I want to share something of great importance with you…
I self-published a book in 2016, Goodbye, Regret: Forgiving Yourself of Past Mistakes. I gathered a launch team who stood behind the project and shared the heck out of it. The book is still selling and I’ve given away as many copies because I believe in the message that much.
I went through the Tribe Writers course by Jeff Goins, which helped me learn how to write that book and launch it into the world.
But here’s an important fact, friends…
When following a plan of action, you must take every step in the climb or you’ll experience a setback. Then you’ll have to take a step back.
Skipping steps in an action plan is like trying to roast a turkey without turning on the oven. That succulent turkey will never be tasted if we don’t turn up the heat.
If you don’t eat turkey, the same goes for pies.
The Important Step I Skipped
Friend, social media is a wonderful thing when it comes to sharing your work. It’s awesome because not only are you sharing your work, but your friends are sharing it too. Friends are good like that — they want to help.
In preparing to publish and launch my book, I was feeling pretty darn confident with the 10k+ followers on my combined social media pages. I interact with them and they interact with me. That’s a good thing, and I’m blessed by it. I thought shouting my message to the masses was enough.
Let me be clear, I didn’t actually forget about my list. I love the friends on my list, my tribe, but I settled for good when I should have been striving for the greater good. Plus, my focus was kind of all over the place. Can you relate?
Nurture and Grow Your List
My email list of friends is my tribe. I don’t have to shout at them until I lose my voice because they will listen even when I whisper. They will encourage and support me because they know me best.
While I didn’t neglect my existing list of readers, I neglected my future list of followers by failing to actively and intentionally seek them. I sat back and allowed the list to grow organically, but truth be told, I became complacent about it. I lost my way and skipped that all-important step of focused growth.
So why am I feeling the pain of this now? Why am I sharing this?
Because if you want to be traditionally published, then you need to know what traditional publishers are looking for…
If You Are Seeking and Agent and Traditional Publishing
While self-publishing is an amazing thing, my heart’s desire is to have my next book traditionally published. Traditional publishers want a solid platform in the form of an email list. They are looking for a certain number and failure to have it is the number one reason why publishers turn a book down. Chad Allen’s recent post will help you learn more.
I have a great list and it’s steadily growing. I have a fire under me now that means something more. It means the difference between my manuscript sitting on my desk helping no one, or it getting out into the world and helping someone.
Do you have those desires too, friend?
It’s not about me and my success, although that is a nice benefit, it’s about my why. I want the book to meet a need and impact the world. That’s not going to happen if the manuscript sits dusty on a desk.
Take My Advice
- Get your email lead magnets out there. If you’re a writer you know what that means. If you don’t, check out the links above for Chad and Jeff.
- Invite your social media audience to become your email followers. That might mean boosting some posts at a cost, but it’s pretty affordable.
- Tell people you write and tell people about your blog. Ask them if they’d like to get your posts. You think they know this but guess what? They probably don’t. That’s on you and that’s on me.
- Are you a speaker? Send a list around or have a sheet at every table for attendees to sign up to follow your blog.
- Selling your books at events? Have a sign-up sheet at your book table. Have a special give-a-way gift to offer in exchange for an email address — even if they don’t buy your book.
- Be intentional.
- Be consistent.
- Be vocal.
- Be persistent.
- Ask blogger friends to help spread the word about your words. There’s a circle of blogger friends out there who write about what you write about. Inquire on their guest post opportunities and share your words with each other’s audiences. Be generous and reciprocate.
Don’t neglect your email list, care for it, nurture it, and grow it.
Then when you hear that word “platform” it won’t make you cringe and it won’t make you sweat. It will make you smile.
So friend, wanna follow me?
No pressure if my blog is not a good fit. I write for an audience of women about using our gifts to impact the world, overcoming fear and doubt, blooming in our purpose and calling, and how to walk in the plans God has for our lives. If any of that resonates with you, I’d love for you to join me in the journey.
I have a free gift for you when you subscribe to my blog — my free ebook, Step Out of Your Doubt and Into Your Calling: Walking Boldly in God’s Plans for Your Life. Just click the link, enter your email and I’ll send it to you.
I hope this message encourages you to rethink the way you are growing your email list. I’d love for you to share your thoughts and what you are doing to intentionally grow your list.
I’ll leave you with this inspiring quote, my friend, Deanne Welsh shared recently:
“There are three stages in the work of God: impossible, difficult, done.” — James Hudson Taylor.
Trust God and submit your email list to Him. Don’t allow it to become an idol but do allow God to do wonderful things with your dreams.
Happy Thanksgiving, friend.