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Need More Clients? Reach Beyond Your Website!

reach-beyond-your-websiteThe internet is almost magical.  

Think about it…you put up a few pages of text on a website and you have the potential for a business. People can view your site, read your copy and decide if they want to work with you. And blogs make it even more magical. You can easily write more content and your visitors can engage you and create conversation – increasing the possibilities that they might work with you.

Yet while the internet is magical, for many it provides false hope. So many business owners and service providers believe that simply having a website or blog alone will generate more clients. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Launching a blog or website – on its own – may not change your business at all.

This might seem odd to say, but it’s true. For your website to successfully promote your business, generate leads and help you get more clients, you need people to find it. You need people to use, to read the content and to engage you through it. Ultimately, you need people to visit your website that you have designed your services to help.

But before you roll your eyes with the usual, ‘of course,’ consider something – consider how! How will people find your website? More importantly, how will the ‘right’ people – the people you’re in business to serve – find your website?  

The simple answer is to reach beyond your website. What I mean is don’t rest on just having a website or publishing to a blog. Use them. Use them by thinking of website not as a destination that everyone should visit. Instead think of your website (and blog) as a hub for your business.

As a hub, you website should be thought of as a central part of your business marketing strategy. And just like the hub of a wheel needs spokes to work effectively, you need spokes off your business hub to make your website work effectively. The spokes? Your efforts. Your spokes are the things that you’re doing on the internet that lead back to your hub.

In other words, for your website hub, to be successful in promoting your business, you have to reach out beyond the hub with spokes out into the internet. And this can happen in any number of ways. You can utilize social media like Twitter  or  Facebook, publish articles to article banks like EzineArticles or interact with people in forums. Really, there are hundreds of ways to reach out beyond your website. I’m even doing a teleclass on the subject – 220 Ways to Reach Out With Your Website to Get More Traffic & Build Your Business.

What’s important, however, isn’t so much how you reach out beyond your website. What’s important is that you actually do it. In other words, for your website to produce more clients, you need to be doing things that engage people on the internet and bring them back to your hub. That’s what the spokes do – they lead back to the hub.

So what are the spokes to your business hub website? What are you doing each day to actively lead people back to your website?

Just as interesting, how are you using your website or blog as the hub for your business?

Let’s talk about it!

note:  image  from  ***Karen  on  Flickr,    some rights reserved)

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Comments

  1. Tayfur says:

    This useful information is really useful in my work ..

  2. Well, Dawud. I couldn’t more agree with your opinions. In order to build up my business, I usually engaged myself into the main webmaster forums and Facebook, as these places have many new prospects!

  3. Every website is just like a real business it takes time, love and attention to become succesfull. You need to speak to people about what your site (online and offline). If you don’t they will not find your site because they never heard of it.

    I like article submission, social media, responding to blogs and forums and simply just asking for links on relevant websites.

  4. Absolutely right. Using a site or blog as the core is only the first step. There are a lot of other considerations from there. Social media, reaching out to others in the industry, and even reaching beyond the internet. Promote your site through traditional means as well.

    Great stuff here.

    Cheers

    George

  5. Cool Gifts says:

    Great write up. I agree that the internet offers false hope to many. People feel that if they build it people will come. When in reality for that statement to be true, you have to work your butt off and add as many spokes as possible.

  6. John Easton says:

    Dawud,

    Thank you for the insights. I attempted to post a comment this morning but I do not think it went through…

    One useful way I have found to add spokes to my website and conversion pipeline is to build a mobile-friendly page to my site featuring a newsletter registration form. When I meet interesting people in the “real world” I suggest they sign up to receive my newsletter on the spot using my Blackberry smart phone.

    Hope this adds to the body of ideas around your post.

    Best,

    John

  7. Hi Dawud! It’s been sooo long since I’ve commented here (been lurking a bit).

    Forums are very useful and I’ve set myself the task of just posting in1-2 threads per day—it doesn’t take much time but it is helpful to others and a perfect opportunity to promote older blog articles. They also give me ideas for writing new articles on my blog. I recently joined LinkedIn, too, and the Answers section as well as discussions in groups (like Communication Arts for me) are useful and similar to forums.

