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Anchor Media

Building a roadmap to revenue growth

Financial planning helps Anchor Media expand revenue operations

The challenge

Laura Winters and Hilary Jenison launched the Hingham Anchor, a hyperlocal digital news and lifestyle resource, as a passion project. The Anchor team demonstrated great early success with digital advertising and audience engagement, including an impressive 70% open rate for their local email newsletter. But as Laura and Hilary planned their next phase of growth, including launching a sister site, they felt overwhelmed by the pressure of managing several complex revenue projects simultaneously.

Both founders were working furiously but couldn’t seem to keep ahead of deadlines for popular products like The Anchor’s annual summer camp guide. They had difficulty making time to launch technically-complex projects like a new website and a reader revenue program. And despite having previous experience in entrepreneurship, Laura and Hilary knew they still had plenty to learn when it came to putting in place the processes, structures and assets to power their revenue-generating efforts.

“We Would Have Still Been Talking About All These Ideas And Not Completing Them. Gni Gave Us The Confidence And The Accountability To Just Get It Done. And So We Did. Without The Funding And The Coach, I Can Tell You With 100% Confidence That These Things Wouldn'T Have Been Accomplished.”

Hilary Jenison
Co-founder, Anchor Media

The results

The GNI Startups Lab’s “Planning For Revenue Growth” program proved transformational for Laura and Hilary. The coursework on financial planning helped The Anchor co-founders better understand their budget, giving them the confidence to hire a full-time marketing and revenue employee. Hiring and onboarding their new hire meant The Hingham Anchor was able to produce their popular summer camp guide ahead of schedule and to connect with potential sponsors in time, which had never happened before. The new hire is also able to focus on new revenue streams that Laura and Hilary did not have time to pursue, such as connecting with real estate agents to sell listings.

Working with their Startups Lab coach, Sam Gross instilled a sense of accountability and inspired Laura and Hilary to attack the projects choking their to-do list. Sam’s advice to hire a contractor to solve their website problems instead of migrating to a new CMS resulted in significant cost-savings and shortened their GTM strategy for connecting with new advertisers. Sam also encouraged The Anchor co-founders to promote their reader revenue program immediately and continue iterating on the details, instead of waiting for the right moment to launch.

After graduating from the GNI Startups Lab, Anchor Media secured enough advertising commitments in the first month of 2023 to fund their website operations for the rest of the year.

Successes:

Launched and promoted The Anchor’s pilot reader revenue program

Made a full-time hire to focus on revenue generation and marketing

Fully funded annual website operations in less than one month of active selling

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