The Shippers Ep007 with Brody Luebkeman

S03 - The Shippers
S03 - The Shippers
The Shippers Ep007 with Brody Luebkeman

The Shippers is an interview series featuring alum who have completed at least one cohort and published at least 26/30 days during it. You’ll meet a new creator, hear how Ship 30 impacted the way they create online, and what they took away from the experience.

Today we meet Brody Lukebkeman who used cookies to win friends and influence people before going on sabbatical to figure out if he could make it writing online (so far, so good).

If this interview helps you decide to jump aboard a Ship 30 for 30 cohort please consider signing up with this link as it helps me cover the (admittedly small) cost of putting these together.

Introduce yourself and the main topics of your writing

Tim: And now that we’re living. I wonder if you could introduce yourself and talk a little bit about the topics you tend to be writing about online?

Brody: Yeah. So my name is Brody Luka in, and I generally write about my journey to become a creator online. So just whatever that happens to encompass, try to be relative, you know, encouraging to other people online as well. And then slowly starting to build in some like, kind of financial, um, aspects to things and just kinda like that financial coaching background that I have just to help more people out.

Tim: Yeah. Can you, can you expand a little bit on that, like, uh, and maybe relate it back to your journey to being an online creator?

Brody: Yeah. So for the last eight years I worked as a financial advisor to individuals and kind of helped them figure out, you know, what does retirement look like, or how do they save more money for, you know, buying a house or whatever that happens to be a master’s in financial planning. And at that point realized like, I don’t really wanna do this anymore

Tim: <laugh>

Brody: And so I kind of took some time away, uh, back in September, and it just kind of decided to figure out like, well, what, what do I actually wanna do? And we’ll kind of get into what that led into in like a little bit here, but, um, I didn’t want to talk about finance at least at first when I was writing online. Um, so you’re a bit blurry so I don’t know if I’m blurry or not at a blur

Tim: Blur.

Brody: Okay. Um, yeah, so I didn’t wanna write about financial planning at first. Like I thought about trying to incorporate, I was like, man, it’s not really what I wanna talk about. Um, so instead I was just like, all right, what am I, what am I doing right now? And so I was like, okay, let’s just talk about, does my journey look like, kind of in that transition, like, how am I getting that first client? And then how can I use the experience that I’ve gained as growing as a financial advisor? And I think there are a lot of transferable skills like working for yourself and just things like that. And working with clients that like, well, to be a kind of freelance writer, um, freelance creator, whatever that happens to be, and I’m doing a lot of different things for a lot of different people. So there’s not really one category that I fit into. Well, yeah. But then knowing that, you know, there is space for somebody to just talk with creators or whoever where it happens to be about kind of the more financial side of things. Yeah. Cause I think that there’s a lot of people that are sharing that kind of information, but not always from the best place or not always like good information. So figure I can kind of slowly start weaving that into the content that I’m putting out.

Tim: Awesome. And, um, I imagine, like I imagine, uh, there’s probably heaps of, of like paths to the creator that people goes on and you can maybe just tell me to what extent this is I is what you’re describing, but, um, you know, you hit a point in your life or career, you decide you wanna do something different, you know, that people do make money doing internet things. So you start experimenting with doing internet things and then there’s like, dot profit kind of thing. And, um, it sounded like just now, like you, you had clients early and I’m wondering like, was it because you already kind of knew what kind of internet things you wanted to make money with, or was it like, like random opportunities and you were like, I can do that. Or how, how did you, how did that, how did it come about, um, you were, you were already able to monetize what you were experimenting with.

Brody: Yeah. So I think part of it was just kind of like showing up every day online. Um, I know that part of this conversation is to pivot into like ship 30 and that’s actually how I found that that first client was someone else in my cohort. And we were just kind of connected. And once she started building something, like we kind of started building that relationship where excuse me, we got along super well. And she reached out and like, I was wanting to reach out, but she actually ended up reaching out and was like, Hey, like, do you wanna start working together somehow? So it wasn’t anything that I thought I would be doing, but I started doing community management. I knew I wanted to do some kind of writing. So like now I’m writing her newsletter for this cohort that she’s created. Um, and then that’s actually been fantastic, like a mouthpiece for me to be like, Brody’s great.

Brody: Like you should work with him. And so like that’s ahead of me directly getting any clients from that. But I feel like that’s a good connection point. Yep. And then, the first copywriting client that I got, which was within a couple months of starting to write online back in January of this year. Yeah. Was someone who coincidentally met like two years ago virtually at a conference. And then I saw that they, you know, had some change, like to their job situation on LinkedIn. So I reached out for the first time in two years and was like, Hey, like, congrats, like da, da, da. Like, what are you up to? And so then that’s, you know, like just me explaining, Hey, like, this is how you knew me two years ago, this is what I’m doing now. And then it turns out that they had a project that perfectly combined what I was doing and then what I’m doing now with writing. And so was a pretty, uh, pretty easy slam dunk to get that first client. So now it’s like, okay, how do I repeat that with other people? Um, you know, going forward.

