Updated and Adapted from 2014 post

There isn’t much different between brick and mortar and online businesses when it comes to the foundation of marketing.  You must have people to sell to.  Your list consists of qualified buyers.  You may buy a list for brick and mortar, but for an online business, you need permission to advertise to people by email.  Email is the primary way to nurture, prove yourself, and sell to customers.  

Please read the following very carefully and if you want to have an online business start growing your list.  Then sell to the people who really are interested in your product and have shown a specific need that you can fill.




If you are doing a business online…your list is who you sell to.


There is a lot of confusion.  Some people think you are supposed to find a social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest) group and advertise to them for free – over and over and over again.


N O T  A  G O O D  I D E A


Why not?  WELL…You run out of new people to advertise to…you look spammy and you limit your growth.


S O …  W H A T  I S  T H E  S O L U T I O N ?


You need to build a list and email to them.  That is right!  Don’t do the actual selling on Social Media.  Build your list, divide them into interests and email your offers to them.


H O W  T O  B U I L D  A  L I S T


Give your ideal client what they want – for FREE.  That means – valuable tips, education, e-books, videos, courses…whatever they will find irresistible.  This takes getting to know your ideal client – INTIMATELY.  If you have one product…all you need is one irresistible offer.

This is called an opt-in…you are offering them something and they are going to find it so interesting that they want more.  That is why they offer you their email so you can share more information they may find interesting.  If you have more than one product, you will want to offer them more offers.  When you do this, you match the offer to the product that interests them and you have even tightened up your niche a little bit more.  You can mail pertinent offers to only the people who are interested.  That way you don’t bother them all the time.

  1. Clarify your ideal client.
  2. Choose 1 or more offerings.
  3. Create the offerings or (purchase from us for reuse)
  4. Offer you offering to an elite group to acquire testimonials.
  5. Promote your offering on social media and webinars to folks who match your identification of your ideal client.
  6. Make sure your opt-ins get the product you offered for FREE and know how to use it.
  7. Give your opt-ins additional valuable info.
  8. Make your products available to the opt-ins who match your identification of ideal client for each of your products.


B E    C O N S I S T E N T


Contact your clients regularly.




  • Start and stop communication.
  • Promote and stop.
  • Advertise for too long without adjustments to the look and feel.



  • Choose a schedule and stick to it.
  • ALWAYS grow your list.  Advertising for opt-ins with free offers should be done daily all year long.  No breaks.
  • Change the look of your offer to maintain interest.


This is the low down.  If you are ready to get started, go back and review the following blogs:

  1. How I Built My List
  2. Your First Coaching Client
  3. Are You an Entrepreneur
  4. Health Coaches Getting Results
  5. How to Build a Health Coaching Business in 12 Weeks


These are the secrets to growing your business online.  Do this and you will grow.


What is working…and not working for you?


SHARE WITH YOUR FRIENDS and comment below!






  1. Deb Lange

    Well said, I need to be doing some more offers to my list! thanks

  2. Fundisa None

    My first task is to build a website. Thanks Cathy.

  3. Cara Maclean

    Great info here Cathy! I’m working on my opt in, something that will be a bigger draw than what I have now. It certainly takes a little trial and error to see what works. Thanks for the post!

  4. Brenda

    The opt-in offer is what I’m working on now and is one of the toughest parts of my email list building. I’m a food and travel blogger and I want to offer something unique. Thanks for the tips!

  5. Susie

    This is so timely as I am focusing on list building through the end of the year, I will even give my 1st webinar soon! TY for the post, it’s keeping me on task!

  6. Sharon A MacGregor

    Gosh – Everyday!!! – I do not have an opt-in – have not figured out how to get it done – no matter how many You-tube videos I have watched. I have a list that is not growing – and facebook has ceased being of assistance since they changed their algorithm.

    I had been focused on my writing – and now I am consistent with the blog thanks to the Health Coach Blogging Page (so grateful); Now I think I have the handle on my newsletter. So now I guess the focus is BUILDING THE LIST! Thanks for this great post Cathy

  7. Dana O'Dell

    Brilliant Cathy! I need to be more consistent and offer more to my list.

  8. Valerie

    I do have an opt-in! I was pleased, but then I see I should be advertising daily to promote it. Hmm.. I’m not doing that. That might explain why my list isn’t growing well.

    Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.

  9. becky

    thank you for these awesome tips. i really need to work on this and appreciate the step by step breakdown of how to do it! I definiately need to get my opt-in done… thank you.

  10. Kellie

    Great advice Cathy – I can see my downfall is not being consistent and sticking to a schedule. It’s something that I need to work and thanks for the reminder.

  11. Maria

    Your message is so strong and clear and really very simple. One approach – grow my list, know my client. Excellent! Thank you for the great info.

  12. april

    such succinct and helpful advice, cathy. thank you so much. i am just about to offer my very first opt-in (final editing will be done this week – hooray!). i have been slowly but steadily building my list, and i am eager to see what the response to the opt-in will be.

  13. Puja Madan

    I love how you’ve simplified it down to the basics Cathy. Great post and a great reminder to stick to the list and use every other channel as a funnel to grow it. Thanks!


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