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In the online business world, it is easy to get caught up in comparing yourself with other people in your niche.  The two easiest numbers to compare are revenues and list size.  And, while I would encourage you to keep your eyes on your own paper and focus on your own numbers not everybody else’s, growing a large list is important to your coaching business.  Here’s why.

Here’s the thing.  If I were to ask you if list size matters, my guess is that you would say “yes”.  But, are you backing that up with action in your business?  My guess is that if you don’t *really* think it is important, then you aren’t taking the time to regularly review your opt-in, to track your e-mail statistics, or to have a plan to regularly share your opt-in on social media.   I’m writing this post to remind you that list building is just as important as speaking or any other marketing you are doing in your business.

A Tale of Two Coaches

I want to tell you about two of my clients.  They are both in the same niche.  One of them focused on speaking as her main vehicle for growing her business and the other one did webinars.  The webinar client had a strong list building component to her plan, while the speaking client had a plan to enter cards into a database that didn’t really happen.

At first, the speaking client was actually doing better.  She was a good networker and managed to snag several speaking gigs in her local area.  She was everywhere.  She was a good saleswoman and her business and client list grew.  She was so busy speaking and working with clients that she didn’t build her list.  She thought that list building wasn’t an income producing activity.

My other client’s business grew more slowly.  She had a hard time getting booked on webinars at first because her list was small.  So, she got booked on podcasts and started holding her own teleseminars. She didn’t make much money the first year.  That was OK – she was laying the foundation.

Fast forward to a few years later.  The client who was making good money speaking still had a small list of a few thousand.  And, it was getting harder to find speaking gigs in her town. The economy got better, people returned to work, so there were fewer local entrepreneurs to target.  She didn’t have a big enough list to generate new business.  She was dependent on speaking gigs which dried up.

The webinar client’s business also slowed down, but she had built a list of 10,000 in three years. All she had to do to launch a new program was send the right e-mail.  Her business slow downs didn’t last long.  Her prospects saw her on bigger and bigger stages, so they wanted to work with her to learn to do the same thing.

It is great to speak and get clients, but don’t neglect your list!  Here’s why:


  • You need a big list to get invited to telesummits and giveaways to grow your list bigger.  The telesummit world is a “rich get richer” situation.  Event organizers need telesummit participants to already have a good list 5,000 or even 10,000+ in order to participate.  These events can be a great source of coaching leads, but only if your list size is already large.
  • If you are a business coach, you need to model success.  Your clients will be looking to see how many *other* people are on your webinars,  They want to see you in event and on stage with other “thought leaders”  You can only do that with a big list size.
  • Everything is about numbers.  You need to tell enough people about your offer to reach your sign up goal.   To get 10 people in a program consistently, you need to offer it to 5,000 people.  The math is a blog post in itself, but just trust me on this.  By the time, you figure how many people from your list attend your webinars, and how many of those are going to buy, you realize that list size really does matter.

So, yes, size does matter!