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Your list build is only as good as the engagement you get from your audience. After all, what good is it to have a huge brand new list if they don’t care what you have to say?!

In this episode, we’ll talk about how to get your audience actually paying attention so your list build will pay off.

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How to Engage Your Audience After Your List Build

Our transcript hasn't been proofed, so there will probably be some errors. Sorry about that!

Alyson Lex 0:02
We've talked on some other episodes about building your list, hosting some different list build events, we have done the behind the scenes building a challenge, right. And so we've done all of these things about getting the list. But what we haven't talked about is keeping those people interested and engaged while that list build is happening. people's attention spans, like goldfish, guys, right? Three seconds, although I have fish in my pond, and they have longer attention spans than that. So I think we actually have shorter attention span than goldfish. Right, there is new stuff readily available on like a bajillion different platforms, content everywhere. It's really easy for your people to get overwhelmed, distracted, pulled in different a different direction. And the next thing they know an hour is gone, they've missed your event. And you've missed that opportunity to create an engaged and raving fan for your business. So I know that I've seen some trends to do some crazy stuff, like DJs, and parties and trips, prizes. But not all of us can do that. Not all of us want to do that. So what are we going to do to keep their attention?

Jennie Wright 1:26
So this is a great topic to talk about. And I've been a participant. And I've also worked on events where I've seen a lot of this crazy stuff that's happening. There's this race, or this fervor to try and keep everybody's attention. And we're always upping the ante. Right. So you know, recently, like you were saying, I've seen trips for Hawaii being offered for attending a five day challenge. Wow. There's, there's it's just crazy. So the let's talk about why an audience disengages first, and then talk about how fixing it like how we can actually fix this problem. So we're going to talk about a couple of things here. The first one being that your last build event is too long. When I first started doing summits in 2013, the norm was the online summit was 21 days, 21 days, one interview per day, for 21 days, it was crazy. Nobody does that anymore. And even when we were doing the 21 days, the drop off was happening. And around day 12 or 13. I was looking at the stats for my clients and going Holy crap, people who are attending summits are missing half of them. So the trend started to be about shorter summits and shorter events. Challenges back in the day, were usually something like a 15 day challenge or even a 30 day challenge for business. There's a very popular 30 day challenge for list building, it's been out for a number of years right now, it's still quite popular. And it's one little list build thing a day that I totally get because you're creating new habits, but some of these things nobody's going to participate in. So if your events too long, you're not going to see the benefit of participation, because people's attention will be drawn elsewhere. So your summit shouldn't be longer than five or seven days, I've been on a one day, I've seen three days, those are good. And then a challenge five to seven days actually would be also a really good length. I wouldn't go much longer than that. What do you think Allison?

Alyson Lex 3:29
I really like the idea of keeping it to a week. It allows for that just from a marketing perspective, like this is one week that's gonna, you know, make a difference for you, or it's 150 50 to 50 seconds of your year. But I also think that having an event that's too short, is a problem, because it doesn't allow you to get to know those people enough, correct. And create that engagement. The one question I have is, can you actually create that change in a week? for them?

Jennie Wright 4:11
If built properly, yes. If you build it properly, if you look at what we you know, Alyson I talked about, which is called a transformational arc. If you create a transformational arc from day one or Day Zero, depending on how you look at it up until the last day, then yeah, you can actually create change for people in a week. It's impossible to create change for people in a one day summit. One day summits are a fad, a thing right now. There's some people that do them and they're they're great for what they're offering but they are not creating transformational change. They're just offering a ton of interviews over one day, and they don't have any opportunity your participants have no opportunity to get to know you as the host. So think about it this way. Any list build that you do. You have to create this transfer of credibility from whoever they're following or listening To online to you. So if you're doing a summit, and there's 20, or 30 experts, those participants are coming from one of those 20 or 30 experts, and they listen to them, they're coming to check out the event, but not necessarily because you are a superstar. But because you've created something where there's awesome information, you have to create that transfer of credibility, right, Allison. And there's a couple ways you can do this. Allison and I have talked about this, before we've actually even done this together, creating this transfer of credibility is things like doing Facebook Lives, doing, you know, putting out really good posts, and we're gonna talk about that a little bit later, we're going to talk a little bit more about it. But creating an opportunity for people to get to know you see behind the veil, you know, as the host, and understand who you are and what you do, and start seeing you as the go to.

