We’re now into day 2 of our 72-hour email list building challenge!
Yesterday, you were told to ask 10 people that you knew or had a connection with if they were interested in learning more about your topic.
Most of you likely found between 1 and 10 subscribers among friends and family, which is great, and you’re right on track. Even 1 person is a huge deal because guess what?
That means there’s someone else in this world who is interested in what you’re up to, and where there’s one person, there are likely several more.
We’re going to keep it simple for you though, as always, and before we get to the instructions for today and continue the challenge, there’s one important note we want to make about how many of you probably felt during Day 1 of this challenge…
When we asked you to reach out to people you knew about potentially learning more about your topic, we knew that this was going to be one of the hardest parts of the process, especially for some of you who may consider yourself more of an introvert.
Immediately after sending Email #1, it is only natural to feel fear and anxiety. There’s nothing worse than the feeling of rejection and getting your ideas thrown right back at you.
These are completely normal feelings to have. Jess & I had them in spades when we first started reaching out to people using Messenger.
But that fear and resistance, in our eyes, is actually a good sign. It means you care and want this to work, and you are conscious about how others may think about your idea.
That’s perfect because a great entrepreneur always keeps in mind who their audience is and what could be done to best serve them.
With that said, you also have to know that it’s not as scary as you think. Ask yourself: “What’s the worst that can happen?”, and you’ll see that it’s actually never as bad as you think.
In most cases, the worst that can happen is you’ll get either no response back, or simply a “no”, and then you’re back where you started. No further behind, but at least you’ve given it a shot.
So, if you’re struggling because of the build-up of fear before reaching out, know that you’re not alone, but you have nothing to worry about.
Being “introverts” ourselves we found it really difficult to reach out and ask, but after doing it we felt so good, and especially after we started getting responses from people.
You can do it!
Let me give you an example straight from my inbox of someone who wasn’t that keen on the idea of the Surf Coast Creatives podcast:
Boom. It’s personal, it’s non-aggressive, and it’s short and sweet and didn’t really feel like rejection at all.
I got this type of response from mates who have zero interest in creative pursuits and decided to be honest from the get-go. It’s all good and I learnt the sky doesn’t fall in when someone says ‘no thanks’.
Hopefully, that gives you some ‘food for thought’ if you struggled with the challenge from Day #1.
Alrightly, let’s get into today’s instructions…
Your Step-by-Step Instructions for Day #2
Again, we’re keeping this simple. Nothing fancy just yet, just good old fashion ACTION…
Note: Some of you were maybe wondering when ConvertKit (or any email service provider) gets involved.
You CAN put these email addresses you’re collecting into an email service provider by importing them in, but honestly, I wouldn’t worry about that right now.
We’ll show you how to do that tomorrow, and give you a specific message to send to everyone who expressed interest too.
A spreadsheet, a notepad note or even pen and paper will still work for now.
So, you’ve already reached out to 10 people (potentially more), and are seeing some results. Today, it’s all about setting aside a chunk of time (I recommend an entire hour) and continuing the same exact work you that did in Day #1, except expanding who you reach out to!
Yep, it’s that simple.
Our friends at ConvertKit have been teaching this strategy for years and have seen people accomplish some pretty amazing results.
In fact, just a few months ago they taught this principle to three friends who were starting a new site for their documentary. In just 5 days Jaclyn, Kati and Gabby were able to grow their email list by more than 700 people! And after two weeks, they had more than 1,200 people on their email list.
Yep, it’s that easy. They didn’t even have a blog or website yet! They were able to do all of this just by reaching out to their network one by one.
It’s funny…most of you were probably expecting magical emails with some amazing tool or strategy for helping build your list with little to no work up front.
We’re sorry, but those things don’t really exist. Hard work is the magic, especially at the start. The strategies and tactics and the tools (which cost money) come later, but for now, it’s about putting in the time.
You don’t need to spend money, you just need to spend time, and where you get stuck, collect inspiration and keep going is the trick.
Also, here’s the thing…
What we tend to forget is that we have spent years building a powerful network of friends. When starting your business it’s ok to use this network as the starting point for your early success.
One piece of feedback that often comes up at this stage sounds something like this:
“Well my Auntie Marilyn doesn’t really care about what I’m going to write about.”
And while that’s a valid point, there are a couple things to keep in mind here:
- Even though your Auntie Marilyn might not care about how to tune a car (or whatever your topic is), she cares about you and will likely share your content as a proud aunt. What that offers you is the opportunity for your content and business to be seen by people outside of your immediate network of people. And this is an opportunity for growth.
- If your Auntie Marilyn joins your email list, you now have a real person to write to, and this is hugely important. Writing to an imaginary “avatar” is hard work. Knowing that you are writing content with real life friends and family members will take your content to the next level!
So your assignment today is to ask as many people as humanly possible in all of your free time! The amount of work you put into this process will be directly correlated to the number of people you are able to add to your email list.
Here are some other things to keep in mind as you go along…
A lot of you have built a number of connections online and via social media already. That’s a great resource to tap into as well, but here’s one important point:
Reaching out individually to each person will yield a far higher response than just blasting a status update to your entire Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram account.
Each of these platforms have direct messaging capabilities, so use that to have the same effect that your individual emails had to capture that personalization and realness that will help you get a better response.
Secondly, although some people won’t be interested, they might know someone who is—as you saw in my example above.
So, when you get a reply back from someone who says “no thanks!“, you can reply back with something friendly like this:
“That’s okay! Thanks for considering, and if you know anyone who may be interested, don’t hesitate to let them know. To make it easy, you’re welcome to just forward my email (msg) to them from here. Thanks again, and all the best!”
And that’s that. You got this, and we look forward to hearing your results, and also showing you tomorrow’s blog with some more tips and actions to take.
And no, it won’t be “just continue the work you did in Day #1 and #2”, although as you probably can tell by now, you can keep doing this over and over and over again if you wish.
Keep up the great work, let us know how you go!
You’ll see it’s so much more fun taking action rather than procrastanting about your hopes and dreams.
Don’t delay this any longer.
Ben & Jess
Ben Hucker is the founder and host of the Surf Coast Creatives podcast. He’s a former finance guy who traded Collins St for the Coast 3 years ago now. Tune in for a weekly episode of the Surf Coast Creatives podcast. Each episode is packed full of hints and tips on creativity, health, business and mindset.