This is actually the first of a 2-part series with part 2 coming out tomorrow (which is called: “No List? No Problem — 5 Creative Ways to Attract Top Joint Venture/Affiliate Partners Without a List.”)
While it makes perfect sense we would have progressed to that — as humans our natural progression it to move to shorthand and turning rote tasks into habits so we can get through our day quicker and with less brain power — the downside is list size does NOT tell the whole story.
I’ve seen folks with “massive” list sizes (over 100K) who had a pathetic number of people opt in for a promo (less than 100). I’ve seen folks with “small” lists (way less than 10K) who won big time affiliate contests.
So if list size is all that and a bag of chips, how could what I just said possibly be right?
Well, because it’s really not about a list size — honestly. That’s a number that’s easily quantifiable so we that’s what we use, but the true measure is the size of your COMMUNITY.
Which includes EVERYONE who follows you — on social media, your blog, your podcast, watches your videos, reads your books, etc.
Yes in a perfect world it would be nice if they were all on your list so you could reach out to them whenever you wanted, but alas in this day and age that’s just not possible. And besides that, remember even if they ARE on your list doesn’t mean they’re reading every (or even ANY) emails you send.
What you want to do is build and nurture a community of people who love you, follow you, listen to your recommendations and tell others about you. These people buy your products and services AND they buy products and services from folks your recommend (i.e. your joint venture [JV] and affiliate partners).
If you build that — then it’s not going to matter HOW big your actual list size is. You’ll have no problem attracting as many affiliate and JV partners you want.
So how do you build and nurture a community of raving fans? By becoming a trusted resource — sharing your expertise, your stories, your vulnerability. By showing you care about your community. By being a leader.
And if you can do that in a variety of mediums (i.e. print, audio and video) that’s even better because that will help your community feel more connected to you and speed up the process of getting to know you. (Plus they can choose the medium they prefer to learn from you.)
The best part? ANYONE can do this — you don’t need to be a big “guru” or already have a list. In fact, you can start today!
Yes really! You ready? Great — let’s get started:
1. First off, take a few minutes to assess the state of your community right now. Write down things like:
List size (if you have a list)
Blog readership (if you have one)
Facebook friends (if you are on Facebook, etc.)
Linked in followers
Google + circles
Now, along with writing down the size, write down how often you communicate to folks in each platform (i.e. how often do you send emails, are you sending content and sales emails or just one or the other, how often are you posting on your blog, how often do you post on Facebook, etc.)
Plus write down how often responsive people are to YOU in each platform — i.e. do they email you, respond to your comments, post questions, etc.
Once you know this, you can start building your community based on what you’ve already created AND you’ll see where the opportunities are.
2. Okay NOW I want you to write down what you LOVE to do. Do you love shooting videos? Chatting with folks on Twitter? Writing blog posts? Interviewing folks?
If you LOVE what you do to build a community, you’re far more likely to actually do it A LOT, which is key to building a community.
3. Now write down what you’re willing to do — you don’t love it but you don’t hate it either, and you’re certainly okay adding this to your marketing mix.
4. Also write down what you hate — I don’t want you to do anything you hate. If you hate it, let’s not worry about it for now — you can always add it later if it truly creates a hole in your marketing and hopefully you can also bring on a team to support you.
5. Now get out your calendar and commit to doing the activity you love as often as you can (every day if possible, even if it’s only 5-10 minutes) and the activity you don’t mind as well (although this will probably be less often, that’s okay).
6. Now get out there and start building your community!
Remember to tune in tomorrow where you can get more creative ideas on how to build a community. And if you want to learn more about JVs and affiliates don’t forget to check out my PW Unplugged episode with Rich German.
And lastly, I’d love to hear from you! Write down what you commit to do in the comments below to build your community. And do you have any creative ways you’ve built and nurtured a community — post them in the comments below!