You can’t be everyone’s favorite crayon color.
I found something along these lines online a few years back and adapted it to a conversation I had with my oldest daughter when she was in 2nd grade.
She was, at age 8, a bright, kind, child struggling to make friends and had, for the first time, used some self-deprecating statements that punctured my heart.
“I’m not pretty. No one wants to play with me. I’m not popular.”
It stings, right?
To see a child’s confidence crushed by the opinions of others.
So I comforted her and went searching for answers.
I found something close to this expression (which I can’t seem to resurface):
You can’t be everyone’s favorite crayon color.
We had a talk about how she has a favorite color. It’s not that she doesn’t like green. It’s just that she loves yellow.
Then we imagined that she was a crayon herself.
And talked about how there would be some people who saw her for what she is (brilliant, kind, loyal) and would love that.
But there would be others who would not.
And that’s ok, because everyone you meet isn’t your favorite crayon color, either.
And the lesson stuck, because her younger sister (now 8 herself) has recently had her confidence shaken in similar ways. We returned to the crayon analogy, big sister explaining to little sister how she doesn’t need to be everyone’s favorite crayon color.
Here comes the part where I segue to newsletter creation and tell you something important:
Don’t try to be everyone’s favorite crayon color.
The more you understand who really likes the vibrant hue that you are, the more you can write just for that audience.
And, here’s an interesting twist:
You don’t always have to write to please that audience.
Sometimes you want to prompt that audience to THINK.
Sometimes service is in beginning a discussion and continuing to develop your thoughts about that topic in each issue.
I’ve collected some articles in this issue that I hope will serve you in your creation process.
Reply to let me know if you find any particularly helpful or thought-provoking.
HubSpot Acquired The Hustle
If you’re not sure if a curated niche industry newsletter is right for your brand, consider the fact that HubSpot, the brand that made Inbound a staple content strategy for teams worldwide, just bought The Hustle.
Here’s their reasoning:
“‘For many customers, their first introduction to HubSpot is through our educational blog, Academy, and YouTube content, not our software. More recently, our customers have started to seek out news and trends-based content across new forms of media like podcasts, newsletters, and research,’ said Kieran Flanagan, SVP of marketing at HubSpot. ‘By acquiring The Hustle, we’ll be able to better meet the needs of these scaling companies by delivering educational, business, and tech trend content in their preferred formats. Sam and his team have a proven ability to create content that entrepreneurs, startups, and scaling companies are deeply passionate about, and I’m excited to bring them on board to take that work to the next level.’”
Editorial content (and teams) are paving the path forward.
The journalist in me is cheering right now.
Audit Your Email Automations
In this Really Good Emails article, Kelly Lamano reminds us that while automated emails can be powerful, they’re not just a set-it-and-forget-it solution. It’s important to stay on top of the email sequences certain actions might trigger. She breaks down the different types of workflows you may be running and what you should do to keep things up to date.
Note: One thing in particular that I love about email newsletters is that there is very little automation involved. People expect something fresh at an established cadence. Yes, the pressure is on to perform, but that performance, if done well, feels really genuine and human. What automations do you use in addition to your newsletter?
Which Video Marketing Trends Are You Trying This Year?
Dana Kachan rounds up the video trends that she thinks we’ll be seeing more of in 2021, starting with WFH (work from home) and raw content. She’s not the first person I’ve heard praise these less polished formats and I’m excited to see more companies embracing publishing over perfection.
Why? Maybe it makes my own little series seem less imposter-esque? Or, more likely, I just love that putting helpful information into the world the moment it can help is becoming more important than doing it with the delay that perfect production quality demands.
I can share from experience that just recording, a little editing, and publishing to YouTube has increased visibility for the brands I market.
Related: Listen to Nextiva’s Director of Growth Marketing Gaetano DiNardi’s advice on demand generation and video SEO in this podcast. The discussion turns to video right around minute 13 (wear your earbuds if the kiddos are around). In short, his strategy includes attempting to have a video that accompanies every blog post.
