The Barbell Strategy πŸ‹οΈβ€β™‚οΈ [WRAP 132]


Matt Ragland

Thursday, July 25, 2024

WRAP #132: The Barbell Strategy πŸ‹οΈβ€β™‚οΈ

Hey Reader, lots of content to tell you about this week! I have a new YouTube video about the Bullet Journal Pocket edition, was a guest on Tiago Forte's channel talking about parenting and productivity, and have a big thought about content strategy.

I also hosted a meetup for the 10 Year anniversary of the Tim Ferriss Show. There are a handful of shows that have gotten me to think differently about life and work, and Tim's podcast is among them. Was a lot of fun to meet other fans and hear about which episodes were our favorites.

Thanks as always for reading, let's get started!


In this issue:

πŸ’‘ The Big Idea

The Barbell Strategy πŸ‹οΈβ€β™‚οΈ


πŸ““ Notebook Review!

Bullet Journal Pocket Edition


πŸ‘€ A Video to Watch

Productivity & Parents with Tiago Forte


πŸ’‘ The Big Idea

The Barbell Strategy πŸ‹οΈβ€β™‚οΈ

I was on a call with my friend Dan Mall, designer extraordinaire and all-around great guy. We were talking about his product strategy and high-end consulting. He's a sought-after strategist, consultant, and designer for top brands, but he wants to start rebalancing his income to have more digital product sales.

The Barbell Strategy for pricing is to focus on the most and least expensive offers in your product portfolio. On one end, you can pitch very high-priced services to dream clients while consistently generating revenue from very low-priced digital products to a large audience.

For example you'd have 1-2 clients paying you $10K month while selling 100 courses at $100 to the bigger audience. Nice little balanced business there on 2 sides of the spectrum.

Here's the thing: services are the fastest way to make money and the best way to make a lot of money on one transaction. You only need 1 person or business to pay you $5,000. That's actually a lot easier than finding 50 people to pay you $100 to make the same $5,000. That's where Dan has been.

But over time, digital products offer more time freedom and financial upside. You just need a large audience to keep up enough customers to buy your courses, templates, books, etc. That's what a lot of people miss on the "Justin Welsh" pricing tier of $100-150. You need a lot of sales volume, i.e. new subscribers, to make it pay off (literally).

I have a hunch the middle class of creator products is going away, i.e. the $500 range. I'm running an experiment with a couple of our clients to see the difference in sales between a $150 offer and a $500 offer for a similar course. You might think "the $150 offer will sell more!" That's true, but we need to over 3x sales to hit the same number. If the $500 product has a 2% conversion rate, would the $150 product convert at 7% and net more sales?

In the past I would have said "why not both?" The $150 product is for new people and then they upgrade later to the $500 product with more resources, lessons, and maybe a live call. But at that point, why not just charge $1,000 or more and call it a twice a year cohort?

There's a lot more to discuss and think about here. But I think this applies to more than just products. I think at companies will pay their top performers even more and hire offshore talent to make other roles even cheaper. Say you have a $100k month in payroll budget, you might pay 5 top performers $15k each then contract or go offshore to pay the other 20 the remaining $25k.

Creator Resource πŸ“‚

One quick thing to tell you about. My friend Louis Nicholls put together a HUGE resource list of newsletter landing pages. There are over 300 examples, complete with screenshots, conversion rates, and filtering by topic.

​Click here to view everything β€” it's an incredible resource and Louis has a lot more planned to help creators have the tools they need to succeed. As the Founder of Sparkloop, he has his finger on the pulse of what works!

πŸ““ [Review] Bullet Journal Pocket Edition

The BuJo gets smaller

The Bullet Journal Pocket is an A6 notebook and a welcome addition to their lineup. The vertical layout is really clever and I like how it matches the layout of the standard A5 notebook when laid flat. Mentally it might take a little getting used to, but I see the intention behind the design. I also like how you could lay it flat and smuggle in the back of the A5.

The cover has a bit of flex to it, not as much as a Field Notes, but not a rigid hard cover. Kinda like what Moleskine's soft covers are like. Paper has good weight and thickness to it, no bleeding with standard ink pens, like the Bullet Journal pen. I also used the Squire pen and the paper held up well.

Overall, big fan of the Bullet Journal Pocket edition, watch the review here!

video preview​

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πŸ‘€ A Video to Watch

Productivity & Parents

When I was in LA last November I had the opportunity to go hang out with my friend Tiago Forte, the Second Brain Guy himself, and talk about parenting, productivity, managing screen time, marriage, and more. His team did an excellent job with the video and I know you'll like it too!

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The WRAP is sponsored by

Mighty Networks: Your Ultimate Community Partner

I just started inviting new members into the Father Fire community and we're having a great time in Mighty Networks. It has all the features you would expect from a community platform, like spaces for posts, chats, and the ability to go live. But my favorite little feature are the AI-driven polls and questions.

By telling Mighty what our community is about, it generates daily questions that help keep us connected without relying on me to come up with something clever. It's a game-changer!

If you're a person building community with others over a common vision or goal (like being a great dad) β€” then check out Mighty Networks and see what they can do to support your mission.


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See you next week! πŸ‘‹

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