Brennan Dunn on Monetizing Your List (Even if You're Not a Sleazy Internet Marketer)

I had the pleasure of chatting with Brennan Dunn for about 40 minutes on the subject of monetizing your list, even if you’re not a sleazy internet marketer.

I mean think about it. What can a technical consultancy really do with a list of email addresses?

Brennan talked me through the whole process:

  • How a technical consultancy can start building their authority right now.
  • How building and regularly communicating with a list can lead to higher rates and better clients.
  • How keeping a $100K plus consulting pipeline full demanded that Brennan learn how to build and monetize a list.
  • Serious mistakes to avoid in building and using your list.
  • How you can use your list to start real-world conversations that lead to more work.

I’m not ashamed to tell you that the My Content Sherpa “playbook” is based almost 100% on the online techniques Brennan used to maintain a sales pipeline robust enough to cover $100,000 in monthly operating expenses for his consultancy We Are Titans.

I’m going to be opening up new My Content Sherpa seats on July 22. If you’re on the waiting list, you’ll get first crack at reserving your seat so you can start building your company’s online authority every month, even if you’re swamped with client work.

Here’s the video interview with Brennan, and a full transcription is below that:

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(Grab an MP3 of this interview for listening on the go)


Philip:            Well, Brennan, it’s really good to talk to you today, man.  Thank you.

Brennan:        Yeah, no worries Philip.

Philip:            For those who aren’t familiar with you, who are you and what do you do?

Brennan:        It’s a good question.  Frankly, it depends on who I’m asking or who I’m talking with.  I was just at a fourth of July barbecue like we all tend to do, and I get inevitably asked by distant relatives, “What are you doing?”  To them, I usually will say Internet or software.  The more concise explanation of what I’m doing these days at least is I’m in the business of creating products that affect consultants and freelancers in different ways.  My main kind of business, I guess, is a SaaS product called Planscope, and it’s a project management and project planning software.  Then I also have 2 books/courses, the more popular one being Double Your Freelancing Rate.  Then I have The Blueprint which is soon to be called Double Your Freelancing Needs.  There is a theme with that.

I don’t know if you see what I’m doing, but I’m consolidating all of my information stuff under one roof.  Then I’ve got a newsletter, a podcast, and I’m also re-wiring some stuff now with the freelancer skills.  I have a lot of different stuff going on.  I’ve finally gotten smart and I’ve started to hire people to help me run everything.  I have people helping me with Planscope.  I’ve got somebody helping me hopefully soon with more emphasis with the freelancers guild.  Yeah.  I guess that’s it.

Philip:            How did you get going down this road of helping freelancers?

Brennan:        It was more accidental.  I was running an agency.  I bootstrapped this company.  I had 11 employees and I learned a lot about like dealing with clients, and pricing and lead generation, all the stuff that you learned when you build up pretty sizeable company, I guess.  I quit that because like a lot of us that got sick of the constant turnover of clients.  I have friends who were running software businesses.  I was like, well, I already know how to … like this is what I do for a living for other people like I build stuff for other people.  Why can’t I do it for myself?

I built Planscope as a way both to use internally in my agency, but also it’s like a long term like this is what I want to do long term like I want to run the software business.  I did that.  I got a good amount of … I did the typical startup marketing stuff.  I got some customers and a lot of them were like, “Hey, I googled you and I found out you ran an agency.  Look.  I’m here for your PM tool, but can you help me out?  I’ve got a question about how I can … I’ve got this client who is telling me this” or a lot of people were writing me about pricing.  I was like, “Well, I could keep doing this back and forth, one-off e-mail exchange thing forever, or I could look at it … I’d like to say I look at it strategically, but back then I was not strategic like, oh, I can just do something else.

Now, I look at it strategically as a way of bringing people into my fold, I guess, where it’s hard to sell a project management software because it requires somebody to basically uproot everything they’re doing now.  Stop what you’re doing, stop the way that you’re managing projects, and take a crap shoot on us and hope it works.  That’s a hard sell.

