Creating and developing a newsletter, or electronic newsletter, can be difficult for businesses that do not have experience doing so before and it can also be an arduous process for those who have done it for years. Therefore, some companies create newsletters ineffectively or not at all. But having a newsletter is extremely beneficial to developing trust with your clients, marketing your business, driving opportunities, showcasing your expertise, and increasing brand awareness. However, without having relevant content and a plan for developing and growing your newsletter, it will not be successful.
As you begin planning and executing a newsletter, here are a few tips / tricks that I have used in the past as a Marketing Director for a 100 person professional service firm and now, as a consultant to small to medium-sized businesses:
- Engage a “team” to brainstorm ideas for the publication (you should be able to create a list of 100+ potential articles from this group – of course, do not go into the meeting unprepared… you should have a list of areas/services/products related to your firm when you begin)
- Develop a POA (plan of action) – be sure to include an overview of the process (see below my process), then assign article topics to all implementers (this may not be your entire brainstorming team, or your entire partner group, but folks who will git ‘r’ done).
- Share the process / ways you will communicate with the “drafters” – here’s mine:
- Create an excel spreadsheet with these columns: topic/subject, person responsible, status, anticipated publish date, actual publish date and category (so you don’t talk too much about one subject)
- Share the document with all responsible parties
- Educate all “drafters” on the timeline – for example, I send an email 3 weeks prior to the due date, tell the responsible party that I need an outline (or draft, whatever they are comfortable with) in two weeks… that gives me one week to review / revise and prepare for the newsletter, blog or e-blast. Here’s how you can honor the schedule and meet the deadlines set forth.
- Track the progress – this helps you figure out if you need to give them more time to prepare, less time to prepare, are some people finishing them faster than others (if so they can do more).
- Stick to your deadline – if you say you’ll publish them monthly… then do it! Do not leave your audience waiting on information because one person failed to meet the deadline set forth. If applicable in your firm, have a plan for when someone “fails” to do as required. Will someone else draft it? Will their article get pushed to the next month? Etc…
If managing this process yourself is just too time consuming, contact us and we’ll help! Sometimes an outsider can assist with the process and keep all internal resources accountable – after all, that’s our job!