#YOLO and Mean Girls: Understanding “Insider Lingo”


DISCLAIMER: If you haven’t watched Mean Girls then you won’t really get this post. Also I hate YOLO and most references I’m making, but it’s the first thing that came to mind so I’m rolling with it.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how every person who gets super nerdy  about their hobbies have this sort of “insider lingo” that bonds other hobbyists together.

If you get the lingo and references, then you’re in the club.

There are literally millions of examples in your life.

Anime/Manga lovers(yours truly), gamers(sort of yours truly) are the quintessential examples.

However, if you can quote rap lyrics from Big L or the majority of the script from Mean Girls, you, kind sir or madam, are also a nerd in the traditional sense.

To me, Nerd = you’re obsessively into something.

Say you hate anyone who says YOLO unironically and Mean Girls is your favorite movie(why though). You’re out at a bar and you meet someone new who says “Oh my god, stop trying to make YOLO happen.”

Yes, old I know. Just imagine it’s 2011 for me.

What do you feel?

Besides pure rage at the mentioning of YOLO, you probably feel a few things:

  1. This person is awesome for hating YOLO
  2. This person is doubly awesome for liking Mean Girls

You might feel a bond over this exchange where you have something in common.

You think: “Omg this person is just like me!”

You feel like this person “gets” you or you “get” them, and they haven’t even directly spoken with you about anything.

I notice that when people meet for the first time, you can take the express lane from “stranger” to “OMG BEST FRANNNN” if you watch the same shows or listen to the same music.

That’s the supposed “shortcut” businesses want to do.

They think “Yeah! Let’s do pop culture references so we can be cool too!”

Problem is, they really fuck this up.

In the Mean Girls universe, they’re Amy Poehler.

They’re trying to be “cool.” Which isn’t the point at all.

People can tell when you’re trying too hard.

It’s a fine line and if you fuck it up…well…you can’t sit with us.

(Okay last Mean Girls reference..pinky promise.)

When it comes to marketing your product. It’s imperative that you learn empathy and can “speak” your customer’s language.

Marketers and most business owners are too general in their ads to ever resonate with anyone.

You need to understand what their lingo is and be authentic about it.

None of that “wolf in sheep’s clothing” type of shit.

Don’t use the damn reference just to try and be relevant.

In the NYC subways, a good example I’ve seen(that resonates with me) are Seamless ads.

It’s just enough, but not too much.

Granted, it’s sort of getting old now, but it was totally on point/fleek?(WOO 2015 REFERENCE) when it first started.

However, the snarky, sarcastic voice won’t jive with everyone.

I’m 23 so I sort of get it, but who knows if teens or boomers would get it.

The truth is, pop culture references are just one dimension of insider lingo.

It seems to be treated as the only one that matters, which is always the problem when it comes to using pop culture references. It isn’t exactly the most timeless thing, so the question you need to ask yourself is if you’re willing to use a reference that could die in a few months, leaving you having to continually reinvent your message.

It’s icing on the cake, and you should learn to use them in a timely manner, but it shouldn’t be your only  way of communicating with your target customer.

Your “tribe”(as Seth Godin puts it) of potential customers have multiple emotions when it comes to how they feel about certain things. It’s up to you to unlock those complex emotions, from the “Inside Out” (YES RELEVANT 2015 REFERENCE.)

Some other emotions you can utilize are:

  1. Fears/Anxieties
  2. Dreams/Aspirations
  3. Annoyances/Disgusts
  4. Nostalgia

There are many ways to resonate with someone, so ask yourself:

What “tribes” are your customers a part of? What magazines, movies and tv shows do they read and watch? What music and podcasts do they listen to?

And the absolute #1 thing that you must do is demonstrate how your product ties in.

How does your product relate to the emotion you’re conveying? How does your product enhance that emotion or alleviate that emotion for them?

So the bottom line is, figure out the emotions your target audience feels and tie that into your product.

*drops mic*



Making my first sale on Etsy: A Reflection

We did it. We totally did it.

Words can’t describe how excited I am about this. I ACTUALLY SOLD SOMETHING TO SOMEONE WHO WASNT MY MOTHER. A real life person! Shouts out to you, new customer. You have given me motivation to actually do this and not kick it to the side like I do with all my other escapades. While it’s only my first sale, and it’s not enough data really to track a trend, it definitely did come out of left field for me.

