So last episode I was talking about why an email list is important, why it's valuable for your business. And if you missed that, check it out. If you're one of those people that's curious about email list, or maybe you're curious about how to work an email list into a photo business, it's a good place to start.
In this post, I'm just talking a little bit about welcome sequences. Welcome sequences are generally the first two to five emails that you get when you sign up to something. And some people just kind of drop the ball on this, and I'm going to talk a little bit about what they are and why they're important.
If you sign up for something, you fill in a form, you opt into something, generally you get an email saying something about the course provider or the business that you're opting into.
If it's done well, you'll get a few more emails in the next week or two that really introduce you to the business and the person. So why is that important?
Well, the first reason it's important is that it sets expectations.
Anytime you do anything. It's really nice to know what's going on.
I have a background in teaching. I did my masters in education. And one of the first things that you learn in classroom management and in teaching is to set expectations. You let people know “this is what we're going to do today. This is about how long it's going to take” That way, people aren't kind of sitting there wondering. It's a great tool.
If you're a public speaker, or if you're doing anything like leading a workshop that takes up a lot of time, it's a wonderful thing to do. When I used to do my escape the cubicle workshops–they were like five hour workshops on Sundays–I made a really, really intentional point of outlining what we were going to do that day before diving in, because the worst thing you can do is waste people's time, or like take two hours doing something, and people are wondering, “when are we going to get to this part? Or when are we going to do this?”
So, if people know the information they need going in, they have a lot more patience. They can ask questions and get more information that way.
So what does that have to do with you email list? Well, you'll use your welcome sequence as an introduction. When someone signs up to your email list, whether they're signing up to your many lists, or they're opting in to get a download, letting them know, “Hey, you'll hear from me usually once a week, I send my newsletters out with some tips and some stuff that I'm into. And so keep an eye out for those. I try not to be spammy. I'll also let you know when there's offers. So thanks for being here.”
That's a wildly broad generalization of what you could say, but setting expectations is a reason that a welcome sequence is really, really useful.
You can also use a welcome sequence–and you should use a welcome sequence–to share your story a little bit. You can go a little bit deeper about who you are. Why you're doing what you do, what your backstory is, maybe like what you like to do on the weekends.
Again, you're a personal brand. You're a single person that's doing a service. You're trading your time for money. So you are interfacing with your clients a bunch, and it really helps if they can get to know you a little bit. You can be as personal or as surface level is you feel comfortable. You don't have to tell them your deepest, darkest secrets, but it does help to try and connect with your audience a little bit in these first few emails, because they'll see you as a human being, not just as someone that takes photos. So I think that's really helpful sharing your story.
I also think a third reason that welcome sequences can be really useful is that you can use them to introduce clients to your business. You can bring them to blog posts that might be useful. You can show them around kind of say like, “Hey, this is what I do. I do mini sessions a few times a year. This is my collection of wedding photos.” You have the ability in these early days to really let people know what's up, set expectations, share your stories, share the backstory of your business. All of that stuff gives value. It also connects you to your audience.
Immediately it lets them know why they are on your list and likely if it's good information, they'll stay on your list. You just want to make sure it's good stuff, and that it's interesting and it's not too spammy, so not too many times a week. And not too salesy.
You want to serve your audience, serve your audience, serve your audience, and then sell to them once in a while.
I'm sure you heard me mention in the intro that Grow Your List is back. One of the cool things about this iteration of it is it's self paced. It includes some resources you can download and a couple of short videos walking you through everything. And I've added welcome sequence templates.
So if you kind of sit there and look at a blank screen and struggled to think of what to say, when you're writing out your first few emails, I've included those in the mini course as well. So this is a great mini course to just get started. PhotoBizhelp.com/list. Definitely check it out. It's really straightforward, really easy to get through, and it gives you everything that you need to get started on growing your list.