I’m a little over 2/3 of the way into the month, and I’m currently at 184 subscribers.

To recap the results over the past 3 weeks…

Transparent Marketing Project Month 1, Day 23 - 56 Subscribers

2 days later, I now have 184 subscribers.

So what happened between Day 4 and Day 23? Let me dive into the details for you.

From 7 to 56 subscribers

Now, I’m not going to lie, the effort required during this stage always makes me super uncomfortable.

Why? Because it requires asking for help. From others.

And, in case you didn’t know…this is MY LEAST favorite thing to do.

However, it is super effective and an important step not to skip.

So, if you read this effort and start to cringe when thinking about implementing it yourself…don’t worry, that’s normal.

But, if you want to gain some initial momentum, this is a critical phase in building your audience.

So what is it?

Well, I lovingly call it “social begging”. ☺




No joke, “social begging” is literally what I titled the time blocked off in my calendar for this task.

Here’s what it entails:

Step #1

Go to your Facebook profile. Click through to your list of friends.

Transparent Marketing Project Month 1 Day 23: Facebook Friends

Step #2

Look at every single friend and identify any individual who might be interested in your niche.

Step #3

Send a private Facebook message telling your friend about your new project and ask if they want to receive email updates.

Transparent Marketing Project Month 1 Day 23: Private Facebook Message

Step #4

Ignore the crushing blows when people say no.

Maybe sneak a bite of chocolate to help you deal with the rejection.

Then remind yourself that you only want people on your email list who are super excited about what you’re doing.

Step #5

Jump up and down for joy when people say yes.

Add these individuals manually to your email marketing software.

Transparent Marketing Project Month 1 Day 23 - Add New Subscriber

Step #6

Send these new subscribers an automated welcome series so they get a better idea of what you’re doing.

This is especially vital in case a bunch of time passes between when you subscribe them and when the first piece of content is published. (You don’t want those subscribers you worked so hard to acquire to forget about you in the meantime!)

Transparent Marketing Project Month 1 Day 23 - Welcome Series Snippet

Grab a copy of my script for the 2-series automated welcome series I’m using on the TMP. Click here to get access, so you can customize and repurpose it for your business.

Step #7

Rinse and repeat this entire process for each qualified individual on your Facebook friends list.

And get comfortable with being incredibly uncomfortable. That feeling does not go away! #totallyworthit

Now, I know you’re shaking your head while you’re reading this, thinking: “Lauren, I could never do this.”

I’m here to tell you “Yes, you abso-freaking-lutely can.”

Hear me out.

I sent 68 private messages out (through Facebook), and I received 56 yeses.

Holey moley!!!!

That is an 82% conversion rate.

I’d be lucky to get that kind of performance on paid or organic traffic any day of the week.

And, I spent about 30-60 minutes each night of the week, after work, doing this. It didn’t take an enormous amount of time, but the payoff was huge.

A few reasons why “Social Begging” worked so well…

Reason #1: After reading a lot about the new Facebook bot craze and what great open rates marketers are seeing from using Facebook Messenger, I decided to focus on this channel for outreach (instead of email or text). Do note: I did not use bots…this was all a manual effort.

Reason #2: Anyone who didn’t want to say yes, could politely ignore my message. In fact, I only received 1 “no thanks” out of all those messages I sent.

Transparent Marketing Project Month 1 Day 23 - Facebook Rejection Message

Reason #3: I was very selective about who I reached out to. If I wasn’t already close enough to know the individual liked to travel, I scoured their feed to make sure they were a good fit. (This is why honing in on your niche, as described on Month 1, Day 0, is so important.)

Reason #4: I picked my most obvious “yes-es” first, so I could stack some small wins right off the bat. This helped infinitely with my nerves when it came to asking people I hadn’t reached out to in a while.

Transparent Marketing Project Month 1 Day 23 - Facebook Message Yes

Reason #5: I rarely ask my contacts, or friends for that matter, for anything. (And in many ways, this is a weakness of mine. Fortunately in this situation, it proved otherwise.) Instead, I try to provide a heck of a lot of value. So when I do reach out, this tends to make them more likely to say yes. The key takeaway for you here? Be a giver, because when you need a favor, you won’t want to have used all yours up.

Reason #6: I got tired of scouring my friends’ Facebook feeds at the end of long work days. So, I decided to post a question about travel on my wall, see who commented and target those individuals for private outreach. This strategy was absolutely killer in terms of results. It helped me quickly identify which friends were most interested in my designated niche.



The moral of the story?

If you don’t tell people about what you’re doing, they can’t decide whether they’re interested or not.

I was honestly shocked at how excited people were about this new site. Here is a small sampling of the kind of messages I received…

Transparent Marketing Project Month 1 Day 23 - Facebook Message 1

Transparent Marketing Project Month 1 Day 23 - Facebook Message 2

Transparent Marketing Project Month 1 Day 23 - Facebook Message 3

Transparent Marketing Project Month 1 Day 23 - Facebook Message 4

The #1 learning lesson? Don’t hide your business behind an ironclad wall. You might be missing out on your super fans, who will help spread the word when you are just getting started.

A quick P.S. about this strategy

DO NOT underestimate the importance of engaging your subscribers right off the bat with an automated welcome series, delivered by your email marketing service.

Transparent Marketing Project Month 1 Day 23: Automated Welcome Series

Not only will this help with future deliverability (making sure your emails don’t end up in spam + get opened), but it builds that know/like/trust factor with your new subscribers right off the bat. You want them to love you from the very beginning.

And if they don’t love you? You want them to get the heck off of your email list. No hard feelings.

Grab a copy of my script for the 2-series automated welcome series I’m using on the TMP. Click here to get access, so you can customize and repurpose it for your business.

From 56 to 184 subscribers

Now here’s where all that momentum from your social begging gets kicked into high gear.

On Month 1, Day 17, I launched a contest to my new subscribers, giving away a $250 gift card to AirBnB.

The contest runs until July 6, so there still a little over a week left before it closes.

Here’s what is so awesome about the contest software I’m using (KingSumo if you’re wondering):

  1. It’s super quick and easy to set up in WordPress. Plus, you really don’t need much of a site to get this going. (More on this later.)
  2. It encourages social sharing, by giving contestants extra entries when their friends also join the contest. Aka, if your new super fans (or existing email subscribers) want to increase their odds of winning your awesome prize, they need to tell others about the contest.
  3. What does this mean for you? More visibility + more email subscribers!

Now there are a few caveats when running giveaways:

  • You can get a lot of spammy email addresses. It’s important to clean these before uploading them to your email software. Getting contestants to confirm their entry (like a double opt-in) can help with this.
  • The prize needs to be compelling yet hyper-related to your niche. Otherwise, you’ll get a lot of unqualified subscribers who are apt to leave your list as soon as the contest is over.
  • Nurturing these new subscribers both during AND after the contest helps reduce unsubscribes.
  • If you don’t get your prize donated, you will have to pay for it. However, the cost per new subscriber is often FAR cheaper than what you’d get doing paid advertising.

Transparent Marketing Project Month 1 Day 23 - AirBnB Giveaway

I still have 8 days to increase the number of entrants in this giveaway…which I absolutely plan on doing. In my next report, I’ll explain how I maximize the results from this giveaway while mitigating the risks mentioned above. I can’t wait to share more with you.

Have questions / comments / feedback about this report? Please share in the comments below.

PS: My new site only has one more page than described at the end of the previous TMP report here….it’s the new giveaway page. Contrary to popular belief, you TRULY are not required to have a fully functioning, pixel perfect site before you build an audience.