Hidden Strengths To Build an Empire

OK, personal development junkies. I’ve got one for ya.

Your biggest strength is often your most silent one.

My childhood left me feeling like the oddball out. (An unconventional upbringing plus frequent moves will do that to you.)

Fast forward to adult me and I’m running my business, learning about business (WHO AM I?), and helping my clients look like email rockstars.

I’ve spent over a decade trying to come to terms with what made me feel like I never fit in. (Thank you to every mental health professional out there doing hard work).

As an adult, I get access to tools and resources to help me dig into what’s not working and why.

I get to discover a me that I dreamt of as a kid, was trampled on as an adolescent, and now being let free with hard, therapeutic work.

What I thought were the things that held me back are now reframed as survival skills that I used to protect myself.

In other words, they’re strengths.

Have you ever had that moment when something nailed your personality so well that your eyes practically bulged out of your head and you were screaming “YES” in your head over and over?

That’s what happened when I took the Gallup Strengths Assessment (again) and reaffirmed my biggest strength is Context.

It’s described as, “People exceptionally talented in the Context theme enjoy thinking about the past. They understand the present by researching its history.”

History. Context. Backstory.

If you don’t know where you came from, how do you expect to move forward?

It’s why one of my favorite subjects in school was always history. I loved to learn the stories that built our world and culture.

It’s also why one of my first offers in my new business was an audit. It’s where I start with almost every client.

I audit their current email marketing program, document it, and then tell them where they need to go from here.

Makes sense, right? Look at what you have going on currently. And then, identify what you need to do next to get where you want to go.

How can you understand your processes or strategy if you don’t know what led to this moment?

What lead you to this moment won’t get you to where you want to go, but it will sure help you see what you don’t want to repeat.

Anyone who knows me, knows I’m into Harry Potter.

Who doesn’t squee with nerd love when it comes to fantasy fiction?

Not you? Oh. Cool. Me neither. (But yes, me.)

On my quest to learn more about my personality, someone recommended trying the Harry Potter House Sorting Hat Quiz. 

Sadly, I am not Gryffindor. But I am a RAVENCLAW. I am shocked. SHOCKED.

Here’s what that means according to the quiz: Your personality shows a high degree of work ethic and humility, which are valued among members of Ravenclaw House. 

OK. That makes more sense. 

If you’re feeling it, take a look at the quiz and tell me which house you were sorted into!

A Productivity Hack That Only Takes a Minute

I’m interrupting your regularly scheduled email inspiration/tip for some productivity advice.

I know you want to learn from the master over here.

And by “master,” I mean shiny object syndrome expert.

Oooo a new tech tool!?!? Wait. Where did the last 2 hours go?

But seriously, here’s a tool I keep forgetting about and rediscovering. It’s like a tiny treasure I keep from myself and then remember when I get the overwhelms.

AND it only takes a minute to set up.

INBOX PAUSING

Whaaaaaaaaaaat!? I know.

If you’re like me and keep your email inbox up at all times (because everyone will scratch their eyeballs out if you don’t respond to their email in 30 seconds), then you know how distracting it gets.

I installed Boomerang for my Gmail and G suite emails and it comes with INBOX PAUSE.

If you don’t know what Boomerang is, it’s also its own productivity hack. It can send back emails that you sent that the recipient didn’t respond to. It can also schedule emails in your inbox.

SO COOL.

Weirdly, I mainly use it for the Inbox Pause feature.

When I’m trying to focus, I flip on the pause switch which defaults to 2 hours.

I know what you’re thinking. Why not just close out your email?

When I’m trying to dig through my emails for one tiny detail that I cant remember, I end up losing time because OH LOOK ANOTHER NEW EMAIL. It’s NEW! It’s SHINY! Must read it!

You know that song and dance.

And for all of you Outlook users, there’s a similar function. It’s called “Work Offline”.

Seriously, it’s a game-changer.

Halloween emails don’t have to be scary ?

OK, calm down.

That joke was hilarious but not *that* hilarious.

I’ll wait for you to stop laughing.

No? Didn’t laugh at all? Fine. I’ll save my best stuff for later.

I hate to break it to you. The holidays are on us.

First, Halloween. Then, Thanksgiving. Then, Christmas. You know the drill.

It’s a comically out-of-control snowball that is about to scoop you up in its demolishing descent.

Some of you may be in businesses that do not sell anything related to holidays.

That’s fine.

But it’s kind of weird *not* to acknowledge a celebratory season, right? (Unless that’s really, really not your thing or your brand).

And even if it’s not your thing, you don’t have to go overboard with the all of the words you can replace a syllable with the word “boo.”

OK, now I have to do it. Ready?

Boo-tiful, a-boo-rable, fa-boo-lus, boo-ty…

OK. I’m out. That didn’t take long.

Back to emails here.

