How To Replace Your Day Job Income By Writing Email Newsletters For Local Businesses
So many people over-complicate entrepreneurship.
I hear business ideas all the time that involve expensive Facebook ad campaigns, confusing audience-building strategies, or unlikely joint venture partnerships. They sound good in theory, but the more complicated the idea is, the harder it will be to actually launch.
That’s why over the past several years it’s become my obsession to develop simple services that nearly every business needs. These are services I can show to local businesses like chiropractors, dentists, lawyers, veterinarians, and even mechanics, and say “Here’s how this will get you more clients and make more money. Want it- yes or no?”
Suddenly all of the complicated distractions that the “gurus” are always peddling melt away. No more complicated strategies or high-tech trickery. What you’re left with is all that really matters… making sales.
Today I’m going to teach you one of the most profitable services I’ve ever discovered: setting up email newsletters for local businesses. And I’m going to show you exactly how you can do it too.
But first we need to set the stage…
How I accidentally discovered one of my most profitable services
When I finished grad school and first started working as a chiropractor, I ran Chiropractic Clinic Number 7 in a town that realistically only needed 2 or 3. I realized the hard way that while school had trained me to be a great doctor, they didn’t teach me much about being a great businessman… like how to get clients in the door.
Needless to say, my office was pretty empty in the beginning. So with all of my free time I threw myself into studying digital marketing.
One of the things that kept popping up over and over again was how critical it is to have an email list.
All of the most successful internet entrepreneurs have autoresponders set up so that once you opt in to their list (usually in exchange for a lead magnet) you receive an automated series of emails that help build the “know, like, and trust” factor. And of course it eventually leads to a sale.
It made sense to me, but as a brick-and-mortar business I didn’t think this applied to me.
It wasn’t until months later that it dawned on me… I ALREADY had an email list. Every time a new client joined my practice we created a file in our computer system where we got their name, phone number, medical history… and their email address.
Like every other chiropractor, I collected these email addresses so that my system could send automated appointment reminders. It would also send invoices, receipts, and records. But I had never even considered using it as a marketing channel like all of the online entrepreneurs I was learning from.
So one day I decided to move all of the email addresses into an autoresponder software, and I was just going to send an email letting people know what was going on in my business.
It was October, so I wrote an email talking about some things our office was going to do for Halloween. There was no sales pitch, no hard closing tactics, just something that was topical and informative.
I hit send… and almost instantly the phone started ringing.
It was amazing. I hadn’t even pitched my services, but people were saying things like, “My back has been hurting lately, and then I saw your email this morning and I realized I should schedule an appointment.”
Right away I understood how powerful an email list is. And I saw firsthand how online marketing strategies can be used for local brick-and-mortar businesses.
Here’s where you come in. Right now in your town there are doctors, dentists, real estate agents, lawyers, personal trainers, and all kinds of other services who still haven’t had the epiphany that I did. They still don’t realize that there’s an incredibly valuable asset sitting right under their noses… their email list.
They don’t have the knowledge to take advantage of it, or if they do they don’t have the time and the skills. You can come in and help set up their email autoresponder series. And they’ll pay you handsomely every month to do so.
Step 1: Pick A Niche
The first thing you need to do is pick our niche. I want you to choose just one business. Not dentists, chiropractors, AND veterinarians. But only one of those. And maybe you want to niche down even more specifically.
There are two reasons for this.
First, you want to choose an industry where you have above-average knowledge or passion. You don’t need to be a world-class expert, but it helps if you have expertise so that you can write these newsletters. And it also helps if you can speak to the business owners and sound like you know what you’re talking about.
But there’s an even more important reason.
Let’s say we decide to focus on dentists. If we had two dental clients next door to each other, it would be hard to run facebook ads for them because they’d be advertising to the same people.
But we can provide newsletters to two dentists next door to each other because they have their own email lists. In fact we can write ONE newsletter that appeals to dental patients, and we can sell that newsletter to BOTH dentists.
And then a third dentist. And forth. And dentists in the next town over. And then in the next state over. And none of the dentists will have a problem with using the same newsletter because all of their email lists are unique from one another.
When you’re first starting out it can be tempting to say yes to any client who is willing to pay you money. But if you have newsletter clients in every niche, suddenly you’re having to write entire newsletters for a small number of clients.
But by deciding to serve only one industry, you can do the work one time, and you can sell it infinite times. Which is one of my main criteria for picking profitable services.
So start asking yourself… what is an industry where you have extra knowledge, passion, or experience?
Step 2: Find The Right Clients
Now that we understand what the service is we’re going to pitch, and you’ve picked out your industry, we need to get it in front of paying customers.
The key is to develop criteria for what your ideal customer looks like, and then you can start searching on Google and Facebook for businesses that meet those criteria.
For me, the most important thing I look for is businesses that are trying.
Here’s what I mean. Once I pick my niche (let’s stick with the dentist example) I’ll get on Facebook and start looking up dentists in my town.
If I go to a dentist’s page and see that they haven’t posted anything in over a year, they might not be a good prospect.
