Hey, friend, welcome back to the Business Journey Podcast, I'm Rebecca, and today we were talking about all things email list. I am a huge believer in photographers utilizing an email list to book more clients. It's an incredible way to grow your audience and to serve the audience you have well. So we're going to dive into all the things emails specifically four reasons why you should have an email list. I also wanted to mention before we dive in too deep that we have this months behind the lens has officially launched. So behind the lens is my new membership for family photographers. It is an incredible resource. I take you every single month behind the scenes on a real family session. So you get to see me in action. As I shoot a family session, I talk about why I'm making decisions that I am and you know how I'm posing and using lighting and creative composition and just so many things. And in addition to that, I also include every single month a business master class. You get to learn things that I don't teach anywhere else. And so this month, in April, the master class is all about Pinterest. So if you missed last week's episode of the business podcast, we talked about why photographers should be using Pinterest. And so once you listen to that, you can watch the master class inside behind the lens and find out how to use Pinterest, you know, best practices, how to automate it. It's incredible and all of that. It's only fourteen dollars, you guys. It is the cheapest resource in my whole shop. It is incredibly value packed. So definitely go check that out. You can find it at Rebeccaricephoto/membership or I will link it get here in the show notes. So today we're talking about email lists. Now, if you don't have an email system, I highly suggest fellow desk Flodesk is, in my opinion, the most beautiful, easy to use email system. It's kind of like the Canava of email systems. It's so easy and so beautiful. Anybody can use it. And I actually have a 50 percent off code for flodesk, so I'm linking it in the show notes for you to check out if you know it's sort of like equivalents like MailChimp or Convert Kit or, you know, those kind of things. But it's way better. So if you want to check that out, I do have a 50 percent off code and that's 50 percent off for life. Not like your first year, your first month, it's 50 percent off for life. It's an awesome resource. So I'm going to talk all about email us today, but definitely go check out fellow desk. That's a question I get all the time. People say, what email system do you use ? Always fellow desk, so go check it out. So today we're talking about for reasons you as a photographer should have an email list. OK, there are four main reasons that I see as benefits. I'm sure there's know way more than this, but I'm just going to hit on my top four reasons to hopefully convince you if you're the kind of person that you're like, no, I don't want an email list. Listen, with an open heart, like maybe you'll catch something that would encourage you to go ahead and start that email list if you don't have it already. So and if you do have an email list, maybe you'll get some practical tips to grow that email list, because that's always the goal, is to grow your audience. So let's just dive right in here. Reason number one, that you should have an email list is that you own your list. You know what you don't own ? You don't own your social media followers. Sorry to break it to you, but all of those, you know, Instagram followers and Facebook page likes and whatever, you don't own them. That's not your captive audience. You're borrowing them for right now. But the truth is, Mark Zuckerberg owns that audience and those platforms and he can change algorithms however often that he wants. And they do. They change the algorithms. So often that content is getting harder and harder to find on social media platforms. And so, like, think of the last time you tried to post something, and it can be frustrating. Like my husband was trying to post something the other day and he's got like a decent following, not like huge or anything, but he was frustrated because such a small percentage of people were like liking the post. And I know that seems so like, you know, that's a vanity metric and it's like sour everything. But if such a small percentage of the people that follow you are liking it, like you have to ask yourself why. Well, the truth is only about four percent of your followers are actually seeing when you post something that is a very small percentage. And the reason is because of those algorithms. And so you don't own that platform. You. They could literally disappear tomorrow and like, what would you do, what would you do if your account got shut down completely and you have, like, no other way to advertise your stuff? There's a girl in one of my groups who in my student group, actually, she got locked out of her Instagram and Facebook for suspicious activity. In quotes, she was doing nothing wrong, nothing weird, nothing out of the ordinary. But her account got shut down completely, was not able to post to her Instagram or her Facebook. Like, what do you do in that situation if you don't have an email list like you're done for ? If you're 100 percent relying on social media to book your sessions, you're going to have a lot of problems if something random like that happens and your account gets shut down. So it's very, very important to start building up an alternative location for your clients and that the best place for that is an email list because you own that list. No matter what happens to technology, let's say Facebook completely shuts down or Instagram. I doubt this will happen, but, you know, becomes obsolete, whatever, you know, it happened with MySpace that MySpace isn't a thing anymore. And like, what if all your clients were, you know, you're advertising on MySpace, then everybody jumped ship like anything could happen. You just don't know. Or like in today's cancel culture, like what if Mark Zuckerberg does something super stupid and everybody in the