Episode 65. How to Build an Email List (with & without freebies!)
This episode is the first in a 2-part series on email lists. You can listen to part 2 here: Episode 67. The Online Coach’s Guide to What to Email Your List.
List building advice is everywhere these days—from putting pop-ups on your website to creating “opt-ins” that give people a reason to sign up—but most of them don’t actually help you figure out how to get people to give you their email address. People often give us these individually dialed-in tactics without providing the actual high-level strategies necessary to make email marketing work for your business.
In the first of a two-part series on email lists, we’re going to talk all about easy email list-building strategies that I’ve personally tried or seen with many others.
In this episode, you’ll hear…
Considering whether email is right for your business
How my email list journey started
The two roads to collect emails for your list
How to position your email newsletter as inherently valuable
Using freebies to attract newsletter subscribers
Where people go wrong with freebies
Actually getting people to your list
Q&A from Ultimate Bundle™️ members
If you’d like a shoutout (and a chance to win a $20 gift card), just leave a review on Apple Podcasts and send a screenshot of it to me on Instagram via DMs!
Why should I be building an email list? Isn’t social media enough?
There’s a common phrase in the internet marketing world: “Don’t build a house on borrowed land.” I’d take it one step further: Don’t build your house on a landslide. Social media is not nearly as effective as it was just a few years ago. Only a small percentage of your followers will actually see your content, even if you’re doing everything right. There are always going to be trends in business, but regardless of what’s hot at the moment, email has consistently been a strong approach for reaching your potential customers. Your email subscribers may be dwarfed by your social media following, but I can practically guarantee that many more of them are seeing what you have to say, reading what you write, and more importantly choosing to work with you when they get your emails.
Making your newsletter valuable to subscribers
So if email is a great way of reaching your customers, how do you get people to sign up for your newsletter—and how do you get them to stay? There are two main approaches: Providing value with your newsletter or creating an opt-in bonus. In both cases, you’re giving your subscribers something in exchange for allowing you to update them on what you’re offering. But with this first route, making your newsletter inherently valuable, you’re telling people that the content you provide is worth the admission. If you’re going this route, you want to be consistent, you should have your topics clearly defined, and you want to make sure you’re providing value quickly. This may be harder to get people on board, but in the long run, it’s much better at keeping them subscribed.
Creating a compelling freebie offer for new subscribers
The second method of getting people onto your list is to give them something for free—or rather, for the cost of signing up for your newsletter. This may take more work upfront, essentially making a product to give away rather than sell, but it can make for a compelling offer that gets a lot of people to sign up. You’ll want to make sure your freebie shows off your expertise, gives people a quick win, and sets them up for wanting to continue working with you. You do still have to make sure your emails are providing some value other than notifying customers of your offers, otherwise you will begin to lose subscribers.
We’ve talked about making your emails valuable, but what are you supposed to actually say? The next part of this series will be all about what to do once you have those emails and what you should send them.
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Resources Discussed in This Episode
- Get Sam’s Emails (+ Sam’s Sidebar, her free Legal Q&A for subscribers only!): samvanderwielen.com/easy-emails
- Pre Qualify Before they buy email templates: https://www.samvanderwielen.com/prequalify
- Legally Legit Guide: https://www.samvanderwielen.com/legally-legit-checklist/
- Episode 60. My Secret Success Strategy: Taking the 30000 ft View of Your Business
- Episode 67. The Online Coach’s Guide to What to Email Your List
- Karsen Murray: 5 Enticing Freebies to Grow Your Email List
- Copyhackers: How to Grow Your Email List
- Copyhackers: Definitive Guide to Email Marketing
- Build your Launch-Ready Email List blog post by Content Bistro
- E-commerce Email Marketing: The Ultimate Guide by Chris Orzechowski
- The Ultimate Bundle™
If you’re ready to legally protect and grow your online business today, save your seat in my free workshop so you can learn how to take the simple legal steps to protect the business you’ve worked so hard to build. Click here to watch the free workshop so you can get legally legit right now!
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:00:11] So I know by now you’ve probably heard like all these email list building strategies like do a pop up or like add options all over your website. But you’re like, I don’t understand. I still don’t understand how to build an email list. Like how do I get anybody to actually put their email in there, right?
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:00:25] I feel like this stuff is just like so dialed in in our industry and people don’t really give you great email list building strategies because they’re not thinking about it from a high-level marketing perspective.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:00:35] And that’s really my goal with this kind of two-part podcast series I’m hosting about email lists. So, today we are talking all about easy email list building strategies, things that I have tried in my own business, things I’ve seen with so many other people.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:00:51] And in part two of this episode that will come out on October 31st, I’ll share what to email your list because that’s usually the next question after how do I build it? So, I am really excited to chat with you all about email list today.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:01:03] In case you’re new here. Hey there. I’m Sam Vander Wielen. Welcome to On Your Terms. I’m an attorney turned entrepreneur. And in my day job, I help online coaches and service providers legally protect and grow their online businesses using my DIY legal templates and my ultimate bundle program.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:01:18] Here on the show each week, I bring you fresh tips on how to legally protect your business. But just like today, I also talk to you about how to actually grow our business on your terms. So, if you’re new around here too, or if you’ve been here for a while but you don’t know yet, every Thursday I have been doing a legal Q&A on my own email list and I would love to invite you to join us. So, essentially, one of my email list subscribers submits a legal question for me, and every Thursday I send out the answer.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:01:47] We’ve talked about things, everything from business insurance to scope of practice, to LLCs and sole props, to contracts and beyond. You can really easily get those legal Q&A series emails by signing up in the link below. You actually won’t get any massive marketing emails sent to you. You’ll just get signed up for my legal Q&A newsletter every Thursday called Sam’s Sidebar.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:02:10] Okay, before we hop into this week’s episode, I just have to give a shout out to Reading Bard, who left a review on Apple Podcasts of the Shell. Reading Bard said, “I just found you on YouTube and followed your podcast. And after just one episode, I know this will become a regular listening indulgence. Thanks for your practical, down to earth approach to the legal aspects of running a small business while somehow managing to make it fun to listen to.” Well, thank you so much, Reading Bard.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:02:35] You can leave a review in Apple Podcasts of my show, On Your Terms and you’ll be entered to win a $20 Starbucks gift card. All you have to do is leave a review on Apple. I pick a new winner every month. So be sure to submit your review now. I hope to give you a future shout out.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:02:50] So with that, let’s hop into the episode. I talked about in this episode how I built my own email list from zero to tens of thousands of people over many years. Don’t worry, I talked about really the two main, like what I call inroad strategies, to building an email list and what you really need to know about freebies in order to make them work.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:03:11] At the very end, I do share a little Q&A Series. A lot of people submitted questions about building email lists and freebies and all kinds of stuff, so I addressed all those at the end. I hope you love it. If you end up liking this episode, please text it to a friend. It means so much to me. Thank you so much for listening. Now go and enjoy the show.