When you are an entrepreneur it seems you always have 10 things too many on your plate, and 10 more spinning around in your head waiting for in the spotlight of your attention, amirite?
I hear you. There is a lot of noise around how to grow your email list and business and believe me, I’ve heard a lot of it. What I can say after having been in the content and marketing business for many years is that there are some strategies that are huge time suckers and energy drainers that don’t offer a lot in terms of revenue, and there are some tried and true strategies that can are easily implemented and have proven to generate a steady increased growth in email subscribers as well as in customers and recurring revenue.
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So, Who is this post for? This post is for you if:
You are just getting started with your new business and website (even if you have zero followers right now- We all started at zero!) and you have no idea where the heck to start when it comes to growing your business, this post is for you.
You have already started your business, are gaining some followers, but are getting stuck on the regular when it comes to what steps to take next or processes to implement that will have the biggest impact on your growth, this post is for you.
When you are starting or trying to grow a young business online there is a lot of noise coming at you when it comes to what is the best way to grow your business.
I’m going to clear all the noise away for you and tell you this: The number one, biggest, highest-impact action you can take today to start growing your business is to Build. Your. Email. List.
I know, you’ve heard this before! Of course you have. Because it is 100% true.
Unfortunately, you also hear 100’s of white noise tactics on how to best grow your email list. The internet is a loud place, and in today’s age of information overload, it gets very confusing, very fast-even for me. I have been writing and blogging for over 15 years and whenever I want to move my biz in a different direction or launch a new product, I sometimes get caught up in all the hype of growth strategies and find myself completely burned out after taking courses and reading everything I can find on every different type of digital marketing that is the new hot thing.
Don’t get me wrong, there are strategies to grow your email list that really do work- and I will get there right after I share with you the two things you need to STOP doing today so you can simplify your life AND grow your email list and business way faster.
1. Social media is NOT the best way to grow your email list.
Yes, that’s right. I said it. Well, what is it for then? Social media is good for connecting with customers you already have, sharing good customer experiences, and increasing brand awareness. So, social media is useful in your business for:
- creating returning customers out of existing ones
- getting testimonials out to a wider audience
- increasing visibility to your blog
The sad news for those of us who have lost countless hours and dollars putting our energy on social media to grow our email lists and create new customers is this: no one is buying from you through organic social media posts, mainly because no one is seeing them. The problem with focusing on growing your social media following before you grow your email list is that no one is going to see your content anyway, and you will be wasting massive amounts of time trying to “figure out” the magic recipe to gain 10K on Insta while jump roping and trying not to trip over the very latest algorithm changes.
Do you know what else you will be wasting? Money. Yup, that’s right. People often talk about social media being “free advertising.” Sure, you can put your content out there without buying ads, but if you are doing the work yourself, how much is that time spent really costing you? Think of it this way: If you earn or pay yourself $40 an hour and you spend 4 hours working on social media each week, that just cost you $160. Are you making even close to that back in revenue or email subscribers generated from social media? I’m going to guess not. Save your time, energy, and money and put them into something that is proven to work to grow your email list and business.
2. Stop Creating Types of Content that You are Not Very good at Creating.
You have definitely heard that content is king. Well, quality is queen. Let’s talk for a second about creating different types of content. The most common types of content are written, graphics, infographics, video, and podcasts. When you are thinking about what type of content to create, think about what you are best at- what is your top skill?
I will use myself as an example. My strongest and most marketable skill is writing. I have been writing and blogging for over 15 years, both for myself, for my clients, and for various publications. In the past three or so months I have been feeling the undeniable pull to start doing video- maybe youtube, maybe Facebook lives. Now, while I don’t hate doing video it is 100% NOT my greatest skill, it’s actually pretty low on that list. So I decided to refocus my energy back on writing right now in order to grow my business faster and more effectively.
You have to use your strongest skill set to its maximum capacity, to the point where it feels second nature before you can start adding in new tasks. Think of your number one skill set right now- this is what you will use to grow your website, blog, email list, and business quickly and effectively. If you are looking on some amazing content creation tips visit Twins Mommy. So much useful info for new and seasoned bloggers, you could be there all day.
To recap, to simplify your life and make room for strategies that will quickly grow your business you want to:
- Stop wasting time, energy, and money trying to grow your followers on social media until you have a decent size and engaged email list. Then you can put a little more focus on engaging with your established customers in social media spaces.
- Stop trying to create all the different kinds of content and focus on the number one skill set you have. Use that to grow your business with more ease and more focused growth.
Now that we know what to stop doing, let’s look at the top 5 ways that you can quickly grow your email list.
1. Create quality content
Seems like a no brainer right? Unfortunately, many people get started with their websites and blogs and try to generate a lot of not-so-great content just to have something on their site. Don’t do this. When it comes to content that you put out, quality is way more important than quantity. Start by creating cornerstone or evergreen content for your website. This is the content that defines who you are and what your business offers. Once you have these articles written, you will have your focus established and all of your other content will root from these categories or areas of interest.
You will also want to check your posts for grammar and spelling mistakes. As a working writer, I can tell you nothing turns off a reader more than sloppy spelling. Not that you won’t have the errand mistake here and there, it happens to the best of us, but taking extra care to do a grammar check and a spelling check before you press send on a post goes a long way when you are establishing your credibility as a blogger. For those of us who don’t have an editor, Grammarly is a great helping hand.
2. Use Keywords and SEO
Creating great content is only the first step to growing your blog or website. Next, you have to get that content seen. Because all the great content in the world won’t do you any good when it comes to growing your business unless people are aware of it and engaging with it. So what’s one of the best ways to get your content seen? By using popular keywords in the text of your post and in the title.
Now, SEO, and keywords are a whole novel unto themselves, and I will be writing about it in the near future, but to get you started here is a great tip for finding popular keywords for free. Go to Pinterest and start typing what you are writing about into the search bar. The suggestions that pop up are the keywords people are using most to search for what they are looking for when it comes to content that is similar to yours. Which brings us to our next way to start growing your email list, using Pinterest.
3. Make your content uber pinnable and shareable on Pinterest
Unlike social media, Pinterest is actually a very powerful search engine, much like Google. It works off of keywords, so you will definitely want to brush up on your SEO and keyword skills for this. Ahrefs is the source for SEO knowledge and strategy- they have info, tools, and extremely useful ideas you can use to get started with SEO and keywords. Last week I spent multiple hours in Pinterest marketing strategy seminars and courses and I am writing all of my golden nugget takeaways into a monster Pinterest blog post and cheat sheet for you guys. (If you don’t already subscribe to the newsletter, don’t forget to before you go so you don’t miss that!)
4. Be consistent
I can’t stress this one enough. Nothing kills a blog, a website or a brand faster than inconsistency. If you are inconsistent with your message, your style, your voice, or your frequency of communication you will confuse your reader and they will be slowly sliding towards that “unsubscribe” button. Keep your hard-won readers and customers by being consistent. This leads me into my last list item for today on how to simplify and grow your email list, The Welcome newsletter.
5. Send your new subscribers a welcome Email
I have been in this business for a while and most of my work has been blogging and writing articles for other brands. So I have definitely written and formatted drip emails and welcome sequences before. But until recently I never set one up for my own blog. How silly! Doing this instantly connected me to the new people who were subscribing to my site each day and I felt they were then happy to read what I was sending out to them each week because I welcomed them to the site, introduced myself more personally, and let them know what subscribers-only exclusive content they could expect. This has really been a game-changer as I continue growing my email list.
I use Mailer Lite (their free plan goes up to 1,000 subscribers) for all of my newsletters and email campaigns, both for my clients and for my own websites. This Email program is so user-friendly – which is good because I am decidedly not a tech person. Try this with your new subscribers and you will really see more engagement from your email list.
Now that you know what not to do and what to do to grow your email list you will be able to clarify your brand and focus on these 5 strategies. Once you implement these strategies consistently, you will see a real increase in the number of email subscribers you get each week as well as an increase in engagement.
Have you tried any of these strategies with your blog or website? What were your results? What is your biggest business struggle right now in starting or scaling your business? Let me know in the comments- I will love to help!