How to Grow a Newsletter with Dylan Redekop

June 27, 2022
EPISODE 75
The Recognized Authority Podcast Cover

The podcast that helps independent consultants & subject matter experts to get more clients without having to beg for referrals, or make soul-destroying cold calls!

If you’ve done any research on marketing your consulting business, you’ll almost certainly have come across the advice to start an email newsletter or list. It’s a relationship with your audience that you own directly, without the interposition of a third party platform. You’ll often hear the phrase “don’t build on rented ground” in relation to social platforms, and email is an answer to that. The mantra for many marketers is “build a list!” 

In this episode, Dylan Redekop and Alastair McDermott discuss how to grow an email newsletter, the different types of incentives we can offer subscribers to join the list, and why giving away value for free is crucial.

They also discuss how to create a nurture sequence to welcome and prep new subscribers, how to use email courses, quizzes & challenges to increase signups, and why the welcome email is so important.

Show Notes

Guest Bio

Dylan is a professional marketer by day and writes the Growth Currency newsletter by night. He’s also a father, husband, and avid runner.

Transcript

SUMMARY KEYWORDS
email, people, newsletter, lead magnet, bit, building, podcast, work, authority, question, writing, audience, email list, sharing, publishing, important, check, dylan, twitter, subscribe

SPEAKERS
Alastair McDermott, Voiceover, Dylan Redekop

 

Dylan Redekop  00:00

Give value, give value, give value, give everything away except for basically give 99% away except for the 1%. And make them really, you know, sell the 1% to the point where people are asking you for it.

 

Voiceover  00:12

Welcome to The Recognized Authority, a podcast that helps specialized consultants and domain experts on your journey to become known as an authority in your field. So you can increase your reach, have more impact, and work with great clients. Here’s your host, Alastair McDermott.

 

Alastair McDermott  00:27

Before we get into today’s episode, I just want to let you know about a mastermind group that we’re running called Authority Labs. It’s for independent consultants and experts who are looking for coaching, accountability and peer support on your journey to authority. So if you’re a consultant or experts, and you’re working to position yourself, build your authority, grow your income, and you’d like to have an accountability and support group around you, then this might be the right group for you. So the cohort is starting in the next month, there’s going to be a group call every two weeks, and the numbers will be limited to a maximum of six for this cohort. So you get a lot of my time and attention. If you’d like to know more about this, visit the link in the show notes, or go to TheRecognizedAuthority.com/group. Thanks for listening and on with the show.  Hello, folks. So today, my guest is Dylan Redekop. I’m really delighted to have Dylan on because I was looking at in over the last few weeks for somebody to talk to you about email, because I know that it’s a topic that I want to cover a bit more in depth. We’ve covered a lot of different topics on the podcast, but this one I really want to get into. And I know that Dylan is really into email, he’s very good at what he does. I know because I’ve done some some background research on his and I’ve checked out some of his emails. And so I really want to get into talking to you about email Dylan, you’re a professional marketer by day, you have the Growth Currency newsletter by night, and your father, husband and an avid runner. So welcome to the show, Dylan.

 

Dylan Redekop  01:54

Thanks for having me, Alastair, it’s a pleasure to be here.

 

Alastair McDermott  01:57

Cool. Okay, well, well, I want to dive straight into the topic them and talk about email. And so email marketing, it’s something that my business mentors, Jonathan Stark, and Philip Morgan, talk about a lot on their own list. They’ve talked to me about it. And they’re both of those are, are fans of the daily email. And I’ve never been able to manage to send a daily email to my list. But I’m just wondering what your thoughts are on emails, emailing a list, creating a list, frequency, and on all of the above? Where do you think we should start with this?

 

Dylan Redekop  02:32

Let’s start with the purpose of an email list and the importance of it. I think that’s kind of where I think this all begins. You know, we just heard recently about Elon Musk, and Twitter and that whole not fiasco, but that whole situation, depending on you know, what side of the Elon fence you’re on. And so I use Twitter quite often, it’s my main source of promotion for my newsletter for building my, you know, growth, currency brand, and that sort of thing. So. So you know, when something like what happened this week, with Elon purchasing, Twitter happens, it makes me a little bit nervous, if that was my only source of, you know, engaging with my, my audience, if it was my only source of revenue, or I sold things, you know, that would be really, really concerning. But since I have grown an email list, now I’ve taken those people and I’ve brought them into my own ecosystem where I can communicate them, regardless of the platform I’m using. So that’s why I’m really bullish on on newsletters and email, one could argue that, of course, you know, you have your own website, and that’s your own platform. And that’s entirely true. But you still need a medium to communicate with them. Because chances are not everybody’s going to be coming to your website every day. Unless, you know, you’re BuzzFeed, or one of those major media organizations. So email is super important to take people off a rented platform like Twitter and get them onto your own platform, which would be of course, it might be a third party, email software, but you still own your list, you can export your list. So even if that third party software goes down, or what have you, as long as you’ve exported your list once in the last little while, you’re fine. So that’s kind of where I think that’s why I think email is ultimately one of the most important channels of communication things that we need to really focus on building as, you know, solopreneurs business, small business owners and that sort of thing.

