Hint of Hustle with Heather Sager

Why your email list isn't growing (and how to use speaking to accelerate it)

August 01, 2022 Heather Sager Episode 160
Hint of Hustle with Heather Sager
Why your email list isn't growing (and how to use speaking to accelerate it)
Show Notes Transcript

We know that building our email list is important but let’s be real—growing it is never as easy as we'd like it to be especially when we’re trying to grow organically. 

Tune in on today’s episode as I uncover four specific reasons why your list isn’t growing (and what you should do to get more traction). So if yours is growing painfully slow or worse, it’s been crickets on your list, it could be because you’re making one or more of these mistakes.

I hope you enjoy this week’s quick but tangible conversation to help you be more intentional with your strategy and get you results.


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Well, Hey, friend, welcome back to another episode of the show. Today we're gonna keep it short and sweet because full disclaimer, I am recording this on a Sunday morning, sipping my coffee. Yeah, you can hear it. I'm drinking an almond milk latte topped with cinnamon and nutmeg. It is Sunday morning which is less than 24 hours until this episode is going live. And like many of you, it is summertime, which means the schedule is crazy. In my house, the kids are home and choices were made and here we are. Here we are on a Sunday recording which sidenote, y'all if you listen to the show these last few weeks, you know how I feel about batch content planning. I am actually not a fan of content batching, especially for podcasts and video and if you scroll back a couple episodes, you'll see exactly why that's the case. And I think that you should think about it too. However, I do not condone waiting until the day before your episode goes live for you to do it, because it's just a stress, and nobody needs that. But I'm a pro y'all and I can pull stuff off in the last minute but I don't recommend it. I highly, highly don't recommend it. But you know, sometimes you gotta do what you got to do, so here we are. Here we are today. 


We're talking about a topic, I've had this planned on my schedule for two weeks. I just hadn't recorded it and it's going to be different. We're talking about your email list today. There's four specific reasons in my opinion, why your email list is not growing. And you might be thinking, Heather, do I really need this episode today? The answer is yes. If you're an online business owner, which if you're listening this show, you're an entrepreneur, right? Maybe you have online programs, or coaching services, or maybe you're trying to grow, right? Either way, having an email list is really, really important because it's your direct connection to your specific audience that you've grown, people who've raised their hand said, I'm interested in what it is that you do and I'd like to hear from you. That is an open invitation for you to keep that line of communication open and make offers as they come. 


If you only have that line of connection through social media, you and I both know that that's not sustainable. I don't care if you have a bajillion followers on Tiktok. I mean, it is what it is like, it's just people don't have the attention. They're not there to, they're not captive audience. They're like a, give me a half a second, I'm gonna move on to a dancing cat video, like, that's just not it. Can we both just agree that that's not a sustainable strategy unless you are making recommendations on Amazon for house cleaners or lipstick? I don't know. No offense, if you're doing that. That's totally cool. I actually just watched a 45 minute YouTube video last night around, okay, so y'all know, I'm almost 40. I'm almost 40 and I've realized I have to do my makeup differently. So James was laughing at me last night because I stayed up until really late watching YouTube videos around how to adjust your makeup in your late 30s to not look like you're trying so hard, but also not look like you're wearing a mask because y'all it's just, it's different. It's different. Okay, I went down a rabbit hole here. But I think that I think you might relate to some of these weird changes as you as you start realizing you're not 22 anymore.


Anyways, we're just gonna awkwardly back out of that conversation. If you're a business owner, you have products, programs or services to sell, and if here's a challenge, if you have built your business thus far based on referrals, high five to you! I have a lot of that in my business. And it's time to kick up, like your growth here. Referrals are probably not going to get you to scale as quickly as you want to or to hit your revenue goals as quickly as you want to. It might work for one on one and might even work for group coaching programs, but most likely you have intentions of having some sort of leveraged offer, whether that's a group coaching program, whether that's digital courses, maybe a low ticket offer, things that people can buy off of your site or through a launch. You want to have some bigger numbers. So you and I both know that your email list and growing that email list is an important part of that. 


So let's talk about four specific reasons why your list is not growing. And I want you to listen to this today with an open mind. I think we have we all have a tendency as entrepreneurs, we're kind of egotistical and we know a lot of stuff and we like to remind ourselves how much we know What you're going to hear today, I really want you to explore how can this be true for me right now, because even if you've mastered some of these things in the past, chances are with all of the balls you are juggling, one of these is probably slipped a bit. And the cool part is, is once you pick up that ball and reexamine it, throw it back up in the air, beautiful stuff can really, really happen and you can see some pretty phenomenal results from it. 


