Do You Know Enough About Your Topic?
Whether you’re just starting out or you’re an old pro, sometimes we all question ourselves and wonder if we’re “good enough” or if we know enough about our topic to be emailing our audience.
We let doubt creep in and ask ourselves, “who the crap am I to be sending that email?” or “What if these people have already heard this stuff a thousand times before?”
If this sounds familiar, here’s a three-question test that you can take in order to have the “Kate stamp of approval” to be 100% sure that you know enough to email your people or start an email list about your topic.
#1. Do you have experience in this area?
You need to have at least some experience when it comes to the topic you’re emailing your people about. Straight up. You cannot all of a sudden become a Facebook ads guru because you watched a YouTube video, listened to a podcast episode or two, or read some blog posts about it. If you’ve never run a Facebook ad for yourself or for clients, you shouldn’t be teaching anyone else about it. You do NOT know enough about it to be looked at as an authority on the subject.
Bottom line is if you are just regurgitating stuff that you’ve heard or read without any personal experience, shut your face hole.
The only exception to this rule is when you position yourself as a “reporter”. Meaning you are upfront with your email list that you are in the learning process where you share your journey along with your wins, your losses and let your people see your growing pains (as embarrassing as they may be). When you approach a topic from that angle, you don’t have to know enough about it to be considered an expert, you only need to be one step ahead of your audience.
A hidden perk of acting as the “reporter” is that when you are honest about your fails and you’re transparent about the troubleshooting process, suddenly you not only have interesting content but you also have authority because you took action. And that brings us to …
#2: Are you honestly sharing your journey?
This comes up a lot for people. We feel like if we are going to be “experts” then we have to be perfect. In reality, people will be more drawn to you when you share your ups AND your downs.
If you’re someone who talks about parenting stuff, you may feel like “Who am I to talk about parenting when I still yell at my kids?” chances are, people who need parenting advice also slip up and yell at their kids once in a while. Shocker, I know.
By sharing your own shortcomings, you’re going to endear yourself to your people.
Suddenly you’re real. You’re relatable. You get them and they get you. This isn’t about not knowing enough about your topic, it’s about being transparent about the growth process.
In the blogging world, it’s famous for newbie bloggers to blog about blogging. Here they are, just starting their blog and their second blog post is “How to Start a Profitable Blog”. Please. If your blog has zero traffic, how can you honestly blog about having a profitable blog? What you CAN do is share how you are starting your blog. You can share a tutorial or a video on how to install WordPress and your plans for traffic and monetizing in the future. You can ethically share your journey.
You can be like “Hey guys, so I just started my blog and I wanted to share how it went because I was scared of blank, blank, and blank but I got through it by doing this, that and this other thing”. You wouldn’t email your list with “10 Ways to Skyrocket Your Traffic” but you could ethically write an email that said, “5 Things I’m Doing This Month to Increase My Traffic”.
Or if you are emailing your list about money manifestation, you might say “I have to be totally honest with you, I haven’t manifested six figures yet but I know 100% that it’s coming. What I’m doing right now in my manifestation practice is this and this. I’m consistently working on this and this and I’ll keep you posted..”
What matters is being transparent and honest.
It’s that transparency and honesty (plus the action) that keeps your list interested and opening your emails.
#3: Are you disproportionately passionate about your topic?
The third Kate test to be confident that you know enough to email people about your topic is to take an honest assessment of how interested you are in the topic.
Are you ridiculously fixated on your niche? Could you talk about it for hours on end without much encouragement? Are you borderline obsessed with it? Because, if so… if you are 100% all-in on your topic, that passion is going to come through with every word you write.
Almost like magic, your emails are irresistible to your people when you’re passionate about your subject – even if you’re not an “expert”. If your enthusiasm is in the right place and you’re doing the work yourself – even if you’re not perfect – people want to listen to what you have to say.
As long as you’re honest and transparent and you’re sharing your journey along with what you’ve learned along the way, you’re on the right track.
Here’s a secret: no one likes a know-it-all anyway.
For example, if your topic is gardening and this week’s email is all about growing Tulips, you share what you know AND you share what you’re struggling with. In your email, you can ask your readers to share their best tips on growing Tulips. And then share your reader tips in next week’s newsletter. Your readers who are talented Tulip growers are excited to share their tips (because people love to feel smart!) and you’ll make them feel good when you shout them out in your email. Win/win.
All of a sudden, you don’t have to worry about your audience knowing more than you do. It’s ok. I’m not saying that you need to put yourself down or be self-deprecating. I’m just saying that honesty and transparency goes a long way when it comes to earning the trust of your readers. And in the long-run, it’s the trust factor that determines whether or not your list will buy from you.
Ok… what if you’ve passed the Kate-test but you’re still hesitant because you feel like your list has already heard everything before?
First of all, even if someone has read the same exact tips or watched a Facebook live or listened to a million podcasts on the subject, they haven’t heard it from YOU yet.
Without you having to do anything else other than just be yourself, you’re going to put your own unique spin on things. So even if someone already knows that to start a blog they need to go to Siteground to get their hosting, install WordPress, choose a theme… the whole nine yards… maybe the way you explain it suddenly makes sense to them. Maybe your enthusiasm and transparency make you more relatable than the “expert” on YouTube who has the personality of a table leg. Or maybe you’ve got a unique framework or you change things up or you’ve found an easier way.
When you first learned about whatever it is that you’re emailing your people about, there were just as many people talking about it then. What made you learn from the person YOU learned from? Maybe your thing is e-commerce. Where did you learn it from? When you were first learning, were there multiple people talking about it? I’m going to step out on a limb and say yes. But there was something about that ONE person that made you pay attention.
The same thing is true for you and your voice.
You are going to naturally attract your people just by being yourself. And your people are going to prefer to learn from you than from anyone else. So don’t worry about it. If you find there are a bunch of other people teaching the same thing you are, that’s a good sign. It means that a lot of people are interested in the topic!
In closing, I just want to let you know that I practice what I preach.
I share with you guys everything I’m doing. I share what’s working and what’s not working. I let you know what I’m trying out – and then I let you know what didn’t work and why. And of course, I share what works too! Of course, I’m super-passionate about email marketing and I can (and do!) talk about it every chance I get. And … yes. There are TONS of people out there who also talk about email marketing. But here you are, reading my blog instead of someone else’s. Because you’re my people and I am passionate about helping you achieve your goals. And that’s what it’s all about.