When I was 14, in 8th grade, I faced what felt like a crushing blow to my identity:
I didn’t make the 9th grade (junior varsity) cheerleading squad.
It shook me.
Because, and I say this confidently because I know it’s true: I was definitely good.
I’d been on the junior high squad for 2 years and was co-captain during 7th grade.
I could tumble.
I was… really good at cheerleading.
But that didn’t save me.
The way the judging worked:
There were 8 girls trying out for 6 spots.
We learned a group routine and had to have an individual routine.
We were to try out for a panel of judges, who would eliminate / advance girls based on skill.
And then we were to try out in front of the school, who would vote based on skill / who they liked.
I got top scores with the judges (so I’m not being delusional when I say I knew I was good). But the judges did eliminate 1 girl, so that left 7 trying out in front of the school for 6 spots.
In years past, we’d been allowed to do tumbling passes to enter the gym/stage/whatever and try out individually.
Typically, if you could tumble, that earned you votes. But, for some reason, they’d decided that wasn’t allowed this year. So, there was less chance to standout in that way.
We all did our thing. Votes were collected. And at the end of the day the new squad was announced over the loudspeaker. I had to hold it together for 30 minutes afterwards when it everyone BUT ME made the squad.
It hurt in a way I hadn’t really felt hurt in life.
Because it felt completely unfair.
And it stung to realize I was unpopular.
But, obviously, life went on.
I found distractions in 9th grade. Tried out and got roles in a few plays. Existed without being a cheerleader.
And when tryouts for the varsity squad started next spring, I had to decide if I wanted to take the risk all over again.
I wasn’t sure.
I loved cheerleading. But I didn’t really want to be judged by my peers and be crushed again.
The cheer sponsor had a meeting with me:
“Here’s the deal: No more school tryouts. I want you on the squad.”
I went on to decide to return to an activity I’d previously loved.
I learned to love it again and was captain my senior year.
My emotional knee-scrape was part of a policy change. No one else would have to experience that exact pain.
The newsletter (and life) tie-in?
There are going to be times when you assess and consider if you want to keep sending issues.
You may decide you don’t love it enough.
You may decide it’s not profitable enough.
You may decide the risks aren’t worth the reward.
You’ll have to find your own path.
In this issue’s Money Matters, I’ve included a piece about deciding if it’s time to throw in the towel by Simon Owens. Everyone has their own threshold.
How Relatable Is Your Marketing?
Do you write/create/speak like a human? Or are you publishing perfection?
Trevor Crump’s TikTok offers 7 tips to help Millennial marketers let go of overly polished marketing.
Purpose Over Profits?
The Deloitte team takes a deep dive into authentic purpose and explains how a strong purpose can actually help you grow and gain a competitive edge.
Discovered via The Rebooting.
“Your Content Is A Part Of Your Product”
There’s a shift going on right now in B2B SaaS, as highlighted by Shiv Narayanan of How to SaaS in his recent LinkedIn post.
The shift: Content is no longer just a thing you create to market your product; it’s part of the product.
“Your content is a critical part of how your prospects and customers experience your brand, company, business and what you’re selling.
Treat it as such and invest in it more.”
I strongly agree. And I’ll be sharing some news on this front in the near future.
Experts On How To Use Social Media To Grow An Email List
Pam Neely asked 10 experts to share their best tip on using social media to grow your email list. Pick your poison:
- Mari Smith on how to grow a list with Facebook groups
- Andrea Vahl on how to get more subscribers with Facebook ads
- Sue B. Zimmerman on how to build an email list with Instagram bios
- Jenn Herman on how to do list building with Instagram direct messages
- Estelle Keeber on growing your list with Instagram Stories
- Kate Hore-Lacy on how to get more subscribers with LinkedIn events
- Mandy McEwen on how to build a list with LinkedIn featured links
- Leah Neaderthal on how to attract subscribers with LinkedIn with multiple calls to action
- Madalyn Sklar on how to build a list with Twitter’s Media Studio
- Meagan Williamson on how to get more email subscribers with Pinterest image pins
Discovered via Really Good Emails.
