Let’s Talk About The Man in the Mirror | The Branding, Instagram, & Distribution Strategy I’d Use to Help Build Mind Journal

Journaling Saves.

Mind Journal is doing a lot of things right.
In the past few years, journaling has become a high priority subject.

This issue has found a platform with entrepreneurial juggernauts, best selling authors, and even the scientific community.

Image from  Mind Journal

Image from Mind Journal

All of them championing why journaling is all-upside if you can commit to the practice.

Many people attest journaling to:

  • Their creative breakthroughs.

  • Overcoming depression (journaling created stepping stones for their recovery).

  • A way for them to clear their mind and prioritize the work that needs to be accomplished throughout the day vs. doing “urgent” busy work.

  • Writing strategic plans to bring their ideas into reality, and more.

Image from  Mind Journal

Image from Mind Journal

As the entrepreneur and author Tim Ferriss put it:

“I’m just caging my monkey mind on paper so I can get on with my fucking day. [Journaling doesn’t] need to solve your problems. [You] simply need to get them out of your head, where they’ll otherwise bounce around all day like a bullet ricocheting inside your skull. Could bitching and moaning on paper for five minutes each morning change your life? As crazy as it might seem, I believe the answer is yes”.

And now that we’ve talked about the purpose behind Mind journals creation, let’s go into how they set themselves up for success.


1 — They Connected Their Facebook & Instagram Pages to Their Shopify Store.

Many ecommerce business owners don’t think this is a big deal to have.

Something they’ll get to, eventually.

Let me walk you through a customer’s journey of finding your item on Instagram and making a purchase.

The long route OR the shortest route possible — to making a purchase

The long route OR the shortest route possible — to making a purchase

The long route OR the shortest route possible — to making a purchase

The Long Route (the image to the left) demonstrates the shopping experience for someone who has to do a search on your website for the item they saw on your Instagram profile.

There are, at least, 7 steps the person must go through to make the purchase.

This can lead to frustration that causes the person to abandon making a purchase altogether.

Then there’s The Short Route (the image to the right), where after they click on the image in your Facebook or Instagram page, they’re IMMEDIATELY directed to that item in the store.

No search party to find what they’re looking for.

So what am I trying to say?


Make it effortless and as easy as possible for your audience to make a purchase from you.

It can be the difference between you making $100 in sales in a month, and $1000 in sales in a month.

So yeah…
It’s a big deal.

2— They’re Doing (Some) Instagram Strategy

The quick and dirty on Instagram strategy is that:

  • You have a TIGHT theme/aesthetic that you adhere to

  • You use up to 30 relevant hashtags per post

  • You post at least 3 times per day on a daily basis

  • You do collaborations with other people, brands, businesses in your niche

  • Distribution, distribution, distribution

If you’re a business or brand on Instagram, and you’re growth is at a snail’s pace or has stalled altogether, check and make sure you’re executing on the above points.

What they’re doing now is good, but I’m going to throw out an idea (that I’ll mention below) that will heighten what they’ve already accomplished.

3 — Their Website Was Thought Out

Overall, Mind Journals website looks fresh and well thought out.

The copy focuses on the audience’s pain points, and the solutions they have to offer, without using a lot of flowery language.

And you can tell that they did some customer research (or created a customer avatar) and used some of that language in their website copy.

“Times are changing for guys. Roles have shifted yet stereotypical expectations remain the same”. — Mind Journal

“Looking after yourself shouldn’t feel like a chore”. — Mind Journal

“Asking for help can be tough”. — Mind Journal

Using the language your customer would use to describe their problems or pain points?


A tactic I highly encourage for everyone to use when writing copy for their product.



Like I said earlier, Mind Journal is doing “some” Instagram strategy, but I see some places where it can be improved.

Right now they’re posting artistic photography, images of their product, and quotes — about 2x per day, semi-regularly.

Inside each post they give a little context and try to engage the audience.

Screen Shot 2018-09-13 at 5.33.04 PM.png

My suggestion? 
Go deeper, not wider.

Meaning to do a deep dive into the mental health space that’s effecting men across various professions and backgrounds.

So, I would go the Humans of NY (or HoNY) route.

image from  HoNY Instagram

image from HoNY Instagram


So that the reader knows that they’re not alone with these issues.

I would collect statements and stories from men across various professions, ages, backgrounds, etc. — about:

  • their journey to self awareness

  • their bouts with depression

  • how they went from looking for motivation to becoming disciplined

Touching on everything, and anything, related to men and mental health issues.

And just like HoNY does from time to time to protect the subject’s privacy, I WOULD NOT want a picture of their face, but a picture of them in their normal state or environment. Like this:

I would want to do this to, again, protect their privacy, but also for them to have the anonymity to encourage honesty.


They’re talking.

Men are opening up and getting real with issues that they would never DARE speak about in public, or even to family and friends, before.

From the series  Man Enough on YouTube

From the series Man Enough on YouTube

And on that note, I would suggest starting a podcast where Mind Journal interviews:

  • entrepreneurs

  • athletes

  • men in the military or armed services

  • retired politicians

  • mental health professionals

  • blue & white collar professionals

  • social media celebrities, and more

Asking questions about:

  • how they overcame depression

  • how they built up their self awareness

  • how they may have journaled to get them out of a bad period of their life

  • how they were able to reach the scopes of success they’ve reached

  • what their thoughts are on the mental wellness space

  • daily rituals to keep them in the right state of mind at all times, etc.

