THE UPSIDE OF BUILDING A LIST

I can barely believe I am saying this. If there is any topic I have resisted, it is lists. To me, they represent cold bulk emails that overfill my email inbox. They are time consuming and require purging periodically or (with Gmail) relocation from one category to another. For me, the day of the long sales letter is gone along with the teasing video that drones on forever before you learn exactly what is being offered.

However, now that I want to reach a larger number of people to provide them with information, products and services, I am more sensitive to the online dilemma. The world may be at your fingertips, but it doesn’t mean they are listening or getting your message. To reach your audience, you have to get more efficient in how you send out announcements and invitations.

Right now, I have a larger number of email contacts than social media followers, and my “List” is tiny. Because of the regulations on Internet marketing, no one can “blast” their email contacts as in the Wild West days of the Internet. Instead, we must contact each and every person one at a time or in very small groups. It is labor intensive and time consuming. Hence, the value of THE LIST. By growing that database, you gain the ability to broadcast to a large group at one time, and we control THE LIST when we do it.

That’s not the case with social media. They understand the value of our friends and followers. They encourage content and product providers to advertise. They put our messages out according to a proprietary algorithm that suppresses how many of our friends receive our messages, unless we pay to boost them.

At some point, we need our own formula to calculate the cost of time and paid labor vs. the cost of their marketing plans. What is the rate of return or the return on investment, if any? Do we really need to do split test analyses?

Which brings me back to THE LIST. Even as I plan and produce podcasts for the series, I am wrapping my head around the best ways to keep people up-to-date on the various episodes I am creating, what they can learn, and who will be on the show with me. (How else would you know that Kym Douglass or Uma Girish will be on upcoming shows and learn a little about them?)

My in-box is filled with the suggestions of those who have nurtured a system so that their broadcasts reach thousands and their joint ventures draw participation from those with great successes of their own. Here’s an example:

I read a blog post by Kate Loving Shenk written for the 30-Day Podcasting Challenge on promoting podcasts. Her promotion plan includes the distribution channels (iTunes and Stitcher), Twitter, developing relationships with other podcast producers through groups like the Challenge and the Podcast Club, Google hangouts, Google +, blogs, repurposing content and Pinterest. I’d, of course, add Facebook, as well as Linked In, social bookmarking sites and Meetups – the places where people gather for discussions. Kate also has an old fashioned business card with her podcast information that she can hand out to people in person. We can also promote our guests who may then promote their episode to their audience which is a great way to grow THE LIST.

And in the end, Kate asks her audience to sign up on THE LIST. Like most, she offers a gift giveaway as a way to learn about her audience, find out what their problems are and pain points, and in turn, that information helps us provide content that is more relevant to those who are listening and reading our content.

I’m beginning to understand how it all ties together, however, it’s a system that needs to be set up and executed as part of a regular routine that integrates with my production schedule.  Hootsuite has been really helpful so far.   It would help so much if THE LIST could carry the majority of the work load.

So if I may send out a “call to action” –

It’s not just for me, although I will certainly benefit. These actions will help me help you get the most out of our episodes.

Enjoy this day. I’m off to a baby shower at a retreat location. It’s someone else’s version of a center such as the one I describe in Rainbows Over Ruins and I’m really looking forward to seeing it.

To Your Success,

Susan

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About ssherayko

Executive in Charge and Emmy nominated Line Producer for Home and Family on Hallmark Channel. Author, "Rainbows Over Ruins," sharing how to use your natural creative abilities to produce the life you desire. New release: interactive course "Manifest Your Dreams: A Roadmap to Discover and Achieve Your Goals."
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