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The "Getting Permission & Sign Ups" Lesson is part of the full, Finding Clients as a Freelancer course featured in this preview video. Here's what you'd learn in this lesson:

Paul walks through a strategy for getting permission from an audience to send on-going emails. Utilizing a landing page gives freelancers and small agencies a chance to establish credibility, outline the benefits of receiving ongoing communications, and give users an easy way to subscribe.

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Transcript from the "Getting Permission & Sign Ups" Lesson

[00:00:00]
>> So where are we at? How far have we got along this journey? We have looked at pretty much everything that's involved in identifying the people that we wanna contact. We've identified how we can go about contacting them. We've made initial contact. We've done a survey. We've put together a report.

[00:00:22] Everything's looking great and wonderful, but we still don't have a mailing list. We don't have a group of people that we can talk to regularly. We've kind of taken a chance and contacted some people fairly cold, but they haven't given us their permission to talk to them on an ongoing basis.

[00:00:39] And we really need that because we don't wanna be emailing people all the time without their permission. So, why and how do we gain that permission? All right, so first off, why is ongoing communication so important? Why does it matter so much? Well, our survey and report will have got us on our audience's radar, but we need to stay on that radar really to give us a chance to build credibility in the minds of our audience.

[00:01:15] We need to be able to show them how great we are, okay? Then you can tell somebody, yeah, I'm an amazing developer, I do all this great work or whatever. But that is not as valuable as them discovering that from sales based on what they've learned about you, what they've heard about you, what they've read, that you've said, those kinds of things.

[00:01:38] So it's essential as well that we stay front and center in people's minds so that when they need our services we're instantly their preferred supplier, all right? So it's those two things that we need to stay front and center in the minds, we need to build credibility. And that's where regular contact via email can provide that.

[00:01:59] That's why on my website, at the bottom of every single page, you've got a call to action to sign up to my mailing list, cuz once I've got you on my mailing list, I've gotcha. That's it, you are at my mercy. So how do we gain the permission that we need?

[00:02:16] Well, there are several steps involved in this, and that will change a little bit over time as well. So the number one thing that we wanna do is we wanna promote the report, okay? So we're gonna contact our audience and tell them about the report. And we're also gonna reach out to those influencers, and we're also gonna use some other promotion techniques that I'm gonna get into in a moment.

[00:02:43] In addition to that, alongside the report, we probably want to offer a short email course that dives a little bit deeper into the issues that are found in the report. Now, don't worry, I know that sounds like a lot more extra work, but it really isn't. It's regurgitating what's in the report and adding a bit more detail.

[00:03:03] So it's not overly taxing, don't worry about it. And we're gonna use that really as the kind of next step. Okay, so you've downloaded the report. Now, you get these kind of series of introductory emails. And then once you've had that emails, then you're going on to that ongoing advice.

[00:03:23] So after people finish the course, they will continue to hear from you via monthly emails forever or bi-weekly or whatever you decide to do. So really, the report is done, that's your upfront work, piece of work done. Then we're gonna put together a short email course that only ever needs to be done once, all right?

[00:03:46] And then when people sign up, they're gonna get those over a series of weeks. So once you've done all of that, then really, your kind of week to week marketing is literally just doing those ongoing newsletters. All right, that's it. So right now, I'm not targeting a new audience, I'm not targeting anybody different.

[00:04:07] So my marketing activities consists of writing an email once every two weeks, right? So you can see how it does become lightweight. Yes, you need to block up some time to put everything in place to begin with, but once you've got it there, then it's a very lightweight process.

[00:04:24] So first of all, we need to design a landing page that encourages permission. So this is the point where people can get the report, and they can then go on and sign up for the email course and the ongoing emails. So what are the objectives of this landing page?

[00:04:42] It needs to establish your credibility. So why do I want emails from this person? Why do I care about what they do? We need to create a desire for the course and the report. We need to say, show people why that is worth having. We want to encourage people to sign up fairly obviously to the mailing list and at all stages.

[00:05:04] And it is not about selling your services, right? This is not the place to promote yourself, which means that we probably don't want to make this a part of our existing website, although it can share the design, right? So one of the questions I was being asked over lunch was, should I integrate this into my website?

[00:05:26] The answer is probably no. You can do if you really want to, but the minute you integrate it alongside your services and the stuff you're selling, it's suddenly all feels a lot more salesy, right? And I wanna focus it just on your giving away free advice. So you probably don't wanna do it.

[00:05:46] But you can reuse the design, if you want to, that's not a problem. So, what needs to go on this landing page? I touched on the earlier version of the landing page for the survey. This one is for the report in the email, so it's slightly different. You provide an outline of the main topics, the report covers, and what the email course will cover.

[00:06:08] And you maybe share a couple of key findings to get people interested, you'll be surprised to who is not nice, sounds very clip biting, I wont say out loud. [LAUGH] The three highest ranking sites based on our criteria were, find out how you ranked that kind of thing.

[00:06:33] Then we talk about the benefits that are provided by getting the report in the course. So you get instant access to the report, you get actionable advice on improving your site or app or whatever it is that you're targeting. You get awareness of the competitive landscape. You'll get evidence to support your requests of management.

[00:06:54] You'll get insights into areas of innovation. So you basically show the benefit that it provides. And then you add a couple of sentences about your own credibility. And then it's really about creating a compelling call to action. So this is the call to action that goes on my own website.

[00:07:12] This is just for my generic newsletter sign up. It kind of has got a lot of the key components. I know it looks like quite a lot of information, but that's okay if it's done in the right way. So what does a good call to action need to have on your landing page?

[00:07:29] It needs to be clear about what people are gonna get. So my case, my generic mailing list is Improve Your Knowledge of User Experience Design, Digital Marketing and Digital Leadership, right? And then it says you're gonna get emails every one to two weeks. You get a free course on getting design approval.

[00:07:46] A free course on building a user centric culture. So you can see how I'm outlining what it is you'll get. Now, here is an interesting one, it maybe, this is a little bit of a manipulative technique, and I'm not entirely sure how I feel about it. It popped into my head as I was preparing this workshop, and not something I've actively tried, but I'm gonna share it with you anyway.

[00:08:14] One thing you might wanna consider doing is allowing people to actually purchase the report if they don't want to sign up to your email list. Now, nobody will ever do that because why would you if you can get it for free from signing up for an email list?

[00:08:31] But it means you could put monetary value on the report, which makes the report look more valuable when you then get it for free. I don't know whether that's a bit manipulative. I can't quite work out whether I've just described a dark pattern or not, go on.
>> You've also given them a value, you're getting their information as value to you.

[00:08:54]
>> Yes, that's a good point, actually. So, I'm not sure quite how I feel about that, but I thought I'd throw it out there anyway. The other thing you might wanna do is consider making it free for a limited period, because that motivates people to sign up now and rather than later.

[00:09:11] And one of the really important things you call to action is make sure you handle any objections that people may have. So for example, people obviously are nervous about giving over their email address. So you wanna make it clear that you're not gonna sell it them. You wanna make it clear that they can unsubscribe in one click.

[00:09:32] And that you're never gonna share their email address with anybody. So you're really kind of reassuring them in the moment.