What should you grow first online?

Yesterday, I was in our customer service inbox helping the team answer some questions that had come in over the weekend, and I saw a question that I thought might be relevant to YOU, so I wanted to share.

The message was from Francis, who emailed to ask, “You always say to focus on growing ONE platform at a time, but I've also heard you talk about the importance of both YouTube and building your email list. Which one should I focus on growing first?

Now this question (“YouTube or email list??”) might not be exactly what you're pondering at the moment, but it's just an example of a bigger-picture topic that we all should be thinking about: our funnel strategy.

? The real question is: how do you grow your audience and sell your products?

? And so, to decide which platform(s) to focus on, you must ask yourself: how would this platform fit into this big-picture customer journey?

Building an email list and having a recognizable YouTube channel are both valuable for building your presence online, as well as the ultimate goal of generating sales for your business.

And, while it is important to focus on “one” thing at a time, often things are multi-faceted. “Building a house” is one thing with many steps, and it wouldn't be good to try to lay the foundation, paint, and install the kitchen cabinetry all at the same time. But even if, right now, you're focused only on painting, that doesn't mean that you don't also need to get out supplies, tape, and mask, as well as a few other related processes.

The truth about “growing your email list” and “growing on YouTube” (or any other visibility platform) is that these things can — and should! — be done simultaneously.

It's important to grow your email list because it's a “platform” you own, and if your main content creation spot (such as YT) disappears, you'll still have access to your audience through your email. That's invaluable.

​BUT, you can't only focus on growing your email list, because the only way to do so is via some sort of outside “engine” to drive the growth — this could be traffic you're already getting to your website, views you get on YouTube, traffic you drive from Instagram or Pinterest, etc. But if you aren't already getting some source of traffic then you'll need to focus on that before you'll be able to successfully grow your email list.

What this means is that these two things go hand-in-hand. Your YouTube growth (or other traffic source) will fuel your email list growth. And your email list will support your audience growth on your content-creation platform, providing much-needed stability and security.

Going back to what I mentioned earlier — the question to ask yourself is less, “What platform should I focus on?” and more, “How would this platform fit into my customer journey?”

Ultimately, you're going to end up using a few different platforms and probably several different tools and tactics to build your audience, brand, and business online. But what you must ensure is that each of these different puzzle pieces works together to form one cohesive, effective system that serves your goals of helping customers, making money, and doing so in a sustainable way.

What platforms are you using to grow your brand online? How do they fit into your big-picture marketing strategy?

P.S. Want help with your big-picture strategy? How about guidance to grow your audience more quickly? We work on both of those things every month with our Startup Society members. Put your name on the list now to find out as soon as enrollment opens!

Gillian Perkins

Hi, I’m Gillian! I’m a marketing strategist who helps online entrepreneurs 10X their sales with FB ads + sales funnels. I love combining tech, analytics, and psychology to create powerful marketing systems. When I’m not helping my clients scale their businesses, I’m spending time with my husband and two little boys, exploring new places, or seeking out choice espresso.