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Roland Frasier: 32,000 Subscribers in 3 Months on beehiiv

How He’s Leveraging beehiiv to Nurture Audiences & Build His Brand

This creator spotlight has been reposted from creatorspotlight.com

$6 billion in sales.

That’s what Roland Frasier’s portfolio of businesses is generating every single year.

From real estate to e-commerce to e-learning, and SaaS, there aren’t many spaces Roland hasn’t dominated.

As an expert in business growth, acquisitions, and exits, Roland was looking to expand his empire and build his brand. So, in June 2023, Roland decided to make the jump over to beehiiv to launch his newsletter.

And, in just 3 months, he’s grown his list to over 32,000 subscribers.

Roland Frasier: 32,000 Subscribers in 3 Months on beehiiv

We recently had the opportunity to meet with Roland Frasier, Founder of Roland’s Riff newsletter, alongside his dynamic team members, Mike and DeAnna, to discuss their mission, their experience with beehiiv, and their vision for connecting with audiences through their newsletter.

Roland and his team were happy to share profound insights on how they’re leveraging beehiiv’s platform to nurture and connect with a more targeted audience. They broke down the importance of personalized content, the crucial role newsletters play in omnichannel marketing, and their unique approach to content creation and distribution.

If you’re a new creator looking to tap into the creator economy, or you’re a business owner looking to expand your reach and cultivate a devoted audience, then you’ll want to follow along on this journey.

This Creator Spotlight highlights how:

  • Dedicating time to crafting unique content;

  • Building personal connections with audiences where they hang out; and

  • Leveraging simple tools that simplify and gamify the process, like beehiiv…

…can help you craft deeper relationships with your audience to expand your influence in the marketplace and grow your business.

Roland’s Riff Backstory

Roland is a co-founder behind the success of 5 different companies in Inc. Magazine’s list of the fastest-growing companies.

As a seasoned entrepreneur, he boasts a track record of launching, scaling, and selling over two dozen businesses, spanning a diverse range of industries—from consumer products to manufacturing to live events, with his current portfolio of companies doing over $6.2 billion in sales.

Roland has been featured in prominent publications like Entrepreneur, Money, and Business Insider, as well as major television networks. He’s also produced over 500 episodes of his award-winning Business Lunch podcast, where he’s interviewed industry leaders like Sir Richard Branson, Jay Abraham, and Spanx founder, Sarah Blakely.

Roland Frasier: 32,000 Subscribers in 3 Months on beehiiv

Roland’s mission is to teach business owners how they can leverage, grow, scale, and sell their companies.

So, why newsletters? And why now? And why beehiiv?

For Roland, it’s all about meeting his audience where they’re at to build deeper connections.

Roland shared, “We have a business where we go in and partner with businesses, help them grow, and then sell. That’s done through a series of products that we've got. So we wanted to add a new channel for customer acquisition and nurture. And that was the main thing about getting into beehiiv.”

Roland Frasier: 32,000 Subscribers in 3 Months on beehiiv

Roland is no newcomer to newsletters. In fact, he’s been consuming newsletters for years before he started his own in June. He admitted how he has “subscribed to more newsletters than I care to admit — it's definitely over a hundred.”

He shared, “I'll spend the first couple hours of every day going through all the newsletters because I find that it's just the best way to get compressed information really quickly.

One thing that caught Roland’s attention when reading his favorite newsletters was that this new platform called beehiiv kept popping up.

He shared, “I noticed that beehiiv was growing and growing and more people were saying, ‘We're switching over to beehiiv.’ When I started talking to some of the folks that were using the platform, they said, ‘Yeah, it's the place to be.’”

“beehiiv basically take all the hassle out of having a newsletter. We have a portfolio of companies, so we have two of them that we’ve onboarded so far and we’ve been very happy with the experience.”

Roland explained, “So that was how we decided to start a newsletter for the new channel: customer acquisition, nurture, and to use the beehiiv platform because it seemed to be the one that everybody spoke about the most.”

Growing to 32,000 Subscribers in 3 Months on beehiiv

Roland Frasier: 32,000 Subscribers in 3 Months on beehiiv

On June 9, 2023, Roland and his team launched the Roland’s Riff newsletter. And, in just over 90 days, they’ve grown from zero to 32,000 subscribers.

Using a combination of paid and organic acquisition, and tapping into their other audiences, they’ve been able to double-down on audience growth in no time.

