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Sometimes the best piece of business advice we need is simple.
Literally. That’s the advice: BE SIMPLE.
We have a tendency to over complicate things and unintentionally overwhelm a project before it ever sees the glow of a screen, especially in the online marketing world.
And if you keep finding yourself stuck writing to your email list or getting an offer out into the world, this episode of Finding Your It Factor is for you.
Meet Liz Wilcox, a serial entrepreneur who specializes in email marketing. She helps freelancers and professionals alike package up their magic and turn it into emails that convert.
While she's always been a freelancer, she found her way to the online space and fell in love with doing her own thing. Today, Liz teaches people how to build online relationships and make sales through email marketing.
Let me share with you a bit more of the Liz I know and why you want to hear our conversation.
I met Liz in a mastermind and quickly learned that she loves the Fresh Prince of BelAir + NSync. She’s one helluva wordsmith and is passionate about creating a life that gives her flexibility to travel and spend time with her daughter.
She’s a dreamer AND an action taker (a rare combo) and doesn’t allow herself to get distracted by the latest trend because she trusts in the one thing that that’s helped her achieve every level of success she’s had:
The confidence to ASK for what she wants.
Asking for feedback.
Asking for input.
Asking for ideas.
Asking for the sale.
It isn’t something she was always comfortable with, but once she found her confidence, her possibilities became endless (cheesy, but true).
Which not so coincidentally, includes a lot of asking.
I had a virtual cup of coffee with Liz where she not only shared great insights on how to write your newsletters faster (and with less pressure), she shared a simple marketing framework to use as a compass for staying off that path of confusion or overwhelm when growing your business.
Spoiler alert, this is more like a conversation between two gal pals talking about the real stuff, leaving nothing out (reminded me a lot of my convo with Brittany Krystle a few months back), including some random tangents about Little Caesars Pizza and the taboo topic of “making all the money”.
The shock factor might be the moment she challenges the common recommendation of “write your emails like you’re writing to a best friend”. She straight up calls BS.
Below you’ll find some of my favorite highlights from the episode. And if you’re not so much a podcast listener, you can read the full episode transcript here.
When it comes to email, you've got to be NBC in '98--all about FRIENDS!
Your job isn’t to make money with your email list. It’s to find a problem that your people need to solve.
And how do you do that?
By making friends with the people on your email list.
Here’s the simple framework for that:
I told you it was simple.
1.Provide them with value and get them on your email list. (follower)
2.Turn them into a friend with a killer welcome sequence--building trust and learning from them what they want, what they really really want.
3. Hit 'em with your amazing service or product you've crafted with their help, turning them into a customer.
Voila! You're (literally) in business, baby (grab Liz’s swipes to help you get started here.
When you have an idea in your business, commit to the outcome, but stay flexible on the details. When you hold your ideas as something so precious, you’re far more likely to be emotional with the reaction of your audience making it REALLY difficult to listen to what they truly want.
Liz has a big realization the first time someone asked her “how much”? She was working a gig from a craigslist ad, cleaning a women’s home. When the lady expectantly looked at her with her wallet ready, Liz gulped and replied ”forty dollars”, thinking that was a CRAZY rate for what she just did.
That was the day she realized that making money was far simpler than she’d been making it.
Before venturing into the online space, Liz’s experience with talking about money was limited. But as she started learning about business owners talking about revenue and money, not as this audacious brags, but rather as showing possibility, things clicked for her realizing that it was not only OK to make money, it was necessary to make her dream of traveling, working remotely and living a flexible lifestyle to spend time with her daughter.
Through these experiences, Liz realized that she had no issue asking for the sale when I had something of value to offer.
This is exactly what we need to be focused on to move from “dreaming about launching” mode to making it happen.
You must believe that your offer provides value and feel confident ASKING for a sale.
Because when you launch, you are limited by your comfort in putting yourself out there and making a sale.
Liz encourages “focus on the value you’re giving, what are you offering to your clients and don’t overcomplicate it.”
The mistake so many make when starting into the online space is to chase all the ideas, big names programs and falling into the “complicated systems” that showcase how far you have to still go. You feel like you’ll never reach “pro status” because there’s always a new thing to do and “all the cool kids are doing it”.
Be like Liz. Choose your mentors and put on your blinder, then JUST DO IT. Get your stuff out there.
When Liz started her RV blog and wanted a product, she asked her friends and small following: what am I good at?
Storytelling and making people laugh.
So she used that to share an idea she had: a book of funny, real life stories of other RVers. She asked them, would you be interested?
Ask your audience for feedback. Ask them what they want. And most importantly LISTEN to what they say.
As a busy mom with a young baby and husband in the military, she had limited time to work on her business. She applied this to that first digital product, then to emailing her list each week, then to every launch there after.
You and I both know that whatever time you allow yourself you’ll use it. Start squeezing your time a bit to force yourself to eliminate the extra fluff you’ve added to your plan to focus and simplify. Ask yourself: How could this be extremely simple?
If you want to create success then start by creating hype.
Get people excited about what it is you’re creating. Bring people on the journey with you, do NOT keep it a secret.
There should be this big reveal randomly for example one day SURPRISE! I have a podcast! Then wonder why no one is listening yet.
When I started Finding Your It Factor, I talked about it for months. Shared show name ideas and cover art. I asked my audience to vote on it and asked for topic ideas.
Even when your audience is tiny you can STILL create hype.
You have to believe and act like your business is legit (cuz it is) and showcase your stuff as a big freaking deal (cuz it is).
Now before you freak out and say “But Heather, I don’t want to be all bragolicious”, remember the secret is to pair confidence with humility.
Liz shares “Don’t write your emails as if you’re talking to your best friend” which challenges a common belief. Instead be friendly, talk to them casually, and think of them as someone you used to know, and bumped into them and rekindled a connection over a shared interest.
Talk like a friend, but don’t be creepy and assume you’re besties, when you do that out of the gate, you might chase people away who just met you.
You can dive into more about tone and writing to a friend in this episode where I interview Bobby Klinck all about making your emails personal. I think he does this really well.
Remember: people buy from people they trust.
When you’re consistently in their inbox, connecting, updating them, they’ll be more.
Eliminate the excuses for emailing your list, snag swipes for your welcome sequence and newsletters plus 52 subject lines here.
Ready to scale your business by getting your name out there (Hello VIRTUAL stages!) Grab my new free mini training: 3 Speaking Strategies for Growing Your Online Business plus you’ll snag my script for booking a guest talk. Grab it here.