A journalist's guide to building a media company with Laura Lewandowski

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Laura Lewandowski was voted one of the top 30 under 30 journalists. She's taken her skills from journalism to her newsletter, Smart Chiefs, and has been able to build an audience of almost 10,000 readers.In today's episode of Creators on Air, Laura shares those skills and how she's turned her newsletter into a business.

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Laura: But you really have to create that hope to say, Hey, what you are reading here is worth your time because people never have time.

[00:00:16] Akta: Laura Lewandowski was voted one of the top 30 under 30 journalists in today's episode of CRA and Air. Laura shares the journalism skills that helped her to engage audiences online so that she could grow her.

[00:00:28] Laura: So I'm a journalist, born and raised, so to say. I've worked for the German press agency until I quit my job and really decided to jump in the cold water.

[00:00:37] Laura: I was not really knowing what I was doing, and back then the term creator didn't even exist. But apparently I already started my journey as a creator and also my career. And today talking in 2020, I'm the founder of Smart. My own media company, which was always my dream. It's a new letter based, um, business model with [00:01:00] master classes in the background and many details, but I'm sure we're gonna talk about this in a second.

[00:01:05] Akta: Yeah, definitely. So tell me about leaving your job. Like did you, you said you didn't really know what you were doing, so what gave you the courage to already leave your job?

[00:01:15] Laura: Yeah, this is a very good question. Um, I worked in a very competitive environment amongst journalists and um, I really have to admit, like my colleagues, they were like heavily into politics, economics, and like all the very hard stuff and I.

[00:01:30] Laura: Was always interested in certain topics, but I realized I'm not gonna be the journalist knowing the shoe size of every politician. So very early on, I went deep down in social media and back then the German Press agency, the biggest news agency in Germany that didn't have their own social media department.

[00:01:46] Laura: So it was me building a team up and we had over a thousand people working in the company. And back then I was a trainee. The small fish in the big pool. But because of my new position, which was directly [00:02:00] under our CEO and just created for, for myself, basically, I gained very quickly big reputation.

[00:02:07] Laura: Everybody knew my name and the company, and I realized that I basically had my own startup in the company because I was creating the content. I was setting up the social media department. I was thinking about the. Um, ideas we can sell. I was selling them to companies and, um, our first client was very big, um, TV channeling here in Germany and back then I was only 25 years, so I was really happy and I was also very hooked because I realized I can do so much more than just being a journalist and therefore I got voted.

[00:02:37] Laura: Or nominated as a top 30 and a 30 journalist in Germany. And I don't know why, but I was like, ah, if I can do this, then I'm sure so many other things will arise. And, um, I just decided to, to follow my instinct and do my own thing. Is there anything

[00:02:53] Akta: from traditional journalism that you kinda took on board that helped you with writing online?

[00:02:59] Akta: Or [00:03:00] was it that you kind of left that all behind and did something completely

[00:03:04] Laura: new? No, a hundred percent. I mean, to be honest, going through that very, very hard. I have to admit that it was hard at some time and, and sometimes, um, journey and also school of becoming a journalist was the biggest, biggest asset and now have in my career, you know, writing for me because I'm also a columnist for business and center.

[00:03:25] Laura: Just realizing that I mentioned, I didn't mention so many things in the beginning when I had to pitch myself. Maybe I should work on my pitch . Um, No, but also as a columnist, now as a creator, now as a new setter rotor. Even on LinkedIn, even on Instagram, you know, you don't have to tell me how to find perfect titles.

[00:03:42] Laura: You don't have to tell me how to really make a text So appealing or an article that people really read it from beginning to the end. Um, I also really know how to create a schedule for, um, let's say, Things, um, actual topics, um, current [00:04:00] issues, certain politic whatsoever, topics that people are really interested in.

[00:04:05] Laura: So I basically know the theory behind what makes media interesting and what makes people to read my things and, um, For me, it became very natural to write. And every time when there is something in the world I see, I anticipate I already transported in an article for myself. And then it's only a matter of time do I really have the time to write everything down.

[00:04:27] Laura: Um, so therefore I think, um, my biggest asset definitely is. That I know everything about the whole media world. I think the biggest challenge though was to really feel like a businesswoman and turn it into a business, because I think many creators, they haven't been in that field before and maybe acted a little bit more entrepreneurial.

[00:04:46] Laura: But the other thing was the challenge. I think for me it was actually the opposite.

