The power of the one-on-one approach to list building and selling online

The power of the one-on-one approach to list building and selling online

Bryan Harris, founder of Video Fruit, made $8,337 with 575 emails he collected from Facebook groups. Without a sales funnel, website, or advertising. Just by approaching potential clients the old school way, one-on-one.

But marketers are too obsessed with scalability and automation. We want more fans, more traffic, a bigger list. We fall over ourselves to deploy the latest automation tools, chatbots, and whatnot.

Yet, sometimes something as primitive as one-on-one conversations can bring in as many or even more highly-targeted leads — and without the need for complex tools and funnels. As I always say, in a world of abundance, quality beats quantity any day.

In this guide, I will show you techniques with real-life examples of how to put the one-on-one approach to use. You can use it to validate your idea, test new audiences, launch products, get new subscribers, and earn money!

Let’s dive in.

Approaching people in front of you first

Fitness and wellness instructor Alex Fergus does not waste time. When his investment banking job didn’t give him enough time to hit the gym he decided to quit and start his own fitness company.

Instead of experimenting with complex sales funnels he got most of his initial subscribers from his list of personal training clients and other people he knew. Although it seems counterintuitive, building an internet business starts with the people who are literally right in front of you.

Alex sent his new subscribers a newsletter with fitness tips and other valuable content. Keep in mind he didn’t even sell anything at the beginning. He simply built trust with people who already knew him by giving away his expertise.

Take an hour to write down a list of people who might benefit from your content. They might be your current clients, people you’ve met at events, friends of friends, your crush, or whomever you think will benefit from your content.

Hacking Facebook groups

Facebook groups are a jewel among endless cat videos and pictures of your aunt. You can find an active group for almost any niche. And if you know what you are talking about, members will listen.

Remember Bryan Harris from the intro? He is considered one of the “kings” of list building. No wonder he made over $200,000 in 10 days with his list building course.

But he began his journey, right here, in a Facebook group.

He started with these two posts in a group he was a member of:

Bryan messaged 49 people who commented on his posts. 25 answered.

He listened to the needs of these 25 people and created a product based on their input. 19 people bought his product for $29 each. He made $551 just like that.

Bryan kept up this momentum and collected 575 more addresses through Facebook groups. He pitched a $397 product to this list and 21 people bought it.

$8,337 in revenue just from Facebook groups.

This is the perfect example of an entrepreneur going back to the basics by choosing quality over quantity and using a systematic one-on-one approach.

To find relevant Facebook groups for your niche, head over to

I recommend engaging in no more than five groups so you can build strong authority within those groups. Identifying the top influencers in the group and interacting with them is a good way to speed up the process.

Offer valuable advice and ask for permission to message members directly. And there you go, you have direct access to your potential customers.

Highly personalized cold outreach on LinkedIn

LinkedIn has become much more than a place to look for a job. By using LinkedIn`s advanced search features you can tap into the biggest B2B network in the world and reach the very people you need on your email list.

Best of all, you don’t have to waste time reaching irrelevant people; you can go straight to the decision makers.

Because you can see what they are working on, where they live, articles they have published, and much more, you have enough information to break the ice with a highly personalized message.

Note that you have only one chance to get the attention of your prospect, so make sure you have a well-thought-out outreach strategy.

Here are some tips and examples you can use as inspiration.

Everyone is busy so keep your first message short. Mention some connections you have in common. Also, pointing to the prospect´s achievements goes a long way. When they respond, ask if the person needs help with X and introduce your free offering, such as an e-book or a webinar.

Of course, don’t make it seem fake and automatic — that will get you zero responses.

John Nemo, one of the top LinkedIn outreach experts, recommends this approach:

  • You ask a question
  • You offer value
  • You ask permission
  • You don’t pressure them

These are two of his most effective scripts:

Hey [NAME] — hope you are well!

Curious — are you interested in using LinkedIn to find new clients or customers?

If so, I have a great (and free) webinar I can send you a link to, along with some copy-and-paste invitation scripts, LinkedIn message templates, and sequences I use called “Messaging Magic.”

If you’d like to see how it works, just reply with the word “YES” and I can shoot you over a link to the webinar and message scripts.

And if you’re not interested, no worries at all.


If the prospect replies “yes,” John follows up with:


Here’s a link to the free webinar:

(Note: once you register, on the confirmation page you’ll get access to all the free “Messaging Magic” scripts and templates.)

Can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

You can replace a free webinar with a consultation or any other valuable free offer you might have.

Another tactic I personally find very effective is to simply ask for advice. By asking for advice, you downplay yourself and make the addressee feel important. You’ll be surprised by the power of humility in outreach.

This approach doesn’t require any advanced technology or sales funnel. Although for outreach of a larger scope, you may need to subscribe to LinkedIn´s premium service.

Using Twitter and Facebook search

I can’t finish this article without mentioning a search bar on Twitter or Facebook that you might already be using, but for completely different things.

Many people looking for services or specific products mention it on Facebook or Twitter.

Just head over to the search bar and type in keywords related to your offer. You might be surprised by how many results pop out.

For example, a quick search on Twitter for “looking for a sales funnel expert” yielded the following results:

Offering advice and asking for permission to DM these prospects can have the same effect as engaging with people in a Facebook group.

You don’t need thousands of subscribers — and vast resources — to make money

I hope this article will dispel the myth that you need thousands of subscribers to make money online. Sometimes all you need is a small list of highly targeted and engaged prospects who trust you.

Another thing that halts entrepreneurship for many people is the idea that you need vast resources and a series of complex and expensive tools to build landing pages, sales funnels, and email sequences.

There are tools that can set you up an entire sales funnel for your product launch: landing pages, fulfillment pages, email sequences, order forms, and whatnot—with one click!  Not only that, all the elements are prepopulated with high-quality copy that you can easily customize for your specific needs.

Just do your research and you’ll find some great options that won’t break your bank. Trust me.

This post is part of our contributor series. The views expressed are the author's own and not necessarily shared by TNW.

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