When we talk about building a relationship with your clients and potential clients and so on, we often suggest starting and maintaining a newsletter as a regular means of communication.

But I know what stopped me from writing one for a very long time (well there was actually a list of things that stopped me). I'm going to share these with you and tell you how to get past them!

Who am I writing to? This is a common stopping point. If you are just getting started, you can't really be sure who you will be writing to can you? Well, that's only partially true. If you know who your target market is, you are halfway there (if you are targeting the real estate industry, you will not write about things that restaurant owners would be interested in). You need to determine who your ideal client is within that industry (i.e in real estate - is it the agents? legal? home buyers? or real estate VAs?). Once you know who you are going to speak to, it is much easier to determine the rest.

What would I write about? Content scares everyone. Sometimes I even have trouble thinking about a topic on a weekly basis, but when I'm not sure what to write about, I find a question that someone has asked me and that's where I start. I'm all for putting together an editorial calendar, but trying to come up with 52 ideas in one sitting can be pretty daunting. Try to make a list of 5 things you would write about and then get going with it. If you write articles with 5 tips in them, then break out each of those tips into its own article - a great cycle! If you run out of ideas, ask people in your networking circles what they want to hear about.

I don't have a list yet! If you don't have a list yet, you have to get started somewhere! The first thing you do is you set up a nice looking newsletter and then you send it to yourself. Then you forward it to everyone in your email contact list that you think might be interested in it. You tell them that you just started a newsletter and you would like them to subscribe to it or send it on to people that they think might be interested in it. You put invitations to sign up for your newsletter on your blog and your Facebook profile and your twitter profile and wherever else you are online, and you get people to start subscribing. The more you publicize it the more you will get people to sign up. When your list is new and starts to grow, it is very exciting to watch people sign up and take an interest in you. Once they have signed up, you owe it to them to stay in touch, so there is your motivation to keep going (even if it's just a few people - they have told you they want to hear from you!)

I can't decide on a design. Every email program that is out there now has templates to choose from. It's not necessary to have a webmaster build you something that is expensive. Use a free template and then edit as you see fit. Something will resonate with you - colours, layout, etc. - just go with it and then make changes when you find something new that you like. The key is to just get started (are you getting that yet?!?). If you have a header graphic already, then you can put that on any design template. If not, just use your colour scheme and a nice font! As you send out your newsletter each week, you will come up with ideas on how to change the design. Done is better than perfect to start!

I don't know which service to use. There are all kinds of free services out there as we have already discussed - sign up for several free trials and see what you think. You will find it easier than you thought it was. Put your newsletter together with several services and figure out which one is the best fit for you. You can always move your list after that fact if you find a service you like better, but starting with one that doesn't make you pull your hair out is the way to go. Simple is best!

I'm not a good writer. A good newsletter set up includes a personal note, an article or some tips and a recommends section. If you do not think you are a good writer yet, go with writing tips or providing resources ('hey I found this great website that teaches you how to do this really cool thing!'). The writing is not the important part; it's the communication part. You want to say something personal so people get to know you. You want to provide good content in whatever form that takes. You want to share tips and resources like recommendations because people have subscribed to your newsletter to see what you are recommending! You can even have guest articles written for you or submitted to you if you are really shy! Eventually you'll get comfortable with the writing part of it, and that's where you will share your expertise with people so they will work with you! (great incentive!)

So those are just a few of the stopping points that can keep you from starting that newsletter. There are many more, but I selected a few that really personally hit me every time I decided that I should start my newsletter. I pushed through them (and you can too!) and now I look forward to writing my newsletter each week, because I love to share my 'stuff' with all of you. And nothing is better than the comments you send me after I send it out each week! Thanks for the feedback and the inspiration!

Do you have a newsletter started yet? I'd love to see it if you do! Send me the link. And if you don't, email me anyway to see if I can help you push through your fears to get it going!

Author's Bio: 

Tracey D’Aviero is a successful Virtual Assistant as well as a VA coach and mentor. She helps new and aspiring Virtual Assistants build solid foundations for their businesses by teaching them how to put procedures and plans in place for success and growth. Pick up a copy of Tracey’s free ebook “3 Way To Get The Clients You Want!” at www.yourvamentor.com