It wouldn’t hurt to reach out, but if they don’t value social media enough to even post once a year, there’s a good chance they won’t see the value in what I want to offer them. It’s probably going to be an uphill battle trying to convince them of the value I bring to the table.
On the other hand, if a dentist is posting once or twice a week, it shows me that they want to leverage social media but they’re struggling to keep up with it.
I love finding clients who have a lot of things going for them, but don’t have the time or resources to take advantage of it. It’s a lot easier to take things off their plate than it is to talk someone into putting something on their plate in the first place.
Once you’ve picked your niche, just start looking up businesses in your town or state. Look up their website. Check out their facebook page. If you see a couple things they’re doing well and a few things you know you can improve for them, they’re a good prospect.
The thing you need to understand is that finding clients is a numbers game. I see so many beginners place too much weight on a single client. “I closed a sale, I’m on top of the world!” But then, “This person didn’t return my call. This doesn’t work!”
Realize that one single client isn’t going to make or break your business. Likewise, not every prospect is going to become a client.
You might reach out to 20 clients, and 10 lead to meetings, and 5 become paying customers. That’s fantastic. Now you can do the math: “If I want to make $X per month I know I need to get in front of X prospects each week.”
For my business the magic number is 20 prospects per week. So I set aside a “Client Day.” For you it might be a lunch break while you still have a day job. Or a Thursday morning you can block off while your kids are at school. Whatever works for you, make sure you’re reaching out to prospects on a regular basis.
Also understand that there is a “Sales Cycle.” I’ve closed sales after a single phone call. But often times it takes 3, 4, 5, or more “touches” before people decide to do business with me.
It’s like any relationship- there’s a journey you go on where you meet someone and build trust. Accept that you’re going to have to plant seeds and nurture them until they turn into sales down the road.
If you can be patient and show that you’re in it for the long haul, you’ll build success where others give up too early.
Step 3: Make Sales
Being patient and understanding the Sales Cycle has a powerful hidden benefit… it makes closing sales so much easier.
The beginners who place too much weight on a single client… they think they only have one chance to make a sale. So as soon as they get a prospect’s attention they launch into a high-pressure pitch.
It instantly pushes the prospect away. Which ironically makes the beginner work even harder on their sales techniques. So they come across as even more of a sleazy salesperson.
But on the other hand, if you focus more on building relationships with your prospects, it removes all of the pressure from the sales pitch. If you provide value on an ongoing basis it means you don’t have one single opportunity to tell them about your service.
Instead you simply have a friendly conversation. “What is an obstacle you’re trying to overcome in your business? Oh really? I actually have an idea for you, mind if I share it?”
“How would you like your current clients to come in more often? Some of my other clients are getting amazing results. I’ll send over some info if you’re interested.”
Most salespeople focus too much on the “sales” part and not enough on the “people” part. Just be a real person, and focus on building relationships and providing value, and you’ll see your sales shoot through the roof.
Step 4: Write The Newsletter
Once you close your first sale, it’s time to start writing your newsletters.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that it’s all about helping your clients build the “know, like, and trust” factor with their customers.
We’re not trying to write emails that sell products or close sales. We just want to help these businesses stay “top of mind.”
Imagine you got a monthly email from your dentist. What would you want to read? Would you want to get sales emails that just told you about monthly promotions? Or would you want to get helpful information about taking care of your teeth?
If you get too many sales emails, you’ll quickly unsubscribe. But if you get used to receiving non-pushy, informative advice, you’ll like and trust your dentist more than ever. And the next time you need his service you’ll be more likely to pick up the phone.
So that’s exactly how we’re going to write the emails for our clients.
Start by thinking about timely subjects. If it’s November or December, what is some holiday advice that applies to this industry? If it’s July, are there valuable summer tips?
Focus on teaching something. Leverage the “Law Of Reciprocity” by giving the reader valuable information and education. And use bullet points wherever possible. How can you provide maximum value in a way that is quick to read and easy to digest?
Most importantly, write as if you’re talking to a friend. It’s tempting when you’re writing on behalf of a company to try to sound “corporate” or “professional.” But people want to do business with individuals, not companies. So write in a way where the recipient is going to feel like the business owner is their personal friend.
At the end of each email, after you’ve walked through the step-by-step teaching, simply close with “If we can answer any questions or help in any way, give us a call.” You want to leave the door open for further conversation, but you don’t need to be pushy about making a pitch.
Also make sure to focus on writing killer subject lines. The best email in the world won’t matter if people don’t open it in the first place. Pick subjects that are highly-relevant and irresistible.
As you’re writing these emails, focus on balancing length with value. Think about the emails that you like to read. When you’re clearing out your inbox each morning, you’re not going to spend 20 minutes reading a single email. But at the same time the reader needs to feel like they’re getting a lot of value for free. I find the sweet spot tends to be 500-1,000 words.
This means that if you turn off your WiFi, block out distractions, and hustle, you can probably get your full year of email newsletters written in a day or two. Block off a weekend and focus and you can knock this out no problem.
Now you’ve got an asset you can sell over and over again. Not a bad investment!
Step 5: Set Up The Autoresponder
The next step is setting up the autoresponder series for your clients. This means scheduling the emails that get sent to their list each month.
This might sound complicated, but Active Campaign makes it incredibly simple.
The best part about Active Campaign is that it breaks each email into three sections: the header, the body, and the footer.
So for each client, you’ll create a unique header and footer, which is branded with their logo, business name, picture, contact info, and anything else they want. Then the body of the email is the newsletter you’ve already written.
It takes a little time to set this up, but you only have to do it once. You spend a few hours setting up a new client, and now each month they have personalized emails getting sent out that look like you spent a ton of time on it. In reality, all of the work was done in advance.
Keep in mind, your clients aren’t paying you to do the work each month. They’re paying to get the end result each month.
It’s like when you go to a restaurant. You don’t care how the dish is made. You don’t care what kind of knife the chef used our what temperature the oven was set to. You just care that the meal is delicious. The same goes for your clients.
So if you can use automation to deliver a fantastic service in less time, everyone wins.
Active Campaign also has an excellent dashboard where you can manage multiple clients all from one place. This makes running and growing your agency a piece of cake.
Another invaluable tool is SamCart. This how you’re going to actually get paid.
SamCart makes it simple to set up recurring payments. Your clients enter their card once, and now you get paid each month. No more worrying about sending invoices and tracking down delinquent payments.
If your clients have cards that expire, SamCart will even automatically follow up with them to get a new card number. It’s incredibly powerful and saves tons of time.
Use Google to find prospects, use ActiveCampaign to deliver your service, and use SamCart to process payments… that’s it. If you think online businesses need to be high-tech and confusing, realize that I run a multi-million dollar business and this is the exact technology I use.
Step 6: Upsell More Services
I’ve focused a lot on automation so far. And it’s definitely one of my favorite parts of this strategy. Leveraging software has been one of my superpowers for creating tens of thousands of dollars in monthly recurring revenue.
But if you want to make the big bucks, you need to do something more high-touch… pick up the phone each month. (Don’t worry, it’s not as uncomfortable as you think.)
I want you to call all of your customers and make sure they’re happy. All you have to say is “How’s it going? If you need anything call me.”
That’s it. You just want them to get used to hearing from you. You want to build a relationship.
After a few months, they’re going to have a track record. One day you’re going to call them and they’re going to say “It’s crazy. People have been coming in mentioning they scheduled an appointment because they saw our email.”
When this happens it’s time to pitch them another service. All you have to do is say, “I’m so glad to hear that it’s working for you! If you like these results, I have another idea that I think would work wonders for you. Would you like me to tell you about it?”
It could be search engine optimization. Or running facebook ads. Or building a new website. Or anything else you can think of. One of my favorite (and most profitable) services is social posting, which we talk about in this article, “How to create 10k in monthly recurring revenue by posting on Facebook.”
This is the key to building a super successful business. You use the newsletters to get your foot in the door and build a relationship (not to mention create an awesome income stream), and then you pitch your more expensive services on the backend.
Putting It Into Action
You now have the exact roadmap for building a profitable digital business that can create freedom and income in your life. I know it’s possible because I’ve personally used this exact strategy multiple times, and we have students all the time crossing the $10k/month mark with it as well.
The best part about this strategy is that you can get started today. You don’t need to develop a product. You don’t need to build a website. You don’t need to hire a team.
All you need to do is pick your niche, start researching clients and begin reaching out to prospects. That’s it.
Of course, making progress can be easier said than done. It takes discipline and accountability to actually dive in and get started. That’s why I suggest using a spreadsheet to track your outreach.
As you find prospects you want to reach out to, add them to your spreadsheet. Make a goal of reaching out to 3 per day, or 20 per week. Then use the spreadsheet to keep track of who you’ve reached out to and what stage you’re at in communication.
I like having columns that represent each step of the process: sending the initial email, following up, getting a response, scheduling a call, closing the sale, etc. Then I highlight the corresponding cell in yellow, that way I can glance at my spreadsheet and now exactly where I’m at with all of my prospects.
It’s a simple system, but being able to visualize all of your outreach is incredibly powerful. It provides accountability that will help you build momentum, and I promise you’ll make faster progress by using this system than if you just try to keep track of everything in your head.
Click here to see the spreadsheet we use. You can actually copy it to your Google Drive and start using it right away.
Once you’ve grabbed your copy of the spreadsheet, I want to issue you a challenge: put 3 prospects on your list. Then commit to yourself to reach out to a certain number of prospects each week.
When you’re done, leave a comment below and say “Did My Three!” Let’s start building momentum right now, and let’s cheer each other on and celebrate these little victories.
And of course, if you have any questions at all, leave those below as well.
Thanks for reading and I’ll see you in the comments!
[…] say you provide a great service, but it’s mostly automated. My newsletter service is a perfect example. Clients pay us each month and their newsletters automatically get sent out. […]