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125: The Opt-In

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This transcript has been automatically generated.

Bonnie Christine [00:00:00]:
One of the topics that I always hear getting talked about from other professional creatives is all about our email list. How do I grow my email list? How do I nurture my email list? And how do I really use my email list to support my business?

Bonnie Christine [00:00:21]:
I'm Bonnie Christine and this is where all things creativity, design, business, and marketing unite. I'm a mama living in a tiny town tucked right inside the Smoky Mountains, running a multi 7 figure business, doing the most creative and impactful work of my life.

Bonnie Christine [00:00:41]:
But when I first set out to become an entrepreneur,

Bonnie Christine [00:00:44]:
I was struggling to make ends meet and wrestling with how to accomplish my biggest dream of becoming a fabric designer. Fast forward to today, I'm not only licensing my artwork all over the world, but also teaching others how to design their creative life and experience the same success. I'm here to help you spend your life doing something that lights you up. I'll help you build a creative business that also creates an impact, changes people's lives, gives you all of the freedom you want, and is wildly profitable. Welcome to The Professional Creative Podcast.

Bonnie Christine [00:01:28]:
An email list is an incredible business asset. I think it's actually the most important thing that you can do for your business, and it's the number one thing that I wish I had started earlier in my own business. So to put that into perspective, I grew my email list very organically and quietly from 2,009 to 2017. And it took me that long, so 8 years, to get about 4,000 people on my list. And that was really because I wasn't paying it very much attention. I had to join my newsletter in the sidebar of my website, but I wasn't talking about my email list. I wasn't regularly updating my email list. And it was then that I got really clear in 2017 that it was something that I needed to focus on.

Bonnie Christine [00:02:25]:
And so I began by creating what we call an opt in. Now an opt in is something that is something that you're giving your audience that they opt in for with their name and email address in return for the thing. So that's what we're gonna talk about today is how to create a perfect opt in for your audience. But to go back to 2017, when I began creating opt ins for my audience, my email list began to grow, and I doubled it the next year. So it went from 4000 to 8,000, and then I doubled it again. So it went to 16,000, And then again Stu 32,000. And then again and again and again. And today, I have over 200,000 people on my email list.

Bonnie Christine [00:03:18]:
Now Amy goal is to always have more people on my email list than I do on social media because we don't own social media. Right? I never want to put myself in a position where I feel like I've built my business on borrowed land. I don't ever want to feel like if I wake up 1 morning to a big launch and social media is down, that I'm Bonnie to be in a bad place. So I always work to grow my list first and foremost and then connect with people there. So the really amazing thing is that when I started doubling my email list, my revenue also doubled. Your email list is powerful, and it's really worth every ounce of your energy to focus on. So that's what we're going to talk about today, one of the key essentials in your business, your list. Okay.

Bonnie Christine [00:04:14]:
So we're talking about opt ins. Now other words that mean the same thing is a freebie or a lead generator or a lead magnet. So someone on your email list is referred to as a lead in marketing terms. And so a lead generator or a lead magnet, right, attracts leads to your list. So this opt in is something incredibly valuable that you offer to your audience in exchange for their name and email. So the days of asking people to just sign up for your newsletter are largely over. People are inundated with emails all day every day, and you have to prove that you should have a place in their inbox to earn the right to show up there on the regular as well. Now when I think about an inbox, I actually think that it feels really intimate.

Bonnie Christine [00:05:12]:
Like letting someone into my inbox, this is where I love to spend time. I love to read newsletters. I love to sit and catch up on what's in my inbox, and I don't let just anyone show up there. And so it's such an incredible privilege to earn a spot in someone's inbox and be something that they enjoy reading and learning about. So opt ins should be always perfectly aligned with kind of your big idea, and it should also be a great first interaction with your brand. So when I think about the perfect opt in, I always like to think about the perfect customer journey in my world. If I could choose the first step and the next step and the next step and the next step that someone would take with me, what would that look like? And so likely for you, you have kind of an end goal. Maybe it's that they become a collector of your art or they end up purchasing your pottery for their house or they end up taking a course that you offer.

