7 Ways to Build Your List Online

In order to build your direct sales or network marketing business, it is essential that you have a steady supply of new leads.  When you’re new to direct selling, we all know you start with your warm market.  But what happens after you’ve worked through that market?  You need to have access to more people.  Here are some ways to use social media to generate new leads for your business:

  1. Blogging. Blogging is an excellent way to generate new leads.  You share regular, fresh content that is of interest to the market you’re trying to reach (be it a recruiting market or a customer market.)  Then, you provide something of value that people are willing to leave their email address to get.  This might be your newsletter, a “special report” that contains content of interest, etc.  All you ask for is a name and email address.  Once they leave it, you have permission to market to them more directly about your business.  The beauty of the blog is that it’s the hook.  People might come several times before they leave their info with you.  But if you’re consistent, it will gently draw people in and cause them to convert into a viable lead for your business.  It also becomes content that people are willing to refer to others, which can also generate new business for you.
  2. “Refer a Friend” on your e-newsletter.  Does your newsletter contain a sentence asking people to share your newsletter with friends?  It should.  If people are finding value from your newsletter, they’re often happy to share it with their friends.  But if you don’t ask them to share, they may not think of it themselves.
  3. Online Groups.  Online groups and forums that are dedicated to a specific topic can be a great way to meet people in your target market.  But there is a method that you must use if you want it to work for you.  First, do a search on topics that are of interest to your target market.  Perhaps it’s parenting.  Then, click the “More” link at the top of Google, and choose “Groups.”

    You’ll get a list of groups related to that topic.  Once you join certain groups (I recommend you choose 2 or 3 to start…don’t overwhelm yourself or you’ll never get anything else done!) you need to spend time getting to know people, and building relationships.  Share ideas and advice.  DON’T just immediately start pitching your product or opportunity, or you’ll most likely be banned from that group.  As you build relationships, you’ll be able to more naturally share what you have to offer with the people most interested.  It might be through an invitation to check out a post on your blog.  It might be a personal message with the right prospect.  Groups expose you to more people, which is an excellent way to build your list.
  4. Facebook Ads.  If your policies allow it, Facebook Ads are another way to reach more people rather inexpensively.  You simply provide a short amount of copy, as well as a photo, and hyper-target the audience you want to reach.  You can narrow it by region (a good way to reach people in your area) as well as interest, etc.  Point people to your Facebook Page, instead of a site that tries to sell people immediately.  And be sure that wherever you point folks, there’s a ton of value being provided.  There’s a lot more to learn about creating successful Facebook Ads.  Here’s a good article to get you started: http://www.allfacebook.com/facebook-advertising-tips-2010-08
  5. Ask People to Refer their Friends to Your Page.  Sometimes the best source of new leads is your existing list.  So remind your folks periodically that they can recommend your Facebook Page by clicking the “Suggest to Friends” link underneath your picture.  Obviously you don’t want to do this all the time.  But once a month or so reminds folks who haven’t done so yet to spread the word.  And be sure you’ve got a newsletter tab on your Page, so people can sign up for your list right from your Page.  Make sure your fans know that tab is there, and periodically invite them to sign up for your newsletter.  You can write something such as, “If you find value on this Page, did you know you can also sign up for my Newsletter?  I provide even more tips, advice and specials there.  To subscribe, click here: http://www.facebook.com/jenfongspeaks?v=app_4949752878”  (Note: That’s the link for my newsletter tab.  You can replace the link with the link to your newsletter tab.)  Need help setting up a newsletter tab?  The instructions are in this post: http://www.jenfongspeaks.com/how-to-create-a-newsletter-tab-on-your-facebook-page/
  6. Networking on Twitter. Twitter can be a good source of leads for your business, when used correctly.  Unfortunately, many people jump on Twitter and just start broadcasting their specials and opportunity.  This won’t do anything for you, and is often a waste of time.  However, if you spend time searching out your target market using tools such as http://www.twellow.com to identify the right people, and then spend time talking to them socially, you can build relationships that lead to success.  The key to success with Twitter is conversation and value.  It’s handy to have a blog if you plan to use Twitter, because you can share articles from your blog.  You should also be promoting others on Twitter, because that kind of networking is well received.  There are some very bright business people on Twitter, as well as influential bloggers who can be good contacts.  But you MUST be willing to give more than you receive, and skip constant self-promotion if you want it to work.
  7. LinkedIn Answers.  This tool on LinkedIn can provide you with an excellent way to showcase your talents.  It’s particularly helpful for people who are seeking to recruit.  http://www.linkedin.com/answers You can search questions that people are asking about business, and provide answers.  By showcasing your knowledge, you can connect with people who may be good prospects for your  business.  Don’t use it, however, if all you plan to do is hawk your opportunity.  This is not what LinkedIn Answers is for.  Rather, provide legitimate answers to questions people have, and you can use it as a springboard to relationships that can become new leads for your business.

So that’s 7 ways to get you started.  What are some ways that you build your list online?  Would love to read your ideas in the comments below!

6 Responses to 7 Ways to Build Your List Online
  1. Darren Spruyt
    December 30, 2010 | 12:05 pm

    Hey Jen!!!!

    It’s been a whlie.. and WOW! I close my eyes for a couple of days and you’re coming up with a ton of new valuable blog posts! So this is my first stop before I check out your 2 other posts.

    Anyways. I love points #2 and #6 especially because it’s part of a being a leader too. People are looking for someone to follow and when you tell them to do something, they will do it. If you don’t tell them, they don’t. It’s really a call to action and I love what a simple thing can do for your success.

    I love the idea of the google groups and I’ll be checking it out! 😉 Thanks for sharing your tips Jen! I hope you had a Merry Christmas and here’s to another awesome year filled with opportunities and success to you!

    Darren Spruyt

  2. Amy Celona
    December 29, 2010 | 7:22 am

    This is a great list, Jen (as usual). If I might add that a way to annoy the heck out of your visitors is to have an annoying ‘Opt In’ splash hit you square in the middle of the main page when you arrive. I am shocked at how this has become popular again (or more prevalent anyway).

    Technology has gotten around the old ‘pop up’ blockers (which were created for a reason) and has come up with the same idea but coded to not be perceived as a pop-up by browsers.

    • Jennifer Fong
      December 29, 2010 | 9:09 am

      Those annoy the heck out of me too, Amy. Unfortunately, statistics show that they increase conversions by a lot, which is why they have become so popular. I do wonder about the value of those conversions, though. How will that ultimately convert into dollars? Thanks for commenting!

  3. Kathy Rowland
    December 28, 2010 | 12:42 pm

    You just never cease to amaze me with your helpful posts! I’m going to re-read, save, and act on these suggestions. I hadn’t heard about the LinkedIn Answers…really want to check that one out. And, having friends refer friends seems so obvious, but I forget to ask. I’m considering blogging, but not sure I’m ready to jump in.
    Thanks again Jen!!

    • Jennifer Fong
      December 28, 2010 | 1:25 pm

      Glad it’s helpful to you Kathy! Wishing you much success!

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