These days everyone wants a website—or believes that they need one to have a successful business. Certainly the internet has become a huge force in our lives, from basic information about just about anything, to transforming the way that business and marketing are done in primary ways. And how the web is being used is growing and evolving at a dizzying rate.
So what’s a business owner to do? It can be really overwhelming! I want to share with you a few tips that can make a huge difference in how you think about your web presence (or creating your web presence), and the difference it can make in your bottom line.
It’s okay to start (most people do) but don’t stop, with what I call a “brochure site.” This type of site gets you on the web: it tells who you are, what you do, where you are located, how people can find out more about you, and maybe some kind of on-line purchasing options, like registering for classes or purchasing a session or set of sessions. It’s a start. It can give you some credibility, and you’ll have a place to send people when they ask you for your website.
This kind of a site will not make you money in that most people who visit it will never visit it again, you won’t know who they are, you won’t have a way to contact them again, and they will not do business with you. It’s like a business card or brochure on the web, and like those print materials, it provides basic information but does not generate the action and interaction that are key to success in business. Beware of spending a lot of money on this type of site, especially at the beginning when you don’t have much to spend. You can spend your investment dollars more wisely elsewhere.
With the technology available today, you can relatively easily create a website that builds your community. My definition of marketing is creating a community of people who know who you are, who are attracted to what you do, some of whom will buy from you once, and some of whom will buy from you over and over again.
The best and easiest way to build your community begins with gathering email addresses of people who visit your site by offering them a free gift. You do that through a “splash page”—a single page website that offers a free gift in exchange for your name and email address. A splash page has only one option—to get your gift. Squeeze pages are also common. These are just like a splash page only there’s a place where your viewer can click (“no thanks, enter the site”) and get to your home page. The cool thing about a splash page (well, there’s lots of cool things about a splash page) is that you really can develop a web presence with this page alone. I built a multiple-six figure business with a splash page and a few additional web pages promoting my programs and teleseminars.
Most people will not just sign up for a newsletter any more, or just to get your updates. They want something of greater value—probably you do, too (I know I do). Some people call this your compelling free offer or your “pink spoon”, like at Baskin and Robbins. I call it your freemium, where you offer something valuable right up front. This could be an ebook, a special report, an audio or teleseminar recording, a video, or a mini-course that includes several mediums. Once you make this exchange, you can build your relationship with your people, letting them get to know you, providing them with value, and offering them ways in which you can work together.
The single most important thing your website should do—and you really only need a single page (splash page) to do it—is gather email addresses. This will make you money, provided you learn (and implement) what to do with those addresses once you get them (that’s another topic altogether). The money is in the list, so say internet marketers. Because once you have an email list, and it grows to a certain size, you have an audience of people who have agreed to be part of your community and you can reach out to them over and over again. In the internet age, that’s an effective, efficient, and win-win approach for everyone.
This strategy can build a foundation for you of people from around the country and around the world who you can serve, to whom you can provide value and express your point of view. Some of them will only hear the message from you. And when they do hear it, some of them will buy.
Step into your Soul Signature as you create your website. Allow yourself to be seen, to come into focus for your people. Embrace your expertise from your life, your story of growth and transformation, and use that as a guide to help lead others. Bring forth the gifts, talents and skills you’ve been developing for lifetimes—value them truly and offer them out. Refuse to hide behind the modalities you’ve learned and the schools you’ve attended. Bring all that you have learned and experienced under the rubric of YOU and Who You Are in the Village. Inspire your personality and your business from the core of your Being, from your Soul’s Light, and you will bring warmth to the cool medium of email and the internet.
Because people buy YOU. They buy your belief in your solutions to their problems. And when they get that knowing deep inside—not just from your words or your services, but from a sense of your Soul’s vitality and offering, that develops trust and connection. Your website will make you money if you stand out in an appealing way in the marketplace. And there is no better way to do that than to be fully expressed as yourself—to be sold on yourself because of your genuine appreciation of all that you are and all that you bring to your service to other people.