5 Steps To Build Your Email List From Scratch

5 Steps To Build Your Email List From Scratch

 

Oh, the quest to build your email list (from scratch)…

Back when I launched my blog I remember having 4 people on my email list (my boyfriend was one of them) and thinking, how on Earth am I going to grow this list to 1,000 subscribers? Let alone 10,000, 100,000 and 1,000,000…?

It’s going to be impossible!

Now, in the spirit of complete transparency. I have a confession to make.

I didn’t take list building seriously until late 2015 when I was getting ready to launch my first online course, Zilch To Social.

Bad idea.

It hurt my sales and my pride. A lot.

Luckily, I course-corrected and over the past year, we’ve systematized the way we approach list building.

Adding 1,500 – 2,000 new subscribers to our email list every single month on autopilot and without using ads has been an awesome start (we plan to double those figures in the next couple of months).

It sounds totally weird to share that fun fact because only a couple months ago adding even just 100 new subscribers for free and without doing any kind of kahuna promotion felt like a marketing fairytale dream.

All this to say, if you’re trying to build your email list from scratch, there. is. hope.

I promise that building your email list gets way easier once you pick up momentum… So how do you pick up momentum?

By approaching list building as a business system rather than a one-off strategy.

 

See, around here we’re all about teaching you to invest in building business systems that yield results consistently rather than one-time ploys that wither and cost you more time, energy and effort in the long haul.

Your job is to follow the steps AND stick to the plan (even when it feels like your list growth is moving a turtle-speed).

Ready? Let’s do this thang.

HOW TO BUILD YOUR EMAIL LIST
FROM SCRATCH

STEP 1: CREATE A FABULOUS (AND HIGHLY-CONVERTING) WEBSITE OR BLOG

 

Create content yo! It’s the name of the game because you get to give people an excuse to visit your site and learn from you.

The internet is a busy place (sure you’ve noticed) and your prospects are getting bombarded left and right with sales pitches.

So if you are trying to build your list on autopilot, creating content gives you the ability to not only stand out from the crowd but really build a relationship with your prospects and prep them for the sale.

Here are some ideas to start putting out consistent content on a regular basis…

Build your email list


Start A Blog (#duh)

Blogging is one of the easiest ways to start delivering value to your audience (and bribe them to visit your site more frequently and hope on your email list).

Not to mention, it can help your web visitors share your content so you can get discovered by even more like-minded folks.

Build Email List

 

Launch a Podcast

They’re all the rage right now and it’s no surprise!

Podcasts can get you an insane amount of exposure + help accelerate the relationship-building process because all of a sudden your subscribers realize that you’re an actual person

Funny how that works, right?

Anyhow, we’re actually launching ours in a few days! Hop on the VIP list here.

 

 

Build your email list

 

 

Launch a Video Show.

Whether it be a live show on Facebook or Periscope or a pre-recorded show like I have over on YouTube (#KimTV), video is hot and it can accelerate that know, like and trust factor WAY faster, not to mention it can give you insane exposure.

PROTIP: Whether you choose to launch a blog, a Podcast, a Video Show or a combination of all three, always publish (or embed) that content on your website so you can bring people back to your hub and get them to sign up for your email list.

Tools

STEP 2: CREATE OPT-IN INCENTIVES (AKA LEAD MAGNETS) TO BUILD YOUR EMAIL LIST.

Ah, lead magnets! The holy grail of list building (especially if you are trying to build your list quickly and effectively).

We’re going to be dedicating an entire episode just to lead magnets next week (#tease #staytuned) but for now know that lead magnets are a must in order to build your email list from scratch and ultimately, have it grow on autopilot.

So where do you get started with creating highly-converting (and profitable) lead magnets?

Use the steps below to research, validate and create lead magnets that actually entice the right audience to download your lead magnet.s

1. What are your ideal client’s pain points? What are they struggling with?

You can reference the questions you get asked the most for hints on what people really need help with.

