This article was written by Michelle Weger.
“Oh, he doesn’t have a website.”
Cue a bunch of blank stares, and then… “What do you mean, he doesn’t have a website? It’s 2021!” One of our team members had this conversation with her brother-in-law at a recent family gathering. He was telling everyone about a business competitor who had no online presence. No Facebook. No Instagram. No website. The kicker? This was for a business in the architecture industry. You know, an industry where portfolios are key to getting more clients.
No online presence means you’re missing out on business.
If you’re looking for a business and can’t find their website, what do you think?
- Could it be a scam?
- Is this someone’s side project they do out of their basement in their spare time? (fine for some things, but probably not for something like designing an entire house…)
- Great, now how am I supposed to get the information I’m looking for?
In addition to making it more difficult for prospective customers to find you, a lack of online information means you’re also not gaining their trust. Customers don’t like to do extra work to give you money. You have a small window where you can impress a potential customer. As in, less than 20 seconds. If your potential customers can’t find something as simple as your website after searching Google, they’re no longer your potential customer. They’re someone else’s customer.
That’s why a social media presence isn’t enough.
Selling on social media sites like Facebook and Instagram is the cornerstone of many online businesses.
And there’s nothing wrong with that. Part of a successful business model is making sure your products are available where your customers are looking for them.
But if this is the only way you’re managing your online business, you’re putting yourself at risk.
A number of businesses learned this the hard way a few years ago, and it’s about to happen again.
Do you remember when Facebook stopped showing posts chronologically in your news feed? They began using an algorithm that determined what it thought you’d be most interested in. Annoying as that was, it meant that posts from business pages could be restricted or boosted.
And as you probably can guess, to get boosted, those business pages had to pay.
Countless businesses that ran primarily on Facebook protested, since their main source of revenue was now compromised. Many of these were small businesses who couldn’t afford to pay their way to the top like larger companies could.
As upset as those business owners were, it didn’t change anything. Facebook is a business itself. It can choose to change how it does things at any given moment with no notice, as it did in this situation.
Recently, the head of Instagram stated that they are no longer a photo sharing app. Instead, their company is focusing on videos and becoming more similar to TikTok and YouTube. What does that mean for the countless influencers, photographers, and other businesses that use Instagram to promote their work?
If everything you do relies solely on social media, that means you don’t own your own business.
It could be taken away from you at any time.
Having your own website means you maintain control of your business.
You should absolutely use social media to promote your business. You should be posting ads and maintaining relationships with your audience. But social media should not be the only source of your online presence. What do you gain by having a website?
- A place to share information about your business
- Control of your own sales and content
- Less competition
- Client trust
- Peace of mind