Congratulations! The fact that you are here is telling me me that you want to grow your online business as a speaker, trainer, coach, or course creator.
I promise to get to the point immediately but let me say a few words first.
I know many people who decide to build an online business and still, they start with the end, or with the middle part. Anyway, they do not start with the beginning and you can see it; you can feel it. They tend to start by building a professional website in which they invest hundreds and thousands of dollars … and then they get stuck trying, through almost obsessive efforts, to bring people to visit their very well-developed website.
Or they start by creating a product and then they try to sell it. . . well, to anyone they think would need it.
The problem is they jump over some steps, and later they remain frustrated in that attempt to find the missing piece of the puzzle. Or the pieces of the puzzle.
What I want to emphasize here is that it is absolutely essential that EVERYTHING you do as a speaker, trainer, coach or course creator should be filtered through the purpose of building an email list. This is a whole topic that deserves its own article, so I will write more about this.
In my journey in the speaking business that I have been building for 7 years, I discovered a system that works, which I shared with hundreds of other people and it worked for them as well. What I can promise you is that IF YOU DO the necessary work, it will work for you too!
So … how do you build an email list as a speaker, trainer, coach?
1. Identify the problem you are solving through your products or services.
Try not to be too broad. If you decide that the problem you solve is “helping people to have a better life”… you could be a driver, a doctor, engineer, hairdresser, chef, puppy caretaker, psychologist, designer, plumber, coach and… just about any career. All activities help someone with something.
Really think about the topic you would like to teach most often and ask yourself WHAT PROBLEM solves that topic. Choose one and be as specific as possible.
Do you want to use my technique?
I use and recommend an extremely valuable technique on this subject. You can create a Word/Pages document (or Excel) on your preferred device and add three columns: 1. Problems, 2. Desires and 3. Questions that your audience has.
This will become your research guide regarding your ideal client’s problems, desires, and questions which you can address in your work and reflect in all the content you will be writing.
2. Decide WHO you are serving
Now it is very important to choose who you are aiming your message to. Who is your audience? Who has the problem you have chosen?
They say that when you are trying to speak to everyone, you are not actually speaking to anyone. And it is so true!
On the next step, when we will talk about writing your lessons … these first two steps will make all the difference in the world! You will be able to talk specifically about people’s pains, with specific examples.
How could you write a beautiful letter to an anonymous recipient?! Exactly. Difficult and without results. But what if it was your best friend, someone you know inside out? It is a big difference, right? You could probably stop writing when the pen runs out. 😊
Knowing your ideal client will make your work much easier, more enjoyable and impactful!
Here is a tip: Your ideal client is probably YOU – from years ago. How were you? What were your thoughts? What pains, fears, problems, worries did you use to have? What were your questions? How about your dreams, desires, aspirations? Write it all down and that’s it, there you have your ideal client description!
It’s ok not to know for sure!
Remember, many people get stuck at this step. But it is OK not to know everything about your ideal client!
It is not a life and death decision and you can change it at any time!
To help you with this, click the button below to download the pdf guide to help you clearly identify your ideal client.
3. Write your personal story
So … your personal story is what will make the difference between you and others in the same industry. It’s what makes your content be unique and really yours.
Again, if you failed to outline your ideal client well in the previous step, at least decide to go very deep with a topic and your story related to that topic. Why? You will be able to see who your ideal client is depending on the people you will attract in this way organically (meaning unpaid).
You will notice them and you will notice what transitions they make and how it helps them what you teach. Through my story as an immigrant in Italy 18 years ago, I have been attracting to my “tribe” many Romanians who live abroad. They resonate with that story, they were inspired by it and they wanted to stay connected.
Why is your personal story so important?
There are so many benefits and reasons why a good entrepreneur should write and tell his/her stories.
Even more reason – if you are a trainer, speaker or coach!
In my List Building Accelerator Roadmap program, I talk a lot about knowing your ideal client and about personal stories and I will write more about this for sure!
Knowing your audience is important. It is necessary and very helpful.
But if you really want to stand out in your area of expertise and monetize your genius… you need to make sure that your audience knows YOU too! And knows you WELL.
When you are open (and even vulnerable) with your ideal client… what you are actually saying is: My door is open for you. You are welcome here. I get you and you get me.
Here is an idea to make note of and keep in mind:
If you want to be good, know your audience. If you want to be EXTRAORDINARY, let them know you.
It’s important that over time you get people to know, like and trust you, and you can’t do that until you have a topic that solves a problem, your ideal client’s problem.
4. Create a Facebook group
In order to have a group of people who know you, like you and trust you, you need a “meeting place”, a ” tribe”. A modern headquarters. A Facebook Group.
Facebook groups have members who have signed up to your paid ads, but not only. In the group you will also have people who find the group by chance or who have been invited by their friends to join .
