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How To Build An Email List To Help Grow Your Business

August 13, 2020

I’m Kim.
I’m an M.D.-turned-coach and I’m dedicated to helping you build your dream career + lifestyle. Welcome to my blog, where I write (and podcast) about wellness, business + success!
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Email marketing is vital if you want to grow your coaching business. 

But how do you get started building an email list from scratch? 

In this blog, (and podcast) I’m going to walk you through the three simple steps to setting up and growing your email list, so you can get started attracting potential clients right away!

By the way, if you’d rather listen than read, here’s where you can tune in to this episode:


Before we get started…I want to invite you to my free online training called: The 4-Part Formula For Replacing Your 9-5 Income With A Coaching Business You Love, and that’s exactly what I teach you, inside the class. There has never been a better time to pursue your dreams of a business that gives you freedom, flexibility, and fulfillment — plus the ability to work from the comfort and safety of your own home — and I teach you my exact system for doing that inside this free training.


Emails Are Better Than Facebook

When I have a conversation with a new and growing coach building their business, I ask them if they’re marketing. Most of the time, they’ll start talking about their Instagram and Facebook approach. 

Well, I think, when it comes to marketing, so many coaches are getting it wrong! They are overly invested in social media. They pour all of their energy into it, slaving away and producing lovely images, and crafting just the right caption. But the trouble is, when social media is your only marketing plan, you’re building your business on borrowed land. 

With social media, you don’t own your followers. You’re not in control of the changes that happen on the platform — whatever the platform is — and you don’t control the algorithm and various changes Mark Zuckerberg might decide to take down the road.

In contrast, email is entirely different because you own your email list. You are in charge of how you communicate with your list, and you set the pace and make the rules. Remember, the people in your email list are those who raised their hands to say yes, they want to learn more from you.

I’m not saying ignore social media, not at all. Social media can be great for many reasons and will have its place in your business. But think of social media as your garden, the brightly colored flowers that smell amazing and attract the right kind of attention From there, you’re inviting them to have a deeper relationship with you, encouraging them off the social media platform and into the nectar of all the good stuff you’ve got — aka, your email list, and eventually, if everything goes well, working with you.

Start From Scratch

Now, I can hear the objections already, if you’re super new at this, and maybe don’t even feel like you’ve got a business yet. Building your list feels like something you can just put off until you get other things established. 

But I’m here to tell you that you don’t even need to have a business established to start your email list. 

It’s true! You don’t need a website, a detailed business plan, or any other things you think you need. All that stuff will come in time. But I want you to start an email list anyway — no matter what stage you’re at.

You can think of it like this: if you have social media accounts, and you’re posting stuff online, only 3.5% or fewer of your followers see your content. Your time would be way better spent using those same content ideas, and putting them into your email newsletters and email sequences. By delivering that stuff to your subscribers, you will have a much better engagement by showing up directly in their email inbox. It’s a strategy that will give you much more bang for your buck, and way more traction. 

So let’s talk about how to build an email list from scratch.

STEP 1. PICK AN EMAIL MARKETING SYSTEM AND SIGN UP

Your very first step is to pick an email marketing system.

I know that this can get confusing, and a lot of coaches get stuck right here because there are so many platforms to choose from, and they get overwhelmed and put off making a decision.

Don’t be that person.

Yes, there are many different email marketing systems to choose from, but don’t get paralyzed and never make a decision. 

Sure, do your research on two or three providers, and then just choose one.

Popular options include MailChimp, or Mailerlite, or my personal favorite, ConvertKit.

I started on MailChimp, many years ago, and when I outgrew it, and my needs changed, I shifted over to ConvertKit, and it has been one of the best decisions I ever made. 

It’s possible to change your email service provider easily. It’s not a tattoo on your face!

So just to pick one. Today, in fact, and then get on with the next steps. If you don’t love whatever you chose in a few months, you can change it. But we need to get you moving on to the next step.

STEP 2. CREATE ONE OPT-IN

Once you’ve made your choice of email marketing system, next up, you need to create a single opt-in. This is just one free offer or gift. It’s also known as a lead magnet or freebie. 

Figure out what would be of value to your ideal clients. What would they be willing to give you their email address to receive?

Now, a lot of coaches get stuck here. They are trying to come up with the perfect opt-in. They agonize over the decision and then slave away creating something complex, or perfect, and the fact is, this does not have to take a ton of time, and it does not need to be perfect. 

Most of my clients or group participants take care of this step in about two days or less.

