Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about marketing strategies (video) and what small businesses are doing these days to generate new revenue.
And I’m not saying what you’re doing is wrong and that the strategy I’m about to share with you in this 3 part series is the absolute solution.
I just know, from experience, if you’re not seeing a return on your efforts, it’s probably not as effective as it could be!
Now the definition of a “return” is going to be unique to the overall goal of your strategy, but realistically, receiving more money (because you’re signing more customers or selling more widgets) should be a part of your “return” at some point!
Let’s start by taking a quick look at the benefits of this strategy.
- Will run on autopilot
- Will more effectively reach your target market
- Will bring the customer to you
- Will continually produce results over time
Sound like something you’d be interested in implementing?
The first component in this strategy:
Build a Community Platform
Let’s start by looking at the definition of the word community:
“In human communities, intent, belief, resources, preferences, needs, risks, and a number of other conditions may be present and common, affecting the identity of the participants and their degree of cohesiveness” (wikipedia).
Take for example, Apple Inc.. They’ve built a community around their products. A group of people who have the same preferences, beliefs, needs, that help spread the word about Apple products and that provide feedback to essentially make the products (and possibly event he company) better.
A community platform is a place for your community to share, engage, and connect (with you and others like-minded individuals).
Your community platform should start with your website!
Your website should be your home-base, the cornerstone of all your marketing components. The one location your “community” (target market, customers, etc) can learn about you, your company, your products or services, connect and engage with you, and ultimately do transactional business with you.
Evaluate your website, is it a community platform or just a website?
When people visit your website, is it inviting? Does it support engagement? Is there a sense of belonging? Are visitors receiving any value? Can the right people find what they need?
If you can’t answer those questions with a yes, you don’t have a community platform, you just have a website!
In my article, Is Your Company Making a Good First Impression, I wrote, “Remember, we are humans trying to interact with other humans. And humans crave relationships, connecting with people they can relate to and rely on.” In other words a community!
I’ve also recently talked about the value of adding Google+ Comments to your WordPress blog. The number one reason we added G+ comments was for better engagement.
Why do you think one of the most focused on features of Google+ is the Communities. Places where people can connect with other like-minded people who have the same interest.
This concept of building a “Community Platform” or turning your website into a “Community Platform” is so important I made it the first part of our entire development strategy.
- Establish Presence
- Gain Exposure
- Enable Conversion
In our email course, Recipes for Building Your Business Online, I make your website the focus of the first week because that is how important it is! The things I teach in this course are the same philosophies and strategies I use to help improve my clients online presence.
How do you make sure your website is a Community Platform?
Your website needs to support these core aspects:
- Learn about you, your company, your product/service
- Inform and Educate
- Establish Credibility
- Build Trust
- Connect and Engage
- Automate Lead Generation
- Complete the Sales Process
- Automate Sales
You can learn about each of these things in my email course, Recipes for Building Your Business Online, so click here to enroll and start your training course (yes it is free!).
If you want to know exactly how you can improve your website, to turn it into a community platform, buy a website review!
Have questions about building a community platform or want to share how your community platform has helped you build your business, use the comments below!