Maybe You Do?
Hello and thank you for reading my blog.
I like to write about different tools and resources that can help small businesses market themselves and grow. This post is going to be no different. I am going to breakdown the Pro's and Con's of having a website. Let me put this post in context for everyone. It is March 2020 and the world is under a pandemic. Many if not ALL non-essential businesses are closed by order of the state and federal government. You wont be able to do business in person for an unknown amount of time. Enter the Internet, did I mention it is MARCH 2020.
Yes, You Need A Webstie
Websites are great and can be used for sooooo many different things, all at once. Let's just talk about 1 website for now. www.shorethingmarketing.com is my website. If you haven't been there, take a look around. All of the blog posts that I have written and e-mailed to you can be found there. My Photo & Video Services and prices are available there as well along with contact information, a portfolio of some of my recent work, Photos, videos, slideshows, and of course my favorite feature is the PDF of the Home Prep Checklist for photo & open house prep. Take a look at the list below for different tasks or purposes that websites can be used for.
Websites Can Be Used For:
- BRANDING - The Number ONE reason to have a website is to help BRAND yourself in business. This is a place where you can have your logo or brand on everything. When clients or potential clients look you up, your website will show them what YOU want them to see. It is a place on the internet that you can control and build and create to your own specifications.
- Sharing Information - From Breaking News to Sports Scores, they all get posted to a website.
- Selling Products - Amazon may have an App, but it was a Website first.
- Selling Services - Some Services can be sold and even completed online now. Yoga is getting a large virtual following along with other personal training style services like Peloton.
- Advertising - This one is a little tricky. Lets say you have photos of a home you are listing for sale. You put them on MLS and Share that link. What if you have 2 or 3 or your'e a broker and have multiple agents with multiple properties for sale and you would like to be able to showcase JUST YOUR LISTINGS in ONE PLACE. You may need a website.
- Portfolio - A website is a great place to show your past works so potential clients can see what you have done conveniently.
- Blogging & Vlogging - I use my website for blogging among other things.
- Showing Your Potential Clients that You are Real - Doesn't it feel nice when you look up a company on google and get the website instead of questioning how legitimate they are or how good they are at what they do. (There is a commercial on TV that inspired this blog, you may have seen it. The quote from the commercial I like says, "A Website makes it Real"
The Downside to having a website
After building multiple websites and spending many many hours updating and maintaining them, I feel I am qualified to tell you what a pain in the butt they can be.
The biggest drawback to having a website is that you have to keep it somewhat up to date. If you change a price or add a service, you have to do that everywhere. Let's say your'e running a promotion offering Free Slideshows with Any Photo Package to your Real Estate Clients. What if the promotion was only supposed to run until the end of January, but the months keep going by, and there it is plastered on your websites banner as well as multiple places in the e-mails you are sending out weekly.
Another problem with having a website is honestly the cost. Websites can be made in many different ways on many different platforms. It all really depends on what you want your website to look like and how you want it to function. Real Estate Websites for instance should have some kind of IDX(Internet Data Exchange) that transfers the listing information from MLS to the website. The IDX system would have there own fee for the service on top of the cost of your website. A Retail websites can be made to include all kinds of Point of Sale marketing pop ups and reminders that help increase purchases. You can even have a system that saves the online shopping cart and e-mails the shopper that they forgot to check out and purchase everything in the cart. If you are a writer and just want a place to share your writing, the cost of your website could be little to nothing depending on how picky you are about certain things.
Though there are a few downsides to having a website, I truly believe it is important for any business in 2020 to have one.
If you are looking to have one made or updated feel free to contact me for a quote. If you're adventurous and would like to make your own, I think GoDaddy is a great place to start. I built my first website there. I now use WordPress to build websites because they are less restrictive, but also less user friendly in my experience. There are also Wix and Squarespace, but I have no experience with them so I can't give you an opinion on them.