Note: This blog post contains audio version at the very bottom of this post. Narrated by: yours truly. Enjoy the ride.
Newsletters. We all get them. The first time you leave your email anywhere be sure you will be hearing from them again. From your dentist, to buying things online, or consciously signing up to get something for free, like a discount, a pdf, guide or free shipping – you’re signed up for a newsletter. This is a way for people you interact with to stay in touch with you. As a consumer.
And it goes the other way around. Newsletters are an opportunity for you to let people who are genuinely interested in your work and your creative business to stay in your circle and to be the first ones to know when there is something new going on.
What are newsletters in the first place?
Newsletters are essentially periodically sent emails to people who have shown interest in you, your brand, your offer. Newsletters is a tool that you use to communicate your message, news and important updates. Basically, it’s all the information that you want to be delivered to your audience at a time you choose.
Your newsletters strategy will depend highly on the type of creative business you have. Whether you have a product or service based business, whether you use social media or not, what are your goals, what’s your target audience and what’s your main way of communicating with them.
Newsletters are a great tool to use from the very start of your creative business. When I first heard Jenna Kutcher saying that her husband started a newsletter before he even had a website and that helped his first product become a success, a piece of puzzle found it’s way home in my own business mindset.
Newsletters help you gather people who are interested in your creative business – before you even start
Let me give you a bit of context here. I had my first small business about 9 years ago. I was selling my home-baked goods at a little loft market and people started to know about me. The good thing was I sharing my business cards with each purchase, and slowly people started reaching out to me via emails. At some point I started thinking about how to put them in a single place and communicate easier with them, without using cc or bcc features on email.
I saw someone sending me emails in a similar way, I clicked on the link below, signed up and this is how I started my first newsletter on MailChimp. At that time I had no idea what I was doing and how impactful newsletters can be for my business. I had zero strategy or any marketing knowledge whatsoever, and I missed that chance back then. However, I intuitively felt like this was a good opportunity for me to stay in touch with people. I just wanted to send many emails all at once with personalised names.
Besides those people who have already bought and ordered from me, I went a little further and manually added people from my email, too. You know, people from my contact list. This is how I got a chance to let people I knew what I was up to. I just wrote an email saying, hey, this is what I do now. At that point I just wanted to have as many people as possible know about what I was doing, and I wanted to spread the word. Some followed me, some unsubscribed immediately, and some even replied cheering me up.
Magic of newsletters at the beginning of your business
And this is where magic of newsletters happens. It gives you a starting point and it makes you independent. Let me explain what I mean by these.
Not every business starts the same. Not everyone has the budget, resources, a written business plan, a strategy and organisation skills when they’re just starting. I didn’t have any of these. I only had an idea, soy beans from my dad, and a big pot for cooking those to make soy milk. This is how many creatives start their business journey. It’s messy, it’s uncertain, it’s confusing.
Some may have an idea and start creating something from one day to another, and some might slowly offer services as a side hustle, and with time it grows in a business. Whatever is your way, you do have some people around you, either if they are clients you have already had in the past, or people who are genuinely interested in your ways, your work, your personality. Even if they are just your mom, dad, mother in law and a few friends.
Communication as a strategy
Start of any business strategy is about communication. Communicating your message, your values, your level of expertise, and communication with your people.
Since soulful and creative business as I see and approach to it is all about your community of people who know, like and trust you, your very few people will be a great starting point. They will be those who will spread the word, share your message, or products or services, and this is how your visibility will start to grow. Physically, like in real life and real time, but also energetically.
No matter what you do, or what you have done so far, you know people. And people know you. If you start all new and fresh with something no one knew you were up to, letting your friends and your ‘old’ audience know about it might bring first clients in. This is something I missed with my old email list. I quit baking, and I can’t be sure, but I might have ghosted my people. Bummer. Sorry guys.
Independence from external factors
Chances are almost 100% that you use Instagram of Facebook or any other social media platform for marketing your business. Social media platforms show up and grow into trends over time. The more, the merrier. Today’s social media are based on algorithms. Algorithm is a set of operation that lead to solving a problem. In social media the problem is keeping users on apps as long as possible. The longer a user stays on the platform, the more money the app makes, thx to ads. Very simplistic, but the very essence of social media.
Even though the app (their creators and owners) want to give you the best possible experience and are working very hard to satisfy their clients needs (it is in their interest after all), the more people join the app, the more the algorithm needs to change. It’s very self explanatory. The more people you have in a room, the better you need to organise them. At least if you want them to leave happy and spread a good word.
This is why Instagram algorithm changes so often. New features are being added. New users keep joining. Researches show new behaviour. They test it. If it works, they slowly integrate it.
When your work depends only on social media, you depend on their business strategy, on their changes, on their algorithm, on their money making. If you are not paying for the app, the app is using you to make money.
Using a newsletter for your creative business now becomes an essential part of your business strategy. This is what makes communication with your audience independent of any external factors and occurrences or events. I know, Instagram is cute and fun, and everybody shares everything, and it is truly the fastest way to grow your business and get new eyes on your work. It’s great if you use it with intention and curiosity.
However, social media should be one more tool you use to share your content with your audience, not the main content channel for your creative business.
My newsletters – a creative business strategy
Personally, it took me ages to become consistent with newsletters. If you’re on my email list, you know that’s the case. I was joggling so many things at once in the past two years, that this thing just hasn’t found its way out.
A little before I went through almost an enlightenment thing and decided to quit Instagram for my business, at least at this point in my life, I was playing with this thought. I was thinking what it would be like to write content that would get delivered into my peoples email inbox, hopefully not to Promotion folder, but it happens. I was thinking of the best content. My personal views, personal insights and wisdom that I used to share on Instagram posts and stories, that my audience was interested in. What if I connected with them in a more peaceful surroundings?
And this is exactly what I did. Late summer 2021, I started my weekly newsletters called Inspired conversations where I share some deep insights and thoughts, inspiration and motivation for creatives who want to start their creative businesses, who are heart lead, alive, vision carried, inspired and motivated to make a change in their lives.
If you feel yourself in these words, you can join here. The good thing with newsletters is that you can always unsubscribe and leave quietly.
Do you already have an email list? Or would you like to start one? What would you like to know more? Let me know in the comments below and let’s have a chat.
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Sending good vibes your way,
You can listen to this blog post in audio format:
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