140. Rookie Mistakes New List Builders Make and What To Do Instead

25 Jan 2022 | By Salome Schillack

Could these rookie errors be costing you big? It’s time to get your list building ducks in a row.

I don't know about you, but I'm feeling 2022. Huge, mind-blowing, exponentially big things are about to happen in the online course world this year. Forbes is estimating the online course world will be worth over $350 billion by 2025….. that's just 3 years away, meaning the industry is about to EX-PL-ODE. 

And what makes me even more excited is that you're here, with your world-changing idea, ready to be part of the enormous boom that we're going to see.

But first things first, let’s get your list building right!

If you've been hanging around me for a while now, you know the key to your online success lies in how fast you can build an engaged audience full of raving fans who want to purchase from you. And you would also probably know my favorite way of building an engaged audience is through Facebook Ads.

Time and time again, I see the same rookie errors causing precious ad spend money to go down the drain. That's why on today's episode of The Shine Show, we're going to set you up for a HUGE 2022 by running through the most common mistakes when it comes to list building…..and it's not what you think!

If you've unknowingly made some of these common list-building boo-boos, don't fret! These list-building faux pas have personally victimized even the most established online course creators out there (myself included). 

Tune in now to discover how to avoid the rookie mistakes and what to do instead so you can grow your list faster, find your people sooner, and claim your piece of the online course success pie!




P.S Want to take your list building to the next level and learn how to start making your ad spend moolah back from day one? A-Lister is opening its doors in March. Fresh new content, exciting new opportunities, and juicy BONUSES for everyone on the waitlist. Places are limited, so get in quick! Join the waitlist here and be first in the know. 

When you subscribe and review the podcast not only does that give me the warm and fuzzies all over, it also helps other people to find the show.

When other people find the show they get to learn how to create more freedom in their lives from their online courses too!!

So do a good deed for all womenkind and subscribe and review this show and I will reward you with a shout out on the show!!


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Hello, and welcome to episode number 140 of The Shine Show. Today's episode is called Rookie Mistakes New List Builders Make and What To Do Instead.

Giving up your time and freedom to make money is so 2009. Hi, I'm your host Salome Schillack and I help online course creators launch, grow, and scale their businesses with Facebook and Instagram ads so that they can make more money and have an even bigger impact in the world. If you are ready to be inspired, to dream bigger, launch sooner, and grow your online business faster, then tune in, because you are ready to shine. And this is The Shine Show.

Hello, my Shine Show family. It is so nice for me to be here with you all today. I have not been behind this microphone for a few weeks, because I batched a whole bunch of episodes for you. And then I went on holidays and I had a fantastic time with my family. We flew up from Brisbane to Cairns, which is in the Northern port of Queensland where I live in Australia, right near the Great Barrier Reef, and we spent 10 days on a tropical island that was just magical. I scuba dived. We snorkeled. We saw turtles every single day. I saw lots of baby Nemos. My kids were happy, I was happy. I read a whole bunch of books. I read some fiction books, which is something I'm really proud of because I'm really working on trying to slow my brain down and to put a little bit less business and online marketing things in at a bit of a slower rate, and some more relaxing things like just a fiction storybook so that I can slow my brain down and relax a little bit and just give my body a little bit more time to process everything. Part of my mental health mission for 2022. I hope wherever you are listening to this today that you are safe, that you are healthy and that your family is safe and healthy as well.

I don't know about you guys, but here in Queensland, we've had our borders shut for so long that we've lived relatively COVID free, but couldn't leave the state and no one could come into the state. And then in December, they decided it is now time to live with COVID and they opened the borders and now every single person I know has COVID. And I am just literally every morning waking up and we do a symptom check in the house and we're staying a little bit bunkered down. And I know it's going to come and I want it to come at some point, but I'm also not wanting it to come. So I don't know what boat you are in, in your COVID journey, but whatever it is for you, I hope that you're safe. And I send all my love to anyone who is feeling sick today or anyone who is feeling sad because of all of this.

