How to build a mailing list; how to approach guys in bars; how to banish your ‘you suck’ voices – Yes Yes Questions 3 review!

It was a nice mix of shy and very brave in our third Yes Yes Questions – my monthly Live Advice Column. People mostly asked their questions on the chat (with me reading them out), but they asked some goooood ones.

I answered these questions:
1. How would a couple of women approach dudes in a bar in a coldish city (like Toronto) without seeming too desperate, too intimidating, or too contrived?
2. How long did it take you to build your mailing list?
3. I’m trying to determine which story would best appeal to my audience?
4. I’ve been asked to help an HR VP craft a speech on the importance of diversity and inclusion. She wants Michelle Obama, and I suspect her team expects the typical yawn and PowerPoint. Any tips on using storytelling in a very corporate context?
5. Any advice for an introvert that needs to “seem” more social?
6. What is the perfect length for “my story“ in a newsletter?
7. How do I deal with imposter syndrome?
8. Any advice for newbies on telling stories on video?

You can hear the full recording here:

Before I present the questions, want to get some free advice of your own, and sit in live on the next Yes Yes Questions? For dates, details and the secret link to join, pop your details in below or Click HERE.

Here is a list of most of the questions, with a short form of the answer I gave on the recording.

Let’s mix up the order, and start with the juiciest:

1. How would a couple of women approach dudes in a bar in a coldish city (like Toronto) without seeming too desperate, too intimidating, or too contrived? She’s admittedly not that open with strangers, but is hoping to change that. I’m good with strangers, but the approach is always so difficult!

Short form of answer (SFOA): The trick here is to cultivate a situation where it’s less ‘hi, are we allowed to hang with you?’ and more ‘we are having fun and making mischief. You can join us if you like (and you’ll clearly be missing out if you don’t).’

And don’t just make this pretend. If you can get to the point where the two of you are having so much fun that, honestly, if you aren’t joined by whichever dudes have caught you’re eye, you still have a blast, then it’s win-win. Plus we all know that the ‘I don’t need you over here to have fun’ attitude is always very appealing.

Then I gave a PS on dating wisdom from my smart friend Paul, who (back when I was dating and would sometimes get disheartened) would remind me that, just like flat-hunting and job-hunting, dating when looking for a long-term sweetheart isn’t a balanced amount of yesses and no’s. It’s just all no’s, until it’s a yes. So don’t let the lack of symmetry in the two responses feel meaningful to you! Keep your chin up and hope alive!

2. How long did it take you to build your mailing list?  And, if you’re willing to share numbers: how many did you have at the beginning, how many now, and how long did it take:

SFOA: My mailing list started off with one acquaintance (who’s now a friend – bless you, Lara Wellman) and 15 friends who I (illegally and without their permission) added, saying, ‘Here’s how to find out what I’m up to every week, unsubscribe if you like’*.

Within a year, I had got it to about 200, then I had exponential growth in my second year, to about 1200. I got this through:

  • making silly videos with me in wigs that people shared
  • getting on a really high profile podcast (click here to find out how yesyesmarsha.com/altruism
  • being VERY helpful, active, nice and normal in a couple of big facebook groups I was in

Since then, I made an active decision, instead of concentrating on growing my list, to concentrate on making people on my list my friends, grow loyalty and keenness to be part of TEAM YES YES!

Which is working pretty well. I’m finally at the point where I don’t have to hustle much for clients. I get all my clients from consults (thanks to Kendrick Shope, who made me excellent at sales.

Clients tend to find me from:

  • my mailing list
  • word of mouth
  • workshops I run
  • podcasts I’m on

*Again, this is highly illegal and annoying, but I had known them all for enough decades that I trusted them not to shop me or sue me! Please please ONLY do this to people who would willingly be run over by a bus for you – adding someone who isn’t a blood relative to a mailing list without their consent is the quickest way to make them dislike you.

On the recording, I tell you how many on my list right now and how long it’s taken me to get to this point!)

