List Building

Why All Makers Need to Have an Email List

All is a strong word, but I really mean it. ALL makers need to have an email list. Last week we talked about email marketing for your handmade shop. And this week we're going to go a bit further into the topic. Why do I think all makers need a list? Let me tell you.

But first, if you haven't downloaded this nifty guide that'll show you how to design your emails with a checklist included click below:

If you're new here, you should know that I'm very big into List Building. So much that I even created a course about it!

I'm so passionate about list building that I've spent the majority of this year talking about it! I want everyone to be building their lists, but I have a soft spot for the handmade/makers/creatives out there. 

I know several creative business owners and I purchase from them as much as I can. With all of the purchases I've made in in the past couple of years I've received 1. Yes 1. Email from a handmade business owner. It just baffles me. 

I purchased multiple things through this shop because of her email marketing. She let me know when she was having sales, surprise discounts for her list only, and she had a blog I could follow.

This type of marketing really put a face behind the business. I felt like I was personally connected to her and I found myself wanting to support her. 

And that's what we all really want right? Support.

You don't have to drown yourself in work and promoting yourself on social media. You can just simply get started and go slow. No need to overwhelm yourself!

Think about your audience and your customers. What kind of information could you provide via email that they would gobble up? In last weeks blog post we talked about marketing and promoting your products, but this week I want you to think about providing value. If you have a blog then you will probably be good at this already. If you don't then think of your email list as your blog audience. Let's say you had an organic skincare line and you want to plan out 4 emails for the next month. Here are some topic ideas:

  1. 10 Ways to Get Super Soft Skin This Summer
  2. How to Protect Your Skin from Sunburn this Summer
  3. 5 Ways to Use Coconut Oil That You've Never Hear of Before
  4. Should You Change Your Skincare Routine Each Season?

I'm not deliberately shoving product in their face. I'm offering value with these posts/emails in hopes that I can build the know/like/trust factor with my readers. 

It's perfectly okay to link up your shop or products in the email, you just don't need to be salesy. 

I recommend sending 2-4 of these each month and keep the day and duration consistent as well. 

Also, don't worry if you don't have all the answers! You can link to other articles that you found helpful and point them in that direction too!  

Email Marketing for Handmade Shops

There are so many handmade shops online. The surprising part about their marketing plan is the majority of them do not do any type of email marketing. They simply rely on social media, new customers, and crossing their fingers on the repeat customer part. They are totally missing out.

I know the biggest reason why handmade business owners shy away from email marketing is time. I totally get it. They're busy creating products, packing them up, shipping, and everything else that comes with it. 

Imagine what your business could do with some email marketing?


Here's a scenario for you:

You start building your list by offering 10% off on their next purchase.

People give you their email address in exchange for 10% off.

They get an email with the special code and BAM they're on your list. (This is just one great way to build your list there are a ton more).

Your list continues to grow and grow.

Now it's time to think about marketing to these lovely people, whether they're customers yet or not.

Create a marketing plan that sends an email out once a week to your list. Your emails can be featuring one product or a collection of products that you are trying to sell at that time. 

The subscribers on your list start to really take notice. They see you so sporadically on social media that they're surprised and happy to hear from you. 

They start to look forward to your weekly emails, open every single one, and then the best thing happens...

THEY CLICK YOUR LINK AND PURCHASE FROM YOU!


So to accomplish this, you would just need to plan 4 emails per month. 4!  How many social media posts do you create a month? Way more than that right? 

Making your emails can be super simple too. Choose a look that reflects your branding, be consistent, and make sure you choose an email service provider that's easy for you to start with if this is new to you. I recommend starting with MailChimp. 

MailChimp has many great templates that you can use to design your emails. You can also use PhotoShop or Canva. I've used them all for myself and for clients. I would say my favorite, like usual, is Canva

What if you're not creative on the computer? No worries! I created a guidebook for you to get inspired and pick a look! So, be sure to download that and start creating and marketing! You will NOT regret it! 

When you get your email list started let me know so I can sign up and check it out!

How to Nurture Your Email List

Are you aware that your email list isn't just for selling? So many people shy away from having one because they don't have anything to sell and they also feel like they nothing to say and would just be annoying. It doesn't have to be like that! Let me show you how to create a plan that will treat your email subscribers to info they WANT!

First, before we get started, be sure to grab your free templates!

Okay. The purpose of doing this is to build relationships with the people who voluntarily signed up to receive something from you. 

