For Creatives: The Secret to Transforming Your Boring, Lackluster About Page into an Ideal Client-Attracting Magnet

(Wherein we talk about the critical importance of a well-crafted About page that generates leads, and I show you a before-and-after of how it’s done.)

Write a Client-Attracting About Page

Did you know your About page is one of the most-visited pages on your website, and often the page that determines whether the potential ideal client who just landed there will choose you, or one of the 7,698 other creatives online who do what you do?

Yet I see so many creative professionals online who either don’t have an About page at all, or who simply throw up a standard, boring bio and call it done.

This is a huge wasted opportunity, because a knock-out About page is one of the most effective ways to set yourself apart online.  It’s essential for strengthening your brand identity, and the ideal place to create a connection with prospective clients.  And best of all? A well-crafted About page can generate leads.

Which means you don’t want to ignore this page or half-ass it. Yes, it can be difficult to write.  You don’t want to sound arrogant or full of yourself, I get it.

But here’s a little secret copywriters know for writing a killer About page that instantly connects with ideal clients, with the added bonus of being easier to write without sounding like a braggart:

Your About page isn’t about you so much as it is about your ideal client or customer and their challenges and desires, and the solution you offer that can help them achieve their goals.  You want your About page to answer the question “what’s in it for me?” for your ideal clients.

Lead with how you can help your ideal clients. Demonstrate you understand your audience and their fears, desires and goals first, then talk about your experience, training and other relevant background information. Because when a potential client lands on your site, they don’t care about you yet, unless and until you demonstrate you get them – and have the solution they seek.

{There’s a much more thorough discussion of how to write an effective About page, including a step-by-step template, in my free CREATIVE REBEL GUIDE TO WRITING A CLIENT-ATTRACTING ABOUT PAGE here.}

To illustrate how this is done, I’ll show you how I transformed a dull, ineffective interior design About page into a compelling, client-attracting thing of beauty.

EXAMPLE OF A “BAD” INTERIOR DESIGNER ABOUT PAGE*

For this example of a “bad” About page, I found six About pages (among dozens) of interior designers who lead with writing about themselves on their About page instead of focusing on the kind of clients they want to attract.

*Every word of copy in the following example is a real, true sentence I found on an interior design website About page. (In other words, “I am not making this up,” as writer Dave Barry would say.)

 

:: EXAMPLE: THE ABOUT PAGE, BEFORE ::

Jane Smith Design is a full-service interior design firm with over 10 years’ experience in the design and construction industry.  Jane specializes in interiors, space planning, and construction management, working integrally with every member of the design and construction team. Her diverse and imaginative portfolio speaks volumes and demonstrates her diverse range of creativity.

Jane graduated from Parsons with a degree in interior design and a minor in studio art. She is an active member of ASID Carolinas Chapter and the local design community. She attends many conventions and workshops locally and internationally to stay on the cutting edge of design.

Jane began her professional career at a local architecture firm where she focused on residential and commercial interiors. In 2008, she opened Jane Smith Design, a full-service interior design firm.  Jane’s fundamental belief is that the design of interior spaces should be elevated beyond what people typically expect so that their day-to-day experiences in their everyday surroundings can be enhanced. With her varied residential and commercial experience, she is able to address the functional needs of any space while still creating the desired aesthetic.

Jane makes each project unique for each client and has a fine-tuned ability to work with a variety of interior design styles and settings.  Her signature design style combines practicality with sophistication.  Jane Smith Design can offer you everything from a few hours of design consultation to a full home or office remodel.

:: END OF EXAMPLE ::

So, what’s so wrong with that About page?

For starters, it’s written in the third person, which puts a barrier between you and your potential clients. If you want to make an instant connection with your audience, you’re going to need to be real, be human, and be your quirky self – and it’s difficult to make that happen if your About page is written in the third person.

What else, you ask? It’s boring, overly formal and full of jargon; it’s lacking in personality or emotional connection; and it’s terribly “me-focused” – there’s not one iota of anything in that copy that shows Jane understands her ideal clients, is there?