3. I’m trying to determine which story would best appeal to my audience?

SFOA: Ask yourself, what do you want them to know or do as a result of reading my story?

Remember that, when you’re telling a story, you’re making a movie inside someone’s head. And you want that movie to be mostly action scenes – specific moments from your life.

The most important moment is one where you can show that you have been where your ideal client is now. That you can fully empathise with their pain, that you get them, and that you are for THEM and not other people.

Then the second most important is a scene of you in your life without that pain.

Thirdly, an optional add is one that comes somewhere in the middle. Either during or just after a pivotal moment that changed things, or somewhere in the upswing. But, honestly, this is wayyyyy less important than the two other kinds of scenes (even though we always think it’s the most exciting part!))

4. I’ve been asked to help an HR VP craft a speech on the importance of diversity and inclusion. She wants Michelle Obama, and I suspect her team expects the typical yawn and PowerPoint. Any tips on using storytelling in a very corporate context?

SFOA: Humans are humans, so a story will always be powerful. But a corporate audience will be a little less receptive initially. So make sure you:

  1. Signpost. Tell them what they’ll be learning after the story, so they trust this isn’t just going to be an hour of anecdotes.
  1. Keep it short. This isn’t the audience to tell the Director’s Cut of the story to.
  1. Make sure that, very early on, you create an Information Gap, so that they’ll be compelled to listen, even if their Corporate Brain was starting to think NO STATISTICS.

5. Any advice for an introvert that needs to “seem” more social?  I need to be more social to get clients, but it’s tough for an ol‘ introvert?

Yes. I have a LOT of advice on this, as it was the only thing I blogged about for years. Here: yesyesmarsha.com/tags/networking

Short form: introverts make amazing networkers because you make fewer, deeper relationships, and because you’re reaally good on email – where all the most important parts of networking happen

6. What is the perfect length for “my story“ in a newsletter? Is a welcoming Sequence the right place to go in-depth?

I asked her to expand. What do you want to gain from telling your story? She says:

So they know I am the right person for them – the way I tick, if it is a match.

SFOA: I repeated what I said about how you want 1 – 3 action scenes and what those should be (see question above).

And I said DO NOT go super long in a newsletter or welcoming sequence.

7. I am starting to do work in a field I know well.  For some reason, I’ve been thinking lately about all of the projects where perhaps I didn’t do a stellar job – even though there are plenty of opposite examples in my history.  It makes me crazy.  Any advice?  I’m not sure why I’m doing this to myself!

SFOAr: This is your ego. Your ego HATES change – even good change! So if it suspects that you might be successful at something, it starts panicking Stay the saaaaaaame!!!.  It does this also if it’s worried you might make a dick of yourself. If you do we will diiiiiiiiiiiiiie.

Here’s what I want you to do for the next week:

Whenever that shame voice comes up, just notice it.

I like to picture mine as a little fuzzy ball of a monster. So I look down to the floor and just notice it. Sometimes I talk to it, saying something like, “Wow, you are NOISY today!”

Just the act of noticing it does a good job of shrinking it.

Then, if you want to go next level, bring it in for an imaginary cuddle. Say, “I totally get how you’re trying to stop me from making a fool of myself. THANK YOU. But you know what? I’m ok.

8. Any advice for newbies on telling stories on video? 

Look at the camera as if it’s a lady’s eyes and you on the screen below is her very inviting cleavage. You can flick your gaze down from time to time, but mostly? Keep your eyes on the eyes.

That was FUN and we’re doing it all again soon. Want to get some free advice of your own, and sit in live on the next Yes Yes Questions? For dates, details and the secret link to join, pop your details in below or Click HERE.

Which of those pinged with you? Which bit of advice do you agree – or disagree! – with? Let me know in the comments below!

Thanks so much for reading! If any of the questions above made you think of someone who you KNOW needs to hear my answer, you can share this blog with them by clicking one of the round buttons below, or click HERE to share on Facebook.

You rule!
xx (Yes Yes) Marsha

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