Before you rage Tweet at me: this post is not to bash ConvertKit. I love it.
Earlier this year, I tried to move somewhere else but returned after less than three months. I adore it. It’s a fantastic platform. This post is about a single, newly released feature inside ConvertKit, the Creator Network, that I personally can’t use. If you want to see what happened when I tried to switch to something else in 2023, here’s my (rather long) post “This Is Their Onboarding, Not Yours. Make It Count.“
Do not take this as me hating on ConvertKit as a whole, that’s not what this post is about. In fact, here’s an afflink because I love it so much and everyone should try it!
If you’ve spent hours creating the perfect onboarding for your new subscribers (like me), you want to make the most of the hyper-specific onboarding you’ve created.
You might have slaved over it for weeks (like I did) to make sure that it’s 100% on brand, offers handy tips, makes sure that new subscribers know what they’re signing up for, gives context, explains who you write for (and who you don’t), introduced yourself and given all the details of what to expect.
I have created the kind of onboarding that I would want to have.
I have created a really intricate series of email triggers and websites that all piggyback off one another to create something that’s undoubtedly Esme! But more than that, all this has been created to let subscribers know that I care about them, that they’re seen, and that I appreciate them trusting me with their email addresses and permitting me to be in their inbox in this world of far too many emails.
My Personal Issues
I can’t sign up for a new feature that doesn’t allow me to:
- Use the process I’ve spent all that time perfecting,
- let potential subscribers know what they’ll get from me, when, how often, and all the juicy details, and
- let potential subscribers see how much I truly care about, value, and appreciate them.
Here are my problems:
- I have a single form to sign up for my newsletter. This form only exists on a single website. Everything after this form has been perfectly curated & linked for this onboarding.
- Because I only have one entry point, there’s only one automation for my welcome email sequence (1 email). This makes it super easy to maintain, and I know exactly what subscribers have already seen. If I have to create a separate welcome sequence/email for people who have signed up through a recommendation, that would be 1. more work for me, and 2. would have to be hyper-contextualized for essentially any eventuality to make sure that the email gave the same information as my onboarding websites (which they wouldn’t have seen).
- I have 3 (yes, three) separate websites that are part of my subscriber onboarding process. It’s super personalized to let people know what will happen at each step, and basically, this is onboarding turned up to 11! There are probably other people who have a similarly elaborate process, but I’ve never been through one!
- The only form you can use in your profile on the Creator Network can’t be edited. It only collects the email address, no other information (like the subscriber’s first name). Even though I don’t personalize my emails using my subscriber’s first name, I want the ability to do it should I choose to later on.
- The bio you add to your profile on the network isn’t very long. I’ve been suggested other creators in the Network when I’ve signed up to someone’s list, but there’s not much information that you can add to your profile for what your newsletter is about and who it’s aimed at. Meaning (eventually) I’ll end up paying for subscribers who aren’t my people, as there’s very little way for potential subscribers to decide whether they’ll gel with my newsletter (or me, for that matter). It’s hard to explain who you are and who you want to serve and make your audience feel seen and heard in that few characters.
The Creator Network is Great!
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that the Creator Network isn’t for you, if you want it, if you love it, crack on! You can find more information about it here.
The Creator Network is an awesome way for creators to share who they follow with their audience, so that everyone’s audience can subscribe to creators that they might not know about. It’s a fantastic system, and it make so much sense! It’s like seeing your friend’s friend list on social media and making connections, only this time, they can actually tell you who are the ones to follow without you having to guess.
I’m not saying I’ll never sign up for the Creator Network. I might get to a point where it makes sense for me to do it. But that point isn’t here for me yet. At the moment, I have a whopping 15 subscribers, no one is going to recommend my newsletter yet, so it’s not a massive deal for me anyway.
Obviously, I want to grow my newsletter.
I love chatting with everyone, and I have big plans for it (probably involving Tally!), but I want to know that everyone on my list is there because they want to be because they know me, they know I’m just like them, that I understand where they are, that I see them, and want me in their inbox.
The only way to do that is to make sure that my websites (that were specifically set up for this) and the information I provide are exactly what they need to be. And that my newsletters land well with them; they like getting my emails and reading them, replying, giving me feedback, and mentioning them on socials; something I’m sharing speaks to them and makes them feel seen.
I don’t think the Creator Network allows me to have that kind of relationship with people.
If you want to see exactly what websites and processes I’ve used and why I don’t want anyone not to experience this – click here to sign up for the Systems and Glitter newsletter, and see what my onboarding looks like!