List Building When Starting for Scratch

lady boss workshops list building when starting from scratch  | Business tips for creative entrepreneurs and female photographers

A few weeks ago, Elena and I did a Facebook Live all about Newsletters and List Building.  Shortly after it aired, we received this question from a fellow Lady Boss “Do you have any suggestions for people who've just moved to a new area and are starting from scratch?”

Great question!

If you are new to a market and/or just starting your business then list building should be your number one priority.

Here are some ideas I came up with that could help you grow your list and get your name out in your new community while doing it.

  • Approach local coffee shops and inquire about showing your work.  You want people to know you and know what you do, so think like your potential clients, and be where they are.  Shows are great list building opportunities, especially if they have a “meet the artist” night.  Just make sure you have someway to capture the emails of people who are there and looking at your work (this can be as simple as a sheet of paper that says “for information on future sales and events, join my list” and a pen)
  • Give back to the community.  Find a school or a charity that you love and host a fundraiser.  I do this twice a year.  One event (my Fall mini-sessions) benefits our local elementary school PTA and one event (my Santa sittings) benefits a local charity.  Fundraisers are a total win/win for everyone.  The charity is always thankful for the extra money, your clients feel good about giving to their community and you get name recognition and really great exposure.  Again, treat your events as list building opportunities and concentrate on capturing those emails!
  • Optimize your opt-in.  Make sure that you have an opt-in form on your website, your Facebook page, your email signature and on your contract.  Anywhere you are interacting with clients, online or in person, should have an opt-in opportunity.
  • Create a Call To Action.  Ask your people to join your list on every blog post, and social media post your create!  Link a url address to your list on Instagram and Facebook.  Create a "sign up today" button for your blog!  And then just say "Hey friends, don't forget to sign up for my newsletter list by clicking the link in profile/below this post/where ever your link is" at the end of every post.

Remember, when running your own business, a good list is like gold!

Make list building a priority.  You won’t regret it, I promise.

Sandra Coan

Sandra Coan in a maternity, newborn and family photographer who specializes in film.  She is also an educator, public speaker and business coach.