In the web design and internet marketing business, we consistently answer the same customer questions about hiring our firm. Some are the result of “myths,” some are the mother of invention. Either way, there are a lot of small business owners in need of web development, internet marketing or sometimes, just revisions to what they already have. Sometimes, they come to us right from the get-go. Sometimes, they try to do it themselves. And sometimes, they are just seeking information to make an informed decision.
But the common questions we encounter are:
“There are lots of templates on the internet, can’t I just pick one I like and build my own site?” Well of course you can. My first question to a small business owner is, if you’re spending hours and hours building your website, who’s building your business? Hiring a professional allows you to do what you love–and what pays the bills–which is work on your business. Also, if you’re not familiar with customizing templates, you can spend a lot of time trying to solve problems that may not have been necessary to create in the first place. Hiring a professional will also allow you a custom design, you can simply let us know the color scheme you like, what you want highlighted on your site, and then supply the content. We then build you a beautiful custom website designed to market you and/or your business in an optimum way. And, if you build your site yourself, who do you call when there is a problem? You call us. I’m just sayin’…… Then there’s the “If you build it, they will come” mentality. Just because your website is on the internet, doesn’t mean people will visit it. See below, ie. Internet Marketing.
“I wrote an online want ad/classified/job posting once, I think I can handle our Internet Marketing. How hard can it be?” If I had a dollar for every time I heard someone at networking function tell me a potential client said that to them, well…I’d have a lot of 1 dollar bills. There are two things about this statement, first, advertising and marketing are not the same. Advertising is “the act or practice of calling public attention to one’s product, service, need, etc.” Marketing is “everything a company does to acquire customers and maintain a relationship with them. Even the small tasks like writing thank-you letters, returning calls promptly and meeting with a past client for coffee can be thought of as marketing.” The ultimate goal of marketing is to match a company’s products and services to the people who need and want them, thereby ensure profitability. What a lot of people don’t realize is that there is an actual technique to internet marketing. More than your site and more than your Social Media (see below). Internet Marketing is a fragile beast. A beast because it should be a large part of your marketing budget and something that requires a great amount of attention. (Again, if you’re working on your internet marketing, who is working on your business?) It is fragile because while you do need to market your business, you do not want to be seen as a spammer. More importantly, you want your marketing, internet or otherwise, to look professional.
“Anyone can ‘do’ Social Media, I mean I already have a Facebook page.” It is true, anyone can “do” social media. It is the “how” of professionally handling your Social Media Marketing that we specialize in. While anyone and everyone may be your friend on Facebook, for your business page it is essential to target your market audience. It is your contacts, prospects and clients who need to be your friends on Facebook. If you can believe it, some small business owners are still arguing the benefits of Twitter! SuperHero Marketing, a division of Arcimedia, has designed a free Top Secret Twitter Traffic Guide to help you build your following on Twitter so you not only do have a lot of followers, but it is also profitable. Again, it takes a lot of time to implement these things for your business and that is where things can get sticky.
So often as entrepreneurs and small business owners we start out with the best intentions and then get bogged down by our to do list, that we have a bunch of unfinished tasks that get added on the bottom of our to do lists. Hiring a pro to help you with time consuming tasks, not just building your web presence but in other areas too, can be extremely beneficial to your company. Think about it, would you continue to work your full time job as an entrepreneur and attempt to replace the plumbing in your house, while you lived there?