Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.
Not a subscriber yet?

Sign up now and get instant access to Digital Identity 101, my 5-step free email course to build true influence in the ever-changing creator economy.

She goes viral without being an asshole?

A nice guys guide to being polarizing

She goes viral without being an asshole?

A ‘nice guys’ guide to being polarizing

If you’re like me, Sundays aren’t just for relaxation.

They’re for diving deep into the world of ideas.

A chance to catch up on books, sift through enlightening newsletters, or let the wisdom of an audiobook serenade you during a peaceful walk.

This week, I listened to Codie Sanchez unravel the mysteries of contrarian thinking on the Modern Wisdom podcast.

You might think being contrarian means sh*tting on popular ideas.

But thank god, that isn’t true.

Cause all it takes is 1 home run contrarian idea to make you an ‘overnight success.’

Now, I don’t believe in dunking on popular ideas just for engagement.

The internet is filled to the brim with enough assholes poking the bee’s nest just to go viral.

So today, I’m going to show you how to reap the rewards of being contrarian without being a polarizing asshole on the internet.

What is a Contrarian Idea?

Contrarian = independent thinker.

It doesn’t mean swimming against the current for the sake of it.

It’s about carving your own path in the ocean of thought.

You don’t need to oppose AI simply because it’s the talk of the town.
You just need to think it through to form your own convictions.

By doing so you gain influence in relevant markets or niches.

You’ll not only differentiate yourself from 99% of creators but also cement a unique (and sometimes polarizing) positioning.

A golden nugget I wish my mentors passed down to me ⇣

Your positioning is your unique approach to solving known problems.

Aka. Create novel content that strikes your audience’s emotional triggers.

If you’re discussing the ideal way to devour a Pop Tart, chances are you might miss striking those emotional chords.

Captivate by tapping into what truly matters to them.

Dan Koe

↳ Known problem = write viral Twitter content
↳ Unique approach = 2 Hour Writer

Justin Welsh

↳ Known problem = create a profitable one person business
↳ Unique approach = Solopreneur

Taylin Simmonds (Me)

↳ Known problem = create a unique personal brand
↳ Unique approach = Digital Identity

Creating Contrarian Ideas

The 3 Types of Contrarian Ideas:

Attack ⏃ Defend ⏃ Expand

⇢ Attack a popular idea (why it’s wrong)

⇢ Defend an opposite idea (why it’s better)

⇢ Expand on a popular idea (why it’s more nuanced than you think)

These approaches touch on ideas your audience is already aware of.

But do so in novel, and sometimes polarizing ways.

These 3 approaches leverage the cognitive bias of ‘all-or-nothing thinking.

An example using AI as the popular idea:

All persuasive writing leverages compelling contrast.
↳ Uses existing ideas to increase the value of new ones.

Contrarians Explore Trade-Offs

Independent thinkers say “life is full of grey.”

Meaning, at the heart of every choice lies a trade-off:

I’ll willingly sacrifice [x] to passionately pursue [y].

These choices are profound reflections of our core values.

⏃ I’ll sacrifice watching Netflix to create content.
⏃ I’ll sacrifice sleeping with many women to marry one.
⏃ I’ll sacrifice alcohol to have a healthier body and mind.

Every “yes” you give is closing the door to countless others.

Again, viral worthy ideas live within these trade-offs.

Ex) A viral tweet from Justin Welsh.

“Perfectionism is often an elaborate form of procrastination.”

– Justin Welsh

Question everything.

Think in trade-offs. Market in absolutes.

Contrarians Explore Context Dependency

Imagine a pimple faced computer programmer stranded on a deserted island.

Mastery in coding wouldn’t be his lifeline there.

Instead, the primal skills of hunting, securing fresh water, and igniting a fire would become paramount.

These ‘environmental dependencies’ challenge conventional thinking and invite us to reassess what we find valuable.

Use this thought experiment to sharpen your contrarian mindset and craft captivating content.

No idea is good for everyone and everything at every time.

Trends vs. Evergreen Ideas

Strike when an idea is hot but also know when it’s time to abandon it.

When an idea is at peak popularity, that’s your cue to passionately defend or ruthlessly attack.

As it’s popularity begins to fade, it’s time to turn your sights to evergreen content as you look for a new north star.

Trends will fast track your growth curve.

But without timeless evergreen content your relevance will burn bright only to fade fast.

Maintain momentum by blending the timely with the timeless.

Your time matters. Thank you for spending it here.

Every time I craft this newsletter I pour my heart and soul into it.

But today I pushed it even further to 115%.

If this edition resonated with you, share the passion and forward it to a friend.

Let’s keep the conversation going.

Until next time,

Taylin John Simmonds

Here’s the Contrarian Creator Notion system 😉

Keep reading
Taylin Simmonds
About the author

Retired educator turned creator and consultant, I took my ghostwriting agency to $500K/year. Now I guide other creators toward achieving similar results.

Still hungry? Check out these goodies:
Ultimate content creation system tyle
Ultimate Content Creation System

The systems I use to create impactful content for multiple social platforms.

Viral hook writing cheat sheet tile
Viral Hook Writing Cheat Sheet

An easy-to-follow guide to crafting attention-grabbing hooks for your content.