So if you are listening to this and you're thinking, I can't really focus too much on my email list growth because maybe you're holding a secret and that secret is that you suck at emailing your list. I'm gonna do a little quick plug here because I know this would be super helpful for you. Liz Wilcox has been on the show before we've talked about emailing your list. I'm gonna link to her specific episode around that. She is one of my clients. She's been in my group coaching program before. She's incredible. She built an entire $9 a month membership teaching entrepreneurs how to send better email like newsletters that are not lame and they're short and sweet and they're super helpful. So if you do need some help with that, I will link to Liz's $9 membership. Yes, I'm an affiliate for because I think it's so awesome. And if you get it, I mean $9 a month, I'm gonna get part of that and so you're buying me a coffee every month. So in advance, thank you for this coffee. I mean, not quite literally this one because I made this one in my kitchen, but you know what I mean? 


Okay, let's get into the email things. I want to make this episode pretty short and sweet, so I'm gonna move quickly. And if you want to read what we're talking about today, feel free to grab the show notes over where you listen to this, you can just link to the show notes and we'll get into in specifics. We always do a write up for these episodes. And if you'd rather watch the episode, you can also watch the YouTube video embedded in the blog post. Okay, reason number one, your email list is not growing, here we go. You've heard me say it before, I'm gonna say it again and I'm gonna shout it from the rooftops. Reason number one is because you are talking to the same people over and over and over and over again. Somewhere along the ways. When you learn how to grow an audience online, someone somewhere told you to make unique content every single week, post it to a blog or create a podcast or, or go live and then email your list about it and then post people about it and mention your freebie. Sound familiar? We all learned that that was like basics one on one of creating, quote-unquote, online business to sell your programs. And that does work for a bit, right, especially if the people you're posting to and talking to online don't know who you are, or you they don't know what your freebie is, maybe they're your friends, from your former life, your friends or family as you build your online social media presence. But there comes a point, when you are talking about the same thing over and over again to your existing audience that the people who are going to download your freebie have kind of already downloaded it and you can only grow your audience so far. 


When you talk about the same things to same people over and over again, it's valuable. You need to continue to talk to your existing audience. But if you want to grow your email list, friend, you have to expand and get in front of new audiences. It is really quite that simple. Stop talking to the same thing over and over again and expecting your audience to grow. If you talk to, let's say you have 500 people, between your social media platforms on your email list and such, and you can talk to them every single week but your email list goal is to be at 750 in 90 days, just making up these numbers. If you're doing that same activity every single week, are you really setting yourself up for success? Heck, no, like, the algorithm is against you. Isn't that what everybody says all the time, right, so it's like stop expecting different results. 


So what do we do instead, keep showing up to talk to those people, nurture those people, keep providing incredible resources for them, right? That's your, quote-unquote, stage for you to shine with your people. But you also need to have an intentional strategy of each and every week. How are you getting your message in front of new people? It's what we talked about around here, right? Whether that's getting on podcasts, whether that's going live with other people so that you can get exposed to their audiences, whether that's doing guest blog posts, whether that's speaking at virtual summits, there's a whole variety of things. We talked about all these things on the show. But we have to be intentional with it because what happens for most entrepreneurs is they say yes, yes, yes, yes, visibility. I know. I know, I know. But it's a check the box, maybe a couple times a year kind of thing. And friend, if your email list is not growing at the pace you want, you need to make it a like every week kind of thing. So start thinking about, be true with yourself, how often am I getting my message in front of new people? And if the answer is, I don't really know. Well, check, you have your first reason why your email list isn't growing and now. You can do something about it. 


Reason number two, your email list is not growing. We're gonna talk about timing. And what I mean by that is, I want you to think about who you're speaking to. We all know the quote-unquote, ideal customer avatar. It's the person that you can help most the person who would benefit most from your message. The challenge that a lot of people make when it comes to talking about their topic is as entrepreneurs, we get bored very easily and we get very excited about talking about more of the advanced level stuff in our business. So for example, for me, one of the mistakes I made early on was wanting to help people, I'm really good with movement on a physical stage. One of the things that really frustrates the hell out of me as speaking coach, when I go see somebody speak live, and they pace back and forth across the stage, or they're very nervous and twitch with their fingers or hands, or they don't move at all, like, oh, it's just, it's just such a bummer when someone has a good message, but their physicality just sucks. Sorry, that you know exactly what I'm talking about. So, one of the things that I would teach is like, okay, how there's like a very intentional way that I move across the stage, and I want to teach people that. Well, here's the thing. I mean, that sounds you're coming about. You're like, yeah, I want to know that, right? But you're here, and you've heard me talk about speaking before you're interested in speaking. If I'm talking about those advanced level things all the time because I'm passionate about it, and it annoys me that people suck when they're on stage. I want you to think about this logically. The average person that I help, right, the entrepreneur that I help someone who's not afraid of speaking, right? They want to get on stages, but my ideal person isn't somebody who wants to go out and be the next giant, big professional speaker who's on the road speaking events every week. My person is an entrepreneur building an online business, building a personal brand, they're growing their brand and they want to be a really dynamic, really charismatic speaker with a really powerful message with the goal that the more they get out there, the more compelling they are, the more they can build their brand and sell their products and programs, whether that's books, whether that's digital courses, whether that's group coaching programs, there's a mix, a whole big bag of tricks, maybe everything, maybe everything that I just listed. But if I were talking about advanced level stage strategies, think about this, I'm not going to track my ideal person, I'm probably going to attract like professional level speakers, which sounds really well and great, but that's not my person. 


