Have you ever signed up to a newsletter only to receive an invite to a webinar?
If any of you have thought about starting a business or side venture, a quick google search will return numerous ‘hits’ about the need to grow your email list. The theory is that without an email list, a business cannot grow (this is due to customer engagement and introduction in a sales funnel). The links will also tell you that ‘if you sign up to XX webinar, we’ll show the best way to generate 10 million signups in 3 days’ (or some other nonsensical headline. The trick for them is to suck you in to watching an hour long webinar, in which 30 mins is a story telling about how Jimmy from Nevada has generated $80k of sales in 3 days or Sarah from Surrey now has a $1m business with no more than 5 hours work a week. Nonsense all of it. Yes, there are exceptional examples, but surely this isn’t the norm…is it? Do the webinars provide any value other than a hard sell of a product or programme at the end?
With this is mind, and to save you sitting through an hours webinar, the following post is to pass on what I learned about growing an email list (without the hard sell or wasting 45 mins).
Type of Flare: Business (with a content marketing focus)
Owner of Flare: Many ‘entrepreneurs’
Source: Various including Entrepreneur.com, ConvertKit and QuickSprout.
I’m going to go slightly off piste this week and give you something I learned this week for free. It will move away from the usual review approach and venture into the realm of letting you into the so called secrets as used by the ‘experts’.
The method is focused on building an email list to increase engagement in a blog, business or venture. Followers are great but engagement with potential customers is key. With that in mind, the following was ascertained from a webinar with ConvertKit. Rather than waste your time, Ive summarised the method below which you can use or discard depending on your point of view.
Some of it may be new, some of it may seem like common sense. All of it will be free and you can read at your leisure (without the annoying stories or hard sell).
So here goes from the Webinar… “How to Grow an Email List”
10 Person Rule
In simple terms, this rule just means approach 10 people with a direct question to see if they are interested in your new site. This presumes that you are looking to grow your audience around a new venture. It could be about fitness, or making money from property, or how to learn direct marketing using wordpress. Either way, the question must be direct – with a yes or no answer.
Make a list (or spreadsheet)
This is a mechanism to capture your responses, positive or negative and will form the backbone to the rest of your approach. From here, write down who you approached and their response, and highlight those who said yes.
For everyone who said yes, reply back with 2 more questions:
- What is your biggest frustration with this topic?
- Where do you go online to learn about this topic?
2 Lists: What & Where
The answers to the 2 latest questions will populate these lists and give you an excellent insight into where people go to research a particular topic. Obviously, the greater the number of responses, the more detailed the insights.
Create great content
What this means is create an eBook or online course. Each has their own merits and can be argued as to which one is better. Suffice it to say, that an eBook could be a Segway into further writing; whereas an online course will provide longevity and repetition in use.
I’m not going to tell you what to write as I don’t know your topic, but make sure address the frustrations raised by your contacts in the questions you sent out. This will immediately address the problem of “a hungry market” ie. People who want something, or “solve a problem”. If your content / business / idea tackles both of those, you will be in a great position and demand!
Upload your content
From here, you need to get your content out in to the world, visable in the internet superhighways. There are so many mediums these days, there is no excuse… think of Facebook, Medium, Reddit etc.
I’m not a fan of the word but it quite accurately describes what needs to be done. The aim is to get your content in front of as many people as possible.
If you sit through any of these webinars, it is about now that the host will blabber on about how a friend managed to get their exposure in front of 10,000 people in a week. I’m not sure this is representative of reality, otherwise everyone would be doing this.
That said, engagement by a few hundred people will be a great start. Just tell anyone who may be interested, you never know, it could be a customer!
From here, the key is to keep your audience engaged and interactive. The eBook or online course can generate further interest by questions raised and insights into particular areas.
We are now verging into the world of the ‘Sales Funnel’ – the core component of the content marketer to move you from subscriber into customer (insert image here).
I’m not going to tell you how to do this as it’s an entirely different post and one which could go on for pages. If there is a subject you would like to know more about, just ping me a message.
The Knowledge Flare Comment:
So why should I care about this?
- Growing a Business – if you want to grow a business or start a side venture, you need customers. To generate customers you need an audience. The approach detailed above may not seem obvious but there are no short cuts. Put in the effort of understanding your demographic and answering a problem and you’re audience will reward you in their loyalty.
- Step-by-step – by researching how to start a business you can easily become bamboozled by new techniques or information overload. The purpose of this post was to give you the opportunity to try the same method advertised by other companies without the hard sell. The beauty is, this is free. Give it a go and tweak as necessary as to what works for you.
I have tried to outline one of the methods that content marketeers advocate. A similar approach is used by Herbalife in the 3,3,3 method. Each approach has a slight spin on the same method: engage with people to understand their interests and associated frustrations. Use this information to help solve a problem and you are pushing on an open door. It doesn’t have to be rocket science. Nor does it have to be complicated. Help people and they will help you. Good luck!