    I’ve discovered that Twitter is a great way to find clients, too, as well as network with those within my industry.

    And what about non-digital networking? I know, you were just covering online activities here. Some ideas that I’ve had, specifically for designers, things like chamber of commerce mixers and non-design industry events are great places to hand out business cards and discuss one’s unique perspective and offerings. I think even charity events can be a great place to network (and you already have an icebreaker—the event itself!).

  8. Mikael @ RetireRichRoadmap says:

    I find that one of the hardest things is not actually doing the marketing (creating spokes) but rather to do it the right places in the right way so I can attract the right people. Because who are the right people? Maybe that would be a good place to start before sending out to many (useless) spokes?

  9. Social networks like Twitter and Facebook have been wonderful outlets for promoting my business. I’ve also joined a local woman’s business group which has had great results – I’ve been able to network with some great women who all like to help each each other out. Your teleclass sounds interesting too.

  10. Maybe we should all just start advertising on television and in newspapers, that’s really “beyond your website” 🙂

  11. A decade ago the term “saturation” didnt bother any web developer. Nowdays websites and web business are just too many. The user base has increased since then, but not spectacular. Today almost everyone offers web design, web hosting or similar services. The magic word today is quality, support and professionalism. If your business complies with those 3 factors you will succeed.

  12. Word Count Tool says:

    That’s true, it’s better to use many different types of marketing methods.

  13. I agree, it’s a combination of both online and offline efforts that help build a business. Reach out!

  14. You are correct! You have to look at your website or blog as a hub for your business and be willing to go out and market your website in a manner that attracts your targeted audience. There are so many people out there who truly believe that if you build it people will come but that really isn’t the case.

  15. Of course you can’t live on a website alone. But you are right.. A lot of people probably believe so.

    On the other hand, you can’t run a business without a website now a days either.

  16. Hi Dawud,
    Here’s my comment 🙂

    I think this post is about expectations. One of the biggest expectations I run across when working with small biz owners getting their web presence created is the one you mention: if they build it, customers will come!

    I love that your post opens up for us that it takes more than a righteous web presence to get your biz going 🙂

    I like using LinkedIn Answers, trolling forums for my niche and providing value-added comments/feedback, not just the hook to return to my website. Twitter is my friend also although I use it mostly to keep my own engines full, and to create JV contacts since (one of) my targets markets is less likely to be twittering (women who would like to be “more” tech-savvy). So things like Facebook fills that gap. And then of course, there’s regular old face-to-face networking.

    Thanks for a great reminder that a web presence is more than a website or blog.

  17. Do Follow Business Blog says:

    Couldn’t agree more with the fact that simply building a website or blog is a waste of time if you think customers magically show up once you’re live on the internet. Quality and profitable websites are like anything else, you have to continuously work at it and if done properly your results will come. Nice post.

  18. Having a website on Internet won’t let you any customer unless you interact with the online community then only people would come to know about you

  19. In some sectors, a simple website can transform a business, in others it’s a basic necessity. In these difficult times, it’s important to stay ahead of the competition.

  20. Of course having a website that is sitting by itself without promotion of any sort is like putting a tiny sign up by the highway while all the cars zip by. You need a billboard.

    But that’s still much better than not having a site at all and putting your online reputation into the hands of others. Businesses without sites drive me crazy, having to go to citysearch or yelp to get basic information like your hours or address. At least start with the site and then work on the marketing it from there.

  21. Mr Radio says:

    Twitter is becoming a must have for most business, but it will probably only be that way for about 6 more months. Their 40% retention rate after one month isn’t great.

    Facebook is the safer approach, depending on your audience, myspace is good depending on how old you are. (For some reason old people are “creepy” on myspace)

  22. Dawud, it’s totally useless to have the world’s most powerful and beautiful website/blog, but you’re lacking of the proper strategies to bring the potential leads into your business!