So, we're not talking about building our list today, we're talking about nurturing the people that are already on it. They're very important! Why, because they're your buddies! They found you interesting, helpful, and awesome at one point in time and they gave you their email address! 

You're a giver right? Good. Because you need to get in that mindset. You will NOT be linking to any sales pages, products, or anything you could profit from. 

Time to brainstorm!

Start creating a database of ideas...hint hint download the templates... I think 30 ideas is a good start. Here's a list to help you get started:

  • Link to podcasts or podcast episodes they may find helpful
  • Link to blog articles (not yours) that could help them
  • A sale on equipment they may use
  • YouTube videos they would find educating
  • Webinars or workshops they would benefit from attending

I love it when my best friend will text me and tell me about something that may be of interest to me, like a sale on my favorite mascara (I know, lame). Or when my brother sends me a link to a YouTube video he thinks I'll like. They are only showing me that they are thinking of me, that they care, and that this could make my life a bit easier. That's how you treat your list!

Don't be afraid of unsubscribes!

I know they're a bummer, but they're only people who were never meant to be on your list at this moment in time. They may join up again in the future, but for now, you're not their cup of tea. No biggie. As long as you are providing value to your core audience, that's all that matters! Eventually they will see you as this big giver and they'll marvel at your business and what you stand for. Now that's awesome.

Recycle!

Don't just use these awesome ideas for your list! Use them to post on social media, like your Facebook page and Twitter! We're always looking for things to post right? So, use this template to create your social media posts as well! Make sure you tweet or hashtag the owner for credit and maybe they'll retweet/share with their audience too! 

Also, don't forget to make sure your website is optimized to generate all of those new leads you will get! There's a really great article on Siteoscope that talks about the process of driving the right traffic to your site, capturing your leads, and nurturing them. We love to nurture, don't we? :)

How to Create an Email Course With Engaging Students

The thought of creating an email course can seem a bit daunting. But, they're actually very simple to create and the best part is is that they're VERY popular right now. Which means...LIST BUILDING on auto-pilot!

How to Create an Email Course with Engaging Students

Right now, everyone is looking to learn more online. When they come to your site they want to know more. If you could ask every person why they came to your site what do you think the biggest reason would be? 

What is their common problem? What pain are they trying to solve?

You have them on your site, now how do you get them on your list? Get them to sign up for a free email course! 

The best part about email courses is you get to show your expertise and value through a method of THEIR choice. 

So, how do you decide on a course topic?

1: Write 5-7 problems, struggles, and pains that your readers are dealing with. Think about the questions you get, popular blog posts, or you can even do a poll.  Do these problems and pains all coincide with each other? Do they have a common denominator? That can be your email course topic. 

2. Now take all of those problems (the 5-7 you just wrote) and start writing! Open up a fresh Google Doc and go crazy. Don't hold back on any info. This email course is your chance to show your readers just how knowledgeable you are in this field. Your goal is to be helpful and keep them wanting more from you every day.

3. This is why I love e-mail courses-they're so easy to put together! You just wrote ALL of that info, so now it's time to break it up into sections. Think about how long you want the course to be. 5 days? 7 days? Be sure it's appropriate to the length of your document. You don't want to do a 30 day course with one paragraph a day...

After you write all of the content for your course and have it broken out it's then time to hop on over to your email service provider and load the course. If you're using MailChimp (what I used to use) you would just set up an educational email automation. If you're using ConvertKit (what I use now) you would set up a sequence. 

You want your students to be engaging with you while you teach them lesson right? Grab the workbook below to get the best ways to keep your students engaged and AVOID UNSUBSCRIBES!

The Ultimate List Building Planner

Everything you do requires a little bit of planning, right? I don’t know about you, but I enjoy planning very much. So much, that I think I would rather plan things than actually do them.

List building requires planning as well. When I go to work for my business I really don’t have all afternoon to sit and ponder what I’m going to do next. I have to have a plan. My time is limited as I’m sure yours is too. So, it’s very comforting to me to have a simply laid out plan that’s right in front of me.

Wouldn’t it be great to know exactly what you should be doing for the next 30 days? It really doesn’t have to be complicated or overwhelming to plan ahead. Planning ahead will allow you to work more efficiently with clarity, focus, and drive. Now how can you say no to that?

5 Mistakes Everyone Makes When They Have an Email List (and they’re not what you think)

Everyone covets that big email list.