[00:04:50] Akta: And is there anything that was different though about writing online versus traditional publications? Like is there a mindset shift?

[00:04:59] Laura: [00:05:00] Um, so what I really learned, I mean, back when I worked for the German Price Agency, you have to imagine for everybody who doesn't know the idea of a news agency, we, we are on top of everything.

[00:05:11] Laura: We have to be the first ones to get the news and then transport it into an article, and then we are basically, Delivering articles to all kind of online magazines, um, newspapers, offline, print, um, podcasts, radio. So we really have to make the news. It's not really on us to, um, judge things, you know, or to give an opinion on things.

[00:05:35] Laura: We are more the raw facts. So, um, one thing here that really stick with me, Commit on the news. Don't start your text with, oh, the weather is nice. This was my experience. No, you come. Which in Germany, if you translate it in German, we are falling with the door in the house. That would be super German to translate it.

[00:05:58] Laura: But this is basically [00:06:00] what it is, right? You open the door and you are screaming the news and you are not embellishing anything. And I think for writing online, even if you are on TikTok and you are doing videos or you're on Instagram, it also matters. Come right up front with the. You don't have to explain everything in the beginning, but you really have to create that hook that people stick to your content, and I think this is something that got's incredibly important and is becoming even more important than ever to really convince people in the first seconds, depending on how long the format is, or even in the first minutes, or even in the first sentences to say.

[00:06:37] Laura: What you are reading here is worth your time because people never have time. So, um, when we published things, it was never only for print or offline or podcast or radio. It was for everyone. So no matter where you were as a journalist and you got our news, you really needed to know in the first line in the headline, is that interesting for me or not?

[00:06:58] Laura: So, When I [00:07:00] back then started my column on Business Insider, I was really getting into opinion led, um, articles, right? So I could really share my experience. Um, it was basically about new work, self exploration, little bit in the Tim Ferris direction, I would say test and productivity hacks, et cetera. Um, and what I back then, That because I thought, you know, this is a very personal article.

[00:07:24] Laura: I can do a lot more storytelling until my ceo, back then she told me, no, Laura, it's the same like German press agency. You have to start in the first two or three sentences with the topic you really wanna talk about. And there you go again, even in the headline, you have to make a promise. I mean, I don't know if you've already talked to Nicholas Cole or, I mean, I'm sure you know him.

[00:07:47] Laura: Yep, definitely. But he's a big, big fan of, Um, headlines and I also read his book. For everybody who doesn't know it, I highly recommend it. Even for me as a journalist, he really summed up the most important [00:08:00] facts for things that I know, but I never really saw them like so obvious, or I didn't even know that there is a concept behind it.

[00:08:06] Laura: I was just doing it intuitively. So coming back to the question, I think is the most important thing for everyone. No matter if print online. Instagram. No, I like, I like

[00:08:17] Akta: that you said that because even as a YouTuber, that's something I was taught from the very beginning is like think about that hook and just bringing people in straight away.

[00:08:24] Akta: So it's interesting that that applies across the board. Um, you mentioned storytelling and I wanted to ask you about storytelling because you actually say on your website that a good story can change the world. What do you think makes a good story and how do you share that story online through content.

[00:08:41] Laura: So first of all, there is not a general answer, but it's really a matter of your audience. So, If I'm telling stories to CEOs or I'm telling stories to students, it makes a whole lot of difference. So first of all, I think what really matters is being very empathetic and really feeling the [00:09:00] pains and the gains.

[00:09:01] Laura: Like actually in the marketing scenario, what does my reader need? What is heir? What is she craving for? Whatever fears, anxieties whatsoever. And once you. Great. If you don't know it, talk to them. And I think this is a mistake. What many people do they start creating, which is great because they actually started, but then at some point they're only thinking about their own thoughts and continuously sharing what they feel that is interesting, instead of really talking to the people they are writing for.

[00:09:30] Laura: So what makes a good story? Definitely, first of all, know your audience. What also makes a good story is be very authentic. You know, I mean, there are topics I personally. Went through. I can definitely share my experience, but there are also certain things that I don't know, but I still wanna write about.

[00:09:50] Laura: So what do I do? I don't claim myself as a wannabe expert. No, I, I interview other experts. But what I really like about this is, and I see [00:10:00] that many times that people don't do it, is I wanna create a scenario where there's kind of a. So instead of saying, oh, productivity is great, and this person a, um, has studied, um, productivity for years, and she has done that.

