<img alt="" src="https://secure.data-insight365.com/265687.png" style="display:none;">
What are your SaaS company's current growth marketing challenges and wins?

March 26, 2024

Building Connections For Professional Growth, The Power Of Testing Quickly, And Thoughtful Ways To Be A Better Remote Leader With Melissa Moody of Matcha

Melissa Moody, General Manager of Matcha and host of the 2 Pizza Marketing podcast, joins Jeanna on this episode of Remotely Cultured.

Melissa and Jeanna discuss how to network effectively to create meaningful professional connections, how to build and test rapidly while partnering with the product team, and thoughtful ways to be a better remote leader and build a more inclusive company. She also shares her Wednesday Woman initiative and encourages women leaders to share their successes and be loud about the work they're doing.
Resources Mentioned In This Episode:


Jeanna: Hey everyone, welcome to Remotely Cultured. I'm your host, Jeanna, calling in from Roatan, Honduras, where I run FPS and host this podcast. Some of our past guests have included SaaS leaders such as Bridget Harris from youcanbookme.com, Courtney Baker from AI platform Knownwell, and Curtis Dugan from Lemon Squeezy, talking about marketing, product-led growth, and remote culture.

This episode is brought to you by First Page Strategy. At FPS, we use data and big ideas to produce exponential growth for product-led brands who need to nail their acquisition goals and want to work with a flexible, non-traditional agency. For example, in one year, we've grown a client's total revenue 197%, their organic revenue by 300%, and their paid revenue by over 1,000%. We also do it by working remote first and async with your brand, unlike any other agency.

If you're a PLG SaaS company and need to hit your 2024 high growth goals, check us out at firstpagestrategy.com. Today we have with us on Remotely Cultured, Melissa Moody. Melissa is a full stack marketing executive with a profound commitment to user-centric innovation. Melissa followed her 14-year tenure in large partner marketing at Google with a role as founder and CMO at tech startup Gated. In her current role at Matcha, a Commsor brand, she champions the concept of go-to network with a focus on the role of building connections for professional growth. Additionally, she's the host of the Two Pizza Marketing podcast for small team marketers and recently launched a bootstrapped social advocacy tool. So you are super busy, Melissa, and we're super excited to have you on the podcast today. Thanks for taking time. Where are you calling in from?

Melissa: Well, we are going all around the globe today. I live and work in Anchorage, Alaska. So it is probably different weather than you have, Jeanna.

Jeanna: Oh, nice. Yes, we might be a literal polar opposites on a Caribbean island to Anchorage, Alaska. Tell me what it's like to live and work in Alaska. You're our first guest calling in from Alaska. So what is it like to be remote in Alaska?

Melissa: Oh, yeah, that's a claim to fame. I love it. Well, I moved up to Alaska in 2014. So I'm nearer to considering myself fully Alaskan at this point after about 10 years.

Jeanna: Yeah. Yeah, it's a 10-year cutoff is what everybody says when you're a transplant.

Melissa: Well, it really starts to feel like it. I was born and raised in Northern California, spent time on the East Coast, many years in Seattle. But we moved back here. My husband is born and raised up here. And we decided to move back with family in 2014. So I have been working remotely since well before the pre, before pandemic. I like, you know, it's like saying you baked sourdough before the pandemic, right? Only the cool kids did it before it was cool. Or mandatory. Yeah, before it was mandatory, we chose to work remotely.

Jeanna: Yeah, I'm there with you. High five.

Melissa: So yeah, life up here is really different, but it's also not that different. So I always tell people, you know, I live in Anchorage, which for us is the big city. We have all of the things you would need. It is not a big city, but for us, it's the big city. I do remember the day when my mother-in-law told me how excited they were that we had a target up here. So very exciting.

Jeanna: I mean, that would excite me personally. I don't have a target. I'm not a target.

Melissa: I know, but we also live on the edge of the city's biggest park. And, you know, I have moose and bear through my yard on a regular basis. So life is big and wild. And most, most different, I think, is that Alaskans spend a lot of time outdoors. It might surprise you, but all through the winter, we are skiing, we are biking in the snow outdoors. Yeah.

Jeanna: Incredible. That's such a good balance for remote work when we spend so much time inside as remote workers and office workers and just professional workers lots of times indoors. That's a great balance. What about the remote culture? Like, do you guys have, are there other people working remote in Alaska? Do you have, in Anchorage, do you have co-working spaces?

Melissa: So there are, there are some really wonderful co-working spaces. A lot of them are local as well, which I love. They're not part of the massive national chains. They're ground up from here. There's a really strong entrepreneurial community in Alaska. I would say, personally, I actually principally work from home. I don't work from a co-working space. I work from home. I have two kids and the flexibility of being able to be here is huge. But yeah, there's a decent remote culture up here. You'll find that people either work indefinitely in Alaska or they're fully remote. They're working for companies that are entirely global and they rarely go in, once a year kind of thing. So yeah.

Jeanna: Nice. Beautiful. All right. Well, you've got a lot going on and quite a resume of things that you're working on right now. So we'll talk a little bit about some of those. But first, why don't you tell our listeners what Commsor is and Matcha?

Melissa: Yeah. Commsor is a company that, at the parent level, is really founded around what we call as the house of authentic connections. It's a company that's built on this idea that the next stage of growth for SaaS brands, for B2B brands specifically, is going to be network driven. That the relationships that we form and the warm intro goes a lot further than kind of the downfall of cold email in this day and age. Actually, the company I worked at previously is a startup was really founded on that premise of email is broken. Sure, it may still work if you're sending things out at enormous scale, you're gonna get a little percentage of success, but we're heading toward a cliff for a lot of the traditional marketing methods. All of us are just throwing more scale, more AI, make it go faster with less work. And we've lost like the real key to business growth, which fundamentally comes back to human relationships. So, Commsor is a company that's been around for a few years, gone through a pivot, but has always been around human connection at the core. And this January, we announced kind of our coming back to market with two different products that are built on that vision and on that premise. One is called Bronto. And it's Bronto is really a, to sum it up, it's more of a personal Rolodex for your like a personal CRM, where you can really manage all your relationships, you can connect your network to others to create kind of warm introductions that drive growth. And then the company that I run is called Matcha, and it's more kind of a personal launch pad for networking and connection. And right now we're starting, the main focus right now is through your communities. So if you have a community, we provide the technology that drives one-to-one connections for that community. We're gonna do a lot more in the future, but that's what Matcha does. So if you're invested in networking connections, whether for your personal self or business growth, you should definitely have an eye on what Commsor's building as a whole.

Jeanna: Cool. I love that. Yeah. I mean, that's so aligned with what everybody's talking about right now. The whole like thought leadership and networking on LinkedIn has been wild at how much that has just been in everybody's face in the last year before when it really, I feel like LinkedIn kind of lost its way. People weren't using it. You barely logged in. It was like, what is this place? All I get is messages like from salespeople here. And now all of a sudden, everybody's back into this idea that you need to be networking with other people in your industry, other people that do your role. And so huge focus on networking and community building right now.

Melissa: It is, although I would also say I see LinkedIn as starting to head down that path of being broken as well because I think the fundamentals of networking and building relationships is really strong and people can do it very well on LinkedIn, but we also see those horrible, horrible cases of it where they're sending out cold DMs that are irrelevant based on your title. I mean, it's gross and it's icky and it doesn't work anymore. And so LinkedIn, I think is in probably a pretty crucial stage. You know, we're trying to build a platform that really remains focused on the actual connection versus how many? You know, everybody now just accepts connections and you've got 40,000 connections. What's the value in that connection, right? It really becomes diminutive.

Jeanna: Yeah. So how like specifically, how does it work? Let's say, are you saying you have a community? Is this something that you might have built on your website as a brand that you want to layer this tool on top of or where are these communities sitting?

Melissa: Yes. So for Matcha, and I will say we're building some really neat things for individuals, but our current product right now, as you said, is very focused on communities. I'll make it more broad. It's groups. So if you have a team, like we actually have a couple of clients that are using it internally around their teams. If you have a community, let's say, Marketing Ops is a great community that runs and uses our product Matcha. They have an established community with content and events and whatever they're doing. All they've done with Matcha is add on the ability for their members to connect directly with each other. And the way it works is we basically take criteria and the questions that you create. So maybe you even want people to, maybe you say, what are you most interested in talking about? They could say content marketing, rev ops, social media marketing, and then you're gonna, we match up, our technology matches people up based on the criteria that you choose. So in that case, could be what they're interested in. You could set up a program to match people based on their roles. You could set up a mentorship program where people with more than 10 years of experience meet with people with less than one. And basically our platform creates programs that run, so you don't have to do it, to connect people one-on-one within your group. You can imagine that technology is gonna expand beyond groups, but right now it's really powerful for groups.

Jeanna: Amazing. I love that. So what do you think the key is to like neck networking properly? Is it in this day and age when we're all remote, right? Like I'm remote on an island, you're remote in Alaska. Is it saying yes to one networking meeting a week? Or like, how do you fit that in when you're a busy leader?

