I have learned so much over the past five years about creating an online presence. There is so very much to know and most people who start their own businesses really don’t know how to create, maximize and leverage their online presence.
I know I have only scratched the surface but if I can in any way reduce your learning curve by sharing the things I’ve already learned, then that’s what I want to do.
This is perhaps the most important asset to an online business—the email list of potential customers and prospects. When doing business online, it is critically important to capture prospects' email opt-in addresses so you can begin to market to them. The best way to get people to give you their email address is to offer them something compelling. This is intricately tied to your niche. Find out something they are looking for—create a giveaway product in exchange for getting their email address.
You can see how critical it is to have correctly identified your niche market because if you offer a list of cat owner’s information on how to train their dogs, you realize that might not entice them to provide you with their email address. It must be information they are hungry for.
The opt-in part is also important. You can’t just go add people’s email addresses to your mailing list. That is considered spamming. They must have the opportunity to opt-in and many are using double opt-in lists now, as well as the opportunity to remove their address from your database. Don’t ruin your business before it gets started by tainting your reputation unnecessarily.
One thing I have started recently with great success is to capture email addresses during my speaking engagements. This was a little tricky for me to figure out since most of the time I speak, I am doing so at the invitation of someone who does not encourage promoting one's own business. One way around that is to offer the audience something only they can get if they provide you their email addresses. That way you are not doing shameless self-promoting. You are offering the audience something of value they are interested in. Everyone wins. You get the email addresses. Your audience gets your free, high-value product. And the sponsor wins by providing added value to his/her audience.
How do you grow your list? Please share your ideas and tips here.
If you are interested in becoming a coach or developing your coaching skills, we are starting a new coaching school based on Choice Theory, affiliated with Prairie State College. It is starting in August. If you are interested in learning more, check out the Choice Coaching Institute. You will learn more details about creating an online presence in that program.