Alyson Lex 5:50
Yeah, it's not enough to be the person that just interviews the people. At some point, they need to see that you have an expertise in your own right. That's really impossible to do on one day. It's hard to do on a three day. And so if you are having a shorter summit, three days are very popular, when it comes becomes about planning the post summit engagement, which I think is a whole nother episode. Actually, we have that whole other episode. Well, we have show notes. It's, but it's not that you just have these three days to engage your people, you still have the list. But your best people are going to be highly engaged during the event. This Yeah, totally. Now, again, I want to caution and I think you'll see that a lot of what we're going to talk about today is really walking a fine line, right? too long, too short, talking about you and getting that credibility built up and letting them talk about themselves.

Jennie Wright 7:00
Yeah, that's a lesson. I know. That's one of the things that you talk about a lot, especially in coffee, making sure that you're actually not even talking about yourself, you know, in an about page and things like that, which is a totally different episode. But the same lessons do apply. Right? People want the opportunity to talk about themselves and say all the things you know, that are bothering them. And you have to create that that opportunity. And one of the things that people when they're planning an event ellisville to create connection, is they're actually only thinking about themselves, the host, the host isn't thinking about the participant, the whole thing has to be around what your participant needs, and how they you know how they need to interact. If your participant loves Facebook Lives and panels and hotseat coaching, and all these different types of connection, then you need to infuse your event with that. Because you don't like Facebook Lives and you don't like doing panels. And you don't like doing a Facebook group. Because it's just you don't like to, you're sort of cutting off your nose to spite your face would be one analogy or you're you're basically you know, shooting yourself in the foot. Whatever analogy you want to use. You're making it harder for yourself. And Allison, I had a great conversation off, like off camera kind of thing about making things harder in your own business. That would be a really big one. Highly recommend you don't do it.

Alyson Lex 8:27
This has been something that I've known in my head for a very long time. It's taken the rest of me some time to get on board with. I'm not my customer. I'm not my audience.

Unknown Speaker 8:43
How many times have we said that?

Alyson Lex 8:44
Oh my gosh, I personally do not watch a ton of video. It's not how I learned it's not how I best process information. If I'm watching a video, it's usually just cute cat videos on Facebook.

Jennie Wright 8:56
Yeah, and you always send them to me in that like in the weirdest hours.

Alyson Lex 8:59
I know, this is what I do. But my audience watches video. Mm hmm. So if I'm not looking audience focused, I'm missing an opportunity to connect with them where they want to connect, great not just meet Now, again, fine line. What you do in your business has to feel good to you. And it's really easy to use, that doesn't feel good to me as an excuse not to do something we just don't want to do. There's a lot of stuff that I don't want to do. Laundry, you know, those kind of things. But those are the things that like if I want a functioning household I have to

Jennie Wright 9:44
Yeah, they become non negotiables

Alyson Lex 9:47
there are things you're not going to want to do in your business. But if you want to have a functioning business, you have to do it.

Jennie Wright 9:52
Oh, I can put my hand up right there. Instagram. Hello,

Alyson Lex 9:54
right. So I really love the option The the option to do like hotseat coaching or giving them opportunities to go live or asking them questions about themselves, which you can totally use as research and all of those fun, advanced things. But letting them shine, letting them show off in the list build letting them get excited about what they're learning and doing, and what changed. They're seeing. None of that's about you. But you benefit you benefit, because they're going to see that you're the one that created this space for them to do that. And they're going to appreciate you for it.

Jennie Wright 10:37
Absolutely. You have to allow people to connect with you. That's another big thing.

