LinkedIn gets an overhaul, adds stories


In yesterday’s Poolside Chat, we touched on the darker (or maybe just more annoying?) side of LinkedIn. But today, our news about the platform is much more positive. If you’ve been on LinkedIn in the past 24 hours, you’ve probably noticed a few big changes.

Some of The Crew members (in the US) already see it, others in Europe don’t.

Anyway, from a design overhaul to Stories, there’s a lot of new stuff going on.

Let’s check out all that LinkedIn released yesterday:

  • A fresh new design. LinkedIn’s made a few changes that make connections and people more apparent, and the platform feels more personable than it ever has. Long-shot theory here, but if LinkedIn’s platform becomes more welcoming, people may spend more time on it – which can make LinkedIn content more important than ever.
  • Search just got a massive update. The search function on LinkedIn is now about more than just finding people and jobs. Groups, content, and events can all be found through search as well, a welcome change for pretty much everyone.
  • LinkedIn stories have launched in the U.S. and Canada, and a global rollout is coming within the next few weeks. The company is aiming for the stories feature to spark conversation and serve as mini-content pieces of their own.

This is the biggest update we’ve seen in awhile – and overall, we’re liking it! The new changes from LinkedIn should make it more inviting and encourage conversation and engagement across the entire platform.

Whether you use LinkedIn for marketing purposes or it’s just your favorite work-related social platform, these changes should make the LinkedIn life a little bit easier.


What to consider before you start your own DTC brand

Launching your very own DTC brand is trendier than ever. And, with the amount of marketing information out there (yes, this newsletter included), most marketers are armed to the teeth with much of the advertising and strategy information they need to get started in e-commerce.

But, as Zach Stuck points out on Twitter, many people aren’t approaching DTC the right way. Here’s the advice he has for those of you looking to launch – or buy – a DTC brand:

  • Don’t just ‘do it differently’. Zach recommends that instead of launching the same product as ten other brands that already exist, be the only one selling your product. The concept of ‘we’ll do it better than they do’ is easier said than done.
  • Have a large market size and options to scale. If your brand takes off, you’ll want more ways to monetize than just with a single product. Zach recommends making sure you have the ability to easily expand your product line once you see success – and make sure your market size is a big one.
  • Leverage everything you learn. As you start to learn from the sales you’re making with your initial product, use everything you’re learning as you expand your brand.
  • Keep your COGS (Cost of goods sold) under 20%. A good margin will help you fix a lot of things.

Launching an e-commerce website is harder than it looks. But, with these tips from Zach (and maybe a little marketing know-how), you’re that much closer to launching your dream brand.

Here’s something we also came across today: a website with great design inspiration for e-commerce brands. It’s worth a look if you’re feeling stuck with your design!


Let’s make some sales

You’ve got a product, and we’ve got an audience of 16k engaged marketers. See where we’re going with this?

If you’re interested in advertising your product – in this very spot! – we’ll make the whole process hassle-free. This is normally what it looks like:

  • We’ll do the copywriting for you in the same style we write the rest of the newsletter (and the style you’ve seen other products advertised here).
  • We’ll also make sure we create a supporting visual that complements the copy and seamlessly fits into the newsletter design.

You might be interested in some numbers. Did we read your mind?

We’ve put together an updated sponsorship kit that everyone can check out here.

You can learn about our reach, our engagement, see some past examples, a breakdown for the types of marketers who read our newsletter and, of course, the pricing.

Interested? Reply to this email! We’d love to get a conversation started.


Shibboleths: how to make your content convincing


Whether you’re a freelance writer or you’re just trying to produce content for your brand, there’s one challenge that you’ll inevitably face: Making your content credible.

And, if you’ve been on the consumer side, you know how easy it is to ditch content that doesn’t have some sort of credibility.

So, the question is… How do you sprinkle credibility in your pieces of content (without sounding like a self-important jackass, of course)?

According to Ryan Law from the Animalz blog, the answer is shibboleths.

Wondering what it means? A shibboleth “is any custom or tradition… that distinguishes one group of people from another.” Shibboleths are great for creating a persuasive post, but are relatively tangible. Here are some examples:

  • Natural use of jargon, references and jokes.
  • Correct weighting of ideas: Truisms are treated as common knowledge; basic concepts aren’t treated as revolutionary.
  • Arguments are supported by anecdotes.

A single shibboleth isn’t enough to make an article credible. But one wrong move is enough to destroy all the credibility.

The problem with shibboleths

The problem is that shibboleths are hard to implement in your content. You can’t Google them, and the only way to discover these is to get down and dirty with your audience.

And here are some suggestion by Ryan Law:

  • Nerd out with your ideal reader: Most marketers interview subject matters experts about the topic of interest. But if you want to take things further, interview them about their life. What does their daily routine look like? With what kind of people do they interact with?
  • Hang out where they hang out (and, we would add, enjoy a few drinks together). But if you can’t physically join them, read the same newspapers they read, participate in the same forums, subscribe to the same newsletters. Over time, you’ll develop an understanding of the group’s shibboleths.
  • Get your content reviewed by your ideal reader.
  • Avoid over-polishing. If you want your shibboleths to look natural, don’t go too heavy with the editing.

Having said this, don’t forget the first step: Create content that is accurate.

Shibboleths will make your content more credible, but they won’t save content that wasn’t good to begin with.


INSTAGRAM: If you had trouble with engagement on your Instagram posts yesterday, you’re not alone – but Instagram has been working on implementing a fix.

BIG TECH: Is a part two of the big tech reunion we saw earlier this summer on the way? The U.S. Senate has requested that the CEOs of Twitter, Facebook, and Google appear for a hearing on October 1st.

REDDIT: Inventory types are now available to advertisers on Reddit. Put simply, this means that you’ll have more control over how your ads are shown!

BING: SEOs who optimize for Bing will find a lot of useful information in this new blog post, which highlights some big updates that the company just made to their search engine.

YELP: The Ads Dashboard in Yelp has been integrated into Yelp for Business. If you’re advertising with Yelp, this update (and a couple others that dropped yesterday) should help you manage your campaigns better than ever.


There is an ancient invention still used in some parts of the world today that allows people to see through walls. What is it?

You can find the solution here.


Cool tech, (funny) business, lifestyle and all the other things marketers like to chat about while sipping cocktails by the pool.

Amazon just announced an indoor security drone


Are you ready to have a security drone flying around your house? We’re guessing no, unless a dystopian Blade Runner-like aesthetic is what you’re going for in your home (but if that’s what you like, all the power to ‘ya).

Amazon doesn’t seem to care, though, as they just announced a new Ring security drone that will fly around your house to inspect suspicious activity.

It’s launching in 2021, and will retail in the United States for $250. Amazon says that you’ll be able to set a predetermined flight path – then, when you’re not home, the drone will do its thing and keep the inside of your home safe.

We’re not quite sure if we’re ready for this level of security… Are you?

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