3 Great Reasons to have a Personal Newsletter for Friends and Family

friendsandfamilyI’ve been using email to send out a newsletter to my friends and family for the past 11 years. The response has been fantastic and it’s made me a believer in taking the time to send word to your personal network on a regular basis. Here are my three top reasons that I think this makes sense.

1. You have a personal life and telling people that care about you what is going on for you leads to their having a greater understanding of your life, hopes and dreams.  Once friends and family know more about what you’re up to – they can get behind any effort you’re making.  For instance, I had an idea a couple years ago called Farm My Yard. It’s an effort to match up homeowners and urban farmers who live nearby. I’ve been mentioning this idea and dreaming it into existence for the past couple years, and now that it’s starting to take off the people I’ve told are some of the effort’s greatest boosters.  And, of course, Farm My Yard has a newsletter sign up form on the website 🙂

2. The feedback. We all want to know how we’re doing. When I send my newsletter out, I always ask for feedback. Over the years it feels like people take turns writing back with their thoughts, suggestions and mentions of how they might be facing the same challenges and their solutions for making their way through.  Sometimes it’s just an “atta boy”, but some friends have deepened our relationship by sharing their thinking and real offers of help.

3. Referrals.  By telling my friends and family what I’m up to in my business life, they then know something of how I make a living – teaching email marketing, social media and helping small businesses boost their marketing efforts. I have become known in my personal world as THE guy who does that. This has led to friends referring their friends who need business support. I generally don’t ask my friends and family directly for support, but their knowledge of my business helps me in various ways. For instance, when we come together for various gatherings, the conversations often start at a greater depth because they’ve been following my life and are somewhat caught up with my progress. Instead of “what’s new“, the conversations more often start with “hey, I remember you mentioning that you lead street tree planting efforts” – any idea of how we can get that going in my neck of the woods?”

As with any email newsletter, you want to follow the basic rules of thumb – keeping the newsletter brief; having a great subject line; putting the call to action towards the top; and using graphics and links sparingly.  If you invite your friends and family to write back about what has moved them about what you’ve written, they often will – and, I promise, this feedback will be interesting and possibly useful.

If you ever need encouragement on trying this out, feel free to get in touch. If you’d like to receive my friends & family monthly email (The Eleven), you can sign up for it here.

You can do this, and I truly believe it will lead to great things!

Social Media is Many Things to Many People

The many faces of social media

The more I use social media over the years the more convinced I am that it is very hard to say exactly what it is. There are various platforms and these are often hard to explain simply. I’ve been training people how to use social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and others for about 8 years.

I first started out by teaching classes in my living room – mainly – how does one use Facebook – personal pages vs. business pages + netiquette – how to be in those places and look like you have a cleu. As the various platforms have expanded their feature sets and made things a bit more difficult for businesses to reach their fans how people use them have changed.  Here are some of the new uses that I am experiencing and seeing in the field.

1. Some people are just using the systems as a messaging system – an example would be FB messenger. I note that I am having more and more personal “email like” interactions via FB messenger than in the past. FB messenger seems to be replacing email in terms of personal connections/conversations in my world.

2. People pick their platforms and stick with them. I know a number of people who are mainly on one platform and that’s it. My nextdoor neighbor runs an Instagram page for his crystal business.  He’s up to 132K followers. I encouraged him to get going with email marketing – and he has, but really, he’s having so much success and fun with Instagram.. that he’s pretty happy with that one platform. Personally, I don’t recommend having all your eggs in one basket (ie, make sure to be list-building – that’s yours…) – but I see this across the board. People who are mainly on Twitter or FB – they find home and stay there.

3. Then, there’s how one spends their time on FB (as an example). I used to spend much more time on the newsfeed – and I’m sure many still do.  But ever since I discovered Friends’ Lists and how to segment my 3770 closest friends + see all the posts of those who I most want to follow/learn from.. that has changed my FB experience dramatically. I also am using FB much more to network with others and connect around business topics in relevant groups. The ALE Family/LESA group has actually really changed my thinking around how a small, dedicated group of people can come together for a common purpose and really elevate everyone’s experience.

