Has your list growth has plateaued? THIS might be why

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In the last year, I’ve talked to ~700 online freelancers and course creators. Almost everyone knew the benefits of guest posting.

Yet, their biggest complaint across the board remained plateaued list growth.

The culprit across the board was the exact same mistakes.

Are you making any of these mistakes in growing your email list?

Mistake #1: Wasting time getting more credentials

Every time they noticed their slow list growth –they would compensate by getting more credentials. They would go take yet another online course, certification, or degree.

It wasn’t that these online entrepreneurs were not up to date. They already read all the blog posts and books in their field the moment they would come out.  

It also wasn’t because they were new. They were already the most knowledgeable people their fields.

They got credentials because it helped them feel productive. But it didn’t end their list building, and they knew it.

The benefit of guest posting instead

Credentials aren’t bad. It’s just that is not what you need.

What you need is the confidence to go out there and guest post. And getting more credentials isn’t going to change this.

Have you spent time helping your audience? Or have if you ever been a member of your audience and gotten the results they now seek? If you answered yes to any of these, you have all the credentials you need.

It is time to go on a credentials diet.

Stop getting more credentials.

Show the world what you can do with what you already know.

Go out there and guest post and attract the ideal clients you really want.

Mistake #2: Watch and copy every single competitor

Another thing the entrepreneurs I talked to did was spend hours analyzing what their competitors were doing to grow their lists. They would then try to copy what their competitors were doing on the fly.

Needless to say, it didn’t work. And their list building plateau would get worse.

The benefit of guest posting instead

Listen I get why you think you should watch and copy competitors. It is common practice in corporate America. In a prior life that was my entire job description (even though it was respectably titled analyst, but that is another story for another time).

The truth is, this strategy does not work for list building when you own your business. There is always someone bigger and better funded out there, who can copy better and faster than you.

Which is why copying does not lead to meaningful list building results.

Watching and copying competitors is not a productive use of your energy or time. It does not help you attract significant numbers of your ideal audience.

For most of you assessing competitor marketing only once a year is more than enough. The rest of your time you should focus on spreading your work to your audience via guest posting.

So turn off your competitor marketing alerts.

Stop keeping tabs on what your competitors are doing.

Stop copying your competitor’s tactics.

Focus instead on getting your own guest posts out there.

Use this quick quiz to learn the #1 thing you should work on to get better guest posting results.

Mistake #3: Spend time updating their website AGAIN

The other culprit behind the list building plateau, spending time redesigning/updating their website.

Another flavor of this was wasting hours finding/hiring “the right” web designer or complaining about their designer not doing what they want.

But deep down they knew this was just an excuse they were using to procrastinate on list building. And they were procrastinating because they were too afraid to actually guest post.

The benefit of guest posting instead

Whatever your dream is for your business, I can guarantee that updating your website will not help you get there.

You should definitely have a website that allows people to learn about you and engage with you.

But for most of you, your website is already good enough. Tinkering with the look, feel, the wording of your website won’t help you attract and engage your ideal audience. Guest posting will.

Don’t spend time updating your website when you know you need to guest post to grow your email list. Instead go out there and guest post!

Mistake #4: Take on any client that comes their way

Many of the people I talked to would handle their list building cognitive dissonance by telling themselves they don’t need to build their list.

To prove it to themselves, they would start taking every client that came their way.

This included those who they knew were not a fit from the get-go.

Not surprisingly they ended up with clients who would make unreasonable demands, complaints, and even threats.

They’d then worry, stress, and feel crummy. If they had focused on guest posting, they wouldn’t have been so desperate to take just anyone.

The benefit of guest posting instead

Sometimes we are so afraid of guest posting that we try to fool ourselves. We think we have arrived at a point of business where we don’t need to guest post. And see this customer knocking on my door? That is my evidence.

The truth is you will always have to guest post.

Even if you are well known and booked solid you should still be guest posting.

It can help you find more of your ideal clients. Explore new work areas that are more interesting to you. And best of all have a wait-list of clients ready to work with you.

Thinking you don’t have to guest post is simply deluding yourself. Especially because right now you aren’t even at that point of being well known and booked solid. Because if you were, you wouldn’t have to take the client who was obviously a bad fit.

You took that client because you got desperate. And you got desperate because you were afraid to guest post.

Wrap Up & Next Steps

Let’s summarize. Here is what you learned:

  • you know the 4 mistakes you might be making that have led to your email list growth plateaued  
  • you know the reasons they don’t work
  • you can catch yourself next time you feel tempted to make any of these mistakes
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