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:03:35] All right, so let’s talk email list building. I like – I wish you could like see the look on my face. I’m like giddy with excitement to be able to chat with you about this today because I freaking love email marketing. Not from like a weird like schemy way, but because I don’t – at least in my experience, I feel like the email list community is like one of the strongest parts of my business.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:03:58] And again, not from like a sales perspective, but I just feel like I get such like kind emails back and I feel like people share such interesting feedback and thoughts and their experiences and their stories from my emails. And it’s just different. Like it’s different than a DM or I don’t know, some other place where I hear from people all the time. And I just really love our email list.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:04:19] So, I don’t know, not to get all gushy and stuff, but I’m very excited. And I feel like this is an area where I really like dove in and tried to learn a lot about online business. And have like kind of made all the mistakes for you, but also have, you know, sharpened my elbows a little bit in this area too. So, I’m excited to chat with you about it.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:04:38] So, I feel like a lot of times people, you know, it’s been funny. Like I started my business in like 2016, 2017, emails were really popular. And then I feel like they got poo pooed on for a while. And now I feel like they’ve been, really popular again. Especially, because of like the uprising of things like, you know, paid newsletters through platforms like Substack and stuff like that.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:04:57] And I – just some kind of – I don’t know. I just feel like for myself, I’m just kind of like, oh, I was just doing it the whole time like, I don’t – I never stopped, right So, I think that there’s something to just like email marketing being a backbone and a workhorse of your business.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:05:14] And I don’t want you to pay attention so much in business as to like this is in and this is out. And no one cares about email, no one cares about websites, no one cares about blogs. Like I think that, first of all, you have to find like what you like to do, where your audience, and how your audience likes to consume content.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:05:32] And I also just think of like where it makes sense given what you talk about, right. So, like for what I talk about, I think things like this, like a podcast, talking about legal topics is a little bit easier to do an audio. Sometimes what I write about with lingual is easy to do in writing because I’m just giving you like tips and tricks and it’s like very digestible, right? But when there’s like more nuance, I like to do it through audio or video.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:05:56] So yeah, I just would consider that and kind of step out of the like rat race of like, is this popular anymore? Does anyone care about blogs? Like Google is my number 1 traffic driver. We drive a ton of traffic to my website from Google every single day. Since 2016 to today, it’s never changed. It’s only grown. So, like I don’t know what the proof is in the pudding, you know?
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:06:19] So, I feel like a lot of times people will ignore email marketing too because of, you know, the flashier stuff. Like it’s not as sexy. Like nobody knows how many followers you have or subscribers you have like you do on social media. And being, you know, so like only focused on the flashy stuff like social media, it just keeps you in this cycle.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:06:42] The social media platforms are constantly changing. I mean the platforms themselves are constantly changing, let alone like talk about flashy stuff. Like, are we supposed to be into Instagram anymore? I don’t know. Is it – is Instagram done, we’re all supposed to be running to TikTok? Like is TikTok going to crash and burn, who knows, right?
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:07:00] And it keeps you on this cycle of creating little bitsy pieces of content that don’t necessarily work for you. Like I want you to create more content that works for you. And we’ll talk about how your email is kind of plays into that. It also keeps you in this cycle of what I call toilet content. Maybe you’ve heard me refer to that before.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:07:21] But I don’t mean that your content is garbage, but what I mean is that you’re creating this content and it’s literally like pouring it down the toilet and flushing, right. It’s just like you do a story that has this, like brilliant tip in it for your audience and in 24 hours it’s gone. And unless you save that video and repurpose that video and use it somewhere else in your business, it’s gone.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:07:43] And a lot of – for a lot of people, that’s the only place that they’re doing stuff like that, right? Even like writing an incredible caption. It’s like Instagram’s like cool, will show it to 12 people for three and a half seconds, oops, it’s gone. And it’s not that the physical content is actually gone like stories, but your ability to really reach people is gone, right.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:08:02] So, I like the fact that when we talk about emails and other forms of content being more of your base content, like you know, you’ve heard me talk a lot about on the podcast about emails should be based content and then something like a podcast or a YouTube channel or blog post, right. That should be kind of the foundational content.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:08:22] And then from there, you can break it off and share on social media. So, let’s say you write this brilliant email to your email list. You can break that probably into many, many social posts, but at the very least you could break it into one.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:08:36] So, instead of focusing all your time and energy on social pills, let’s like, just all I’m asking is like shift your energy to something that’s a bit more foundational, that will work for you for the long haul and create a deeper connection, and you actually own, you know, the email list and that’s your customer contacts which are super valuable to a business, by the way.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:08:54] And then you can take that foundational content and go share it on these flashy, always changing algorithmic. Is that a word? Yeah, algorithmic platforms, right. So that’s a lot of what we’re going to talk about today.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:09:10] I think that you know my experience too, I feel like people spend more time worrying about what to write or like writing the right thing, then just getting started and practicing. And I know that that’s not like the sexiest advice or tip they – like nobody wants to hear, like just keep practicing, keep messing up.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:09:27] But I think with writing in particular, that really is what it takes. Especially if any of you came out of like a different background, like maybe you have different educational experience and like what you’re talking about now or different job experience. I know for me like beating the lawyer language out of me, right. I was kind of a – one time, this lawyer I worked for referred to my writing as flowery. So, I was a flowery writer, whatever that means.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:09:57] And then, you know, don’t worry, the law beat that out of me where I wrote really dry and I just write the facts, ma’am kind of thing. And then becoming a coach first and then, you know, an online legal templates entrepreneur, I learned how to write the way that I would talk to you, right. The way that if you just asked me a question, I would – this is how I would say. I wouldn’t say it like a robot. I wouldn’t be like dear sir or madam, you know. I would write the way that you and I would just sit down for coffee.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:10:27] And so – and that’s really what I want my brand to feel like. That’s my goal. That’s also just the goal for copywriting, right. It’s just like feeling like you’re getting a note from a friend. So, I do think that practice goes along way with that because maybe you do have to shift out of it or just maybe that’s not comfortable for you, right. It takes a lot of like unlearning and relearning.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:10:46] People also make a lot of mistakes when it comes to freebies. And so, we’re going to talk about that in detail today. I actually asked my ultimate bundle members if they had any questions about building an email list. And almost all of the questions that everyone submitted, which I’ll share at the end, were about freebies. So, I’m excited to dive into that.