What To Offer When You Have A Small List (Or No List)

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There’s no doubt that having a good sized email list will help you get clients and make money in your business.

The more potential clients who are receiving (and reading) your emails, the more clients you’ll have rolling in the door.

But even the most successful coaches started without a big list. In fact, they all started with ZERO people on their list!

Since you’re reading this post, I’m guessing you want a profitable business NOW, but you don’t have a big email list yet.

You may be working hard at building your list, but you want to start working with clients and bringing in income right away.

No matter the size of your list, to start earning income and enrolling clients you need to know two things:

  1. What you’re offering
  2. How to reach people to make the offer

These may seem simple and obvious, but I know a lot of coaches get hung up figuring these things out.

In this post, I’m going to talk about the ideal offerings and marketing strategies to use when you have a small list (or no list).

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What should you offer?

There are a number of things you could offer to build a successful business, but if you want to start bringing in a consistent $3-5k each month, I recommend putting your efforts into getting one-on-one clients.

The best route to enrolling one-on-one clients is as follows:

1. Offer a short group program like a detox or a cleanse

I call this type of program an ‘easy yes’ program, because the investment is low but your clients will still get results in a short period of time.

Once your new clients are enrolled in your short group program and start to see results, some of your group participants will be so thrilled with what they’ve seen that they’ll want further support from you. The strategic route I recommend to my clients is using your easy-yes program to quickly get new clients, then talk to them about working with you one-on-one.

See how this worked for our client, Holly Shelowitz.

The first time she offered used our Ready-to-Launch Cleanse, 40% of her participants became one-on-one clients.

As Holly shared, “I was ecstatic with the numbers, and the additional business it brought in from private clients.”

As you can see, offering a cleanse or detox is an effective way to generate more income and interest in your private coaching.

2. Guide people into a one-on-one coaching program

This can be a 3-month program (which you can also call a 90-day or 12-week program) where you work closely with clients one-on-one. A program like this offers more custom support and guidance than a group program. If you’ve offered an ‘easy yes’ program, you can offer this as the “next step” to continue working with you.

With just these two programs and some grassroots marketing efforts (which we will get to in just a minute) you can bring in $5-6k in the next 30-60 days.

How to attract clients when you have a small list (or no list)

Now that you know what to offer, how do you reach people to enroll in your group program when you don’t have an email list?

There are plenty of ways!

Email marketing isn’t the only game in town.

Here are 4 great strategies to reach your ideal clients:

Social media

Facebook can be a gold mine for finding and connecting with your ideal clients – and you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg for Facebook ads to do it.

To connect with your ideal clients, here’s what you want to focus on:

  • Facebook Lives
  • Your Facebook group (if you have one)
  • Posting in other groups and on your personal page and business page

In all of your posts and videos, try to be as helpful and genuine as possible rather than being overly promotional or ‘salesy’. When people see you are giving great advice and support, they’ll be drawn to you and want to know more.

Speaking Gigs

This is my favorite strategy – even if you’re a newer coach and have a small list – because it works really well to help you quickly fill your program.

Giving talks at local wellness studios, meetups and even corporate offices can help you reach a wider audience. The local businesses and groups you choose to speak at will already have an audience or customer base that you can tap into.

Pro Tip: Once you’ve found your speaking venue, prepare a talk directly related to the subject of your program. Make it super specific. A talk called “The Diet Myths Preventing You From Losing Weight & Keeping it Off: 3 Keys to Lasting Weight Loss…So You Can End Dieting Forever” sounds much more interesting than something general like “5 Strategies to Get Healthier”.

At the end of your talk, let everyone know about your upcoming program and how they can participate.


This is where you’ll promote through your contacts and in forums or groups you’re a part of.

With this strategy you’re tapping into your wide network of friends, family, co-workers (if you have a day job), acquaintances, contacts, and groups you’re a
part of.

Start by identifying all the people you know.

Then, connect with your contacts to let them know what you’ve been up to – you can make it more of a personal update and share that you’ve been putting your program together. If it makes sense, you can share your own results from going through the program. And then share information about any talks or webinars you’re hosting. Share your enthusiasm and excitement.

You can send this in emails, text messages, phone calls, and/or in-person.

Pro Tip: Be sure to reach out to people 1:1 and do NOT send a bulk email to all of your contacts.

Keep in mind that these people may not be the perfect fit for your program, but they may know other people who are – so invite them to share information about the program with their friends.

Referral partners

Referral or promotional partners are people or businesses who share information about you to their audience, customers, or clients.

Teaming up with referral partners can make a huge impact on your enrollment. Here’s why…

1. They have an audience of ideal clients! If they start spreading the message to their network and their email list about your great program, you’ll increase your reach numbers instantly.

2. Their referral or recommendation is more trusted than hearing about you through an ad or a tweet. This level of trust typically brings with it a higher conversion rate than cold traffic landing on your website.

Now that you know the benefits, who should you approach to become a referral partner?

Good promotional partners are those who serve a similar audience to you, but don’t compete with you.

Because you’re utilizing these partners to reach a wider audience, you want to focus on people with a loyal following, a decent-sized email list, and/or social media presence.

Nervous about starting the conversation with a potential referral partner?
Pro Tip: Focus on building the relationship first, then dive into how you can help each other.

As you can see, you don’t need to wait until you’ve built up a big list before you offer a program. You can use the simple yet effective strategies above to get clients, and revenue, coming in the door.

Now I’d love to hear from you!
If you have a small list or no list, has it held you back from promoting your services? Which of the strategies above are you excited to try?

Would you like to receive weekly emails, where I break my favorite strategies into simple, actionable steps that can help you grow your online business?

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