Conversation with Christine Fuchs
If you struggle with the idea (and the actually action) of writing emails, this conversation is going to be your favorite!
A student of mine, Christine Fuchs, was recently praised for her incredible email writing skills and I knew I had to have her share her wisdom with you. Two years ago she wasn’t comfortable with writing emails or any marketing really and now her students RAVE about her emails!
A few weeks ago I received an email from one of my students (shout out to Debra!) and here’s a snippet of that email:
"I've been taking yoga classes with a lady named Christine Fuchs and I've been so impressed with her email marketing. I know you are always telling us how important email marketing is and she is just so darn good at it. I was wondering if you might be interested in having her as a guest on the podcast? She really embodies what it means to communicate in a way that feels authentic and joyful."
This made me SO happy! I remember when I first started working with Christine almost two years ago and during that time she asked lots of questions about how to start and grow her business. I remember her not being sure what to create when it came to creating marketing content and how I reminded everyone on those Q&A calls to take it one step at a time and that done is better than perfect.
Fast forward to today and a current student of mine is now raving about Christine’s marketing. What a moment that was (and still is)!
In this conversation, you’ll hear her talk about how she has a small audience and how she loves the ability that gives her to truly connect with her students on a personal level. She shares her email marketing tips and lots of mindset shifts that I know will help you!
It’s my hope that every student I ever have gets this experience with marketing. While it might not be comfortable right now, it will get easier and it’s proof when you listen to Christine.
Get ready to take notes, my friend!
**This was also a podcast episode (episode #144). Use the player below if you'd prefer to listen to this message.
How to start your yoga business with just friends and family
When Christine was just getting started with her yoga business, she sent a personal email to everyone on her rolodex (about 250 people) who she thought might be potentially interested in the fact she was teaching yoga.
She used this email to invite them to her official email list. From this one email, she got her first 50 subscribers. She promised she would write once a week with tips on how to live a less stressful and more joyful life.
"The newsletter for me was my way of letting people know that I'm here. It's a wonderful way of sharing your knowledge with individuals and for them to be able to pass on that newsletter to other friends who might be interested." - Christine Fuchs
A weekly newsletter is such a wonderful to build the "Know, Like, and Trust factor" (listen to episode 137 of the podcast to learn more about why this is important for yoga teachers). For example, people need to "know" that you exist and what services you offer. Even if people don't open the newsletter every week, it still keeps your business top of mind, and over time allows them to get to know you better!
Email newsletter tips
Over the years that Christine has been sending her newsletters, she's learned a lot along the way and now has reached a 60% open rate!
A few tactical tips from Christine on email marketing:
1. Add a headshot to the bottom so the person receiving the email knows who’s sending the email. This reminds them that you're a real person! It can't hurt to get your face in front of them as much as possible.
2. Write your emails as if you’re really talking to someone! This makes your newsletters more personal and more authentic. For example, use contractions because that’s how we talk!
3. Include videos. For example, include a short YouTube or Vimeo video with you teaching box breath. Anything where they can see and hear you is ideal because that helps them to get to know you very quickly.
4. Be okay with unsubscribes. If they unsubscribe, they were never meant to be on your email list. You don't want someone who doesn't connect with you to purchase your offerings, anyway. It's better to have an audience that loves your newsletters and teaching style instead of a big unengaged audience.
"Learn to live with rejection and unsubscribes! You want to surround yourself with the people that really resonate with your style of teaching and the message you have to give." - Christine Fuchs
5. Adjust the timing based on what you learn from your students. Christine shifted to sending her emails during the weekend because she noticed that's the time her students tend to open and read her emails.
"I put in a quick survey that asked when they would like to receive my newsletter and more than 50% said Saturday, so now it goes out on Saturday!" - Christine Fuchs
6. Leverage your email content in other ways. For example, you can reuse your email newsletters on other platforms: blogs, social media posts, articles on LinkedIn, Google my Business, etc.
How to get more comfortable with writing
I've noticed that people don't often know how to make their emails feel like they are really talking to the person authentically. It can be scary to hit "send" to your audience.
A few tips from Christine on getting more comfortable with writing:
1. Ask yourself “What questions do I get from my students?” Answer whatever that is in your email like you would in person.
2. Try micro-lessons or micro-sharing. What you share doesn't need to be a huge, life-changing thing. Sharing little bitty stories or lessons and can be very effective and takes off some of the pressure.
3. Think about what you're currently going through or what you struggled with before you found yoga. What would have been helpful for you to hear? Take one little thing from that brainstorming and put it into a newsletter.
4. Write when it’s best for you, whether you plan ahead with your content or write it in the moment. Some people are planners and some people are not. Find what works for you.
"There isn't a right or wrong way to do marketing." - Amanda McKinney
Making sales through your emails
When it comes to sales and email marketing, what are the best practices?
"I like to treat all my email subscribers and their inbox with the utmost respect. I will not overwhelm them with emails." - Christine Fuchs
When you are launching an offering, you might need to send more emails. There are differences in how you can approach this. There's not a right or wrong way.
Remember that people actually like reminders of your classes and offerings! They subscribed to your newsletter for a reason.
However, if you feel like you're sending too many emails during a promotional period, you can reach out to people individually instead.
The power of a small email list
When Christine finds out something personal about one of her subscribers, she makes a note of it for future reference. This helps build relationships on a personal level. She even sends birthday cards to private clients or people enrolled in her small group programs.
"We need to build that personal connection. I think that connection with ME is what brings people to my classes, my workshops, and my one-on-ones." - Christine Fuchs
There is power in a small email list! There is so much to be said for that intimacy. Those personal connections are so valuable. Then if you treat them amazingly and they become "super fans", they will refer you to others.
"People who have purchased from you are 10 times more likely to buy from you again than someone brand new. So why are we spending so much time growing our audience and not enough time nurturing our existing audience?" - Christine Fuchs
Your next step
Christine had so many tips that you can take and use in your own email and content marketing right away. But even more, I hope you really took away that while marketing might not be easy for you today, it can get easier over time if you continue to find what works for you.
You might be like Christine and start by sending a personal email to everyone in your personal network to join your newsletter list if they are interested. Or you might have a freebie that you promote today. Or you might simply commit to sending regular emails after listening to this podcast episode.
No matter what is calling your attention right now, that’s your next step - to take action in the way that feels right for you.
"It gets easier over time. You lose the fear of having to be perfect and you just show up."
- Christine Fuchs
Christine is a former investment management executive. She experienced first-hand how working non-stop and taking no time for self-care can lead to burnout. Ten years later Christine completed her 200-hour yoga teacher training to deepen her own yoga practice … with no intentions of ever teaching yoga.
Over the past 2 years, Christine has built a small but thriving online yoga business. She offers private 1:1 sessions, group sessions, and corporate sessions. Her clients are primarily high-achievers in midlife who are looking for ways to reduce stress and stay limber … and they rave about Christine’s joyful and encouraging approach.
Christine grew up in Vienna, Austria, and has been calling Boston home for over 25 years. She is an avid traveler, a big reader of non-fiction books, and a self-described chocolate addict.
Facebook: Wellness Yoga Christine
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