Melissa: Well, I'll talk for myself, because I'm sure this is a very, you know, this is one of those great questions where it depends, of course. I'll share what I do. So I have two tiers in my mind of networking. The first is people that I'm already created to. I think it's extremely important, kind of like the bottom of funnel in marketing, right? The bottom of the funnel in networking is, are you reaching back out? Are you nurturing relationships with the people that already matter? So, in my mind, that's actually priority one, is I'm always making space to quote unquote network with people that are actually already in my network, but developing that, or if I know there's overlap in our goals, I would prioritize someone around that. Now, a lot of people, maybe folks at the beginning of their networking journey are probably thinking more in what I would call my tier two, which is I'm always on the lookout for other people that are kind of in a metaphor, looking the same direction that I am. Maybe we're looking the same direction about building community, or maybe we're looking the same direction about women's leadership. But people with whom, even if there's no tactical output of a 30-minute call, it's really worth my time. I love those calls.

Jeanna: Mm-hmm. Yeah. Is there anything you do personally to manage this? Like, do you keep a list of people you've connected with? Is it just really organic when you kind of log in or how are you managing it?

Melissa: Oh, that's great. Well, first and foremost, I actually, I use our product Bronto. So I use the Commsor product Bronto, which basically lets me keep track of all of the circles of people I wanna be talking to. There's a little bit of an organic nature to it. I think sometimes on a week by week basis, I have more of myself being drawn into one project versus another or one focus versus another. Maybe I'm a little bit more in selling mode for finding target customers for Matcha. Or maybe I'm more in an exploratory mode for, you know, understanding a new scope of marketing. And so there is definitely organic in my decisions with who to network. And there's always room for someone to slide into my DMs, right, for someone that I don't know to reach out and say, hey, I think we should chat and here's why. Now it better be good. I don't.

Jeanna: Right. Which is what we did when we wanted to invite you as a guest on this podcast, right?

Melissa: Totally. And then I looked and we said, wow, yes, we have remote in common. We have marketing in common. We have go to market with product in common. And so, yeah, here we are.

Jeanna: Love it. Cool. And comms are matcha. They're fully remote. You are also a CMO and founder for a long time at Gated, which was fully remote. And then you were remote at Google. So you have been a remote OG, which I love talking to the OGs. Tell me a little bit about how you've been successful in leading remote teams.

Melissa: Oh, I think I'll start with a story about the leader that I had way back when, in 2014, who actually started me down this journey. So when I was at Google, I had an incredible, he was an SVP in my organization. And I'd been working with him for many, many years. And I went in and we had decided to move to Alaska for family reasons. And I basically said, I'm quitting. I need to move to Alaska, so I have to quit. And he looked me straight in the eye and he said, no. And I said, well, you know, moving to Alaska, Google does not have an office in Alaska. And Google, no matter what they say, is not terribly friendly to remote work. Definitely not in 2014. Yeah, I could probably talk all day about that. And he said, absolutely not. He said, you're worth it to us as an employee. I treasure you as a person. I can't imagine having to go and rehire a backfill. So he looked at me as an employee and said, this is a person I want on the team. It doesn't matter where she sits. Functionally, it didn't matter either. I was managing a global team at the time. So I was having meetings with Dubai, London, Australia. Like it did not matter where I sat.

Jeanna: Here here. Let's give that guy a pat on the back. I love that.

Melissa: Yeah. So he made it happen. And frankly, he kind of covered my backside for many years with Google saying, you know, she's got to come into office. She's got to sit by her manager. Well, it didn't make any difference. Yeah, my little side rant is if Google had invested in Google Meet based on all of us internally at Google who were loud and proud about being remote and said, okay, we're going to invest in Google Meet because we think remote has a place in the workforce. I mean, Zoom wouldn't be here today. We were using Google Meet long before that happened. So, I mean, I'm not going to say I told you so to Google, but here it is right on the call.

Jeanna: Yeah, I know. I don't want to derail the convo like on this, but it's been, I'll just say quickly, it's been so wild to me because when I was in office working for other brands before starting my other company back, I was in San Francisco back in, yeah, 2011 to 2016, Google was the echelon of where people wanted to work. It was so cool. And I interviewed there and they were known for their people processes being super innovative and blah, blah. Now fast forward to 2023 and I'm like looking the news from Google and people are like leaving Google to go to tiny little remote companies like mine where they're applying because they don't care they don't want to work for Google anymore because they're not remote and the people isn't investing in remote. It's like blowing my mind.

Melissa: It's very hard to understand, even having been there and lived through it at the time. I actually was, we created a remote internal, like basically an internal alias for remote workers. We were very supportive of each other. There were a couple people in people ops who did their best to support us, but on formal policies and principles from as early as 2014-ish, they're pretty dang clear you needed to be in an office. And when you look at the investment in real estate that they have, I mean, it makes sense from a bottom line standpoint, but yeah.

Jeanna: Wild. Okay. Moving on past Google, we'll circle back around. So you had this wonderful remote leader and then you yourself have been a remote leader. I'd love to hear what you think is key to being a successful remote leader.

