Online Platform - More Than a Website

 

Have you taken a look at your website lately? Is it working for you?

What i mean is: Does your website help to drive your business by identifying leads and nurturing the relationship with your leads to become your customers?

I have an exercise for you. Pull out a copy of your business card and compare it to your website content. If your website is just a more elaborate version of your business card then your website provides a way for the visitor to contact you instead of the other way around. If this is the case, then you may need to reconsider how your website is designed.

Business cards, and information brochure websites, are just passive information sources for your visitors, until you take positive action to engage someone to follow up with them directly in a purposeful conversation. To follow up with them, you need their contact information.

One thing that I've learned is that there is a difference between a website brochure and an online business platform. According to online dictionaries:

A “website” is a group of World Wide Web pages usually containing hyperlinks to each other and made available online by an individual, company, educational institution, government, or organization.

An “online platform” is an online marketplace that places one party in touch with another, such as buyers and sellers

In practice many businesses have built their websites to be passive online information brochures – an “extended business card” website with several pages describing their business and what they do. There may be products for sale, and most have a way for a visitor to contact them or set up an appointment. These sites generate about as much business as a business card by itself. Without taking action to follow up, not much happens. And, since you don’t know your website visitor’s contact information, it’s impossible to directly follow up.

It is a common mistake to design your website to be only about you. Instead, shift your frame of thinking that your website needs to be (re)designed to be all about serving your ideal audience and make it easier for them to reach out and interact and engage actively with you.

In contrast to “just a website,” an online business platform, designed to connect buyers and sellers, offers 4 major business functions, where the public content website portion of the platform is just the one of the 4 online capabilities you need to be thinking about. The four main functions of an online platform are:

  1. Public website with blog
  2. Online marketing
  3. Online sales
  4. Private website content (membership sites)

An Online Platform is more than a Website

Online platforms engage the visitor (a prospective buyer) to interact with you (the seller) to help them solve their problems. These platforms invite action from the visitor to take a “customer journey” with you in a series of online conversations, commonly referred to as online marketing sequences, funnels, campaigns, launches, webinars, etc. These customer journeys lead to online sales, and online sales unlock access to private content in the form of purchased online information products or live events.

To learn all 5 steps you need to take to design your online business platform,  download my FREE GUIDE: 5 Steps to Accelerate Your Online Success

 

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