Building Your Email List with a Purpose

Welcome to Episode 355 of Hit the Mic with The Stacey Harris.

Welcome again. Today we’re going to talk about growing your e-mail list, but I want to shift the conversation slightly away from tactics or strategies. If you need those and some best practices check us out in Hit the Mic Backstage.  The July training, which will go up in just a couple of days, is all about best practices with your e-mail marketing, that’s the place to get that. What I want to talk about today is this idea that you have to grow your list to do X, Y, Z, whether that’s launching your program or building a membership site or writing your book or even launching a podcast. Some people are even saying to me, “You know, well, once I grow my e-mail list then I’ll start really worrying about getting my content consistent.” No, shift that perspective. What I really want to do is I want to challenge the way we think about the order in which we have to, and I’m totally doing air quotes right now, “we have to do things.”

Build Your List with a Purpose

I was talking to a client recently about going wide with her message. She’s had incredible success with her one-on-one coaching services and working with her amazing clients. She’s done incredible things to grow her list to a small but engaged number, however they, the people who are currently on her list want one-on-one services and she’s ready to take her message a bit wider to really grow her impact. We were talking on our call as I was coaching her through some online marketing stuff, and we’re talking about growing her e-mail list so that someday she could do things like write a book or launch a program or whatever. It was funny, because we were talking about all these big things that she wanted to do, but we kept scaling it down to, “Well, you know, for right now I can do this and I can do X and I can do Y while I’m building my list, so that someday I can do that.”

Here is the thing, guys, the reason her list right now isn’t purchasing group programs or interested in those kind of things is because she hasn’t built a list of people who want those things. She’s built a list of her ideal clients for her one-on-one services, which is amazing, but that’s not where she wants to be for her next step. Growing her list more, doing more of what she’s doing to get more people on that list is not going to be hugely valuable for her, because she’s going to having more of those same people, that same ideal client for one-on-one services.

That’s why instead of worrying about growing your list to X, Y, Z numbers, whatever magical number is in your head, 100, 5,000, 10,000, 25,000, whatever number it is that you’ve decided is, again air quotes, “enough” to do the program or write the book or launch the membership or get consistent with your content or whatever it is that your end goal might be, I want to challenge you to shift that. Because if you don’t know what you want to offer these people, if you don’t know what you want to deliver to them it’s really hard to target content to them that’s going to get them to take those next steps. That’s why instead I want you to build an e-mail list with purpose.

I talk a lot about the fact that I’d rather have a 100 people on my Facebook page, Twitter follower, Instagram, e-mail list, whatever it is, that are, “Yes,” that are like, “I want what she’s got. Let me have it. I’m all about it,” than a 1,000 people who don’t want anything that I’m selling. Shift that. This is what we did on the calls, when do you want to do whatever those someday things are? Let’s put an actual timeline to that, because if we know we want to launch a program in … For example, we’ll bring this sort of back to me so I can give you real-life examples, because obviously I’m not giving you real-life examples of client stuff. In January, we’ll launch BAM again, the Backstage Amplifier Mastermind, it’s a small, intimate mastermind we do with the Digital Marketing Focus Mastermind. It will launch again in January.

If I had no list of people who were interested in that, I could write content to the ideal client for that mastermind and start building and segmenting my list of people who will qualified and able, and excited and interested in that in January, so that in January when I sell that … Realistically, in December when I’m ready to open that up I have a list of interested people ready to go. I have a list of idle clients ready to go. The same can be true … I’ve mentioned this on the podcast before, but I’m working on a book right now, that book will launch later this year, fingers crossed. I’m already segmenting my list of people who would be interested and being supportive of that book early.

If you want to launch … Let’s say you are a health coach and you want to launch a weight loss program, you want to be segmenting and growing your list of people who are going to be targeted, perfect, who fits for that before it happens, but you need to know when it’s going to happen. Because here is the flipside of this, if we start saying, “Okay, you know, I got to get my list to,” and I’m just making up a number here, “I got to get my list to 5,000 people before I can launch my program.” Are the people who are signing up for that list in the meantime, still going to be in a place where they need this program by the time the ever-interesting someday actually arrives?

For me, and for this client that I was talking to about this, if they are, 12 months from now in the exact same space they were in when they joined my list 12 months ago, I’m not entirely sure they’re an ideal fit. My ideal clients, and I’m guessing it’s probably your ideal client too, they’re action-takers, they’re people who are proactive and who want to get things done, and who want to move the needle and make progress in whatever the thing is that we’re helping them from problem solution. If they just sat idle for 12 months, that’s an issue, however, if they are, for me, a good fit and they’ve been taking action, they’re no longer a fit for the thing I was building for them, they probably moved past that. They probably need something a little more next level now, and that’s great and that’s wonderful, but I’ve been really worrying about for the last year or two years or three years, building that list to sell this program that didn’t exist yet.