    Back to the basic, “Build a good relationship with your clients and always offer the best stuffs to them!” If you’re able to do it, then the clients will continue flocking back to you…

  23. Wilson…it is not quite like that….it can be great on a visit card

  24. Twitter and Facebook are useful for your business, for your site..but your site needs also search engine optimization to get targeted traffic

  25. I opened a Twitter account in December and just started using it regularly in the past few weeks. Posting a link on Twitter can get one anywhere from 20 to 50 hits within a matter of seconds!

    It’s been an interesting ride trying to figure out catchy slogans to intrigue people to click, and very worth it! I am seeing hundreds more hits a week on my website!

    Be brave and Tweet!

    http://www.stunningannak.etsy.com

  26. Carp Fishing Holidays says:

    What I feel is that you should know whether you are going to achieve what you would like to get by creating a blog or website.

    I think if internet marketing is done in a proper way than it is definitely gonna help your website/blog.

    I would love to be best in what I am offering..

    Thanks for sharing such a nice piece

    Cheers

  27. Mario Compañías Seguros says:

    hey Dawud, I totally agree with you on “What’s important, however, isn’t so much how you reach out beyond your website. What’s important is that you actually do it.” because that’s what really matters!

  28. Simple but effective tips you have here. Spot on.

  29. Twitter is a great way to find clients, too, as well as network with those within my industry.

  30. Francesca Adsl Telecom says:

    It is absolutely true. Thank you for this information which is really useful to me and to my work! Cheers!

  31. I disagree with some of you!i think it depends on kind of business you are in!Some business involve high use of web sites, some do not need them at all!But i agree that if you have web site you have to look after it and try to fill with usefull info, that people can easily access it, and to give chance to “givers” to benefit from their visits!

  32. Steve | Bape says:

    I always think about internet and the business related to it. Sometimes, I think, If I am doing the right thing? Am I using it fully with all my potentials? I am always failed to satisfy myself because there is a lot more to discover and research. I think to outsource some projects to out some tasks on priority then rolled back. It’s so true that we can’t survive only with our sites and missing all other media. Thanks for the motivation to use all other mediums as well.

  33. “That’s what the spokes do – they lead back to the hub.” Great words right there, I feel if you write quality information that people need to hear, then they will come back to your site. Hungry for more knowledge. Happy Friday!

  34. I think so many people simply want to “be on the web”. They dont realized they need to put up quality content and try to make a site compelling so potential clients will be interested in contacting them.

  35. Rose - MN Human Resources says:

    Definitely correct. This may mean a lot of hard work but you must do everything to help your business to get off the ground and stand on its feet. Thank you for lots of helpful info.

  36. Many successful people in my industry attract customers by speaking at conferences. You also can’t underestimate the importance of referrals from colleagues. Try reaching out to people who do a similar or complementary service, i.e. pet groomers and pet trainers, and trade referrals.

  37. Become a person of value. Give away as much FREE quality information as possible. People will visit your site if they think you can answer their problems.

  38. I totally agree with your post. With the emergence of Social Media and the dramatic increase in website usage, managers must realize that simply putting up a website want necessarily increase business. You still have to has something the competitors don’t and the consumer needs.

  39. You talk about one of the ways to get more clients, i can personally say that personal relations and personal branding is the perfect way to brand your self.

  40. Yasinta says:

    Internet is a magic gateway to reach global market. Yet it’s cheap. Not all will success, but with careful strategy and marketing, it will really help the marketing of brick store. Or become your e-business source of money.

  41. That’s always the tricky part, coming up with the best place for your content. You make a great point though, the best thing you can possibly is get it out into the world.

    You can’t market from an island.

  42. WebMaster says:

    You talk about one of the ways to get more clients, i can personally say that personal relations and personal branding is the perfect way to brand your self.

  43. alienware repair says:

    Hi,

    I am new to this blog.But I got a lot of knowledge from this blog. when we read others blogs and comments on it , it motivates us to write new Ideas on that topic also.

