Got a tiny list? You’re not alone. In fact, every single one of the most successful, “have it all” entrepreneurs once had a tiny list. Marie Forleo, Carrie Wilkerson, Denise Duffield-Thomas—they all begin with a single subscriber, just like you did.
But they didn’t let it hold them back.
No one opens up their brand new email management system and sees thousands of prospects from day one. We all start with a single subscriber, and we grow our list from there.
Today I’m going to show you how to take that small list, and actually make money from it – while growing the list at the same time.
3 Mistakes You’re Making With Your Tiny List
Here are 3 mistakes you may be making right now, that are right now causing you to waste time and leave money on the table.
Failing to Promote
Whether you have 10 subscribers or 10,000, they all likely have one thing in common: they turn to you for advice. And that means they’re looking for your emails. When you don’t connect with them on a regular basis, you’re failing to hold up your end of the relationship. Your subscribers need to hear from you. They count on you to help them make buying decisions, to offer solid information about your niche, and to help them grow.
When you fail to promote your products and services, or worse, when you simply don’t email them at all, you’re letting your subscribers down. They want and need to hear from you.
Not Reaching Out to Potential Partners
While it’s true that there are some people in every industry who won’t look at you twice if you can’t boast a certain list size (5,000 seems to be their target number), there are plenty of others who value quality over quantity. If you let yourself be intimidated into hiding until your list reaches some arbitrary number, you’re doing your business a disservice. You’re missing out on opportunities to increase your list, earn more customers, and even grow your circle of influence in your niche.
So the next time you see an opportunity to join in a telesummit, supply a product for a fire sale offer, host a webinar, or get interviewed on a top podcast, don’t hesitate. Let people know you’re interested.
Putting Off Product Development
Waiting for the perfect time to release your new low-end coaching product or group coaching program? Don’t.
Just like with having a baby, buying a house, or even launching a new business, there is no “perfect time.” The stars will never align, you’ll never have “enough” money, and your list will never reach the ideal size. And if you keep waiting for that mythical, magical moment when everything comes together in just the right way, you’ll never do it.
So right now, today, is the time you need to begin creating your program. Don’t put it off another minute. Your audience—no matter how small right now—is waiting, and they’re counting on you to deliver.
3 Tactics To Implement While Your List Is Still Small
What you do while your list is growing is critical to your future success.
It’s never too early to start promoting.
This is the number one mistake those with a small list make. They believe—wrongly so, it turns out—that there’s no point in promoting to a small list.
There are two reasons this is a huge mistake. First, when all you send your list is information, and you never make an offer, you’re training them that there will never be an offer. Then the first time you send out an email promoting a product, they’ll react with indignation. How dare you try to sell them something?!?
The second issue with not promoting is that you’re creating a (bad) habit in yourself. Yes, it’s important that you provide value to your subscribers. It’s equally important that your email list not be an expensive time-suck. The only way your list will pay its way is if you’re presenting offers on a regular basis.
It’s possible to promote too much.
Despite what we just said, it is possible to burn out your list with promotion after promotion. If all you ever send to your subscribers is offers to buy, your unsubscribe rate will skyrocket.
Instead, set up a system of nurturing your list by providing great value. Teach them to open your emails by striving to always include information they want and need. Share your stories with them. Tell them what you’ve learned. Interact with them. Promotions are necessary, but they’re not the primary way to connect with your list.
Make good use of segmentation.
Not everyone on your email list will benefit from the same information or promotions. Some subscribers may be at the beginning of their journey and just learning about the topics you cover. Others will be more advanced and in need of different advice. Some subscribers will be active buyers and jump on offers quickly. Others may not.
By creating segments in your email list software, you can provide your subscribers with exactly what they need when they need it. This targeted approach will result in more sales and a happier subscriber base.
Whether your list is 10 or 10,000, these strategies will help keep your list profitable, active, and responsive. And a responsive list is one of the most valuable assets coaches have. Take good care of it, and it will take care of you.
7 Ways To Make Sales…No List Required
Think you can’t hope to make sales simply because you have no list to promote to? This kind of self-sabotaging thought is what holds many promising coaches and entrepreneurs back from creating great things. They believe that without a ready-made audience, there’s no hope for sales, and therefore, what’s the point?
But the truth is, sales can come from many, many other places besides your email list. While a list of active subscribers does allow you to promote to a ready audience who already knows, likes and trusts you, it’s not the only method that works.
The next best thing to your own know/like/trust factor is the ability to leverage that of partner. When you create an affiliate program and ask your friends and colleagues to promote your products in exchange for a commission, you’re essentially receiving their endorsement. They reach out to their list of subscribers with news about your great programs. And because they already have a relationship with their subscribers, they pass a little of that trust factor on to you.
Just because you don’t have a subscriber list of thousands doesn’t mean you don’t have a reach of thousands. How many followers do you have on Twitter? Facebook friends? LinkedIn connections?
All of these (and the many, many other social networks) are potential customers, and promoting your product on social media can be as easy as making a quick post with a link to your sales or opt-in page.
Webinars. For higher ticket products and programs, webinars are the ideal sales vehicle. By speaking to your audience in real time (and perhaps even on video) you give them a chance to get to know you better than email alone will ever allow. Combine webinars with affiliate promotions or paid traffic, and you have a scalable sales machine that can easily bring in hundreds of new potential clients with every event.
