Hey Broma lovers! I’m Brittany, the behind the scenes-tech-and-organizing guru for Foodtography School. My background is in online business and internet marketing, but honestly, I’m just here for the amazing pictures of cakes and cookies.
I nerd out about weird things that no one likes: tech. This includes Facebook and Instagram advertising, email campaigns, webinars, content planning, and course design. Did I lose you already? Are you snoring? Overwhelmed? I get that a lot.
I’ve always thought this topic was one of the MOST important things for bloggers AND entrepreneurs AND influencers to focus on, so I hope your takeaway from reading this is that it’s never too late for you to start focusing on this!
In case you live under a rock, you know that Instagram was down this month for almost an entire day (the audacity (!), I know (!)). Maybe you were refreshing your app 100 times and praying that your post would upload. Maybe you were horrified that your engagement would be ruined. Or maybe that was just your social media manager (she was really stressed that day).
Two of my clients happened to be in the middle of HUGE launches for their products (one was launching a course and the other was launching a meal plan).
But because of ONE secret weapon, sales continued to roll in, even though they weren’t able to promote on Instagram at ALL.
That secret weapon was (and is) their email list.
Why your email list is the money maker.
UGH. YES. THE DREADED EMAIL LIST.
I know. I know. This topic isn’t as glamorous as adding 1,000 followers per day on IG or getting you closer to your 10K “swipe up” feature. But hear me out on the importance of your email list.
No really, hear me out because your email list is hiding piles and piles of gold, and Instagram is fickle.
What happens if your Instagram account gets hacked!? Fickle.
What if the algorithm changes (again!) and your engagement drops because of things completely out of your control? Fickle.
I care about setting my clients up for long-term success. And I hate to break this to you, but if you’re only using Instagram (and not an email list) to promote ANYTHING — blog posts, affiliate products on your website, courses, meal plans, downloads, an online shop — you’re missing out on real dollars in your bank account.
Still not convinced? I’m debunking 5 myths (err…excuses) about not having an email list, and why you should ignore these 5 things and focus on building one anyway!
1. “No one wants to hear from me because there are already so many people doing what I do”
Let us reframe. All I’ve heard you say is “proof of concept.” I go back to hearing the voices of people I’ve learned from, including James Wedmore and Marie Forleo, who always say that if someone else is already doing it, it means there’s room for you and your unique perspective in the market. You offer something unique. Either your recipes, your photos, your writing style. You are different than the person you admire on Instagram, and that’s a good thing. Your unique style also will attract people who are true fans.
2. “I don’t need an email list because I don’t sell anything….”
…yet. You don’t sell anything yet! And the last thing you want to do when you ARE ready to start selling something is to sift through 200 different emails to start building your list. So start building on before you think you’re ready. Later you’ll thank me that you did.
3. “I’m too busy focusing on ______. I don’t have the time to send emails”
Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. Ok maybe that’s for recycling your plastics, but it’s also fitting here! I know you put a lot of hard work into your Instagram captions but do you know that half the emails I write from clients COME FROM their IG captions? Or vice versa. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel with every email you send. You can even pull the writing you’ve worked so hard on from your blog post to put into an email. I’m all about making things easier!
4.“I’m not big enough to need one”
This goes back to #1. Your voice and your perspective are unique and necessary. And if you’re providing and adding VALUE, your list subscribers will open your emails (spoiler alert: a 20-25% open rate is a GOOD open rate) and enjoy what they’re reading. But you need to be adding value. I don’t want your recipe on tollhouse chocolate chip cookies if I can get them from the back of the bag. But if you’re adding value by giving me some baking hacks or a twist on that recipe, I’m all ears!
5. “I don’t know where to start! It’s all too confusing”
If you’re just starting out (maybe you don’t even have a website!) Mailchimp is free for building your email list. Squarespace is affordable. I highly recommend both of those softwares if you’re just beginning. And there are tons of tutorials online to walk you through exactly how to set them up. As you grow, you might have to move your email list and pay more for subscribers, which is a GOOD THING! That means your email list and business are GROWING!
We always say on the Broma team that Instagram is great for long term brand building, but email lists are what are going to help make you money, like, now. So if you’re sick of beating your head against your phone about the algorithm, then I want you to know that there is another way. And growing your email list should move from number 563,378 on your to do list up to #1. Or at least top 5 😉