The secret to building a hugely profitable web presence is actually quite simple. Still mulling over what Glenn Kelman posted on the cost of a large real estate industry web presence, my thoughts turn to what I think is the BEST analogy that I can find.
Find the SMALLEST profitable online niche that will net you a sale with the LEAST investment. For many service industries these days, that will be a blog (FREE-except for effort) and Social Media Marketing (FREE-except for your effort). As sales come in, RE-INVEST. Pay yourself the referral fee that you would have paid to others. If you paid yourself that 25% of your commission and put it back into your marketing, you’d be set. (NOTE: This is the hardest step. DO IT!)
If you are in real estate, the next step is adding a way to put inventory onto your blog / site. for others, that may be adding the “bait” (items of value that keep people coming back to your website). Then you might want to add some Paid Search or basic level SEO. Most of the easy stuff to do SEO-wise is freely available out there…you just need to DO IT.
OK, this is where it gets fun (and addictive-seriously). Then you use the revenue from the commissions (or sales) from your site to build an increasingly BETTER and more effective mousetrap. The problem that most folks have is that they want to skip to this step before starting small. Actually, an even bigger problem is that they want to create a visual masterpiece of a website before getting a free site together that will buy you the next round of profitable online bricks and mortar.
My philosphy for online marketing presence is simple:
Buy the SMALLEST possible number of online bricks in your industry that will generate enough revenue to get you to the next level. (Lather).
Use that presence to generate revenue (no matter how many people make fun of what it looks like). Just focus on making those bricks profitable. (Rinse).
Re-Invest a significant piece of your earnings into your web presence. More specifically, re-invest into buying the NEXT profitable amount of revenue generating online bricks you can afford. Don’t overreach. (repeat.)
You build an online presence the same way a bricklayer builds a wall. One profitable brick at a time. The nice thing about the internet is that it is a great equalizer, whether you traffic your site with SEO, pay per click, crossover advertising, or any other form of media…the barriers to entry never have been lower IMO.