Good morning, friends. 


Espresso, achieved. Let's get into edition #33 of the World's Best Newsletter:

1. The four key elements of a successful fake news story.
2. Marketing lessons from RuPaul's book? Believe it.
3. Drag Queens as entrepreneurs?
4. New global study finds (NOT AT ALL) surprising facts about millennial women entrepreneurs
5. When fear works in marketing
6. Are you set up for ABM success? (Webinar 6/15)
7. Win your content independence! (Boston event 6/29)


1. The four key elements of a successful fake news story.


All those wildly effective articles that were shared in the 2016 US election can be broken down into a few key elements. Here’s what goes into a successful fake news story - take heed if you're tasked with creating content for the internet with the hopes of it being shared and for it to motivate people:

  1. Emotional appeal
  2. Veneer of authority: Story traces itself back to a leak or statement or something that supposedly happened.
  3. Effective insertion point into the online space.
  4. An amplification network (like Twitter or Facebook)

That’s all it takes, according to Ben Nimmo, information defense fellow at the international affairs think tank, Atlantic Council. 

For more, read the full article. Bonus: How Far-Right Trolls Spread Hoaxes


2. Marketing lessons from RuPaul's book? Believe it.


This week, the incomparable Carla Johnson asked me and 33 other smart marketers what non-marketing book we recommend to B2B marketers. My response comes at no surprise to anyone who’s a close friend, but to some it may seem a little odd — RuPaul’s Guide to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Style. 

Hear me out. 

Marketing is a job filled with new tech and new rules. It’s changing constantly. We’ve got to, in many ways, consistently reinvent what we do as marketers to stay current, relevant, and effective. Always be learning, and always be willing to do things our way, as we navigate uncertain territory. 

At the same time, I notice some who skip - or just lack - the basics of marketing. What, in the first place, gets people to pay attention, trust a brand, do business with them, and ultimately refer future customers? All the tech in the world can’t save a terrible marketing strategy. All the money in the universe can't sell a product that's targeted at the wrong buyers (or not targeted at all.)

So this quote (and the whole book) comes at the right time from an Emmy-Award winner and massively successful entrepreneur who has applied the advice within to the world of drag, entertainment, and show business for nearly 40 years. 

“You must learn the rules first before you throw them out, and then by all means throw them out. The future belongs to those who have learned from the past.” 

Relevant for gorgeous men in women’s clothing, and relevant for a marketer in 2017. The full article has a BUNCH of great additional reading - thanks for pulling it together, Carla.


3. Drag Queens as entrepreneurs?

Speaking of Mama Ru... I have a love-hate relationship with RuPaul’s now-mainstream ‘Drag Race’ - a TV show that plops brave queens playing up the camp of drag into the living rooms of millions of people around the world, and in endlessly-looping gifs on Instagram and Tumblr. 

I love it for bringing drag (a genre I have loved since my queer teenage self discovered Boston’s Jacques Cabaret) into greater visibility. Likewise, I hate it, in a way, for defining what drag is, what it means, and how it should be perpetuated. 

This article illustrates the “RuPaul Drag Industrial Complex.”

Drag used to be a wonderfully obscure, queer performance in gritty gay dance spaces, always with a sense of confidence where it was needed most. In those moments, it reclaimed some semblance of power in a world in which the LGBT community had none. Drag as a whole became the campy, beautiful, uncomfortable, strong, and unexpected spokesperson for an LGBT community that is now awkwardly being pushed into the mainstream… especially evidenced by the troves of bachelorettes who include “local drag show” into their celebrations. (They’re more fun to watch than the drag queens sometimes.) 

But, drag was never meant to be mainstream. 

By its very nature, drag was exclusive, special, kind of clandestine to the gay community. Going mainstream means seeing drag merch in Hot Topic, moving Drag Race from Logo to VH1, and seeing troves of teenagers (under 21, often under 18) at drag shows.

In a way, this has always been Ru’s intention. 

To quote the article, “No queen in the history of drag has so skillfully turned the art form into an industrious and lucrative endeavor, a testament to his ambition as much as it is to his talent.”

And through nine seasons of Drag Race, it’s pushed queens from local heroes (I remember seeing Katya in Boston well prior to this hullabaloo) to global acts, with hundreds of thousands of social followers, becoming paid brand ambassadors. 

Entrepreneurs. Talk about diversifying the world of entrepreneurship :)

Read more. 


4. New global study finds (NOT AT ALL) surprising facts about millennial women entrepreneurs


“…women entrepreneurs are more ambitious and have been more successful than their male counterparts.”

Let's not sugar coat it, I love this study.

“They also take a different approach to entrepreneurship in terms of leadership, financing and objectives.”

I’m just going to let this article speak for itself. It’s too good.

“The 2016 BNP Paribas Global Entrepreneur Report, based on a survey conducted by the Scorpio Partnership consultancy, analyses the behaviour of some 2,600 High Net Worth and Ultra High Net Worth entrepreneurs across 18 countries in Asia, North America and Europe, with aggregate wealth of over $17 billion dollars.”

I also found interesting the article's top 3 criteria for success:

  1. Making a profit on their initial investment (35.2%) (That’s a high bar–women are looking for quick profits, but you can see more about that when you look at their funding sources and the capital they put at risk.)
  2. Passing the business on to the next generation (12.3%)
  3. Making a social impact (11.2%)

This study is just fascinating. Invest in women. It’s good business sense. 

5. When fear works in marketing

This piece is a great one, from Brad Smith, on the Kissmetrics blog:

“The Harvard Health Publications says that “chronic activation of [the ‘fight or flight’] survival mechanism” is bad for the health. You don’t want to be that company people associate with negativity. Therefore, incessant badgering of your target audience with fear-based marketing can be catastrophic for your company’s overall brand health.


Even though it almost always works in the short-term.”

There’s this trade-off between fear and hope we have to balance in our marketing. Fear and negative messaging piques the interest of cold prospects who may lack the awareness of a problem. It makes them understand there’s something to be solved.

But it requires the right context. Eventually, fear needs reassurance. Truth. Confidence that you won’t let them down. 

Read more. 


6. Are you set up for ABM success? Upcoming live webinar.

On June 15 I’m teaming up with Jon Russo, “recovering CMO” and president of B2B Fusion to walk through what needs to be in place for a company to truly maximize their investment in ABM. 

You can buy all the tools you want, but if your database isn’t in order, if you haven’t made the right decisions internally, and if you lack some critical buy-in, even the best of intentions will go awry. 

I've asked Jon to walk through what he's done with real companies who want to see value from ABM, but may not be quite ready. He's a marketing operations pro with a heart of gold. 

Register your spot here - it’s free and it’s going to be fun. Pinky swear. 


7. Win your content independence!

GA is joining forces with Boston Content to provide attendees the inspiration and ideas to be true content revolutionaries. 

The night begins with networking, then we’ll break into four smaller groups for discussion with industry experts on the following topic of your choosing:

1. Independence from Mediocrity: Creating Fireworks in a World of Content Duds
2. What's Your Declaration? Defining & Maintaining Brand Voice, Look & Feel
3. A Content Army of One (or Few): Making a Big Mark with a Small Team
4. Start a New Revolution: Content Career Hunting and Skills Selling

Reserve your spot for Thursday, June 29 at 6:30pm in downtown Boston. 

7. Quote of the week - on being fully here:


“If you want to be in the flow, you need to be present.”  - Ru Paul

Don't phone it in. In fact, put the phone away. Be here, right now. 

Have a great weekend,