7 Smart Ways to Make Sales Even If You Don’t Have a List

Think you can’t hope to make sales simply because you have no email list to promote to? This kind of self-sabotaging thought is what holds many promising entrepreneurs and service providers back from creating great things. They believe that without a ready-made audience, there’s no hope for sales, and therefore, what’s the point?

But the truth is, sales can come from many, many other places besides your email list. While a list of active subscribers does allow you to promote to a ready audience who already know you’re amazing, it’s not the only method that works.

Affiliate Partners.

The next best thing to your own know/like/trust factor is the ability to leverage that of a partner. When you create an affiliate program and ask your friends and colleagues to promote your services in exchange for a commission, you’re essentially receiving their endorsement. They reach out to their list of contacts with news about your great services. And because they already have a relationship with their contacts, they pass a little of that trust factor on to you.

Social Media.

Just because you don’t have an email list of thousands doesn’t mean you don’t have a reach of thousands. How many followers do you have on Twitter? Facebook friends? LinkedIn connections? All of these (and the many, many other social networks) are potential clients, and promoting your service on social media can be as easy as making a quick post with a link to your sales or opt-in page. 90% of top performing sales people now use social media as part of their sales strategy, including myself.


For higher ticket services, webinars are the ideal sales vehicle. By speaking to your audience in real time (and perhaps even on video) you give them a chance to get to know you better than email alone will ever allow. Combine webinars with affiliate promotions or paid traffic, and you have a scalable sales machine that can easily bring in hundreds of new potential clients with every event.

Paid Traffic.

Advertising is easier and less expensive now than it ever has been. You can target your audience by demographic, interests, behaviors, and more, ensuring your ads are only shown to your ideal client. You can run ads on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google’s Adwords, and dozens of others.

Guest Blogging.

No email list of your own? Guest posting on someone else’s blog lets you easily borrow their audience—and start growing your own. Choose blogs whose readership is a complement to yours—not a competitor—for best results. For example, if you’re a CPA and your niche is medical practices look for blogging opportunities that cater to this audience.

Borrow a List (for Real).

Friends and colleagues with email lists are a good option as well, though it might cost you. One way to manage payment is to borrow a colleague’s list while using his/her affiliate link for your service. If that’s not an option, then a one-time fee can be negotiated as well, and will generally be based on the size and responsiveness of the list.

Get Interviewed.

Podcasts are hot right now. In fact, it seems like nearly everyone has a new weekly (or even daily) interview show. If you have a great service, you’re the perfect fit for an interview spot, so start reaching out to those podcasters. They’ve got hungry audiences just waiting to hear from you!

While it might be true that “the money is in the list,” that doesn’t mean it has to be your list. There are many more ways you can leverage someone else’s audience as you grow your own, so don’t let the lack of an email list hold you back from promotion your services!