3 Reasons Preachers have “Side Hustles.”

There are at least three good reasons preachers have some sort of economic venture (aka Side Hustle) in addition to their preaching:

1. They have to: Some preachers work a “regular” job or have their own business because they need the income to pay the bills. They might or might not *want* to do this, but their economic situation demands it.

2. They want to: Some preachers do more than just preach because they’re “wired” to have their hands in multiple projects at one time. Some people might be perplexed or put off by this, but it shouldn’t be surprising. Throughout history (secular and spiritual) there have been many industrious individuals who effectively engage in more than one thing.

3. A little bit of both: Brethren who have a “side hustle” only because they *have to* would gladly give it up if they could. But others like doing both, and while they need the income they’d continue doing both even if they didn’t.

If you’re a “side hustle preacher,” which category best describes you? Do you have a side hustle because you have to, because you want to, or because of a combination of the two?

What Teflon can teach you about criticism.

Somebody somewhere decided April 6 is Teflon Day.

And it got me thinking…

It’s good to have people in your life who care about you and will offer constructive criticism because they want you to succeed. But some people just like to throw eggs at you. And when they do, it’s good to be like Teflon and refuse to let them stick.

The key is to know who has your best interests in mind, and who doesn’t.

Why I make a big deal out of email marketing

With Facebook, and YouTube, and TikTok being all the rage these days, you might wonder why I continue to champion email marketing for anybody trying to use the internet to market their business or message.

Not long ago I wrote a post over at Springridge Business Services that gives three of the big reasons.

Go have a look by clicking here.

Before you go belly up

Thanks to the aftermath of the COVID-19 measures, I suppose this was inevitable…

You can’t shut down the economy as long as most of the country did and think all the businesses could weather the storm and survive.

Sooner or later many owners will face the cold hard reality of needing to close their brick-and-mortar businesses for good.

As I’ve previously noted in my email newsletter, it’s happening in my neck of the woods. An affluent college town with affluent college town customers, and still a popular business is closing for good because traffic and sales fell off a cliff.

Maybe your business is in a similar position. Maybe it’s a matter of days or weeks before you have to close up shop…unless something changes dramatically.

If so, do yourself this one favor:

Before you let your business go belly up…

This enterprise you’ve poured your energy, sweat, tears, and maybe even blood into…

Make sure you’ve done what’s at your disposal to do. That you’ve tried the things you really can try.

Don’t be the football team that still has a chance–slim though it may be–yet refuses to use their timeouts, and lets the opponent bleed the game clock down to all zeroes.

If there’s still a chance you can pull this thing out, use what is at your disposal to use.

Obviously I’m not saying do something illegal or foolish.

But it breaks my heart to see folks losing their livelihoods because they willingly choose not to make the most of the options they had.

Like the business that has an email list, but never bothered to use it effectively…even while their business was gasping for its last breaths. I mean, come on…if your business is suffocating and you still aren’t playing to win with your email marketing…what are you waiting for?!

With a little creativity you can dig deep and think of things that might stir up an interest and a flurry of sales. Maybe even enough to stave off the wolves at the door and keep yourself and your business in the game.

I’ve lost a business before. I know sometimes it’s just too little too late.

But often businesses crumble under the weight of a crisis because they didn’t make better use of things they could have.

If you’re going to go down, go down swinging.

And if that swinging means trying to make email marketing work for you, schedule your free call and let’s talk. Soon. The clock is ticking, and you need to put some points on the board.

To better email,

John

When worry slows you down

“Worry” is the topic of the day today.

Not because I’m actually worried about something. Actually, I’ve been thinking about times worry slowed me down, stopped me in my tracks, or prompted me to make poor decisions.

Looking back over it all, there are so many things I let worry destroy or delay.

Some were things I stopped doing, or didn’t start because of one worry or another…

Others were things I eventually did, but could have done so much sooner if not for anxiety.

And so, when I realized earlier today that I’d made some decisions this year that were driven by anxiety more than intelligence, suffice it to say I was NOT happy.

