#186: The 3-Step Guide To Email List Growth

An email list is VITAL to your health coach business – but building a list can be daunting! Michelle breaks it down into 3 easy steps you can understand, implement and rinse/repeat. Don’t have a mailing list yet? Get Michelle’s free tutorial at HealthCoachPower.com/mailinglist

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Building your mailing list as a health coach can be daunting. It’s a big endeavor! A task that you’ll have on your business to-do list from now until the end of time.

Don’t let that commitment scare you, though. We’re going to make it easy. I have a simple, three-step guide to email list growth to help you wrap your head around what it takes to grow your list.

Step 1: Create a free opportunity

What I mean by a free opportunity is anything you can offer for free in order to get people to sign up for your list.

You could create a free five-day challenge, a free downloadable recipe book, a free quiz. You could create a free workshop or presentation. You can also have waitlists for your programs to collect emails, too.

Anytime you have something available for free, you don’t just want to give it away. See if there’s an opportunity for you to make an exchange — your free thing for their email address.

Getting on your email list is less of a commitment than purchasing one of your programs. It’s like a first date where they’re just dipping their toe in and warming up to you, and your job is to follow up with them on a regular basis. This is called nurturing your list. You’re building relationships with the people on your list.

In the Fast Track semester for my course, Healthy Profit University, I teach how to run a really effective five-day challenge that will help grow your list quite a bit.

Pro tip: Rather than offering a generic recipe book that anyone would like, offer your free opportunity around a problem that somebody is having, because then you know whoever opts in is having that problem. And you know just how to help!

Step 2: Create an opt-in page 

You have the free thing, now how will they sign up with their email to get it? That’s what your opt-in page is for.

You’ve seen these before; it’s a signup form that asks for your name and email address. What you have to do is connect your freebie to your opt-in page so people automatically receive it when they sign up.

This is something I walk everybody through inside of Healthy Profit University with tutorials for free services like MailChimp and ConvertKit. You can also use paid services (I use LeadPages).

There is a learning curve with the tech, but once you figure it out it’ll be a breeze and will probably do it all the time.

I create opt-in pages constantly in my business. It’s a pretty good indicator of your list growth if you’re creating a lot of different free opportunities that help grow your mailing list.

Step 3: Promote your freebie

If you build it, don’t expect them to come unless you promote the heck out of it! I’m taking beyond just posting it on Facebook and Instagram (that’s the bare minimum).

Remember the bit about finding people who have a problem you can actually help with. Let’s say that your target market is women who are super-duper stressed out.

You create a free opportunity for them, and you can post it on Facebook and see what happens, but that’s like putting a sign out on your front yard hoping the right people walk by and care about what you’re doing.

Let’s get a little smarter about this. Where can we find these super-duper stressed out women? What is causing their stress? Where do they work? What specific places could we go to find them?

If we just hang a flyer at the grocery store, every single person going by there may look at it, but it’s not targeted. We want to think about promoting the heck out of our free opportunities to the right audiences.

Think about this. What does she already do to help with her problem? She might be going to yoga. So how about promoting your stuff with the yoga studio? How about asking your friend who owns the yoga studio? When she emails her list, would she mind including a link to this free opportunity? Get creative!

Another route is creating opportunities with another practitioner, brand, or other type of partner that will help you reach more people. Maybe instead of hanging a flyer at the yoga studio, you take a class with the owner and say, “I want to put together a workshop about yoga and stress relief. Would you be interested in partnering on that with me?”

It can be so much smarter to work in tandem with different partners because you can only reach the people in your circle, but as soon as you bring someone else into the mix, now you’re reaching their circle, too.

That is a big secret for getting ahead in this business without spending money on Facebook ads or printing flyers and brochures to distribute around town. You just need to find audiences and get in front of them.

Another pro tip: For partnerships, you want to be the one running the show, creating the opt-in page, and collecting the email addresses. People can be flaky, so if you are putting your time and energy into an event, I recommend that you manage the back end.

