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Ok so before we talk about growing your list it’s important to realise that you need an incentive to encourage people to sign up to your newsletter. This is sometimes referred to as a ‘lead magnet’ and it can be any of the following: a downloadable resource in a pdf format; access to a short free course; a challenge; or even a video, audio or webinar.

If you are just starting out keep it simple and put together some tips, a tutorial, short report or checklist in a pfd format (use Google forms if you don’t have Acrobat) and you will be ready to go. Don’t overthink it too much at the start, but obviously as you continue to grow your list you can get more inventive.

So you now have your opt-in form in place and you have your lead magnet ready for your new subscribers. Let’s start growing that list.

Here are 20 ways to spread the word about what you have on offer.

1 Be Instantly Recognizable

It’s important to make your website or blog as clear as possible – by that I mean that as soon as someone arrives at your site they should understand who you are and what you offer. If you are a service based business particularly it is a good idea to include a headshot of you as it helps to build trust. The words and images on your site should clearly convey what your business is all about. If that is confusing, you are already deterring people from signing up. If you need help with that download my free DIY Website Audit here.

2 Guest Posting

If you write a blog post for another website in a related niche this can be a great way to get some more traffic back to your website or blog. To do this, connect with others in groups on Facebook and LinkedIn. You can also contact sites where you would like to appear and ask if they accept guest posts – you can even offer to do a blog post swap.

3 Get Interviewed

A great way to spread the word about what you do is to get interviewed for other websites. Again a swap is a great idea, fresh content for your site plus getting featured elsewhere. Remember that Call to Action at the end for your mailing list sign-up.

4 Schedule a Webinar

This can be a great way to get sign ups to your list as you can make people register if they want to attend the event. Once people are enrolled also ask them to share the event across social media by using a site such as ClickToTweet.

5 Special Incentives

You can encourage people to sign up to your list by offering future discounts or access to special offers or early access to new ranges or exclusive events.

6 Promise People Exclusive Access

You can let people know that they will only get access to some material by being on your newsletter. You can do this by writing a tip, trick or tutorial on your blog or social media  and then letting people know that they can get more exclusive content if they sign up for your newsletter.

7 Join Facebook and LinkedIn Groups

On any social site it is always important to add value by providing information and answering people’s questions. You want to make sure that people like what you offer and want to find out more about you – by looking at your profile – so always give more than you take and only mention your own site or products occasionally and if the circumstance calls for it. (Many groups will have specific Promo days)

8 Social Media Party

Throw a social media party on your Facebook page or Twitter feed. Announce a date and a time for the party and let people know that it is a get together but also an opportunity for them to ask questions, a perfect way for you to showcase your expertise. You can even choose a unique hashtag for the event so that people can share it. Remember in the comments to mention your lead magnet!

9 Pinnable Shareable Images

Create some Pinnable images about your opt-in that can be shared across all your social media – include your blog/website url and also think about maybe your own hashtag. It could be your brand for example e.g. #pethooligans. You can create these shareable images using Picmonkey, Canva or Stencil.

10 Social Media Profiles

Add a link to your opt in/newsletter to all your social media profiles. You can add it to your bio on Twitter, to your Facebook page, LinkedIn profile and on your G+ page.

11 Commenting on Other People’s Blogs

This is an old school technique but it does have a place if you choose where to post wisely. Always leave thoughtful, helpful comments which will make people want to learn more about you and your business. The good thing about commenting is that you are allowed to leave a link back to your website or blog. Also if you sign up to the site Gravatar.com you can add an image of yourself/your logo and that will appear around the net every time you use your email address.

12 Scheduling Posts

Add some regular posts to your social media to drive people to your opt-in form. This way you can set it and forget it – knowing that people are still seeing the sign-up for your newsletter. On Facebook you can schedule posts directly or you could always use Smarterqueue or Buffer for scheduling multiple social media profiles.

13 Eyes on the Prize

Giveaways are a great way to get people onto your list and you can use your blog for this – or even an app like Rafflecopter or Contest Domination. The prize should be something related to your business so that only relevant people sign up – so a product you sell, a $30 gift card for your store – an hour telephone support or coaching with you.

14 Sharing Blog Posts

Always have a share bar underneath your blog posts so that you make it easy for people to spread the word. You can also use these buttons yourself to make sure you share every post systematically across social media. At the end of your blog post you can add a CTA (Call to Action) for people to sign up to your free opt-in.

15 Ask for Shares

Also, don’t be afraid to ask people to share your posts. On Twitter you can ask for retweets and you can even use a program like ClickToTweet.com. If you create your own thank you page for people to land on after they have signed up for your newsletter you can include share buttons here and actually ask people to spread the word about your great opt-in offer.

16 Out & About

If you are out and about at an event, craft fair or even at a social gathering, collect email addresses on the spot. Either through an app or through good old fashioned pencil and paper. Naturally you need to tell people that you are adding them and use a double opt-in so that they can confirm, or give them the info on where they can go to sigh up.

17 LinkedIn/Medium Articles

You can write articles on LinkedIn about your biz. These appear in the main feed and are effective in reaching new people. You can then of course include a CTA at the end to encourage people to sign up to your list. Medium is also another place to get found, why not also write articles there.

18 Think Offline

Look into the potential of being interviewed by relevant magazines in the print world. Local newspapers are often looking for stories too so reach out to them and see if they would be interested in featuring you.

19 Word of Mouth

Wherever you go and whoever you speak to don’t be afraid to mention your business. Have a very short speech prepared – what’s called an elevator pitch – about your business so that you can tell people what you do. (Within reason of course!) ☺

If they seem interested also have a business card ready – which of course mentions your website address and from there they can sign up to your newsletter.

20 Facebook/Instagram/YouTube Live

Talk live about your areas of expertise and then in the comments section include a link to your opt-in and mention on the Live what people can get by going there. If your giveaway matches the topic of the live then so much the better.

That’s 2o ways to get started, there are plenty more but you may be tired by now ☺ Now you have a growing list you might want to improve your open rates and conversions. If so, then pick up my free guide on Email Marketing: 5 Top Tips to Get You Better Results.

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