I’ve realized it’s a lot easier to sell something.  I’m like, “Hey, read this book.  After you’re done reading it, you’ll have a framework that you can use for pricing yourself and positioning yourself differently.”  That’s pretty much an impulse buy to businesses, and then that allows them to learn about my thoughts toward consulting and eventually make their way over to Planscope.  That’s the long tail set, the thing, I guess, I have now.

Philip:            Along the way, you’ve learned a lot about building up an audience, building authority, growing a list.  I want to see what we can pull out of that in this next 40 minutes or so and apply to a technical consultancy.

Brennan:        Got it.

Philip:            That’s who I work with.  I’m trying day in, day out to help technical consultancies have an easier time making sales.  I think the biggest lever they can pull takes a lot of time to pull, but it’s having authority.  It’s having an audience that listens to what they say and consider someone an expert.

Brennan:        Well, let me put it this way.  Monthly payroll with my agency was $100,000 plus a month.  All of our marketing, all of our sales and marketing was through just that.  We did a lot of seminars.  We did things that weren’t explicitly lead generation or like making a big splash and hoping that that splash was big enough that maybe there were some people in the audience who would possibly be a client of ours.

Ultimately, we build up like an army of people who recognized us as authorities and referred the hell out of us to their friends and their peer.  We got Mitt Romney as a client.  We got PETA as client.  We have always big organizations, but there is nothing like … there is no connection with me and these clients directly like they weren’t local.  They weren’t people that I knew.  They were people who had attended events of ours.  A huge one and I’m basically replicating that with my new business, I guess.

Philip:            The terminology people use is you’re a monetizing your list, even back then.  It makes you think of scummy internet marketers, doesn’t it?

Brennan:        No.  Possibly, nowadays, it might seem more like that because there’s a higher overlap with people on a list than people who are customers.  Back then, we only had a few customers.  Like in my agency, we worked on big contracts, level 6 contracts.  We weren’t dealing with hundreds of clients a year.  Maybe like a dozen or 2 dozen clients a year.

We had a relatively big list comparative to the number of clients we had.  Usually, a lot of our clients weren’t even on our list.  They were people who knew people who were on our list.

Philip:            Got you.

Brennan:        We would do a lot of like these seminars.  We teach you something about what we do for a living for our clients, then use that to segue into a … I didn’t know the terminology at the time, but a drip course, like a followup course.  Then we would basically encourage people to say, “Hey, you’ve learned a lot from us.”  This is our way of trying to convert a list number to a customer.  It didn’t always work but it worked sometimes.  We’d say, “Hey, you just learned about the differences between iOS and Android development.  If you have a company and your company … and what we covered matters to your company, let’s meet and talk about what you plan on doing with this information.”

Obviously, the takeaway was it would be very hard for you to master iPhone development, iOS development or Android development or find that you’re … like you already trust us.  You’ve look to us as an influencer in your business when it comes to mobile stuff.  You should just hire us.

A lot of the people who attended were like we’re entrepreneurs or just people who are like … they’re not CXL level people from like companies who could afford us but they knew people.  We discovered oh, well, we could just … like shotgunning these seminars.  Eventually, we can build up enough interest and that’s what happened.  Have more demand and supply.  We can then choose who we want to work with and so on.

Philip:            There’s really 2 elements to that.  One is building the list in the first place, and the second is taking that list which is a list of e-mail addresses and creating events that you could transition into real world relationships around those events, right?

Brennan:        Typically, the entry point to our list was having an event.  There wasn’t like an opt in on our site.  Going back I would have done so many things differently.

Philip:            How would you do it now?  How would you start building the list or what advice would you give someone who’s … yeah.

Brennan:        Probably start with consultancy day one today to generate leads.  I’m still consulting on my own now but a different kind.  I’m doing more SaaS consulting.  What I would do is I would do a two-pronged effort.  One of them is work more evergreen and long term and that’s the typical content marketing stuff, where you write content and hope people share and find it and all that stuff.  That takes time.