But, everyone doesn’t seem to know that list building is something that needs attention daily. If you’re in the online business space, that seems to be all you hear and see too, “Build your list!” Build your list! Build your list!”

It starts to be white noise after a while, but don’t let that happen. Cause...it’s pretty important. Why? Because this is how you build and nurture relationships with your readers. And well nourished readers who feel like they get great value from you will eventually feel like they could be a customer of yours. That’s a pretty big deal. Right? Right.

Having an email list is just like a relationship. You don’t take someone out on a date and then shortly after you sit down for dinner ask them to marry you? Same as an email list. You wouldn’t welcome a new subscriber with a link to a sales page (unless they specifically asked for it) would you? That’s just bad manners now.

So, before you start thinking that you’re doing everything right, yet nothing seems to be working, take a look at these 5 mistakes you may be making with your list:

  • You don’t have the right mindset
  • You don’t provide any value to your readers
  • You don’t feel connected to what they need from you
  • You have a one way relationship with your readers
  • You’re afraid of unsubscribes so you stay away from emailing after the initial opt-in

Let’s break these down.

You don’t have the right mindset: are you a positive thinker? Do you wake up feeling excited about your business and it’s huge potential? Do you truly believe that you are doing this for a REASON?

If you’re a bit wishy washy on these questions then here are some suggestions:

  • Find a like-minded group online (there’s a Facebook group for everyone)
  • READ! Nothing inspires me to do my best and do what I feel I am meant to do more than reading. Suggested books:

You Are a Bad Ass

Big Magic

Make it Happen

You don’t provide any value to your readers: think about your friendships. Do you call or text them with random bits of information about yourself and never ask how things are going with them or if they need anything from you?

You’d be kind of a crappy friend if you did that. Think of the people who start every single sentence with the word, “I.” They’re very one sided and they basically have no interest in what you have to say or what you’re doing. Don’t be that person.

It can be very easy to fall in the cracks because it’s hard to come up with ways to provide value to an existing list. Or is it? Here are some ideas that you can use to nurture the lovely people that are on your list:

  • Books they would be interested in or find helpful
  • Links to articles they would find help helpful or entertaining
  • Find a sale on something that’s really popular with your readers? Share it!

See how each of these things literally have nothing to do with you? But you’re still feeding that connection with positivity and your readers will not only appreciate you even more, but they will look forward to the next treat from you.

You don’t feel connected to what they need from you: so, tell me. What is the biggest reason people have decided to sign up for your list? Do you have a really popular opt-in or newsletter? Why did people initially sign up to be with you?

And when is the last time you’ve checked in with them? Do you struggle with trying to think of things to give to your readers? How about this crazy concept? Ask them. Ooooo! I know.

And you don’t need some annoying survey or fancy questionnaire either. Yup. I said it. You just have to ask. Set up a broadcast or campaign (depending where you do business) and send a plain text email that says:

Hey there!
I hope you’re having an awesome day! I just wanted to write and ask you how things are going. I’d love to know and look forward to hearing from you!
Lindsay

--You have my permission to copy this and use it for your email list--

Sending them something super simple makes it look personal. Keeping it short tells them that this is all you want to know and there’s nothing in it for you. No links, no images. Nothing. Just ask.

You have a one way relationship with your readers: this one falls in with not providing anything of value to your readers. Actually it kind of wraps all of these together into one. So, to reiterate, your relationship must be a two-way street. You’re not just in it for the emails and the subscribes. You’re in it for the responses to your emails (yes, that totally happens), you’re in it for that special connection to your audience, and you’re in it to do what you are here to do. Help people. That mindset thing is making an appearance again! Funny how things work.

You’re afraid of unsubscribes so you stay away from emailing after the initial opt-in: this is probably the biggest bummer of all. Unsubscribes. Let me tell you this. When you send an email to your list telling them about a group of books you would recommend you will get unsubscribes. It’s part of the game. And once you get your head in the right spot these will no longer bother you.

All that’s happening with unsubscribes is you are just creating a more concentrated group of people that are closer together and hold that strong bond with your business. That’s all. Who care’s that Suzy Q. didn’t like your email. She probably wasn’t going to buy from you anyway. It’s not you, it’s her. You weren’t right together and that’s just fine and dandy.

I have something super awesome for all of you list builders out there. My brand new List Building Starter Kit is available now for FREE!

If you need to get started or clear the cobwebs from your list then sign on up!