Some of you reading this have been putting off email marketing because of the set up. Figuring out and trying to learn all of the technology and system related steps is what you have found to be the most intimidating. (Hint, I lay out my entire set up- linking to every single resource that I use in my FREE email marketing mini course!)
But for others, you put off email marketing for one main reason- “What the heck am I going to write about?!”
I get it. I really do. Most days you just feel like you’re trying to keep your head above water. Trying to post here and there, and you feel like you barely keep up with blogging, so the thought of even adding one more task that’s all about the content….well that just sounds impossible.
But you’re here, because you understand the importance of “owning” vs “renting”. You may have 10K Instagram followers, but what if there’s another algorithm switch? What if your account gets deleted somehow? Do you have a way of reaching every single one of those followers directly? No, because you are essentially “renting” that platform. It’s not yours, and it can change whenever it wants to.
And the reality is, email marketing isn’t new. Far from it. And in a lot of ways, marketers have ruined email. That’s why Gmail came up with their Social and Promotional email folder options- so people could lessen how bombarded their inbox was with people wanting to sell them stuff. But I believe that it’s still a really effective way to communicate with your tribe, and not one to be overlooked or underrated.
As a social media post is only as good as the number of followers see it, an email is only as good as the number of subscribers who actually open and read it. And what makes people open and read your emails??
Content that is relevant, valuable, and trusted. And I am not going to lie to you- like anything worth building in your business, it takes some work.
Who is your tribe?
What are their needs?
What are they really interested in learning from you?
I think that sometimes it’s too easy to forget in the loud noise of social media that we each have something really valuable to offer our tribe. That we each know more about our business, and our craft than we did last month, or last year. In fact, as a great example, I didn’t realize how much I had learned about email marketing until I started having this conversation with a friend who was looking to start- and the information I had been researching and experiencing just came flooding out of me. That’s when I realized- Hey, I actually know about this stuff. I may not know everything, or be the very best at it- but I have valuable information that I can share with her that will seriously help her out and save her time.
Let’s say you are a wedding photographer, but you aren’t really interested in teaching other wedding photographers. You are however, really wanting to increase your bookings this year. What do you know about wedding photography that your ideal bride and groom would LOVE to learn more about? What would HELP them in planning their wedding? What are their greatest struggles in that process? How can you help teach them about your values in wedding photography- like how important a first look is, or why having a wedding album is such an ‘must have’ investment, or how to best plan their wedding day timeline around those golden sunset portraits that you love to photograph.
In the same way that you brainstorm blog posts, when you really take time to think about it, you can come up with things you know- that your tribe- those potential ideal clients- are dying to have help with. I am a huge fan of Trello, and I keep a running list of just content ideas as the come to me. Sometimes it becomes a blog post, sometimes an email, and sometimes both! You will be surprised just how much comes to you when you make room for thinking about what to share.
Additional ideas to brainstorm your content is using a survey (Typeform works great!) where you can literally ASK people what they are struggling with.
Here are a few question ideas!
1. What are your biggest bottlenecks in your business workflow right now?
2. What really isn’t working in your business right now?
3. What is the most overwhelming step of getting your family portraits?
4. What scares you the most about wedding planning? What are you most excited about?
BONUS TIP: Pay attention. People post about what they are struggling, or needing, or wishing existed out on social media ALL THE TIME. Whether it’s general status updates, or in private Facebook groups- it is not often difficult to identify what people’s needs are.
For example, one of the most common questions I see asked on Facebook that I pay attention to as a maternity and newborn photographer, are “What should I pack in my hospital bag?” and “Did you register for anything on your baby registry that you wish you didn’t? What would you register for now if you could back?” Questions like those are content gold mines, and tell me a very specific need that I could address! What are brides asking? What are brides searching for on Google? How can YOU be their answer?
So here are your steps for Lesson Four.
1. Define WHO you are wanting to subscribe to your email list. This can be more than one kind of person with different needs and interests, but defining it and writing it out will be really helpful.
(This is another reason why I LOVE Convertkit because it makes it so easy to send relevant emails to subscribers with different interests! This means I can send session related content to my past, present, and future clients- and I can business and branded related content like this topic here to creative business owners! Everyone doesn’t have to get the same emails and Convertkit makes that so easy!)
2. Define WHAT their interests are, and begin to brainstorm what their greatest needs are.
3. Develop a SYSTEM for organizing your content. Whether it’s a Trello list like myself, a tool like Evernote, Google Drive, or an old-fashioned notebook- decide what is going to work best for you to set yourself up for success.
4. Decide HOW often you want to provide your content. Are you committing to a weekly email? If so, what day are you going to send it out? Are you committing to once a month, or a few times a quarter? Make your plan. Be reasonable, and be realistic. Then get it on the calendar and implemented into your weekly workflow.
5. Define your PURPOSE for email marketing. Is it to bring you more clients? Is it book more mentoring or coaching? Is it to set yourself up for success for that online launch to come? Is it to be invited to more speaking engagements? Is it a way to simply stay in a better, more consistent communication with your tribe? Defining your purpose for email marketing will allow you to filter all of your decisions and launches. Just as you make branding decisions based on your own “WHY am I in this business?”, you can ask yourself WHY before you write. IS this email inviting these potential clients to book me? IS this email really teaching the people I want to work with one on one for my coaching program? IS this email getting me one step closer to my goal? IS this email building my brand?
AN EXTRA NOTE: You don’t have to send an email out every single week to be successful at email marketing. YOU have the power to decide what is ENOUGH and what is SUCCESS to you when it comes to YOUR email marketing strategy. Whether that means starting out by updating past and present inquiries about your booking services, or whether you are wanting to commit to writing one dang good content packed email every month- whatever that is for you.
AN EXTRA, EXTRA NOTE: Remember to think outside the box, and lean into your strengths! If you aren’t amazing at writing, then record a video that you link to in your email. You can even record an audio file and link to if you want it to be your voice instead of text to read. You can send an email that links to your weekly or monthly Facebook Live- or maybe launch a Facebook Group for your subscribers where you can really engage with them! The opportunities are endless with email marketing- which is why it’s so valuable to have!!
This blog post is an excerpt from one of my FREE lessons on email marketing! If you want to receive six jam packed lessons on how I use email marketing, you can opt in below! There are no bells or whistles, and definitely no sales pitch on something to buy after the last lesson. It was simply a need that I saw, that I wanted to meet! Will I see you there?!
disclaimer: this post may contain affiliate links.