Do you know how you can create a connection with all of your potential clients with one action? How to build relationships over time in a consistent way? One of the most efficient ways to do this is with a newsletter also known as an ezine.
Don't panic, there are many ways to create valuable information that don't include writing long articles. We'll get to that in a minute. First, here's why this is important.
Maybe you're thinking this sounds like a great idea but it will be a lot of work and take a lot of time. It is an investment and one that can pay off big time. Here are several reasons why it's time to start connecting and sharing:
1. It is a great way for you to reach your entire community at one time.
2. You'll always have something valuable to offer people who are interested in your business.
3. If you don't stay in contact, people forget about you and your business. You know the expression - out of sight out of mind.
4. People's needs change over time. Just because someone isn't interested right now, doesn't mean that they may not be later. Plus, the more people who know about you, the more referrals you will get.
5. You position yourself as an expert.
6. You can reuse the information on your website, for workshops, ebooks, or in a free report.
7. You have the opportunity to ask your community for feedback and/ or to announce new products and services.
You may have heard the people who subscribe for your ezine referred to as your 'list' as in a list of people. That feels really impersonal to me so I'll be referring to this group of people as your community.
You already have a community of people you know, although they may not yet have agreed to receive your information. Put together a list of people who you think would be interested in your new ezine and ask them if they'd like to receive it.
To attract new people (who don't know you) into your community, you need to do a bit more. You will need to offer them something extra, in addition to your ezine, in order for them to give you their name and e-mail address and agree to receive your ezine. Think about offering a special report, a case study, or a list of worthwhile tips.
You've heard the expression, content is king. This is still the case. What you share must be valuable and relevant information that people in your community can use. Here are some ideas of what you can use for content. You can use one, or a combination of these:
• Valuable Tips. A tip doesn't have to be long to be powerful and effective. If you provide great tips that people can really use, you will build a following.
• Inspiring quotes. This means no writing for you, only research. Pretty easy since quotes are everywhere and easy to find.
• Articles that other people write. Type the words 'free articles' into a search engine and you'll get page after page of websites packed with articles you can use for free.
• Articles that you write. They don't have to be long. I've seen some ezines that describe themselves as a "one minute" read.
In addition to the beneficial information you provide, it is perfectly acceptable and normal for you to also promote your products and services. In fact, it would be a disservice if you didn't. You want to make it easy for your community to understand how your business can help them. Think about keeping the portion of promotion about your business to about 20% of the total content of each ezine.
So how often should you be in touch with your community? Here is the general consensus about this.
- Once a month is the minimum
- Every other week is ideal
- Weekly is the maximum
What is absolutely critical is that no matter what frequency you choose, deliver what you promise. Consistency and reliability are critical for building a relationship with your community. This is the trust part of the fact that people do business with people they 'know, like and trust.' You can send out additional announcements in between your regular schedule, just don't overdo it.
Please, do not use your e-mail program to send out your information. It just won't work over time as your community grows, trust me. I use 1shoppingcart.com and there are some other popular options as well like: aweber.com, constantcontact.com, and ezezines.com.
Are you starting to see how consistently staying in touch with your community by providing them with useful information is more than worth it? Don't delay; make the decision to begin today and start connecting and sharing!
Copyright 2007, Stephanie Ward