Everyone’s talking about the day that Instagram and Facebook went down (October 2021). Did you notice it? What did you do without social media?
To be honest, I didn’t notice (the very rare day that I didn’t go on much) until my toddler asked for cat reels on Instagram, and even then, I just thought it was our internet.
It got me thinking about the impact it might have had on businesses like yours. You might have had to postpone your Instagram story, interview or Facebook live.
But what if it just disappeared – forever?
I’ve known people’s Instagram accounts that have just vanished and Facebook groups that have been suspended for weeks.
Your website and emails are so important, I still get to say hello to you in your inbox and I spend a lot of time writing blogs.
I’m not here to scare you, but please don’t put all your eggs into an Instagram (or any other social media platform) shaped basket.
Instead, get your website sorted and out into the world. And get started with your email list. Both of those things mean that you’re not at the whims of any social media platforms, their algorithms or over-excited security features.
I know so many people feel really uncomfortable about email marketing in the form of a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly newsletter.
An email list is hands down the best way to build a connection, trust and your brand.
An email list is yours. You have more control over whether your email gets seen or not.
…Did you know that email converts three times as much as social media??
Focusing on growing your email list will give you a ready-made pool of potential customers. That’s no bad thing.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
It’s how you’ll grow your business.
Sign up to an email platform such as Mailerlite, Mailchimp, Sendinblue or ConvertKit. If you’re at a loss at this point please reach out to your network, do your research or even get some help setting it up (especially connecting your website, pop up, landing page and sign-ups) and for someone to walk you through the tech so you get the most out of your email platform.
How to start an email list:
- If you want to start building a mailing list, then you’ll need a pop-up or form on your website where people can submit their details.
- Offering a lead magnet, discount, free event, or audio will attract more sign-ups.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
- You don’t need to start with any fancy funnels. Keep it simple. A well-written welcome email and your regular emails should be enough.
- Tell people you have one – yes, you’ll need to do that on social media!
- Optimise your website so that people can find it organically.
What’s a lead magnet?⠀⠀
This is usually a ‘freebie’ downloadable pdf document such as a checklist, workbook, cheat sheet, report, guide, mini ebook, template or infographic.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
What you put in a lead magnet needs to be informative and solve a problem your target audience experiences. When you put together your lead magnet, think about their needs.⠀
How to get unstuck…
If creating a newsletter leaves you feeling overwhelmed or confused then here are some tips to help you get going (for service-based* businesses):
Rule of 3: Choose 3 topics to include, that could be a friendly intro, story, recommendation or share and blog link. If you find you want to include more then make your newsletter more frequent. Don’t forget to repurpose any other relevant content you’ve shared, you don’t have to start from scratch every single time.
Short ‘n’ sweet: You don’t need to write pages and pages. Make it readable, fun and concise. Do some of your own research and make some notes on things that make you open and read other people’s emails. Especially email subjects, you might need to play around with this until you see your open rate increase.
Ditch the design: Seriously, you don’t need a super styled, branded and designed email template, if it’s stopping you from writing an email then forget about it. Just choose nice colours and fonts to use that reflect your branding. Flashy emails don’t always work that well on mobile devices.
Always have a plan: Set aside 45 minutes to begin with and make a quick plan, this is particularly important if you’re launching a package or service. You don’t need to ‘sell’ in every single email but make sure you have a purpose and something of value to share. Ask questions and encourage your subscribers to get in touch with you.
Drop the jargon: Talk to one person and use language that you and your ideal client would use. Write how you speak and don’t be afraid to be yourself.
* Ecommerce based businesses can use some of the ideas above but it would benefit you to be much savvier with your tech to help make the customer experience and journey.
Service-based business owners tend to overthink things when it comes to newsletters/bulletins/journals/spam/wrap-up emails. I often hear things like…⠀⠀⠀
‘But I don’t want to bother/annoy people.’⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
‘I’m not sure what to say.’⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
‘I can’t find the time.’⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
‘I don’t know how to use my email marketing platform.’⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
‘I can’t design an email; it’s too complicated.’⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
‘I only have 20 people on my list.’⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
‘I need to create a lead magnet first.’⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
…and so on.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
It can be as complicated as you want it to be. But my top tips for you are:
- Make it short, interesting and frequent!
- You don’t have to try and sell anything.
- Keep it simple and clear.
I hope this was helpful!
I’m always here for a chat if you have any questions or ideas: firstname.lastname@example.org