What I would do differently when I advice people to do all the time is sure, do that, but also go out and do like … I like borrowing other people’s audiences.  I go to local organizations that have people who might be the type of people who would attend an event of yours.  I would say “Hey, like let’s do a value exchange, like I’ll provide value to your audience.”  You don’t want to call it a list.  If you go to your chamber of commerce and say, I’ll provide value to your list.  They’re not going to know what you’re talking about.

Organizations like that and say, “Hey, I’ve put together a presentation.  It’s not a sales pitch.  Don’t worry.  It’s straight up like here’s something you should know.”  As a consultant, you know a lot that 99% of people do know.  Find ways to apply that information, that knowledge you have to the businesses of people presented.  Then typically, they’re not going to give you an e-mail list or they’re not going to say, “Well, here’s the name and e-mails of whoever attended.”

The trick is at the end your final slide should be something like, “If you really want to dive into what we just covered, if you really want to take this presentation, this hour-long presentation I gave and really dive in deep, go to this like bitly URL and enter your e-mail and I’ll send you a follow up info.”  Now, that’s how you get them on your list.

Philip:            Got you.

Brennan:        That’s the trick.  Obviously, if you’re running your own events and you’re running your own registration system, you don’t need to worry about that.  We opted people in by default.  If you showed up and you registered for our event, we have your e-mail, we’re going to put it in the mailchimp and we’re automatically going to send you stuff in the future.

Philip:            A lot of consultants are in the trenches of problem solving.  How do they come up with ideas for content that’s relevant to the people who are signing a check or the people that they actually want on their list?

Brennan:        Yeah.  I would look at like why people hire you traditionally.  We would get hired by people who … starting out, we mainly work with startups, people who had a great idea and wanted it built.  Then we segued more into businesses who had like … we would build internal software for them or something.  Look at why people hire you because that’s the indicator of like somebody has already spent money on you for this problem to be solved then there’s potentially more people like that.  I would start with why people paid you in the past, and then I would take that and I would come up with a way, again, it can’t be a sales pitch.  It needs to be something that if you weren’t for hire that somebody would still want to come.

I would look at it as like let’s say, you work with startups.  Big concern is well what if I build the wrong thing?  What if it fails?  How do I market it?  How do I gain traction?  You just present like you could have an event on … like if you’re interested in building your own startup like how do you guarantee success or how do you mitigate the risk of failure?  You present on that and, yeah, you’re getting a lot of like entrepreneurs will show up and stuff.  You’re not going to get like people who are like, “Okay, I’ve got Angel money.  I’m ready to go.”  That’s rare but it’s a way to build those relationships.

Early on, you need to make a point to like … what I would do is when I would promote this stuff or I would start doing these events, you’re talking more about what, like maybe 20 people who show up.  It’s not like doing a thousand-person webinar or something.  Everyone who RSVP’s you say, hey like thanks for signing up.  I want to make sure that this event is tailored to you and your needs.  Could you tell me a bit about what drove you to signing up?  What are you hoping you get out of this?  What problem brought you here?

Get that conversation going.  If you do that, they’re more likely to show up because these free events have a notoriously high no show rate.  You’re talking about people like, hey, if you’re doing it locally like drive across town some night and come and watch me present to this free event.  No shows will be like 50+%.  The higher touch emailing you do the more likely they are to show up or like feel obliged to show up in a way.

I would look into ways that you could do that.  I would definitely start with other people’s audiences.  It’s the biggest cheat code that you can do for the stuff.  Just borrow from somebody else who’s already done the hard work.  Then that seeds your audience and then you can use like … one of the things we would do is like when we completed a project, we would invite our list because our list was very local.  We would say, “Hey, we just [inaudible 00:14:55].  We’re going to this bar.  The first round of drinks is on us.  Come on out and have a drink with us.”