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  44. Man, it is sometimes really tough at the beginning and your site isn’t even indexed in Google yet, much less has no PageRank and you are getting no traffic. That’s always been the toughest part for me to struggle through. Then if you’re lucky and work hard at it, one day traffic just starts popping up. Such a cheaper model than any brick-and-mortar scenario though. I always use PPC marketing at first.

  45. thanks for useful tips sharings. i agree with point personal interactivity is better way than others.

  46. Spyzooka Review says:

    Im using affiliate links on some of my sites and do you know what increased my clients or buyers??

    All I did was hide my affiliate link.. after that i saw a considerable amount of conversions.. just shows how something so simple can make such a difference

  47. I just recently started using Myspace and Twitter to promote my blog, it’s helped tremendously. It’s all about making your website seem more personal and social networking sites help achieve that.

  48. I know of a company which creates Content. With the recent crash in prices of content creation, partly due to the recession, the company has started moves into web design and has started sending out quotes. It does not have its own website or blog and is asking for referrals from those who have bought content which was was well received. This is another way of starting business!!

  49. I totally agree, you need to explore all areas of promotion beyond your website. Going to relevant trade shows and conventions helps show that your business is more than just a website.

  50. Social media is the key these days, as far as I’m concerned. I had a very positive response from this growing trend and I recommend people with ecommerce sites do the same.

  51. The social network sites is a good way to promote your business. I use facebook and myspace to promote my blogs. Article submission can also be done in the social network site.

    I encourage you to promote in the facebook as it has many members there.

  52. Social networking is huge these days. I believe you should learn to use these valuable tools to promote your businesses. They are going to be around for awhile.

  53. Yahyali Fm says:

    I totally agree, you need to explore all areas of promotion beyond your website. Going to relevant trade shows and conventions helps show that your business is more than just a website.

  54. Cat Supplies says:

    Great article. It really makes a lot of sense. I have focused so much attention on building my website that I need to go out and attract customers. Much like a retail store would. Great advice.

  55. Steve - dunk shoes says:

    After starting our online ventures, we always think that it is enough to have plenty of potential clients. I am not in the favor. If we are looking for potential clients and our business natures is not content based only, I think we should go beyond.

  56. Sid Savage Auto Dealer Forum says:

    Great post, finding ways to expand your business should always be pursued.

  57. I like your thinking. This is how I see it too. I use ‘butterfly nets’ by way of example. The more nets you have, the more butterflies you catch.

    Of course, some nets catch more butterflies than others. Never-the-less, the web seems to reward diversity.

  58. I don’t look at our websites as simply store fronts anymore — they are critical spokes in the entire wheel of business.

    Elegant websites that are user friendly and communicate sincerity/trust/know-how are as important as the traditional “firm handshake.”

  59. The trouble I see is that mixing all this activity with your daily routine of running an offline business can be difficult.

    Is there any advice you can give to manage the two without burning out?

    Q

  60. Excellent story. Nowadays, everything seems to be online. We can talk to old friends, make new friends, or even get dating online. What a world.

    So, everyone want to promote their sites. More traffic (usually) means more income. Personally, I think the social networking is the most effective way these days.

    Thanks for your post.

  61. sikiÅŸ izle says:

    Great write up. I agree that the internet offers false hope to many. People feel that if they build it people will come. When in reality for that statement to be true, you have to work your butt off and add as many spokes as possible.

  62. Great advice. I’m continuously making my contacts aware of my business blog. Blog is a sexy word out there….once you tell people about it they are most certainly going to visit as it isn’t your “website”.

  63. Spray Tan Solution says:

    Thanks for this advice. Just launched my own site recently. have yet to see real results.

  64. Social networking it the best. I try to spend a day every week just talking to people about what they are interested but always dropping off a link to my site in the end.

  65. WebMaster says:

    Is there any advice you can give to manage the two without burning out?