But look, enough about me. Worry is a battle we all fight, and if you’re in business you’ve likely got worry holding you back in at least one area of your business. Maybe more. And your marketing might just be one of those places.

I’d like to offer you a complimentary chat so we can dive into what you’re worrying about, how it might be holding you back, and what can be done to help you move through it.

Schedule your time today by clicking here.

Distractions

Earlier today I sat down to watch college football.

At one point I had to remind myself to stop trying to watch while also doing something else. I’d deliberately worked hard through the week so I could have the free time today to just sit and watch my team play.

And yet, here I was trying to multitask.

I challenged myself to set it aside, and stay focused only on the game in front of me.

It was dumbfounding how hard this was.

Every few moments a new thought or question would pop into my mind and beg me to pick up my phone or laptop and look for the answer.

What makes this even more interesting is, I thought I had above-average ability to concentrate. This little exercise proved I have a lot of work to do.

Here’s my bigger point as it relates to your marketing strategy: people are easily distracted. Even ones who think they aren’t. Be aware of this when you communicate. If your message isn’t focused, you can be certain their attention won’t be either.

Settling the Debate

I don’t watch presidential debates anymore.

But back when I did, I noticed something:

Nobody ever wins.

One side says their candidate won. The other side says their candidate won. When they poll “independent” or “undecided” voters it tends to be a divided room.

​The debates don’t seem to ever settle anything.

When it comes to marketing, though, there is a way to know a winner from a loser.

Step 1: Put your message in front of your desired audience.
Step 2: See if they respond the way you want them to.

If they do, you’ve got a winner!

If they don’t, you’ve got a loser.

It might be a loser that can be modified and “win” the next time you run it. But until that happens, it’s a loser. No matter how much you liked it, or how cute or clever or funny your friends thought it was.

No need for fancy focus groups.

Shouting over somebody else becomes unnecessary.

No insults required.

When you avoid the first sin of email marketing and actually mail to your list consistently you avoid wasting time in pointless debates. No sitting around debating whether to send an email or not. No wasting days and weeks painstakingly looking over every word to make sure it’s “perfect” (glorified procrastination).

You just send the thing and see what happens.

And if you don’t hit a home run that time, you try again tomorrow.

If you’d like some help writing your emails, book a free 30-minute Email Consultation with me while you still can.

To better emails,

John Allan

What baseball taught me about email marketing

Last night my beloved Tampa Bay Rays locked up a playoff spot for the second season in a row.

While I celebrate this step in the right direction, I thought it would be a great day to share some email marketing lessons I’ve learned from baseball.

Let’s get to it…

Show up: The Major League Baseball (MLB) season is long. Players and coaches get tired. Stuff happens. But step one of staying in the game is showing up and putting a team on the field each time. Consistency…showing up when it’s time to play day after day…is huge for your email marketing efforts. The fact that you keep showing up can help set you apart from your competitors.

You won’t win them all: I know this sounds discouraging, but it’s meant to be encouraging. Not every email you send will be a “winner.” Knowing that going in can help you avoid the perfectionist mindset. Show up. Play the game. Obviously you want to win everyday, but relieve yourself of feeling like you MUST win every day. You don’t, because…

There’s another game tomorrow: During the season baseball teams are always on the move. They play nearly every day of the week. And part of what can ease the sting of losing is knowing they’ll be back on the field very soon to try again. Your email today didn’t “pull” the way you hoped it would? Great news! You’ll get to send another email and try again soon.

Experiment: During the season managers test different lineups and strategies. They tinker and test to see if they can find something that works to give them an edge. When you use email marketing consistently (not randomly showing up every once in awhile, and mailing more frequently than once a week) you can put on your manager cap and do your own testing.

I wonder if part of why “America’s favorite pastime” is baseball is because there are so many life lessons the game teaches. Whether it is or not, they can certainly help you in email.

Something else that can help…a complimentary Email Consultation with me. I’ll look through your previous and current email efforts to see what’s working and what might need help. You’ll get a handy written analysis you can refer back to as often as you like to make improvements.

