One of THE highest places of leverage (i.e., big results for a relatively small amount of work) in your business is your newsletter. Publishing a consistent email newsletter builds relationship with your clients, positions you as the expert AND the go-to person for your clients when they decide that yes, it’s time to get their problem solved once and for all.
When my clients ask me how often I recommend that they send out their newsletter, they’re often surprised by my answer. To get the full benefits of your newsletter (including easily filling your programs and successful launches), the answer is: weekly.
“But Elizabeth!” you might be saying… “What the heck am I going to write about?” With this handy list of ideas, you’ll never fear the blank screen again…
Think about what you REALLY do for your clients. In other words, the problem that you solve. (For example, if you’re a massage therapist, you can give them tips on relaxation or stress management. )
Areas where you’d like your clients to think of you as an expert. If you’re giving workshops on women’s empowerment, for example, write articles on that. If you’re helping your clients access their intuition, write articles on that. Think of why people come to you, and why you’d like them to come to you.
Exercises. Do you take your clients through exercises and assignments? You can write an article on the topic and use the exercise in your newsletter. If you’re reading a great book with exercises, maybe share one (credit the source). Exercises provide real value to your readers, as they’re helping them solve a problem.
News and updates. What’s going on with you. This is best suited for the intro section, probably, or the promotional section if you’re giving classes. If you’ve gone to professional events, like a seminar, recently – tell your peeps! It also lets them know that you’re doing things the experts do, and are investing in yourself, which means you’re investing in THEM.
Frequently asked questions. Are there topics that come up over and over again in your practice? Write an article about them. Psychic consultants – do your clients ask the same questions over and over again? I bet they do! So write articles on those topics.
Ask your clients what they’re most interested in learning more about. Simple, and gets you in touch with them again right away. Simply say, “I’m working on a newsletter. Can you help me help you by answering a simple question? What would you like to know more about?” Your clients will love to be asked for their opinion.
Real-life examples or case studies. If you’ve been working on a problem with a client, use that as a means of offering more general advice. Show how you’ve helped clients address challenges. Make sure you keep the focus on the client and the solutions than talking about YOU. And be SURE you respect confidentiality and boundaries, of course. Get permission before revealing a person’s identity.
A list of tips on a particular subject. People love lists.
A how-to. People LOVE how-tos. The trick is to keep your steps high-level. High-level how-to’s are also great because they invite your readers to work with you. (You can use a how-to to promote a product that goes into more detail, for example.)
Useful take-aways from seminars, classes, and even the books you’re reading. Did you go to an event or industry conference, or even learn something really useful from an article or book? Share it! Sharing what you learn at events is one of the best ways to add value to your peeps, while letting them know that you’re learning and growing.
Q & A. Invite your readers to ask you short questions and answer one in each issue. Pick questions that highlight your expertise. Readers love that you’ve given them your attention, and gives them a reason to read your ezine (“Did she answer my question?”)
Interview others. Interviews are an EXTREMELY powerful marketing tool. An interview gives you near-instant content for your readers and helps you create powerful relationships with other practitioners. Find someone whose work compliments yours, and interview them. It’s exposure for them, content for you, and now you have a relationship – a basis for working together in the future.
Browse books, industry publications, blogs and websites for more ideas. Because ideas are everywhere. The web devours content like crazy. Find good blogs and websites, and model their content – there is nothing wrong with that! Don’t plagiarize, obviously. But don’t worry about “it’s been done before.” Everything has been thought of before, that’s not important. YOU covering that topic, now that’s something entirely unique.
Along the same lines, sign up for email newsletters from other people in your industry. It’s practically guaranteed that someone in your industry is doing a newsletter already. What are they up to? Sign up for their newsletters and see. While you’re reading, ask yourself, what do I like? What don’t I like?
Fun things that create a connection and your readers will enjoy. Add a little fun and create a personal connection between you. Recipes. Quotes. Meditations. If it’s appropriate, go ahead and do something fun! (Bonus tip: don’t forget to show your personality in your articles!)
Really stuck? Borrow articles. The web is full of places where you can get content for your newsletter for free. Most you can use immediately, and authors have given permission for you to reprint them. You just have to use the entire article (ie, keep it intact) and make sure to include the author’s contact information. The best site for free articles (it’s the granddaddy of them all): http://www.EzineArticles.com [http://web.archive.org/web/20110101110903/http://www.ezinearticles.com/]
Try not to do this too often – remember that your newsletter is to promote YOU and establish YOUR expertise. But there’s nothing wrong with doing this once in a while.
Whether you choose offline or online, it’s time to start your newsletter. No excuses! J
I highly, highly recommend starting with an email newsletter. If you’ve added an opt-in on your website to capture names and emails, you’ve already got a list to start with. But if that’s too challenging, simply start with a 1-page offline newsletter to your best clients.