#108: How To Majorly List Build

Building a mailing list can be slow-going and yet it’s oh-so-important! If you don’t have a list, how do you build one up asap? In this episode, Michelle talks about the two main types of list builders and two main strategies for promotion.

Need to build your list? A 5-day challenge can be a great way to go. Join Michelle’s masterclass to learn how to put your own challenge together –> HealthCoachPower.com/5day

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Well, hello there Health coaches! Here we are just getting set up over here for episode. Oh my God. I don't even know what episode this is. Is it 108? We've been doing so many of these for so long. I want to thank you for being part of our audience for the health coach power community podcast. And as part of our Facebook group, just a shout out. Sometimes it just hits me like, Oh my gosh, you guys, we have so many members. Things have grown so much in the past few years. So just want to say thank you for being here. And today we are going to be talking about how to list build, and I've heard a couple of you use this term, so I'm using it to how to majorly list build. I distinctly remember when I was at that point in my own health coaching business, I was pregnant with my second baby and I was thinking to myself, all right, you know, I'm going to have this kid.

I'm going to have to take a couple months off. Who knows what life is going to be like with two kids instead of one. And I knew that if anything else, I just had to keep my community engaged with me so that when I was ready to take on clients again, they would be there. So it was sort of my plan going into like maternity leave. Not that I ever really took maternity leave, but that was sort of my plan. So in the year or no, I guess it was the nine months before my second son was born. I was in major list-building mode. I was not selling very much. I could not take on clients, but I was going to build, build, build that list and then nurture the heck out of them. Through the early months, years of my son's life, then I'd be able to take on new clients.

That was my plan. And you know what? It worked beautifully because I had that thought in my mind, my goal, you know, and whatever your reason is, my reason was like, you know, my goal here is I'm pregnant. I don't know what's going on in my life, but I need to major majorly list-build and some of you might be just starting out and you're like, okay, I have no one, I've got nothing. I have to majorly list build. So if you're here with me live, by the way, I'd love to know where you're at with your list and what kind of issues you're coming up against as you attempt to grow that list. It's honestly something that never ends, right? It's kind of like, Oh gosh, anything yoga, spirituality, like literally like any practice in life. I like to think of list building that way in business.

Cause it's never like, you're there. You know, even now I've been in business for so many years and it's not like, Oh, I've got this list of thousands and thousands of people like I'm done. You're never done. You just keep growing. Right. And list building is sort of like that. But there will be these intense periods where you're like, ah, like this is where this is what we're doing today. Or this is what we're doing this month. This is what we're doing for the next six months, because you need to majorly build your list. And that's like your number one focus. There's wanting to get that out there. It's not going away you guys, but it will take on different forums when you're in different phases of your business. So, um, so I have a couple of questions that relate to this, that I'm going to answer today.

But first I just want to, in broad strokes, explain to you how you might think about list building first and foremost list building generally happens when you are giving away something for free in exchange for an email address. And that can take lots of different forums, but I'm going to break that down into two categories, right? So these are two categories of things that you could be doing in order to grow your list. The first is something that is evergreen, which means you create it once and you can use it again and again and again, any day, any time of year, that's sort of an evergreen freebie. So, let's say something like that might be, um, some sort of downloadable resource, the PDF, you know, something like this that you might have available on your website, or you could advertise on social media or whatever.

If you were a guest on a podcast, you could tell everybody who's listening, that they could go download your free thing, wherever, you know, whatever the URL is for where they should go and do that. And it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter when, when you're on the podcast, it doesn't matter when you're offering this. It's always available. Okay. So that's one kind of freebie and I believe that you should all have something like that at minimum at minimum, because any opportunity that you have to promote yourself, you want to be then directing people towards that evergreen freebie. Okay. It's just there. It's just in your back pocket. You can whip it out and you have something, you have a way of collecting emails for your list, no matter what. So that's like baseline the other way of thinking about freebies that will help grow your mailing list or when you are doing some sort of live free event.

