Doing business on the Internet is "easy" -- you just put up a web site and collect the moola, right?
Or at least not any more than doing business offline is as simple as setting up an office and getting paid.
So, what's missing from this overly simplistic idea of business?
People for one. Interacting with those people for another.
An exchange of value for a third.
And online there is the small issue of wrestling with technology.
I think a better model of business than thinking in terms of location (web site/office) is to think in terms of the actions required for business to occur. I've got it down to 3 actions.
Business is about being able to EAT.
Exposure -> Action -> Trade
Your business needs to expose the right people to its message, that message needs to generate some action from those prospects, and they become leads or actual clients when they trade value with you.
This same model works for online or offline, first time buyers or repeat customers, and across industries.
How does each of the pieces of this EAT model play out in an online business?
Getting your message in front of the right people is the first step.
Don't mistake "message" to just mean the words you use. Non-verbals often count for more than the "verbal" content of the words. I'm not discounting the power of well structured verbal patterns using the "right" words, just accentuating the often neglected non-verbal component.
Your content and the non-verbal "framing" of its appearance is one of the biggest ways to expose people to your message online. Whether through your website, your facebook profile/fan page/group, your twitter page, your squeeze pages, or your sales pages you want to expose people to the message in such a way that it generates the desired action -- not that just looks cool or pretty!
There are many courses out there teaching "traffic generation" but few address the idea of exposure driving action. Not to mention the fact that every exposure to your message should be congruent and consistent.
And then the (often unasked) question becomes:
"What am I supposed to be congruent and consistent with, their frame of mind or my message?"
(Hint: you need to do both at once!)
However you get people there, you'll have done some promoting, connecting, and "pre" exposing (even though it's all exposure -- good, bad, or ugly).
Hopefully that exposure is driving our next component -- action!
There are countless actions your web site can generate. Some of those actions, when taken by your visitors, get you closer to your goals. Others take you further from those goals. Knowing the difference leads to focusing on new actions (or new goals).
There are many more actions when people hit your web site than "buy" or "leave". One exercise I use to get clients clear on this step is to list 50 to 100 actions people could take when exposed to their message (primarily on their web site, but also extending to all other exposure channels they are planning to use). If they don't automatically get the bonus points by doing it themselves, I'll often help walk them through the sorting of resulting list by type of visitor or traffic source.
(I wonder how you could use that info to create high converting landing pages, promotions, and content. Hmm...)
What's that you're thinking so loudly: "Why list 50-100 actions? I just want them to buy my product or service!"
Every time I run this exercise we come up with smaller actions than the huge the initial exposure direct to sale jump that many people expect from their site. It can be as simple as "continue reading", or "click on a link to learn more", or "call for a consult" -- but going for the sale straight away is the equivalent of asking for a pre-nup on the first date. "Courting" your prospects with smaller commitments and smaller actions that lead to your larger actions is part of the dance.
Whatever the scale of the commitment, you need exposure to your message to generate some action on the part of the hearer. That leads into our final step -- trading.
Like the action step, trading is more than just collecting money and delivering a product or service -- it is about trading value in whatever form.
You may want to start by trading some of your valuable content for their valuable time. Or trading a report for an email address/facebook like/retweet/blog post.
Again, it is valuable to brainstorm what sources of value you have to offer and what value your perfect client would have to offer. When you have that info and your sales stats like the value of an email subscriber and lifetime value of clients, then you can decide how much you are willing to give in return for what it is you want.
Keep in mind, that a "fair" or "even" trade is not a "good" trade in the long run. If the client doesn't feel like they've gotten back 10 to 100 times their "money", then you are almost certainly hurting future sales and therefore lifetime value of a client.
The easiest sale is the repeat sale, and the easiest repeat sale is to a customer that knows/likes/trusts you, and the easiest way to know/like/trust you is by having such a spectacular return on investment that spending more time/money/resources with you is a no brainer.
So, what happens after you've exposed a new prospect to your message, generated an action on their part, and traded value with them -- are we done?
Of course not.
Hopefully, as part of that trade, you got contact info so that you can follow up with your new lead/fan/follower/client.
Oh, look -- follow up is another exposure and another chance to generate an action leading to a trade.
And the cycle continues!
Now, this post was an exposure in and of itself.
The actions that you must have taken to get here include clicking a link and continuing to read.
And I've traded a model that can generate significant ROI in return for your attention.
Let me expose another opportunity for you to take action and get a 10-100x return on your next trade with me.
While many non-retail businesses slow down this time of year, I'm among those who are ramping up and gaining momentum to drive next year into being a spectacular year. If that sounds good to you too, keep reading -- you're in for a treat!
Initially, I was going to offer you my services as contractor -- things like building custom WordPress themes, setting up web sites and facebook fan pages, or establishing affiliate programs for a few lucky clients. But I didn't want to limit people to just the likely tech tasks.
Then I realized that before I did any of those sort of jobs I'd have an initial consult (to establish how best to serve you in exposing your message, generating actions, and facilitating trades). Rather than offering the technical work directly, I'm offering the consult.
Click to reserve your Lightning Coaching/consult session
The more I thought about it the more excited I became -- I'm continually amazed at the breakthroughs and clarity that I get in short consults with my existing clients! And that meant I will be able to assist you in unlimited ways -- more than just the technical tasks I could generate off the top of my head.
My current price for a single 20 minute "Lightning Coaching" session is $75. I'm not just giving away my time (I have plenty of my own projects to work on), but I know that it'll feel like it was a "no brainer" once you've had your session and start receiving the returns on your time invested.
The best part -- we can talk about whatever actions you need to generate in your business. (And since your "personal" life impacts your business we can work on that stuff too -- typically without me knowing the details.)
NLP is some powerfully quick "medicine" for mindset and marketing ailments, and 20 minutes is plenty of time to talk through and plan solutions for nearly any technical issue you may have. In either case, if you need further work done outside the 30 minutes, I'll credit your initial investment in the quote.
Reserve your Lightning Coaching session here
Whatever your technical/mindset needs, I'm here to help.