We’ve all been told that we need to have an email list. We’ve heard about ConvertKit, Mailchimp, ActiveCampaign and several other services that help us do this. Yet, we’re not always great at listening and doing what we’re told. We’re kind of like a 2-year-old who is gaining their independence and we fight back a little.
We make excuses like:
- I’m not a good writer.
- I don’t know what to write.
- I don’t want to come off as spammy or salesy.
I know these feelings because I’ve had them and I let them cripple my ability to feel like I could send an email to the people who told me that they wanted to hear from me!
When I started my business, I knew I needed to build my list. I added the form to my website to collect email addresses and just let it be. That actually worked, I built a small list but I never emailed them. How silly is that? I mean what is the purpose of having a list if you do NOTHING with it? This can actually be worse than having no list at all.
I’ve made it a goal for 2017 to change this silly habit. I’m not going to tell myself that I don’t have anything to write or that I’m not a good writer anymore. I’m going to send regular emails to my list. I sent my first one this past weekend. It was something to the tune of “I’m Sorry, I Suck.” I expected to see a few unsubscribes and even people who didn’t even open my email.
What I didn’t expect was someone to unsubscribe and mark me as spam.
You know how you’re given those options when you leave a list? The ones that say “I’m no longer interested” or “I never signed up for this”. Yep, this person said they never signed up. It totally sucked. The last thing I want is to be seen as spam. So I did a little research to figure out when this person joined my list, what they joined for & why they may have seen me as spam. Turns out they signed up for a 5 day challenge I had in May of 2016.
So even though this person had received at least 6 emails (the welcome and 5 days worth of challenge emails), they forgot me because I never sent anything after that. See what I mean when I say having a list that you never email is worse than no list at all? Yeah, don’t do what I did.
So how can you avoid this & what do you do if you’ve already followed in my footsteps?
Stop the Putting Yourself Down
Stop saying you’re not a good writer or telling yourself you can’t do something. It’s like Henry Ford said,
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.”
Let’s not be right when we think “I can’t”. Let’s start telling ourselves we can because you know what, you really can! You don’t have to be a great writer to connect with people. You just have to write. So instead of telling yourself you can’t, sit down, write a letter to your list and let them get to know you. Don’t worry about format or function or all the things people say you NEED to do. Do what feels good and build the practice of emailing your list. You can figure everything else out later.
Action: Get the habit of writing down and allow your list to remember who you are.
Build Your Confidence
Putting yourself out there, as scary as it may be, is the best way to build your confidence. Write guest posts and social media posts. Get involved and ask for feedback.
This is my first official blog post since I started my business in 2009. I had thoughts like
- I don’t know what to write about.
- I don’t have anything worth sharing.
- It’s all been said before.
- I’m not a good writer.
To help overcome this, I wrote a couple guest posts. They really helped me feel more comfortable and confident in my writing. They were well received with great feedback and it made me feel really good.
Action: If you’re not ready to commit to writing for your list or blog, write for someone else’s. One post for someone else seems way less daunting than having to schedule posts for your own list or blog.
Find Your Tribe
Being surrounded by people who get you and lift you up will do wonders for helping you feel comfortable in your own skin. There are so many great ways to find your people…. join a group coaching program, mastermind or just a free Facebook group.
Action: Find the people that you relate to and who will support you throughout your business ventures. Looking for a good FB group to join, check out my list of favorites.
Create a Story Bank
Jessica Rasdall opened my eyes to this concept a few months back and it had me realizing that I have WAY more to talk about than I thought. A story bank is you examining all the areas of your life that relate to your business. You think of topics and craft stories that help people understand things in a way that only you can.
Action: Head over to Jessica’s challenge and build your story bank.
Just Do It
Yep, I just quoted Nike. Regardless of what you’re telling yourself, just get out there and do it. Whether you have a list that you’ve ignored or you haven’t even started, it’s important to move forward and try. If you’re like me and you’re afraid of the unsubscribes or being marked as spam, well there is no way around that. Suck it up and be prepared for it to happen.
If you stay afraid and do nothing it’s no better than getting the unsubscribes or being marked as spam. If you haven’t started a list, what are you waiting for? Don’t have the perfect opt-in? Who cares! You don’t have to have a magic freebie or challenge or whatever. You just need to be present. Start somewhere.
Action: Just write that email already!
I think the biggest reason we all procrastinate or avoid building our email lists is because we think we have to do #allthethings. In reality, your email list is just a conversation between you & the people who love you. So stop stalling and talk to them already. They want to hear from you, I promise.
If you’ve been struggling with your list, I’d love to hear from you. Comment below or come on over to the Pixie Success Collective Facebook group and let’s chat.