They’re like, oh, free drinks.  It’s a way for them to network because business owners love to talk to other business owners.  If you do these in person in events like make sure that you bake networking into these so they can talk to each other.  The nice part is you’ll become the center piece.  They’ll be like, “So, how do you know Philip?” or something.  That’s a good position to be in.  We would do these kickoff parties.  It worked really, really well because people would … they invite peers of theirs and friends of theirs, and stuff.  We eventually got thousands of people on our list.  We did a conference that had like 400 people who attended.  It worked.

Philip:            How big does a list have to be to have a meaningful impact for a consultant?

Brennan:        It doesn’t need to be … my book Double Your Freelancing Rate, $70 baseline [inaudible 00:16:01].  To make that actually influence my finances, I need to sell a good number of copies.  With consulting, this stuff I was doing now, we’re talking like six-plus figure contracts.  One could be enough.  It’s not about an enough thing.  I would advice people to discard the terminology of list and stuff and just look at like how do I influence a lot of people at scale?  If you think that your time is being a non-renewable resource like billing people, your clients or you could be prospecting for business.

Traditionally, we do one-on-one stuff.  We do one-on-one sales.  An hour spent with a potential client is an hour I will not get back, but that’s only with one client.  Now, if you do a seminar, say you have 20 people in the room that’s 20 people that you’re influencing all at once.  That’s a good position to be in, right, much better.  Then later on when you have newsletters and stuff like that, it’s the same thing.  Now, if I can send an e-mail to 500 people and I don’t need to have 500 conversations, I do it once.  Individual conversations will spin off that.  They always will, especially … consulting is [inaudible 00:17:25] sale so you need to do that.  The goal should be how do I prove myself to a lot of people at once, so that the bulk of the sales process isn’t them vetting me to make sure I’m the real deal.

The sales process should be, all right, let’s hammer out the details and let’s get contract signed.  It shouldn’t be like, well, does Philip actually know what he’s doing?  Do I trust him?  If they had been into your events and they know who you are, and you have this relationship, even though it’s a unidirectional relationship in a way it’s better than going in blind.  We’ve all been there where you get the random person who are like, “Hey, I just googled you.  Can we talk?”  Most of that conversation, whether they say it or not, is them trying to say like, “Are you risky?”  It’s like, are you the person I want to work with and so on.

Philip:            Yeah.  It’s about trust, isn’t it?

Brennan:        Exactly, yeah.

Philip:            Let me ask you this.  You’re talking about putting yourself on stage in a way by building an audience, maybe even if you’re just sending out emails.  Putting yourself on stage and you’re putting yourself out there, I know a lot of consultants who are very comfortable with their craft but they’re not comfortable with being out there in that way.  What advice do you give to people who struggle with that impostor syndrome or that fear that they’re going to say something that comes back to bite them?

Brennan:        I think there’s 2 concerns.  The first is the concern of selling.  A lot of engineering types don’t want to do that.  The second is the stage fright.  The good thing is you can control … I was talking to somebody who did one of these events and they only have like 3 people who showed up to their first event.  I’m like, “Great, just sit around a coffee table.  Be like all right, well we had this venue but there’s a coffee shop next door let’s go there and just chat.”  It doesn’t need to be this big Broadway thing, but the thing is if somebody is going there with the intention of hearing you speak it’s … I’m an introvert, all right?

Conceptually I had a hard time doing this myself.  I know what I’m talking about when it comes to for instance technical subjects I’ll be presenting on.  I know that Mr. CEO in the audience knows nothing probably about what I do.  I know I can provide some degree of value to him.  I know that I can do things like make it more conversational, not make it a presentation but more of like a town hall whatever.

Philip:            Q&A type of thing.

Brennan:        Yeah, you know what I mean?  This is stuff we usually do with our clients it’s just in more of a … not a public way but a way that more people can … It’s the same thing like when I was starting Planscope and I was doing one-on-one email conversations.  Yeah, I wasn’t selling anything that wasn’t there.  We were having these really good chats but they were lost forever to just me and whoever I was emailing, their inbox.  There was nothing else.