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:11:05] So, when I started my business back in 2016, I did what I think a lot of people do, and very stupidly through all my family and friends on an email list, right. So, I was like – I think I’ve used MailChimp for about four and a half minutes. And then I almost immediately went to ConvertKit. And I feel like ConvertKit was like pretty new at that time. I’m not sure but it felt pretty new.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:11:26] And I remember like I transferred all of the contacts over and I started using ConvertKit. That’s still what I use, 2022 and that’s still what I use today. I love it. I will share the link below for you to have access to a free, like a free trial that they have now.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:11:49] So that if you don’t – you know, if you like MailChimp because they have a free option, ConvertKit has that now too. So, I’ll share my affiliate link below. But I set myself up on ConvertKit and I started emailing my family and friends. Now, at that time, I was starting a health coaching business, but it was a great way to just like, get in the habit and make a commitment to write.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:12:02] My friend, my coach, my colleague, Jen Diaz, she’s a mindset and success coach, she talks about just like getting in the habit of writing and how like she helps people with – to like achieve their version of success, right, and defining what that means. And one of the things that she’s talked to me a lot about is like how committing to something and then like showing up is like how we actually build confidence in ourselves.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:12:26] And I didn’t do this on purpose at the time, but I look back now and I’m like, oh, by committing to doing this once a week and emailing them every Monday or whatever day you pick, I didn’t realize it then, but what I was really doing was establishing this trust in myself. I was also practicing. And it made me feel comfortable, right. And so, I also got into the habit of feeling like I was writing to family and friends because I was.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:12:50] So, it kind of helped me to start off this like tone, this friendly tone that, you know, that’s what I want to carry over, even when I hoped that one day it wouldn’t just be my family and friends. And I’m sharing that because a lot of people submitted questions being like, what do I do when I’m starting from zero? So, I just wanted to talk about that.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:13:09] Eventually, you know, when I started my legal templates business, I created my first freebie, which back then the hot thing to do is create like really in-depth guides. So, I created the legally legit guide a million years ago. I actually still have it and I recently updated it big time. I’ll share the link below in case anyone is trying to legally protect their business, but that was my first freebie.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:13:30] I added a signup sheet for my in-person workshops when I was hosting workshops. I would teach legal workshops at conferences, or I would do things in Philly like different entrepreneurs would host things and I would go there.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:13:43] And I would always bring with me – like I would look up on Canva like email list, signup sheet or signup sheet or something like this, I would slap my logo on it and print it out and bring it with me. And literally, just have like the person’s name, email, and then I would have like a little check box that said, “Is it okay if I add you to my email list?” which is not necessarily the recommended. Like it’s not the best like marketing way of like making your email list sound great. But honestly, I think when you go to in-person stuff, everybody wants to keep in touch with you after because they probably have learned something from.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:14:12] I then started sharing tips on social that like led to my freebie. So, essentially, you know, my legally legit guide has like five or six parts. And so, I would create social content from those five or six parts so that it would directly make sense to now like, okay, you want to learn more, and I’ll go get my guide.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:14:28] And for the last five, six years, I just kept emailing. I kept emailing and emailing and emailing. I’ve never missed a week in over five years. I was always vulnerable and honest with them because again, I kind of maintained this like, hey, it’s all friends here. Even as the numbers crept up and I started to be like, oh, actually, we’re not all – you’re not all like, in real life, friends anymore, right, where all these people don’t have my last name. Even when people started writing back some pretty dang mean stuff, right, I was just like, oh, it’s not just my aunts and my cousins anymore, right.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:15:06] But I kept focusing on community and engagement. And my email list is super engaged. So, you know, yes, we have tens and tens of thousands of people on it, which is super nice. But the – what’s more important to me is like a lot of people open them and a lot of people respond, which is really, really important.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:15:23] It’s also okay and like normal, I think, by the way, that if you send out a lot of emails and you’re like, man, I feel like no one cares, no one’s reading this, blah blah, blah. There are a lot of lurkers out there because a lot of times people will respond to my emails and be like, “I’ve been on your emails for five years and I just want to let you know I love them” and I’ve never heard from them before. And so just don’t, you know, let that get to you too much.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:15:44] Once I started Facebook ads, I feel like a ton more people started coming into my list. And what happened on my end was that I shifted for the first time, and I got sort of like I would say safe. Like I was like, okay, I’m going to just start emailing them like, “Hey, Lindsey. I have a new podcast episode this week. In this podcast episode, you Learn A, B, and C. Have a great week. Bye bye”, right.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:16:08] And I just started to get very nervous because one thing that happens, not only when your business starts to grow a lot, but when you start running Facebook ads too, you start getting a lot of feedback. And you start getting a lot of feedback from people who aren’t familiar with your brand yet, right.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:16:25] So, in the old days, in the olden days, when I would just like be on Instagram or something, someone probably followed you for a while, they get to see you, hear you, yada, yada. If they chose to get your freebie and get on your email list, they kind of knew you already. But nowadays, we see this like rapid acceleration of people, like a lead generation of people just like opting in and then getting my emails and then they’re angry and they hate you and you’re like, wait, who are you? And they don’t know you and it’s just this whole mess, right.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:16:54] But a couple of months ago, I had a breakthrough moment. Several months ago now, I had a breakthrough moment where I was like, you know what, I need to go back to how I used to do this, which was like storytelling, and tip driven, and legal tip driven, and the emails themselves are valuable, and they’re not just letting people know about this stuff and like about the podcast or whatever. And I’m going to do it in like a super different way. And I’m going to add a legal Q&A every Thursday called Sam’s Sidebar, serving up legally legit tips since 2017, which I did.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:17:24] And now, people love that people. That’s really like taken on. And it really drove up the value of my email list again. It drove up engagement. And I even started experimenting with something that I would talk to you a little bit about today, which was like a – what I’m calling an easy email list signup internally, which is just like allowing people to join my email list because my email list itself is valuable versus having to go through a freebie or having to go through some huge, long email drip marketing campaign.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:17:54] I’ve been testing that for several months. It’s going really well so far, but we’ll talk about it a little bit more. Okay. So, here’s kind of my, like, big picture perspective on building your email list. Essentially, in my mind, there are kind of like two roads in, to your email list.