I had wanted to start a newsletter for over 12 months before I finally did it. I had completed a newsletter ‘toolkit’ session with my mentor Katie Mac (from Katie Mac Publicity) over 6 months before I published my first one. What stopped me was (1) making time to develop content, and (2) not having the skills to design and create the newsletter template.
I addressed both obstacles by engaging someone with the skills to co-design the newsletter look and feel and then set up the template in MailChimp. Paying for this service increased my motivation to find and protect the time to develop newsletter content. I tend to work best to deadlines, so created an arbitrary deadline of July 2018 to release my first monthly newsletter.
I’m currently working on content for my September newsletter (a little later than I had intended to, but will release it this week). I decided it was time to take over the technical newsletter production tasks. My designer provided an online demonstration of how to replicate a previous newsletter and update both the content and design elements. It’s actually very straightforward.
I’ve also used Canva for the first time to edit titles for articles within the newsletter. This is an unexpected bonus as I’ve been looking for a reason to learn how to use Canva. I often see attractive visuals online that other people have created using Canva and have yearned to be able to produce my own. Today I took my first baby step toward this goal.
The general approach that I’ve used to developing skills needed for my newsletter is one that I commonly apply to get things done in my business. Where I don’t have the time to figure out how to do something myself I engage someone who can do some setup efficiently then get them to train me.
I also recognise that while it makes me feel good to master new tools it may not be the best use of my time. Particularly as I am shifting how I work and adopting a business model rather than a solo practitioner model, my time will be better spent on strategic, high leverage activities such as business development, marketing and sales, product development and some delivery. I may end up outsourcing technical newsletter production again or engaging a team member who does this work alongside other operational and administrative tasks.
PS: September 2018 newsletter theme is social learning. Newsletter goes on on 21 September – sing up now on website to receive a copy.