Issue 117: Write What You Don't Know
From Serial Marketer: "The Cutting Edge of Marketing”

Last week, I wrote about why service providers should consider the Service as a Product (SaaP) model, and it sparked some of the most interesting conversations I've had that stemmed from this newsletter.

The best part about a column like this is that hits on one of my favorite themes: writing what I don't know.

At the risk of making myself sound overly heroic, writing what you don't know takes chutzpah. Or it at least takes a modicum of gumption to overcome crippling self-doubt (that's far less heroic-sounding). 

The premise is to publicly share a few things that you've started to figure out as a way to inspire conversations with people who are going through the same thing or have gotten much further along. 

It's football season, so a sports metaphor will suffice. If you're at your own 30-yard-line, it might feel ridiculous to write a story that says, "Here's how to score a touchdown." You're nowhere close. But you're writing for the people who haven't even gotten the ball yet; some don't even know there's a game on. 

Most of the people who are further along will go, "Great start. Here's how to advance the ball." And some who are in the same spot will be glad to know they're not the only ones trying to figure out how to at least get to mid-field. 

We can deconstruct this even further. Reading last week's column in full might help more if you missed it, but I'll bring back a few highlights. The heart of the column featured seven questions that come up when adopting an SaaP model.

For each of the seven questions below, I'll comment on how far along I am. 

1) What is your product? Hone your elevator pitch.

I mostly figured this out, and I identified the core of one pitch deck that I can adapt. I used this very product for two pitches on Monday alone. That means I may not have figured out the perfect product, but it's one I can at least work with. That feels pretty good, though I need to get step #3 down before I'd call it a success.

2) Who is the ideal customer? Do you have an ideal customer profile (ICP)?

I do have the ICP (thanks, Apoorva Pande). I'm still not sure I'm right until I sell a few of the products into the target customer. But I have two backup ICPs I can test assuming the product itself is solid. One changes the segment the buyer is in while the other changes the geography. So, again, it's a lot of steps in the right direction without having figured out the answers yet.

3) Have you tested the product-market-fit where you match your product to your ICP? How have you tested it? If there's a disconnect, how might you change either the product or ICP?

I don't have enough data yet, but this question will be my overarching focus this quarter.

4) How repeatable is your offering? How much of it can you replicate for others?

I know with my core product, I can scale it at least to run a few programs a month with my current resources. And then I know some people who can help me expand my capacity from there.

5) Who can help you deliver it? The team helps scale, and scale is the grail.

I spent much of June interviewing freelancers, and just this month, I started testing a virtual assistant service while expanding my team some other ways that I'll describe soon. I may well package a lot of my info in sourcing freelance talent into a course or some other thought leadership, as this is an area where I know I am so much further along than most thanks to a series of hits and misses.

6) How are you selling this? Word of mouth isn't usually enough.

I've tested a few things that haven't worked, and this month, I'm trying a mix of tech, freelancers, and media to all get me further along here. In a month or two, I should know quite a bit. I also have a lot of research I can share about this.

7) What repeatable, scalable methods have you found to scale your product?

Let's talk in November. I will share what I've learned. Please, if you have anything of value to contribute here, I will owe you one, and then some.

All that adds up to a lot of knowledge I can share, and a lot of meta-knowledge that might be even more valuable.

If you look at it superficially, you'll see I'm so far from my goal. If I kick the ball from here, it's to punt it to the other team, not to score. It is tempting some days to punt, let someone else run with it, and find something I'm better suited to do -- like writing a Cobra Kai Season 3 fanzine.

Piece by piece though, the writing will not only help others, but it helps me. I've crystallized my thoughts on this. And I'm better prepared to learn from people who are anywhere near the same field.

In short, writing allows you to stand on the shoulders of giants.

As they say in New York, "Go Giants!"*


PS: Tonight is the monthly First Wednesday happy hour. Join us

*We're 0-4 so far. I'm not sure anyone's actually saying that this season.


Playing: Animal Crossing released its Halloween update. We can be Switch friends if you play; I'll save you some pumpkins.

Listening: The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe. Eerie parallels to today continue. 

Watching: The final season of Homeland was one of the best. What a terrific ending. And Saul's last words to Carrie? So perfect for one of TV's best odd couples.

Tech: Calendly is a life safer, or at least a time saver. Some 15-minute meetings ran long, so I added a 15-minute buffer after my 15, 30- and 45-minute meetings, adding some much-needed breathing room. (Check out more tech in my regularly updated guide to 100+ resources.) 