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:18:12] The first is that the email itself is the value. But there’s a huge but here and we’re going to talk about that in a second. The second road in, in my opinion, is that the person joining your email list gets something valuable in exchange for their email address going onto your email list. So, they get some sort of freebie something, right.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:18:36] That – those are kind of the two roads in as to how you can collect and build email list strategies. Now, the ways that you do that, whether it’s through pop-ups or challenges or freebies and all different kinds of stuff, right, having opt-ins all over your website are all different, you know, tactics, I guess. But sometimes I feel like the strategy behind it, like the big picture marketing strategy just gets lost in being like throw up a pop-up, you know. That’s – it’s not just a pop up, there’s a lot more that goes to this.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:19:07] In my mind, one of the things that you have to kind of shift in your mind or step into if you’re doing this for the first time, if you really want to build your email list, is that you have to start thinking about your business big picture. Like the 30,000 foot view, that I talked about in Episode 60 of On Your Terms where I talked about taking the 30,000 foot view of your business.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:19:29] I think that you have to start thinking about the fact that all roads lead to your email list. Like, the goal of pretty much every piece of marketing thing that you create is to get people to your email list. And then from there, we have a bunch of goals beneath that, right. You want to get into your emails and then obviously we want to do something about that. We want to nurture and we then obviously want them to convert at some point if it’s right for them and it’s right for you and all that good stuff. But all roads have to lead there.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:19:56] So, you create a piece of content on Instagram, the call to action is a lead magnet to your email list. You have a podcast, and you film a podcast episode, you have a commercial for something that once they join it, they end up on your email list. You have a website, you’ve got opt-ins all over it, right. You run a challenge, it’s to make sure that you have people sign up so that you’re collecting their email address. You’re not just having them join a Facebook group or something like that.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:20:22] So, it really just has to become a priority in your mind. I feel like that’s like the first piece is just this level of awareness of like every time you think of an idea of like, oh, I’m going to run this challenge or I’m going to create this video series, how can I benefit my email list? How am I capturing this for my email list, right? That really just has to become part of the deal.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:20:42] So, let’s talk about – remember, I talked about the two roads. Like road number one is that the email itself is the value. Road two is that they get something valuable in exchange for joining your list.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:20:52] Let’s talk about road number one. Let’s talk about when the email itself is the value. So, what I’m talking about is like join my email list because I sent – like this is not how I would say it, by the way, but I’m just – you and me we’re just talking. So, it’s like when you’re saying like join my email list because this email is amazing, like the email itself has value in it, like I’m going to email you about awesome stuff that’s going to be super helpful for your life, your business, your relationships, your career.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:21:20] So, I think that one thing that is helpful when you’re going to focus on the email itself being the value and you’re going to use that to drive leads and people opting in to join your email list, is that you have to almost like name it or establish like the email in some way, right. It has to be something that’s like consistent and almost have like a theme or vibe to it.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:21:48] So, I just brought up my example. This is a good example. So, every Thursday, I email my list a legal Q&A. That’s essentially what it is, right. So, essentially, like people on my email list can submit questions to me and then I answer them in an email every Thursday called Sam’s Sidebar, serving up legally legit tips since 2017. I just always have to read the subtitle because, the tag line, because I just love it.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:22:14] So, I, you know, it has like a name. But also, within the name, it’s describing to you what you’re going to get. So instead of me saying to somebody, “Hey, Sarah. Join my email list.” Instead, it was like, “Hey, did you know that every Thursday I answer a legal question from the audience, and you get the answer on things like business insurance?” or “Last week, I wrote to someone about scope of practice, somebody submitted a question about scope”, or “It’s where I’ve always shared my tips about how to read contracts other people send you”, like – or something like that, right. You could give them examples of prior emails or give them examples of prior topics you’ve tackled in those emails, something like that.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:22:55] I think the more you can almost create the same sort of like theme around it, it would be really helpful. We really, you know, the point of all this is that we have to give people a reason to be there. What value do they get from your email? What’s in it for them? I mean that is a covering to 101 is always like what’s in it for them, what’s in it for them? Why should they care? That is always in the back of my mind.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:23:18] A lot of times I go and I write something, even as simple as like a caption on one of my Instagram stories and I’m like, nope, that doesn’t make sense because that’s just me describing it, or it’s me describing why I care about it but that’s not why they should care about it or it’s not what they care about this thing, right.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:23:35] So, that’s why we don’t use things like sign up for my newsletter, because that benefits you. But what’s in it? How does that help me? Why should I join your newsletter? But if instead you say join my newsletters, you can get ten recipes a week delivered straight to your inbox. I’m like, what? I can get ten recipes a week, I need that, I want that, right.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:23:58] So, that’s for me. I want the recipes. Not join my newsletter or be the first to hear about my podcast episode when it goes out. No, that’s about me. That’s helping me, you know, just like promote my own podcast episode. But instead of telling people, you’ll be the first one to hear about my podcast episodes that drop that are full of legal tips for your online business, blah blah blah, something like that, right.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:24:21] I would probably phrase it even better than that, but the point is just that you have to get in this mindset of like shifting everything to be about the other person and not about what this is for you or just merely descriptive. The email itself just has to have independent value.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:24:37] And so I think creating some sort of expectation around this like it comes every week, this is a Q&A Tuesday, this is something that goes out every Friday. I have a bunch of emails that I’m – that I subscribe to that I get like – I know like when I get them. Like this one by Leslie Stevens, who used to be a blogger for Cupcakes & Cashmere. She shares like links, some recommendations, the things she loves, it comes out every Tuesday morning. I think it’s even called Tuesday morning or something about mornings. I forget.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:25:06] But the point is like, look, I know. I know it comes out the first thing Tuesday morning. Comes out real early and I always look forward to sitting down with my coffee and I read it every single week, right. I know about other people who email Sunday nights and I always look forward to like looking through all their links and recipes and things they share.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:25:23] So, I think something around creating this consistency, this theme, give them a reason to expect it. Now, here’s where I really need you to dig deep, though. All right. We got to have like a friend-to-friend conversation here. If you have two people on your email list, I still need you to send this out whenever you’ve committed to doing this. You’re never going to get from 2 to 200 to 2000 to 200,000 without passing all of those along the way, without showing up consistently and doing this always.