And what I mean by live is happening in real time. You know, like it starts this Monday and it ends on Friday or it's happening next Thursday or whatever it is something that's just like a one and done kind of situation. So with that, you would think about webinars five day challenges, workshops, public speaking events, you know, things that happen like on a calendar. So those can be really helpful because even though you have an evergreen freebie like, yeah, it's evergreen. It's always available. It's like, I can download that tomorrow or I could come get that next week. Like it just doesn't have any urgency behind it. And so people might go, but when you're like, this is an event and it's happening on the 15th, it's more likely that people will sign up because they don't want to miss out. Right. It's just human nature.

So I want you to think about having those two types of freebies going on in your business at all times, something evergreen for when you need it. Any, it's sort of like your three 65 kind of freebie and way to build your mailing list and then also special events throughout the year. Now, if you guys have ever done my training about how to earn a full time salary as a health coach, if you haven't, by the way, get on that it's healthcoachpower.com/earn E A R N healthcoachpower.com/earn. And inside that training, I talk about actually plugging in some very specific list, building activities into your calendar, like three times a year. That way it happens, you know what I mean? Like you could just say, Oh yeah, I should do a workshop or, Oh yeah, I should hold a webinar. Oh yeah.

I should do that five day challenge. But it's very helpful if you it's strategically think about when you should do it and put it into your calendar right there just helps you build your whole calendar. And I go into the whole thing during the training. So I'm not going to do it here, but in any case, think about what sort of live free events you could be offering to your audience. Now, the thing is I see health coaches all the time, creating their freebies, creating their events, doing this, doing that. And yet they still say, Michelle, my list is not growing. I have like four people. I've added three more people to my mailing list. It's just like crumbs, you know? And I know you want to be hitting the 100 Mark. And if you're at the 100 Mark, I want you aiming for the 500 Mark.

I want you at 500 on your mailing list. I want you aiming for a thousand, right? So it's not going to go very far. If you're only getting like two or three people on your list. And what I think happens is we create something and here are two different ways you can go about promoting it, regardless of what you've created, right? You can continuously offer all your stuff too. The audience that you already have. And I did this in the beginning. It is hard you guys, because it means you have to keep coming up with new things. So let's say, you know, you have your friends, you have your family, you got people you're connected to on social media, you know, your college roommate and whatever your neighbors, you know, right now in life, there are certain people that you have like one degree of connection to.

So if that's your circle and you want to get them on your mailing list, you can offer a freebie. Some of them will join. Okay. Then you're like, Oh, what should I do next? You know, you're like, it's like a dog and pony show. You're like, Oh, well maybe if I do this, Oh, maybe I'll do this. Or maybe this other topic. Maybe I can get them with this. And you create and you create and you create and you create, and each time you put it out there, maybe a couple more people from your audience decide to join. You know, maybe you just hit the nail on the head that day with what they wanted to learn about, you know? So they finally take you up on what you've been offering. But at the end of the day, just that whole circle of people that you are currently connected to only a certain percentage of them are ever going to care about what you're offering.

Because like half of them probably don't care about their health at all. Right. Cause this is just people, uh, you know, and then half of the people who are left or maybe totally outside your target market, or, you know, they're just much, much older than you much, much younger, or they just don't feel they have anything in common with you for whatever reason. Right? So like a lot of people are just never going to get involved with your stuff. So there is a finite number of people that you're ever going to reach, even if you did what I did back in the day, which was all right, I'm going to create a new class. Okay, I'm going to create a new download or I'm going to create a new this and a new that. And I'll do that. So please, please, please join my mailing list.

That's a long road. It's a hard road. I'm not saying you can't do that. Sometimes. I'm just saying, there's another way to think about it. So the other way to think about promoting your free events, your free downloads, your free five day challenges, et cetera, is to get them in front of new audiences. Write that down, create one time. This is like food. You know, cook once eat three times, you know, you want to eat leftovers. This is exactly the same thing. You want to create your thing one time and then you want to run it and then you want to run it again and then you want to run it again. And it gets so much easier because you've already done it a couple times at that point and you get really good at it. So, you have to, instead of creating more and more, more, more, more, more, more content you have to actually get out there.

