I’ve been in the world of digital marketing for over twenty years. If you ask anyone who has successfully sold anything online, they’ll tell you, build your list. It’s the brick-and-mortar version of having customers walk into your store. But it can be like the old chicken and egg story, which comes first? The chicken or the egg?
How do you create a list if you don’t have a plan?
You’ve heard stories of how people have made money selling their course, program, coaching, or widget that may have inspired you to join in the process. If you’re like me, you say, well, if they can do it, so can I.
It all sounds so exciting you can simply jump online with your thing, and the pipeline of money will open up to you, like mana from heaven. The folks who sold you on how easy it is to sell online might have forgotten to tell you about their massive email list that generates thousands of dollars for them. No matter what you’re selling, you have to have a way to call out into the wild to let your people know what you’ve got.
You Have Three Choices
Of course, you can generate traffic from ads to your sales page. Ads are costly. And there is a place for ads in every business.
But the most effective traffic is from your email list, people who know you and have heard from you before. These are the people who you can contact at no additional cost to you.
The third method is you get traffic from other people’s lists. You partner with others to send your offers out to their list. This is affiliate marketing. You’ll likely pay them for every person who signs up for your ‘thing.’ This is a good tactic because the readers believe this is a form of endorsement. The email is being sent out on your behalf to your partner’s list.
No matter which tactic you choose, it pays to focus on building your database, i.e., email list. This is the building block for your future. To accomplish this is really very straightforward. You have probably participated in this if you’ve done any business online, so you’re familiar with the dynamics.
Let’s look at it step-by-step.
For Your Storefront
Even when you have a storefront, you can and should build your list to scale your business. For your storefront, start gathering email addresses from all of your customers who come through your doors. To get their contact information to offer them a gift in exchange for it. A gift or coupon that they will see as valuable.
For Your Online Business
First off, you have to know who it is that you are looking for. Unlike your storefront, where you physically see the people when you’re doing this online, it’s different. This is a sticking point for a vast number of entrepreneurs. This is where you begin with the end in mind. Close your eyes and pretend that you’ve sold your stuff and people are over-the-moon excited to hear from you. What do those people look like, what’s their big hairy problem? How do you help them?
Let’s Take Some Examples.
You’re a spirituality coach – you help people find their inner peace through stressful times.
You’re a music teacher – you help teach people how to play the piano
You’re a business coach – you help entrepreneurs build their business
You’re an accountant – you help entrepreneurs with their taxes
You’re a dentist – you help people get a healthy smile.
You’re a pizza shop – make quality pizzas
You’re a dry cleaner – clean clothing, bedding, bulky items
What Is the Gift You Can Give Them?
Each of us has the knowledge and skills to share with our potential customers. Consider what you give your audience that they would value.
As a spiritual coach – what is the number one practice they could use to decrease their stress level?
As a music teacher – you could share how to learn a cord, a short song, or hand exercises to increase finger flexibility.
As a business coach – a checklist for improving meeting attendance and participation.
As an accountant – a checklist of ways to save money throughout the year that are often overlooked.
The truth is, you know so much you end up with a mental block. What can you give away that is valuable? The answer is you know so much that you’ve forgotten you know it. Brainstorm this, write down all the things that people ask you about, then pick one.
The Next Steps
Now that you have a possible piece of valuable information to share in exchange for a person’s contact information, it’s time to format it attractively. Or not, depending on who you are giving it to, they may not care if it’s pretty because they are so interested in what you have to say.
If you’d like help strategizing on this, reach out to me. And the good news it doesn’t have to be one thing. Line up a couple of your most promising ideas to try them out. You never know what is going to be the best lead magnet. Yes, that’s the name of the piece of gold that you’re sharing, a lead magnet. A lead magnet is self-descriptive; it’s intended to attract leads or build your email list.
Building your email list is a vital part of your business. Your list is your link to growing and scaling your business now and in the future. You’ll have the necessary ingredients to launch a coaching program, course, program, or widget with your list. Stay in touch with the folks on your list; they are looking forward to hearing from you.
If you'd like to chat about your next project, reach out at Linda@shinyobjectmarketing.com. I will lay out your strategy and hand it over to your team to implement, or I’ll do it for you.
Linda James Bennett; day 47 of 365 writing an article every day and making you a shiny object in the world.