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I Said No

Marketers have been telling people for years that the fastest way to build your business is to build your list.  While there may be some truth to this, building a quality based list that wants to hear from you is far more valuable than a big list that hasn’t been built ethically.

One of the more popular trends in list growth is to feature someone on a podcast or webinar in exchange for cross-promotion on each other’s list. Someone will ask you to share your expertise and, in exchange, you both agree to email your list.  

Once you’ve begun to demonstrate that you’re good at what you do, people will come around by the truckload asking you to participate in these amazing ventures where they promise you fame and visibility in exchange for access to your mailing list.

Please say no, unless the opportunity is the perfect fit for your mailing list.  

I say no to these offers all the time because I want you, and everyone, on my mailing list to trust me and know that if I email you about something, it comes from a place of integrity, and not from an effort to build someone else’s list.

I’m not trading my relationship with you for two minutes of perceived fame on someone else’s telesummit, webinar, podcast or whatever the flavour of the day is.

Don’t sign the contract before you read the fine print, just say no.rawpixel-com-620238-unsplash

Recently I received a bizarre request from someone I didn’t know asking me to participate in something they were hosting.  They expected me to contribute my expertise for FREE and I only qualified to participate if I had at least 5000 people on my mailing list.

Here’s how I said no…

“I have a yes and a no.  I value my time and my expertise, and I respect my community. I’m always willing to donate my time, but I don’t participate in any promotions that require me to email my list. If you want my participation, I’m happy to play, but if you require me to market to my list, I’m not interested.

It sounds harsh, but the truth is that the more we respect the people on our mailing list by setting boundaries around what we will or will not mail them, the more valuable that list becomes and the more they respect you as a leader. My list trusts me and it’s highly responsive, and for those reasons, for the last 3 years, I have said no to all requests to mail them for other people. I can deliver amazing value to your audience, depending on what’s most important to you, providing your list with value or list building.”

People complain about non-responsive mailing lists all the time and the truth is…lists are non-responsive because you don’t respect them.

You need to be committed to creating a relationship based on trust with the people who choose to follow your work. Be very discerning around the people and causes you choose to support and broadcast to your list.

Don't jeopardize the value of your list by buying into false promises from someone who only wants access to your list. Share on X

Be protective of your list, and they will return the favour by trusting the message you deliver. When you jeopardize that relationship for fame, it’s wrong, it’s kind of gross, and it’s totally spammy.

I would never do that to you, so don’t do it to your tribe either. Just say no the next time someone asks for access to your list.

How do you feel about these exchanges for list building? Do you think it’s a good idea or do you (like me) prefer to stay away from them, unless, you’re exposing your community to a super great person or idea you really believe in?


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Lisa Larter Bio Image of Lisa x400

Lisa Larter

Founder and CEO of the Lisa Larter Group, master strategist, author, speaker, podcast host, social media expert, consultant, and business coach. Lisa inspires entrepreneurs and business owners to see the possibilities for their organizations when it comes to strategy. She uncomplicates modern marketing and creates (and implements) strategies for businesses that are guaranteed to increase visibility, inbound leads, and revenue.

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