Welcome to our quiet corner of the internet. This free newsletter will uplevel your business savvy in five minutes a day.
If you were forwarded this message, you can sign up for these emails by clicking here.
September 20, 2023
Another Day, Another Email Service Provider
While studying at the University of Michigan, a young man named Alex decided to start a newsletter.
That newsletter was Morning Brew, which eventually grew to over 4 million subscribers and became a full-blown media company, Morning Brew was making $20 million in revenue by 2020, and was acquired later that year by Insider for $75 million, loosely a 3.75x valuation.
How did this newsletter make so much money? A big part of it was advertisers. Advertisers love email because the users are so much more engaged and the data is so much cleaner. This business model is really susceptible to downturns, though, because companies will often cut on marketing spend first. As such, Morning Brew laid off a lot of their staff earlier this year.
The mechanics of the model still work. But it's hard to actually go find advertisers, since most of us have small newsletters. That's where beehiiv (sic) comes in.
beehiiv is one of the newest email service providers on the block, and it's coming for Substack's gig. In addition to paid subscriptions, there are other monetization drivers, the most of exciting of which is a built-in display ad network. Creators can now let inline ads run in their newsletters and get paid for it, from day one.
It would make sense that beehiiv has echoes of Morning Brew's monetization model -- it was founded by three former Morning Brew employees. If Substack and Morning Brew had a baby, it would probably look like this.
Get the 411 on beehiiv by clicking the link below.
Behind the Scenes With an Airtable Consultant
c/o Connect Through Content
It was a pleasure to join one of my mentors, Ashley Pendergraft, as a guest on her new podcast this past month.
My moniker for Ashley is “Airtable queen.” She is a certified Airtable consultant, and specializes in data centralization and strategy for service programs, particularly those who offer group programs.
I had wanted to get onto Airtable for years to manage all my content, but just couldn't quite crack it. Ashley's program and coaching helped unlock its potential for me. Her program curriculum focuses more on business operations, but in learning the language of Airtable, I realized it could have many use cases for content operations, too. Airtable can do things that Notion and Asana simply cannot, and it integrates deeply with Zapier, meaning you can connect it to nearly every other software tool -- even ChatGPT.
In this interview, though, we spent time talking about messaging, specifically the idea of your program promise. Your program promise is a clear, single-sentence statement that communicates your offer's result or transformation. When you can back up the results you say you'll get for clients with a clear, relevant program promise, you're a force to be reckoned with.
But to flex on a promise, you need to know it works. And that requires the kind of confidence that comes from having good clean operations. It's easy to talk a big game when you know you deliver the goods.
Pop on over to this podcast episode recap page to watch the video, download the podcast episode, and/or browse the show notes.
- They Played Football as Children. Now Their Families Mourn. A devastating explanatory feature on CTE and brain damage in America. (Rolling Stone)
- Reskilling in the Age of AI. (The Harvard Business Review)
- How to use ChatGPT to summarize a book, article, or research paper. One of the more actionable early use cases of GPT, in my opinion. (ZDNET)
- We Don’t Need a New Twitter. Cal Newport is my entrepreneur crush and someone whose work has heavily shaped my business and career, so naturally I'm swooning at his latest for The New Yorker. (The New Yorker)
- Adulting alert: If you offer a Safe Harbor 401(k) plan to yourself and/or employees, you have some boxes to check before Oct. 1. Guideline, my reco for self-employment retirement plans, lays it all out here. (Guideline)
- I found a TikTok account called “@igreenscreenthings” if you ever want to make your own industry-specific memes piggybacking on current trends. (TikTok)
Like It? Share It
As always, thanks for reading.
If you found today's newsletter helpful, consider SHARING IT. A share goes a long way in helping us grow.
Cheering you on,