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How to Build Traffic, Buzz & Your List: The Art of the Freebie Call
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By Suzanne Falter-Barns

I’ve noticed in the last two or three months my traffic to my site and blog are significantly down. Why?

Simple! There’s ain’t much going on!

One thing I’ve learned in my eight years as a Web-based info-preneur is that if you make things happen, the people come—but if you don’t, they tend to ignore you. What all visitors crave is a site with energy, where people are stopping by, connections are being made, freebies are being downloaded and info being passed along pretty much 24/7.

In other words, you want your site lit up like Christmas all the time.

So how’s the best way to do that? One of my favorite techniques is to bring in experts to speak to my list—usually because I really want to know more about their particular info … and so I figure you will, too.

Sometimes an added bit of gravy is that the expert is selling a product related to the call which can be helpful for those on the call. And if they have an affiliate program, (and I remember to get a link and set it all up) I get a small commission on sales. So here you have a second nice perk to these calls – a little extra cash.

Either way – whether you affiliate or not – you can’t lose. You learn something. Your people are pumped and start associating your site as the Home of Useful Info. Visitors from your experts’ site may even find you and join your list.

Here are ways to set up those calls so you can really capitalize on the event, build your list and your online mojo.

Invite in experts who will truly serve your people. The best are often those who are so busy building material they aren’t out hustling it. I love conferences in particular for finding these folks. (Look out for my call on Social Media next month with Bryan Person, a swell guy I met at Podcamp last fall.)

If they are selling something, see if they’ll give your folks a price reduction. Maybe it will only last for a few days after the call. At any rate, this builds the value of the call, helps your guest sell product, and gets your listeners excited

Send out two broadcasts about the call – one a week ahead, the other two days ahead. Some info-preneurs think the way to get calls filled is to harass readers into jumping into a call a day or so away. Personally, that bugs me. I don’t want to be that stressed. Planning ahead is appreciated. Let people also know you’ll be recording the call or sending notes afterwards if they can’t make it. (See # 9.)

Create an easy to remember link on your site to their product page. Like www.getknownnow.com/socialmedia for my Social Media call. Then it’s easy for folks to find it afterwards if they want.

When people sign up, sign them up for your ezine list as well. Data collection systems like 1shoppingcart.com will recognize their name if they’re already on your list and not include them. But visitors from your expert’s site will probably be happy to join you. VERY IMPORTANT: This is illegal unless you get folks’ permission to join your list, courtesy of CAN-SPAM laws. So right at the point of call registration, put a note that says, “Sign up and we’ll also send you our BLAH BLAH ezine and BLAH BLAH bonus with our compliments! (You can unsubscribe easily at the bottom of any issue.)” This can seriously build your list.

Hold off on booking a bridge 'til a day or so before the call. If you have more than 200 sign ups, you can stick with free telebridges such as www.freeaudioconferencing.com which allow 100 on the line. If you have more you’ll want to pay for a bridge. My favorite vendor is Ed Shea who has the best, cheapest bridges I’ve found. You’ll want to see how many folks sign up after your second mailing. Then turn this around quickly so folks get the bridge number at least 24 hours prior to the call. If this seems too hectic, spend the $30 and get the bigger bridge up front.

On the call, promote your expert well. Be sure to give your expert’s site, ezine, bonus, and products plugs at the half way point and at the end point. They’ll appreciate it. Also – repeat this info in the follow up email you send the day after the call.

Put your audience in ‘lecture mode’ (no one can hear them) and take questions by email. It’s simply easier that way. Then people don’t step all over each other asking questions. No one has to listen to barking dogs, crying babies, dishwashing, etc. in the background. These muting instructions come with the bridge sign up notes.

Send notes after the call, or a recording link. Approximately 50 percent of the people who sign up for free teleclasses never show. So always offer a recording or notes afterwards for those who can’t make it. If you want to use the recording option, my favorite easy-to-use service is www.audioacrobat.com Just push a few buttons when the call starts (you need three-way calling which is built in to most US services.) Then at the end hang up. In a few moments you’ll be able to retrieve a link to a recording of the call which you can pop into an email and send to all who signed up.

Suzanne Falter-Barns runs Get Known Now.

Suzanne Falter-Barns writes The Get Known Now Blog.
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