[00:10:13] Laura: To be honest, I can read that everywhere because there are so many productivity experts out there. But what makes the story very interesting is there may be something that this guy does very different or this girl. Of this woman, um, to what you are expecting him or her to do, or are there even two people who have a very different opinion?

[00:10:32] Laura: Can I maybe feature them both in my article and also what I think makes the story very good if you have different resources. So in the, even in the German press agency, there was never an article leaving our desk. When you didn't commit to the rule. Always ask three. So you have to ask three experts or you have to feature one study, or it also has to be representative.

[00:10:56] Laura: If it's less than I think 1,300 people, then it doesn't [00:11:00] say anything about our society. So that's very crucial. Um, so make sure you find maybe a pro or a contract person and put them in an article. So for the conflict itself, um, I think what also makes the story very good is, um, that.

[00:11:19] Laura: You are not overwhelming people with information. And again, I'm coming back to the question, what you really wanna say, and if you don't know what to say in one sentence, then your audience will not understand what you wanna say in 20 pages, right? So I love the idea to focus on one argument. And then create a story around it instead of saying, oh, I wanna talk about productivity.

[00:11:45] Laura: No challenge yourself. And this is the hardest part because most people, they just start writing and they have like a. Sort of idea. Very blurry and oh yeah, maybe that could be a nice, but no, before you start, challenge yourself. So let's stay with the topic. [00:12:00] Productivity. Okay. Productivity. What is productivity?

[00:12:03] Laura: Okay, let's talk about, um, routines. Okay. When is my routine? Okay. In the morning. Okay. Why in the morning? Okay, because I'm a. Okay. Why is that a challenge? For me? Yeah. Because I have a baby and I don't even have time for a routine or it's very hard to come up with a routine. Okay. And why do I need a routine?

[00:12:21] Laura: Okay, because I'm a self-employed mother who also has to work on her business. So I have only one hour to focus. So, you know, from productivity to how I invest my time, very consciously being a mother and start them juggling work and baby at the same time when I only have 60 minutes, this is how I move my.

[00:12:41] Laura: So this is very, very concrete. And then I can dig into the topic itself. What really helps me? What do I really need? What's the challenge behind that? And are there any other mothers who have the same problems? Can I even interview and feature them? And you realize that there's still so much content, even if you narrowed it down so [00:13:00] much.

[00:13:00] Laura: But this is the key so that people easily understand it. But if you come like productivity, I wanna have routines as a mother for more, um, from Monday to Friday and for work and baby. And this is too much. Like nobody will follow you, you know? Yeah.

[00:13:15] Akta: No, I love that. I love that you've kind of focused on having an angle and then incorporating other sources.

[00:13:20] Akta: I've never thought about doing that for content, and I think that's just such a clever idea. Um, I wanna talk to you about your new session now because you said giving the call that your whole business is based around a new session model. What does that even mean? Like how does that work?

[00:13:33] Laura: So when I started my newsletter, I was basically looking in the US and I'm sure we are both consuming more or less the same newsletters because there are some certain, I would say, um, stars in the newsletter landscape, which are definitely not in the German speaking market.

[00:13:50] Laura: And what I love about it, and this was one reason why I started. Because it's basically like my own media publishing house, right? As a creator, you are more [00:14:00] or less free to express your thoughts and ideas, whatev wherever and whenever you want, and nobody is telling you, no, this is not good for our newspaper.

[00:14:10] Laura: This is not matching our program in the radio show. And I mean, I've had that obviously. Um, because I had to follow a certain image for a business insider for whatsoever, and this is not even a problem, but for me, you know, I had so many small ideas that I was like, I don't even wanna ask if I can publish them.

[00:14:27] Laura: I just wanna hit the publish button. So this was my first idea, why do I want a newsletter? And also I realized starting a media company was always my dream, but it was never my dream to do it in a very traditional. And the first, um, business model that really inspired me was Morning Brew, and I've been following Alex Lieberman and Morning Brew for quite a while, even before they went to, to and got sold.

[00:14:55] Laura: Um, so I love the idea that they really started [00:15:00] very niche and that they created curated content for a very young business driven and business interested audience. So I was like, okay, why can I not do the same because print. I don't think even print is dead because I personally love print as well, but for me, Um, it was very smart and also, um, efficient idea to publish without having crazy costs, you know, so I realized, um, I can set up a newsletter very easily, very cost efficiency.