Moment of Gratitude: Thanks to Lan Phan for connecting me with some wonderful and accomplished people through her Community of Seven, and thanks to Eric Tash for the intro to Lan.


I like the Josh Sternberg take on the Wired story that says hypertargeted advertising doesn't work. Either advertising is so terrible that it doesn't matter, or advertising works so well that it's pernicious. Maybe both? Opposites are often true simultaneously. The moral of the Wired piece is even more ridiculous -- namely, that a massive advertiser boycott will take place. The assumption that marketers don't know where a lot of their ads are running is sound. The assumption that marketers are stupid is insulting.

Beth Granger, the longtime LinkedIn Live host who also hosts LinkedIn Local Long Island, was kind enough to invite me as a guest on her show. Not surprisingly, community building was the hot topic. She added a lot of takeaways on Facebook. Thanks, Beth!

Thanks to Chris GorgesDon SteeleRachel Pasqua, Matt WurstJaimee KniffenWilliam AlvarezWendy Weatherford Marks, David Kohlberg, and William Alvarez for spreading the word recently.

Here's your own personalized link, with more referral rewards for sharing the newsletter. Visit to see how you're doing. 

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Please send over any events you're hosting or attending, and I'll add them to the list. All events below are virtual, and all times are EDT.

Tuesdays, 3pm
-10/13: Lindsay Stein, CEO, Today I'm Brave 
-10/20: Mauro Gatti, Chief Creative Officer, JibJab
-10/27: Jana Morrin, CEO, Speakfully 
-11/3: Election Day (USA). Please vote and get every eligible American you know to do so (better still, do so sooner). In honor of democracy, there's no Salon.
-11/10: Anna Bager, President & CEO of Out of Home Association of America (OAAA)
Request access to RSVP (or I'll add you to the calendar invite):

October 7, 6pm
First Wednesday keeps going strong. We have dozens of people RSVPing for this fun NYC tradition that is now open to anyone virtually. Len Bilello might even by you a drink.

October 7-9
I'm a big fan of NYCML, and this year's event is free: "This year's speaker line-up features some of the brightest minds in media and tech, including Tristan Harris, Andrew Yang, Nina Jankowicz, Cory Doctorow, and Jay Rosen. Through thought-provoking discussions, engaging workshops, and innovative demos, attendees will be at the forefront of change as we delve into the most pressing issues of this pivotal moment in history. Reserve your FREE tickets today! #BuildTheFuture2020"

October 7-9
"Everything you need to adapt and succeed in a digital world happens here. Join us online—it’s free for all."

October 8, 12pm
Via Reuters: In a marketplace full of noise and competition, brand experience can be the differentiator. Reuters Events is bringing together marketing visionaries to discuss, debate and plan how best to create a compelling brand experience. Join live and/or get full on demand access:

October 15, 12pm
Join the virtual 1:1 rapid-fire speed-meeting event to connect with fellow Serial Marketers, hosted by the Upstream app.

October 15, 1pm (postponed from 10/1)
Thanks to Michael Bendit for making this happen:
Are you looking for a new job or know someone who is? If so, please register for a free webinar on on optimizing your LinkedIn profile for a successful job search, presented by David Alto of AltoAdvance. This event is co-sponsored by the Trusted Referral Network and Serial Marketers.

October 19-23
This is an annual event series by Kite Hill PR that is going virtual, and they always get a terrific speaker lineup. Register now!

October 21-22
"Teal’s Career Growth Summit is a virtual event aimed at helping professionals navigate their career growth. Over the course of 2 days, we’re bringing together established professionals and experts in the career space to run round tables, workshops, and virtual networking sessions to help you put yourself in the best position to find, land and grow in a job you love."

October 27-28
I'll be speaking at this one and am excited about the roster they've put together: "Soft Land Expo: USA Edition (SLEUSA) is a bi-directional event that will connect both international companies seeking to enter the U.S. market and U.S. companies seeking to internationalize to global markets with key agencies, resources, and service providers to support their success."  

November 5-6
Marketing must change to align with this shift, now. Reuters Events: Strategic Marketing USA (Nov 5-6) is uniting the world’s most influential CMOs to set benchmarks, showcase innovation, and map the future of marketing – one where brands are purpose-driven, campaigns are intelligently data-backed, and innovation drives growth. Register now to join 5000+ marketing leaders and ensure your brand remains hyper-relevant.  

