There is a saying in internet marketing circles, that “the money is in the list”. Building a list of prospective clients is therefore one of the most important tasks for any business, because the more people you are connected to the more likely you are to make a sale or two!
But really, the money isn’t just in the list – building a list of people who you either don’t keep in contact with, or have no real relationship with, is a waste of time. The money is actually in building relationships with the people on your list. That’s why it’s so important to share useful information with your list, building relationships based on mutual respect and trust. (Read my earlier article on Building Relationships with E-mail Newsletters)
However, if you have only a small client list, building relationships that will lead to enough sales to keep your business afloat, isn’t easy – it’s better to have a bigger list. So how do you go about building a list of prospective clients?
There are several ways you could approach list building, for example:
- Providing a free report that people can download from your website
- Presenting a topic at a live event, and getting people to sign up for your newsletter
- Offering a free “taster” session to show people how you work
- Setting up a Facebook page with a free offer
- Using Twitter to lead people to your website
- Delivering free teleseminars or webinars on your favourite topic
- Swapping business cards at networking events
- Running a telesummit – a virtual event where several speakers talk about a topic
- Setting up Joint Venture Partnerships with complementary – and competing! – businesses
- Offering free Q&A calls, website audits, or other reviews to a targeted group
One thing you must bear in mind though, when you’re list building, is to always make it clear to people that you will be sending newsletters or other e-mails to them, once you have their e-mail address, and that you won’t pass on their contact details to anyone else. Otherwise, you could be accused of spam! 🙁