I started out the new year with the bright yellow book sitting on top of my to-read pile. I bought the book last year, and I’m glad, Side Hustle: From Idea to Income in 27 Days, finally made it into my hands. I dove straight into Chris Guillebeau’s book, and when I’m on the road or out for a run, I’ve been focused on catching up on the many Side Hustle School podcast episodes. The episodes are about 10 minutes long, and every episode I listen to holds a nugget of inspiration for me.
Within the first few days of reading the book, I started a new side hustle and started rethinking the direction of this website. I have several more businesses I’m planning to incubate over the next several weeks and I’m super excited to help my family and friends start side hustles of their own.
One thing I love about the new year is the feeling of a clean slate. There are so many possibilities and so many opportunities to create! Another thing I love about new beginnings is the desire to get back to basics. With my new business(es) to create and website(s) to share I started thinking about the basics of marketing.
When I think of business marketing, social media immediately jumps to the forefront of my mind. Of course, there are also business cards for the face to face networking encounters and the print ads, radio spots and billboards for some of the larger marketing projects I’m coordinating this year.
When I get to my desk, one of the FIRST things I do is check my email inbox. I sort through what needs to be taken care of now, and what I can take care of in the afternoon when I handle the bulk of my email correspondence. It’s kind of funny that the main way I communicate with my clients, vendors and partners is through the medium I often overlook in my marketing toolbox, especially when email is the one I use most often.
There is nothing wrong with accumulating your followers on social media platforms. In fact, I think that’s a key ingredient in the marketing recipe. Just be aware that since you’re using another company’s system, you are also at their mercy. Algorithms can change and your followers might not see all the content you want to share with them, because of tweaks your favorite social media company might make to their code.
You OWN your email list, so treat it like gold. I read this sentiment often in various articles, and NOW it makes even more sense to me. Most everyone in the world has an email address, and an email address can be the direct link connecting you straight to a member of your audience. Treat your audience with respect and give them the best content possible.
If an email list is so valuable, why did I take so long to start creating one? Well, for me, I know it’s very easy to get distracted by the allure of social media. It works great when everyone is plugged in, but now I’m seeing more and more of my friends and colleagues shifting away from social media, or at least spending less time than they did on those sites in the past.
Yes, new communication tools like SLACK might be coming to the fore, (and if you haven’t heard of SLACK, I’m sure you’ll start seeing more of it this year). Just this week though, I had several people ask me to send them an email regarding some future events I was hosting. Email isn’t as dead as I thought it was, in fact, I’m seeing a resurgence in its daily use.
Now, how do I collect email addresses for my precious email list? There are quite a few options available on the market, and I sifted through many of them weighing the pros & cons. I decided that Constant Contact would be my primary email management system. I can easily add an email signup box by adding a widget to my website. In fact, a “short code” on this wordpress site, created the sign-up box below.
I really do value your support and I promise to respect your inbox.
Now, that I have a new email address in my management system, what do I do with it? Well, remember that axiom, treat others as you would like to be treated? Never flood their email box with junk. One of the key reasons I chose Constant Contact was because of the beautiful email templates I can easily create. These emails stand out from the boring ones and when I use the newsletter format, I can link to articles seamlessly from the email to the web content I’d like to share.
I hope you enjoy the newsletters I send you using Constant Contact, and when you’re ready to start building your email list, give Constant Contact a try and let me know what you think. Wishing you the best 2019 has to offer!