We’ve all heard the advice: You need a list to be successful in biz. And to build a list, you need to offer something for free.
Alas, like most things in life, it’s just not as simple or easy as all of that.
First, while I still do believe offering something free is one of the best ways to grow your list, there are a few problems with it:
* While there is no question you will attract legitimate buyers with a freebie, you also will attract freebie-seekers who will never buy a thing. The real question is exactly how many of each end up on your list. (And that will partially determine how responsive your list is.)
* Getting people on your list is simply the first step. The REAL work is building a relationship with them. And depending on what you do, you could end up building a relationship where you’ve trained everyone — even your prospective buyers — to be freebie seekers. Or you could build a relationship based on suspicion, because they are skeptical about your motives. Or you could NOT build a relationship at all, because you rarely send an email.
So what do you do? Well, here are 3 steps to building a solid relationship based on trust with your prospects, so they WANT to become paying clients.
1. Just like in real life, building a relationship with your list takes time and effort. So, make sure you carve out time to build and nurture your list. That means offering great content, getting your personality into your marketing, letting your list get to know you, and maybe even being entertaining. You want your list to look forward to getting your emails, right?
2. Now, as much as you may love giving away free content and really detest selling, if you don’t offer a mix of selling and content, you’ll train everyone on your list to only want the freebies from you. So then when you finally get around to making them an offer, everyone will be upset with you because it’s not what they’re used to. The trick is the balance — creating the right balance between free and paid offers, so people feel like they’re really getting something out of being on your list, and they look forward to seeing what you’re offering to find out if it’s a good fit for them.
3. Take a look at your mindset when you’re about to make an offer to your list. Are you shrinking because you would rather not (you really hate the idea of selling) or are you feeling desperate because you need money? If you have anything negative going on around selling (or even sending an email for that matter) that’s going to come through your message, which is going to affect how your list receives your offers.
In addition, I would look at your “come from” — what’s your come from when you send an email selling your program? Are you only looking at your numbers and how many people you get into your paid program? Or are you offering an invitation to anyone who wants to join you, because they want to go deeper with you (and you’re unattached to the outcome)?
Your list can sense your come from, so if they think you’re just viewing them as “walking wallets” instead of as real people, they’re going to resent it – which means they’ll reject all your offers. But if they feel like you’re inviting them to join you, and whatever they decide is fine with you, they’ll be more open to your offers and not feel like they’re being “sold” to.© Copyright 2013 Michele Pariza Wacek (Michele PW)