Okay. So today's episode, I'm going to share with you some rookie mistakes that I see new list builders make when they start using lead magnets with ads to build their email lists. And I want to tell you a story first. If you've been listening to this podcast for a while, you may or may not know that cooking is one of my pet peeves. I am insanely bad at it. And also I love eating and I love thinking about, I love watching cooking shows. I love reading recipe books. I love looking at the photos of food, but man, I hate cooking, and I'm one of those people that when I'm hungry, I want to eat now, not in an hour. And also I'm one of those people that when I'm not hungry, I don't want to be around food. And so cooking is always a problem because if I'm hungry, I want to eat now, so hopefully someone else is already made thing, or I can just grab something from the fridge. Or if I'm going to plan to cook something, then I get to that point where I go, "I just don't want to cook because I'm not hungry." So kind of weird. I don't know it's one of my weirdnesses, but everybody knows I don't cook. And my friends laugh at me for it.

And luckily I have a husband who's an amazing cook and who loves it, so back in the day when I did try to try my hand at cooking a little bit more than now, now I've come to the resolve that this is just not for me. And I choose to focus my time on things that I'm good at. But back when I was trying, possibly early in my married days where my inner feminist hadn't quite risen up so much, and I was still believing that as the wife, I need to figure out how to cook. Ha ha. What a joke. I did try my hand at a few recipes. So one of the things that I tried cooking is Thai food because I love, love, love a good green curry. And so I had this recipe that required lemon grass, had lemon grass in it. Okay. I've never worked with lemon grass. I don't even know what this is, but the recipe says chop all your vegetables into small pieces, into small bite-size pieces. Okay. So I chop all my vegetables and then I put everything in and cook the whole thing. And at one point it says add the lemon grass. And I add the lemon grass and I cook it all. And then when we ate the food, my husband chews on this piece of stick and he goes, "What is this?"

And I said, "Yeah, it's weird. Isn't it? It's the lemon grass. It's literally hard like a stick, feels like I'm chewing on a stick."

And he goes, "Babe, you weren't supposed to chop the lemon grass up into pieces. You were just meant to put the whole thing in and then take it out again."

I was like, "But it just said add the lemon grass." And so we were chewing on part pieces of lemon grass that I chopped up. And I did when I was chopping it think, geez, this thing is difficult to shop. Why am I putting this in anyway? Funny story of my cooking. I'm sure I can come up with lots of stories of my cooking adventures of things that I tried. But the reason I tell you this story is because the recipe did not specify that I should not drop up the lemon grass. And so therefore I felt like I am justified in saying, "Well, I just followed the recipe. I literally just read what the recipe said. I followed it. I paid attention to what it said. And I did what it said. And this is what happened."

The recipe assumed that I knew that put in lemon grass means bash the lemon grass a little bit and then put the whole thing in and then you're going to remove it afterwards. But they didn't tell me that because I'm a rookie and they assume they're not talking to a rookie. So sometimes when you're just starting out, your instructors or the people that you're learning from in this amazing, incredible online space where we're all learning how to sell online courses, forgets there's some rookie things. And I definitely do this. I recently had a client send us a landing page that didn't have a pixel on and when we couldn't put the ad up, we said, "Guys, we need pixels on these pages."

And he said, "But nobody told me I have to have a pixel on the page."

And I was like, "Oh dear, I forgot. I'm talking to a rookie." So here's a few things. I've got a few things that I want to share with you that are common rookie mistakes, that if you make these mistakes, give yourself a break because I made them. Everybody makes them. They are just garden variety of rookie mistakes when you're just starting out.

Rookie mistake number one is creating a lead magnet that gives people what they need instead of what they want. And then on your landing page, explaining what it is instead of what it does for them. So I call this, it's the features, not benefits, mistake. When you are so good at solving a problem for someone else that you get to the point where you think, well, I'm so good at this. I can sell an online course or I can start creating an audience of people who can learn this from me. The first thing we do is we go, what can I teach people? What do people need? What can I give them? And you put that in a lead magnet, and that's a good place to start. And that's probably, that's probably where I would say everybody should start, but there's a little second part to it, where the way we present it in marketing has nothing to do with whether or not someone needs it. It has everything to do with whether somebody wants it. We don't download lead magnets we need, we download lead magnets we want. We don't opt in for something we need, we opt in for something we want. And the reason we want something is because it's going to give us some kind of a payoff, some kind of a benefit.