In my programs, I teach about building a tribe, with people who have the same values and who follow you because they love you… and not a simple group with ‘everything for everyone’.
There are many differences between a simple group and an enthusiastic tribe:
a) Leadership is essential
People follow you as a human, as an individual, not for your company name. They follow your humanity, they are by your side and they want to be led by you, not just like a flock that goes in all directions. They want the certainty that their leader knows what he/she is doing. Let them feel that you are creating something for them, you care about their needs, and they want to know that you want the best for them.
They wait for you to tell them the things they should do, for you to do them first, and sell it to them afterward.
You get to be so loved by them and they start trusting you so much, and anything you will do, whatever you will tell them and wherever you will go, they will go with you.
People follow people, and you will pull the ship and drive the momentum.
b) Make it a conversation, not a monologue.
From time to time, tell them something about your life, ask them a question. Listen to their answer, and if you have time, answer the comments, help those who ask for your help. This creates friendship, a valuable group atmosphere, and as a BONUS – you have the opportunity to do market research… to get to know your audience better.
c) Notice the group’s ‘ambassadors’
You will notice over time that there will be people who are willing to help, who have higher energy than others, who are more visible, more enthusiastic, more active, and engaged. Observe them and let them know that you appreciate them. One idea would be to create an application form for the ambassador volunteer role, to make this aspect more official and for those who apply, offer them certain benefits for helping you manage the group.
When they also have a responsibility (to report SPAM posts, for example), people will feel even more that it is their group too, not just yours.
For example, the ambassadors in my group are surprised to have a post on their birthday, with a nice poster personalized with their picture. It is a small thing that shows them that I am grateful for their efforts to grow the group. For those who will stand out in particular, I will definitely find various ways to show them my gratitude, depending on where they are on their growth journey.
I will write a lot more about Facebook as a list building tool (with practical steps) in the following blogs, so stay tuned!
5. Optimize your personal Facebook profile
Create a Facebook cover where you mention your audience, the problem you are solving, and an invitation to your Facebook group (where you add its name) and add a link to the group in the image description. This way, your ideal client who is on your friends’ list will ask for access to your Facebook group when they will see the poster.
For this, you can use a free account in Canva and do it yourself, or you can hire a designer to do it for you. In my List Building Accelerator Roadmap I explain step by step – through daily action steps, for 49 days (7 weeks) the ABC of building a list and everything you need to do to succeed in your online business. (including where to find your audience and how to bring them in your tribe).
6. You need a lead magnet (a free resource) for your ideal client
You can take the problem you’re solving, the audience you’re addressing, the information you’ve learned about the people in the group through the questions you’ve posted, the subject you’ve decided to teach again and again – and create your first free and very VALUABLE resource. But remember, just because it’s free doesn’t mean it has to look like it is.
I will give you a very practical example. If you have decided that your audience is managers and entrepreneurs, and the problem you solve is to eliminate the frustration caused by lack of communication in their teams, maybe your title would sound something like this: “How to eliminate the frustration caused by lack of communication in your team, without eliminating the team ”.
It is difficult for any entrepreneur to be in the position to fire someone on the team. Whatever your audience wants or wants to avoid, make a headline like this: How to (the solution) without (the problem). We all seek pleasure and want to avoid pain. Use this to your advantage in the efficient and impactful delivery of your message!
There are many lead magnet resources you can have to build a list. Whether it’s a pdf document, a video lesson, a challenge, free limited access to a summit course, a webinar, a book, etc … for this resource you will need a few things from a technical point of view (a landing page, a thank you page, an email service provider), as well as the next step (#7)…
Stay tuned, I will speak more on this.
7. Create content
Everything you do as a speaker, trainer, coach or course creator requires a lot of content. The part before a course and the part during the course promotion and during the delivery of the promises… it’s all about the content!
Of course, there is a difference between free and paid content. This is something that I have noticed keeps many people stuck. They constantly have these questions in their mind: “Is it better to offer it for free? Isn’t that too much? Is that enough?” And all this fuss keeps them away from getting really creative and they keep spinning around in circles…
Look: give them anything you want for free! And if you still want a more specific indication: Give them for free everything related to WHAT and WHY you do, and leave the HOW element for the paid course.
People pay for the trip. For step-by-step guidance. For the practical part. For an ordered structure. They want to be supported and told HOW to do it.
If you want to have a great starting point in terms of content, and not have to reinvent the wheel, I recommend a teaching license or certification. John Maxwell Team and Empowered Living are amazing.
Before I partnered with Paul Martinelli (founder and president of Empowered Living) and became president of Empowered Living Romania, I was a loyal Empowered Living client and purchased all available licenses for my business, which I made unique – by adding my story and personality.
For much more about building a list as a speaker, trainer, coach – download my 52-page e-book (very easy to navigate) 7 Simple Strategies to Growing Your E-mail List HERE .