Control Your Own Website

Having your own WordPress website provides you a platform to actively showcase yourself so your current and potential clients have the opportunity to get to know you. A WordPress website can also be used as an interactive platform that gives you the opportunity to get to know your current and prospective clients better. How cool is that! Let me explain what happened recently.

I was presenting at an event giving some examples on how to get your customers to interact with you by creating interesting things to do on your website. I suggested creating a page with a quiz or possibly a puzzle or even a quick contest – making sure all topics were relevant to the industry of your business. I watched the faces of the participants as I was talking and some looked puzzled – so I stopped and asked if there were any questions. I was a bit surprised when the first question (actually statement) was – “I can’t create my own pages on my website and I’m sure not going to pay my web person to create these kind of pages.”

When I saw a lot of the others nodding I asked how many other people felt they couldn’t create their own pages on their website. Almost every hand went up. I then asked how many used WordPress for their website – three hands went up.

ONLY three – WOW! I knew having a WordPress site was great but I hadn’t realized (or remembered) until then how much NOT having a WordPress site restricts you growing your business. You can’t even do your own marketing with your site. You are at the mercy of whoever created your site to make changes for you and they need to understand what you want and know how to give it to you.

I always suggest my clients have a WordPress.org website even if they already have a really great business site and especially if they only have a corporate site to send people to. It’s fine to send people to your corporate site to purchase what you sell but you usually aren’t allowed to make changes to that site so you can’t add your own personality which is what you need to attract clients.

People need to know who you are as well as knowing how good your products or services are. In the past, it was enough to create a business site just like a brick and mortar storefront. You show what you are offering and wait for people to come by, see it and buy it. That just doesn’t work anymore – not for brick and mortar businesses and it definitely doesn’t work for any type of work from home or virtual business.

It’s not really very difficult to create your own WordPress website. I learned how to do it and if I can do it – so can you. I know that may seem like just words but it really isn’t. I recently ran a Virtual class where I taught how to do just that. We started at 9AM and by 4PM that same day, everyone had their own website up and running and are using it today for their business.

Add a Lead Capture System to Your Website

By adding a lead capture system to your website you are taking the destiny of your business into your own hands. No longer are you simply a passive participant who casts a line and waits for the fish to come to you.

With a lead capture system you have the opportunity to get the names and contact information of people who visit your site for any reason. This means that you can now build a database of potential customers that you can market to. When you need more business you market to those people and you can create cash on demand.

All types of sales are dependent on leads. Therefore having a lead capture system is a wise move in your online marketing strategy. It gives you something tangible to work from when you need more sales. And who doesn’t need more sales?

What Is A Lead Capture System Defined

A lead capture system is simply an opt-in box that offers more information, an e-newsletter subscription, a free report or some other freebie in exchange for simple contact information. Typically the information requested is just a name and email address, but some systems do ask for a mailing address and/or a phone number. Try to refrain from requesting too much information.

Because these people have actually come to your site and then opted to get on your email list, you can feel confident that they are actually interested in your products or services. This makes them likely customers.

Once the lead capture system is in place on your website, you will need to do lead nurturing. This means you must stay in contact with these people.

Send newsletters regularly, but not too frequently.

Keep them up to date on new offerings and sales.

Offer special deals for those on your email list. This is a very good way to generate business when things are slow.

You will need to put autoresponders in place, so that as people opt in, they are greeted, welcomed and introduced to your products or services through a series of letters. If you haven’t used a free report to get them to join your email list, offer it now.

By adding a lead capture system to your website, you will get the power of having a bigger customer base and you can market to them regularly with useful information.

Finding the Time!

As a business owner, time is one thing you could probably do with more of! Effective time management is essential to your success, as is making use of tools that can leverage your time.

Marketing is of course critical to grow your business, however, business owners are being bombarded with different buzz words all the time, especially when it comes to internet marketing.

Social media has become a platform that is easily accessible to anyone with internet access, opening doors for organisations to increase their brand awareness and facilitate conversations with the customer. Additionally, social media serves as a relatively inexpensive platform for organisations to implement marketing campaigns. Organisations can receive direct feedback from their customers and targeted markets.

This can be very daunting as not only does it take time to understand these different tools, but the thought of actually finding the time to make use of them can seem like a full time job in itself!

Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are the most well know social/business networking tools available, all of them offer free membership with LinkedIn offering an optional paid membership should you require additional features, although most seem to opt for the free service. Facebook allow you to have a personal page and a company page.

These can be very powerful for promoting your brand and driving traffic to your website, but finding the time to update them all can seem like an impossible commitment when you are busy already running your business.

Fortunately there are some fantastic free tools available to take the time and hassle out of Social Media Marketing. One of the best tools is HootSuite, this is a web based application and allows you to update your status on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn all from one place and also lets you write your status updates beforehand and then schedule them. In addition there is a free iPhone app, so you can make even better use of your time, whether you are sitting in a reception waiting for a meeting, or even in an airport.

Tweetdeck is another well known tool, this actually has a free desktop application which is quite good, however the iPhone app seems to lack the ability to update LinkedIn which in my opinion is a major drawback.

Obviously these tools can help with Social Media Marketing (SMM); however it’s important to implement a strategy, just as you would with any other form of marketing hopefully in order to get the best results.

Can Helping Offline Businesses Market Online Pay Well?

How To Work Out Whether Your Business Model Is Sound

Some clients just want a one page site and they want you to take care of everything and then just tell them when it’s done. Other clients want a massive amount of input and want you to spend days with them consulting on their branding and messaging, researching their market and designing logos and graphics for them.

You can decide to be flexible or just carve out your niche and present your offer and prices.

One area where you may have fixed prices is the small business one-page sites where you offer local businesses in your area a package for £150 for you to take care of it and they just provide their contact details.

Standard prices for a 5 page website are £800, standard basic daily rates for time in the UK is usually £350 a day plus expenses, but people pay up to $5k a day.

Sometimes you can spend that day just recording videos for a client, other days it might be training their internal team about web marketing.

I think it’s important that you get a good sense of how you want to spend your time and how much money you’re intending to make.

If you don’t like building websites then you need to quickly find a way to outsource that if you still want to be the go-to person.

It’s good to outsource many elements of your business; but not in a standard way. Sometimes make the web site, sometimes pay someone to do the graphics and then make the site, other times pay someone to create the site and focus on the email marketing or search marketing aspects.

I suggest you get comfortable being able to offer several things but not needing to necessarily do them yourself. One of the biggest benefits of offering these types of services is that there can be several ways to create recurring revenue from your work.

The ability to create multiple streams of recurring revenue will be the thing that takes you from having to spend all of your time doing this and being able to build a business that takes little time to run and brings in regular revenue.

Consider this: Your business model is to offer quick 1-page websites to lots of local businesses.

You charge $200 and $50 a year for hosting.

It only takes a day or two to create these sites, so you can easily deliver 2 each week comfortably. That’s 8 a month – without breaking a sweat.

So at first that’s $1600 a month from the sales – but…… $400 a month recurring revenue.

So if you did this for 5 years you would end up having made:

* $96,000 in sales * $24,000 in hosting fees * $2000 a month recurring hosting fees.

So that’s $120,000 and $2000 a month for no work. That’s just 2 small customers a week.

Can you see the power of this. Those numbers are based on what will probably be your lowest paying customers.

You’ll get some that will happily pay you several thousand dollars for their site and want a email system, marketing monthly work and extra things done.