Do You Need a Website for An Online Business? The Surprising Truth About Websites
One of the most common questions I get asked by aspiring entrepreneurs, business owners, and marketers is, “Do I need a website?”
If your business is going to be online (word to the wise: it should be :)), it’s easy to assume a website is a must.
But my answer to this question might surprise you…
The honest truth?
Before you jump into developing a website, there are several things you need to get clear on. Or else your time, money, and energy will be going to the wrong thing.
4 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Buying a Website:
- Do I have an audience?
- Is my message nailed down?
- Have I developed a strong offer?
- Do I have a sales funnel ready to go?
If you answered no to any of these questions, pump the brakes.
Instead of dumping thousands of dollars into building a website (I once made a $65,000 mistake … oops!), you need to start leveraging free channels — like social media — to spread your message, generate an audience, and test your offers.
The Biggest Myth About Websites
Have you ever heard someone say, “If you build a website, they will come.”
I call that the old field-of-dreams myth :).
The reality is building a website does not mean they will come.
Your website will only be successful if you do these 3 things:
- Drive traffic to it through your social media channels.
- Send people to it through your email list.
- Create killer content that earns natural Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Oh, and traffic won’t lead to cash without outstanding offers and functional funnels in place to capture visitors contact information and nurture them into sales (more on funnels in a moment…).
After all, a worthwhile website adds value, create leads, and generates money.
Simply putting up a website means nothing.
Before You Build a Website, Start With Social Media
There’s no need for a website if you haven’t started conversations in the market through free channels like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
Social media is the springboard for your online business.
Use these channels to build your audience and test your message and offers before you go lock, stock, and barrel on a website.
From organic posts to private groups, this free promotion is far better than dumping thousands into a site that doesn’t attract traffic or ring up sales.
Simply put: Social media is your proof of concept. Seriously, starting with social media could save you thousands.
I’m Website Ready: 3 Steps to Earning Money Through Your Website
If you’re truly website ready, we’ll assume you have the following:
- An audience.
- Engaging content
- A stellar message.
- An offer your audience wants.
If that’s the case, we can dive in.
If you’re missing any of those 4 elements, rewind and start hitting social media (or if you’re feeling lost, just reach out to our team and we’ll craft a step-by-step online business blueprint for you).
#1. Start building your website with landing pages.
- Landing pages contain opt-in forms.
- Opt-in forms capture contact information.
- Prospects contact information is added to your list.
- Your list feeds into funnels.
- Funnels nurture prospects into conversions.
As you can see, the sales process starts with the landing page.
Landing pages build your list, get your offer out to the market, and kick off the sales funnel.
You can begin building beautiful landing pages in mere seconds with great do-it-yourself services like Kajabi and ClickFunnels (we get many of our students building landing pages and earning money instantly by helping them navigate these services inside our Online Business Fast Track course).
#2. Create sales funnels for the leads your landing pages capture.
Landing pages won’t lead to sales without funnels.
Once the audience shows interest and gives you their contact information on a landing page, they must be added to a sales funnel.
Funnels deliver incredible value, build trust and engagement, and eventually, nurture prospects into purchasing.
If you’re brand new to funnels, they’re easy to get hung up on. For now, just consider them email sequences that provide a ton of free value before asking for a sale (we can help you create funnels that guarantee conversions here).
Prospects buy through funnels. They opt-in, they get value, they’re nurtured, and eventually, they’re made an offer they can’t resist.
Your website is not Amazon — they will not just show up and buy. This is why funnels are non-negotiable.
Think about a website where you practice the same click-and-buy behavior as Amazon. I’ll save you the headache; there isn’t one :).
Funnels are the key to sales.
#3. Pump out content for your website and your list.
With a strong message being spread on social media, your list being built through offers and landing pages, and funnels generating cash, you can now work on building your authority in the industry.
Pump out education-based content. Use your content in the following ways:
- House it on your website to generate SEO.
- Share it on social media.
- Send it to your email list.
- Use it to update and optimize your funnels.
As you can see, content is a crucial component of your website and your sales strategy.
If you’re not sure how to create education based content, we have a course that teaches this in less than 4 weeks right here.
The Simplified Strategy for Website Sales
Let’s take what we’ve learned and apply to a strategy to generate sales through your website.
- Content and social media drive prospects to your landing pages.
- Landing pages contain offers in exchange for contact information.
- Contact information is fed into funnels.
- Funnels convert prospects into buyers.
Without great content, offers, and funnels, your website will never do what you want it to.
The Number One Mistake People Make With Websites
Despite the simple strategy outlined above, building a revenue-generating website is not as easy as it seems.
In fact, you’re making a huge mistake if you go at it alone … or with the wrong people (it pains me to type that as I recall my $65K mistake referenced above).
Without a professional marketer on your team, getting past the social media stage can be nearly impossible.
I’ll save you the horror stories.
Hiring a graphic designer, web developer, or writer is not going to get you where you want to go.
Sure, these people can be components of your strategy and pieces of the puzzle, but these specialists can’t orchestrate your success.
You must have a marketer (or be one yourself) to help you transform your website into your cash cow.
This is the person, group, or organization that can ensure all of the assets created by you or provided by the designers, developers, writers, or other specialists, are actually going to lead to cold, hard cash.
Marketers are experts on the things that matter most: landing pages, offers, funnels, and sales. I believe as a business owner, you should, and must invest in your ability to market your own vision. Start here.
The Final Word on Building a Revenue-Generating Website
In this day and age, you don’t need a website until the time is right.
Don’t put the cart before the horse by building a site that will never convert.
Here’s what you need to have for a website that pays the bills:
- An audience.
- A clear message.
- Killer content
- Outstanding offers
- Landing pages.
- Sales funnels & sequences.
If you’re ready to build a revenue-generating website, reach out.
Wave a flag, start a smoke signal, send a carrier pigeon … or, contact us.
After all, we only write about what we know.
Rather than ensuring our clients have a lovely-looking site, we ensure that lovely-looking site generates MONEY.
It’s all about ROI, after all.
And if you’re not ready to work together, no worries. Feel free to use our website as a template for your own. Take a look around and witness the magic that happens with our Rise of the Visionary and Personal Brand Mentorship Communities.
Old-school strategies don’t work anymore. You need Visionary strategies to stand out from the crowd and earn cold, hard cash.