In this fourth installment of the B2B Media Agenda: A Q&A Series Previewing the BIMS 2023 Conference, keynote speaker Becca Sherman, co-founder and COO, Workweek, tells us how her company can change the entire dynamic of our industry. While their use of the word Creators sounds a bit more science fiction than content centric, there’s nothing fictional about their spectacular one-year growth.
The prestigious Business Information & Media Summit (BIMS) will take place Feb. 23-24 in Orlando, the first in-person BIMS since 2019. Accordingly, the team at the AM&P Network see an opportunity to help drive the media conversation and feature the voices of leading thought leaders speaking at the event with these speaker Q&As.
Here, Tony Silber interviews Sherman, whose talk at BIMS is titled, Here’s a Content-Centric Digital Native Who Wants to Remake B2B.
Tony Silber: Tell us about Workweek’s rapid growth and what’s driving it.
Becca Sherman: Workweek launched on Nov. 10, 2021, with 4 Creators on our team. The ecosystem had 11,000 subscribers, 9,000 Twitter followers, 0 podcasts, and $0 revenue. As of Nov. 10, 2022, we have 18 Creators on our team, and our ecosystem has grown to include more than 360k newsletter subscribers, 1M Twitter followers (plus 650k on LinkedIn and 120k on TikTok), 10+ podcasts with 2 shows in the Top 25 of marketing podcasts on iTunes—and multiple Creator brands are on track to drive north of $1M in revenue annually. We 100% attribute this rapid growth to the team we’ve assembled—we’re a team of Creators and operators who are all aligned on a clear set of core values and our mission to change the blueprint for media, all of which you can see here.
Tony: Has your content-creator-centric compensation concept worked as you expected?
Becca: Yes, we believe our Creator-first model is both the key to our growth and the future of media. Each Creator is building a brand with an audience of fans who feel personally connected to and deeply trusting of them, which in turn enables rapid organic growth, lower-than-average CACs, higher-than-average CPMs—and, ultimately, a very high RPU and LTV. Several of our current Creators’ brands are on track to drive $1M in revenue annually within the next year, and we believe those same Creators will be on track to earn more than $1M+ in personal income annually in the near future.
Tony: What attracts these “creators” to Workweek?
Becca: Creators come to Workweek because they have ambitions of building large, impactful media businesses. We have a team of strategic and technical operators who collaborate with each Creator to build their brand in a way that enables them to focus on exactly what they’re passionate about, then let the rest fall off their plate—all while receiving the support they need to thrive both at work and outside of it. Resources include but are not limited to executive-level strategic planning, world-class marketing, events and education teams, enterprise-level tech stack, access to angel invest via Workweek Capital, operational support (i.e. audio production, newsletter publication, etc.), and more.
Tony: What’s the philosophy behind why content creators are the highest-paid people in the company?
Becca: There is a Company-Creator Paradox that exists in media today. The most talented content creators are leaving traditional media businesses in droves to strike out on their own—building massive social media followings on their personal accounts, then publishing newsletters on Substack, podcasts on Spotify, courses on Maven, etc.—often because they feel undervalued. However, very few Creators are able to build sustainable, successful businesses on their own—and they’re experiencing massive amounts of burnout. At Workweek, we’re seeking to resolve this paradox by restructuring Creator compensation in a way that will incentivize Creators not only to stay at Workweek but build large media businesses with us for many years to come.
Tony: How many niches do you have, and where do you expect to be this time next year?
Becca: We currently have 18 Creators on our team who create content across 8 categories: Fintech, Marketing, Healthcare, Finance & VC, Media, Climate Tech, Franchising and People & Culture. By this time next year, we expect to double the number of Creators on our team and are seeking to expand into at least 3 to 5 new categories.
Tony: Thanks, Becca. Looking forward to seeing you at BIMS!