Thursday, July 23, 2009

Getting Started With Your Coaching Newsletter

The best way to follow up and to stay in contact with the people who indicate that they're interested in what you offer is to send out a regular newsletter. On the basis that most of your potential new clients will want to find out a bit more about you before making direct and personal contact, a newsletter is a great way to give them that information without requiring anything in return from them.

If you don't already send out a newsletter, I strongly recommend that you get started. Of course you have to get that sign-up box on your website to begin with, but once it's there and you're building your mailing list, your newsletter will be the follow-up communication that works hardest of all for your business.

If you do already send out a newsletter, it's always worth thinking about ways to improve its effectiveness and to maintain the interest of your subscribers.

* How often and what style of newsletter?

There are many different types of newsletter... and you probably already receive a few yourself. So it's worth taking stock of the newsletters you receive, and making a note of the ones you like as well as what it is specifically that you like about them. Are there any that have actually led you to buy something from them in the past? Liking and buying are two distinct pointers that the newsletter works and almost certainly has elements that are worth adopting for your own.

How often you send your newsletter out is up to you. Anything less than once a month means you're probably not getting yourself in front of your target market often enough. You want to appear in their mailbox frequently enough for them to remember that they're interested in you and what you have to offer, but not so often that you overload and annoy them. It can sometimes be a tricky balance to strike. And you won't get it right for every single one of them.

* Dealing with the challenges

One of the challenges you have to learn to deal with fast when you send out a newsletter to an ever-growing mailing list is that even if the majority of your recipients absolutely love what you send them, there will always be a few who don't. And they will unsubscribe themselves from your list. It happens. And the best way to look at it is that those people who choose to unsubscribe were never going to be your perfect new client anyway.

The biggest challenge, though, is the one of actually writing the content for your newsletter on a regular basis. It's a commitment that many coaches don't feel able to take on and it's the most frequent reason given for not offering a newsletter. In fact, in my experience, it's the ONLY reason given! And I can sympathise entirely. I've faced the content gremlin many a time over the years that I've been sending out my newsletters. But a newsletter is such a powerful tool for your business, that this is a gremlin that needs facing down and conquering.

* Top tip for getting your newsletter content written

Even if a quarterly newsletter is all you feel able to commit yourself to, that really is a whole lot better than no newsletter at all. And if you're daunted at the prospect of getting it written, my top tip for you is to set aside a chunk of time to write the content for several editions all at once. Get your content lined up in advance and you'll find that sending your newsletter out becomes a satisfyingly easy task.

You'll also find that if you write a series of articles or case studies or book reviews (whatever form of content you choose for your newsletter), you'll get into the flow of the writing and each one will take less and less time. By contrast, if you sit down once a month to write a one-off chunk of material, it will take you time to get back into the appropriate mindset and to get your piece written.

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