[00:15:31] Laura: I don't need that much money. I can choose my own audience. I can choose my distribution channels. I can even choose what I wanna write about, what kind, what, how does my newsletter look like, and then also going from newsletter to other ideas and formats, which I'm still on the go. I'm always exploring new ideas.

[00:15:51] Laura: Um, really thinking about the back office business. So masterclass, I have done that. You can do affiliate links. Maybe you can even integrate your own [00:16:00] shop with your ideas. You know, I mean, basically the beauty of creator business, people follow people and you with your business and your creator, being of the creator, you can create a safe space for a community.

[00:16:14] Laura: And I once read, Read an amazing quote, and I love that. Um, it's actually, it says, um, building a business is to help people with a product and building a community is to help people to help each other. So you're creating a space. Where people are meeting and the overall thing is the newsletter, but you are attracting like-minded people.

[00:16:39] Laura: And would you ever find that in the typical newspaper? I mean, readers never really meet each other. Maybe you have like a conference or an offsite and well, nice podcast. Uh, newspaper, X YZ invites to a podcast, um, panel. But that's it. And I feel like the internet is giving us so many opportunities, even on discord, on cohort classes, [00:17:00] cohort based classes, where people of the same industry, the same values, this, the same challenges whatsoever, can meet and even find friends, role models whatsoever.

[00:17:10] Laura: And this is amazing. And I think even, or especially in. Days in a society where we are moving away from home on a very global perspective, you know, we are leaving our safe space where the family stays at home. Our childhood friends, they have spread all over the world. And what community was 20, 30, 45, 50 years ago doesn't exist anymore.

[00:17:36] Laura: So we need to find a new community. And where is that community? Okay. Can be online. I mean, look in the gaming industry back. When the internet was rising, I think this was one of the first place where communities were built, and it's on us, on creators, I think, to build a new home for people who lost their old connections and are not able to see families and friends every [00:18:00] week, you know?

[00:18:00] Laura: So I think this is a very, very important thing to think about and how we can contribute to a better society. I

[00:18:08] Akta: love that. I love that so much because being a creator, my favorite thing about it is the connections that I've made. Not even just with my audience, but with other creators. But I'm interested, especially with new sas.

[00:18:17] Akta: How did you, first of all, decide who your audience was, then attract them, and then turn that audience into a community through your new sa? Because for me, I, I never think of a newsletter as a community because you are sending it to someone. Like how do they interact even though you are sending the email, you know?

[00:18:36] Laura: Yeah. So great question, and I really have to admit up front, I'm on my way. It's not that community as I imagine it might be in two or three years. But what I can tell you what I've learned is, uh, regarding question one, who's my audience? So I started my newsletter. Because I had my own thoughts. And for me it was very hard to think [00:19:00] about be niche or the topic itself.

[00:19:02] Laura: Cause I was publishing for so many other people who had different audiences. And then Laura is coming with her own, uh, thoughts and then people are signing up. And at some point I was like, who are you? Like, why do you love my content so much? So first of all, I had this question, I have to ask them, who are you in order to create an audience until I change my mind, because I realized my audience is the ones I decide to be the audience.

[00:19:34] Laura: I dunno if that makes sense, but if I'm saying I'm creating very intentionally for mothers in business, this is not my audience, but just an example. Then automatically these people will follow because this is my North Star. Yes, there might be very conscious decisions to say, okay, I go on, um, different groups.

[00:19:55] Laura: I'm reaching out to mothers in business, um, communities, and [00:20:00] I'm spreading my articles and my newsletter are there. But I think it really comes down to the content already when I have a clear persona in my head for who I'm creating. So back then I. If there is one person I can imagine, this is my audience and my community, it's me because it's so personal.

[00:20:20] Laura: So who am I? I was asking that question. Okay. I'm 31. I'm a creator. I am a mother, but I decided to not go in a typical enterprise or company because I. Deciding to be a leader for myself, and I have many issues in my life that I'm trying to solve on my own terms. Therefore, reading many books, I'm so interested in personal development and I'm sure there are so many other people who are tired as hell, like me, of the old [00:21:00] way of leader.