I think the habit needs to be like even before you do this, I’m always telling people like we all struggle with certain client problems or we’re helping our clients in a certain way.  A lot of us keep it private.  We don’t publicize it but just a habit of like once a week just publicly journaling like, “Here’s a client we’ve been working with.  Here’s the problem they had.  Here’s how we went about solving it.”  If you want a really good example somebody like a Joanna Wiebe publicizes as a way of generating business, sales leads for her, her case studies of like this is what I’m working on.  We tried this, it failed.  We tried this, it did a little better.

I mean that’s the kind of stuff that people can first off get to know what it will be like working with Joanna that way.  Secondly it’s just a way like … It’s there forever.

Philip:            Yeah, that’s great.  I think we’re dancing around the edge of it, what’s the relationship between having a list and getting bigger clients, higher rates, better work?

Brennan:        Everything.  I mean it’s like …

Philip:            We can get away from a list and having an audience.

Brennan:        I mean it’s a matter of … so let’s say that a client is thinking, “All right, I’ve come to the decision that I need more customers.  Something is wrong with my business.  I as a client have thought, well, what if I … maybe my website is the issue, maybe I just need a better design.  Maybe if I get a better design I’ll get more customers.”  They say, “Okay, well, who does website designs?  Who does designs?”  They do a google search or they ask around and they get a list of people.  You contact them all and then it becomes a very much … They’re looking at it as I need design so then they’re going to say, “Well, this guy offers design.  This girl offers design.  This other team offers design.  This one is at $100 an hour.  This one’s at $50.  This one’s at $10.  With all things being equal why wouldn’t I always choose the S10 one?”

That’s the problem that people have is that’s the way they sell.  That’s the only way that they get clients is through that process.  With this what you’re doing is, “Hey, you probably aren’t thinking man, I want to spend money on design right now, but maybe you have a vested interest in making more online sales.  I’m somebody who knows a lot about online sales via design.  Let me give you this presentation.”

Yeah, we might not be talking about a project for 6 months, a year, that’s fine.  Your goal isn’t immediate return.  It’s about planting a lot of seeds.  When they get to that point where they’re like, “Hey, this guy Philip he’s taught me everything I know about design.  He’s the one who has given me so much value.”  It’s too much of a risk for me to do that … he’s saying I know what I need.  He’s helped me realize that.

Considering that I know implicitly that he is the real deal and he’s been around, he’s given me so much, I think he’s a lower risk.  I think he can do this.  I’m willing to not … The reason people price shop and go to the lowest bidder is that when going to blind companies the risk is so high that it will fail or that they’ll get the wrong thing that they want to put as little money on the table as possible.  You counter those objections throughout this relationship that they’re willing to deepen their pockets and pay you what you’re worth.

If I was going down the street and I got to an intersection and there’s 3 gas stations I just want whatever one gives me gas.  Yeah, they’re all pretty much the same price but I’m going to go for probably the cheapest one.  I want a commodity.  When you build these relationships and you’re able to then make it so and in somebody’s mind you are the only possible candidate for their business, that’s how you win.  That’s how you avoid the race to the bottom of well, I’m a designer.  If we’re all offering the same thing, why would anyone go with me instead of her or him?

This is the way to do it.  It’s not an immediate return.  If you do an event tomorrow you will not get a client the next day.  If that’s what you’re looking for there are easier ways to fast business, but this the way to build a sustainable funnel.  We had to bring in 100K plus a month.  If I was waiting for referrals or waiting for my phone to ring I would have been out of business.  We got it down to almost a science.  The more we did this the bigger our circle of influence grew and that in turn generated more referral work for us and then we could just pick and choose what we worked on.

Philip:            I think there’s another way to look at this which is from the consultant’s perspective.  You’ve been talking about it from the client’s perspective, do they trust the consultant, etc.  I was talking to Kurt Elster who I think you know yesterday about proposals and I say, “Kurt, what factor do you think most affects your close rate for proposals?”  He said, “Time spent with the client.”

I think that’s interesting because when you build an audience, start putting on events, start sending out content to a list in essence you’re spending time with that client at scale like you said, not one-to-one.  The content is a proxy for spending time with them, but you’re spending time with them in their inbox or during that event and that certainly would be something that drives up to close rate on proposals.

Brennan:        I mean here’s the thing.  The closest comparison I have now is I have a master class just like group coaching.  That’s over $2000.  It’s not an impulse buy.  It’s something that people … There’s some high touch sometimes involved.  I know a lot of people who are like, “Hey, I’ve been following your work for the last 9 months.  I love it.  I read every email.  I’m finally in the position where I’m ready for this.  Let’s do this.”

I could drive an unlimited amount of Google AdWords traffic to the landing page for my master class.  I know I would get zero sales because there’s none of that relationship there, right?  You can’t say, “Here’s a nicely persuasive sales [inaudible 00:28:04] pay me $2200 right now.”  That doesn’t happen.  But when you can help people over time and they say, “Hey, I’ve been applying a lot what you said.  I’ve seen a measurable impact in my business.  Let’s go now to the next level.”  That’s how you make sales.  That’s how you do it.

That’s the … I don’t want to say ethical but that’s the … The way that I sold that I’m most inclined to really like cause, it’s more of like an amplification instead of a have I sufficiently convinced you sort of thing.  It’s sales segmenting.  That’s really what it … By doing this at scale … When you’re dealing with a one hour meeting with a prospect you really need to really force yourself to try to sell them because you’ve just wasted an hour or not wasted, but you spent an hour that you’re not going to get back.  Do this all at scale then it becomes … We would do this.

I tell people as a newsletter let’s say you suddenly get vacant or availability.  I’ve included things like “Oh, P.S. one of our clients that we had lined up for August they had to change some stuff.  We have some availability.  If you or anyone you know want to get in to work with us” there’s the urgency factor, “Let me know.”  It worked really well.  Yeah, I mean this stuff works.

Philip:            What kind of mistakes should people avoid in building a list or trying to turn that list into money?

Brennan:        Okay, so mistakes are sending emails too infrequently that people forget about you and sending bullshit emails.  I mean I’m on a lot of newsletters for consultancies and agencies and a lot of them are like, “Hey, look at the people we hired” or their Christmas party pictures and that’s the one newsletter you’ll get ever per year from them.  There’s nothing about like, okay, I’m giving you a few minutes to read your email.  You showed up on my inbox, you’re already intruding in it.  I’m going to invest time into reading what you have to say.  If I don’t get to the end of that and have thought this is worth my time, I’m not happy with you.

If you send me this thing and you want my attention and I’m a busy guy and I read your email and it’s about this intern you hired or something, if nothing is in that email that’s telling me why I should care then I’m not going to care anymore and I’m going to unsubscribe.  I’m not going to listen to what you have to say.

If you can do things like promote future events or talk about like “Hey, what’s this heartbleed bug that everyone’s panicking about?  Hey, I’m a technical person let me explain it to you in a way that makes sense for you and your business.”  That’s the kind of stuff that people want to read.

Philip:            You’re saying gravitate towards educational content, steer away from the bland news items and bragging and …

Brennan:        With sales educate, with … I call it cultivation where you’re doing an email that doesn’t really have a call to action but is more just … everything should educate.  It’s education based marketing I guess is the official term.  Everyone who does it pretty much swears by it because it does work.  That’s what people want.  No one wants to read crap in their inbox that is all self-serving.  You get this all the time in the startup world.  I opted in for some random stealth mode startup thing and then a few months getting email saying it’s live but it’s all about them.  There’s nothing like why do I care?  I’m not going to remember you first off because you never email me.  Now that you’re annoying me why do I care?  That’s stuff you want to focus on.

