Do You Need a Website?

Do you need a website? Of course you don’t need a website. You need 2 things in business: something to sell, and someone to sell it to. Chances are if you’re reading this, you already have a bit of both, but if you’re just starting out, here’s what that means:

Something to Sell

  • Product or Service: First and foremost, you must have a product or service that adds value to customers’ lives. This should be something that meets a specific need or solves a problem.
  • Quality Matters: Ensure that your product or service is of high quality. Customer satisfaction is crucial for repeat business and positive word-of-mouth marketing. Leave the budget selling to the big companies that can afford to have their ideas flop. You’ll beat them every time in quality if you make quality your focus.
  • Differentiation: Consider what makes your offering unique in the market. Identifying your unique selling proposition (USP) will help you stand out from the competition crowd. (life is not a competition) Again, this is an opportunity for you to weave authenticity into your public offering. Who are you? Why are you doing this? Your customers care about these things!

Someone to Sell To

  • Target Audience: Define your target audience clearly. Understand their needs, interests, pain points, and preferences. This information will guide your marketing efforts.
  • Market Research: Conduct thorough market research to identify potential customers. Understand their needs and preferences to tailor your offering accordingly. Hint: Market research can pair nicely with a cocktail, beer, or glass of wine if you’re into that sort of thing. Getting involved in social functions tailored to your target audience is the best way to immerse yourself in their culture, and understand them better.
  • Build Relationships: Building and maintaining relationships with your customers is key. Focus on customer retention as well as acquisition. You don’t need to bend over backwards for difficult customers, but for customers that bring joy to what you’re doing, you should always provide just a little extra value. These are the seeds you’ll want to sow for your business to really grow. THIS is marketing.

Digital Marketing Essentials (Keep it Super Simple)

To be fair, while you don’t need a website to run a business, it’s probably a good idea to maintain some level of online presence, even if most of your business is coming from referrals and/or a killer “Something to Sell”. People need to know how they can buy from you, and increasingly, that’s done online. Here are the very basics of digital marketing, laid out in the order they need to be done. You can knock these out in a weekend, and go on running your business knowing people who want what you have to sell can find you.

  • Consistency: Maintain a consistent brand image across all online platforms. Use the same logo, color scheme, and messaging to build brand recognition. Creating a single-page style guide first will take significant decision-making effort out of the rest of these tasks.
  • Professional Website: Consider creating a simple yet effective website that highlights your product or service offerings. It should provide essential information, such as what you offer, contact details, and a clear call to action.
  • Google My Business Listing: Optimize your Google My Business profile to appear in local search results. This includes accurate business information, operating hours, and customer reviews.
  • Social Media Profiles: Create and maintain social media profiles on platforms relevant to your target audience. While you don’t need to obsess over them, use these platforms to share occasional updates, showcase your work, and engage with your audience.
  • Customer Experience: Ensure that potential customers can easily reach out to you. Display your contact information prominently on your website and social media profiles. Implement a straightforward contact form for inquiries.
  • Simplicity and Quality: Focus on simplicity and quality over quantity when it comes to online content. Share meaningful updates and content that resonates with your audience. Don’t just blog or write email newsletters for the sake of content. Share what excites you, and what you feel your customers will enjoy as well.

A Simple Website Speaks Volumes

Do you need a website? Of course you don’t need a website. But it couldn’t hurt to devote a weekend or a few marketing dollars to one. A professional-looking website shows your existing customers as well as your next customer that you take doing business with them seriously. Creating a website is easier than ever since WordPress introduced full site editing, and multiple other very capable website builders. Do you need to hire someone full-time to manage your website, social media presence, and put together monthly email newsletters? If you haven’t needed to hire a Human Resources Director yet, probably not. You aren’t competing with Apple, Google, or Amazon for business, and if you are, maybe try something a little less ambitious and a little more niche!

If you’ve read this far, but really don’t have the time to put together a logo, style guide, website, and/or other digital marketing materials (trust me, it’s not that hard), consider dropping me a line. I’d love to hear more about your business and help you develop these basic items so you can go back to focus on running your business – selling your “Something to Sell” to your “Someone to Sell To”.

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