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Adam’s Daily Post

Join thousands of readers who read my short daily posts on edutainment, product design and running sustainable creator-led business for over 20 years. Blogging daily since 2017.

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Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
Post #2269 • February 25 2024

Simple vs shiny

I use my Mac in practically the same way I did 10 years ago.

Same text editor, browser, mail app, file organisation, settings, config, the list goes on (I keep a list of my tools here).


Because each time I let myself get caught up in whatever ‘new’ stuff is out there, it distracts me from two things:

  1. The muscle-memory, skills, comfort, confidence and speed I’ve developed through using these tools.

  2. The focus of doing great work, rather than tinkering with new toys.

Yes, some parts of the setup are strange. I have a Wacom stylus in my hand while using a text editor that only responds to keyboard inputs (no cursor input detected.) I miss out on some of the ‘productivity hacks’ often touted by ‘productivity hacks’ online.

But none of those hacks surpass mastery over your tools, and no shortcut outpaces the simple act of staying focused on the things that matter.

I add tools when there’s a hole. I release tools when there’s excess.

For the rest of the time, my tools work for me, not the other way around.

Simple is better than shiny when simple produces great work and shiny only slows you down.

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
Post #2268 • February 24 2024

Where no AI is found

Well, that didn’t take long.

Most blogs you’ll visit nowadays are leveraging AI to some degree.

Whether it’s ideas, first drafts or editing, AI is making its way into all of the writing you see online.

Not here. Not mine. No sir.

Words are a decision.

The way we choose our words says something about us. It lets us see something about a person, or a brand, in that moment.

A birthday card from your mother doesn’t feel the same if she asked an assistant to write and send one on her behalf.

A love note from your partner doesn’t feel the same if AI made it instead.

Something is lost when that happens.

That’s why I choose my own words.

If something has my name on it, it means I wrote it.

In a world where most people’s words aren’t their own words, you can stand out by simply being one of the remaining few who speak for themselves. Who let their opinions form and idea muscles flex on a daily basis.

You can be a rare voice where no AI is found.

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
Post #2267 • February 23 2024

Attention + Conversion + Retention

We think attention, conversion and retention happen after each other.

“Get attention, convert into customer, then retain as a customer.”

But that’s not how it works.

All three things happen at once, all of the time.

When you create attention, you also do user retention.

It’s not just about being seen, but being discovered, and having your choice of market positively associate with you and what you stand for. It’s not about making sure people don’t forget about you, it’s about being unforgettable.

When you create conversions, you also create attention.

A conversion isn’t the end, but the beginning, and that person should have their attention directed toward a wealth of exciting things to come. It’s not about ‘sealing the deal’, it’s about making it the first step in an exciting adventure they can’t wait to start.

When you do user retention, you also do attention and conversion.

A retained credit card and a retained person are different things. It’s not just about running the card each month, it’s about renewing their love for the brand each month. A user can still be retained long after they’ve cancelled a service, and refer others to it often, thanks to that positive brand affinity.

I go into more detail on this topic in this week’s issue of The Productoon Newsletter. Check it out!

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
Post #2266 • February 22 2024

Be the show

Competing for attention is the wrong game.

More and more are trying, it’s harder than ever.

It’s awesome. Why?

Because it means less competition for the real game:

Being the show, not the commercial break.

While they’re:

  • pumping out more content
  • running more sensational ads
  • hammering DMs harder
  • discounting their prices

You can be:

  • making things they look forward to
  • amplifying what works with ad spend
  • letting folks come to you when ready
  • letting folks spread the word for you

We want less commercials.

We want more shows we love.

Be the show.

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
Post #2265 • February 21 2024

Omnipresent is not it

Most marketers have this upside down.

They think being ‘omnipresent’ is how you win.

It’s not.


  • 91% of buyers think ads are getting more intrusive
  • 64% of buyers cite shared values as reason they love a brand
  • 500% more sales from word-of-mouth than conventional paid media


  • Being ‘omnipresent’ is an impossible battle
  • A relationship with your chosen few is a superpower
  • Being in curated places you like is a supercharger

Don’t be ‘omnipresent’, retargeting and following-up to death.

