It’s not hard to walk down the digital lanes of the entrepreneurial world and hear that list building should be your #1 focus in business. But do you know why they say that?
Because it’s absolutely true.
Having them hand over their email address shows they want a relationship with you. It’s like passing a “check yes or no” note to them and they say “yes!” Then seeing you in their inbox consistently helps them know you’re in it for the long haul and maybe they should look a little further.
So I want to share my 4 (okay 5, I just wanted to use a different number!) favorite ways to build my email list.
Guest posting is amazing–not just for list building but also for authority building. When you write an awesome post on a bigger platform, you get instant authority in your area of expertise, and you can definitely leverage that!
Sometimes in guest posts, they’ll let you link back to articles or specific freebies related to your topic. I would always write something related to one of my opt-in offers so I could send people there. If they don’t let you link out, you always have that option in your bio. You can give your info, mention your expertise, how they can get more info about your topic and build a special link to the freebie offer (for metrics purposes) just for them.
Be Helpful in Forums and Groups
This is a bit of a new one for me, but it’s how I’ve been up my list by 5-10 per week since starting this business. It’s basically all I’ve used so far besides organic stuff, and it’s worked super well.
But it only works if (drum roll please) … you’re actually being helpful. You show up, give tips, answer questions, and actively participate. Then you just make sure that your Facebook profile is connected to your website or Facebook page in your About section. When they visit your site, they find your excellent freebie and start making it happen.
Bonus tip: Don’t be the “I just PM’ed you” gal. When you do that, you’re working from fear of letting people see all you have to offer, as though they won’t pay if you you do. Let me tell you, girl, that. Is. false. You need to show your expertise and earn their trust. Then they might allow the relationship to build to get on your list or even buy your programs or products. When you are helpful in public, more people see it and your footprint is even bigger than the one you specifically helped.
Bonus bonus tip: If you have more than one freebie, create a “Freebies” or “Free Resources” page with all of them on it. I did that last week and instantly picked up more people because they knew where to find the goods.
Comment on Other Blogs
This is basically a combination of the last two items, and it can be super effective if you’re hanging out in the right places. But that’s the trick, actually being in the right places.
So when you find blogs that are prime territory for your audience (and maybe even guest posting), you show up in the comment section to be helpful. DO NOT link to your website or your blog post. Give them the answer there and offer more help or ask if they have other questions. If you use Gravatar or had to sign up in a blog and leave your url, then they can find you. Trust, friend, and give all you can.
End of post sign up box
When they show up to your website or blog and you deliver them amazing information (as I’m sure you do), you don’t want them to just leave and maaaaaaybe visit again sometime. You want to make sure you can build the relationship with them long-term–not just for your business’ sake but also for theirs.
And one of the easiest ways to do that is to put an opt-in box at the bottom of every post. There are lots of plugins out there that make this possible and they can integrate with a lot of email providers. You can put a general “sign up to get more great info weekly” box or put customized boxes based on the blog topic (especially if you have multiple freebies).
If they make it to the end of a blog post then they likely love the value you give enough to want to get connected.
Bonus: The irresistible freebie, of course
This is probably the thing you already know you need, but I want to tell you this: you don’t need it but it’s darn helpful. Sometimes people just want your blog posts in their email so they don’t have to chase you down. Sometimes they want your stories. But sometimes they need an incentive.
So you can give it to them with an irresistible freebie. Something that answers a burning question they have or meets a pressing need. By giving something free, you’re saying, “I really want to help.”
Heck, even if they sign up for your newsletter without an incentive, you can still deliver it to them as a surprise bonus! Who doesn’t love free stuff they weren’t expecting?!