391: Behind The Scenes: I’m Testing A New Email Strategy In My Business

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391: Behind The Scenes: I’m Testing A New Email Strategy In My Business

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This week I’m back to give you an inside look at a new marketing strategy I’m testing out. You guys know, I love to try new ways to provide value and keep my audience updated. One of the best resources I have is my email list, a valuable way to connect with my audience outside of social media. 

 In this episode I’m sharing:

  • How to cultivate an email list of your own, and continuously grow it
  • How to figure out the best content and offerings you can give your audience 
  • How to automate emails, freebies, and paid products 

Highlights Include:

  • 1:22 The Value of an Email List
  • 4:56 How To Connect With Your Audience 
  • 9:12 Automating DM Responses 
  • 17:50 Testing Out Ads
  • 23:11 Connecting On Different Platforms
  • 26:43 Creating Freebies and Paid Products

Check out episode 391 of Side Hustle Pro podcast out now on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and YouTube

Links mentioned in this episode

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Guest Social Media Info

Side Hustle Pro – @sidehustlepro


Nicaila Matthews Okome 0:02

You're listening to side hustle Pro, the podcast that teaches you to build and grow your side hustle from passion project to profitable business. And I'm your host Nicaila Matthews Okome. So let's get started.

Hey, friends. Hey, welcome. Welcome back to the show. It's Nicaila. Here, I'm back with another solo episode, you can consider this a teaching episode like a work with me episode, because I had Persephone the other day about something that I need to do with my business. And I decided why not take you guys along with me? So here's the deal. You know how? Two episodes ago we spoke about how to find out what your niche is, right. And in that episode, I shared this poll that I created, that I sent out to friends when I was trying to figure out what I should be doing with my life. Right. So this poll, it's something that I sent out, I quickly put together that link side hustle pro.co/poll. For the very first time that I mentioned that in one of my episodes, I can't remember which episode was the first time that I mentioned it. But I put that together that time. And it was real quick, just something I wanted to make sure it was ready for the episode, I just realize that I never put that behind an email fulfillment, I never put that behind an email paywall, so to speak, not that you have to pay for it. But now you can go well before this episode, because we're changing that today. But previously, you could just go click on the link, and it will take you directly there fulfillment bull, because I didn't want to worry about it at the time, I just wanted it to be up. So what I said in the episode, you could get right, and I never went back to it. But now what I'm going to show you guys is how I grow my email list by creating freebies, where people have to give me their email. And in exchange, I give them something of value, which in this case, is that simple poll that I sent to my friends that you can adapt and send to your friends. Got it. Alright, so let's do this.

