Guest post by Evan Horowitz, founder of Evan Horowitz Advising, a New York City-based business advisory firm.
Do you wish you had more clients? Do you wish you could get more work from your current and past clients? Then you need to build and use your email list.
I work with a lot of freelancers and small business owners to accelerate their business growth. For most of them, email marketing is juicy, low-hanging fruit for getting more business. It’s the fastest, lowest-cost way to get more business from your personal network.
You’re probably saying, “But I don’t want to be a spammer.” Don’t worry. There’s a way to do this so that people are actually excited to hear from you. I’ll get to that. First, here’s why it’s worthwhile.
Good email marketing does three things:
- You’ll get more business from your existing & former clients, because you’re reminding them of your presence and expertise.
- You’ll get more referrals from your network, because it’s easy for your contacts to “forward” your missives to their friends.
- You’ll get more business from all those people you meet but have trouble staying in touch with, because now you have an easy way to stay in touch.
Sound good? Here’s how to get started.
Step 1: Great Content = Cookies, Not Spam
The best email marketing shares valuable, interesting content. For example:
- Tips and tricks in your area of expertise
- Your analysis of current events in your industry
- Funny stories related to your profession
Make a list of 3 to 5 ideas for valuable, interesting content. For more inspiration, check out the tips in my article, “How Not to Be a Spammer.”
Step 2: Build Your List
Gather the email addresses of friends, family, and business contacts who would be happy to hear from you. Be sure to include all of your current and past clients. It’s critical to get their permission to include them. You can do this by including a note like this in your first email:
“I’m starting a newsletter to share insights and expertise about [my field], and I thought you might want to be included! If not, feel free to opt out by clicking the Unsubscribe link below. No hard feelings!”
Step 3: Get an Email Marketing Tool
How do you get a fancy “Unsubscribe” button? It’s easy with modern email marketing tools. With these web-based programs, it’s EASY to send professional-looking emails, with your logo and everything. These tools comply with laws regarding email marketing, including the Unsubscribe feature.
The tool I use and recommend is called Constant Contact. It’s simple to use and they offer great phone coaching to help you get going. You can sign up for a free trial here, after which their plans start at $15/month. Well worth it.
Step 4: Send Your First Email!
The first email is always the hardest. The second is WAY easier; just copy the previous email and update the text. Make a calendar and plan on consistent emails, either bi-monthly or monthly–whatever you think is realistic for you to stick to!
If you’re sharing valuable content, I guarantee you’ll start getting compliments and thank you–and, more importantly, inquiries about new business.
Evan Horowitz helps entrepreneurs and business owners whose dreams are bigger than their business experience to grow their businesses faster and smarter. He draws on his Harvard MBA and 10+ years of achieving extraordinary growth, managing hundred-million dollar businesses in multiple industries. Get free business tips from Evan twice a month by signing up at www.ehadvising.com