[00:21:01] Laura: So that they will follow my journey. You don't have to be a creator in the way I'm the creator. However, I feel the new era of Chiefs, this is why I call it Smart Chiefs, my newsletter. Is here because we live in an ever changing society and also in the information age where you need different skills and you will not learn them in school, you will not learn them in university, and you will definitely not learn them from your old boss who follows the rules of 1981

[00:21:32] Laura: So it's on me. And because I had these questions, where are my role models, the ones I wanna follow and I share this. So there you. An audience is exactly like me. They are also having the same questions in my mind, and ideally I can help them solve them. So where, um, the, the communities there? The communities myself basically, or has the same.

[00:21:56] Laura: Common things. Um, and what was your [00:22:00] second question? How did you attract your audience? Yes. Um, so I was very active on, on social media and I feel like also when I go in my statistics, for instance, or on Instagram, um, it really matches the profile I just mentioned. Most of the people that are between, let's say 28, 35, a little bit older, maybe two years younger, but this is like the middle.

[00:22:22] Laura: The, the, the medium. Um, most of them are, to be honest, female, which surprised me, but it's actually female, especially on Instagram. Um, however, on LinkedIn, I have many leaders. I can see it in the, in the statistic, many CEOs, many C level positions, startup founders. And since I'm heavily promoting my newsletter every week, most of these people, Obviously subscribe it.

[00:22:46] Laura: And how do I know that they like it? Because my opening rate is over 60%. It's usually 62. Wow. Or even 63. So obviously I'm talking about topics that they're interested in because otherwise they would not read it every, every week. [00:23:00] And honestly, every week it's over 60%. And if it's less, then it was usually because my title was Bullshit

[00:23:08] Laura: Wow. Um. Yeah. So, um, this is how I attract them and what I've done recently is also, um, people I feel like are legit people, um, really transport my mission, my vision, or people. I also feel that they're smart chiefs. I've messaged them and ask them, can you please share it? Because to me, you are. Smart Chiefs ambassador, and I would really, really appreciate it if you take 10 minutes or even less because the post is ready.

[00:23:39] Laura: You just have to copy paste it. I've prepared everything and really made it easy for them to share on social. Um, That, um, to attract new audiences. And what I've done as well, especially when people had a lot of reach that I asked them to be a co or co-author, that doesn't mean that they have to write everything themselves, but what I've basically done, most of them are friends, but [00:24:00] they have like amazing knowledge on certain things, productivity, creativity whatsoever.

[00:24:05] Laura: Um, that I asked them to share three concrete tips with my audience and think that I learned from. And that works amazing because obviously they're much more engaged to share my newsletter because they contributed to it. And our deal is whatever, whenever they have a project or a new program coming up, I'm promoting it in my newsletter to a new audience that they're not reaching yet.

[00:24:27] Laura: Mm-hmm. .

[00:24:28] Akta: And does your new as a follow the same structure every week? And what is that structure?

[00:24:33] Laura: The structure is, um, first I have a quick, let's say, Reflection topic, things that I'm very curious about. Um, for instance, this week, which was yesterday, Thursday, every Thursday, I was talking about, um, the fact that we are consuming too much information and that we don't have to have an opinion on everything, right?

[00:24:58] Laura: And that it's even destroying our [00:25:00] brains instead of serving our society. So, um, the structure is basically, I'm coming up with, with a certain topic. Talking about my own experience, sharing advice from others, sharing my own advice, coming to a conclusion, very, let's say on point. Very sharp, no, blah, blah. I really wanna make it snackable and easy to digest.

[00:25:22] Laura: Very important. Then I'm sharing five links of the week that I'm currently interested in. Um, I have to admit, this is not only about the topic. I'm talking in that. But mostly things I just love and consume as a modern leader. Then I come up with a quote. Sometimes I have discount codes for the community that from products, um, or friends or other companies.

[00:25:43] Laura: I really feel, um, they make sense and that's it, I think. Yeah. Quotes, links, content,

[00:25:53] Akta: and like you said, your open rate is insane. 60% is incredible. What is it about your [00:26:00] titles? Like how, like for example, that new session you were just talking about, what was the title for that?

[00:26:04] Laura: Um, the topic yesterday, because it was yesterday.

[00:26:09] Laura: Usually I can tell you after one week, um, how the performance was, but I'm already at, um, 45% and this is very good for 24 hours. Um, so I can talk about last week or the week before and it just said, Please open . Oh really? Yeah. This was my title. Um, and I think the idea of a title is not to explain the world.

[00:26:30] Laura: It's really to make people curious. Um, I had titles like what I mean, what people really love is top five things of blah, blah, blah. They love structure. People are obsessed with structure and they love things they can expect, right? If you talk about three concrete steps, they know Okay. Can easily digest it.