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:25:55] No, I’m not – you know me, I’m not talking about like something, you know, horrific happens in your life or you need a break, you’re really burnt out. Please, do whatever you need for you, but what I am saying is like don’t – please do not stop emailing them because you say I only have two people. I don’t know what to say. I feel like I’ve already said this. Please keep emailing.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:26:17] And we’re going to talk about like strategies of things that you can email. I actually have an episode coming out for you. Episode 67 of my podcast will come out on Halloween Day actually, October 31st. And in that episode, I’m just going to focus on what to write to your email list so you have that coming for you.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:26:34] But even so, I mean, I could talk to you all day long about, like, what to write to your email list. I’m sure you have like boundless ideas. I hope you do. Anything that comes up in conversation with customers, react to something you don’t agree with. Share how you’ve walked the walk. I love those kinds of emails. Share about something you’ve already gone through, processed and done differently that – and what the lesson is in it for them, right. Like there’s so much that you can write about. There’s so much.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:27:03] But please just do me a favor and like, keep going, keep doing it, because that is the only way to build this in the long term. Even if you have one person and they have your last name, please keep doing it.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:27:18] Have you ever felt lost about where to begin with the legal side of protecting your online business? Some people say you can just wing it at the beginning and get officially set up later. Not a good idea by the way. Whether you’re afraid to even start working with clients because you don’t want to do something wrong legally and then get in trouble or your business is growing, and you sort of forgot to take care of the legal pieces, I’ve got you.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:27:40] I don’t want you to live in fear of the Internet police coming after you and your business, but you do have to do certain things and get certain things in place in order to legally and safely run your business online. As much as it just feels like an unregulated wild wild west online, that is very much not the case.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:27:57] As an attorney turned entrepreneur and former corporate litigator, I can assure you that there are rules. There are real steps that everybody who runs or starts an online business needs to take. And you’re not behind at all. We can get you set up and following the rules right away. In fact, we can even do it today.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:28:14] I want to teach you the five very simple steps to take to legally protect and grow your online business. You don’t need an MBA to be a successful entrepreneur and stay out of legal hot water, but you do need to dot your legal Is and cross your Ts in a few key areas that can’t be skipped.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:28:28] That’s exactly what I’ll teach you in my free one-hour legal workshop called Five Steps to Legally Protect and Grow Your Online Business. Just head to mylegalworkshop.com, drop in your email address, pick the time, and I’ll send you a link to watch the workshop video whenever you have time.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:28:43] This is the best place to begin if you’re just getting started legally legitimizing your business. So, head on over to mylegalworkshop.com and sign up to watch Five Steps to Legally Protect and Grow Your Online Business now.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:28:59] All right. So, now we have to shift gears. We have to talk about scenario number two, the road number two, which was that the person gets something valuable in exchange for joining your email list. So, typically this is in the form of some sort of freebie.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:29:11] Freebies can be many, many, many different things. They don’t have to be guides. They don’t have to be webinars. I just think there’s so many different ways that you can do this.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:29:20] So, here’s the deal with freebies. Freebies, in general, I think the biggest thing that I’ve learned about them is that the best freebies, the ones that really rack up a lot of email list subscribers, which by the way is not always the goal. You want to get like the right people and all that kind of stuff. But the ones that really will get a lot of signups are no brainer, easy, quick wins. Something that’s somebody not only from the title and the description of this freebie, but something that like when the person actually opens the freebie, they get something like very tangible, that’s very implementable, very easy win.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:29:57] And that can mean something so different for you based on what you do. So that I could come up with eight million examples, right, of like things from recipes to like a resume outline or template or something like this, like something that’s just so easy to implement. I think it’s helpful to teeter on the – I think like the freebies that I’ve had that have been the most successful are things that teeter on the like I feel like I should charge for this sort of thing.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:30:24] So, if you have something in your mind that you’re like, you know, the next time you come up with an idea of some sort of resource or template, people love templates like calendars, downloadable things, if you have that kind of thing and you’re like, should I make this like a $9 product or $20 product? For me, that would be like a no brainer freebie that you would turn into.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:30:44] I had this last year when I had this idea to give people my pre-qualify before they buy email templates. So, these are a set of three templates that I’ll link to below that are free. It’s a freebie for my business. That you get these email templates to send – to set up in your like calendar scheduling thing when people book a call with you, to set out to those people to pre-qualify them before you ever even get on the phone. It leads to less people wanting to pick your brain, less people who just never intended to buy, and more people who are warm and ready to purchase.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:31:20] So, this is something like super easy for me to throw together. It was something I considered making a product, a digital product. But I also just felt like this was a great easy win for people to have like these email templates that you can literally copy and paste and use as your own. And a lot of people have grabbed these. I hope you grab them if you haven’t already. But something that kind of teeters on that like, should I charge for this, I think it’s helpful.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:31:44] Now, in terms of ideas, I mean the list is endless. You could do things like checklists. I think checklists are pretty cool, but they have to be helpful, right. They really want to like help. Again, has to be quick win. A calendar, I love like the idea of like a self-care calendar
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:31:59] Like I love the idea, if you did – if you were like a self-care coach and you every month like gave out these pack of calendar or if you signed up for your email list, then every month you sent me a calendar with ideas of little self-care tips beyond taking a bath, I think that’s so cool. And you could like theme them to the months and the seasons and all that kind of stuff.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:32:18] Recipes are huge, you know. Again, if you’re a coach, you’re not allowed to tell people like what to eat in terms of like the amount and the time, and don’t eat this and eat that. But you can give people recipes and Ardys obviously can give people recipes. So, I think like that is such an easy win if you’re helping people with that, if you’re helping people with food.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:32:39] And you can make the recipes very specific to the kinds of people you help. Like are they all one pot recipes? Are they all the kinds of recipes that are like done in 30 minutes or less? Are they all vegan recipes? Are they all high protein? Like, whatever it is that you help people with, I feel like that is a super easy win.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:32:59] I think things like prompts are really helpful too for those of you who maybe are more in like the life coaching, mindset coaching realm. People love prompts. People love journal exercises, guides, like kind of walk you through processing something. I think that’s really helpful.