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Partner Program

Partner content is a way for Beauty Business Journal to work with high-integrity, forward-thinking companies and brands that might not attract deep, comprehensive analysis otherwise. These are organisations I believe are engaged in remarkable innovation and are worth talking about.

When done right, these sponsored posts can be richer and more interesting than a typical essay, because they give me direct access to the teams behind the companies I’m writing about. With public companies, I need to guess at how they think about their strategy, or piece it together from their actions and interviews. With these deep dives, I get it right from the source.

However, getting paid to write about a company presents a pretty obvious conflict of interest. It would be easy to write about whoever is willing to write the biggest check – I do after all need to keep the lights on! — but I feel so incredibly fortunate that I get to do this, and that my audience trusts me enough to read what I write once or twice a week, that the most important thing to me is continuing to earn your trust and your time. 

To that end, I want to be fully transparent about how I select which companies to write sponsored deep dives about, and how I go about writing about them.

Beauty Business Journals Readership

Beauty Business Journal is read by more than 53,000+ entrepreneurs, indie founders, sales and marketing professionals, venture capitalists, investors, agencies and consultants, from over 135 countries. They are serious professionals who have built brands or are on a journey to doing so.

Selection Process

Though Beauty Business Journal is paid to write these articles, the selection is not based on a company’s financial willingness to participate. Rather, subjects are chosen based on a set of criteria designed to protect readers’ attention and ensure quality analysis.

To ensure that is retained, I only work with companies that meet the following (subjective) criteria:

  • They have an interesting story to tell. I want every deep dive of Beauty Business Journal to be better than the last. To that end, ensure your company has an especially compelling story that makes it a good fit.
  • They are committed to working collaboratively. Beauty Business Journal works with partners that want to share new information, publicly. With everything I write, I want to either talk about something new or analyze something old in a new way. No one is served by re-serving stale information.
  • The company has lessons that are applicable beyond the company itself, and potential benefits to all of you. DRVE offers a way for early stage start-ups to scale growth and revenue quickly through a unique combination of investment and ownership of paid acquisition channels. Huron is a masterclass in brand building.

Beauty Business Journal’s Ethical Code

Beyond the selection process, I try and guard against negative incentives and outcomes by making the following commitments.

  • I limit volume. Sponsorship models tend to incentivize volume: the more you publish the more you earn. That is often at the expense of the reader. To guard against that, I commit to publishing no more than 4 partner pieces per month.
  • Pricing is flat. Though effective in other contexts, a commission model has the potential to skew Beauty Business Journal’s format, style, and analysis here. To ensure this is not a factor, Beauty Business Journal charges a flat fee, based on subscriber number, open rates, engagement, and audience quality. This is done even in situations in which a commission model might bring in more revenue.
  • I maintain creative control. Though I work collaboratively with partners and — as I said — want them to win, the final piece is authentically Beauty Business Journal’s creation. Partners are welcomed to comment and provide input but are not given editing access. Doing so would both kill creativity and fundamentally alter the sincerity of the piece.
  • Write about more than just the company. I don’t want these to be 5,000 word ads. Masterworks, for example, is an excellent excuse to write about the art market, a fascinating world that I hadn’t spent nearly enough time exploring. Ramp was an excuse to write about my favorite of the 7 Powers, counter-positioning, and the rise in software tools aimed at the CFO suite.
  • Don’t bash competitors. I won’t take money to do hit pieces. If I think a company stacks up well against competitors in certain areas, I’ll write about that — competitive strategy is at the heart of so much of what I write — but I’m never going to write a piece regurgitating the company line on why competitors suck. I doubt I’d even want to write about a company that views their competitors that way. In the words of Jack Ma, “Competition is the greatest joy. When you compete with others, and find that it brings you more and more agony, there must be something wrong with your competition strategy.”

I work with the company to make sure I understand the facts about the business, the industry in which it operates, and what the company is trying to achieve, and then I do my own research on the company and the space.

Ultimately, sponsored deep dives help me pick from among the many things I am interested in potentially writing about within the beauty industry. Often, the conversations come about because I’ve mentioned the companies in prior essays. 

My goal is for every sponsored deep dive to exceed the same quality bar I set for a weekly essay.

Interested In Partnering?

Reach out to richard@beautybusinessjournal.com for more information.