Bonnie Christine [00:06:22]:
Like what is the end goal that you would love to have someone take with you? What action would you love for them to take with you when they come into your world eventually? And then from there, kind of work backwards as to what it would look like to unfold this beautiful journey for them right in front of them. And so your opt in should really be related. It should make sense on that journey. Right? And it's typically their very first interaction with you. So if you have this end goal, this end action in mind, what would all the steps be before they might be ready for that end goal? What would be the perfect thing that would mean that they're the right person for you and your audience, that it would get them excited, it would help them understand more, it would help them know what they need to know in order to be ready for that end action. And so, an opt in is not just to grow your list, it's very specifically to kind of bring someone into, invite them into a journey with you. So I love to think about what that ideal customer journey would look like and how can I formulate my opt ins along the way to meet them? Now, again, it's likely also the first interaction that someone has with you. So the opt in should be quality, the emails should be delivered, it should be a great and seamless and easy process to go through with you.

Bonnie Christine [00:07:54]:
They should also be value focused. So I like to think that a great opt in is 1, like, you know, you'll have a great opt in when it's really hard to give away for free. When you feel like, Oh, I should really charge for this. I think that's when you know you have something that's great. It's super valuable. Right? Technically, you could charge for it, but know you're Bonnie give it away for free and they are going to be willing to sign up for it. This does something that creates so much gratitude for you from the person who gets it. My goal is always to have someone say like, I can't believe that you're giving this away for free, because I want to focus on that value give.

Bonnie Christine [00:08:42]:
I want to give them a big win. And so I want all of our opt ins to be super value focused. Now opt ins should also save time and simplify a process. So I talked about a big win, but also like a quick win. And so sometimes this opt in, because it's free, people are not really committing to too much at this level. Meaning, they're not gonna commit to reading a 200 page PDF or taking like a 20 hour class, not for free. People just don't commit to things unless they, you know, typically, they just won't commit at that level unless they have some skin in the game, unless they have invested in it. And so an opt in is more like a handshake.

Bonnie Christine [00:09:31]:
Like, well, let me learn a little bit more about you and what it is that you do. And so you don't wanna overwhelm them. You wanna give them a quick win. So something super valuable, but not overwhelming. So an opt in could be something like a free downloadable PDF, a guide. It could be a coupon code. Also, this sometimes is a good way to grow your email list if you have a product based business. It could be an art print or an instructional video series or a private podcast or any kind of value add that someone could work with right away.

Bonnie Christine [00:10:11]:
Sometimes I love to think about templates, quizzes, results driven value. I want you to just Immersion, what would it feel like to hold your very own custom fabric for the first time? Or maybe it's wallpaper or stationery or gift wrap. Perhaps you use it to wrap gifts with or sew projects with, like blankets or pajamas. If that sounds exciting, I'm so excited to tell you about my new free mini class. It's called Stu simple in pattern design. It's called start simple because, well, we're going to do just that. In just 5 lessons that are under 20 minutes each, you'll learn how to take a simple sketch or painting or picture and turn it into vectors using Adobe Illustrator. Now don't worry, even if you've never used this program, I'll teach you everything you need to know to get up and running simply.

Bonnie Christine [00:11:07]:
I'll even show you how to take pictures of found objects like leaves and petals, so you don't even have to draw if you don't want to. I'll show you how to create a custom color palette, design your very own repeating pattern, and order as little as 1 yard of fabric or some wallpaper or maybe some gift wrap today. Once you learn how to design fabric, that's the magic. You'll be able to design just about anything you want. So do you have an hour to learn an entirely new skill for free? If so, let's get started. Head on over to bonniechristine.comforward/ Stu simple. Once you register, you'll gain immediate access to all of the lessons and begin learning right away. Again, that's bonniechristine.comforward /startsimple.

Bonnie Christine [00:11:53]:
Come on. I'll meet you there. So once you've really thought about your customer journey and worked backwards from there to identify at least one high quality opt in, then you're gonna wanna think about, well, how am I gonna share about it? How am I gonna make sure that people are aware that I have it? And so here are 8 ways that I love to kind of share, announce, and promote our opt ins. The first is on social media. Not everyone who's following you on social media is on your list. We know this. And so really Amy main goal with social media, not all the time, but several times a week, is to help encourage someone to go ahead and come, take the leap, and join our email list. And so I love to share about our opt ins and invite people from social media to come take that next step with us and join the email list.

Bonnie Christine [00:12:53]:
Now the next one is your current email list. So I love to make sure that my current email list gets treated like VIPs. If we have a new opt in or a new resource, I'm always giving it to them first. This is how you really serve them and make sure that you're not necessarily leaving them out of something that's incredible that you're doing along the way. You can encourage them to forward the email to others, which can also help grow your list and just get to know them more. You can encourage them to hit reply and tell you what their favorite thing was. But always remember to use your new opt ins as you develop them to nurture and engage with your current list as well. Now a podcast, just like this one, is a great place to promote your freebies.