 

Alastair McDermott  04:23

Yeah, absolutely. So don’t build them on rented ground effectively. This is something I think about as well. And you know, we’ve seen like every social media platform has had had things where they’ve changed the rules. Facebook has had a lot of major shifts in their policies for pages and I know that like they they dropped organic reach almost to zero a few years back and so now if you’re if you’re on there, you pretty much have to pay to play. And so people have invested in businesses I’ve invested a lot of time and money and in building these these huge followings on these platforms, only to have the rug pulled out from under them. And we don’t know what Elon is gonna do. And it really depends on what mood he’s in, I guess. But yeah, and by the way, for the record, I did find you on Twitter, because Twitter, it’s, you know, I’m getting much more active on LinkedIn, but Twitter is still my, it’s still my go to kind of hanging out social media place. And I’ve started getting a bit more active on on Instagram as well. But Twitter is my go to place, and probably will be unless, unless he destroys the place. So okay, but Okay, so we have, we have, you know, a good reason to want to want to be there because we do want to build and rent grant. There’s also the thing of, you know, social media, social media, when you’re on somebody’s email list, or somebody’s you know, you’re hearing from the directly in your inbox, which is kind of like your primary place of communication for work for everything. So if you can get in there, you’re getting more attention. I think you’re getting higher quality attention, right?

 

Dylan Redekop  06:03

Yeah. So I think it’s, it’s incredibly important, you know, as, as email marketers, or people sending out newsletters, when we’re going into somebody’s inbox, you really need to consider, you know, the permission they’ve given us, as you know, the inbox is a very personal space. And so when we are inviting or being invited there, we need to be really considerate of that. And so I think it comes with a great responsibility. You know, with great power comes great responsibility. So it’s really important for for us to keep that in mind when people sign up to our newsletters. And when we are creating content to go to them, that we’re we’re making sure that we’re sending something that is worth sending in that they will actually get value in receiving. So yeah, writing a newsletter is an email directly is something that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

 

Alastair McDermott  06:55

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And so I guess what that means really, is that, you know, I know that people like to grow, listen to big numbers and things like that. But we need to be really careful that we’re being very selective as to who we actually invite onto that list and get on that list. Because if we invite them for the wrong thing, then they’re going to get surprised when when, when we’re emailing the other thing that we talked about, and so they’re going to not read it that’s going to that’s going to start impacting our, our numbers, and deliverability, and all that kind of stuff. So can you talk a little bit about that you know, about making sure that, you know, we’re getting the right people on the list? How would you do that?

 

Dylan Redekop  07:34

Yeah, that’s a that’s a very good point. You know, I was in a Twitter space yesterday with Louis Nichols over at Spark loop. And we were talking about lead magnets. And one of Louie’s big concerns with lead magnets is that we need to be very careful that when we are getting people to sign up, or download a lead magnet, you know, you exchange your your, for people who don’t know, a lead magnet is when you give somebody a digital asset of some sort of value, in exchange for their email address. So it could be a free guide, or a playbook or a email course, perhaps a free course. But it’s usually for free in exchange for newsletter. So they’re sorry, in exchange for an email address. And so what Louis has seen people do, you know, to false is they provide a lead magnet that really doesn’t align with the actual messaging of their, either their brand or their company, or it’s not aligned with their newsletter content. And so once you’ve downloaded the lead magnet, you know, you’ve put into the regular subscriber list, and you start getting into that rhythm of the weekly or daily newsletter. And you’re kind of like, well, what what am I getting? What is this all about? Like, it’s happened to me, I’ve, I’ve all of a sudden be getting emails in my inbox. And I’m like, I do not even remember subscribing to this newsletter. There’s like, there’s no alignment with anything that I had downloaded in the past. And, and so we really want to avoid that confusion and make sure that the way we are getting people to subscribe to our newsletter, even if it’s through lead that lead magnet, we should be very clear and upfront what they are getting, who it’s going to be from, and the outcome that they can expect not only when they’re done going through the lead magnet, the outcome that they will be then subscribed to our newsletter that talks about XYZ. So I think that messaging needs to be really clear. And that way that will deter people who maybe don’t want to be part of your newsletter subscription from, you know, signing up in the first place, which, you know, in a lot of ways is, is great, because it saves you the trouble of having to maybe, you know, see that as unsubscribed later or have a subscriber who just goes cold on you. And that’s not great for send rates and all that sort of thing. So, you know, being able to filter those people out upfront is is much better. Right? Is that kind of what you’re referring to Alistair?

 

Alastair McDermott  09:49

Yeah. So I’ll try and give real examples here because this this is something that’s that I think about a lot in regard to my email list. And, you know, I’m certainly no poster child. For doing email properly, my intentions are the best in the world. But in terms of actually getting into my email, I don’t go into ConvertKit and send emails very often. So it’s something I actually need to I need to send emails to my list more often than I do. That’s something I think about. But I do have good numbers in terms of open rate, my open rate is around 41%. So I think that’s pretty high. And so I know that I’m doing something right there. But in terms of my lead magnets that I’m using the main, the main one that I have now on my website is a seven day email course, which is to help people build their authority. And it’s basically a sequence of emails that goes out to them. And I’ve been working on improving that lately, because it was quite out of date. Okay, so I’ve tried to make it a bit more congruent and kind of coherent. But even even the old version, I was still getting, you know, replace my emails and positive comments on it. But I did also have a couple of other things, which were quick email, they were quick lead magnets that I created, because it was very easy for me to create them. And one of those was a bit less aligned to what I do. It’s when I when I go into a consulting meeting, it’s the sales questions that I asked. So I have a whole bunch of questions that I always ask in a consulting engagement. And so what I do is I basically save that as a PDF, added some comments and some, some tips around it, I made that available as a download. The thing is, I don’t talk about sales, and the sales process a whole lot. It is something that my audience might find useful in in another context, but it’s not really what I talk about a whole lot. So I’m just wondering, do you have any any thoughts on that? is like, is that something that you would use? Or? Or is that you know, something you’d use in a different way?

 

Dylan Redekop  11:48

I think it could be perhaps part of a lead a larger lead magnet or a different lead magnet. But if that is if that’s not really something that you’re discussing with your your audience in general, then it could be it could be confusing, could be maybe a little bit misaligned. The good thing is I mean, you’re talking about, you know, this is questions that you’re asking new consulting clients, is that correct?

