Any idiot can purchase a mailing list online and start promoting their coaching to them. The successful coaches build up their fan base with real fans because they know that it’s the winning strategy.
It does sound like a lot of work, doesn’t it? I mean, why build a fan base from scratch if it’s so easy to purchase a mailing list online? Well, there are three big reasons -Last month, 1,000 people from a little town in Italy came together to learn, practice and play ‘Learn to Fly’ by Foo Fighters. There were singers, guitarists, drummers and professional music equipment. In fact, the organizers had raised over 40,000 Euros to fund the whole thing.
The purpose? To get the attention of the Foo Fighters so that they would come and do a concert in their town.
Think about that for a second. These people spent thousands of Euros to pull off a stunt so that they could pay more money to see their favorite band live!
That’s the power of a fan base.
Look carefully at any successful person or business, and you’ll see a powerful fan-base driving that success. Whether it’s the thousands of Apple fans who queue up for days to buy the new iPhone, or the thousands of people in Italy who organize a massive stunt to see a band, the concept is the same. Fans will spend their money on you.
That’s why, to become a successful coach, you need to build a fan base that will go the extra mile to hear you speak and buy your training.
Call it whatever you want, a fan base, a mailing list, a community. These are the people who are your biggest cheerleaders and customers.
You don’t need to have millions like Apple and the Foo Fighters. Even 100 fans who are willing to pay you $100 a month is enough. That’s a 5 figure income per month right there!
The important thing to remember is that these people aren’t just numbers. Many people say it’s important to build a mailing list, but what they don’t realize is that quality trumps quantity every time.
When you think mailing list, you think of a list of unknown email addresses you can sell to. When you think fan base, you think of real people who trust you and want what you have to sell them. There’s a huge difference between people asking for your training versus you pushing it on to them.
You know that guy who buys the latest iPhones and always brags about its features? Well, he’s a fan. And guess what, Apple isn’t paying him to talk about their products. He’s doing it because he wants everyone to know how great their products are.
He’s doing their marketing for them for free!
That’s right. Your fans will rave about you to their friends. They’ll tell everyone how incredible your seminar was, or how you opened their eyes in your videos. They’ll talk about what they learned and their friends will get interested too. One person tells two, two tells four, four tells eight and soon you have hundreds more joining your fan base.
Just like friends, fans are always there for you, supporting you consistently.
There’s nothing more debilitating to a business or person than inconsistent income. Why do you think so many people give up their passions to take up jobs they hate? It gives them a regular paycheck at the end of every month.
When you buy a mailing list and bombard them with your offers, you may get a few people signing up the first month out of curiosity, but they probably won’t come back the next. They didn’t ask for your teachings and they don’t care about what you have to say. They aren’t fans.
Mailing lists lead to inconsistent income. One month you might make $10,000 but the next you’ll make $0 and you’ll be left wondering where your next meal is coming from.
On the other hand, real fans can’t wait to hear from you. They open all your emails and sign up for every offer you have. They’ll do it this month, and the next, and the month offer. That’s consistent income, a paycheck you can count on every month, without the soul-sucking cubicle job.
Your fans know you’re the real deal, so they’re willing to take a chance with anything new that you’re creating.
Most coaches spend days and weeks creating training programs to perfection, only to hear crickets when they open it to the public. They blast their mailing lists, shout on social media and advertise all over the place, but nothing happens. As Jeff Walker puts it, this is called ‘hope marketing’. They hope that people will buy it, but no one does.
On the other hand, the successful coach already has buyers in the form of a fan-base. Your fans actually want your training, and they don’t care how new your program is or if it’s not quite perfect, they’re willing to give you a shot.
In fact, many of them will pay you even before you have a new training program, just so that they can be the first to get in!
A fan base is nothing more than a group of fans and followers. To build it up, you just need to convert strangers and skeptics into fans.
The big mistake most coaches make is they try to sell something to strangers immediately. They think that if only the person bought their training and so how good it was they would turn into a fan. And you can’t blame them for thinking that way. They struggle with inconsistent income, so they’re under pressure to bring in new clients quickly.
What’s wrong with their approach? Well, think about it this way. Would you walk up to strangers on a street and tell them to pay you to coach them? No, because if you keep doing that, the only followers you have will be the police!
Instead, you need to build trust first. People are stingy with their money, so before they give it to you, they need to know that it’s going to be money well-spent. The only way to do that is to give them something for free.
Hang on? Wasn’t I just talking about consistent incomes just a while ago? And now I want you to coach people for free! Where’s the income in that?
Well, here’s the thing. The more value you give to someone, the more they’ll trust you, as long as you’re giving it with the intention of helping them. And as you help these people, they’ll see that your teachings work and they’ll come back to you for more.
The Foo Fighters are the perfect example of this. They put out all their music for free on Youtube, yet their fans want to spend money on them to hear it live.
Tony Robbins does the same thing. He appears on podcasts, TV shows, radio shows, numerous videos, and interviews, and gives away his teachings for free. Yet people spends thousands on his seminars and his online training.
What’s happening here? It’s called the principle of reciprocity. This is a powerful psychological force that makes people want to give back to you when you give to them. An important thing to note is that you aren’t guilt-tripping them into paying you because you gave them something for free. They want to pay you because they trust you and want you to teach them advanced stuff.
They want to pay you because they’ve become fans.
So how do you give away your knowledge for free? You can’t stand on the street corner with a loudspeaker because that will also only attract the police. Instead, use these avenues to deliver your free material.
Blogs are the most popular way to give away free knowledge because they are the easiest. Seriously, you can set up a new blog in minutes. With applications like EDLOUD, it just takes a few clicks.
Ramit Sethi, a popular personal finance and career coach, gives away 99% of his knowledge on his blog. It attracts thousands of visitors each day, and many of them end up becoming fans who pay to get access to that last 1% of coaching that’s not freely available.
While blog posts are short pieces of information that can be consumed in a few minutes, books go deeper and allow you to teach more advanced concepts.
With free books, people ‘pay’ you by subscribing to your blog and giving you their email address. This is the best way to build an email list, but remember to treat them like fans rather than numbers in a list.
Podcasts are exploding right now because they are an extremely easy medium to consume knowledge on. Many people learn better with audio, and the convenience of listening to them while in the gym or driving adds to the allure.
The Art of Charm is a popular podcast by a group of life and dating coaches. Each episode is packed with immense value, and they also have supporting blog posts on their site. Again, with applications like EDLOUD, all you have to do is record and upload your podcast to host it online and serve it to people around the world.
Videos are an alternative medium for people who learn visually and for teaching concepts that require demonstration. With YouTube, you can upload videos and build a following while linking to your main site or blog.
Daniel and Kelli, a husband and wife fitness coach team, created the FitnessBlender channel on YouTube and have uploaded over 450 free training videos. They’ve got close to 2.5 million subscribers, some of who go on to their site and pay for premium training.
Courses can be a combination of text, audio and video, and are longer training programs that teach basic concepts. Just like books, people who subscribe to your course join your mailing list. If they get value out of the course, they’ll want to pay for your premium training.
Vanessa van Edwards is a dating and attraction coach and she grows her fan base with a free 7-part course on increasing influence. She also has numerous paid courses that people can take when they see that her teaching is valuable.
As you can see, the top coaches use a combination of free and paid training to build a fan base and find clients. Many of them combine text, audio and video effectively to attract thousands of people from around the world to their sites.
With technology like EDLOUD, it has become extremely easy to create different types of content and deliver it to anyone in the world from one site.
The question is not how do you build a fan base anymore. It’s when do you start.
And the answer is right now!