Build your heath coach business more effectively

Your time is much better spent building your email list rather than actively selling. Most people are not going to hire you as a health coach right off the bat. Selling upfront is a good way to scare people away.

The more effective method is to get people on your mailing list for free, through the free opportunities we talked about, and you sell your services from there. So go ahead and get started. Build your freebie and opt-in page, and be sure to let us know how it’s going in the Health Coach Power Community Facebook group.

Full transcript:

Well, hello there health coaches. Today we're going to be talking about building your mailing list. This has come up recently inside of our health coach power community group. People are asking about email list growth, and I realize I hadn't done an episode about it in a while. I also realized that it can be kind of a daunting topic. It's just big. It's one of those bigger topics that, you know, building your list is something you're going to do every week of your business from now until the end of time. That's just what it is. So today I'm going to give you a three step guide to email list growth. I've taken that whole big topic and broken it down into three steps, and this will have help everyone wrap your head around what it takes to grow an email list. So I say hello to those of you that are here with me.

Deidre, hello. And Cindy's here. And Dawn says she has no mailing list yet. If you're like Dawn and you don't have a mailing list yet, I want to help you get one set up. I have a free tutorial that I can send you. So just leave a comment. If you're here live, or you can, um, hit me up in my DMS on Instagram or send me, you know, ping me inside of our Facebook group or something. So I can get that link to you. A couple people need that here. Lindsay says, yes, she has her mailing list, but she's trying to build it past 125 people. That's kinda what happens. Right? We get like that first group and then, oh, it just becomes stagnant. Okay. So, I got three parts for you today. If this is part of your thinking, moving forward, I have to build my mailing list in order to grow my business.

I want to be making a profit with my business. I want health coaching to really like be my career. I also want to let you guys know that fast track is coming up pretty soon. I'm going to have a wait list link for you next week. So if you're interested in joining us for our fast track semester, I'm only doing it once in 2022. So, I would highly recommend that you keep your eyes open for the wait list. And that comes out next week. Let me give a shout out to Martha real quick. Martha wrote this five review on apple podcast. She said, podcast is extremely helpful. I'm not sure what brought me to this podcast, but now I can't get enough of it. I've been practicing as a health coach since 2017, and I've pretty much struggled the whole time in business. When it comes to business PR marketing, I'm lost. Recently, I got married and with my new name rebranded. I have a new website and with all this newness, I want to attack my marketing game in a new way.

This podcast has helped tremendously. I feel I always walk away with a new idea to implement just yesterday. I decided to listen to one of Michelle's podcasts on group coaching. It was like she was talking right to me when she said, if your list is non-existent or doesn't engage, group coaching, isn't for you that's me. So I stopped the podcast and now I'm motivated to grow my email list. Martha hope you're listening today, cause you're in the right place. And also we'd love to thank you for that review. So if you can send your mailing address to us at support@healthcoachpower.com we've got gift to send your way already. Ellis here and Wendy's here. And Wendy doesn't have a list yet either. I checking you guys out over on Instagram as well. Glad you could join me today to talk about list growth.

So three steps. The first step is that you need to create a free opportunity. That's what I'm going to call it because you could create in order to grow your list, you could create a free five day challenge. You could create a free downloadable recipe book. You could create a free quiz. You could create a free workshop or presentation. It's literally anything you can do for free is the first step to building your mailing list. Now it's not just things that you can, um, have people sign up for like, like that webinar or five day challenge or to download your recipe book. When I say opportunity, also things like you could have a free, um, coming soon interest list for your new health coaching program. That basically any time that you can give people something, you want to give it to them, but don't just give it to them. Collect an email address makes so much sense, right? And you see this happening every wear online, but instead of, you know, pounding your head thinking, I just don't know where to get new, new people on my list, pound your head and think how can I create free opportunities?

