When the pandemic hit and yoga teachers turned to teach yoga online, guess what made this transition so much easier: having an email list of your students so you could get in touch with them.
In order to grow your businesses in the long term, you need a way to connect with your audience in a place you own, and you own our email list, but you don’t own social media.
Whether you have already started your email list or have no idea where to begin, this episode will teach you how to start, grow, and nurture your list and get your first 200 subscribers.
#1 Who is Your Audience
Quality trumps quantity here. You don’t want everyone and their dog on your email list.
If they are not your target audience, they probably will never invest in one of your paid offers, so what’s the point in giving them free stuff?
And there comes a point where you have to pay for your email marketing provider, when your subscriber number grows. You don’t want to pay for people who somehow ended up on your list by accident but are not really interested in what you do.
If you have a lot of people on your list who never open your emails or click your links, it will also hurt your delivery rate overall.
Think about who you want to serve. Who is really your ideal client, who do you want to work with?
Even more important, what problems do you want to help them with?
For example, do you teach sweaty vinyasa yoga and want to work with millennials, because that’s what you are?
Or are you a teacher with tons of experience who is in her best age, like me, and you mostly help women to de-stress with the help of gentle yoga and meditation?
Very different niches and important to figure out!
Of course, you probably will also work with people who are outside of your niche and that’s totally fine.
But when you know your niche, you can serve them better.
When you speak to everyone, you’re speaking to no one. You need to know who’s your target audience, that’s your first step in building your email list.
#2 Create a Freebie
The question you need to answer here is, why should people sign up for your newsletter?
What’s in it for them?
To get people to sign up to your mailing list, you have to give them something for free. AKA a freebie, for example a worksheet or ebook that you deliver as a PDF to someone who signed up to your list.
A freebie is something of value that you give people in exchange for their email address.
Some people call it a lead magnet, or a giveaway, all the same thing. But I like the word freebie.
Want to experience yourself what I mean? I have a great freebie for you, my Teach Yoga Online guide. Click here and sign up to get the freebie delivered to your inbox. Do this to check out the whole process, how it actually works and how I deliver the freebie.
#3 Sign Up with an Email Marketing Provider and Create a Freebie Landingpage
A lot of people just starting out use the free plan on Mailchimp, but I recommend ConvertKit* because they now also offer a free plan for up to 1000 subscribers and they offer more features for later when you’re ready to grow. It’s what I use, and I love it.
With the free plan you can’t set up automations, like rules, but you can do everything else like creating forms, landingpages and sending out your newsletters.
You can also add a form to your homepage or a popup where people enter their name and email address, but you also need a landingpage to share your freebie.
If you tell your followers “go to my homepage and wait for the popup and there you can sign up for my amazing freebie”, well, that’s confusing!
You need a landingpage so you can share it. A landingpage is a page on your website where you introduce your freebie. You need a headline, a small subline maybe, what’s always great is a picture of your freebie so people can see what they will get and a description of it, and of course the form to enter name and email.
The secret of a successful landingpage is that there are no other options. The only thing your visitor should be able to do on this page, beside leaving it, is to sign up for your freebie.
You get tons of amazing templates for landingpages on ConvertKit*, so you can set it up right there with a few clicks, and don’t need to design a page on your website or pay for a different landingpage tool like Leadpages.
And this landingpage is what you need to share your freebie. You should have some forms on your website as well where people cans sign up and get your freebie, like a popup and a form on your homepage and maybe also in your footer. The landingpage is something extra.
After someone enters their name and email address, they get the freebie automatically via email, either you upload the pdf in your email marketing provider when you set up your form, or, if it’s a video, you can also add a link on your welcome email. That’s how you get it to your subscriber.
* Affiliate Link
#4 Share Your Freebie – Everywhere
This step is the secret to success in getting your first 200 subscribers. You need to hustle, friend! It’s not enough to set up the forms and landingpage and hope that people will find it. You need to promote it.
Here are a few things you can do:
- Put the link to your landingpage in your Instagram bio.
- Create a post about it. And share it repeatedly, not only once but once per week
- Create a few Instagram stories about it, do a short video where you talk about it as well, and then save all that in a highlight.
- Create images and upload them to Pinterest. Pinterest is a visual search engine and can work super well to get people to your landingpage.
- Create a YouTube video. And if you have a YouTube channel, add the link to your freebie landingpage to your bio and to your video descriptions.
- Collaborate with other people in your niche and do a freebie exchange, you promote their freebie to your audience, and they promote theirs.
- And finally, you can also use Facebook ads, experiment with a small budget, for example $10 a day, if you’re feeling really ambitious.
The point is to hustle. To put your freebie out there. I know this can be uncomfortable. I too prefer creating content to actually promoting it.
You might think that your freebie isn’t good enough yet or doesn’t compare to other stuff that’s out there.
I’m almost 100% sure that this isn’t true and we’re having a mindset block here.
That’s fine, it happens to all of us.
But I don’t want you to stop here. Promise me that you will create a freebie and put it out there, promote it and be proud of it.
#5 Build a Relationship with Your Subscribers
You need to get in touch with your new subscribers on a consistent basis. I send out my newsletter weekly, but if you feel that’s too much, commit to monthly.
You need to commit to a schedule so that your subscribers know what to expect from you, and how often they are going to hear from you.
If you send them emails every other week, and then they don’t hear from you for 3 months, and then you’re in their inbox again 3 times a week, that’s going to be confusing for them. They will probably think who is this person? And then they unsubscribe and there goes your relationship.
Make your newsletter personal. Share a story, a personal insight, and then you pivot into something that’s valuable to your audience. It shouldn’t be all about you, but it should be personal.
Ask yourself, what is my audience wanting to hear. You want to educate, entertain and empower your subscribers. If you only send out educational information, you’re missing important steps in building a relationship. Mix it up and share some fun stories as well and some motivational content that empowers people to transform.
You could share a blog post, or a weekly affirmation, or a short tutorial for the pose of the week. Come up with a plan, so you don’t have to think about it every time you sit down to write your newsletter, but instead you can follow a structure.