Tips for building an audience; Frameworks for product leadership; A playbook for running an impactful virtual offsite & More
Your weekly Newsletter on Women in Tech and Venture Capital
Happy Sunday, everyone. I hope you had a terrific weekend so far. I can’t believe that this newsletter is now 150 issues old. About 3 years ago, I sent out the first newsletter to ~50 friends. Inspired by Mattermark Daily that shut down a week before, I wanted to create a newsletter featuring founder and investor insights from a female perspective.
It’s been a fun ride. I’ve made many new friends around the world, “curated” my way into Venture Capital, and learned a ton. I also made a lot of mistakes. Femstreet is no longer just a newsletter, it’s a platform with resources for peer to peer learning, curated deal flow and access to a global network of investors, founders and startup operators.
Thank you for being part of this.
I thought I share a few learnings and tips for building an audience and community:
Consistency helps you earn trust: Some days/weeks you may not feel like writing, you’r busy at work, with kids or on a trip with friends and family. I’ve got a fulltime job and usually don’t start working on anything related to Femstreet until Thursday night. I’ve worked on Femstreet issues from around the world, at hen or Swedish crayfish parties... Consistency is a great way to earn trust and you have to push through it. Create a format that works for you from a creative perspective and allows you to put out consistently good content. YOU can do it! Nothing is more consistent than a daily/weekly newsletter that arrives at the same time each day. That being said it’s ok to not send out an issue if you feel like you can’t produce anything at high quality.
Your best readers come for the content, stay for the community: Most of you can probably barely get through the links in the free version of this issue and wouldn’t really need a premium version with more content. It’s hard to monetize content. But our best readers join our premium community because they want to connect with like-minded people and learn from others that they can’t meet elsewhere. Listen to your audience. Don’t just buy a tool to create a community, let your audience decide what to create. Meet them where they are.
Find your tribe: It’s important to surround yourself with people you admire. I am part of communities of newsletter gurus on Telegram such as Type House where we brainstorm, share growth hacks etc. If you don’t know where to start, reach out to folks on Twitter or try the good old cold email.
Depth > Reach doesn’t work for everyone: It’s OK to discuss a topic that everyone seems to be covering, but you need to have a fundamentally different take if you want to stand out. Carve out a niche for yourself and then build an audience and community for your best, not all readers. Depth>reach works for us because we put heavy emphasis on community and not much on content monetization.
Get institutional credibility: I’ve partnered with many organizations (banks, venture funds, consulting firms) for events and content collabs. Just make sure you truly believe in the firm’s mission that you are supporting.
Focus on something bigger than yourself: Femstreet isn’t really about me. I am driven by our member’s goals and achievements. As Polina of The Profile said recently “If you find something that fulfills you and makes the world a little better, I think you have a moral obligation to give it a shot. “
Your brand is defined by how you make your readers feel.
Let’s get into this week’s issue.
Don’t wait to be perfect. Why venture capitalists are missing out by ignoring this community. Amy Sun leaves Sequoia Capital and starts a company. Remote IPO roadshows are here to stay, says Nasdaq’s Adena Friedman. Is work-life balance real when WFH and how do we get there? Why reading books by women of color will make you a better entrepreneur (and person). Diversity VC is launching a new ‘standard’ for VC firms. How Venture analysts and women play key roles in the VC ecosystem. Something funny: Taylor Swift as VC firms.
From The Investor
Elizabeth Yin of Hustle Fund dives into 3 marketing funnel examples.
Shruti Gandhi of Array Ventures shares some need-to-know basics to get you started on How to Angel Invest, responsible angel investing mechanics and best practices.
“Focus means saying no to the hundred good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I’m actually as proud as the things we haven’t done as the things we have done.” — Steve Jobs
Ha Nguyen of Spero Ventures on her top 4 frameworks for product leadership at startups.
Lillian Li of Eight Road Ventures writes more about tech in China. This week, she covers the product philosophy of Kuaishou (currently valued at $28bn) aka the OG of short video platforms.
Meagan Loyst left General Atlantic and joins Lerer Hippeau’s investment team and shares more about her path into VC and why you should never underestimate the power of a tailored, cold email.
Jax Vullinghs of AirTree Ventures goes into creator communities and virtual worlds and how brands playing with monetization in the Passion Economy.
“Moving forward, we see a future where society’s approach to health is personalized, preventative, integrated, and fulfilling.”
Meera Clark of Obvious Ventures on why the next great consumer company will be a health-focused platform.
⚡Make the most of your Femstreet subscription
You are building or working at a startup? Become a paid member for $100 per year or $10 per month, and connect with like-minded startup operators and investors on Slack, receive the complete suite of Femstreet resources, member-only online events, a member directory and full archive with Q&A expert sessions + an additional weekly Member Briefing with a curation of community-sourced learnings, opportunities, and resources.
From The Founder and Operator
Closing a blockbuster multi-million dollar deal with a Fortune 100 company can be a massive win for a startup. Enterprise sales is not a simple switch to make from SMB sales—it’s a completely different beast. Amy Volas of Avenue Talent Partners on the 4 enterprise sales misconceptions for startup founders.
Sitka CEO Kelsey Mellard shares her playbook for running impactful virtual offsites.
Femstreeta ambassador Shreya Sudarshana of Disney Plus wrote a piece on the importance of lurkers and community in social media.
Isabel (Ei Sabai) Nyo of Atlassian on the 10 important skills that engineering managers at tech companies need.
Rachel Chiu of Cato Institute on how VCs can update anti-harassment and discrimination policies for remote fundraising.
🗓️ September 22
What Startups can Learn from Product Management
🗓️ September 22
Lere Hippeau and SVB host The Future of NYC Tech
🗓️ September 24
Slush x Northzone Afterparty
🗓️ October 7-8
The Opensource Business Forum, the first European conference to discuss opportunities and tackle challenges facing the development of commercial open source software in Europe.
Looking to launch your own fund? Join a select cohort of new fund managers learning the brass tacks of raising a first fund. Meet LPs. Virtual and free.
Fall 2020 Cohort: September 21st to November 13th. Sign up here.
And In Case You Missed It
5 internal processes to increase customer retention- for everyone
Tips for founder personal brand building - for members only
How to build and scale a remarkable startup without compromising on people or culture - for everyone
6 lessons from building a business in a downturn - for members only
Effects of hype and exclusivity on launch strategies- for everyone
The Athlete CEO - for everyone
If you’re new around here, I’d like to thank you from the bottom of my little old heart for being part of Femstreet this Sunday. I hope you learn something new every time you open this email. See you next week! 👋
Comments, questions, tips? Send me a note
Image credits: Banner (Fortune, Forbes, Glossier, All Raise, Canva, Ethel’s Club, OV, NYSE)
Written by Sarah Nöckel, Early-Stage investor at Northzone. All things workplace tech, data & analytics and enterprization of consumer. Born in Germany. Based in London. You can find me elsewhere on Twitter and Instagram.