 

Alastair McDermott  12:09

Yeah, that’s exactly what it is. Okay. So I think there

 

Dylan Redekop  12:13

is kind of like a discovery sort of questionnaire would be my guess. So I think there’s a lot of relevance there. Because most people when they are, you know, site, when they sign up a new client are about to they those questions would be likely relevant, or those types of questions would be relevant for a consultant. So I don’t see there being a total misalignment. But maybe it would make more sense if if you did broach that topic a little bit more often, perhaps, in in your newsletter, or in the content that you share with people just so there is, you know, rationale for it. But if you really were concerned about that, then you could just make it part of a different maybe part of the email course that you’re doing, or perhaps part of a different package that you could give away a few other checklists or guides or anything like that, that you have around consulting, as opposed to just a standalone lead magnet on its own.

 

Alastair McDermott  13:06

Yeah, I think, you know, I was thinking about doing something because where I think it is important, a lot of the work that I do is very long term. And it’s there’s not a lot of quick wins in kind of the building of authority and the specialization process. But that kind of specialization can take months or even years, sometimes Building Authority will certainly take years usually. And so there’s a lack of quick wins there. And that’s something I’m very aware of, and it’s something I’m trying to work on, you know, being able to give people quick wins, give them something where they can say, okay, that that worked. And so I was thinking about putting together and and that’s that’s where this does come in, is that some it’s it’s one area, I can give somebody a quick win. And so maybe maybe I can put together a package of things that will help give people those quick wins. So maybe there is a context for it there. And then it’s kind of congruent with the rest. So yeah, does that sound? Does that sound like a plan?

 

Dylan Redekop  14:05

Yeah, I think that’s, that sounds great. Because I think with lead magnets, that is one of the main goals you should have with a lead magnet is to be able to give somebody a click when they should be able to basically download it or get access to the lead magnet and, and be able to see like the path to success relatively quickly. And so if you can give them you know, some quick tactics or some things that they can implement into their daily process or systems, you know, right away, that’s a quick win and in and of itself, and if it’s a list of questions, then, you know, that is something that they can be armed with in their meeting that they go to, you know, the next day. So I think that’s a great idea.

 

Alastair McDermott  14:42

One of the things I love about having a podcast is I can have these experts come on, I’m like, I can just throw my pops and get free free advice on these on these problems. So it’s probably the biggest benefit of having a podcast like this. So thanks, Dylan. I appreciate your thoughts on that. No, absolutely, there’s one. There’s one thing that there’s a word that you keep using and I’m, I have some thoughts on, on this. I don’t like people calling your email newsletter, a newsletter. And the reason the logic behind that is because I kind of associate that with the spammy once a month, or once a quarter emails full of news about the business. And it usually news about a business is is is not in any way interesting to recipients. So I’m just wondering about your thoughts. Is this just a terminology thing? Or is it semantics or? Or, you know, do you actually think of it as a newsletter?

 

Dylan Redekop  15:35

Yeah, I think it can be semantics, to a large degree, but I think there should be, we should make a distinction. I think it’s important to make a distinction, at least between email marketing, and an email marketing campaign versus email newsletters. And I guess what I, what I think of when I think of an email marketing campaign that’s for, you know, a company or brand who’s who’s sending out promotions, sales, company updates, perhaps, and those can be sort of in the form of newsletters, or they can be, you know, where there’s some kind of cadence or rhythm to them, where it’s, you know, you, you know, you’ll get them every Monday morning. Or if it’s a promotion, you’ll you’ll get extra ones, if it’s an email marketing campaign to promote a sale, but email newsletters are a little bit different. And, and I, because you don’t have to be a brand or company, you don’t have to be selling anything as well. And I think so I think it is semantics to a degree. But I, I think we call them newsletters, because we don’t have a better word for them. We nobody’s really come up with I mean, I’m sure some people have but off the top of my head, there’s there’s just newsletters, kind of the general term that everybody has used and just continues to use. And with the rise of things like substack, the popularity of creating your own, you know, quote, unquote, newsletter. Same was the review, you know, on Twitter. I think that that language, and that word is just kind of infiltrated our, our language and the way we talk about publishing these things. So I get what you’re saying, because newsletter can have a negative connotation, if you’re getting these, you know, spammy, you know, low fat low to no value updates from companies. I 100%. Agree. But at the same time, I think that there’s a lot of people putting out really interesting and useful and high value, quote, unquote, newsletters, too. So I think it just it is semantics. I think, for the most part,

 

Alastair McDermott  17:24

yeah, I’ll just get over the fact that it’s called a newsletter. So long as we don’t ever call it an email blast. That’s okay.

 

Dylan Redekop  17:32

It’s no, please. No, please, please don’t. So I do have you my

 

Alastair McDermott  17:38

email blast just sounds like something from you know, the 90s. So I do have, you know, I mean, my take on it is, so I don’t mind us calling it newsletter, so long as we’re not actually thinking in the mode of actually sending a newsletter, because I think that our, our email list is far too valuable to actually send news and updates about our business, I think it’s far more important to take the approach of trying to help them with a problem. And, you know, nurture that relationship and build trust in that way. But we do also have to sell. So how do you? How do you approach, you know, how we actually sell in the email list, because I know some people are too aggressive with their sales pitch. But some people might be like me, and are not aggressive enough, and are sending far too little in terms of offers. So can you talk a little bit about how you do that, how you sell it through email?

