How to Unsubscribe Gracefully

Every rose has it’s thorns. Oh god, that was so corny I can’t even take myself seriously.

Last week I shared what content I love receiving (and reading), but this week it’s all about boundaries. That’s right ladies and gents, I’m talking the big ‘U’…Unsubscribing. And at the end of the post I’m writing you a big ole permission slip to unsubscribe from whatever or whoever you want, so you won’t want to miss that. ;)

Here’s the first thing I want you to know: unsubscribing can be as simple (or as complicated) as you decide to make it.

For a long time I would take it personally when I saw that someone had unsubscribed from my list. What did I do wrong? Why do they hate me? They obviously did this to let me know that they think I’m a big loser…And because I took it so personally when someone unsubscribed from my list, I felt guilted into staying on a bunch of lists that I didn’t really want to be on. I’d sign up so I could download a potentially useful workbook, and hand over space in my inbox indefinitely as penance…even if the workbook turned out to be a disappointment.

No more inbox penance. Your inbox is like your virtual home, you don’t owe people a spot on your sofa.

So here are some hard and fast measurements that I use to decide when it’s time to unsubscribe:

  • I haven’t read/have instantly deleted the last three emails from the account. I don’t know about you, but if I want to read something and just don’t have time I tend to let it hang out in my inbox with a star or flag next to it for a few days until I have time. But those emails that are still hanging out after three week? Or the ones I keep archiving or deleting as soon as they pop in? Those are a sign that I don’t really want to hear from that account.
  • I signed up to get a free resource, but I’m disappointed with the quality of what I received. This one is a toughy…it can feel a bit like a dine-n-dash, but here’s what I’ve learned: someone’s opt-in is typically the BEST content they’re willing to give away for free. So if the opt-in is a disappointment, the subsequent emails typically aren’t any better.
  • I just don’t feel good after I read emails from this account. I have to check myself on this one all the time (not just for emails, but also Instagram). I have a tendency to feel like I have to follow XYZ Influencer in my field, and then I get sucked into a comparison trap every time they pop up in my feed or inbox. Each post is like a knife to my heart - showing all of the success that I’m missing out on. And that just sucks. So I’ve given myself permission to unfollow these folks. There are plenty of influencers that won’t make you feel bad about yourself - so find your people and forget the rest. One of my favorites? Marie Forleo.

I hope that these rules make it a little easier for you to cut ties with all that stuff you didn’t want to read anyway - or have at least given you some insight as to why folks might be unsubscribing from your list.

P.S. Are you losing subscribers? Have a feeling it’s because they’re disappointed with your opt-in? Check out this blogpost about creating freebies your audience actually wants.

5 Newsletters You Must Read

After my last post I thought this would be the perfect month to share a little more about how I manage my social media and email intake. With so many folks out there producing amazing content, it’s all too easy to get overwhelmed like I did. There are no hard and fast rules for how many profiles you can follow or newsletters you can read without hitting burnout, but for me the magic newsletter number is five.

So this week, I’m dishing on the 5 Newsletter You Must Read This Week.

  1. Danielle LaPorte D-Digest: Ok, so this one is a bit of a cheat. I don’t get it every week - I get it monthly. But one of the things I love about Danielle’s newsletter is that you get to choose how often you want to receive it. How awesome is that? I am a big fan of the Desire Map / Truthbomb / Firestarter maven, and so I appreciate the convenience of getting a digest version not just new blogposts from her website, but also videos and product launches. P.S. If you’re also a big LaPorte fan you need to hear this recent interview with Tara Gentile, game-changing. Topics covered: self-improvement, community, education, spirituality, soulful business
  2. Letters for Creatives: I’ve mentioned the Being Boss podcast on this blog before, and if you’ve given it a listen you probably heard co-host Kathleen Shannon mention that she defines her purpose as ‘helping people be 100% themselves in work and life.’ And that’s exactly what I love about her newsletter, Letters for Creatives. It’s a perfect blend of professional insights and personal experiences. Plus, she sends out a lot of free worksheets! And you know how I feel about a good worksheet…Topics covered: work/life blend, personal branding, manifesting, goal-setting
  3. Prim’d: The ladies at Prim’d do a great job of providing unique content in their Friday newsletters that you can’t get from them anywhere else. I love that it feels like a behind-the-scenes peek into what they’re doing, and also that they make a point of highlighting weekly successes from their clients and followers. Topics covered: business, marketing, branding
  4. ConvertKit: I tweeted at Val Geisler recently that I was super impressed with her (more than) weekly contributions to my inbox. I switched from Mailchimp to ConvertKit earlier this Summer, and one of my favorite things about making the jump has honestly been receiving emails from the CK team. Whether they’re letting me about another free webinar, or telling me how to do that HTML thing that I have been trying to figure out for DAYS, it’s always exactly what I needed. Topics covered: email marketing, creating digital products, list building
  5. Spruce Rd: Jamie Starcevich can read my mind. At least that’s what it feels like when I read her emails. These emails usually are a little longer / take a little more time to read, but that’s because she’s delivering the juicy stuff straight to your inbox. Rather than clicking through to a blogpost for a full tutorial, you can read the whole thing from the comfort of Gmail. Topics covered: design/illustration, blogging, creating digital products

