Thursday, November 15, 2012

List Building Strategies - Top 10 Tips

It has been said that the money is in your list, so I believe that if you want to run a successful business, it has to be part of your strategy. With this in mind, how can you implement the right list building strategies that will work for your business? Here are my top 10 tips.
1. Make the decision to have a list
Building a list is an essential part of running a service based business, such as coaching. Make the decision to not only create a list, but build a list that works effectively alongside the other marketing and business strategies in your business.
2. Choose the right email marketing provider
The most effective way of having a list is by signing up for an email marketing provider, such as Aweber, MailChimp, Infusionsoft, ConstantContact or 1ShoppingCart. This allows you to automate your systems, create autoresponder messages and much more. Make sure you start with the end in mind when choosing the email provider and that the functionality will support you as your business grows.
3. Focus on your ideal clients
When you set up in business it is easy to be a generalist, but this won't help you to grow your business. When you are known as a specialist in your area of expertise, it is easier to attract clients through referral and recommendation. In terms of your email list, people will feel like you are talking to them when they sign up on your website and be interested in your services.
4. Give people a reason to opt-in to your list
It is no longer enough to expect people to sign up to your newsletter. We get bombarded with information every day so it is essential to give people a reason to opt-in to your list and stay loyal. This is when knowing your ideal client is important as you can provide them with something that interests them, and maybe solves a problem that they have. A free report, top tips sheet, video series, audio recording or an interview are some good ideas to get you started.
5. Share useful information
As well as sending people your freebie (by autoresponder of course!), share useful information with your subscribers. Share your best content as this shows you in your greatest light. If you are wondering what to share, start with top tips, comment on recent news articles, link to notable events, and tell people what you are doing in your business.
6. Follow up regularly
One mistake I see people making is not following up regularly with their subscribers. OK, there is a fine line. You don't want to bombard people with too much information, but it is a mistake not to keep in touch too. Find the strategy that works for you, schedule it in your diary and then just do it. In the early days you may find that you have a few people on your list (and some may be your friends and family!), but in doing this you will get into the routine of keeping in touch. By the way, if you are not a writer and this all daunts you, choose something like a video message instead.
7. Tell people how you can help them
Ultimately people have signed up to your list because they want help with something in their life. They've seen your website or have met you live and they want you to help them to solve a problem or give them some inspiration. So it makes sense to tell people how you can help them, whether you are running group programmes or one to one sessions. Just note the fine line between marketing your services and sharing useful information.
8. Develop your tribe
Think about your list as a tribe who are interested in what you have to say. They are not a 'list'; they are individual people with whom you want to share. Find out what they want - you could do a survey or offer them one to one time - and then give them this information.
9. Have a list building mindset
List building doesn't have to be confined to your website, working for you in the background. Develop a list building mindset where every day you are finding ways to organically grow your list. If you are speaking at an event, ask people if they would like your freebie. If you are at a networking event, ask people (the right ones!) whether they would like to opt-in to get your information. Add your list opt-in form to your social media sites too. Just don't spam people, please!
10. Think quality not quantity
There are many people out there with thousands of people on their list and you don't have to be one of them (unless you want to be!) The important thing is to have quality not quantity, ultimately people who will benefit from you and buy your services. Numbers are not important but relationships are, so take time to cultivate and nurture the people on your list, provide valuable and educational information and encourage two-way communication and interaction.
Copyright Karen Williams 2012. All Rights Reserved
Karen Williams runs Self Discovery Coaching and is the author of The Secrets of Successful Coaches, which reached #1 in the Business charts on Amazon. Having interviewed 24 top performance coaches, Karen has learnt from the experts how to create a successful coaching business and mentors coaches to do the same.

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