Growing a list and gaining trust
In stage 1 we talked about how important it is to start building up a big audience long in advance of your product launch. Without an audience you don't stand a chance, but at the same time there is no point having a big email list if the people on it aren't paying attention to your messages.
An email list can go stale or die completely if it's not managed properly. If someone signs up to your list then doesn't hear from you for a year, they will just dismiss you. Therefore it's critically important that you focus on gaining the trust of existing subscribers while you're out trying to find more. Stage 2 looks at how.
It's important to find new subscribers, but it's just as important to maintain and improve your relationship with existing subscribers and followers. Don't focus on just growing your list at the expense of those that have already told you they're listening...
Keep yourself in the minds of your subscribers
Getting subscribers is really important, but it's just as important to make sure they stick around long term and turn in to paying customers. Drip email campaigns allow you to automate messages that send to the right people at the right time, meaning you can set it up and then leave it to run in the background. These emails, done right, can build your relationship with your subscribers. We've written lots of articles on this topic as it's important, but these will get you started.
Running contests to grow your email list further
When you're starting out, a contest can just be an expensive way to not achieve much. If your contest doesn't take off, you'll end up giving something away without getting much in return. Once you do have an audience though, running a contest and using them to promote it can hugely increase your list size. You need to get it right though - people that just sign up for the contest are no use, they need to be interested in your industry. These posts look at how you can achieve it.
Become an expert
People buy things from people they trust. That trust may be built through longevity (large companies that have been around for years are "trusted" to supply what they say they will), or it may built through behaviour. You're new and unknown, so building a reputation for yourself is a priority. By positioning yourself as knowledgeable in your chosen industry, you'll start to build a reputation which will lead to trust and (hopefully) to sales. There are lots of things you can do to earn that reputation, here are a few we've picked out.
Once you're confident that you have an audience and they will buy stuff from you, you can start to sell! The process of prototyping, marketing and selling your product is the fun part, but it's important to get it right. Your first launch will dictate how your business is perceived in future years, so don't rush. Move on to stage 3 and check out exactly what works and what doesn't.