Um, so tell me in the comments, if you have created any free opportunities lately, have you put together a freebie, have you put together a free, it doesn't even have to be online. It could be something in person. Oh my God. In real life, the old fashioned way, you know, I used to hold so many workshops in my local area and that's not something I've done for a while, but it's very, very effective corporate workshops, right? You want to create free opportunities for people to interact with you. It's also like a way for them to say, I'm interested. I'm interested enough to give you an email address. I don't know if I'm interested enough yet to like pay you and hire you. You know, it's, it's like a first date where they're just dipping their toe in and your job is to then of course follow up with them.

And that's why we have our email list so we can continue to nurture those relationships. Lindsay just did a five day challenge. Those can be so effective for building your email list. In fact, that's one of the things that we do during our fast track semester that I don't do otherwise inside healthy profit university or anywhere is teach how to run a really effective five day challenge. Cause, we have members really growing their quite a bit by running those Cindy says that recipes don't seem to generate interest, but topical stuff like info on brain fog does. So that's going to vary very much depending on who you are promoting. And we're going to get to that in just a second, who you're promoting your free opportunities to. So if I put together, uh, some sort of freebie about gut health and I offered it up in my local community, like on my local community, I don't know Facebook group or whatever.

Probably not too many people are going to opt into that. But if I offered it to you guys, a bunch of health nerds like me, a lot of people are going to opt in for that. So you've got to think about who is actually getting exposed to this free opportunity and find a match between what you're offering and the type of people that you want to work with. I always found actually that when I offer something that has to do with recipes, chocolate recipes around Valentine's day, holiday recipes, around the holidays, whatever spring salads, something like that, those always did very well, but they didn't necessarily get the right people on my mailing list. They got people cause the who doesn't love some good free recipes, right? Like this chance is our people are going to like that. I always always had a lot of people signing up for that stuff, but it was sort of the wrong opportunity cause I would get people who just wanted free recipes who already liked to cook, not people who had a problem with their health that they needed my help to solve.

So this is like next level, create a free opportunity. That's going to attract people who are likely to then want to hire you. So here's the tip offer your free opportunity around a problem that somebody is having because then you know anybody that opts in for it, they're having that problem and oh my God, you can help them with that problem. Isn't that amazing? So you'll get savvy and or with this over time, but at the heart of it, you need to create those free opportunities. You just said she added well over 100 names to her mailing list with the five day challenge, um, that she learned during fast track and a few of them even became clients. That's the beautiful thing about some of these freebies is that on the back of them, initially, someone just gives you an email address, but on the back of it, you can convert them into clients.

Lisa says she's on day six of her 10 day food series and she's sharing 10 stress busting foods on Facebook, Instagram and next door. So Lisa are people giving you an email address in order to participate in your 10 day food series. A lot of times we do things free. I mean, and it's great. It's always great to put out content, but you want to find a way to include a list builder with that. So Lisa, I'm not exactly sure what you're doing, but just in my experience, what, what one might do is offer that free 10 day food series on social media and each day have that recipe available as part of a that somebody can go download and exchange for an email address. That would be the opportunity. Cool. All right. Um, let's see Alyssa's saying most of the women in my healthy living community are either having issues with stress or weight and want to lose weight. Great. So maybe next time you run a food series, it's not just a 10 day food series. It's a 10 days to weight loss food series. And then you're going to start attracting people who are having that problem in particular.

Okay. We're good. Let's move on. So that was step number one, create a free opportunity of some kind collect an email address for it. Secondly, you need to create, well, I guess it goes hand in hand with that. We need to create some sort of opt-in page where somebody gives you the email address. You've all seen these before. You've seen them all over the internet. You might even have some yourself, the opt-in page page that says first name, email address, and a button that says submit or yes, send it to me or whatever. You're signing up for the thing. Now, how do you put those pages together? This again is something that I walk everybody through inside a Healthy Profit University. We have tutorials on how to do it. You can make these for free using services. You probably already have like MailChimp or ConvertKit.

