Meet Dan Toomey: The maverick driving Morning Brew’s media revolution

Dan Toomey

Let’s start by saying that everyone is different and has their own skill set.

Some skills they were born with while others were developed over time in school, college, work, and other activities.

But have you thought that having a diverse skill set opens up a world of creative possibilities and strategic advantages for you?

Just think about it.

If you’re a person that easily adapts and likes to try out new things, it can come in handy when it comes to the strategies and technologies that are constantly changing in the B2B world.

Or if you have a psychology background like my wife does, it may be easier for you to understand your audience.

Dan Toomey, for example, is an in-house creator for Morning Brew and knows how to maximize his skill set.

How? Firstly, let’s see who he is.

Who is Dan Toomey?

Dan has an incredible skill set for a B2B creator, he knows how to create and edit videos, he’s got humor, has some real good acting skills, and not to mention that he has a background in journalism.

So he was a perfect fit for Morning Brew.

Dan Toomey is now the face of Morning Brew that helps the company break all the unconventional ways to grow as a media company for GenZ.

Before he joined Morning Brew in 2021, he finished college in 2020 in Broadcast Journalism, and was an intern for companies such as HBO, CNN, and NBC News.

Also during his college years he was a Criminal Data Journalist at Crosstown LA, and Managing Editor at USC Annenberg Media.

Before Morning Brew he started his TikTok channel where he posts funny skits.

His account has grown to 147.300 followers and 6.7 million likes.

After being hired, he started to post on LinkedIn as well where he grew his personal brand to 14.469 followers.

How does his skill set help him be an in-house B2B creator?

  1. Morning Brew’s video strategy that started all
  2. Develops and execute Morning Brew’s video strategy
  3. He’s a great storyteller
  4. Open to make things differently

A. Morning Brew’s video strategy

Morning Brew’s video strategy with Dan started more as an experiment.

That’s because Morning Brew was looking for someone to help them with their podcast, but saw a big opportunity to hire Dan to help them with their video strategies.

Dan was already growing an audience on his personal TikTok making skits and got hired at Morning Brew in February 2021 to create content for their TikTok account.

In a podcast, Dan mentions that the first thing he worked on and posted was a longer video on Instagram, but that one just flapped, and then he came up with the idea of trying a funny skit video and uploading it on TikTok.

Encouraged by the success of the TikTok skit, Dan and the team decided to produce more of these videos, watching how the audience interacted and commented to guide their content direction.

Initially, Dan used to create a TikTok video daily, starting each day by reading the news and brainstorming four potential video concepts based on trending topics and audience interests.

So their strategy was focused on organic growth across platforms like TikTok, Twitter, and Instagram through engaging video content and began to have a sense where to post what.

They saw that videos about news performed better on platforms like X and TikTok, and the work-life videos worked better on Instagram.

As their audience grew and engagement increased, they shifted their focus towards expanding their presence on YouTube, a progression that Dan and Henry are currently leading.

So, you might say it’s important to take things one at a time and probably start with what seems easier to produce.

That will help you understand your audience better and see what you can further invest in.

Dan started with his phone and now he has Henry by his side, a YouTube channel with more than half of million subscribers, and new tech at their disposal.

B. Educates through entertainment

The videos on TikTok were doing great so Morning Brew wanted to create similar funny ones on their YouTube channel.

But they did not have the same engagement so they decided to use their channel GoodWork which had only 250,000 subscribers at the beginning of January 2023 and grow it in a funny style.

At the end of 2023 the channel grew to 526,000 subscribers, and now in April 2024 it has 650,000.

From January 2023 when Dan started to take over the GoodWork YouTube account he joined forces with Henry Stockwell to create the scripts, film, edit, and publish these videos.

What is their creative process from the start when creating these funny videos?

The filming process

Dan and Henry adopted a unique approach to their video production process, and they talked about it in a podcast episode.

And one key aspect of their strategy was to film with an iPhone.

The main idea wasn’t to simplify their production setup but to convey that creating engaging content for YouTube is accessible to anyone. 

They thought that using a simple device most people have, would establish a more relatable connection with their audience and emphasize that storytelling and editing are more important than high-performing technology.

They said that they will start to experiment with better cameras to see how their subscribers will react to the new format.

Dan and Henry also prioritize experimentation, exploring various formats to keep their content fresh and engaging.

And they hope their subscribers see that they like to experiment and hope to understand and accept their creative evolution.

Scripting and editing process

Their videos are characterized by a strong emphasis on scripting and editing. 

Their writing process is spontaneous, guided by gut instincts for humor, with collaborative efforts between Dan and Henry to refine and amplify comedic elements within the scripts.

Dan and Henry took inspiration from sources like the Eric Andre Show created by adultswim channel to create their poster designs, while they use epidemic sounds for royalty-free music.

Dan’s contribution of humorous memes adds an additional layer of intrigue to their videos.

