If you focus on your Mailing List and your Product, you’ll make more progress faster than someone who tries to do many things at the same time.
Done well, your mailing list will bring you tons of qualified traffic and your products will put cash in your bank account. First, let’s look at your Mailing List.
1. Your Mailing List
Your Mailing List or simply List or Contacts or Audience or Subscribers is one of your most important assets online. From your list you’ll get your first customers.
You build your INITIAL list by reaching out to all the people you know, e.g., classmates, co-workers, colleagues, associates, ex-classmates ex-colleagues, friends, friends of friends, acquaintances and complete strangers.
Reach them through calls, text messages, emails, one-on-one, and social media such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
The most effective way to reach them as you’re starting out will be one-on-one at the malls, Churches, Mosques, conferences and other events.
Without trying to be too prescriptive, just start with small talk. Ask them how life is with them, what they’re doing now, and also share what you’re doing yourself.
For complete strangers, you can break the ice by asking what they do for a living. You can also ask about their other interests and whether they are visitors or whether they live around the area you met them.
Keep the relationship and conversation ongoing and warm to build rapport. In the process ask for their phone number and/or email address and start sending them relevant information based on their areas of interest.
You need between 100 and 250 names for a start. According to Joe Girard, the author of How to Sell Anything to Anybody, everyone on this planet knows at least 250 other people.
As your list becomes bigger, you will need a Contact Management System (CMS), or CRM (Customer Relationship Management) System.
A CMS will make managing your list easier and will be indispensable in the analysis of the performance of your customers in areas such as mail opening, click through, and Lifetime Value, to mention three.
There are many CMS out there, ranging from very sophisticated and expensive ones such as Keap (formerly Infusion Soft), Click Funnels, Ontraport, Kajabi, and Drip to relatively affordable ones such as Vonza, Constant Contact, ConvertKit, and MailChimp, to mention a few.
Each of the CMS have their advantages and disadvantages or pros and cons, but as a beginner, I’d recommend you go for MailChimp.
MailChimp is unpretentious, easy to use and above all, allows you a FREE PLAN of up to 2000 subscribers.
You need a free plan when you’ve not started making money.
However, having said that, you don’t even need a CMS at the beginning. All you need is Microsoft Excel Sheet to store your audience’s contact information, the key of which is the email address..
To manage your list and continue reaching out to more potential customers to grow your traffic, you also need your smart phone, WhatsApp and other Social Media accounts, particularly Facebook.
To establish your credibility and gravitas, build strong relationships and rapport, let your contacts know what you’ve accomplished.
Have you for instance written a book or books? Brag and talk about them. That is where your Products come in.
Let’s look at your Product next.
2. Your Product
Your Product is also one of your most important assets online.
Your Product and Mailing List are the two sides of the same coin: Your Online Business.
Your Product can be in the form of a book, an eBook, a Guide, an article, a Checklist, a Cheat-sheet, an App, a Code, or a Training Course.
Courses are popular Online because they are easy to sell digitally in the form of PDF, MP4, and MP3 and at ridiculously high margins.
People are always looking for ways to improve their lives so Courses come in very handy.
As a beginner all you need is a good Product in the form of a Course.
Though a Course can be Basic, Intermediate or Advanced, as a beginner, you’ll go a Basic (Entry-Level) Course.
An Entry-level Course is something that is low-priced but solves an immediate problem for your target audience.
You don’t need anything complicated, sophisticated or academic. All you need is a Product (Course) that solves an immediate problem.
For example, if I’m thirsty and you have water to sell, I will gladly buy it to quench my thirst (an immediate problem).
If for instance I have an itch and you have a balm that can immediately reduce my discomfort, I’d gladly pay you.
So link your Product to your target audience’s immediate problem not a future problem and you will not only win, but win big in 2021.
Online marketing experts talk about funnels. Your Entry-Level Product will be one of the top funnel’s prized assets.
Though the actual mechanic of creating a Product such as a Course, is beyond the scope of this article, there are basic things you need to know at this point.
To succeed with your Product (Course), ask your Audience what they are struggling with to discover their pain points.
Then ask them further, suppose I develop a product that solves your problem, would you buy or be willing to pay for it?
If 3 – 10 of your Audience Members say “Yes”, and better still are willing to pay you in advance, then you’re home and dry.
In short, if someone in your target audience is willing to pre-pay for your yet undeveloped Product, it means your Product’s idea is good.
The process of trying to find out if your target audience is willing to pay for your Product in advance is called idea validation.
Once your Product idea has been validated, go ahead and create the Product. That is all you need to do as a beginner.
Let me repeat, you’re on a firm ground when your audience members are willing to pre-pay for your Product.
Another way of creating a Product is to go ahead and create one based on your gut feeling and start selling without involving your target audience at the beginning.
This could be a bad idea if you spend a huge amount of money to create a Product only to discover after there is no market for it.
Involving your Audience at the beginning to co-create your Product is therefore a good ideal to pursue.
That said; however, do know that there is no perfect way for doing anything on and offline.
Just do what works and is working in the market that you serve. Do not try to reinvent the wheel.
For instance, I created my first two Products, Book Writing Clinic and Internet Business Mastery Course, based on gut feelings.
Both Courses have succeeded beyond my expectations, with over one hundred and fifty students enrolled in both.
So go ahead and create your first Product, e.g. a Course you can sell for between $19 to $99 per student.
Depending on your target audience, your approach and pricing will be different but the principles remain the same.
Once you create a successful Entry-level Product, you can add more features and benefits and upgrade it into an Intermediate-Level Product as time goes on and as your experience and confidence grow.
This article assumes you’ve attended some form of training that shows you the basics how online or internet business works.
If you have not, you have to because there are so many moving and changing parts so going it alone is not only fool hardy, but penny wise but pound foolish.