How to Grow Your List Like a Pro!

Sandra Coan Education How to grow your list

Hey friends.  Let me ask you a question.  How many followers do you have on Instagram?  What about on Facebook?  If you are like most photographers, you probably know those numbers.  And you probably work really hard to gain as many followers as you can.

Now let me ask you this.  How many people do you have on your list?  Not sure?  Do you have list? Do you even know what I mean by "list"?  If not, it's okay... but listen up!  This post is for you!

I truly believe that having a good list is the MOST valuable thing you can have as a business owner.  Today I'm going to tell you why, and share some tips on how to get started growing yours.

What is an email list?

Your list is simply a collection of email address that are stored by a list building provider, such as Mail Chimp or Convert Kit.  People voluntarily opt-in to be on your list (we'll get to that in a moment) and then you use your list to reach out to your people and build community through thoughtful email campaigns.

Why Is having a list so important?

Simply put, because you own it.  Even though you work with a company to store it, you own the list and are in complete control over it.  And friends, this really matters when it comes to your marketing.

Most photographers concentrate on growing their social media following, and I get it, social media is very important, but it's not always the most effective way to reach your community.

Here's why.

Lets say you have 1,000 followers on Instagram.  Thats great, except that it’s the Instagram Algorithm that controls who sees your photos, posts and updates, not you and not your clients.  That means that when you post, only a small percentage of your following will actually see your content.  And if your content does make it into their newsfeed,  it has to compete with everything else they are being shown.

Now, lets say you have 1000 people on your email list. When you send our your content in an email it reaches each and everyone of those people and they can choose to read it or not, not the social media overlords!

This is huge!

According to Mail Chimp, the industry average open rate for newsletters in our industry is 17.8%.  But if you send good content that you know your people want to see, you can raise that rate considerably! 

The average open rate on my newsletter list for example is 51%, and I have email campaigns with open rates as high at 94%!!

So if you want a big bang for your marketing buck, you really should be utilizing your newsletter list.

How to grow your list like a pro

The first thing you need to do is make sure you have a platform in place to capture your client's email addresses.  I use Convert Kit!  The good news is, there are many great platforms that are free as long as your list is under a certain number of subscribers.

Once you have a platform, it's time to start growing! 

How do you get people on your list? 

You just ask them to join and provide a link.  I have an opt-in link on almost every page of my website.  My link says "sign up for exclusive, members only information on upcoming sales and events", and people do!

Great places to have an opt-in link are on your home page, your about page, and at the end of blog posts.  You can also add them to your Facebook Page, Instagram Bio, your email signature and your contract.

Another great way to get people to join your list is by providing free, downloadable content.  This can be anything that your audience would find valuable, like a list of your five favorite places for family photos, or a what to where guide!  Opt-in incentives are a really great way to grown your list.  I have four on the homepage of this site, feel free to go check them out!

What do you do with your list once you have one?

Use it to connect with your audience by providing them with good content your know they care about.

This takes knowing who your Ideal Client is.  For example,  I know that my clients are always looking for information about how to make their photos session run smoothly so I send out newsletters on things like:

  • what to wear
  • favorite locations
  • how to prepare
  • a simple love letter... (Just a “Hey, thank you so much for being my awesome clients”  goes a long way!  I will often book clients off of newsletters like this!)

It’s also okay to talk about upcoming sales and events.  Just remember to stick to the 80/20 rule.  80% helpful, informative content, 20% sales.

Need help figuring out who your people are, click here to get my FREE "Find Your Ideal Client" downloadable PDF... and yes, this is an opt-in offer!

Friends, a good newsletter helps you build a relationship with your clients so they get to know you and trust you.  And because they hear from you on a regular basis, you will be on the top of their mind when it comes time to book!

If you would like to learn more about list building, join me for a FREE, one day only webinar on Tuesday April 3rd!  You can sign up by following this link.  And remember, it you can not watch the live webinar, sign up anyway to get a link to the replay!

Want to learn more?  My friend (and list building Guru), Courtney Slazinik has a fantastic post on list build on her blog Click It Up a Notch.  Follow this link to read what she has to say!! 

Happy list building!



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