So the email list is the lifeblood of any business, any side Hustler, one of the biggest things you need to know starting out from jump is make sure you're giving people a way to connect with you and give you their email. We often forget to do this in the early days of our side hustle, but I'm here for you to make sure that you don't make the same mistake a lot of us make. So I'm going to share with you how you can start off from jump collecting emails. And in case you don't know, which I'm sure a lot of you do. But let's just real quick talk about this right? Why the email list is even important. First of all, I'm not going to start with the most obvious that you hear all the time, I'm going to start with something that a lot of people don't think about, which is that an email list keeps people informed about what you're up to. Day to day people are engrossed in their own life, they are big Z capital B, they're not paying attention to every single one of your social media posts, no matter what platform it is, whether it's tick tock, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, they're not paying attention. They are so engrossed in their own life and their own stresses that they need to get through, you know, the next thing that they're trying to do in their life. So yeah, they might tap in here and there, they might get a laugh. If you don't come up in their algorithm right away, they have no idea what's up with you. And they're likely not just searching your name, to go to your page to see Hey, what did so and so posted lately, you know, so an email list allows you to tell them more people are going to check their email and see what you're up to when they're on your email list. Then they are going to see every post on your social media pages. So number one is an email list gives them direct information about what you're into straight to their door. Number two, is the email list also gives people a way to stay up to date as soon as something happens. As soon as something happens if someone's on my weekly newsletter, they are up to date. They don't have to go catch up a month later and say, oh my god, I missed this. I didn't know she was pregnant. I didn't know she had a whole second baby. My email list. You guys heard it here first before I even put it in a podcast episode. Before I put it anywhere. I updated my email list because that was the easiest and most direct way and that's something that's always the people on the side hustle pro email list, head over to side hustle pro.co/newsletter Y'all are going to hear and be the most up to date and that's just how it is. Even though I still share things on Instagram. I just know that like Some of you are going to see that in your algorithm unless you have just subscribed to side hustle Pro, logged in at the exact right time or, you know, IG decided to serve it up to you. So that's what I love about the email list. And then it also gives people an opportunity to talk to you one on one. So if you're only sharing your side hustle updates, via your social platforms, then you're forcing people to either always have to send you a DM, or to write out their thoughts in the comment section. And not everybody wants to comment publicly, not everyone wants to stay connected with you in that way, they want to have that one on one, oh, I can just reply to this email conversation. And that creates a degree of intimacy, and a degree of closeness as well. So sometimes when I send out my newsletter, and people write a reply, it feels like sometimes they're surprised that I wrote back, but I read every single thing. And if you know, I don't reply, charge it to my head in my life, not my heart. But I do try to respond, and I read every single one. And it just feels like a more direct way of connecting. Because yes, I can go over and on IG and respond to every comment. But you know, sometimes your names might be a little different, it might be a play on words, or you might be on your business account. And I don't remember you the same way as I do when you know, I get an email from Oh, Victoria is always responding, oh, I know, Victoria. Oh, I know this person. So there's a more direct and straightforward relationship that forms through the email list. And then finally, I will go with the obvious one. It's very important, though, you own your email list. You don't own these social media platforms, I don't know what's going to happen with these social platforms. But any given day, we can wake up, they could be a blackout, it could just be gone completely, it could be sold, and then they completely change it, the US could ban it, we just don't know. So with the email list, you'll always have the names and emails of these people who decided to sign up and subscribe to your email list. If you want to move to a different platform, you still can download that data and import it up to the new platform that you decide to use. So you're not stuck with one platform either. So if you decide to move email service providers, you still will always own your list. And that's a beautiful thing. Because how many times have we thought about, oh, I need to, you know, screenshot and download every picture, I need to go to my files on these platforms and download everything I've posted because we've given them such rich information. Or oh man, how do I get everybody who I'm connected with here over to here. But with an email list, it's way simpler. You literally can download as a CSV file. And you're good to go for any kind of file that you want.

