You had a plan. You were going to GROW YOUR LIST like sea monkeys, you were going to SELL LIKE HOT CAKES + this was totally going to be THE BEST YEAR EVAH!
…until it wasn’t + it didn’t + you didn’t. Womp! Womp!

When your growth + your bottom line don’t go quite as planned, there’s usually a damned good reason for it :: you had a goal without creating the strategy to make all of that happen. So now what?

Before you go looking for a silver-bullet solution like using Facebook Ads, you need to get crystal-clear about one key thing first :: what the plan is to make that growth happen! P.S. Saying “I’m going to double my list in the next 3 months” isn’t a plan. That’s just a hopeful metric.

This post is all about showing you how to invest your limited time, money + energy into the areas that will actually line you up with those targets + numbers you’re aiming to achieve.

MAKE YOUR ACTIONS > YOUR EXPECTATIONS

The biggest problem with having a goal like “doubling my list”? It’s kinda out of your control.
You can do “all the things”, spend all the money, clock more hours than Gary Vee… and still fall short of your target. Sure, you can do a lot that will influence more people to sign up + how many things you do to encourage that is totally in your control; but in business as in life, you can’t control what others do + you have zero control over how many people actually fork over their contact information.

So instead of putting your expectations forth as your goal, why not put the action items you are in control of doing as your goals?
Some examples of what you can do to influence more people to sign up to your list include ::

  • Creating content upgrades for my posts with the most traffic;
  • Adding a sign-up form to my homepage + sidebar;
  • Creating a free email course geared towards my ideal client’s pain points;
  • Guest-posting on a blog with a similar audience;
  • Making a podcast appearance + offer an upgrade to listeners who sign up;
  • Doing a weekly live video Q+A with free upgrades;
  • Hosting a pitch-free joint venture with a fellow boss;
  • Participating in a giveaway with other bosses looking to expand their reach as well;
  • Engaging more in targeted Facebook Groups + Twitter Chats;
  • Improving my sign-up opportunities on social media with new links;
  • Optimizing my presence on the social media outlet my ideal client uses most;
  • Providing a call-to-action for readers to share my newsletter content.

Who was counting along? Because if you were, you’d notice there were 12 items listed above, which is the same number of weeks you would generally have to work within 90-days. (Actually, it’s 12.86 weeks but I digress.)
Seeing through 12 solid weeks of growth tactics does so much more for your confidence + mindset than obsessing over subscription rates ever will.

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PITCH PERFECT

Conversion rates :: they’re the metrics that make the online advertising world go ‘round.
The percentage of people who sign up for or buy your thing compared to the number of people or visits that are made to your site – that’s what a conversion rate, in a nutshell. The overall consensus is that you’re doing aight if your conversion rate is somewhere between 2-5% (+ anything over 10% merits fireworks, a parade + a statutory holiday in your name, in whatever order you choose, because you’re obviously holy-effing-amazing!)
So take a look at the current conversion rate for your opt-in. If you aren’t signing up (or, converting) people who were interested enough in your content to click through to your website, online advertising like Facebook Ads + AdWords can’t help you. You need to work on your pitch!

In other words, your landing page/opt-in/sign up is a lot like going on a Tinder date :: your first impression may attract initially but if the other party doesn’t immediately identify some interest in what you have to offer or say after that initial attraction, you’re not giving them a reason to stay in touch with you. And really? Ads are nothing more than a first impression, they’re a tool that allow you to reach more people to make a first impression.
That initial interest is great to get eyes on your thing, but your thing has to make your ideal client feel like they want more, that you’ve got something that they need.

When you’re less-than-satisfied with your existing conversion rates, you’d be better off HIRING A MARKETING EXPERT to help you create the offer that will have your ideal clients signing up for like gangbusters.
A good marketing pro can help you figure out what the hey your problem is + they’ll be able to optimize your landing pages before you start spending money like a drunken sailor on advertising. Put a rock-solid offer in place… THEN you can give Mark Zuckerburg your hard-earned cash – it’ll get you + your pocketbook a whole lot further to take this approach.

So what might be “wrong” with your pitch that you may be able to identify on your own? Here are a few questions you can yourself to improve your landing page conversions ::

  • Does it speak to your audience/ideal client? Would someone read this + think “OMG! This is EXACTLY what I need?”
  • Is your thing appealing? Is it something people need? Are you communicating the benefits of your thing clearly?
  • Do you have “good copy”? See :: Ex-nay on the buzz words, you use language that your people use to talk about their problems, you skipped the industry jargon + speak in the same words as people who need your thing would speak about it.
  • Does the way your landing page appears flow with the rest of your content? Do your colors, fonts + images go together?
  • Is your landing page free of distractions such as social media links or pop-ups that would otherwise distract people from doing the one thing you want them to do, which is sign up for your thing?
  • Have you tested your sign-up page from beginning to end? Are you certain that your sign-up funnel is well set-up + all the links work + register correctly?
  • Do you have a biz bestie (who is honest AF!) that you trust + could ask to review your landing page? If not, can you join or ask in a Facebook Group if anyone could help give you feedback on your page?  don’t be spammy! Just ask for volunteers.

After all, what do YOU do when you click through to something that makes you go “meh!”?… you close the window + move on to the next thing, amirite?
Welp, so are the people who land on your page. No amount of advertising will change that. In the words of the Godfather, make sure that what you’re giving your audience is “an offer they can’t refuse”.

MO’ MONEY, MO’ PROBLEMS

Your goal was to double your list. M’kay. Cool beans. When you set that goal, how much money did you budget to make that happen?
And what kind of return-on-investment (or what the cool kids call ROI) did you intend to get back from it?
…what was that? You don’t know? Hmph. OK.

When you first set a goal without thinking about how much money you were willing to spend to make that happen, it’d be a good idea to ask yourself why you’re so willing to make it rain now when it was never part of your original marketing plan. Chances are you’re turning to ads because “nothing else has worked” + you heard somewhere that you could throw money at this problem.
The truth? Your business bucket probably has a leak that advertising dollars won’t fix.

#PROTIP :: Revisit the earlier bits of this post. Either 1) your marketing plan didn’t have enough meat on it for you to take step-by-step actions towards your growth goals, or 2) your opt-in is falling short of enticing your ideal client to sign up for what you have to offer, or 3) all of the above.

Investing money in advertising is exactly that – it’s an investment! – and investments are good ideas for your business. But there’s a difference between making an investment + throwing money at a problem, hoping-to-hell this will work. The key is to step away from the numbers + the idea of “where you should be” to instead re-direct your focus on creating the marketing strategy that you can put in place to support your growth + bottom line.

Author: Lanie

Lanie Lamarre is the headmistress at Miss #GSD, where feisty biz ladies like you come to flip their To Do lists into DONE! Overwhelmed much? Drop her a line — all you have to lose is your gigantor workload!