You likely keep hearing about “list building.” What the heck is it and when and why might you need it? More succinctly, should I do list building for a side hustle?

Grow your email list

Over the decades a lot of good ideas and inventions have gotten lost in the dustbins of business history. If you spend much time in digital marketing Facebook groups you will find scores of people certain they have a crackerjack of a concept only to hear later they have given up.

No sales.

Why Should I List Build For A Side Hustle?

There a lot of reasons, of course, but one of the main ones is a failing as old as business itself. NO prospects=NO customers= NO sales.

“Build it and they will come” is generally credited to a 1989 movie called “Field of Dreams.” In business circles, it usually refers to a product under consideration. It is generally pretty iffy advice.

Very few products make it to market successfully simply because someone thinks it up, then creates and waits. Products and services need to be promoted and sold.

This is why advertising exists. The motor that runs so many things in our society is one that tries to convince an audience to take an action.

What sort of business has advertising at it’s heart?

  • Radio stations
  • Television
  • Newspapers
  • Magazines
  • Google
  • Facebook

These are the advertising vehicles. They are the ones who know the importance and power of advertising.

People who USE advertising to promote their product or service….well, I don’t have to tell you about them. They are a huge part of your life (unless you are living in Trappist monastery :).

People who need or want your great idea will seldom just stumble across it.

Why should your new business idea be any different?

One problem for a new business is that advertising is expensive. And hard to do correctly. And ineffective if you do it wrong.

Online marketers like you and me have a great opportunity to address some of these issues.

We call it List Building. It should be one of the very first things you focus on doing and once you start, you should never stop. And I mean never!

In this short series, I am going to tell you WHAT list building is, WHY you need to start doing it (and keep doing it), and HOW to get going without spending any money.


When you gather emails from a segment of people who are interested in your topic it is called list building. You are very likely on many, many email lists. A few good ones and probably many bad ones. They are bad if you do not open them and read them.

We will discuss how to make sure your list is one of the good ones, (the list that is made up of people who actually open and read the emails).

You want to turn your list into a raving audience that is convinced of your expertise and is willing to take your advice, (a warm audience). They know, like and trust you and therefore it is the ultimate in targeted marketing. You want them to be closely aligned with your ideal customer avatar.

A warm audience is full of potential customers.

The way you build an email list is to have something of value for which people are willing to exchange their email. Tit for tat, as they say.

In marketing, this is called a magnet. Some examples of magnets are:

  • Checklists
  • White Papers
  • Guides
  • Helpful Hints
  • Free courses
  • Webinars

My friend Amy Porterfield calls these things “freebies” but that is a bit of a misnomer. If a person wants the “freebie” they must pay for it with their email address.

Because the magnet is related to the products you will want to promote in the future (and it should be) then you will create an email list of like-minded people who will be a much more receptive audience to your future promotion.

Make sense?

In another post, we are going to talk about what to do once you have that email (in exchange for your magnet) and how to make your new email list be one of the “good ones.”  

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