This is a scary part and talk to people and find communities and find groups and find ways of bringing new people to you. It's always just about how can I get this in front of new eyes? So here's an example. Maybe you hold a workshop for company a great, does it make sense to do another workshop for company a no, not really. Maybe, maybe, maybe there's some people that couldn't make it that day. So maybe, you know, three months, six months from now, you go back in and you do another workshop with company a fine, but what if you just took the same workshop you just did and did it for company B. Now you get a whole new group of people with like almost zero extra effort on your part because you didn't have to come up with the darn thing from scratch. Right?

So I want you to think about this idea of actually creating less, like doing less work in some ways and just getting it in front of new audiences. Oh, it took me forever to learn that lesson. So now I spend a lot less time content creating and a lot more time thinking, okay, who can I partner with for this? Who can I share this with? How could I get the people in my circle to share it with others? Right? Like how can I get more reach instead of continuous, continuing to sort of pound the same audience, you know, please join my list. No, join it. Now don't hop out now. And it makes a gigantic difference. And that's how you'll go from adding two or three people to your list, to adding 20, 30, a hundred, 200 people, your list at a shot awesome stuff.

So, one thing that comes to mind when I think about all these different ways that we can list, build our five day challenges, because hear me on this, everything, we just talked about, the two different types of freebies that are available, for example, an evergreen or alive event that happens in real time, you could do a five day challenge for either of those. You can have a five day challenge that runs automatically somebody signs up and they just start getting the emails, right? It happens on autopilot. You can set that up within your email service. So that's one way to do a five week, five day challenge. The other way is to actually hold it life, pick dates and turn it into a live event, right? So you can hit both of those with even the same five day challenge. Then you can offer that five-day challenge to your current audience, of course, and some of them will sign up and that's lovely, but even better is can you get that five-day challenge in front of other audiences?

Could you be a guest on a podcast? And instead of saying, you know, download my free pocket guide to diabetic, blah, blah, blah. Instead of that, you could say, get my free five day challenge on X, Y, Z. And that's something that if it's always available, then you would be able to get it in front of new eyes that way, right? Or if you're holding a live challenge, maybe you partner with another practitioner or with a brand and you, you somehow, they are part of your challenge, but then they are also going to help promote it for you. This works like gangbusters. She wanted to get really strategic about the promotion. And I just wanted to share with you that better than any other medium, like a webinar, it can be evergreen, but that is very difficult. Um, it takes a lot of technology to do that.

Um, a PDF that really can only be evergreen. It can't really be a live event, but though, if you were going to create one thing to kind of check all those boxes, it would be a five day challenge. So I'm telling you this because I think it will help you majorly list build. And also because I do have a masterclass coming up on this exact topic to help you create and market your first five day challenge, and you can sign up for that. If you were interested in learning the skills that you need to put something like that together, go to health, coach power.com/five day. That's the number five day. And I'm going to drop that link right here in our comments so that you guys can check it out. That is coming up very soon and it's like sort of a one-time deal. So, I hope that you hop on it.

Now, this is something that you've been wanting to do. It also relates to this question that we got from Amy inside of our Facebook group this week. And she said, how often do you hold challenges? Great question like monthly, quarterly, more or less. She says, I'm in major list building phase. So challenges are important to me, but I can see that running the monthly might be overboard. Is there a sweet spot or does it depend on where you are in your business? Okay. So Amy, I can answer that from a couple of different perspectives. First of all, just personally, to create the content and host an event. Like let's say you're going to do a live five day challenge. That takes quite a bit of effort. And if you were going to do it monthly, I think you would be on a quick road to burnout and you probably also would be burning out your audience.

Like I said, some people are going to sign up and other people aren't and probably by like the third month you got most of the people that are going to sign up right now and everyone else is going to be like, Oh geez, here she goes again. You know, trying to get me signed up for some thing. So it would be a lot. And what I would advise is to do fewer of them, but be smarter about getting them in front of different audiences. Like we just talked about. So yes, you can always advertise to your list, but I think it would be smarter to like maybe do every other month. So you take a month off where you can be a little more smart and strategic about, okay, the next one, how am I going to do this? How am I going to promote it?

