In a few weeks, the ground up here will be soft enough to plant my vegetable garden.
So I will go down to the basement and find the little brown envelope in which I stored my single bean all winter.
Then I will dig a hole, put the seed in, and cover it up with soil.
Until September, when I will be presented with a forest of plants, each bearing a luscious abundance of fruits and vegetables – beans, peas, eggplant, grapefruit, kumquat… Enough to feed me and the whole town for the entire year.
Except, of course, that won’t happen.
Because you can’t just plant a magic bean and hope for a harvest.
Instead, you have to sow many seeds into soil that has been enriched with extra organic matter, then you have to water the seeds until they sprout, before carefully thinning them out and tending to them as they grow, (lashed by heavy rain and fierce winds), while all the time fending off an army of hungry caterpillars….
Until, maybe, you have a harvest.
I thought of this story after talking with a potential client last week.
He asked me a very fair question: what kind of response will I get from my newsletter?
The trouble is, that’s a hard question to answer. Because it depends…on a whole bunch of factors.
Like who he’s sending it to, how often he’s sending it, what he’s going to put in it…
And what other marketing he is doing at the same time.
To be fair, this guy recognizes that newsletters are a long-term thing. His question shows that he will be dedicated and will be a good client when he joins.
A newsletter is not a magic bean.
You can’t send one and do nothing else…and hope it will transform your business.
Instead, think of your newsletter as the well-fertilized soil that will be home to your plants.
One of our clients is a successful real estate agent in Toronto, Canada. She uses our newsletter, but she does lots of other things too.
I don’t know about everything she does, but I can see that she’s very busy with social media, is writing magazine articles, and is finding unique content to share with her clients and leads.
In essence, she’s doing a whole-bunch-o-stuff.
Because that’s what you have to do. (I know, I have a business myself – and I work hard at marketing it.)
Now…your newsletter is an amazing tool for leveraging your relationships, presenting yourself as a trusted expert and for keeping in touch with people until they need you.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking it’s a magic bean.
Because…magic bean people are always hunting for the next magic bean. They might start at newsletters, but then move on quickly to social media, then on to postcards, then on to something else.
While never succeeding at any of them.
Instead, market hard and market lots.
Plant scores of beans and tend to them.
Here’s where to start with the well fertilized soil – a great newsletter you can edit as much as you wish: