Here’s the plain and simple truth: you don’t need a website to launch your business.
That might sound crazy or unconventional, but the fact of the matter is that while you think a website is what makes your brand or business “official” or “legitimate,” it’s not a priority for making sales.
I have seen entrepreneurs waste up to 12 months just trying to create these extravagant websites along with educational materials, sale copy, social media presence, and branding. And this is all before they’ve even began to focus on actually selling.
Selling needs to be priority in order for you to actually make money, right? So why spend months of your time on a super involved website and platform if you don’t even know it’s going to sell once it’s setup?
Websites are not a prerequisite for brands or businesses.
Look, most of us are small business owners with limited budgets. Unless you have millions and millions of dollars at your disposal to launch your business, you’re not going to want to waste your resources on anything that you’re not sure is going to give you a good ROI.
So forget the belief that you need a website in order to launch your business. Forget the so-called “checklist” of things you need to do to be a legitimate business.
Instead, you need to focus on a process that effectively sells. I’m going to lay this process out for you step by step. It’s the same process I’ve used with clients time and time again to build their business and ramp up their sales.
I’ve helped clients make $250,000 in less than 2 months, I helped a fashion brand make $3 million in 24 months, and it’s all been using The Modern Marketer’s ACE Method. (If you don’t know what that is, join The Modern Marketer private FB group and start asking questions.)
So, instead of the website, here are the steps you need to take:
1. Create a Landing Page
Landing pages have one purpose: to drive action.
It’s almost like the distilled version of a website.
It’s the action page you would want any visitors on a full-blown website to eventually arrive to.
But the main difference between a landing page and a full-blown website is the simplicity of it all. Your goal with the landing page is to convey a strong message in the most beautiful and direct way that you can with no distractions.
- no menu
- no sidebar
- no external links
- no footer content/menu
That’s the thing with a website— there’s more information on it to occupy a visitor’s attention and they are less likely to take action than initially being exposed to a landing page with a simple call to action.
The reason I’m emphasizing simplicity is that I see way too many landing pages that are completely cluttered with information.
You don’t have to supplement the simplicity of a landing page.
Think about it.
Every landing page is a point of arrival.
It’s like landing from a flight in a country you’ve never been to. You wouldn’t want to be overwhelmed by new information all at once in a new place, so why do that to the people coming to your landing page?
You can give people necessary information on landing page without 1,200 words of copy, 10 pictures, and 15 links. I suggest you check out software like Unbounce which promotes the type of landing pages that do exactly what you need them to do without extra frills.
Every last element on a landing page needs to encourage a specific action to be taken. This action will be for the purpose of generating leads. That’s the only reason you are driving traffic there, and the only reason people should be there.
So whatever that specific action is, make sure that your landing page is not only optimized for the desired action, but also tracked so you can re-engage people who are visiting the page.
But what exactly should this “specific action” be?
2. Create a Lead Magnet
A lead magnet can go by different names— an opt-in, a freebie, trip-wire, etc. But no matter what you call it, it’s the first touch point you have with your users before attempting to nurture them into customers.
This is the value you create that inspires people to take action from your landing page. People will have to want that value enough to give you their information. That’s how you get your leads.
So what kind of value should you be providing in exchange for people’s information?
This value should be in the form of content.
This content needs to serve two main purposes: to provide a solution to a specific problem and to demonstrate your expertise.
There are many different forms of content you can provide. Here are a few examples:
- Video email series – nurturing emails that educate recipients in installments
- Checklist – easily consumable and actionable list
- Ebook – a longer, more comprehensive form of content
- Cheat Sheet – like a checklist, but with a list of guidelines or a process
- White Paper – an authoritative and in-depth report on a specific problem that provides a specific solution
- Long form content – a long blog post (around 2,000 words or more)
- Tutorial – either a video or a PDF that teaches how to do one specific thing
- Infographic – an illustrated format for information
- Webinar – an educational video or audio format thats occurs at a specific tim
These are just a few examples, and there are so many more. You want to choose one format that will work for your business and industry and make it highly valuable.
At the end of that content, you can promote your product or service.
This is where you begin to sell.
Now that you’ve gotten people’s attention, provided them value, and proved your expertise, they are much more willing to buy what you’re selling.
Expert Tip: Don’t sell multiple products or services. Focus on selling one thing well.
However, most will not buy right away. Nor should they have to. That’s why you’ve collected their email address with your lead magnet. Now you can have multiple touch points with them directly in their inbox.
3. Automated Email Marketing
After you’ve provided your lead with some stellar content, you want to stay in contact with them because they are still a lead. They’ve made it this far through your funnel, right? You have to keep engaging them if you want to sell.
This is the decision stage of the ACE method.
So you need to have an email automation in place as soon as you get your lead’s information. These emails will guide your leads through to the bottom of the sales funnel.
When you have a lead and their information, you should use a triggered email message to engage with your audience that respond to their behavior.
According to Epsilon, triggered emails get 119% higher click-through rates than “business as usual messages.”
You definitely don’t want to pound your leads with email messages. All it should take is three to five emails with only two or three of those emails including a call-to-action.
It’s best practice to segment your email lists to provide the most personalized emails possible. This is what will drive engagement, and ultimately, get you the most sales.
4. Advertise Your Funnel
If you’re going to spend advertising dollars on anything, it needs to be on this sales funnel.
You want to get people onto your landing page so you can guide them through the rest of the process. Getting ads out in front of targeted audiences will not only get you qualified leads, but will also be far more effective than just hoping the right leads end up on the landing page of your website.
Facebook ads are the way to go.
These ads are so highly targeted and inexpensive that it’s almost stupid not to use them. The more targeted these ads are, the more qualified the leads you will get.
You can also advertise through a PR campaign or cross-promotion. Consider the influencers of your industry. They can also get your landing page out in front of the right people.
No matter avenue you take, make sure you seek qualified leads to get to your landing page.
If you run traffic to this funnel for 30 to 90 business days, I promise you will make 10 times the amount of money as if you’re trying to get your ducks in a row for months and months.
There’s no need to burn through all your time and money to creating websites, taking the perfect pictures, waiting on things to be in place, or writing amazing content. While those are all important things, you need to be first and foremost prioritize your basic business competencies. The best marketers in the world are salesman. If you’re going to launch something new, you need to streamline the process to prioritize making sales.
So don’t spend so much time trying to perfect your funnel, your brand, and your presentation. Just get a landing page and some valuable content up, get some data, get some traffic, and test it out. Then at least you have a legit business that’s killing it in sales, and then you can worry about spending money on your website, culture, team building, and more advertising.
Get your marketing priorities straight.