Today I want to answer one of the biggest questions that I am asked over and over again.

“Can I automate my business if I have a small list?”

For me to answer this, I have to go a little deeper than just a simple yes, or no.

One of the biggest faults that I see in online businesses when it comes to automation is that people fail to start and make excuses because they feel like their list is too small. If there is only one thing you get from this whole post, let it be this. Everyone starts and zero, and the only way to go is up. In order to have a big list, you must start at zero and grow, and the BEST way to grow is to automate, so long story short and spoiler alert, my answer is YES. Yes, you can automate your business with a list of zero because that is going to be, hands down, the best way to grow your list.

The main obstacle that everyone runs into is they think that they need a big list before they can market and sell to their list, and before they go in and set up automation strategies and all of that stuff. I'm here to tell you that that is completely incorrect. You have to start your automation journey somewhere, and it might as well be with lead generation to grow your list. 

You can automate your business and set up a marketing funnel with absolutely no list. You need to have a product in mind to sell, and then a way to generate leads, that will take those leads towards a sale. For this, you can use a marketing funnel. If you need help with getting a marketing funnel set up I have a free guide that you can download here.

Next, all you need to do is think about the journey that you want to send your potential customers on. So, think about, number one, what your objective is, as a person, as a company, as a business, and then think about how you can, if you were a customer, the journey that you would like to be taken on in order to get to that end goal. Buy building out this funnel, you are going to do a few things that are key for any business looking to grow.

1) You are going to grow your list and following by bringing in new leads.
2) You are going to be able to make some sales by having your new leads head into your marketing funnel.
3) You are going to gain new followers who will refer you to more new followers
4) You are going to create a system in your business that will grow with you as your business grows.

If you have a small list right now, this is the BEST time to build out your automation systems, because you have an abundance of the most valuable asset you can have. Time. Do it once now, and let that help you to grow your business, and then this is an asset in your business that will allow you to have a lead generation system running right from day one.

Let's walk through an example of why you should build out a marketing funnel as your first automation system to help you to grow your list, and sell some products!

If you were selling an online course that teaches people how to tie their shoes, and you are obviously going to be targeting people who do not know how to tie their shoes. So, you would have to think of their age, their demographic, the ability for them to purchase, all of that other stuff, and then you would have to be driving them towards your course.

Obviously, you would have to have your course priced at an amount that will ultimately sell to your target market. A product like teaching some to tie their shoes would be something you'd probably gear towards a child market, so your target audience would most likely be parents, and parents who are looking to find an easier way of teaching their children how to tie their shoes. Once you've got that in place, then you need to consider how you would feel if someone was trying to pitch this to you. How would you want the journey to go? You would need to automate some form of a system that would allow this person to get onto your email list, and opt-in to your marketing funnel. Next, you will need to craft a series of emails and take these potential customers on a journey. Ultimately, it would end up with them either buying or not buying your product. For this journey to work in automation, you need to consider your product that can be delivered all the time and is already created or can be easily created.

With that, you would need to structure your messaging towards the parents and show them the benefits of how learning how to tie their shoes, or teaching their children how to tie their shoes would be beneficial. So, the journey that they're going to go on, and that I recommend in my free guide, is that you start off with a welcome email.

Basically, what this welcome email does is set the stage for the marketing funnel journey. How this is going to work is you basically will go through and write out your welcome email. Let them know who you are, what you do, how you can help them and their children learn to tie their shoes. Explain how you're different, why this freebie that they would have just downloaded in order to get onto your list, explain how that freebie is going to help them. Explain the results that they should expect from whatever freebie it was that you gave them.

Then from there, the next email that you're going to send … Or, at the bottom of that first welcome email, you are going to let them know that you have a course available. You want to make sure that you make it very clear that there's a call to action at the bottom of this email. Basically, after you've introduced your brand and your business, what you do, who you are, who you help, why you help them, and the results that they should expect from their download, then you'll want to say, “If you're ready, I have this available now,” and do a short little intro to your course. Do this in a very subtle way because the rest of your emails are going to be building up to that. And obviously, if they take you up on your core offer in this first welcome email, then they're not going to get the rest of the email series, because it just won't make sense in their journey.

After they've read the welcome email, then they're going to get three emails that are just going to deliver value. These emails are going to build upon whatever your opt-in freebie was, and then lead them towards the core offer. You're basically building a bridge between your freebie and your paid program or course. From there, you'll want to make sure that you're giving them quick wins in each of these value emails, so something they can do now, like take five minutes and sit down with your child and teach them whatever method it was that you showed them in the first download and freebie.

Then from there, what you'll want to do is give them something that they can implement that will give them some results. So, spend five minutes with your child, do this, let me know how it goes. Give them some sort of a call to action and a way that they can communicate with you.

