Advice for enterprising speakers
E-zine Builds Relationships
With social media cre- ating such a buzz, you may think that e-zines are history. Not so. In fact, my newsletter, “Safety
Stuff,” complements my new marketing model and helps me connect with
clients and friends. As an added bonus,
my subscribers get me leads week after
week that turn into paying gigs. Here’s
how you can benefit from your existing
e-zine or by launching one:
SOLVE A PROBLEM or give something that
professionals can use, not just read
about. I have been publishing “Safety
Stuff” since 1999. It is designed to
help companies solve a long-standing problem: how to make safety fun.
Besides all kinds of tidbits and short
stories, every issue includes an idea
from a subscriber on how he or she
promotes safety and makes safety meetings fun. The idea winner gets a “Box
of Fun” and a bit of fame.
gig, you can share the experience with
readers in your e-zine.
(submitted by subscribers) to sites or
videos that are humorous, unusual
and powerful or that make safety fun.
There’s also a teaser section in each
issue that leads to my blog.
RUN CONTESTS. Get readers involved by
holding contests. The possibilities are
endless: song contests, puzzle contests,
poem contests and picture contents.
How about a tornado “trick” contest,
in which readers must determine which
tornado news item is false. Winners get
their names listed and a prize.
SURPRISE YOUR READERS. I created the “I
Scrolled to the End” Club to keep my
readers intrigued. To belong, they must
scroll to the end of the e-zine to find a
message, which is printed in a smaller
font than the rest of the e-zine text. It
may include a link to a free song that I
created in a studio, or a chance to win
a prize. Sometimes, I’ll simply include
a safety joke or a link to a humorous
picture. Hundreds of people scroll to
the end now. By starting your own
club, you can make your subscribers
It’s about them, not you. Before I
create each issue, I remind myself that I
am providing a service that professionals need and want. I’m not just trying
to promote myself. I have fun and it
shows. So, whether you are planning
your first issue or your 500th, create it
in a spirit of interactive playfulness.
BECOME FRIENDS. Encourage subscribers to submit their ideas. A good way to
become acquainted with your readers is
to let them know briefly—in one or two
paragraphs—what you’ve been doing
and where you’re going next. If something cool happens during a speaking
MAKE IT A SOCIAL-ZINE. Besides contests,
regular feedback and the “scrollers
club,” my e-zine contains sections that
are portals for interaction, “Check
This Out” includes one or more links
For more than 20 years peaker, author, songwriter and musician Richard Hawk has been proving you can make anything fun by helping
leaders around the world make safety fun.
Check out his e-zine at www.makesafetyfun.
com and click on the “Safety Stuff” link.