Have you ever heard a story about a couple that dated for 8 years or more. Everyone thinks of them as the perfect couple and wonder why they don’t formalize the relationship by getting married. Then one day they finally decide to tie the knot and shortly after that you hear they’ve gotten a divorced.
Some how by formalizing a relationship they went from doing things instinctively to having to “work at it.”
List building is kinda like that for most people starting out to build their business.
For years they instinctively built a list without even thinking about it.
If you don’t believe me, try taking away someone’s cell phone, or watch the panic grip their face when confronting the very real possibility that they’ve lost it along with all their contact information.
Collecting contact information instinctively goes something like this:
“Hey Allen, your where talking about that fly fishing article last night, can you send me the link?
“Sure Sue what’s your email and I’ll also send over the link to the sports fishing magazine I read.”
Allen adds Sue’s email address to his contact list with a note to send over the links as soon as he get’s home.
I bet you’ve done something similar many times.
Yet when it comes to list building for our business we seem to create this obstacle course of complexity while forgetting all the simple steps you do when your get a friends emails.
List building or adding a contact to your contact list on your cell phone at its very basic level is an exchange where your get an email, or a phone number in exchange for content.
When I started on-line I really didn’t understand what building a list meant.
I thought, and I think many people make this mistake, that down-lines in a program were my list.
I remember one of my first experiences on-line was with a program called Payitforward4profit.
In this program we had team leaders and you became part of a team. Each week the team leader did a group call, set targets and made suggestions on how to get people to sign up for the program. I was actually part of one of the leading teams, not because I was so good at getting leads but because we had a group of people with a fair amount of experience at attracting leads.
Over time I build a list of over 250 people.
There were a couple of problems with this program.
1.We all use duplicate sign up pages the only difference being that you uploaded your photo to your site. (I thought this was branding.)
2. Most people who signed up went for the free option in the programs that were promoted, so very few sales were generated.
3. While you could see all the names who signed up under you, they were not part of your personal list.
At some point the program crashed and burned along with all those names.
You would think lesson learned.
I confess that I didn’t really learn from this mistake till later on.
Often as I coach people I find this same confusion.
When I ask about how they build their list, I often get a list of programs and how many people they have in their down-lines.
This is downline building not list building.
The people in your downline can earn you commissions when they take upgrades or buy products or credits. If you build big enough down-lines you can generate a good income. However your ability to interact with these people is often very restricted. It’s very hard for you to build a personal relationship by sending them valuable content. They are not members in your personal list. They are members in a program and a member in the program owner’s list.
If something happens to the program, you loose your list.
List build is about building a list you own and manage independent of any particular program.
As you build that list by provided content that subscribers can use your start building a relationship. As they relationship grows you can recommend products and service you feel will be most helpful to your subscribers.
You are in control of the process and not the program owner.
As an example in Click Track Profit I have 1,344 referrals in my downline. About a year after the program launched I worked hard and furiously promoting Click Track Profit. The program does give you pretty good access to your downline members. I worked hard to build relationships with as many of the people on that list as possible.
I thought back then that I was building a list.
Instead I was building down-lines.
I can’t use some of the options having your own list offers you.
As an example the list really badly needs to be purged of all inactive members, but as far as I can see there is no way for me to do that because the real list owner, TimTech, are the only ones that have that power.
I spent a fair amount of money building that downline program.
Imagine if I’d put the same energy into building my list!
Understanding the difference is the first step in starting the process of building your list.
Then its a matter of:
1 Learning the various elements of list building. Believe me if I can do it, so can you. There is nothing particularly difficult or overly technical. You don’t need to code or build html pages. It’s a matter of patience, persistence and practice.
2. Learning the skills needed to build a relationship with that list.
Over the next few posts I’m going to explore these aspects with you so instead of wandering in the desert all those years as I did, you can move more quickly to the promised land of making money online.
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