Generally speaking, you can divide list-building strategies into two main categories, the slow but steady list-builders, and the big boost list-builders. While the steady streams are great and always working for you there in the background, the big boosts are what REALLY get your list growing quickly and can give you a fast gush of lots of subscribers at once—into the hundreds at one time. Those are nice—but you won’t be doing those all the time, just periodically—so your steady streams are what pick up the slack on a daily basis.
But what are some of the best big boost methods, the ones that REALLY get your list growing quickly? Let’s look at what I see as being some of the top strategies.
1) Joint ventures
One of my favorites! A joint venture can take on many different forms, but essentially what you are doing is leveraging someone ELSE’S list. So, if you join up on a class or a workshop or create a product with someone else, and you get in front of their audience as well. The idea is that your joint venture partner’s audience serves a complimentary but NOT competitive audience.
I’ve participated in several different joint ventures and I’ll give you a simple example of one. Last year I led a multi-part webinar course on social media with a friend of mine I actually met on Twitter. She was in California and I was in New Jersey and we never met in person but we got together and held this course, split the profits 50-50 and even created a physical product out of the recordings which we both sell separately on our sites. I got exposure in front of her audience, she got in front of mine and it worked out great.
What this means is that you set up a program where others promote what you’re offering and in exchange, you pay them a commission on any sales that they make. This is like having your own sales force out there spreading the word in a lot more places than you could just reach yourself.
There are lots of different ways affiliates can promote for you: they can put links or banners on their own site, they can recommend you to their list via email, write blog posts, tweet, talk about it on Facebook…there’s really no shortage of ways. And every time you have affiliates out there promoting you, you’ll have more people introduced to what it is you do, and get more subscribers added to your list.
3) Offline methods
This could be through speaking, trade shows, conferences…think about where your target market is going to be. For example, one of the ways that I build my list when I do public speaking is to send a form around the audience where I ask them to put their name and email if they’d like to be sent my special free offer, which is my free taste, my e-course. This works well because those people are meeting me in person, they’re engaged in the topic and wanting more—and usually everybody signs up for it.
Another thing you could do if you’re a speaker or you have a booth or a table at a conference or trade show is to offer a contest where people put their business card in a fish bowl. Let them know that if they’d like to be sent your free gift, to circle their email address on their card.
4) The media
Media appearances can be great, even if it’s just local ones. If you’re going to be interviewed in the newspaper or on the local news or in a publication, have a special offer that you give when you do that. Tell people where they can go to get more information or a free gift. This can be a great way to reach a large group of people at once.
In case you need a refresher, list-building is crucial for the small business owner because what you are doing is growing a built-in audience of people who are interested in your offerings. It’s a HUGE asset to your business because you’re able to market 1 to hundreds and 1 to thousands at a time instead of 1 to 1—and that’s A LOT more leverage and the reason list-building is really so powerful.
What are YOU doing to build your list? Either slowly and steadily, or with “fast gusher” methods? Let me know in the comments!