Have you ever said, “I can’t hope to make sales, because I have no list to promote to”?
If so, be aware this kind of self-sabotaging thought is what holds many promising coaches and entrepreneurs back from creating great things. They believe that without a ready-made audience, there’s no hope for sales, and therefore, what’s the point?
But the truth is, sales can come from many, many other places besides your mailing list. While a list of active subscribers does allow you to promote to a ready audience who already knows, likes and trusts you, it’s not the only method that works.
Affiliate Partners. The next best thing to your own know/like/trust factor is the ability to leverage that of partner. When you create an affiliate program and ask your friends and colleagues to promote your products in exchange for a commission, you’re essentially receiving their endorsement. They reach out to their list of subscribers with news about your great programs. And, because they already have a relationship with their subscribers, they pass a little of that trust factor on to you.
Social Media. Just because you don’t have a subscriber list of thousands doesn’t mean you don’t have a reach of thousands. How many followers do you have on Twitter? Facebook friends? LinkedIn connections? Instagram followers?
All of these (and the many, many other social networks) are potential customers, and promoting your product on social media can be as easy as making a quick post with a link to your sales or opt-in page.
Webinars. For higher ticket products and programs, webinars are the ideal sales vehicle. By speaking to your audience in real time (and perhaps even on video) you give them a chance to get to know you better than email alone will ever allow. Combine webinars with affiliate promotions or paid traffic, and you have a scalable sales machine that can easily bring in hundreds of new potential clients with every event.
Paid Traffic. Advertising is easier and less expensive now than it ever has been. You can target your audience by demographic, interests and more, ensuring your ads are only shown to your ideal client. You can run ads on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google’s Adwords network, and dozens of others. You can also buy solo ads, but get references and start small, as there are a lot of bad sellers in that arena. I use Udimi, but I always check testimonials, and I don’t buy from sellers who also buy solo ads (because they are usually just arbitraging the leads, and they et diluted and won’t buy).
Guest Blogging. No list of your own? Guest posting on someone else’s blog lets you easily borrow their audience – and start growing your own. Choose blogs whose readership is a complement to yours – not a competitor – for best results.
Borrow a List (for Real). Friends and colleagues with mailing lists are a good option as well, though it might cost you. One way to manage payment is to borrow a colleague’s list while using his/her affiliate link for your product. If that’s not an option, then a one-time fee can be negotiated as well, and will generally be based on the size and responsiveness of the list.
Get Interviewed. Podcasts are hot right now. In fact, it seems like nearly everyone has a new weekly (or even daily) interview show. If you have a great product or service, you’re the perfect fit for an interview spot, so start reaching out to those podcasters. They’ve got hungry audiences just waiting to hear from you!
While it might be true that “the money is in the list,” that doesn’t mean it has to be your list. There are many more ways you can borrow someone else’s audience as you grow your own, so don’t let the lack of a mailing list hold you back from creating your next great product or course!
Best of all, as you get sales, you will be adding the customers to a list, and leveraging the above strategies to build and grow your own list.