[00:26:50] Laura: I know three things, easy to implement. If I'm talking about 10 things, it's also good because it's a very concrete number. However, tens a lot, you know? Mm-hmm. . [00:27:00] Um, I think, uh, number rule for titles is make people curious. This is the most important thing. Be very precise with what to expect. Also important, like 10, three tips.

[00:27:14] Laura: Uh, the one way, um, Yeah, if I think about it, I think this are my two. Most important rules.

[00:27:25] Akta: No, that's really good advice. I feel like I need to take that on board for my new SA as well, and

[00:27:30] Laura: be short, very short. Because you know, the email line, especially on our smartphones, it's very short. Yeah, true. And if the, I mean from Ali Le, you've been interviewing her.

[00:27:40] Laura: Yeah. Recently I've also subscribed to a newsletter. I like it. However, um, I think yesterday the email I didn't click on, Because it was so long and I couldn't even finish the end of the title, so I was not reading it and I'm observing myself all the time. This is maybe also a good hack. I subscribe to 20 newsletters and every time I read it before I click it, I [00:28:00] feel like, okay, is it really serving me?

[00:28:02] Laura: Would I just because of the title read it? Is it so interesting? I mean, I always read it because I'm interested in content, but just title wise, would I read it? And if the answer is yes, I save. Because it's very, Likely that at some point this headline matches my content as well, and then I copy paste it.

[00:28:23] Laura: That is

[00:28:24] Akta: such a genius idea. Like I feel like you can apply that to any, like even YouTube videos. I can apply that to YouTube, but that is just so clever. Oh my God, I'm so gonna do that.

[00:28:33] Laura: Thank you for sharing that. Yes, and obviously, I mean, everybody is copying the titles, which is not even a problem because the content behind it is unique.

[00:28:40] Laura: It's just the packaging and I think there is nothing dramatic behind it. If you really get inspired and you realize what kind of videos, what kind of newsletters, what kind of books are you just interested just by reading the title and when my brain says amazing, then I'm sure other brains also say Amazing if my brain so true is like what?[00:29:00]

[00:29:00] Laura: Let's book about the newsletter. That doesn't really interest me end up using it.

[00:29:05] Akta: And then finally, I just wanna ask you about what your business actually looks like. So you've got this newsletter, but in terms of revenue, what is that split up into? Like where are you earning from?

[00:29:15] Laura: So I have the newsletter, I do advertising in my newsletter.

[00:29:19] Laura: Um, I have a cohort based, um, class behind it. Um, I'm currently looking for ways to monetize it in the B2B area because I feel that there is so much potential. I'm in big companies as well, so I'm currently thinking about a subscription model, but I'm still on it because officially I'm not working. I had a baby nine month ago, so , I have actually actually one hour to think about my business at the moment.

[00:29:46] Laura: Um, While I'm, um, setting up, let's say the scalable business model behind it, I'm basically earning, um, my money to, to invest in this, um, [00:30:00] automatization models with keynotes with my personal brand. Um, recently I had a big, um, event with Audi, the car company. Um, and it was a collaboration with my newsletter.

[00:30:11] Laura: So what I'm also doing is hosting events with big companies to really attract, um, people to the topic itself, of course, but also for reputation and credibility. And it was really amazing. I mean, got so much attention. It was a Smart Chief's Audi event, working smart, not hard during a big startup conference here in.

[00:30:31] Laura: and, um, since I was also doing many events before with Google and Facebook or maternal, um, in the past years, um, I'm, I'm very, um, well connected in that space. Mm-hmm. . So I think I'm exploring a lot of different ways, um, optimizing, but also in life events, to be honest, to, to really feel that, okay, I'm just writing online, but it makes a.

[00:30:54] Laura: In people's life and I meet them. Yeah. And I see them. And I need that also because otherwise I'm really bored in front of my laptop. . [00:31:00]

[00:31:00] Akta: No, I love that. And um, how many subscribers do you actually have for your newsletter? I don't think I've ever asked. Almost 10,000. Oh my God. Wow. And how long would that take to grow?

[00:31:09] Laura: Well, I'm not at the 10,000 yet, but going very close, uh, took me, Two years. Okay. Yeah. But I have to admit that only everything came organically and only for like two or three months. I'm proactively thinking about, um, reaching out what I just explained. Mm-hmm. , um, to, to other ambassadors sharing my newsletter.

