You may already know that having a list, a.k.a. a database of potential clients who have raised their hands as folks who are interested in what you have to say, is a huge key in business success. The reason is that when you have a list, you can build a community of people who are (or will become) loyal clients, coming back for more of your products/services over time, as well as serving as great referral sources to fuel your business with new customers – and new revenues.
But you may not know how to go about establishing such a list, which is the reason for today’s article. So, with no further ado, let’s chat about the top 5 ways for building such a list of potential clients, shall we?
List-Building Tip #1: Publish a free, list-building offer on your website. A free offer, if you haven’t heard the term, is essentially free information that gives readers a taste of your products and services in exchange for their contact information. Think of it as the virtual equivalent of an ice cream shop offering tastes of their ice cream on a small spoon, in order to entice you into buying a full cone. By placing your free offer on your website, you’re able to offer those website visitors who aren’t quite ready to move forward into a working relationship with you (which will be the vast majority of them) an unobtrusive way to connect with you. A good freebie allows readers to check out what you have to say, get a sense of your personality, learn more about their challenges (and in the process discover why they so badly NEED your help), and feel out whether they think you’re the right person to help them solve their problems and/or reach their goals.
List-Building Tip #2: Ask everyone you know if they’re interested in your free offer. The best place to start building your list is to begin with people you already know. Send a warm email to people in your current database (which might include current/past clients, coworkers, friends, and family, to name a few) to see if they might be interested in your free offer. Also ask if they’d be so kind as to forward the information to others in their network who might be interested in your free offer. As word of mouth spreads, your free offer can quickly go viral, and find itself in the hands of dozens, hundreds, even thousands of interested prospects for your business.
List-Building Tip #3: Offer to send your free taste to people you meet in-person. If you attend in-person networking events, you likely already know how awkward it can be to try and make that leap from “Hello, my name is ____” to “Wanna work with me?” You can’t jump into that next step right away, or folks will be put off. Instead, the next time you speak with someone who shows a genuine interest in what you do, offer to send them a copy of your free taste so they can learn more. (If you’re also adding them to your mailing list, which you should, be sure to also mention that they’ll be on the mailing list to receive additional tips every XX days/weeks/months.) If they say yes, take their business card and make a note on it to remind yourself that they want a copy of your freebie. Then go back to your office and send it to them right away, before you forget or get busy. Easy as pie! And now you’ve got an interested prospect on your follow-up mailing list, and you’re employing a less in-your-face method of marketing that is much less likely to cause cringes and awkward conversations.
List-Building Tip #4: Give your freebie away during free talks, both in-person and online. If you’ve been flirting with the idea of jumping on the phone or getting up in front of an audience and speaking to groups of your ideal folks, or if you’ve already been giving free talks but getting few – if any – clients from the deal, there’s a twist you may not be using. At the end of these talks, offer interested folks your free taste, which gives them a “safe” way to learn more about working with you and gives you their contact information so you can follow-up with them over the days and weeks to come.
List-Building Tip #5: Get promoted by other business owners. A great way to gain momentum in your business is to get exposure to large groups of people in your target market, and one of the quickest ways to do that is to partner up with other business owners who’ve already done the work of gathering those groups. You may have already heard of this as affiliate marketing, but here’s one thing you may not have considered: you’ll get a lot more attention and customers by offering a free taste than by taking folks straight to the buy. Here’s why: If you partner with another business owner who offers to send a promotional email to their list, for example, and you use that email to promote a specific product/service, you might get a handful of new clients who already know they’re ready to move forward. However, if you use that promotional opportunity to invite that audience to download a free gift, your numbers of participants will skyrocket, and folks who might have been on the fence before will have the chance to educate themselves on your product/service, which can drastically increase conversions. Plus, those who decide, for whatever reason, not to buy from you now will still be in your database of prospects (a.k.a. your newsletter list) to receive future articles and promotions from you. Which means that even if they don’t buy now, they may decide to buy next week, next month, or next year…an opportunity you would have missed out on if you had only offered the chance to work with you right now.
The bottom line is that offering a free taste is, by far, the best, fastest, and least sleazy method of introducing your products and services to potential clients, in my experience. I encourage you to give it a shot and let me know how it works for you!
Not sure how to go about creating a compelling free taste?
If you don’t yet have a free offer, such as a free report, CD, video, etc., the process can seem a bit overwhelming. And it’s likely that task will remain on your to-do list for days, weeks, even months, untouched. Which means that you’re not reaching dozens, hundreds, or thousands of people out there who need your help and just aren’t getting it. If you know that now’s the time to get your free taste DONE, I invite you to join me in next week’s Write Your List-Building Freebie in a Day workshop, and get access to all the templates, resources, action plans, guidance and support you need to walk away with not just a bunch of grand ideas but a completed freebie that’s ready to grow your newsletter list and attract paying clients. Visit http://writeassociate.com/write-your-freebie/ to learn more and register today!