So what you need to be thinking about is, is what you're talking about, when you are showing up for your audience and these new audiences that we mentioned, number one, are you talking about things that are actually relevant to where your audience is right now. And I'm going to give you this big fat warning, I know you know this to be true, but this is the gut check for you. Notice, if you find yourself rolling your eyes and going oh, and it's so boring, it's so basic, I don't want to talk about those basics like meh, meh. I mean, here's the problem. If you're annoyed by the basic topics, chances are the energetic vocal tone and just the attitude that you're bringing to that topic is not very attractive. 


So if you're rolling your eyes over the basics, might I encourage you to find a way to fall in love with talking about those in a new way because if you can be super passionate and excited about those very basic topics, that in itself becomes magnetic for your ideal person. So you have to make sure you're talking about the right things for their level of awareness with your expertise, also a level of skill set in what you teach. And you have to be so dang enthusiastic about it. That's it, right? And chances are, like I said, either you're talking about the wrong things maybe you're sick and bored of the basics so you're talking about more advanced level so your people aren't jumping your email list because they think that they're not ready for you yet. Or number two, you're talking about them with really low energy, therefore they're like, I don't I mean, it's not that they're thinking like, I don't want to work with you to do it. But they're not thinking that the topic is something that they want to invest your time and energy in, right? Because they're already feeling drained. They want to invest their energy into things that they feel excited about. Your job is to get them excited. So that's reason number two, is you're most likely talking about things not at the experience level that your audience is so let's adjust it. 


Reason number three, this one might surprise you. Okay, this comes from I see this happen over and over and over again in so many industries, where you start working on your business, and you find yourselves with peers working on similar things and you get really excited about what you're learning and so you want to share those learnings with your audience and this is where the breaks get hit on our list building. Let me be a little bit more tangible with this. I've had a couple clients in the photography space where they start taking business courses and they get really excited about talking about these things about list building, and mindset, and all these other things that we all discover, right, when we take business classes, and they go start talking to their audiences around these things. But if their audiences are consumers, their audience doesn't care about list building and mindset and all those things, right? 


So what we have to think about is, oftentimes, in the online business building space, people start mixing peer conversations with their public persona. And I just want you to think about this for a second, when you are sharing things with your audience, how much of the things that you're sharing are things that you are going through as a business owner and your experience level, and you're assuming that's true for your audience. Remember that you're a different skill set level for your audience. It's why they're looking at you because you've already gotten over a challenge or problem that they're struggling with. So you have to be aware of what you're talking about, you're not talking about your peers. You're not talking to people that have the same level at you, you're talking to people that are in a different level than you. I think this is really important. I think a lot of times, especially when we're networking and we meet people and really can't spot each other on social, we're hyper aware that our peers are following us and we want to not seem super basic and dumb. So we try to elevate how we're speaking about things or we try to appear more advanced level, but here's the deal, your peers aren't going to pay your bills. Your customers are. So just do a quick gut check and ask yourself, is what you're talking about when you're showing up really speaking to your ideal customer? Or have you maybe gone, oh, wait, I'm talking a little bit more to my peers. 


Okay, let's dive into reason number four, and this one is going to be super obvious. And also, the thing that you are most likely challenged with the most, most likely challenge with the most. There's lots of most in this one so let's get it out of the way. There isn't a clear connection between what you're talking about and you're optin. There isn't a clear connection between what you're talking about and your opt in. If you want people to join your email list, they need to have a very specific reason why they're joining. And one of the mistakes a lot of people make is when they're going out and talking about things, they're talking about a variety of topics and their freebie or their opt in doesn't directly align with what they're talking about, or maybe it does align but to your audience, they don't know enough to know the connection between. They come up with a laundry list of things they have to do in the middle, they don't see the connection point. 


So a huge opportunity for you is to very clearly connect the dots between what you're talking about and your freebie and your offer or whatever it is right that you're talking about. If you want people on your email list, you got to make it so logical for the next step to jump on your email list and give them a reason why. With this, you don't get what you don't ask for. I find I was just having a conversation with a couple of the ladies I talk and Vox with every every week, and one of them was saying I want to go make a highlight reel the other day. And I realized I haven't talked about my main freebie at all in my Instagram Stories. She's like, how is that possible? How is that frickin possible that I haven't talked about my freebie in my Instagram stories? So she couldn't make up stories highlight on her Instagram. And she's like, oh my gosh, it was a reminder and all the other ladies were talking like oh my gosh, yeah, I don't talk about it enough. 