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:33:16] If I were you and I did something on the more like techie creative side, I’d probably do something like a tutorial through like a screen share video like a Loom. I think like a Loom could be really cool. You could do a template like my email templates that I have. But you can do all different kinds of templates, resume templates, email templates, Canva templates, there are all kinds of things, screen share videos and tutorials.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:33:39] And then obviously there are things like bigger things that are really high value freebies like video lessons which you can either do like a one-time video lesson or video series that’s stripped out. One thing that I really love is a secret podcast episode. I think that’s really cool.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:33:57] If you have a podcast, I think what like a smart way to have a freebie would be like get this secret podcast episode that’s not around. Then, one thing I would do is then turn that into a marketing campaign. Like I’ll nurture after that to let people know about my podcast, right. That would be really smart.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:34:14] But also, I think like in that podcast episode itself, you could probably pitch your product or let people know about like the next step that they should take or something like that. But I think like an unlisted podcast episode could be really cool.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:34:28] I also think there’s a lot that you can do around audio, depending on what you do. Like a visualization or meditation. Personally, I feel like I’ve been like looking for this. I haven’t seen anybody doing this as a freebie. I’m absolutely positive it exists. I just don’t come across it that much. But I feel like if anybody does that in their business, can you please start doing meditation or visualization audios that’s your freebie? I think that’s like such a smart thing.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:34:54] And then if you had like an app that you set up or a membership site, like that’s just such an easy like, oh, I get your freebie of your visualization. I love it. Oh, you have like a membership site where you have all your visualizations, that makes sense to me. So that’s what I would do personally.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:35:10] And then, you know, the old standby, the old Mac Daddy is the webinar. So, I have this with the Five Legal Steps to Protect Your Online Business. Obviously, lots and lots of people do this.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:35:21] Webinar is a great way to, I think, like nurture people who are very like interested in what you’re teaching about and probably also need your offer, right. And it gives them really the time to like learn from you and get to know you and really see your teaching style and see if this is something that they need and also gives you this opportunity to pitch your product at the end.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:35:45] There’s a lot of nuance to webinars. They have to be done right. I mean, we put an insane amount of research into like everything down to the title, to the tagline, to the branding, to the teaching points, to the voice of customer, to the testimonials that we share. I’m very, very strategic about what I share. In what order and why? There’s so much to it.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:36:09] Mine is still very highly converting. I know that there’s a lot of talk about in the industry about like webinars don’t work anymore. But going back to the beginning of the episode, it’s like, I don’t know, we have to just sometimes put a little bit of that aside.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:36:23] I would say that webinars are not working the way they used to, in my opinion. They’re not working like the same webinars that we did the same way or not working in the same way. That’s kind of how I would put it. And I think maybe it’s even just some of the, like, marketing stuff that goes around webinars too, like the emails that go out and just the way it’s marketed and talked about.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:36:47] I think personally for me this has just been like a year of diversifying a bit more and not relying on any one thing, whether that’s a webinar or Facebook ads or Instagram strategy or email marketing. I’ve just diversified and gone back to a bit more of my foundational roots and remove some of the shoulds. Like you should never let someone join your email list without sending them a million emails after to like nurture them. I’m testing that and I’m seeing that it’s okay. So, you know, that’s what I kind of have to say about webinars. I know people ask about that.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:37:21] I think when it comes to any of these freebies that we just talked about, the place that most people go wrong is that the freebies are way too overloaded. And I don’t necessarily mean that from the perspective of like you gave too much value away for free because I don’t really believe in that. I mean unless you literally gave your product away for free, I think that people still probably need you.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:37:45] But it’s like when there’s too much in a freebie, it’s too overwhelming, and because of that, they don’t have that quick win, that tangible takeaway that we talked about. So, if you can maybe pair it down, right, take some stuff out of it, give people more of that tangible win, and then encourage them to share about that with their peers, that’s probably not only a good way to make the people happy who joined, but also to get a lot of referrals.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:38:14] So, I think you also need something that’s kind of easy to explain, right. Like not something that’s really complicated. Or sometimes I hear people describe like the title of their freebies and I’m like, but what’s the takeaway? What’s the benefit? What is that little like quick win that I’m going to get from that?
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:38:33] Like one I just thought of was like three weeknight recipes you make with no cooking skills, right. And so, first of all, you told me that I was going to get three weeknight recipes, which I feel like kind of connotes they’re going to be a little bit easier, usually a little easier to clean up, a little bit faster cooking time.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:38:48] But you also told me I don’t need to have any cooking skills, which was probably one of my objections when you initially told me I’ll give you these recipes and I thought, I can’t cook. Obviously, we all know this is not for me because I love cook – I’m not saying I have cooking skills, but I love to cook so I’m not tooting my own cooking horn.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:39:07] But I think that’s like a great example where you told me who it’s for and what the tangible takeaway is. And then when I open up this freebie, there’s like three Super easy implementable weeknight recipes, you know. You could go even deeper with this and make them all vegetarian or like, you know, whatever it is that you do for people, right. So, I think something that’s very easy to explain would be helpful
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:39:31] The very last but probably the biggest issue that I see when it comes to bad freebies is that they don’t lead to anything that you actually do or like have to offer, right? So, I’m a big fan of reverse engineering a lot in life in general. And I like to start out with the product that you’re trying to lead to or the service in your case, and then kind of back out.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:39:55] Like so based on – like, let’s say you’re trying to fill seats in a group program and or online course, right. And you’re like you teach these five things, just like there are five sections of your course. And so then I would kind of back out and say what’s like one easy very early on thing that somebody would have to overcome before they would even be ready to do this, right. And I would probably make that my freebie.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:40:23] And so that when I make my freebie is a very natural transition that the person who would want my freebie would want my product or service, right. And so, a lot of times what I see is that there’s just some disjointment there where people will create this freebie. And then it’s like they’re on your list and then you don’t email them that much. And then you rolled over and you have a million different offers and all these things. But instead let’s like pair down the offers, reverse engineer the offers to like what would make sense for somebody to opt in about, right, and get them to your email list.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:40:57] So, you know, we’ve talked about so much today. Part two, my episode is Episode 67, it’s going to be about what to email them, which is great. But I know like you might still be thinking like I don’t know how do I – but how do I get people to my list? Like I get that the freebie is the way I get to my list, but how do I do it?
