You may be thinking: Why do I need a website? That’s not how I get business.
Or perhaps: No, I do not need yet another way for people to find me. I’d prefer to remain hidden.
But here’s the thing:
It’s 2018. People are going to Google you.
Yes, even those people who received your business card in person. Even those people who were referred to you by someone else who knows you well, and have alllllllll of your contact information. Not to mention your parents’ - they’re going to Google you all the time.
When they do, what are they finding? Is it your old profile for a company you no longer work with? Is it a LinkedIn account that doesn’t have any recent information? Is it - shudder- personal photos that someone you know posted on social media? Yes, even if you are hiding from social media and the internet, it is finding you, whether you like it or not.
Plus, if you rely on referrals: are you actually referable? When we refer we make a habit of including contact information we have on hand as well as a link to a website, so the people receiving the referral can not only get the warm serve from us but also learn about you in your own words. If we don’t have this, it feels unprofessional and we do hesitate a bit. We’ll still send the referral, but then we’ll send you a note wondering if there’s something wrong with your site because… well we can’t find anything about you, and we want to share you with our people.
The reality is, websites are the new business cards. Nobody has a rolodex anymore. People throw physical business cards away (we’re so sorry to disappoint you) because they rely on being able to search for you on the internet. Once they have your email, and assuming that you are using a custom domain name (i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org) - please use a custom domain name - people will use that information to check out your website. If it’s not there, or there’s some advertisement from a domain name company, your business does not seem “real”.
Own your name. Own your company name. Own the words that people use to talk about you.
Websites are pretty easy and inexpensive to build. Here’s a post we wrote a while back about handy website tools you can use to build a simple web presence. Hosting costs are pretty minimal if you use providers like Squarespace or Wordpress, and you don’t have to be a tech wizard to run them.
Basic Elements For Your Basic 1-2 Page Website
If you don’t want or have time to build a fancy website with all the bells and whistles, but you definitely want to be in charge of how you are being presented in the world, here are the basics you’ll want on your simple website:
- Company name, a brief description of your services, and the names and titles of your team members.
- Contact information and a contact form. No, you don't have to include your phone number if you don’t want to. You can just have an easy email form that helps you sort out the riff raff.
- Directions to your office if you meet clients there (include a map!).
- Links to your social media profiles.
Yes, that’s all you need. A white background with black letters on a website is a zillion times better than a “there’s nothing here” message. An actual zillion. If you feel like getting fancy and using your website as a power tool, then of course you can add more pages that tell your readers more things. But that’s all you need to get started.
- Don’t let perfectionism get in the way. You may have ambitious dreams of a big, amazing website, but if the project is overwhelming, it may take you forever to actually do it. Better to start with something small and get it done. Going through the process with a smaller project will help you clarify your wants and needs, making for a much better experience if/when the time comes to do a large, comprehensive site.
- Remember that a micro-site can evolve into a full website.
- Don’t worry about writing a ton of content. Copywriting is often the most time-consuming part of website building, and it can be very difficult to write compelling copy about yourself and your company. Either find some help with the writing part, or keep the wording minimal and focus on a professional look with the basic elements above.
Want some help? Get in touch with us.