And I just told myself, hey, for the next eight weeks, let me just write one article on my personal blog that no one ever visits. But let me also try my best to distribute it. In forums, I have a Twitter account with like, but no followers, but let me start making some Twitter friends. And I did that for eight weeks. So it was just an exploration stage. I didn’t know I would be going in this full-time. But you know, things start to happen, like, people start to get around me, I’m starting to making friends. And I think the biggest turning point was that I decided individual blog posts is not going to cut it, like 30 readers for each blog post is not going to build a business. So at that point, I was like, Come on, start writing individual blog posts about random topics. Let’s create a killer piece of content that people love and they will share it with you. So that was my first project online, which is the building public guide, free nine chapters. And it took me two months to write it. But once I launch it, 2000 people read it in the first three days. And the rest is history. I just basically follow these people who get around me, and I just solve problems for them. So that this was crazy. I was a little lucky to have that kind of outcome.
Kim Doyal 9:48
Yeah, but at the same time, with the amount of work you put into it, I you know, it’s funny, a lot of people will say, Well, how long does it take you to do a podcast, and like I can spend a whole day writing and recording like a solo show. I’m about to take two-plus months to write that type how many words is your building public post?
Kevon Cheung 10:09
Okay, the funny thing is just 10,000 words, it’s not even long. But the thing is, is my first time writing, like a long-form thing, is my first time thinking about how to distribute or do everything by myself. And I was talking about building in public, right? So I feel like I just had to build this project in public. Otherwise, why would people trust me on that topic? So I took my time, and I, you know, keep sharing the updates. And in that two months, I get or people around me and say, Oh, this is exciting. I want to follow you on the journey. And I also did two rounds of beta reading, where I asked, Hey, by the way, part one is done is anyone interested in reading, and I was like, expecting nothing because I only have such a small following. But suddenly, like eight or nine people would raise their hand each round, and they actually read the whole thing, spending like 30 to 60 minutes, and giving me really good feedback. So, I actually understand to take it slow. It actually create more trust with the people around you. And then when I launch it, guess what, I just reach out to these people who helped me along the way and say, Hey, I launch it, by the way, would you like to help me reshare it? So because they see that I’m very committed and serious, because I keep sharing the process, they are so willing to help. And that was the reason why it blew up. It didn’t blow up because I was a genius or anything. It was just like slow and committed work.
Kim Doyal 11:50
Well, and you built, you had sort of this pre-launch team, right, essentially, because of how you’re building it in public and the trust you established. And I think there’s a piece there. Are you familiar with roommates, SETI?
Kevon Cheung 12:04
Not really, you can tell me about it.
Kim Doyal 12:06
Okay, well, I’ll be I’ll be quick. He’s a big blog, he wrote the book, I Will Teach You To Be Rich, which is really a finance book, but he’s got a huge company, digital marketing products, and whatnot. And so I’m on his list, he, he’s great. He’s worth following. And they had sent out an email once about launches. And I’ve probably told the story in the podcast before, but it bears repeating. And so they said, What do you like, What do you dislike about the launches in the internet marketing space? And so I replied, and I just sort of said, you know, I said, I’m, they feel tired. I understand that for people who are not in this space. It might seem like a new process, but I can see a launch coming 10 ways sideways now. And so I said, it just feels tired. I think there’s got to be a better way to do this. And they emailed me back, and they said, We’re building a launch course, would you be interested in giving us feedback, we’ll send you a module. And so I did that for like the first module that was Google Doc. And I just, I kind of went through it. But let me say that then a year plus later
Kevon Cheung 13:39
Oh, totally. Just today, someone said to me, Hey, Kevon, I bought your book, The e-book, my new book, Find Joy in Chaos, which is all about Twitter presence. And then I was like, by the way, do you read physical books, like the paperback is coming? What do you think? And then he was like, I actually only read the physical book, and I bought the evil just to support you. I’m like, wow.
Kim Doyal 14:07
Well, I have to tell you, I saw it because I think I saw a tweet where you file for your ISBN. Yeah. For the book. Yeah. Okay. And so I was like, Well, I gotta get the physical book, which it’ll get shipped to like my daughter’s house in the States. But because I want to support you, the same thing, right? And that way, I’m a verified purchase on Amazon and can leave you a review. So that’s how this works. And that’s, that’s what I love about it. So you know, okay, so you’re
Kevon Cheung 14:30
thinking, I want to share one funny story. Yeah, the first six months of my creative journey, I didn’t make $1 Because I was quite intentional about my approach. I knew the internet is about credibility. And it’s about, you know, just get more and more and then monetize. So I didn’t even cross my mind until six months later. But when I launched my first pay community, it was just five bucks per month. And then people would sign up and pay me five bucks just to support me? I feel really bad. I feel like a robber or something taking money for no reason, because I have this value exchange in my mind that I’m an entrepreneur, like, if you pay me five bucks, I need to deliver something. And that didn’t feel good. But now, like 20 months in, I’m like, totally okay, people supporting me.