Melissa: I believe it boils down to really two things, and there's a lot packed in each of these, trust and performance. I think it starts with the greatest success of a remote team. And I live it every day at Matcha. It's incredible, the remote culture that Commsor has built. But there's a huge amount of trust, which says you are a smart person, you go figure things out and you take care of business when you need to take care of business and you kind of, we're gonna give you a lot of trust as an employee. I think as a manager, you start with trust. You start with, I don't need to ask you what hours you worked. I don't need to be all up in your grill about when certain things happened. But the other half of that is performance. I think, and I find it very refreshing. Others may struggle with it a bit, but you set what you expect. You set an expectation. If they meet that expectation and then they're done, great. If they aren't meeting expectations and the conversation is about performance, it's not about the perceived effort. And I think some people struggle with just setting, this is what we're going to deliver and this is what I expect, and then having that conversation when it doesn't go well. I think a lot of managers and the old way of thinking thought, well, if I see your face, you're doing a good job. And when it comes down to it, it's if you delivered good work, you're doing a good job. And so I don't care where you are and what you're doing. The other thing I'm sure we could talk about is, it is super valuable to see your team in person. And we have a once a year, the whole company gets together. And then once a year, we get together with just my team. So that is valuable and it's important. And there's certainly a lot of small things you can do on a day-to-day basis to foster feeling like a team. But in terms of leading a team and making sure that they execute. Trust and performance, I think, are the two things.

Jeanna: Yeah, that's great advice. I agree with that strongly. Let's dig in a little bit. You just mentioned there's lots of things you can do to foster connection with your team as a remote leader. Like what are some of the things that you do that's worked outside of in-person? I've hear this a lot. Yes. Everybody who's remote have in-person events, but how, when you are remote outside of those in-person events, building connection.

Melissa: Well, actually, it's funny. I think this one also ties back to us using our own product as well. So one of the things that we do is we have a rotating Matcha program, which pairs people up and it gives prompts for them to talk about. And it gives them that free time to get to know each other as people. The team really enjoys that, not only because it's a good way to test our own products, but because the management has kind of gotten out of the way for those. It's not a overly curated or you must do this or it's very much just putting a block on time that then lets those team members be themselves and actually get to know each other as people. So the team loves that. That's a really easy win because you basically turn the program on and then it runs. Yeah, and I think also pretty clear expectations. We do use Slack to get a lot done, but pretty clear expectation setting in Slack I think is important as well, specifically when it comes to my incredible designer is in South Africa, that's literally the other half of the world. And so we have to have expectations that when I send her things, I don't expect her to do them when I send them. I expect them to do them when she comes on.

Jeanna: Yeah, response time expectations.

Melissa: Yeah. So there's a lot about what we say in Slack, when we say things in Slack, and certainly you just kind of build into it and you find your way, but I think you can also be sort of prescriptive at the beginning with here's what. Here's what it is and here's how we'll approach it.

Jeanna: Yeah. Right. Like working styles. That's great. You had mentioned to me before we were recording that Macha and Commsor was one of the most beautifully ran remote companies that you've worked for. Talk a little bit about that. Like what really works in the remote operations of your company?

Melissa: Well, I mean, from a really hardcore operations standpoint, when I joined, health benefits was figured out on a global scale and payment and how we compensate people based on location is figured out on a global scale. I mean, long and the short of it is we don't, like we don't try to get overly complex on where you are. Little bit goes into it, but some of those core back of the house, how the company treats remote employees were already in place. And if you're building a company, those are things you're going to have to think about, you know, the taxes that are paid and how people get raises and what their health coverage is. So getting that done well is important. I think also the way that they treat, it's very funny, it's somewhat unsaid, but just the way that they treat things like when we gather together as a team for an offsite. If you're traveling the farthest and you have a more expensive plane flight, you don't get picked on, you don't get called out. There's just a lot of those little, I hesitate to use the word like micro-aggressions.

Jeanna: Yeah. Thoughtful. That's really thoughtful.

Melissa: Yeah, or like it's the opposite of micro-aggressions, right? When you're at a company that doesn't really believe in remote, it's just nonstop. It's, oh, Melissa can't run the call because she's on a different time zone. Well, if you bring it up all the time, it just starts bundling in negativity. And I, so when I say it's really beautifully done at Commsor, I think from the moment I stepped in the door, it was very much the opposite. We have a, this is an example. We have a channel in Slack where everybody just says hello when they join in the morning. Well, I am the last one, technically, online every day, because I'm kind of the end of the spectrum. But instead of it being weird, like I'm rolling in late for work and everybody else is already working, it's just hello, everybody's there to say hi, no matter when you're joining. And it's so small, but it was so noticeable when I joined, for sure.

