The List Building Mistake That Messed With My Business

September 7, 2017

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I hated the idea of list building.

It felt sleazy. It was the internet marketing equivalent of a telemarketing call. It was the perfume girl at the mall, peddling some flowery concoction for eighty bucks an ounce. Try it. Come on. Come on. You’re going to love this, honey. 

For years, I didn’t pay attention to it. It was one of those things I knew I should be doing, but I didn’t like the idea of putting myself out there. Not like that. In my mind, selling meant that I needed something. Sales pitches were signs, billboards really, that announced: I need something from you. Give me Give me.

And that felt awkward, inauthentic and downright dirty. I had to talk myself into the fact that list building is not sleazy, nor is it as in-your-face as a commission-based sales rep at a crowded mall. List building is a tool, an incredibly effective first step. It is the invitation you must send to your audience. It is the open door that leads to a potentially long-term relationship.

If you’re feeling uneasy about the LB, do what I did: Change your perspective.

Consider this: You have something incredible to offer, and if you believe that, you absolutely HAVE TO build a list. Invite the whole damn internet, because not everyone will like or need you, but some people will. They will see your value, connect to your brand and be so damn psyched to have found you in their time of need.

It is your job to find that audience, attract them and INVITE them. That’s what list building is all about.

It would be nice to think that marketing wasn’t necessary, that word-of-mouth could keep things moving for you. But the truth is, referrals are just one potential source of business. They are one possibility in a bucket of options. So list building is another, and it’s a damn good one.

If you want to be in business, you have to handle your business. Harsh, yes. But there’s no other way to go about it. And if you’re still not thrilled about building a list, here are some additional reasons to get on the LB train.

List Building Facts You Can’t Ignore

1. Email marketing is a phenomenal method for relating to your audience, proving your relevancy and staying consistently visible in their world.

2. Email marketing drives traffic to your site, introduces your products and services, and allows you to monetize by pitching new offerings to those who’ve already expressed an interest in your brand.

3. Email marketing is warmer, more personal and engaging than social media blasts. When you send an email, you get inside your audience’s space (virtual space, anyway). Your message lands there because they asked for it. Facebook, Twitter and the like aren’t so intimate.

4. Email messages have longevity. How long does a social media post linger? How many moments does that pretty thing float in the newsfeed before some cat meme comes and pushes it out of sight? Your emails aren’t tossed about by social media algorithms, however. They sit patiently in your audience’s inbox, happily holding space until just the right time. Then click — read and convert…

For years, I experienced ups and downs in my business because I put list building on the back burner. Finally, in March of this year I decided to make list building a priority. That led to hosting my own giveaway event in May, which turned everything around for me. (You can check it out here if you’re not familiar with this model:, it’s basically like a telesummit, only no interviews, just free gifts). In 3 short weeks, I had a brand new list that I continue to grow daily. Since then, I’ve gone on to participate in others’ giveaways and started doing some podcast interviews and connecting to amazing people.

Don’t make the mistake I made. Don’t neglect your list building.

Email marketing is your open door. It is the guest your audience invited. So get over your fears and start building that list!


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