Hi founders and fellow VC Friends!
Each week we deliver one awesome person to your inbox. These are the people you need to know—the marketers, sales gurus, engineers, ops wizzes— who give your startup superpowers 🚀. The best part is, everyone is hireable on a part-time basis.
Please meet Jasmine Williams, your Content Marketing Expert ✨
I met Jasmine after following her on Twitter for a while. I was impressed by her work and reached out. I was immediately struck by her organization and commitment to her clients. She's trusted by marketing leaders at Zapier, Patreon, and Shopify for blog content and copy. She’s helped countless early-stage founders refine their brand messaging and content. Marketing Brew named her a top marketer to follow. One little known fact about Jasmine is that she loves comedy (and tried stand-up for the first time last year!).
You can hire her for content strategy, blog posts, and copywriting.
If you need content help, let me know and I’ll connect you!
She was gracious enough to share 4 pieces of copywriting advice for founders ✏️
Let your customers write your copy
Often, founders struggle with writing copy and feel like they have to start from scratch. That’s why I encourage founders to close the Google Doc, pick up the phone (or let’s be honest, get on Zoom), and talk to their customers. Listen carefully. Take notes as they describe their problems and feelings in their own words. Then use those notes to write copy that speaks directly to them (which it will, because they essentially wrote it.)
Here’s a quick example from a copywriting project I completed for a marketing agency. The first blurb is a little vague. It doesn’t answer common customer questions like who they’d be working with or why they need this service. The second is more concrete and clearly articulates that critical ‘why’ factor.
1st: We begin by making sure you've picked your lane and you're confident in the direction. The new strategy becomes the reference point for your business and brand, so you can feel confident in your marketing investment.
2nd: Every project starts with a strategy session led by our whip-smart in-house business strategist. This strategy will guide your brand and ensure all of our creative work is in-sync.
Ditch the business-speak
I see this all the time. Many of the founders I work with are natural, charismatic speakers. But when they open up their laptops to write, they churn out robotic, overly-formal sounding copy. I blame email for this… “I hope this email finds you well” and “I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.”
The standard, borderline cliche advice of, “write the way you talk,” applies. To sound more natural try using:
Colloquialisms (e.g. “on the other hand”)
Idioms (e.g. “nice-to-have, wrap up”)
Contractions (e.g. “isn’t, don’t, “won’t”).
Here’s an example from a project I worked on:
Business-speak (before): Companies today realize a fundamental need to understand the demographics of their team. After all, in order to properly function as an organization, you must first know the audience within.
Natural-speak (after): Today’s leaders realize that understanding their teams’ demographics isn’t just a nice-to-have. It’s a fundamental need.
See how the latter sentence is a lot punchier and sounds more natural?
Talk about benefits, not features
Your customers don’t care how the sausage is made. They don’t really care about the software you use or proprietary techniques you’ve developed. They just care about the results. How will you eliminate their pain, improve their life, or both?
Focus on feelings over features. Again, listen to your customers. What do they value most about your product? How do they feel after using your product or service for the first time? Infuse this feedback into your copy.
Case and point:
Features: “I offer copywriting and content writing services for early-stage founders.”
Benefits: “I figure out what makes your brand tick. I use those insights to write copy that connects with your audience and keeps them coming back.”
See the difference? The second sentence is focused on why somebody would use the service and its value, rather than the service itself.
Create blog content according to your customer journey
Each stage is important. Often early-stage founders focus too much on the earliest stages of the journey and neglect buyers who are closer to converting. Start with the customers who are closer to converting and partially bought in. It’s easier than educating someone from scratch. Nurture those leads with content like case studies, customer stories, testimonials, and product pages.
As always, let me know if you have any questions and if you want an intro to any of the folks in this email (including the PS section 🎉).
If you liked this, ❤️ it below, and if someone forwarded this to you, sign up here 💌
Open Consulting and Freelance Roles 🤩
Last week, for Thanksgiving I offered to share your part-time postings below ❤️. With no further ado, are you or anyone you know a good fit for these opportunties?
Also, since it was the holidays, and many of you were offline, I’ll share another round up next week 🙏. Submit your part-time roles here. Next time, you snooze you lose 😉.
A Twitter ghostwriter for founders and VCs
This is an increasingly common request. If you have a track record of building a following on Twitter, I highly recommend that you consider this as a side hustle. No joke. As Twitter becomes increasingly important for hiring and distribution (thanks Covid), this skill is in high demand 🔥. I know multiple people who have met their co-founders, investors, and early hires on Twitter. The future of work isn’t necessarily what we thought 😂 .
Two people requested Twitter gurus and personal ghostwriters. They’re both looking for collaborative thought partners to drive and grow their brands. I can vouch for them personally.
Work with the founder of a unicorn company who’s now building his second education startup. I’m an investor in his new company and he has great content to work with. Ideally, this person can also help with podcasts and other personal brand content.
Work with an OG seed investor with TONs of unpublished evergreen content and a book coming out next year. We work closely together and he’s a real joy to work with.
A social media consultant focused on Instagram and TikTok
I have two very cool wellness brands that need someone to run their social media. One targets millennials and the other Gen-Z. They both have awesome female founders and are growing fast (~5x+ in 1 year). I’m an investor in both. If you have Instagram and TikTok skills, I’d love to connect you. Ideally, you have experience driving revenue from these channels and an eye for brand.
A senior freelance product designer
Passbook by Remitly (raised $505M) is looking for a Senior Product designer to help with onboarding and activation. Passbook is a digital bank for immigrants and a much needed product in the world.
A freelance senior marketing manager for product positioning and messaging
Passbook is also looking for this role and ideally wants someone with a product marketing background.
Are you interested in any of these roles (moonlighters welcome!)? Or is anyone you know a fit? Let me know and I’m happy to make the connection if it’s a mutual fit.
Most Recent Awesome People 🙏
Sriram - GTM and growth advisor. Sriram is a well-respected investor and runs growth teams. He scaled Spotify from 5 to 60+ markets, HeadSpin from $0 to $15M ARR in 4 years, and increased Tinder’s international market share to account for > 50% of rev.
AJ - Product advisor and coach. AJ is currently a Director of Product at Facebook and coaches founders on the side. Previously, he sold his start-up to Dropbox and worked at Twitter where he grew Vine to 350M MAUS.
Saminda - CTO coach and advisor. Most recently he was the VP of Apps Engineering at Box and owned the entire user experience for 50M+ users spanning 100K enterprises. You can hire him to help you scale your engineering org.
Want intros to anyone here? Lmk and I’ll connect you!
❤️ ❤️ ❤️