A Playbook for Leveraging Curated Content in Enterprise Sales
John O’Connell provides a solid case for using curated content in the enterprise sales process in his piece on the UpContent blog.
“There are two important stipulations to that, however. First, make sure that the content you are posting ties in some way to your company’s value proposition. Second, make sure that your commentary explains how the content connects to what you offer customers. This will let those engaging with what you share know that you have an interest in their industry, and that you have solutions to their pain points.”
The tips in this article, from sharing curated content with specific clients to build and deepen relationships to becoming a strong digital listener who understands those clients, their businesses, and their industries well enough to speak intelligently to their needs, are worth reading.
HD Media Files Antitrust Lawsuit Against Facebook And Google
Last week a West Virginia media group decided it was time to hold big tech accountable for wrecking their revenue model.
“Owner of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Charleston (W.Va.) Gazette-Mail, The (Huntington) Herald-Dispatch and a half-dozen weekly newspapers, HD Media LLC filed a 42-page complaint in the United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia. HD Media claims Google has monopolized the digital advertising market to such an extent that Google has been enabled to extract a supracompetitive share of HD Media’s advertising revenues, harming the company’s ability to effectively monetize its content. The complaint also alleges that Google and Facebook violated antitrust laws by conspiring to further their worldwide dominance of the digital advertising market, entering into a secret agreement codenamed ‘Jedi Blue’ to manipulate online auctions.”
The suit claims the tech companies threaten free press and democracy.
Will other newspapers join their fight?
Related: Read about Why Google Is Paying French Publishers But Fighting Australia.
Also Related: Check out Why Denmark’s Biggest News Site Cut Reliance On Google’s Tech.
Free Newsletter Strategy Course For Journalists And Publishers
For the media publishers and journalists in my readership, this course, “Newsletter Strategies for Journalists: How to Create, Grow & Monetize Newsletters,” looks like it could be a great opportunity.
Sponsored by The Knight Foundation, the course starts February 22 and runs for 4 weeks. Instructors include Joseph Lichterman, Caroline Porter, and Emily Roseman.
Click through to check out the promo video and register.
The Apple Facebook Smackdown Continues
“In a recent speech at Brussels’ International Data Privacy Day, Apple CEO Tim Cook went on the offensive against Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook. Cook’s speech seems to be a direct response to Facebook’s recent attack on Apple, in which the world’s largest social network took out full-page ads in several newspapers attacking Apple’s new privacy changes.”
While he never directly references Facebook, it’s clear he or his writers have watched The Social Dilemma a few times.
Check Out Our Public Roadmap
We did a thing, y’all.
Well, Calvin, the Product Manager for Curated, did a thing:
We now have a Public Product Roadmap!
We’ve put this out in plain sight for everyone to see what we’re planning, what’s in progress, and what’s been released.
What does this mean for you?
Better visibility into the many, many releases we intend to push live to support you in your pursuit of newsletter success.
So, what’s coming soon? Private newsletters, paid newsletters, and end-to-end sponsorship management. Plus, there are some fun smaller features sprinkled in, too.
Check it out and let us know what you think.
If you’ve got questions about anything on the roadmap, email Seth at [email protected]
Opt In Challenge
Promote Your Newsletter On Instagram
This week’s challenge is to consider Instagram promotion for your newsletter and follow some of Piyali Mukherjee’s advice for gaining some traction on that platform (IF it makes sense for your newsletter).
Like This Newsletter?
Let me know. Reply, email me at Ashley[at]optinweekly.com, or find me on LinkedIn to hit me with some feedback. I’d love to know what you think.
Also, I’d appreciate it if you shared it with fellow email newsletter creators. All archived issues will be available on OptInWeekly.com, so you can send them the link to check it out.
Have a great week sending, y’all.
Thanks for reading,