Aug 29, 2021

Behind the Scenes

Behind the scenes of the new Cult of Personality™ monthly newsletter, The ‘S’ Files. (Link in my bio to join the mailing list!)

I’m going roundup style, like Roxane Gay is doing with The Audacious newsletter, but I wanted it to have a consistent look and feel, and I thought it would be cool to riff on the “cult classic” themes of my website with a dossier-style situation. 🤓

This is the preliminary design, which I think my designer nailed. I have some changes I want her to make, mostly because I don’t want anyone to have to click through to read my content—I want it all right there in the email.

So my next steps are to give the designer my feedback in a way that’s thoughtful, kind, appreciative, and clear. Here’s how I do that—

#1 rule of giving feedback on creative work: BE POSITIVE. Gush about the things you like. You can never do too much of this, trust me. Us creatives are a sensitive bunch. 🙂

#2 rule: BE SPECIFIC. “I don’t like it” is not constructive feedback; neither is “that red looks weird to me.” Use examples and take your time thinking through exactly what you want them to adjust, and *why*.

#3 rule: IT’S NOT PERSONAL, BRO. If you get back a piece of design or copy that’s really missing the mark, don’t take it personally. It’s probably b/c of some crossed wires—either the intake process was missing some crucial pieces, or you did a bad job of explaining what you wanted. It’s most likely a combination of the two, so don’t get all blamey there, bucko.

*Pro Tip #1: USE A SCREENCAST. Designers tend to be visually oriented people (duh) so it helps if they can see what you’re talking about. But I’m a copywriter and I like this, too.


I always take at least 24 hours to think about what I’m seeing. I look it over multiple times, notice my initial response, ask myself questions, and get one other (informed) person’s gut response. I don’t send feedback until I’m absolutely clear about what I want to ask for & why.

The final version will look different from this—that’s why it’s a #behindthescenes post. Don’t forget to join my mailing list! ✍🏻

Samantha Pollack

About Sam

Samantha Pollack is a Copywriter & Creative Director who works with ethically minded, mission driven businesses who are actively trying to reshape our culture (and possibly tear down the patriarchy). She’s also the founder of The Highly Sensitive Business Owner, a 12-week online program that helps HSPs & neurodivergent business owners create healthier, more sustainable systems in their work.

Sam also writes about feminism, privilege, pop culture, entrepreneurship, the creative process, and whatever else is on her mind. She currently lives in Asheville, NC.

Emails for cult thought leaders.

(Personality included.)

Want to learn how to craft emails that inspire action and engagement WITHOUT the “tried and true” (cough: patriarchal) norms we’ve all been taught?

I’m doing it, and I can show you how to do it, too.

(But sometimes, I also like to write about the books I’m reading, or the creative process, or the entrepreneurial experience, or why I hate Steve Jobs, or how I met my BFF. I’ll send you emails like that, too.)

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*Just kidding. It’s only an email list.

Interested in working together?