2. If you have an existing blog, check out which blog topics are really popular and start creating lead magnets around those topics.

If you’re starting from scratch (meaning you don’t have an audience yet), use tools like BuzzSumo and Quora to search keywords and browse through questions related to your niche or industry so you can get a feel for what people are sharing in your industry via social media and what popular questions they are asking.

 

Build Email List

 

 

3. Talk to your existing clients / future prospects and run a few lead magnet ideas by them. 

Getting your lead magnets validated is insanely important. Especially when you’re just getting started and you don’t really know your audience very well.

Remember, we want to make sure that you’re attracting the right audience so that you can build your list with quality prospects (that want to buy what you are selling).

Now that have a lead magnet idea, it’s time to develop your lead magnet and start promoting it!

Here are some key locations on your blog or website where you should place your lead magnet opt-in opportunities.

 

 

    • Include Your Lead Magnet In A Widget / Sidebar Ad Like Me.
      Build your email list

 

    •  Create Ads Or Widgets You Can Display In Your Content Like Neil Patel.
      Build your email list

 

 

PRO TIP: Create opt-in incentives related to your blog posts and promote them inside your content.  These kinds of lead magnets tend to convert way higher since your readers are already accessing your blog posts because they are interested in that specific topic.

Tools:

Build Your Email List From Scratch

STEP 3: USE SEO TO DRIVE ORGANIC TRAFFIC TO YOUR SITE.

Okay, so now that you have your blog content + your fabulous lead magnet, it’s time to optimize it for discovery (SEO, yo!).

Remember, more eyeballs on your content = more opportunities to capture leads and build your email list.

So without getting too technical, here is how SEO works.

You’ve heard about THE Google, by now right? (Right?!). Platforms like Google and Pinterest (yes, Pinterest is also a search engine) rank their content based on how relevant or useful it is.

Then, they pair that content with the keywords people are using to search for content.

Simple.

So it’s your job to help point Google and Pinterest in the right direction.

You do this by optimizing your content pieces (aka your blog posts) with keywords or keyword phrases.

And because your goal is to have your blog posts rank at the top of Google and Pinterest when visitors search for your topic, you want to go about this in a strategic way.

Here’s how to do it.

Step #1: Use Keywords.

If your blog post (or content piece) talks all about how to remodel your kitchen on a budget, your keyword might be ”remodel kitchen” or ”remodel kitchen on a budget”.

To determine which keyword to use, simply head over to the Google Keyword Planner or SEMRush and start adding your keywords.

These sites will give you tons of data on which keywords are getting the most search volumes (meaning people are searching for them frequently) and how many people are currently using those keywords to rank on the search engines (competition level).

Build your email list

 

Step #2: Once you have your keyword, you want to add it to the following areas of your blog post.

  • Your Headline
  • Your Subheadline
  • A Few Times In the Body of Your Content
  • Images and Media Alt text
  • Post Title
  • Post Meta Description

If you won a WordPress site, this is way easier because you can use the SEO Yoast plugin to guide you through each step.

Build your email list

PRO TIP: Share your blog post on Pinterest and use keywords there too. Add them to your blog posts’ title (you can enable this via rich pins), on the image, your pin’s description, and your general boards.

STEP 4: USE SMART TRAFFIC TACTICS

Now that you have an awesome content, a dope lead magnet, and some serious SEO juice, it’s time to supercharge your list building efforts with some free traffic.

Now, here’s a disclaimer.

This part is WORK.

Especially if you are just getting started and you want to build your email list QUICKLY… but it is oh, so worth it!

Remember, you want to get as many eyeballs to your content and your lead magnets as possible so you can entice them to sign up for your email list.

That means we have to get pretty serious about getting some exposure and driving traffic.

