“You can have the best product and the most amazing team, but if you can’t figure out how to sell it into the market, who cares?”
1. Tell us about your role at Write Label?
I’m fortunate to spend my time facilitating and supporting an incredible team of engineers, creatives, product managers and salespeople who are hard-working, dedicated and innovative at serving our clients and developing new product verticals.
Write Label believes that freelance marketplaces are the way of the future in advertising, marketing and media. Unlike traditional freelance networks that rely on small teams, Write Label provides access to thousands of writers – an arsenal that agencies could never hire in-house, even for their biggest clients. This not only provides scale, but also a high level of diversity and unique perspectives.
2. Can you tell us about your journey into this market?
I joined Write Label as CEO just over two years ago, with the goal of helping to turn the company around. Since then we have increased revenue more than twenty-fold. Previously, Write Label had a great team and product but hadn’t really figured out how to adapt it to the current market. We immediately shifted the focus to harness our “human cloud” of copywriters and creatives on enterprise sales and marketing, and the rest is history.
3. How do you think technology is upgrading the marketing Sector?
From our perspective, technology allows us to deliver high quality short-form creative quickly and incredibly cost effectively We provide creative services in ways that were unthinkable even a year ago. For example, one of our clients has 1,500+ account executives, all with access to Write Label. Every day, we fulfill hundreds of requests – generally in under an hour – to help our client “lead with creative” in their sales process. It’s been especially successful during COVID-19 as a significant differentiator and value-add for clients working with advertisers.
4. How has the integration of technology redefined content marketing?
Technology has allowed for increased speed and quality, while delivering operational and cost efficiencies that would have been unattainable even five years ago. We constantly talk about the “human cloud” and the role that technology plays in allowing creatives to contribute content, and work from anywhere on their own terms.
Tech is really an enabler for scale and driving quality through quantity
(we have the ability to quickly identify and hone in on the best content – and creators – through our competitive model).
5. How does Write Label help in driving sales?
Write Label allows media companies to lead with creative content in their sales process. Rather than going out to advertisers selling the benefits of their platform (which is becoming increasingly difficult in an advertising environment dominated by Facebook, Google and now Amazon), our clients are able to call into their advertisers and say, “Hey Sally, we’ve had our team of creatives come up with a bunch of really great ideas for your business, would you like to see them?” Nine times out of ten, people are intrigued and say “yes.” That leads to a completely different discussion around advertising. It’s not about ratings and demographics, it’s about the client’s brand and their business. They get engaged on a more emotional level, and by using Write Label, our clients are reporting closed deal values more than 44% higher than before.
6. What are your predictions about the future of writing solutions such as content writing, copy-writing, etc?
We definitely see the future of writing solutions shifting from the traditional agency and freelance models. While we know we’re not for everyone, we have more than 3,000 creatives on our platform (with hundreds more in our Writers Lab training cohort) who love being able to work on a variety of projects every day, versus being stuck working for a single client moving commas around on a stale piece of copy. Agencies have faced difficult headwinds over the past few years, and COVID-19 has accelerated those challenges. As a counterpoint, we’ve seen our business more than tripled since February 2020, as everything shifted online and clients started searching for new and better ways to serve their customers. We don’t see the current trends reversing anytime soon, if ever.
7. What advice would you like to give to the technology Start-Ups?
I’ve started, run and sold three companies (two of which were tech-focused) and it’s all about figuring out sales and distribution.
You can have the best product and the most amazing team, but if you can’t figure out how to sell it into the market, who cares?
We’ve found that opening up new verticals and broadening our customer base requires a significant investment in building out our sales capacity and infrastructure.
8. What work-related hack do you follow to enjoy maximum productivity?
I rely heavily on technology to manage my time and interactions with my team. In addition to serving as CEO of Write Label, I also run a very active foundation and need to find creative and innovative ways to manage my time. During COVID-19, I’ve been working remotely (first at the beach, and now in the mountains) without missing a beat, due to good wifi and cell service. Even being super busy, I still try to find time each day (usually early evening) to go out and spend an hour or so on a walk or hike with my dog, which also helps with productivity.
9. How do you prepare for an AI-Centric world?
I’ve talked a lot about AI and what it means for our industry, and I believe that creativity is really the last frontier for AI.
While it will take computers quite some time to reproduce human creativity, we do use a tremendous amount of data and machine learning as a core part of how we route creative requests. For example, we know that certain writers are particularly good at writing certain types of ads, in particular styles, and as such we’re able to steer specific requests to those writers as they develop.
10. What are the major developments you are planning, in recent time?
We’re currently working to go beyond just writing and into visual creative mediums. Specifically, we’re developing the ability to produce image and video ads for social media and platforms like YouTube.
11. Can you tell us about your team and how it supports you?
This is a funny question, as I feel like it’s my job to support my team!. We’ve divided the company up into functions: product, engineering, creative and sales, and I spend my time each day talking to team leaders about their priorities and where they need help. I’m not particularly good at any of their jobs – they’re all professionals and really good at what they do – but I’m able to help them work through problems, communicate better with one another and get the resources they need to execute on our overall goals. I love my job.
12. What movie inspires you the most?
It’s actually one that’s in the process of being made. The movie is called Apeirogon, and it’s based on the book by my good friend, Colum McCann. It’s a novel based on the true story of two fathers, one Palestinian and the other Israeli, who both lost a daughter to violence surrounding the Occupation. It’s a beautiful and really powerful book about loss, friendship, love and basic human rights, and Steven Spielberg is making it into a movie. It relates closely to a lot of the philanthropic work we do with our foundation, so I’m really looking forward to seeing the film.
13. We have heard that you have a very joyful work culture, so can you share with us some of the fun pictures of your workplace?
We recently invited Mambo the miniature donkey to join us on our daily Zoom call. That was pretty awesome!.
14. Can you give us a glance of the applications you use on your phone?
I’ll tell you the apps I miss using the most: United Airlines, Bonvoy/Marriott, SilverCar and Hertz. I can’t wait to travel again.
The apps I use the most these days are Slack, Podcasts (for The Pivot with Kara Swisher and Scott Galloway), Apple Health (to track my steps), Notes, Tthe New York Times and Twitter.