You may have heard a time or two (or 10 million) that a strong list or community is key to having a solid, healthy, profitable business. (And, just to make sure we’re all on the same page with terms — list comes from having a list of people with their contact info, typically their email, you have permission to reach out to. I’m not terribly fond of the word list myself as I believe it depersonalizes what you should be creating — which is a community of folks who are inspired by you and want to work with you. Also if you use the word community, it implies more than just having a list of emails and only being able to reach out to folks via email. Yes a stand-alone email is still one of the best ways to promote your products or services, but it doesn’t have to be the only way.)
Where you may be getting stuck is in knowing how to grow your list or community. And part of that may be because list/community building is actually a 3-step process:
* Finding people who may be a good fit for your community
* Making the right invitation for them to join your community
* Keeping your community relevant/interesting/engaging so they want to remain a member
You’ll get ideas on how to do all 3 of these below in the Cheat Sheet. Let’s get started.
1. Create a hot freebie your ideal prospects would love to have — like a special report, audio or video that answers a burning question they have. (You also can give away something tangible — for instance if you sell protein shakes you could give away one of those plastic shaker cups.)
2. Create a free event — webinar, teleclass, book launch — something that is happening on a specific date and time where you can invite folks to be a part of. (And once they do, they’re now a part of your community.)
3. Have other people promote you. They can invite their community to join yours via your hot freebie or free event.
4. Use paid ads to get in front of your ideal community and invite them to get your hot freebie or be a part of your free event.
5. Create engaging content and post it on your blog/send to your community so they want to remain in your community.
6. Use some of that engaging content to entice new community members to join by posting it where they can experience it. (For instance, post links to your blog posts on social networking sites.)
7. Create your engaging content in a variety of mediums — such as podcasts, written blog posts, videos, Google hangouts — so you can post in a variety of places to reach more folks.
8. Spend time interacting and chatting with your ideal clients where they are — you can comment, share, retweet, like, etc. what members of your community are sharing. If they see your generosity in sharing your knowledge and helping them be more visible, they’ll be more interested in joining your community.
9. Speak on other people’s stages, radio shows, podcasts, etc. to give folks a chance to experience you and your brilliance.
10. Attend in-person networking events (but don’t just blindly add folks to your community — make sure you get their permission if you want to email them).
Bonus tip — keep an eye out for new and unique ways to keep growing and expanding your community — just like you’ll never stop looking for ways to keep engaging your community, you also need to keep looking for ways to grow and expand your community.© Copyright 2014 Michele Pariza Wacek (Michele PW)