(Originally written May 2018. Updated Nov 2019.)
“How do I grow my email list?"
A lot of people have asked me this question over the years. They hear from many business experts that growing an email list is the most important thing to do in marketing.
Unfortunately, building an email list is the wrong focus. If you talk more deeply with marketing experts, I think they'll agree.
None of us need an email list. What we actually need is an audience who cares about our messages.
It is essential for authentic marketing to switch our mindset from “building an email list” to “building an engaged audience.”
(Originally written April 2018, updated Oct 2019.)
A regret for many entrepreneurs is that they didn’t start building their audience sooner.
If you might want to start a business one day, I recommend that you start growing your audience now.
For audience building, it does not matter if you don't yet have clarity about what you'll focus your business on. Of course message clarity helps, but you can still build an audience based on your personal brand first.
Start with talking about anything from your authentic interests -- you'll therefore build an audience/community who like your personality, values, and align with you on some of your interests -- and that's better than having no audience at all.
(Originally written on Feb 28, 2018. Updated on Aug 27, 2019.)
Someone posted this comment on my Facebook page:
“Just unsubscribed from a group which I had been a member for only 3 months. She was sharing free content, and did a couple of Facebook live videos. A few days ago she posted that people are taking advantage, not hiring her as a coach after consuming her content. Literally she said ‘If you don’t want to move forward, just leave.' So I left, because I sensed anger and lack.”
First, I have to say that I can relate from both sides, the consumer, but also as the seller. I’ve been there — thinking that just because I’ve shared a lot of free content with my audience, that I'm entitled to having them buy from me. And when they didn’t, I felt resentful.
In other words:
Resentment builds when we pretend to be generous, with an ulterior motive of expecting our audience to buy, and then discover that they have their own timing.
If you are stuck defining your niche or figuring out your “target market”, maybe let it go for now, because you might be trying to define things too early in your business....
The typical reasoning:
Define Niche ➜ Create Content & Offerings ➜ Get Clients
In my experience coaching hundreds of authentic businesses, the above formula doesn't work for a lot of people.
I received an email from an anonymous person who harshly criticized my marketing methods.
Parts of the email had relevant points, and I will be responding in an upcoming post.
In this post, however, let’s first talk about how to deal with internet criticism, and how to critique others productively…
George Kao is a Marketing Coach for small business owners, especially solopreneurs such as Coaches and Mentors. He focuses on ethical & effective ways to grow one's platform and build true livelihood.
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