Bonnie Christine [00:13:43]:
So if you have a podcast, you'll likely notice that I run my own ads here. I haven't worked with any paid ads, at least not yet. And so we have all of these resources. And so I just create my own ads for my own podcast, and it's a great way to grow your list. Now YouTube or any kind of social media place that you're online is a great place to grow your list as well. So something that's kind of typical here is that you'll give incredible value, but then to go deeper to get the x y z, maybe to get the free download that goes with it, that accompanies it, they will join your list. And so you can do this on any platform. Social media, podcasts, YouTubes, even blog posts are a great place to really drive value and then invite them to just go a little bit deeper with something that they sign up for.

Bonnie Christine [00:14:39]:
Now, a place that I think gets missed a lot is your email signature. So if you have an email signature at the bottom, you might as well be promoting some kind of freebie with every single email, like personal email that you send, of course, on your website. So I'm a big fan of having it in a banner above the fold on the Home page. So above the fold means you don't have to scroll in order to see it. We also love pop ups. Now, I don't know if you love pop ups, but a correctly timed pop up is actually really, really helpful. And really regardless of how you feel about pop ups, you should try one on your website because they work. And so I like to time my pop ups to where they will come up after the person has spent a little bit of time on the page.

Bonnie Christine [00:15:35]:
I think it's frustrating when you hit a page and immediately get a pop up because you don't even know what you're looking at yet. So I like to time it to where it comes up a little bit later, but they absolutely work. And the last one would be through paid traffic. So if you are looking to really grow your email list, I think one of the most, you know, pivotal lessons that I learned is that if you want to get more eyes on something that you have, you can get them if you're willing to just pay for them using paid traffic. So opt ins are a great thing to run Facebook Ads or Instagram Ads or Pinterest Ads Stu, or even things like LinkedIn Ads or Google Ads. So you can put even a little bit of budget behind getting eyeballs on your opt ins. So then the question is, well, how many opt ins do I need? And this is where I would take you to go back to your ideal customer journey. First of all, you should just get started with 1.

Bonnie Christine [00:16:39]:
If you don't have any, just focus on one really good opt in. And don't feel like you have to have too many. I have one opt in. It's a 44 page guide called the Surface Design Guide. You can see it at Bonnie. And it's brought in over 50,000 leads to my email list because we have used it for a couple of years. So you don't have to always be inventing new opt ins. You can have 1 or 2 really, really great ones that offer an awesome approach or entry into your business that really work for you.

Bonnie Christine [00:17:21]:
Now today, we have multiple. And I would say one thing that I really think about in addition to that ideal customer journey is different learning styles. So some people like to listen, those of you are probably here. Some of you like to read which is how we do the Guide. Some of you want like a video tutorial. So I do a free mini class that's all video tutorial based. Some of you like a challenge, like something that's time Bonnie. We do it all together.

Bonnie Christine [00:17:51]:
There's this community aspect to that. Some people love a quiz. Like, well, we all love a quiz, right? So a quiz is a great way to do it. A workshop is a great way to do it. So there are lots and lots of different options. And after you have one that's working for you, I would encourage your next one to be kind of in a different learning modality so that people who want to consume information differently, you're kind of meeting them where they're at. So for us, our primary opt ins are a PDF guide, a 5 day challenge, a live workshop, a 5 part free mini class. I've also done a quiz.

Bonnie Christine [00:18:32]:
I don't think it's 60 minute video. This video is really cool if you've not seen it. It's called the 60 and 60 where I have 60 successful artists share in under 60 seconds each how they create income from their artwork. So it's a power hour packed with so many different ideas. And you can see that if you want to atbonniechristine.comforward/income. So lots of ideas there to run with. If you don't currently have an opt in, then I want to encourage you to just dive in. I think this is something that feels overwhelming.

Bonnie Christine [00:19:18]:
We put it off for a long time. Maybe you don't even maybe you're not even set up with an email service provider. But truly, I think it's something that we overthink, meaning you can have this up and running in just a day or 2, maybe just even a day, depends on what kind of opt in that you Bonnie create, but you can definitely get set up with an email service provider. Now my favorite is ConvertKit. I've used ConvertKit for many years, and I love them as an email service provider. In fact, you can find all of my favorite business tools over atbonniechristine.comforward/resources. So go ahead and dive in and give this area of your business focus in 2024. You will probably be like me and wish that you would have started it earlier.

Bonnie Christine [00:20:08]:
So my friends, create the beauty that you want to see come alive in the world. And remember, there's room for you. I'll see you next time.

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