When you’re running your own business, things don’t always go as planned. For Seth Berkowitz, one of those things was insomnia—which led to the idea for Insomnia Cookies, a service that delivers freshly baked cookies straight to your door at any time of night or day. This might sound like a recipe for disaster, but Seth discovered it made him more productive overall and turned him into one of the most successful CEO’s in the food industry…
Meet the Person
Meet Seth Berkowitz, President and CEO of insomnia cookie, a well-known brand in New York City. He is currently working to expand his business across America. If he were to give any career advice, it would be Be passionate about what you do. Mr. Berkowitz has been living with Insomnia since he was 16 years old. In order to get through his days, nights and weekends with no sleep at all he had to do something special…he started making insomnia cookies! This became one of NYC’s favorite places to get cookies especially because they are freshly baked and always warm!
Know their background
According to Forbes, Seth Berkowitz was one of seven children born to Frances and Max Berkowitz. He attended East Brunswick High School, where he competed in track, earning multiple all-county titles. Following high school, he went on to college at Rutgers University, but dropped out before graduating. After leaving Rutgers, he worked as a forklift operator for Tootsie Roll Industries before taking a position as a merchandiser with clothing retailer Gap Inc., which is where he remained until 2003.
Understand their quirks and interests
For most people, if they haven’t gotten enough sleep, they will have a bad day. For Seth Berkowitz, though, not getting any sleep is par for his course. He’s been running his business with little to no rest for about three years now. When he took over as CEO of Insomnia Cookies in 2013, he decided he was going to get rid of the conventional schedule and come up with one that worked better for him and his employees. And it worked — so well that others are now trying to copy it! Today we talk about Seth’s unconventional leadership style and what it takes to run a successful business while staying up all night. Learn how you can do both effectively! Tune in now!
Break down their persona into different sub-personas
We’re going to call these sub-personas micro audiences. For instance, if I was writing a post about Seth Berkowitz—the entrepreneur behind insomnia cookies—I might break his audience down into college students, mid-30s professionals, and parents who have young children. These micro audiences will help you write more targeted content later on. Here are a few tips to get started with identifying your ideal micro audience(s)
Get your quotes right
If you’re creating a news story about someone, you have to quote that person. If it’s a formal interview, make sure to record it (or at least take thorough notes) and include those quotes in your story. But what if you don’t have access to them? In informal interviews or situations where they can’t be recorded, come up with bullet points of what they said—and then interview them again! Just because someone didn’t agree to an interview doesn’t mean they’re not going to talk to you. Approach them as if you were just chatting; dig for more information by asking follow-up questions and by figuring out how their statements tie into other information you’ve gathered for your piece.
Craft your intro by using questions
Once you understand what people want to know about your subject, ask yourself why they would want to know it. For example, what’s in it for them? What will they get out of it? Or, more likely these days — what don’t they already know that you can teach them? Use those insights as a way to shape an intro for your piece.
Use compelling statements.
Just because your target audience is professional, doesn’t mean they aren’t interested in engaging with you. Let them know that you’re a person like them. An individual that is enthusiastic about what you do. Use sentences such as I am super excited to be working on xyz project and I can’t wait to see how it turns out. This will grab their attention and show them your passion for what you do. They may even ask questions or further engage with you in some way after reading!
Keep it short, punchy, and interesting.
Seth is an entrepreneur and long-time insomniac. This combination led him to found Insomnia Cookies, an on-demand delivery service that delivers cookies, brownies, and ice cream to your home or office at any time of night (as long as it’s delivered within a 70 mile radius of one of their 120 locations). Seth started baking up a storm in college—literally. He had his first real job when he was just 15 years old, working for his mom’s catering company where he made everything from scratch. Although he was making full meals for hundreds of people each day at work, at home it was cereal or frozen pizza because he would often stay up until 3am studying.