When You Can’t Outspend, You Need to Outteach

Showing Your Process Is the Best Promotion

Herbert Lui
4 min readApr 23, 2020


Image: Kelly Sikkema/Unsplash

One tried-and-true formula to promoting your work requires you accomplish something, draw people’s interest (and sometimes money), by showing them how they can do the same thing. I’ll paraphrase what Kathy Sierra writes:

When you can’t outspend, you’ve got to outteach.

CEOs, creatives, and marketers all approach me with the million dollar question: But what can you talk about when you don’t have a story, or any accomplishments, yet?

Do something interesting and document it

My favourite example of this is Eddie Huang’s The Pop Chef. His restaurant, called Baohaus, was originally called the Pop Kitschen. Eddie writes in his first blog post, “So, the point of this blog is to document the opening of my new restaurant…. Leading up to the opening of my new restaurant, I’ll be showing you guys the recipes, the branding, the menu, etc. Should be dope, so stay tuned!”

Is starting a restaurant interesting? It’s alright for people who eat to live, but it’s meaningful to people who live to eat. If you’re like me, you stick around because Eddie can make anything interesting. The guy opens up a blog post, “ Getting a Loan,” with a photo of a masked robber pointing a gun at a barely visible bank teller. He uses words like “entrepoorneurs.” It’s funny. He makes up his own reader questions, then he answers them. He hits back at ideas that he doesn’t agree with.

Here’s a very short list of examples, off the top of my head:



Herbert Lui

Covering the psychology of creative work for content creators, professionals, hobbyists, and independents. Author of Creative Doing: https://www.holloway.com/cd