You’ve heard it before – if you want to succeed online you must build a list.
Everybody seems to be saying it. Ever wonder why?
Because it’s true!
When you build a list of your own, you can …
- Help more people than ever. And if you do that, it WILL come back to you many times.
- Develop deep and lasting relationships that will sustain you for years to come.
- Advertise anything you want anytime you want as often as you want … all FREE!
- Participate in joint ventures that will help you build your list even faster!
I know these things are true because I have been doing just that for well over 16 years.
NOTE: This is not theory – in 2006 I made a full time living with a mailing list of only 8,000 people.
If I can do it, I believe you can do it too!
The most powerful weapon in any marketing arsenal than a well-developed mailing list.
If you don’t build a list, you will have to …
- Continually buy advertising to reach new audiences.
- Hope and pray that your sales letters convert because people won’t be on your list.
- Pay others who have a list to promote for you when you need a traffic boost.
- Experience higher costs for customer acquisition than other marketers.
- Experience lower lifetime customer value than other businesses.
If you want a real freedom the best way is to build a list of your own.
So let’s start building yours today!
But what if you don’t have a list yet?
First things first – your mindset needs to be this …
Everyone who has a list now was in your shoes at one point.
We all started with zero subscribers and had to build a list of our own.
The good news here is that it’s not as hard as you think if you are willing to use the “slow and steady” approach instead of they hyped up “go from 0 to 100,000 in 30 days” approach.
One word about “slow and steady”.
While I am not advocating taking any longer than needed to build a list I am saying that putting time on your side matters … a lot.
Think about how long you have been trying to make money online.
Now think about this – what if you had added only 200 people a week to your list every week of that time?
How many people would be on your list today?
Assuming 200 new subscribers a week (which is very realistic) this statement is true …
If you have been trying to make money online for ONE year, and you had focused on building a list from day one, you would have a list of 10,000 people right now.
There are many ways to begin building a list – too many to cover here. So today let’s look at four ways that really work.
All are free to do.
Full disclosure: I used each of these when starting to build a list and still use each one of them today. They work!
1 – YOUR EMAIL SIGNATURE LINE
Go to your “sent email” folder right now and just scan the email you sent in the last month. If you are like most of us its hundreds of emails. Maybe thousands.
But does your email does include an offer for someone to join your mailing list?
Here’s why …
If you send only 20 emails a day (including replies) then you are sending over seven thousand emails a year!
What if only 1 in 7 people saw your link and joined your list?
That’s over 1000 subscribers to your list … free!
You may be thinking that many of the emails you send are to friends and family. Or that you send many emails to the same person. I thought that too.
But one thing to consider is this – if you add an offer to join your list to your signature those who are interested will take it up and those who are not will ignore it.
This is perfect because people are self-selecting, which is the essence of permission-based marketing.
You will find, as I did, that people will occasionally forward your email as well. When that happens an entirely new audience gets to see your list building offer. It’s a win-win.
And it costs nothing!
2 – FORUMS AND BLOGS
Ever visit a forum and ask a question? How about making comments on blogs you follow and love?
Many people have done one or both but don’t leverage the experience in their favor. The truth is, this is a great way to build a list with no extra effort.
Just about every forum out there offers a signature line feature, yet we see thousands of posts with no signature.
Almost all blogs encourage you to enter a URL when you comment but many comments contain no URL at all when they could easily include the URL of your squeeze page.
Don’t make this mistake!
If you post on your favorite forum, make sure to include a link where people can join your list.
The same thing goes for commenting on your favorite blog.
Again, free and very effective. Put time on your side with this one!
3 – SOCIAL MEDIA
When it comes to social media, you do not need to become a bleary-eyed obsessed poster.
All you need is to focus on the big three – Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and have some presence there every day you work.
So let’s talk about Twitter – is Twitter your friend or foe?
Great marketing tool or total time waster?
Great marketing tool!
Here’s how you can use Twitter today to build a list with no money.
Start following people you know of and replying to their Tweets.
Make sure your reply makes sense and won’t waste people’s time.
Fan Tweets – replying to a Tweet with something like “loved your book about ___” are 100% okay and often much appreciated.
Once you have been following for a while you will get followers too, and become a recognizable name in your circles.
When that happens, send a short Tweet about your new mailing list and where people can join it.
The key here is to create curiosity which creates the click and that leads new visitors to your squeeze page.
And it can all be automated!
Of course, you can use other social media to build a list as well. Other articles will cover those methods.
But I find that Twitter is the easiest way to start for someone just starting to build a list, hence the specific suggestion here.
4 – YOUR BLOG
If you don’t have a website you might be thinking “sounds good Charlie but where do I send them to sign up?”
The best answer is your blog.
If you don’t have a blog there is simply no reason to wait any longer.
The advantage of having a blog is that you can use it as a landing page only OR publish a full-on blog and build your audience even faster.
Options are a beautiful thing!
You can have an almost limitless number of blogs in various niches if you are a niche marketer.
You can create virtually any number of squeeze pages too.
All for no extra cost!
If you can type, you can blog. And you should. Once you get a blog just put a form on it for your list and you are good to go!
So there you have it, four ways to build a list of your own with no money and no traffic!
- Your email signature line.
- Forums and blogs.
- Social media.
- Your own blog.
Begin using these methods today and you will put time on your side. Sooner than you think, you will build a list of your own.
Once you build a list of your own the possibilities become endless. You can take polls to uncover needs, offer recommendations, pre-sell products you create and more. All free!
These reasons and more are why I have always said that having a powerful mailing list is a beautiful thing indeed!