Here's where I'm at right now:
- I am a nature photographer (amateur on the side of my full time regular job)
- I do not have a blog (please see reasons why, later in this post)
- The only content that I post or share is: My photographs across a number of photography social media platforms (Flickr, 500px, etc), and I just started Facebook, Twitter, (zero followers on those two). Along with those photos I sometimes post short photography tips, what I did to get the shot, quotes, etc. And something in the past I used to do, but don't have time anymore, is to post a lot of replies and help on photography forums to assist others that had questions or wanted to improve in the areas I have knowledge in.
- The only audience I have currently are perhaps 300 people that "follow" me on the photography sharing sites like Flickr and 500px
- I do not have an email list yet (but recently signed up for aweber because Pat Flynn uses it and he's awesome IMO)
Here's what my goal is:
- I want to create an email list and grow it as large as possible, with quality, relevant subscribers that are interested in my photography, and that would potentially purchase training products from me
- But I want to grow the email list without starting any kind of blog or channel that would require me to send out free content on a regular basis.
Reasons why I don't have a blog and do not want to start one:
- I don't have enough time to blog in addition to everything else I am doing
- I want to focus all of my time and energy on creating the best paid products that I possibly can. I want them to be professional and knock the socks off of my future customers. I want to over-deliver in that area.
- I am just keeping it real here. I really have no desire to publish a bunch of free content publicly, which millions of other people are doing anyway in the arena of photography blogging. It doesn't get me fired up. What gets me fired up is making amazing paid products that use my full potential, creativity, and knowledge, to get real results (massively improved photography) for any customers that are the right fit for what I am offering (I have a description of the target audience).
All of that said, I am willing (and understand it is necessary) to create valuable opt-in content, helpful resources, free info, cheat sheets, etc as a "trade" for a potential subscriber's email address. I was thinking I would also send out surveys about what challenges they may be facing in their photography. And maybe do quick 'field reports' of trips I go on, what I learned, and so forth
The main goal of all of this is to build a list of potential customers that I can then do a premium product launch for (I have a launch plan outline from some experts in that area)
I am going to design and put up a personal website for my photography and "brand." On there I can put a landing page where I can send people to sign up for the newsletter.
What are the best methods that I could use to build an email list of relevant subscribers, but without the blogging / youtube / etc, technique? One that comes to mind is paid ads. That's all I can think of. Would appreciate your expert advice and ideas for this challenging question.