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How to build your targeted marketing list for a killer strategy online

Most articles you’ll find on marketing for speakers on the internet will focus primarily on marketing strategies and tactics. ‘How to grow a community on social media?’, ‘How to get more speaking gigs?’, those are very important topics you should know about, of course. But one I don’t see being talked about enough is how to build a truly targeted marketing list.

See, the message you want to share as a speaker is important, there’s no doubt about that. And equally as important is figuring out who needs to hear that message. The first step to getting your speaking to the proper audience is creating your client avatar and building your list. 

But first, what is a targeted marketing list?

A targeted marketing list is, as the name states, a list of the existing and ideal current and prospective clients you have. And it is made to help you achieve your marketing objectives, whether it is brand awareness or increasing revenue. 

Do you remember the main marketing objectives for speakers? Don’t worry if you don’t, you can always check my blog on content marketing for speakers

This marketing list should include, at least, the basic contact information of your clients. That is to say full name, phone number, and email address. 

However, depending on what you’ll use this list for, you can always ask for more details. You could consider asking adding demographics, income level, habits, and more. But often, the simpler, the better. 

Being mindful about the purpose you intend to give this list is extremely important when you are preparing your marketing strategy. 

Pro tip: the profile of people you’ll have in your marketing list should be more or less the same because you are targeting people who are aligned with your client avatar description. In fact, if all of the contacts in your marketing list don’t have two or three things in common, you might want to check why are they on your marketing list in the first place.

‘I want everyone to hear my message, why would I need a targeted marketing list?’

Believe it or not, you can’t speak to everyone. Or at least you shouldn’t. 

Even if your goal is to have many different audiences, building a marketing list allows you to segment and channel your message more efficiently to them.

For example, if you speak to mental health and safety in schools and you want to talk to teachers and students. What you want to do is separate them and craft specific strategies and messages for each audience so they can relate. You can do this more easily with a marketing list. 

On the other hand, marketing lists are extremely useful when improving results in email marketing strategies. They can save you tons of time and money because you already know who and how to reach them. After all, marketing lists are just another source of information about your clients. The more you know about them, the better you can relate to them. 

How to build your list

The first thing you need to know is that building a marketing list takes time. Even after you have a good list, you should always think of new ways to improve upon it, even if it’s passively. 

With that being said, here are some practical practices and strategies you can try to build your marketing list. 

1. Create your own podcast

Creating a podcast is one of the easiest ways to get yourself known as a speaker. It is especially effective for emerging speakers because it allows them to practice speaking to an audience on a much smaller scale. A podcast can also help you get recognition amongst other audiences and, of course, it comes in handy when you want to build your marketing list.

With your podcast, you can create lead magnets to offer to potential clients in exchange for their information. The secret here is that, if someone already purchased something from you — even if it’s a simple transaction like the one I just described— they are more likely to buy from you again. I’ll talk a little bit more about this in the next subheading.

2. Use lead magnets

I have a whole series on lead magnets on my blog, but I think it’s important to talk about it here too. Lead magnets are one of the most effective ways to build up your marketing list. They are supposed to be simple so your audience feels drawn to them immediately. 

Lead magnets can be any type of content. You need to choose wisely and think about a problem your client has and you can solve it in three minutes. Find that problem, and offer a solution in the form of a workbook, a masterclass, a template, etc.

Even if you have a large audience, you can create different lead magnets for specific segments. If anything, that’s even better because you’ll aim to solve specific issues other people might not address. 

Another great tip here is to focus on solving only one issue at a time. Choose the one that’s more common or important to your audience, so they have even more reasons to give you their information. 

Let’s say, then, that you, an amazing mental health speaker, have a wide audience of college students and middle-aged workers who struggle to find a balance with hybrid working models in the post-pandemic era. 

Maybe for college students, it’s more important to know how to balance part-time jobs and school. For them, you can create a planner with recommended activities for them. If you’d want to target middle-aged workers, you could offer them a meditation guide or create a combo package for them to share with other coworkers. 

3. Promote freebies and downloadable materials

If you already use lead magnets, then make sure you are promoting them properly. It might seem obvious, but more often than not, clients don’t get to click the “Yes, I want it” button because they simply don’t know we are offering a free product, or it is way too difficult for them to find it. 

You can also apply this tip to any form of content you produce. People don’t pay that much attention to their screens and there are tons of distractions between the online and offline world. Having a little reminder or call-to-action at the end of every post, video, or audio that you share, can make a huge difference when you are trying to build your marketing list.

Make sure you are promoting your lead magnets on social media at times when people are active, and add pop-ups on the first page of your website. This way no one will miss it. 

4. Keep your lead-capturing forms nice and short.

As I’ve mentioned, people’s attention span on the internet is low. Most of us don’t want to spend 10 to 20 minutes filling a form, we want immediate results, right?

You can use this in your favor by creating short and simple forms that require only the information you need from your client. Besides the basics – name and contact information – think if there’s any more information that might be useful to you. If there isn’t, leave the form as it is. 

Pro tip: if you do need to ask more questions in your form, don’t use the long-answer format. Limit your questions to yes, no, or a simple selection answer. This will make it easier for your client and help you organize your list better. 

Gosh! There’s so much cover when talking about lead generation and list building. Building your marketing list provides you with valuable information that will definitely come in handy when you plan your next marketing strategy. 

I know collecting data and creating lists isn’t the sexiest part of marketing – content creation tends to be more attractive to everyone. But, my years of experience have taught me that it is highly important. How else would you know what kind of content to create if you don’t have all of this information? This is the reason why I dedicate so much of my content to it.

I think this is enough for this blog, but don’t hesitate to ask anything if you want to know more. I want to create blogs that are useful and easy to understand for all speakers who are trying to grow in the industry. 


Oh, and finally, while I was getting the idea for this blog, I came across a very useful article from Mailchimp. It shares some ideas on how to use the platform to build your email list as well. I recommend you give it a read if you use Mailchimp for your email campaigns!

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About Lauren Pibworth

Lauren Pibworth is an internet marketing strategist specializing in growing the business of professional speakers. Lauren and her team of graphic designers, web developers and online product and course development and launch specialists work with speakers who want to diversify their revenue streams and move 'beyond the keynote' through smarter marketing solutions, delivered with care.

Lauren (an amateur sommelier) and her husband enjoy fine Ontario wines, great food and travel to exotic, warm destinations where they spend the majority of their time underwater - scuba diving.

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