What would happen to your reach without your website’s social media accounts?
If, knock on wood, something were to happen to your Facebook or Instagram account, how many people would you be able to reach with your writing?
I don’t mean to sound all dooms-day-ish; social media platforms will evolve and the marketing strategies will follow. And hopefully, you’ll never have an account shut down because I’ve heard it’s a nightmare. But my point is that those accounts don’t technically ‘belong’ to you. Or me. They belong to their respective platforms.
Facebook giveth and Facebook taketh away.
Which leads me to my next point…
You Can Build Your Own Targeted Platform
There is an audience out there that doesn’t depend on a third party.
It’s yours once you’ve built it.
It’s your subscriber list and it’s the ultimate writer/author platform. Not only is your subscriber list ‘yours’ but it can also be an incredibly targeted group of interested readers.
I say ‘can’ be because unless you’re purging subscribers who don’t open your emails or interact in any way, in addition to those with dead-end email addresses, you’re list might not be as targeted as you think.
Subscribers are your fans. They read your emails and are interested in what you have to say. They want to know when you release a new book or publish a blog post.
You might even have more than one if you’re building multiple audiences.
So how do you turn social media followers into interested, interactive, and targeted subscribers?
I thought you’d never ask.
10 Ways To Convert Social Media Followers Into Email Subscribers
#1 – New Subscriber Contest
I’m not talking about social media subscribers, I’m talking about grass-roots growth. Choose a prize to give away to ALL subscribers, new and old, each time you gain 20-50-100 subscribers—whatever number is challenging yet reachable.
This strategy includes everyone, giving current subscribers an incentive to stay subscribed, and the giveaway entices new subscribers. Promote your growth goal and prize on your social media accounts with a link to an email service-generated sign-up form.
#2 – Host A Challenge
Challenge your social media followers to a specific task and gate the challenge with a sign-up form. You can go big or small, so long as it’s something useful that your subscribers want to learn or change.
It could be pre-written, automatic, daily emails with instructions and practical exercises for a 10-day challenge. It could be a private page, with or without a forum, on your blog for participants. It could be a printable workbook with videos. It could be you broadcasting or sending daily videos with encouragement and your own progress. Sky’s the limit.
#3 – Connect Using Direct Message
Send new social media followers a message. You can use an auto-respond service for this but beware, it’s considered bad form by many to make your first contact a sign-up form. Instead, invite your new followers to visit your site or link to your most popular post.
If you decide on a more direct approach, meaning you promote your subscription incentives using auto-respond, I’d recommend being upfront about it. “New subscribers receive…” “I thought you’d be interested in my Blah Blah Blah Challenge, available to new email subscribers.”
#4 – Host A Webinar Or Training Session
You don’t have to sell anything. Hosting an interactive training session or informative presentation to teach others is a great way to earn new subscribers. Plus, as you host more and more, you’ll build a video library that you can choose to bundle into a product, promote on video-friendly social media platforms, or curate on your site.
#5 – Promote Your Newsletter
If you have a list, you probably fall into one of two camps. You either: A-send them written email updates with a link or two, or B-publish a newsletter with sections and a page layout. If you’re Camp B, you should promote your newsletter to your social media audience. Create an eye-catching sign-up form and drop it right into your post.
#6 – Add Sign-Ups To Blog Posts
Use sign-up forms to break up text in your blog posts. I don’t mean images that link to a sign-up form. I mean ‘insert your email address here’ sign-up forms within your blog posts. But don’t overdo it. I usually add two but my posts tend to be super long. These forms will tempt all visitors, not just your social media audience, but if those followers are clicking the links you share to your site, make sure you have the option out there for them. (P.S. There’s one right above this paragraph.)
#7 – Promote Your Freebies
This should probably be number one. Or 101. Create a few freebies. These don’t have to be huge ebooks. Make printables to go with your posts. Edit a few related posts into a guide. Create a short course via daily emails. Do a challenge. Curate a useful newsletter. These incentives give potential subscribers a reason to hand over their email. Make something short, useful, and awesome. Then promote it to your social media audience.
#8 – Create Pins For Opt-In Offers
You’re probably already promoting your posts with beautiful, branded pins, but are you doing the same for your freebies, incentives, printables, and opt-in offers? There’s no reason not to!
#9 – Switch Up Your Visuals
You might be sharing direct links to your sign-up forms on social media but that doesn’t mean you can’t use a variety of images for these posts. Spend a few hours designing Pinterest-worthy images to promote your incentives. Test their effectiveness to see what your audience responds to. Then pin them all.
#10 – Be Yourself
This might be the most effective way to earn subscribers, period. Be yourself and you’ll find those who like you for who you are. But it’s more than that. It’s embracing yourself enough to push past your fear of being judged. That’s where I struggle, especially in video. I’m definitely more courageous in writing. We’re all drawn to those who are genuine so, writing or video, embrace who you are and let that shine.
You’ll gain more than subscribers; you’ll discover a community.