Kim Doyal 15:27
Well, but that’s, don’t you think that is sort of? I mean, obviously, Eastern culture is a little different than Western culture. But there is still, I mean, across the board, when you have a job, you have to do work to get money. You know, it’s such a different mentality to shift into, although as a startup founder in entrepreneurial mode, where there’s a lot of reframing of thoughts and behaviors that have to happen in order to grow and succeed online, don’t you think?
Kevon Cheung 15:54
I think so. And I think the supportive culture is especially obvious in the creators’ economy. I don’t know why maybe because the price point of the products is lower. And also because you know, we need each other to grow together. So it’s just more obvious. But in reality, you don’t see someone buying a banana for the person lining up behind them. Right. So yeah, let’s just leave it that way.
Kim Doyal 16:23
Well now what I just think it is my point was in getting comfortable with people supporting and buying it’s, it’s a different level of exchange of value exchange versus doing work and getting a paycheck.
Kevon Cheung 16:40
I think we all have to take the time to learn that.
Kim Doyal 16:44
We have to unlearn that, too. Yeah. Okay. So your first post, I love that. I love that your actual because now you’ve got a cohort, which we’ll talk about the building public cohort. But I love that it all stemmed from an original blog post. And you know, a lot of marketers that I really like and follow, they always talk about that, you know, so you got massive validation for this idea. You demonstrated it, and then you can go deeper with it as you go on. But what you’re so what brought me into your world was your lead magnet, and why don’t I have the name in front of me, but so it’s your free? Make Twitter friends? That’s right, and Twitter friends, I was like, Wow, way to be a good interview. Okay. So making Twitter friends, when did that come along for you in this process? So
Kevon Cheung 17:29
That was my second project. So you know, my first project was a nine-chapter guide on the website. So it was good for SEO, I want to make it public, no, no email that you need to put in, because it’s my first piece of work, I don’t want to block people from getting it. So but that was assessed, and I started thinking, okay, now I really need to get some emails, because that’s the only way to keep the communication going with these people. So I was just looking around me about my own Twitter approach. And it’s quite different from other gurus out there who’s like, do this and do that. I just don’t like it. So it was a pretty simple concept. I just want to summarize what I know. And put it together as a free email course. And also give it to people for free. But this time, take their emails. And that was a huge success as well, like, people keep recommending it to their friends. And then I got 2000 students in the first year without doing active marketing. But yeah, these two products really helped me kind of put myself out there, get my name hurt a little bit more than just a nobody. But yeah.
Kim Doyal 18:49
Well, I love that you did that. And there was, I’m going to point something out here. So I’m glad you had probably, I’m guessing, a little bit of a cushion. So you had the space to financially give yourself and say I’m gonna give myself time to do this and figure out right, what would you recommend maybe to somebody who is still in the nine to five, or doesn’t have a runway necessarily, to and I’m just guessing because you when you left the startup, you didn’t go get a job in between or anything right. You know, and so, but any advice or recommendations to somebody who is hearing this because I’ll tell you to come on like I’ve been doing this like 14 and a half years. It was a very different space in 2008. And I think people think it’s too crowded or I can’t make I can’t be heard, or I can’t connect, and I’m always thinking there are billions of people on the planet. You do not have to go after gurus. Like just connect. What advice would you give to somebody though, who is starting on this greater journey?