# of views does not equal number of sales.

This one was a surprise, and while its obvious advice, its baffling when it hits you. I got a request for a custom order for a photo I haven’t even promoted yet, and was not featured or did not have that many views.

focusing on good photos

this leads me to believe that i may have to take shop on the content that I provide, although it could be a billion other things.

custom equals good. packages?

i guess people do like some choice and custom orders are what got me my first sale, so i might just keep going with that and add some nice packages, like packages for the home, the office, etc.

providing good customer service/follow up/retention

well now i can test out my customer retention model and customer service model. offering a discount for repeat purchases is something i’m looking into implementing, and of course building a list for a bimonthly newsletter as well. we’ll see how it all goes!

showing my product to the best place for it: Etsy itself.

this doesn’t seem that much of a revelation, but I have been posting my blog posts and shooting them to twitter, facebook, and social bookmarking sites, but most of my traffic comes from Etsy, and I need to be more involved with Etsy and the community there.

While there are other things like seasonal trends and colors that are in style, thats all I can really assess from my first sale. Now time to set some sales goals and really get the ball rolling. Ciao!





Selling my Photography on Etsy – Why I’m Doing It

So I’ve decided to try my hand at selling my photograph prints on etsy (I’ve also applied at a restaurant as a barista, can you say typical NY starving artist? Oh joy to me.)

Well I’ve decided to try and really push my photography and selling prints to people. They’re a little on the expensive side, as each one is custom and hand made by me. I’ll post more pictures on the process and things, but you should check out my photography page and look at some of the prints, and if you’re on etsy, add me to your circle! I’d love to check your stuff out.

I have a whole marketing plan and all that, but it’s all just a pipe dream for now. I’ll be making a contact list and reaching out to my extended network both here and at home for anyone interested in canvas art. Either way I’m essentially moving from amateur hobbiest to semi-pro, but it all starts with the first sale! My first sale will validate my idea and feed my ego, which is also sometimes   a good thing.

I’m also doing this in tandem with my Amazon Affiliate websites, which I’ve been slacking on ever since I started on etsy, so I gotta start hustling some more again and get things back on track.

The reason why I’m selling on Etsy is because aside from having an awesome office, I feel like it resonates with creating something of value, that you can offer to the world, which is totally bringing the hippie out in me. I sort of am excited to learn how to stretch my own canvas, do acrylic gel transfers, ship my stuff out and get paid for it. It’s like I’m creating something unique and tangible that someone else wants to buy. I’m showcasing my perspective of New York and presenting it in a unique way, where no two prints, even of the same picture, are the same. And who knows? The next 2 years, it could be NYC, then the next 2 years after that, maybe Shanghai, the Philippines, Africa, Ghana, you name it.

It meshes perfectly with the idea of making an income online and loving what I do every day. I can just take my camera and walk around NYC and it could potentially fuel my income, which sounds great to me. It’s going to take a great deal of work, and with the Amazon sites I may and already have found myself split in two directions, but these two things, when set up correctly, can definitely be my own blueprint to success that I’ve only dreamed about.

So once again, come check out my store at http://www.patrickdomingo.etsy.com  and I will keep you posted, since I’m going to try and start documenting my online journey with etsy and Amazon. Cheers!



My Current Project: Setting Up Online Income Streams

So I haven’t at all been posting on here because I’ve been working on figuring out a way to set up some online income streams. Now, before you call “Bullshit” on this, hear me out. A lot of people are making a living online, even some people are selling their art on Etsy (which is what I plan on doing) and have made a decent side income on it. My goal is to have multiple streams of these, so I can diversify my income in case one goes under. I want to treat my income like people treat stocks –don’t put them all in one basket.

I’m setting up some websites that can cover my basic expenses (around $3000/month) then I can do my whole “travel and photograph the world” plan I’ve always wanted to do.

What’s awesome about this, is that most of the work solely depends on how much I put in, and once it’s set up, it will continue to grow with various tweaks and tests. Don’t get me wrong, this is a hell of a lot of work and takes months, even years to set up. I’m going to try and hack my way into it. More on the websites later.

P.S. I’m trying to tweet more, mainly asking questions and things like that, none of that “omg this is my day” crap. Follow me! 😀 @patdomingo