When communicating with business owners who aren’t experts in marketing, one of the most difficult tasks is clearly and simply communicating what websites and digital marketing do, what they don’t do, why things should be done in certain ways and generally just what is best practice for their online marketing and why. At JBMD Creations we strive to make this as clear as possible with our education center, with our powerpoint presentations and with throughout our entire sales and onboarding process. Communication and education are everything to us. One of the first myths to dispel is the idea that if you build a website, customers will now suddenly find you in Google, or anywhere for that matter. 10-15 years ago this was possible as the internet wasn’t as competitive as it is now, but let us try to create an analogy for you to make this easier to understand. Let’s say you live in a city of 100,000 people. Let’s also say you’ve come up with this incredible idea and created one of the best products ever seen. You show your friends, you show your family and they are amazed at what you’ve come up with and tell you you HAVE to sell this item. People need this in their lives! Fantastic! You get to work and get a patent, get the item produced and set up distribution and manufacturing systems so you can mass produce and ship this product. The excitement is palpable, this is going to change your life. There are 100,000 people locally to pitch this thing too and you just know a good deal of them are going to be blown away and want to take as many off your hands as they can! So here you go, it’s the day the product comes in. You’ve got 200 units of it and are ready to start cashing in. You unbox your product, set it up in displays all around your living room, the kitchen, heck even in the hallways and basement! You’ve got a lot of them and they’re going to sell fast so you’ve got to be stocked! Everything is ready to go, things are set up and you’re ready to change people’s lives and cash in on your brilliant idea. Ready… set… go! You sit down in your house and you wait.. Nothing happens. This is what it’s like in 2021 if you create a website and don’t promote it. You quite literally could have the best product or service the world has ever seen but without a way to get people’s eyes on it, not much is going to happen! This analogy breaks down a little bit as sometimes you can get SOME traffic for SOME content on your website by accident, but 99.9% of the time you’re going to be buried by the tens of thousands of other websites all over the world that are talking about the same subject. We’ve had clients get excited about their new service and ask us “Well what if I get so many orders that I can’t handle them all? What if I get so many scheduling requests that I have to quit my other job”? We will politely remind them of the education we gave about how websites are sales mechanisms for your business or service and it requires a marketing strategy or campaign to get people to the website itself! Massive success online does not happen by accident. It can be challenging to get this across at times as it’s been so ingrained that if you have a website, people are just going to find it. Sometimes it can take repeating this fact several times over the span of a few weeks for it really to sink in. What If I Have A Website And No Marketing? What’s The Point? As we’ve explained all throughout our website and in our education center, a website is a sales hub. It’s meant to build trust, to educate, to persuade, to answer people’s most common questions. It brings legitimacy to your business by having a professional and well organized online representation of your business. What a website without a marketing plan can do is help you convert more of the people that already know about your product or service number one, and number two save you a massive amount of time on the phone and in your email inbox answering the same questions over and over and over again. Websites Help Conversions Let’s say you have 100 people interested in your product or service. Without a website all they’ll know about you is what they hear about over the phone or email, or in your building (if you have one). In this day and age people are primed to do more research before making a purchase. 97% of individuals read reviews of local businesses. They can’t do that over the phone or in person. Having a website with reviews listed on it (which is a core requirement of a proper website) can have a huge impact on their buying decisions. This is just one of the aspects of what convinces more people to buy from you vs your competitor. A few others are: \tTrust signals \tBBB Accreditation shown on your website \tRecognized brands you work with listed \tHaving answers to questions listed they were going to ask (FAQ) \tProfessional photography \tReviews/testimonials \tClarity factors \tProduct or service descriptions \tHow to order your product \tHow to move forward with your service \tWhat the process of working with the business looks like Some of these things you COULD do over the phone, but it’s not likely someone is going to want to spend 45 minutes on the phone listening to you try to sell them on something they could check out in 5 minutes on your website. As an example, let’s say without a website, you engage with 100 potential customers. Out of those 100, 5 end up going through with the product or service. That is a 5% “conversion rate”. Let’s say for another set of 100 potential customers, they end up on the website and because of all those principles we talked about being on the website it helps them make a better and more well informed decision, and you end up sealing the deal with 15, or 20 of those 100 customers! That would be an increase of a 5% conversion rate, to a 20% conversion rate, and most of it was done automatically, on your website, without you having to lift a finger! While these numbers are just pulled out of the air for the purposes of an example, this is what it can look like. We’ve had clients come back to us and say “I had a new client today, and they told me they decided to come in because of how impressed they were with the website! I couldn’t be happier with it!”. We couldn’t be happier with that as well. How to Utilize Your Website to its Potential without Marketing While having marketing will automate the process of acquiring new customers, sometimes it is just not the right time in the business startup phase to begin that process. Once the business is ready for the growth phase, then they’ll have the resources and roadmap to put the standard 10%-15% of profits back into marketing. Before You Begin the Growth Phase of Your Business, How Should You Utilize Your Website? The 10,000 foot overview of what should be happening is that you should have every customer you interact with visit your website. Your website is an absolute beast of a selling machine and it can have huge amounts of influence that you just can’t get without it. How Do You Do This? Your website address should be in your email signature, posted all over your social media, in your email address itself (email@example.com), on your work vehicle, in your office, on your business cards, on your mugs and anything you can think of. Anytime you interact with a potential customer whether online or in person, they should know exactly what your web address is. You want them to have all the information that the two of you exchanged, PLUS what is all over your website. It adds an additional layer of value on top of the value you gave to them. This will begin to help the business owner understand the value of the website. Once customers start visiting it and they come back after a sale and tell them that the website did this for them, or the website helped them understand that for them, they’ll begin to internalize the value of it. Once that process happens and the excitement for it really ramps up, we can then have the conversation about what it would look like to pay for getting traffic from the internet onto the website automatically, without the business owner having to do anything themselves. In conclusion, we hope we’ve done a decent job at explaining what this myth is, where it came from, and what to do now that the illusion is dispelled. It’s not the fact that websites don’t have value once you learn they can’t do what you thought they were doing right away, it’s quite the opposite, it’s just a matter of education on what they do on their own and what they don’t do on their own. Once the business owner understands the true purpose of a website, he can then make the appropriate business decisions at the appropriate time in order to get results he was expecting. Making key business decisions on false information can be devastating, and we don’t want that to happen to anyone. Not on our watch.