The product I use for my business that I cannot live without is the one that manages the only thing that I regret not managing from the start.
That is my email list.
There’s a love-hate relationship with this type of question.
Simply because tools or products come and go over time. Either they become obsolete, or other ones come out that is better, whatever the case may be, tools will evolve.
With that out of the way though, I will say this. Understanding “why” you are in business and finding a product that supports that will result in you finding a product you cannot live without.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. My email list is the one regret I have in growing my business that I didn’t pay attention to from the start.
And to be quite honest, it probably has costed me a ton of revenue in the long term.
The reason it’s so important is that I am in business to help other businesses grow. In order to do that, communication is key.
If that business is for the services side of my business, I need to stay in touch with them at all stages of the process. Before, during and after we work together.
If that business is for folks like yourself who are building a business, I need to do very much the same so that I can share with you what’s working and what’s not working in today’s market.
For a long time, I lived out of my inbox and that was enough. But after a few years, I realized that I needed to better serve my leads, clients, and colleagues.
To accomplish that, I needed to find myself an email service provider.
For full disclosure, I am an affiliate for Drip and ConvertKit. Which means that if you choose to go ahead and use Drip or ConvertKit because of what I mention in this podcast, I will earn a commission. This commission comes at no additional cost to you.
Please though understand that I have experience with all these companies and I recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the commissions I make.
Why did I move away from my inbox?
At first, it was because I wanted the pretty newsletters, I’m just kidding, that was just a bonus.
I moved simply because I wanted a place where I knew all the contacts I had in my business were in one place where I could reach them effectively.
So I went with MailChimp to start because, well it was free. That seemed logical, right?
However, I’m a developer, and when a developer finds a tool or product that allows him or her some level of power to leverage by way of programming with…well let’s say that developer becomes like a bee to honey.
That’s how I was with Drip.
Drip has an API that few other ESPs at the time had which allowed me to do some interesting things for my business as well as client businesses.
- Lead Scoring based on which page a lead would visit.
- Tagging a subscriber with things versus putting a subscriber into multiple lists.
- Being able to set up simple automation without fumbling around with a cumbersome user interface.
- Insights into what a subscriber has done, like open emails, clicked on links, visited your website and what events like payments happened and when in a nice Activity Feed.
And the best part was all this was free for up to 100 subscribers.
I’ve been a Drip user since early 2015 and still use it to this day.
It’s been powerful in the way I’ve been able to help my own business grow, but also my clients too.
ConvertKit is newer as a tool that I’ve used.
It’s an outstanding platform and where Drip and MailChimp have had difficulties, ConvertKit has picked up the ball and ran with it for me.
ConvertKit is great, especially if you:
- Want to embed multiple forms of different types on your website and get analytics on them without the need of a 3rd party.
- Segment your list based on those forms.
- Tagging of your subscribers like Drip.
- Want to power to create simple, effective automations for your business.
Drip and ConvertKit no doubt are very similar but differ in some aspects.
Advantage of Drip over ConvertKit
One of the biggest is the Activity Feed that Drip has on its subscribers. And if you have a large database of email subscribers or a sales team, this information could be invaluable to you.
Advantage of ConvertKit over Drip
Another big one is the form creation that ConvertKit has. It allows you to create modals, entire landing pages, and inline forms essentially with the click of a button. The analytics of them are top-notch.
Which one you go with really is up to your particular needs.
But the important thing here to remember is that tools come and go. When choosing a product, make it a product that supports your “why” for your business and you’ll no doubt find one that that you cannot live without.
Running your freelance business
More episodes in this topic:
What do you do when a crisis hits?
How to start building an email list as a freelancer?
How do you manage time wearing so many hats as a freelancer?
What software tools do you use for business? What is best?
How do you prevent, manage scope creep in your projects?
Do you schedule in time for exploring or reading articles online?
What is the best way to get income fast?
What happens if you can’t define a scope of work on a call?
What do I do first thing Monday morning?
How can I focus on my business when I’ve got a ton client work?
Do I have to be concerned with GDPR?
What are the tools and services that you use and would recommend to freelancers?
How do you have time for all that you do?
What podcasting gear do I use?
Does live chat bring you in business?
How do you followup with a lead after a proposal?
Did hiring a mentor really help you with starting up your business or your career?
What is my writing process
What is the easiest way to get a remote testimonial?
How do you determine a quality prospect?
How do you step away and actually take a vacation?
Are job boards reliable?
How to decrease the sales cycle or time to close?
How would you write a cold outreach email?
How to present different services that could potentially diminish your abilities in the minds of clients?
Should I bundle projects for clients or keep projects separate per client?
What product do you use for your business that you can’t live without?
What makes you stand out from other freelancers?
Do I drop this client?
How do I set a goal?
Do you meet leads and clients face-to-face?
How do I work “ON” my business and not “IN” my business?
What is the best structure for setting a goal?
How do you do a review of your week?
What do I say when a potential client says I’m too expensive?
What is activity based selling?
How to get more clients?
How to have a productive week?
Do you use a CRM for your business?
How do you choose the technology for your clients?
What is the structure of a weekly review?
What is the structure of a monthly review?
What are lead generation techniques to get me out of the feast and famine revenue cycle?
How do I know if I should buy a course?
What’s a polite way to tell existing clients you are raising your rates? And what is a reasonable percentage to go up?
How many email follow-ups should I send to a lead?
What do I do? I’m afraid to filter the tire kickers coming into my business because they are the only leads I have.
How to take the next step from contracting resource to solo business owner?
What do you think about Gutenberg? Schmutenberg!
How do I get better at sales?
How to overcome objections in sales?
How do I respond to an RFP?
How to respond to “I don’t need strategy, can you just do…”?
If you don’t have experience, how to you prove the quality without the education/experience?
How do you handle a client that has ghosted?
What do you ask during a sales call?
How to improve your sales process as a freelancer?
How to charge more as a freelancer?
How do you push past the imposter syndrome?
How do you segment your email list?
What to say when a client insists on adding something new?
What kind of content should I promote to potential clients?
Best of Season 3 - Get out of the comfort zone
Best of Season 3 - Building Relationships
S06 E12 - Undercharging, Targeting the Wrong Audience, and What You Should Do About It with Alex McClafferty
S03 Bonus - Tom McFarlin on Blogging, Balancing Work and Family, and Building a Business that Lasts
S09 E11 - Differentiation, Reputation, and Pivoting From the Top-Down with Peep Laja
S01 E11 - Kai Davis helping freelancers get more clients with outreach