Who's going to help me promote it. And in that way, I think over the course of a year, you will see greater list growth than if you just keep hitting your same audience with different challenges. I hope that makes sense. Um, the other thing, like I said earlier is, you know, you got other ways to grow your list. It doesn't have to be like live five day challenge every month or every other month. That is an awful lot. You can be growing your list by having some sort of evergreen offering so that, you know, this month, maybe you're not hosting anything live, but you're going to appear on like three different podcasts and you're going to be promoting and evergreen freebie. Does that make sense? Because then that podcast lives on people might let listen to that podcast episode six months from now a year from now, two years from now.

And in that way you grow your list and an evergreen style. So I want you to think about different methods, but I like that you're thinking about challenges because it can helped tremendously and it can fit the bill. I would recommend something like three times a year, just because of the effort that it takes. And just because you don't want to burn out your audience, I'm like, Oh, here she goes again. I would think about maybe three times a year. Maybe it's three different challenges. Maybe it's the same challenge that you run twice a year. And then the third one is something else. There's no rules here, but you just have to kind of think about your own stamina and, um, and who's going to be signing up for these things. That's really the most important part. And I wanted to say one more thing about this.

What was it, ah, you said, is there a sweet spot or does it depend on where you are in your business? I would say it also really depends on how comfortable you are putting together challenge, because if it's your first one and you're kind of just figuring it out on your own, it's going to take you a while, right. And then you're going to make mistakes. And it's like, you're going to have tech technology issues. You're going to, you know, I remember doing it for the first time and it was like, what's going on here. It was very stressful. So in that case, you know, you got to give yourself time. Once you become very proficient at things like this, like I can throw together a five day challenge very quickly. If I wanted to run something brand new from scratch, I could probably get it out two weeks from today because I already know all the steps that I have to take and it would end up flawless just because I've done it so many times.

So again, this is why I'm offering this masterclass for you guys. So you don't waste time trying to like reinvent the wheel. Like I've done these things so often, but I can just kind of like bang them out. And I want to show you how to do that so that you can get on with it. So again, if you guys want to sign up for the masterclass that's health coach, power.com/five day. And I think that will be super, super helpful. We already have a ton of people enrolled. So I'm getting super excited for that. Okay. Let's see what kind of comments we have over here. Kristen said, yes, that's so good. Working smarter, not harder. That's exactly what I'm talking about. You always want to work smarter and not harder. I mean, sometimes when you're very introverted, the idea of going out there and finding partners or bringing your workshop to a different company, it can be very scary, but I want you to let you know that that is the way to grow.

Not by sitting behind your computer and like dreaming up some brand new content. You really do need to be getting exposed to new audiences in order to grow your business. Mardella says, I just did a live webinar and I'm making it into a five day challenge. That's a cool idea. You know, if you have any sort of content, you can take it and repackage it into a different format. And that'll be kind of interesting for you. Mardella like which one did better for you where people more likely to sign up when that topic was offered as a webinar or when it was offered in the form of a five day challenge, you probably could also, I've done this, I've taken a five day challenge and then packaged it up into just a downloadable PDF that would be and easy thing for people to download any time.

So you could do that as well. And here you go, leftovers, leftovers, leftovers. We love leftovers though, right? Uh, RK says, where are you posting these challenges, especially if you are new?

I'm assuming you're asking, where are you advertising or promoting these challenges when you are new. That's why I'm suggesting that you find... That you find smart ways to do that. That you're not just putting it on your Facebook page or like on your own Instagram page. Recently, I was working with a health coach and she was writing her very first five day challenge. And it was the same thing. She had like a hundred people on her Instagram or something like that, just when you're working with small numbers, you need to cross pollinate with other audiences. So, one thing that she did was she reached out to other professionals that were related her target market, and she invited them to contribute to her five-day challenge.

And then, you know, it's not like they had to promote it on her behalf, but because they were going to be promoted, they were going to be featured. It made sense that she would say, you know, here's the link, you know, it'd be great. If you could share this, we're going to be talking about your stuff. I'm going to be sharing, you know, everything about you on day number two or whatever it was. And then they were more likely to share it with their audience. So that's just one idea on how you can cross pollinate. Melanie says, have you ever done a five day challenge with teens? That's my target market. And I love the idea of gamifying things for them. That's a fun idea. No, I never have, I don't work with teens. Um, that's interesting. I would, however, when you're working with anyone under 18, um, I would, I just caution you that even though you think your target market is like teens or children, like really your target market are their parents.