So for example, I recently bought a tech gadget called a Remarkable. I don't know if you guys know what it is. It is pretty much what they say. They say, it's a tablet for paper people. And I love it because I love handwriting and it is an electronic notebook. And the only thing you can do with it is write notes. It does connect to the internet, but only in that it can synchronize with the app on your computer and you can get PDFs from there. So there's no interruptions, there's no notifications. There's no email, there's no Slack. There's nothing, just me and my thoughts and my notes. The way they sold it, when they said, "It's a notebook for paper people," that got me because what I want is an electronic version of the 700 paper notebooks I have lying around in my office.

The reason I want an electronic thing for paper people is because I like paper. I like writing my thoughts down. I like doing that. So they grabbed me with the benefit. The benefit that I want is I want to continue to write on paper, but I don't want it to be on paper. I want it to be in one... If I use Evernote, I want it kind of the functionality of Evernote, but in something that's not connected to my phone or my iPad or my computer where I have 700,000 other distractions. So rookie mistake number one, highlighting features not benefits.

Rookie mistake number two is creating a lead magnet that does not lead to the next thing. What I mean by that is when you decide you are starting a business and you want to grow an audience and you create a lead magnet, you probably already have something in mind that you want to sell. Maybe you think I can put together a small workshop and sell that. Or maybe you think I can do a group coaching program or maybe you think I can do one of these $27 self-liquidating low dollar offers. You can do all of that. And it is important that your lead magnet opens the conversation, which leads into your next thing. They have to complement each other and there has to be a flow from the one into the other.

So the way you design the lead magnet is so that it shows people what are the pieces that they're missing? What are the elements that they need to learn? What are these things that they need to know in order to solve the problem they have, but you don't solve the problem for them. And then you lead in at the end of your lead magnet, you somehow lead into, either have an end paragraph where you say, "If you're interested in learning more about this, make sure you sign up for the wait list for X, Y, Z." Or you say, "If you're interested, this is kicked off helping you with this problem, but maybe you want to take it to the next level. Come join me in this program."

Have something where your lead magnet doesn't stand on its own. If you're going to pay for ads where people are going to give you their email lists, you have to think about how are you going to get that money back. So make sure your lead magnet leads to the next thing. That's rookie mistake number two.

Rookie mistake number three, four, and five are all about ads. And number three is the... I don't know if you guys have seen this. There was this funny meme that did the rounds at one point where they showed people in straight jackets. And they said, "This is me just after I turned my ads live." You stay in that straight jacket. Rookie mistake number three is changing your ads too soon. We used to say you need at least three days. You set your ads up and you leave them for three days. With iOS coming into effect, that is now getting closer five to seven days. It is taking longer for the algorithm to learn because of the lack of feedback it's getting, because people are opting out of tracking. So what that means in non-geek speak is people have said, "I do not want you to see what I'm clicking on." And now Facebook is blind in terms of seeing what people do after they click on your ad.

So it's taking a lot longer for Facebook to come back to that and to see, oh, somebody actually converted to a lead because when that happens, the algorithm learns. And when it learns, it knows where to find more people. And that's how it optimizes. So if you are changing things too soon, I want to say now within five days, if you're making changes too soon, you are just preventing the algorithm from actually learning. So don't do that. Leave your ads. Don't touch them. Don't look at them. Don't complain about them. You are going to torture yourself if you look at them every five minutes. Put your straight jacket on and let it go and let it go. All right, that's rookie mistake number three.

Rookie mistake number four is making audiences too small. I spoke to somebody a while ago who was trying to reach parents of college students. And so she couldn't figure out why her ads weren't working. She was targeting all the cities with the big colleges in them. So Boston, oh yeah. I'm not even going to try to name all the cities with the big colleges in them. You guys know what they are. And I'm sure when I hear them I'll know them, but in the US, she was trying to target all these big cities. And the problem with that is you make the audience so specific and so small that the algorithm doesn't have space to move to find your ideal people.