What was it that got you over the line joining ship30for30?

Tim: Yeah. Okay. So talk about where ship 30 fits into all that.

Brody: Yeah. So, uh, like I kind of alluded to earlier, I took a kind of part-time sabbatical back in September. Uh, I spent the last year before that saving up a bunch so that I could take some time off just knowing, like, I, I don’t want to continue doing direct financial planning like I’m doing right now. I mean, maybe I will, but I wanted to take some time off to just kind of reevaluate, excuse me, what, what, you know I’ve been doing. And, uh, so I was enjoying some time off to just kind of, not really doing anything, just like journaling every day, going like, what am I, what do I want to do today? Just like, I’m gonna do that. And not, not feel like I had to work for a couple months. And then maybe around November, I started getting kind of bored <laugh> and, um, started looking around like, right.

Brody: Like I need to start making money. Like I need to do something. And before quitting, I had been hired as a career coach, just trying to talk through, um, like, you know, what, what do I wanna do? I think I had a pretty good idea, like, I wanted to quit my job. I wanted to move like I wanted to do something else, but I wanted somebody to kind of confirm what I was, you know, that decision. And I was debating like, did I wanna start my own coaching business? But there was plenty of like imposter syndrome around that of like, you know, like, who am I gonna talk to? Like, do I have enough experience to talk to whomever? And just that felt like too much pressure on something I wasn’t a hundred wasn’t sure of. And I wasn’t sure if there was resistance because like one, I knew it was gonna be hard or two, I didn’t actually want to do it.

Brody: And so not knowing what kind of that was. I found ship 30 again as I saw like six months prior, but you know, didn’t feel like putting in the time to, uh, to get started with that at the time. And so then I thought, eh, well, instead of doing coaching, like, you know, for 500 bucks or whatever it was, I could sign up for ship 30 it’s 30 days, worst case, you know, like I’ve, I’ve written something for 30 days and then I’m done and like no harm, no foul. And I kind of check that box off. So, uh, that was like the end of December that I signed up, and I started writing every day, like the beginning, middle of January. And that’s kind of like what set everything else off. So like, excuse me, uh, like made a tonne of good friends through that. That’s how I found that first client.

Brody: That’s kind of what got me writing and like a bit more confidence in my ability to write, like, I’ve always enjoyed writing, but never really did anything with it. Like professionally, like I’ve done writing for friends or for, you know, college or, you know, helping, you know, whatever out. And this was like the first kind of actual direction into something more professional, like paid writing. And so it definitely helped kind of like, give me like some like tips to kind of refine my writing a bit, just to have more confidence in that writing and then have that kind of like initial portfolio you to be like, look, I actually like have something to show you verses like, Hey, this is something I wrote eight years ago that I don’t remember like what it was for. And so, yeah, it was good.

Tim: Yeah. So it sounds like ship 30 for you was kinda like throwing some stuff at the wall to see what was a stick kind thing.

Brody: Exactly. Yeah. And like, it was pretty low, uh, pressure. I mean, it was like, you know, high pressure of like, I need to write something every day, but low, like no

Tim: Low stakes maybe, right.

Brody: Yeah. Yeah. Low stakes are a good way to put it. Just like, all right. Like, and I went in thinking, right. Maybe I’ll write about nonprofits and all this other kind of stuff. Because I have experience there. And I’m kind of curious about that. And almost as soon as I started writing, I was just kinda noticing what other people were responding well to, it was like, oh, I could actually write about that. And so I just kinda like completely pivoted to writing about kinda like my own journey and just kinda like growing in that direction <affirmative> and just started gaining a lot of traction, um,

Tim: In that. Yeah. And what do you think about that? Why do you think it was that that worked for you?

Brody: I think, well, so like, even though I enjoy nonprofit work and all these other kinds of things, it’s like, yeah, like that’s good. And like, you know, I think generally people want that kind of stuff in their lives, but it’s not like a major focus a lot of the time. And so, yeah, I, I just started being authentically myself and it was like, all right, like, you know, here’s kinda like what I’m up to. Um, especially, you know, when I did get like that first client is like, here’s how I made my first dollar online, like ever, you know, that was just like, oh my gosh. Um, and then started just sharing like fun, like stories tied to work. Like my most successful piece to date was this story about how I like baked cookies for, um, one of the offices that I worked in and just like people went yeah.

