Do I need a website?

Brandi, does my business really NEED a website?

Well, the answer really depends on you!  For some people, they are not interested in a website for a variety of reasons. Others feel that they cannot even begin their company without one. If you hate the idea of having anything to do with the web, then no, I don’t recommend a website.  There are clients every day that I tell them they aren’t ready yet. Often it’s a “mindset” situation, but sometimes they don’t even know what they want to be when they grow up……so, it’s too early.

When it comes to the popular choices out there, think of your options like this:

Being exclusively on social media (FB, etc) is like your company being homeless and sleeping on someone else’s couch until they randomly, often abruptly and unfairly, decide they’re tired of you and kick you out.  You have NO security or stability. Any person can report you and have you kicked off any of the Social Media platforms either temporarily or permanently. Your entire business is dependent upon the good graces and heartstrings of big corporations……and we all know that most of those big corporations don’t have a heart!

Using a website on a Software As A Service (SAAS) like Kajabi, Teachable, Thinkific, Clickfunnels, and so many more is like renting a furnished apartment. It’s yours, kind of. There are lots of rules and restrictions. You have to pay extra for several items, and none of them actually have everything you need! They certainly don’t allow for big time growth. (There’s a reason that most Fortune 500 companies use WordPress and NOT Kajabi.) They make it difficult to leave since you cannot take any of it with you and they cost so much that it’s hard to save up to move to other options.

Having your own hosted website is like owning your home. You paid for it…ONCE. Sure, you pay for utilities monthly (minor hosting fees) and the annual taxes (domain name & any annual software licenses), but you OWN the sucker! NO ONE can take it away once you own it outright! And if you want it to have more things, you just build them on! The only way to be shut down is to break the laws in your country, and even then it’s hard for them to shut your business down completely, because you can always restore a backup onto a new host’s location and be back online within the day. A website that you own grows with you and evolves. It does everything you need, and you just turn off anything you don’t need yet (or are overwhelmed by). Some people feel that homeownership is “hard” because there are some maintenance items, but just like in real homeownership…you’d call an expert for a short service call, and you’d be all fixed up! No one expects you to be a web expert, that’s NOT what your clients are paying you for!  (Unless, like me, you are a tech/web expert and your clients are specifically need help with it……….but then why are you in my class??? LOL LOL LOL It’s all cool if you’re keeping an eye on the competition, there’s more than enough for all of us! *SMILE* )

Ok, so, that makes sense, Brandi, but………..I’m still not sure.

A website is critical in “The Trust Factor”. I mean, would you hand someone your social security number, bank account information, your credit card numbers, and thousands of dollars if they walked up to your car window at a stop light or your front door?  Probably not. —–Even if they PROMISED they could help you???? No, you’d probably roll up your window and hope for the light to turn green or them to go away….RIGHT THEN. And it’s ENTIRELY because they don’t have a level of trust built with you. Now, if someone walked up to you at a networking event with a business card, with a business address, a toll free number, and a website address…….you’d be WAY more likely to give them your info to help you with your business. What if I told you that the 2nd person can create a business card on their computer for a couple of dollars in paper and ink supplies, $50/month for a toll free number, a FREE business address through the Post Office system, and a very affordable website?  Does that change your view or trust? No, most of the time you still trust them. They’ve done the work. They’ve proven they’re serious about their business. Does that mean everyone without those things is not “serious”……no, but WITH those things it helps others see you differently.

Your website is essential for online marketing, growing your network and mailing lists, and getting that organic following and customer base you long for.

For me, my website handles all of my social media, my blog of random thoughts, my ecommerce store (for digital AND physical goods), my marketing suite, my calendar booking system, my online courses, my CRM, and oh so much more. It’s literally all-in-one, unlike the solutions out there who merely say they are. If one of my clients has a random idea and I think everyone will benefit from the software, I get it and offer it to my clients…sometimes for free, sometimes at a small upgrade cost.

One of my favorite parts of my website is that it answers those basic questions that EVERYONE asks. 80% of the people ask the same 80% of the questions. At first, I answered them, now I am working on an FAQ and knowledge base that answers them so I don’t have to!

For me, buying a domain name is one of the very first parts of me starting any company, mostly so that I know my name isn’t already in use out there or that it won’t be snatched up and cost me a fortune to buy it later after I’ve popularized the name. It also allows me to always have a email address….which is super professional and some companies even require you to have an official business email address to work with them. I don’t pay a penny for mine after I buy the domain name, I just add it to my host and create an email address within seconds, long before I’m ready to whip up a new website. Easy cheesy!

NO matter what you decide, having a website means your business is running 24/7/365 with or without you. A few minutes a day on your website, an hour on social media, and you’re free to go to whatever makes your heart sing!  You no longer are forced to have a full schedule of 1+ hour long ‘discovery calls’ with only 1 in 50 responding, paying, or actually showing up. Instead, you can provide a recorded discovery call or video and let your visitors “screen” themselves! By the time they’re talking to you, they’ve pretty much decided to buy!

Brandi, won’t I lose business from people who don’t want to read a website?

Sure, that’s possible. But, if a few words on a screen can make someone want to buy from you yet they make someone else run away screaming….was the second person really one you wanted as a client?  Wouldn’t you want to know that every “discovery call” is basically a done sale because they were already convinced to pay you by your web content?

