Mikhaila Peterson, the daughter of best selling author, professor, and clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson, shared her insights on how she helped her dad build his media empire, reaching out to millions of people seeking to improve and reorganize their lives.
“I had made social media channels for him in 2013 on Facebook and in 2017 on Instagram prior to forming a company,” said Peterson in an op-ed in the National Post. She added she has been the CEO of her dad’s company, Luminate Enterprises, Ltd., since the start of 2018, when he published his book 12 Rules for Life.
Being a podcaster herself, Peterson said it took some effort to build her dad’s social media presence.
“I spent some of my time in the beginning crafting posts to put on social media for his account—something most people would’ve said was a waste of time,” she said, but the effort paid off when “my dad, Jordan Peterson, went viral” in 2016.
Peterson said it wasn’t easy for the family to cope with the sudden fame and controversy that accompanied her dad’s new found success, but they helped him make time for “everything that came his way, especially podcast invitations.”
The health and diet blogger also shared the need to hire extra help, divide the work, and specialize in tasks in order to do the job well.
“When booking my dad’s events, lectures, podcasts, flights and tours, and coordinating between multiple different companies got to be too much—I was working 12 hour days, as were my parents—we expanded,” Peterson noted.
“We hired assistants, and my husband—a business consultant—stepped in to help. My dad went on tour and we focused on his digital products.
Having products that work are crucial to online success too. Peterson said her dad already had two great products which he developed with “two other PhD’s from McGill and Harvard” over the last three decades, making them “easy to grow” on social media.
The first product is a writing suite at selfauthoring.com, a tool that allows people to write about traumatic or uncertain events happening in the past, present, or future to alleviate their anxiety and depression. The second one is a self assessment tool at understandmyself.com which helps people to understand in depth the personality of themselves and others.
“My advice, always, is: Don’t sell something you don’t believe in—it won’t last, people will see through it,” Peterson added.
Peterson also shared about the importance of delivering a consistent message relevant to the core ideas and making it easy for people to access them across various social media platforms.
“We strive to deliver his message of personal responsibility with each of these components, and provide easy access to his ideas for anyone who is interested in hearing them—without hiding them behind a paywall (unlike universities and colleges), she said. “Advertising allows us to keep his ideas free.”
The podcaster said filming, video, audio, and digital media production play an important factor as well, as all content need to go through “rigorous quality checks, and the role, destination and timing of each piece is planned carefully.” She added that an internal team handles their production.
Other than content creation, Peterson said there are business aspects that need to be taken care of—legal, operations, business relationships, negotiations, taxes, and more. Event agents plan her dad’s tours. As for work on his books, it’s coordinated with more than 50 publishers globally.
Because of the tremendous amounts of organization behind the scenes, the Jordan Peterson content machine is able to continue running, said his daughter.
“I’m proud to say that everything we’ve worked on has done extremely well,” Peterson said.
“His first book has sold almost six-million copies worldwide. His newer book Beyond Order is out March 2, and has pre-sold over 100,000 copies.”
Other achievements include reaching hundreds of thousands of people in each episode of her dad’s podcast and YouTube videos, according to Peterson, and each of his blog posts, newsletter, and social media posts have similarly attracted hundreds of thousands of views.
“His lectures are also followed by 3.8 million subscribers on YouTube alone, with another 1.9 million on Instagram, 1.1 million on Facebook and 1.7 million on Twitter,” she added, while attributing the viewership was made possible through “podcast and YouTube advertising, book sales and the sales” of the digital products.
Peterson offered some rules she used personally, including saying yes to everything until you can no longer take on more work, being aware that there will be lots of work in the beginning that doesn’t pay initially, but would come later, not forsaking quality for quantity, ensuring what you’re selling or saying is honest, and not underestimating marketing and social media platforms.