Newsletter Tips with Kate the Socialite
Kate Greunke is someone we should all admire. She is a savvy business lady, on top of her game and has a generous heart. Kate and I connected after I was featured on A Well Designed Business podcast. She immediately offered to help out a fellow solopreneur, and as I think you'll see from the interview, she is willing to give some of her best tips so we can be successful...or you could just have her do it. Enough from me, I'll let her tell you.
Guest:Kate The Socialite
Tell readers about yourself. What drives you? What is your favorite part of your business?
I love to help interior designers be better marketers without paying thousands of dollars a month. So many interior designers, especially those who are solopreneurs, get taken advantage of by big marketing firms or by unscrupulous SEO companies. They pay large amounts of money each month toward their marketing and have nothing concrete to show for it. (Plus, so many of them are taken hostage by their web developers, having to pay hundreds just to make small changes to their websites.)
Traditional marketing has made interior designers needlessly overwhelmed and powerless to take control of their own marketing. It doesn't have to be this way!
I believe that each interior designer is empowered with more creativity and challenge-facing stamina that many other entrepreneurs are. I believe each interior designer should be in full control of her website, her social media, and her newsletter. This doesn't mean she has to execute all of it on her own, but it does mean that she plays a leadership role in it.
One of your services is providing monthly newsletters for design professionals. As you know, sometimes newsletters can be an item on a “to-do list” that never gets done or some designers feel they may be bothersome to their clients. What would you stress is the most important reason to have a newsletter?
If you're an interior designer and you never set foot (or finger) on social media but you have an active and healthy mailing list, you are miles ahead of the interior designer who lives on Instagram but doesn't know the first thing about email marketing.
(Social media stats are 90% for vanity and 10% for publicity, but you can get the same publicity by having a great website or blog---and boost your SEO at the same time.)
How do you convert those social media fans and blog readers into paying customers? You guessed it: Through email marketing.
There are a few problems standing in the way, though...
Many interior designers think they don't have a mailing list or that their list is too small to be worth it.
They are afraid that sending an email newsletter once a month will bother their readers.
They feel they don't have the time / expertise required to create an email newsletter.
Fortunately, I've helped interior designers overcome all of these hurdles. Let's tackle them one by one.
First, they think they don't have a mailing list. I always ask them, "Do you have the email addresses of past or current clients? Yes? Then you have a mailing list." Word to the wise, however, do not put anyone on your mailing list without their permission. The fines for sending spam emails start at $10K...per email.
Second, they are afraid they'll overwhelm or irritate their readers if they send a newsletter once a month, but here's what I tell them:
People will forget about you very quickly. No one ponders over you as much as you might think--and that's exactly why you need to show up in their inbox politely and consistently every month. If you send them crappy email newsletters that are too long, poorly formatted, or just plain ugly, they won't be happy with you. But if you send them a beautifully designed newsletter with engaging text and pretty photos, they'll love you and hit reply (which is exactly what you want—to start a conversation).
What are some things you suggest new designers do to get newsletter subscribers?
The #1 best way to get more people on your mailing list is to offer a free gift on your site. For example, create a clean and attractive PDF that lists your, "Top 10 Places to Source Furniture," or something else that applies to you, and give it freely in exchange for email addresses. I do this on my site with my freebie opt-in, "Top 30 Instagram Hashtags for Home Pros." It works like a charm! And the fact that designers who use my hashtags see a surge of growth on Instagram doesn’t hurt either. ;)
Bonus: Whether or not you have an opt-in on your website, make sure your site is modern, full screen, and mobile-friendly. If you do great work, you deserve a great website. Don't hinder your sales by presenting yourself in an outdated online format.
In a earlier blog post about your incredible newsletter templates, which our audience can read about here, you mention that your newsletters have an 18% higher open rate than average in the design industry. What would you say is the most important element designers should include in their newsletter to keep people interested in opening them?
Writing an engaging subject line for your email newsletter is absolutely a must. I write these for my members all the time. It's equally important to end your newsletter with a strong call-to-action (CTA) that tells your reader exactly what you want him/her to do next (which would be to email or call you to book a consult!).
Lastly, keeping your email newsletter between 200 and 350 words is also helpful in making sure you don't bore your readers. I have many more tips to share on writing email newsletters and suggest you check out the webinar I present for IVY, the online project management platform for interior designers. Click here to watch my newsletter webinar.
Any other nuggets of advice you would like to offer to designers trying to increase interest in their business? What should designers know about your business?
I can't say this enough: Use your mailing list. Send a monthly newsletter. If you're constantly wondering where your next lead or project will come from, you need to start using the simple, effective power of email marketing.
Many designers are overwhelmed by the idea of creating their own email newsletter. They don't have time, and they might not be sure how to do it—or even how to be consistent with it. That's why I created Socialite | Subscribe. It's a program that does all of the above for you, plus more. You can read all about it and watch the videos here.
How can designers sign up for your services?
**Please note that I no longer offer custom newsletters or blog posts. If you're interested in getting a newsletter that you can customize on your own and send, check out Socialite | Subscribe today.
If you're looking for some great freebies to help you market your interior design firm, check out these offerings: