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Lisa: What is list building? Is it the same as platform building or more specific, because it’s about people on your list?
Louise: List-building is about building a community of folks who are excited to receive free information from you and hear about future offers that provide additional value. These people agreed to hear more from you, by signing up on your email list. The value is in connection – connecting with each person who subscribed to your list, all human beings every one!
Lisa: Why is it important?
Louise: Without this community, it would be difficult to spread your important message, fill your programs, sell your products and make a difference beyond a one on one connection. The bigger the list, the more people’s lives you can touch. And of course a healthy income to support that.
Lisa: We all know authors need a platform to publish and sell books, but what do authors need to know to do this right? What are some of the most important questions to be asking themselves?
Louise: I’m sure you teach this to your clients when you work with them Lisa, but it’s important as an author (or business owner) to know who their target audience is. To know who the message is for. And to be clear even, on what solution you’re providing that group of people.
Another question to ask is what visibility strategy you would enjoy, AND that your particular audience would respond to. No point in spending time on Facebook, if your audience is more likely to be found on Linked In. This is also applies to the method in which your message is communicated. Your folks are most likely going to favor writing which means blogging, article writing, but some audiences also like video, audio, etc…
Lisa: What are some of the pitfalls to be aware of when building a list?
Louise: Sometimes when we think of a ‘list’ we dehumanize who we’re communicating with – seeing it as a collective number, and forgetting that these are live, caring, conscious individuals who you want to make a connection with every time you send a message to your list.
Lisa: Any others?
Louise: Not connecting often enough. If you only connect with them a few weeks or months after they joined your list, they’ll wonder who you are and unsubscribe. I’ve seen this happen quite regularly with people I’ve subscribed to. I’ll talk more about the pitfalls in my upcoming free teleseminar on list building.
Lisa: What are your favorite platforms for creating a powerful community?
Louise: I just love Facebook. And Youtube and Twitter as a close follow up, and then of course LinkedIn. Again it all depends on where your particular community spends most of its time. So make sure to ask yourself where that is, to leverage it well in connecting with your ideal clients or readers.
Lisa: What do you love most about Facebook?
Louise: Facebook is a powerful tool but it’s also fun. I find it to be the most interactive and friendly platform. From a visibility and list building perspective it’s pretty easy to surround yourself with your ideal clients making it a lot easier to attract the right audience! And then it’s about relationship building.
Lisa: Can people spread themselves too thin with social media?
Louise: It’s not easy making an impact (the 80/20 rule!) when you’re trying to do all of them simultaneously and equally as well. Choose one or two, and focus in there for powerful results.
Lisa: Can you share a story that illustrates a client using a particularly powerful strategy and the results they got?
Louise: I have a client who is a spiritual coach who uses Facebook and Youtube extremely well and has filled her practice (approximately 20 clients) with those mediums. And I have a client who is a step-mom coach who uses Facebook and Blogtalkradio as a way to build her list and find clients with ease, the former through relationship building, and the latter through offering free reports to have her ideal clients opt-in on her email list during the show.
Lisa: I find, too that using a combination of two or three strategies in a synergistic way
can be most powerful.
Louise: Absolutely. I have seen Twitter and teleseminars work well together, or joint venture partners sharing about teleseminars on Twitter! If you’re starting out this will start with 10’s and build to 100’s and then 1000’s. Each time I do a launch my list jumps exponentially, because I offer an informational call on a great topic which appeals to many people.
Colleagues (often affiliates) help me fill my call, as they see the topic as a benefit to their community. This leads to both building my list and filling my program.
Lisa: It seems you find social media some of the most effective and fastest tools for platform building. Any other strategies you like?
Louise: Teleseminars are a fabulous way to build a list; they build your credibility and highlight your expertise, so you become known as a leader in your community. Radio shows are also great. Similar to a blog, Internet radio attracts new visitors through tagging. I have used radio to build my leadership and visibility and have established a following, with a few thousand listeners each month. Video offers a more personal connection, which is why video email and platforms like Livestream are doing so well. And Pinterest certainly is being used very effectively by some businesses.
Lisa: Any final advice?
Louise: Remember to use a combination of a strategies and methods, so you appeal to everyone’s learning style (visual (video or pinterest), audio (downloads), kinesthetic (transcripts or reports), etc.) and create experiences that help you connect with your audience. If it’s compelling and engaging, they will opt-in to your list. In creating experiences you get to be unique, more of yourself. You get to engage the audience in different ways, through conversation, an exercise or competition, through visuals and creativity. It can be a bit confusing figuring all this out, which is why I do the work I do, to make it all cohesive, clear and strategic.
Lisa: Can you share information on your upcoming complimentary list-building teleseminar?
Louise: Yes, I would love to Lisa. To build an email list of pre-qualified people who are excited to hear more from you, and who you are thrilled at the prospect of working with, you can join me on May 19 at 1 pm Eastern, for “Kick-Start Your List-Building: 5 Simple Steps to a Pipeline of Your First 1000 Avid Fans.”
Louise Crooks, The KeystoClarity! Coach, is a heart-centered and inspiring business coach, radio show host, speaker and co-author of Stepping Stones to Success, featured with Jack Canfield and Deepak Chopra. Louise helps entrepreneurs create visibility to be seen as an expert in one’s field and fill one’s practice with the ‘right’ clients. Download her free report, The 5 Critical Business Mistakes of Solopreneurs and How to Avoid Them.