The first 10 people in your audience

When you have an email list and a website – you own your own platform.

No one can change the rules on you.

For example, if I don’t like my email service provider (ConvertKit, which I love), I could download all my subscribers and go to a new provider.

Remember, when starting a email list to sell your art online – everyone starts at zero.

So how do you get past zero?

Early on when you’re growing your list, it can be hard to know who your target audience is and where to find them.

Most artists will just start posting links on their social media accounts directing people back to their website. Or start writing blog post after blog post. With no measurable intention in mind.

But it feels funny to write a blog post about your art to an audience of zero.

Which is why you should start by writing to an audience of 10.

10 people who you know personally.

When I started out I was drawing animals in my sketchbook everyday.

So I would think through my friends and list out 10 names of people who would enjoy seeing my best drawings once a week.

Don’t stop until you have ten actual names listed out.

Next, email each of them personally or talk to them in person and tell them:

“Hi, I’m starting a newsletter for my art, sharing my best sketchbook drawings every week. I’d love for you to be one of my first readers. Interested?”

If you do this right you’ll finish the exercise with 10 new art newsletter subscribers.

This is where you momentum begins.

Your next weekly newsletters will be meaningful because you can put faces to the people on your list.

You’re newsletter will come up in conversations.

Most importantly, your newsletter will grow. At the bottom of you newsletter, you can include simple share buttons alongside an “ask” for a share.

TIP: At the bottom of your newsletter have links for sharing your dedicated signup page for your newsletter. This will make it easy for your first subscribers to use their reach to help you grow your subscribers. I recommend using this share link generator to create these social media share links.

If you still have zero people on your mailing list, it’s time to break the ice and reach out to 10 people.