When we first started building my email list, Jeff was a scientist working at a biotech conducting cancer research, and my (Erin’s) last corporate job was in HR.
Our jobs weren’t fulfilling us and we’d always loved wedding photography!
So we left those jobs to be wedding photographers and have been traveling the world, shooting weddings and doing in-person education for wedding photographers for the past ten years.
We didn’t want to spend all of our time traveling, and we wanted to invest in other creatives instead.
That’s when we decided to start building an email list to teach others how to become wedding photographers.
Fast-forward five years and we’d built a list of 5,072 subscribers.
We launched our master course, Discover Your Ideal Client, in July and it went GREAT for our first launch ever! We hit our reach goal of $20k and plan to launch the course again in the spring of 2017!
How did you do it?
We got our first 100 subscribers by doing one thing: speaking and teaching in the industry.
We started doing this about 4 years ago. We would go to different speaking engagements and teach about wedding photography! People would organically join our list from that.
Currently our list is at 5.072.
We went from 100 to 5,072 by doing 3 things: 1) content upgrades, 2) launching our course, and 3) posting a mega blog post.
The first thing we did when we decided to be intentional about our list was refining the most popular blog posts we currently had on our blog geared to photographers, and we implemented about five different content upgrades into the various articles so a reader could opt in to something more on that topic with nearly every single post.
Here’s an example of one of the content upgrades:
Then we created a larger lead magnet titled “Five Steps to Discovering Your Dream Clients” that was implemented throughout the site as well.
We recorded some instructional videos with content upgrades that we posted on Facebook, and ran FB ads to those videos about six weeks before we launched our course, Discover Your Ideal Client.
Here’s an example of one of those video posts:
Launching Our Course
We launched our course, Discover Your Ideal Client, in July! It was so much fun to launch.
We posted on Facebook and drew people to the class from there.
The launch itself also produced a bump in subscribers for us because we did a three-part video series for pre-launch, held a handful of webinars during the launch, and ran Facebook ads throughout the open cart period.
Mega Blog Post
More recently, we’ve had quite a bit of success with a current lead magnet we’re doing right now.
In October 2015, President Obama showed up to a wedding we were shooting, and the photo we took of the president with our bride and groom went viral. Check it out here.
On the one year anniversary of this wedding, I published a behind the scenes mega-blog post of the experience.
In this post, we give away a copy of our model release which is what allowed us to make the images go viral.
This post has gotten us quite a few subscribers and we’re continually running FB ads to this post right now!
What has building an email list changed in your life and allowed you to do?
We love that we don’t have to travel in order to teach!
While we love seeing new and exciting places, we just can’t reach very many people when we have to be there in person.
We love that we can talk directly to our Dreamies (our photographer audience) and put our message of how to run a life-giving business right in front of them in the middle of their workday.
We love that we can encourage SO MANY MORE people!
What’s next for you?
I’m spending all of my time focused on three things:
Us + Cat
Scientist and HR
My husband and I knew we wanted to reach a bigger audience online, but were getting so confused and overwhelmed with all of the different methods and strategies that are out there. We almost gave up when we came across Videofruit, and the teachings were so refreshingly simple and honest that we learned more from ONE of Videofruit's blog posts than we did in three months of research about list building! After that, we were hooked! We never would have been able to fulfill our dream of launching our online course or reach such a big audience this year if we didn't have Videofruit's incredible guidance!