Yesterday I talked about the downsides of building an audience before you’ve got a product for sale.

There’s positives to this method for sure.

You can learn a lot from your list as you start to work out your product ideas.

But in any market, there’s an awful lot of type kickers and you want to make sure they’re not the ones hanging around just for free advice.

Theres nothing more heartbreaking than building a list of a few hundred names and then, when you mail them, they moan that you’re selling.

Some lists are like spoiled children, wanting hand-outs at every turn, and never wanting to get to work.

So, how do you build a list of buyers when you don’t have a product yet? 

Let’s take a little step back in time to before you paid for any marketing advice.

You’d probably read some books, watched a few videos, maybe bought a few cheap tools and watched their instruction videos.

And at the end of it you had a mountain of advice, (a lot of it conflicting) , and definitely no sense of the order you need to do things in.

Does this sound familiar?

If so, we know a few things about the people who are ready to buy from you:

  1. They want structure and direction
  2. You’re not the first person they’ve gone to for advice, and you won’t be the last either.

That last point needs a bit of humility, but it’s the gateway to a lot of sales.

Realising that you’re not the only person saying you can solve their problem can set you off in one of two ways

Either you can look at everyone else as “competition” and try to beat them


You can accept that your customers will buy elsewhere as well as from you, and COLLABORATE.

Given the choice, the collaboration route is a lot more fun.

This is how you get on other people’s podcasts, get asked to write guest posts, meet up at conferences, sit at the bar swopping market insights and trade secrets, and generally have a fun time doing business.

The alternative is to sit in your own cave like a troll, spending your gold on ads or pouring your wisdom out into social media and hoping someone will recognise your genius.

But you still don’t have a product, or a list, so how do you do business in that situation?

I hope you’ve guessed it already, but I’m going to leave the nitty gritty until tomorrow when I’ll let you know how you can use this to build your email list as well.

Stephen Pratley
Copy & Conversion Consultant
The Conversion Co.

c/o The Conversion Co., 2a The High Street, Thames Ditton, KT7 0RY, United Kingdom
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