[Live Training] 9 Strategies to Build Recurring Revenue in your Digital Agency

E223: Rand Fishkin on brand, content, and chill vs. hustle time

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Rand Fishkin is cofounder and CEO of audience research software startup, SparkToro. He’s dedicated his professional life to helping people do better marketing through his writing, videos, speaking, and his book, Lost and Founder.

Episode highlights:

  • How SparkToro can help your marketing research. 
  • What has been different for Rand, as a founder, between SparkToro and Moz.
  • The connection between first relationships (young love!) and a first startup.
  • What kind of strange, personal commentary Rand sees about himself—and how he reacts.
  • What is the future of creating owned media? Rand weighs in.
  • “Link in bio”… does that change Insta engagement? Here’s what the research says.
  • Is Rand in a better place mentally now, after leaving Moz?
  • How Rand separated himself from an incredibly strong brand association.
  • A fun new project that is taking Rand’s attention (in addition to SparkToro).
  • “Chill time” hustle and how Rand moved past overworking.
  • Best advice: You should take that Hubspot deal.
  • Habit that contributes to success: Email efficiency.
  • Recommended tool: Profit Well – it’s free
  • ecommended book: Nathalie Nahai’s Business Unusual and No Hard Feelings by Liz Fosslien and Mollie West Duffy 
  • Run time: 40:13



  • “The use cases are so freakin broad, every day I’m astounded to see what problems people are solving using Sparktoro.”
  • “Like many people, my first relationships had very high highs and very low lows.”
  • “You start to have the wisdom of perspective and experience.”
  • “I’m not a very private person….I don’t have a lot of public/private barriers.”
  • “There are comments that are weirdly personal.”
  • “I kinda just want to reply with the rolling eyes emoji, and then just get back to my day.”
  • “The Twitter algorithm likes me this week.”
  • “It’s difficult to make paid content as engaging as organic content.”
  • “Being able to disconnect yourself from a brand identity is immensely difficult.”
  • “Congrats on brainwashing the world into believing!”
  • “Hiring lawyers to negotiate your departure from a company that you started with your mom…”
  • “Will anyone associate me with anything else?”
  • “Our best work will come when we are relaxed and well-balanced.”


  • Either create on the platforms or create in your own place and share the “scraps” to get linked back to your site.
  • On healing from separation from a brand: time and distance.

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