For real estate agents and home service providers (remodeling contractors, carpet cleaners, electricians, etc), your personality is often what makes someone like working with you, not just your prices or great service.
Using email newsletters to remind people of why they like you is easy and almost free, and should be a staple of your marketing program. All it takes is a little time and a tiny budget (in our case, it’s $13/mo to reach 2,000 subscribers per month).
But for many business people, making a personal connection in a professional email newsletter can be a real challenge. What to write? How much to say? How to be interesting without being inappropriate? How not to be boring? How to make it count?
While there are many different things you can do to make a personal connection, one idea that really stood out for me recently was the Ultra Short Story.
The Ultra Short Story Method
I was on a Facebook group the other day when someone mentioned an idea that I realized would convert really well to newsletters. The idea is to write a very short, about 50-word story about someplace local. This can be a hot spot, a tourist destination, or a unique secret place only you know about (and now want to share). Then use a picture you take yourself, not a high-end professional shot, but just a phone image. The picture is the key, because people will relate to it right away as someplace local.
Here’s how that Ultra Short Story might look
Have you been skiing at Brighton recently? My kids like Brighton more than Snowbird, because it’s slower and more level. If you go up, check out the Brighton store and cafe. It’s a rustic mountain place, so don’t expect gourmet food or service. But it’s great for a hot cup of coffee.
Then add a picture of the Brighton store. Total word count: 52
This is an ultra-short story that makes a personal connection. But it’s not about you. It’s about them—your readers—because you’re suggesting that they go there.
You can add a piece like this to the start of your newsletter each month, and people will come to feel that you are an area expert, that you are a person they know and feel connected to, and that you have an interesting life!
Do It In Advance—Save Time
One of the coolest things about this little technique is that you can sit down and write a dozen or more of these at one time, and have them all ready to go for your newsletters for the entire year. Get your family involved and write them together. I be you can come up with a dozen places to write about in just a few minutes. Then work together to make a short and sweet recommendation, based on your experience of the place.
Here’s another example:
I’m not a big concert-goer, but my kids got me to go with them to the Sleep Train Amphitheater. I had no idea it could be so fun for us “old folks,” too. We laid on the grass while the kids danced. It was safe, clean, and easy. A great evening adventure!
Total word count: 52