However, I kept in mind who my newsletter was really for. It wasn’t for my peers; it wasn’t so that I could win a social media award. It was for my customers—people who were desperately searching for someone to break down the basics in a clear, friendly manner.
What I learned from failure and new discovery
Armed with previous failure, a new idea, and fresh perspective I earned three important lessons along the way:
1. Have a plan.
You can’t just hope that you’ll get something done, especially when you’ve tried and failed before. Willpower is not a strategy. Feeling like you “should” be able to do something is not helpful. Instead, get real about your strengths and your schedule. How can you do your best in a way that will leave you successful instead of frustrated? Break it down and make a plan.
2. Don’t be afraid to deviate.
How could I fill a newsletter with engaging, customer-centric content every week as a one-woman business? Where would I find the time to write long articles, which just didn’t come naturally to me? Reconsider the existing model and try a format that works for you.
3. Your customers are your bottom line.
It’s so easy to get caught up in what our peers are doing that sometimes we overlook our most important constituent: the customer. Often we make things overly complex or lengthy, when our customers just want short, fast, and to the point! Make your decisions based on your customers’ wants and needs.
Fast forward, to today and I’ve published The Dash every single week—without fail—since January 1st, 2009. That’s over 150 weekly issues, and we’re still going strong!
The idea works because it serves my customers and is easy for me to maintain. Now I see the format copied all the time, with quick tips resonating with time-crunched readers. People love The Dash and they pass it on to friends, resulting in the over 30,000 readers we have today.
Photo Credit: GANT
Laura Roeder is a social media marketing expert who teaches small businesses how to become known as #1 in their field and claim their brand online. She is the creator of Creating Fame and Your Backstage Pass to Twitter.