Don’t copy me!
Not if you’re trying to get copywriting clients. At least, don’t copy my daily email strategy.
That — and what to do instead — is the topic of today’s article.
It’s Monday, which means it’s time for me to open up my mailbox and answer your questions.
If you have a question on copywriting, marketing, selling, Internet business building, freelancing, and more click here to have it answered in the future Mailbox Monday article.
Here’s today’s question…
I want to get more copywriting clients by building an email list and mailing them daily. What’s the best and fastest way to get started building a list on a budget?
The truth about client-getting with daily emails…
In short, I don’t really get clients through writing these emails. I think it’s been a mild help. Sometimes it’s a hindrance. But for the most part, these emails have very little impact on the number of high-level copywriting clients that I have.
And I don’t think many people who write daily emails actually do it to get high-level clients for their service business. Especially not copywriting clients.
The best clients are often not signing up for very many emails. And if they do, they’re most likely to sign up for emails from people they already work with.
Your hit rate will be very low, and your time investment will be very high, and so I generally do not recommend daily emails to sell copywriting or other freelance services.
So why the heck would you do a daily email?
Well, it’s because you have something else to sell. Or you want to think through writing. Or both. Or some other reason. But let’s talk about selling.
Almost any kind of product can be sold via daily email. If you have enough to say about it, and can keep your articles or emails interesting, you can probably sell your product through daily emails.
It works especially well for selling information products and training. Where you can convey concepts related to the training in the emails, and link to the training for people who want to go deeper.
It also works if you have a coaching or consulting offer for lower-level clients. And I don’t mean this to be an insult. Rather, a dose of reality. The majority of subscribers to daily emails are fairly new in the field, and are much more prone to respond to how to get started offers, hence the lower-level label. There are, of course, exceptions. But as a general rule, there are a lot more email subscribers who are newer in the market and actively seeking out information than people who have a bunch of experience and ability to hire you.
So if you have something else to sell — or some other value to provide — via daily email, use it for that. Maybe there will also be an overlap, and clients will ascend from your products to your services.
A very sophisticated business can be built to do this, and use the law of averages to pull one really good client out of a hundred or a thousand or more email subscribers.
But the way that the question was asked does not suggest this.
What else works for getting clients?
If you are really serious about getting clients, and are willing to put in the kind of effort required for daily email, aim that effort elsewhere. Especially if you’re newer in business.
Spend some time developing a list of your ideal clients. Base this list on who you would like to work with, and who you truly think you could serve through your services. Look for clients who are a good fit for what kind of work you want to be doing.
Make a list.
Your goal should be to identify between 20 and 100 ideal clients. Collect their name, and as much information as you can about them. Put it into a spreadsheet.
Then, try to figure out who the appropriate decision maker is within the companies. Get their name and contact information if possible.
Then, think about how you can be both kind and persistent. Think about what you can do to be a source of value and a positive presence in their life.
This can be sharing ideas, forwarding articles, simply sending them a note complementing a campaign that they did, or anything else that will engender positive feelings.
Then, do it.
Reach out consistently with something positive. Be persistent with every name on the list. Remember, this is replacing the effort of a daily email. If you put in a little bit of work on this every day, you will be able to get through that list at least once every couple months.
Make it known somehow, without being obnoxious, what services you provide to clients (with a clear next step if they’re interested), and that you think you could do well working with them.
But remember to be a freaking human being. Don’t pester and annoy them. Be pleasantly persistent.
This effort, done as I describe it, will get you far more clients for the amount of work involved than starting a daily email.
Now I will be a little bit more direct in answering the one question that was really featured.
Answering the question: how to build a list on a budget…
If you want to build a list on a budget, create engaging content. Not just engaging content. But content that is built to be engaging specifically to the ideal type of person you want on your list.
This, above all else, is the rule you should follow.
(e.g. If you read the above and you still want to create an email list for Facebook marketers looking for copywriters, make sure you create really relevant content for Facebook marketers looking for copywriters. What questions do they have? What challenges do they face? How can you help them through content, while keeping it interesting AND pointing them toward your service?)
If you create engaging content, people will want more. And so they will follow you. If email is one channel through which they can follow you, especially if signing up for your email comes with getting exclusive valuable content, you will get subscribers.
There are other ways.
You can also build a list at a profit, if you find a way to do it through offers and paid advertising. That’s not the traditional definition of on a budget, but it is actually a better way to build a list. And can be done on a budget that’s small at first and grows through success.
You may also be able to increase your reach by partnering with others. (Not me, as I do not accept guest content.) You can offer to provide content that includes a link back to your site, where people can register for your emails.
You can also leverage the audience of other platforms. So if you create really good YouTube videos, you could get a bunch of email subscribers through YouTube. Same with any other channel.
The key in building an audience through free content though, is that it is more a matter of consistency than anything else. You may find a handful of big successes. But most likely, with every piece of content you create, you will get a few more, and a few more, and a few more subscribers.
It’s only through time that it will grow into a significant audience.
In the meantime, if you are finding a way to monetize it, you can go with the much more efficient method of paying for traffic and making offers to get people onto your list.
I don’t know if this is the answer you expected, but it is the best I can give you. And it’s the answer that I would hope for from you if our roles were reversed.
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,
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