The most important thing you can do for your business is to build a list. It doesn’t matter what your niche is, or how long you’ve been in business, you need a list so that you can connect with your audience on your own terms.
“But,” I can hear you protest, “I have hundreds (or thousands) of followers on social media! That’s just as good as building a list isn’t it?”
No, actually it’s not. And here’s why…
You need a list so that you can connect with your audience on a platform you control in the same way you need your own website or blog. You don’t really have any control over the platform if you build your lists exclusively on social media sites. Facebook could delete your account or even shut down the whole site at any time, and if you don’t have your followers on a list you control, how will you contact them to explain why they can’t find your page anymore? The same goes for Twitter, Instagram, and any other third party platform out there.
Instead, consider social media sites as a means to an end, and use them strategically. Your ultimate goal with social media should be to funnel people onto your email list. You build relationships and let people get to know, like, and trust you on social sites, and then you invite them to join your list.
And just in case you think control is the only reason you need to build a list, here are five more reasons why it’s important to build a list.
Reason #1 – A List Gives You an Easy Way to Contact Members
It’s really exciting when someone, anyone reads your content, comments on your blog, sees your sales page, checks you out on social media, or buys a product of yours.
It’s great… but what if they forget about you and never take another action again?
What if they only ever buy that ONE product from you because you fall off their radar?
What if they love your blog post but forget about you because they have a million other great blog posts they love?
What if Facebook changes their algorithm so that person who “liked” your page never sees another one of your posts again?
Then, it’s not quite so rosy. It’s as if your readers and customers are slipping through your fingers. You need a way to connect with them and keep up with them. You need a way to stay at the top of their mind.
Getting them on an email list is the best way to do that. Get that Facebook fan on your email list and who cares if Facebook changes their algorithms? Get that blog reader on your email list and let them know when you have new posts… and new promotions. Get that customer on your list and gain a customer for life.
People are more likely to buy from those they know, like, and trust. People are more likely to buy when they’ve been reminded to do so more than once.
Reason #2 – A List Makes It Easier to Build Relationships
If someone trusts you and already likes what you have to say, they’ll be a lot more likely to buy from you. That sort of thing happens over time… once you have a relationship.
I’m not going to sugar coat this… it’s not easy to build a relationship if you don’t have a way to contact people. It’s especially hard to build it if you only ever have fleeting contact with a reader or customer through social media sites.
Get them on your list and it’s a whole new ballgame. When you have someone on your email list, you can send them helpful information. You can answer their questions one on one. You can share things that are going on in your life.
Email is simply more intimate and primed for relationship building. You have to use your list in the right way to make this happen, of course, but it can pay off big time when you do.
Reason #3 – A List Makes it Easier to Scale Your Business
It’s important to have an email list if you want to scale your business up. You’re so busy that it’s more essential than ever before to automate where you can (in the form of a list building funnel and autoresponders, in this case) and pay attention to what really works in your business.
Build a targeted email list of thousands of those who are looking for answers and willing to spend money in your niche and you have a recipe for success.
Having an email list allows you to scale up because you can focus on what’s important and always get your offers and promotions in front of extremely targeted eyeballs.
Reason #4 – A List Allows You to Create Passive Income
Having an email list can also help you achieve the dream of passive income. You can set up a squeeze page and make use of traffic methods that will work for you day and night. You can pay for this traffic, write articles, create video, or whatever works for you.
You can then create a freebie offer that you give away on your squeeze page. It doesn’t matter if it’s 2 am, people will get that freebie automatically if they sign up for your list.
You can write a series of autoresponder emails that inform and delight your audience. You can write emails that promote products of yours and products you’re promoting as an affiliate.
Yes, you’ll have to check in with your list to maintain the relationships you’re building, but much of the process income generation can happen on autopilot if you set yourself up the right way.
Reason #5 – A List Allows You to Create Multiple Streams of Income
In addition to helping you create passive income, having an email list also helps you develop multiple streams of income. You can earn as an affiliate or product creator. You can strike up great Joint venture deals… people are a lot more likely to work with you if you can show them you have a great, responsive email list.
It doesn’t matter what your main form of income is right now, having a list gives you options. And in a business where things are constantly changing and you have to keep up, adapt, and make sure your eggs aren’t all in one basket, email marketing is key.
When you focus on building your list, you build a foundation for your business that can withstand the many changes that come with online marketing. When you build your list you’re building your freedom, both by freeing yourself from dependence on third party platforms and, most importantly by creating the ideal life for yourself. And after all, isn’t building a life of freedom for yourself the ultimate reason for being in business?