Marketing Bestie, today’s guest is an expert in the media landscape with some super HOT takes (which I LOVEE). 

And guess what?! She is speaking at Marketingland 2023, on THE MAIN STAGEEE

Meet Becca Sherman, COO of Workweek and former GM of The Hustle, a business newsletter with over 1.5M subscribers. 

Let’s dive into how you can use media to drive your business forward, here’s what Becca had to say in her own liiightly edited words.

1. Why authenticity is trending:  

Everybody and their brother has a newsletter (speaking of brothers, hi squiiiishhhh), so you really have to fight for your audience’s attention.

Your content has to be great if you want it to be consumed and engaged with.  There isn’t room for half-a** newsletters. People will unsubscribe.  

So when building a newsletter, really get in touch with your audience, learn what they want, know your own stuff, and be dedicated to putting a lot of work into creating something really good. 

On top of that, get personal with your audience, say what you think, talk how you talk to your friends — All of media and newsletters specifically are moving in that direction.  (FORMALITY IS DYING.) 

When I’m looking for a job, I’m going to go talk to my friends and my network.  When I’m looking for advice, I’m going to talk to my friend who has expertise in the space.  

Creators are the future of media. We as a culture are much more interested and willing to connect with people rather than brands and institutions.  

2. A newsletter ≠ email marketing: 

Newsletters are a great way to capture attention if you’re a big personality or brand, but you certainly won’t keep attention in this environment if you’re not creating content and sharing it thoughtfully across other platforms to drive interest and engagement. 

There has been this newsletter boom over the past few years, and a lot of brands have launched newsletters that aren’t good.  

They’re not thinking critically about the difference between email marketing and newsletters.  

What is your mission? Who is the audience you’re trying to serve? Do you have the resources to make content good enough for them? If the answer is no, stick to email marketing (RETWEEEET). 

3. How to find content-market fit: 

If you want people to hear you, you need to build strong distribution channels. The most critical piece is being self-awarelistening to your audience and formatting your thoughts in a way that’s going to be right for them.  

Understanding the people you’re writing for and what your purpose is — it’s so critical.  

Being able to provide your audience with different ways to connect, whether it’s a newsletter deep dive or memes, is vital. It’s the same idea as repurposing content, not everyone’s a podcast listener, not everyone’s a newsletter reader. 

How can you use the core of great content and package it in different ways? Not every brand should be doing the same thing, you should be testing different formats to ultimately reach a product that is tailored to your audience. (Finding content-market fit 101.) 

4. Your content flywheel: 

We talk a lot at Workweek about the content flywheel and how every piece of content should and can be repurposed across other platforms.  

Writing your newsletter is like building a big, beautiful piece of furniture, and there’s a ton of sawdust left on the floor after.  How can you use that sawdust in different places? How does that newsletter essay become 10 really great tweets? Content for your podcast? How does it become a course someday?  

Always think about how you can most EFFICIENTLY repurpose content.  

(Distribution is half the battle, if you can effectively increase your brand’s distribution of content you will see lasting impacts.) 

5. Becca’s advice for new creators:  

A great media company is one that provides opportunities to grow with creators (yesss), puts personalities front and center, and really shares the fruits of the labor with them. 

So many new creators and media companies at large focus so much on the polish, like every period and semicolon, they hyper focus on thinking everything matters.

DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF. If your content is good and it’s formatted in a way that is accessible and consumable for your audience, no one cares.  

So stop worrying and JUST HIT PUBLISH.”
Daniel Murray
Daniel Murray
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