Roland shared how they’re not investing in a “ton of paid acquisition” and that it’s only “a few thousand bucks a month for paid.”

Mike shared, “We have 32,051 subscribers as of today… Some of them are imports, others are organic, and then paid is just getting started. We haven't had a lot of paid growth, but we are certainly ramping up.”

Roland Frasier: 32,000 Subscribers in 3 Months on beehiiv

One thing that’s helped them grow so far while maintaining engagement is beehiiv’s analytics.

Roland explained, “It’s really fun to watch the reports that we get. It’s like, ‘You had this many people come on and look at your open rates and your click-through rates.’ I like the gamification of the KPIs that you get so regularly.”

Mike followed that thought, “With beehiiv, it's really easy to expand your reach. I feel like it was created by people who have newsletters. So it has the tools built in that you’re already going to need.”

He continued, “It has the audience metrics. It has the outreach — whether that's in the form of buying subscribers, advertising, or integrating with Facebook and other places where we can advertise. It has the segmentation. If you're not a designer, it has the templates, so all your stuff looks good, without you having to go out and outsource and hire technical people to make it look good.”

Roland Frasier: 32,000 Subscribers in 3 Months on beehiiv

Mike shared, “I don't want to sound cheesy — like it’s the ultimate platform — but it is. It gives you everything you need. It feels like it was created by people who know what a newsletter needs.”

While they’ve just scratched the surface in terms of beehiiv growth features, Mike shared how they’re going to start diving into beehiiv’s referral program to grow even more.

“The referral program is the next one on the list that we really want to use: to reach out and create incentives to allow our fans of the newsletter to refer other people.”

Finding Your Audience In Their Preferred Medium

Content creation has never been more important for business owners than right now. Creating content can help business owners connect, grow, and convert audiences. But, it’s not enough to simply create content how you want to create it. You need to create content your audience prefers.

Whether that’s a podcast, video, blog, or newsletter, if you want to connect with your people, you need to know where they’re consuming content.

Roland shared, “I think a newsletter just serves the ultimate nurture for a different group of people who want to consume things in text like me. I can't see the audio words that are coming ahead to skip over this part of the conversation I don't care about. With video, I have the same problem. I can't move fast enough.”

Roland Frasier: 32,000 Subscribers in 3 Months on beehiiv

He continued, “I think this provides a perfect medium to get inbound communications on a regular basis that have stuff I'm going to want to check out, but I don't have forced on me because of the linear nature of other forms of media.”

Roland explained, “I think that our job as communicators is to put our content out in every way that someone might want to consume it. So to me, the newsletter is a critical part of that collection of communication tools that you should have available for different people.”

Mike continued off Roland’s point, A newsletter attracts a certain type of audience that prefers to consume content in this medium. But also the content that we write is very specific to the audience. So it talks to the audience kind of like on a podcast. If you go to a podcast that's on a topic that you're interested in and you get that content customized to what you're looking for, it allows us to attract that audience that prefers to read in a condensed format.”

Roland added, “If you want to acquire new customers, the easiest place to do that is in the medium that they find you in. There are podcast people, there are live event people, and there are newsletter people like me. Having a newsletter allows us to advertise on other newsletters, and you guys have made that super easy now to get an audience that we wouldn't really otherwise be able to reach.”

beehiiv: Built by Creators for Creators

Roland and his team are no strangers to email marketing. In fact, they already had 100,000 people in their email marketing ecosystem before launching on beehiiv. They’ve used dozens of different email platforms over the years to reach their audiences. But, when they came across beehiiv, they quickly saw how it was simply built differently.

Roland explained, “We had used some of the other newsletter solutions and they were okay, but they didn't seem to offer everything. beehiiv is like a newsletter person designing a platform versus a tech person designing a platform, that was the big difference.”

Roland Frasier: 32,000 Subscribers in 3 Months on beehiiv

Mike added, “With other tools, you have a lot of stuff you don't need. It feels like a bloated solution. It's like this huge tool belt and you know, maybe 60% of the options are not really what we need and just confuse the entire experience.”

He continued, “Whereas beehiiv is very streamlined, very modern, and very intuitive. The interface is one of the best features of beehiiv because it's laid out logically. You can jump into beehiiv without reading anything and just know what to do.”

DeAnna explained, “We looked at it also from the reader's perspective. We're on a lot of email lists. We get a lot of newsletters. We looked to see who they were coming from. And, the ones we liked the most came from beehiiv. So why reinvent the wheel? Let's go to what we know we like as a consumer and what we think a consumer would want as well.”

