Hunter or a Farmer? Nurturing relationships for a WARM and RECEPTIVE email list, ready to say YES to your Offers.

by Louise Crooks

Many of us, get caught up in this whirlwind of building an email list – or I like to call it your inner-community – however, what often gets lost in the shuffle is the part where we nurture and get to know our peeps, and for them to get to know us!

nurture farming

Why is it important?  Well, once someone subscribes to your list, we don’t want them to just sit there until you’re ready to make an offer.  It just doesn’t work.

It reminds me of the feeling one might have when feeling taken for granted –  like when I was at university and living at home, and my mother would say ‘Louise, you’re using this place like a hotel!’ – in other words, ‘I’m feeling taken for granted’!    Or you know that feeling when someone in your life, only calls when they want something.

This is particularly important for those soul-opreneurs, who tend to be connectors and not nurturers.  I’m one of those.    The thrill of the chase, is where it’s at.  And when that’s done, when the quiet gentle work needs to be done, often that’s when we leave the room (so to speak)!    Now there is nothing wrong with you if that’s where your tendencies lie.  What it does speak to is where your strengths lie, and where your weaknesses show up.   You’re great at talking to people, visibility, and getting folks through the ‘front door’.   But the softly, softly, nurturing and relationship building isn’t necessarily your forte.   It’s not that you don’t care about that, not at all.  In fact you care deeply.  It’s that there is a comfort level on a spectrum between the two, that you sit at, and it’s good to be aware of it.

When I worked in recruitment, which is a very sales-driven industry,  we would talk about the consultants who were the hunters and who were the farmers.   And folks would naturally fall into one of those two camps.  Me naturally being a ‘hunter’.  It’s how I built up two very successful recruitment desks in that industry – from scratch!  I would be the one connecting with the new clients who would then give us jobs to fill.  In investment banking, it certainly wasn’t an easy task, especially with all the preferred suppliers in place, but I thought outside the box, and slipped through the ‘back door’, and had a lot of success doing it.

The ‘farmers’ would take care of the rest (job filling), and someone like myself had to be disciplined to make sure I was doing what was needed, in order to make sure the full cycle of the client relationship was taken care of.  Luckily, as a ‘hunter’, I was also an intuitive listener (hence now coach!), and relationship builder because of that ability, as well as being able to consider things from my client’s point of view, and do the ‘farming’ too.  If you weren’t a ‘hunter’, that was when it was very difficult to be successful in that field – because of course that’s where the ‘jobs’ came from.

Many coaches, healers and authors in transformational fields, fall into the ‘farmer’ camp, which is GREAT because it gives you permission to do what comes naturally – build relationships as well as fulfill your coaching services.   Of course it alerts us to the issue of not naturally being a ‘hunter’ which is the natural connector, marketing, visibility seeking soul-opreneur, but let’s put that aside for now.

So going to back to the ‘why’ of relationship building…  we want to create a relationship that engenders trust, confidence, interest, engagement – where we can be ourselves, entertain, deliver great content, and create a following. It’s when our audience gets to know us as people, as someone who cares about specific things, someone they can identify with, as well as seek to learn from.

So not only does our message carry across to bigger audience, but we have folks say YES to our programs and offerings when you do offer them.  More enrollment means more money, and means you’re actually making a difference in more people’s lives.   Just think of those moments when someone has said ‘no’ to your services, and your heart feels broken in that moment because you know that the work you could do with them, could really change their life.

Whether a ‘hunter’ or a ‘farmer’, we want to learn how to build and nurture those relationships with our subscribers.  If you’re a ‘farmer’ it may come more naturally to you – where you instinctively start doing things to create that strong and bonding connection – and that is great!   But often we need to know what steps to take to do this in a very intentional way.  After all, none of us were born with the actual steps in our back pocket!

Here are 4 tips to help you do nurture your community:

Here’s a tip for how much time you should spend on content vs offers in your emails:   

Focus on giving valuable content ie: articles, educational videos, FB posts, heartfelt emails without (sales) offers about 70% of the time.

And then the rest of the time – the other 30% – give yourself whole-hearted and aligned permission to share your precious offerings.

This has been a tough lesson for me. ?  It’s one where I have to apply myself.  It’s because I’m always in the connecting /creative mode.  Slowing down (in my head) is a very intentional act.     And the realization that just being GREAT at visibility, and lead generation isn’t enough. ?  There’s a whole load of stuff that happens behind the scenes.  It’s how my KeystoClarity for Success System was born!    And one of the softer, less tangible aspects is learning how to nurture and engage your audience.

Here’s another tip if you have a cold list, one that you haven’t communicated with for a while:

Just send them valuable content for a whole month, without making an offer.  If you give them a freebie – make it so it’s not an opt-in.   If it’s an article, don’t have a call-to-action (to do something with you) in it.   If it’s a newsletter, don’t sell anything in it – just give great value.   And then slowly start gearing up to the offer after that, again with engaging content first.

Here’s another nurturing tip:

Don’t flood your inner community (your email list) with too much information – delivering pure content once or twice a week is great.

And again gently share great information with your outer community too (that’s your social media platforms) – content driven posts 2 or 3 times a week is great. And come from a place of curiosity, asking questions that get folks to engage.

And my last tip is on having specific long term marketing strategies in place that nurture your list, that are consistent.

A couple of examples of those are:

  • Having a regular newsletter (old school is GOOD, this WORKS!)
  • Doing a regular community webinar or call (weekly or monthly)
  • Having a weekly inspiration video eg:  Magical Monday Motivations
  • Having a weekly tip email
  • Doing a weekly podcast /radio show

I’m sure you’re getting a clear idea now, of what you could be doing regularly to create content, and inspire and engage your audience – and be a very DILIGENT and effective FARMER.

And the exciting thing is that you’ll also get to see me put this into practice very intentionally this year.  After a year of chronic migraine, I’m back on it with a vengeance. ?

Watch out for my KeystoClarity Radio, kicking back into action, when I interview leaders and authors on specific topics to help you build successful soul-driven businesses.

And keep an eye out for info about my new monthly topical community calls too – I can’t wait to get started, so I can share great info with you, as well as answer your questions on those topics.  We’ll be talking all things ‘aligned marketing, visibility and mindset’.

And now you get to choose what you plan to do to nurture your audience.

What will those steps be?

If you’re starting to think of all the ways you could do this, for simplicity’s sake (and the sake of your sanity) choose 3.

I’d love to hear what they are.

And what do you identify with – are you a good Farmer or Hunter?  Which comes naturally?  And which do you need to lean into more?  Share your insights, thoughts and questions about nurturing your audience and being the BEST FARMER possible in the comments below.