February 15, 2018
Today, we’re talking about the one marketing activity that’s grown my business a lot in the last four years.
It’s something that not a lot of photographers are doing.
In fact, I polled a group of local photographers here and asked who has an email list that they’re actively using, and 75% said they don’t have an email list, or they have an email list that they don’t ever use.
So, 75% of photographers I polled are not using email!
That’s huge, guys! There’s a huge opportunity for us to jump in and use email to connect with our clients.
I want to ask you a question.
When you wake up first thing in the morning, what do you do?
If you’re like most people, you probably reach for your phone and check your email. At least that’s what I do. It’s not a good habit and I’m not proud of it, but I’m saying, that’s what people do. That’s how important email is to people!
The two things that you actually own are your email list and your website.
You don’t own Facebook, you don’t own Instagram, you don’t own any of those social media sites where you’re working so hard to build a following—which I totally get, and there’s a place for that.
We should be spending more of our time and effort on things that we actually own and control. That’s number one. You actually own your email list.
Facebook could drop off the face of the earth tomorrow. I mean, it’s not gonna drop off the face of the earth tomorrow, but you don’t own Facebook and have no control over what happens with it!
Recently, Facebook has announced even more changes. They’re limiting our organic reach even more. Before too long they’re going to limit our paid reach. Because so many people are paying for ads, they’re going to start deciding what’s relevant there too.
So now more than ever is the time to really, really start to grow your email list.
Your posts on social are being seen less often.
Our organic reach is starting to dwindle.
So, an email list is a way to get your information out to potential clients easily.
Think about somebody scrolling through Facebook and all the things they’re seeing. Yes, they’re seeing things from their friends, but they’re also seeing tons and tons of ads. I think that people are used to getting email from family and friends. It’s just more personal.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sent out an email out to my list and I get a reply with, “Hey! I’ve been meaning to email you.” This happens at least one time every time I send out an email. It’s like me being in their inbox reminds them that they’ve been meaning to contact me.
Marketing experts say that a person needs to see you at least 7 times before they’re going to hire you. That’s a lot. So you really have to be everywhere. That includes social media, that includes local vendors, that includes Google, and that includes email. If they’re seeing you in their inbox over and over, even if they’re not booking with you, they’re still seeing your brand and your name is everywhere.
This is especially important with birth photography.
What we do is so personal, I really want my clients to feel like they know me and they trust me before they hire me.
So, I am a little bit personal in my emails. I usually tell a little story at the beginning about what’s been going on lately, something that people can relate to usually. I use this as an extra little touch point to help people feel like they know me. (I know you’re probably thinking, I have no idea what I’d write! For this section, I scroll through my personal Facebook profile, my personal IG feed, my texts to my husband or mom or my journal. It’s filled with fun stories and things I’ve been up to I may have otherwise forgotten)
So reason #5 you need an email list—and this one is a little advanced, but I think you guys can handle it—is Facebook ads. I know I just ragged on Facebook. However, if you have an email list of over a hundred people or so, Facebook can actually create an audience based on those people.
Facebook will look at the people who have said “Yes, I want to hear from Tavia.” and come up with new people who are like those people. Then, you can create an audience of the new “look-a-like” audience.
So, yes, that costs money, but it’s a cool thing you can do with Facebook.
The final reason you need an email list is that when somebody signs up for your email list they’re saying “yes”. It’s an easy yes for them.
So let’s say they say, “Yes, I want on your email list,” and you say, “Do you want to schedule a birth consultation?” It’s easier for them to say yes if they’ve already said yes to you once and it just goes from there.
Really quickly I wanted to give you a few dos and don’ts when it comes to your email list.
#1: Do make the subject line interesting.
One of my biggest pet peeves is when people say “January Newsletter”. Okay, I say this as lovingly as I can…. people want to read a newsletter. People are busy, they have stuff to do. Make your subject line something that’s interesting—something that’s going to make them want to open it.
#2: Don’t email people without their permission.
That’s a big one. It’s against the law. It’s also spammy and annoying, but I know you wouldn’t do that anyway 😉
#3: Don’t only email when you have something to sell.
Personally, I send out a monthly update: “Here are some recent blog posts…here’s a little blurb of a story…here’s what I’ve been up to… here’s something cool for free.” I run a local podcast for moms in my city, so I’ll link to that too.
It’s fun, helpful information for my target client instead of only emailing them when I’m trying to book something or when I have a sale. We want to give value to them, so when they see your name they aren’t thinking, “Oh, she’s trying to sell me something”, they’re thinking, “Oh, I love her emails.”
I put together a free challenge for you, called “Get your first 100 e-mail subscribers.”
It is PACKED full of instructions and ideas to get your e-mail list started.
Everything’s delivered through email. Each day for 5 days, you’ll get a mini training with step-by-step instructions.
So if you’re thinking, “I don’t even have an email list. I don’t know where to start. How do I set one up? How do I send out emails? What do I send out?” All of that information is in the challenge!
It takes you from the very first step of setting up your email account and getting all of your contacts in there, and it’s actually going to walk you through how to get your first 100 subscribers and how to keep growing.