Kevon Cheung 19:50
That was a really good question because I do have some safety net right now because I was paid really well before. Um, And I think I chose to go all in. Because I had failed a lot of times previously like I had tried to be a creator in 2018, I started a YouTube channel, I made one video a week. And it was a failure because I focus on parenting and raising a kid when I wasn’t even married and have a kid. So that was funny. Like, I walk into, like, stupid, that ends like that. But that’s exactly why this time around, I did it differently. And I also, you know, co-founded a startup before, and some fail, some went okay, but because of that, I went all in. But for someone like, if you haven’t started anything, and you still have a nine to six, I wouldn’t recommend going all in because it takes a long, long time. And it is not something you can control is not like you, you write more articles or build more free lead magnets, and things will be successful right away is not like things need time to be brewed. And then they will start to form and relationship. And you know, we’re in the business of people teaching and sharing with people, they need time to believe in you as well. Like, it’s not going to be a one-night thing I can tell you the numbers. When I look at the students of my cohort-based course, almost all of them have been following me for three to six months, at least. So you know how long it takes. But basically back to your question, I would recommend someone to, you know, get a Twitter account. Figure out the area that you want to explore. Like, you don’t need absolute clarity, but at least you need to know oh, I want to serve writers, I want to serve entrepreneurs, or I want to serve like people who write newsletters, you need to be clear about where to start. And just make friends and then talk to them observe around. And I would say just like me, you know, build some free stuff and put it out there. If something hit, you will know when it has traction. That’s the time when you spend more time on it. But yeah, don’t quit your job yet.
Kim Doyal 22:26
Well, especially, I always tell people, and like, it’s hard to be creative. When you’ve got money stress in your life, it’s it. So do whatever you need to do, just sort of getting that money monkey off your back. And, and then decide. The other thing that happens too is I think when you have some sort of cushion, or you’re not expecting, you know, you’re not expecting things to hit immediately because it is you’ll see big numbers, you see somebody did, you know I bought an I’ve invested, I should say a lot into a high-end coaching program about developing a different program for myself. And they were sharing in oh, gosh, I want to say February in March, this company did like 800,000 in sales in two months. She’s been in business a long time. She’s got a team, she’s got established processes, they invest in paid traffic, they analyze, they look at stuff, and so you hear that, and you don’t get to see it’s that old iceberg image, right?
Kevon Cheung 24:06
Oh, Kim, I absolutely agree with you. I have this tweet I put out maybe a few months ago, I was talking about, you know, I was ordering Thai food with my wife the other day. And when we think about Thai food we have to go to so we just put up the open app and order it. And I was thinking about what that means to our digital products. These Thai restaurant has been there for a long time, and I have a good experience for the first time I expect them to be there when I need Thai food. So when I look at my building public course, many of these course creators would tell me, ” Hey, Kevon, I only have six people in my first cohort. I’m going to ditch it I’m going to try something else. I also had like six people in my first cohort, but my goal is to make my course expected for anyone who wants to bill in public. And that takes, that takes a long time. But if you’re always doing the same thing, all these people who are following you, they at least have that restaurant to go to otherwise they go to a different Thai restaurant. So if anything, don’t chop it off, keep doing it. You can remain on small scale, right? You don’t have to grow a super big, but just keep it like 10 cohorts and figure out how you can, you know, spread out your capacity in a different way to make sense for that revenue number. But just keep running it over years and years, because I heard that all these like David Parral Thiago forte, I heard that the success comes in like many, many years later, I don’t have the numbers. But if you ask me, that’s my philosophy, Thai restaurant.
Kim Doyal 26:02
The Thai restaurant framework. Well, which I have to share with you this morning, I saw all the food in this area is great. I’m in going across the Northern Pacific side because Costa Rica, and there’s one restaurant around the corner. It’s called Potrero grill. I’m heartbroken, I just got a message that they’re closing because the property owner sold the property. And I’m like, like, I literally would order this chicken parmesan sandwich like once a week, I call them, and they’re like, hi, Kim. And so like it is, I’m like, oh, no, we’re going to be like my little treat, my go to for myself anyway. We don’t need to talk about food. It’s too early for me. So I want to talk then about building public. So this is now was this the cohort that you just ran? What version? What number was that?
Kevon Cheung 26:48
You just Well, I call it building public mastery. Cohort four. Yeah, we just finished cohort four. But essentially, it’s cohort six, because I ran a different format before. And then I, you know, I keep leveling it up, it looks very different every cohort I run.
Kim Doyal 27:08
Well, that’s fantastic. That’s kind of where, you know, I mean, like I said, I’ve done this a long time, I’ve done courses and stuff. And then the hit Send cohort that I just did. I don’t know if you’ve seen my emails about the cluster with the platforms and all this stuff. But the longer you do this, it’s like it’s tech, what are you going to do, and you just communicate and move on. But what I love about the cohort is, you know, when this when cohort training started coming out, I want to say within the last couple of years, it really started blowing up. Because we had gone to such an extreme in the internet marketing space of high ticket courses only. Right, and then creators want to create them, and then they’re hands off, and you might get a little access to the creator, you know, once a month if you’re lucky, or something or in a Facebook group. This is I feel a shift happening in this space that people there’s a connection, and there’s a community that’s happening. And there’s a different level of trust when the creator is there to support their community going through it. That doesn’t mean you can’t do high ticket and be a little hands-off or have passive courses. But I think it instills a different level of trust. So the ship 30 Guys, I love it, because they say we’re in a perpetual beta, which is kind of I love thinking about it sounds like you’re sort of doing that, as well. So do you want to share a little bit about the building public mastery cohort what it is, and any successes that you can share from some of your students?