world decides, nope, we're done Facebook, we're done with Instagram, and then they just like start their own new platform, like, you just don't know. So having an email list is something that you own. Email is not going anywhere. Like it just isn't. It's been around for so long. It's going to be around forever. Email is not going anywhere, at least for the foreseeable future. And so it's still the best place to house your clients so that you can do the the next things are going to be talking about. There are other benefits they'll talk about, but you own your list. OK, now, reason number two, that you should have an email list is that you're guaranteed to land in their inbox. You're guaranteed to land in the inbox. So with social media, you have to battle those algorithms, like I mentioned, where only four percent of your followers actually see what you post, which is really depressing. Like, I worked hard for those followers and only four percent are going to see. Are you kidding me ? It's really dumb. But what's so cool with email is that you're guaranteed to drop into their inbox any time you want. They're going to see it now. Regardless if they open it, they may they may not open it or read it or reply or whatever, but they're going to see your name. And I used to get a little discouraged with people not opening my emails. And I was frustrated, like, why in the world what do I do to to get more people to open my email? But somebody reminded me that even if somebody doesn't open your email, you taking the time to send the email helps you to stay top of mind. So let's say somebody is a busy mom that has a super packed inbox that's like really overwhelming with thousands of unread emails, if that's you. And then you're listening to this, like, raise your hand. Yup, that's me. You have thousands of unread emails and so they never open your emails, but they see they they'll scroll through and like, see who's sending them stuff. And so as you're emailing them, maybe new sessions are opening or you have some new tips for clients, whatever, as you're emailing them. They see your name in their inbox and you're staying top of mind. So maybe that busy mom doesn't open your emails all the time. But when it comes time for family sessions, you're the one that she thinks of. She says, oh, I have to book with Rebecca. She, you know, is in my inbox. She's super easy to access. I remember seeing her name. I need to book with her or maybe that mom has a friend that they reach out and say, hey, do you know any good photographers in the area? And she could say, you know what, Rebecca's a great photographer that you should reach out to. Not necessarily because I'm not great. But I mean, I would hope so. But, you know, more so because she sees my name and I'm staying top of mind. So that's the goal here with your email list. Now, not everybody may open your emails, but is OK because they are seeing your name. You are guaranteed to drop into their inbox whenever you send something. It's so much easier not having to battle algorithm's now, am I saying like, totally ditch social media ? No. Like you should be utilizing social media in your marketing strategy. But I'm just saying don't put all your eggs in that basket because if something were to happen, it's really great to have a backup system like email to be able to rely on and to guarantee that they'll actually see it, unlike social media. Where I could talk about that all day, but anyways, so so far we said, four reasons you should have an email list, one you own your list. Number two, you're guaranteed to land in their inbox. Number three, the third reason you should have an email list is it's the easiest way to nurture your current audience, to nurture your current audience. So any, like, current clients that you have are people that have worked with you in the past. Email is the best way to nurture them. You can treat them like VIPs. That's why I call my email list, my VIP list, because I want them to feel like a million bucks. That is super exclusive, that it's awesome and comes with all these perks to be on my VIP list because you have to give people a reason to want to give your email, their email to you like, you know, I don't know about you, but I'm like pretty skeptical with who I give my email to because I don't want, like, all these spam emails. So people have to trust you and, like, feel like there's a reason that they're giving their email to you and so treat them like VIPs. My realtors do this super, super well. And I know it's going to sound funny because they're not photographers, but they have the best client experience I have ever seen with realtors. And my husband and I have worked with several realtors. We are currently in the third house that we've bought and built from the ground up. We don't own all three houses, don't think we're up here like ballin, but we have bought and sold three times. And so we've been with a lot of realtors and they've all been sweet. But man, the experience that we've received from our current realtors is incredible. So if you're in like the Nashville area, check out the Wallace Group. It's Casey and Kyle Wallace. They're the most incredible people, but their client experience is so awesome. They just really care for you. And being on their list, we feel very nurtured. They do some very practical things. You know, every month they send out a newsletter and in that newsletter has like tips. It has current market trends. Sometimes they have VIP perks. And so, like they do once a month, they have like a special something for their clients. And so, like for Valentine's Day, they gave out like a frozen pizza and a two liter and a Redbox coupon, like so simple, so sweet. And now I'm not saying you have to do that for your photography clients, but get the gist that I felt like a VIP because they, like, went the extra mile to treat us like VIPs. And so we can do that in a few ways as photographers. For one, I like to give my VIP email list priority access to bookings. So I have some mini sessions that book out very, very