If you’re thinking about starting your own business or have already started then you have probably done some research on why it’s important to have a website.
But I am not going to get into that because there’s already countless articles, blogs, and even videos on this subject all over the internet.
There are even people who have made a killing in web development who make it their business to tell other entrepreneurs why they should have a website.
What I want to talk to you about is why you should wait on creating a website.
Now I am not saying that having a website is bad. That would be absurd, but I will tell you that with all the social media and self-promoting advances we have made, websites are starting to become not so necessary.
According to MarketingSherpa, 95 percent of adults between the ages of 18 and 34 are likely following a brand using social media. 96 percent of the people that discuss those brands online do not follow the brands’ profiles or websites.
What does this mean?
Well, let’s break it down. As of April 2018, there are over 4.2 billion users online and of that 4 billion, 3.03 billion of them are active social media users. And these users spend on average 116 minutes a day on social media. (Brandwatch)
To put it simply people are spending more time talking about brands on social media. This interaction leads to virtual purchases. All which is far away from visiting the actual brands website. I know I personally stalk brands on Instagram and rate them on appearance & interaction from their followers. If they look good on Instagram I’ll likely buy from them.
The most recent statistic shows that in 2015, Facebook was directly associated with 52 percent of online and offline purchases (The Drum). More recently about 40 percent of users are following their favorite brands on social media. Also, 1 in 4 users are following brands on social media that they say will likely buy from them. (Forbes).
And the stats keep going up! This poses the question of why even have a website?
Sites like Instagram can provide you with a gallery to showcase your work and/or products. Sites like Etsy and Storenvy can provide you with a storefront. YouTube can allow you to show your authentic self, which vital in building a brand.
Purchasing a web domain and sometimes the actual use of the built-in website builders can run you around $300 a year and that’s on the cheap end.
They also take hours of your time, that you could be spending marketing your brand. Building a website isn’t a simple task. How it looks and how easy it is to navigate plays a big part in if you get return visitors. I know that I’ve come across some dinosaur websites and left immediately when I saw they weren’t mobile friendly. This is only the case if you build your website yourself. Web designers are not cheap. According to Glassdoor, Web designers make 93k a year on average in the United States.
That’s about $40 an hour you are paying them. And no brand brings in that kind of money in the beginning for that expense to make sense. Plus why pay that kind of money when social media is free. And when you have the website you have to keep an eye on the engagement and SEO (Search Engine Optimization). You already have to do that on your social media. Adding one more on your plate will just be overwhelming for someone new.
Keep It Simple. Don’t burn yourself out before you even get started.
For the artists or anyone who crafts something visually appealing, Instagram takes the cake. It can captivate and draw more engagement than any other social media platform out there.
YouTube the video streaming service allows for vitality on the web just recently allowed their seasoned content creators to post pictures to their feed. If you have something to share to the world whether it be your personality, humor, or life lessons YouTube can draw in a crowd for it. And let’s not forget about YouTube’s monetization option which pays you for the more views you get. No website necessary.
And let us not forget the old but effective method of face to face marketing. When people sell themselves in person the consumer is more likely to go to their Facebook or Instagram then their website.
Conventions allow brands to market and show what they have without any help from a website. Websites have their importance and all brands should get one at some point, but with the way the marketplace is now you can wait.
The best course of action would be to build your audience on social media first. Especially if you are just building a business. Just hustle your face off in the beginning and you can build a brand just using social media and networking.
Grow to a few 10k followers, make some sells and then if you wish to build a website once you have broken even go for it. Do not spend money you don’t need to or may not have. Social media is a wonderful resource. It has given back the power to brands and how they want to be seen by the public. It is now more accessible than ever to successfully build your brand online.