 

Dylan Redekop  18:36

Yeah, I really like the approach, there’s a few people that have been influenced me and inspired me. One of them is Justin Welsh. And the other one is Nicholas Cole. And they both kind of have this, this mantra of basically give, give value, give value, give value, give everything away, except for basically give 99% away except for the 1% and make them really, you know, sell the 1% to the point where people are asking you for it. And so I’m, you know, not at all businesses can operate this way. I totally understand there’s sales cycles and sales, quotas, and all that sort of stuff. I’m more coming out from a, I guess the Creator, quote unquote, creative economy perspective, where a lot of people are doing this sort of on the side of their day jobs to a degree so you know, they can afford to not sell regularly and often but the way i i like to approach it in my newsletter is I don’t charge for my newsletter. It’s a free it’s a free newsletter, a free email, if you will, and you get it every Tuesday and it’s you know, full of stuff that I’ve curated around the internet along with some insights and lessons I’ve learned. So sharing my experience that you know, people some people might argue, you know, over a year of sending out newsletters, I’ve gained experience that could potentially be behind a paywall, but I’m just not comfortable with doing that. And I don’t want to do that. I like the idea of giving this information away for free and then when it does come time for me to put out Of course, or if I all of a sudden have a paid guide, or maybe a coaching call or a community, people are going to be that much more apt to, you know, sign up for it or pay for it because they see the value that I’m bringing for free. And so it’s like, well, you know, you’re giving away all of this value for free, you know, what am I going to get when actually pay for something. So that’s kind of the way I look at it and the way I approach it, but again, like I said, if you’re, if you’re selling widgets, or you’re selling, you know, consultation services, that can be a little bit more challenging. So you need to consider why people would want to open your newsletter, the value that you’re offering them on a regular, whether it’s weekly, daily, bi weekly, whatever it might be on a regular basis. And then you can weave in this, you can weave in pitches in there, it doesn’t have to be, you know, all pitch or no pitch, it can be a mixture of the two. Right? So it just depends on I think your what your needs are, what your audience might be used to and what you’re comfortable with to

 

Alastair McDermott  20:56

write. Okay, yeah, um, I think that’s, that’s where I need to go is I need to start mentioning, maybe even in every email, or, you know, you know, at the end of the email, after giving value, say, hey, look, if you’re interested in talking to me, and just putting in that soft pitch every time. It’s something, it’s something I haven’t been doing. And like I said, I’m not the poster child for email. So. So we did, we did talk about what I’m doing in terms of lead magnets, can you talk about what you consider to be best practices? Or, you know, kind of the way, the way to approach this? If you were talking to somebody who’s just starting out doesn’t have any kind of lead magnet? What would you tell them to do?

 

Dylan Redekop  21:36

Yeah, so there’s, there’s a few ways to go about it. You know, like I mentioned, yesterday, I had this this space with Louis from Spark loop, Spark loop is a email referral software, just for anybody who’s wondering what that might be, and check them out at Spark libtiff app. I am NOT an affiliate. But I think they put out a pretty good product. So we were talking about lead magnets, and you know, what they are the pros and the cons to them, different types and, you know, tips for creating effective ones. So I think, really, the point of a lead magnet is to, you know, try to get people to download it. So they’re subscribed to your email list. But of course, we talked about earlier about that having to be aligned with the actual content, they’re going to start receiving once they’ve used your email. Sorry, your lead magnet. And in your case, you’re doing an email course I believe you had mentioned. Right?

 

Alastair McDermott  22:26

Yeah, that’s right. Yeah. And that’s but it’s about seven emails, one each day, a different aspect of the journey to authority and how to approach that,

 

Dylan Redekop  22:36

right, which is great. And I, I think email courses are actually underutilized as lead magnets, they’re, they’re quite effective to get people in, kind of in the habit of seeing you in your in their inbox, they start recognizing your content. And in a way, that’s a little bit more kind of on a pull strategy than a push strategy, because they’ve signed up to receive these, this email course something that they you know, see a value. And so they’re more eager than just like, hey, subscribe to my newsletter, or subscribe to my email, you know, one of those more passive, say, pop up boxes on your website, and they happen to sign up for it. You know, when the when you receive an email that you’ve signed up for in that way, you’re a little bit less excited to see it then when it’s an actual lead magnet. So I think email courses, if any of that makes sense, stump me if it doesn’t. But that’s why I think email courses are actually undervalued. Especially, you know, the purpose of them is to get people subscribe to your newsletter or your email, and, you know, opening it. So I think that’s a great a great strategy, great place to start for lead magnet and they can be seven days they can be, you know, three days, or they could be 100 days, I signed up for 100 day email course once and yeah, I didn’t finish it. Shocker. But yeah, exactly. I know. David Perella who’s a pretty popular online writer who has the rite of passage, writing course cohort course he, he also has like a 50. I think it’s a 50 or 54 day writing email course. And it’s free, but it’s like 50 days. And so, again, another one that you know, you start, you’re eager, and you’re excited. And by the you know, the the end of the first week, you’re kind of like, okay, I got like, you know, the other 40 needs to go. And I think there is there is a limit to how long these should be. But you know what, I think David Parral, probably his main strategy is like, he doesn’t necessarily expect you to finish all 50 days. The The point is, you’re getting, you know, fit a 50 day course. And there’s just inherent value in that, that people are gonna subscribe. They’re engaged enough with the content, and they get used to it that when it’s time for him to pitch his writing course, it’s kind of like, oh, yeah, I know, this guy knows what he’s talking about all on writing. And so it’s much easier selll and so that’s why I think you know, what you’ve done with the email courses is is a really good first step.

 

Alastair McDermott  24:50

Cool. Well, let me ask you then about okay, so So we talked about, you know, the different types of lead magnets, what it’s actually no let’s talk about that a little bit more. So if If you don’t go with, with an email course, one that I have used myself before, that I think works quite well as a checklist, because it’s very quick and easy to, to comprehend and to use, you can usually use a checklist very quickly, and people sometimes will print them out and stick them to their fridge or to their office notice something. So that’s something else that I’ve used personally. What other things? Have you seen work? Well as lead magnets?