[00:31:30] Laura: But everything else was really organically for. Okay, so I'm

[00:31:33] Akta: gonna finish off the call with a quick buy round. So I'm gonna ask you five questions that I ask every grace that comes on there, and just answer the first thing that comes to mind. All right. What's your favorite thing about being a creator?

[00:31:45] Laura: That I can live for my creativity and organize my, organize my time on my own terms.

[00:31:51] Akta: What's something that gives you a lot of inspiration for your creative work?

[00:31:56] Laura: Many newsletters I'm reading and many [00:32:00] books and many podcasts to be. Do you have a favorite newsletter? I actually like slow growth from a develop.

[00:32:10] Laura: Me too. There are so many different newsletters. I cannot decide. I mean, I'm, I'm also consuming a lot of Ali Dell's content or published press or, yeah, I would say, Many, many famous ones, but Oh yeah, there is a very good newsletter. It's even in English, but it's from a German guy and um, it's about productivity.

[00:32:32] Laura: But he's a doctor and um, he did a lot of research in focus and stress management. And I think the newsletter is called Ultra Productive. I think so. I have to double check, but it's in English and it's very, very deep and wow, so many insights, really, really. I'll check that one out.

[00:32:53] Akta: Yeah. Thanks for recommendation.

[00:32:54] Akta: Yeah. Um, what's one tool that helps

[00:32:56] Laura: with your creativity? Being alone [00:33:00] and working out and funny. Sometimes drinking espresso, I don't know, but the cafe in does something to my brain. I get really excited and caffeine plus working out. I can, I don't know, create 10 newsletters out after it. I

[00:33:17] Akta: love, I love that you've answered with that.

[00:33:18] Akta: Cause I feel like most people just answer with like notion and that's like the most common answer I've ever had. I love that. You've kind of gone for like physical things like, like coffee. That's great. Yes. Um, what's something that helps with your work life balance?

[00:33:32] Laura: To be honest, my baby, even though many people think that babies are obstacles, it's actually the opposite because she keeps me away.

[00:33:41] Laura: So much from work, and at least for eight hours, I'm not allowed to touch my phone because I have the self-made rule that I don't wanna be on my phone when I'm with her. So obviously I'm not playing all day with her, but my, my, my mind is wandering around and I'm not on my phone, but I'm seeing things [00:34:00] differently.

[00:34:00] Laura: I'm reading things and I feel like this is the greatest benefit to be not on my phone. Yeah, all the time.

[00:34:08] Akta: No, it's good that you've got a reason to not be on everything. That's so good. Yeah. And what's one piece of advice that you would give to other creators?

[00:34:15] Laura: So I think my biggest advice is really if you are committed to become a creator, Um, start to delegate things very early on because otherwise you end up in a burnout.

[00:34:30] Laura: Um, look for role models in the industry, other creators that you really love and. Stick in their business model. What are they doing? What can really serve you? How are they doing it? How many people are working for them? And yeah, try to copy it more or less because in the end it will always end up to be your own business.

[00:34:54] Laura: But that's what really, really helps and definitely. Work [00:35:00] smart, not hard, and create the rule for yourself that you don't have to work and publish every week. I think what really matters for all kind of media businesses, they have breaks in between. I mean, even for a podcast host, you have maybe three months of recording and then you do a break for four weeks.

[00:35:19] Laura: Why don't you do that at the creator? Fuck the algorithm if the content is great. It doesn't matter. And I have the proof because I wasn't online for two months at all. Not LinkedIn, not social media, never nowhere. And my first post after giving birth hit 1.5 million views and then viral because it was about motherhood.

[00:35:42] Laura: And it was so interesting that nobody cared if I was online or not. That's incredible.

[00:35:47] Akta: Okay. That's good. That's reassuring. I think a lot of creators need to hear that. Yes. So thank you for sharing. Laura, it's been amazing talking to you. Finally. Thank you so much for coming on air with us.

[00:35:57] Laura: Thank you so much, actor for the great questions, [00:36:00] and I'm looking forward for the next interview when I hit the 10 K

[00:36:06] Akta: Definitely we'll get you back on for sure. Please,

[00:36:10] Laura: bye.



You can find Laura on her website, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and of course her newsletter Smart Chiefs. And if you are a creator, check out Passion Fruit. We help you to manage sponsorships, collaborations, and payments all in one place. Thank you for listening in to our conversation, and I'll see you soon.