In this article I’ll be sharing how I built my You Are The Media audience – email subscribers who are willing to give you their details in exchange for you keeping in touch, adding value to their week and encouraging them to feel a part of something that they can enjoy, learn and participate in.
We’re not going to be shooting for the moon here, we’re going to be keeping it realistic, setting you up to acquire your first 10 loyal email subscribers.
A Place To Start That Isn’t About Chasing ‘000s Of Subscribers
In 2009, Seth Godin wrote the fantastic blog “First, Ten” . The premise of this piece still rings true over a decade later.
The focus is that to start something, you just need ten people. If ten people enjoy what they receive from you and see real worth in what they’re receiving, they’ll go on to tell others about it.
Seth wisely says:
It is your subscribers who identify with you and the messages you share. It’s your subscribers who help you carry on when things get difficult. For instance, we had Zoom Bombers (people who can gatecrash your Zoom video calls and cause havoc) at a recent YATM Lunch Club Online, it didn’t affect people’s enjoyment, they stuck with it. It’s your subscribers who stick by you and will eventually buy from you.
Why Is It Important To Have Subscribers?
With the current reset that’s happening in the business world, you need a place and people more than ever.
People like to belong somewhere they feel valued and heard. If you can bring others together through the narrative you develop and share, then you’re creating something that will help you and your business in the long term.
To me, having YATM email subscribers has been the lifeblood of keeping everything together. No one’s walked away and we’re building an even deeper sense of affinity. If you’re up for it, now is the time to be there for others.
How Can You Do It?
The investment you need to make is not financial, such as promoting what you’re doing via paid ads but it requires a commitment of time – putting in the hard work, creating and developing, and consistently sharing a narrative that will eventually lead to all sorts of personal and business benefits.
The following is a means by which to create your own subscription mechanism:
Strategy And Tactics That’ll Help You Find Your First 10 Subscribers
Know what you want to get out of it.
Before you start you have to fully understand why you’re going down this road. If you begin with gusto, only to lose momentum a few months down the line, it will have been a complete waste of time. For instance, do you want to raise your profile, create a loyal customer base or eventually sell a product?
Figure out what you’re going to give people.
This relates to giving your audience something they want to receive. It works best when you put your own unique stamp and voice within your marketplace, rather than sharing material that people can easily get somewhere else. What aligns with the values you already hold and complements your everyday role with your business? This article can help you: https://www.youarethemedia.co.uk/how-to-make-a-side-project-work/
Give your email a name.
If I invited people to sign up for the ID Group Newsletter (which is my main company), few would subscribe. It would feel as though there was an agenda, something to sell. I branded the weekly email I started sending out in 2013, You Are The Media, as the focus of what I believe in centres on people building something that they own and can congregate others around. A name and identity that sits separately from your main business is the thing that will generate interest, sign-ups and stand the test of time.
Set up a dedicated platform for people to sign up to.
There has to be a mechanism for people to leave their email on. For instance, you can build your landing page for free on Mailchimp, click here and follow what you need to do to create a landing page . I also use https://upscri.be/ as a means to collect emails, as it is easy to embed within blogs and also on Medium (plus you can create forms and pop-ups), I pay $5 a month. It also creates a simple landing page to share with others.
Create a dedicated page on your website.
When you have a page on your website dedicated to new subscribers, you can explain more about what you do in a way that looks seamless (with Mailchimp you have to build your own, using their template). You Are The Media is a WordPress site, so there is a contact form plug-in built-in, as well as Upscribe prompts. The reason I have a contact form and Upscribe is security. In July 2019, I deleted my entire database and I didn’t have a back-up, click here to read about Project Mayhem.
Tell people what they are going to get, and when.
When you create your sign-up form, the worse thing you can do is leave it blank and use the words ‘subscribe to our newsletter.’ Explain the main thread of what you’re going to be sharing and when you’ll be making an appointment for, in their inbox.
What’s the theme behind what you’ll be sharing and teaching others? Is it going to be sharing how something’s gone for you, successes and failures included? Is it documenting the world around you and how it relates to your marketplace? Is it asking others questions related to how they’ve succeeded or tackled adversity? You have to choose and stick to something that you can become identified with, because familiarity breeds trust.
Make asking people to subscribe, a habit.
With your landing page set up, you can make it the magnet for everything else. From new LinkedIn requests, adding the sign-up page URL on your profile on Twitter or Instagram and having it as a sign-off to every presentation you make and email you send, get into the habit of continually drawing people to your landing page. From every touchpoint, you have to tell people what they will be receiving and how they will benefit from the insights you share. At the end of every YATM Bitesize Podcast (the shorter audio), my sign off is always asking people to subscribe.
Email from a personal address.
When you send anything, make sure it always comes from you, personally. Don’t hide behind an ‘info@’ or ‘team@.’ Someone opening your email is the time they choose to spend with you, respect them and don’t take their interest for granted.
Thank every person who subscribes.
Whether this is via an email from you or using a video platform such as bonjoro.com,let people know you’re grateful. The more personal you can make it, the better. For instance, if you have a quick look at LinkedIn you can see where a new subscriber is located. Find ways to personalise in this automated world.
Add subscribe links in your blog posts.
Rather than interrupting your readers with pop up messages, think about whether there’s a natural pause on say, your blog pages, where you can include a subscription link, particularly for those people who have landed on your page for the first time. Adding a link at the bottom of your articles should become a habit too, an ongoing call to action.
Be clear when you’re selling.
Selling from the word “go” will mean people turn away from you. The longer you spend sharing something for others to think about and learn, the easier it becomes, to sell. For instance, the You Are The Media weekly email is split 80/20. The majority is on information and sharing, and the remainder on selling products. Inverting this would mean the focus became more transactional rather than relational.
Connect outside the email.
The email doesn’t necessarily have to be a static space, but it should be the focal point of your universe. Live activity coming on board as well as the YATM Podcast, has presented ways to draw everything back to the email. For instance, the people who attend the You Are The Media Lunch Club are all connected via the weekly email. To physically see people around you who all subscribe is an uplifting acknowledgment of your effort. Find ways to get to know the people who subscribe beyond the confines of email.
The only way you’re going to grow your subscribed audience is to keep going (read last week’s email on why you need to keep going). If your message is something people enjoy and feel a part of, you’d be letting everyone down if you lost your enthusiasm or your delivery started to become sporadic (without you letting others know why).
Creating a space around which you gather people, whether this is your email or your website, can provide people with a much-needed sense of connection. It’s wise to make this a place you own, where you can build a community and serve people in between sales.
You can’t just turn up and expect people to leave their email with you the moment you start. You have to get into the habit of producing content regularly and continually promoting what you’ve set up and your intention to help others and share knowledge.
If you make people feel welcome, then they’ll be more likely to tell others about the experience they’ve enjoyed. When people see you have a track record and also a body of work behind you, it also becomes easier to decide to commit.
It’s not about saying, ‘how can I help?’ but taking the initiative and leading, moving ideas forward with your subscribers becoming some of the most valued people that you interact with – the heartbeat behind everything you do.
This article was republished with permission from the You Are The Media blog.