Now, let's get back to the coworking part of this episode. So here's what I'm doing. I'm gonna walk you through the steps that I am going to take to change that little blunder that I've made in my own business. And I hope sharing this with you guys just shares and shows you that I'm always learning growing and leveling up. Alright, so the first thing I'm going to do is I'm going to change the freebie site, I'm going to redirect the URL. So the URL right now is side hustle pro.co/pol pol l that's currently pointed directly to the Google Drive upload that shows you the screenshot of the sample poll with the questions, I am now going to go into a website that I use called leadpages.com. So it's essentially a website I've been using forever since 2016. When I first started doing side hustle Pro. And essentially what it does is it's kind of a shortcut. So let's say that you don't have a website or even if you do, it's more work for you to go on your website and custom create pages for people to input their email unless you have like some templates. But even still like these websites, like lead pages, because there are other websites like this, and I'm not beholden to any particular one. But what they do is they make it easy for you to just drag and drop and quickly design something that someone can come to and download what they want, after they give their name and their email. I hope that is straightforward. It made sense to you guys. So in lieu of a website, I believe you still have to have a domain name but in lieu of the website, you can quickly get what's called landing page up and it's so easy because it takes the pressure off of you setting up this website which oftentimes we actually underutilized anyway, so I highly recommend using these landing pages services. You can also use it from your email list provider like I use convert Hit. And there are landing pages on ConvertKit that I need to familiarize myself with. But I'm just so used to LeadPages that if it ain't broke, don't fix it, we're gonna use it until we don't have to use it anymore. So I'm gonna go over to LeadPages. And I've used it before. So if you want to see an example, I'm going to create a quick landing page that says something like, want the sample poll, get access here. And then when they click the Get Access button, when you click the Get Access button, because you'll see this when you go, then it'll just quickly say, you know, and put your name and your email. Once you do that, and press submit, you'll be taken to a thank you page that says, you're all set, check your inbox. So the first thing I'm doing is I'm setting up that lead page. Oh, and I might also go over to Canva. If I feel like if I want to get fancy, I might go over to Canva. And quickly create a nice image for that lead page, or I might just use the sample designs that they have on the pages, and just go with that. So I'm still deciding. But that's another option, I use Canva as well till I'm blue in the face. Alright, Canva. Me, we got together. All right, so that's step one, and two Canva, LeadPages, LeadPages Canva, then for the fulfillment of this freebie, right, it needs to be connected to my email service provider, which in my case is ConvertKit. A little note on this here. So I started out using MailChimp, which is another excellent service as well. And somewhere in the last few years, I switched over to ConvertKit, because I really liked how they allow you to tag people who come onto your list, I like their system a little bit better. So fill out the services, start with the free service when you can, I believe MailChimp was free up to a certain amount when I was getting started, I'm not sure if they still offer that. Alright, so I'm going to log into my email service provider next. And I'm going to create what they allow me to do, which I love is an automation. So essentially, everyone, and and by the way, what I like about LeadPages is it is synced with ConvertKit, all you have to do is you know you put in that information, and then the tour synced. So as soon as someone puts their email into that lead page, boom, it goes over to ConvertKit. When I'm in ConvertKit, I have an automation that's going to be set up. So as soon as someone lands on my email list from downloading that poll, they're tagged with poll, they're then put into an automation. And the automation says anyone tagged with this tag poll. And that might not be the tag but you know, you get me whatever you want to tag them with it that automation tells them tells ConvertKit whoever is tagged with this, send them this email immediately. All right, so I'm gonna create an email sequence that sends the survey to them. So that survey will go to their inbox immediately after they download it. So that's how the magic works. So what I'm doing here, and what I've just demonstrated to you guys, is I am growing my email list by creating something of value that you can have in exchange for sharing your email with me, and then we can continue to stay connected, you get all the benefits that I shared about in the beginning, right, you get to stay informed, we're up to over here inside on sopro LAN, be the first to know, and have that greater connection with me be able to email back talk to me. And of course, I own the list. So no matter where I go, I'm always able to talk to you guys and keep you informed. So that is what we're doing to grow our email list. I started growing side hustle pro this exact way, and you can start it as well.

