And therein lies the question for 2019. Do you really need a website? Or not?
Before we put that stake in the ground, let’s ask ourselves a few questions.
If I don’t use a website, how will I announce my products and services?
How many of my prospects visit websites in a month, usually?
Is a website the best representation of my products and services?
I don’t even know how to make a website, so, how can I have one? How much does it cost to hire someone to make one for me?
Aren’t websites a lot of work?
I’m sure there are many more questions about having or not having a website that we would ask ourselves, but let’s stick with these. These are relevant to moving forward in 2019. You do want to move forward this year, yes? Good. I thought so. And, that’s why Nurturing Big Ideas is here. To help.
Question One is a big one.
How will you announce and market your products and services without a website? Here are some ways you can market yourself without a website; you might already have thought of these, but maybe you’re not doing them as effectively as you could because of all the work they entail:
Printing flyers and putting them in small local businesses (hairdresser shops, or coffee shops, perhaps)
Using word of mouth by giving product away free to people you hope will talk about it to others
Small ads in your local penny saver newspaper
There are many more, of course, but let’s look at these and ask ourselves - would a website do all of this as or more effectively? What do you think?
On to Question Two and who your prospects are and where they hang out.
It’s helpful to create an “ideal customer avatar” here. I hear many of you groaning, and I know you’re thinking you just want to sell your stuff, or offer your services, why do you have to do all this business-y work? We’ll get to that.
Just listen for a moment. Understanding your possible customers or clients is the most successful way of moving yourself forward in 2019. You can find all manner of outlines to do this, but for now, to keep it simple ask yourself these questions: (and check this link to learn who our ideal customer is)
Who am I selling to? (be specific to the level of knowing what she looks like and what her favorite coffee is at Starbucks)
Why would she buy from me? (it’s not because she likes you, although that is important - we buy from people and brands we like, don’t we?)
Where does she do her shopping? (is it online? is it via a website?)
Three little questions that can change your whole approach to your business.
Now, is a website the best representation of your stuff?
Short and sweet, how can it not be? A website is a visual medium. It’s all engaging, if you’ve created it properly. Virtually everyone has some sort of online presence, these days. Shouldn’t you, also?
I understand you don’t know how to build a website
Building a good website is not a thing of afternoons. It takes time. It takes study. It takes knowledge of your products, your business, and your customers. If you want to go it alone, there are any number of quick and free website building options online (though I don’t recommend that route if you’ve not done one before).
Your best bet is to understand the concept of spending money to make money. That means you need to find a good web designer (not an expensive one, mind one, just a good one) and invest in a good website.
The cost of this is up to you. It is possible to find reasonable web designers for $1000 or so. I expect you could also find some to do it for less, but be careful. Your web designer holds a good bit of your future in his or her hands. And, he or she will depend on YOU to know what colors to use, what images to use, what your message is to the world and to your prospects, and more. And good designers know what questions to ask - which makes them worth their weight in gold.
All of this takes time. It could be weeks, it could be months. But, a good website is worth it.
To the question, Aren’t websites a lot of work?
My answer is, yes. Yes, you must build a website and then you must manage it.
Yes, you must put the content in yourself.
Yes, you must learn how to upload pictures of your products.
Yes, you must have a contact page and make sure your contact information is correct and the “email me” link works.
Yes. Yes. Yes. A website is work. It doesn’t have to be a lot of work, but you have to put in the effort to realize the result. And, the result should be attention from your core prospects, and even leads to sales.
No, your website, in and of itself, will not make sales for you.
I can understand that some smart, talented, determined women will forego having a website, and still make success of their work. Limited success. And, if that’s all you want, go for it. We all have different thoughts on success and how much money we want to make. If you only want to do simple marketing and make a little extra cash every month, and if you’re happy with that, I applaud you.
Understand that IF you grow, IF your little local business grows, and you want to grow with it, you will need a website. And, just as your business is work (no matter how you try to avoid it, if you plan on selling for a profit, you are creating a business and it will involve work), your website is part of that work, and it will need your almost daily attention.
Now, what did I miss? What questions did I not ask or not answer for you?
Ask them here, now. Okay? Go…