Jeanna: I love that. The beauty of async. Cool. Let's shift a little bit and talk about product-led growth and SaaS growth. You have sat in roles the last couple of years that are both on the cusp of product and marketing, as many marketing leaders are, or leaders are within a tech company. And I know you believe strongly in rapid iteration. And so I'd love to hear how you guys get this done and specifically how you do it at your company.

Melissa: Yeah, you know, the first thing conceptually is to break down the walls between product and marketing, especially if you're at a PLG company. Your engineers, as they build, should be looking for points that actually translate into marketing wins. So is there a point in the product where we could nudge, you know, if you're working on upsells, is there a point in the product where you thoughtfully nudge the customer into an upgrade? Or is there a point in the product where if they've just had a moment of delight, you can make it shareable so new potential customers can see it. So the first thing for me conceptually is you have to break the walls down between marketing and product. And that means not a shared roadmap, but shared awareness of roadmaps. You need to understand what product is building to so that you can amplify it or really lean into that with marketing. And the same way the other way around. The product needs to know what marketing really wants to talk about, and specifically they need to really know the user. And so if you open up those channels, you're just immediately going to have wins. I would just put it out there. You start having better communication, you're immediately going to have wins. The other piece there is, I think, I believe deeply in rapidly testing, but it needs to have some element of predictability. So you can't just do things left and right whenever you feel. That's what's the, what's the term that I'm going for? It's random acts of marketing, right? That's what we call it. We're like, oh, here we go. It's okay to do weird and off the board and like out of the box things, but you really need to know your why. And I think the predictability in a roadmap, it doesn't need to be crazy far out. Nobody's planning too far out in this economy, but the understanding of here's what our goals are. So this is why we're doing the thing. This is why we wanna do it in a week. This is why we're doing something now because we know we're gonna jump off of it more in two weeks or three weeks. And when you have shared, or at least visible roadmaps between marketing and product, that becomes possible. If you're just in a reactive mode, product released a new feature and we have to talk about it. You lose so much of the ability to do creative things and to do more, more testing.

Jeanna: Yeah. So really having integrated teams, integrated conversations, integrated roadmaps. And then once you have that visual of the roadmap that product's working on and you layer the marketing roadmap on there, are you building a testing plan that's what, three months out, six months out, weekly? How are you looking at what tests you're doing and how are you tracking them and what's the process?

Melissa: I mean, I'd love to say we're thinking even one or three months out, but the way that my way that I approach it, and I love my head of product and I work really well with this right now, he has essentially like a board of cards in Notion. So we keep it very simple. We're still very scrappy at this point. Any idea we have is going to be on that board. It may go in the blue sky, think about it when we have free time fall, or it may go into design and research or may go into implementing or may go into not now, we'll revisit it later. We touch base on a weekly basis on all the cards on his product board and all the cards on my go-to-market board. And we, yeah, and so we want to know what we're doing. I could tell you, we probably know what we're doing three to four weeks out. It might change. There might be something that hits the thing and we shuffle, but the flexibility of being able to say, here's an idea. And then as you go, you can add to that card. If I have more examples of a customer who really wants something, I drop them in that card and then we discuss it the next week because it's moved up the ranking. Same exact process with marketing. I have all the crap that we wanna do. I kinda know what's priority and then based on a week by week basis, I'm gonna up level or down level certain things. Yeah, chaotic but fun.

Jeanna: Amazing. I love that. Thanks for sharing. Yeah. Oh, man. Isn't it all chaotic? Like being a marketer within these tech companies is very chaotic, but super fun. Okay. So you recently posted in a LinkedIn post that I caught about the idea that community is going to be part of the successful growth of SaaS companies in 2024. You touched on this at the beginning of our call when you were explaining Matcha. But let's dig in a little bit deeper here. So this was, I think you're I'm hearing you say this is based on the idea that like outbound is not working and that sales people and companies really need to tap into communities and networks to grow instead.

Melissa: Yeah, and I would also just caveat that outbound does still work. I just think you have to put in a lot more effort for fewer rewards. Yes. So I don't want all the outbound junkies coming at me hard after that statement.

Jeanna: Yeah, I know, I know. I see this. I see this on LinkedIn.