Philip:            Awesome.  What one simple thing can a technical consultancy start doing today to build their online authority, build an audience?

Brennan:        The simplest thing and the most ubiquitous thing I would say would be find out the number of your chamber commerce.  Call them and say, “Hey, I’d like to present on something that I do for a living that I think would provide a lot of value to your members.  Who would I talk to about that?”  Start there.  A lot of these organizations have hundreds if not thousands of members.

The way I came across this frankly was I was on a meet up for entrepreneurs.  You get to reach out to a meet up group locally.  I had this email that said something like so and so copyright attorney is coming to present on everything you need to know about digital copyrights.  I’m like this is not something I would actively seek out but this kind of relates to what I do.  I’m not in a position where I need this, but again, I can go talk to other business centers locally.  I’m a consultant.  That’s of interest to me and I can learn a bit about copyright stuff.

This person, this copyright attorney did not have permission from me to email me but she got permission to email me through this other organization that I did give permission to email me, the entrepreneur group.  They promoted her to me.  I attend.  I get this pamphlet that has her business card.  I learn a lot.  She has printed 5 decks in the pamphlet.

I never hired her but I had clients who needed legal stuff, copyright stuff.  I was like, “Well, I’ve never done it but there’s this person that I listen to who gave a really good presentation.”  I mean she did a lot of things I would have done differently.  I never got an email from her because she didn’t have a way to get my email.  There’s no call to action at the end of her presentation.  Had she done that she probably would have gotten more business from me, directly.

That’s the easiest thing you can do whether it be a chamber of commerce, a local tech organization or something or go to type in like entrepreneur business and then your zip code, see what comes up.  These are going to be in person things.  Later down the road you can get into like online stuff like converting maybe some of these presentations to blog post, trying it out as a webinar where you then do paid acquisition or something doing guest posts.

If you can say, “Hey, here’s a YouTube recording of a presentation I gave on X could I write this up as a blog post or a guest blog post for your audience?”  This becomes ammunition that you can then use as like your resume to get in front of people’s audiences.

Philip:            That’s awesome.  That’s so easy.  It just takes a phone call.

Brennan:        Yep, it does.  It really is easy and it works.

Philip:            What have we missed Brennan, what does the technical consultancy need to know at sort of a one-on-one level intro to building an audience that we haven’t talked about?

Brennan:        I think when you’re starting out you’re going to be discouraged because you’re not going to have … every list starts with one person.  When you’re small take advantage of that size and really reach out and talk to your people subscribing and saying, “What do I need to do to provide value to you?  What do I need to say to you?  What are you looking for?”  Don’t act like you’re some massive internet celebrity type and you don’t have time for these people.  Make yourself available and let people know that you’re available.

Let them know you an open invitation to my inbox.  These are going to be the people who bring your list to that next level, who bring more people.  They’re going to work as agents on your behalf promoting you because they’re getting so much from you.

Philip:            That’s awesome.  Brennan, I just want to say thank you so much.  This was a really great conversation.  I’m looking forward to putting this out to my little tiny list.

Brennan:        Awesome.  Awesome.  Well, again, if you have a question about any of this stuff I’m on Twitter, Brennan Dunn or

Philip:            Oh thank you.  That’s what I always forget to end with.  How can people reach you?  How can people find out more about you?  Sorry.

Brennan:        I mentioned Twitter.  If you want it to be really easy on yourself go to  Quick contact, it has my email and it has my Twitter.  I’m eventually redoing that site.  If you want to see how I treat my list, onboard my list like as a case study I guess that’s my squeeze page, another term of the trade for my list.  That gets about a 45% optin rate, just put it out there if you want to look at what I’m doing.

Philip:            Impressive.  It’s the library of best practices.

Brennan:        Feel free to rip off whatever is there.

Philip:            Awesome.  Again, thank you Brennan so much.

Brennan:        Yep, not a problem.

You can find out more about Brennan on Twitter,, and on