The page’s worst offense is the way the copy doesn’t connect with the reader by talking about what’s important to them as a potential design client – it doesn’t answer the “WIIFM” question – “What’s in it for me?”

Instead it leads with Jane’s background, experience and design credentials, which we don’t care about yet as a potential design client until we know that Jane gets us and the design challenges we want solved.

Now let’s take a look at the rewritten version.

:: A Better Interior Design About Page ::

(*IMPORTANT NOTE:  If “Jane” were a real client of mine, she’d answer an in-depth questionnaire about her ideal clients, the way she works, her design philosophy and aesthetic, and other pertinent details.  Since I don’t have that here, I used quotes and information from interviews I found online with a hip young designer whose interior design work I happen to love, “pretending” she’s Jane the client and using some of her story, quotes and background info to write the “better/after” version of this About page. 

This “after” About page is crafted solely on the basis of the information I was able to find out from reading interviews with the designer, it is NOT the current About page on her website.  This designer’s business is in the South; she works with “families with young kids or messy grown-ups looking for a sophisticated interior that is human-proof – peanut butter, dog hair and red wine, no problem!”)

:: EXAMPLE: The About Page, After ::

Accessible Luxury for the Modern Young Family on the Go

[This headline speaks to Jane’s ideal customer – a busy family with a hectic schedule who want a beautifully designed interior that’s “human-proof,” i.e., “accessible luxury.”]

Dog hair, sticky kid handprints & red wine spills.

Modern, sophisticated design.

The truth? You can have both.

You’re a busy professional with a demanding career, soccer practices, dance recitals and playdates to ferry the kids around to, dinner dates with your significant other (when you can find the time), and possibly a menagerie of pets at home to boot.

Crazy-busy? Yes.  Ready to give up and give in to the idea that a young family with kids, careers and a rambunctious pet or two isn’t meant to come home to an oasis of comfortable elegance at the end of (yet another) jam-packed day?

Definitely not.

[The section above focuses on Jane’s ideal clients and their needs and desires; it demonstrates that she has a genuine understanding of what her ideal client’s life is like. This establishes emotional connection and trust.]

Hey, I know kids, pets, and red wine are facts of life (they’re definitely the facts of my life), but that doesn’t mean you can’t have an inspiring, sophisticated home environment – one that stands up (gracefully) to your energetic young family’s wear-and-tear.

[What I did here, using the parenthetical – “they’re definitely the facts of my life” – won’t always be applicable, but here it lets Jane’s potential clients know that she’s just like them – a wife and mother with a demanding career and a busy life who still believes she deserves a beautiful home.  This also goes to establishing trust, and if they don’t trust you, they ain’t buying from you.]

That’s where I come in.

I’m Jane Smith, and I create interiors that are luxurious, yet livable, for the modern young family on the go.

[Here Jane talks about herself (after she’s focused on her ideal clients and their wants and needs), and begins to tell us about the solution she offers, one that is specifically geared to her ideal clients – busy young families on the go.]

I’m a Parsons-trained interior designer and an active member of ASID Carolinas who honed my skills at the elbow of master French designer Robert Couturier.  I’ve been called a “decorating superstar” and a “Southern visionary with an impressive sense of style,” but at the end of the day?  My most important goal is create a space that works for the family living in it, so they get to experience that “I can’t believe I get to live here!” feeling every time they walk through the door.

From French Modern to Classic Contemporary to Southern Traditional with a twist, I create interiors that balance natural elegance and glamor with practicality.  My designs combine casual, organically modern style – think sophisticated finishes, elegant nature-inspired elements, and gorgeous lighting – with durability that stands up to your life:  sticky fingerprints, dog hair, wine spills and all.

[More details about Jane’s business and her design philosophy.  If she wanted to include her backstory – as it relates to her business and the solution she provides – she could do it here, or link off to another page on her site.]

What Others Are Saying

“With 2 small children under the age of 7, two dogs, and a crazy schedule, I’d almost given up on the idea that my home could be beautiful, comfortable AND practical at the same time, but Jane made it happen.  She created a true sanctuary for our family that we’re thrilled to come home to every day.” Abby M.

