Without a List, You Are a Shop Without a Door
Building a list of subscribers is crucial right from the moment you start your business. Why? Because those people who sign up to join your list (who subscribe) are the people who will become your customers. You must treat them well, of course. (The signing-up process gives you permission to send them emails.)
It is true – without a list, you are a shop without a door.
So, right from the start, your primary aim must be to collect the email addresses of people who realistically, may want to do business with you.
The process of finding potential customers (traffic) and collecting addresses is known as lead generation. Here’s how it goes. You find a suitable source of traffic, you place your offer (free or paid) in front of them and you hope that they will want your offer badly enough to give you their email address in exchange.
Seems simple, doesn’t it? I guess in essence it is, but this simplicity is deceptive and they do say that the devil is in the detail.
Before taking the plunge, consider these points – not necessarily in this order:
• Are you looking for paid or free leads?
• What is your target market?
• What offer are you making?
• What advertising platform will you use?
You will need the answers to all these questions so that you can develop a plan of action.
There is a lot of discussion about the benefits, or otherwise, of paid or free leads.
In brief, you pay for leads through advertising on a variety of platforms or by purchasing ‘clicks’ from a solo ad seller.
One source of ‘Free’ leads is organic traffic generated by the ranking of your blog/website on the Google or Bing search engines. Facebook is also a huge resource for free leads as are other social media platforms. There you can make connections by publishing your own blog posts, for instance, collecting followers as you go.
Whichever way you turn, though, you will pay – either in money or in time. There is NO truly free option.
In practical terms, what’s the difference?
Those who believe in paying with time rather than dollars believe that the leads they collect are more responsive, have more trust and are easier to form a relationship with.
I know 6-figure earners who have developed a list of thousands, totally without monetary cost, working on Facebook. They spent hours every day making connections and building solid relationships and trust with their Facebook friends. You could do this too if you felt it was your forte.
On the other hand, if you have the resources and view money spent on buying traffic as an investment in your business, the rewards can be great. If you purchase high quality traffic, you have an excellent chance of collecting responsive leads, customers who will buy from you and will remain loyal to you.. And of course you have the benefit of speed.
Having said that, we do need to admit that there are many of us who have lost thousands of dollars through buying traffic from the wrong people. These are scammers who provide tired, worked-over lists of innocent individuals who would not be interested in purchasing a bottle of water if they were dying of thirst.
What is a ‘target market’?
Your target market is your ‘prospective buyer’, people that you want to reach with your advertising. Researching your target market is the most important part of your job and if you do not do it properly, you will find it very difficult to have any real success. You need to angle your advertising copy, your lead magnet and your product towards this target with such precision that faced with your offer they cannot refuse. You do this by creating an AVATAR, a fictional persona that will represent your market for a particular offer. More about avatars later.
Your offer must resonate with your target market and fulfil a need, real or perceived, that they already have.
No good trying to sell 200 mph motorbikes to old chaps in their eighties! True or False?
So – your offer.
This is usually free, and should offer real value to your prospective customer. It could take the form of a report, a video or a pod-cast, a short coaching session, or a webinar. It should be interesting enough to persuade a stranger that, to get their hands on it, it is worthwhile giving you their email address. And of course, because you have done your research, you know that the person you are serving your ad to is already interested.
This excellent book is free and you can download it by going HERE. Just click through and then click on the image you will find there.
What advertising platform will you use?
Depends, of course, if you are paying or not. If you are happy to spend money you can advertise in all sorts of places. We have already mentioned getting organic ‘free’ traffic from the Bing and Google search engines. Well, you can use Bing and Google for paid advertising too. You may make use of Ad exchanges, or mobile phone advertising agencies (cheap). Ultimately, you may decide to (carefully) choose a solo ad provider who you have had recommended, and you can always use Facebook, which is the great source of ‘free’ traffic, as a platform for paid advertising. Their Lead Ads are worth checking out.
This is just a broad view of a few of the aspects you need to consider when starting to build your list. The most important point I would make is that whatever you decide to do, JUST DO IT!
It is never too soon to start this vital part of your business.
Note 1: A note for those of you are very new. The word SUBSCRIBER does not mean a fee is required. A ‘subscriber’ on the internet is usually someone who has signed up to join your list, thus giving you permission to send them emails.