Social media has changed the way we communicate; it's opened doors for many business owners. There are millions of users on social media and we have an exciting opportunity to convert some of those users into customers.
Yet, while this has been good, it's also created a problem: In the same way that too many business owners depended on SEO a few years ago, they're now relying on social media the same way.
Certainly social media platforms are great, but you have to realize that your friends and followers on those media are not leads and not your audience. They are the audience of the platforms that they are on. So, if you rely too heavily on social media for your audience and one or more of those social networks decides to make a change, your business may be negatively impacted.
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Crystal Paine is an example: A New York Times bestselling author, she lost access to most of her audience of three million people when Facebook decided made an algorithm change. There are many examples like hers.
Another issue is that most of the popular social media networks are now publicly traded companies. This means that they have to put profits for their shareholders first. And the way they make profits is by limiting their audience members' organic reach and making them pay to get more.
So, instead of focusing so much on social media, consider your email list: These people are your real audience and still the best way to market to when you're looking leads. The world could be falling apart, but when you send an email, people can see it if they're signed up for your email list. There are many ways to market to an email list and boost your conversions. Here are four practical and actionable ways to build a massive email list that you can consistently sell to.
1. Get exposure through large publications.
Today, even rookie writers can send in pitches to the largest websites in the world and get accepted as contributing writers. Large media publications put out a lot of content and are always looking for more that matches their core message. You can pitch and get accepted by the largest websites in the world. Having your name and bio out there with clickable links can bring immediate and tremendous traffic to your website.
Some of those people will sign up for your email list. Here is some information on what editors at publications are looking for in a pitch.
Spend time identifying what large publications fit your message. Get a feel for the style and content. Pitch the right way. Get accepted and start delivering value to that publication's audience. This one strategy has allowed me to take my email from 3,000 to more than 39,000 people. Get into more publications and you'll grow your email list even faster.
2. Get interviewed on podcasts and shows.
Entrepreneurs today have the opportunity to share their story and talk about their business in a variety of places. We live in a time where podcasts get as many or more listeners than radio shows. To get interviewed on podcasts, find shows on iTunes that match your message and cold-pitch the podcaster. You can also sign up for a free service such as Radio Guest List to get a digest of shows that are looking for guests on different topics.
You can also cold-pitch traditional radio shows. Find the ones that will resonate with what you do and convince the producer why and how you can add value to the show. For TV shows, start locally. Contact the associate producer of your local affiliate's weekend morning show and explain how you would add value for its viewers. Tie what you do into a current local event. For radio and TV shows, you can also sign up for a free service like HARO to get a digest of shows looking for guest on various topics.
3. Mount a joint venture with a known entrepreneur.
There may be other entrepreneurs who do what you do or something similar but have a larger audience than yours. For example, you could teach about real estate alongside a real estate attorney. Whatever the case, do a joint webinar or class with this person and split the email addresses and/or the profits if you are selling something. Joint ventures -- as long as they are beneficial to both parties -- can be a great way to build your email list faster.
You have probably heard the saying, "The money is in the list." When a hacker took down my website, my income didn't skip a beat because I had built an engaged email list. I saw firsthand that this saying can be true if you don't know what you're doing.
The three strategies described here can help you build a massive list and build it fast. Once you do that, add value to them through your free content and don't be afraid to sell visitors your premium content. You can use an email list to add significant revenue growth to your company's bottom line. So, why not start building yours today?