Welcome to volume 56!
Let’s just be honest with each other right out of the gate, I ate too much candy on Halloween. That said, there was a huge candy shortage in my area this year, unlike anything I have ever seen.
But I think that is the future we are living in for the next year or two. Shipping and production delays are being felt across literally every industry from automotive manufacturers to candy producers.
A recent survey came out that said 98% of retail executives are experiencing supply chain issues this year. That is such a high number it almost seems fake.
In this very newsletter, we talked about how chip shortages were impacting the whole global supply chain. It’s going to be a very interesting holiday season, to say the least!
Do you know what won’t sell out this year? Courses, ebooks, and other digital goods!
So be sure to check out all the Foundation courses, templates, and more here!
Here’s a peek at what’s to come in this edition:
Brand New Talent Marketplace
The original professional social network, LinkedIn, has launched a brand new talent marketplace to the world.
After an initial beta that clocked in at 2+ million US users, LinkedIn has opened its Service Marketplace to the rest of its 800+ million users.
This comes at a very interesting period of growth for Linkedin as well, adding 25 million users in the last year and increasing hires on the platform by 160%!
Like some of the other talent marketplaces, Linkedin’s Service Marketplace strives to connect freelancers with businesses that need their expertise. Currently, LinkedIn is calling these freelancers “Providers” which is an interesting way to differentiate their offering from other marketplaces.
Businesses who want to hire these Providers can set custom proposals, like on Fiverr or Upwork. Or search directly on the Service Marketplace, which seems a little complicated.
Right now there are 16 service categories that you can choose from to help narrow down your Provider search. With skills ranging from Marketing to Insurance and even Photography!
One of the best parts of this new Service Marketplace is that anyone on LinkedIn can sign up for it in a few minutes. If you have a profile, you can become a Provider.
This is a HUGE differentiator that should set the Marketplace up for long-term success, and allow current LinkedIn users to join at a rapid pace. As well as instill some trust in the businesses to try it out.
Want to set up your Provider profile right now? Start with this link and follow their instructions!
If I was UpWork or Fiverr, I would be a little bit worried. Especially because each platform has about the same number of users as LinkedIn’s beta test.
Even if you aren’t actively looking for more work right now, I would join the LinkedIn Services Marketplace. You never know what brands are looking for!
- LinkedIn has launched a new talent marketplace called Services Marketplace.
- The initial beta test had 2M users, now all 800M+ LinkedIn users have access.
- Anyone on LinkedIn can sign up for the Services Marketplace, if you have a profile you can become a Provider.
Cameo Gets In The Merch Game
Let’s be honest here, I love merch. Especially merch from tech companies or startups that I admire. So if you work for a cool company, send me some merch and I will wear it proudly.
I understand the power of amazing merch, and also how bad examples will tank a brand’s image. We have seen influencers, huge brands and celebrities struggle to create merch that their fans will love over the past few years.
A lot of these struggles can be tied back to poor planning, low-quality products, or being overwhelmed by demand.
That’s why I find the acquisition of Represent, a direct-to-fan merch company, by Cameo to be so interesting. The terms of the deal are not public, but Represent was recently valued at over $1B.
Unlike other companies that might just print or ship a brand’s merch, Represent seems to be set up to handle the whole process from ideation to delivery.
Represent has in-house designers to help a creator take their idea to the next level. People to help the creators plan their marketing and promotion strategies. An eCommerce platform that can be spun up quickly and customer support managers to smooth out the whole process. And a whole lot more.
It’s really like a whole merch operation in a box, which is great for their extremely busy celebrity clientele. They have worked with everyone from Leonardo Dicaprio to Seth Rogan and even PewDiePie.
Their extensive list of popular and powerful clients, from across the entertainment spectrum, is exactly why the acquisition by Cameo makes so much sense.
I don’t think it would be unfair to say that a good chunk of the top celebrities on Represent, already have a presence on Cameo as well.
Cameo has just added a whole new revenue stream, that they can massively scale up. Right now it’s not clear how the merch aspect of Represent will fit into Cameo’s product, but there are a ton of possibilities.
It will also give Cameo users another source of revenue, which will likely keep them using the platform and might even cause them to invest more time in it!
- Cameo has acquired Represent for an undisclosed amount.
- Represent is a full-stack solution that helps celebrities & athletes sell merch directly to their fans.
- Represent already has thousands of celebrity users including Leonardo Dicaprio, Seth Rogan & more.
Online Learning Gets A Little Smaller
Online learning can sometimes get a little lonely, especially if you’re taking a single course. In my experience, that makes it harder to keep engaged with some of these classes.
There’s no community, feedback, or outside interactions that make it feel like traditional learning. It’s usually just a bunch of videos that you have to watch and then move on.
Skillshare is hoping to push back on this negative perception that some online learning platforms may have with the Chroma Courses. And I’m definitely interested.
These new Chroma Courses are hoping to blend the best parts of online and offline learning into one experience.
Each Chroma Course will be led by an expert in their respective fields and only have around 25 other students in each session.
The students in every session will get to interact directly with each other and the teacher. I can see this community aspect pushing completion rates up in 2022 and beyond. We all know how powerful an engaged community can be!
Right now there has been only one official Chroma Course called Vector Illustration for Merch. But the success of that course has pushed Skillshare to open up three new courses that start in January:
Honestly, I want to take all three of these courses and I bet a lot of other people will too. Like I said above, each course only allows a handful of people each session. Right now it looks like only 50 people can sign up for each course, so be sure to check them all out soon!
The community aspect of each Chroma Course will make the lessons learned in each of these courses a lot more powerful. And the direct feedback from each teacher should help you take your skills to the next. I am very excited to see how these courses turn out, and what Skillshare has planned next.
- Skillshare has launched a whole new type of course called Chroma Courses.
- Chroma Courses only have around 25 other students taking the course at the same time.
- The students will get to interact directly with each other and the teacher as they all work through the course material.
OTHER NEWS OF THE WEEK:
♾️Facebook becomes Meta, most people respond with Meh-ta
📺Pinterest goes live with Pinterest TV a live shopping channel
💰Intuit officially buys Mailchimp this week for $5.7B in cash & $6.3B in Intuit stock
🛡️Coke adds BodyArmour to its collection of brands for $5.6B+
BRAIN FOOD OF THE WEEK:
I saw a thread from one of the content greats, Alex Garcia, about North Star Metrics. You can check it out here if you want to learn more.
In that thread, he outlines that a North Star Metric is a single metric that the whole business or brand focuses on.
Facebook uses monthly active users, Uber focuses on rides per week, and Airbnb highlights nights booked as their North Star Metrics.
And that got me thinking, what is your personal North Star Metric to ensure great work/life balance? And are you taking steps to improve it?
Let’s start calling it the South Star Metric instead. If a North Star is for business goals, the South Star could be for personal goals.
Now we don’t have to get super deep in this newsletter but I think it’s important to think about it, especially as burnout and resignations continue to rise.
Your South Star Metric could be something a simple as the number of vacations days you take each year or as complex as tracking your daily happiness/stress levels.
Whatever makes you feel like you have a solid work/life balance, start tracking it as your South Star Metric. And if it starts to dip, you will know that something needs to change.
Sometimes the act of tracking something so simple helps you identify problems before they even pop up as well.
So get out there and start tracking!
TWITTER THREAD OF THE WEEK:
Top Shares From Buzzsumo 100 List by Ryan McCready
WHAT WE’RE WIRED INTO THIS WEEK 🎧:
Show Me Love by Chance The Rapper & Skrillex
These round-ups are brought to you by me, Ryan McCready for the next few weeks ✌.
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