The phrase, “leaving money on the table” is so overused it’s become a cliche in the business world, but the reality is that if you’re not staying in touch with your clients and prospects then that is what you’re doing.
Often it’s not that you don’t want to keep in touch with your contacts. It’s not even really that you don’t have time. It’s that you don’t know what to write.
So if you’ve been thinking “I want to send regular emails to my clients” but you’re struggling with what to write about, this post will help you identify how you can engage with your readers.
The best place to start is to put yourself in the shoes of the reader. What can you help them with? What might they not know, or not have thought about, that you can shed some light on? What tips can you give them that they can implement right away?
Often when we’ve been working in our own sector for a long time, we become blind to all the specialist knowledge that we have and we assume that most of what we do is pretty obvious.
Don’t forget you have specialist knowledge
I was reminded of this in a blog coaching session earlier this month. You see, I spend a lot of time with very switched on business owners… graphic designers, photographers, business coaches and a variety of other people who know a lot about marketing.
So when I sat down with a client for a blog coaching session earlier this month, we ended up discussing lots of things that I’d filed in my head as “stuff that most people know”. But this particular business owner didn’t know most of what I was telling him. He was good at winning work through his established network, but needed advice to develop the digital side of his marketing efforts.
Afterwards he emailed me to say, “I found our session to be very helpful and your follow up strategy guide equally useful and informative”. Even better, he went away and immediately wrote a brilliant blog post that showed he’d taken on board everything I’d said.
I’m not telling you this to impress you, but simply to remind you that, like me, you probably have an awful lot of knowledge that you take for granted. If you can find a way to get some of this across in your emails then you’ll really engage with your readers and give them something of value.
Generating ideas for your emails
1. If you’re providing a service, think about where you start with your clients. What do you do first to help them? Could any of what you do be conveyed as helpful advice in an email?
2. Do you have a recent client who’s really benefited from working with you? What problem did the client have and how did you solve it? Turn this into an engaging story and you’ve got something you can use as an email.
3. Is there something you’ve changed in your business recently that’s helping it to grow, or helping you to be more productive? Is there an app you’re using that’s had a big impact on how you work? If your clients are business owners, these things will resonate with them.
4. Tell a story about something interesting that’s happened to you lately… perhaps something that was particularly rewarding or taught you a valuable life lesson.
There can be a feeling, especially in professional business services, that it’s not the done thing to talk about life away from the office. But the reality is that you’re the human face of your business and people buy from people. Tell the reader something about yourself so they can get to know you.
If you haven’t been keeping in touch with your contacts then, whatever you do, don’t make your first email a sales pitch. It’s a massive turn off for your audience.
You get out of life what you put in, and if you’re sending people helpful emails that are useful and informative, you’ll soon see a return on your investment.
At best, people will take on board some of your advice, and then when they’re ready to work with you you’ll have educated them so that they’re well placed to get the most out of your service.
At worst, people will just skim read your emails (or even ignore them) but they’re being regularly reminded that you exist. After all, they can’t do business with you if they’ve forgotten all about you, can they?
Don’t wait for perfection
So don’t put it off any longer. Write an email and send it out. An email that’s out there, being read by people who know you, is going to generate much more business for you than one that’s sitting in a folder on your computer, waiting to be honed until it’s “perfect”.
Just do it.