Building a list of followers

The next cohort of The Expertise Incubator begins Jan 13, 2020. If you’re curious, let me know.


I’ve gotten questions from y’all via my post opt-in survey. I’m answering the most difficult ones for you here.

The question: “Where should I put my efforts for developing a list of followers?”

The recommendation: “Followers” implies social media; “list” implies email marketing. Let’s go a bit deeper than either as we think about this.

  • If you’re vertically specialized, your effort should first focus on cultivating a point of view (PoV). You’re dead in the water without it. If you’re horizontally specialized in a narrow problem you should also focus on PoV first, though you can survive without a PoV if you identify the thing described below.
  • If you’re horizontally specialized in a platform or a narrow business problem that actually is important but few are taking about, your first effort should focus on finding an information gap. Dan Oshinsky did this with his Not a Newsletter newsletter, Mike Julian did this with his Monitoring Weekly publication, Corey Quinn did this with Last Week in AWS, Chris Ferdinandi did this with his Vanilla JS list, and Thai Wood did this with his Resiliance Roundup list. There are many others, and the information gap — not CRO or good landing page design or even ultimate content quality — is what powers the growth of their list.

After you’ve solved for the question of why anyone should pay attention to you, then you can move on to how you connect and communicate with them (email list vs. social vs. other options).

Go deeper: These interviews will help you think through this more deeply:

Take action: My group coaching program can help you take action on cultivating a PoV or finding an information gap so that lead generation actually works: http://positioningacceleratorprogram.com