Either you’re ready to start your internet business, or you know that you need to improve your internet business. Either way – these steps are for you. The first step is learning that going to GoDaddy to get a domain name first is the wrong approach.
1. Strategy On-line marketing is not effective if it’s not planned. I was talking to a young rock-n-roll wannabe today and suggested she give some of her songs for free to her Twitter followers. She said “well, I don’t have a record deal yet, but I’m not that desperate.” That’s a person who doesn’t understand strategy. Giving something away free doesn’t have to be out of desperation, it could be part of the strategy. Before you get a domain name – let’s get a strategy.
Most business cards feature one website, their company website. And that’s because the company has one website. And then there are companies like Walgreens that have a customer website (Walgreens.com) and a corporate website – often closed to the public. But how many have 8, 9, or 10 websites? That’s #2
2. If you’ve got a multivitamin, why not have several niche websites that feed traffic to your main shopping cart? There are tons of people looking for Vitamin A and Lutein to help their eyes – why not create an entire site about vision improvement and feature your product? And then have an entirely different site dedicated to antioxidants and anti-aging highlighting the green tea extract, gingko biloba and selenium in your product and others? Remember #1 – you must have a strategy.
One of the biggest failures I see is the lack of vision people have in their strategy. Unless you have some idea how your customers are going to get to your website, how can you even begin to set-up a website? Do you know a single company that doesn’t have a companyname.com named site? That bring us to #3.
3. If you’re going to rely on search traffic to find your site, then don’t name your airline ticket site RogaInc.com. Do some research and find out what keywords your customers are already using. Perhaps you could get airline-ticket-website.com and then buy RogaInc.com and redirect it to your site. Nobody needing to travel from Tallahassee to Phoenix at the last minute is going to search for Roga Tickets – maybe they will after you’ve spent Expedia billions on advertising – but until then, you’re fighting for space.
If on the other hand you’re planning to drive all the traffic yourself via brochures, biz cards, TV commercials, and advertising – then keywords aren’t your main concern and RogaInc.com might be fine. Your main concern with this strategy is making sure your brand, your colors, and your look are all in sync. Maybe the website isn’t the first thing you need to get done. Find out what your limiting agents are whether it be the printer’s capabilities, money or website technology – and develop them all together.
4. Social media needs to be part of your strategy. Perry Belcher calls it Mass 2-Way Communication, and it’s the future of the internet. No longer is the internet a one-way street where you speak through your website and people read. Now it’s about conversations, listening and teaching, asking and answering, and building relationships. So you’ve got to get ready to be the company, be the face, be the person people want to be friends with. And to keep some consistency, some branding find out if yourname.com is available, if it’s available on twitter, on Facebook, on linkedin and others. If not, find a derivative and register everywhere. You can’t afford to be Dan one place, Daniel another, and Dannyboy somewhere else. Be the same person everywhere.
5. Finally – you’re not going to make money today. Don’t plan on making money tomorrow. In fact – don’t plan on making money. Plan on providing value, making friends and helping people with what you know. People make decisions in the presence of leadership. Become the expert – be the guy people want on their team when they need your skills. That’s when you’ll make money.
And don’t get so caught up in your own product that you forget some people don’t want it. Not every person who comes to your websites wants your products – they may just want information. They may want someone else’s product. Give them the information and tell them about the other products. Be their friend, and they’ll be yours.
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