Brody: Like people just went nuts over, well, the fact that I made those cookies and then also just that story, um, and like trying to replicate that story has been challenging. I’m like, okay, how do I, how do I, how do I create another one of these? And like, I have one where I’m trying to work on it and I’m obviously overthinking it. And it’s funny how, uh, with a lot of stuff that, you know, like writing online, um, like the more time you put it into it’s like this one, this is gonna be the thing that likes hits and then realizing like, yep. It’s that, that one thing that I ripped out in 15 minutes, cuz it was like, okay, it’s 1130. And I said I was gonna write something by midnight. So I guess I’ll write

Tim: This. Yeah. And um, yeah. So you can’t, you, it’s hard to figure out a way to like make the genie or make the magic . It’s better to just work the process or something like that.

Brody: Yeah. I, I, I think the key is just knowing like, all right, like I’m just gonna be consistent with, um, uh, like writing every day and not really focused on like, all right. If nobody likes this, like, you know, I mean, it’s good to know like why didn’t they like it, but it’s more on, okay, don’t get bogged down in the fact that people did or didn’t like it, like just keep putting stuff out and know that, you know, I have an essay or I have a couple more tweets tomorrow that will, um, you know, help push things forward. And so I think that consistency is much more important than the necessarily like quality of, I guess it’s good to be, you know, have good stuff to put out. Yeah. Um, but

Tim: Quantity over quality just

Brody: Yeah, for

What was the technique, tip, framework, hack, or whatever that helped you the most?

Tim: Sure. <laugh> cool. Well, um, you know, we are signing up for shift 30, there’s like, I think eight live sessions per cohort, they’re all recorded. There are a lot of frameworks and methodologies and hacks and tips and, um, templates. And I’m wondering if you think across, across the range there, was there anything that stands out as something that you’ve really taken on board and that has changed how you, how you do it?

Brody: Yeah. I think the biggest thing, and I don’t always do it with tweets, but at least with like, I even have changed how I write my emails because of this, but it’s like the 1, 3, 1 framework. So it’s like you write like one sentence and then it’s generally like three, but sometimes you can jam, you know, 5, 6, 7, whatever happens, to get into the next paragraph. And then the third paragraph is another sentence and it just made my writing so much easier to read and digest. Um, so it, yeah, that’s, that’s definitely been like the best tool that I found and kind of taken away from ship 30.

Tim: Nice one. And what, and to what to, what use do you put that in email?

Brody: Yeah. Um, so I, I think it just like, just like writing my essays, like, it makes it a bit more like, you know, Hey, here’s like this point and then kind of expand on that point and then try to kind of summarize slash lead to the next paragraph and just kind of realizing like, okay, can I, can I shorten my emails? Can I make them tighter? Um, and just basically being like, okay, how succinct can I make this email so that I’m communicating the most important bits and not wasting my time writing the email and not wasting like, you know, writing the email that I wouldn’t wanna read.

Tim: So shift 30 almost kind of changed your conception of how email works in a way or like something about like,

Brody: Yeah, it definitely helped kind of clarify communicating with others and like, I’m, uh, like I said, like writing an email for, or a newsletter for one person and I, I don’t know, always do this perfectly, but I do try to write like the newsletters with like that same framework as, as much as I can. Yeah. Um, and just to, to make things tighter.

If you were to start from the beginning again knowing what you know now, what would you do differently?

Tim: Yeah. Cool. If you could go back to the beginning, I don’t know if it was SEP September or January where you decided to join that co-first cohort and, uh, start again with what we know now, what would you do differently?

Brody: Yeah. Um, I think if I had experimented a bit more with like writing different things like I definitely just kind of picked one lane and for the most part stuck with it, I think with shift 30, it’s useful because you have, you know, 200 or a thousand eyeballs, like, you know, however many people are actually seeing your stuff cuz there’s a bunch of people in this cohort. Um, but knowing that like K there is a, you know, captive audience at that point and just truly going like, all right, you know, every other day I’m gonna write, you know, one thing. And then on these, the other days I’m gonna write a completely different subject and just see how people resonate versus I, to some extent kind of like focused on, you know, like maybe not specifically one area, but it was much more a focus versus like shock and approach. Like lemme just try anything. Um, because I think that that would help with all right. You know, what do I enjoy writing most? What do people enjoy most? And then kind of seeing like where is that crossover point that people wanna read? And I wanna put out that helps grow my audience the most.

Tim: Yeah. So like to use the first cohort as a shotgun. Just like try, try as much as you possibly can to see rather than starting too focused.

Brody: Yeah. And I like, I’m definitely only kind of branching out a bit more now. Um, I think it’s easier to kind of start from a point of like, you know, go out like this and then focus versus like, oh, as I’ve, you know, now I’m becoming known as like one thing and it’s like, okay, like let me veer over this with.

If this interview helps you decide to jump aboard a Ship 30 for 30 cohort please consider signing up with this link as it helps me cover the (admittedly small) cost of putting these together.


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