Melissa: I mean, it's just an evolution of the traditional stages of marketing that we know things are going to work differently. Actually to your point about community, so I gave a talk probably about two weeks ago on and the topic was meant to be a little pushing people's thinking, but it was how to build community without building a community because I will get up on a soapbox all day. We can...There is huge value in communities where somebody has, you know, pavilion or these big ones where they're providing content and you're a member and maybe it's paid and you invest your time and you get things out of it. Those are super valuable, but not every company has the investment resources or time to build that. And frankly, we as individuals only have so much time to invest in those communities. So if everybody is building a community, I think we're going the wrong way. So when I talk about community, I talk about the ways that any company can build community without building a community. You don't need people to belong to something and have a responsibility to your brand. I mean, to a software brand, like, no. I mean, I have my family and my school groups and people have church groups and things. Like, those are communities we don't want to belong to one of those for every dang brand, let alone a software brand. What do we do to make people feel a part of what we're doing without demanding all of their input, I think is a really interesting forward path for community. I don't have it in my head, but we had six very clear tactical ways you could do that. One of which is what Matcha builds, and got to love how you tie it back into your own product. But this idea of make one-to-one connections between your members and get out of the way. Like, you don't need to be in the middle of every conversation. Just connect your people. Let them talk to each other. It builds community in such amazing human-driven ways.

Jeanna: Yeah, I love this because I'm thinking, I've done a lot of marketing. I've been a marketer myself and some of our clients have been a lot of technology that serves SMBs, so small business owners that will use a product. And that is such a… and I have always brought that up as a marketing leader because business owners want to connect with each other, right? It can be so lonely and you're trying to figure out all these things that you are not like set up to do and so connecting like let's say your tech brand that you're serving business owners, small business owners, yeah, like building a place, a way for them to connect with to each other.

Melissa: And it has value for the brand that's simply the host in it. I mean, if you say, hey, working parents, here's a space for you to connect and it's brought to you by brand X, there is a lot of value in that. Yes, it's not bottom of the funnel lead gen, but it can be really, really powerful. Some of the other ways I'm trying to think a couple of the other ways that we chatted about. One of them too that I always talk about, this is what I did at Gated, and it's very much how we're thinking about things at Matcha is especially if you're breaking into a new category or you're trying to do something differently, I think this is very important. But one way to build community is to gather everyone who is looking in the same direction. So even if they're your competitors, think about your advisors, your super fans, your competitors, your partners, other communities that are talking about the same thing and thinking in the same way. Because when you all go towards this new idea or this new, again, I think this is very important when you're brand new, but if you're trying to get people to think differently or think about a new product in a different way, you need a bigger crowd. A lot of small tech brands try to get out there and do it all themselves. And this obviously leans into partner marketing is one traditional tactic you could layer in here. How do you get other people just uplifting each other? Like how do we all talk about the same thing? So even if it is your competitor, it's like the rising tide all boats thing, right? People are hearing about it more. They understand the concept we're trying to get through to them. They have more need of what we're offering and so we're gonna benefit.

Jeanna: I love that. Cool. So if you're, let's say you're a marketing leader or company, you want to get started. Um, obviously Matcha is a great, or the Commsor brands are great to look at. Well, what else do you do as like building this into your marketing plan? What are some ways to get started?

Melissa: I mean, I would definitely take the concept I just brought up and I would map it out, draw a bunch of circles. I usually think of them as concentric circles of influence, but you could just put them in buckets. Who are your advisors and your very close supporters who are thinking that way? Who are your biggest fans, right? You might have a customer advisory board or maybe you don't and you want to build one. Get a huge list of people that you either are partnering with or want to partner with, because it makes sense in some way, and start attacking partnerships. And then go ahead and push your thinking and write down who all your competitors with. And if there's actually a way to essentially align, maybe you can get really creative. But so map out your circles of influence, as I like to call it. Map out the people that are pointed the same way. Facilitate those one-to-one connections with Matcha. The other big thing I could probably send you all six points later. The other one that really stands out to me is building community and really making a lasting impact fundamentally doesn't scale. So start thinking tactically about actually leaning into some of the moments that don't scale. My current company, we've just restarted a newsletter and something we call it Good, Bad, Weird. And it's all of the marketing stuff that we do at Commsor. And all of those ideas are not really scale ideas. They're just things we're trying. I say to lean into that because one of the main things of community and when people talk about you and they feel a connection to you is that you went above and beyond the experience. It's not easy to do that. It doesn't scale. But if you can really thoughtfully build some of those moments into what you're doing, it really starts bringing people into closer orbit with you, which is really the community aspect.

Jeanna: Yeah. And something I'm thinking of, as I just heard you say that, is that to me, that's very vulnerable. And I've heard this from a couple other people, is like, I had a podcast with an AI leader recently, and they were talking about how she was just keeping track of like the different AI tools she was using and publicly talking on LinkedIn about what wasn't working, what tests they did. And you're talking about you know, kind of talking publicly about what marketing you're doing and it's maybe not working. And I think there's something here like people are just really enjoying and seeing this on LinkedIn too is like really enjoying people become more human and more vulnerable. Like we're not all marketing experts. We're not all product experts. We're all still trying to figure it out, right? So like coming to the table with what you're trying to figure out and sharing those is really valuable.