“She’s a creative genius, I could not be happier with the beautiful, warm, calm space she created for me and my husband.  Bonus: she’s a dream to work with – friendly, down-to-earth, and easy to talk to and collaborate with.”  Elizabeth G.

“We still can’t believe we get to live here, in our own personal magazine spread.  Our teenagers actually want to hang out at home now.”   Tom and Cindy H.

[Social Proof section:  Be strategic about the testimonials you choose – again, they should speak to the ideal clients’ wants and frustrationsYou don’t have to call this section “What Others Are Saying” – call it whatever makes sense to your personality and writing style.]

Enter your email below to grab my free guide, “From Chaos to Calm: 7 Simple Steps for Transforming Your Home into an Oasis of Practical Luxury.” (Plus weekly design tips and inspiration I only share with my email subscribers.)

[The *incredibly important* call to action.  It could be a prompt to sign up for your email list, or call for a free 15-minute consultation, or whatever specific thing you want them to do next.  It should be the next logical step in the process that deepens the relationship with you.  In most cases, that will be to sign up for your email list. This is where lead generation comes in.]

:: END OF EXAMPLE ::

 

Notice how the rewritten version of the About page leads with the potential client’s challenges and desires, then later talks about Jane and her qualifications. This serves to create trust by proving that Jane understands her ideal clients and the specific solution they seek – in this case, “accessible luxury for the busy young family on the go.” This is what you want to do too if you want to attract your ideal clients.

At a bare minimum, you want to include the following on your About page:

  • A client-focused headline
  • A client-focused first paragraph
  • Then a paragraph about you and the solution you provide geared specifically to your ideal client’s challenges and desires
  • A call to action, such as signing up for your email list or calling for a free consultation, etc., so you can collect leads

Remember, a knock-out About page is one of the most effective ways to set yourself apart online, essential for strengthening your brand identity, and the ideal place to create a connection with prospective clients.  And if you’ve done all that effectively, adding a call to action to your well-crafted About page will generate leads. And who doesn’t want that?  Nobody, that’s who.

[For more on writing copy that connects with your ideal clients, sign up for free weekly updates here and get instant access to the CREATIVE REBEL GUIDE TO WRITING A CLIENT-ATTRACTING ABOUT PAGE, plus copywriting & web marketing tips and other goodies for creative freelancers & biz owners that I only share with my subscribers, delivered straight to your inbox each Tuesday.]

How High-Quality Content Drives Sales: A 3-Point Primer

Creating High Quality Content

I talk a lot on the blog about creating regular high-value content each week so your business gets noticed online and you get more clients, customers and sales.

Actionable content geared toward helping your audience solve their problems will drive targeted traffic to your site, help you get seen as the go-to person in your niche, get more people on your email list, and get more warm bodies in your bricks-and-mortar business.

How does this happen?

 

In a nutshell:

1.  When you offer unbiased and valuable information on your topic through your blog or website, your newsletter, and your social media outlets, you earn trust with those who interact with your content. Increasing the trustworthiness of your brand helps increase business.

2.  In terms of SEO and search traffic, the more content you create, the more search engine traffic you’ll accumulate because you’ll be increasing your longtail search visibility. Plus, well written content gets linked to, and backlinks are key to better search engine rankings.

3.  Consistently creating compelling content gives people a reason to return to your site again and again to sample your expertise. Which gives you multiple opportunities to potentially sell to them. The more often potential customers engage with your carefully crafted and high-quality content, the more open they will be to a sales message from you at the right time.

Creating amazing content for your site and your newsletter, posting it on a reliable and consistent schedule, and following a strategic plan for sharing it on social media will get more people interested in your products and/or services and increase the number of client and customer inquiries you get.

 

And that’s the down-and-dirty Cliff Notes version of how excellent content, consistently posted, can help you in your small business.

Since I know one of the biggest challenges is coming up with ideas for blog posts and newsletters on a consistent basis, I’ve linked up 3 articles below that outline some dead-simple and effective strategies for coming up with loads of killer ideas.

Check out this post for 3 Killer Resources for Sparking Dozens of Content Ideas.

