Business-First Creatives

Let's Write Some Emails

March 19, 2023 Colie James
Business-First Creatives
Let's Write Some Emails
Show Notes Transcript

In this solo episode, Colie discusses tips for writing all the emails for your business: newsletters, marketing emails, and client experience emails.

The Business-First Creatives Podcast is brought to you by CRM and Dubsado expert Colie James. Join Colie each week as she discuss how to build a business that brings you joy and a paycheck! From business advice with fellow entrepreneurs to sharing automation tips and tricks, Colie and her guests are sharing industry trends and resources, along with a little bit of sarcasm.

Need a list of emails to write templates for? Grab this FREEBIE with a list of emails to write, what goes in them, and whether or not to automate them.

Grab them HERE 🎉

Want to avoid a blank screen while setting up your Dubsado templates? Steal mine 😍

The Template Shop is now open with templates created specifically for family photographers for use inside Dubsado. You can copy and customize for your own brand + offers in no time.  Save yourself hours per client with these templates 🌈


Liz Wilcox's Episode

$9 Email Membership - email membership for entrepreneurs
The Consistency Club - email membership for photographers

Hello, hello and welcome back to the Business First Creatives podcast. Yes, today is a solo episode. It is the first solo episode of 2023 . Um, my business coach has encouraged me to bring solo episodes back. So for the foreseeable future, I will be doing solo episodes along with my guest episodes. One thing that I realized, particularly after I spoke with Liz Wilcox last week on the podcast about emails, is that while emails are like one of my favorite subjects to talk about, I have never actually spoken specifically about emails on this podcast in a solo episode.

It's really strange to say that out loud because I love talking about emails. When you look to reclaim time from your business and you're like, okay, I'm spending way too much time on administrative tasks and not the actual services that I love doing.

But most entrepreneurs spend way too much time writing emails. And for the purpose of this particular episode, I wanna talk about all the emails that I think that you should be sending in your business, whether it's newsletters, specific marketing emails, or client experience emails.

So, I feel like I did talk with Liz last week a lot about newsletter content, and that episode is actually gonna be linked in the show notes. But just to emphasize some of the things that I think are important, regardless of what kind of email you are sitting down to write, you should make sure that your personality is shining.

You should make sure that you are telling stories in a way that your audience is going to relate to. And then in the case of marketing emails, you wanna make any deadlines very specific. And in the case of client experience emails, you wanna make sure that you're always telling them when they will hear from you next.[00:02:00]

So guys, can we talk about gifs now? One of the ways that I make my emails very relatable and oozing with my personality is to include gifs. One of the funny things is though, what if your clients don't enjoy the same kind of pop culture or shows that you do? I was recently speaking to one of my clients on a support call, and I did her Dubsado set up almost a year ago, and she was like, "Hey, Colie, I think that we should think about updating the gifs in my emails because I'm not sure that my current clients have ever seen Friends."

I mean, we put a lot of Friends gifs inside of her emails. It actually brought up a question that I've never really considered, and that is, should the gifs and the references that you put in your email be about what you love or what your clients love? I know from personal experience that most of my clients enjoy the same shows that I do because when Game of Thrones was live, I mean, I would chat with some of them on Instagram weekly about the episode.

Um, a lot of them also loved, This is Us. A lot of them are slightly older like me, and enjoyed all of the Sex in the City but my clients and I tend to like the same shows, but I only know that because I ask them, I mean, I ask them in emails.

I also ask them when I'm sitting in their house, Hey guys, you know, what are you guys currently watching? Because I wanna make sure that I'm always on top of, you know, what things my clients and I have in common that I can talk about, either while I'm in their house, photographing their family, or when I'm sending out these emails.

And I wanna specifically talk to the photographers in my audience because one of the things that I wanna say is different about the way that I talk to everyday entrepreneurs versus photographers when it comes to your newsletter emails [00:04:00] is, I tell entrepreneurs that are selling products, whether they're one-to-one services or digital products, I tell them to email their audience way more than I would ever tell a photographer.

To me, a photography service doesn't necessitate weekly emails. Let me say that one more time. If you are a photographer, you should be thinking about your newsletter either monthly or quarterly depending on how often you want to interact with your audience. Because there is virtually nothing that you could tell your clients on a weekly basis that they probably need to hear.

So what should go in these newsletters? And while I don't consider myself to be an expert on newsletters, I do talk about them a lot because once I set up either my clients on VIP days or I help the students inside my course, once we've got your client experience emails down, and you figure out that it's not so scary to send those emails to someone who has actually asked about your services, the next question is always okay, Colie so now that we've gotten that out of the way, how often should I be emailing my audience?

Now, what you should include in these newsletters, that you're sending monthly or quarterly, start with a frequency that you can live with and increase as necessary, but you can include things like personal stories, um, your favorite restaurants, your favorite activities that are local to help get people you know out in your community.

You can also send things like your favorite recipes. If you wanna make it photography specific, you could send out information about one of your favorite sessions or a new location that you've discovered or a new product that you've put in your store. Guys, when you sit down and you make a list, there is a really long list of things that you could be emailing your audience, even if you are a photographer. 

And while there is absolutely nothing wrong with marketing [00:06:00] yourself inside of your newsletters, I also think that you should send marketing emails separately. Like in addition to whatever you are mentioning that you are currently offering inside the newsletter, when you have a specific sale, when you are opening up your calendar for bookings in a new season, those need to be a very purpose driven email.