  66. Excellent point – first time I’ve discovered this blog, and I like the way you think! Too many people don’t integrate their website and offline marketing at ALL.

  67. tips to get taller says:

    I’ve found one of the best places for new businesses is business breakfast/networking events. It takes some time to settle into them and build the relationships but its very effective!

  68. Greg Bowen says:

    Don’t forget face-to-face! Unlike dates, I do find clients at bars. People love serendipity – I got hit on my bike once by a car and it turned into a gig.

    So hit trade shows, and really the best thing to do is to walk into businesses with your portfolio. Advertising is a confidence game.

  69. Excellent read – I find getting people I actually want to do business with to visit my site to be extremely hard. I’ve even considered Utah advertising agencies but I think it’d be more effective to just develop a network of friends.

  70. Robert Barrie says:

    The game has changed a bit, at least for local business. You can now get your business on the 1st page for your keywords by way of Google Maps. I’m finding even those small biz’ that are Internet savvy don’t know about this (yet). So I did some videos for them to show them how to get a Google Map listing.

  71. Finding alternative networking methods is an important key to the success of your site. Outsourcing methods have been very successful for me.

  72. muhabbet says:

    Is there any advice you can give to manage the two without burning out?

  73. TwitterFollowers says:

    Excellent post. I’m intrigued by this idea of a business hub. You’re right though, we must reach beyond our website if we’re to prosper.

  74. Of course you are right. Any business unless it is a scam, has to be more than just a face. It has to have a brain behind things, an actual purpose rather than just a snazzy webpage.
    Websites can change your business immensely though if launched correctly.

  75. Many new online business owners as well as established business owners are still not aware of the ways they can improve their website and obtain potentially new customers. Your article gives them a little more awareness of the steps they can take. There is assistance out there to help them they don’t have to do everything on their own.

  76. Link Degisim says:

    You talk about one of the ways to get more clients, i can personally say that personal relations and personal branding is the perfect way to brand your self.

  77. A website or blog is not likely to get much traffic or convert any visitors to leads unless it has interesting content. The advice on this article is great for websites and blogs that have interesting content that people would want to peruse, but if your have a poorly designed, boring website, even social networking, forum posting, social bookmarking, etc. won’t help you very much. Content is king! And unique, inspiring content is even better.

  78. I totally agree with you here Very good explanation. This is gonna be very useful for new comers of the industry.

  79. Websites are only a building block to becoming successful. You need solid advertising campaigns supporting it. Websites on their own without extensive SEO are virtually useless!

  80. remotepc support says:

    Excellent read!!! useful for us to gather some info…

  81. “So many business owners and service providers believe that simply having a website or blog alone will generate more clients. Nothing could be farther from the truth.”

    I think having people find your website or blog is the tricky part. Anyone can start a blog or put up a website, but it’s very difficult (and time consuming) to promote the blog or website. Do you have tips on how to effectively promote a website or a blog?

  82. منتديات بيتك هنا says:

    I find that one of the hardest things is not actually doing the marketing (creating spokes) but rather to do it the right places in the right way so I can attract the right people. Because who are the right people? Maybe that would be a good place to start before sending out to many (useless) spokes?

  83. One of the ways that we reach beyond our website is through the telephone and outside salesmen. We have had a lot of success combining the web with the personal touch. A lot of times people don’t know whether they can trust a website company until they speak with a real live person.

  84. “In other words, for your website hub, to be successful in promoting your business, you have to reach out beyond the hub with spokes out into the internet. And this can happen in any number of ways.”

    To have a successful online business, it’s important for you to think out of the box. So many people are into online businesses; it’s very important to come up with unique marketing strategies aside from using your website.

    “You can utilize social media like Twitter or Facebook, publish articles to article banks like EzineArticles or interact with people in forums. Really, there are hundreds of ways to reach out beyond your website.”

    Submitting high-quality articles to article submission sites such as EzineArticles is definitely an interesting way to promote your business through the net.

