This post contains affiliate links that generate a commission for the author, at no cost to you. Read my disclosure for more info.
Finding Your Ideal Client
And Getting Them Onto Your Email List
Your email list is the ultimate way to both establish yourself as an expert in your niche and grow your online business.
I’ve talked about the power of having an online business, yes, even in 2019. You can check out that post here.
No matter what your niche, no matter where your audience is, no matter how large a following you have, you still need an email list if you want to build a business that brings in consistent, reliable income.
But the question, is how does one actually grow their email list?
Fortunately, there are a ton of options, both paid and free. No matter where you are in your online business growth, there is an option available for you.
Get Your Ideal Client To Your Email List: Create A High-Quality Opt-In
But first – you need a high quality opt-in.
Gone are the days where you can just promote a newsletter or ask someone to “subscribe for updates”, and get hundreds of people flocking to your list.
Now, you can always send your list those updates and new posts and anecdotes about your business, but you need that high-quality piece of information to offer to your audience before they’re willing to exchange their email address for it.
An opt-in can be anything.
It can be a workbook, a checklist, a template, some email swipe copy, a video series, a free email course (like mine, Content Explosion), a free online course, a case study, a workout planner, a recipe book, grocery lists.
The list of opt-in options are truly infinite.
If your audience wants it, then create it for them and they’ll come to you.
Which brings me to another point: if you don’t know what kind of opt-in you want to create, ask the audience you already have, or poll other people in your niche, see what works for them, and then create something with your business’ own personal spin on it.
And once you have your opt-in, it’s time to promote it.
Get Your Ideal Client To Your Email List: Your Really Only Need Just One Opt-In
Before I dive into the ways in which you can promote opt-in to your email list, I want you to know that you only need just one opt-in option.
Many online business owners may think it’s valuable to their potential audience to create a new opt-in for every single blog post.
But let’s be real: that is SO time consuming.
I’ve talked a ton about how important it is that you focus your efforts on promotion, rather than content creation (for example, see Episode 113 of 10 Minutes Before Dinner). And creating a new opt-in for every single piece of content you create takes a TON of time an effort.
Not only are you creating the opt-in, but you’re doing all the back end work in your email service provider.
It’s way too much, especially when all you need is just one, high-quality, high-value opt-in.
Get Your Ideal Client To Your Email List: Make Sure Your Opt-In Is Front And Center On Your Home Page
Your homepage is one of the highest-traffic pages on your website.
It’s your business’ first impression to new visitors (aka cold traffic), and you want to make sure that they know that you have something free to offer to them.
As you can see on the homepage of QuestFor47.com, my free email course, Content Explosion, is front and center in my header. It’s the first thing that people see, which makes it more likely that they’re going to click it, and therefore join my email list.
So make sure your opt-in is front and center. Make sure your cold audience knows what the opt-in is, and what they can get out of it, but keep it short and sweet.
Get Your Ideal Client To Your Email List: Include A Call-To-Action To Join In Each Post
While your homepage may be one of the highest-traffic pages on your website, you want to also make sure that every single blog post you publish has an opportunity for anyone who stumbles across you through said pages to opt-in on.
I ensure that I have an opt-in at the end of each blog post (as you can see by scrolling down to the bottom of this one), and if they’re longer posts, the ones over 3,000 words, then I’ll even toss in another opt-in opportunity somewhere in the first half.
Since I use ConvertKit, it’s very easy to not only create the sign-up form (shown below), but the plugin that connects ConvertKit to WordPress makes the process so seamless that all I have to do to get my opt-in to show in a post is copy and paste a short piece of code.
So make sure that you have your opt-in and a call to action to sign up for said opt-in in every single blog post you publish.
Get Your Ideal Client To Your Email List: Put Your Opt-In In Your Sidebar
Your blog’s sidebar is another high-value location where you need to include your opt-in.
Since you don’t want to overload your blog posts with opt-in opportunities, since it takes away from the overall message of your content, your sidebar is a fantastic location to ensure that people are seeing your opt-in and will therefore be able to join it.
It’s about making things easier for your audience, so they don’t have to jump through a ton of hoops to get at your best work.
Not that everything you publish isn’t your best work, but you know what I mean.
Get Your Ideal Client To Your Email List: Create A Landing Page
The benefit of a landing page is that, unlike on your website, your traffic’s only option on a landing page is to sign up, or leave.
There is no opportunity for them to click away or get lost in the rabbit hole of your blog content.
A landing page can be created on your website, depending on your theme, and also depending on what plug-ins you have.
But if you’re a little more advanced or are ready to make a bigger investment into your business, I highly recommend investing in landing page software like LeadPages.
I talk all about why LeadPages is an online business must-have in this post.
LeadPages makes it easy to create professional, high-converting landing pages that funnel your audience directly into your email list (you can also monetize these landing pages to make a little bit of money too, with tripwires).
You can get started with a 14-day trial of LeadPages by clicking here.
Get Your Ideal Client To Your Email List: Utilize Pinterest
Pinterest is one of the top free ways to grow your email list, along with traffic to your website.
And while you should definitely make sure to create pins that lead directly to your blog content, you also need to make sure that you are creating pins that lead directly to your opt-in.