Melissa: Yes, that actually is one of the six points I was trying to remember is be real. And I think I even put, be weird even, right? Like be yourself. That's been so much of the mission that we have at Wednesday Women, which you and I connected over as well, is there's so many examples of great leaders out there, but the ones that you really connect with are the ones who have human behind them. They're the ones who talk about not only kicking butt as a CEO, but also struggling with getting lunches ready in the morning.

Jeanna: Yeah, the human side.

Melissa: It's that reality and the authenticity, I think it's gonna be, I mean, it's not a business tactic, it's just the better way to do business that we're gonna return to after kind of going crazy with scale. And frankly, AI can still help with that. Like AI can still help us be more real and be more authentic, not if you're having it write your posts, but in other ways.

Jeanna: Yeah, right, right. Yeah. Cool. Yeah. So obviously you're super authentic in some of the ways that you're posting. I follow you on LinkedIn, your community. You know a lot about building a community, but I want to just touch a little bit about your networking and thought leadership on LinkedIn because this is like, wow, such a hot topic so many people are talking about right now. You've built a beautiful community on LinkedIn. The people are really engaged with what you're sharing. You share personal stuff and business stuff. And I'd love to hear like, what has like been super successful for you if you had to talk about like how you've been able to grow your network there outside of some of the other points you've shared.

Melissa: Well, small hot take, I don't give a flying F about growing my numbers on LinkedIn. I don't care. I could not tell you how many followers I have and I do not care. All props to people who build that and use it and monetize it. That's great. First and foremost, I am a builder and a doer. I like to do the things. I don't love to talk about them. So actually I approach LinkedIn as probably my biggest professional challenge, which is I need to show up and talk about what I'm doing because other people apparently get something out of it. I'm like, why would anybody wanna hear this? You know, that whole mental chatter. I approach LinkedIn as I need to be there and share because I want other people, whether they're earlier in their career or whether they're my peers, to see what I'm going through and to hopefully get something out of it. I think everyone who is building on LinkedIn should be able to tell you their why. I think this is how I do marketing too. Like if you can't tell me why we're doing something, we're not doing it. But I think you need to have a why for being on LinkedIn. And for me, the really big why is I see too many women leaders who buckle down and get the work done and do all these great things. I work my tail off to be that. I don't see enough women leaders saying, look at the thing I did. And I don't think that's our fault. I think we're totally overworked. We don't have the time to do it. But my why of building on LinkedIn is I want to help close the gap between all the people talking about things and the ones who are doing. And maybe that's not just even gender-based. That's for anyone out there who's listening. If you're doing the work, share a little bit about your work.

Jeanna: Yeah, I don't know. I feel I am feeling your sentiment a little bit, like being someone that's been involved in LinkedIn a lot lately. I do feel like there is a higher volume of male voices with, you know, showing up in my news feeds and yeah, a lower volume of women marketers talking about the wins and everything like that. So I feel like I see that as well.

Melissa: Well, and I mean, to that point, too, the other thing, like my little thing about LinkedIn and how I show up there is I am not shy about curating. I mean, I don't accept connections left and right. If you're not connected to me, I don't really care. And I've been told, oh, you should just accept everybody. It's good for sales. I'm like, no, I don't. And if you're putting stuff in my feed that, I mean, if it's really terrible, you're definitely out. But if it's kind of just, bleh, I curate my feed. I stop following people and they don't ever know. You just don't need to follow them. So I'm not like being overly preachy about be authentic and like share your Instagram pictures or your food on LinkedIn. It's not about that. It's just about showing up as your real professional self. I'm not totally sure that LinkedIn is the best place to do that. That's actually a lot of what we're building at Matcha is kind of a different option. But for now, you know.

Jeanna: Yeah. Well, I'm excited. I'm excited to get in there and try and Match out because I'm definitely in the need to high network right now and looking for the right place to do it. I don't know that I feel sold on LinkedIn being the right place for me, so I'm going to be going and checking out Matcha next.

Melissa: Well, probably in about like a month or so, we're really going to have what you need. So stick with that.

Jeanna: Okay, cool. Love it. All right. These have all been natural segues, but we have a natural segue here again in this women in leadership topic, which I know you're passionate about. And you recently started an initiative in 2023 called Wednesday Women. I'd love for you to just tell our listeners about what that is.

Melissa: Yes, so we, my co-founder and I did not know each other before it started and we both separately kind of posted about wanting to see more executive women in our feeds. She asked about CEOs, I asked about women founders. We got together and said, you know, we're very busy but we should do something. And so we just started posting once a week on Wednesdays one awesome female leader that you should follow. And it started, our whole principle is small ripples make waves. So just do one little thing. And I tell you, it has made a wave. There's so much momentum, people who want these women in their feeds, on their stages. So that's our mission is not an organization for women or by women. There's plenty of those. Our mission is to increase the visibility to everyone of outstanding executive leaders. So we're building. It's really fun. We have a lot of initiatives, a lot more coming. But yeah, it's been good.

