I’m not going to sugar coat anything today. Getting your own website up and running can be time intensive, frustrating, and overwhelming. However, I feel it is SO important to brace yourself for impact, dig in, and get it done! I’ve seen many, many businesses rely on Facebook sales alone, or solely dedicate themselves to an Etsy shop. Though those platforms offer great support systems and marketing opportunities for your business, they shouldn’t be the backbone of anything.
You may be confused as to why I’m saying a website is so important when last week I was saying an Etsy shop is a great place to sell….I truly believe in both places. I’m a huge supporter of having multiple locations online, and thus, getting in front of a larger audience. I currently sell in 5 online shops, and I value each of them immensely! Etsy is amazing because it gives you a chance to market directly to a huge community of online shoppers. These are people that it would be very hard to reach otherwise. Your website, on the other hand, has a couple very important functions beyond just marketing.
Your website gives buyers confidence that you are a legitimate business, and it allows you a direct line of communication with potential customers.
When I go online shopping, I want to know that whoever I purchase from is legit. I want to read an “about” page, see a photo or two of them, and look over reviews. Your website allows your shoppers a chance to take that extra step and get to know a little more about you. With trust, comes sales. Be sure to include a little bit about yourself and your views on your website, along with your products. When potential customers are looking for a little more information about you, direct them to your site.
My second, and most important, reason for having a website as well as other shops, is all about obtaining a direct connection to your customers. Social media sites can allow for an amazing chance to find new customers and direct them to your site…..however, you aren’t the one in control of who sees what posts or how many people a post reaches. With all of the changes in social media platforms, relying on social media to get your message across is a total gamble these days.
Your website needs to include a way to gather your customer’s (and potential customer’s) information – a newsletter sign up. Creating a strong newsletter allows you to stay in constant contact with your customers. It puts the control into your hands – you never have to rely on another company to get your word out again. Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, etc. could discontinue their services at any time. If you rely solely on them to contact your customers, where would that leave you? Start a newsletter and build your business with the confidence that you’ll always have a way to reach your customers.
There are so many other reasons that websites are important, including ranking in google searches, establishing your brand, and cutting out commissions to other companies….however, building trust and gaining a direct connection to your customers are hugely important in building your business.
Do you currently have a website? Do you have a newsletter list? If not, what has been stopping you from starting one thus far? Please comment on this post and answer these questions so I can help provide more insight in a future post.