Alex Lieberman, Morning Brew // Building A Digital Media Empire, Growth Playbook + A $75mil Sale


Who is Alex Lieberman?

Alex Lieberman is the co-founder & CEO of Morning Brew. They’re a leading new media startup with over 2.7mil newsletter subscribers, making them one of the largest daily newsletters around.

Plus they have a growing range of media properties including podcasts to niche newsletters.

Alex & his co-founder sold a majority stake in the business to Insider Inc for a reported $75mil in Oct 2020.

Let us know what you think on Twitter, I’m @bzaidi and he’s @businessbarista


🧠 What You’ll Learn

After listening to this conversation, you’ll understand:

– growing from a newsletter to a full-on media business
– 3 step audience funnel: rented, owned + monetized
– hub + spoke model
– how they got their first 1000 subscribers by doing things that don’t scale
– growth stages: from 1k to 10k, 100k and 1mil+ subscribers
– how to grow through email swaps, paid ads + partnerships
– a framework to reinvent old formats like Shark Tank or QVC


⏳Time Stamps (YouTube)

0:00:00 – Snippet
0:01:30 – Intro
0:02:05 – Grandma Likes Morning Brew
0:03:20 – Growing From Newsletter To Media Brand
0:05:45 – Acquired For Reported $75mil By Insider Inc
0:06:43 – Scale of Morning Brew: 2.7mil subscribers
0:09:50 – Audience Building Done Well
0:12:24 – Audience Funnel: Rented, Owned, Monetized
0:16:01 – “Who Is This NOT For?”
0:20:09 – Audience ≠ Distribution
0:23:47 – Unwritten Contract With An Audience
0:24:49 – Focus vs Breadth of Interests
0:27:27 – Ask Yourself Why 3x
0:31:35 – Hub & Spoke Model For Audience
0:36:45 – Getting First 1000 Subscribers + Growing Through Referrals
0:39:31 – Stages of Growth From 1k to 100k to 1mil
0:42:03 – When To Grow Through Paid Ads
0:45:42 – Growing Through E-Mail Swaps + Paid Ads
0:47:50 – Programmatic E-Mail Ads
0:49:04 – Snapchat Ads, YouTube Influencers + Channels That Worked
0:51:44 – Cross Promotion + Strategic Partnerships
0:54:20 – Signals Of Consumer Intent From E-Mail Clicks
0:58:35 – Multimedia + How To Grow A Podcast
1:00:32 – Re-Inventing What Worked In Legacy Media Business
1:03:27 – Macro + Micro Of Promotion
1:06:29 – 3 Types Of Content That Work Well For Podcast
1:07:00 – Timely News Hooks
1:08:47 – Evergreen “Service Content” – Solve Problem or Passion
1:11:57 – Vulnerable Content + Imposter Syndrome
1:17:26 – Future Of Monetization
1:22:35 – Talent vs Learned Skill
1:24:22 – Jay-Z, Mr. Beast + Ownership
1:28:24 – Building A Writing Habit + Ship 30 For 30
1:30:34 – Accountability
1:33:33 – Business Idea: Shark Tank For The Digital Age
1:37:30 – Re-inventing Old formats: QVC + who wants to be a millionaire
1:41:13 – Dealing With Bad Times + His Dad’s Loss
1:46:23 – Survivor Guilt


⏳Time Stamps (Podcast)

0:00:00 – Preview + What You’ll Learn
0:02:17 – Sponsor Break
0:03:08 – Interview Start
0:03:44 – Grandma Likes Morning Brew
0:04:59 – Growing From Newsletter To Media Brand
0:07:23 – Acquired For Reported $75mil By Insider Inc
0:08:21 – Scale of Morning Brew: 2.7mil subscribers
0:11:28 – Audience Building Done Well
0:14:02 – Audience Funnel: Rented, Owned, Monetized
0:17:39 – “Who Is This NOT For?”
0:21:47 – Audience ≠ Distribution
0:25:25 – Unwritten Contract With An Audience
0:26:27 – Focus vs Breadth of Interests
0:29:05 – Ask Yourself Why 3x
0:33:14 – Hub & Spoke Model For Audience
0:38:23 – Getting First 1000 Subscribers + Growing Through Referrals
0:41:10 – Stages of Growth From 1k to 100k to 1mil
0:43:42 – When To Grow Through Paid Ads
0:47:20 – Growing Through E-Mail Swaps + Paid Ads
0:49:28 – Programmatic E-Mail Ads
0:50:43 – Snapchat Ads, YouTube Influencers + Channels That Worked
0:53:23 – Cross Promotion + Strategic Partnerships
0:55:59 – Signals Of Consumer Intent From E-Mail Clicks
1:00:13 – Multimedia + How To Grow A Podcast
1:02:11 – Re-Inventing What Worked In Legacy Media Business
1:05:05 – Macro + Micro Of Promotion
1:08:07 – 3 Types Of Content That Work Well For Podcast
1:08:38 – Timely News Hooks
1:10:26 – Evergreen “Service Content” – Solve Problem or Passion
1:13:35 – Vulnerable Content + Imposter Syndrome
1:19:04 – Future Of Monetization
1:24:14 – Talent vs Learned Skill
1:26:00 – Jay-Z, Mr. Beast + Ownership
1:30:03 – Building A Writing Habbit + Ship 30 For 30
1:32:13 – Accountability
1:35:11 – Business Idea: Shark Tank For The Digital Age
1:39:09 – Re-inventing old formats: QVC + who wants to be a millionaire
1:42:51 – Dealing With Bad Times + His Dad’s Loss
1:48:01 – Survivor Guilt


Sponsors

Thank you to our sponsors:

Space – the easiest way to engage your team over audio:
http://www.JoinSpace.co

Micro Acquire – the largest startup acquisition marketplace, join 50k+ others and buy or sell your startup:
http://www.microacquire.com



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