Growing an email list based community is one of the best things you can do to effectively market your coaching business. In this post I’ll be sharing why an email list is so important, a few ways you can get people on to your list and some ideas of what to do with your list once you have people on there. Let’s dive in!
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Why should you invest your time in building an email list for your coaching business?
There’s several reasons why growing an email list is important if you have a coaching business. Firstly, when we grow a community on a platform like Facebook or Instagram you don’t have a lot of control over it – ultimately you don’t ‘own’ your account on social media and changes to the algorithm or having your account shut down could create serious issues if your entire marketing strategy and community is on one of those platforms.
When we build a community via an email list, we actually own that list of people and while email marketing isn’t infallible in terms of things that can go wrong, it’s a lot more within our control than social media.
Another factor to consider with social media is that a lot of content there is quite fast paced and can lack depth. Like blogging and other longer forms of content, emailing a community can feel like a much more satisfying way of connecting with people as well as simply being more effective when it comes to creating that connection anyways.
Secondly, email based marketing still comes out on top when it comes to the most effective marketing methods. This is backed up by research and also my personal experiences reflect this as well. My email list is generally where I see most people prompted into action to buy my stuff, most of my sales are generated via email.
Building an email list is also about capturing people when they come into your world – often via content you create so you can continue to build a relationship with them and help them.
Ultimately, building an email list of people who are well placed to benefit from your services is going to give your business some sustainability. It’s not that we should see our lists like some kind of cash point, but you can get to the point where you can create something and know that you will sell it well when you’ve spend time and energy building a list that works for your business.
Managing your email list
If you’re completely new to email marketing you’re going to want to get an Email Service Provider (ESP).
I’m a massive fan of ConvertKit, (affiliate link) it is slightly more complex than some options but for my business which has multiple freebies, multiple offers, multiple funnels then it works super well.
Then there’s lots of other options too, Flodesk creates beautiful emails but lacks some of the systems that Convertkit has in the back end. Mailerlite is usually what I recommend to most new coaches as it gives you everything you need when you get started.
Growing your list with content and freebies
The majority of my email list growth comes through content marketing. For me that’s creating blog based content (like this!) that includes some kind of freebie which people must subscribe in order to access.
This method brings a constant drip of new subscribers into my world on a consistent basis.
When it comes to creating freebies that convert, I do feel that we have to think carefully about what kind of freebie is best placed to help you grow your list for your particular business.
I’m seeing things like cheat sheets and planners work well in my business over general PDF guides. They are very quick to use and are focused on creating an actionable tangible result.
My Pinterest Marketing Planner (featured in this post) and Retreat Planner are good examples of this.
But ultimately a freebie can be anything – a recorded webinar, an audio, a free call even. Just be sure to really consider the people who are best placed to benefit from your services and what they need, what small problem could you solve with a freebie?
Another slightly more advanced way to look at freebies is to link it to something you’re selling. For example my Pinterest Marketing Planner links to my Pinterest Magic course. If you have one of two offers it might not be as linear as that, but it can also be a good way to think about your freebie and your content that leads to it.
Growing your list with Summits and Bundles
Another thing that is working really well when it comes to email list growth is being part of summits and bundles. Both of these things have worked super well for me in my business and have given me the best results in terms of big jumps in subscriber numbers.
An online summit is usually where someone organises an online event with other business owners who give presentations or interviews based on a topic or theme. The organiser benefits because the idea is that the presenters share the summit with their lists so the organiser will grow their list when people sign up, and the presenters benefit because usually then can promote a freebie which in turn adds people on to their lists.
A bundle is where someone puts together a collection of (most often) digital products from various contributors. This bundle is sold at an attractive price so the organiser benefits from the income from that and the buyers joining their lists. The contributors will benefit because they’ll gain subscribers from the people that sign up for their specific product. Often the organiser will enable contributors to sign up as affiliates so they’ll also get a very good kick back if they refer their people to the bundle and they buy.
I’ve been a participant in several bundles and summits and I’m hoping to organise my own summit very soon so watch this space!
I love this way of building your list because it’s so collaborative.
Growing your list through guest posting
Alongside bundles and summits, there’s another way you can collaborate with people and grow your list and that’s through guest posting. Whether it’s writing a blog for one another’s sites with a link to your freebie, being a podcast guest, doing a joint Instagram live where you also talk about your freebie, all of these ways of collaborating and guesting can help grow your list – just don’t forget the freebie!
Of course, you also have paid ads which you can use to grow your list. I would usually recommend that most coaches wait until they know their unpaid organic content marketing is working before sinking a lot of money into ads, but they can be fun to experiment with at all stages of business.
Working with your list
Unfortunately when it comes to building your list it might just take a bit of time, there’s no magic bullet – although you can see massive growth with the right summits and bundles I’ve found in my experience.
However, it’s not just about the numbers, you need to be getting the right people – the ones who are best placed to benefit from your services, your ideal clients – on your list.
And when it does come to numbers two things can be true at once – you don’t have to have a massive list to have a thriving business, but to scale, you do want to be seeing those numbers increase!
Remember that if you were in a room with 10, 20, 50 people that would be a lot of people! Sometimes it’s easy to forget that when we’re online.
And on that final point, no matter how many people are on your list make sure you’re emailing them regularly. I tend to think more than once a month is best if you want to stay top of mind, although you obviously have to work with what time you have available.
All roads lead to your email list
A good way to think of it all is ‘all roads lead to the email list’. Whatever it is you’re doing, how can you get people on to your list? If you’re doing IRL events, can you take your iPad with you and have people subscribe then and there? What can you do each and every week to promote a freebie and get people to sign up?
It can be easy to forget to do this (this is me!) but it’s good to be reminded. Wherever you’re showing up, just remember to promo your freebie as much as possible and you’ll start to see your list grow.
I really hope you’ve found this post helpful! I’d love to know which of these ideas you’ll try, let me know in the comments!
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