Everybody does it. And since everybody does it, it must be true, right? (I hear you saying "Scott, it IS true!") So, since it's true, everybody that focuses on building their lists must be absolutely rocking it online. They all must have the million dollar online income!
Everybody I know online builds their list. Some people are succeeding. Some are not. Some people generate massive leverage and income from their lists. Some do not. The problem is, everybody thinks that, regardless of their situation, it's because of their list. The successes have the big lists and the non-successes have the small lists. The millionaires have a million contacts and the hundredaires (is that even a word?!) only have hundreds. The people with massive online authority have massive lists, and the people with no authority have no lists.
Sorry, but I call bull on the entire idea.
A success does not a big list make. So what can we do? Easy.
Stop building your email list.
I want you to think about something for a second.
When you send an email to your database, what sort of open rate are you hoping for? 20%? 40? An industry-smashing 60%? Because that would be amazing right? Well, what about when you send an email to your friends? You EXPECT 100% of them to not only open it, but to engage with it and reply to you.
"Well, they are my friends..." Yeah, exactly. So they have an interest in what you say (at least, you hope so).
So let me expand your mind for a second here. What if everyone on your email list was as interested in what you had to say as your friends are? What if you had an open rate of 75% and thought it was terrible?
Business would be pretty damn sweet, right?!
"Well, I know the best way to do it! Offer something of extremely high value in exchange for their email, then when they read your high-value offering they will view everything you say as valuable! Genius!"...
Says every online marketer in the universe.
Let's flip that conversation.
"If I give everyone I know something really cool, they'll all be my friends!"...
Said no truly popular person ever. It's exactly the same thing. Seriously.
Why are friends your friends? For a start, maybe because there is mutual interest in each others lives (yep, you should ideally be interested in them as well). Maybe because you are someone they can be themselves around and you can be yourself around. Maybe because the two of you are genuinely connected, rather than just "in touch".
Do your friends care what your email subject line is? Hell no. They see the email is from you so they read it. Do your friends need incentive to spread the word about your business (otherwise known as affiliate marketing). Of course not. They do it because they want you to succeed.
A list of 20 really incredible friends who are actually interested in your business and your success is 4,762,956 times more valuable than even a "targeted" list of 1,000.
So, how can we get the people on our lists to start acting like the friends we want?
Strangely, it's pretty damn easy.
Stop focusing on building your list and start focusing on the people in it.
Focus on what happens when someone joins your list. Focus on conversations with the people who want to want to hear from you.
Focus on connecting.
When someone joins your database, send them an email saying hi. Give them a call. Skype with them. Create a group meet-up. Ask them for their feedback. Look to help them, rather than yourself.
Do anything that actually says "I care about you more than I care about your email address and your credit card".
The online industry needs a wake-up call.
Let's stop building lists of a million people and start building lists of a million friends.
Do that and I promise you will see success more than you could have imagined.