Continued greetings from Palm Springs … 4 weeks of hibernation down, 5 weeks to go before we start traveling again.
Based on the emails I got about last week’s conversation, several readers changed their smartphone’s hotspot name to something that relates back to them. Sometimes it really is the simple things. And a clarification … when your hotspot is turned on people can see the name of it but can’t join it without the password.
On to this week. You get more work by being known as an Authority in/for something. One way to build Authority is by creating content that communicates your BVFLS perspective to your audience. One of the easiest ways to communicate content is with a newsletter. Here are four tips I’ve learned that will make sure your newsletter is successful.
And if you’re new here, welcome aboard. This is what we do!
Back in the day, I was fortunate to reserve two domain names that – surprisingly – were not taken: StandardOfValue (.com and .net) and PremiseOfValue (.com). Either one is perfect for a BV website or newsletter/blog name. Email me if you are interested in acquiring.
This is my 186th newsletter. As the Farmers Insurance guy says: I’ve seen a thing or two, so I know a thing or two. Here are four tips that will make your newsletter be all of the practice development tool it can be.
#1 – Target the right audience.
This is simple … the readers you should write for are those you most want to hire you. That doesn’t mean ALL attorneys or ALL business owners … just the ones you can deliver ridiculous amounts of value to in your practice area or industry niche.
My newsletter is targeted to an audience of 1-3 person BVFLS firms because I am that kind of firm, and I know the opportunities and challenges these practitioners face. And they can unilaterally implement the ideas I write about without the need for a partners’ meeting.
#2 – Make your content relevant.
You know a great deal about your specialty, but not all of it may align with why clients hire you in the first place. To choose newsletter topics that will attract clients, identify the most common reasons they decide to work with you. Then, tie in your ideal clients’ highest priority issues with your newsletter content.
My newsletter focuses on one over-arching theme (helping overwhelmed BVFLS practitioners focus on practice development), and I share real-world experiences from my practice to make my content more tangible. I also provide “So what” and “In real life” headings so you can grasp the relevance of what I write about and see how/where it fits in with your practice.
#3 – Write often enough.
This is not as simple … how often does your audience want or need to hear from you? In turn, this can be driven by how much (long) you write. Part of the reason Seth Godin can blog every day is that most of his posts are very short. But if you write 3,000 words every time out of the gate, people aren’t going to want to hear from you as often.
My newsletter comes out weekly because I felt any more would be intrusive and any less would result in a loss of traction for the ideas I want to communicate. And from my “Greetings” introduction to my “Reading that can help” closing, I strive for 900 to 1,100 words.
#4 – Write well.
Writing quality will have a substantial impact on the success of your newsletter. No one wants to wade through long-ass paragraphs, run-on sentences, and sloppy grammar. You can hone your writing skills by reading a book on the subject, taking a class, or hiring an editor to polish your pieces, any of which will provide carryover benefits to your report writing.
My newsletter has its own voice and, thus, its own writing style … nothing like what I write in a valuation report. Still, I use Grammarly to go beyond Word’s spell and grammar checking tool to find punctuation, word choice, and style mistakes in my writing. And I took classes with a writing coach.
Why only 4 things. Because everything else you read about putting together a great newsletter will fit under one of these headings … things like catchy titles, editorial calendars, self-promotion, when to send, tracking metrics, etc.
Master my four tips and the rest will take care of itself.
In real life
At the end of the day, recognize that a study by the US Department of Labor Statistics says the average person spends only 19 minutes reading every day – and that is reading of all types. (Also, most of that reading occurs on a mobile device, bringing new meaning to the term “fine print.”)
Therefore, a text-only newsletter will only get you so far, which is why you will want to expand into other mediums like voice and video.
Newsletter or Blog: which is better for you?, because it depends on what you want to accomplish with it.
Reading that can help
How to Write an Email Newsletter in 13 Simple Steps, which includes a fantastic infographic, “Anatomy of a Newsletter.”
How To Write Email Newsletters That People Actually Want To Read, with great imitable examples from some of the most widely read ones, like Tim Ferriss’ “5 Bullet Friday.”
– If you like what I write about, tell a colleague.
– If something resonates and you want to reach out directly, email me.
– If you think we share common interests, connect with me on LinkedIn.
– If you want a sense of how well your practice is working for you, take this Practice Self Assessment.