Be ‘present’ with your weird bunch, in their weird places.

And when you are, put on a show they’ll never forget.

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
Post #2264 • February 20 2024

What user retention really is

What people think user retention is:

  • Still paying for the service
  • Badgering users to upgrade
  • Making cancellation difficult

What user retention really is:

  • Emotionally invested in the brand
  • Actively looks for things to buy from you
  • Refers users years after they cancelled

Retain the whole person.

Not just CC information.

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
Post #2263 • February 19 2024

Things people will sorely miss

Think you need to produce more content? Post more times a day? Guru as a verb all over social media?

Heads up:

There is no content shortage.

There’s a delight shortage.

So create and publish things people will sorely miss when you’re gone.

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
Post #2262 • February 18 2024

Don’t be available

Are you ‘available’?

‘Available’ means you’re ready to be interrupted:

You’re available for incoming chat messages that expect an immediate response.

You’re available to receive more emails from people asking for your attention.

You’re available to swap deep work for light chatter when anyone asks.

You’re available to be taken away from the focus your work needs from you.

You’re available to receive push notifications from every marketer behind every app.

You’re ‘available’.

Don’t be available.

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
Post #2261 • February 17 2024

Certainty is blindness

We were discussing this over tea this morning:

I’m certain about a very small number of things.

Often, online gurus will tell you to be certain about everything you turn your hand to. I tried tricking myself into thinking that way, but it never really felt right. It never really felt ‘me’.

In reality, I’m far more likely to find comfort in uncertainty. In being okay not knowing everything. In there being more to learn. In being a student of my craft, for the past 20 years and for the next 20 years.

Certainty is blindness. It’s accepting a definitive conclusion with no space left to explore if I’m wrong.

I’m certain of things like my love for my family, or of my commitment to love and protect my wife and son for as long as I live. But everything else? I leave a little space for doubt. For uncertainty. For the ability to maneuver and turn around, like a vehicle on a narrow street.

I think the certainties make me a better husband and father.

I think the uncertainties make me a better creator.

Pick your certainties wisely. Let them appear only in areas you’re happy to be blind.

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
Post #2260 • February 16 2024

How do you turn your customers into your salesforce?

How do you turn your customers into your salesforce?

That’s what we’re covering today.

In just 5 steps, since simple is better than complex:

Step 1: Don’t start with what they want.

Start with what they believe.

When you go to market with their beliefs, seeing your work gives their brain a massage.

They’ll feel like they “belong” around you, rather than merely exist in your world.

Step 2: Don’t just make what they want.

Make what they want, and give it to them how they love to receive it. You want both ‘want’ and ‘love’ represented here.

They’ll feel like they “look forward” to your work, rather than merely “use” or “consume” it.

Step 3: De-platform through brilliance.

If you email or post about something you’ve prepared (content, say) and it could have existed on-platform (eg a video, or a graphic), then they’ll just wonder why you’re taking them off-platform.

Give them an experience their platform (email, social, etc) can’t possibly contain. Something interactive, immersive, something special.

They’ll feel like they can’t wait to click, rather than needing to be convinced.

Step 4: Give them a ticket to ride.

Moving from that page to your product should be a rollercoaster of fun and problem-solving.

If it’s fun, solves a problem and gives them prizes before they’re even done getting set up, they associate you with progress, with results, with success.

And that’s powerful stuff, when your competitors just throw them a form and call it good.

Step 5: Make your success their success.

Most of the time, customers don’t care how well you’re doing. And they’ve no interest in helping you achieve your goals. That is, unless you make your success their success.

Referral bonuses, milestone giveaways, badges, points, prizes, whatever you choose, make certain that every time you succeed, they succeed.

Now they’ll conspire to help you succeed because of what it gets them. Of course, they’ll continue not caring about how your competitors are doing.

I go into more detail on this topic in this week’s issue of The Productoon Newsletter. Check it out!

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