 

Dylan Redekop  25:26

Yeah, checklists are great. They are quick wins. The other another one that you see quite at least I’ve seen quite often more frequently are templates. So whether that would be maybe a consulting pitch template, perhaps, or a cold email template, maybe it’s a notion template, those are, you know, just exploding with, you know, popularity, people getting subscribers just by putting together some neat notion templates. notion is a for those of you who don’t know, it’s just a, a software, I believe it’s notion.or. I should know this notion.so. Yeah. So and it’s just a online organization writing software, it’s free. You can you can check it out. But notion templates have been super popular lately. A few others that people don’t think of quite as often, but are really great lead magnets or quizzes, and challenges. So a quiz being one way to kind of filter through maybe the type of subscriber you want. It’s kind of helpful. Here’s an example we I’m in a community with a few of the creators, and one of them has a podcast, he has a podcast website where they rate and review podcast episodes. And so one of his lead magnets was download the top 20 podcasts of 2022. And so I told him, I’m like, Well, that might be great. But I, you know, how do you know what my podcast taste is? Like? There’s so many, there’s such a wide variety of types of podcasts. So quiz would be really handy here, where it’s like, you know, what kind of podcasts Do you like, and there’s a checkbox, and then based on the ones I check off there, I would be, basically the conditional logic would take me to the next question of, of these types of, you know, podcast episodes do prefer your interview style, or blah, blah, blah, you know, and you could whittle it down, and then you take based on your response, here’s some, here’s the episodes that we think you would like the most. And so you can use this, you know, quizzes like that in a variety of different forms. But that’s one that’s kind of underutilized, that I think, can be really handy. And it gives you some insights on your audience as well and gives you a little bit of data too, which is super helpful. And the challenges are another one where you can do just basically get people to hop on board a challenge that you’ve created with a 30 day challenge of some sort, or maybe it’s a Writing Challenge, publishing challenge, tweet challenge, there’s the poem, somewhat popular tweet, 100 challenge, that J close started back in fall last year. And so, you know, getting people to hop on board to those challenges is kind of an easy, easy, quick onboarding, again, you want to make sure that it is aligned with what you’re what you’re going to be sharing in your newsletter. But those are a few other a few other types of lead things that you could definitely look at doing. Really cool.

 

Alastair McDermott  28:11

Yeah. So email courses, templates, quizzes, challenges, and actually the quiz or assessment model, that’s something I’m working on as well, in the background, I’ve actually got a version of it, because I want to help people understand what stage they’re at, in this journey to authority, and so that they can do a self assessment. And, and actually, I guess we’re getting getting onto a different topic here. But one thing that I’m wondering about is whether to gate the whether to gated or not so basically, but it’s put it behind an email form, or not whether to make it free. And at the end of it, give people the option to opt in for email for more information. So where are you on, on on that topic of putting stuff behind the email form? Or putting stuff in front and letting people opt in? If they kind of, you know, voluntarily, rather than hiding the information behind the gate? But what’s your thoughts on that?

 

Dylan Redekop  29:11

I think it’s, it’s, it’s kind of a personal choice, where you’re most comfortable with, I think, in in most cases, it’s, you’re gonna maybe rub the wrong the odd person the wrong way where they have to give you their email to download, you know, the resource or the the results, say of the assessment. But at the same time, if that, if that’s really aligned with what your your newsletter is about and what you’re offering, then I think it makes sense. And I would probably put that behind a gate for sure.

 

Alastair McDermott  29:43

Yeah, it’s something I’m thinking about still, and I haven’t really made a final decision. It’s not it’s not fully ready yet. The conditional logic is there. But I haven’t written all the descriptions and there’s a lot of work that goes into creating one of these assessments, these quizzes. So but yeah, it’s Work in Progress. Maybe by the time this comes out, check the show notes and see if I have I’ll mention it in the show notes. Because yeah, so I haven’t made a decision on that yet. But let me, let me bring bring it back into into kind of where where I was going with the email discussion, because we talked about, you know, how to get people to sign up, you know, the, the goals, like being in alignment with with what we’re talking about. Once people sign up, and they’ve completed that initial part, either it’s an email course, or it’s, you know, it’s a lead magnet, or whatever it is that they get, do they instantly then go on to your regular, you know, once a week email newsletter, or, you know, do you have some sort of sequence that you bring them through? I know, some people call it a nurture sequence or indoctrination sequence, do you use something like that? Or are they just on your regular list at that point?

 

Dylan Redekop  30:52

I think so. Personally, I haven’t really gone into any of, you know, indoctrination sequence, if you will. But I do think that is a great idea, especially in an email course, you can wrap up that last, that last days email, the final email of that email course sequence with basically a heads up like, you know, you’ve made it through congrats, I hope this has value for you. Reply with any questions you might have, oh, and by the way, you’re going to start receiving a weekly or daily or whatever it might be newsletter from me about XYZ topic. And, you know, I think you, you might do them a favor by giving them an option to not opt in. If you want to give them the unsubscribe option right there, by all means, some people will definitely maybe not read or not read that newsletter anyway, so might not matter, or that addition. But at the same time, I think, I think giving them the heads up, regardless is is definitely beneficial. Of course, you can’t really do that, when you’re you know, given them a free checklist, or any kind of PDF, it’s a little bit tricky, you can include it maybe in the notes on the document. But with with an email with an email course, I think it makes sense to on the last email, let them know that you know, you’ll be there’ll be kind of getting into the mix of it. And if you wanted to, you could even follow up that email course sequence with kind of a softer intro to what you do, and just walking them through sort of maybe a lower dose of your email campaign. What I mean by that is, like I’m thinking about my personal newsletter, the growth currency newsletter, and one edition of it is, you know, there’s quite a bit of information in there. And so if somebody went from kind of a low lift five day email course straight into that, maybe that might be too much for them. So maybe I could pare down the first few emails that they received just being, you know, a morsel of that and say, you know, here’s, here’s one of my most popular resources that I’ve shared with my audience over the last six months. I hope you find this helpful. And that’s it, and then maybe do that again, one week later. And then after that, then they get more indoctrinated into my campaign. So now you actually have me thinking, Alistair, how I should, should be approaching this myself a little bit better.

