One of the best things I’ve done for my business in years is starting an email newsletter.
Now, you may be thinking: what a hassle! I have enough to do already! I don’t need another thing on my plate.
Well, good news. An email newsletter actually doesn’t take any more time, beyond the initial set-up. In fact, it’s actually saved me loads of time.
If you do it the right way, starting an email newsletter is an amazing way to grow your network, your business and your income, while actually minimizing the amount of time and effort you have to put into your business.
If that sounds like some “get rich quick” scheme or too good to be true, well, it’s not. You do need to put in work at the outset, but if you set up an email newsletter properly, then you get to benefit with minimal ongoing work on your end.
Of course, an email newsletter is not going to grow your network on complete autopilot, and it is certainly no substitute for face-to-face meetings and making one-on-one connections with people.
So how do you do it? I will explain below exactly how you can use an email newsletter to grow your network. But first, I want to explain why you need to start your own email newsletter, no matter what line of work you’re in or what kind of business you have … or even if you are simply daydreaming of starting your own business one day.
Why You Should Start an Email Newsletter
There are many reasons why you should start an email newsletter today:
It’s Easy. Starting an email newsletter is easy as pie, and yet once it’s set up, you benefit for years to come. Just like investing, you’re better off the earlier you start. You can probably handle most of the steps yourself and have it set up in 15 or 20 minutes.
Your Newsletter Frees Up Your Time. If you set up your email newsletter properly using “autoresponder” or followup messages, then your emails go out automagically while you’re freed up to do other things.
It Gets Rid of the “Tire-Kickers”. Every business has to deal with “tire-kickers” – people who take a long time to decide whether they are going to buy. With an email newsletter, people will join your email list and some will eventually unsubscribe. That’s a good thing. They weren’t the right fit for you. It’s better than having to spend your limited one-on-one time with that person, while you both figure out if you’re a good fit for one another.
It’s a Scaleable Way to Grow Your Business. An email newsletter and an email list really allows you to scale your business, no matter what kind of business you have.
Email Subscribers are More Valuable than Any Other Kind of Follower. There’s a saying that “the money is in the list.” That saying refers to the fact that email subscribers are far more likely to buy products and services from you than are any other kind of follower.
You Own the List. You do not “own” your friends or followers on social media. You’re a sharecropper rather than a landowner. Your social media page could be shut down and there’s nothing you could do about it. By comparison, you own your email list. It cannot be shut down at a whim.
You Don’t Lose One-Time Visitors. Any website has lots of one-time visitors. You can “capture” some of these if you have an email newsletter. If they sign up for your newsletter, then you have a chance to continue to communicate with them and to eventually turn them into a buyer or client.
Now that I’ve (hopefully) convinced you that setting up a newsletter is worth your time, let’s talk about how you can use an email newsletter to grow your network and your income.
How Your Email Newsletter Can Grow Your Network & Your Net Worth
If you do it right, an email newsletter can help accelerate the growth of your personal network. Of course, it’s not like you can set up an email newsletter and then just sit on the beach drinking mai-tais and counting your money. Wouldn’t that be nice. But it does add to those efforts.
Here’s how you can use your email newsletter to grow your network, and put more money in your pocketbook.
It Allows You to “Keep in Touch” With a Large Number of People. In Book Yourself Solid, Michael Port argues that one of the critical steps toward keeping yourself “booked solid” is having a “keep in touch” strategy with your network. If you can convince people you meet to join your email list, then the newsletter is a great way to keep in touch and remain front of mind.
You Meet New People on Autopilot. Every morning I wake up and have response emails from new people who, at some point, signed up for my email list – usually because they read a post I wrote like this one. I then respond and often get into great email dialogues and build wonderful relationships with my subscribers.
As Your List Grows, You Have More Potential Buyers or Clients. In marketing, people need to “know, like and trust” you before they will buy. As you grow your email list, more people get to know, like and trust you, meaning you have a larger pool of potential buyers for any product or service you sell.
Your Can Sell Products Using Your Newsletter. As long as you are not spamming people on your list and you provide value, then you can grow your income by promoting your own products or services to your list.
Now, Set Up Your Newsletter – Even if You Don’t Have a Business
In the Lean Startup, Eric Ries argues that the best businesses produce a minimum viable product which they then test and iterate by getting feedback from actual buyers.
If you set up your own newsletter early – perhaps even before starting your business – then you can grow an audience of potential buyers who can help accelerate the growth of your business. You can also use the list to test and get feedback on your products and services.
So, even if you don’t have a business but one day want your own, consider setting up an email newsletter today. By the time you are ready to start your own business, you may have an audience already.