Kevon Cheung 28:32
Yeah, so. Okay, I still remember the first five questions
Kim Doyal 28:37
at once. Yeah, I
Kevon Cheung 28:39
don’t know where to start. But basically, the first time I ran building public, right, I thought it was easy. Hey, just share your work share the ups and downs. How hard can that be? So I didn’t know how to teach it, honestly, other than my free guide, which is everything I know already. But then, when I get cohorts and other cohorts of students, I realized that learning is not about just consuming content learning it’s about you designing some mini exercises, sometimes irrelevant to the topic, sometimes irrelevant, sometimes groups, sometimes solo to get them to realize that lesson in that topic you’re teaching. So I didn’t know that at first, but after, like, I think, maybe three cohorts. I attended a Maven course accelerator. That’s when I really level up as course instructor. I finally got how to teach people. So now I break everything down into six different modules. So it started with like, how do you overcome your fear? How do you be vulnerable, and we do exercise to practice that. And then we talk about how to capture your stories like You a Thai restaurant? How can that connect to build in public? Right? It would everything is content. Exactly. But that story is what holds people in. So how can you talk about that? And how do you share your work? How do you document your work? What’s surprising thing is that people have no idea even though it seems obvious. So as course creators or instructors, we just need to lay everything out for them. If they know it, they will skip it anyway. But you just need to assume that they don’t, but at the same time, don’t overwhelm them. So I think I learned a lot. And then now the course is really good. You know, the last cohort we wrapped up. Everyone leaves the NPS score of 10. And I was like, Holy shit, is it? Is it? Is it really because in the last cohort, I had some nines and 10? Sorry, I have some eights and nines. So obviously, it’s still not like there. But this time is like, all 10s. And I think, Well, partly because I upgraded our cores, but partly because of what you said, the community, I think, the right people were brought together, which is so supportive. So, they just feel great. Like they know how to go forward with this. So most of the people before taking the course are like not confident, scared to share fear of judgment. But afterward, they would be like, oh, you know what, everything is content. Everything is building and public. I can share it now. And how many likes or replies, I don’t care. So yeah, at the end of the day, I think the community is the most important thing in online courses.
Kim Doyal 31:47
Yeah, and I have to say so because I was in that cohort. My life, as you know, is a little squirrely, I think. I’m, I don’t have any visitors on the books for the remainder of the year. We’ll see how that goes. And I was in awe of even the fact that I couldn’t participate a lot. But it was such an inclusive community, how people are still tagging me, including me in conversations, and I’ve connected with some people outside of the group. And it is, and that comes from how you foster. And it’s I mean, you set the tone and for the engagement, the communication at the same time, there are times where you’re just gonna get a group of people, you know that. Okay, this one didn’t hit the same way. And so you know, you never know. But to your point, as soon as you sell one thing online, if you’re hooked, you’re hooked like nothing beats that notification of payment. And when you’re off doing something else, and you put something else, I don’t care, the first thing I did was $24. And I was like, Oh, my God, this, this works. Oh, my God, you know. And so it triggers if you’re an entrepreneur I think it gets you excited about figuring that piece out. So how frequently are you doing the cohort for building public mastery? And when is the next one? So I’ll link to everything in the show notes, too.
Kevon Cheung 33:03
Yeah. So, you know, my audience is mostly in America and some in Europe. So I’m sitting in Hong Kong. So I run my cohort at my 11pm. Or if there’s Daylight Saving midnight, and you know, I have a baby, I need my sleep. So I cannot do it all the time. Even though it’s my biggest revenue-generating product at this moment. So I only run it three times a year. I guess maybe that makes it good. And exclusive. I don’t know. But it’s more for my personal health. So the next one is actually October, three months later, to kind of wrap up the year. I did two this year, and then October will be the next. And it’s only three weeks.
