Two weeks of your life wasted on that stupid guest post. And for what?
That’s like what - TWO subscribers per hour spent?
If you wore a cardboard opt-in sign and begged on the street corner, you’d get better ROI.
You worry that you’ll never make it work. You’ll never make money online.
Maybe your passion is doomed to remain a hobby.
Every time you pull up your dashboard, the reason stares you in the face:
You’re not getting enough of the right people onto your email list. So you have a hard time selling your stuff.
When you launch a new offer, you can’t get more than a few sales because you have such a small list.
(Or maybe you don’t even bother to launch anything, because you’re afraid it won’t sell.)
You feel like you’ve been in this holding space for quite some time.
I mean, you just want to get subscribers so you can move on. Create a product, sell it, scale up - is that really so much to ask?
You can’t help but think that either this whole thing is a scam or you are missing a key skill.
Frankly, it wasn't any one thing that made you lose faith in humanity, blogging and the universe. Rather… it was a cumulation of things:
Some of the stuff you were taught worked. Most didn’t.
But you’re nowhere close to where they led you to believe you could be. Not even remotely close. And you are working very, very hard.
Ok, they have the formula, you thought, searching for the “buy” button, all excited. And once I learn the formula, everything is going to be easy.
You worked your socks off. You applied the formula to a “t”. (Ok maybe not exactly to a “t”, but close enough.)
The results were… underwhelming.
But you’ve read all those success stories. It can’t all be a sham, right?
Head bowed, shoulders sagging, you let out a long, defeated sigh and face the inevitable:
You don’t have the skills to execute this.
You aren’t quite sure what those skills that you seem to be missing are. But whatever they are, you don’t have them.
Or do you?
Lack of skill is not the real reason your list is growing at a snail’s pace.
Sure, there is definitely room for improvement.
But you can relax:
You don’t have to become God’s gift to blogging to get meaningful results.
You don’t have to evolve Seth Godin-level marketing talent. (Although it certainly wouldn't hurt!)
And you don’t need to rival Mad Men in copywriting prowess.
See, that’s the tragedy:
You are sacrificing so much to fix the wrong problem.
And it’s a pretty annoying sacrifice.
Maybe you wake up at ungodly hours to work on your business before you hit the office.
Or maybe you’re burde - blessed - with kids, and during school hours you work with very little breaks.
Either way, you feel so stressed to get the most out of your limited time that you feel dread that the clock is ticking, and your time to make a dent in your business will end.
It sucks, right?
Think about all the things that you aren’t able to do in your life because you’re spending all this time on list-building.
What would you be doing if some of this pressure was off your shoulders?
Oh, I don’t know...
Live life a little?
Maybe do normal things like sip coffee and look out the window, meet a friend every once in a while, do a project around the house.
But what if...
What if you were to get, say, 694 new subscribers next week...
Who would that allow you to be?
Hilde Fossen took her first online business course in 2014. Then she started to build an email list around May 2016.
In the next 4 months after that, she wrote 3 guest posts, went on 2 live interviews, and spent a ton of time trying to find other blogs worth guest posting on. After doing all this, she had 78 subscribers as of August 2016.
Then we had a strategy session on 25 August 2016 where she realised something counterintuitive. And that insight shifted everything for her.
By 31 August 2016, she had grown her list to 772 subscribers.
She immediately started building her first product, Get Style Confidence for Women Entrepreneurs. In fact, she managed to “pre-sell” 7 copies before she even finished creating the course.
If lack of skill was really the problem, Hilde shouldn’t have been able to grow her list to 772 subscribers in 7 days and launch. She didn’t suddenly become a world-class marketer after one strategy session.
I mean I don’t have a magic wand. And my fairy godmother hasn’t passed away, so I’ve yet to inherit hers. 😉
Here is why your list isn’t growing:
You’re executing the strategy right, but you’re not executing the right strategy.
Take Hilde for example.
Hilde's real problem was pursuing the wrong strategy. She was spending time on tactics that would never get her results.
Once Hilde switched to a list building strategy that actually worked in her niche, and which fit her personality like a glove, things started to take off.
I want to reiterate: Lack of skill or know-how isn’t the reason you’re stuck. But you think it is. And that’s actually why you have the problem.
Let me try to prove it to you:
When you read the previous section, I bet your reaction was:
“Yes, but was is the REAL reason? The How-To of Hilde’s story is really the answer I needed. You promised me specifics in the title. I feel clickbaited.”
But the specifics of what Hilde did (Did she do FB ads? A giveaway? How did she write her opt-in copy?) don’t really matter.
The insight that matters is that she was pursuing the wrong strategy for her niche.
Let’s look at the promise – and thus: goal – of this article.
The headline promises “the real reason you get so few opt ins (despite working your socks off”. And that reason is:
You are so obsessed with taking action and taking action well that you never stop to ask, “Am I taking the right action?”
Again: You’re attacking the wrong problem – because that’s what marketing blogs have trained you to do, by focusing too much on the how-to and not enough on the why.
This article will have achieved its purpose if it makes you pause for a moment and wonder:
“Hmm, I didn’t realize that not every list building strategy works in every niche. Could I be pursuing the wrong strategy?”
And don’t worry. We’ll explore how to find the right strategy in future articles.
But the most valuable thing I can do for you is to plant the question in your head.
Before we wrap up, let’s have a quick look at why your strategy may have gone haywire.
If growing your list feels like trying to push a boulder uphill, you are probably pursuing the wrong strategy.
There are 3 reasons the list building strategy you’re executing might be the wrong strategy for your business:
2) It wasn't a good fit for your personality and skills.
3) That strategy was designed for a different business model. Therefore, it won’t actually lead to where you want to go.
In other words, you’re climbing the wrong ladder.
(Hey, at least you’re in the right building! Maybe?)
Now that you know perfect execution is a red herring, you can solve the real problem:
Finding the right marketing strategy based on your niche, your personality, and what you want to accomplish.
Once those three elements align, marketing starts to come naturally to you.
You work from your zone of genius - and because you’re in your element, people notice. They pay attention.
The right people flock to you, and your list grows. Rapidly.
Your list is growing steadily and filling up with the right people - subscribers who open your emails, comment on your blog posts and are freakin’ THRILLED to buy from you.
Every time you glance at your dashboard, the number looks… well, bigger. Like a lot. Like I-need-a-calculator big.
So you finally feel confident enough to launch an offer.
And whenever you do launch...
All your courses and programmes are sold out. You send out one email and spots fill up like a Madonna concert.
Hey - what’s that noise?
Oh! Oh! Oh! Your “Work with me” page is finally seeing some action!
And that application form?
Hordes and hordes of your ideal clients are filling it in.
You’re already booked for the year - time to put up a Waiting List.
Never again will you have to “hunt” for clients.
Because you know what?
Clients are finding you.