top of page
  • Chris Sheng

Chapter 5: Step 2 - List Building

Updated: Jul 9, 2020

If I told you, you could reach anyone, anywhere, how would you rethink your outreach, from both a persona building and/or messaging standpoint? At this moment, remove any barriers you may have in your mind and imagine you can get your product or service in front of ANYONE.

To start the process of reaching this massive audience, you need to create a list of the various places you can find your target viewers.

Where do your clients live, eat, sleep, and breathe...both online and offline in mass? Where do they congregate?

In this portion of the exercise, you want to be as creative as possible. Some of the places your clients are in aren't going to be as obvious as others, and if you ignore one of these places, you could be potentially missing out on a big influx of customers.

Standard places to find your audience include:

-Facebook Groups

-Reddit Forums

-Trade Shows


-Online Directories

-Social Media Platforms

and much more.

Examples of non-standard locations your customers may be hiding include: in-person classes, stores, marathons, events, group organizations, etc.

To give you an example, let’s say you're targeting moms of toddlers for a consumer app. Where do mom’s or expectant mothers congregate? Birthing classes, maternity shops, Facebook mommy groups... These are all examples of standard and nonstandard places.

Once you have figured out where your audience is, the next step is to create "lists" with as much contact info as possible. This can include traditional info such as emails, phone numbers, addresses, social URLs, etc.

The more information you have, the more opportunities you have to get your message(s) across. For some, receiving SMS is better than emails while for others telemarketers are more convenient than social media. You need variety to access the full scope of your audience and each message should be personalized to fit the reader. You also need to be careful of how many messages you’re sending out since too many can be seen as annoying, irritating, and spammy.

Thus the art of messaging and understanding exactly who your target personas are is supercritical for optimal conversion. To figure out what exactly your message is going to be, you want to run some surveys which we’ll talk about in the next chapter.

We want to create equal-sized batches across all hypothesized personas. So, if you have 5 target personas that you think would make great customers, let’s find 100 people/companies for each of these groups.

To create the list of these 100, there are automated tools such as and that scrape websites like Facebook and LinkedIn for information such as emails, name, company, company position, and much more.

If that doesn't work for you, you can search for any online directory, forums, Facebook groups, Yelp pages, and so on for information. You can even hire a virtual assistant for around $4/hr with clear instructions to manually gather the 100 people or companies.

This exercise all relates to your TAM- the idea that there is a finite number of your target audience and that your goal is to reach 100% towards that finite number. Furthermore, marketing as a whole is just a clever way to capture somebody’s attention for the sole purpose of educating them about a specific product/service and eliciting a binary response. In terms of a binary response, I mean a yes or no answer in regards to asking a question such as “Would you buy my product?”.

There are tons of software (SaaS) solutions like Discoverorg, Zoominfo, Clearbit, Experian, and even the United States Postal Service available for you to scrape data from.

You just have to look around and figure out which platform is easiest for you to access.

5 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page