When I set out to start a newsletter, I had absolutely no idea about many of the benefits I’m now receiving. I wanted to share some of the less obvious perks of starting a newsletter.
A Reason to Email People You Want to Meet
I try to feature the best articles I’ve read each month that relate to business development. Many times, these articles are written by badasses I want to meet (crazy coincidence).
Something that David Siteman Garland taught me is that this scenario provides a great reason for me to email the authors. Specifically, I’ll shoot them a note to let them know that I featured them. I sent the following email and got a great response:
Happy new year!
Just wanted to let you know I included your post on storytelling in the latest BD newsletter I put out once a month to 100+ friends (screenshot attached!). Thought you would want to know and keep up the great work.
As simple as this is, notes like this can be the fireseeds of a relationship.
A lot of people who read my blog are vocal about it. Others read it within the comfort of the shadows.
One great thing about starting a newsletter is that it provides increased transparency to your audience. Some people signed up for mine that I didn’t even think knew who I was! Not only did this make me feel good, but it also makes me more comfortable to broach getting together in the real world.
Know Your Troops
In addition, to the “surprises,” my newsletter helped me further identify the more loyal members of my community. I’ve always read about how you should optimize on your “core audience” a.k.a Army, but didn’t fully understand the true value until recently.
I’ve realized that if you’re trying to build a content destination, you need to ask people for things (can you upvote this, tweet, etc). I never did this in the past because I thought it was toolish, but have become increasingly convinced that if you want to be A-Player faster you need to swallow your pride and do these things (at least in the beginning). Your “core audience” is who you can count on for this help which is why identifying and rewarding them is so valuable.
I don’t really go to events any more. As a result, I don’t see a lot of people in my network. Even if I wanted to make this a priority, there’s just not enough time.
Having an asset that penetrates your network’s inbox monthly helps alleviate some of the ails of this situation. It keeps you top of mind and let’s people know what you’re thinking about. Both of these things help maintain intimacy which is imperative for actually being able to derive value from your network.
There’s also a ton of value available for building relationships with people you don’t know. Great networkers are masters of turning acquaintances into relationships. The holy grail to this equation is CONSISTENCY.
Assuming people open it, a regular newsletter achieves consistency. By regularly familiarizing yourself with people you haven’t met, you can climb from acquaintance to a degree of relationship without even knowing it. Multiple people that I’ve met for the first time have said to me “I read your blog so I feel like I already know you.” This is powerful stuff.
Become A Hub for Interesting Information
Because I’ve established a distribution channel, people send me great content and opportunities with the hope that I feature it. Having valuable stuff funneled my way is awesome. I’m now privy to articles I would have never read, jobs not advertised, etc.
— TK (@Tawheed) December 27, 2012
Creating discussions on topics you’re interested in through content, events, or groups creates inbound opportunities. You’re silly if don’t take advantage of this dynamic.
Sharpen Your Digital Marketing Spear
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: If you want to learn digital marketing start a blog and treat it as a media property you want to grow. Building thought leadership and an audience by learning this is my side hustle.
My newsletter is helping me sharpen my lead-gen skills. It’s helped me familiarize myself with incredible tools like Premise for WordPress. It’s coaxed me to read up on landing page optimization and work on my copywriting skills. This has been an amazing exercise.
I probably read less than 2 blog posts a day. The main reason I don’t consume as much content as I’d want to is because I think the best way to learn is by doing (more on that here). So instead of amassing a bunch of knowledge I can’t put into practice, I focus on building assets that go in tandem with my learning. There’s a whole lot more resistance with this approach, but a whole lot more output created.
Two months in, I couldn’t be happier about starting my newsletter. It’s afforded me all the benefits I’ve mentioned above, in addition to all the obvious positive externalities that “digital marketing gurus” ramble about.
If you haven’t signed up yet, you can do it now at BDNewsletter.com. But more important than my shameless plug, I hope this inspires other people to become curators of conversations. What’s holding you back?