I just listened to a Tim Ferriss podcast episode called „3 Critical Rules Of Branding“. As a copywriter, I enjoyed to hear Tim’s take on part of the field I work in – marketing.

As per usual, the podcast was great. But one bit was the reason I’m writing this article right now.

In this episode, he outlines some of the marketing strategies he uses to sell podcast advertising.

Even though he only gave a tiny peek into the marketing part of his sharp mind, the episode prompted me to investigate his marketing strategies further.

I analyzed why I (re-)listen to his episodes, keep buying his books and constantly consider buying mushroom coffee (an advertiser on his podcast)

Quickly, patterns emerged.

I came up with a practical list of 6 strategies Tim uses to establish incredible reach – quickly and get people to buy.

More importantly, I turned each strategy into something you as a business or person can use to make your business and your content more „shareable“, stand out and -if you nail the rest of your marketing- increase revenue.

Here it goes:

6 Marketing Techniques Tim Ferriss Uses To Win In Marketing Every Time

1. Making Great Stuff

You might be thinking this doesn’t have much to do with marketing, but bear with me – you’ll see how this can improve your marketing.

Not once have I listened to/read anything by Tim Ferriss and thought „meh“. Obviously, not everything he puts out is for me (I don’t care much about the startup investing episodes, for example). But it still feels like a well-done, super-informative podcast every time.

And this is the no.1 thing you have to do. Sell something which (over-)delivers on all of its promises.

How YOU Can Apply This:

Making awesome stuff helps you in two ways to improve your marketing:

  1. You’ll have an easier time promoting your product or service. If you’ve ever had to sell or promote anything you’re not entirely convinced of, you know what I’m talking about. You just can’t have the burning enthusiasm you need if you’re not 100% convinced of what you’re selling. Not being convinced of your product will either ruin your marketing or make you hate your life while you’re working on selling something you have doubts about.
  2. Get testimonials – effortlessly. Everybody who’s even remotely worked in marketing knows testimonials are essential. Somebody else verifying your claims is one of the best assets you could ever have. If your product or service is amazing, it’ll be much easier to get those reviews and testimonials – they’ll just happen by themselves or need a little bit of a nudge. No need to chase after your customers like a Lion preying on an Antilope.

2. The „Not-A-Newsletter“ Newsletter

To fill you in: TF has a newsletter called „5 Bullet Friday“. It’s simply 5 bullet points of stuff he liked that week.

Could be an article, something to eat, a gadget or a quote. Anything, really.

He sends this every single Friday to over a million people and gets 60+% open rates (some email marketers dream of 25% open rates).

It doesn’t sell often (occasionally, Tim has a link to his newest book in there).

Is it even marketing?


Here’s why:

  1. It keeps Tim in his subscriber’s heads. It’s not like a daily newsletter which only filters for the most hardcore fans. It’s a gentle, interesting, helpful reminder Tim exists.
  2. It turns his readers on to new stuff they might like. Liking the same things makes people identify with each other. The usefulness of identification for a marketer is obvious.
  3. He often includes a link to a sample chapter of his newest books or his newest podcast episode, which can lead to a potential sale.
  4. It grows his email list. Although he doesn’t usually email more than his weekly newsletter, a 7-figure email list can be a great asset for future marketing experiments, if done right.

How YOU Can Apply This:

I think the easiest thing you can do to replicate the same benefits is deciding to somehow remain in your audience’s head. For some people/businesses, that might be growing a Facebook page, for others it might be a Snapchat or an email list.

Another lesson is creating a no-effort (for you AND the reader) outlet for your content. The 5BF Takes about a minute to read and is quickly digestible, unlike some of his blog articles.

Then, relating to your audience’s experiences is one of the most powerful devices for bonding. Couple this with the common reaction to the common experience and you’ve got one of the most powerful combinations for creating identification.

3. How He Grew His Podcast To A Massive Audience – Quickly

We can’t ignore that Tim had already been a bestselling author before he ever started the podcast, so that obviously helped.

But still, the way he grew his podcast to one of the biggest in the world is pretty impressive:

It might seem like Tim goes after topics and people which interest him at the moment. And while that might be true, you only need to look to the beginning of his podcast to see a strategic pattern for massive, quick growth:

In the beginning (say Ep. 40 and below), most guests have huge audiences.

Interviewing these people and having them post/tweet about it helped grow his audience for free.

He simply leveraged their audiences instead of running campaigns to promote his podcast. That way, he got immense organic growth – no slimy marketing tactics or spending much.