What I’m really trying to say is, that you don’t have to go all out for a holiday email, like Halloween. You can keep it keep it super simple.

A fun color change, a cute little boo pun, an emoji in the subject line.

Find a way to celebrate the ordinary with people who are looking for something to celebrate.

Here’s an incredibly easy, fun, simple example of a Halloween email that’s worth taking note.

 

Subject Line from original email: Humongous Halloweekend Sale ?

 

Here’s what you should copy from this email: 

COLOR: 

Postable used a bright orange background color with white font and a black CTA button.

The background color immediately brings Halloween to mind.

The bright color also helps contrast against the white font and black CTA button making everything “pop”.

SUPER SIMPLE: 

A marketing email doesn’t have to be five million paragraphs long.

If you have a promotion or simple message you want to get out to your audience, consider a brief, direct email that gets your point across!

SUBJECT LINE EMOJI: 

Seasonal emojis for the win! Emojipedia as collections of seasonal emojis to pull from.

Sprinkle one here and there in your subject lines during the season and feel all of the Halloween goosebumps.

Check it out —-> https://emojipedia.org/halloween/

GOT IT?

Now, what can you do to play with your emails this week?

Email Inspiration – Ellanyze

Get Inspired

One inspirational email.

Three easy takeaways.

wish I could take credit for this week’s email. It’s a newsletter series called Short and Sweet by the lovely, Janelle Reichman.

She owns and operates Ellanyze, a front end web development company.

She is one of the kindest humans I’ve met in Ann Arbor, MI. She freely gives her time and is a talented WordPress developer.

Her Short & Sweet series is just that. Short and sweet.

Janelle highlights something that has stuck out to her every week – which is either an artist, a business hack or a website tip.

It’s easily digestible and a joy to read.

Take a scroll, check out this example of Ellanyze’s Short and Sweet, then read the 3 easy things that are worth repeating.

Here’s what you should copy from this email: 

LENGTH: 

Do you see how short this email is? 

We often can only grab our email subscriber’s attention for a fraction of a minute. Maybe more if we’re lucky.

In a crowded inbox, how do you make sure people read your content?

Make it short.

I often seen people try to cram as much content in an email as possible. 

Cut down the copy and highlight the most important parts of your business as possible.

BRIGHT, BOLD VISUAL: 

I immediately want to know more about what’s happening in this email based on the visual.

My curiosity is piqued.

Is it an overly stylized image? No.

It’s a beautiful graphic that she cropped for the size of her email. That’s it.

Don’t overcomplicate your graphics. They don’t need to by hyper-stylized.

It just needs to be eye-catching.

CTA

I often see CTA’s buried in the bottom of emails.

Here, Janelle makes her Discovery Call CTA button bold and beautiful.

There is no missing it.

If I want to talk to Janelle, I know exactly how to do that.

Don’t hide your CTA’s.

Don’t make your subscribers hunt to find how to contact you. The harder you make it for them, the less likely they are to follow through.

GOT IT?

Now, what can you do to play with your emails this week?

Email Inspiration – Fab Oops

Get Inspired

One inspirational email.

Three easy actions.

Fab? Yes.

That’s all I have to say about this email.

End of blog.

j/k

Have you been like the thousands of other people who sent something out and realized there was a mistake?

Oh, you haven’t?

Cool cool cool.

Then, I’m just writing this for myself then.

OK, self. You made a mistake. You sent out an email with the wrong link, the wrong headline or the wrong subject line.

Crap.

The world is ending.

Oh, wait. It’s not ending. Weird.

Pick yourself back up and figure out how to fix it.

First step, admit you made a mistake.

Second step, delight your audience with a fantastic Oops email.

That’s what Fab did with today’s inspiration.

Take note and figure out how to bounce back gracefully.

Here’s what you should copy from this email: 

HAVE FUN: 

Yes, you’re mortified that you just made a mistake.

Guess what? We all do it.

Sorry to be the one to tell you that you’re not special in that regard.

There’s nothing better than deflecting embarrassment with humor.

A weird coping mechanism? Maybe.

It’s definitely not something I do.

But it does put people at ease. They forget to be made when they’re smiling.

CALL OUT THE MISTAKE:

Pinpoint what happened. Name it. Say it out loud.

Do what you have to do identify the mistake.

What’s worse than making a mistake? Not admitting to it and naming it.

People feel like they’re having something pulled on them because it lacks transparency.

Name it so you can move on.

ISSUE THE CORRECTION: 

In case this isn’t obvious, give them the correct info in the follow-up email.

Give them the opportunity to take the action you wanted them to take.

BONUS: Can you give an apology offer? Maybe a discount, a freebie or a sweet pic of your baby niece (with mom’s permission of course)?

People appreciate it when you go the extra mile any time during their customer journey. Don’t let this opportunity be any different.

GOT IT?

Now, what can you do to play with your emails this week?