I visited the venue of the “Getting Nigerian Businesses Online”(GNBO) 5 day event (at Grandeur Events Centre at Billings way, Oregun) on day 2 – Tuesday 1st November 2011 – and was intrigued by the turnout of Nigerian business owners to take advantage of the offer: Everybody loves freebies!
Due to other commitments, I did not plan to stay long. I quickly made enquiries about stages involved in getting the promised FREE websites up (so I could pass the details on to interested others), and learnt the only payment required was for domain registration. That made sense, since Google’s hosting comes FREE. The customised system used by the providers is based on Google’s FREE wizard driven SITE BUILDER interface.
Before leaving, I struck up a conversation with one CEO who was leaving, after having setup up his site. In the course of our discussion, I asked: “Now that you’ve gotten YOUR website up, what next?…What will you say on it?…How will you do promote it?…Are you going to be placing adverts on TV, Radio, in papers, or on Facebook, Google?“
You Need A Carefully Developed Plan For Your Internet Presence!
Guess what? He thought I was “blowing grammar!” Needless to say our discussion did not last long. Hmm, I guess NOT everyone sees what is possible. Some people are just OK doing what others are doing.
I started building websites FREE for clients over 3 years ago, because I understood this often overlooked, but crucial point. Many prospects often asked me in surprise “But why will you build free? How then do you make money?“
I always pointed out that advancements in web technology now equip ANYONE, including 5 year olds, to build dynamic/database driven websites with a few clicks, and without ANY technical knowledge. An example is Joomla! – a powerful open source Content Management System used by millions to build websites. So, what I do is get clients to pay me for content copy writing, and custom automated web marketing systems development.
Sadly, many web professionals out here failed to “get it”, and suggested that I built sites FREE, because my design skills were poor. With this Google backed GNBO FREE offer (promoted via TV, Radio, Print media and online) to millions in their Nigerian target market, I’m certain that not a few of those short sighted developers will be having nightmares right now. Many GNBO beneficiaries are now potential Web Marketing clients I can approach!
To make money, you need to make sales. Building a website is only the FIRST step in the process. Making your website BRING you potential customers should be your focus. If you don’t have a plan for making that happen (a plan that should ideally influence the building/design of the site itself), your website will be a DRAIN pipe for your money. Period.
Now That Your Site Is Up, I Propose You Take (At Least) The Steps Below
These are basic components of a plan I would recommend. You can learn about other components, by reading other articles I have written on business marketing.
1. Your Website Content: This should ideally happen during setup. But it’s never too late. Your site’s content should be response generating i.e. compelling enough to make some visitors contact you, or respond to your offer(s). Evaluate your content. If you can’t do it yourself, hire a competent specialist to give you a CONTENT CRITIQUE. S/he can help you re-write it, should that become necessary. If you need help, call me.
2. Your Mailing List: You NEED to generate sales leads, that you can follow up. If setup right, your website should periodically HARVEST contact information of potential customers, into your website mailing list. Mailing list software with signup forms abound. Many hosting providers offer single click installation of these tools. Offer freebies on your site, to entice visitors to leave their names, emails, phone numbers etc. Over time, you will be able to MINE this data, to achieve financially rewarding responses.
3. Your Follow Up: 2 ideas readily come to mind here. Launch a branded website newsletter, and an Article Marketing campaign. Use your mailing list software to send messages at decent intervals to subscribers – intelligently making product/service offers and announcements in those broadcasts, every now and then. Keep at it long enough, and you’ll notice MORE subscribers and opportunities to close sales will come up.
Ignore Nay Sayers: Adopt A Custom Web Marketing Plan & Make It Work For You
“Where everyone thinks alike, no one is doing any thinking” – Anon
Sometimes it’s just NOT smart to follow the majority.
If there’s someone who KNOWS the importance of being different, and who used it to get AHEAD, to the benefit of himself, and MILLIONS of people worldwide, it’s SIR RICHARD BRANSON. Here’s what he recently had to say about ANOTHER person who CHANGED the world, by THINKING differently….
“Sometimes, pursuing your vision means that you will have to ignore others’ warnings and even jeers…As you pursue your own entrepreneurial vision, take heart if building your company involves concerning obstacles and ignoring your critics.
Pursue your passion; admit when you encounter something you are not good at, and either delegate it or find a way around it (even Jobs hired great professionals to lead public relations efforts, and he famously formed alliances with Apple’s competitors, IBM and Microsoft); and when things go wrong, pick yourself up and keep going. This is an adventure that takes courage and conviction.
Throughout his life, Jobs encouraged everyone he worked with to “Think different.” It is advice I have taken to heart. He meant entrepreneurs; he meant you…”
Richard Branson (Branson on Sunday), “Steve Jobs, an entrepreneur who thought differently.” Sunday Punch, October 30, 2011
Back in February this year, I wrote an article titled “You Cannot Beat Competitors If You Keep Doing The SAME Things They Do!”(See my EzineArticles Expert Bio page).