Herbert Lui — marketing advisory, editing, and writing

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I work with intellectually honest, candid, enthusiastic, generous, energetic, entrepreneurial experts to demonstrate their expertise, communicate their opinions, and develop their brands. The spirit of my work is driven by creativity, sharing, and strategy.

If we work together, the driving force of our work will be to develop and communicate a vision of the world, ideas, frameworks, opinions, and perspectives. Tactics like SEO and PR are mere channels; tools that we use to help get our work in front of people, not the spine of what we do.

The most important impressions are made and earned, not bought.

My approach to marketing is built on these core pillars:

Behind the scenes: Show people what’s going on in your organization and interesting things will happen (“Do things, tell people,” “Publish, don’t send,” “The cluetrain manifesto,” “Less marketing, more teaching,” “Show your work,” “Work in process,” “When self-promotion is done right, it never looks like self-promotion”)

Great writing is an extension of the product: How a team or company writes, thinks, and communicates also gives people a taste of what their product is like. (“Writing is strategy,” “Language builds culture,” “Story is strategy”)

Go direct: Start where you are and work directly with your customers. Talk to them directly. Find metaphorically (and sometimes physically) nearby markets and opportunities to do business. Put your work out there and look for ways to amplify it and improve upon it. Build relationships with the gatekeepers and people who hold opportunities, show them your momentum and look for opportunities to work together (“Make twice, sell twice,” “Walking both paths”)

Create on the continuum: You are a dot on a line that will extend before and after you. Learn the history of your industry and who your company’s predecessors were, understand their thinking and use it as a foundation to develop your thought. Cultivate relationships and work together with customers, businesses, stakeholders, friends, allies, and other leaders to advance dialogue and conversation. Societal impact matters. Leave the world better than you found it, and set the stage for other people to do the same thing (see “The Creative Process Continues Onward,” “Share other people’s work”)

Focus on the process, good results happen as a byproduct: Plan carefully, refine the process, execute, and repeat. Plan for what you can control and predict, consider what you can’t. (“The score takes care of itself”)

Think with your hands: Learn by doing, glean insights from execution and apply it to planning. A fear of executing poorly or planning in uncertainty is a starting point for improvement (“The Doing Thinking Flywheel”)

Patience: Creativity and craft can only thrive in a condition where patience is present and possible. Fear-driven, paranoid, rushes into execution lead to cancelled projects, wasted efforts, and confusion

Be real: Create the conditions for people to make an informed decision to do business with you, when they see the need. Move with candor and intellectual honesty. Don’t try to control timing, what people think of you, or how they behave. Put your business out there, promote your work, and trust that the right people who want to work with you will come (“Non-coercive marketing”)

The metacognitive edge: How you think is just as important as what you’re thinking and what you’re doing. Making educational material about how you think, and tools to access what you’re thinking, is a great way to ,create a competitive advantage for your business (“Process Your By-products”)

I am inspired by creativity, craft, open source, generosity, and Taoism.