To engage with others, you need to talk with them, to communicate and find common interests. In order to build a community, you need to be consistent in that communication, creating useful and valuable advice, so yesterday I decided to set up my newsletter. This would give me a vehicle on which to share content and engage with others, and by setting expectations, it would also hold me accountable to do what I said I would do!!
To be perfectly honest I have been saying I would start writing a newsletter ages ago.. but have never got past the talking about it, to actually doing it! I’m not sure why this is the case, but what every mindset blocks I’ve just go for it and see how what happens.
So, the first thing I did was to mind map what I needed to do to actually produce a newsletter. I find this a great way to do a brain dump and then to organise all the disparate pieces of information into something that makes a bit of sense, and also provide an outline for what you need to do! For those of you who are not familiar with mind maps, this blog post gives a flavour of how they can help you brainstorm ideas.
And actually, there were only 4 main decisions that I had to consider;
- How often I wanted to produce the newsletter
- What content it would contain
- What the format would be
- How I would promote the newsletter
Obviously there are other considerations related to these, but from a high level.. The next thing was to brainstorm each of these elements to get the main things that I need to do to move the project forward. I also read a number of articles on what to do and what to avoid!
I needed to decide how often I wanted to produce it… too often and it might be difficult to sustain… to seldom and my community may move on to someone whose more consistent! I thought that a monthly newsletter, with regular updates on my Facebook group and other content would probably be the most appropriate.
Then I thought about the format. How did I want it to look, what app would I use to produce it, or is there a standard template on my email marketing platform that would do the job for me? I found that Mailerlite didn’t give me a great option for how I envisaged it looking… I wanted a short form and long form element of the newsletter, but this just created a monster.. hence this blog post! There’s a short and longer version on my newsletter, along with special offers for my subscribers, with a link to this blog post, if people wanted to hear my ramblings, or know more about the different elements
If you would like to read this month’s newsletter, with the shorter version of this blog post please click here
Then of course, what general type of content would it consist of. What would my community find valuable and interesting?
I wanted content that was friendly, but also useful… and although I have a tendency to speak Bristolian.. I do like my writing to be a little more grammatically correct.. although I am sure the grammar police would hate my ….. I also do tend to dance around the subject a bit.. so that’s where the mind map also helped keep my musings in some logical order!
Lastly, I brainstormed everywhere I would be able to promote it. I have my own Facebook group to share ideas and ask for help and advice and just generally network Savvy Business Strategy and Systems, so I could share it there and am a member of a number of other groups which occasionally allow promotions, so I can promote it there. I also have a facebook page, twitter account, LinkedIn and Pinterest, where I can provide links to my newsletter. What about you? What channels do you have in place?
If you would like some help with this or on your digital marketing strategy, please feel free to schedule a free 30-minute strategy call with me
All of this sounds easy, right?! So why did I find it so difficult to start? Well, I think 1 of the things was “imposter” syndrome. I worried about whether I knew enough to share with my community, were they interested in what I had to say, was it valuable to them? Another blocker was not wanting to attract attention to myself… Then I realised I had to just get over myself! I often respond to others questions on Facebook groups, provide help and advice to clients so that they can move forward and I’ve recently designed and carried out a beta test of a marketing strategy… plus as my mentor reminded me… I’ve got a Honours degree and a Masters degree, both of which had a high marketing content… so I’ve got this!!
I know my stuff, and there are others out there, who will find my thoughts, hints and tips valuable and actually if I don’t share and help others who need that support means that I’m just working within my comfort zone and that I’m not working to my full potential!
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So, here we are! I’ve waffled on a little to give you an overview of my thought processes, why I wanted to start my newsletter and how I decided on what content I would add to my newsletter.. but wait (I hear you say).. I haven’t actually gone into detail on what I’m going to put in my newsletter to you.. That’s the next step. I want to provide interesting and valuable information for my community and so I need to engage closer, listen and understand your needs, then put together a content calendar which maps out my monthly themes to help me guide others in setting out their digital marketing strategy. Find out how I get on in next month’s newsletter !
Further reading and guidance