Your target market would be the people who are going to be paying for it. So you might want to come up with something that like parents and teens maybe are doing together, because let's say the teenager goes through your challenge. And they're like, Oh my God, Melanie is awesome. And I love this, their parents just going to be like, yeah, whatever. They're not going to be like, Oh yeah, totally. Let me give you a bunch of thousands of dollars for that. If you know, eventually down the line when you're trying to sell something to them. So you really want to be creating, um, the know like trust factor with the parents when you're working with people who are underage. Exactly. Okay, good. Good. Okay. We've got another question here from Cassandra. She said, I'm so excited that I finally finished my eBook. I'm so proud of it.

My target market is caregivers struggling with burnout. However, this content is not directed toward a specific audience. And I was wondering if I can get feedback on this. So, Cassandra, I'm assuming that this is a free eBook. So it kind of fit into my idea for this episode where we're talking about list building. So I don't know if that's necessarily the case, but that's how I'm going to answer your question. So, if you're putting together some kind of eBook, some kind of class, some sort of download or a five-day challenge or whatever it is, note that you were going to get people to sign up for it, uh, who are attracted to that topic. Right? And so if your target market is like Melanie with teenagers, you know, she's wants to work with teenagers, but you put out something about like geriatrics, you know, like a totally different topic or, um, you know, immune health or, you know, something that teenagers are not particularly interested in and doesn't apply to them.

Then you're going to be adding a whole bunch of people to your list that are not part of your target market. And I absolutely did this for the longest time in my business. And what ends up happening is you create a mailing list. That's like a mishmash and it's not helpful at all. It, it, it actually, it just flies in the face of the whole idea of having a target market. Like the reason you have a target market is so that you will create content and create events and create all your marketing to attract that target market because you work targeting them. That's why we call it a target market. So, if you are targeting somebody else with an eBook, Cassandra, I'm concerned that you're going to be adding people to your mailing list, that ultimately its kind of becomes a distraction. I've even, I did this in a really like bad way for a while, where I was like putting out all this content for like group a, but I really wanted to get clients from like group B.

So I put out content for them too. And then I would have this mailing list of both types of people. And I was like, ah, I don't know what to send emails about. Half the stuff doesn't apply to them. It only applies to them. You know, it gets very complicated. So it's much better if when you are creating content, you do it with your target market in mind and do not deviate. I know, I know I have ideas about all kinds of things in health and in life, and I can help all kinds of people. And I know you can too, but you can't market your business that way. You want to choose one target market and create all of your content and particularly your freebies around that group so that your mailing list becomes like a cohesive group of people that, you know, what they need, you know, what kind of messaging to send them and you know what to sell them because they are all very similar to each other. So, I hope that helps.

Okay. Here's another one just to do, to do this was from Mallory. She says, she's talking about closing the deal, right? So like the sales conversation, you know, that's scary part where we have to name our price with our prospective client. She says, yeah, I've always closed the way IIN has taught. So she must be a graduate from the Institute for integrative nutrition. And they said, offer price A) per month. But if you sign up today, if you sign up today, offer price, B) per month as an incentive. Right. And then she said, however, if you want to pay in full up front, then there's even an, there's a third price. See? So that would be a little bit cheaper, right? If they pay in full versus a monthly, and she said, this has worked well for me, but price A) seems like just another number for me to remember.

And I know it's a sales technique, but I, I find it salesy. I did it because that's how I was taught, but I want to know what others do and what has worked. I'm thinking of just offering price A) per month or upfront price B with a savings of, with the savings. So either offering a monthly plan or pay in full that would have some sort of discount for paying in full. Yeah. So I'm not a big fan of putting the pressure on and that kind of thing. Like if you, you know, when you're talking one on one with someone on the phone and you're like, well, if you sign up today, randomly on this Tuesday that we just happened to be on the phone and for no other reason, except I'm trying to apply pressure to you. If you sign up today, I'm going to give you a break.

