Can’t I just build a business on Instagram or Facebook?
Do I really need a website? After all, websites are expensive.
The question of whether you can run a business on social media without having a website came from a question I read on a Facebook group I hang out in. The person had just been advised by her business coach that "oh no, you don't need a website". She wanted to check out what the hive mind had to say about this matter.
After I finished choking on my coffee, here's what I answered ...
And it turns out more and more coaches are giving this slightly ‘interesting’ advice. This isn’t the first time I’ve heard this. I've heard about some coaches saying you can build a business without a website. All you need is IG or FB.
Obviously I can't comment on the context of these conversations, however this is digitally-dubious advice.
Ok, full disclosure time. I write website copy. I'm very good at what I do. SEO, UX, conversion, write for humans, latest trends etc. So I know what I'm doing.
Building a successful business needs you to have some form of web presence.
1. Even if you get your clients from a social media site (about 75% of my clients come through four Facebook groups) your website gives you more authority.
2. People are looking for digital proof you are trustworthy. So they may find you on IG, but then they digitally stalk you to find out more. If they don't find a website or landing page you raise red flags.
3. If they find someone similar and they do have a site. They will be the automatic choice after you.
4. Remember, you are an expert. You are an authority. The guide to your tribe. How are you going to stand out as this when your digital footprint is minimal.
5. As Google SEO tracks you across websites and social media. Consistent conversations across many different digital platforms will help your business grow.
6. Websites also give you one place to put all your business information, service details, blogs and offers in logical order. Unlike Facebook where it can be scattered across many posts and you risk key information getting lost.
7. You are in control of your website and can strike up more engagement with your clients. You can design it how you like, and put on it what you like. What if IG or FB go down? Or penalize you in algorithms? What are you left with then? Nada! Zip. Zilch.
8. With a website and email list YOU'RE in control of what your customers and clients see. You're not left at the whim of Facebook, TikToK, IG or Pinterest algorithms.
Does my business need a website?
So, does my business need a website? Can’t you just hang out on Instagram and Facebook and grow your business from there?
It’s too big a risk putting all your digital eggs in one basket.
- A website should form part of your digital marketing strategy. Advising you against this is potentially showing lack of experience and knowledge of digital marketing.
- Websites needn't cost the earth. But getting up and running with one as soon as possible is essential to growing your business.
- They don’t need to be fancy. They just need to say the right things (and be easy to read visually).
What's COVID-19 taught us about being online?
Well, we all know what happened in 2020. We stopped being able to get physically in front of people because of varying levels of distancing and contact restrictions.
This made it even more important to have a website for your business. Suddenly our physical shops, clinics and studios weren't an available option to us. We HAD to be online if we wanted to trade.
This made the digital world far busier and having a website made it easier for us to stand out online.
COVID's not going anywhere soon, so we need to make sure our website is up and running and converting more customers.