Go here for 3 More Resources for Easy Idea-Gathering.

And check out this simple but highly effective strategy for creating EXACTLY the kind of content your audience wants to read.

How to Up Your Business Visibility Without Spending a Dime

DIY PR using HARO If you’re a creative small business owner or solopreneur on a budget, no doubt you’re already using no-cost and low-cost ways to market your business.

For example, you know that consistently publishing high quality content to your blog, in your weekly newsletter, and on your social media accounts is one way to up your exposure so that when a potential customer goes online to search for that thing you do, they find you.

But there’s another way to gain exposure that doesn’t cost a dime, and can seriously propel your business visibility to the next level, and that is some good ol’ fashioned media coverage.

Getting quoted or profiled in a local, regional — or heck, even national — online or print publication confers the kind of third party validation that money can’t buy.

Anyone can pay for advertising, but getting coverage in a publication read by your target audience puts you on a whole other level, one that carries a lot more weight than a big, pricey ad could ever do.  You’ll simply never get the same kind of credibility from paid advertising.

Media coverage can raise your profile, create awareness around your products and services, build credibility for you in your niche, get more traffic to your website or bricks-and-mortar location, and ultimately get more sales in your business, if done correctly.

The best thing is, you don’t have to have a big PR budget, or any PR budget at all, to do this; we’re talking DIY PR here, and today I want to share a great resource to help you get started.

This resource is HARO, and it can help you get press for yourself.  You will have to learn a few things about media relations protocol and etiquette, but you’re a smart cookie, so no worries there, am I right?  ; )  Plus, I’ve linked up a couple of articles below that will help you in that department.

What the heck is HARO, exactly?

HARO is an email list you sign up for to receive queries three times daily from reporters who need sources for their stories.

HARO gives you real-time media opportunities, straight from journalists on a deadline needing a source.

There are advanced and premium versions of the service, but the no-cost option is perfect for getting started, and includes dozens of queries each week from reporters looking for expert sources on a variety of subjects and topics.

Simply identify the queries that are appropriate to your products and/or services, choose queries to which your knowledge and expertise are an appropriate and exact match, and reply.

(It’s critically important to give the journalist precisely the kind of information they’re asking for, and well within their stated deadline.  No off-topic or late pitches – take it from someone who used to pitch reporters on a regular basis!)

Sharing your knowledge and expertise using HARO queries can be a powerful marketing tool for your small business.  You’re in business to serve a specific audience and need, so there’s no point in hiding in plain sight waiting for someone to discover you – get out there and make some noise about your awesome business!

You’ll find all kinds of helpful information on how to make the best use of HARO queries and the ins and outs of media-pitching etiquette in a good ‘ol Google search, but in a nutshell , you’ll want to keep these helpful hints in mind:

Pitch on topic, respect the deadline, and be brief/don’t waste the reporter’s time.  (Also see the articles I’ve linked up below under “More Resources” for help here.)

Visit the link below and click the “Become a Source” button to start receiving your own daily HARO queries:

http://www.helpareporter.com/

More Resources:

Here’s a terrific article called “How to Pitch HARO Successfully”

http://www.bloggingprweb.com/how-to-pitch-haro-successfully

And here’s an example of how an educator – not a professional marketer or PR pro – replied to HARO queries and got hundreds of media interviews (you read that right – hundreds).

http://www.bloggingprweb.com/tips-pitching-haro

 

[Hey there, gorgeous. Did you know you can get my FREE weekly newsletter, with actionable tips, techniques, and how-to’s for marketing your business online, delivered straight to your email inbox each Tuesday? You betcha! Go ahead and enter your name and email address at the top right hand side of the blog now, and let’s get you glowing online.]

How to Tap Into Your Inner Genius in 10 Minutes a Day

Today I want to share a very effective problem solving technique I recently discovered.  This technique will help you generate ideas, come up with solutions to business and life challenges, and generally gain  insight into anything you’re currently trying to work through.

The technique is called “Sentence Stems,” which I was introduced to through Rich Schefren’s  “One Step Ahead” newsletter.  It’s easy and even fun to do, and takes just 10 minutes per day, though you can spend as much time as you like on it.