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:41:15] That’s kind of what I was saying is like there are all these – there are tons of different ways. And I’m going to drop some resources for you below. I use Copyhackers a lot, actually, for my own – like I’ve talked about this a lot, that working with my own copywriting skills, I think is one of the best investments that I’ve made in the business. I don’t mean actual literal money. I’ve done a lot of time and reading and just practicing. Honestly, it’s just been more writing and writing and writing, writing things that flopped, writing things that didn’t.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:41:46] And so, I go to Copyhackers’ website a lot to learn more about the strategy and the psychology of writing and tips in different ways you can structure things. So, I’m going to drop some stuff for you below. You know, there are many people who teach this on a, you know, I guess a higher level than me. And they’ll tell you like create a freebie, do a pop-up, have a hello bar on your site like I do. Or you know, make sure there are opt-in boxes all over your websites or make sure it’s in your Instagram link, mention it on Instagram.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:42:18] I think that’s all great and I think you’re more than capable of coming up with the ideas of like where to stick this in your business. But if you don’t think about the thing that you’re offering – like you can create a pop-up and if your freebie sucks or doesn’t quickly explain what the quick win is going to be up or it doesn’t lead to anything, then it’s not going to help your business anyway.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:42:40] So I didn’t want to bore you or waste your time telling you create a pop-up, right. It’s like come on, yeah, we know that but like if the pop-up is annoying then, first of all, people are also going to leave your site which I don’t want to do either. And maybe you don’t even have a website.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:42:56] So, I hope that this was a little bit like of a different way of talking about this today. This is one of my favorite topics in the whole wide world. So, I hope you’ll reach out to me and let me know. But before you go, we have Q&As, a little Q&A time. So, we had a lot of questions submitted from my ultimate bundle members and I’m thinking that maybe you have these same questions too.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:43:18] So, Diana submitted a question, said tips on how to capture emails besides creating a freebie. I sort of have an idea but could still use more ideas. I also have this feeling that people don’t want to be bothered with more emails since they have so many and I’m afraid to ask.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:43:32] So, I’m so glad you asked this, Diana. I would say that the very first thing that we have to talk about is that if you feel like you’re bothering people when you email them, then they might feel bothered, right. I think if you focus on creating valuable emails, you have to start working on this idea that you’re providing a lot of value in your – in this email and your business and wherever else you are posting out stuff in your business. If that person who’s on the receiving end of the email, the DM, the Instagram story, whatever, doesn’t find you valuable, it’s on them to go. You’re not responsible for that, right.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:44:12] So, if somebody is feeling bothered by your emails, there is an unsubscribe button at the bottom and they can bye-bye, they can go, right. But we can’t focus our attention on that person or never going to talk to the people who are like, dang, Diana’s emails are so valuable, right.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:44:30] So, focus on the value. You have so much to offer. You know so much about what you teach people. So, I want you to first like work on it with yourself because you cannot like approach this from a place of like, “Oh man, I don’t want to bother you”. It has to be like, “Yeah, I have a lot to offer”.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:44:47] And it’s okay if it doesn’t work for you. That’s totally your choice. I’m not for everybody or maybe you just don’t need me right now. You know, totally fine. But there are a lot of people who do, and you’ve got to focus on them.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:44:58] In terms of tips of how to capture emails besides creating a freebie, I think I mentioned a couple today. But like I know you Diana especially are doing some like in-person stuff so that’s one way. Having this like what I call the email list signup thing where people can directly enter your list is helpful. But again, like I talked about today, that’s like the road number one, you have to focus on the email being valuable. So, you kind of have to give it some sort of theme. That’s what I could think of.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:45:24] All right, Morgan asked, “How much information to give away in a freebie? How in depth should it be? What should I do with them after? Is it okay to throw them into weekly emails after this? Or should we be sending a series of emails after the freebie to kind of ease them into a weekly newsletter?”
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:45:39] Okay, great. So, Morgan, this was such a good question. And I don’t think you should get to hung up on how much information you give away in a freebie. I also don’t think it should be super in depth, not because you want to be nervous about giving away information, but because we want it to be implemented.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:45:56] So, focus more on what is a quick win, what is something that’s valuable. You have like a unique way of putting it or a method of how you help people with something. Just focus on that.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:46:08] In terms of after, you know, traditionally the thing to do is to throw people into what we call a nurture sequence, which is a series of emails that would let people know about like who you are, what your brand is, what you do, address some common questions, like set expectations.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:46:25] And I still do that sometimes. And sometimes, I lead them to another freebie that’s like a bit more of a buy in, like a webinar. So, if they opted into like a guide or a checklist, maybe we nurture them and send them to a webinar. Sometimes though, it’s more that they just enter into my weekly newsletter, my weekly email list.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:46:46] You know, I think it’s helpful to let people know about like who you are, what you do first at the very least. I would have a couple of emails that follow up, first of all, about the freebie, ask them questions. The key after somebody gets onto your list too is to establish this kind of like habit of like, “Hey. This isn’t a one-sided communication. Let me know. Like, what did you think about that?” Or “Did you cook one of those recipes yet? Hit reply and let me know which one did you like best.”
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:47:13] Like that’s what I would do. I would kind of focus on getting them at the very least, to respond to you, to start engaging to let them, you know, let you know a little bit of something about them. I would focus on that right afterwards.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:47:27] I think the reason that I was able to start recently this like easy email list signup where people just joined, and I didn’t like nurture them is because the business is much more established. It’s been a long – it’s been around for a long time. My email list have been around for a long time. So, I’ve even seen a lot of people come back to the list that way, right?
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:47:46] And so, I would say that like I want to preface my advice by saying that it’s a lot easier to do once you’ve been more established to just be like, hey, come on in because there are like nine million places for you to go to get more information about what I do. So that’s – hopefully, that’s helpful.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:48:03] Katie asked how effective are printable guides these days as freebies? What, in your view, is the most effective type of freebie currently, a printable or a master class?
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:48:13] So, Katie, that’s a really good question. Personally, I like the idea of having both like or different kinds of freebies to hit different learning styles and different people on different journeys.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:48:24] So, for me, like having a simple checklist that gives you an easy win is really great for somebody who’s maybe a little bit earlier on and really needs that 30,000-foot view. Whereas for me, having more of like a webinar master class situation is for the serious person who’s invested and is going to take the time for an hour to sit down, watch this and then maybe they’re really ready to work with me.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:48:50] So, I would think about doing, you know, both if you could. Hopefully, that’s a possibility. And I think that guides can be really effective. I just think people make them way too long. Again, not from a value perspective, but from the lack of like what do I get from this? How – like did I actually implement this or did it just clog up my inbox kind of thing?
