Do you remember your first subscriber?
I do. Not their name, but I definitely remember calling my husband at work to tell him that someone actually subscribed to my blog.
Even though they were a random person on twitter that only subscribed because they wanted me to subscribe to their blog.
Even though I had no idea what I was doing, no opt-in, and had no clue what an avatar even was. I had no strategy and I definitely had no idea that ALL of those things goes into building a list.
I knew it was important to have an email list. But I didn’t know what to do and how to build it.
I eventually learned a lot about list building. I learned about opt-ins and welcome sequences and strategy.
But I can’t help but remember feeling how frustrating it was to fight for my first 10. Let alone my first 100 or even 1000 subscribers.
I read so many articles of people getting 500 subscribers in their first month and I just wanted to scream! What were they doing that I wasn’t? What was I doing wrong?
So when I was getting ready to launch Simplifying DIY Design at the end of October, I knew my very first goal was to get 1000 subscribers.
I didn’t care that I had no traffic. I didn’t care that I didn’t have a waitlist– I was determined.
I implemented the strategy I learned from List Love (which is not open for enrollment, but you can check it out here) and I couldn’t believe it. I wasn’t fighting for 10 or 100 anymore. Just in the month of January, I got 456 amazing new subscribers!
I had learned a lot about list building prior to List Love, and thought I’d heard it all before (you know that feeling?) but this strategy was completely different than anything I had learned about before. Turns out I was actually making it a lot harder than it had to be.
It was kind of like a facepalm moment as I was going through the course.
Anyway, I wanted to share some tips about list building: hoping it helps some of you!
I also wanted to share this Design Lab replay where I discuss how to come up with lead magnets, how to design them in Canva, how to hook them up to your email service provider and how to promote it right here ⬇
(check out even more tips below the video!)
ALL ABOUT LIST BUILDING: Techniques and design tips + tutorials!
Posted by Simplifying DIY Design on Friday, April 13, 2018
Resources discussed in the video:
- List Love Quick Start Mini-Course
- List Love Free Training
- Design library access
- Opt-in Template Pack (10 Canva lead magnet templates)
Another few things that are important to successful list building:
1. Know your avatar
You must, must know your avatar. On a creepy level. And you’ve probably heard this before but it’s SO true. This was the #1 mistake that I made when first starting out. I was trying to be all inclusive and talk to everyone. I know first hand how detrimental that is to list building.
But don’t worry- you can totally have more than one lead magnet (in fact, I highly recommend it)
Recommended resource: Date Your List— seriously, it was a game changer!
2. Stalk your avatar
To offer your avatar something they really need, you must pay attention to what they are saying. Join Facebook groups where your avatar is likely to be hanging out and go a little under-cover.
Pay attention to the questions they ask and read the frustrated vents they share. Keep a list of their problems handy (I use google sheets) even if you don’t know how to solve them yet. See how those problems relate to your blog and your top posts.
I’m no stranger to thinking an idea is a winner and then putting it out there just to get crickets. They are telling you what they want– you just have to listen.
3. Pay attention to wording
While you are in the Facebook groups- learning all about your avatar, pay attention to the wording they use (especially when they are frustrated) this will help you write your sales copy in their language so they KNOW your lead magnet is meant for them and exactly what they need.
4. Don’t underestimate a specific lead magnet
Getting specific is how your avatar is going to be attracted to your lead magnet. For example, “The ultimate budget guide” vs. “The ultimate budget guide for moms”.
People who are not moms are likely to sign up for the first, but not the second. But if your blog is a mom-blog and most of your affiliates and products are geared towards moms– why do you want non-moms on your list?
The list gets more expensive the bigger it gets- so you want to make sure that each person that’s on it is a quality lead.
5. Design, design, design
While I believe that content is more important than design in the long run, I do think that design plays a part in getting your lead magnet noticed. It also plays a part in usability. People can’t get value from your freebie if it’s so disorganized or messy that they can’t use it.
Another reason that conquering design is important is that I feel that it paralyzes people. They have an idea but they don’t know how to create it so they just don’t. You can’t see if it resonates with your people if you never even get it out to them.
6. Try and try again
Not all your ideas will be winners. And that’s ok. I promise you that even those people with the “how I got 500 subscribers in my first month” blog posts have also experienced failure before.
They are also most likely not brand new to blogging or online business- they have a network of people that they are able to drive to their offer.
Give a new lead magnet a few weeks to see if it gains traction. And definitely promote, promote, promote!
The last thing is: strategy.
Strategy is so important when it comes to list building. There are so many pieces to list building: the design, the content, the promotion, the Facebook ads, the tripwire, the welcome sequence, etc etc etc.
If you are looking for a free resource to help you with this, I really recommend the resource: Introduction to List Building (it’s by the same awesome woman that created List Love)
It’s FREE and I wouldn’t tell you about it if I didn’t truly believe this will be a game changer for you.
There are a lot of moving pieces to building your list.
Which is why it can be so overwhelming when you are just trying to conquer the email list hurdle of blogging. Start with an idea, use a template to get it designed (trust me, it will save you a TON of time) and get it out there.
In case you missed it, the video above goes over the techy stuff of hooking it up to your email service provider.