 

Alastair McDermott  33:11

Awesome. Awesome. Well, I hope it’s, it’s, it’s good for, it’s useful for all three of us. So for the listener as well. So yeah, okay. So let me ask you, what mistakes are people making when when you talk to them about email?

 

Dylan Redekop  33:28

Oh, man, that’s a great question. So the first thing that comes to mind is, I guess not having either any welcome email, or a very good welcome email. So and I’m not saying that mine is great or perfect, either. But I think you know, the nice thing with a resource like substack, is it gives you, you pretty much have a welcome email, whether you like it or not, now, there’s is a default, one that you can customize. But if you don’t customize it, it’s it might be doing you more harm than good, because it’s really, very out of the box and not engaging at all. So you know what, one thing that in a lead magnet that I actually had, when I was about setting up in starting, optimizing and growing your substack newsletter, and the first thing I one of the first things I mentioned to people is go straight to your welcome email and personalize it to some degree because if you’re not personalizing that, then it’s just a bad first experience for your subscriber just right off the bat. So you’re kind of starting off on the wrong foot. So go in there, I say even just a picture of you smiling and waving saying, Hey, thanks for signing up for my newsletter is better than you know, the default messages that they have in there. So I think that’s one mistake that I see quite often. I think the other mistake that and I just wrote about this too, that I see, you know, there’s a lot of newsletters I’ve subscribed to that. You know that people start off with a weekly newsletter and I’m like, You’re gonna get this to you once a week. And they’re really excited. And they do it for five weeks. And then all of a sudden, you know, a few months go by, and I realized, Oh, I haven’t gotten their newsletter for a while. And it’s because they, they started and they stopped because they couldn’t sustain the rhythm that you started with. And I think it’s really important that you don’t build yourself, essentially, this prison of oh, man, I said, I was going to send out a daily newsletter, a five day a week newsletter, and it’s been two weeks, and I can’t sustain this. And now I know I’ve got to revert back. And, and I may as well just give up at this point, if I can sustain it. And I think I see people often they’re, they’re going, they’re going with their motivation, when they start and thinking that, you know that, that that increase of motivation, that high level of motivation, they have to do this project, they’re going to be able to sustain that and just like pump out this, this cadence of daily or weekly, or maybe, you know, three times a week, newsletters or whatever it might be, when in fact, they should actually start, they should pull that back. Think like, Yeah, I think I could do like daily, no problem, but actually pull it back and say, you know, I’m not going to do daily newsletter, I’m just going to do like, Monday Thursday to start because I think I can sustain, I know I can sustain that. And then I can always crank it up if I need to. And I think cranking it up is is better than having to turn it way down. So at least that’s my, my personal. I don’t have any research around that. I just think, you know, as a feeling, I got internal feeling when you are feeling such momentum and joy and satisfaction that you want to increase the amount that you’re publishing and communicating with your audience. I think that’s a positive thing and some positive reinforcement versus, you know, having to scale things back because he just can’t sustain it. That’s, that’s just feels, it feels a lot worse.

 

Alastair McDermott  36:47

Yeah, absolutely. And so what I’ve done personally in the past is I’ve done 30 day challenges, kind of, some of them were with other, you know, with third parties. But a couple of times, I’ve done 30 days of live streaming, as a personal challenge. And I’ve just said, Look, this is, this is a test to see if I can do this. And, you know, I’m not necessarily going to continue on after that. And I’m actually considering doing another one of those soon. With the podcast, I’m looking at doing a spin off podcast, a daily podcast, which will be solo rather than interview based. And wow, so again, if if you’re listening to this, you can check and see if I’ve done something with that. I hope to call that building authority daily. So that may be at the time you’re listening to this that may be out there as a daily podcast. So we My plan is to do it every weekday for a month, so So 20 episodes, that will be my kind of pilot my test run and see how that goes. And if if I’m able to sustain that, that’ll keep it going. And if I’m not, I won’t break. So yeah. So that’s that’s kind of my approach to testing that. And I’m trying not to kind of paint myself into a corner with things, you know.

 

Dylan Redekop  37:55

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. That’s a, that’s a good strategy to go about it, especially if you I’ve seen other people actually do.

 

Alastair McDermott  38:03

Yeah, and just for anybody listening to this, we have a really bad connection today. So Dylan is doing an amazing job, because we’re about like three seconds lag depart. So I think we’re doing pretty okay with it so far. And hopefully, with editing, we’ll be able to stitch it all up and make sure there’s no, no big gaps for you. But um, yeah, the question I was going to ask you is, okay, so we’ve talked about, like, what the lead magnets are and what we should do with the list. But how do we actually grow the list? Like, how do we get people on there? I know, we’ve said, you know, have a lead magnet. But you know, where do we put that? How can we get more people to see that? How do we get in front of more people?