So the bigger your audience can be at this stage, the better, particularly with iOS. We used to say 2 million. Now we're saying go up to 10 million, even 60 million, just make it as big as you can so that the algorithm has space to find those people, because it is having a hard time identifying who the right people is for your offer because of iOS. So if you give the algorithm more, a bigger audience to move in to find those people, then you will have better luck and you will see better results. So don't make your audiences too small. That's rookie mistake number four.

Rookie mistake number five is my favorite. I am thinking about recording a funny meme or maybe I should do different funny voices, or I'm always thinking about how can I take that everyone makes and make something funny out of it and just post that over and over and over so that it becomes a thing that inside my community goes so viral that people start passing it onto each other whenever they see each other making that mistake, so then I don't have to talk about it anymore. And that is the [inaudible 00:17:19], setting up your custom conversion the wrong way. Your custom conversion is how Facebook knows somebody has converted to a lead.

In other words, you have a thank you page and that thank you page has a pixel on it. And you create a custom conversion using everything after HTTPS and www dot. So everything after that, you use that URL for your thank you page, from your thank you page, to create your custom conversion. And when you set up your ads at adset level, you need to tell Facebook, what is this conversion that you want it to optimize for? And then you choose this custom conversion. Nine out of 10 list builders whose ads don't work, doesn't work because they didn't create the custom conversion properly. And so maybe you identified the landing page as the custom conversion and you look at it and you go, oh, I'm getting leads for 50 cents. This is fantastic.

But then when you look inside active campaign or convert kit, you're actually not getting any new names on your email list because you set up the custom conversion on the landing page and it's actually optimizing to send more people to your landing page instead of optimizing to get people to your thank you page, which is your actual conversion. Or I see people include the whole HTTPS or www piece and then the tracking just becomes weird and Facebook doesn't like that. So make sure you double triple check your custom conversion. And if anybody has any fun... Maybe I should put on a costume or run around naked in the streets shouting, "Check your custom conversion, check your custom conversion." And then people can just share that with each other. Whenever somebody says, "My ads aren't working," they're going to go, "Check your custom conversion," and they're going to have this horrible picture of me running around naked in the streets. And they will never ever make the custom a conversion mistake again. I think I should do that. Do you think I should do that? Let me know if you think I should do that. Maybe I should do something a little bit more PG, but I'm looking for a bright idea to help people know, check your custom conversion because it's rookie mistake number one.

All right. So there you have it, five rookie mistakes. Number one is the features not benefits mistake. Number two is not creating lead magnets that logically lead into the next thing. Number three is changing your ads too soon. Number four is making your audiences too small. And number five is check your custom conversion. All right, are you making any of these mistakes? Are you running list building ads? Are you using engagement ads to build your audiences? If you are not doing any of those things and you are interested in learning how to do these things without making any rookie mistakes or without chopping up your lemon grass and feeding it to your husband, I would love to invite you to sign up for the waitlist for A-LISTER.

A-LISTER is our flagship Facebook and Instagram ads training. It is going live. We are opening court for that. We're opening the doors in March. We don't have a specific date right now because we're navigating a lot of people getting COVID. So once everybody recovers, we'll give you a date. But in the meantime, please go to shineandsucceed.com/waitlist. Get your name on the wait list for A-LISTER. There will be a special bonus for you if you are on the wait list, but only if you're on the wait list, you'll find out about the early bird bonus and that is going to help you absolutely skyrocket. Is that the right word? Skyrocket your list building and audience building efforts. And in that program, we teach you the easiest way to start making your ad money back from day one so that you can get your online courses program off the ground. Quit your day job. Finally give your boss the finger or get out of the one-on-one roller coaster that you might be on if you sell services or coaching.

All right, my friends, the link there is shineandsucceed.com/waitlist. I hope you have a lovely, lovely week and I will talk to you again next week. Bye.

Thank you so much for listening. If you had fun, please come back next week and remember to hit that subscribe button so you never miss the thing