You need your own website for your business, because Facebook will not only hurt your business, it can kill your business!
Small business owners are frequently telling me they are considering just using Facebook as their business or company website. After all, isn’t it just as good as having your own website, plus, it’s free, all of my customers are already there, its easy to use, and its FREE!
All of those things may be true. Social networks are wonderful tools. They get us in front of our audience. They attract new users or customers. They really are powerful, effective tools.
But if you use a tool to run your business, you become subject to the winds of change and you become slaves to that machine. Your business will get wrapped up in the cogs of social networks and that can hurt or kill your business.
Imagine where you’d be if you had made MySpace your business website (not a good place to be. . . )
Don’t Loose Control
The number one reason why you need to have your own website is content ownership. When you create content and information on your own site, you maintain control.
When you create content on social networks, you essentially license that content to them. You loose control and ownership. You are sharecropping. You’re living on another’s property, creating content for them, and getting marginal return.
This is not good business. You create the content and information for your website, which has immediate and long term value. You should keep control of that content for your self.
Minimum Viable Website
I want to help you understand the absolute minimum website you need for your business. If you plan to devote your time and energy to using Facebook for your business, you need to have a website that does the following two things for you. This is an absolute minimum.
You need to be able to gather email addresses from visitors. This is one of the most effective marketing tools you will have. When someone willingly offers you their email address, they are giving you specific permission to market to them.
Seth Godin called this permission marketing and it is very powerful.
When someone visits your website and gives you their email address, they are telling you that they want you to send them information. They have found your information, products or services to be something that they like and they want to hear more about it. They want you to send them occasional emails about your stuff.
This information is extremely valuable and you need it for your business. If Facebook goes away, you need to have a vehicle to continue to grow your business and email is a way to that. Your website needs a way to gather these valuable email address.
Whether you call it a blog or news room or some other catchy thing, you need a place where you can write about your business. A blog is a place where you can create content that attracts users or customers.
Regardless of the kind of business you run, a blog is an essential part of your website. This is a place where you can announce new information about your business, like press releases. It is a place where you can talk about the changing face of you industry or market. It provides you with a platform to be proactive in dealing with objections to sales. It is a cheap marketing tool that attracts clients and customers to your website.
Blogging for your business is one of the simplest and potentially most valuable marketing tool you can have in your business tool kit.
The Bigger Picture
These are the absolute minimum things you need for a business website. Regardless of the business you are in, you need a website that will work for you.
Facebook is a wonderful tool, but if you plan to use it exclusively for you business website, you are setting yourself up for disappointment.
If you don’t have a website for your business, get one today! It is important. Use Facebook to drive traffic to a place that you own and control. It is a much better long term strategy and will help you grow your business.
Sound off in the comments below. Do you agree?