Jeanna: Yeah, cool. That's amazing. And what if you, you know, if you had to give some advice, there might be a female leader listening today, what might you say?

Melissa: Um, I would say carve out a very small piece of your time to tell about what you're doing because people are watching. People are watching and we want to see you. We want to see the real you. We want to see your challenges. We want to see your successes, but, um, take, same thing. Little ripple makes big waves. Take a little bit of your time to share. And maybe that's just going on podcasts. Maybe that's on LinkedIn. Maybe that's, um, you know, finding a way to be on a stage for something, but take a little bit of your busy schedule to tell people what you've learned and what you're doing.

Jeanna: Yeah, I love that so much. I've struggled here personally with this and I think it sounds like such a simple concept, but it really is hard to do when you're a founder. I've been a founder for the last eight years and I was just in my business. I've like come up upon struggles after struggles and not until recently when I'm sitting, I've been sitting in some mastermind groups that I realize like I have a voice to share to other founders who are going through this too, but like up until this year, I haven't talked about any of it out loud. And I've been thinking to myself, man, if I had been talking about this like all this time, I'd be in a different place than I am now, feeling a little bit like isolated as a remote founder in a location where there aren't any opportunities to network in person and trying to figure out how I'm get my business out there and my voice out there. And yeah, so I have like, that's really great advice. I wish I would have heard that seven years, eight years ago.

Melissa: We're trying. We're all just out here doing our best.

Jeanna: Yeah, we are. Oh, I love that. It's totally true. Okay, cool. Final questions. What is a challenge you're trying to solve right now?

Melissa: Um, I am trying to, I mean, really a fundamental challenge is we've got this great new product with Matcha and, um, it hasn't been out in the public. So I'm at the wonderful fun stages for a marketer of bringing a product to market, getting it in front of, um, getting in front of our ICP. So, uh, yeah, anyone who's running a team.

Jeanna: Yeah, a launch plan?

Melissa: Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Well, sort of it's, it's a little faster than that, but yes.

Jeanna: Nice, beautiful. And if there's someone, is there someone in your industry that you think is doing really cool things as a leader that you wanna give a shout out to?

Melissa: Oh my gosh, that, so many incredible people. Wow, I wish I had a little more specific thought on it. One who comes to mind, who is building something from scratch, total builder, doing it rapidly and is also a mom working her tail off, a friend of mine called Nomiki Petrolla, she is building something called PDS Lab, which takes non-technical founders and helps them bring their software idea to life. And it is so fun to watch her go. I mean, it is movie rapid, but yeah, definitely a thing to check out. Yeah.

Jeanna: Mm-hmm. Wow. Cool. Awesome. I'll look her up. And if someone wanted to learn more about you, where should they go online?

Melissa: Great question. I would go to Macha. So macha.so. I'm @moody because my last name is Moody. You can also definitely follow me on LinkedIn for sure. That's probably a lot of what I'm posting publicly these days.

Jeanna: Nice. Love it. All right, Melissa, thank you so much for coming on Remotely Culture today. It's been beautiful to chat with you and hear about all these little tidbits you have to share with the world. So I appreciate your time.

Melissa: It's my pleasure, thanks for having me.

Latest Episodes

What Every Remote Leader Needs To Start Doing To Reduce Meetings And Help Their Team Collaborate Seamlessly With Lisette Sutherland of Collaboration Superpowers

What Every Remote Leader Needs To Start Doing To Reduce Meetings And Help Their Team Collaborate Seamlessly With Lisette Sutherland of Collaboration Superpowers

Lisette Sutherland, Director of Collaboration Superpowers and author of Work Together Anywhere, joins Jeanna on this episode of Remotely Cu...

April 09, 2024

Building Connections For Professional Growth, The Power Of Testing Quickly, And Thoughtful Ways To Be A Better Remote Leader With Melissa Moody of Matcha

Building Connections For Professional Growth, The Power Of Testing Quickly, And Thoughtful Ways To Be A Better Remote Leader With Melissa Moody of Matcha

Melissa Moody, General Manager of Matcha and host of the 2 Pizza Marketing podcast, joins Jeanna on this episode of Remotely Cultured.

March 26, 2024

The Marketing, Product, And Remote Journey From $1M To $5M ARR and $5M To $10M ARR With Bridget Harris Of YouCanBookMe

The Marketing, Product, And Remote Journey From $1M To $5M ARR and $5M To $10M ARR With Bridget Harris Of YouCanBookMe

Bridget Harris, CEO and Co-Founder of YouCanBookMe, joins Jeanna on this episode of Remotely Cultured.

March 12, 2024