How to Set Yourself Up to Succeed With Email Lists (From the Outset)
[Update April 2019: scroll down to comment & win a lead magnet critique with J9!]
When you are starting out building your email list it’s common to feel lost and lacking in direction (we hear this from our Mums all the time and we certainly experienced this in our first few years).
You know you need to grow your email list, but you don’t have a clue how!
These feelings can seriously affect your productivity AND your motivation and you can end up going around in circles until eventually, you feel like giving up.
Let’s nip those negative feelings in the bud right now!
In this blog post you’ll learn the key elements you need to grow your email list, make your first sales, and feel 100% confident that you are on track to a fulfilling, profitable business that you love.
And of course, you’ll probably be doing all this part-time, alongside the chaos of a busy family life – hey, we didn’t say it was always going to be easy!
It will take determination and grit to build your email list and make this business idea of yours fly, but it is possible and it’s much easier if you can avoid the common mistakes so many Mums make when they start out with audience building.
The BIGGEST mistake we see Mum business owners make when starting out is spending too much time on social media, and not enough time building an engaged email list
What? “But I thought social media was crucial to my business!” we hear you say.
Yes – we’re not denying that social media is important. Facebook and other social media platforms can be a great tool for building your brand and attracting clients.
But in most cases, when it comes to social media, we simply see Mums investing a LOT of time, with very little in the way of results (by results, we mean sales).
Yes, social media is important, but it’s a secondary strategy.
Secondary to what, you might ask? And we’d reply – your email list!
Your primary focus must always be on growing your emailing list. Why?
Because your email list is an asset you control.
Your email list is your most valuable marketing tool and business asset because you control it.
If you only focus on growing your social media profiles, you make yourself and your business very vulnerable.
Why? Because you never know when Facebook will change the rules. Even now, it’s much harder to get your page followers to see your posts than it was a few months ago.
And try promoting something on Facebook with a link without paying to ‘boost’ that post – you’ll get minimal exposure!
There’s absolutely no doubt that Facebook is in control when it comes to what’s happening on their platform.
This doesn’t mean you can’t still get some great results from Facebook – some organic posts and videos still get great reach and you can do really well with Facebook Ads -but you are making yourself vulnerable if you rely solely on Facebook for your marketing strategy (or any other social media platform).
It’s simply a case of not putting all your eggs in one basket.
Your mailing list is your most valuable asset. Fullstop.
Your email list is very different to social media – you ‘own’ your email contacts, they are a very important business asset. You also control how often you appear in someone’s inbox, what you share, which segments of your audience see it, and the when/what of how you engage and sell.
So – if your goal is to build a business that is going to make you sales AND sustain you through rapid changes in social media, then in these early days your focus should most definitely be on growing your email list.
Growing your email list is more important that having a whole suite of products or services to offer or having an amazing looking website in place.
In fact, we’d argue that all you need when starting out is a good plan for building an email list, and an open mind about what you are going to sell.
That way you can get really clear on what your audience wants to buy and is prepared to pay for first, then launch your product to them later and feel a lot more confident that they are going to buy!
(you might like to read these last two paragraphs again so they really sink in, as they are very important)
How to grow your email list
So now you know the importance of your email list or database, you might be asking: “How do I get my ideal customer to join up to my mailing list?”
The answer is a lead magnet (you may also hear this referred to as a content upgrade, ethical bribe or free gift).
What the heck is a lead magnet?
Some of you reading this may have a lead magnet in place already. If so, congratulations! You might like to skip below to where we outline the 4 key ingredients of a kick ass lead magnet to check whether you are ticking all the boxes for a great lead magnet.
If you don’t have a lead magnet yet or you are wondering what the heck a lead magnet even is, read on.
Lead magnet: a free offer you give away, in exchange for someone’s email address.
Simple. You’ve probably come across these on other people’s websites – you go looking for a new recipe and a box pops up inviting you to join their mailing list for weekly recipe updates – that’s a lead magnet.
Or, you see someone offering a free webinar or checklist on Facebook and you give them your email address (and join their mailing list) in exchange for their lead magnet.
So – this is exactly what you need for your business, in order to grow your mailing list. Do this, and you’ll be on the way to building your most important business asset and setting yourself up to make future sales.
How does a lead magnet help you make more sales?
Once you have your lead magnet in place, the key is in not only making sure it delivers great content and value (more on that soon) but also ensuring you have a great follow up plan in place.
Your lead magnet gives you permission to build a relationship with your ideal client, demonstrate your expertise, build trust and credibility and ultimately to make sales.
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves – for now we want to stay focused on the first step, which is how you can quickly and easily build your email list and get yourself in a great position to start building that relationship.
So….take a moment to reflect on the lead magnets you might already have in place for your business or if you don’t have any yet, ideas that spring to mind when you think about the possibilities.
A great place to start is to ask yourself:
- What key content/messages do I find myself teaching repeatedly?
- What is the key thing that someone coming to me for the first time most often wants to know?
- What are my existing clients or tribe (if you have them) asking me about over and over again?
- What is my ideal type of client talking about and asking in other peoples groups or forums that I can help with? (this one’s great if you don’t yet have clients or an audience of your own to ask yet).
The answers to the above questions could be great content for your lead magnet!
What makes a great lead magnet? (not all are created equal)
This is a really important question – because not all lead magnets are created equal.
Some lead magnets just don’t cut it. You put lots of time and effort into creating the content and putting it out there, yet despite all that hard work setting it up and promoting it, it just doesn’t fly… we don’t want you to go down this path.
