The internet can be a major source of income for you, do you really want to avoid it, or leave it to chance just because it’s the big, scary unknown?
The internet isn’t the bogeyman. There’s nothing to be worried about. Really. It’s just a tool you haven’t learned to use yet. The problem is there are lots of people out there in web-land that want to profit from your ignorance and fear.
A lot of web consultants, marketers and developers do a great job, but they want you to believe they perform incomprehensible digital magic… just so you’ll always need them. For the most part, this couldn’t be more wrong.
You need more web smarts and less web fears so you can decide the best course of action for your business in the online space.
So, let’s jump in and let’s make the web less scary by addressing some of your fears and excuses head on.
The top 5 web fears that could be holding you back from doing great things online.
1. I’m doing okay, I don’t need a website.
If this isn’t your personal fear, I bet you know someone who DOES still say this. You need to tell them they’re so 1992! If that doesn’t work, here’s some cold, hard facts that might change their mind…
A recent report by the NAB said that online retail spend is about 5% of total retail sales in Australia, now I know 5% might not sound a like a lot, but let me remind you it’s worth about $10.5 billion dollars. More importantly, they expected online sales to grow by 20% this year, far outstripping bricks and mortar retail growth, and that tells us something really important. Buyer behaviour is shifting to the web. If you don’t have a website, you’re not going to get your share of those billions.
This is the age of the web business haves and have nots. Don’t be a have not!
2. Expertise costs cash.
Yes, yes it can. I know of one guy who charges $30k for one meeting and a detailed strategy to optimize your eCommerce site. Now, I’m sure he’s good at what he does, but, sheesh, is he 30 grand good?? Seriously, unless you’re a big corporate with lots of dollars and squeezing out an extra 5% of online sales will net you $100k, you don’t need it.
Good news, when it comes to marketing your business online, it’s surprisingly easy to get free digital marketing advice online and get results. But you’ll have to get over your web fears first. And often, that just means jumping in feet first and giving it a go… and then being pleasantly surprised the big, nasty internet monster didn’t actually eat you.
3. Only big businesses can have great websites, I can’t compete.
So not true. Web123 specialise in small business websites, and so do companies like bigcommerce (although they only do eCommerce sites), even a well-designed WordPress site can look good if you’ve got an eye for design.
When budget is limited, the trick is to take smart and calculated shortcuts to save money in areas that don’t matter, so you can spend on areas that will really build your business.
You should seriously consider a website with a content management system (CMS) that automates as many basic functions as possible, but stills gives you the flexibility to grow. Why pay a solo web developer to build you a site from scratch if you’re going to be spending a lot of dollars getting him to reinvent the wheel? Those dollars would be best spent on better branding and optimizing your site for sales conversions which is where the moola is!
4. SEO is a magical art I can’t possibly understand or master.
Maybe that was true once. But getting good rankings is now more possible for the non-expert than ever before. And you can thank Google for that. They’ve gotten extra good at weeding out all the dodgy SEO practices that try to game the system. It’s not perfect yet of course, sometimes dodgy practices can still work (for a while) but now you just need to focus on two things:
a) Have quality, unique content on your site, and then
b) Have high quality websites linking to you. (And why do they link to you? Well, duh, because you’ve already got great content!)
5. Argh, I can’t write and I can’t afford a copywriter. My online plans are screwed!
Calm down! Like I said in the first point, great copy really does make a difference to your website, and a professional copywriter is a great investment… but if you can’t afford one, don’t panic! I wouldn’t ever call myself a copywriter, I really hated English at school. I’m just a graphic designer, cum web designer cum small business entrepreneur. But I know what I know and I can talk. I just put my ‘talk’ into typed words and here it is… A blog that you’re reading right now.
If I can do it, you can too.
Just don’t talk too much about you, it’s all about them. Your web visitors just need to know if you can solve their problems and how. You probably answer this question every day for your face to face customers. I’m confident you can translate that into something good on your website. But there are a few guidelines you should follow, so here’s some content writing tips for you.
Remember the more you jump in and try this thing called the interwebs, the less scary it gets.
The more you put in, the more results you’ll get out. So come on, let’s get started today. Oh, and if you’re a complete newbie you could always watch my website starter kit videos. It’s a great, fear-reducing introduction to all the concepts you’ll need to know.
Drop me a line below if you have any questions!