Kim Doyal 33:51
Yeah, yeah, it’s not super long. And the other thing that I think is invaluable is a little time. So besides the mental and I get that I’m very much an I like my whitespace. And I’m at a point where my kids have grown and are out of the house and everything. And I’m like, nobody demands my time. But the dogs once in a while, and I still need space. And to be able to digest what worked and didn’t write is any kind of process the feedback from students. So having that window in between, it’s good for you mentally. It’s good for the course. It’s good for law. I think it’s fantastic. That’s exciting. So, I will have the links. Is there a waiting list that people can get on?
Kevon Cheung 34:32
Or yeah, yeah, they can put down two emails, and they will get updates. One thing I want to talk about is also like how I run the course because I’ve heard a lot of things about different courses out there. Like some of the courses are just like the course creator just talking three times a week in all lectures. But though I don’t like that kind of learning experience, I want to ensure that all my students get individual feedback. And, you know, I create some exercises for them to do it as a group. And then I also check out their tweets to make sure I can give some, you know, advice on formats or anything. So that’s a lot of energy going in, as opposed to someone just giving lectures. So it’s also dependent on how you want to run your course. I might do it this way. But you don’t have to do it this way. But I think this is the way to go. You need to care for your students. Yeah.
Kim Doyal 35:34
Oh, yeah. And again, I like, I like both modes of learning. I like being able to passively learn at the same time, that type of feedback and engagement, or to be able to ask questions as you’re doing something, especially a build in public. It’s invaluable. And that’s what also I think that’s what’s going to shift the or is what creates the price point, as the course gets better and better and better, of course, you’re gonna be able to charge a little bit more and more and more. And because you’re giving up your time, you’re giving up your time. And you know, there’s a whole different ballpark, but I think people see the value in that. So okay, good. That’s come in October, all linked to that for the waitlist. Let’s talk about finding joy and can’t find joy and chaos, your book, holy moly, is phenomenal. And I am going to get the physical book, I won’t be able to take a picture holding the book, though, until I’m back in the states, but Well, yeah, first of all, when is it going to be out on Amazon? If you don’t mind me asking that? Or do you have an idea?
Kevon Cheung 36:36
I don’t know, you know, I’m that kind of creator that I don’t have a set date for my launches. What other than the courses we just already set? I just, hold myself very high standards. So if things are not ready, I’m not in a rush to push them out. So right now I’m actually getting my friend to work on the back cover. So he helped me with the front cover. And now we’re doing the back cover. I think once we finish that then I should be able to put on Amazon. I actually am not 100% sure of the process, but hopefully, it can be out next month.
Kim Doyal 37:14
Yeah. Okay, good. That’s good. So it might coincide. Either way, I’ll have the link to the digital and Amazon, and add that to the podcast. So what was that? Like? Have you written a book before? What made you decide to write a book? Like, when did that come about?
Kevon Cheung 37:33
Okay, I’ve never written a book before. And I never imagined myself writing a book because, you know, English is my third language. I mean, I study in Hong Kong English school, I went to the state for school. But I’ve never been really good at it. If I’m being open with you, I took the LSAT, I got 390 out of 800 in the, I don’t know, critical reading or something. So I’m bad at English. But the funny thing is once I started writing content and creating online, I realized I was at an advantage because of my dumbed-down plain English. People find it like, oh my god, capons writing is so easy to understand. So anyway,
Kim Doyal 38:17
like the Hemingway app in real life. Have you seen that Hemingway app?
Kevon Cheung 38:21
Yeah, the great year for like fifth grade? Third grade? Yeah, I’m probably like kindergarten, but people like it. People don’t like jargon and fancy words. So I never imagined myself writing a book. But the reason to do it. I think it comes down to two things. One thing is, that I love helping people. Whether you pay me or not, I will help you anyway. And I feel like I answer the same questions over and over again about Twitter. So building and the public is not just about Twitter, but I’m most active on Twitter. So it’s that way. And I feel like a book is the best way to structure the information in a step-by-step process and give it to people at a very affordable price. So a book is like a good book to me. It’s not just inspirational but actionable. And you can read it fast. So that’s the aim of my goal. And I think I achieve it because many people tell me, Oh, I’m, I’m rereading it I’m implementing before I read the next chapter. So I think that’s great. So that’s point number one. But point two is that I just released a YouTube video about this. As a digital creator. Sometimes I’m a bit not satisfied that everything I create is intangible. Like in the real world, no one knows me. I feel sucky about that. So a book is not evil. If I create a legit book with a paperback, I feel I can make sense of all this. And also, people would see more credibility in this person because there are tons of ebooks online. But if you have a paperback, I think it’s a different level. So that was kind of my take on the book as well. And it took me a total of 10 months to write the book. But I paused for four months. So it was like more like six months kind of work. It’s a lot of work. So yeah, hopefully, it will keep going for years. I don’t know if Twitter will change its direction. Maybe my book will get destroyed. But anyway, I don’t care to do version two.