Encouraging them to schedule a call, to book a session, to go into their online gallery store and purchase something. Um, I do see those emails as separate, but please don't think that I'm telling you that your newsletters can't have sale information. They absolutely can.

I just think that when you are announcing something big, in terms of your business and you want them to take action, you should be sending a separate email for that. Okay, so I feel like I've talked about newsletters. I've talked about marketing emails. Now we're gonna talk about what I personally do, which is the client experience emails, of course. Guys, everything that I just told you about: keeping it personal, making it relatable, including gifs... all of those things translate into your client experience emails. 

I didn't know about you guys, but sometimes when I sit down at a computer, I get writer's block, I forget what I wanted to say. I'm overanalyzing my grammar. I'm trying to pick out the perfect gif. 

 I wanna sound like I'm being relatable and sometimes I get lost in the weeds when I sit down to do this. But for these client experience emails, they actually have a very driven purpose. If someone inquires about your services, you want them to stay interested until you can talk to them. You wanna invite them to do a consultation call, if that is something that you do. And then you wanna make the offer, you wanna follow up on the offer. These are emails that you can map out in a very specific way, and you can actually identify which one should be automated and which one should be customized.

In case you feel like you need help with this guys, I do have a freebie that is gonna [00:08:00] be linked in the show notes, and it is 10 emails that every entrepreneur or photographer should have a template written for in their business. So if you go to, you can grab that template for yourself.

It tells you which emails, I think you should sit down and and write, what types of things you should include in them, and then whether or not you should automate or customize them. And guys, when I'm talking about customization of templated emails, I'm talking about 80% of it being pre-written, and you are just putting 20% as the final touch in something customized.

And it doesn't even have to be big guys, but if they told you that they're having their second daughter, it might be nice if you mention that in one of the emails. Uh, for example, my favorite thing right now, I'm getting a lot of inquiries for summer babies, and Chloe was born in August. And so almost every person that inquires that's having a summer baby, I tell a story about how I love having summer babies and how James, Chloe and I all have birthdays in the same two weeks.

Like this is a personal. That I end up telling almost all of my inquiries, um, just because it's relatable, I can relate to the season that they're currently in. I can relate to being a million years pregnant in the hottest part of the year, which is something that I often talk to my clients about. 

So once again, be relatable, include gifs to add a little pop of personality, always tell them when they should expect to hear from you next or what the next steps are. 

So let's talk about the one email that if you don't take any other action from this podcast episode, I would like everyone to schedule 30 minutes on their calendar to sit down and write an automated lead response.

This is the email that most influences whether or not you will get booked. 

Now, I'm gonna tell you now, just in case you don't grab that freebie, what should be included. 

Number one, you should thank them for their [00:10:00] inquiry. Yes guys, you do have to say thank you. Every time your client or your potential client takes action, you should say thank you. If they fill out a questionnaire, you should say thank you.

If they pay you money, you should say thank you. When they inquire, you should immediately say Thank you. 

Okay, number two. Keep them interested guys. I know that our websites have a lot of information, but everyone is fucking skimming right now. You don't know if they saw your services page. You don't know if they read your investment page, so why assume that they did and then have a very awkward conversation when they realize the services that you offer are not what they want, or you are out of their budget.

make sure that you are sending them important information to review after they inquire, to kind of bridge that gap between when they send you the inquiry form and you actually have a chance to sit down, review what they inquired about and send them a personalized response. I send things like sample galleries, blog posts of sessions, information that will help them choose a location, decide when they have their newborn session, what kind of activities we can do during a documentary family session.

Guys, I have all kinds of links, and here's a pro tip. Depending on what CRM you have, you can actually send a separate, customized, automated lead response for each service that you offer. So your family automated lead response can be different than your wedding automated lead response. They can all be different. You can talk to them with different information. It's amazing. 

And guys, the third thing I know that I sound like I'm hitting my head at against brick wall, but again, tell them the next time they should expect to hear from you. I know some of you guys don't answer emails on the weekend. Good for you. I know some of you guys don't check your emails, [00:12:00] but every other day, good for you. Just make sure that you are telling them when to expect a response so that they don't get in the, oh, well I wonder if she even got my response. . Don't do that. I've been on the other side of that. It's not fun.

Okay, so those are the three things that you should include in your automated lead response. And just cuz I'm feeling generous at the moment, I am gonna give you one more idea, guys, if you have a really awesome client testimonial that. Addresses some objections that people usually have about your service included in the footer of that email.

So I often get families where the dads are not excited about having photographs because let's be honest, when it's portraits, um, people feel very pressured to get that one perfect image. Dads are probably being forced to wear outfits that they don't wanna wear. I mean, I could go on and. . But the one thing, the one piece of feedback that I get from all of my dads is that the session was incredibly fun and it was absolutely not stressful.

So when I get a testimonial that highlights that for me, I wanna make sure that everyone sees it. I wanna put it in the proposal, I wanna put it on my website, and I wanna put it inside of my client experience. Okay guys, so if you've gotten to the end, amazing. 

If you are like I really need to write client experience emails, but I don't know you know what to include. I have all of the emails that you will need to cover your client experience. From the time that someone inquires about your service until you've delivered that gallery or that service deliverable to them. And you are gonna be able to find that at I really hope that you walk away from this podcast and you are excited to write emails. That's it for [00:14:00] this episode, see you next time.