Building a digital platform can really help you to stand out in business. It’s a way you can publish great content and add value to your marketplace.

Even if you are in a competitive sector, you will have much higher lead generation and client engagement if you have a clearly visible online presence and unique value proposition.

Building a digital platform that works, whether you’re in retail or professional services, requires you to truly understand your target audience so you can project a clear sense of your own personal ‘value’ to them.

Rather than trying to ‘sell’ your product or service straight off the bat and just sound just like everyone else, you should aim to communicate what you do and why you do it – shine your light!

Building a digital platform means creating a ‘hub’ for your business that showcases your expertise, shares valuable content and attracts a following of your ideal clients.

In this article, I outline four ways you can start building a digital platform to support your client engagement.

1. Develop an Identity

You can start with a simple website that focuses on a single core concept and builds out from there. Identifying this is what you really need to work on first if you want to outshine your generic counterparts and succeed big time.

Your core concept should be a way to make a unique contribution to your target audience. When you promote this, it becomes your professional identity when building a digital platform.

You should identify who your ideal customers or clients are, who are so closely aligned to what you’re about and what you do, they become a tribe of loyal fans and provide you with repeat business and referrals. This will only happen because of the specific expertise and value you offer to them and how you nurture the relationship with them.

So ask yourself … what it is you are all about? How does your brand capture your values, your interests and the specific expertise you offer. How can your passion, personality and commitment shine through to help others?

2. Attract a Following

Successful marketers don’t buy lists or appointments and have no need to make cold calls to build their client base. How successful can your business really be when your entire strategy is based upon approaching people who never asked to be approached?

Instead, top earners in their profession are building a digital platform that attracts the exact right people to them and creates a following.

I’m not just talking about social media. When you adopt the principles of effective PR to establish yourself as an expert and thought leader, including sharing valuable content for free, you become a magnet for your ideal clients. This helps you to rapidly build a list of prospective new clients and start the conversation on the right foot.

Imagine your business where you can easily have pre-sold prospects coming to you instead by building an effective marketing system – a funnel that pre-qualifies those that are both interested and serious.

3. Create an Expert Channel

Your website acts as an expert hub to house your content and social media channels,  promote your books and events and/or to deliver your courses, programmes and services.

I suggest you choose one or two channels you’re most comfortable with (e.g. video, podcasting, writing or speaking) to avoid spreading yourself too thinly or giving yourself a lot of stress and pressure to publish in multiple media.

You’ll find you excel more in one communication medium than another and it’s easier to produce content fast and frequently. This will become a channel you’re best known for and represent a key characteristic of your brand. You should choose a medium that allows you to share your passion, your uniqueness, your personality, so you can stand out and create a connected presence for building your customer base. People buy from people, who they know, like and trust.

Building a digital platform to promote your expertise is far easier these days with the internet. All you need is a website domain and hosting, and you can register your business on Google Places and get found online straight away. Link it to WordPress blog when you set up and you can immediately start attracting your ideal prospects.

4. Form a Relationship

Interacting with your target audience and your list or followers requires some effort, but the pay-off is measurable. Lifetime customer value rather than one-off contracts or sales is your real bottom line.

  • You can drive ‘free’ traffic to your expert hub by writing articles, posting videos, press releases etc (content marketing). You can provide a useful, relevant free guide or quiz (educational marketing) and generate leads who you can email to over and over to build the relationship (email marketing).
  • You can integrate social media (facebook, youtube, twitter, instagram) and post updates, encourage comments from your followers, and offer tips and loyalty bonuses to build your own tribe around what your product or service delivers.
  • You can link your offline PR and print marketing to your web activities and survey tools to demonstrate your commitment to helping your customers and providing excellent service (satisfaction marketing).

If you want to drastically improve your client engagement, client acquisition and client retention, I strongly urge you to take heed and start building a digital platform for your business today.

Learn more in Jay’s new book Leveraged Consulting – How to Brand, Market & Grow your Business as an Educational Entrepreneur in the Digital Age.

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