 

Dylan Redekop  38:41

Yeah, and lead magnets, just one, you know, one part of the promotional pyramid or puzzle, if you will, there’s, there’s a lot of things that you can do. And, and so, you know, promoting, promoting your lead magnet is one thing, but just promoting your newsletter itself is another too. So I’ll go through a few strategies that I that I have used that have that have seemed to have worked well, lead magnet is definitely one, but also just talking about your, your your service, your product, your newsletter, whatever it might be self promotion, I think people see that as kind of like a swear word or, you know, they feel they feel awful doing it. But really self promotion, if you’re not going to promote yourself, not a lot of people are going to promote you either. So you need to be comfortable, you know, promoting your content. And because if you don’t, if you don’t see value in it, then you know, the other people probably won’t either. So you need you just have some pride behind it. So I’m a I’m a big proponent of promoting your own work. Believe in yourself, believe in the value of the content that you’re creating and the value that you can provide other people. And so just sharing what you do, what your newsletter is about the problem it solves for its readers and the value you provide. Just sharing that on social media channels can be helpful. You’re probably not going to drum up, you know, 1000 subscribers right away just doing that, but it’s a slow build, right, you might get one or two to start, and then, you know, they subscribe. And you know, I’ve had this because it’s had this experience has happened to me. And then they liked the newsletter, and they, you know, give you a shout out on to their audience as well. And then those people who wouldn’t maybe have heard about you indirectly, or directly hear about you indirectly and subscribe to your newsletter. So self promotion is huge. And so you can do the same thing with your lead magnet, and share that as a way to as a way to grow subscribers as well. And if we’re being honest, more people are going to see value in a lead magnet quite often then just kind of subscribing to a newsletter, because not a lot of people just want to say subscribe to my newsletter, that’s not really telling people very much, it’s not giving them very much value. So when you do promote a lead magnet, there’s a little bit more meat there, there’s a little bit more, yeah, there’s a little bit more to chew on. So that makes a lot of sense. But I do still think that people should talk about their newsletters a little bit more often. And again, like I said, type of person who is speaking to and the type of problem that solving is really important. One other thing I will mention as well is something that’s that’s worked for me too, is just cross promotion. So finding other people in a similar space or complementary space, perhaps, that write newsletters that are speaking to a similar audience that could benefit from a cross promotion, where what that means is you would share information about their newsletter and a sign up link in your newsletter, and they would do the same about yours in theirs. And so I’ve reached out to a few people to do those I’ve, I’ve been reached out to to do those as well. And it’s, it’s mutually beneficial. It’s no cost. And I think that it’s an underutilized way that people can definitely grow their newsletters. And again, this isn’t going to necessarily get you, you know, a whole whack of new subscribers, but it will, you know, slowly add to add to your list for sure. You’ll you’re bound to get a few new subscribers as well with that strategy, too.

 

Alastair McDermott  42:14

Yeah, for sure, I need to start talking more about the email course. And, and when I get the assessment finished, I need to talk about that a bit more as well. So, so I’m sure that talking about it more, you know, and, and I mean, physically speaking about it, but also, you know, putting mentioning it in social media, maybe for a writer post saying, hey, like this, this was this post was originally written as an email for my list and things like that. So because that’s what I do, like, quite often I’ll write something for LinkedIn and say, Hey, this will make a good email for my list. So I’ll cross you know, dual purpose it that way. Okay, so I’m just conscious of the time and thank you for sticking with me Don’t through these connection issues? Oh, no problem. Very good. So I do have a few questions that I like to ask people. So the first question that I want to ask you is about your number one tip for building authority. So if you could give somebody only one tip to build their authority, what would you tell them to do?

 

Dylan Redekop  43:15

Well, I think the most important thing is that you, you know, you prove your authority by publishing. And publishing can mean very many different things to many people, but you need to publish. So whether that’s publishing a written piece, or publishing a podcast, or publishing a video, you you definitely need to publish to prove your authority. So I think, you know, for, for me, it took a little bit of a little bit of time to build a bit of authority, kind of in the newsletter space, but you know, I published for 52 weeks straight. And that gave me that give me a lot of knowledge and experience on how to kind of grow and publish a newsletter. And then I took a two week break, because I was a little bit fried from publishing for 52 weeks straight. But then, you know, I’ve gotten back at it. And so I’ve, I’m up to edition 65, I think I believe I just published. So you need to you need to publish to get that credibility, and actually, you know, ship your content.

 

Alastair McDermott  44:15

Yeah, I 100% agree. And and not just the publishing. But the other thing that you talked about there is, is that’s incredible consistency. And I think that’s really important. And I personally, I have been very inconsistent with my email. But I have been very consistent with podcasts. We’ve shipped the podcast at 6:01am, every Monday morning for the last year. And we’ve been really consistent with that episode, I think probably when people listen to this around Episode 7075, maybe even less. So. We’ve been we’ve been very consistent with that. I think there is. I think that you’re proving something to people when you are consistent like that. I think that you know, they can look at that and they can see that not just that you have the credibility but you you know, you’re going to show up as well. So if that’s your

 

Dylan Redekop  45:01

question, Alastair? Yeah. So why don’t you send out a an email when you drop a new episode?

 

Alastair McDermott  45:08

That’s a good question on I’ve been wondering about doing that. Right now it’s because people haven’t opted in for that. And I haven’t wanted because the podcast is going out every single week. I don’t want, there are other ways that they can get that they can subscribe to the podcast, I guess maybe I should just make that an optional thing. And say, hey, if you’d like to know, when your podcast episodes are at, you know, click on this, and I’ll tag them. And actually, that’s probably going on my my list. So you again, part of the free coaching session. So thank you very much. So, okay, I better move on, because because we’re getting close to time here. No worries. The other question I asked people back is about business failures. Is there a business failure mistake that you’ve experienced that you can tell us about what you learn from it?

 

Dylan Redekop  45:55

Yeah, absolutely. I’ll try to keep this pretty brief. But in 2019, I quit, I quit a corporate marketing job to start my own business without really any pipeline of clients or anything like that. And to no surprise, it kind of failed miserably. After about six months of not making very much money. It was I was really passionate about woodworking and building furniture and that sort of thing. And I thought I could make a make a run at, you know, creating a woodworking business. And like I said, it’s really hard to do to do all of that, start a business, run the business be the solo, business operator, builder, marketer, salesperson, delivery. And so, so I, yeah, I kind of failed pretty miserably miserably at it. But it taught me It taught me a lot about myself. And if I ever wanted to start a business again, I learned exactly what not to do and what to do instead. So it was a it was a great learning experience, though a bit of a painful one.