One of the first things I did one of the most successful landing pages I did on LeadPages was I had a social media challenge. It was an Instagram challenge back in the day, over 1000 people signed up for that challenge. So that was the first real boost of subscribers to my email list. So think about some things that you might want to do to start growing that email list. If you're just starting out, you don't have a business idea yet, you don't have a side hustle idea yet, consider creating content around what you're interested in, because that will lead you there. And that will also attract attention surrounding your expertise and things that people can pay you for or might want to learn more from you. And then invite your network to continue to get this kind of content directly from you by joining your email list. So consider doing this if you are just starting out. Now building off what I'm doing to grow my list by now putting this poll behind the email list fulfillment, for lack of a better words. I really don't know how to describe that right now. But what I'm also going to be testing because we're in a season of Testing, and you guys are seeing it live and direct in process. So when you go over to my Instagram, or when you come onto my list, you're gonna be like, This is what she talks about, um, episode. So what I'm also going to be testing is organic posts, and DM automation as well as some ads around this. So let me break each one of those down. Alright, so nowadays you may have seen or if you're not a social media marketing nerd like me, maybe you haven't. But there's a service that I have had forever that I don't utilize enough. But now it's gotten this resurgence. It's called many chat, ma ny chat Cha te. And many chat allows you to send automatic DMS to people once they opt into something for in the past, I've used it for webinar, you know, once you opt into the webinar, and you opt in to getting messages from me, you might get a DM with the information on Facebook like that's, I think what I primarily use it for in the past, but now I started seeing people using it on Instagram, you might see this right everyone's like, comment, shop, comment, shirt, comment, pod, comment this, everybody's commenting something. Okay, I can come into I can do that. I already have many chat. So we're going to be testing that. So what I'm going to do right now, in the episode, where I talked about how to find your niche, and the poll, how I set that poll out, I'm going to take a clip from that episode, a moment where I spoke directly about that, right, we'll put some nice graphics on it. Shout out to my social media content manager Yasmin. All right, so we're gonna take a clip, we're going to insert some nice images, we're gonna, you know, make that very shareable. And I will, in my Instagram captions will say something, you know, like, comment survey, or comment poll, if you want to get the exact poll, I used to figure out my niche, boom, when they put that word poll, you know, what many chat is going to do? Many chat is going to send them a DM from me Nicaila. Now, I used to think DMS from services were very spammy, the verdict is still out, you guys, because I haven't tested it in a while. However, what I have tested is doing this on other people's posts, and people I respect, so I've done it, and the fulfillment has been immediate, the DM has come through immediately. So there are people who are, you know, podcasters that I respect, who are doing this and are able to directly grow their email list this way. So I think that's pretty cool. So I'm going to be testing that out. So when you comment poll, you will receive the link to this lead page that I just set up. And then I can grow my list that way.

