Are you having trouble getting people to sign up for your email list? I've got news for you… that invitation to “sign up for my newsletter” just isn't cutting it any longer.
Do yourself a favor, will you? Head on over to Google and search for some niche coaching niche sites. Start by typing in the niche word and then the word blog or coach. Maybe something like “insomnia blog” or “confidence coach.”
Now look and see what, if any, opt in boxes you see on those sites. If they're smart, they'll have some sort of offer to join their email list.
As you go through the page 1 SERP (search engine results page) links, notice the difference between opt in forms that simply say, “sign up for updates” or “sign up for the free newsletter” and those that address the visitor's urgent problems.
Here's a stark contrast you can see as an example. On sleepstarved.org, the opt in form looks like this:
But land on this baby insomnia site, sleeplady.com – and the results are much different:
Wow, what a difference!
One promises of updates with new blog posts, but the other offers a Free Guide to a “PROVEN method to get a good night's sleep for you and your child.”
Here's one more for good measure: Insomnialand.com promises a free sleep training email series, promising that you'll sleeping better within 2 weeks.
So the problem with bland opt in offers is that they don't address the visitor's problems with any urgency – and they don't entice people enough to fork over the name and email details. The lesson here is to stop and think for a moment what you can offer that sets you apart from other coaches or trainers in your niche?
Focus On What Your Prospects Need
One of the worst offenses to your visitors is to offer them something they don't even need. When you think of need, dig down deep. And focus on something they are actually thinking they need. I mean REALLY thinking about.
I mean, who on earth is tossing and turning over the fact that they haven't yet created their perfect “thought-management [system] for navigating chaos and thriving?”
Have you ever turned to a friend and said… “You know what I really need? A toolkit for creating a purposeful life on my own terms. Where can I get one of those?”
These aren't addressing any real, tangible desires, are they?
Nope… opt-in offers need to be more specific about the problem.
Let's take you, for example. If you're a coach, then you might be trying to figure out how to stop running all over town, networking to get clients, and trading hours for dollars. How many times have you thought… I've created a job for myself. Ughh.
Well here's an opt-in form, from the folks at Coach Glue, that promises to teach you “how to BREAK FREE from your exhausting 80 hours a week 1-to-1 business.”
That speaks to your desires, right?
So how do you know what your prospects need. If you can't come up with specifics, start researching. Where do you look? First, turn to forums. This is where people routinely go when they need advice from others in the same predicament.
You can go to Google and type in the niche and the word forum and visit a myriad of forums to see what people need. So here's a great example: psychforums.com/insomnia – when you go there, you see a ton of great opt in report ideas for insomnia, such as:
• Natural Insomnia Remedies
• How to Fix a Messed Up Sleep Schedule
• How to Sleep When You Don't Feel Tired
• A Beginner's Guide to Curing Insomnia
Another place you can visit for ideas on what consumers need is the comment section of blogs. Whenever you see a blog with a thriving community, people will often comment and discuss their needs – especially if the post doesn't answer all of their questions.
Look at these blog comments, at sleepstarved.org for example – reading through that, you can get some ideas for niche reports for your opt in offer.
For instance, one comment talks about the difference between insomniacs and perpetual thinkers. That could spark the idea for you to create a report called “Do You Really Have Insomnia?” where you differentiate between someone having sleep problems and someone whose mind won't shut off.
Another place to look and see what people need in any niche is through keyword tools. There are free and paid tools. Ubersuggest.org is a free option. Just type in your niche and you can see what people want to know.
Using this tool, if I type in “insomnia” first, one of the top 10 listings is “insomnia cures.” Click on it and go one step further, and you see report ideas such as:
• Insomnia cures for depression
• Insomnia cures during pregnancy
• Natural insomnia cures
Deliver Value They Would Pay For
For many coaches trying to build an email list, their big mistake isn't in coming up with an idea. They mess up when they fail to provide value. You see, this is your very first impression with a potential new subscriber.
You want to go above and beyond and wow your audience with what you over deliver to them. So when you sit down to start planning your opt in offer, think of it as a paid offer.
You want to give away a whole course. Something where they download it or access it and can't believe you just gave that away. This will do more than just appease a new audience – it will have them sharing it with others.
When you finish creating your opt in offer, put a price on it. In fact, you might even create a page somewhere online where you're selling it for that price. That way you can show more value by saying, “My FREE Gift to You: Download My Insomnia Kit Now (Regularly $27)!”
But don't skimp on the information. Your subscribers will know if you're trying to dupe them. They want true value, and if you prove yourself the first time, chances are they'll turn into rabid, loyal subscribers form that point on.
It will also help you increase conversions whenever you do put a product out in the marketplace. Your readers will be thinking, “Wow, if s/he gives this much value away for FREE, I can't begin to imagine what great information s/he's charging for!”
One Up the Competition
You want to be the best you can be at all times with your business. But you also want to make sure you're better than the competition. Always one step ahead.
So that means a little spying – I mean researching – the competition! Go through the same steps you did when you were first checking out the offers for your niche earlier. Make notes about what offers are already out there.
One of the best ways to learn from the competition is to get on their list. Go through their system and be a subscriber so that you can experience the pros and cons this other marketer has to offer.
Look at every detail of their opt in freebie. How big is it? Is it broad, generic information or detailed and specific? Do they have poor spelling and grammar? Do they have blatantly wrong information?
Make notes of everything you like and dislike and keep those handy whenever it's time to create your own offer. So for example, if one insomnia expert said in his report, “have good sleep hygiene,” but he didn't expand on what that meant, you make sure you do in your report.
Make your opt in offer longer, meatier, and more informative than the competition. Another way to do it better to be very cutting edge with your information.
So take your niche and go to Google and type it in. Then click on the News tab and find some recent news that's of interest to your audience, like this. You can then add that to your report. This up-to-date research might give someone a huge relief from their worry – or it might alert them to urgent information they need to know now.
Offer Multiple Formats for Your Prospective Subscribers
Many coaches have nothing to offer. Just updates. That's the worst type of opt in offer to have. Anyone can go to your blog through their bookmarks, or choose to use an RSS feed to check in.
Here are some of the formats you can choose to offer for your new subscribers:
These can be done in a variety of ways. Usually it's a timing slant. So for instance, you could offer:
* 7 Day Diet Plan
* 2 Week Sleep Improvement Course
* 365 Day Stress Relief Tips
Like this report, you can create a short PDF file for your subscribers to download and devour. Extra points if you encourage them to share it virally with their friends!
Give someone access to something exclusive – a membership site. You can have a free level where users get in and get to see inside, and then they can level up to a gold or silver membership.
Not everyone likes text. Some people like to learn on the go. You can create a podcast that subscribers love. It can be you talking or you interviewing someone – or even you being interviewed by someone else!
A video course is a great opt in freebie. Not everyone has fast Internet, so if you go this route, give them the download files to watch on their desktop so they don't have to worry about streaming speed.
Split Test Your Offers
Make sure that whatever option you choose when creating an unbeatable opt in offer, you test and tweak throughout the year. Set up a split test so that you have different offers.
See what people like best. Test different formats for the same information. Test different offers completely. Test different ways of saying what it is you're offering them as a freebie.
Keep Moving Forward!
Building a list is just one aspect of growing your coaching business. If you want to become a savvy player online you need to understand that you can't build a list without the right tools… and once you have built a list, you need to know how to make money from it (and the answer is not by scheduling more one-on-one coaching sessions).
So at this point you have two choices: a) you can go with your gut and use the knowledge you've just gained here, or b) you can keep moving forward, and start building your list.
You like the sound of Option B? Cool. Then here's a door prize for you…