You can also use paid services, like I do. I use lead pages for my opt-in pages. It is one of these tech things that you gotta learn, but I promise you has anyone here learned how to make an opt-in page? And once you figured it out, you're like that wasn't so bad. Cause at first it's daunting. But after you learn the skills, you learn how to put the page together. You learn what has to go on the page and how to connect it to, you know, so that somebody signs up and they ask their name goes on a list somewhere. Then you're just going to reuse that skill over and over and over. I create opt-in pages constantly in my business. And it's a pretty good indicator of your list growth. If you're creating a lot of different optin pages, that means you're creating a lot of different free opportunities, which means you're likely growing your mailing list.

So I want to see all of you with like a library of optin pages, where you're offering those free recipe books and your free webinars and you're free five day challenges. Um, that's a very good cater that you're spending your time in the right places in your business. Lindsay's an example. She said me, me, me, Lindsay, definitely learned how to create an opt-in page. They're very simple. It's a headline, it's a field for the name and the email address. There's a couple other small odds and ends you need on that page. It's not particularly complicated. I find actually what happens is that health coaches, we overcomplicate, we start, we think we're building a whole website. We think we have to write paragraphs and paragraphs. And we don't. It's a very simple page. Isabella says that she just created one today and she had to look back at the tutorial.

Isabella is also one of our, uh, fast trackers. So go, I'm glad that was still available. Of course you have lifetime access to that for a reason, but this is that one skill that you will all need in order to run your freebie successfully. And then the last bit, and I'm hesitating, cause I'm just thinking about how many times health coaches fall down right here. You know, you create the free thing, you're all excited and you build your optin page and you spend, you know, 15 hours doing that the first time cause you're trying to make it perfect. Okay. And then you're like, nobody signed up for my thing, Michelle.

I didn't grab my list at all, Michelle. Well guess what? You need to promote the heck out of your free opportunities. That does not mean you post it to Facebook and Instagram a couple times. That's like the bare, bare minimum. So if you create a freebie and you put it up into your Instagram and then you sit back and you're like only one person signed up, I am not surprised this again is the part where everybody falls down. So let's go back to the beginning. We were talking about where can we find people who have a problem that we can actually help with? And um, let's say that that problem is stress women who are super duper stressed out. Okay. I created a free opportunity for them. Yes I can post it to my Facebook page, but that's like, that's like, you know, putting a sign out on my front yard and you just hope the right people walk by and give a crap about what you're doing.

Let's get a little smarter about that. Tell me in the comments, where can we find women in? And, and this is like a softball you guys. So let's really go for it here. Where can we find women that are stressed out? What specific places could we go to that? It's very likely that the women there are feeling pretty darn stressed out again. If we just put a hang of sign or we put a flyer up at the store, every single person going by there is going to look at it. It's not particularly targeted. We want to think about promoting the heck out of our free opportunities to the right audiences. Lisa saying the corporate world. Yes, yes. Go do those corporate workshops. Take that idea you had as a free opportunity, bring it into the corporate setting. Or like when I used to work in advertising, I worked in the Prudential complex.

For those of you that are familiar in Boston and at the bottom of our building at 1 0 1 Huntington, there was a fit core and there were fit cores all over town fit core is a gym that tended to be in areas where there were a lot of office buildings. And we all got a discount at fit core because they were associated with, you know, the companies anyway, fit core. That gym. Would've been a place to promote something for women who are super stressed out because you know, there's a lot of corporate women going there. We're just saying mommy groups, good. Uh, Cindy's saying the PTA. Okay. Especially if you're thinking about moms, then you're going to the mommy groups and the PTA. So that does beg the question. What kind of stressed out woman do I want to work with? What kind of stressed out woman really needs my help and is willing to pay money for my help.