How YOU Can Apply This:

Every social media personality or business is trying to grow an audience – whether that’s for their content or their products – or both.

And if you’re trying to market anything, you need to know whom you’re marketing it to.

If you’ve figured that out, you can look for whom your target audience follows.

If you can then guest post on their blog/interview them or leverage their reach in any way, you’ll be almost guaranteed to build an audience quickly if you do it right.

4. The Copywriting Technique He (And Virtually Every Other Public Figure) Uses To Be Prolific AND Informative

If you ever listen/read/watch Tim Ferriss’ stuff, he uses one technique used since the stone age.

This technique is something most copywriters and marketers have to learn before they can expect an engaged audience and high conversion rates.

It’s one of the first forms of human communication.


If you’ve read the 4 Hour Workweek, you know that he begins with his story with being burnt out, then tells you about discovering outsourcing, automating his business and being rich while jet-setting through the world.

If you listen to his podcast, he never asks: „What can you say about marketing?“ „What’s the best way to manage a team?“. Most of his podcast questions are structured in a way where Tim asks something about a specific period of their life or business and then follows up with a question about what they learned from this story.

This is THE way to engage people (both interviewees and listeners) emotionally and make sure they retain what you told them.

Think about it:

How many dry, textbook-style books were published about how to outsource and automate business processes before the 4-Hour-Workweek came out?

A ton!

Why didn’t they become bestsellers? There was no humanity. No emotion. No story.

Story is what gets people engaged emotionally. Use it when you can.

How YOU Can Apply This:

You can use story in many places:

  1. An „about us“ page. Nothing is more boring than a mission statement. „We care about x, y and z. Or products are…“ Yawn.
  2. Instead, tell your story „We loved x but hated y about it. So took matters into our own hands and created z“. Isn’t that 10x stronger? (Check out MVMT Watches’ or Dollar Shave Clubs’ beginnings for stories which use pretty much this exact formula.
  3. The obvious way is in Content marketing. Enriching your videos or blog content with a story as to how you came to the conclusions you’re drawing in the piece helps people engage.
  4. In your ads, use a customer’s story (with permission) to help people with the same problem project themselves into the story and get the same solution.
  5. Many more. Way too many to list them all here. Send me an email at kontakt@finnlobsien.de to discuss how and where we can tell your story to create a loyal fan- and buyer base.

5. Being A Person You Want To Grab A Beer With 

Sometimes, Tim will ask his fans for restaurant recommendations or post a picture of himself doing or wearing silly things. The same works for me – I bonded with a client over liking to ride bikes – he became a repeat client.

Being a human gets few to buy directly – probably.

But not just being a distant, untouchable superhuman who deconstructs every skill and reads a book a week certainly helps him be less of a disconnected celebrity, but somebody you’d like to have a beer with.

How YOU Can Apply This:

In most cases, it helps to show your personality. Again, liking the same things and having the similar humor bonds you together. Not much to say here.

Only thing: I would caution you from taking a political/religious/etc. stance. You’ll draw some people closer to you and will repel others.

So really think deeply about taking stances on controversial issues and if it’s really going to get you a positive ROI in the end.

6. He Knows What Itches To Scratch

TF’s content is mostly about three major topics. In his book „Tools of Titans“, Tim divides the Titans into healthy, wealthy and wise.

Three fundamental blocks of human improvement.

Nearly anybody who wants to improve themselves in one way or another (which is almost every human) will want to do so in either wealth, health or mental capacity in some sense (=wise).

He knows there are hordes of people with the desire for more wealth, better health and becoming wise.

If he can channel these desires onto his content, people will love him and buy his books, listen to his podcast (—> ad revenue for him).

How YOU Can Apply This:

If you know what people’s desire is, you can use marketing to channel it onto your product or service and get people to pay for whatever you offer.

I recently wrote an entire article about how to channel desire. Read it here.

No Time To Apply All The Advice Out There? Want To Win Anyway?

I’m sure you’re busy running your own business and don’t have the time to apply everything you read about.

If you’d like to scale your marketing, take home more profits and increase conversion, we might be a fit. Email me at kontakt@finnlobsien.de to discuss if and what copy or content could make your campaign a winner.

Would You Like High-Performance Copy Or Stand-Out Content?

If you’re looking for a copywriter to help make your campaign a winner, email me at kontakt@finnlobsien.de to see if we’re a fit and if I can help you!

Hope you enjoyed this article!