If you have a landing page (which I talk about above), then creating pins that lead directly to that landing page don’t mean you’re taking potential traffic away from your website, but do mean that you’re getting your ideal client onto your email list. Once they’re on your email list, you can email them directly about your new content.
You can also utilize the thank-you page when someone signs up for your opt-in to funnel them to one of your most popular or highest-converting blog post.
Get Your Ideal Client To Your Email List: Ask Your Facebook Friends
Here’s a simple way to grow your email list:
Tell your personal Facebook friends about your business. You never know which old friend from high school who you haven’t talked to in over a decade is actually your ideal client.
A lot of people like to try to keep their online business life separate from their personal life, especially on a platform like Facebook, because it’s so easy to spam your friends and family with money-making opportunities, but there’s nothing wrong with shouting out your business every once in a while.
Create a post or two talking about your business or your opt-in, and see who responds. You never know who you might be able to serve in your own figurative backyard.
And even if your direct circle of friends does not include your ideal client, getting your business information out to those people means that they might know someone who does need your business, and can refer them to you.
Get Your Ideal Client To Your Email List: Utilize Your Instagram Bio
Your Instagram bio is some seriously prime real estate!
Since all online businesses start at zero, it means that for a bulk of the time that you are growing, your Instagram account is going to be below the 10,000-follower threshold that unlocks the very handy swipe-up function.
That’s okay though, because you have one very powerful link-space in your Instagram bio.
Now, there are a lot of schools of thought about WHAT to put in that link area, but I personally recommend having it lead to your opt-in, because no matter what else you can lead your audience to in that space, that can always be done AFTER they’re signed on to your email list.
The cleanest way to get that link to show up is to use a Bit.ly link. Bit.ly is free, and allows you to shorten those big, messy links into something neater and cleaner. It also allows you to track some basic metrics, so you can see a little bit about where the people who click that link is coming from.
Get Your Ideal Client To Your Email List: Utilize Instagram Stories
Instagram stories are one of the hottest places to promote your opt-in right now.
These days, people are scrolling less through the posts, but are spending a TON more time swiping through stories. While you may not have the “swipe up” function to lead people directly to your opt-in, you can still create a bunch of templates on a platform like Photoshop or Canva, talking about your opt-in and leading them to the link in your bio.
What’s important is to remember to utilize high-traffic hashtags when you’re promoting content in your stories. You know the ones, like #Entrepreneur or #OnlineBusiness or #Motivation. The hashtags, that when you search them have millions to hundreds of millions of posts.
While it’s easy for your posts to get lost in those high-traffic hashtags, it actually gives you a greater chance of standing out when you use them in your stories.
Get Your Ideal Client To Your Email List: Facebook Groups That Offer Promo Days
Facebook groups are a great space to promote your opt-in to your potential audience, but only if you do it the right way.
And the right way means following the individual groups’ rules regarding self-promotion.
It’s not at all appropriate to join someone’s Facebook group and then start throwing out links to your opt-ins everywhere. Many groups, especially sharing groups, will have days scheduled where you can self-promote, and it’s important to stick to those days.
And when you’re promoting your opt-in in those groups, don’t just drop your link and run. Create a caption that talks to your ideal audience’s pain points, and how you and this opt-in are the one and only thing that can solve their problems.
Having a caption go with your opt-in will go a long way toward getting people in Facebook groups to sign up for your list.
But also remember – ONLY self promote on self-promotion days.
Speaking of Facebook communities where you have the opportunity to promote yourself, I would like to invite you to the free, Consistent Content Creators community. Not only will you get the accountability you need to grow your online business and establish yourself as an expert, quicker, but you will also be a part of a community of dedicated, passionate entrepreneurs who are all growing businesses and making an impact online.
And yes, there are some self-promotion days in the Consistent Content Creators community too.
Click here to join the free Consistent Content Creators community.
Get Your Ideal Client To Your Email List: Your Paid Option – Investing In Ads
I know that sometimes it may feel like you shouldn’t HAVE to pay to have your audience find you, but if you’re set on growing your business and doing it quickly, then paid ads are a highly recommended investment.
When you invest in ads (be it Facebook or Instagram or Pinterest), you’re strategically targeting your audience, ensuring that your ideal client sees your content, and faster.
Because yes, you can do it organically, but organic growth takes time.
And if you’re the type of person who wants to grow their platform right!freaking!now!, then ads are where it’s at.
You can also utilize a tripwire, which will help fund those ads. This means using your thank-you page when your audience signs up as a sales page for a low-cost product related to your opt-in. It won’t bring you in millions, but having a tripwire is helpful, because not only do you grow quickly, but you get to fund it through the tripwire sales.
What are your favorite ways to get people onto your email list? Leave a comment and let me know.
Ready To Start Your Own Online Business?
Have a lot to talk about, but don’t have the website to guide your readers to? Now is the perfect time to get started.
Now is the perfect time to take my free email course, where I teach you how to plan a year’s worth of blog content in just one day. This training takes away all the mystery behind figuring out what you’re going to write from week to week and helps you plan the ultimate in blogging content that your audience will absolutely love.
Don’t forget to get hosting (plus a free domain) for as little as $3.95/month through Siteground. You can read why I choose Siteground to host my websites in my post, 6 Reasons I Host My Side Hustle On Siteground (And You Should Too).
Pin It For Later!