As an online business owner it’s easy to get caught up trying to increase the number of visitors we get to our website…
…day after day, week after week and month after month we chase eyeballs.
We post on Facebook. Then we’re on Twitter. Back onto Facebook. Then into a Facebook group. In that group, someone says that Instagram is where it’s at. So off to Instagram you go but then you realise you can’t put links on your posts for users to click through to, so back to Twitter you go.
And what does that endless chasing of traffic bring you?
But we keep doing it because we are told there are millions of people on Social Media and we need to go to where the people are.
I know that’s what you’re doing because I was told the same thing when I started out building my online business 10 years ago.
The social media hamster wheel is going to drive you crazy. I know you’re nodding your head right now because I’m right, right?
The landscape keeps changing.
New platforms are popping up daily and if you’re anything like me, look squirrel!
Another shiny object to add to your syndrome.
How are you supposed to be finding new leads, making sales online and building your business when all it seems you can find time to do all day is post on social media?
Social media is dead! Long live social media!!!
Don’t get me wrong, there is definitely a place for Social Media when trying to build your online business. But more on that later though…
…for now, let’s talk about growing your email list.
“Boring old email” I hear you say.
I felt exacrty the same way when I started my first online business.
I used to think that building an email list was such a waste of time because all the action had moved onto Social Media…
…until I learnt a very valuable lesson.
Unfortunately, I don’t own Facebook (or Instagram or Twitter)
I had built a thriving Facebook page (It had over 70 000 likes) and everytime we posted something we got hundreds, sometimes thousands of clicks through to our website.
And then it stopped…
When a page that has over 70 000 likes posts something and it only gets seen by 2079 people and only 12 click through, there is a major problem…
…Almost overnight Facebook changed the rules.
If we wanted to reach the audience we had built we needed to boost our posts to get in front of the tribe we had built. (See the “Boost Post” buttons on the image above)
How unfair is that?
Not really. Facebook’s playground, Facebook’s rules.
Don’t build your house on land you don’t own
I had two choices. I could sulk in the corner, or I could make a plan. And as they say in the Free State (where I was born) “n boer maak n plan”
Sulking wasn’t going to build a business, making a plan was.
It was around that time that I learnt about the phrase digital sharecropping and the dangers of building something on a platform (or a piece of land) that you don’t own.
It wasn’t the first time Facebook changed the rules, and it definitely won’t be the last.
The same applies to Instagram (also owned by the Zuck) and Twitter and Tik Tok and and and…
That is always going to be the case. The platform doesn’t matter.
If you don’t own it, you don’t get to make the rules.
This is what you want to do instead…
If these platforms change the rules (and they do) on how you communicate with your tribe, then you need to figure a new way.
And by new way, I mean an old way…
…using email allows you to make your own rules.
You can email as much or as little as you want.
Your emails can be as long or as short as you want.
You can send an email to part of your audience who are interested in one topic and not to the part of your tribe who is not interested in it. (More on this later too)
When you own your list, you own the land. You can build anything on it when you own it.
I know you’re thinking this sounds great but how does it actually work?
Why you want to grow your email list
When you own your own list, your traffic and eventually income start to snowball. It starts slowly but over time it compounds.
In month one, you may only have 20 people on your email list. As you grow and more people find out about you, in month two you may have 100.
By month 6 you have 1000 and by the end of the year you have 5000.
The growth of that email list is also entirely up to you… (More on how to grow your list below)
You can use your email list to find out what your tribe need help with.
You can use your email list to segment your audience into sub niches.
And ultimately, you can sell them the products and services they need to solve their problems (Whether they are your own products like online courses or if you’re an affiliate for a product or service)
How much should you be making from your email list in South Africa?
I’ve heard a lot of online business gurus in America and Europe say that for every subscriber you have on your list you should be making at least $1 per month.
Unfortunately, this formula does not work in South Africa. Things are different here…
…For one, our exchange rate just doesn’t allow for that.
In my experience, you should be making around R10 per month per email subscriber on your list. If you have an email list and you’re not making R10 per subscriber per month then you need to relook your email marketing strategy. (I’ll be creating some more content around this in the future too)
If you don’t have an email list, how much are you currently making from your social media following?
My guess would be way less than R10 per follower per month. And besides, you don’t own that list.
How to grow your email list in South Africa (And ultimately the amount of money you make online)
Your email list will grow by the amount of value you offer to subscribers. THAT is why having an email list is so powerful.
You get to control that flow. But how do you grow your email list and generate leads in South Africa you ask?
Most people do it by having some sort of form or widget on their website asking users to subscribe to their newsletter. I don’t know about you, but I don’t need another email newsletter in my inbox?
I don’t actually know when last I personally subscribed to one.
What people do want is solutions to their problems.
Something that you can send them via email. An excel template for a budget. A checklist for packing your car before leaving on holiday. A PDF star chart to calculate your children’s pocket money for chores that they do.
Get the point?
You deliver them via email and in doing so grow your email list…
…but creating and delivering these tools comes with its own set of challenges.
I’m in the process of creating some free video training on how to generate email leads in South Africa and ultimately grow the amount of money you’re making online…
…If you’d like to get on this waiting list for this free video training then complete the form below: