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File this one under trite, but true.
The only thing you really HAVE to do to launch your “side project” is build a list. There is simply no other replacement strategy that works anywhere as well, and anyone who tells you otherwise is lying.
Not Twitter. Not Facebook. Not Tinder. (although it’s a lot more fun on weekends)
I’ll give you a quick example:
A few days ago, I sent out an email to one of my “niche” communities, where the members (it’s a directory) are all “spiritual” service providers. I asked them to share their biggest challenge when it came to building their brand, their audience, and their business overall.
Most said something akin to – “I have X amount of fans/followers on Y social network……but very few people buy my products or services when I promote them”
And when I followed up and asked…..very few of these people have an active newsletter email list.
It’s the ONLY thing that really separates those who are building fun, meaningful automated and PROFITABLE projects, from the vast majority who don’t. (or won’t)
And it’s so damn easy to do these days…..it’s almost a crime not to start with a list.
The ironic thing, of course……when I look at my own business, the peaks and valleys, it’s almost always a straight line relationship to how often I mail my list….and how often I aggressively expand it.
A few years ago, I burned the boats.
Frustrated with my audience being mostly a “how to do I make money from home?” readership, and knowing in my blood and bones that this wasn’t the sort of community I had initially set out to the cultivate (even though……I was probably lying to myself, and was passively aggressively cultivating that sort of crowd anyway) – one day, I just nuked my list.
With the push of a button, I blew up my business.
And I don’t mean that in a Kim Jong Il sort of way. There was no mushroom cloud of death and destruction.
Only the creepy sound of silence when I had a 3am stream of consciousness idea or inspiration to share.
I don’t regret this….as my own interests have always lied outside of the internet marketing guru building space, but it adversely affected my income in a serious and significant way.
But that’s not really what was challenging about NOT having a list of 15K + people to email everytime I had something to say or service to sell.
It was the sound of silence that was so scary.
The idea that no one cared, yet again.
And while I’ve built a whole new audience in some other areas over the last 12 months, and have built a new (smaller) list for my “entrepreneurial” audience as well, I still feel the pang of regret every time I publish something new here.
Because I know it ain’t gonna get read as often as it used to.
Which does offer up some freedom you lose when your audience is much bigger.
For example, there is less downside to admitting that I woke up at 11am this morning and am typing this wearing the same clothes i slept in.
I also had a dream about Ted Cruz, too.
It was really weird, i can’t quite remember the whole thing but we were arguing about something and I remember hitting him with a shovel.
Then I woke up and started my day.
You can’t really say that when you have a list of 15K thousand people potentially reading it. Because statistically speaking, you are going to have a fair amount of readers who think hitting Ted Cruz with a shovel is a bad idea.
So there are benefits to not building your list, especially if you aren’t a fan of being visited by the Secret Service before 11am.
For the rest of you, start building a list.
Later today, I’ll share a few super simple ways to build a list using some super cool (and free) tools that very few people are talking about, and yet…..can totally transform your passion project from pitter patter to profitable in rapid fire turn around time.
(I also have a brand new ASK ME ANYTHING audio feature folks are using on some of our other projects – you can simply record a question directly from your screen and ask me anything you want, and I’ll record an answer for you 100% free. I just need to modify it for my own blog – and will post that link tonight)