Knocking on Doors

“The best journeys answer questions that, in the beginning, you didn’t even think to ask.”
— Unknown
This essay was originally published as the introduction to Good Work—Edition Nº 42 on
Silver Lining by Mt. Joy

Over the last year, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how we get the word out about Holloway. I’ve read more than I ever thought I would about the field of marketing, but the thing that surprised me the most is how important it is to understand, and master, what I call “having a good ground game.”

In politics this means knocking on doors, canvassing neighborhoods, and talking to people face-to-face. When we were starting Mattermark, we emailed every single investor we could with a screenshot of data about their firm in our product, offer a demo, and see if they would respond. At Holloway, I keep a list of people and when we publish something I think they’d like, I shoot them a DM on Twitter or a quick email. Often, they volunteer to share it without me even needing to ask.

Sharing your work and asking for help spreading the word is intimidating. Nobody wants to be a spammer, and we’re often afraid of asking for too much. And some people do ask for too much. The key to keeping out of shady spam territory and in the land of a sincere effort to grow something you love is to remember that it’s not about you. If you send someone an article you wrote and they genuinely love the thing, then you did them a favor.

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