Now taking it one step further, here's the third piece of this puzzle that we're going to be doing. All right, I am going to be either using that same post and turning it into an ad or, or, or, or, because I'm still deciding, I am going to record a shorter clip just straight to camera, me talking to the camera, I'm not ever going to use this setup, probably, I'm just gonna like do it on my iPhone. So because what that does is when you do an ad like that, it grabs people because it looks so organic, it looks like you know, it's just like, especially if it's an Instagram story ad, it looks like just another Instagram story. You pop it in with your face, you grab people, the challenge can be like you got to really, you know, get their attention quick, but the right people, you'll get their attention. So I'll record a shorter clip. Because I'm not sure if I get to the point of the poll quickly enough in the episode for it to be an ad really, for an ad, you got to be like, here's the poll, I used to figure out my niche when I was confused. That's what it needs to say. And so I'm going to record a shorter clip, make that an ad. So once they click on the link in the ad, it will take them to that lead page. So you see all the pieces of the puzzle coming together. And I want to call out the fact that this is all a test you guys, you're seeing me test in real time this year. Here's why I'm testing this. So I haven't created a new, real juicy, super no brainer, freebie for side hustlers in a while. And I have this guide that I really liked. But sometimes I think that maybe people might be intimidated by the guide. Maybe they're not ready to read, you know how nowadays people's attention span, not the longest. So I am testing out shorter, valuable things that are no brainer. Like it's a poll. I don't have to read. I don't have to study. I don't have to do any homework. All I have to do is get my email and boom, I get this information. I could go use this today. Isn't that cool? So that's what I am testing out. And so that's why based on the responses that I already know that people find this helpful and what I Testing is how many people will find this helpful? Will people outside of side hustle pro regular listeners find this helpful? Will they get it? You know? Or do they need to be in the deeper into the side hustle pro ecosystem to get why you should be sending a poll to your network, and how it can help you decide on your niche, all remains to be seen. That's why we test so that is what I'm up to. And I plan to test this ad for at least three months, adjusting weekly based on my findings, so it's not like I'm gonna put it up and just set it and forget it and check back in three months. No, I'll be looking at it daily, assessing weekly, tweaking as necessary, maybe even making subsets. And I'm starting with a very low budget to begin with under 100. And going from there to see what the conversion rate is to see what my audience needs to be. Because, you know, when it comes to Facebook ads, it's just so tempting to just start putting all these different targets, it's so tempting to stick with just a default target of targeting people who follow your page, or people who look like people who follow your page, or people who look like people on your email list. So I'm also going to be testing different audiences. Well, with as much as I can on a budget, I might start out with one audience or two. And that's the beauty of testing. I'm not putting any pressure behind this. All I want to do is to start learning what actually grows my email list beyond when I'm having something like a masterclass and I'm doing ads like what organic, low effort things do people want from me that I can put out there. And that's how you can grow your email list as well. Don't overthink it, don't think it has to be a quiz. And you have to develop this whole 10 question quiz or, and if I don't have that, then I'm not going to do anything. Because that's a mistake I've made in the past, I have held off so long on creating some new freebies. And that plural, too. Two is an interesting thing. Because we sometimes think we need so many freebies going around. No, I'm sticking with one right now. I'm testing one, and then I'm moving on to the other. Because when you're distracted, trying to do too many like, oh, I should do one for this episode. And I should do one for that episode. Just hone in on what do people want from you. People love this poll. People love that episode. And that episode was also based on one of my top episodes of all time, which is I believe called How to find out what your side hustle should be or something like that. So I said, okay, there is more work needed from me in this area to really help everyone just kind of understand different ways they can go about narrowing down what their side hustle should be testing what their side hustle should be. And going from there. And I want to emphasize, you don't need to have a product yet. You don't need to have a business idea. You don't need to have set up your consultancy. Yet. Before you start your email list. All the email list does is keep people informed. So I started growing my email list. When I launched my blog, and there was no side hustle pro yet. It was just my blog, Kayla K speaks. And I was sending them the blog because I know that in their daily browsing as they commute to work, they weren't pulling up, Kayla K speaks. It's not the New York Times. It's not NPR. It's not an app on their phone. So I had to make sure I sent those blog posts to people. So if you're someone who is creating anything right now, also send it to people that goes for if you have created a blog on LinkedIn as well, even if it's doing well. There are people who only go on to LinkedIn when they're looking for a job, or when they want to find out what someone's up to or find a connection real quick. And if you're doing something weekly or daily, you're missing out on viewership and readership. If you're not also having these people on your email list and sending it directly to their inbox, so make sure you're doing that.