Here’s how it works:

Start with a sentence stem that’s based on a challenge you’re trying to work through, a goal you want to achieve, a problem you want to solve or anything else you want to gain insight into.  The sentence stem itself will contain the solution to the problem you want to solve or outcome you want to achieve.

For example:

“I could start earning more money each month right now if I . . . .”

“It would be easier to get referrals for my business if I . . .”

“I could get 2 new clients in the next 30 days if I . . .”

• Then every day for a week (or for maximum results, two weeks), write out 6-10 endings to the sentence stem.

• Each day (ideally first thing in the morning, when you’re fresh and full of energy!), write out your sentence endings without looking at the previous day’s answers — you don’t want your previous day’s answers to guide your new answers.

• Write your endings as quickly as possible without second guessing yourself, worrying about perfect grammar or spelling, or stopping to “decide” if this idea will work or not. Just write.  The idea here is to bypass your conscious mind and tap into the powerful awareness of your subconscious mind.

• Try not to use the same ending more than once.

• Now, at the end of your 7 days or 14 days or however long you decided to do this, review everything you’ve written, strike out any repetitions, and consolidate what’s left.  Some of the ideas you wrote down will give you new ideas; write these down as well.

• Then review your list again, decide which ideas are best, and prioritize the ones that are immediately actionable, and begin taking action on them.

Now, your sentence stems don’t have to be business related of course.  Your stems will be about whatever particular challenge you’re currently facing.

Maybe you want to get healthier, so your sentence stems could look like this:

“It would be easier to exercise 3-4 days per week if I . . .”

“It would be easier to eat a healthy diet daily if I . . . “

And so on. You get the idea.

Let me tell you, this technique works.  I used the sentence stem “I could increase my monthly income immediately if I . . .” and after just 4 days of doing the exercise, I have 28 ideas, and the week’s not over yet.  What’s more, I’ve already taken action on one of these ideas, which is going to net me an extra $1100 in income next month.   And I still have 27 more ideas to explore – wheeeee!  ; )

The idea I took action on is something that wouldn’t necessarily have crossed my mind had I not done this exercise.  Although it isn’t an ideal solution to a consistent increase in my monthly income year round, it doesn’t matter, because what I was after was a solution to more income right now, within the next 30 days, and that’s what I got.

I even wrote down my next half dozen sentence stems to work on when I’m finished with the current one.

One of the other benefits of doing this exercise is it will get you thinking of solutions and answers even when you’re not actively completing your sentence stems each morning.  I’ve come up with ideas lying in bed, while in the shower, while in (boring) meetings, driving around, and in the market.

Now YOU try it, you genius you!  ; )

And next blog post, I’m going to take you through some ideas I generated when I applied this exercise to a friend’s dilemma of getting more customers into her bakery/cupcake shop.  Stay tuned!

 

How to Use Twitter Search to Find Clients and Customers

Twitter Search to Find Clients

How cool would it be if you could spend just 15 minutes online and find potential clients and customers in your area, looking for exactly the kind of product or service you provide?

Well, you can use Twitter Search to do just that. Now, a word of caution: once you do find people looking for what you have to offer, you don’t want to do a hard sell; instead, you want to give them a valid reason to check you out.

For example, say someone’s looking for happy hour specials at a full service bar within a 5 mile radius, and you happen to be a full service bar with great happy hour specials within that 5 mile radius.  So you reply to their tweet with “Great happy hour specials at —Name of Your Fabulous Bar Here—on Front Street, ½ price appetizers & handcrafted beer until 7:00 pm!” or similar. Or if that’s too “salesy” for you, offer a $5 off coupon off for their next visit to your establishment.  You get the idea.

OK, so let’s get down to it and do a Twitter search so I can show you what I’m talking about. There are two ways to do this.

Log into your account, and once there, use the simple search bar at the top of your page:

Twitter search bar

Enter your search terms and see what turns up.  You’re going to want better, more targeted results than a general search will give you though, so click on “refine results” in the bottom right corner of that pane once your initial search results are returned, which will take you to the Advanced Search page.