Shameless plug: want tips for improving your business that you can implement today (in 10 minutes or less)? Download any of these free resources and you'll receive my own newsletter, MOJO Minutes!

Is there a newsletter you love that’s not on my list? Let me know in the comments!

Life Happens

Well, guys…it’s been a while since I’ve checked in here. Really, it’s been too long…and I’d like to say that’s because I’ve been traveling around the world, or writing a book, but the truth is life just happened.

I’ve learned a lot in the last couple of weeks about how I work (and don’t work), and that’s what I’ve got to share today.

Lesson 1: I’m Not A Nomad

Some folks seem to be able to hop on a plane with little more than a laptop and work from just about anywhere. Turns out, I am not one of those people. Back at the end of June I packed up my little Austin bungalow and drove up north to spend the summer by Lake Michigan. And once I got here I immediately lost all of my momentum. I’m a girl who does her best work on a schedule, in a stable habitat, with a routine - and it’s taken me about a month to finally start settling in up here. The bad news? I’m moving again in about a week. The good news? This move is permanent and I know what I need to do to hit the ground running this time.

Lesson 2: You Gotta Balance the In/Out

Here’s what I mean: a few months ago I realized I was spending 80% of my time working IN my business and only about 20% of my time working ON my business. So, like a good Gemini, I promptly flipped that equation began spending 80% of my time on my business. And I got a little burned out (hey, this is #realtalk). Over the last month or so it’s been nice to lose myself in client projects again - but it’s also meant that I didn’t make time for planning all of my August content. Honestly, that’s a little embarrassing since it’s what I do everyday for my clients - but it’s the truth.

Lesson 3: Self-Help Saturation

I’m a self-help junkie. I can own that. But even I am feeling a little overwhelmed lately. When you download all the workbooks, get all the emails, and tune in to all of the seminars you don’t really leave much time to actually implement all of that new knowledge. My overwhelm left me feeling foggy when it came time to share content with y’all, so I took a step back.

Lesson 4: I just don’t like Periscope.

Actually, let me clarify. I really like the idea of Periscope, but I hate being verbally assaulted by strangers every time I hop on to share my business expertise. I don’t know why there aren’t more people talking about this. It seems like everywhere you go you see bloggers extolling the virtues of Periscope these days, but I have a really hard time believing that I am the only one getting creeped on. Maybe some folks just have a thicker skin. I told myself for a month that I could just ignore it, just power through. But like Maya Angelou said, words are things. And I don’t have to voluntarily subject myself to those ugly words - so I’m not going to anymore. I plan to continue sharing video content in the MOJO Video Library, but Periscope is done for me.

There have been other little lessons along the way, but these are the biggies. It’s hard to own up, and admit that I have not been walking my talk, but I have the sneaking suspicion that I’m the only one whose ever been there.

Pssst! I'm working on some really exciting digital products that will be ready to share in September. As part of that launch I'll be replacing my DIY Social Media Planner with a new opt-in, so grab yours while it's still up!

How to Share Your Content in Facebook Groups

Sharing your blogpost, freebie, or webinar in a Facebook group is easy. But sharing it without coming across as salesy, pushy, and out-of-touch? Not so much.  Let's face it, at this point, we've all seen how to share your content in a Facebook group and look like a total jerk.