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:49:12] Alisa asked, I would love to hear some tips on how to get your email list started when it’s completely from zero. Where do you even begin?
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:49:18] So yeah, Alisa, that’s a good question because it’s really intimidating when you really are starting from scratch, right? So, I would actually start with creating a freebie of some sort. And I think I would focus less on getting it right or making it perfect then just starting out.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:49:36] And then you have to talk about it a lot. So, you have to commit to actually talking about it on social media. Or if you have a podcast or YouTube channel, you have to talk about it there. If you’re in groups, you have to talk about it there.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:49:49] I mean, in the beginning of my business, I was even like cold emailing or not cold emailing. Like I was emailing people that I knew to say hey I created this resource, if you think it would be helpful for you. Or if you think that this would be helpful for your students, would you share about it? And the better that your resource actually is like that if it’s actually helpful to other people, people will want to share it who are in shoulder industries to you, right.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:50:12] So, for me, maybe I’d send it to like a business coach or a copywriter or something like this, who would then share it with their audience because a legal tip is going to be helpful to their audience. So, the better that you can make your freebie, I think the more that other people want to share as well.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:50:29] Trisha asked, I don’t even know what I need to know. I’m brand, brand new. What are some of the traps to avoid, and what did you learn not to do?
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:50:37] So, Trish, I learned not to stop emailing. I think that was a very good lesson that even when I thought like something wasn’t helpful or valuable, I often was surprised to learn that other people found it helpful and valuable. I learned to not take the like the you out of emails I would say as well.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:51:01] And so, I’d say one trap to avoid is like dialing it in or saying like – keeping your emails very boring and saying like this week new podcast episode is on this, this and this, right. And allowing some of your personality to show, sharing stories that are relevant to whatever you’re going to teach them.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:51:20] I think, you know, people also avoid, like they have the trap of thinking that some people are good writers, and some people are bad writers or like that one day, magically, they’re going to like something is going to happen or they can buy a course that’s going to make them a good writer, but in fact I think it’s just a heck of a lot of practice, to be honest.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:51:39] And starting to let down like your inhibitions a little bit about like, oh, I have to be so put together and I have to sound this way and I don’t know what they think of me. Instead, I think just continuing to write, owning up when if you do stumble a little bit and then keep going. Yeah, that’s what I would say.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:51:55] All right, last but not least. Gila said, when to build your email list and what needs to be in place before you do. I’m worried about prematurely starting to build and not having enough content already available or confidence that I can generate it consistently.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:52:10] That’s a really good question. So, for me, I would say to build your email list as early as you possibly can because of a lot of what we’ve talked about today, you’re never – like there’s not going to be a point when you wake up and have a thousand person email list. Like, you know, I know you know this, but it’s like you have to do like one, two, three, four, five, six. Like you’re going to go all the way. So, that’s how you have to start, because otherwise you’re never going to get there.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:52:34] So, personally I would start early because it’s also cool that like when you start early, your messier stuff is like shown to fewer people. That’s the big upside, right. So, I don’t think that there’s any like worry about when to start.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:52:50] In terms of prematurely starting to build and not having enough content, I think I would just think about what I’m talking about. If you know what your offers are going to be, then start writing about that. Or you know about the topic that you’re going to help people within your business, you have to start, first of all, learning your voice about how to talk about what you do. But you also have to start establishing yourself as an authority.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:53:11] If you commit to something that’s doable, I think that’s more important than I have to email my list twice a week. Like if every other week, one time sounds like, okay, I can nail that. Every two weeks, I send out one email right now, that’s great, right.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:53:27] For me, I do two and I can do that, but that’s – it’s also like I also really look forward to writing those emails. I’m always like searching my Asana tasks to be like when do I get to write emails again? But I just really love it.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:53:40] And so, I think like it’s just like a workout routine or something like that. You have to kind of pick a routine that you feel like you can nail because that’s how you’re going to build that confidence right now of like, oh, I can write an email every two weeks.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:53:52] Also, for all of you start, you know, a list on your phone, your iPhone note, wherever you like to do this and write everything down. Even if you think that it’s not going to matter. You know, I have – let me open mine up actually. I’ll open this up right now.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:54:08] Yeah, okay. So, I just opened my ideas list in Asana and I have like the most random stuff in here. It’s like you don’t have to teach everything you learn. We pay more attention to who doesn’t show up than who does. Taking things in without putting anything out. I don’t know what that means. Dumpster fire series, that’s an idea.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:54:26] I just have all these like random things in here. And you know, I usually make some more notes in the description section in Asana so I know what the heck I was talking about. But that is one way that I’ve really helped to like, I had this, I saw this thing on TV, or I saw something in an ad when I was out. And then I thought, hey, that’s kind of like when this happens to my customers, right. Or that reminds me of the way that people think about LLCs or something like this. I just make a note of it and then that becomes an email.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:54:57] And I have thousand – I mean I have thousands of these things, like just random things, little stories. You can take notes on stories that come up throughout your day, anything like that.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:55:07] All right. So that was the end of our Q&A. I hope you liked this episode. If you did like this episode, do me a favor real quick, if you could just text this episode to a friend. Send them the link, let them know about this episode, let them know about our podcast.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:55:20] Obviously, if you haven’t left a review yet, it would be so helpful for us, if you do that. And hopefully, I get to give you a shout out on a future episode. Send me a DM on Instagram, @samvanderwielen. Let me know if you’re going to like implement any of these tips today that we talked about. I hope it was helpful for you.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:55:37] I can’t wait to chat with you next week. And in I think two weeks on October 31st you’ll get the part two of this podcast episode about what to email your list. So, I hope you enjoy that when it comes out. Thank you so much.
I’ll chat with you soon.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:55:54] Thanks so much for listening to the On Your Terms Podcast. Make sure to follow on Apple Podcast, Spotify, or wherever you like to listen to podcasts. You can also check out all of our podcast episodes, show notes, links, and more at Samvanderwielen.com/podcast.
Sam Vander Wielen: [0:56:08] You can learn more about legally protecting your business and take my free legal workshop, Five Steps to Legally Protect and Grow Your Online Business at samvanderwielen.com. And to stay connected and follow along, follow me on Instagram, @SamVanderWielen and send me a DM to say hi.
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