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Announcing Smooth’s Newest Service: The Fractional COO for Creators

Creators are businesses and businesses need operators.

Hey! Josh here, co-founder and CEO of Smooth.

When we launched in August 2021, we called the company Smooth Operations and Creator Services. That was a mouthful…and didn’t really articulate what we did as a team at the time. About a year ago we became Smooth Media, offering newsletter and advertising services for creators eager to build scalable media businesses around their content. 

But just like Miley Cyrus did in 2009’s Hannah Montana: The Movie (Kinsey insisted I add that reference), we’re getting back to our roots: Operations for creators

Smooth now provides a fractional COO service for creators. Let’s run through the why, how, and who of this new Smooth offering.

Why operations?

Creators are businesses and businesses need operators. We know this because we’ve been serving as creators’ operators for years—at Morning Brew, with Colin and Samir before Smooth was even a fully formed company, and throughout the past 18 months as this new offering has taken shape.

I often think back to this moment with Colin and Samir when, less than a month into working together, I suggested they turn down the biggest deal they had ever been offered. It was bold, but it was the right call—and it allowed them to focus on what really pays off over the long-term: their unmatched creativity.

That's what this service unlocks—by pairing a creator's unique talent with operational know-how, creators can focus on making incredible content while we handle everything it takes to get them to the next level.

How do we become creators’ fractional COO?

One way to visualize how we’re bringing this service to life:

As operators, we listen to our creator partners, document strategies, and create frameworks for decision-making that optimize for more certainty, stronger foresight, and less analysis paralysis.

And what do we mean by "fractional?" We know this is a jargon-y word (you can take the boy out of consulting but you can’t take consulting out of the boy). But by fractional we mean this: Not all creator businesses warrant a full-time COO (executives are expensive). So we assess the need, jump in where it makes the most sense, and provide creators with the best of both worlds—the COO they need, only when and where they need us—at a simple, flat monthly fee.

Who's working on this?

For the last year or so, we’ve been jamming on this fractional COO service with Ben Teller, an amazing media operator who’s worked with FOX Sports, Chris Bosh (go Heat), and Lance Bass on their social content. Ben started to focus on business media (he wanted to start the Morning Brew of real estate), and a mentor of mine put us in touch.

We helped Ben launch his newsletter, The Blueprint, with James Harris and David Parnes (the faces of Million Dollar Listing LA) and through the process, realized we love working together. Not to mention he’s a pretty great creator himself. 

We’re amped that Ben is now leading our fractional COO service.

Bottom line?

We are very confident that this will unlock a tremendous amount of value for creators. We are here to serve as an extension of your team—to be a partner on the journey at a day-to-day, operational level while also encouraging big picture thinking and executing what it takes to bring it to life. 

I am incredibly excited to have Ben on the team to push our third core service and round out our existing two services, newsletter and advertising management. Smooth continues to grow and find exciting ways to bring value to creators—and we can’t wait to partner with more creators to build more audience-first businesses.

Want to learn more? My inbox ([email protected]) and DMs are open.

Since social media (particularly in startup/Twitter-land) can easily distort reality, we’re going to leave this reminder on all our company updates—building and running a company is very hard. We’re obviously going to position our narrative to make it look like we’re cruising. But some days suck. We’re grateful for our team, our family, our friends—everyone who supports us. This is exactly what we want to be doing.