Kim Doyal 40:43
If you feel inspired, right? There’s always something else to do with that. And, you know, it’s fun is, I mean, I’ve been on Twitter since 2008. And I’m, I’m so much more. I’m hardwired for the long-form content very, very easy. And it was funny. So it’s like I built up an audience. And I don’t know much of my story. I was the WordPress chick for like ten years. And so I had many WordPress people following me, and it was my friend Jason Resnick. I’m not sure if you’re familiar, but we’re doing a newsletter called Deliverit. Yeah. Right. And so, Jason, we started working on that, gosh, it’ll be maybe two years. It’s been a while. And, but the whole thing is, he’s like, Hey, I’m getting a lot of traffic from Twitter. And I was like, really, I mean, it just, I’m stunned at the traffic on Twitter. And I know I already have an audience there. And I’m not as active as I want to be, but I’ve just kind of getting back into it. And honestly, come on, like how you show up, is, it was inspiring for me because I don’t want to talk at people about here are three email tips. Here, I’m just it’s like, pontification sometimes makes me cuckoo. And I use my language. And I’m animated, and like, I have just to be me, I have to be me, I have to do things the way I do them, I have to talk in my voice. I like giving value. I like being funny. I like sharing from the heart. I hopefully resonate, you know, with people on that level. And so really, it was watching how you’ve done things, having fun with it and letting go of it. And again, there are billions of people to do business with on the planet. You don’t have to go after guru audiences. Just create your audience.
Kevon Cheung 42:23
Yeah, I think this let-it-go mindset is so important for anyone to listen to because you have it, I have it. I don’t know how someone can get trained on that. I don’t know. It’s life experience, and DSOs trying that shape that. But yeah, I feel like I’m in for the long game, as you can tell from my approach to things. So, I don’t care how many likes or replies I get. I think I feel better that way, and you don’t get burnout. If you don’t get burnout. You can stick around, and the business will start growing Oh, I see. So super simple. Yeah. After hustle. Yes.
Kim Doyal 43:11
Well, I have so much more evidence in my life that when I do things from a place of intention and joy, I have to sing, right? If it’s not fun, I’m not doing it. When I live by that mantra, more show up in my life like it just, and it starts compounding anytime I’ve done something because I think I need the money or I’m gonna launch this because it’ll do X. There’s that angsty energy around that, and I think it translates. It’s not how I move to the world. And so it’s almost like I have enough evidence. It’s like, you have to just say, eff it and like, have some fun, and trust the process and enjoy the journey. So all right, as we wind down here, what is coming for you Come on, I’m so excited to be a part of this journey with you and watch your growth and explosiveness. What’s on the plans?
Kevon Cheung 44:03
I just did my meet your break and review last week. So I have a lot of plans coming up. But all the plans are around, like how to optimize whatever I have. Because I have a lot of like free stuff pay stuff already. And I think as creators, we tend to go like, Oh, I need to launch a new product because when I launch, I make a few more bucks. But I’m just kind of tired of that. And I feel like there are a lot of untapped opportunities in what I do. For example, I’ll share with you, like right now, when I launch, I’m just like, sending emails to people following me and saying, Hey, here’s the launch, and you can get it or not. It’s very basic. Like, I know I can do more where people get a free thing like a lead magnet, and then I can have like 27 bucks where They get a taste of the value, like a paid workshop, and then you bring them to the next step is more like a journey, and you’re holding their hand to help them move forward one step at a time. So it’s not about selling them stuff, but more about getting them to go forward. And I don’t have any of that, like all my products, as you can see, are scattered, and I don’t link them up. So okay, my plan, do a better job in the next cohort. In marketing, I need to market my book a bit more because I didn’t do anything other than tell my audience about it. I need to put it on Amazon. And there is a bunch of marketplaces, I can put it in, and then optimize the funnel, the welcome emails, the thank you page and all that, you know, all the basics is back to the basics.
Kim Doyal 45:57
It always comes down to the fundamentals. Right. Yeah. But going back to the plan, yeah, go ahead. Ask away, you know,
Kevon Cheung 46:06
you know, one of my biggest frustration as a creator is, like, I have so much stuff, and they get outdated, very fast. And then, like, actually, I forgot to update them. Like, how, how do you do that?
