Flashback to 2010. There I was: in my shitty College apartment, my COD edition Turtle beach headset upon my head, mic held close to best record my voice. and in one single take (fifth try lol) , I recorded my MINDSOAK speed reading course.
I was ecstatic! I knew I had made something that really worked. I had taken every speed reading course I could find myself, and I used that information to create what was for me the best parts of all of them. This speed reading course was made to be the cream of the crop for all other speed reading courses. I had used parts of skittering, mind mapping, saccades, and all other manner of speed reading tricks to make a system that let you read entire books in a matter of hours.
I finished the product, edited it, and uploaded it to my fulfillment system. and I was done!
Boy was I wrong.
I had barely even STARTED working. This was my biggest mistake, and has been up until, well….now.
Why didn’t I ask my friends if they were interested?
At the time, because I was afraid of seeming “salesy” and not earnest. I was afraid that they would “see through my scheme”
Why did I feel like it was a scheme? I had spent just about every second of my free time for 6 months developing this course. I worked for days organizing the lesson plan, making worksheets, and answering questions I had learned from teaching others the same method.
I didn’t ask because I thought they would think I was devaluing our friendship.
How does that make any sense? If I had made something that was truly great, and truly helped people read faster with better retention, then why would I think that this should be something to be ashamed of, or something that would belittle a friendship? If anything, this will enrich a friendship.
So what does all of this have to do with email?
These are the internal scripts that kept me away from literally the only way I get business now, and something that I should have adopted way back in 2010.
I know, I know. It’s a dirty word to many of you (some of you are probably reading this RIGHT NOW in the form of an email) but it’s not. You sign up for email lists all the time. You read emails from these signups all the time. You probably even buy from them. So why be afraid of creating one yourself? You’ve probably said one of the above things to yourself about starting an email list. And you might be right. If you think you’re right, though, it’s your business that needs fixing, not your marketing.
So here you are: hoping to start an email list, but afraid that you’ll burn bridges, get pelted with unsubscribe requests, and be blackballed out of your circle of friends.
I found the exact opposite to happen. the LITERAL exact opposite. I send out my emails as you’re reading here…maybe in blog form, maybe in email, and my friends read them.
They read them, the poke fun at my typos, and then they….get interested.
Why? because they want to help their friends out. Its the small town store mentality guys.
About a month ago, my wife and I went to my old home town where I had gone to high school and college. An old friend of mine had opened a music shop on the main street, so I needed to stop in. I went in, caught up with his partner, and then bought some new guitar strings at about a 35% premium. Why? because I wanted to help out my friend! I would do it again, too.
If you’re selling a product or service in good faith, why wouldn’t your friends want to learn about how you’re doing and how you might be able to help them?
If someone doesn’t want to read an email: they can delete it. Its not like you’re knocking on their door saying “HEY MAN! COME BUY MY S%$&#! ISN’T IT AWKWARD THAT I’M STANDING HERE!?!?!”
You’re just sharing your story with them. That’s what you do when you spend time with friends. You share your story.
- It’s a proven fact that social media puts more emphasis on pictured posts. This is especially true for facebook. You’ll understand in a minute.
- Write a status update that goes something like this:
- “Hey guys, I’m starting a blog on how to maintain your home plumbing and heating systems– this is to help my clients, as well as other home owners and save them lots of money! if you’re interested click here”
- Build a landing page like this one http://www.berkshireseo.com/sample-page
This is the easiest way to collect email addresses. I used proprietary stylesheets for this, but there are free options as well. Noah Kagan’s WELCOME MAT plugin for wordpress allows you to create landing pages like this in no time flat. There are also several free options on wordpress that you can use as well. It doesn’t need to be super crazy. In fact the simpler the better. So make it simple, make it clear, and share it!
- Put it all together.
- Take your status update, your picture, and your link, and put them all into a facebook post. Now your friends who are interested in the blog you’re writing will sign up. That’s really it. If they’re really your friends they will be nothing but supportive. That’s why they’re your friends. Not all of them will sign up, but some will. And just like that, Congratulations: you have a mailing list.
If I had done that with MINDSOAK, who knows how it would have worked out. All I needed to do was ask, and then provide some good information like this. Then people buy.
Until next time, My Friends ?