A reader on my email list asked (shared with permission):
“How can I grow my membership site beyond the initial surge of people I personally know or meet in person?”
My best advice in this situation is that it’s a long game, where a solid lead-gen and email strategy is going to pay off in spades. I would focus on putting together one simple and high quality lead magnet, and promise weekly (or daily, if you can swing it) marketing tips for anyone who joins your list.
From there, just keep hammering home to your list that this is just a taste of what they’ll get if they join. Nothing pushy, just repeated mentions of what you’re offering.
Once you know your conversion rates (lead to email signup, and email list member to paying member), you can experiment with Facebook and other ads, as you’ll know what you can afford to pay to acquire a lead.
If you do paid advertising, it should send people to your lead magnet, not your paying offer. Your goal with any leads should be to get them on your email list; that way you’ve got multiple chances over time to sell to them, instead of just hoping they buy when they hit a sales page.