Kim Doyal 46:23
Well, it’s funny because I had, you know, with ten years as a WordPress check, I did a lot of how to do this and how to do that. And I’m not a developer. I just fell in love with the platform and was ignorant enough to start sharing what I was doing and talking in a language that made sense to people. I’ve deleted that. And part of that, for me, has been because of the brand. I’ve shifted the brand, my brand. But this is where I think you start looking at the what, not the how is much. And so anybody that teaches tech, or anything that has to do with consistent updates and regularity, you will have to constantly update things. And so if you come back to the fundamentals, and I focus, my big thing is strategy and mastery. And if you want the how-to, you can do it in a course you know or give. And I don’t mean all the time like there’s a simple look, here’s a four-piece framework, blah, blah, blah. But when you come back to helping people create the structure and utilizing a framework or templates, you know, somebody I adore on Twitter, too, and Justin Welsh. He’s amazing with what he’s doing, and where he’s got a lot of template-type things, whether a framework or a definitive, this is how to do this with Twitter. And so I think one I think your book, I think you’re free course make Twitter friends, so much of that is strategy and framework. And so to your point of connecting the dots, so this program, I mean, I loved how she explained this: we have a champion client. And ideally, you only have one client, you don’t have all these, you have one client, they’re different at different places on the continuum, right? So for you as an example, you have an ideal client committed to growing an audience and using Twitter in that space. So initially, they may be new to Twitter. In the next stage, they may be on Twitter, they’re kind of finding their voice. They tweet somewhat in the third stage, it’s an active platform for them. And they’re doing outreach. And they’re driving people to traffic. The fourth stage on this continuum could be it is their driving force, and now they want to upscale, how do they do, like, you know, viral or catapult the growth? And so when you step back and look at it, I mean, there’s just no way that you can keep up with everything. And so I think it’s simply a matter of revisiting from the SEO perspective. But from revisiting, is this still valid? And does this serve my audience? I mean, I had a YouTube channel a bajillion years ago, right? And there’s, like, 1600 people following me, so many how to do this with WordPress, some of those plugins don’t exist, they’re gone. Did you know that I remember having someone telling me one time, he’s like, You need to learn to use his software because you’re making me dizzy because I was too quick about it. And I’m like, I don’t care. You know, the credit goes to the person in the arena, and I did it. But the point is, as we were talking before, I want to get back into video and stuff. So now it’s stepping back and saying what serves my audience? What doesn’t, some of that stuff may just go into, you know, formerly known as the WordPress check and drop some of those into a different playlist and just tell a story about why it’s still there. And my journey. It’s, it’s what you’re doing, it’s taking a step back looking just like you said, I’m gonna get more leverage out of what I’ve already created. How can I step this up? But it’s, there’s no way to keep up with all of it. Honestly. I shared in a podcast episode just this week that I wrote and published that I’m looking at moving my entire business to Click Funnels 2.0 when it launches in the fall, which is funny, I miss the WordPress check. I’m tired of piecemealing tech, to be honest with you, this platform looks amazing. It’s going to do everything she’s told. are members just everything, even if it’s three times the cost of the current price, when I get to cut other things out, I’ll probably be at a wash. And I can master. I’ve got all my data and all my analytics in there because I want to focus on creating at this point.
But it also means moving hundreds and hundreds of pieces of content onto a new platform. And looking at it, there’s SEO value because that stuff was indexed years ago, right? And so I have to decide, is this still part of the new brand? I don’t think there’s any way to keep up with it. And I think it’s simply that just being transparent about that. That’s why I share my journey. Like when I did that little visual map I shared with you, I’m like, I started here. And now I’m here. And it is what it is. I don’t have people, you know, commenting or asking questions about any of the WordPress content. I did delete a ton of it from my site. Before, I mean, there was a time when I ranked I was the number one post for WordPress website packages, which if I had known more about SEO at the time and was still doing that, I should have sold that URL or something I don’t know. But I don’t know. I tend to do the Let It Go attitude, and then, what can I do? What can I do? And what matters most, right? Because at the end of the day, when it comes to marketing, where will I get more leverage? I will tell you this, some of the content that has done better for me than anything else has nothing to do with SEO, I shared a post when it was the anniversary of my husband’s passing. And it’d been like 14 years. This was a while ago. And it wasn’t the first thing on my mind when I woke up. But I was so grateful to be on the other side of the grief that I sent an email out on a Sunday. I got like 30 replies from people with who I’ve always shared that piece of my story. And then I’m like, I’m going to share this as a blog post to the same thing, one of my highest traffic posts, most commented shared. The other one was, it’s official, I’m moving to Costa Rica, and neither of those pieces of content has anything to do with SEO or my business. But there’s a human connection there. And so that’s where I come back to everything as content, I, I just I don’t sweat the small stuff, you want to do the best you can keep up with it as you have, you know, a couple of years into this journey. So hopefully, it won’t be too, you know, tedious. But I think people in this space understand that Twitter’s gonna change. Elon is gonna buy it. He’s not whatever. You know, stuff is gonna happen like that. Just keep moving forward. Because I mean, most people want the new stuff anyways, to be honest with you, unless your real strategy is SEO first and foremost. I hope I have answered your question.