Twitter cupcake search

Or, you can simply go to http://search.twitter.com/, and click on “Advanced Search” from there.

Twitter Advanced Search

Advanced Twitter Search

Once you’re in the Advanced Search pane, you’ll see all sorts of options for searching, so just have a play around and see what works; you’ll see that you can filter searches in several ways there.  If you’re a location-based local business, then obviously you want to use the “places” filter for finding people in your specific area searching for what you offer.

Here’s how I set up my search:

I searched for the general term “cupcakes,” which returned far too many results.  I then “refined” the search to: “need cupcakes,” within a 15 mile radius of Washington, DC, then clicked the “Question” box on the bottom of the advanced search page.  Here’s what that search turned up:

Twitter cupcake search results

Bingo!

Now what if you’re a bakery with mini cupcakes/cookies in this person’s area – don’t you think with a well thought out response to their tweet, offering them exactly what they’re looking for, that customer is coming to your store?

Here’s another example.  Let’s say you’re a caterer who specializes in catering large weddings. Using Advanced Search, you look for mentions of the words “wedding caterers” within 15 miles of your town, and you select the “Question?” checkbox in Advanced Search, which will narrow the results to tweets that contain your search terms and also pose a question.

You might not get results on your first search, but it’s entirely possible that if you run this search on a regular basis, you’ll find someone asking for recommendations for caterers who specialize in large weddings.  Then you can respond to these tweets with a special offer, a free consultation, or something else of value.

If you use Advanced Search to find people who are looking for what you provide, and you offer genuine, non-douchy value and solutions, chances are you’ll be able to add new clients and sales to your business.

Have you ever used Twitter search to find new clients and customers?  How did it work? Let me know in the comments below!

[Hey there, gorgeous. Did you know you can get my FREE weekly newsletter, with actionable tips, techniques, and how-to’s for marketing your business online, delivered straight to your email inbox each Tuesday? You betcha! Go ahead and enter your name and email address at the top right hand side of the blog now, and let’s get you glowing online.]

Why Your Food, Wine or Creative Business Needs an Email List

As we discussed in the last blog post, there are a number of reasons you want to have a blog for your food, wine or creative business, and for some of those very same reasons, you also want to have an email list.  These may be glaringly obvious if you’re already using online marketing, specifically email marketing, to promote your business, but they’re worth mentioning for anyone new to the topic.

Obvious Thing #1:  First and foremost, you need an email list so you can capture leads.

You want people to come to your blog or website to find out what you have to offer, learn more about you, and benefit from your awesome, value-driven content, but you also want folks to elect to deepen the relationship by giving you their email address.

In order to remain top-of-mind to folks who come to your blog when they’re not on it, interact with them at a deeper level, and do business with them at some point, you’re going to need a way to contact them again.

Ask yourself how many blogs or websites you’ve you visited and left, never to return again. And I mean even if you really liked the content, you’ve done this. I know I have.

Well, if you really liked what you saw on that site, and there was an opt-in form to sign up for said blog or websites special offer or free content or weekly newsletter or what-have-you, and that what-have-you was going to be beneficial to you in some way, you’d sign up, right?

On the other hand, if you visit a blog and there’s no way to enter your email for updates or newsletters, etc., there’s a good chance you won’t visit again, simply because as a small business owner, there are so many other things that take up your attention units on a daily basis.

You can have the best traffic strategies on earth, but if you’re not getting your visitors to sign up for your email list once they get to your site, you’re leaving a lot of potential prospects, customers and dollars on the table.

Obvious Thing #2:  An e-mail list is a great marketing tool, and one of the best assets your business can have.

So, you’ve gotten your target audience to your site, and with an attractive, value-driven reason to join your list, you now have your audience signing up to receive your regular email updates.

Now you have an opportunity to build a relationship with them that keeps them coming back to your site again and again, and keeps you top of mind even when they’re not visiting your site, as in, when they’re wondering where they can buy the product or service you provide.

