Writing and Sending My First Newsletter

Friday 15th May 2020 was a momentous day for Le Cheval Fou. The very first edition of La Poste was sent out to a handful of loyal subscribers; it was a nerve racking experience!

At the beginning of the year I paid for a year long membership to Indie Roller. Indie Roller is an online community and mentorship organised and driven by the very experienced and talented Leona. As part of this community I took part in a Digital Bootcamp, a series of sessions aimed at giving us small indie businesses a bit of guidance and assistance in marketing our businesses digitally. One of the key take aways from that course (and there were many) involved developing a mailing list and a newsletter! So I started to think about writing and sending my first newsletter to my mailing list…

Imposter Syndrome

In the run up to launch day (and afterwards if I’m being truthful) all I could think was:

  • What do I write?
  • Will anyone find it interesting?
  • Will anyone even open it? and mostly
  • What if they then unsubscribe!?

Imposter Syndrome kicked in and I tormented myself with these questions throughout the process, but I knew I needed to try and connect with my followers. It’s important that people realise that Le Cheval Fou is a small business run by me. Just me. Le Cheval Fou is not a big corporation churning out mass-produced tat but instead carefully and lovingly designs and creates unique and colourful artworks. For this business to succeed people need to understand not just what I do but WHY I do it.

So what to write about?

I like to refer to La Poste as a mini-e-zine, I specifically try and avoid using the word ‘newsletter’. Probably because of the gazillion boring newsletters I myself receive, I wanted to avoid using that term and mini-e-zine seemed to fit. I want my communications with my followers to be informative, interesting and engaging, and more magazine in format. So I decided to start at the beginning (a very good place to start*).

I began by introducing myself, my background and my reasons for starting Le Cheval Fou. I let people know about a Mercht t-shirt design challenge I had launched that day and what that design meant to me.

It turns out that campaign wasn’t a success, but I am able to look at it objectively and know exactly why; my heart wasn’t in it. While the design was inspired by my childhood, it was a challenge I thought I SHOULD do rather than something I really wanted to do. Right now, t-shirts aren’t my thing.

Finally I wanted to use my platform to promote other small indie businesses. At the end of every min-e-zine I introduce a couple of other businesses that I follow. The businesses I recommend are ones that I personally follow and have no hesitation in recommending to others. As a small independent business I want to spread the love and encourage other small businesses too. It costs me nothing to do so, so why not.

The verdict?

Ultimately, my worrying was unfounded. All of my subscribers (bless them) opened and read the email and I had some lovely feedback from one or two. It was a weight off my shoulders to finally send it out and to know that it was well-received. Since that first edition I have gained a few more subscribers, the butterflies have calmed down a little, and I’m less anxious about putting myself ‘out there’. I call that a success!

If you’re interested in reading that first mini-e-zine you can do so using the link below, and if you’re interested in reading future editions then make sure you sign up to La Poste!

Read Here: First Edition of La Poste

Signature of Maria Atton, Le Cheval Fou