Here are some ideas to get you started: 

  •  Create a no-pitch webinar and reach out to influencers who’s audiences may benefit from it
  • Pitch yourself to be interviewed in relevant Podcast
  • Pitch yourself as a guest blogger
  • Supercharge your social profiles
  • Start a podcast or a YouTube channel
  • Hustle on Pinterest and join popular boards in your niche
  • Get active on Facebook & LinkedIn groups

PRO TIP: Create an exposure plan and outline every strategy you are going to be using to get more traffic and exposure.

 

STEP 5: CREATE CONSISTENT CONTENT (WITH INCENTIVES).

The tortoise always wins the race.

Remember that when you start to build your email list. #superimportant

Why? Because the fancy, ninja strategies we’re all hyped about will only be responsible for a small percentage of your success.

What really gets you results is showing up, week after week like the professional that you are to serve your people in BIG ways.

So how exactly do you stay consistent and why does it matter when you are trying to build your email list?

I wrote about my own struggles with consistency here & how I approach consistency in my business but when it comes to list building it’s all about planning your content out in advance and doing so strategically.

I have a full blown guide that will take you step-by-step through the process of creating a kick-butt content calendar and you can download my free content calendar template below. 

Build your email list

 Wrap Up

So there you have it. 5 steps to build your email list from scratch. 

Don’t forget to download your list building check list below and leave me a comment below with your biggest takeaway from this blog post. 

Xo, 

Kim!

 

Build your email list

My Favorite Marketing and Business Books

My Favorite Marketing and Business Books

Hey you!

These past few days, a huge chunk of my subscribers have been asking me about my recommended books to read this year.

It all started with a conversation I was having with my members on Facebook LIVE  inside The Business Lounge Facebook group and turned into a full-blown request to create a list of my favorite marketing books.

So if you too have been wondering which marketing and business-building books I love and rave about, you’re going to love this post.

THE BEST BUSINESS BOOKS EVER…

 

Here’s a list of my favorite marketing and business books. You should definitely add at least a few to your to-read stash (btw they’re not in any particular order):

Get Rich Lucky B**** by Denise Duffield Thomas – This book is a must-read for every budding entrepreneur, especially you’re a women! Denise teaches you how to really dig deep and figure out what’s holding you back financially. Pick it up.

 

The Invisible Selling Machine by Ryan Deiss – This is my email marketing bible. Inside, Ryan talks about marketing automation tools and the 5 phases of the customer lifecycle + he shares awesome plug and play email marketing templates you can use right away.

 

Rework by Jason Fried – This book is all about breaking the norm in business. It talks about how to become more productive, how to market effectively without putting a dent in your wallet and gives you that kick in the pants to think different and ditch excuses.

 

Wizard of Ads by Roy H. Williams – If you want to learn more about the principles of advertising and marketing, this book is a MUST-READ. Yes, it’s that good.

 

Thrive by Arianna Huffington – Arianna, the editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post Media Group opens up about her journey to success in this book and it will keep you inspired for days. Trust me.

In fact, I’ve implemented quite a few lifestyle changes since I read it and I keep going back to it whenever I don’t feel like I’m balancing my personal & work life.

best business books


The School of Greatness by Lewis Howes
– In his brilliant book, Lewis shares those insider tips, habits, and lessons that are to this day the pillars to his success. Such an easy ready too!

 


Ask by Ryan Levesque
– Ask is all about discovering exactly what your customers want to buy and the smartest, most effective ways to give it to them systematically. Another book I reach for constantly.

 

The Conquer Kit by Natalie McNeil – This interactive workbook will help you come up with a fool-proof business plan and effective strategies to pave your company’s way to success.

I absolutely loved filling out my new business plan for the year while I sipped on some hot cocoa last year.

 

Virtual Freedom by Chris Ducker – If you’re looking for solid pieces of advice about hiring a virtual staff, look no further. Chris Ducker’s book is your bible! (I’ve read this one 3 times already and it sits on my desk so I can reach for it often).

 

Crush It by Gary Vaynerchuk – You’ve seen Gary’s incredibly inspiring short videos on social media and if you want more, this is a must-read.