Alyson Lex 10:41
Yes. Huge,

Jennie Wright 10:43
huge thing, huge thing people need to connect with you. And you're going to have to create a two way conversation you absolutely can't be. Let me get on my soapbox and pontificate to you about everything that's in my nation, how I you know how I see the world? And how you should see it as a result. That's not how you're going to get people on board with you. People want a two way conversation where you're going to say, hey, how do you feel about such and such? How does it make you feel? How does it impact your life? Where does that tension or the worry or the issues come from? And how can we solve it. And by doing that, you're creating this two way conversation, which is great, but you're also creating an opportunity to identify hot and ready leads, and connect with them, and then offer them guess what? The solution which just happens to be your program, product or service. Congratulations, right? So you're, you're just by doing these little things, it's going to make such a huge difference connection is the key to creating a highly engaged list and a highly engaged event. When you're doing a list build and you don't do any of this stuff, let's just let's just take all of this away. Let's just look at summits like they were in 2013. Okay. Because this was this is exactly where we're coming from to where we are now. summits and challenges and all that it's the we're so basic. And there was no you know, yeah, there would have been a Facebook group there. But the Facebook group would have been like, hey, the day one interviews have been released, go check your email. That's about it. Right. And we weren't really using Facebook groups, did we have Facebook groups back then I don't think we did not in 2013. But we weren't using the medium well enough. And there was no way for people to connect, yet we have a lot more ability to connect with Facebook Lives and all this stuff that didn't actually exist then. But there was no connection, all you did is you got a daily email. And with that, once a summit was done, or a challenge was done, it would typically take six weeks of nurture sequences, and emails and all of that kind of stuff, to get them to go, wow, this is cool. I really liked this person and warm up to you. And in the same time, you had major unsubscribes. So if you did a list build back in 2013, like a summit like I was doing sure you would get 5000 people on your list, you guys. But as soon as your six week nurture sequence was done, you probably lost almost half of them. So it was a waste of time, it was a waste of money. It was a waste of resources. And the end, you ended up with half the size of the list. People were not ultimately connected. Absolutely. You could make money off of this, but it just wasn't using all the opportunities to create connection. Sorry, I'm on my own little soapbox right now.

Alyson Lex 13:34
No, and the thing is, in 2013 connection wasn't as much of a requirement to do business as it is today. I think it probably was, but it wasn't the same. We're not requiring the transparency, the authenticity of getting to know people. We weren't requiring that in 2013. Now we are

Jennie Wright 13:57
there was still that veil, that curtain and that separator.

Alyson Lex 14:01
Yes, that separation is less acceptable today. We want to do business with people that we can relate to. right there's that know like and trust factor, but it really comes down to somebody that we feel gets us understands us sees us is on our side is on our team. And if you have that separation, this guru on the mountain feeling your audience isn't going to feel that. That sense of connection with you totally. And they're not gonna engage as heavily as excitedly they're there for the info dump and then they're gone. Yeah.

Jennie Wright 14:36
So let's talk about how we keep them engaged.

Alyson Lex 14:39
Yeah. How do we keep them engaged?

Jennie Wright 14:41
How do we keep them engaged? Allison?

Alyson Lex 14:44
Oh, there's there's lots of ways. Yeah, cuz I have no clue. Actually, I have total recluse but you totally

Unknown Speaker 14:49
do it. I

Alyson Lex 14:50
don't even go there.

Jennie Wright 14:53
Don't you play dumb here? Come on.

Alyson Lex 14:55
I'm just tell me tell me a wise one. Oh,

Jennie Wright 14:58
did you just put me on a mountain Did Oh boy, here we go. So there's, there's a couple ways you can make this happen. And the ways that really work are the authentic, transparent, fun ways. And they don't have to include you buying trips to Hawaii. Okay. So gamification is a thing gamification is adding fun stuff, games, you know, cool things into your list builds. One of the big things at the time of this recording is adding Bingo. Do you remember playing bingo, I loved bingo, I actually won a game of bingo on vacation with my parents when I was about 11 years old. And I won something like 60 bucks. And cutely enough my older brother at the time. I have two of them. One of them took all of my winnings, because he had paid the $2.50 for the card. So he said that my winnings were his. But you know, bingo is a big thing. But bingo creates connection. So can you imagine getting a bingo card? And having you know, I think it's like, what is it? 30? Square 40. So I can't I can't do math

Alyson Lex 16:05
25 Oh, bloody heck.

Jennie Wright 16:07
Okay, so 25 different squares. Math is not my thing, marketer for a reason. And in that there's all these different opportunities like, you know, you could, you could do things like, share in the Facebook group, do a live in the Facebook group, share this event with friends and family do this, do this, do this. And the whole point of it is the more engagement and stuff that you do, the more chances you have to win a prize, okay? And the prize doesn't have to be something stupid, like a television. The prize can be a mastermind with you, or a workshop with you or a call with you or a course you already have or a book that you want to give them. People just like winning. And it doesn't have to be something crazy.

Alyson Lex 16:51
So I was working with just brainstorming with a friend of mine that has a nonprofit who has a rescue dog. And the dog is very shy and the dog you know, it's the community has fallen in love with this dog and the pictures and the videos that she shares. And this dog started coming out of her crate she was hiding in her crate all the time coming out of her crate and scavenging things like a dish towel. A potato. She Yes, she found a potato and brought and bringing them back to her crate. And like collecting things. And so we created a bingo card. And this my friend strategically left things that were on the bingo card. And we sold bingo cards for $10. And she raised I think, in 21 hours raised over $1,000 an hour. I think she raised about $20,000

Unknown Speaker 17:56
Oh, wow.

