YATM | Finding Your Villain


Today's YATM newsletter is brought to you by...

...the YATM Summer Party. It's next Friday (12th) to celebrate the end of the summer term. Bottomless brunch in Bournemouth for an afternoon out.

Hi YATMers, I'm Gary Trudgett, a Senior Marketing Strategist with 25+ years of client and agency experience. I’ve worked for brands like Nokia and Sony.

I'm now working with the great team at b4b Marketing, mixing creativity with strategy to drive client growth. Outside of work, you could find me riding my scooter, attending live music gigs, or collecting vinyl records.

Fun facts: I've 'astronaut' trained at NASA's Space Camp and once got mistaken for a Manchester United player, even signing an autograph!

My recommendation for you today is a great, inspirational book. I've just finished, Let My People Go Surfing, by Yvon Chouinard.

Let's make sure we connect today.

Here I am on LinkedIn

Here is where I work


We all need a villain. It brings people together, uniting them for a common cause.

It’s not a person, but an ideology or fear that you stand against. This clarifies your message and unites your audience.

It helps you focus on producing content, sharing ideas that people buy into and filtering out what doesn’t fit.

Defining The Villain

When people understand what you fight against, it creates a dedicated group of supporters.

This clarity is crucial for engagement and sustaining conversations.

The YATM villain is irrelevance.

When your work elicits no response, it’s a sign that people don’t care. No attention means no conversation.

No one wants to be forgotten, overlooked, ignored, or unwanted. It means you become further away from the people you want to be with.

We want to be known and trusted. When you become known and trusted you have more leverage.

A lot of the work I share has a villain connected to the overall message.

I believe in achieving self-sufficiency, empowering you to market yourself and your business and grow your audience without relying heavily on algorithms and paid media.

Much of the work I share with you is centred around:

🤔 Building your own audience

🤔 Community growth

🤔 Content creation

🤔 Confidence/self-belief and stepping up

🤔 Testing out ideas linked to bringing people together (being innovative)

🤔 Identifying what you fight against makes your message stronger.

For instance, the villain of building your own audience might be social media as the only place people see you and your constant battle to be seen and heard. Over time this can make you irrelevant.

When it comes to content creation, you might spend hours or even days crafting content only for a few people to notice your work. Determine your message and your target audience; otherwise, your ideas may lose direction. This makes you irrelevant.

It could be that every task is now driven by Ai. Articles start to become even more vague and generic with the ChatGPT stamp and the race is to the bottom. This makes you irrelevant.

It could be due to the pace of life and learning that you might feel overwhelmed and out of touch with what’s happening around you. Sharing a pool of knowledge and ideas helps to combat this. The worst position to be in is to feel distant from what is happening around you. The more you stick to the way you have always done it, the increasing chance you become irrelevant.

The absence of a community could be the reason. Without anyone to share ideas with, speak up, or feel like a part of a larger community to enjoy the company of others and receive support. When you take the connection away, it can make you irrelevant.

You create work that people can see themselves in.

YATM fights against irrelevance. We don’t want to be forgotten about, so the battle combats this by fostering a community that values participation, continuous learning and innovation.

Initiatives such as the YATM Creator Lab help young adults bridge the gap between education and the commercial world, ensuring they remain competitive.

The YATM Creator Day helps bring people together so we can all join in and get to know each other better. The theme for next year’s event (May 15th) is ‘relevance.’

We’re turning our everyday experiences where we support each other and turn them into assets that help fight the villain.

Your Call To Arms

Your goal is to connect your actions to your beliefs, defining what you stand for and against.

Here’s how to find your villain and understand your role for others, creating common ground and forming strong alliances.


You can’t sound the same.

Many people claim to be committed, professional, creative, and passionate or use the overused B2B cliche of being ‘customer-focused’. However, these claims often lead to self-promotion rather than creating genuine connections.

Instead of focusing on easy wins such as fighting against ‘dull content’ or ‘banishing boring business’, the goal should be to emotionally engage people to stand with you.

