If you want to create a real growth-based sustainable business, my advice is to focus on building your own complete system; become independent from "Big Tech" so you can't be banned or throttled. Use them to send traffic to your own assets like a website, recurring membership, online e-commerce shop, or e-learning platform, and build your own audience.
As a marketing consultant, after thousands of hours of consulting and deploying marketing systems, the following is a blueprint for what I believe a typical online entrepreneur needs to be successful in today's highly-competitive marketplace:
- Your major focus should be the overall customer experience. You will also want to try to be as frictionless as possible throughout. At the same time, employ as much automation as possible.
- You should start with a mobile-ready website that tightly integrates your content-based assets, such as your podcast channel, on-demand videos, courses, memberships and blogs.
- Seamlessly build up your subscriber database and automatically email subscribers when new content is available. Your marketing module should trigger emails or actions based on your prospect's behavior, as well as help them progress through your courses and products. You will need to design some pages to promote free checklists, blueprints, and/or ebooks to build your subscriber database. You will want your visitors to be able to buy your products & services and handle the delivery of your digital download or physical product on the same site. At the same time, you may wish to upsell products at checkout. By segmenting your prospects, you can build powerful followup emails.
- You should have multiple payment gateways. This reduces the risk of one portal withholding funds if you grow too fast. You could also sell products in different currencies to lower buyer resistance.
- You may want the ability to create a recurring membership system where you can charge users at regular intervals and allow them to easily update their records with you.
- You may want different front-end websites, but they should all lead back to your eCommerce and backend member area so you can manage them easily. This allows you to promote different angles of your business without splitting up your audience or resources.
- To grow your business, you should create an affiliate program and encourage referrers or affiliates to share your products and services for rewards.
- At the end of the process, the prospect or customer should finish their initial journey in your back-end membership area, which includes all of their invoices, downloads, and bonus content. You don't want your customers fumbling around with separate websites looking for all of this information!
- It's vital to have a ticketing system or similar service system to support your customers.
- The next step is to create a highly-engaged community for your clients and prospects that provides extra value behind a secure login and keeps them coming back for your content.
- To further engage users, you need to gamify your community through status badges and rewards systems.
- Think about creating courses where your members can learn online at their own pace. Your course system should allow them to progress step-by-step as they do each lesson, not necessarily on a weekly release schedule where they could quickly get behind and give up. You should also encourage students to engage with other students.
- What if they didn't need to download a worksheet PDF they never actually complete? You need a system to allow them to leave their responses as they work through the lessons. This will give you the ability to see all their answers, which means you also know where they are in the course. This means no one is left behind!
- A useful feature is to be able to assign a task to your students as they progress through the course. You could also create a coaching program based on their task list.
- You also need a powerful analytics reporting system that tells you exactly where your traffic is coming from and what they're clicking on to help make decisions for your marketing campaigns.
- You will also want a single dashboard to view statistics, create content, and manage your business.
- Ideally, you should build a procedure system (Knowledge Base) so your staff and outsourcers can run your processes the same way every time. Make it easy to create step-by-step instructions rather than having to continually re-train staff.
- What if you wanted to create a mastermind group? It would be best if you could group people together and allow users to be able to access Q&A calls, group tasks, and results in a logical and centralized way.
- It would also help to have a project management system to help you and your team manage your projects as well as client ones.
- Most importantly, your platform needs to have fast loading times, or you risk driving customers away!
How long do you think it would take to implement all of this?
Maybe a year or longer!
We have spent thousands of dollars and many fruitless hours in search of the best all-in-one platform that had most of the features we wanted. But as far as I could tell, that system doesn’t exist. In frustration, I set out on a journey to develop my own unique platform, completely based around the needs of entrepreneurs, coaches, consultants, authors, podcasters, publishers, and mastermind groups.
We call it evolvepreneur.app. Our mission is to start a revolution to help entrepreneurs establish their own complete business system that can compete with mainstream social media platforms.
Don't become a cog in the machine; create your own machine.
I challenge you to focus on building your own complete business community platform.
Take control of your destiny and sleep better at night!