Alyson Lex 17:58
Maybe it was $100 an hour, I don't know. But she raised a ton of money and a ton of engagement. And this game went on and engage the community and people were excited and like she was getting messages. Where's the picture from overnight, I need to know what she got like. That's the power of something as simple as Bingo. And the prize was a jar of apple butter guys.

Jennie Wright 18:23
Yeah, exactly. Nothing

Alyson Lex 18:25
big. It was about the experience Exactly. the playing of the game.

Jennie Wright 18:30
Yep. gamification works. So even if it's, you know, it might seem simple, but it absolutely does work great. And you don't have to just like you know, apple butter is not apple butter. It might cost you 699 or 1099 or something.

Alyson Lex 18:43
It's not if it's artisan, right, right. It's not going to cost you the size of a 30 or a 60 inch television or something silly, right? Or a three day trip to Hawaii. Like we don't need them no big out. And I would actually venture to say those big outlandish prizes are doing you more harm than good. Oh, yeah. Because if you like I go to networking events, or what have you, where I used to in the before times, and when I would see like, oh, drop your card in to win a $50 amazon gift card or a Kindle or, you know, $100 Visa gift card. What is the quality of those leads?

Unknown Speaker 19:24
very poor.

Alyson Lex 19:25
Oh, good point, very, very poor. And so the catch all, it's a catch all. And so that's how you get those massive unsubscribes that low engagement. Whereas if it's, hey, I'm going to give you a 30 minute or 60 minute copy, deep dive call with me. We're going to go through things. I'm going to help you write stuff. Then I know that people who are really trying to play that game there into what I've got. Yeah, totally. Right. They're not inviting their friends. Hey, try and win this trip. Yeah.

Jennie Wright 19:59
Because and then you will participate, you just have the trip, you're just gonna do them, you're just gonna do the the minimum.

Alyson Lex 20:04
Well, and are they in my audience if I want to build a group of entrepreneurs of coaches who who know they need conversion copy for their business, and I'm offering a three day trip to Hawaii, they're going to be inviting their sisters and their best friends and whether or not they're my ideal audience, so I'm getting unqualified leads that aren't engaging. And I'm spending a lot of money to do it. It just doesn't sound all that exciting to me.

Jennie Wright 20:28
No, it doesn't.

Alyson Lex 20:30
I'd rather give away a book.

Jennie Wright 20:32
Me too. And I have, you know, definitely. The other thing that works very, very well is the personalization of the entire experience. If you want to increase your engagement during an event, don't try and make the event fit you. You make the event. Don't try and make the event fit, you make the event. Crap, I think I really said that wrong. Basically, them fit them. Yeah, exactly. And it's actually a quick tip, thank you. Sorry, I was doubting my brain there. And it's a quick tip that I said the other day, actually, if you guys want to go and find it, it was all about that as well. But make the event fit you. So if you're a yogi, and your whole, your whole challenge your five day your your seven day challenge is about increasing your meditational practice, then you're going to want to do 7am, meditation, live on Facebook, in your Facebook group with your registrants, right? so that people can actually watch and participate, make it fit, you know, a five day challenge doesn't mean that you have to do an 11am call and a 7pm. VIP and do a $97 VIP package. It doesn't have to work that way. You can make it whatever you want. If the if your people need a workbook and you want to charge for it, then you know make it something that the threshold can actually take. Make it fit you. And Alison, I know you want to say something. So we also want to make it fit them. So if you're doing that yoga challenge, and you know, that you've got, you know, maybe 10% in your group of pregnant women, and 30% of them are sedentary office workers and 12% are athletes and right you kind of have this idea of the makeup of your audience during those morning yoga practices.

Alyson Lex 22:20
Yep. You might say, Hey, you know, if you're not super flexible yet, because you've been sitting all the time, here's the modification modification. Right? Or, by the way, this is super, you know, super safe for babies, and will actually help when it comes time down. You know what I mean? Like you can customize what you're saying, what you're teaching how you present it. So your audience knows you see them?

Jennie Wright 22:47
Yes. And two. And by the way, if you're asking the question in your head, well, Allison, how the heck do I find that out? It's called an entry survey. When somebody signs up for your list, build whatever it is your event, there's nothing wrong with asking three or four questions to find out why they're attending. Like, thanks so much for subscribing. Please, you know, if you just could answer this two question survey, it would help me a lot to make sure that you know, we're making this content really accessible for you.

