In the November edition of our London founder interview series, we chatted to Harry Dry. He grew his website & newsletter, Marketing Examples to 40k+ within 16 months.
Hey Harry, for those that don’t know, what is Harry’s Marketing Examples?
It’s a gallery of short, sweet, practical marketing examples. Think Dribbble for marketing! EDIT: since thiis article was published, Harry has also made the awesome Copywriting Examples. Check it out.
Can you tell us a little about your background and how you got into building things?
Studied Economics at uni. Realised it was the path onto the corporate conveyor belt. 9-5. Clock in. Clock out. Alpen in the mornings. Deliveroo at night.
So I started learning coding instead of my degree. Cause I was trying to write a book. And I realised that no one would read a book by some randomer. So I thought if I could put my book up online on a website I’d be able to sell more…
Anyways, I ended up doing it. And then I was Googling some coding problem and I found Indie Hackers. I didn’t really know there was loads of people trying make a living online. So it felt weird but these people felt like me. So I hang out there for a bit and that’s how I got into it.
Where did the idea for Marketing Examples come from, and how did you validate it?
I loved all those landing page inspiration sites and thought that something like this for marketing would be cool. So I wrote a bunch of articles in the evenings and launched it. Took me about a month. I got about 100 email subscribers in the first week. Felt awesome. And then every article I’d get a few more. That was the validation.
If people weren’t subscribing I’d probably have stopped after a bit.
Can you tell us about your business model?
There really isn’t much of a business model. I’m just fully focused on building an audience this year. The goal is to be the single best place to learn about marketing. Hopefully the rest will work itself out :)
What’s your tech stack?
How do you stay focused and avoid distractions?
When I’m working I turn my phone off and tell myself that social media, news, dating apps are for losers to fuel mental addictions. But I struggle with this. I work alone. It’s easy to get distracted. So I gotta be extreme.
How would you have done things differently if you started again?
Hmm. The top 1% of articles bring home all the metaphorical bacon. I only realised this a few months ago. Like 2 or 3 of my articles account for 50% of the growth. So perhaps I’d have tried to write top 1% stuff from day 1.
However… quantity was necessary at the start to just get the word out. Tricky one.
What are the most common mistakes you see content creators make early on?
They spend 6 months building something without talking to any users. That’s the classic mistake. And a mistake I made myself. Another one is believing that other people care. Unfortunately, no one cares about you. You have to make them care.
What else have you built before Marketing Examples, and what were the biggest lessons from those experiences?
Built a dating site for Kanye fans. I’ve sold custom canvas prints. I’ve tried to make websites for musicians.
My biggest one lesson was this question.
How can you consistently and sustainably get eyeballs on your product?
If you can answer this question you’re halfway there. In all my previous failures I couldn’t answer this question.
Do you ever feel like you have impostor syndrome?
Yes. I feel both completely out of my depth AND have complete self belief.
At what point is building in public not worth it?
Err, well if you’re building an audience who’s NOT also the audience of your product. I don’t think there’s a big direct benefit.
That would be like me spending 2 years building a marketing audience. Only to sell them tennis lessons!
Favourite indie products?
Indie Hackers. Boring answer I know.
Favourite apps on your homescreen?
Where can people stay updated on you and your projects?
Wildcard question: you’re known to be a fan of Kanye West’s music. If you were forced to argue why he should be President someday, what would you say?
Most politicians are well-paid actors. Kanye has countless faults. But I don’t think he’s an actor.