How to Build Your Email List


I’ve learned from experience that the best way to build an email list of my ideal prospects is to offer a “free report” on my homepage in exchange for their email address.

What? You don’t know what your report should be about?

Just listen to the questions you are asked.

That’s how I came up with the idea for my free report, 5 Tips for Partnering with a Web Designer (download that here). It was sparked by questions my ideal clients asked me all the time. They said things like:

  • Jill, I’m a print designer who wants to do web—how can we work together?
  • Jill, I’m a designer who needs help coding for the web—can you help?
  • Jill, I need someone who can design and code to partner with me on client projects…

If you have ideal clients, their questions are uber-important.

You can see more email-list-building freebies offered by other creative professionals:

12 Sparks to Write Sizzling, Audience-Attracting Website Words

by Deidre Rienzo of


Here’s a short excerpt from this download:

Don’t judge! Just write. This is probably one of the biggest hurdles. Just say what you have to say without thinking about it. Turn on your engine, and vroom vroom, go for it! You’ll get a great base for your content—and even though it might not be perfect—it will have more goodness than you know.

Tip: Set your timer for 30 minutes. Vow to simply write until you hear the buzzer. No judging. No re-reading. Just let it flow from your head onto the page (or screen).

The Writer/Designer Dream Team

Tom Tumbusch of offers a free ebook called, “The Writer/Designer Dream Team.”

writer-designerFrom the download:

A good writer will save you time — and maybe your sanity too
Most designers don’t consider writing to be their strong point. Even those who don’t stress about it tend to be more passionate about the design side of their business. Bringing a writer into a project allows you to focus on the design work you know and love best. Someone who works with words full time will also be more efficient at getting the job done, whether they’re creating a completely new message or polishing material provided by a client.

9 Ways to Get the Most out of LinkedIn

Tiffany Estes of offers “9 Ways to Get the Most out of LinkedIn.”

whole-brain-creativeHere’s a short excerpt from the download:

Be professional: Many people think of LinkedIn as “Facebook for professionals.” That’s a fair approximation, but there are significant cultural differences between LinkedIn and other social media sites. The rule is simple: keep it professional. That means no spamming, no trivial BS, no abusive language, and don’t post anything that doesn’t bring value to the community. You’ll also want to keep your contributions consistent with the positioning you use elsewhere, usually with a tone that’s less casual than Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

Design Tips for Reaching & Retaining Donors — Without Breaking the Bank

Laura Wertkin of Laura Beth Studio offers “Design Tips for Reaching & Retaining Donors — Without Breaking the Bank.”


Cheating Death by PowerPoint

Laura Foley of Laura M Foley Design offers a free ebook called, “Cheating Death by PowerPoint.”

Case Study + QuickTips

And Ilise Benun, partner for the Creative Business program and founder of, offers a case study plus her Quick Tips. Download that here.

Free report topics aren’t the only great things that come from knowing your ideal clients. My website today is cleaner and more targeted because I know my audience. Want to see my super-old website and its evolution to today? Watch the video here.

T6894The Graphic Designer’s Guide to Clients, 2nd Edition

By Ellen Shapiro

If you’re a graphic designer looking for real-life advice and long-term success, The Graphic Designer’s Guide to Clients by acclaimed designer Ellen Shapiro is the book for you. Not only does she reveal the secrets behind getting the clients you want to recognize your name and brand, but she also discusses how to land those clients and create a positive and productive working relationship with them. Through one-on-one interviews with prominent designers like Milton Glaser, Mike Weymouth, April Greiman, Drew Hodges, Marc Gobé, and partners in Pentagram, you’ll also discover personal experiences and insights on how to uphold best practices while also fulfilling the needs of your clients. Whether you’re trying to attract your first clients, or want to bring some fresh faces into your established business, this volume is a must-have addition to your graphic design library. Get it here.