Find your genuine edge by knowing what scares you.

People relate better when they can see themselves in the picture. They recognise you are willing to fight for it. It could be industry complacency, excess, corner-cutting, or wastefulness.

It is stronger for people to make an attachment to what you bleed for, rather than the glory of who you think you are.

Know what the fear is, not just the answer.

Understanding what makes you angry, frustrated, alarmed, or scared makes it easier to express those feelings.

Creating from the heart is better than conforming to industry norms. For me, becoming irrelevant means that your work serves no purpose to anybody. We have to find ways to combat that and find a better way.

Find your start and your pulse.

You need to understand the longevity of your conflict. For me, it was in 2013 when I spent money on a cupcake campaign and personally handed to potential clients, the conversation just didn’t happen.

The campaign was more about giving people free food, to them I was irrelevant. I highlight here, it was one of the drivers for YATM starting.

It is never about reaching utopia, you are always fighting.

It’s important to acknowledge the challenges rather than boasting about victory.

Pointing out the problems is not about claiming universal wisdom, but about recognising your independent thinking and encouraging others to see the same values and commitment.

You do it because you believe in it.

There has to be a place to create from genuine emotion, rather than commercial gratification.

The worst thing you can do is become self-centred and hold the mirror up to yourself, rather than the world that is in front of you. It’s about sharing people what the battle is against and worth fighting against.

Show a worthwhile alternative.

There must be a better way to keep the villain at a distance by exposing what is wrong and providing a consistent and valuable alternative.

People need to see what it looks and feels like. For instance, that’s one of the reasons why YATM has live events to bring people together, so they get to know one another as well as a theme for the occasions.

The more you are in tune with your industry and have support around you, the more relevant you become. The allegiances made help strengthen in victory.


Let’s Round-Up

Choosing your villain means choosing your future.

Clearly stating what you oppose gives heart to your efforts.

Acknowledging the villain and rallying people together leads to stronger bonds and collaborations with those who understand your mission.

Defining what you are not and recognising the challenges ahead provides the clarity needed to stand out from those who choose the easier path.

Rally against your adversary. Embrace the fear, grasp its influence, and guide your audience by presenting a sincere, unwavering alternative. Keep fighting, connecting, and building an engaged and resilient space with others around you.


Time Wasting

Throw slime around your screen and you'll waste 4 minutes today.


This Week Around The Web

GROWTH, CREATION & YOUR INDEPENDENCE

The days of blindly feeding the algo are over - from A Media Operator

Your personal brand is not about you (surprise!) - from Mark Schaefer

THE COMMUNITY YOU CAN BUILD

Community without the name - from Rosie Sherry

How to ‘good nudge’ your community members to the top - from Platforming Community

GROWING YOUR NEWSLETTER

A guide to newsletter landing pages for creators - from ConvertKit

What newsletters can learn from McDonalds - from Gunnar Holm


When You Feel Like You Belong

Belonging lies in building a community where people have access to each other.

The joy of working together, learning from each other, and achieving common goals is the result of making that initial commitment to what you can take.

The magic happens when you create not just a group, but a space where people can truly connect, share, and elevate each other.

It’s not about the number of followers or the size of your network; it’s about the depth of relationships you cultivate and the value you collectively create.


Join In With Team YATM

Here is what's all ready for you to come on in.

✏️ Today at 9.15am (BST) we work together in YATM Club, join here

🏡 Friday 12th July is the YATM Summer Party, book here

💥 Thursday 12th Sep is the first YATM Lunch Club of the new term, book here


Click here for today's newsletter video. See you soon...Mark : )


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From the beach hut, down by the sea, Poole, England.
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You Are The Media | Mark Masters

You Are The Media (YATM) is a marketing learning community helping businesses become self-sufficient 🌊 Home is the south coast of England but our audience is over the world 🗞️The central place has been the Thursday newsletter, but surrounding that are live events and scaling camaraderie when we come together ✊.

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