What is the number one thing most entrepreneurs want?
More clients/customers/products out the door/money in their pockets. More, more, more.
So we market ourselves. We create blog posts and podcasts, we advertise our services and post our products on social media. We use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube to reach our audience. We optimize our websites for search engines and we attend networking events like it’s nobody’s business. We send off cold call emails and we ask for referrals, go live on social media, sponsor events, and host giveaways. And we send newsletters.
But let’s break this down. How many of these marketing channels do we have control over? Which areas do we get to decide what we say, who we say it to, and how many people receive its delivery?
Social media? The success of every post, video, story, live, group, etc. is determined by another business. We don’t control our own messages. Sure, you can add a certain amount or type of hashtag to get more engagement, or tag other accounts, or put money behind a post for advertising. But at the end of the day, if Instagram suddenly disappears from the internet, we have no control over it. If YouTube gets shut down, or Facebook changes it’s algorithm, we just have to adjust and move on without it. We don’t have the control.
Networking events? Yes, here you can connect with people and tell your story, maybe show off your skills. But when it comes down to it, the best you can do it exchange business cards and hope they’ll follow through on it. I even make the effort to find them online immediately and send them a message or email. But ultimately, the power is not totally controlled by you. Your new connection could fizzle out the second you leave the party. No control here.
Search engine optimization? Okay, I’ll give you this: It can transform a business if you have the right ranking. But boy is it a LOT of work, and even here it doesn’t make a difference if you’re not converting leads. Google could decide tomorrow you’re not the best option for its customers, and you’re back at square one.
The truth is, most of the time in marketing you’re actually making other companies money (not your own!). Facebook, Google, YouTube, Apple, Instagram, Twitter, you-name-it. We work for them. It’s only when you have a list of people who choose to listen to you, who choose to get updates on your brand, who choose to pay attention, that you’ll have the control. And that my friends, is the beauty of an email list.
When you have a spreadsheet full of the emails of people who want your product, you have the control. You can share it with them no matter what platform you use (MailChimp, Gmail, Outlook, Squarespace, ConvertKit, all of the above). You have a dedicated list of people who want to hear from you, and you get to tell it to them. If you send them an email, you’re guaranteed that it will arrive in their inbox. There is no algorithm. There is no ranking. You have the power in a way that no other marketing technique allows.
Do you have an email list created? Share in the comments below, or join the party on my Instagram and share there: https://www.instagram.com/katrina.widener/
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