Think of your email list as one of the highest ROI assets your business has. It’s a list of people who have raised their hands and said “I’m interested in your content, offers, information, services, etc.” This makes them a much better prospect for you than folks who follow you on Twitter or fan you up on Facebook, and once you’ve got them on your list, you can market to them again and again.

Now, Facebook and Twitter are important for driving traffic to your site, and for the ever important task of engaging and interacting with your customers and prospects on a regular basis, so you want to be providing value there as well.  However, not everyone is using these sites just yet, but almost everyone has email.  So leverage your Facebook fans and Twitter followers by having them come over and sign up for your email list.

I’ll say it again:  an email list is a list of people who have raised their hands and said they’re interested in what you have to offer, a highly targeted audience you can market to directly, without the kind of noise and distraction that can exist on social media sites.

Real World Example

So we’ve said that by keeping your name top-of-mind, you’re increasing the likelihood that your customers will purchase from you when they’re in a position to buy.

Here’s an example: let’s say you’re a wedding and baby photographer.  A couple comes to your website to check out your wedding packages and signs up for your weekly e-newsletter, where you share useful content each week like “tips for looking natural in your bridal portrait,” or “why natural lighting at X time of day is the most flattering,” or “Should you contract for photography only, or video as well?”  (I’m just making this stuff up, but you get the idea.)

Because you’ve stayed in touch on a regular basis, with quality information about a topic they’re interested in, when they are ready to buy, you’ll be at the top of the list of people they want to contact.

Why would they go searching online for a photographer they’ve never heard of when they already know you – the person who sends them useful information each week?  And when they want shots of their beautiful bundle of joy, or have friends or acquaintances getting married, guess who they’ll think of?

Obvious Thing #3:  You can drive traffic to your bricks-and-mortar business and make actual cold, hard cash with your email list.

Again, an email list that you mail to regularly gives you an easy way to keep your name in front of your customers and prospects on a continual basis, which translates to a ready-made, eager audience for any sales, special promotions or offers you have.

Think about it – once you’ve provided value to your list on a regular basis, every time you have something interesting going on at your place of business, you’re pretty much guaranteed to makes some sales, simply by pressing a button and sending an email.

Now, not every subscriber will become a loyal customer, but many will, and you’ll be much more successful selling to your list than to a group of relative strangers.

And even if the folks receiving your emails don’t read every one of them, they still see your name on a regular basis, so they won’t forget you.

Real World Example

Let me give you an example of this – I regularly shop at the same 2 wine stores in town, both of them sort of inconveniently located many miles from my house.  Even though there’s a perfectly good, well-stocked wine store just minutes away from where I live, I very rarely shop there, because I seldom remember they’re there.

This is because I get an email newsletter from the two other wine stores regularly.  One of them sends an email about once a month; it feels kind of random – some months I seem to get the newsletter, some months I don’t — but I do shop there fairly often, because I get that newsletter semi-regularly, so I remember them.

The second wine store, the one where I do most of my shopping, sends a regular email, each and every week, like clockwork,  announcing the wines they’ll be featuring at the weekly wine tasting, with tasting notes and prices – super handy!  Because even if I can’t make it to the tasting, I’m likely to stop in and buy some of the featured wines, based on the information in the newsletter.

Again, this store is not close to my house and therefore not very convenient, but I frequently shop there, because I’m getting that weekly newsletter, so they’re top of mind for me when I’m thinking about wine.

The wine store that’s way more convenient for me because it’s right around the corner from my house?  I haven’t shopped there in more than a year, because I hardly ever remember they’re there.  Seriously.  Until writing this blog post in fact, I had forgotten they were there, and they’re located just 5-10 minutes from my house.

So I hope you can see by now how powerful an email list and a consistent, targeted email marketing campaign can be to the bottom line of your business.

You can also use email to get great feedback from customers about what they’d buy more of if you offered it, and what doesn’t really move them about your current offerings.  And e-newsletters are easy to share and forward, so your customers will send them to their friends if they find value in them, generating even more business for you.

If you haven’t set up your email capture form on your blog or website yet, I hope you’ll put that on your marketing to-do list this week, and make email marketing an integral part of your regular marketing mix.

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