Hi fellow founders and 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.
Related side note: How might we make these emails better? They’re starting to get pretty long and have A LOT of awesome people and I’m wondering if it’s better to make them shorter again. All feedback welcome. Thoughts?
Please meet Anna Furmanov, your Interim Head of Marketing ✨
Anna has subscribed to our newsletter since the early days of Awesome People. She reached out to offer to help our port cos. While I didn’t jump on the opportunity immediately, she got me in her funnel. Eventually, her marketing for her services won me over. I had to meet her -- hello, successful drip campaigns and content marketing! Anna did not disappoint.
She recently started her own marketing business after 10 years in corporate marketing. Before that, she led marketing at Elevate K-12 (education co that’s raised $23M+) and Fooda (Lightbank and 500 Startups-backed co that’s raised $34M+). Fun fact: Anna is an avid painter and once painted a glow-in-the-dark portrait of 12 dogs! 🐶
If you’re a B2B startup, you can hire her to kickstart your content marketing, conversion funnels, oversee your marketing strategy, and create a strong marketing foundation.
Want an intro to Anna? Lmk and I’ll connect you!
She was gracious enough to share some pro-tips with us here 🔥
Refocus your marketing to stand out from the crowd.
At a previous startup, our marketing was focused on “lead gen” efforts. We spent our time scraping emails, creating banners and flyers for tradeshows, and developing one-pagers for our sales team. We then spammed each lead with an email sequence to generate clicks. Our goal was to get them on the phone with our SDRs to close the deal.
This strategy didn’t work long-term. We focused too much on selling our product, and not enough on actually building relationships with our customers.
That’s why companies that win with their marketing efforts operate like media companies. Research shows that by 2025, 80% of B2B sales interactions with buyers will occur digitally. This is because 33% of all buyers desire a seller-FREE sales experience – a preference that climbs to 44% for millennials. Thus, your goal should not be to sell, as we traditionally understand it. Your goal is to create demand with interesting, educational, and relevant content.
Your content is how customers perceive you. Focus on developing trust and ongoing conversations to convert leads. This type of marketing needs to be at the core of your business strategy.
Understand your objectives to maximize content strategy.
How do you know you’re doing a good job with your content strategy? It depends on your objectives. How will your content strategy impact those objectives?
Let’s say this is the content my team creates weekly or monthly for each stage in the customer journey.
Engage: podcast, social media video clips
Nurture: podcast, social media video clips, newsletter, 1:1 sharing on LinkedIn, weekly virtual events
Convert: case studies, testimonial videos
For each stage, we would also define objectives: in this case, increased website visitors MoM, 50% open rate and 20% CTR for email, and 5 new customers per month. Our goal is to then understand how this strategy impacts each of those objectives. Look for the why behind the results. What has driven any opportunities created? Closed leads?
Use social media for temperature checks.
People browsing on social media aren’t there to buy your stuff. However, they might engage with your content. From there, they might visit your website, talk to a friend, or find you again on social sometime down the line. That’s why social media platforms serve as critical brand awareness channels that help kickstart relationships with potential customers. So how do you measure your presence and performance on social media?
Here’s a tip: avoid measuring ROI. Instead of measuring ROI from brand awareness channels like LinkedIn, use them for temperature checks. Look for qualitative feedback, comments, and likes from the right people. Engage with your audience. Use social as a flywheel to build and maintain good customer relationships. A good signal is when prospects and customers react positively to the value you’re providing.
Here are some screenshots of comments I’ve gotten from people engaging with my content. This is a great way to build trust!
Looking to level up your marketing? Respond to this email and I’ll connect you to Anna!
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. If someone forwarded this to you, sign up here 💌
Awesome People continued 🙏
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Corey - Brand expert and wordsmith. Corey is behind Pepsi’s “billion-dollar” sparkling water, bub, and designed the brand voice for entrepreneur Sean Parker’s cancer research non-profit. She’s also worked on household brands like Shopify and Nike.
Alex - Biz dev extraordinaire. I met Alex at Quixey, where he was the third biz dev hire. He’s trusted by brands like Xamarin (acquired by Microsoft), Algolia, Google Cloud, and Census (Series A co that’s raised $20M+ from a16z and angels). Most recently, Alex built the partnership strategy for Algolia (Series C co that’s raised $180M+ from Accel, Salesforce Ventures, and more).
Want intros to anyone here? Lmk and I’ll connect you!
Full-time hires 😍
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Talent Drops anonymously features top talent looking for their next thing, including:
A customer success leader at a high-growth SaaS company, who built out core customer engagement and expansion playbooks, is looking for leadership customer success or ops generalist roles.
A senior manager at a top-tier consulting firm, who worked on growth and GTM with tech startups, is looking for biz-ops, strategy, or chief of staff roles at a Series A+ startup.
A co-founder at a startup backed by top-tier VCs is looking for chief of staff, operations, or strategy roles in the climate space.
… and more! Want an intro to one of these rockstars we’ve highlighted? Hit up the Talent Drops team here.
Want to make some extra $$$ and work on interesting projects? The Awesome People job board is filled with awesome flexible advising and consulting roles. They’re perfect for fun-employed folks, self-employed folks, and moonlighters!
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