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How making lists grew to become this entrepreneur’s model

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The day Saya Hillman received fired from her final full-time job in 2004, she made two lists. One was of all of the issues she wished she might receives a commission to do, irrespective of how ridiculous. The opposite was a listing of names, ones that gave her a “heat and fuzzy” feeling, for the corporate she determined she would begin. And so Mac & Cheese Productions℠ was born — and lists would grow to be a giant a part of its success.

Saya had all the time made lists as a solution to join with individuals. She’d been sending emails to mates for some time, “actually random lists of ‘listed here are issues that I’ve discovered fascinating,’” comparable to articles, tech devices and books. The suggestions was nice, and Saya realized it could possibly be a fantastic gross sales tactic for her new enterprise. “I don’t have that used-car salesman, ‘purchase me purchase me’ feeling,” she says. “I’m simply doing what I already like to do.’”

Right this moment Mac & Cheese Productions℠ gives a variety of assets, occasions and content material designed to attach individuals and assist them stay aLifetime of Sure℠, an idea Saya created and defines as “making life simple and extra fulfilling.” Her lists — which she sends out in newsletters and posts on her web site — proceed to function a gateway to draw extra “Cheese-Its,” as she calls her followers.

Whereas some lists are humorous and lighthearted, like Saya’s boyfriend standards, she additionally gives sensible ones — together with her fashionableservice supplier record. Even that one abides by Saya’s community-minded credo: She solely contains suppliers who she has labored with instantly or have been beneficial by somebody she is aware of and trusts.

Saya shared some recommendations on how lists can assist appeal to consideration to an internet site, and why they’re so integral to her model.

A handwritten list divided into two columns, one labeled “More” with items like “I tried” and “Connection”; the other labeled “Less” with items like “Stasis” and “I failed.”

One among Saya’s lists captures her “Lifetime of Sure℠” philosophy.

You don’t must reinvent the wheel

“I do not suppose any of us are developing with something new — it is all how you place your individual private spin on the factor,” says Saya. So whereas her record ideas may not be a novel concept, her whimsical method — the place lists for dwelling workplace tools suggestions and her personal pet peeves are on the identical web page — is.

Lists additionally assist busy individuals make sense of an amazing quantity of knowledge. “Persons are hungry for curators,” she factors out. “That’s why lists are so fashionable. They’re simple to share, they’re simple to eat.”

Lists additionally align along with her total ethos for Mac & Cheese Productions℠. “One among my favourite issues helps individuals to be extra environment friendly and create methods,” she says. “The record format lends itself to be productive and environment friendly and good at time administration.”

Be genuine — however it’s OK to earn a living too

Reliable referrals and proposals have been an enormous a part of Saya’s success. “Individuals know you’re doing it since you truly love the product or the particular person,” she says, explaining she has by no means acquired cash from anybody that she’s placed on her service supplier record or different advice lists. As an alternative, it’s a “win-win” that spreads goodwill and web site site visitors throughout, and might ultimately lead to alternatives and revenue, if not all the time instantly or instantly.

That stated, she’s unapologetic about taking a bit of the pie by way of internet affiliate marketing and her paid advertising and marketing providers, so long as the services and products meet her necessities. “You simply must share that upfront,” she says.

Use lists to increase your community and draw guests

Saya makes use of lists strategically to develop her community and draw extra guests to her web site. “I’m spending all this time curating and creating totally free, however to get that data, you want to go to my web site, as an alternative of me simply providing you with the knowledge,” she factors out.

Tying lists to holidays, seasons or different occasions may also forge connections and drive engagement. For instance, whereas most of her lists are evergreen, Saya additionally gives an annual present information the place she tags the companies’ or people’ Instagram accounts — which helps increase her attain. “I’m all the time pondering, how will you make what you create simple to share?” she says.

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