Obviously, at this point, you will still have a small list. Having that open channel of communication with your potential clients is a must because the better engagement that you have with your small list is going to help that small list to become a big list. At this point, you can start documenting processes and systems in order to reply to these people, so that when you do have hundreds of people messaging you daily, you'll have a way of making sure that you can maintain this momentum. Once again, early automation is key for preparing for small business growth.

After they've downloaded, or after they have received your value emails, then you're going to move on to the segue emails. The segue emails are two emails that deliver value, not necessarily the quick wins that were in the specific value emails, but they're going to be something that's going to expand more on what you've just talked to them about in the previous four emails. And explain to them how they can benefit more by purchasing your core offer. You want to, once again, kind of subtly mention your core offer in the first of the segue emails, and then in the second segue email, you definitely want to expand upon that. Make it a little less subtle, but let them know the journey to purchasing your course, so why they would want to purchase it and what they can expect from it.

After you send the segue emails, you're going to move on to the pitch emails. The pitch emails are a series of three emails that pitch the value of your program. Now you've turned from giving them value to explaining that there's more value coming and that by purchasing your core offer, so your product or your course, that they will get the results that they would like to see. Email number one in your pitch emails is usually similar to a sales page. Email number two is testimonials with social proof and results.

Now, if you don't have testimonials, or social proof with your results, in this email, explain the expectations of how someone will feel after they have purchased your course or product and gone through it. So, back to the tying the shoe example, you've likely taught somebody how to tie their shoes in a very effective manner, so whether it be your own children, or your nieces, nephews, cousins, anybody, you can always explain and craft email like a story. Explain how this method helped so and so learn how to tie their shoes so efficiently that you knew you just had to share this method with everybody and anybody. And that is why you created your course, and why you hope that they will get the results from purchasing your course and taking it, the same as ________, the person that you are speaking about in your story. There are various ways to promote a product without testimonials. You just need to kind of think about stories of why you got into what you are doing, and why your course or program is going to be the difference maker in this person's journey.

Email number three is essentially just your scarcity pitch email, where you will let them know that this is the last chance to secure the deal. Generally, when you are building out a marketing funnel, the price offered in the marketing funnel, or the bonuses offered in the marketing funnel, are things that are not available elsewhere.

If you have, say, this tie your shoe course was $47 on your website, in this series, in your marketing funnel, you may put the price down to $37. Or, you may keep it at $47 but offer an exclusive bonus. That would be what you want to explain to them in email number three: “This is the only time that you're going to see this offer. This is the only time you're going to see this bonus, and you need to act now before the deadline, or else this deal is going to go away. You can still purchase it on my website, but you're not going to get X, Y, and Z,” so the $10 off, or the bonus module, or whatever you decide is the bonus offer in your funnel.

That's essentially all that you need to build out a marketing funnel and automate your business if you have a small list. By doing this, you're going to slow and steadily start growing your email list. Each time you build out a different marketing funnel, you're going to have a different freebie offer that leads to either the same course or a different course, and from there, this is going to also help you grow your list (and your income).

Now, if you have a small list, to begin with, and you're not starting from zero, you can always put your existing list through each one of your new funnels when you build them. So, it's never too early to start. You just have to start. You're never going to walk into a business and have it be turnkey with 5,000 customers just waiting to get your offer. You always start at zero. Or, you start at one, and that one is probably your mom.

What you want to do is focus on the fact that everyone has to start somewhere and that you are starting where you are starting. You have to embrace the journey of the customer and take their feelings, thoughts, emotions, and everything into consideration when you are building out your marketing funnel. You can complete your marketing funnel with a small list or a large list. It does not matter, but specifically, if you have a small list, your list will never be too small to build out automation in your business and to create your marketing funnel.

Now, if you're looking for more details on how to build a highly converting marketing funnel, you can download our free guidebook at the bottom of this post, where we will walk you through everything that you need to build out your very first or next marketing funnel. Now, I promise you, if you follow through this guide, you will get everything that you need to get started on growing your list and setting up an automated system. We go over what you need before you get started. We go over creating an opt-in offer, and all of the variations that you can make in order to give your audience the juiciest download that you can think of. Then you need to choose your advanced email service provider, figure out your conversion method, and then create your core offer.

Now, if you already have your core offer, you are one step ahead of everybody else. If you don't, we will walk you through how to create your core offer and package it so that it can be delivered over and over again. 

Then we walk through the email series, which I just talked about, in a lot more detail. Next, we will explain how to build out an email delivery campaign, so that you've got timers and automation, all of those things that you need to make your customer's journey unique to them. We'll also show you exactly how to lay out your campaign so that you can see it and be able to read the results quickly and clearly. We also go over why it's essential for all businesses to have a marketing funnel, which is a huge deal if you are thinking that it's just too overwhelming.

I would suggest right now that you click this button below to download your copy. Go through it and then email me back if you have any questions.

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