I had a very interesting moment last week.
I was flicking through Facebook and saw an ad stating “Websites are dying you only need funnels”. As a supplier of websites I found this statement rather interesting; it got my attention. With intrigue I clicked the ad to be greeted by this site.
This made me smile…Before I start I’d just like to state…
This blog post is not a bashing of Click funnels, Russell is a God in the Online marketing world and I have read and consumed tonnes of his content – I have massive respect for him. I use clickfunnels for a number of our clients and it’s an awesome tool if you’re looking to create marketing and sales funnels.
The tool also offers you extra website tools to run a blog and a pretty limited membership zone – Both features synonymous with websites.- Also if you look at the click funnels site – it has the links and pages like a website. A little ironic based on the strong position on this 🙂
Anyway off my high horse – I was still curious so I posted the question in an online community I’m part of called: ‘YOUPRENEUR’ and the subject got a strong and detailed response – This response inspired me to write this blog post.
So are websites dying – Do you actually need one?
Obviously some things are dying out. CD’s, fax machines, my hairline etc but on the whole websites aren’t dying.
It comes down to purpose. If you take the Click Funnels training, the initial approach is using Facebook ads to get people to your landing pages, then using sales funnels to up-sell people once they go through the initial page.
They even choose products and services by searching for successful online companies, rather than starting with their own brand and services that he feels meet the needs of his target markets.
This is not the way I want to run my business. My purpose (reason I do this) is about building a brand that delivers upon the values I stand behind.
I don’t want to choose products to sell because they are profitable. I want to build profit around doing the work I am passionate about, serving the people of whom I am passionate. For this, I need more than funnels. I need a website, email lists, networking systems, PR, a blog, direct mail and so much more to build a brand that exists off-line and online.
If you’re focusing so much on email marketing that you neglect your website then it might look that way. But don’t go underestimating how important your website is to get people onto your email list so you can sell to them in the first place.
You should always have some way for someone to opt in to your funnels.
On our website home page we have two links directly into our funnel – Not too in your face but still effective.
You can’t build your businesses brand online with a Funnel.
A website gives you a unique identity online. Your “Home”.
A place for people to check you out and start a relationship with you.
A vast majority of people still want to make connections before buying anything. Especially if you sell yourself and your services. You need to look professional, and grow connections you can leverage on later on. And in the digital age, having a solid platform on the web (and mobile responsive) is just..mandatory.
When people hear you on a podcast, see you in a business mag or meet you at a networking event and look you up online they don’t google your funnel; they will google you and find your online “Home” (Your website.)
We get a lot of compliments of our website and win a lot of work from this – I’ve never had one person tell me my marketing funnel was cool.
How big does a website need to be?
Again – all down to the purpose.
I think the days of 100 paged corporate information websites are dead but we do see interesting average or site size requirements based on the type of business:
- If you’re selling you as a brand – 2-5 pages with an opt in funnel or two.
- If you’re selling professional services either B2B or B2C – generally a 6-8 with an opt in funnel or two.
- Selling Products online – Anything from 10-12 to 2000 pages dependent on what you’re selling.
- If you run a blog as well – Your site will get pretty heavy.
How big should a funnel be? A funnel can be as big and complex as you like but in essence all you need is an opt-in and a thank you page. You can find out more on the building blocks of funnels here.
Do you need a website to make money online?
In short, no. Again it all comes back to purpose.
There are tonnes of apps on my phone where I’ve never looked at the company’s websites that have created them – think Uber as an example. This business is designed to make my life easier – with a few clicks I have a taxi on the way and I don’t need to have cash on me (who carries cash these days?).
The app is the integration of the service for the user – they still have a website to sell the benefits of the service before they reached the size they did. Now word of mouth does the selling for them – but it all started with their “Home”
- If I wanted to find a photographer or a catering company I would look at their website to see their work.
- If I wanted to find a business mentor – networking, podcasts, forums and then their website to see their credibility.
- Professional services – Their website again to see their services and credibility.
- If I want to buy chocolates and flowers for my little lady – A local florist’s website.
Selling education and info products – A funnel and or a website – but I wouldn’t buy from a funnel or a Guru I didn’t know – and 95% wont.
From my personal experience – I have signed up for online courses through the opt in up-sell funnels and some have over killed the up-sell down-sell sequence.
One guy had over 14 steps – Not interested in this, why not buy this? – page after page.
This frustrated me so much I’d lost the love for him in the first 5 minutes; I unsubscribed from his list in three days as he also bombarded me with email – not a great way to build a relationship.
This is an extreme! Fair play this guy’s obviously a lot more wealthy than me for doing this but this is not how I want to treat new users or customers.
Chris Ducker – I discovered Chris on a podcast over 18 months ago – I’ve listened to 100’s of his podcasts (for free) and when he launched his – YOUPRENEUR community – I signed up.
For 2 reasons
- I had massive respect for him and what he does and knew I could benefit from being part of the community.
- I also wanted to give back and saw signing up, paying him some money as a small thank you and re-payment for all the free value he’s given me over the last 18 months.
Websites are definitely not dying.
Sure you can build your business with Funnels and they need to be a crucial part of your marketing and sales processes – It’s something we do daily with clients.
However, we must always have a place to call home on the web. Not everybody will always want to read our contents via email.
The ability to share your content to educate and inspire people with blog posts, embedding rich media like podcasts and video are a great way to be able to win hearts and minds to what you do. And when you give value – you get value.
No matter how important funnels are to the success of your business, the importance of having your own home base on the Internet to build relationships, and your brand, should remain your number one priority.