Today, I want to give you three tried-and-true scripts that you can literally copy and paste into your post whenever you’ve created a resource that you want to share in a specific social media community. 

I’m using Facebook groups as an example, but this stuff definitely has applications in places like Slack communities as well, or forums (if that's even still a thing...).

Script 1: Use this when you have written a blogpost that you want to share.

“Hey everybody! I’ve got a blogpost that I think you guys will really (enjoy, find useful, find inspiring, etc). I noticed recently that there’s been a lot of conversation on ________________ in here lately, and as an expert ________________ I thought I’d throw my two cents in. If you have any questions or thoughts on this topic, I’d love to continue the conversation here!”

Script 2: Use this when you have created a free resource (like a workbook, video tutorial or webinar) that you want to share.

“Hello everyone! I have been so inspired by all of the great ________________ (conversation, knowledge, insight, support, etc) that’s going back and forth in this group lately. In fact, I actually had you guys in mind when I created my new (insert free resource). I think it will add a lot of value to your (business, wellness routine, etc) by ________________ (insert what your free resource ‘does’ or ‘offers’). Enjoy!”

Script 3: Use this when you want to share something that is not free.

“Hi everyone! Today is a big day for me. I’m finally sharing (insert product or service name) that I’ve been working so hard on lately. I couldn’t have created this without the _____________ (wisdom, support, inspiration, insights etc) that this group provides, and I wanted to share it here first because…honestly…you guys are my dream customers. There’s no pressure or expectation on my end, but I would be thrilled to work with any of you.”

You may have noticed a trend in those…they all require that you have some knowledge of what is actually being talked about in the group. This is so important. If you never show up in a group except to promote your own stuff, you are going to look like a jerk. Even if you use these scripts.

The biggest way to prevent looking like a jerk when you share your content in a closed group, is to already be an active member of the group.

And that’s just smart marketing anyway - closed, niched communities like a Facebook Group are basically free focus groups. It’s like finding a map to buried treasure. The people you want to connect with are all there, voicing their real concerns and values, giving you all the information you need to create some awesome content.

So, to summarize: show up, be involved, use the scripts. Success!

Plan a Week of Content in 10 Minutes

I mentioned last week that it only takes me about 8 hours per month to create all of my marketing content - and this week I want to share one of my best tricks for creating some content ideas fast. And I mean really fast.

With this trick, you’ll be able to plan a week’s worth of content, in approximately 10 minutes.

To do this, I’m going to need you to hop in a time machine with me real quick. Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and imagine the distant scent of dry ease markers…the feeling of too-big Chuck Taylors on your feet…and picture the worst haircut you ever had…that’s right, we’re taking it back to middle school. Dun dun dunnnnn!

The key to generating content ideas fast is something you’ve known about since you were a pre-teen: the humble Bubble Map.

It’s pretty common knowledge at this point that good content solves a problem for your dream customer - it answers their questions, builds community, or shows them a better way to do something. But once you’ve solved the most obvious problems for your target audience, it’s easy to feel like you’ve run out of things to talk about. That’s where bubble mapping comes in.

Here’s how it works:

You start with one of your customers’ common problems - in my case it could be “I never remember to send out newsletters” - this is the first bubble on your map. Now you’re going to draw 7 smaller bubbles around that central bubble - these are all questions that are related to the first problem, but are more specific. So, in my example, those could be things like:

  • “What do I share in my newsletter when there’s no news?”
  • “How often do I really need to send out newsletters anyway?”
  • “Where can I get images to use in my newsletters?”
  • “Why do I keep sending newsletters if no one reads them?”
  • “Do newsletters even make sense for my business?”
  • “Should I wait until my list is bigger to start sending newsletters?”
  • “How can I write newsletters in advance or schedule them?”

Boom! Each of those seven ideas is the perfect starting place for a blog or social post. By using this simple mapping technique we’ve taken a prompt for one post, and turned it into a week’s worth of content! And the best part is…the more specific your content is, the more your dream customer will like it anyway. Making a bubble map forces you to take one step further into the minds and lives of your dream customer, and that’s how you discover the problems they’re really facing.

Did you try the Bubble Map? Let me know how it goes in the comments below!