Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Why a great website isn't enough

Recently, someone on one of my lists posed the question: "How many of you get business from your website?" In my mind, this is the wrong question to ask. Rather than posing it this way, what I think you really want to ask is "how do I get people to my website so they can learn about my business?" and "how do I set up my website so that, once people end up on it, they'll be inspired to work with me?"

A website isn't a magic bullet that will make all your business dreams come true; it has to work in concert with all the other things you do to promote yourself. For example, many of my customers (almost all, in fact), have seen my website by the time they hire me, but they don't just randomly happen upon it. They find me through one of my various online communities, or meet me at a networking event, or find this blog. They connect with something I've said on a forum, or taught in a class. That intrigues them to look at my site, and since it's well-built and the work is good, I get business.

But if I didn't do all these different things to promote my site, people wouldn't find it, and I wouldn't get business from it.

If you want to get business from your website, you need to put in the effort to build it well, to create a professional presence with engaging content, and to promote it - otherwise, it just becomes another bit of noise in an already-polluted Internet.

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