Think about this. What does she already doing to help with her problem? She might be going to yoga. So how about promoting your stuff with the yoga studio? How about asking your friend who owns the yoga studio? When she emails her list, would she mind including a link to this free opportunity? There's no conflict. You're not trying to get people to do yoga. You're trying to get people for, to sign up for health coaching. She doesn't offer that. I have had friends do that favor for me many times. And it goes both ways. Maybe sometime you can promote for her. Okay. Where else are women going when they're super stressed out and they need help, maybe they're going for acupuncture. Know, maybe they're going for a massage. Maybe they are in Facebook groups and online communities that have to do with these same exact issues. Right. And et cetera, et cetera, you can go on from there. We want to think about where can I find the right women? And then how can I promote them effectively? I'm going to give you an example.

Let's say that, um, I'm a brand new coach. I have no audience. I have no idea where to find these women, but I know I want to work out work with these stressed out women. Um, I've, I've never been to this yoga studio before in my town, but I know that I'm going to find her there, right? Maybe instead of just creating free opportunity, that's all about me and then asking them to maybe promote it there. Or can I hang a flyer in your space? I mean, you can do that. That's fine. But what if I went and took a class with the owner and then I said, Hey, I want to put together a 10 part social media series, whatever it is, or a webinar, a about yoga and stress relief. Would you be interested in participating in that with me? You know, could we partner up on that?

Maybe they're into it, create opportunities with another practitioner, with another brand, with some type of partner and you're going to reach exponentially more people. Because as soon as that yoga studio, uh, owner agrees to participate, now she's involved. So she's much more likely to spread the word about it. It can be so much smarter to work in tandem with different partners because you can only reach, you know, the 10, 20, 5100 people in your circle. But as soon as you bring someone else into the mix, now you're reaching their circle too. And that is a big secret for getting ahead in this business, without spending money on Facebook ads, without boosting all those posts, you know, you don't, you don't have to run off color flyers and hang them in a hundred different buildings around town. You just, you need to find audiences and need to get in front of them.

Is this making sense? You good? What ideas do you have for your free opportunities that you might be able to offer in order to reach those prospective clients that you want? Cindy says for a studio, do you leave a flyer with a link they would need to type out so flyers are effective, but if that's the opportunity that you have, of course take advantage of it. Yeah. You would want to have, um, an easy URL that anybody could go to very quick and type in it. Shouldn't be one of these like URLs that has 5,000 characters these days. You can also do really cool things with like QR codes. I don't actually know how to do that, but you could figure it out. And that would actually be the best way to get people to just point their phone at the flyer and know exactly where to go.

That's what Onelli is saying. Here, you can add a QR code. How do you do that, Onelli? I have not reached that level of tech savvy. Um, Lisa is saying the owner of the studio in my area is also a holistic health coach. I'm looking at two other yoga studios that are less than one to two hours away, right? So you always want to partner up with people who are not doing the exact same thing that you are. She may be a holistic health coach. I don't know if she's necessarily practicing and act taking clients, right? You want to figure out how are people making money and then just make sure you're not trying to make money from doing the exact same thing. Anybody else would make, um, an excellent partner, which just says, awesome. This is such a great idea. Onelli says, you can do it in Canva who knew you can make a QR code in Canva.

There you go. Hot tip of the day. You guys, the QR code really made a comeback during COVID. So that's one good thing that happened. Now. We know exactly how to get people from a piece of paper to where they need to go online, right? Anybody that has eaten in a restaurant for the past couple years knows how to use a QR code. So I love that. But like I said, leaving a flyer is like, eh, you know, that's like pretty good. If you can get the studio to actually put something into their monthly newsletter, whatever sort of promotional things they do even better. If you can get them to actually partner with you, that would really be the best cause then they're going to promote every which way they can. Um, and when you've approaching partners and that's probably a whole, whole nother topic that we should talk about another time, but you just always want to approach it as how can we support each other?

How can we both contribute to this in a way that it's, it's a win-win for everybody and go into it with that spirit? Um, I would just always recommend that when you are in a partnership that you are the person creating the opt-in page, whenever possible, you are the person collecting the email addresses and you are the person running the show. And here's why people can be flaky. Yoga teachers can be flaky. Hey, I used to be a yoga teacher. I could say that, right. People can be flaky. So if you are putting your time and energy into an event, I recommend that you run that event. You make sure it happens. If you got a partner who backs out, find another one, but you don't want to be the person who's putting in a lot of work and energy towards putting something together. And then that person never actually puts together the opt-in page or promotes it.

