How to Build Your LOVE List

A foundational part of any small business is your list of clients and potential clients. I remember in my corporate days in the shopping center industry we had lists of frequent shoppers for each mall, current and potential retailers for each mall and list of colleagues in the industry, as well as, media lists nationally and local to each market. Your List is your business equity.

For you as an entrepreneur marketing your own business it's the same, but because you are marketing yourself and your services it needs to be more personal. Your goal isn't to just build a big list. It's about creating a list full of relationship possibilities.

Try This: Print out a list of your subscribers or a list of everyone who has purchased a product from you. I like to print out a list of everyone who has registered for a teleclass I'm getting ready to lead. It could easily be hundreds of names and email addresses. Before I lead my teleclass I sit with my list and review the names and their web addresses. What I see is not a list of nameless, faceless people. It's a precious collection of real women's dreams, hopes, frustrations, stuck places, desires ...and I know I can help them. This is a powerful process. Try it!

I like to refer to my various lists as my Love Lists. It reminds me of what my list is really about.

Creating and growing your Love Lists isn't just about adding more people to your database. It's a three-part system: Grow your list of people, nurture relationships, and then nourish a tribe.

Your Basic Love Lists:

Business Email List - This is your #1 list that you have on a list manager or shopping cart service. You own this list. It's not going anywhere. You want people on this list most of all. This list will have clients, potential clients, past clients, colleagues, family, friends, people who love to refer you but may never buy anything from you, people who are just curious, people who are in the beginning stages - middle stages and mature stages, people who may be watching you as a potential joint venture partner or collaborator.

Social Media Lists - This includes your Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn as the big three, as well as, any other social media communities or lists you are a part of. This is where you have informal and even casual conversations. You make new connections, interact with people and nourish those relationships. You eventually want to get people from this list onto your Business Email List.

Quantity is important to a certain extent: obviously the more people you have on your Love Lists the easier you're going to be able to fill your programs IF the list is made up of your ideal clients. If you're marketing a workshop for 10 people and have 100 people on your list, it is going to be a lot harder to fill than if you have 1,000 people on your list.

Take your Love List and apply strategies so that you can create relationships with them. Get to know the people on your list, not just your list, but the *people* on your list; get to know them at a richer and deeper level. They get to know you at a richer deeper level as well. It takes time to build the relationship.

Recognize that people on your list are at different stages. Just because someone comes on your list doesn't mean that they're ready to buy a $10,000 platinum program with you. Some might be but a lot aren't going to be. They need time to get to know you, really get your credibility, to understand your message and philosophy and see how you work. The real truth: Sometimes a person will watch you for 2-3 years before they are ready to work with you. Soemtimes they are in the perfect place to take action and they sign up with you right away.

That's why you want to create the feeling of a Tribe: You have people on your Love List: you create relationships deeper and deeper over time, and ultimately what you're building is a tribe, people who surround you and love what you do. They understand your philosophy, they believe in your movement. They are advocates for your work and ...they buy everything you offer!

How do you look at the people on your list differently now?

What one thing can you do today to start growing your list?

What one thing can you do today to nourish a relationship?

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Laura West is an award-winning entrepreneur, and president and founder of the Center for Joyful Business. As a certified business coach, author and speaker, she helps thousands of women entrepreneurs create successful businesses filled with passion, purpose and prosperity. She is known for making marketing simple and fun for passion-based business owners. She is also the author and creator of Joyful Business Guide™ Home Study System, and she is author of the upcoming book, Awakening Your Inner Business Goddess. She is also the Fresh Entrepreneur Expert at Ladies Who and creator of their Fresh Entrepreneur workshop and workbook program.

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©2011 Laura H. West and the Center for Joyful Business. All rights reserved.