Ask Formula in Three Degrees Via Tim Ferriss, Noah Kagan, Blinkist, and AppSumo

ask formula

To find out what current and potential customers want, just ask them by using the Ask Formula

How I ran across the Ask Formula and became a fan of Ryan Levesque

I am sure most of you have heard of the concept of “six degrees of separation”. Maybe some of you have played the game “Back to Bacon”. The concept of the game Back to Bacon is that every actor can be linked to Kevin Bacon through movies they have acted, in 3 steps or less.

The same concept is used in LinkedIn where your contacts are grouped into 3 categories:

  • 1st Degree – are your direct contacts
  • 2nd Degree – are contacts that are linked to your 1st-degree contacts
  • 3rd Degree – are contacts that have 2 contacts in between you and them.

In this case instead of Back to Bacon, this is my tale about the steps that led me to Ryan Levesque (spell) and the Ask Method.

Business Podcasts are a great source for ideas

Like most of my great finds these days, it started with a Podcast. Another great source is email newsletters, but more on those later.

It started with a 2-hour drive to a client. I was working my way through old episodes of The Tim Ferriss Show podcast. Those that follow me know that I reference Tim regularly. The episode was “How Facebook’s #30 Employee Quickly Built 4 Businesses and Gained 40 Pounds with Weight Training”.

This episode I have referenced a bit in the past because there are some great easy to implement productivity hacks in this episode. Stuff like increase the speed of your mouse. How many hours a day are you on a computer? In a couple hours, you get used to the faster speed and are saving time. Or buy a better modem. This is something I have experienced recently. For $70, I picked up a new cable modem for the office and my download speeds increased from 128MB to 180MB and latency decreased.

Tim Ferriss gets me to Noah Kagan

The guest of the Podcast was Noah Kagan from Sumo Me. But by the time I got to a computer hours after listening, I could not remember Noah or the company name. So I had to hit the Google machine with the only piece I remembered “sumo”.

Noah Kagan gets me to App Sumo

I can’t remember the exact search but I ended up at AppSumo. Wasn’t the Noah company I was looking for, but cool in its own way. At AppSumo, they have built a community of Geeky Entrepreneurs.

AppSumo works with tech companies, usually SaaS, to offer discount and exclusive deals to their members. They deliver these deals via email and on their website. Check out AppSumo here. (Affiliate Link) I signed up for the AppSumo email list and was up and running.

AppSumo gets me to Blinkist

One of the deals I jumped on was one year of Blinkist at a big discount. What Blinkist does is create summaries of books that can be read in 20 minutes or less, which they refer to as Blinks. For some of the summaries, they even provide audio so you can listen on the go.

The books are broken into categories mostly covering geeky entrepreneur topics. Some of the topics are:

  • Productivity & Time Management
  • Marketing and Sales
  • Health & Fitness
  • Entrepreneurship & Small Business
  • Biography & History
  • Science
  • Add what the deal was and what they do.

You can check out Blinkist here. (Affiliate Link)

Blinkist gets me to the Ask Formula

One of the early Blinks I listened to was Ask. by Ryan Levesque. OK, the full title is Ask: The Counterintuitive Online Method to Discover Exactly What Your Customers Want to Buy…Create a Mass of Raving Fans…and Take Any Business to the Next Level. Basically, the title is longer than the description of the book by Blinkist:

The Counterintuitive Online Formula to Discover Exactly What Your Customer Wants to Buy… Create a Mass of Raving Fans… No Take Any Busiennss to the Next Level.

The “Online Formula” is the Ask Formula, Ryan walks you through how to set up a series of surveys to ask your current and potential customer what they want. The series of surveys is the framework for the Ask Formula.

After listening to the Blink a couple time I purchased a copy of the book. I have yet to completely follow the Ask Formula with a client, but after one reading I immediately started implementing some of the concepts of the Ask Formula into existing email marketing programs. Hopefully, I will get a chance to do a future blog post on how I am using the Ask Formula. You can get a copy of Ask on (Affiliate Link)

Back to SumoMe

I did end up going to the show notes for the Tim Ferriss show. The Noah company that I was looking for was SumoMe. SumoMe allows you to easily add social sharing features like email collection, social sharing buttons, and more to your website. They even have a WordPress plugin that will allow you to get set up in minutes. I have since added SumoMe to a dozen sites, but that’s a story for another day. Check out SumoMe here. (Affiliate Link)

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