Advertising is easier and less expensive now than it ever has been. You can target your audience by demographic, interests and more, ensuring your ads are only shown to your ideal client. You can run ads on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google’s Adwords network, and dozens of others.
Guest Blogging. No list of your own? Guest posting on someone else’s blog lets you easily borrow their audience—and start growing your own. Choose blogs whose readership is a complement to yours—not a competitor—for best results.
Borrow a List (for Real)
Friends and colleagues with email lists are a good option as well, though it might cost you. One way to manage payment is to borrow a colleague’s list while using his/her affiliate link for your product. If that’s not an option, then a one-time fee can be negotiated as well, and will generally be based on the size and responsiveness of the list.
Podcasts are hot right now. In fact, it seems like nearly everyone has a new weekly (or even daily) interview show. If you have a great product or service, you’re the perfect fit for an interview spot, so start reaching out to those podcasters. They’ve got hungry audiences just waiting to hear from you!
While it might be true that “the money is in the list,” that doesn’t mean it has to be your list. There are many more ways you can borrow someone else’s audience as you grow your own, so don’t let the lack of a email list hold you back from creating your new product or program!
Turn Tiny Lists Into Big Sales
Want to know what’s more important than a great big email list?
The relationship you have with them.
It’s true. You can have 100,000 people on your list, but if they don’t know you, and worse, if they don’t trust you, then that great big list is worth next to nothing.
Internet marketing expert Connie Ragen Green wrote in her book, “Huge Profits with a Tiny List,” that she earned more than 6 figures one year with a list of just over 600 subscribers! So if your list size is not (yet) where you want it to be, don’t let that hold you back from creating and marketing products to them. Just be sure you’re spending time building your relationship, and they’ll reward you with the profits.
Stay in Touch
This is likely the biggest mistake new email marketers and coaches make when it comes to their list. Sure, you have great intentions, but somehow sending emails just doesn’t feel so important when you only have a few hundred people on your list. So you procrastinate.
Days turn into weeks. Weeks become months. Pretty soon you realize it’s been 187 days since you last sent an email. Yikes! That’s no way to build a relationship.
Make it a point to mail your list at least once per week, just so they don’t forget who you are (and why they subscribed in the first place).
Always Keep Their Best Interests in Mind
Making money is great. Ultimately, that’s everyone’s goal. But hammering your list with endless offers is not the best way to go about it. Remember, you’re building a relationship, and that means always asking yourself, “Is this in the best interest of my subscriber?” When you email with a genuine desire to help your reader, it will always be well received.
Remember, They Need You
Here’s another all-too-common mistake newer list owners make: assuming “someone else has already done it/said it/mailed about it.”
Which could not be further from the truth, and here’s why: Your subscribers count on you to give them the information they need. They’re looking to you for advice. They need your insight into the right training and coaching programs, which software to buy, what blogs to read. And it doesn’t matter if other coaches are talking about an offer or new product or have developed an program that’s similar to yours. Because for some people, the message will only make a connection when they hear it from you.
The bottom line? As with most things, quality trumps quantity when it comes to list building. Just because you don’t have thousands of subscribers is no reason to avoid mailing them, and it’s definitely not an excuse for back-burnering your coaching programs and training courses. Remember, your subscribers are counting on you.
Autopilot Profits (Even With A Tiny List)
As you grow your list, you may find yourself struggling to keep in touch with your growing email list. It’s a common issue. After all, you have all kinds of other business tasks to do. You have to create new products and programs, manage your social media accounts, write new blog posts, record webinars, and coach your clients.
With all that going on, finding time to send emails can be a challenge. And even if you do find the time to mail regularly, you feel as if your efforts are wasted when an email goes out to only a few hundred (or fewer) people.
Autoresponders are the answer
Unlike a broadcast email, which goes out only to those subscribed to your list at the time you hit the ‘send’ button, autoresponder messages hit the inbox of everyone who joins your list, whether today or two years from now.
That means that your no-brainer offer won’t be seen by just a handful of subscribers before sinking like a stone in a pond. Instead, it will continue to work for you—and put money in your pocket—for months or even years.
You can approach an autoresponder in two ways: plan ahead, or create as you go. For example, you might have an opt-in gift of a printable checklist. When you create your funnel, you’ll also want to write a few emails to go out over the following days/weeks to those who download. This helps to build a good relationship with your new fans.
But don’t just set that sequence up and forget about it. Instead, repurpose your broadcast emails, too. In other words, when you do send out a broadcast, if it’s a good email with a great offer (and it’s not time sensitive) then you want to get it in front of as many people as possible. To do that, simply add it to the end of your existing autoresponder.
Most email providers make it super easy to create a duplicate email and add it to a sequence. All it takes is a few clicks and you’re done. Just be sure to edit out anything that’s time sensitive, so your future readers don’t feel left out.
Autoresponder sequences aren’t exactly “set it and forget it” resources, though. You do want to make a point of revisiting them from time to time, just to be sure they’re still relevant, that you still offer the products you’re promoting, and that you still endorse any others you link to. Also, you’ll need to check for broken links, outdated advice, and old branding. Remember, your subscribers are receiving your autoresponder messages today, so to readers, these are current emails. Broken links and other issues make you look like you’re not paying attention.