When I told my partner I was going to do a video about list building his response to me was, “List building is so unsexy.” And he’s absolutely right. In fact, I have barely given it attention over the years I’ve been in business. The truth is that even though it’s not sexy, and even though emails don’t carry the same weight they did a few years ago, there are a few reasons why email is still important for your business.
Why List Building Is Important
You’ve probably heard it before. As good as social media and other platforms are, because everyone is hanging out there, at the end of the day, we don’t control or own them. In fact, if you look deep into the T’s and C’s of most social media platforms, we don’t even own the content we put on them.
Last month, in Australia we saw this in a way we haven’t seen before when Facebook, overnight, stopped all Australians sharing news links, and any page deemed slightly ‘news’ related got removed from the platform. It got sorted, but it serves as a great reminder that Facebook, the government, and the other platforms can make a decision overnight that can significantly impact how we use and interact with social media and platforms that aren’t our own.
When we build our own email list, when we have a website – our online home – WE are fully in control of it and the information within it.
Why List Building Is Important For Introverts
If you’re more introverted you might be less comfortable sharing stories or more personal parts of yourself on social media for anyone to see. For this reason alone, having an email list full of people who’ve opted in to hear from you can feel more introvert-friendly than broadcasting across the Internet. It can also be a really safe environment to share more of yourself and build deeper connections with your people and your message by encouraging replies and feedback in a more one on one way.
3 Questions To Ask Yourself When Building Your Email List
There are so many great reasons to build your email list, even if you only send emails once a month. It also doesn’t have to be complicated. You don’t have to create a whole heap of new content to share with your people. What’s more important is that they might not see your stuff on social media, but they have opted in to hear from you. Sharing what you’re up to and a bit of your behind the scenes can be a great way for them to feel connected with you and your work.
Here are three questions to consider when thinking about why building your list is important:
What is your bigger journey you want to take someone on?
This is really the starting point for EVERYTHING when you’re creating content or launching anything. What is the bigger journey you are inviting your dream clients on? This is also where we start in The Visibility Vault, when working out what content to create and share.
When you begin with the end in mind, you have a clearer picture of what path your dream clients are walking. You can’t control who gets on and off that path and where, but when you know where you’re leading people, it makes your part in the journey so much easier.
What’s one little piece you can share with them that’s easy to implement?
Most of the time people get too carried away with optin freebies. Or it feels too overwhelming to choose ONE thing that will be exactly what your people need. Then come the questions of how much to give away, how to decide what to give away and what to charge for, and it can blow way out of proportion.
If you can think about creating content in a simple way, a free resource or optin can be a preview of what it might be like to work with you. If you’re an energy healer, you might have a visualisation or meditation that shows your expertise. Maybe you have checklists or templates to bridge a small gap for your people. Or journal prompts or a repurposed piece of your work that will be immediately implementable and not just another download taking up hard drive space.
The easier it is for someone to use and realise its value, the better the optin. Do you have something you always give to your paying clients to help them when you work together? Is it a piece from an existing offering that you know people find useful?
Here’s an example for you. I’ve created a list of 50 List Building Tips to help you work out a great optin, with ideas of where and how to share it and get it out into the world. It’s so quick to scan through and help you get some ideas, and it also links directly to The Visibility Vault AND the list building challenge currently taking place in the Emerge and Expand Membership.
Why should they stay on your list?
After someone signs up for your free optin gift, why should they stay on your list? It’s a great question to ask each time you send out an email. Why is this helpful to my people? What’s different about them being part of this exclusive group versus following you on social media? They have more skin in the game because they’ve given you their email address, so how can you show up and be of value and make it worth their while?
Your Next List Building Steps
It can feel like a lot but, just to recap, creating a strong, intimate community is such a great way to build an introvert-friendly business. Why? Because you don’t need a million people to discover you on social media. When you focus on your inner circle, it becomes more important to call in the RIGHT people who care about you, your work, and the same kinds of things you care about.
By knowing your bigger client journey, creating content (including free gifts when people sign up to your list) that make it easy for people to get a feel for what it’s like to work with you, and inviting those people to your list, you’re well on your way to building a business and a community aligned with you and your strengths.
You might also like to check out this post on 3 Simple Steps To Reduce Overwhelm with your business planning. And definitely make sure you download my free list building checklist so you don’t even have to think about what your next steps are.