In the online marketing and digital entrepreneur space, you will hear over and over again ‘It is all about list building’ or ‘The money is in your list’. When I first started establishing my online business, I really struggled with the whole concept of list building.

There was so much information out there about how to market to your list or followers. But I didn’t have a list so I really couldn’t utilize any of that information. I floated aimlessly for several months before I discovered what was the missing link for me.

Promotion is Key to List Building

The Internet is vast and it is easy to get lost in the sea of information. If you want to get noticed, you have to promote yourself. You must to put yourself in front of the audience you are targeting. Otherwise, no one will know you exist. (That sounds harsh, I know but it’s true.)

What Promotion Really Means

You may be wondering what I actually mean by ‘promotion.’ It is really any method that connects your content with your target audience. For list building, the most common examples you will read about are writing blog posts, creating videos, making podcasts, and posting to social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest being the biggies). But the reality is, if you don’t have a list or followers, it can be really hard to gain traction in these arenas.

My a-hah moment was when I realized I have to advertise (yes, pay money) to let my target audience know I am out there and available to help them. I fully admit I was resistant to this at first. My major question was ‘Why should I have to spend money to tell people about my special gifts?’

Once I put my ego aside and got back in touch with reality, it really made sense. I think about my favorite brands and the entrepreneurs I follow. I discovered most of them via the advertising they did. The advertising was typically for a freebie or just creating brand awareness.

Advertising Your High Value Freebie Builds Your List

In the world of online marketing and digital entrepreneurship, selling is not the same as most brick and mortar stores. Unlike using the weekend sales flyer that highlights sale items at the local grocery or department store, most people won’t buy your products or programs in that manner.

You don’t sell products to build your list. You build your list to sell your products.

The sales flyer works for most brick and mortar stores because there is a level of familiarity either with the store or the brands and products that are on sale. It also works because it is something physical and tangible. In the virtual realm that concreteness is lost.

The advertising you need to focus on is to let your target audience know about your high value freebie (also known as a lead magnet, giveaway, etc.).

Methods of Promotion

The great thing about the internet is that there are multiple ways to do paid advertising. Most people immediately think their only options are Facebook, Google Adwords, and YouTube. However, other platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest also have advertising options.You can also place ads on magazine and news feed sites. If you think about it, any site that has ads on it, has an advertising program you can utilize. You just need to make sure that where you are advertising is where your audience is hanging out.

What types of promotional success have you had? Share with the community in the comments section.

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