Three Tactics To Win More Clients in 2015 (Part 3)

Today we’re talking about the third ticket to building the audience and revenue you need to make 2015 your break-through year. If you’re just joining, you can catch up here on Part 1: Refresh Your Website and Part 2: Make Media Work For You.

Tactic #3: Build Your Digital List.

You might think this isn’t all that important, especially if you’re getting plenty of leads by referral and have a decent close rate.

You would be wrong.

Your digital list—however you decide to use it—is the only direct feed to your audience that YOU own. It’s not subject to LinkedIn’s connection rules or Facebook shutdown. It’s yours to happily—and privately—build the client base of your dreams.

A few ground rules. While you own the list, you don’t “own” your audience. It’s your job to earn—and keep earning—their attention. That means quality content, limited commercials (never, EVER more than 20% of your content. Under 5% is even better for sophisticated brands) and absolutely, positively, zero spam.

I would further say that it’s hard to go wrong if you view your list in the sacred trust category: respect, honor and duty matter.

With that in mind, here are some tips to start growing your list…

  1. Offer focused, quality digital content. Know your audience—if you’re just starting, be clear about whom you want to pull in. And create consistent (generally weekly or bi-weekly), reliable, compelling content. How will you know when you’re firing on all cylinders? People you’d like to work with start interacting. They might write you a quick email response, comment on a blog post, retweet or like a post. Don’t use their hiring you/buying your products as your first sign. Engagement first, commerce second.
  1. Have a you-can’t-miss-it sign-up on your website. It should be above the fold on each page (in the masthead is perfect) and should visually pull the observer in. Chances are your list sign-up is your “big banana”, the one thing you want visitors to your site to do. We could debate whether to do “pop ups” on your site till the cows come home. Just do it. I guarantee there is a way to make it work within your brand and the stats consistently bear out a 50%+ sign-up increase.
  1. Sprinkle additional sign-ups across your site. I invite people to sign-up after every post. If they enjoyed reading that one, they might well enjoy having them delivered automatically, right? Look for a balance of invitation, great visuals and white space.
  1. Trade something of value. Offer up a free piece of content ONLY available to new subscribers. Whether it’s a PDF download or a quiz or a white paper—make it brand-relevant and good enough to pay for. Because if your free stuff is that good, your paid work must be bad-ass indeed.
  1. Market your content. You put a lot of thought into your content—from blog posts to articles to videos. Put some of the same effort into distributing it. Post it on your social media platforms (and on Twitter take the time to use a short URL to increase your re-tweet potential). You’ll drive folks to your site—boosting your SEO AND building your subscriber base (when they can’t resist your giant sign-up bar).
  1. Use social share buttons. Make sharing your content easy breezy. A basic WordPress plug-in upped my social shares by almost 50%. Make yours not only a no-brainer, but highly visible.
  1. Brand your stuff. Choosing a cool or sexy or, well, unforgettable, name is just smart. Not for the sake of hipness, but to perfectly capture your intent, your brand and your market position. What makes you memorable?
  1. Get in the habit of automatic promotion. This means putting a link in your email signature and your social media profiles. Build it into ALL of your promotional material—from your guest blogging byline to your bios across literally every digital platform you occupy. And don’t forget your face-to face interactions—telling your story at business events, being introduced when giving speeches and workshops. Don’t make them work to find you or your best bits.

Building a list isn’t glamorous. It isn’t sexy and some would even say it isn’t fun (I totally disagree with them by the way). But if you are truly committed to building your brand, your idea, your book, your company—it’s essential.

Make it personal, make it real and make it something you are excited about. Because just doing it by (and for) the numbers won’t keep you at it.

Tweetable question: What tactic made your email list take off?

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  • Happy New Year to you and your family Rochelle.

  • Thank you Ed–here’s to a wonderful 2015 for you and yours!

  • Rochelle,
    Best wishes in this new year.
    I saved your blog to come back to. Some things I believe I do well and get better at, especially my use of email signatures (Plural because I adapt it depending on my involvements.) which sometimes even includes a pic of my new ebook. I had been hesitant to use share buttons for my website content; much of it involvement testimonies and the like; I leave it to twitter, LinkedIn and Facebooks links to get them out there. Of course readers can copy and paste those links from the webpage; I’ve been weighing a change since reading your blog last week. As we’ve discussed some website changes involve a bit of pondering for me; others I’ll implement turning on a dime so to speak.
    Of late I leave it more to social media to blast my work but since the ebook “release,” I have considered direct marketing; I have already sent to three of the targeted lists; in one case it got discussed in my presence so I noted that in my send to the wider group.
    The signup buttons I find of interest and will scope out how it should appear on my site. Great suggestion.
    Thanks again for focusing your readers including this correspondent on what we need to do.

    • Rochelle

      Thanks for this Corey! I think we all tend to look to new sources when we have new content to share–squeeze pages are a great option if you do direct marketing or digital ads…

  • Great thoughts here Rochelle – and well communicated (no surprise there)

    I found 4 statements hit me solid – for the writing of a book, or the building of a business – thought I would share:

    1. You have deep expertise in your niche and dearly love to teach it.
    2. You have real clarity and insight into your audience. (Drives me crazy at times – what a battle to get to this place…so many ways to be distracted by/to generalities)
    3. You’re ready to build…
    4. You’re willing to laser focus on your expertise…

    Thanks for the post!

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