Maui Tree

I’ve been looking for articles like this one where people delve into how these prominent tools/platforms are being used – in non-obvious ways, but have not really found what I’m looking for. So, I’ll try putting out my own thinking on the topic and see how that goes. Perhaps if you get what I’m getting at and you find something that you think is similar, add a comment, please. Thanks!

Do you use social media in a way that you think was not intended by the creators?  Please share below!

Have a great Summer – Albert Kaufman, Albertideation, Portland, Oregon, The United States

PS – when you get to my website, please do take a moment to join my email list. I have a few different projects I’m working on and I’d love you along for the ride!

Working Together

How to Create an Email List

If you’ve decided that you’d like to do a better job of marketing your business/cause/non-profit/self/project and you’ve come to me for help – Great! Here are some steps to take so we can work together effectively.

    1. Gather your email addresses into a spreadsheet – Sample.  If you are already using an Email Service Provider such as Constant Contact you may already have this step covered. If not, you’ll want to download your email contacts from wherever they live. Some typical places might be: Outlook (Constant Contact has an app which allows you to sync your Outlook contacts!); Gmail; LinkedIn; Hotmail; MSN; Yahoo or your Mac’s address book if you’re using MacMail. Do a little sleuthing and you’ll find instructions on how to download from any of these platforms into a spreadsheet that you can work with.
    2. Segment Your Lists. Once you have your emails in a spreadsheet you’ll want to create some columns to segment (categorize) your list.  The more columns, the better. Typical things people often segment people by: zip code; relationship (friend, family, business associate, customer); age; birthday; anything that makes a contact different from another one is a reason to create a column. Once you have your columns set up – run through your list and put an “X” in every box that makes sense – ie, a person can be part of more than one list – you may want to reach out to someone for multiple reasons.

      Why to segment your lists - working together

      Why to segment your lists – Thanks, Sumo!

    3. Learn Best Practices. At this point if you want to get an idea of my thinking have a look at one or more of my training videos.
    4. Join My List. If you’re not already receiving my business newsletter – sign up. This will help you see the process I use in my business and it’s something similar to what I’ll advise you to create if you don’t already have something like this set up.

    5. Extra credit – if you don’t already have a Constant Contact account – let me know and I will sign you up for a trial. I’d be happy to do this and you can learn the program and start using it in minutes.
    6. Buffer.com has a great article on how to build your list via your website, here.

If you’ve made it to this point, it’s time to get in touch and we can get started.  Thanks for reading this.  I’m always open to feedback – so feel free to let me know if this has been helpful or not. I look forward to working together.

 

Albert Kaufman
February 7, 2017

Albert Kaufman December 2016 Working Together

Marketing Effectively in 2017

Marketing Effectively in 2017

An update from Albert Kaufman
Aloha,
 
For the past 9 years I’ve been teaching online marketing tactics. I n all that time one thing has not changed, email marketing still remains the best approach, hands down. Though many of us are addicted to Facebook (including yours truly), email is still, by far, the best way to reach people with your message. If you’re already using email marketing there are ways to do it better (better subject lines; using video in your marketing; autoresponders; doing A/B split testing, and more). If you’re marketing your precious business/effort/non-profit and not using email marketing you’re not using the most effective tool out there.
I see my role as helping you market better – if you’d like my help, please reach out to me. I focus on learning and using the best tools available to make the strongest impact in the least expensive way. 
Don’t wait any longer to boost your impact – let’s get started! 
Albert Kaufman

 

Getting%20Started%20with%20Email%20Marketing%20with%20Albert%20Kaufman%20-%20March%202017
This is a webinar I offered at the end of March – have a look and you’ll get an idea of how to get started with email marketing. Click here for more of my training videos.
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Facebook Fan/Business Pages Dead You MUST PAY!

That’s it. I’m calling it. I’ve been saying this ever since Facebook changed it’s algorithm after going public. And now the results of posting on a fan page have dropped to a point I didn’t think was possible. Here’s more proof. If you have the…

Read more
albertideation.com

This allows you to test-drive all the products – email, automated series, surveys, donation campaigns, etc.
– Use promo code SAVEQ217 at checkout.
Bonus offer is me, helping you every step of the way! List upload; customizing your account; and getting it all working for you! 
Albert Kaufman | Albertideation | 503-358-0029 | Email
NW Corner of Maui
Aloha Monday!