To get this step taken care of, and done, I want you to ask yourself what you can offer right now, without doing hours and hours of research. What could you quickly put together to help your ideal client with that first small step to solve a straightforward problem. Maybe it’s a checklist, or a tip sheet, or a miniguide. 

There are lots of options. But the important thing is just to allow it to be super simple.

If you’re feeling tempted to create an entire ebook, I want you to resist that temptation. Something long and complicated is going to be less appealing for people to download for free. A 100-page ebook represents a commitment for people. It represents a lot of time that they’ll have to set aside. Besides, if you gave people the option of solving the same problem by reading a 100-page ebook versus a 3-page checklist and worksheet, which one would you rather have?

So break it down into something smaller and more straightforward, a quick win that people would ideally want to swap their email for. You don’t need to give them a massive transformation; it’s just a taster.

Something I don’t want you to do is have an opt-in that just says, “sign up for updates.” This is okay as a very brief placeholder while you’re getting your actual opt-in setup, but don’t leave it like that for too long. It’s not as tempting as you think it might be. When they read that, most people believe they are signing up for more emails in their inbox: more promotional mail and spam. Nobody wants more emails for no reason. So instead, make sure you’re creating something of value that people want. 

Hopefully, you’ve got a couple of ideas for your opt-in freebie, the next thing to do is create it.

I recommend using a free design tool like Canva to create an on-brand document for your opt-in freebie. And once you’ve got your actual opt-in, it’s time to move on to the next step.

Step 3: CREATE A SIGNUP FORM

This is otherwise known as a landing page, and it’s the final step to starting and growing your list.

You need to create a way for people to sign up for your list, and then you’re going to share that offer everywhere you can think of. 

I can’t go into tons of detail about how to execute the tech in this one blog. It depends on which email marketing system you’ve chosen and whether you have a website or not. But the bottom line is that most likely, whichever email marketing system you chose, they probably have detailed tutorials on how to create your opt-in form. 

Whether it’s Mailchimp, Convertkit, or another email platform, they’re there to help you figure it out. 

Once you have that opt-in form and landing page created, you can share that link everywhere. Add it to your Instagram bio. Post about it on Facebook.

And keep sharing it! Remember, only a tiny percentage of people will see your posts on social media, so even if you feel you’re repeating yourself, most people will only see it once. As we know, most people need to be exposed to something several times before they ever take action. Don’t just do one post and then allow yourself to feel disappointed that hundreds of people haven’t joined your list. 

That’s normal. Keep going. As with so many things, consistency wins.

Summary

Okay, so there you go! That’s what I’ve got for you today. Those are the three simple steps to begin to build your email list!

Just to recap…

  1. Choose your email marketing system
  2. Create your opt-in
  3. Create a landing page where people can sign up, and then share that link everywhere you can think of, over and over again.

Now, there are many more things you’ll need to do with your list once it starts growing. Things like creating a welcome sequence, a nurturing sequence, communicating with your email subscribers regularly, making offers, and promoting your services via email. I know for sure I’ll tackle those subjects in future blogs, so stay tuned. For now, just get yourself up and running and building that list.

If this blog resonated with you and you’re also feeling stuck inside a job or a career that just does not fulfill you anymore, I’m inviting you to join my online course, the 4-Part Formula For Replacing Your 9-5 Income With A Coaching Business You Love.

You know that you’re meant for more, and you would love to create a business of your own, a coaching business that provides not only meaning and impact, but also the freedom and flexibility you crave. 

Inside this free online training, I’m going to teach you my 4-part framework, my proven method for creating a freedom-based business for myself, and how I’ve helped all my clients do the same. All you have to do is claim your seat at, and then you can be watching that training this week, and taking the next step on the path to the business of your dreams. 

Are you ready to start pursuing your dream career? I’d love to help you! Click here to start working with me today!


Catapult Yourself Into Your Dream Business

If this blog resonated with you and you’re also feeling stuck inside a job or a career that just does not fulfill you anymore, I’m inviting you to join my online course, the 4-Part Formula For Replacing Your 9-5 Income With A Coaching Business You Love.

You know that you’re meant for more and you would love to create a business of your own, a coaching business that not only provides meaning and impact, but also the freedom and flexibility you crave.

Inside this free online training, I’m going to teach you my 4-part framework, my proven method for how I created a freedom-based business for myself, and how I’ve helped all my clients do the same. All you have to do is claim your seat at, and then you can be watching that training this week, and taking the next step on the path to the business of your dreams. Are you ready to start pursuing your dream career? I’d love to help you! Click here to start working with me today!

Guess what? I am now enrolling for my group coaching program, Business Academy for Coaches!


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N.B. some links are affiliate links.


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