But I can only do so many of these complimentary consultations each month, so if you want to be sure to get yours locked in, click here for my online calendar and book an available time that works for you.

To better email,

John Allan

P.S.: Another lesson I learned from baseball is some games go into extra innings. And some emails can benefit from a well-written P.S. to reinforce something, or add an enticing detail.

If email were as easy as my last fishing trip

Last night I had a strange dream.

I was out fishing. Something I haven’t done in real life for at least two years.

I had some sort of black rubber worm on my hook. Terrible choice of bait.

And after a lazy cast and briefly getting snagged I reeled in to find my bait was gone.

I hadn’t planned well for this fishing trip, because I didn’t have a tackle box anywhere in site. Lucky to still have my hook, I started walking toward who-knows-where. Dream John must have known there was more bait that way.

That’s when it happened…

I looked down the creek bank and saw a spot crawling with fish. Dozens and dozens. Too many to count.

And there was something about the way they were swimming that made me think they might be crazy enough to bite anything that hit the water.

Even a bare fishing hook.

On a whim I tossed my hook in, and the scrambling began. The fight was on to see which fish could get to the hook first.

It would be nice if fishing ever really worked that way. But it doesn’t. The fish you want to catch don’t fight over the privilege of biting an empty hook.

You’ve got to give them something worth nibbling on!

And yet, there are online business owners who think they can use email to catch all the “fish” they want without offering them any good bait.

They seem to believe just throwing something–anything–into the water will do the trick.

In the language of my free report The Seven Deadly Sins of Email Marketing this fallacy falls under the category of Lust

It’s the (mistaken) idea that your email list loves you and wants you so badly they’ll do anything for you, without you even asking. No need to bait the hook, we’ll bite anyway! Don’t ask me if I want to buy something, I’ll just hand you my wallet because I really, really want you to have my money.

A random email to your list with no motivation to buy, and no invitation to take the next step will not magically land you a boatload of sales.

If you think you’ve been throwing bare hooks (or the wrong bait) to your email list, now’s the time to book a free Email Consultation with me. We can look at your current and recent campaigns to see if you’re committing any of the Seven Deadly Sins of Email Marketing.

Once we’ve had a look, I’ll send you a complimentary summary of what you’re doing right and what can be improved.

Yes, it really is free. There’s no cost of financial obligation for this. The closest thing to a catch is that I can only do so many of these each month. If you want to be first in line, check my calendar and choose an available time.

To better emails,

John Allan

The 180 Headline

Earl Nightingale is credited with saying if you look at what the majority of people are doing and do the opposite you’ll probably never go wrong.

Yes, there are obvious exceptions to this rule (eating, breathing, etc.)…

But it applies more often than you might think.

It’s what caused a recent Labor Day headline I saw to grab my attention.

It’s Labor Day weekend and it feels like every business that has my email address is sending me emails.

And the subjects are all the same:

“Save 20 percent on our Labor Day sale”

“Get 15 percent off during our Labor Day sale”

“Labor Day sale starts now”

You get the idea. The wording is slightly different, but the message is the same. And all these messages just keep coming and they’re piling up in my inbox.

But then I got an email from Dugout Mugs. And their subject line said “Not another Labor day sale.”

I wasn’t clicking on the other links, but this one had my attention. I had to click this one and see what was going on.

Why is it so great? Because I’d been getting all these messages about all these sales, and then this one comes along and says “Not another Labor day sale.” It’s a 180 degree turn from what everybody else was doing, so it stood out automatically.

It’s also good because it can work more than one way. You might think (like I did) “Good. This isn’t the same lame email everybody else has already sent me.”

Or it could mean “Our Labor Day sale is different.”

Either way it grabs attention, stands out from the noise in my inbox, and doesn’t let me know what they mean until I open the email and find out.

Key takeaway: In an inbox where everything looks the same, it’s OK to be different (and say so). A deliberate 180 Email might be just what you need to get noticed.

To better email,

John