If you’re asking yourself, “how do I start a podcast?”, you could do a Google search and you’ll see that you have a plethora of options to choose from.

Choose one of these aficionados and go forth.

But here’s the quick & dirty on how to start right now, with ZERO dollars or for $36.49/month.

Step 1: Have a conversation with someone over Skype, Zoom, or in-person.

Step 2: If it’s over Skype or Zoom, record the conversation using Quicktime.
Select ‘New Audio Recording’.

SIDE NOTE: Some people choose ‘New Screen Recording’ — where they’ll record the video conversation. They’ll post the full video on YouTube. And then, strip the video keeping only the audio, and posting that to their podcast.

Step 2a: If it’s in person, record the conversation with your phone. 
If you’re phone is always low on storage (like mine) use a video camera.
Whether it’s a pocket camera or a DSLR, find a quiet location, put it in between you two on the table, press record, and start talking.

Come with an empty memory card, a full battery, and you’re good to go. Image from  DPReview

Come with an empty memory card, a full battery, and you’re good to go. Image from DPReview

Step 3: Add an intro/outro and edit the interview with whatever editing software you use. 
I’m personally all about Premiere Pro which is where the $31.49/month comes into play. 
You can do a search for free online video editing software or apps.

Step 4: Upload to Soundcloud (free), Libsyn ($5/month), or whatever platform you’re using for your podcast.

And you’re done. 
You’ve started a podcast.

Now all you have to do is be consistent with it.

That’s great Gigi, but how do I FIND these people to interview?

Social media to the rescue.

Don’t use one. Use ALL of them to do outreach. Everyone’s a winner!

Don’t use one. Use ALL of them to do outreach. Everyone’s a winner!

  • Put up a post in your LinkedIn profile.

  • Post on your Facebook page.

  • Post in Facebook groups.

  • Post in Reddit subs.

  • Shoot out a tweet (don’t forget the hashtags)

  • Reach out to your friends via email, text, Instagram, or smoke signals, and see if they know someone you could interview, and if they can give a warm introduction (the BEST option from this list).

The post on social can look something like this:

Screen Shot 2018-09-13 at 5.45.39 PM.png


So many people still believe that if they create good content and hit publish, it will immediately grow legs of it’s own and run a marathon across the internet, bringing in thousands of customers screaming…

shut up and take my money.gif

It happens. 
But not often.

So what do you do?

You create a distribution plan.

We’re going to post the podcast, perhaps some of the Instagram posts, and any other articles you create to:

  • Your business’ Facebook Page

  • Relevant Facebook Groups

  • You’ll republish your article in the LinkedIn publication

  • ONLY if you have a group of people on staff, in LinkedIn groups

  • In relevant Reddit subs

  • Answer Quora questions with links back to the original content

  • Republish it on Medium.com

  • And other online forums you’ve researched, of course, in advance

And this is not to mention getting featured in roundups, or using HARO (Help A Reporter Out), Pinterest, running Facebook & Instagram Ads, and repurposing your content to get as much attention as you possibly can BACK to your content.

Image from  HARO

Image from HARO

And that’s the plan.
Does this process sound tiring to you?

Yeah. It can be. 
But the spoils comes from the effort you put in.

You’ll spend 20% of the time writing brilliant content and 80% of your time distributing it.

But you won’t run the gamut on this ONE piece of content for a day, or even a week. But for MONTHS.

This isn’t a sprint, folks.
Welcome to the marathon.

marathon runner.gif


1 — Go deeper, not wider in your Instagram strategy really keeping in mind what will resonate with your audience and bring them value.

2 — Start a podcast. Use the materials you have on hand to start, and upgrade later down the line. Don’t make the excuse and waste time saying you “don’t have the right equipment to pull it off”, because you most likely do.

3 — Distribution. Distribution. Repurpose. Distribution. Repeat.


As always, whether the owner of this website takes my strategy or not, I wish them the BEST of luck and I applaud them on what they’ve accomplished thus far.

If you haven’t had the chance to read their story yet, give it a once over. 
It’s good.

image from  Mind Journal

image from Mind Journal

My theory, if they we’re to take on these tweaks, is that they would slowly see an increase in sales, but more so they’ll be depositing solid building blocks to strengthen their brand for the long haul and nurturing a highly engaged audience.

It’ll be a slow process to build up that clout, but as Ryan Holiday stated in his book ‘The Obstacle is the Way’, “Think progress, not perfection.”

. . . . .

What’s an unexpected distribution platform that you used that brought in clients, traffic, or sales?

Share your knowledge with the community below.

. . . . .

Welcome to my personal #7in30 challenge.

During this challenge I’ll be looking over (1) Instagram account and/or Shopify store every few days for 30 days , to analyze what they’re doing that’s great, and what they could improve on to increase brand awareness and/or their bottomline.

This series is designed to give ecommerce business owners, and anyone who is looking to build their brand, a springboard for your online & social media strategy — no matter what industry you’re in.

This series is suited for the beginner, or a seasoned business that’s finally taking their social media strategy seriously.

Mind Journal is #2 of 7