These tips are nothing extraordinary, but when you put all of your focus into accomplishing one singular goal - your results will reflect that.
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” I get why people say that. Really, I do. I just don’t work that way. I need to put all my time and effort into a single goal to make any headway.
My husband and I dreamed about moving to rural Colorado for years. Once we decided to move, he started applying for jobs. He had several interviews over a year’s time, but no one wanted to hire a guy who lived in Oklahoma.
So we saved up several months worth of living expenses, sold our house, he quit his job and we moved. I was still taking web design clients at the time, but we would have been in trouble if he didn’t find some employment as well. Within a month of moving, he had a job and we settled in.
The point of my rambling is - if you want something bad enough and focus all your attention on that goal, you are much more likely to succeed. Even if your goal is getting all your social media traffic to one little landing page.
The "Join My Mailing List" Formula
This formula will look slightly different on each of the three methods below, but it will include all of the same elements. I'll give you an example of what each should look like, but I prefer to tell you why I do what I do so you can mix it up to fit your style if you wish.
What you are offering + an ask + a link to your landing page
What You Are Offering:
When was the last time you gave away your email address in return for "Sign up for my newsletter"? I would be willing to bet your answer falls into the "rarely to never" category.
Human nature dictates we want something in return for our time. In this case, it takes time for your subscriber to read/delete/archive your email. Time they aren't willing to give away without a reason.
We are offering a free print download in exchange for their address initially, then we will be sharing valuable content in the form of entertainment, teaching or specials to keep them interested.
Too many people assume that if a reader wants to hear from them, they will search them out and subscribe to their email list/Facebook page/Instagram feed. This is rare. You're gonna need to call attention to the action by simply asking.
A Link to Your Landing Page:
Oversimplify everything. That includes always adding a direct link to your landing page so there is no searching, distracting or giving up before they do what you are asking.
Get People to Sign Up for Your List!
I am going to share three ways for you to start gaining readers on your email list. Two of those ways are of the “set it and forget it” variety. These are my favorite! Do it once and you are done!
The third requires a little more effort. You are going to have to ask people to do something. Most of you will probably fall on the “that’s a little too aggressive for me” side, but I really, really recommend you do all three. I’ll tell you why in a little bit.
1. Email Signature
This is one of my favorite little tricks that I can do once and continue to get results from. As of today, 76% of the people that click on the little link in my signature sign up for my email list. That's not too shabby!
To give you an idea of how to do this effectively using "The Formula", I'll give you a peek at mine.
What I am offering: Free monthly, lessons to help artists learn to market their art
An ask: Sign up here!
A link: Embedded into my ask
In the offering, you should always try to solve a problem your potential fan might be having. It might be a small, insignificant problem, but you want them to say, "yes, that's me"!
Try editing my signature to make it your own. It might look something like this:
Notice that I don't provide a link to my website. I don't want them clicking through to my site because chances are they won't sign up for my mailing list if they do. They'll have plenty of opportunities to view your site through links in your emails, or they'll type it into their browser if they are curious enough.
2. Social Media Links
Each social media platform is set up a little differently, but with some creativity you can still get in your offering + ask + link.
I've included a few popular examples below.
Facebook pages allow you to add a "Sign Up" button, but there isn't much you can do to customize it. You can get around this by adding a cover image similar to the one above. I created this one using Canva's Facebook Cover image templates (free!).
You can create a bulleted list in Instagram by typing it into your notes app on your phone, then copy/pasting it into the bio in your profile.
Having it organized this way makes it a little easier for your offering + ask to get noticed.
If the link to your landing page isn’t short and sweet, use bit.ly to create a shorter link that is clean and tidy - making you look more professional.
This one is a little trickier because Pinterest will only let you link to the homepage. I've gotten around this by adding a shortened link to my bio (via bit.ly) that people can remember long enough to type into their browser.
It isn't as effective as some of my other social media profiles, but it works occasionally, so it is still worth my time.
3. Ask People You Know
This is the tip people don't like to hear. It is also the most effective.
- Open a note on your desktop, grab a piece of paper or create an Excel spreadsheet. Whatever works best for you.
- Go through your email and write down the addresses of the last 50 people you had a conversation with.
- Go through your phone and find the last 50 people you texted. Write down their phone number.
- Add your entire extended family to the list. Write down their phone number or email address.
- Add anyone who has purchased or been interested in your work in the past. Write down their phone number or email address.
- Start with your mom (or dad/brother/sister). Send them the email or text below asking them to join your list.
- When they say "yes", add them to your list.
- Do a happy dance! You have your first subscriber.
- Rinse, repeat.
It is going to take some time & effort to get all the way through your list, but it will be well worth it. Keep reading to find out why.
Don't forget to make sure you have permission before adding someone to your list. Not only is it illegal, but if enough of your emails get marked as spam, email providers might start marking the rest of your emails as spam and no one will get to read your carefully crafted love letters. What a waste!
The Email or Text
This email needs to be short and sweet. Don't fill it up with fluff. If you do, people are likely to get distracted and reply to chat about something else.
Resist the urge to send out a mass email or text. You won't get nearly as good a response.
I am starting a newsletter about my art. (If you have a elevator speech, add it here.) Would you like me to add you to the list?
You can reply to this email, or go here (your landing page) to get a free print when you sign up.
Thanks so much for your support!
Why You Might Not
"I don't want to be pushy."
You aren’t being pushy. These are your family and friends. They want to hear from you and see what you are up to.
"What if they say no?"
If they happen to say “no, thank you", don’t take it personally. They are probably in email overwhelm. Shake it off and move on. You won’t receive many of these.
"My friends and family don't need to hear from me all the time - I need real customers!"
Darling, your friends and family are real customers. They are already your biggest fans. They will share you, buy you and sing your praises. Don’t be afraid to let them buy your work. Don’t give them the shirt off your back. Get your prices firmly set so there is no question what your pieces cost when they want to buy. If you are going to run a real, successful business, you can’t give away your time & supplies without making a profit. You have bills to pay and retirement to save for.
Why You Should
Write to a friend
When you are writing to a void, you might start to sound a little out of touch. Pretend you are writing your email blast to one person - someone on your list that you can be your true self with - then send it out! This will infuse your personality into your communications without you even having to try. People connect with people, not stuffy newsletters.