Start Sending a Monthly Update Email
Many entrepreneurs, consultants and freelancers manage an email list and send a monthly newsletter. Usually these newsletters include recent blog posts, links to other resources like helpful articles or podcasts, etc.
While we would certainly encourage anyone to create and build this type of newsletter, doing so can be extremely time consuming.
Consider sending a Monthly Update Email about the status of your business. This is incredibly common in the tech startup world (for example, the startup accelerator Techstars encourages all startups to send weekly email updates to their mentors, investors and other close contacts) but it is rare in the world of individual entrepreneurs, consultants and freelancers—and that means it’s a great opportunity.
You may be thinking, “Why would anyone want to read a monthly update about how my independent career is going?”
There are a bunch of reasons, like 1) they like you and want to know what’s going on with you, 2) they want to help you and they will help you much more often if you regularly let them know how they can do so, and 3) you’ll slowly get used to the cadence of sending monthly content and you’ll begin writing more interesting things.
We recommend using an inexpensive tool like Mailchimp to build your audience and send your emails. That said, don’t feel blocked by the need to set up and pay for a tool like Mailchimp.
Instead, you can just start with a simple list of names and email in a spreadsheet, and send the email directly to them.
First, make a list in a spreadsheet of friends, family, clients, past clients and other partners or colleagues. Include their first name, last name and email address. If you’re using a tool like Mailchimp, import your list.
Second, create your first monthly email following the template below. Make sure you prominently place a link to your Jolly store so people know where to look to keep up with your current offerings.
Section 1: Announcement
Use this section to call out the most important thing that happened over the past month. This could be a new client you landed, a successfully completed client project, a milestone like setting up your professional Instagram account, or really any positive development in your independent career. If you absolutely can’t think of anything, delete this section for the month and add it back in next month.
Section 2: Past month progress
Write a brief description of your past month’s goal and how you did. Overall, how did your business do last month? What went well? What didn’t go well?
Section 3: Next month goal
Clearly state your primary goal for the upcoming month. This could be a number of potential clients you plan to reach out to, the successful completion of an existing project, or anything that’s critical to your independent career.
Section 4: Asks
State one or two concrete ways that people can help you now. This could be requests for introductions to specific people, feedback on a new offer, etc. You’ll be surprised by how often people will help you if you simply tell them how they can do so!
Section 5: Personal Note
Write a brief note articulating anything that’s on your mind. Share a recent quote that impacted you, express some gratitude, write a haiku—anything! Just keep it short and sweet, and remember you’re not trying to sell anything or impress anyone. This is your opportunity to add a little bit of personality to your monthly updates, so take advantage of it!
Last, don’t forget to build your list of subscribers over time. Each time you meet a new partner or someone in your industry, add a new client or make any sort of personal connection, get their permission and then add them to your list of recipients.
Over time, your list will grow into a powerhouse of professional connections who are interested in your business and willing to help you out whenever their capabilities align with your needs.
Have questions about sending a monthly update email? Just sign into Jolly and chat with us.