You’ve been building your list and now it’s time to communicate with your peeps.
Do you have a plan for what you’re going to be talking about in your articles? What about anything personal? Will you be recommending others and if so is it a crap shoot for keeping track of the recommendations or do you have a plan?
WHOOPS – there’s that word again that everyone loves to hate – PLAN.
If you don’t have a plan, I am willing to bet (and I’m not usually a betting person) that you dread the day when you realize that you’ve got to create your newsletter and get it out.
Creating your newsletter plan is really not that difficult. Really it’s not. Let me share with you how I do mine.
1. Tracking Tool
Create a simple spreadsheet with the column headings matching your different sections of your newsletter.
In the left most column, insert the dates that you publish your newsletter. I am going to assume that you have a specific day each week, bi-week, month in which you publish your newsletter – so what is that. I publish a full newsletter every 2 weeks on a Wednesday. On the alternating weeks, I publish just a simple tip email.
Whatever your schedule is, enter those corresponding dates on the left column. TIP: You can enter the first date in the first cell, and then just create a formula to copy the rest of the dates down. This is of course assuming that you publish regularly. I therefore entered the date in January for my first communication for 2012, and then in row 2, I used the formula =A1 + 7 which would get the date from row 1 and add 7 more days to it. Then I simply copy and paste the formula down until I reached December 2012.
2. Special Occasions
The next thing that I do is cross-reference my spreadsheet to my calendar. I am looking for any special occasions, like birthdays, holidays, vacations, product launches, etc. What are these special occasions?
By adding these to my tracking tool, it allows me to keep track of important things that I may wish to write about in the future.
3. Promotions & Recommendations
It is very easy to be asked on A LOT to promote someone else’s program, teleclass, webinar, affiliate promotion. And if you are not careful, you could wind up just being an advertisement for every Tom, Dick & Harry.
When you agree to promote for someone, track it in this spreadsheet. When you get a future request, you will be able to quickly see if you have room to promote their offering.
You WILL also want to include in this recommendations section anything that you yourself may be launching. If you are starting a new program, and you’ve committed all of your promo space in your newsletter for other people’s programs, then you may not have room for your own program, or it will get lost.
You could get caught in the over-promotion problem to your list – which everyone dreads – and wind up losing people as a result.
4. Feature Article
Now that you have the special occasions mapped out, any promotions & recommendations that you have to do (for others and yourself), you can now look at your articles and begin to layout any possible themes that may align with certain times of the year or products and programs.
Or you could specifically decide that you are going to write a series of articles on specific subject matters and jot those topics in the feature article section.
Or perhaps you invite a guest article.
Now when it comes to that dreaded day which you have to put your newsletter together – you now can look at your tracking tool and breath a sigh of relief. No longer is it dreaded because what you now have is a PLAN!
Below is a screen shot of what I use – just click on the image and you can see it in a larger view.
So now you know what I do. Take what I’ve taught here and implement this into your newsletter communication strategy.