The “Poster Boy” Formula: How I got my first 10,000 readers


This is the strategy I have used to go from not having a business to being featured on Lifehacker, quitting my job and doubling my salary in 8 months.

I call it the ‘Poster Boy” strategy.

Origins: Noah Kagan devised it at 5 a.m. in his underwear while sitting on his couch.

It has taken my business from…well…not being a business, to doubling my salary and getting over 10,000 readers to my website. So, I’m sort of a fan.

Here it is:



Every business owner wants to show prospective customers that their product works. The best way to do that is to showcase their most successful customers.

Your Job: Be that story. Be the Poster Boy.

Companies spend $10’s of thousands advertising their services and products. Often times those advertisements are case studies of their customers.

Apple does it, GE does it and nearly every small business does it as well.

Here is a screenshot of Apples ad for the iPhone 5. It features Lonely Planet Travel Guides.


How many of the 1,866,396 people who watched this video downloaded the app? What was that small mention worth?

If 1/2 of 1% of the viewers downloaded one of their $14.99 travel guides, that small mention would be worth $139.871.

Interested now?

Get it Free FREE Bonus: I recorded a 15-minute training to show you exactly how to use this "Poster Boy" approach to get industry leaders to feature your business to their audience. Click the button to unlock free 24-hour access to the training now!


The formula is basic. Find established companies that have your target audience and become their poster boy.


Starting a business is one of the most daunting things you can do.

The single biggest question that I struggled with for years was, “How do I go from no customers to a lot of customers?”

This is your answer. It is what I did and it works.

Each time I have executed this strategy my audience has grown by 10-20%. This took me from exactly ZERO email subscribers to over 10,000 total readers in the last 4 months.


1.) Identify who you are targeting

Who is your company geared toward?

I was targeting people exactly like me.

My audience was defined as people that:

  1. Had a day job
  2. Hated that job
  3. Wanted to get out as fast as possible
  4. Wanted to start a business to do that

If you are selling training videos for doctors, your target market is Doctors that want to be trained.

If you are selling subscription skin care products, your target market is people that care about their skin.

Refine it, get very specific.

Example: Women who are 18- 28 years old that live within 50 miles of the beach.

I keep a picture above my desk to make sure I don’t forget who my audience is.


2.) Offer a “thing”

I started by offering a course on my website that taught novice entrepreneurs how to build videos to grow their business. Making awesome explainer videos is hard. I made it simple and affordable.

If you don’t feel like you can make a course, offer a 2 page guide about your product. Whatever you do, just make sure the quality is excellent and that the offer is relevant to your target audience.

Here are some ideas:

1) “Beginners Guide to Crossfit”
2) “Complete guide to skin care in the Winter”
3) “Explainer Videos Bootstrapped”

By offering a ‘thing’ you will be able to capture the traffic comes your way.

I made a big error the first time I used this method and lost out on thousands of potential leads by not having a way for them to be reminded about me.

Note: If you can’t think of anything to make, pick a different subject.


3.) Make a list of people that are already talking to your audience:

My audience: People like me. Sick of their job. Want to start an online business.

Question: Where are those people hanging out online?

That was an easy question since I was my own target audience. I was taking courses on starting a business, reading blog post about it and listening to podcast by people who had started successful businesses.

I used a Google Doc to help with this step. I wrote out three different list.

List #1: People who I respected in the industry that already had established relationships with my target audience.

List #2: Products that I used (or knew of) that were used by people in this industry.

List #3: Companies that advertised on these sites.


4.) Filter it down

Then I identified those that I had a relationship with. I quantified a relationship as:

  • Bought a product from them
  • Subscribe to their service
  • Had an email conversation
  • Tweeted back and forth
  • Read a recent article
  • Bought their book
  • Met them in person

Then I ranked the level of relationship on a scale of 1 to 5. With a 5 being a very good relationship and 1 being none at all.

5.) Make a choice

Next, I picked the one that had the highest ranking and that I felt I had the best chance of success with.

Remember, my goal was to be someone’s poster boy. To be a case study for someone that had a big engaged audience of my companies target audience so that they would tell their audience all about me.

My choice: Earlier in 2013 I purchased Appsumo’s “How to make a $1000 per month business” course. It walks you from the ‘idea’ stage of starting a business, all the way through scaling your product.

At this point I had partially finished the course, participated in its Facebook group and exchanged emails with several of the courses creators.

Relevant Audience: Check

Established Relationship: Check

6.) What happens now?

Based on the rankings, I chose Appsumo as the ‘most-likely-to-suceed’ candidate. Now, all of my effort went into building a relationship with them and being the most successful student I could be in their course.

I reported back to them on my progress as I went along.

I asked for advice. I shared failures.

Tell them about it. Let your target company know:

  • How you are using their product
  • What results you are having
  • The good, the bad the ugly

Write a detailed case study of how you used their product or service. Give all of the details. Tweet to the owners of the company and let them know what you are doing with the product.

Example: Below is a tweet exchange I had as I was writing this post. This was to the owner of a popular SaaS company who has a nearly identical audience as me, only 100x larger.
Later in the conversation he agreed to allow me to write a full case study as a guest blog post on their site. All of this happened because of a 20 word Tweet where I shared the success I had with his product.
Main_WindowNote: I shot a video talking about how this opportunity came about. I’ll tell you who the company is and how the opportunity came about. It is in the free bonus section. Check it out.

I shared detailed numbers, clients and big wins with Appsumo. I told them about my successes and failures. I gave detailed revenue numbers.


The results: They emailed their list (over 600,000 people) about my case study, featured Videofruit on their course landing page, included me in a Lifehacker article and I worked with them on their latest product launch.


My total investment:

  • $0
  • Butt load of effort

I have collected over 400 email addresses as a direct result of traffic from being a ‘Poster Boy’ of one company.

Based on the spreadsheet I shared above, I have at least 3 companies that I need to replicate this strategy with.

I can’t tell you how much traffic you will get, if it will work as well for you as it did for me, if your business will be emailed out to over 1 million targeted readers or not.

I can tell you that it will work though.

I have used this strategy twice and it has worked brilliantly both times. Small sample size? Maybe.

But every business needs case studies. Be the case study. Be the Poster Boy.



If you’re stuck, I get it. I’m writing this to Bryan from 12 months ago who was stuck as well.

Taking this info and applying it can be hard.

That’s why I put together a video training that shows you how to use this “Poster Boy” approach to take your business to 6 figures and beyond. Check it out now!

Get it Free FREE Bonus: I recorded a 15-minute training to show you exactly how to use this "Poster Boy" approach to get industry leaders to feature your business to their audience. Click the button to unlock free 24-hour access to the training now!