In this article I want to discuss the importance of building a platform for your online business and why you need to.
Whether you're an author and you want to sell books, or a coach, or you sell online courses or physical products, or even if you just sell other people's products – it does not matter what business model you have, building a platform is one of the most important things you could do.
What will a platform do for you
You will find the platform will greatly enhance what you do online, it is the difference between a strategy and having a real business - having people come through your doors, and engaging with you and becoming paying clients. It will enhance everything you do online.
Why building a platform is important
I often talk about an ecosystem, that attracts and nurtures your potential clients.
Here are some of the things that a platform will enable you to do:
- you can establish your expertise in your market.
- you can build trust and establish a relationship with your audience.
- you can share your story with people, which builds brand loyalty.
- you can literally market anything with this method.
- you can provide a method for which people can share you out there, which will drive organic growth . In fact, people who have well-established platforms and know how to do this properly find their organic growth eventually outstrips their paid traffic.
There are many good reasons for you to consider why you need a platform. If this is something you need 1-2-1 assitance with, feel free to book an online business breakthrough session with me.
What is a platform?
I want to break it down into three simple parts. If you visit the Facebook page, you'll see that I've got lots of videos talking about different specific elements of your online business. But a platform consists of three things.
1. Having a content strategy
This is where you create content and share with your audience on a regular basis, which goes out across multiple social media platforms. What a content strategy allows you to do is engage with your audience where they're hanging out. So whether it be a YouTube strategy, podcasting strategy, email marketing or whatever social media platform suits your target audience, you can take specific content and channel that through all these areas, which will enable you to see how people engage with the content. This will enable you to create more content on similar topics and strengthen your knowledge and needs of your target audience.
2. Client Journey
Strategy is an essential part of your platform, and part of an essential strategy having a client journey. A client journey will support all of your “outgoing” content to turn people into raving fans or paying clients. A good question to ask yourself is - when people visit your site or platforms, what is the journey I am taking them on?
For example, do you make an effort to capture their emails or do you have a push engage strategy, which is another way that you can reach out to them when you have new content. Regardless, you need strategies to capture emails (or other types of commitment like a free group) so that you can continue to engage and lead a person to the next step.
If you're a coach, you probably want to invite them to a call. If you sell a product, you probably want to make some sort of offer where they can engage with your product or try your product. That is very difficult to do when you just have a YouTube channel standing alone. But when you incorporate this as part of a client journey and when you map it out and when you have the right systems and processes in place, you can have a really effective client journey where someone comes to you, they enter into your ecosystem and your platform engages with them, and then they get taken on that journey to becoming a paying client.
And so I want you to step back and have a think about do I have a real client journey., ie what happens to somebody when they come into my ecosystem? What parts of my platform are working? What parts of my platform aren't working?
So these are all good questions to ask. And again, if you need some help with that, I'm happy to to talk to you on a strategy call to help you get clarity on it.
3. The right Tech Foundation
And so that brings me to the third part of a platform, which is having the right technical foundation.
So many people come to me and they've either designed a website, but it does not have a lead magnet, or they have a blog that's sort of dead and it's not producing or not doing anything, they might have a Shopify site that looks great and has cool products, but unless someone buys, there's no way to just sort of capture that person's interest.
So when it comes to your platform, there actually is a physical platform and it incorporates whatever social media platforms you use as well, and it is these 3 elements that work together to give the client or prospects an experience with you. And that's what I call a real business, and that is what's missing from online tutorials.
Why would you rely on a publisher's expertise to promote your book? Why as a coach would you rely on Google's SEO algorithm? You don't need to rely on 1 strategy, you can take the power in your own hands by building a platform, which will enable you to take your clients on whatever journey you like. You are not stressed if for example Facebook changes their group algorithm, because you have a whole platform, a whole ecosystem for people to connect with you.
So I hope that's helped you understand why a platform is important. It's really essential if you want a real business online. And when I say a real business, I mean authors and musicians as well. If you really want to reach people out there, you can build your own platform. You can build a loyal audience, and then when the economy changes, you can change to meet the need of your audience.