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Episode 76: How I Got My First 500 Subscribers

This episode is all about how I got my first 500 subscribers and how you can too!

Getting your first 500 email subscribers is like a milestone.  Once you get to 500, things can start to move a little bit quicker; that first 500 seems like this giant mountain that you need to scale, so it is getting a little harder to get your subscribers than it used to be back in the day when email subscription was the cool thing to do, whereas now everyone feels like they’re being asked for their email address at the drop of a hat.

We really need to be selling people into handing over their email addresses, so it’s not just like, here’s some free crap that I created: come and download it; people are just not going to fall for that any more.  Sign up to my newsletter: again, that is not going to convert people to your email list.  You need to be creative, you need to be really, really listening to your potential clients: your customers, your audience, you need to find out what they’re really looking for.

I’m going to give you five steps to follow to help you get your first 500 subscribers but first of all I’m going to share exactly how I did it.

How I got started

First of all, this was back in 2013 I think it was, I started a blog and it was all about family day-care, which was one of the first things I ever wrote about because I was doing family day-care and I just felt like people wanted information and that blog is still thriving today.

I get a lot of subscribers every week, people purchase online programs through that, it is going really well, but how I started was I just started writing a blogpost.  I was super-consistent: every week I would do a blogpost, every week I would add a video to YouTube and I would be sharing on Facebook my journey so there was nothing to sell.  I wasn’t selling anything at the time, I was really just sharing.  I was genuinely concerned and wanting to support all of the people who were interested, so there was a genuine passion there, which you need to make sure you do have a genuine concern for your potential audience and clients.

I was genuinely concerned what people were looking for, I wanted to really support them.  

I was just writing and the content that I found was most helpful was all about exactly where do I start to build my own family day-care, I created a three-part training video.  Again, it could be any kind of opt-in, any structure that you like but I really found this worked super-well because video helps people connect with who you are and what you’re about, so it really builds that trust and video nowadays is even more popular than it was back then and even back then it was very easy to grow my email list, I created a three-part training video.

I had the email sequence and then I just started writing about it, I would share it in groups and I ran some ads for people to opt in, so ads were pretty new back then, they were super-cheap and I think I had over 600 subscribers and I had three email subscribers before I did this and then it got to 600 in a matter of weeks and I was promoting it everywhere.

I was telling people how amazing this free training was, there was nothing to be sold and it was all about that free training so I would be on my Facebook page telling people about it, I would be giving people in-depth information, I was doing hand-outs, I was really just committed to that for a good probably six weeks,

I was committed to creating, building that email subscriber base and it was brilliant and it worked very well and I know that you can do the same thing. 

How you can too!

Obviously things are a little bit different now but I want to share with you five steps to help you achieve the same thing.

STEP 1: focus on your potential customer. 

What are they struggling with?  What are they losing sleep over?  Why are they coming to you and not some other person?  What’s your significant stand-out point why they would come to you?  Really focus on your potential customer and what they are really struggling with.

STEP 2:  Give value. 

It needs to be quality.  Quantity no longer works: bombarding people with loads of posts every day on all social media platforms just doesn’t work.  Sending loads of emails again doesn’t work.  You need to be the person that creates the best quality stuff and it doesn’t mean that you have to do it all the time; even just a few times a week is going to help build your database because people are going to be looking for you because they know the stuff that you create is of real value, so keep giving value.

STEP 3: be consistent. 

Be consistent in everything that you do: create a strategy and follow it through.  Commit to it for at least three, six, even twelve months because it’s the people that keep going that get the results.  If you just give up, well then obviously nothing is going to happen, so step three is really important and I see a lot of people fall down because if they don’t get enough Likes and Follows and Shares and email subscriptions, they just kind of give up, but you need to be consistent.  Consistency is what’s going to win the game because there’s so many people competing these days but they’re not hanging around forever; they’re not sticking around for the long haul and people can kind of sense that, so, be consistent.

STEP 4: ask for the sign-up.

Tell people what you have available.  Most weeks on my podcast I have a particular freebie that I offer and that’s in the show notes and I tell people to go back there, I ask for the sign-up even on any social media platform there is a freebie that people can sign up for and I ask for it.  A lot of people are like, no, I’m signing up to my list and I ask them, what did you tell them, is it obvious?  And then I’ll go to their website and there’s this tiny little opt-in box at the bottom and I thought, Jeez, I was looking for it and I couldn’t’ even see it, so if it’s not obvious, make sure it is; make sure it’s obvious and ask for sign-up.

STEP 5: rinse and repeat. 

Very simple: go back to Step One; focus on your potential customer, keep going; you’re going to have to fine-tune the first piece of content or the first opt-in that you create may not be the one that’s going to bring in loads and loads of email subscriptions; you might need to tweak it.  Maybe the format is different, maybe video doesn’t work, maybe podcast does, maybe content on social media works, maybe a checklist, maybe some kind of guide that they can download is going to work.  Whatever it is, go back and focus on your potential customer and what it is that they are looking for and that’s today’s actionable task. 

Ask them what they are looking for

I want you to actually ask your existing audience what it is they’re looking for.

What do they need help with and how can you help them?  If you can have a conversation with someone, ask them, would you rather a pdf, an audio or a video?  How would you like it delivered?  And that’s what you need to create.  So, listening to our audience is going to help us get far; connecting with our audience will get us even further, so that’s today’s episode.  I really want to see you taking action, come into our free Facebook group and share with us exactly what you are doing in order to interact and engage with your audience.

Every Wednesday I run a full tutorial on my Facebook page through a live video. This is based on the content shared here in the podcast. Be sure to check out my Facebook Page for past Facebook Live tutorials where I go deeper and share useful demonstrations on how to implement this into your business.
Actionable: Ask your existing audience what it is they are looking for.

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