Growing your business from scratch each day isn't easy.
Maybe you aren't completely starting over, but if you're working to grow your business online, it sure can feel that way. Every day is a new struggle to build your email list. Each morning you start at zero for the day and work to see how many new subscribers you can get.
It can be frustrating, adding new email subscribers. It's hard work convincing people that you really want to help them, to provide them with terrific content they are going to love. You work hard to write terrific emails and engaging blog posts and yet your subscriber list builds slowly. You feel like the tortoise.
You know this is work you have to do, but boy, isn't it easier to just hop on to your social media account and engage with your fans there? Images, video, fast moving comments – these are the things that pump you up and get your juices flowing. Be careful, this is where you become dangerously close to becoming the hare.
Sure, it's nice to have a massive following on social media. It feels good to know that people respect you, that they enjoy interacting with you, but have you ever considered that these leads, these social media fans you have are not your own?
It's All About Your List: Your Email List
In the world of online marketing, where everything is virtual, all you really have … is your list.
The list of people who love what you're doing, will follow your every word and are likely to buy whatever you sell. If that valuable list of people who love you is only on social media, you are operating at the whim of a company you can't control.
What if you woke up tomorrow and Facebook was gone? How would that affect your business, your client interaction? What if it were Pinterest, or Instagram or Twitter?
Over the past few years we've seen how platforms modify their policies, change their algorithms, and decide to start charging us if we want followers to see our content. This is no way to build your business: at the mercy of someone else's business success.
Whether you have hundreds or thousands of followers on Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter, you eventually need to move them to your email list if you want to be able to market to them. This can be much more difficult than it sounds. It is easy for people to decide to engage with you on social media, there's very little commitment on their part. All they have to do is click a button. They can log in or out at will, they can block you, or they can unfollow you and you'll never even know. Don't let a huge social media following to give you a false feeling of your popularity.
Just yesterday I responded to someone who is launching her product and despite the fact she has thousands of followers on FB who love what she's doing and like her posts, she's unable to get them to buy. That's because social media is for interaction, not sales.
Building Your List is Personal
Getting into someone's email inbox is much more personal than getting them to "like" or share something you've posted on social media. Instead of your message being one of thousands they scroll through quickly and "like" without reading, now your message is among those of the people they care most about: their family and friends.
Once someone trusts you with their email address, once you begin offering them amazing content as your beloved subscriber, they will tell you they appreciate what you have to say by engaging with you, by buying from you. They are allowing you into their inner circle. Make sure you deserve to be there.
Yes, building an email list is hard. Yes it can be slow, but it is also the very best way to give your business a firm and solid foundation. You may feel like a tortoise, but at least your home moves along with you, it isn't left behind in the interest of the next flashy new thing.
If you want to build an amazing online business, if you want to be able to launch incredible products to the people who most respect and admire you, trust me. Your most important launch tool is your email list.