Creating Dynamic Ezines
When you first go into business you might think that the majority of your time will be spent doing work for clients. However you will quickly realize what you will really spend MOST of your time doing….
That’s right…marketing yourself.
You need to GET new clients!
I doesn’t take long to work out that marketing is more important than mastery.
Spending time at networking events, one-on-one meetings and lunches are all great ways to get the word out about your business. Most of the time people are happy to hear about your services, but may not want you at that time. To have this one-to-one style of marketing is exhausting.
Have you ever experienced that?
It can get very frustrating. Bills need paying – you need clients and you need them fast.
If you’ve not heard it before, one of the rules of marketing is 7-10 rule. This means that a prospect has to see or hear your message 7 to 10 times before they’ll even take action. But too often, people will give up on delivering their message long before then.
So the fortune is in the follow-up!
So what is the best way to follow up that makes great use of your time?
I bet you know that even if you speak to folks in person and get their email addresses, you can’t just sell them on your services every week. They’d soon get ticked off, and you wouldn’t make any new clients that way.
You don’t want to be seen as a pest! You want to be seen as a resource and someone who gives them value.
A regular ezine does just the job! (Call it e-newsletter, etip, email newsletter – they are all the same.)
It contains your message. Sharing your tips with the world. And, then you will see…business starting to come in! Little by little, bit by bit, your word gets spread and people start to contact you for your knowledge and expertise. I know you can see the immense value in that.
Your ezine is often an under rated source of new clients. It MUST form part of your small business marketing plan. Here are some top success tips on how your ezine can boost business:
Use a good email service: many people start out by sending their ezine via their regular email such as Outlook. The problems with this are that you have a high likelihood of being registered as spam. You will get an incredible number of bounce backs which means your message is not getting to your market.
I love using a simple but effective system such as AWeber. It is inexpensive (around $19/month) and you can get a trial period. You can either create your own template using your branding (I got my web designer to do mine) or use one of the one’s already available within Aweber. Once you have uploaded your content, you can select who receives your ezine, and pre-schedule it for a certain day and time. I love it!
I don’t’ use it myself, but hear good things too about Mailchimp. This is a no cost service, with some limitations. I could be an ideal service if you are just starting out.
Track and Measure! It’s important to know what is working and what’s not. By using an email service, you can track all sorts of statistics. Ones that I like to check regularly are: how many people open your email and what your ‘click through’ rate is. Industry standards say that an open rate of 30% or above is good, and a click through rate of 3-5% is average. Can see why when I get an open rate of 100% I’m very happy? When you analyze what people are reading and interested in, this allows you to fine tune your marketing strategies so you can attract more clients.
Be seen as a valuable resource: What I hear people say when I tell them to start their own ezine is “Everybody already gets so many emails; I don’t want to add another one to their inbox.” This is a fair comment. However, it is important to remember that you have your prospects email address in the first place because they have an interest in what you offer. You are right – we don’t want to be seen as a pest. So, you MUST provide valuable information and resources in your ezine in order to keep people on your list.
To effectively do this, hang out where your prospects are. What are they saying is frustrating them? What are their main concerns? What are they currently talking about? It’s easy to get answers to these now that we can connect to Facebook and other social media. Blogs and forums are also a great place to hear what your prospects are saying. Then, all you have to do is write your feature article about these very issues, and hey presto! You are a welcome guest with valuable information on helping your prospect solve their problem.
An effective way to promote your services or products: Instead of simply saying how great you are, an ezine lets you SHOW how great you are by sharing your expertise with your prospects. You’re giving people a TASTE of you, and educating them on why they NEED your product or services.
You can easily share the experiences of other clients that have used your products or services. This provides incredibly powerful social proof to the benefits of working with you. It also allows you to get your message in front of your audience many times in a ‘soft’ way for those that need to see it the 7-10 times before taking action. By showcasing your knowledge and skills, you will attract more clients, as well as media and other opportunities.
Be regular and consistent: Many people ask “What is the best day or time to send out my ezine?”. My answer to them is “When you can guarantee you will be consistent.”
Consistency is the key to business success and a good marketing plan. If you have a prospect that joins your list and then does not hear anything from you for 6 weeks, then they get 3 emails in that one week. Then nothing again for about 5 weeks. They are not going to be very interested in what you do say by then and will very quickly hit the DELETE button. You want to be sending something to your prospects at least once every week. This habit will keep you ‘top of mind’ for your prospects when they do decide they are ready to work with you. An ezine is an effortless way to build your list and to STAY IN TOUCH with your clients and prospects regularly.
Build your list: If you write a valuable ezine, your readers will pass it on to friends and colleagues all over the world. It becomes an ideal way to capture the email addresses of new visitors to your web that can soon become new clients.
Your Action Plan For The Week:
1. Decide which email service you are going to use. Look at all your statistics this week and then track them to help you decide how you need to change your message or focus.
2. Visit blogs, forums, social media, digg.com etc regularly and LISTEN to what your prospects are saying. Use this as the base for your article content.
3. Decide what day of the week and time you send your ezine. Schedule this into your calendar and work every week to meet this commitment.
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