#AskAni Ep. 002 | On Daily Habits, Frank Ocean and Staying Competitive

Every week, I host a live Q&A on entrepreneurship, personal growth and more. It’s a weekly thing that occurs at 6:30p ET every Monday via my Instagram account. The format is simple: you open the livestream, ask your questions in the comments and get them answered by me and other peers who are also participating.

I like to recap the highlights from every session right here on Medium. Due to the volume of questions, I can’t cover them all, so tune in on Mondays to get the full flavor. Enjoy!

Want to see last’s week recap? Click here.

1. “What daily habits have you adopted since transitioning to being a CEO?” — @rengreenst

The first thing is, I’ve been intentional about sleeping a little more, though that’s relative. Instead of the 4–5 hours it used to be, I try to get between 5–6 hours a night these days. It helps be more focused and have more mental clarity for dealing with my daily operation. I’ve also start my mornings with a simple, 10 minute mindfulness meditation routine, inspired by a book called 10% Happier. Lastly, I set up away from social media every day to create quiet time for deep work.

2. “For a product, how do you prioritize which new features to add?” @clearconcept

Great question! As marketers and product people, we have so much technology available to us, sometimes we forget who we’re making products for, and that is human beings. Human beings are complicated. It’s not always a simple transaction, so prioritizing new features starts with listening to your audience. Run surveys, polls, etc, to learn about what people want.

If you are in beta and don’t have an audience yet, run these tests internally. A lot of time, the first answer that comes to your head isn’t the right one, so having the humility to make this a democratic process leads to the best results.

3. “Is Blonde a top 5 album of the last decade? — Adam Kane

Ahhh 😱. I don’t know about top 5, but I think it’s safely in the top 15. I can’t think of everything that has come out since 2007, but let’s say top 15.

“Nights” is still one of the greatest songs I’ve ever heard. I’ve contributed a lot to Frank’s bank account via my tendency to put that song on repeat and zone out.

4. “You just found convincing data that shows none of your potential customers use social media — should you still implement a social media strategy?” — (a friend of @clearconcept)

Wow, what a question. The short answer is: yes. Social media provides a vehicle to share your narrative — as a team, founder, company, etc, and that is important for any business. You should invest in social, but to a lesser extent than you would if people were heavily engaged. Social is a top funnel tool, and you never want to have someone’s first touchpoint with your brand create a negative impression.

5. “If you are starting a company, should you create social channels for your brand or just use your personal channels?” Imtiaz Choudhury

This is a lesson we had to learn the hard way. Yes, create them from the beginning and assign a content strategy for each channel. You don’t lose anything by creating those accounts, you just have to make sure the channels don’t get stale.

One thing I implore everyone to learn— don’t post the same things across all channels. Your behavior on Instagram can’t be the same as your behavior on Facebook, and your behavior on Twitter has to be different than that on Snapchat. You’re doing yourself and your brand a disservice. Define your content strategy and create consistency across all channels.

6. “When building your personal brand, do you keep it real or project where you want to be?” Mark Sweeney

Everyone nowadays wants to curate the best versions of themselves. Their social accounts are one continuous highlight reel. However, for all of us in the field, this isn’t always a reality. I would sprinkle a little bit of projection, more for yourself than your followers, in order inspire yourself to keep working for the life you want to lead. However, the majority of your brand should deal with creating sincere connections with people. There are more people going through what you’re going through rather than sitting in fancy cars, and they want to see that.

You can’t appeal to everybody..even Jay-Z has haters(!). Focus your brand on sincerity — sincerity over authenticity. That’s my motto for 2018.

7. “How do you stay competitive in the agency world —especially being a small agency amongst big companies? — @donfreshly

Two (simple) things here:

  1. No one can outwork me, so I find different angles and niches to stay competitive. An example of this is delivering examples of spec work to catch someone’s eye. For big agencies, this isn’t worth their time, but I’m here for it.
  2. Invest in the right people. That’s a formula that will keep you ahead of the pack forever.

Thank you everyone for tuning in! See you every Monday on Instagram live at 6:30 ET.