[Second post in my series of sharing with you some profound lessons learned by our house disaster]

If you've been a subscriber of mine for any period of time, you know that I rank List Building as one of the most important assets you have for your online (and offline) business.

But as one of my valued subscribers, you also know quite a bit more about me too.

You've likely watched our baby girls grow into young ladies, delighted in their online endeavors, watched as my husband Greg and I have reach milestones with our own business and personal life, and followed our motorhome travels and speaking appearances as we have traversed the United States. 

In short – you are part of our online family!

And I've always taken great pride in the fact that a new subscriber is not just another number to add to the notch on our belt. In fact, I am so passionate about how you treat your list (that most important asset, as I call it) that I even wrote an entire mini course called "The Care and Feeding Of Your Opt In List" and it's still one of my best sellers to this day.

But the message here goes deeper here…

You see – it's not really all that important what I had for breakfast or who ticked me off on my last trip to Wal-Mart! (Although that usually does make for a pretty funny story :-)

What's important is YOU! You are building an online business and you are looking for ways to reach your dreams. Me reaching my dreams doesn't do you one bit of good and in many cases, could even serve to frustrate you more – doesn't it?

The point here is that it's a two way street – to be a valued member of any family, you have to contribute more than you take from the relationship. You have to say "how is your day going" and be ready to actually care about the reply. Building rapport with your list is not about me, me, me…

If you share a story, there needs to be a moral or a "take away" that the listener will have left the encounter with something of value – a nugget or a profound message that will elevate them in some fashion and allow them to be one step closer to their own dreams and aspirations.

For nearly 5 years, most of the "sharing" we've done with our own subscribers has been about joy and triumph – bringing you exciting news about something wonderful that's happened in our lives and then drawing a parallel as to how our experience can in turn benefit YOU.

One notable exception was when I shared the news of our house being flooded and the trials and tribulations to come. It was, in essence the first time that I reached out and asked for help, patience and understanding…

And do you know what?

Our online family was there for us!

That's right – reciprocity in it's finest. And even though I was in unfamiliar territory (delivering bad news) I discovered how the two way street balances itself naturally.

While I have maintained a "how can I help you" slant to everything I've ever done online, when I needed help – you were there for me around every turn!

People came out of the woodwork and offered assistance on every level from practical advice, to well wishes, prayers and more! I had people offering to help me pack, move, and even creating inspirational audios to get me through the ordeal.

And so I ask you this…

If you had a similar situation – have you built a rapport with your list such that they care? Would your list respond to a crisis of yours in the same fashion that mine did? Or do you simply treat your subscribers as another faceless number in your autoresponder?

Of course, five years ago I never sat down and said "I'm going to be nice to people for the next 5 years, so that when I have a catastrophe they will be willing to help me…" of course not – that's silly.

(About as "silly" (criminal!) as saying 'I'm going to add you to my list so I can sell you something everyday and expect that you'll respect me in the morning!')

But what I did say to myself way back when, is that my list, my subscribers, my customers… they are all PEOPLE – with real life struggles, daily challenges and dreams. And my obligation as a viable marketer online is to create a business the supports and uplifts each and everyone I come into contact with.

THAT is the foundation I built and the one upon which my brand and reputation has flourished. And if you take heed to what I am sharing today – your business and brand will flourish too if you go forth and keep these simple concepts in mind.

[In my next post in this series, I will tell you how Tim, Jay, Lou Anne and Andy helped me through our house crisis and what I taught them in return…]

But for now, please check out my report on Building Rapport With Your List if you feel you need more inspiration and practical instruction than I've outlined here, and most important:

PLEASE DO SHARE YOUR COMMENTS BELOW and help others along the way today…

(and never forget… there is a real person on the other side of that computer screen facing real challenges, trial and tribulations just like you – keep that in your mind's eye and you'll go far!)

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