Starting a Newsletter as a Consultant

by | May 24, 2024 | Consulting, Nonprofit Consulting


“You should start a newsletter for your consulting business.”

As a nonprofit consultant, you’ve probably heard this advice more times than you can count. If you’re considering how to market your upcoming or existing business, you might be tossing around the pros and cons as well. Newsletters can help you attract more clients, convert more clients, stay connected with clients long-term, and build an online community. I personally LOVE my online community of nonprofits AND nonprofit consultants.

But launching a successful newsletter is a bit more complicated than simply writing an email and hitting send. Let’s look at the top three considerations for your consultant newsletter.


1) Start by understanding your consultant newsletter goals

As nonprofit consultants, when we meet with clients, the first thing we often ask is:

What do you want to achieve?

Yet many of us forget to ask ourselves this same question when starting a newsletter! There are plenty of reasons to start a consulting newsletter—and each one will affect nearly every aspect of your approach. Common reasons include:

  • Sharing resources with clients and prospects so they keep you in mind when looking for services.
  • Starting or growing passive income streams.
  • Cultivating clients who aren’t ready to invest in working with you yet.
  • Establishing yourself as an expert in a specific area (potentially a new area).
  • Building an online community.

One reason you shouldn’t start a newsletter? Simply because you’ve heard you should.

The very first thing your goal will affect is where and how you build out your newsletter.


2) Choose your newsletter platform: LinkedIn vs email vs blog

The available platforms for starting a consulting newsletter today are almost overwhelming. But you can group them into a few key buckets, each with pros and cons.


Email marketing platforms

The biggest pro of an email marketing platform (such as MailchimpHubSpot, or Active Campaign) is that you own your email list. Once you start getting thousands of subscribers, your email list becomes an incredibly valuable asset. Your subscribers are proactively interested in you and the services and expertise that you offer.

If you’re looking to build passive income or cultivate many potential clients simultaneously, an email marketing platform where you own your list is your best option.

The biggest hurdle in starting with an email marketing platform is that you must focus on building your list. 

List building requires putting yourself out there often and consistently. For example, speaking at conferences, hosting webinars, offering lead magnets on your website, or growing a following on social media platforms (and getting people to convert by opting into your list). You will also need a website or landing page where people can sign up for your newsletter.


LinkedIn newsletters for consultants

LinkedIn newsletters can be a great option if you don’t have a website yet (or hate the one you have), are looking to start building your profile as an expert (especially in a new area), or are not planning for passive revenue strategies to be a big part of your business in the near future.

The benefits of a LinkedIn newsletter are many. You don’t have to create a website. LinkedIn automatically invites all of your followers to sign up for your newsletter. It also automatically adds a “subscribe” button to your profile and emails all subscribers whenever you post a new newsletter.

There are two major downsides to a LinkedIn newsletter, though. First, you won’t own your email list (though you may be able to find some tools that promise to help you export it). Second, you will be creating great content and driving search traffic to LinkedIn—instead of to your website.

If you are interested in learning more about LinkedIn as a platform, how to improve or start a great profile, etc., you can connect directly with my colleague, Rachel Simon. We recommend taking her quick LinkedIn Scorecard assessment. This will give you a good idea of how your current strategy is working and where improvements can be made.


Blog on your website

If you have a website and want people to see it, blogging remains a powerful tool. Today, the best way to get search traffic is to put fantastic written content on your website that shows off your expertise (and uses a bit of SEO strategy).

However, the great thing about doing a newsletter while growing your website, is that you can use the same content for multiple purposes. Every blog you write can also become a newsletter feature and content to share on social media. (That’s what we do here at Funding For Good.)


Hybrid options for consulting newsletter platforms

Nothing says you can’t choose multiple options and combine them. For example, you can write a blog post for your website and include it in your newsletter (either on your email marketing platform or LinkedIn). You could even start a newsletter on LinkedIn, see if you enjoy writing it enough to continue, and later transition to having your own blog and email list.

One SEO tip, though: If you have a LinkedIn newsletter, you should not also publish the exact same content word-for-word on your website. Instead, you should preview part of your blog in your LinkedIn newsletter and send people back to your website to read the full article.


3) Plan for keeping up with consulting newsletter content

One of the most common newsletter questions I hear from consultants is: How often should I send my newsletter?

Again, the answer depends on your goals. A quarterly or even monthly newsletter isn’t going to do much to convert prospects into clients. But if you’re exploring a new area of work and slowly building up your expertise, then a monthly newsletter could do the trick.

If you want to turn your list into a revenue-generating tool, you’ll want to send emails at least once per week. But be sure that you are including useful content that your audience is hungry for, as well as info on your offerings.

Regardless of the schedule you choose, consistency is key. If you are doing a weekly consulting newsletter, then you better have enough ideas to send content out every single week.

If you don’t like feeling pressured to produce each week, consider writing—and scheduling—your newsletters in advance. With email marketing platforms, you can set up a whole month’s worth of emails in only a couple of hours!

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