November 5 / November 12
This group is amazing. Check them out. "We have a trust problem in the marketing and advertising industry. Over the past 15 years, as new distribution mechanisms like social, disciplines like content marketing, or initiatives like diversity and inclusion emerged, we silo’d. We continue to silo, not integrate–while we watch the world innovate. This compromises brand experience, and, in turn, threatens brand trust. Big Yellow Think Tank seeks to advance collaboration across brand experience. By leveraging this abrupt shift in the world, we will reimagine the way we work and serve brands. Big Yellow Think Tank is ready to set a new standard and we need your voice. Our first initiative? A virtual hackfest."  

November 19
"Each year, CMI produces our signature LGBTQ Marketing & Advertising Symposium (now in our 13th year) for marketing/advertising/communications professionals. The event is held in collaboration with, and hosted by Google NYC."


Keep checking out the #jobs channel in Serial Marketers for more. I've added some descriptions of top-secret searches there, and others have posted some leads too. 

Chief Marketing Officer
This is from my friends at Hunt Club. If you're a good candidate for this, let me know, and I can refer you. The job is not listed publicly. 

Looking for: Proven success in developing and leading an end-to-end brand and marketing strategy in the consumer space, the future Chief Marketing Officer has: 

  • 10+ years of experience within CPG with D2C + Retail Experience (Ideally within Beauty, Health & Wellness, Food & Beverage)
  • Skillset of classically trained marketer: able to formalize brand pillars and brand architecture, owning product development from ideation through commercial distribution
  • Proven ability to scale a company from to exit within 2-4 years
  • Mentality of a go-getter, someone who can adapt easily, operate in a fast-paced environment, and roll up their sleeves to execute
  • The Honey Pot is a plant-based feminine care system, that provides women with a healthy alternative to feminine care that is free of chemicals, parabens, carcinogens, and sulfates. Our washes are gynecologist approved, clinically tested and pH balanced. Say hello to the future of feminine care.

Head of Global Digital Marketing
This is from my friends at Hunt Club. If you're a good candidate for this, let me know, and I can refer you. The job is not listed publicly. 

With 10-15 years of experience in the marketing arena, the future Head of Global Digital Marketing has:

  • Experience preferred in the B2C or services space (e.g. financial services, insurance, mortgages, etc.)
  • Ability to mentor, advise, and support affiliate universities with all aspects of digital marketing (inclusive of SEM, SEO, PPC, SMM, Content Marketing, Email Marketing, Influencer, and Affiliate Marketing)
  • Knowledge and calibre to lead customer acquisition through digital channels (inclusive of CRM configuration and analytics and sales force design and optimization)
  • Experience in developing, monitoring, and reporting on all relevant digital marketing budgets

Enterprise Account Exeutive
This is from my friends at Hunt Club. If you're a good candidate for this, let me know, and I can refer you. The job is not listed publicly. 

Having demonstrated experience with strategic selling methodologies, the future Enterprise Account Executive has: 

  • Proven success in B2B Enterprise SaaS or Software business application sales exceeding a $1M+ quota - bringing in average deals of $200k
  • Has been able to drive sales cycles forward in their prior experience 
  • Can quickly articulate value prop and be an effective communicator
  • Experience navigating large/complex enterprise businesses and accessing the key stakeholders
  • Operates as a collaborator – does not have a lone wolf mentality
Graphic Designer
NYC / Remote
This is a great firm my friend Mark Lee shared in Serial Marketers: "We offer a unique opportunity for a graphic designer to help us develop and expand multiple brands as part of a startup studio. You’ll be working on multiple projects dependent on the needs of each client, with a focus on digital assets. This is a full-time contract position, with opportunity to transition into a permanent role on the client side."

Digital Marketing Generalist
Via a friend who posted this in Slack -- find her there or I can make an intro: "This new Digital Marketer role will support long-term, sustainable revenue growth in our core markets by planning and deploying all inbound and outbound demand generation activities for Duarte and optimizing multi-channel campaigns for the best ROI. While this role will report into the Director of Marketing, it will collaborate with a range of teams within the company—including product, sales, customer success and operations—to understand business requirements, offer informed recommendations, and provide proactive and timely execution."