Crush it was one of the first business books I ever read and I couldn’t put it down. It walks you through the process of turning your passion into a profitable venture in a real, raw and inspiring style. Plus, I love Gary’s zero excuses philosophy.

 

Contagious — Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger – Jonah teaches you the secrets of word-of-mouth marketing, and how to make your products go viral. This is another one of my marketing Bibles.
You’ll learn to understand marketing and business from a pshychological standpoint and the insight he shares is pure cold.

I’ve read this book twice and it’s on my 2017 reading list because it’s THAT good.

 

How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie – This book is one of the classics. For a long time now, Dale’s smart pieces of advice have helped entrepreneurs become successful and it’s no wonder because he really shows you how to master the art of relationship-building.

 

Start With Why by Simon Sinek – In this book, Sinek shares how people, organizations, and companies achieve success and how it all starts with asking the question “Why”.

This book transformed my business in more than one way and I highly recommend it, especially if you are just getting started.

 

The Content Code by Mark W. Schaefer – The Content Code emphasizes the important role of social media in marketing. It’s jam-packed with tons of social media marketing lessons and tips (plus it’s hyper-tactical which is my kind of book).

 

YouTility by Jay Baer – This book is the bomb.

Inside Jay shares a completely different approach to marketing. It teaches you to come up with marketing strategies that actually helps your customers instead of focusing on just making a profit.

 

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield – This book is dubbed as the “Sun-Tzu for the soul” and I couldn’t agree more. Steven shares how to identify our inner enemy (which is self-doubt and fear), how to fight it, and how to achieve success.

 

DotCom Secrets by Russell Brunson – This is a must-read for online entrepreneurs! Another one of my marketing bibles because inside Russell shares his challenges with traffic and conversion while laying out the step-by-step process of crushing your funnels and creating sustainable sales systems.

Plus, it’s packed with smart marketing funnel ideas and sales scripts you can dig inspiration from to create revenue-generating systems the smart way.

 

Wrap Up

There you have it.

17 of my favorite marketing and business books!

Have you read any one of these books? I’d love to hear your feedback so definitely come on over to the comment section and let me know.

Have other books in mind? List them down in the comments section below too.

I’m always on the hunt for my next read. 🙂

How To Set Business Goals In 2017 & Make Them Stick

How To Set Business Goals In 2017 & Make Them Stick

It’s that time of the year when we re-think our businesses and our lives and set business goals (the awesome kind).

I for one, have a total love-hate relationship with goal setting (can you feel meh?)…

So if you are anything like me, you have to trick yourself into sticking with your goals all year round.

And after many years of trial and error, I have a few tips that can help so that this year you’re not just setting goals that you never actually achieve but instead you plan goals the smart way + set yourself up to achieve them (rather than fail and beat yourself up).

I’m going to teach you how to set goals for your online business and make them stick in three easy steps.

 

HOW TO SET BUSINESS GOALS AND MAKE THEM STICK

 

Set Pull Vs. Push Goals

It’s so easy to think we need to depend solely on will and discipline to set and achieve goals but that’s usually very unrealistic. – Click To Tweet!

I find that when I’m totally stoked about hitting a goal, I’m way more likely to achieve it than if I’m not.

 

Check In With Your Business Goals On A Daily Basis

Conditioning your brain to revisit your goals on a daily basis helps you re-connect with your why and get clear on your strategy.

Go back to basics, baby! Sometimes the fundamentals are what we REALLY need to focus on. So as simple as this one sounds, do it!

Make A Plan

Ideas without actions are totally worthless. We all know that as entrepreneurs.

So instead of just making a plan and having your goals down on paper, I want you to go the extra mile and get an accountability buddy who you can brainstorm with, share updates and milestones + celebrate your wins.

My husband Chris, had the idea to ‘meet’ every morning before we go about our day and discuss what we’re working on, the challenges that we are facing and celebrate all the little wins.

We’ve only been doing it for a few weeks and it’s already transformed my business and boosted my revenue (no joke).

