One of the questions I get a lot goes something like this, “How do I get customers for my business? I don’t have an advertising budget, an email list, a popular web site or any other way to reach an audience. How can I start making money without those things?”
First of all, start working on your visibility today. The sooner you do so, the sooner you will have a group of raving fans. In the meantime, though, you can sell your products and services by borrowing someone else’s audience. No, there is nothing illegal, immoral or fattening about this. In fact, everyone wins!
The most important part of building your fan base is to start building an email list. Only add people who have chosen to subscribe. I use Aweber to maintain this mailing list. They make it easy to add a subscription box to your web site and start signing people up. Give people a reason to subscribe–a free special report, tip sheet, audio or other goodie they will value but that costs little or nothing for you to provide.
While you are building your audience, you can find customers by borrowing audiences from other people and customers. Here are a few of my favorite ways:
Let another organization promote your event. Many years ago, I started presenting seminars in Houston through Leisure Learning Unlimited. They promoted the seminars, handled registrations and payment, and provided a place. All I had to do was show up and talk. We split the fees paid, and they got the lion’s share. But I got access to their audience: the hundreds of thousands of people who got their catalogs. You can do this with non-profit organizations, colleges and others who have built-in audiences.
Let someone else sell your products. Sell your books, ebooks, audio products and more on Amazon.com and through other retailers. Get affiliates to sell your products online. Sell your services through Fivver, Upwork or one of the many other freelancer sites.
Joint venture with someone. Help them create a product that both of you will sell. When they promote it to their audience you not only get sales, you start building a larger audience for future products. Keep in mind that in exchange for borrowing their audience, you may do the bulk of the work in creating the product. The results can be worth it, though. I did this early on and it resulted in a profitable product and, more importantly, a long-term friendship. In addition, he helped me make connections to a lot of movers and shakers. These were great relationships and also helped me build my business.
If you are not sure whether a person or organization will work with you, ask! Ask nicely. Look for a win-win. Show them what you can bring to the relationship. If they say yes, great! And if they say no, move on and ask someone else.
Get started now and create the success you want.