So before we end this episode, I want to leave you with some steps that you can be doing to start your email list and start growing in this way. Number one, sign up for an email list provider. Number two, start sharing on social media about your side hustle, business or your area of interest that you want to really lock in on just start sharing some thoughts. This will force you to clarify your intentions. Clarify your wants and desires out of life. It just puts the fire under you a little bit more. It holds you accounts payable. And guess what it updates people on what you have going on. No one knows what you have going on unless you tell them what you have going on. Oh, so I was interested in this. Oh, so so it was making this kind of stuff in her house, not even selling it yet. But oh, I didn't know she had that talent. People take that information and put it in their back pocket, they take that information, add it to their mental Rolodex is going to come back in the future, and it's going to come back to help you trust. Alright. Number three, if you're on LinkedIn, likely, you're connected with people who are in your network who know you well who have interest in what's going on in your world, professionally and personally. So you can use my jumpstart method, which I detail in Episode 348. So I'm not going to go through it all again here. But head over to Episode 348 of side hustle Pro, it's called use this quick email list strategy to build your list fast, I will link to it in the show notes. Again, that was episode 348. Use this quick email list strategy to build your list fast. So you're gonna go over to that episode and get my linked in hack to jumpstart your email list. And, again, this is something I did and I use and it worked really, really well to get my list started. So when you're starting from zero, you got to start with the people in your world already. So that can start with sending attacks that can start with putting out on social media, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, like hey, I'm gonna be chronically this, I've started substack I've started this I've started with that, here's where you can subscribe. So put that out there. And then use that jumpstart that I detail over in Episode 348. So step four is to create your own freebie. Get practice creating something, don't wait until you're ready because then you'll never be ready. So create your own freebie. So what I call a freebie is something that your audience will get for free. If they give you their email. That's what I mean by freebie. So practice creating your own, it could be something as simple as my tips for being a great networker. My tips for getting my stepson during the day. My tips for anything, you'll be surprised how many people want your tips. So whatever your tips are, don't be afraid to share it, someone out there needs those tips. And then step five, create posts to promote your freebie and all the content that you create. So in addition to creating a freebie, you can also create something that's paid a small thing that's paid, whether it's an e book or an E guy, you can create something so that you get a little bit of revenue that you can invest back into your business while also growing your email list. So my sister Nadine actually did something like this. And it was the same thing where she did something that was helpful for her, she created a couple's annual planning workbook. And her and her husband, they took their, you know, annual start of the year retreat to kind of go through these areas that they want to focus on as a couple as a family. So it's kind of like their vision board retreat, but broken down into actionable questions and areas to go through and strategize as a couple. And actually, you guys might find this helpful. So I'm going to link to it. She says elevate your relationship with a couple's planning workbook, the essential tool for couples striving towards harmony and mutual support. So it's perfect for ambitious individuals. This workbook guides you in aligning personal and professional goals with your partner, and invest in your shared future today, a small step for lasting alignment and success. So it's only 799. This is something she created for herself, her her husband found it really helpful, then she shared it with me and our middle sister, and also some friends. And everyone just kept saying like, this is awesome, like you should solve this. And she said, You know what? It is helpful. And what she does is strategic planning and consulting. So she said, I didn't realize it. And oftentimes we don't realize it. That's the blind spot that I talked about Two episodes ago, right? We have this blind spot of creating things for ourselves that we need, and we find helpful, and we forget that others might find that helpful as well. So whether you're creating a freebie or something with a small fee, make sure it's connected back to your email list. Do all the steps that I described in this episode. And you will thank yourself for starting that out because you don't have to see all the steps before you take that first step. You don't have to see the whole staircase. You just need to know that whatever you're going to be doing on this topsy turvy twisty path of life. You want to keep people in the loop and what better way to do that by being able to send them an email and update them. Alright, so step six is just to learn and grow. Let me recap those for you one more time. So step one, sign up for an email list provider. Step two, start sharing on social media about your side hustle business ID or interest. Step three. If you're on LinkedIn, make sure to head over to Episode 348. And listen to my jumpstart method for starting your email list with your links in context. Step four, create your own freebie or pain product, and start testing that out to grow your email list. Step five, create posts to promote your freebie or paid product in all the content that you create. And step six, learn and grow. Alright guys, there you have it. I am off to finish setting up my lead page, my ConvertKit automation, and all of that good stuff and I can't wait to report back in a few months on how it's doing. So if you have any questions about today's episode, hit me up at Hi at side hustle product coach. Make sure you sign up for my email list over at side hustle pro.co/newsletter so you can stay informed. Hear from me first and get all the latest and greatest up to date news from side hustle Pro. And with that I will talk to you next week. Hey guys, thanks for listening to side hustle Pro. If you like the show, be sure to subscribe rate and review on Apple podcasts. It helps other side hustlers just like you to find the show. And if you want to hear more from me, you can follow me on Instagram at side hustle Pro. Plus sign up for my six bullet Saturday newsletter at side hustle Pro, that CO slash newsletter. When you sign up, you will receive weekly nuggets from me including what I'm up to personal lessons and my business tip of the week. Again that side hustle pro.co/newsletter to sign up. Talk to you soon

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Meet the host:

Nicaila Matthews-Okome

Hi! I’m Nicaila, the Creator and Host of the Side Hustle Pro Podcast. I started Side Hustle Pro when I was a side hustler myself. I was a digital marketer at NPR by day, side hustler by night. Through the powerful stories shared on this show and the courage to launch my own initiatives, I was able to quit my own job and go full time with Side Hustle Pro.

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