Here's the thing. As a business owner, you probably feel like you talk about your offers, you talk about your business, you talk about your freebie, it feels like you talk about it all the time. But for someone in your audience, it doesn't feel that way at all, and actually there's a high chance that they've never heard you talk about it. So I'm gonna go back to what I said. Number one, you need to talk about new audiences. But I want you to be thinking about for your existing audience too, you probably have an opportunity to talk about your freebies and your offer more. Now, it doesn't mean that you'd be like, I have a freebie, download my thing. I got a freebie. You gotta be creative and ways to talk about it which if you're new around here, I have an offer or have a freebie that will help you with that, right? So if you struggle around okay, how do I connect the dots between my whatever it is I'm talking about and my offer if you're like, but I struggle on what to say and it gets all clunky and then it's like awkward, like, here's my freebie and here's my freebie, and then it just flops every single time. It will help for you to have some specific language around what to say like okay, think about this. If I gave you a script around exactly what to say at the end of a live stream in the podcast or an end of a social media reel that would get people running through your email list, would that be helpful for you? Of course, the answer is yes. So we put together 19 specific phrases, I call them magnetic phrases that help you connect the dots between whatever it is you're talking about, into, hey, here's my thing, go run and grab it. So I just did a little bit about what I was setting up this freebie here. Go grab it, if you don't already have it. I also include a short mini training around how to use what I call the if-then model, which makes your freebie or whatever offer you're making completely irresistible. So you can grab that the link to the 19 magnetic phrases in the show notes of this episode, wherever it is that you're listening. Grab that because here's the thing, you have to be smooth as frickin butter around how you connect what you're talking about into your freebie, and you have to do it on repeat all the time. Now, it isn't always just at the end of what you're saying. You got to weave it in through what you're saying to especially if you're going to be guest speaking in a podcast or on stages. You have to be so confident in inviting people into your email list. This is by far the biggest opportunity. If your email list is not growing, it's because you're not inviting people onto it for a compelling reason enough. That is your job. Now you can grow it through Facebook ads, sure. You can throw it through whatever paid traffic, you can even get all this organic stuff set up, but at the end of the day, when you show up and talk about your business, you have a duty to grow your email list and your audience and you have to get really good were in that role. The challenge is most business owners feel super uncomfortable wearing that hat playing that role so they they delegate it, advocate it I guess, like to all these other activities thinking that their Instagram links and bios is going to do it for them, thinking that Pinterest is going to do that for and all those things can help grow your email list. But if you want to grow it quickly, take the wheel of your car and get out there and drive and invite people onto your tour bus. That's the metaphor we're gonna go on right now. My friend Emily and I were talking about an analogy of a tour bus the other day so that's clearly on my mind. You're the tour bus driver, you gotta invite people on like, toot, toot, all aboard. Get people on board with your ideas, but that requires you to talk about it. So I'm gonna leave you here with that challenge. Are you talking about your offers? Are you talking about your freebies? Are you talking about them in a non clunky awkward way. And if that's the case, if you are being awkward and clunky, you're probably not talking about them at all. But start by getting more comfortable talking about them, grab the freebies where I taught you how to do that more smoothly. But in addition to that, we got to address these other things that we talked about today. So let's do a quick recap. 


Number one, if you're talking to the same people over and over again, of course, you can't expect your audience to grow. So you have to have a blend of talking to your existing audience while getting your tush in front of new audiences, and stick around on the show. If you want help with that. There's plenty of episodes, we'll link to some visibility episodes for you to help with that stick around because we're going to be talking about that a lot over the next few weeks. Number two, most likely how you're talking about your expertise, we need to shift the angle. So number two, and number three, were around making sure that you're shifting it to talk about where your audience is today and ensuring that you're not getting caught up talking to industry peers, to let go that you're really talking about to that true person that you can help when you really go there and be really passionate on the topic, you become way more magnetic. And then finally, number four, you got to make sure that you're smooth and make a clear connection between what you're talking about and the benefits of being on your email list. 


If you get really good at that and you show up like we talked about today, you will find traction with your list, girl. Alright, I hope this episode was helpful for you. I'm ready to finish my coffee and get on with my day because we get a lot of stuff coming next week on the podcast. Y'all we have a huge, huge freaking announcement coming. I cannot wait to tell you about it. Sidenote, be sure to open up your podcast app next Monday and maybe do like a complete refresh because the show might look a little bit different. I don't. know I'd love to see you next week. I'll see you then.