You Started A Newsletter... Now What?

Every marketer since the dawn of time has been screaming about having an email newsletter. (Yes, I’m pretty sure even when humans were in caves one of them was like, “Would you like too see my hieroglyphics every week? Sign up and get a free PDF!”)

The Marketing Idea That Changed Everything

Your branding has nothing to do with you.

That's right. I said it.

I wasted so much time trying to "brand myself" and "position myself as an expert" and blah blah blah. Believe me, they're semi-important, but not as much as the marketing revelation my brain finally cracked.

First, a little background story.

Recently, I have been helping a lot of personal trainers build their brand online. (BTW if you're a trainer and you're not on Instagram, what are you doing with your life?)

I have spent months trying to crack the code of what gets a trainer popular online. (Which you could also apply to almost any industry.) Here is what I finally discovered:

Building a brand has nothing to do about the brand owner and everything to do about the customer.

Here is how I wasted my time: Trying to decide my "ideal customer" and "target market". What would they wear? What do they think about? What do they do? What is their personality like?

Fuck all of that. Seriously. Skip it.


If it works for you, that's cool. But I would bet that you have followed all these guru's for months, if not years, and it hasn't changed shit about your business.

So, here's how to position it instead:

What does following and supporting my brand give my customer to say about THEMSELVES?

Let me break it down.

So, one huge brand in the fitness world is Flag Nor Fail.

The two owners, Rob and Dana Linn Bailey, are badass as all hell. Alone, they could have built a pretty cool brand. But that is not the secret to getting to the big leagues.

The secret is in what their brand stands for. Flag Nor Fail stands for exactly what it says: You will never fail or surrender, you will work hard, hustle is everything, you will do whatever it takes to succeed, etc.

By following them, sharing their stuff, and buying their clothes, their fans are using their brand to remind the people around them that they also follow those values.

The problem is that too many people try to build a brand around themselves instead of building a brand based on an ideal outside themselves.

People share information from brands that speak to who they are as a person.

When you create content, ask yourself: "What are they telling their social circle about themselves by sharing this?"

This is why your branding has to stand for something big. Freedom. Happiness. Breaking the rules. Hustling. Seeing the world. It doesn't matter what it is, it has to be something.

Think about all the brands you love, something about each one of them SAYS SOMETHING ABOUT YOU. When you support them, you are reminding everyone WHO YOU ARE.

Now that I have helped my clients identify their big goals and values, we focus on building a brand around those goals and values, not around them.

Too many people are on the internet wondering, "Why doesn't anyone care about me?" instead of asking, "What do I care about and how can I create a rally cry to build a mini army to help us all reach our similar goals?"

List your top three values that your brand stands for.
Build your brand around those values.
Create content that speaks to the heart of those values.
BOOM. Raging fans.

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Rules Are for Suckers and Other Important Things: Newsletter Opt-Ins

It's common business knowledge to not give attention to your competitors.

But I am not a big fan of rules.

Ashley Ambirge is the copywriting / marketing / vodka-drinking authority on the web. Her marketing is like crack to everyone who falls into her sales funnel because how can you not love everything she ever creates? Am I fan-girling out too hard? Probably.

When I was taking her copywriting course, we had an after class discussion and I asked her how to entice people to sign up for my newsletter.

"Stop calling it a newsletter," was her advice.

My mind was like: *insert loud bomb explosion noise*.

Essentially what she told us was that when people think of the word "newsletter" they think of their colossal inbox full of a multitude of unread "newsletters" full of pitches and other worthless information. She told us that the inbox is a sacred place to many people and the last thing they want is another "newsletter" to never read.

She even has a post all about this topic. (YEAH that's right, continuing to break rules.)

This is her e-mail opt-in:

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Awesome, yes? It is fresh, vivid, and actually tells you what you are going to get by giving up your email address.

Let's look at the hilarious Erika Napoletano's opt-in:

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Right to the point. Once again, no "newsletter".

And then the amazing Chris Guillebeau's opt-in:

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Sounds absolutely inciting, right? Of course you want to change the world!

It also just dawned on me that the secret to success might be having a hard to spell last name... Seriously.

An important question to ask yourself is what do your readers get from subscribing to your newsletter?

Did you create a free PDF? Do you have a free course to give away? Do you have free templates? What will your newsletters be about? Do you talk about Etsy brand building, copywriting, pizza, baseball, etc.? You have to describe the benefit they get, or else they won't sign up.

All of this ties into what I mention in every post: You have to have an ultimate vision for where you are going with your company.

Most people sign up for newsletters because they want to be a part of the ultimate vision a business has. Your copy for your opt-in just helps that process. Why do people sign up for Ash's newsletter? Because her intelligence is uncanny and by being a part of her newsletter you hope that you will learn something to apply to your own business so you can become a marketing/copywriting badass also. Or you like vodka. Either or.

You could have a marvelous opt-in on your page, but if your newsletters don't live up to the vision and the promise you make in your opt-in, the retention won't last.

Mentioning subscribing... if you found this information useful, get this and oodles of other tips to become a badass in your industry by clicking: here.