Social media has changed the way we communicate. It’s opened doors for many business owners. There are millions of users on social media and we have anopportunity to convert some of those users into customers.

While this has been good, it’s also created a problem. In the same way that too many business owners depended on SEO a years ago, they’re now relying solely on social media in the same way.

Certainly social media platforms are great, but you have to realize that your friends and followers on those media are not leads, and might not be your audience. They are the audience of the platforms that they are on.

If you rely too heavily on social media for growth, and one or more of those social networks decides to make a change, your business may be negatively impacted.

Another issue is that most of the popular social media networks are now publicly traded companies. This means thatthey have to put profits for their shareholders first. The way they make profits is by limiting their audience members’ organic reach, and making them pay to get more.

Instead of focusing solely on social media, consider your email list. The consumers on your email list are your real audience, and still the best way to market when you’re looking leads.

The world could be falling apart, but when you send an emailpeople can see it if they’re signed up for your email list. There are many ways to market to an email list and boost your conversions. Here are four practical ways to build an email list that you can consistently sell to.

1. Get exposure.

Today, even rookie content creators can send in pitches to the largest websites in the world and get accepted as contributing writers.

Large media publications put out a lot of content and are always looking for more that matches their core message. You can pitch and get accepted by the largest websites in the world. Having your name and bio out there with clickable links can bring immediate and tremendous traffic to your website.Some of those people will sign up for your email list.

Spend time identifying what large publications that fit your message. Get a feel for the style and content. Pitch the right way. Get accepted and start delivering value to that publication’s audience.

2. Get interviewed on podcasts.

Entrepreneurs today have the opportunity to share their story and talk about their business in a variety of places.

We live in a time in which podcasts get as many (or more) listeners than radio shows.To get interviewed on podcasts, find shows on iTunes that match your message and cold-pitch the podcaster.

You can also sign up for a free service such as Radio Guest List to get a digest of shows that are looking for guests on different topics.

You can also cold-pitch traditional radio shows. Find the ones that will resonate with what you do and convince the producer why and how you can add value to the show.For TV shows, start locally.

Contact the associate producer of your local affiliate’s weekend morning show and explain how you would add value for its viewers. Connect what you do into a current local event. For radio and TV shows, you can also sign up for a free service like HARO to get a digest of shows looking for guest on various topics.

3. Use joint ventures.

There may be other business leaders who do what you do or something similar, but have a larger audience than yours.

Do a joint webinar or class, and split the email addresses andprofits if you are selling something. Joint ventures — as long as they are beneficial to both parties — can be a great way to build your email list faster.

You have probably heard the saying, “The money is in the list.” The three strategies described here can help you build a list and build it fast.

Once you do that, add value to them through your free content and don’t be afraid to sell visitors your premium content. You can use an email list to add significant revenue growth to your company’s bottom line.