Using Email Courses as Lead Generation for Your Writing Business

Envelope next to letterboard sign spelling out the the word email

As freelance writers and business owners, we're always looking for ways to attract new clients. Business development is the lifeblood of your business and can take up a lot of time. Inbound marketing tactics are an excellent way to multiply your efforts and get more clients coming to you. It'll save you time and effort, which you can then devote to your writing projects.

Many freelancers use short, email courses to stay in touch with clients and prospects. These courses teach others a new skill or strategy, get you a new contact for your email list, and free up your time to devote to other things.

Why Create an Email Course?

Any time you're teaching your readers something valuable, you're creating a trusted relationship between you. And trust, as you know, is a significant factor in converting readers and prospects into clients.

An email course gives you a chance to introduce yourself to prospects on a one-on-one basis instead of the one-to-many relationship you have with your blog readers or site visitors.

The emails give you a chance to demonstrate that you're an authority on your topic, deliver useful content, and are worth spending time with. Your readers can even reply to any email in the course and start a conversation with you directly, which is always good.

Plus, it's a low-risk way to do a little marketing since you don't have to invest a lot of time into creating the emails. You can get the course done in less than an afternoon and have a solid inbound marketing channel to get new clients.

What Kind of Course Should You Create?

Your email course should be a short series of lessons that people can read and digest in less than 10 minutes. Each lesson should be short and to the point, take only a few minutes to read through, and end with an actionable step readers can take, such as a writing prompt, challenge, or checklist to go through.

You should pick a topic that's useful to your readers, shows off your teaching abilities, and demonstrates your authority on the subject. Be sure to avoid any self-promotional sales copy in your emails, at least at first. The whole point of these emails is to be helpful and useful to readers without expecting anything in return. Sure, they expect you to send a promo email about your writing services eventually, but that's not why they signed up for this email course.

Depending on the type of writing services you offer your B2B clients, you can choose any or part of your workflow and offer it as a course.

For example, if you write case studies, you could set up a series titled, "5 Days to Better Case Study Interviews," where you send out five emails explaining how to do this. The emails help readers learn how they can do better interviews, but they also get a behind-the-scenes look at how you do them. This way, they can implement your tips and advice if they choose, or they can hire you to do it directly. Either way, it's a win-win.

How to Set Up an Email Course

The way you set up an email autoresponder series for your course will depend on the email marketing software you use (ConvertKit, Active Campaign, Constant Contact, Aweber, etc.), so I won't go into the details here. What's important to remember when you are setting it up is that you tag or segment those who sign up to your email course. You can use this information in later marketing emails or campaigns, for example, when you add a new service related to the email course. These people will be more likely to buy the new service since they're already interested in the topic.

Also, be sure to send out your first email immediately after the person opts in to the course. You want to capitalize on their interest right away and remind them that they signed up for it. Space out the other emails in a way that reflects how long they are or how long it'll take for readers to act on the information you're explaining in that lesson.

Don't be shy about asking people to get in touch with you to tell you how they're implementing what you're teaching. That's a great way to start a direct conversation with them and get some feedback on your course and services.

Email courses are a simple way to engage with readers and prospects, helping them learn something valuable, and demonstrating how you can help them. Most people are willing to give up their email address in return for free information like this, so why not give it a try on your freelance writing website?

This article, Using Email Courses as Lead Generation for Your Writing Business, was originally published by B2B Writing Success.

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Published: October 29, 2020

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