And they just flake on you. So that is my recommendation. Just coming from the health and wellness world, we, we do get a bit of flakiness here and there. Kim says I have also been inviting people to join my Facebook group for my free mini sessions. And then I get them to give me their email address to get the workbook for the free sessions. Yes, yes. Even just going to say just about the Facebook group alone own. When someone for any Facebook group that you guys run, you probably know this, you can ask a question when somebody joins and that is the perfect place to ask for an email address because they're joining your group. And in that moment, they are excited about whatever it is that you have to offer. So, we want to get them when they're hot, they're just joining, ask them right there in the questions.

And I usually phrase it not so much like what's your email address, but I'll say, would you like my free training? Would you like my free recipe book? Would you like my free, this, that or the other thing? Then they give you the email address. You go ahead and send it to them. Now their name is on your list. Cindy said, I would love a workshop on collaborating with partners, giving workshops, et cetera. I have two locations willing to let me host a workshop, but I don't really know how to put one together. We do cover this completely inside of healthy profit university. We have lessons on how to initially reach out and make contact with a potential partner for a workshop, get the green, like get the, go ahead, pitch what you're going to do to them, do it in a way that doesn't feel achy and salesy and just going to, you know, get the door slammed in your face.

And then we have another lesson that teaches you exactly how to put the workshop together, have an outline so that you're making the most out of your time. Usually it's going to be an hour long and you want to make sure that you make the most of that time and collect all those names for your mailing, right? So it's the same thing. No matter how you slice it, create a free opportunity. Collect those email addresses in an opt-in page and then promote the heck out of it and promote it to the right audiences. And then you just rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat. You could have free opportunities that happen at specific points in time. Like maybe you run a five day challenge two times a year. Awesome. But you should also have free opportunities that are available year round. We call those evergreen. So that would be something that you could offer.

If an event came up very quickly and you didn't have time to prepare, ah, very good. I will offer my, my evergreen freebie, the thing that I always have available. So that would be more of a download or something that's just plug and play. Um, the evergreen freebie is also perfect. If you're going to write articles and they're going to be in publications that live on beyond a certain date, you always want to make sure or you're offering something for free. That also lives on. If you're ever going to be a guest on a podcast, you'll want to offer something for free. And that free opportunity should also not be date specific because you know, people go back and listen to podcast episodes from years ago. So these are all different ways to promote the heck out of your freebies, out of all your free opportunities.

Jennifer says I'm prepping to post flyers around town and my call to action is the free discovery call. Should I also include a QR code for my freebie? I wonder if that's too many choices for a flyer. Bingo, Jennifer, you got it. In fact, how many people are going to look at a flyer and they've never met you before and they're going to go, yeah, I want to tell this person all about my health. Let me sign up for a discovery call. Unlikely. I'm going to tell you that unlikely. Let's say instead that you have a flyer and it's offering your, uh, get rid of eczema in five days guide and I have eczema. And that's the problem that, you know, you help your clients with good chance. I'm going to scan that code and get that free guide from there, from your mailing list, you sell your services that make sense.

We want to get people onto the mailing list for free, through free opportunities. From there you sell your services. Don't try to do the sales upfront. It's highly ineffective. I'm not saying it'll never happen, but I'm saying it will rarely happen. So your time is much better spent building the email list. And then, and this is something we're not going to the cover today. But again, we cover in depth during Healthy Profit University. What do you do with the list? That's the next question. You nurture it and you learn how to sell to those people. Whew. We just covered so much in a very short period of time.

I am so glad that you guys were here for this. Remember the wait list for this... I was going to say this Spring's Fast Track. It is this Spring's fast track, but is this year's fast track. The wait list for that will be out next week. So keep your eyes open. It's been great being here with all of you. I'll see soon.