quickly. And some of my clients, a lot of my clients are very busy people and they have limited availability. And so by giving them like priority access to booking, they get to pick the date that works best for them. And that's a huge perk for them because they're like, I am only available on these three days, like, what do you have open? And if they were to wait until, you know, if they weren't on my list and two days out of my three completely book out in an hour, like they're going to miss out on the chance to have the spot they wanted. And so that's a big perk that I give. My VIP is another like perk that I have is my VIPs have the first chance at a model call. So if I need a specific like model, call our family for something, then I reach out to my VIPs first. And most of these are people that have booked with me in the past. And so like, for example, I last year wanted to do some blue not Bluebonnet, some wildflower sessions. I had missed wildflower season. There are these beautiful blue and purple flowers that like seem to pop up out of nowhere and all of a sudden all these people are doing wildflower sessions. I'm like, I want to you wildflowers, sessions, like they're so pretty. And so I knew that I missed it for that season because I think there was like one week left before they I mean, they were almost wilted. But I knew that I wanted to do them for the following year. So I reached out to my list and got one of my families to come and model for me. And by doing that, they we were able to get promo shots for this year. And this year I'm doing wildflower minis, so I'm super excited for that. But all that to say, because they were one of my VIP's on my list, they got first chance, a model call. So those are a couple like VIP perks that you could think about, including another thing. You know, we said this is the easiest way to nurture your people. You can serve them well through email. And one of the easiest ways to do that is by blogging. We talked a little bit about blogging in last week's episode about Pinterest. And I kind of. And on a little bit of a tangent, but we're having a whole blogging masterclass in behind the lens next month, so if you want to hop in this month and you can get access to Pinterest in the next month, you'll have access to the blogging masterclasses. Going to be awesome. But one thing that you can do is you can blog about helpful tips to help serve your clients better and be sending those in emails. And so you don't have to do like an email a week. But I mean, even like an email a month, put together, you know, a couple blog posts and send it in an email once a month in like a newsletter form of like here's what's new on the blog and just serve them better by providing helpful tips. So the goal with your email list in nurturing them is to turn them into raving fans. For me, I am a raving fan of the Wallace's. I will talk about the Wallace Group all day. Every day. I'm sending all of my friends in Tennessee and Nashville that need realtors. I'm sending them to them because they're incredible. And just the experience is amazing. That's the goal for your emails. Do you want to turn your email list into a group of raving fans that feel so nurtured and so poured into that they just want to tell all their friends about you ? They're like, you know what? You need a photographer. You need to go talk to Rebecca because she just cares about you. And, you know, you need to join her VIP list because blah, blah, blah, whatever it may be, make sure that you just serve them well to turn them into raving fans for reasons you should have an email list. We did three you on your list. You're guaranteed to land in their inbox. It's the easiest way to nurture your people. And the last reason and not the last, but the last I'm going to talk about is it's the fastest way to book your warmest clients. OK, these clients on your VIP list are ready. They're ready to book with you. You don't have to convince them to book. So that's why I love my emails, because when I open up a new set of minutes or something, I'll just like send this email and boom, like within an hour I've got, you know, eight or twelve bookings super easily because I don't have to convince them to book. They are ready to buy. They are excited to book with me. They trust me. They know me, they love me. And they're just waiting for the opportunity to book. And so that's the fastest way to book your warmest clients. If I had to track all of them down on social media or wait for them to see my post like I would struggle. And that's happened before, where I Didn't send an email and I just relied on posts. And then I had some of my most loyal clients, like weeks later finally see the post like, oh my gosh, I want a book. Where as if they had just had it in an email, then they would have booked immediately. And so you want to take advantage of that email list because it's full of your warmest clients. So I could go on and on about email lists and I probably will, but definitely let me know if you have any questions. I'm always available. Via DM find me on Instagram at Rebecca Rice Photography and I would love to help. And don't forget that I do have a fellow desk discount so it's fifty percent off for life on float. Ask if you don't have an email system or maybe you do and it's just ok flow desk is the best. I'm telling you, you're going to love it. It's so easy to use. I've never had somebody like try it and say I just don't like flodesk. That's not a thing you love. Float desk. So if you want that fifty percent off code, it's linked in the show notes or DM me on Instagram and I'd be happy to send that to you. And then don't forget, we have behind the lens brand new content drops soon. But right now we have a Pinterest master class that you can grab and behind the scenes video, it's packed with content. You can find that Rebeccaricephoto/membership. It's all I got for today. So we're going to close out, but I will see you around the same time next week. Bye, guys.

Episode Transcript

12. 4 reasons you should have an email list