Everyone needs an online platform. This is your sphere of influence online based on all of your touchpoints – your website, Facebook, networking, etc.
It’s challenging to build a business online and cut through the noise of hundreds of millions of websites online and be heard. You must have a strategy and a focused action plan to reach a global audience that resonates with your message and wants to follow you long-term.
Today I am going to share 5 focus areas that I encourage you to always pay attention to so you can build your business toward 6-figure success. Your success online really starts with your website, but also depends on your results in a few other areas which I explain below.
When people get started, they don’t have all the money in the world to invest in a great website. Most understand the importance of a website, but they don’t know how critical it is to have it set up the right way.
An average beautiful and functional website will cost $3,000-5,000 (pending if you get a shopping cart with it). New entrepreneurs don’t want to make larger investments to start so they get a website for $800-1,500 and… you get what you pay for. It doesn’t showcase your brand well, your message won’t be clear or memorable most likely, you won’t see many results with it, and generally, you’ll need to go start over with someone who costs more and is more experienced anyway. I’d say 65% of my clients come from an experience like this.
I’ve played an integral role in building over 150 websites, and in that time, I developed a 5-point checklist I take my client strategy sessions through to make sure we’ve included everything their website needs to be successful for their business.
So as I go through this 5-point checklist, take note of what you may need to look at to give your website a facelift or you may decide you want to go through a rebranding process altogether.
- Brand – What is your focus and message? Does your tagline help you or hurt you? Will you be memorable? Typically if you use a pre-made theme (because it’s less expensive than a custom design), you won’t have branding that stands apart so you’ll get lost on the hundreds of millions of other websites online. If you’re serious about your business, you’ll need to invest in a beautiful and professional custom website design so you stand out above everyone else in your industry. You have to look the part.
- Content and Messaging – What you do must be 100% clear. When a new website visitor comes to your site, you have 3-5 seconds to make an impression on a visitor. First, they look at the design and if they are not visually impacted, they exit. If you pass the visual test, the next 3-5 seconds are spent trying to discern what your message is, who’s your audience, and if you can help that person. Keep in mind that everyone online is searching for a solution to their problem. That’s how they find you – by searching for questions in Google or another search engine. So looking at how are you presenting yourself as the solution is critical.
- List-building – Your following is your #1 online asset. This can include the people who give you their email addresses and subscribe to your email list. It can also include all of your friends and fans on social media. It’s not all about the numbers – it’s about the quality of the connection. My strategy is to develop a strong connection with as many people as I can. The #1 question I get about social media is what to say – you want to give valuable “how-to” information about your topic and also inspire your audience. Make it about THEM, not you. Then you’ll have a very responsive following who listens to everything you say. This holds true for your email list – if you send too many emails with not enough value, they will unsubscribe instantly and not follow you again. So a key strategy for list-building is to put out consistent value to impact your audience. Read this detailed post on how you can set up your email management system and design a newsletter to engage with your following.
- Social Media Integration – If you want to run and grow a successful business online, you MUST be fully integrated with social media. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, YouTube… THIS is how you reach a global audience most easily. It could take months and months for Google or Bing or Yahoo to pay attention to you and give you high search engine rankings. You could build a rockin’ social media audience within a month or two if you wanted. To learn all about how to get more likes, comments, and shares – plus learn about how to make the most out of your networks through branding, download my latest free eBook, “The 7 Deadliest Mistakes You’re Making on Social Media.” Look for the blue box on the right sidebar to instantly download this report.
- Product development– This is an area where clients can easily get overwhelmed. They have a new idea every other week so they get distracted. Or, they start to develop a product and get overwhelmed by how perfect it needs to be, so they never finish anything. However, your audience NEEDS you! Develop the product for them, not you. Solve the problem! I have a very quick exercise I teach my clients that will literally help them simplify the entire concept of product development online and also give them enough of a blueprint to create a product suite and thereby build their online empire. (Grin… I think that may be my next product idea – giving you this blueprint – more to come there.)
Now, what I would invite you to implement immediately to get started is go through this 5-point checklist to evaluate your online platform.
Determine whether you need a facelift or even if you need to rebrand yourself and get a new website that works for your continued, long-term success. Take a cold, hard look at your products, social media, and the size of your following.
If you are thinking you need help to create a focused plan toward six-figure success, then reach out and let us help.
I am confident that we can help you get where you want to go in your business. Our favorite client is one that wants to impact the world in a positive way. We have worked with hundreds of clients who are ready to make a difference in their life and the lives of others. I invite you to TAKE ACTION by reaching out today. Always go with your gut instinct. If this message resonated with you, reach out and let’s talk about your project and how we can help launch it forward in a big way!