Newsletters: Getting Up Close & Personal

Building rapport is one of the foundations of a solid sales strategy. If you’re not connecting with your audiences and building close relationships, you’ll struggle to convert them into paying customers, let alone build a loyal following.

For Roland and his team, they found that running a newsletter has a profound impact on their ability to build deeper relationships than other media, which in turn, has led to greater conversions.

DeAnna explained, “I’ve spoken to quite a few people, and one of them mentioned the newsletter, YouTube, and Roland’s book. And then they ended up buying our 12-month coaching program. They talked about how they loved the fact that in the newsletter, they felt like Roland was personalized.”

Roland Frasier: 32,000 Subscribers in 3 Months on beehiiv

She shared, “This specific newsletter was talking about how Roland was on a keyboard and things like that, which brought them kind of into Roland's home. So they felt that connection. So by the time we got to that sales call, they'd been watching Roland, they'd been reading Roland and they felt like they were able to know Roland. And so they were willing to buy.”

Roland explained, “That was one of the things we talked about — having a little bit more personal sharing in the newsletter, as opposed to some of the other platforms.”

Roland Frasier: 32,000 Subscribers in 3 Months on beehiiv

Mike added, “It just warms people up, not just to the content, and to Roland, but to the community, to the ongoing distribution of value — that whole reciprocity. The more we give, the more they're open to look at what we have to offer. I think it’s one of the best ways to warm up the audience and just to give them a chance to get to know us before they do business with us.”

While a large portion of their marketing efforts have been on building separate sales funnels and one-off promotions, Mike explained how they’re working on “establishing evergreen channels.”

Mike shared, “A newsletter is just one of the staples that you're always able to join whenever you come in. For example, if you come in through our book funnel, there needs to be a point at which you're introduced to the newsletter. If you come in through a challenge at some point, you should be introduced to the newsletter. You come in through any avenue, and all roads should at least cross through the newsletter.”

Enjoying this Creator Spotlight? Learn how how Dakota Robertson uses beehiiv to earn $250,000 per month.

Content Ideation & Process

Roland Frasier: 32,000 Subscribers in 3 Months on beehiiv

Roland and his team have invested (and continue to invest) plenty of their time and resources into content creation. The question is, when you’re constantly producing content day in and day out, how do you keep things fresh?

One of the biggest challenges for content creators is simply coming up with content. Here’s what they had to say about continuously coming up with new ideas:

Roland shared, “I’ll give you three ways we go about it. We have a content vault — I do a lot of training calls and things like that. Every Monday is content creation day and we basically shoot all day long. A lot of that gets transcribed and then all of those clips, videos, stills, everything from that, from speeches I do, from events, from individual writing — because I do actually like to write — goes into our content vault, and then the content team has access to that.”

Roland Frasier: 32,000 Subscribers in 3 Months on beehiiv

He explained, “Way one is either I create it, or it comes created by virtue of the fact that I'm out there doing stuff. The second way would be, that Mike is panicking because he wants something specific, and he creates it. The third way is that we hired an editor who has worked on some of the Morning Brew–ish, The Hustle-type newsletters.”

Mike explained their primary ideation process, “We try to keep it really simple. We create content based on ideas, that are coming through Roland's content or any trends that are in the market that we should probably touch base on, or our event calendar.”

Roland Frasier: 32,000 Subscribers in 3 Months on beehiiv

He shared, “If we have an event coming up, we like to create content that gets published in that time frame where it aligns with the event so people have the opportunity to look into that. Then we have the content created. Ideally, we run it past two or three members of our team to give it just a double read for editing, grammar, and the technical components. Then, it's scheduled and published.”

Why Listen to Me? I’ve built several newsletters from the ground up over the years. My latest publication is The Level Ups business newsletter. I also run support at the fastest-growing newsletter platform, beehiiv.

Create a Content Vault to Draw From

Roland Frasier: 32,000 Subscribers in 3 Months on beehiiv

Roland’s team uses a tool called Kajabi to store every piece of content. The tool allows them to search for content — whether audio, text, image, or video, by typing in keywords.

Roland shared, “That content vault is a big deal because you're not always in a creative mood and those weeks do roll around relatively quickly. So having that content vault really makes it easy for anybody on the team who wants anything around a particular topic, cause it's all keyword-coded.”

He gave some examples…

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