Oh hello there,
This is the 38th edition of Making Connections, where we take a random (illustrated) walk down tech, fitness, product thinking, org design, nerd culture, persuasion, and behavior change.
Like what you see? Why not bring someone to the party?
🖼 The Big Trouble Trifecta
E.g. the second pour of scotch, opening TikTok late at night, napping at 10pm.
🧠 How to Make a Great Landing Page
There’s a great Twitter thread by Demand Curve on optimizing the above-the-fold section of a landing pages. There are four core elements: Header, Subheader, CTA, and Images.
I like that the example includes the “bad alternative”. Knowing your alternative is crucial part of positioning. What would people use if they weren’t using your tool? April Dunford, the queen of positioning, defines positioning in her guest post in Lenny’s Newsletter as:
”Positioning defines how your product is a leader at delivering something that a well-defined set of customers cares a lot about.”
And goes on to list out the 5 elements of a positioning statement as being about
- Competitive Alternatives
- Differentiated “Features” or “Capabilities”
- Value for customers
- Target Customer Segmentation
- Market Category
Ok so back to this tweet thread. Marketing relies heavily on positioning but it needs to take it further by also reducing customer concerns or objections.
People are always looking for a catch, so you have to reassure them. I remember once copywriting course that taught this basic formula:
“Get [key benefit] — without [potential concern]”
Obviously you have to truth-y here and not get carried away or else you get you into infomercial territory quickly.
“Get a toned body — without spending hours in the gym”
This one can be tough because we want to say every last thing about our business, but I think the point to remember is to focus on features that “explain how the claim is achieved”. And not in detail, but just what the heck it is in plain terms.
👉 Check out: Brooklyn Illustrations
This is a really fun set of over 1,100 high quality illustrations in a bunch of different themes like marketing, design, shopping, and work, and are easily added to any kind of project. Similar to the Vector Creator tool shared in MC#036.
But while that has more depth and customization, this one is really about consistency. In the free version, you can use any image with just blue and black, but if you buy the premium edition, you can tweak the colors to fit your brand or pre-set color palette, which can really make it shine.
I used them for a side project recently and my collaborator texted me back super fast:
Good tools (plus good taste) make for good work! 😘
Brooklyn Illustrations (free + paid)
That’s all for this week! Take care of yourselves—and if you’re in the Northeast, enjoy the 🌨
👨🏻💻 About Me
Jason Shen is an entrepreneur and business leader passionate about technology and human resilience. His past startups have reimagined transportation, recruiting, and gaming; backed by notable investors at Y Combinator, Techstars, and Amazon. As an operator, he’s built products and led teams at companies like Facebook, Etsy, and the Smithsonian. Jason has written about productivity, resilience as well as the future of work in publications like Fast Company, VOX, TechCrunch and has spoken at events at TED, Google and The White House where his ideas have reached millions. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife, two kettlebells, and many piles of books.