In fact, the idea to launch The Business Lounge Podcast came out of one of our ”meetings” and I’m sure it’s going to be a big asset for the business.

 

set business goals

Oh yeah, did you hear? We’re launching a The Business Lounge Podcast really soon. Jump on the VIP List to be the first to know when we launch + access some special bonuses. 🙂

We’re super stoked about it. So if you have suggestions for future episodes, definitely let me know in the comments below.

WRAP UP

So there you have it!

My top 3 tips to set business goals in 2017 and start getting some momentum especially now that we are halfway through January.

Got other strategies or tips you want to share? Lay it on me in the comments below.

Xo!

Kim

 

Making Excuses Is Keeping You Small – How To Quit That Nonsense & Get Back In The Game

Making Excuses Is Keeping You Small – How To Quit That Nonsense & Get Back In The Game

So last week I was catching up on a slew of emails that have been coming in steady with questions from subscribers like you and one of these emails got me all fired up.

Wanna know why?

Because this person (let’s call her Stella) was whining, ranting and making all kinds of excuses about how ”online marketing is so, so very difficult” and how ”growing her business is just not her destiny”.

Total. Melodramatic. Chaos.

And when I say melodramatic chaos, I mean Stella wrote me a full 2-page email rant. And typically, I’m very empathetic with fellow entrepreneurs because I SO get it.

Building a business can be super overwhelming, stressful and frustrating and it’s totally okay to rant… as long as you do something about it.

So I shared 3 strategies she could implement right away to eradicate her overwhelm and grow her business. Her response? The olewoe is me; I simply can’t do it because I don’t have the time, the energy or the resources attitude.

I’m telling you this story because, in my experience, there are two types of entrepreneurs. The ones who are fully committed to succeeding no matter what and the ones who make excuses when things don’t work out how and when they want.

You can always tell one group from the other when there are big changes in the marketplace. The whiners come out of the woodwork with a ”woe is me” attitude (you know the type), while the committed ones buckle down and figure it out.

My point is that every single day you get to choose what type of entrepreneur you are going to be and as we reach the end of the year I want you to re-evaluate your commitment to your business and to yourself. More importantly, I want you to tap into the stories you are telling yourself over and over again about your abilities, your future, and your resources.

Are you going to take your business seriously, buckle down and make it happen?

Or are you going to blame Mark Zuckerburg, your bank account, Wiki Leaks, your in-laws and the internet for not allowing you to break through and grow your business this new year?

The brilliant Marie Forleo says, ”Everything is figureoutable.”

And I couldn’t agree more because here’s the thing, darling…

You can keep convincing yourself that you don’t have the skills, the large fan base, the team, the time, the budget, the accolades or the resources…

OR you can trust that everything is figureoutable in 2017 and then go out and do the work!

I’ll leave you with a paragraph from one of my favorite business books, Rework.

”I don’t have enough time/money/people/experience. Less is a good thing. Constraints are advantages in disguise. Limited resources force you to make do with what you’ve got. There’s no room for waste. And that forces you to be creative.” – Rework p.76 (Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson).

I hope you choose the later. 😉

Xo,

Kim

How To Create A Content Marketing Plan For Your Online Business

How To Create A Content Marketing Plan For Your Online Business

It’s that time of the year when we all review our goals and create fun, exciting new plans for 2017!

The team and I have been busy outlining our plans for the upcoming year, and I thought it would be the perfect time to walk you through how we create our content marketing plan + create a sweet new Content Marketing Planner for you. 😉


So in this week’s #KimTV episode, I’m going to walk you step-by-step through the process of creating a simple, yet uber-strategic content marketing plan so you can start 2017 with a fresh new strategy (and you never have to scramble to put out your best content).

 

Getting Into The Strategy

 Other Resources I mentioned:

Over To You

Got any hot tips on creating a content marketing plan for the new year?

I’d love to hear your takeaways, tips, and insights in the comments below.

Xo,

Kim

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