Expanding Your Watering Hole
It's Time to Connect
When I first read about the friendship between C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien,
I was surprised. Such different writers in my mind's eye. But fast friends they were, and the foundation for that friendship was the belief each had in the other's work.
Tolkien was known to have writer's block. C.S. Lewis in the height of the bombings in London went to speak to him about The Hobbit in 1944. That's a person you can count on.
And, here is what Tolkien wrote his son about Lewis's input on one of his books:
"He approved with unusual fervor, and was actually affected to tears by the last chapter, so it seems to be keeping up."
And Lewis? Here is what Lewis wrote about Lord of the Rings. "Here are the beauties which pierce like swords or burn like cold iron; here is a book that will break your heart."
When C.S. Lewis passed away from kidney failure, Tolkien wrote, "So far, I have felt the normal feelings of a man of my age - like an old tree that is losing all his leaves one by one. This one feels like an axe-blow, near the roots."
Find that person, who believes in you in ways that elevate you and do the same for them. Nurture the relationship. Make connecting with them a part of your monthly/weekly routine. Send them things to inspire them; articles around their particular expertise. Pay attention to their growth and look around the room to see who can benefit them, and make that connection.
It's worth the time. Consider it an investment in your wellness and your success as well as building your watering hole with those who will elevate you and vice versa. With any luck, 'your person' will have a genius way with words, the way Tolkien and Lewis did, so when they are quoted about your work in years to come, you will be elevated to your highest self with prose that sings on the page.
Social Media Tips
Yes, we know that newsletters, reaching out to your mailing list with information that engages, entertains, and educates, is a ticket to reinforcing your customer or clients' commitment to you and what you sell. Some tips:
Like that fabulous movie, Same Time Next Year, people like to look forward to hearing from you. The same time; and once a month might not be enough, but if you can't do more, make sure you do the same time each month / week / day so they know it's coming.
Give a hint of what you are going to present in the subject heading. It's the hook that makes them click to open.
Our clients get between a 40 and 60% open rate. The average? 22% according to the Email Marketing Benchmark Report. Engage. Entertain. Educate.
Do not worry about how many people are getting it. Worry about whether they open it and engage with it (click the links you offer).
Be sure and pay attention to the quality of the visuals you're including.
If it's going to be long, as some of ours tend to be, put a Table of Contents at the top of the missive, so people can look at what they want to read and go to it.
Take one element of it, post that element to your social media (including LinkedIn) and encourage people to sign up for it to get the rest of the content.
Lists of five work well.
Short videos? Priceless.
Here are a few newsletters from our clients that went out in the last week. (Full disclosure; Christine is a founder of Backgammon. Winning. Women.)
Backgammon. Winning. Women. which provides all kinds of information for women players around the world about how to improve their game, women's standings, and a touch of entertainment through quotes or anecdotes.
Her Circle Leadership where Leslie Grossman, one of the foremost coaches around women's leadership and equity issues provides content around all things around women's issues.
Andrew Singer's monthly newsletter, Andrew Singer Talks About China, is all about the dance between China and America. Twice a month he publishes this missive, sometimes around culture, sometimes politics, economics, etc. Always with strong visuals that entertain. It's academic, but also engaging. He has a solid readership with a strong open rate. People who subscribe care deeply about China and pay close attention to his point of view. We moved it to Substack more than a year ago, which we believe is a wonderful platform for blog/newsletter content where you can offer membership with different payment options.
Your newsletter's header is the first impression a follower gets when opening your missives. Here are just a few of the headers we've designed for clients recently.
NOTE from FP aka Blue2's Frances Pearson I often have people asking me what email platform we use to send out the numerous newsletters and emails our team sends out each month. And there are MANY! But not all are created equal. Our team recently transitioned our email services out of Constant Contact, which I consider to be a dinosaur among email campaign platforms to the quick and nimble Flodesk.
And we are so glad we did. If you have any questions about which platform would work for you or maybe you event want to get a newsletter of your own going, just reach out to me!
Each week we will be offering you something to mail to your clients, with your branding and a message that lets them know you are thinking of them. We know that snail mail is a great way to remain connected.
Have an idea you'd like us to execute? Get in touch.