A common question that many entrepreneurs face is “do I really need a website to be successful?” It’s an overwhelming project and quite honestly, one that may or may not take quite some time to complete.
From experience, I can tell you that I put off building a website for quite some time. I didn’t know what to include or what to write about. I didn’t know how to build a website without watching hundreds of YouTube videos and I didn’t know if it would really be beneficial to my business’ growth and profitability. Was the effort of organizing, building and marketing my website really what would provide my business with the growth I was looking to accomplish?
My simple answer, is “yes!”
Below, I’m sharing three reasons why you absolutely need to incorporate a website into your business marketing plan. For growth, for accountability, for professionalism, I’m sharing my motivation behind getting past the hurdle that is an overwhelming project and getting on-board with completing one of my most essential tools to providing business growth.
1. Gain Authority.
Gaining authority in the marketplace is your first goal when it comes to running a successful business. The more people trust you, the more they are willing to listen to you and the more they are willing to come back to you. Having a website creates a level of professionalism unlike any other.
Picture this: You are at a friend’s house with a few other people - some you know, some you’re meeting for the first time. It gets brought up that you run a local photography business (or really, any business for that matter). A few questions get asked about your services and you get to talking about your amazing pictures and how awesome it would be to take pictures of their families. They ask for your contact information and you say, “oh, you can just find me on Facebook!”
Here’s the thing. Facebook is a fabulous tool. One that many entrepreneurs can’t live without. But, between algorithms for getting your content in front of your audience and making sure you’re consistently updating your page’s feed, it can easily be considered a marketing tool that doesn’t always provide the profitability or professionalism you’re looking for.
However, with that being said, adding a website in addition to your Facebook business page, is a much better solution. Nowadays, anyone and everyone can decide to start a part-time business, create a business Facebook page and call themselves a “business.”
But, what I’ve learned over the last five years of running my photography business and now opening a local athletic training center with my husband, is that people take you much more seriously when you’ve gone one step further and created a website in addition to your business page.
It shows a sense of effort, a sense of hard work and most importantly, a sense of pride. All of which create authority in the marketplace. You become the expert to them in your field, which puts you in the forefront of your clients’ minds.
Let’s face it. Being an entrepreneur is a tough job. Being a mom and an entrepreneur? Well, you and I both know that’s like five jobs combined. So, when it comes to thinking about building a website, it’s easy to become fearful and not want to begin the task of figuring out how to build one.
But, overall, there’s so much behind building a website that leads to business growth.
When you’re accountable to building a website, you’re accountable to yourself. You’re creating a space in the digital world that belongs to you - your vision, your heart, your mission. Everything that represents who you are and what change you want to see brought out into your industry.
Holding yourself accountable with building a website creates honor for your work. You begin to recognize your worth and are reminded with your business goals and how you want to accomplish them.
While creating a website keeps you accountable to yourself, it also encourages you to organize your thoughts. In a world where “shiny object syndrome” is a real thing, especially for hard-working moms like us, having a website reminds you of what you’re here to accomplish. You stay focused on your objective and are reminded of your mission when you get stuck in a fog with knowing how to move forward in your business’ next steps. By knowing what you’re sharing through your website with your clients and potential clients, you’re much more able to stay on-track with the heart behind your mission and not try to incorporate what others in your field are doing differently.
3. Central Location.
Again, while Facebook is a great marketing tool, a website takes your marketing to another level of professionalism, expertise and focus. A website creates a central location for absolutely everything your client needs in order to gain access to your information. Your mission, your contact information, your services, your blog … all neatly put together in one beautiful portfolio bundle ready to earn your clients’ business at the first sight of your home page.
A major benefit to creating a website for your business is that your creating SEO keywords for your ideal clients to search for when looking for an expert in your field. While explaining SEO will have to come in another blog post, just know that it’s incredibly helpful for your website moving to the top of a client’s Google search. It’s a good thing … one you want to have! When you only have a Facebook page, your clients can only find you on Facebook. When you utilize keywords on a website, clients can stumble upon your work through searching for your services. This is based on the words you use across your pages and helps the little “Google search bugs” find you in a sea of millions of photography websites, for example.
Where to begin with your website?
When I started creating my website a few years ago, I used WordPress and was able to build my site using some basic coding knowledge and a website template. But, for me, and my busy schedule, I found rather quickly that WordPress was a bit too complicated to update and log into when I was ready to add a blog post.
So, I did some research and quickly fell in love with SquareSpace.
Not only is it user friendly, it is so incredibly easier to update and add SEO tactics to each of my website’s pages. I can update my pricing or portfolio in a matter of minutes and can drag and drop my blog posts from Google Drive in seconds.
I’m seriously a big fan! You can check it out here.
What are you waiting for?
Kick your business off with a bang and start your website today. You and your clients will thank me later. ;-)