  85. I’m skeptical as an attorney to have a facebook, twitter etc… Not sure if it’s for my niche.

  86. shercy ramos says:

    Facebook and Twitter are the in thing now. No matter who you are, whether you’re a teacher, a lawyer, an engineer, you can have a wide range of network just using this sites. Sometimes, I even end up clicking the “do you want to be the fan of..?” because I am just curious who the person is. This can be an effective way to reach more clients.

  87. twitter makes a lot of traffic on your blog or site,, and other sharing sites do too .. 🙂

  88. Creative Wood Design says:

    I agree with your observations. My website has to be a strong tool in my toolbox of sales and marketing, but not the only tool.

  89. I absolutely agree. The mentality is so often, “If you build it, they will come” and that only applies to hollywood movies. There are hundreds of spokes in the internet marketing wheel, and understanding how to market and promote a website is key. Success in business is Product, Price, and MARKETING EFFORTS. The internet has been hyped up as a quick easy way to earn a buck, and although it was easier several years ago, now to compete you have to learn how to get your qualified buyers to your website.

    Great Post.

  90. Michael - PR5-PR10 Link Builders says:

    I think one of the easiest ways is to local networking. It’s easy to introduce yourself and product/service. Kudos on a well thought-out post.

  91. Newport Beach Accountant says:

    I have spent almost all day every day for the last month on SEO and PPC and everything else trying to get traffic and potential clients to my site. Way more work than I thought. I appreciate your informative website.

  92. Every website is just like a real business it takes time, love and attention to become successful.

  93. I agree also to get new clients you have to get out of your website and start exploring other ways to drive people to your service providing pages and the people who visits your blog had already read about your service and would have tried your service already.

  94. The main milestone should be bringing your social media achievements offline. This is quite easy to achieve in the form of events and get togethers with a portion of your segments.

  95. I´m using the social networks like Twitter, facebook, myspace… for promoting all my products. I have more clients everyday and without spend a lot of money. there are a lot viral strategies in social media advertisement. Try it!

  96. Private Emailing Services says:

    Hey I am agree with your views you had provided good learning about how we can get more clients…Thanks for sharing this.

  97. I agree that the Internet is important to many. Feel that if we build it to the revenue. When in fact for the fact you have to work with general personnel is similar.

  98. goji berry says:

    nice blog i have gain much of knowledge i am agree with u The mentality is so often, “If you build it, they will come” and that only applies to hollywood movies. There are hundreds of spokes in the internet marketing wheel,thank u……………..

  99. i have to reach out beyond the hub with spokes out into the internet. And this can happen in any number of ways.

  100. I agree, it’s a combination of both online and offline efforts that help build a business.
    and Thank you for nice post!

  101. George at discount cruises says:

    I think it isn’t about spokes of hubs, but all about your audiences. If your client expects to pick up a phone and call, then that means you need that channel. I always try and segment into what kind of person is the client. For some businesses its possible to run online and offline part of business quite separate.

  102. Spokes directing others to your Hub is essential in increasing the value of a well-designed page. There is only so much you can do internally.

  103. Well said. I’m totally with you on this topic. The foundation of a good website is important. In order to make a good first impression on potential patrons, it must be pleasing to the eye of the beholder. It must look professional and in accordance to what you are promoting or selling. A website is a viable commodity in itself. When you exchange ideas and knowledge you enhance your marketing effectiveness. In today’s world successful people tap into the web to grow their business. The mention of a website channels between you as visionary and the awaiting public. Having a website suggests that you are a professional or an expert in your chosen field. True vision is powerful thing and brings peace of mind.

  104. The mentality is so often: "If you build it they will come" and applies only to Hollywood films. There are hundreds of obstacles in the way of Internet marketing, and understand how to market and promote a website is down.

  105. Isaias Trumps says:

    I don’t know what “WordPress” is but if it has something to do with the way I can have automatic updates of new posts from my blog posted in my Twitter, than I’d like to know more about it.. . Please & Thank you. * My blog is a Blogspot / Blogger blog..

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