Your entire website is built for you to directly speak to your target market!  I have a few target markets, one of my main divisions is a staffing agency so my website is speaking to clients who need staff. But, it also works for small business owners who just want to get back to their passion and stop messing around with all of this other stuff that is NOT in their Genius Zone!

You can also focus your website on INBOUND marketing. We’ll talk about that in another course, but you’re going to LOVE it!  Basically, handling things in such a way that your website starts to bring you clients without you paying for a single ad campaign!

Brandi, I’d rather work with people one-on-one, a website seems so “cold” and impersonal!

Sure, it can be. But, so can a hospital room. So, don’t build one of those. Build something with the energy you’d put into your fashion, interior decorating, or even Christmas tree decorating!  MAKE it personal. Make it YOU. When I write, I say what I want out loud (or I think it REALLY loudly) and I write EXACTLY like I talk. Like, for reals. And if you’ve ever heard me speak, you can HEAR me talking when you read my words. Those are MY colors, MY words, MY personality DRIPPING off of your computer monitor right now!  😉

But, once they read your words and feel your energy, by the time they talk to you, they’ve already decided they love you and your products. They are ready to get to the nitty gritty and get to gettin’!

Some facts to consider:

  • Americans spend approx 25 hours every week browsing online, not including social media! 81% of adults in the US have smartphones which are used for up to 8 hours DAILY. At least 30% of customers refuse to consider purchasing from a business without a website.
  • Ecommerce sales are growing to over 684 billion US dollars by 2020….that’s in just over a month from now.
  • More than 75% of the population uses technology every day.  Even babies are being taught how to use tech. In fact, the people trailing behind are usually “The Greatest (Grandparent) Generation.” But, even they are adopting social media like crazy to spend more time with their families!  So, unless your target market is not human, or a chimp, you’re pretty much talking about targeting people who use at least SOME level of technology!
  • 75% of business-to-business buyers say digital website content significantly impacts buying decisions and 62% can finalize purchases based on digital content alone. Which means without speaking to a single person, they put money in your bank account! The average B2B buyer makes 12 online searches before purchasing, and they’re 57% of the way through the buying process before they want to speak to anyone.
  • Of the small businesses that have websites, 69% of them have sales of $1 million to $2.5 million PER YEAR!  Not sure about you, but I want to be in THAT circle!
  • Companies who describe themselves as “purpose driven” are 69% more likely than their peers to exceed their business goals by a significant margin! Luckily, if you’re reading this, you’re likely already in several groups helping you master that “purpose driven life.”
  • 80% of smartphone users use mobile phones for shopping research and 58% of mobile revenue comes from mobile websites, NOT apps.

Click below to complete this lesson and move onto the next one!

Current User Progress
Entrepreneur's Intro to Websites
Module 1 Introduction-
Lesson 1 Intro  - Preview
Lesson 2 Do I need a website?  - Preview
Lesson 3 Yeah, but what does it cost?  - Preview
Lesson 4 What features do I REALLY need?  - Preview
Lesson 5 Won't this be too hard?  - Preview
Lesson 6 I don't have time!  - Preview
Lesson 7 BlackThumb Services
Lesson 8 Facebook Group for our Entrepreneurs Intro to Web course
Lesson 9 Live calls for Entrepreneurs Into to Websites
Lesson 10 Special Discount for course completion
Lesson 11 Exit Overview
Module 2 Reviewing Available Options+
Lesson 1 Intro to Reviewing Options
Lesson 2 Kajabi
Lesson 3 Thinkific
Lesson 4 Teachable
Lesson 5 Course Systems Comparison
Lesson 6 Clickfunnels and others
Lesson 7 WebBrixx
Lesson 8 Exit Overview of Reviewing Options
Module 3 Get Started INSTALLING!+
Lesson 1 Intro to Installing
Lesson 2 Servers - the "hardest" part
Lesson 3 One-Step WordPress
Lesson 4 Basic Settings
Lesson 5 Oh gosh, I need help!
Lesson 6 Exit Overview for Installing
Module 4 Adding Features+
Lesson 1 Intro to Adding Features
Lesson 2 What are plugins anyway?
Lesson 3 WebBrixx Plugins
Lesson 4 Alternative Plugins
Lesson 5 Exit Overview for Adding Features
Lesson 6 Help Me With Picking These Plugins!
Module 5 Plugins+
Lesson 1 Intro to The Dreaded Plugins
Lesson 2 Purchasing Plugins
Lesson 3 Installing Plugins
Lesson 4 Configuring Plugins
Lesson 5 Help! I Can't Do These Plugin Things!
Lesson 6 Exit Overview of Plugins
Module 6 Basic Maintenance+
Lesson 1 Intro to Basic Maintenance
Lesson 2 Back It Up!
Lesson 3 Updating Plugins
Lesson 4 Plugin Problems
Lesson 5 Tech Support
Lesson 6 I don't want to do maintenance!
Lesson 7 Exit Overview of Basic Maintenance
Module 7 Putting on a Pretty Face+
Lesson 1 Intro to Putting on a "Pretty" Face
Lesson 2 Themes
Lesson 3 Elementor
Lesson 4 Just do it for me!
Lesson 5 Exit Overview of Putting on a "Pretty" Face
Module 8 Wrap-up+
Lesson 1 Intro to Wrap-up
Lesson 2 Course Review
Lesson 3 Exit Overview to Wrap-up
Lesson 4 Test1
Lesson 5 Test2
Lesson 6 Test3