3 Content Marketing Trends
What’s working for content marketers?
Jo Hamilton has identified 3 trends that may be helpful for you as a newsletter creator, including:
- Do one thing brilliantly on social media
- Be prepared to continually update your content strategy
- A sense of community matters more than ever
Dig into why and how here.
Copywriting Tips, Twitter Edition
Check out these 10 copywriting tips Jeremy Moser tweeted. He included examples (yay!).
“When writing copy, read your words out loud. If you wouldn't use those words in real conversations with customers, eliminate them.”
“Not everything shared in your community is gold, but once you spot it, you need to store it. That’s community curation in a nutshell.”
In this Rosieland article, Kourosh Ghaffari makes a case for “community curation” by explaining what it is, how to do it well, and why it adds value to your newsletter.
In essence, it’s about capturing insights within a community by paying close attention to the conversations members are having and capturing high-value exchanges to either store in an idea repository, to share in some way, or to shape your thoughts and the content you create for your audience.
What Are You Exchanging?
Publishing at its core is an exchange.
- Information for readership
- Personality for loyalty
- Content for profit.
The key is creating balance in the exchange. This week’s Publishing Insights might help.
- Facebook currently pays over $10 million/year to several publishers to feature their content on its news tab. However, according to Alexandra Bruell and Keach Hagey, Facebook’s reevaluating.
- The truth matters. In the middle of the pandemic, Jacob Granger reports that the Washington Post created a team to analyze and verify videos from news events and then turn their findings into reconstruction videos. What are you doing to ensure accuracy?
- Are you exchanging value? In this WNIP article, Jez Walters advises publishers to be clear on what you’re providing if you’re asking your audience for personal data.
Want To Sell Products With Your Newsletter?
Josh Spector has sold over $100,000 worth of products through his free newsletter. He details the approach he recommends here.
Should You Give Up Your Newsletter?
In his recent newsletter issue, Simon Owens reports that understanding your creator runway is critical and that sometimes success is an issue or two away. It look like he’s added sponsorships to his revenue mix, which has traditionally been paid subscriptions.
You Can Now See Who Clicked What In Your Analytics
Hey, everyone. Seth with Curated Success here.
You can now drill down into your click statistics to see which subscribers clicked a specific link in one of your issues. Here’s how you can view this improved click report:
- In Curated, click the Statistics button to open the drop down menu
- Select Click Statistics
- Scroll down and click an issue’s number in the left column
- Choose a link you want to drill into and click the number to the right of it under the “Total” column
- Here you’ll see the list of subscribers who clicked this link
This improved report also shows the subscriber’s medium (email or web), referer, and the date/time that they clicked.
This is a great way to get an even better understanding of your subscribers’ interaction with your newsletter. You can use this in conjunction with the most engaged subscribers per issue report to see which links your engaged subscribers are clicking on and what medium they’re using.
If you have any questions about this feature, let me know!
Curated Crash Course Is Today At 4 PM Central
Curated Crash Course is today at 4 PM CT!
As usual, the first 30 minutes include a tutorial on getting started with Curated followed by a Q&A session that begins at 4:30.
This is built to be a come-and-go Zoom call, so feel free to hop in whenever you can and leave when you have to.
If you have any questions about Curated or newsletters, we created a Google Form where you can submit them.
Seth will answer them live at Curated Crash Course during the Q&A segment of the session, but if you can't make it, he’ll send you a recording so you can see your questions answered.
New to Curated? Make a copy of this Getting Started with Curated Checklist to help launch your newsletter (public, private, or paid).
Opt In Challenge
Do You Have A Sunsetting Policy?
It can be hard to let subscribers go, but sometimes it’s necessary for the health of your email list. This week’s Opt In Challenge is to learn about sunsetting policies from Jennifer Nespola Lantz in this article, and then create and implement your own policy.
Note: Curated users can filter subscribers by click activity and use a reconfirmation flow to give them an opportunity to stick around.
Discovered via Really Good Emails.