Kevon Cheung 52:38
Yeah, you certainly did. And what I love most about your writing is the life stories. Like I feel like I’m just like, living your life. And it influenced me to add more of that to my newsletter. So thank you for the answer. And thank you for that.
Kim Doyal 52:57
You’re welcome. And I will share this, too. As you know, I didn’t do that until I started podcasting. Right. So I started the podcast in 2013. I’d been online for five years. And I, I’ve always been like an audiophile, I guess where I mean, I used to listen to books on tape in the car when I used to commute for work. And so I just wanted to have more fun. I had zero expectations of the podcast and did a solo show and interview. And because of how I talk, I get all over the place. I knew I needed to write the post out; first, I didn’t read it, but I knew to keep my thoughts cohesive, and I sort of fell in love with the storytelling piece. And then, even with email marketing, I watched someone else do it for a year with story-based emails where you pivot to a call to action. And I just committed to doing it. It was a commitment to myself. I’m like, Look, every day, and I call them almost daily emails because I didn’t do it on the weekends. But I just practiced telling a story and pivoting, and I knew people would unsubscribe. But within three months, I started getting tons of replies. People were liking the stories and, like, this shit works. And then when you have that evidence, it’s like it inspires you.
Kevon Cheung 54:06
Yeah, totally. You talk about having fun. Can I share a story before we wrap up? So we’d love it? Yeah, my book is fine, joy and chaos, right? So obviously, I’m having fun doing what I do. You are having fun doing what you do. And the story I want to tell you is about how I discovered having fun drives everything else. When I was 17 or 18 years old, I would go to nightclubs with my guy friends. So he’s like ten guys going into the club. And then we will be like, Oh my God, how do we get girls to talk to us? And we would try so hard. I would go up to them and be super awkward, and then they would walk away. So fast forward like, maybe two-three years later. I hung out with a different group of friends, and we had a lot of fun. drinking, dancing, doing stupid things, and suddenly the girls just come to join us. Because we were having so much fun. And that stick to me because, you know, sometimes you don’t need to try to attract people, just get the passion out of yourself, get the joy out of yourself, and people just kind of get you a magnet and start moving towards you.
Kim Doyal 55:22
I love the whole thing. First of all, I’m like, Alright, come on. There’s a framework for you. Right? The nightclub analogy framework, like you’ve got something there. And I’m a big believer that everything is energy. And when you, you know, to your point, when you exude energy and kindness and fun and joy, you’re approachable. There’s a difference you become relatable. And so I remember a friend did an interview with me one time, and he’s like, God, you share, you know, the good, the bad, the ugly and like, it’s how I learned, and it’s funny because I do that in business. I baby-stepped my way into what is relevant to share on a personal level because there’s a difference between personal and private. But people, suddenly, there’s that connection of oh, I’m not in it alone. And that the nightclub thing girls are probably like, okay, these guys aren’t threatening. I’m not gonna get hit on there. Like, you know, anyways, so I love the story. And I’m totally glad you shared it. Come on. I feel like I could talk to you all day. I know. It’s super late for you. Thank you so much. I’m so happy we connected I’m excited to support you and continue to support you. I love everything you’re doing, and I just appreciate you I appreciate how you show up in the world.
Kevon Cheung 56:32
Thank you, Kim. So I hope my wife doesn’t listen to this episode because of the nightclub story.
Kim Doyal 56:40
I hear her more, I think she would say, and that’s why I fell in love with you. You know that you were honest about being awkward and then decided just to have fun?
Kevon Cheung 56:50
I think that’s hope, so thank you so much for having me.