Head of Acquisition Marketing
Remote first, then based in NYC
Via a friend there (happy to refer you): "With interest in the stock market surging among a new generation of investors, our community is growing rapidly. To support our ambitious goals, our team is growing and we’re looking for sharp, enthusiastic people who believe in our mission to fundamentally change the way people invest. In normal circumstances, we’re located in New York with an office in Copenhagen & Raleigh NC, but in these times we’re maintaining momentum as a remote team."

Chief Marketing Officer
This is from my friends at Hunt Club. If you're a good candidate for this, let me know, and I can refer you.

Coming in as a seasoned marketing leader, the future Chief Marketing Officer has:

  • Background in the B2C technology marketing space (music or adjacent industry is a plus)
  • 10+ years of management experience building & leading diverse marketing teams
  • Track record and expertise in building a premium brand with a focus in brand, content, creative, messaging & events
  • Vision with willingness to show up and get things done; operating as a strategic executer 

Founded a mere 90 days ago and backed by big players in the music and startup world, Mandolin is a live streaming concert platform for fans, artists, and venues that already has world-renowned musicians and over 10k users. With ticketing, merch sales, and other artists feature built right in, Mandolin is bringing live music back to the stage!

Manager, Creative Strategy Remote
This is from my friends at Hunt Club. If you're a good candidate for this, let me know, and I can refer you.

With experience owning the creative marketing strategy at a fast-paced or startup environment, the future Creative Strategy Manager has: 

  • 3-5 years of experience within relevant creative marketing field 
  • Ability to operate creative across multiple marketing channels including: Facebook/Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Reddit, print materials, newsletters, etc.
  • Expertise in direct response marketing
  • As a team leader, has managed a creative team in their past

Bright Cellars is a subscription wine experience that matches members with personalized monthly selections. By taking a data-driven approach to consumer tastes and personalization, Bright Cellars is engaging with customers and brands in a way that's new to the industry. Based in Milwaukee, Bright Cellars recently raised an $8.5M Series A led by Revolution Ventures.

Other job resources:

  • Ad Ops Online: Job listings for ad operations, programmatic account management, sales operations, and more.
  • Advisable: Get instant access to top marketing freelancers
  • AMA Job Board: Listings from the American Marketing Association (maybe you can also ask them anything)
  • Built in NYC: Jobs at a range of levels and functions, as long as you're okay working in this quaint, backwater hamlet.
  • CareerList: Here's a form for companies hiring and a form for job seekers; here's the public list with tabs for both 
  • Content Writing Jobs: Content marketers, enjoy
  • CoronaHub: Jobs relating to the crisis response
  • Creative Women of Color: List yourself in the database and find talent, via Women Who Create
  • ExecThread: Senior roles spanning a range of verticals and cities; membership is free but fully vetted (this uses my referral ID to get you in faster)
  • GLG: Get paid to share your topical expertise; it can lead to some interesting conversations at a potentially decent hourly rate
  • Grace Blue Transitions: A portal for hirers and seekers with resources from this exec recruiting firm
  • The Hired Guns: An array of jobs in marketing and related fields at brands, agencies, and media companies
  • Hue: Amplifying voices of people in color working in marketing
  • Hunterz: A way for connectors to get paid to introduce startups to large enterprises
  • Lead5: A paid service for executive roles, plus intel on changes with companies and PE investments; you can try a risk-free weeklong trial to see if it's any good for your needs
  • Lunch Club: Match 1:1 around predetermined goals with accomplished professionals (free)
  • NYC Ad Jobs & Networking: A popular Facebook group
  • One Club for Creativity: COVID-19 jobs Board
  • #OpenToWork: There's a channel in Serial Marketers where you can share what you're looking for
  • Pangea: Where you can hire college freelancers (and college students can get gigs)
  • Pocit: A platform connecting people of color with jobs in the tech industry
  • Startup.Jobs: There's a section for marketing jobs
  • TechNY Daily: While more technical, there are also some sales and marketing jobs at NY startups.
  • VC Job Boards: AlephEniac Ventures, PearSequoiaUnion Square Ventures
  • VentureLoop: Free startup job listings; their paid option is $15/month and might surface more leads (but it might not).
  • Wanted: Wanted helps top talent in tech and marketing find a job at your desired pay. Plug in your salary, stay anonymous at first, and connect with companies that want to recruit you.
Do you run or enjoy other job listing sites? Let me know, and I'll share them.


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David Berkowitz, publisher


100+ TECH RECOMMENDATIONS (updated semi-regularly)

BERKY'S MARKETING ENGLISH (now in hardcover)

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