Do you see the problem there? Do you see where we’re running into a situation of, “I’ve got to know what I’m doing with the list so that I can build the right list, and I’ve got to have enough of a timeline that they’re still going to need what I’ve got?” That’s why I want you to shift from building a list for the sake of building a list. Building a list to check up some magical box that … real talk, guys, you’re putting on yourself, and instead focus on building a list to get you to such and such results, so that you can serve that perfect, prime, primo, wonderful, ideal client-filled audience with exactly what they need, exactly when they need it. Build your list with a purpose.

Segmenting Your List

On the flipside of that, be segmenting your list because not everyone on your list is going to need everything. Be sure that you’re segmenting who are the people who are a perfect fit for a book or a low-cost program or maybe a higher, a more VIP program or a small group coaching or one-on-one coaching. That’s five different stages and getting from problem to solution depending on where they are in their journey through the problem, in their ability to invest, and a lot of different factors. They may want different things and ideally they progress. Ideally people listen to the show and then join us Backstage, and then checkout BAM and then book one-on-one coaching, and who knows, maybe they shift over to management after that. Whatever it is, it’s the same solution, we’re providing the same sort of information, we’re just giving it to them in different ways and different journeys, in different points of the journey rather.

Build your list with a purpose so that you can be serving them what they need, when they need it, and be doing something with that list, monetizing that list, making sure that that list is a value and not an expense in your business. I really … I needed to tell you that stuff. We had a whole other episode planned for today, we scrapped it because you guys needed to know this. I needed to share this.

Producing a Program

The last thing I want to talk about on this topic, because when we’re talking about e-mail list and we’re talking about really seeing the value from them. The other thing that comes up is when we’re producing a program, “Do we need to prove that our audience will buy it, prove that our audience needs it?” Here is the deal, your proof of concept is the one-on-one work you’ve been doing. Now, the only time I say, “You’re not ready for a group program yet,” is if you haven’t done any one-on-one work yet. I truly, deeply, in my heart of hearts and soul of souls believe the best way to build a group program is to work one-on-one with a lot of people, because that’s how you build your system. That’s how you build your technique. That’s how you build your formula for success, and that’s what you are going to build your program based off of.

Look at how you’re working one-on-one, there’s your proof of concept. There is your proof that this formula, this system, this program will work, then it’s just about getting it to the people who are going to actually buy it. Realistically, they’re going to be different than your one-on-one clients in the sense that they’ll probably be earlier in their journey.

Fundamentally, all the clients that I work with, and all of the different ways we work with clients, again whether it’s the Backstage membership or it’s BAM or it’s one off one-on-one coaching or it’s more consistent one-on-one coaching, like long-term or even consulting in our management clients, they’re kind of fundamentally similar people. They have similar personality traits. They have similar businesses models. They have similar business structures. The big difference is kind of, again, where they are in their journey from problem to solution, because the people who are investing in Backstage and the people who are investing in us, consulting, doing strategies or even managing their social are really just at different phases of their actual business, because their structure’s a little different or their investment level of comfort is a little different or investment ability is a little different.

Again, you may see some difference in who they are based on where they are, but they’re probably going to be pretty similar personality-wise because guess what? They’re still connecting with you. They’re still connecting with the way you talk about your solution or offering your solution or work with your clients or whatever that is. They’re not going to be terribly, terribly different from your one-on-one clients, however, they may be a little bit different because they’re at a different stage.  And this is where segmentation in our list comes in really handy. Building those things like look-alike audiences with our Facebook ads comes in really handy.

I don’t pitch one-on-one consulting and management services to an audience that looks like Backstage members, because they’re looking at different things, they’re engaging with different things. They’re economically at different places. However, I do target one-on-one one-off coaching calls to people who look like Backstage members, because a lot of times that’s the next step for Backstage members, is either BAM or a one-off one-on-one coaching call, to sort of get their next steps. All right, think about that.

The big takeaway I want you to have, the thing I want you to take action on sooner rather than later is really looking at building your e-mail list with a purpose. Why are you creating that content? Why are you growing those numbers? What is the purpose of that? If it’s for the sake of having a big e-mail list, that’s ego, that’s vanity, that’s meaningless in the success of your business. What is the purpose? How is it going to help you deliver better results for your audience? That’s what I want you to focus in on. All right?

All right, soapbox put away, rant over. If you want to know more about e-mail best practices, as far as growing your e-mail list, connecting with your e-mail list, seeing results from your e-mail list, be sure to join us in Backstage because July 1st, of course, the July Monthly Training goes up, and we’re talking all about e-mail best practices. That would be the place to get, and of course, you can ask me questions any time in the private community at I will see you very, very soon. Have a great rest of your week and thanks for listening.

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