It’s true, when I first began my online coaching business I most definitely had list shame! I had a handful of “followers”, most of which were family members, including my mom, my sister and a few of my aunts who have always thought I was kind of crazy. Wa wa. :/
Needless to say, I won’t pretend that mailing my list was fruitful in those early days OR that I had any idea about how to grow an online following. I remember being at a conference for entrepreneurs, feeling like a fraud, and SERIOUSLY believing that the best way to build an email list was to put up a folding table at one of those creepy meetup.com networking events and collect business cards in a fishbowl. (If you were ALSO thinking that was the best way I’m not judging, how could I?)
The goods news to this sadistic story? Well, actually, before it gets better, it gets worse.
In December of 2014, I had NO IDEA what a freebie or opt in was. BUT by March of 2105, when I was actually getting traction in my online coaching business and had overcome a gigantic online marketing learning curve, my FB ad account got disabled.
Why? I worked with an Ad Expert who said my idea to run a webinar titled, “Why the well sexed woman finishes Rich” (terrible idea if you know ANYTHING about FB ads) was “great and would definitely get attention.” It wasn’t long until my account was disabled and I realized that I had become that silly beginner entrepreneur who felt blindsided because she didn’t have a clue.
Ok so NOW the good news! Instead of crying and deciding that my business success was no longer possible (actually, I DID react that way for about 2 days) I decided that I would create my own FB group and use it to build my email list like WHOA and for FREE.
I was determined and darlin’, it worked! So, I thought sharing this story of mine as well as some of the killer strategies on how to build an email list that worked to help me build a stellar online following, might be useful for you too.
STEPS ON HOW TO BUILD AN EMAIL LIST:
#1: Pin a Welcome Post/Video and Feature A MUST HAVE Freebie (put the URL to your freebie in your “group description” too!)
When my ad account was disabled, I was in the process of preparing for my first course launch. It was a sales course and I knew I had to figure out how to get peeps onto my email list, and webinar, where I’d be making my offer.
I created a MUST HAVE lead magnet about how to book 20+ sales calls each month, every month. Turns out it was indeed MUST HAVE. 🙂 I created a welcome video for my Facebook Group and mentioned the freebie. Then I included the URL in the text that accompanied the video and in the comments below and pinned it so that it constantly stayed at the top of the feed in my group. Each time new leads would join my group, I saw my email list #s go up!
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I ALSO shared the URL in the group description area for my group and realized that THAT worked as well, because when I took down the pinned post, I still saw leads coming onto my email list via my must have lead magnet. Pretty cool, huh?
So think about WHO your ideal client is, get them into your group, and get in the know about the #1 thing they want so badly, they’d pay for. Then create a great, MUST HAVE piece of free content and pin it baby.
And just in case you need a little help growing that group, here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Do a FB Live or Instalive/story and share the link to your group
- Invite those who have liked your FB biz page to your group
- Link your FB page to your FB group
- Post about free content you’ll be sharing in your group, on social media, and invite peeps to your group to hear the content
#2: Host Challenges in your group
Hosting challenges in my group has become the #1 way to build an email list and that I began to feel known in my industry. During my first challenge, I put my ALL into it and heard from several people in my group that they had shared it in other groups and with their friends without me even having to ask!
When I host challenges I don’t hold back. I give my absolute BEST content and I deliver it on FB live to my group. This gives me TONS of time to clock with my audience so that I can build know like and trust like a motherlover. 😉
Trust me that once you start a great challenge, lots of the peeps in your group who are not registered or on your email list will see you in your zone of genius. So invite those who haven’t officially registered for the challenge to do so and share the URL so they can get more goodies and access to the video replay, PLUS become a new subscriber!
- I got as many people on my challenge as possible by sharing it on social media, on my fb page, in others groups when it was appropriate, and mailing whoever was on my list at the time(which can help increase deliverability)!
- You can ask peeps in your group to share the URL with their friends and colleagues AND you can also create a hashtag and ask peeps to share their experience with the link.
- You can create a “Click to Tweet” so that your followers can easily tweet about your challenge and share the link.
#3: Do a FB Swap
Wondering what a FB Swap is? It’s a super cool joint venture opportunity that you can dive into regardless of how few people know you or how big your list is.
Here’s what you do.
1) Look for other entrepreneurs who have FB groups that house your target market.
2) Ask if they’re up for doing a FB swap!
- Maybe you come in as an expert and show off your stuff + share a gift(URL for a freebie) that they can pin for you and vice versa.
- You could also interview each other and share freebies in each other’s group.
- You could decide to both mail your lists about it and say to opt in to get the info and meet you in the group.
This has major potential. As your group grows, it will become easier to do FB swaps with those who have larger groups. There are a lot of options here, but I recommend reaching out to someone whose group might be similar in size to yours. If you have a great service that would awesomely compliment someone with a larger group, you can always ask. I recommend looking to build a relationship first before you go randomly hitting up peeps that you might not know that well.
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#4: Consistently Create Fabulous Free Content & Feature Guest Experts
Seriously, just continuously creating and sharing incredible content will be a MAJOR game changer for you! The word spreads. How often have you seen peeps chat about what FB groups are great to be a part of? It happens all of the time. Plus, once your group is over 500, FB will start recommending it.
This might be sharing a freebie, doing a challenge, or having a guest expert come in who can bring GREAT value to your group. When you host great guest experts, you can elevate your brand by associating yourself with them. In addition, if peeps know that you constantly have great stuff happening, they’ll start to engage and more will join your group, and therefore, build an email list.
One of my favorite tactics is to livestream in my group, live webinars and training calls that I do. It’s pretty darn cool and each time I’m on video, I share URLs for freebies or more free content that will be coming up. Then I pin my live as a post and let the subscribers add up.
***And 1 more BONUS to think about: On any ads that you DO have running, put a link to your FB group on the thank you page so that more of your new leads come to your group. Those who see you in your group and on video more often are more likely to continue opening your emails and grow into a raving fan who is hungry to work with you and BUY!