People ask me all the time – how do I grow an email list? (People also say to me – you must have such a big email list!)
To the first question I say, make something people want and offer to give it to them so long as they give you something back. Then advertise/promote it. I don’t know where all the confusion comes in. It’s just a bribe!
Step 1: Create Something Cool
Step 2: Promote It (Content Market, Facebook Ads, etc.)
Step 3: ???? [UNDERPANTS GNOMES] ????
Step 4: Voila – You have an email list!
To the second, my reply is you are mistaken. My email list is rather lean. My tribe is not enormous. But they are hot and engaged. They read almost everything I say, and tend to do that one thing essential to any business – they buy. Because I make it worth it for them by giving content, programs, coaching, and other material that surpasses the gifts they give me. The gifts of time, money, etc. (These are big gifts to give someone.)
The size of your email list is not as important as your ability to communicate to them in a way that isn’t sleazy or condescending or cliche. I know people with big lists making little money because they don’t know how to write or relate. I know people with small lists making big money because they know how to bring it down to the common man’s level. Mostly because they are common men themselves.
So if you’re going to put time into list-building put an equal amount of time into nurturing that list by dispersing useful information and maintaining a conversational tone. Don’t brag. Don’t go on about how much money you make or how rail thin you are or how much weight you can lift right as you roll out of bed. It’s OK to show off every once in a while. But mostly you should keep the attention on them.
PS – If you would like specific, non-gimmicky ideas on how to use content marketing to grow (and love) an email list, join my Fitness Business Insider. This is a “look over my shoulder”, private newsletter where I share my best ideas on how to build a brand by sending love letters.