Other lead magnets are exactly that – magnetic for your ideal client. They offer highly compelling content that draws a steady flow of your ideal client to you, and get you in a great position to build the trust and credibility you need to sell to your new leads in an authentic way that doesn’t feel too ‘pushy’ or ‘salesy’ (when you offer great content, people want more).
So what’s the difference between a lead magnet that flops and one that flies?
It’s not magic sauce! There are simple steps to follow to ensure your lead magnet does the job – so read on to find out what these 4 steps are.
Four essential ingredients to a lead magnet that works
1. Know exactly who you are talking to (nail your niche)
It may seem that casting the net wide and creating a lead magnet that everyone is going to want is a great way to attract a large number of people to your email list, but in fact the opposite is true.
The more specific your niche (the group of people you are targeting with your lead magnet), the more specific and compelling your message becomes, and the easier it is for your target subscriber to say ‘yes’ to you. So while this may seem counter-intuitive, we strongly encourage you to narrow down the group or type of person you are targeting with your lead magnet for best results.
We’ll even go so far as to suggest that until you have made progress on narrowing your niche, that you hold off on creating your lead magnet. Read more here about why you’ll be wasting your time!
So a narrow, refined niche is the first essential ingredient for a kick-ass lead magnet. It’s crucial that you know exactly who you are talking to and who are you are trying to attract.
And don’t be scared that by honing in on one particular group or type of person, that you are leaving people out! It’s simply a case of going narrow for now so your hard work really pays off, then you can branch out to other areas of interest down the track.
2. Understand the key pain or challenge your niche face
Now you know exactly who you are addressing with your freebie, narrow down the exact pain or challenge you are going to solve for them. Again, be really specific about this. Don’t try to go broad.
Use this freebie to demonstrate that you truly understand this ONE pain they have, and that you have a great solution that is really going to help them.
And remember you can have more than one lead magnet so over time, you can address multiple challenges that your tribe face, but for now we’re simply focused on getting the first one dialed!
Just like with your niche, having a really specific pain you are solving makes it much easier for your ideal email subscriber to say yes and sign up.
Important note: don’t let perfection hold you up. Get your first lead magnet out there, test it, then ask for feedback and improve it from there.
3. Make the solution quick and easy!
This may sound obvious, but the third ingredient is ensuring that your lead magnet provides a simple and quick solution to the specific pain you have identified.
Don’t try to demonstrate all that you know, and don’t over complicate things. Simply provide an accessible solution that your peeps can implement easily. The better the results they get, the more likely they are to come back to you for more (which of course is ultimately what you want).
This ingredient is also about ensuring your lead magnet delivers great value, quickly. A 20-week ecourse might offer high value content, but who is really gonna stick it out through 20 weeks of emails to find out?
Compare this with a 5-day challenge with one short, actionable email every day and you can see the difference. With something, short and snappy like this you are much more likely to make an impact, build credibility, establish your expertise, and eventually go on to sell to these clients!
4. Deliver your lead magnet in a way that makes you (and your audience) shine!
Choose a medium for your lead magnet that plays to your strengths and allows you to fully demonstrate your skill and competence, but that also works for your audience. Here are a couple of examples:
- If public speaking or video gives you heart palpitations, go for something written – an ebook, checklist or template.
- If you come across really well on video – DO IT!
- If checklists excite you, make this your lead magnet.
- If you LOVE good design and enjoy making great looking printables – BOOM!
The options really are endless here – but keep it simple by choosing a delivery method that really works for both you AND your ideal customer.
Now go and create a kick-ass lead magnet and watch your email list grow!
Adding specific lead magnets to our funnel has allowed us to bring on a constant stream of new leads who are genuinely interested in what we offer – and it’s enabled us to bring on more paying clients. You can do this too.
Getting a great lead magnet in place will transform your ability to quickly and easily build up your email list with your RIGHT customers.
However we realise you may still have a few questions….
What systems do I need in place to get my lead magnet delivered to my new subscribers?
How do I promote my lead magnet and get people signing up?
What do I do once it’s all up and running and I have new subscribers consistently joining my email list?
These are all great questions and we’re not going to leave you hanging…
How to get the systems in place & promote your lead magnet – at low cost.
If you want to find out exactly how to put the systems in place to capture email addresses and deliver your lead magnet in an automated way, we show you how in our free Audience Building Checklist.
In this resource, we share our tips for automating the set up and delivery of your lead magnet, as well as our favourite low-cost strategies for marketing and promoting your freebie so that it gets seen by your ideal subscriber (who won’t be able to resist signing up, of course!)
You’ll learn the exact 5-step process we use ourselves and teach to all our Mum clients starting out, so that you can not only create an awesome lead magnet, but set yourself up to build a consistent income in your business too.
⭐⭐⭐ COMMENT ON THIS BLOG POST & WIN !!! ⭐⭐⭐
[Updated April 24, 2019] From today all new comments will go in the draw to win a KICK ASS LEAD MAGNET CRITIQUE from yours truly (J9) 😘.
If you already have a lead magnet in place, we’ll critique it and take it to the next level. If you are struggling to get your first lead magnet out there, we’ll brainstorm your ideas and get you unstuck so you are equipped to take action and get it out there !
❗❗❗ IMPORTANT: You must comment with one of the following to be eligible to win the critique:
1) your name and a link to your business
2) your thoughts on the post or…
2) a link to a lead magnet you’ve created ( including a note about how it’s performed for you – this is a great opportunity to promote your LM!)