The Frontier is an annual membership for creators and artists striving to make 1,000 True Fans their reality.
The membership gets you access to a growing collection of courses, workshops, templates, co-working sessions, and other goodies, all of which are centered around making a living from work you care about.
However, my approach here is radically different from what you'd find from other online biz and marketing resources. You won't see any generic advice about how to "build an audience" or "10x your marketing.” There will be exactly zero talk of "going viral" or "feeding the algorithm." The internet is already overflowing with such things. And if you're like me, you've tried that stuff, and know most of it is cancer for the soul. It turns you into a cheap commodity, makes you treat yourself and others inhumanely, and it degrades the quality of your life, along with the internet as a whole.
Instead, The Frontier is about coming alive—in your creative work, in your business, and in your relationships to fans. It's about bringing more of yourself into how you show up online, and practicing marketing in ways that are playful, respectful, and that feel good for everyone involved. The Frontier is a place where we put easy, one-size-fits-all answers aside, and walk our own paths. It's a place where we embrace uncertainty, run experiments, and iterate our way into businesses that are joyful. Because that's how we win the long game and flourish in our lives. Not by forcing ourselves to do shit we hate. But by being in tune with ourselves, trying things out, and iterating our way into businesses that are intrinsically enjoyable. That's what The Frontier is about.
Down below, I've laid out what's included in the Frontier membership, and tried to answer any questions you might have. But right now, I wanna try something unorthodox. Usually, sales pages are supposed keep you on the page, heighten your emotional state, and nudge you towards making a purchase decision quickly. Even though I worked as a conversion copywriter for a few years, I have zero interest in playing those games anymore.
Instead, I don't want you to make a decision quickly, especially if you're new here, and haven't explored the Ungated world yet.
Think of The Frontier as an ongoing invitation. It will always be here if and when you feel excited to embark on this path with me. If you never feel that way, that's ok. My work isn't for everyone, and I fully trust you to make the best decision for yourself—even if that means you end up going elsewhere to learn marketing.
Here are a few resources that'll help you get a sense of who I am, what this place is, and what we're doing here. So have a look around. There's no rush.
If you check out any or all of these resources, and find yourself thinking, "hell yes, I want to step onto The Frontier with Rob," just follow this fancy button. 😁
Rob’s work has helped me gain massive clarity on my personal values, themes, and trends, and then actually use those in my own marketing, creations, and business model! I feel more confident in my ability to make things that matter. I’m starting to attract like-minded people who are becoming paying customers and true fans.
What You Get With Membership
Becoming a member of The Frontier gets you access to an ever-expanding set of resources, all designed to help creators and artists make 1,000 True Fans a reality.
My primary promise is that you'll learn new ways to practice marketing and online business that aren't sleazy or manipulative, but generous and kind. My goal is for you to enjoy your creative work, enjoy the act of marketing, and enjoy the business you build for yourself—even if it looks nothing like what other people are doing.
The membership comes with education, of course, but also plenty of support so you can implement what you learn, and keep stepping into courage, day after day, week after week.
Courses & Workshops
I take a different approach to online courses than most of the “here’s how to build a business” crowd.
My core promise is that you will never find easy, one-size-fits-all answers out on The Frontier. I will not spoonfeed you with simplistic step-by-step marketing formulas. Instead, I will challenge you to explore your own values, think through complexity, find the best answers for yourself, and walk your own path. Basically, I will treat you like the smart, capable, creative, good-looking adult you are, and not assume that I have all the best answers for you. Because I don't.
That’s probably the biggest difference between the courses I create, and everything else you’ll find out there. Most courses, if followed, turn you into a templatized lookalike of some business guru. Ungated courses, by contrast, get you in touch with yourself, and help you build something no one else but you could. If I do my job right, you will come out of this membership looking less like me, and more like yourself.
Anyhow, here are the current courses waiting for you upon becoming a member.
Stand Out & Connect
If you want to create true fans, it’s not enough to “add value” or "get attention." You must resonate. You must connect with people on a visceral, emotional level. This course shows you how to do that. It’s about how to cut through the noise of the internet, and genuinely, deeply matter to people. (Also, it’s probably the best thing I’ve ever made and I am very proud of it.)
Oasis Building 101
An oasis is a refuge from a hostile environment. It’s a place of nourishment, trust, and delight, where people finally feel safe to let down their hair and be themselves. This course lays out a framework for creating a digital oasis. You'll learn how to design your corner of the internet so that it's maximally delightful not just for you, but for your fans.
Find Your Niche
I’m considering renaming this course “Find The Others” because that’s what it’s really about. You’ll learn a handful of research strategies to discover those corners of the internet where you truly belong. Once you find your people, everything else about marketing and business gets much, much easier.
The Personal Archaeology Course
Self-knowledge is the key that unlocks creative work no one else but you could make. It's also the key that helps you find the people you most vibe with, and the types of business models and marketing strategies that are the best fit for you. This course walks you through a series of introspective practices, then gives you a series of recipes for how to turn those insights into fuel for your creative work and marketing.