 

Alastair McDermott  47:03

What was your biggest takeaway from that?

 

Dylan Redekop  47:05

I think my biggest takeaway was that I was, I just, I believed in, I believe that things would work out. And so extremely naive and optimistic without actually being thoughtful in my planning. And so I just thought, you know, I’ll make good stuff. And I’ll spread the word on social media and all I’ll make sales. And so my biggest takeaway really was that, you know, all the goodwill in the world is not going to is not going to make six successful, you need to actually you need to actually plan and, and create a pipeline, if you actually want to sell something, you can’t just, you know, go on, you know, hopes and wishes and dreams of getting customers. So, I think I think the biggest thing was, yeah, getting that getting that kind of pipeline of customers and in the sales really thought through before actually went ahead and did it?

 

Alastair McDermott  48:00

Yeah, yeah. Cool. Um, thank you for sharing that.

 

Dylan Redekop  48:04

No problem.

 

Alastair McDermott  48:04

Okay. So I like to ask about books. And so what question is, is what nonfiction book or resource, is there, ss there a nonfiction book or resource that you really like? Or that’s been really important for you?

 

Dylan Redekop  48:20

Yeah, there’s a few that come to mind. But, you know, one that I’m looking at right now on my shelf that jumps out at me, because it had a pretty good impact on me was a book called can’t hurt me by David Goggins. It’s probably a pretty well known book in kind of the self improvement space, the self help space. And it’s just a it’s a wild story. Really incredible story about somebody who went from being a, I don’t wanna say a lowlife, but a basically a, an exterminator to becoming, you know, a, you know, overweight, unhealthy, early, mid 20s exterminator to somebody who either joined the Navy SEALs, and has, you know, made some astounding records for, I think, in the Guinness Book of World Records as well and just just transformed their life with a major mindset shifts. And so it’s not that I want to be in the Navy SEALs or anything like that, but there’s so many, there’s so many things in that book that can be applied to your to anybody’s life that I find, super motivating and very inspiring. So that would that would be probably, one. One other one I’ll just mention really quickly is show your work by Austin Kleon. So looking at that one, as well on my desk here, and just talking about, you know, sharing in public and building in public is kind of a popular thing right now, but, you know, he writes about this, it’s probably about a 678 year old book or so. But it’s really important about, you know, I think sharing sharing what you’re doing and your creativity and, you know, increasing that, I guess that surface luck area as they call it. Or sorry, surface area for luck to happen in creating your own up Which means by sharing what you’re working on, I think that’s a great concept.

 

Alastair McDermott  50:03

Oh, yeah. 100% And one of my other guests for the show Christo from the future. He that’s one of his favorite books as well. And he talks about that a lot. So it’s definitely, definitely, definitely one to look at. What about fiction? Or do you read fiction?

 

Dylan Redekop  50:19

You know? No, I haven’t for a long time with with one exception. And I guess this is kind of sort of fiction slash non. But it came by recommendation from Sam Parr from the hustle. And he was he’s big into, you know, true crime stories. So this is kind of a fiction book, but it’s based on the real story of the Silk Road. And Russ Albrecht, who kind of started the Silk Road, and it’s called American Kingpin. And it’s written by somebody who the name escapes me right at the moment, but it’s, it’s basically a it’s kind of written like a autobiography. But it’s also, you know, obviously not because the person who, who it’s about did not share any any interviews or anything for the book, it’s just based on a lot of research that the author did, and going into all chat rooms on the Silk Road, messaging board and talking with people who knew this person. So it’s, it’s a it’s fiction, but it’s really, you know, heavily based on real world events. And I thought it was just a really riveting read.

 

Alastair McDermott  51:29

That is one I definitely want to check out. Yeah, because there there is a connection to Ireland in that whole story as well. So Oh, is there? Yeah, there is. Yeah, I think this that one of the one of the guys helping out was was based in Dublin, so Okay, yeah. So want to check that out. Okay. So Dylan, where can people check you out? If they want to learn more about email marketing, they want to learn more about building an email audience, not not building on rented ground actually owning an audience and doing things with email the right way? Where can they find out more about you, they can

 

Dylan Redekop  52:03

head over to growth, currency dotnet. And check me out on Twitter as well, at growth currency. I have a website that is kind of in the works right now that I’m hoping to get launched soon. But in the meantime, you can subscribe to the growth currency newsletter at growth, currency. dotnet.

 

Alastair McDermott  52:22

Yeah, absolutely. And you can join 1400 or so other people who are all on your email list and getting your tips. And, and yeah, that’s right. So thanks very much for coming on. I really appreciate the everything that you’ve shared with us, all of the tips for me personally have been super. And yeah, I really appreciate you coming on and chatting with us about this.

 

Dylan Redekop  52:48

No problem. It’s been great. Appreciate it. Thanks for having me.

 

Alastair McDermott  52:54

Thanks for listening. And a reminder about the mastermind group that we’re running called authority labs. It’s for independent consultants and experts who were looking for coaching, accountability and peer support on your journey to authority. So if you’re a consultant or expert, and you’re looking to position yourself, build your authority, grow your income, and you’d like to have accountability and a support group around you for that, then this might be the right group for you. So there’s a cohort starting in the next month, there’s going to be a group call every two weeks, and the numbers are going to be limited to a maximum of six for this cohort. So you’ll get a lot of my time and attention. So if you’d like to know more about that, please visit the link in the show notes or go to the recognized authority.com/group Thanks for listening.

 

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