These witty visuals he spends hours to craft on Photoshop are designed to spark curiosity and captivate viewers.

The team also strategically embeds Easter eggs throughout their videos to encourage repeat viewing and engagement. 

Some of their subscribers comment about these hidden gems in the comment section creating that sense of community and interaction among their audience.

They also spend substantial time perfecting each video, incorporating Easter eggs, creative edits, and unexpected cuts to sustain entertainment value.

Additionally, they employ a stand-up comedy approach by testing videos with a select group before publication to gauge reactions and refine their content based on feedback.

In essence, Dan and Henry’s approach to video creation is a thoughtful blend of creativity, humor, and audience engagement.

They focus on storytelling, experimental formats, and interactive elements to produce content that resonates deeply with viewers and invites them into a collaborative and entertaining experience.

Distribution process

Every time one of these videos is published, Dan posts about it on his LinkedIn adding the link to the YouTube channel to gain more engagement and build a community of people who like GoodWork on LinkedIn as well.

C. He’s a good storyteller

I say that having this mix of actor and comedy skills he developed in college helps Dan be so creative with the content he produces.

He has this ability to engage and connect with his audience, even on subjects that might initially seem dry or complex, such as the banking system.

But a great example of Dan’s storytelling skills lies in a TikTok video skit he posted on Morning Brew’s account, which had 1.7 million views.

The video talks about what led to Silicon Valley’s near-collapse last year.

Dan decided to create a funny narrative to make the topic accessible to people who weren’t familiar with the subject to make them understand what happened.

The timing of this video was particularly strategic.

By seizing upon a topic that had taken everyone by surprise, Dan leveraged the element of novelty and intrigue.

Through his comedic storytelling, he provided clarity and context in a more digestible way.
The top comment on their TikTok was saying that the video really helped to understand what happened without spending time reading an article.

What makes Dan a standout storyteller is his ability to weave together information, humor, and relatability.

He captures the audience’s attention by presenting relevant and impactful stories with a touch of wit and charm.

Dan uses his comedian and actor skills to educate and entertain, creating a deeper connection between the content and the audience making complex subjects more accessible for everyone.

Actually for this video about the Silicon Valley Bank he got nominated to Webby Awards, an international award honoring excellence on the Internet established in 1996.

D. Open to make things differently

Dan started to post on his personal LinkedIn account two months after being hired at Morning Brew.

His posts were funny back then too and most of them were related to things Morning Brew used to write about.

But the posts were a lot shorter than they are now.

Now he gained more confidence and started to have more fun with the content he posts on his LinkedIn too.

I used Kleo to see what format he used for his LinkedIn content and saw that most of it was video content.

He realized that the text content doesn’t work that well for him so he focused on creating more content with videos and images.

He posted some of his TikToks on LinkedIn and some of them engaged really well like the video about the daily life of a corporate which had 443 interactions.

But what I like most about Dan is that he likes to have fun no matter what he creates.

Just take a look at this poster he made in March 2024.

He created this poster because several months before in November 2023, the magazine wrote about a profile description on GoodWork showing a picture of Dan.

Another example of his creative work was the conference about innovation that Morning Brew initiated where Dan was dressed as the character he created the GoodWork videos.

Dan’s ability to insert humor and creativity into diverse formats shows his dedication to crafting enjoyable and memorable experiences for his audiences, his own, Morning Brew’s, and GoodWork’s, which he nicely bonds together on his social media.

What can B2B creators learn from Dan

1. The importance of storytelling

No matter if you’re in B2B marketing, entertainment, or if your personal branding, having good storytelling techniques can help you create connections with your audience and gain more engagement. 

By infusing storytelling into your content, you can make complex topics more relatable, memorable, and impactful, same as Dan does with the video skits and video series he creates for GoodWork.

2. Do the unmeasurable

Creativity knows no boundaries.

So embrace the weird, unconventional, and unexpected ideas that you have because they can lead to breakthroughs in your field.

Feel free to explore new ideas, experimenting with different formats, and push creative boundaries to capture attention, spark curiosity, and differentiate yourself from others in your industry.

And sure there might not be a beaten track to see your exact results, but if you do a great job, you will see improvements like community increase, more engagement, more DM for collaborations, and so on.

3. Move fast with your content

When it comes to content creation, you have to be agile and responsive.

You constantly have to see what gets your audience’s attention and based on that iterate on your content strategies.

Dan saw that their audience engaged better with skit videos, so they started to create more of those.

Later when he saw traction on X, Instagram, and TikTok he moved on creating new longer types of videos on YouTube.

Being ready to adapt will help you stay relevant for your audience and it will also help you grow.

Final Thoughts

I’m going to leave you with the ultimate lesson I’ve taken from Dan.

Think about your unique skill set that helped you do your job better, grow a personal brand, or even start a company.

Do an introspection and see how you’re leveraging these skills presently and think how you could use them more effectively to help you in your B2B creator journey.