The Top 5 Most Common Misconceptions About Building Websites
After about a decade of building websites and two years of helping other people build theirs, I’ve found that many people have the same misconceptions about building websites. Here are the top 5 most common ones I’ve seen.
#1: This is going to be SOOOO easy.
WRONG! There have been a ton of commercials about how “easy” it is to set up a website using services like Wix or WordPress or SquareSpace or whatever… but they are misleading for the most part. Sure, a tech-savvy 20-something who grew up online might be able to figure it out pretty quick, but that is not the case for most people. No matter how simple or intuitive the website-building interface may be, you will still have to LEARN HOW TO DO IT.
Not only that, you’ll have to really think about your business and what you offer. Most small business owners haven’t taken the time to sit down and write a mission statement, a personal bio, a list of your services, descriptions of those services, or any sales content whatsoever (and this is the bare minimum information you need).
You also need graphics, pictures, and other data to fill in the blanks on the most basic of websites. Fortunately, the process of learning provides a lot of business development that you wouldn’t have done otherwise, so at least there’s that!
#2 I’m going to be a millionaire tomorrow!
No matter how badass your new website is, it won’t make you a millionaire by itself. I’ve had clients spend as much as $80,000 on a website (not with me, of course, I’m WAY more affordable), only to learn that the website is just one piece of a much larger puzzle. Think of your website as a car; no matter how powerful it is, you still need to put on the gas to make it go anywhere.
I always tell people that if you’re not willing to sell your service/product, no one is going to be willing to buy it. After you set up a website, you need to get out there and start marketing. You also need to continue developing your business/product/service, build your website through content marketing, serve your clients well, ship products in a timely manner, offer promotions and sales, and all the other things that go into running a successful business.
#3: I can outsource all elements of my online presence.
The truth is, you COULD outsource all of your online marketing functions, but (1) it will cost you WAY more than you think it will, and (2) even with the most amazing online marketing firm in the world, you still might fail to make any money, especially if the business is new.
If you do a quick google search for “how much does social media marketing cost,” you’ll find a range of articles (Click Here to see my favorite one) that will tell you just how expensive outsourcing is. In terms of Facebook, expect to pay between $2,500 to $5,000 ON AVERAGE. Most small business owners don’t have that kind of scratch (and that’s just for one platform).
I try to teach people as much as I can about online marketing because I truly believe that the only way most small businesses can be successful online is by doing a lot of it themselves, ESPECIALLY at the beginning. It’s about more than just saving money too, it’s about learning about your customers and your business.
#4: This is going to be quick.
Building your online presence and increasing your website traffic into any kind of tangible amount takes time. You have to develop a website, your online brand, your community, your social media following, your email list, and in most cases, your product, service, and YOURSELF in order to be successful online. This all takes time, and just like anything else in life, the more time and effort you put in, the faster it will pay out.
I’ve always said that there is only one “cheat code” when it comes to the time it takes to build online revenue streams, and that cheat code is CASH (and lots of it). If you want to increase your sales without doing all the slow, “organic” stuff that I usually promote, you need to advertise, send out free products, run contests, attend trade shows, etc.
The companies you see “exploding” online usually have substantial backing or a successful entrepreneur behind the helm that has done it a dozen times before. That’s not you, but it can be! Just get to work.
#5: I don’t really need a website.
Some people think that their online presence is “good enough” without their own website. Between their Facebook Fanpage, Yelp account, and their industry-specific online business listing, they have the bases covered! I’m sorry to tell you, but you still need a website.
The ONLY REASON that things like Facebook Fanpages exist is because Facebook wants traffic, and they realize that the best way to get it is by allowing you to post their for free.
As a business, YOU want/need traffic too. I tell my clients that a website needs to be more than an online version of your business card, it needs to be a resource for your existing and future customers and a statement to the world about your knowledge and expertise. You need a website, and it needs to be good.
You need a good website and a significant online presence, and it’s worth every bit of effort you put into it. You need to learn as much as you can about online marketing, even if you plan to (and can afford) to outsource it in the future. If you want to get pointed in the right direction, get my Essential Website Package, it will get you on the right path and it can grow with you and your business PLUS I’ll train you how to use it. Do work!