The Audience Accelerator
This is a massive course I made in 2020 to help entrepreneurial filmmakers learn marketing from the ground up. But the material is applicable to any type of creative or artist.
Courageous Co-working Sessions
Oftentimes the activities that are most meaningful for our creative and business growth are the most uncomfortable. We feel the most resistance towards those things we must do, so usually we end up procrastinating or finding less impactful ways to spend our time. (Don't ask me how I know this.)
But it's a lot easier to do scary, vulnerable work in the context of a community. It's easier when there's a designated time and place for it. And it's easier when we see our peers facing their fears head on as well. Courage is contagious.
That's what Courageous Co-Working sessions are for. We show up with a task or project that's important, scary, uncomfortable, or that we've been procrastinating on. Then we spend an hour on Zoom, working silently, and making progress together. And at the end, we celebrate each other for stepping into the arena,
Even spending one hour a week on your scary tasks can add up quickly. This is usually the highest leverage, most important work in your business.
But Wait, There’s More!
There are a few other perks to The Frontier that are pretty dang cool, but not really worth writing hundreds of words about.
- Unlock all premium posts on the Ungated website.These are usually uncomfortably transparent peeks inside my business. Plus you’ll get my first book whenever I decide to start writing it.
- A bunch of cool Notion templates for creative entrepreneurs. There’s one for audience research, an editorial calendar, a content promotion dashboard, and even a CRM.
- Bi-weekly office hours with me. Come hang out, get some coaching, get some feedback, shoot the breeze.
- The undying love and gratitude of my cat, because proceeds from The Frontier are often used to spoil him.
And that's it, my friend. At least for now. I'm always creating new things for the membership, and experimenting with ways to make it more valuable, and more impactful. And I'm always open to suggestions for what you'd like to see here.
Hypothetically Asked Questions
I can't afford a membership, but feel it would really help me. Do you offer scholarships?
Yep, I offer unlimited scholarships to anyone who needs one! Seriously, if you vibe with the philosophy of Ungated, and you want to be more courageous with your creative work and marketing, I don't want money to stand in the way of you being a member.
To get a scholarship, just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with "frontier scholarship" in the subject line. Then in the body, tell me a little bit about yourself, and write a haiku that summarizes your creative journey so far. That's it. I will promptly send you a coupon code to join the membership at no cost.
A haiku is a simple, short poem, with five syllables on the first line, seven on the second, and five on the third. Here's an example!
my courageous friend
life on the frontier awaits
embrace the unknown
And here's another.
send rob a haiku
i promise it will be fun
then you'll get free shit
What's the deal with having multiple prices?
You can choose to pay $100, $200, $300, or $500 a year for The Frontier. Or $1500 for a lifetime membership.
Like most things here, this pricing structure is an experiment. I believe this membership is worth way more than I'm charging, especially at the lower price points. But I want it to be as financially accessible as possible, while still giving people the ability to pay more if they see the same value I do.
Also, the higher price points make it possible for me to offer unlimited scholarships. So if you have the means, choosing a higher tier helps get these tools in the hands of more creators around the world.
What's the difference between The Frontier and The Arena
Put simply, The Arena is about creativity, while The Frontier is about business and marketing. Both are distinct experiences that are purchased separately.
The Arena - A one-week experience focused on helping you come alive creatively. It's for anyone who does creative work, regardless of whether you want to make it into a business.
The Frontier - My annual membership for people who want to turn their alive creative work into an alive business. It's where we play the long game of delightful marketing, and making 1,000 true fans a reality.
Who are you and why should I trust you to help me build a creator business?
The name is Rob. Rob Hardy (it's best to imagine me in a suit and drinking a martini as you read that.)
For about a decade, I've been working in marketing in some form or another. I got into blogging and content marketing around 2012. Then in 2015, I started freelancing as a copywriter, and eventually specialized in conversion copy and email marketing.
I also started my first "true fan" business, Filmmaker Freedom, in 2015, and it was pulling in about $60k a year before I shut it down in 2020. It's not quite the "OMG I'm making six figures on a beach" dream of online business. But I definitely figured out how to support myself with an online business doing things the traditional way. So that's pretty cool, I guess.
But honestly, these days I don't use much of what I've learned in the past. I don't do any fancy online marketing. I'm not building elaborate funnels, or optimizing my copy for maximum conversion. Those games don't interest me anymore. So I will not be teaching you those things.
I'm more concerned with unlearning my old habits, exploring new ways of being, and leaving behind maps for other people who never felt good about traditional online marketing. So this membership isn't about me having all the answers for you. I'm not an expert anymore. It's about us exploring this new world together, and all of us learning from one another as we chart a healthier, more joyful way to operate online.
What if I join the membership and hate it?
That's cool. My work is kinda weird, and definitely not for everyone. That's why I have a super chill refund policy.
If you're not happy at any point in your membership—could be 3 days in, or on day 364—I'll just give you your money back without hassling you or asking you invasive questions or making you prove anything.
If you're not happy with the work I'm doing, I will refund you, and we will part ways as friends.