Alyson Lex 23:18
Why are you coming in?

Jennie Wright 23:19
Why are you participating in a in a meditational challenge? Or in the Facebook group or wherever you're having this community?

Alyson Lex 23:27
Gather? Ask the question. Yeah. Let them talk about themselves. Why are you here? What are you hoping to get out of this? What's your goal? What are you excited about? The time that will go live and tell you all this stuff?

Jennie Wright 23:42
Exactly. The time that we're recording this, Allison is running a challenge. She's almost about to start it. And one of the things that she asked people to do was to do a Facebook Live.

Alyson Lex 23:54
And what happened? People I was shocked, right? I was like, nobody's gonna want to go live. I hate going live. But again, I'm not my customer. Right? You're not your darn customer. And I said, Can you just tell me your Why? Why are you doing this business thing? Why are you here? What do you want? What are you excited to learn? And people would hop on the Facebook Live and talk for a minute to two minutes. I think I had a three minute. And I mean, holy Toledo, you want to talk about some amazing information connection? lets me go comment. Other people commented us, right, beginning to build that community. It's small, but it's getting there. And we haven't even started yet. Yep. And I'm already learning about these people. Plus, now I can go. And when I begin my trainings, I can start to drop their name. Yeah. And then the thing so does this Yes. So this is an example how so and so would use it And what do people love hearing their name? and getting that personalized information? Yeah, it lets them know that I see them. It lets them know that I'm paying attention. Mm hmm. And it allows me to kind of show off my expertise a little bit. Yeah, Kate, this is how I'm helping you for free. Imagine if you pay me.

Jennie Wright 25:23
Right? Imagine if they paid you exactly, which is a huge thing. And it also gets people sort of adhered to your little sphere of influence, right? So you've created that transfer of credibility from wherever they came from wherever they saw you, right? Even if they've, and this is a great thing, when you do these kinds of events is even if they've been on your list for a year or two years, and this is the first event they're participating with you. If they've been a lurker, this could be the opportunity where they unblock, get active, and then make a decision. I've had people who've been on my list for two or three years, never really interacted with me, join one of my challenges, join one of my classes, and then was like, so how do I work with you? And I'm like, how can I take a look? And I'm like, Wow, you've been in my community for two or three years now. Which is great, right?

Alyson Lex 26:13
I was actually looking through the list of registrants, yesterday, just to start to see if any names pop out, see who's new to me see who I need to reach out to and learn more about. And I noticed this one person, and I was like, that's a lot of tags in there. And he's been quietly following me for a very long time and, and picking up everything I'm putting out, and he's completely lurking. And I know nothing about him. But you're gonna, but I'm going to, because now I'm paying attention. Yeah. And so that's a really fun thing to do is just look at the list. Yeah, just scroll through. And I know it might feel overwhelming if you've got hundreds or even 1000s of people, but just start looking. Because names are gonna start popping out. You're gonna start seeing some of the same people show up. Now, you know, okay, these people are, they're here for this.

Jennie Wright 27:04
Yep. Exactly. Yeah, these tips that we've been talking about, I think are incredibly useful in terms of really trying to create that connection, making your event something that people will not only want to attend and participate in. But continue that conversation once the event is over, which is what we're all trying to achieve. So take the tips that we've given you today, see how you can implement them in your own business, make them fit for you and the occasion of whatever it is that you're building, and then see how it changes the interaction. And if you need more help, in this case, if you need more support, come and find Alyson and I, Alyson and I do lots of what we call thrive calls for clients all the time, you can find it on our website, if you go to System to thrive.com there's actually a whole thing that says work with us. And then you can read more about what a thrive call is about and how you can get connected with us to make that happen. And if you're enjoying the podcast, please do subscribe so you don't miss another episode like this. We've got great episodes with experts, we've got some really cool tips that we do on Mondays. And we've got some really good stuff that's coming up. At the time of this recording, Allison is promoting our challenge. And if you haven't already, I really recommend you go to check it out. When this recording is over, there will be a splash page where you can go and sign up for the next event. And I highly recommend you do because the stuff that Allison does is phenomenal. So go to Alyson lex.com forward slash challenge and pre register for her next event. And trust me,

Alyson Lex 28:34
you'll love it.

Jennie Wright 28:35
Thanks so much for listening, everybody.

We'll be back again soon answering another big question.

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