Updating the Sales Safari System for 2023

Way back in 2010 (or so), in the earliest days of us teaching entrepreneurship to creators, Amy invented "Sales Safari" as technique for high-quality ethnographic audience research. You can listen or read about the origins in this inteview.

Over the years of teaching the process in our flagship course 30x500, we've tuned Sales Safari into one of the most powerful tools for deeply understanding human pains, desires, and behaviors on the internet.

And since business and marketing are basically all about human behavior, Safari is the ultimate provider for entrepreneurs like us and our students.

While it's hard to know for sure, we estimate that more than $100,000,000 in product revenue can be directly attributed to Sales Safari research, even if you exclude revenue from my and Amy's businesses!

And yet, for the most part, the Sales Safari process has remained unchanged since our last major overhaul of 30x500 in 2015.

We've added a few additional lessons and guides to help answer the most common questions. This year we added the biggest new resource to 30x500, a multi-stage "cheat sheet" to help our students stick to the process.

After all these years Sales Safari stands the test of time, at least in part, because human behavior doesn't really change much.

So...why are we updating it now? What's different?

In a word...the tools have changed.

The Tools for Online Community have changed

The most common critique of Sales Safari is that some of our examples feel dated, specifically the examples that demonstrate Safari techniques being applied to online communities hosted in subreddits and forums.

On one hand: forums, Reddit, and other similar "thread-based" discussion platforms are far from dead.

On the other hand: tools have evolved, and (for better or worse) a lot of communities have migrated.

  • Some communities moved to chat-based platforms like Slack, Discord, and Telegram.
  • Facebook Groups is enormous and owns the attention of SO many people.
  • On platforms like Twitter and TikTok, some communities don't even look like a single "place" on the internet until you know what to look for.

So the first big change coming to our Sales Safari lessons in 2023 is more Safari demo videos that demonstrate the same core principles and techniques in a wider range of these environments.

Some new examples will require more "adaptation" of the core Safari process than others, as each platform has unique strengths and challenges. So as it makes sense, we'll be able to shape those tweaks into new lessons too!

For a glimpse at the very beginning of this process, check out these ~15 minute videos take of me exploring Discord through a Safari lens and taking notes on my first impressions:

Note: this video starts and ends abruptly due to a clumsy mistake I made during editing. Oh well, it's an unscripted rough cut anyway so I just hit publish!

The Tools for Taking Notes have changed

If you watch the video above, you might notice that I'm taking my Safari notes in Notion. 👀

For as long as we've taught Safari, Amy and I have gone out of our way to NOT prescribe a specific note-taking tool.

All of our demo videos use MacOS's built in TextEdit. We repeatedly tell our students that any writing tool will work for Sales Safari, including a pen and paper!

YOUR BRAIN is the main tool in Sales Safari. Writing is just a means to an end.

And yet, people still ask what tool to use. 😂

So I caved, and started to develop a Sales Safari template for Notion that you get a glimpse of in the video above.

Like a lot of people, I've become a bit of a Notion junkie over the last couple of years. Once I figured out how templates and databases worked together, I knew I had to do something to help the Sales Safari process.

It's still early, but the Notion-powered Sales Safari System is coming along REALLY nicely. Here are a couple of screenshots, even though seeing it in action is where the magic really happens.

30x500 students will get access to this Template first (and for free!), and eventually we're hoping to make it available more widely along with an updated version of our popular Sales Safari 101 intro workshop.

And of course, you can still do great Safari research in you fav tool even if it's not Notion.

Amy and I are both excited to create and share more updates about this soon, and of course, if you sign up for 30x500 during our January enrollment, you'll get the earliest access to the latest and greatest!