Skyra Rideaux (Sky-ruh Reeh-doe) : leader, thinker, feeler. She’s a 30 year old making big waves in Louisiana and beyond, and she’s using social to share her lessons with the world.
In particular, she’s leveraging the power of email to get into people’s inboxes and draw them into checking out her podcast, which, for many followers, then becomes a regular routine.
THAT’S POWERFUL EMAIL MARKETING.
So how does she do it?
“My goal in life is to help young people realize their true potential while being as authentic as possible. You can’t just go around saying that you’ve accomplished everything you have without giving people a full picture,” Skyra explained.
That’s why she displays what she considers to be her biggest failures – right there on her website. They’re written out in bold font – the goals she didn’t quite reach.
And it’s an incredibly powerful strategy.
How many times have you looked at a picture of a person and seen only what they want to show you?
How many times have you thought “I wish I had it all figured out like they do”?
And how many times has that thought left you feeling energized and inspired? Excited and confident?
On her podcast, Skyra interviews young leaders who are doing amazing things in the community. She talks with them for about 25 minutes about their journeys, and listening in just feels like you’re the third friend in the room. No, they can’t hear you, but you’ll probably want to chime in at some point. It’s an effect Skyra seems to have on people, whether it’s through the speakers or your inbox.
But she doesn’t rely on the podcast alone.
We all know that the current best marketing strategy for staying in front of your audience is email marketing, right?
Well Skyra rocks at it, and lucky for us, was willing to share her “secret sauce.”
Here are the three steps to building a successful email marketing campaign, compliments of my chat with Skyra:
- Build Your List
For many of us, this is the tough part. Your target’s email address is as valuable as gold these days, and “opt ins” are the fast track to more revenue.
So how do you get them?
Skyra’s strategy is surprisingly simple, but it takes a little humility: just ask.
Lay yourself bare and ask those you know, those you’ve surrounded yourself with for years, to join you in a journey you’re about to embark on. You might be surprised how many come along for the ride.
“I realized that I had a lot of people around me that I had worked with who were like ‘you’re always doing a lot of cool stuff,’ and before I launched, I recorded five episodes and sent out an email saying ‘listen I’m starting a new project, it’s a journey, could you take this with me?” would you like to be included on my email list? I just asked if they could help me.”
Skyra’s contact list was filled with friends, family, coworkers, and those she met along the way.
She checked the box next to each and every one.
She knew these first degree contacts represented those she had to win over before rippling out towards a broader audience, so she took the first step and asked.
- Write the Copy
Writing the email copy that will land in thousands of people’s inboxes might not seem like a big deal, but getting it just right isn’t a walk in the park.
Think about it – how much junk do you receive on a daily basis? How many times do you go no further than reading a subject line before you delete it with a trace of irritation?
Skyra had to figure out how to push past that emotion and create value for anyone who spends time reading her e-blasts.
They can’t be too long, too short, too cryptic, too detailed, too boring, too overwhelming….and the list goes on.
Figuring out how to find the right words goes back to advice she received from the woman who helped her find the confidence to capitalize on her talents and start a podcast, Amy Broussard.
“Amy said that one of my greatest gifts is communicating and building relationships – not trying to use the words that I think people want to hear, but by just being me.”
This advice is what guides Skyra’s copywriting process every time she introduces a new episode to her contact list. She sits down and writes the words that she would say to a friend. She asks herself, “what do I care about that others will care about, too?”
- Get the Attention
After she puts the words down, she pulls a quote – something that embodies a core lesson she learned after a long talk with an inspiring young leader. She takes this quote and places it front and center, nestled into an eye-catching graphic featuring a photo and a priceless piece of wisdom.
The logic behind these graphics is simple: create quick, eye-catching value to keep the email as far away from the trash file as possible.
The BIG Lesson
Skyra’s email method has proved to be vital to her online growth, and her process might just do some good things for your brand as well.
But putting aside the technical stuff, there is one lesson from our conversation that I’ve yet to mention, and it might be the most important part of this entire post.
As we chatted about our successes, failures, and the ups and downs of life, Skyra told me about the moment she realized she didn’t need permission to do the things she cares about.
Please note: this isn’t some feel good blanket statement about seizing the day, either. This was a hard earned lesson she ran into after planning a young professionals conference she was told would fail.
Her boss told her she was going too big. She needed to scale it back and bite off only what she could chew.
Well, 16 speakers, 125 attendees, and a hugely successful conference later, Skyra deeply understood that she could move towards her goals with or without the permission of others, even if those “others” are your boss and people whose judgement you might typically defer to.
Skyra’s message during that hour long conversation was clear – if the right path is calling to you, nothing can stop you. Your idea will keep you up at night and fill you with energy each morning until no amount of doubt, no number of hurdles someone places in your path, will be able to keep you from pursuing it. Throw in some expert-level email marketing to boot, and you’ve got it made.