I think I'd only asked 11 people to be on my mailing list before Bryan Harris laid down his challenge. I didn't want to bother my friends with what I was doing. I didn't think they'd find value in it, that it would be worth their time. I thought they'd be annoyed.
Maybe they were. Maybe they weren't. I don't know.
What I do know is that I was terrified to ask them. I didn't want to. But I did.
I did because Bryan Harris of VideoFruit shared a video on Facebook about getting subscribers. Subscribers drive a business. They essentially are the customers for online platforms. I wanted to build my business. This was the idea:
He asked viewers to reach out to 25 people that they knew, and just simply ask them to be on the newsletter.
He asked viewers to reach out to 10 people that they follow online and thank them for the value they've shared.
I asked myself if I really wanted to do this. I'd always balked at the idea before. Why do it now?
Because success doesn't happen if we aren't willing to do the work, to put ourselves out there, and make connections. Especially when it's the hardest thing for us to do.
Sitting around and hoping that I'd get subscribers wasn't making my count go up. I needed to act. I needed to quit waiting and hoping.
I started with the easiest possible thing. I emailed the 10 professionals first. I realized that they would be the least likely to respond to me, and I could hide out in obscurity a little longer.
It was fun though, letting them know how they'd impacted me, what advice I'd taken, and how I was succeeding because of their strategies. Even if they never read what I wrote, it was nice just to say "Thank You!"
But that was only half of the challenge.
So, with butterflies in my stomach, I crafted messages and deleted them about a thousand times because they weren't good enough, personable enough, didn't say what I wanted. Finally, I realized that I was making the message too complicated. It needed to be clear so the reader understood. It needed to be courteous. And it needed to be short, because people are busy.
So I simply asked. I literally said, "Hey, I have a writing newsletter and I was wondering if you'd like to join. You can say, "no," if you're not interested. It won't hurt my feelings."
I didn't want them to feel pressured just because we're friends. I didn't want them to say yes to something they aren't interested in. That doesn't help either of us. I did want them to say 'yes,' if they felt the fit was good.
Also, it was hard finding 25 people that I thought would like me enough to say, 'yes.' I went through my Facebook friends about 3 times, wondering who would benefit, who would like what I had to say, etc.
After I sent the 26 messages (I added one more person because I didn't want them to feel left out), I was relieved. Still nervous that they wouldn't enjoy my content, but glad that I had reached out. I got to talk to people that I haven't seen or talked to in a long time, and that was nice.
I added 7 new people to my list fairly quickly which rounded out my email list at a solid 40. It was so exciting to see my friends react positively to my request, and I sincerely hope that they get enjoyment from my writing.
So, I learned that even though I'm hardcore introverted and a Type- A scaredy cat, I can still reach out if I put my fears aside and approach the work differently. My subscribers are people to me, and it's important to me to add value.
(I would love to hear your thoughts on this. What would add more value for you?)
I also learned that even the professionals like to be told "Thank You!" After I reached out to Steven Pressfield to tell him thank you for his books, he wrote me back and thanked me for my comments.
Building your business is all about building relationships. Build them the right way, and you'll be successful.