I've never used that technique. I don't think I would. I have also signed up and hired lots of different coaches, business coaches, other, you know, strategists, uh, personal growth. You have done lots of things like this as a consumer, as the client. And that's never been used on me. And I think I would get a really bad taste in my mouth. If somebody did try to pressure me in that way. Now it's a little bit different if you're selling a group program and it starts on a certain day, or if you know you're doing something that's a little less personal, you know, there's a lot of opportunities online to sell something and to give deadlines. And that can be very, very smart. But when you're having a one on one conversation and it is completely clear to both of you, that you could be having that same conversation a couple of days from now, and there's no reason why you have to, by today, it feels contrived.

I think it feels contrived. I think I agree with you. I think it feels salesy. So in my own practice, this is what I do. And it's a little bit different than what you're describing. So I wanted to suggest to suggest it to you. Payment plans are pain in the neck. End of story. Right? You have to chase people down for the money. They don't pay their credit card changes, yada yada, yada. So I find most helpful to just name my full price upfront. This is the cost of the program. Boom. Okay. And often I just signed a client last week. They go, okay. And then we sign up and I never mentioned a payment plan at all. I prefer that tremendously. Also I have tried telling somebody, okay, this is my program. And this is the cost. If you pay in full and if you want to do monthly, we can also do a payment plan that looks like this and giving them the two options to weigh again.

If they want to sign up, they're usually like, okay. And then they choose whichever one they want. However, I, like I said, payment plans are a real pain in the neck. So these days to eliminate a hassle on my end and ultimately increase my income because with payment plans, you, of course people are going to miss payments at some point, right? So you end up not making that money, not earning that money. It is advantageous for people to pay in full. So I actually do not share a payment plan price upfront. I share the full price. And then if they kind of waffle, they need time to think about it. They have to talk it over with someone. I saved the payment plan option as a reason to ping back with them a couple of days later, by the way, I don't think I mentioned this to you on the phone, but we can also break this into a payment plan.

This is what it would look like if that makes it easier for you. That's great. Right? So it's sort of like something that you can dangle later. And for me, that's been working really, really well just in terms of getting paid, right. And not having to worry about chasing people down for payments. Cause that is the pits. Alrighty. Here, let me do one more question for today. And then we're going to wrap up. This one came from Sydney. She said question for you all. When you have a client who signed up for a lengthy program, six months or even three months, do you usually provide them with an outline or go session by session? If you do make an outline, what does that usually look like? Sydney? Here's the thing about lines for one on one coaching. It's a little bit different. If you're doing groups, right?

Groups always require a bit more structure, but for one on one coaching, you can take your outline and you can just crumple it up and toss it over your shoulder. It's going to do you no good because you think it's going to help, but it doesn't because you walk into your session and you know, your client is, is crying because their dog died or you walk into a session and this person just lost their job today, or life happens. Like you think you're going to talk about one thing and you're not. I go into my sessions with my clients. Like literally I just, I don't know if I would call it a prayer. I just do like a little like opening to the universe. Like, all right, what do you got for me today, universe? Like what's going to happen in this session because I literally have no way of knowing.

And sometimes the client doesn't even know, sometimes things come up during a session that neither one of you ever could have predicted. And that is the really scary in the beginning, but also the really fun and enjoyable. And what's the word I'm looking for. Satisfying part of coaching is being present for like what's happening right now. So I would encourage you to not worry about outlines and just be there for your client. Now, of course it is helpful in the beginning when you're selling someone on your program and also for you to just kind of ultimately have a roadmap of how you're going to get from here to there. You know, you need to be able to describe, here are the types of things that we're going to cover. Here are the areas that I think are really important for us to work on together.

But that's different from having like an outline, you know, like, okay, for the first 10 minutes, we're going to talk about vegetables. And for the second 10 minutes, we're going to talk about fats, right? I would take that kind of outline and just ditch it. You have to like show up and breathe and feel like what energy your client is bringing to that day and what needs to be talked about that day. That's what makes coaching so special. Alight, you guys, I think that's all we have time for today. Thank you so much for joining me live. If you've been here again, don't forget about our masterclass coming up in a couple of weeks on how to create and market your first five day challenge. You can sign up for that at healthcoachpower.com/5day. And I will see you guys next week. Take care, everybody.