Business owner in Panic.
I got a call from one of my clients, for whom I made a website. He said, Chetna, my website is not coming up in search results. My site should come up when someone types, SALES TRAINER. This was the first time I was hearing this requirement.
I could sense the panic in his voice. He was out of revenues and was hoping and unreasonably expecting that the website would do magic for him and give him that much needed cash. I didn’t bother explaining him that a WEBSITE IS NOT A MAGICAL POUCH, WHICH DISPENSES MONEY WHEN YOU PUT YOUR HAND IN, LIKE AN ATM. He would not have understood.
Don’t Start With Unrealistic Expectations (Life isn’t that easy)
People assume that a website will make their business successful instantly. People forget, that like any other business, website creation is just like opening a shop. You don’t start making sales just by opening a shop. You have to advertise, market, nurture leads, answer queries, make conversions and then it starts giving you revenues. How can you get fire, without he wood, a tree without watering and nurturing the sapling. Expecting revenue from a website without even marketing it, is like expecting a sapling to grow into a plant without even watering it or nurturing it or helping it grow.
Now, coming back to your business and how your website could start making you revenue, the first thing that we need to understand and set right, is what is your GOAL or EXPECTATION from the website. We can get and measure results only when we set the expectation straight.
Set Definite Goals / Expectations From Your Website
According to me, there could be three TYPES OF EXPECTATION / GOALS that you could have from your website.
It could be possible that you are an established business in your domain but now that people are more online, and your prospects want to “check you out”, you have got a website created. Therefore you have published all your products, services, testimonials, phone address, city location on your website.
It gives a social proof about your VALID existence to your prospective buyers. This type of website, which acts as a messenger for future prospects about what you have done in the past, who you are as a business, what is your mission vision goal and what are your products and services, makes your prospect think that you are a real business.
It also reduces the overhead of your staff, to not have to share PDF brochures about your entity and your products and services with your prospects and only share your website with them. All the information, that your prospects might want to know about you is on your website.
Is branding is your goal, then you should be happy, you have a website that does the automation for you and reduces your staff’s time requirement. By just giving the website URL, your task is accomplished. This is what I did for http://dhoothospitals.com
Before coming the hospital, if someone wants to know where the hospital is, what are their specialties, what are their facilities, which doctors work there etc, the website accomplishes it for them.
What is a lead? When you COLLECT information (Name, email and phone) about your prospects, who might be interested in your services, you have collected a LEAD. Some people mistake that LEAD generation will lead to immediate SALES. That is hardly the case. A LEAD is someone who is JUST interested in your product or service but have NOT made a decision to BUY from you.
So, when a lead is just interested in your product or service, we call it a COLD LEAD. It is your responsibility as a business owner to transform this LEAD into a CLIENT by nurturing this lead over a period of time.
Following are some of the ways of nurturing your leads.
Since you have collected the lead information (name, email) from your website, now its time to give some SPECIAL treatment to your LEADS. You write them email (Do not use gmail or traditional email applications to bulk email your leads. You might end up being marked as a spammer. Use a mature email marketing tool such as GETRESPONSE to send weekly newsletters to your leads. These newsletters could contain some valuable information or free eBooks or templates for your leads, so that it makes their life easier.
But writing them these valuable emails (not good morning and good nights please), you kind of convert your lead status from COLD, to WARM. Your leads starts liking you to just CONSIDER the idea of doing business with you. Again, not assume that they are ready to buy yet.
If you are in an agency business like mine, then a strategy call would make sense. You could invite your leads to get on a strategy call with you. On the call, you could discuss the specifics of their requirements, AGAIN give them value (Tips can could positively impact their business) and slide your product or services information just in case they are interested. Again, please don’t assume that the LEAD is ready to buy from you. By trying to sell your services at this stage, might put the lead on a backfoot and question your intention of providing value.
In case of http://oralcare.co.in when they get a LEAD through the “Book an Appointment” feature, they call the lead and set up a mutually suitable time for the patient and the dentist, to carry out the procedures.
Some leads might not answer the calls, after entering their details. So its not necessary that every LEAD will convert into a SALE.
If you collect phone nos of LEADs from your website, then you could add the leads into a whatsapp group or better, send a whatsapp group link for people to join (this way, people wont report you as spam and your account won’t be blocked). Later you can nurture these leads by providing them valuable information, so much so that they want to do business with you and approach you right away.
Jogesh used to do that initially.
Revenue Generating Website
When you get ACTUAL MONEY from a website, its called revenue generating website. This could be a ecommerce platform, a donation website or a service provider website, where service / subscription charges are paid online.
This kind of a website requires a payment gateway integrated with the website so that the money directly lands into your bank account.
An ecommerce website is where you can sell physical products like books, clothes, bags etc, you can sell digital products like mp3, mp4 videos etc, you can sell virtual products like consulting services, seminars, etc.
A donation website is where you collect donations from your website. I have done the same for CIIGMA Health Foundation
You could also sell other people’s services to your partners, by creating a freelancer kind of platform and charge posting fees or commissions when people buy your packages. Something I have done for http://hotelment.com/
After reading through the different kinds of Goals or Expectations you can have from your website, you have to decide, for your business, which is the most appropriate goal. Once you have decided what goal you have from your website, we can decide a strategy for marketing your website. Before that, we would just be shooting in the dark.
So the one reason why your website is not making you any revenue is because you have NOT set the correct expectations from your website. You want one website to do the branding for you, generate leads for you and make sales for you. Instead of shooting for all in one, decide on ONE GOAL, get RESULTS and then move on to the other goals.