You don’t have money to spend on ads yet.
Your message seems to be drowning amidst the thousands of voices in Facebook groups.
You want to market your blog and business….
But it seems so hard to cut through the clutter and noise in crowded social media platforms.
You’re after all just one single person.
But what if you could have your own marketing team at your disposal? A team to sing your praises when you’re not around…
To promote your work for you….
To write you raving testimonials that you can feature on your blog.
To drop you a note and tell you how much they appreciate and value your work.
Now, I’ll let you in on a secret. You do.
It’ll not cost you a single cent. But it will require lots of generosity, time and patience.
This simple, untapped solution to market your blog lies in turning your subscribers into brand advocates.
If you have a list of any size, you have a potential group of brand advocates waiting right there.
Here are 9 simple things you can do to turn your subscribers into brand advocates.
Looking for ways to write emails that your subscribers will love? Grab the cheat sheet with 11 quick tips you can implement today.
# 1 Map out all the touch points they have with your brand
Potential subscribers come across your brand via various channels
- Facebook groups
- Guest post bio
- Roundup post through another blog
- Live streaming link
- Mention via another blog
- Subscribe page on social media
In marketing they call this the customer journey and touch points a subscriber has with your brand.
Knowing the various ways subscribers may subscribe to your list would mean that you have no open loops or holes.
Every subscriber is always taken are of no matter how they come into ‘your system’ – whether it’s through a different opt-in offer or a different link.
When you’re starting out, it may be fairly straight forward because you may not have extensive content upgrades or opt-in offers. But having a good foundation in place is important so that you don’t accidentally leave out a group of subscribers from receiving your welcome email.
Or a group of people who have stumbled across a dead link or a page that doesn’t have an opt-in form.
To avoid this you can:
1. Easily set-up a custom 404 page with an opt-in form. I show you how in this post: How to grow you tiny email list with 29 simple but powerful tactics
2. Connect subscribers to a simple welcome email series. This is an induction of sorts that introduces yourself, your blog and brand values. If you want to lead your subscribers to different pieces of content depending on your blog categories, you could set up a sequence of emails for each category opt-in offer or content upgrade they sign up for.
#2 Support them along the journey
It may take several touch points before a subscriber becomes a brand advocate. And here’s how the journey is like for a subscriber.
- Unaware (don’t know who you are)
- Read your blog post
- Come across a compelling lead magnet or content upgrade and sign up
- Start to get aware of your brand
- Get value from you and your brand
- They start to see you as an authority figure and trust what you have to say
- You educate them on the issue at hand or the problem they need to solve
- You allay their fears by removing objections for using your product or service
- You instil desire for your product or service and paint a vivid picture of how it could solve their problems
- They purchase your product
- They get results
- They become fans and spread the word about your brand and products
Even if you have no product or service, the journey is similar.
You have to earn their trust at every step of the way. And your support doesn’t end when they sign-up for your opt-in offer or purchase your product.
Your emails have to guide them though the product and purchase period and while they are going through your product.
Subscribers who feel highly supported at every step of the way are far more likely to give you a good review and spread the word about your blog and work that you do.It takes several touch points before a subscriber becomes a brand advocateClick To Tweet
#3 Ask for and use testimonials
Here’s why your subscribers testimonials and endorsements are so valuable.
In a recent survey from CollectiveBias; an influencer agency:
30% of shoppers were more likely to purchase a product endorsed by a non-celebrity blogger than a celebrity. Of that number, 70 percent of 18 to 34 year-olds had the highest preference for “peer” endorsement.”
This means that your readers are looking for opinions and experiences of someone like themselves.
So by having testimonials of your own subscribers and readers on your blog, you’re far more likely to come across as someone they can trust.
But do you struggle with asking your subscribers to give you a testimonial…to send them to a sales page or to share your work? Are you afraid of coming across as salesy?
There’s no reason to feel uncomfortable with ‘asking’ your subscribers for a testimonial or a favour if you have reason to believe that you’ve provided value along every step of the way.
If you think they are ready for that next stage to purchase or to provide you with a testimonial, never fear an ask.
You may have come across this formula that says it takes 7 emails before you can ask for a sale.
That’s entirely a myth and it really depends on how many emails it takes you to get them across the customer journey.
#4 Send out “the free consultation” email
If you need to touch base with what content to deliver or product to create, ask your subscribers.
Send them a survey in return for a consultation.
The survey or free consultation email is something that you absolutely need in your email marketing mix.
If you’re looking for a template you can steal, this is what I sent out to my subscribers a couple of months ago.
I touch based personally with more than 20 of them and while it took time, the information and insight I got into their problems was priceless.
I’ve used that data entirely to conceptualize two products I’m working on now.
#5 Ask for feedback
Use each email as an opportunity to connect with them.
Ask them to respond to you by asking a particular question.
Not everyone will. But those who do will even help you make your content better like this email below.
She pointed out that it may be helpful to add a particular information for clarity. It didn’t strike me to think of it from that perspective at all so bingo!
#6 Surprise Them
One of the most effective means of making your customers happy (and turning them into brand advocates) is to surprise them.
You could send them an exclusive offer or content every month or every quarter.
The content is what matters. Don’t let the design elements hold you back if you’re not comfortable with Photoshop or Adobe.
Subscribers will appreciate the gesture even if it’s designed in a simple word processor. I design all my content upgrades and subscriber guides in Pages for Mac.
#7 Identify your most engaged subscribers
Keep a system where you regularly identify engaged subscribers.
For instance, I don’t send blog post notifications all the time. But give subscribers the option to opt-in to receive my blog post notifications.
I’ve noticed open and click through rates to be especially high for this particular segment of subscribers – 70-80% consistently. They also respond to emails regularly.
These subscribers are more engaged with you brand.
Tag them in your system to identify them. This is really easy to set-up on Convertkit.
By identifying these subscribers you can send them special offers or beta-test opportunities or solicit feedback.
You know they’ll be more likely to respond with comments.Regularly identify your most engaged subscribersClick To Tweet
#8 Make them feel special
Return the favour…
Take an interest in their lives and families…
Drop them a note to see how they are doing…
Have a look at the email below.
It’s sad that people feel like an ’email address’ but that’s how it has become.
If you take a genuine effort to respond to your emails, you will make a lasting impression on them and show you care.
You may not know all your subscribers. But there are names that you’ll start to be familiar with…Who have written to you and have taken an interest in your work.
If you notice their work on any Facebook promo threads, make it a point to like their post.
This is something that my blogging friend Jennifer Snyder of Women Winning Online does.
It’s her way of providing support and appreciating people who are part of her Facebook group. It’s a lovely gesture and something I picked up from her.
#9 Offer a referral/affiliate program
Don’t restrict affiliate opportunities to just your peers but also to subscribers who have purchased your courses or products as well.
A referral scheme can help you achieve two key goals:
- Acquire new customers
- Turning existing customers into brand advocates
But for any affiliate and referral programme to be successful, you need to provide support in the form of email copy, images and social media text.
The more support you provide, the easier it will be for them to know how you want your product or service promoted. It’ll also save you from having misinformation about your product or service.
Promote your subscriber/customer reviews as you would your own.
Nurture your ‘marketing team’
Turning your subscribers into brand advocates takes time.
You have to stand out in that busy inbox.
You have to fight to get noticed.
You have to show them you care.
You have to earn their trust
But it’s well worth the effort because your subscribers will show up for you when you need them to.