To be honest, before I had a website, it was something I dreaded doing for my business. It can be a huge chore to get together all the proper messaging and imagery for your business and somehow bring it all together to resemble a pretty website that people will actually spend time at and buy products or services from. And as a website designer, nothing is ironically more difficult to me than figuring out how to design my own website. I can design websites for other businesses all day, but when it came to my own, it suddenly seemed much harder.
All that said, a website is a strong investment in your business that will bring in major dividends. Once you have a well-designed, high-performing site, you’ll laugh at your past self who thought they should get by without one. Here are a handful of benefits and how a website can be your new, amazing business partner:
Even if your potential customer finds you through social media or a business card, they need to have a place to learn more about you. And, even if your business makes most of its money through a physical location, the crazy year of 2020 taught us that not everything can happen in-person. If there’s no place to learn more and find that you’re a legitimate business, then there’s no place to build trust.
I can’t think of a business that I’ve worked with in the last 5 years that didn’t have a website. This includes my wedding vendors: our videographer, photographer, and DJ all had well designed sites that clearly explained what they did. Every restaurant, boutique, and entertainment business that I’ve purchased from has also had a website. I won’t keep going: I think you get that a website is essential to having people find you.
Social media is great, but it’s not and shouldn’t be the only way for clients to find you. I know that a lot of photographers run their businesses and get inquiries through social media, especially Instagram, but let me tell you something. I’m writing this blog on October 4th, the day that Instagram and Facebook have been down nearly all day. Granted, this might only be a day-long, but what would happen if a major social media platform suddenly went out of business? Where would you display your services/products? Where could random new clients go to find and book you? I love Instagram as much as the next person, but it’s vital that you advertise your company multiple ways on the internet.
Gone are the days when business owners had to explain what they do to customers over and over again. In this digital world, it’s so much easier to find your ideal clients (and on a pretty low budget), but it can be overwhelming to explain all your offerings to someone who reaches out via email or phone. A website allows you to define what you stand for and what you offer in one beautiful, multi-functional location.
For every beautiful and functional website, there are at least 10 other websites that lack good design, helpful information, or even just basic contact info. Okay, these aren’t factual statistics, but take a quick look at your competitors on the internet, and you’ll see what I’m talking about. When you set up a website that at least has the basics (your business, your contact info, and what people can buy from you), you’re leagues and bounds above the rest. Even better, a site with that information that’s designed well will help you stand out more, which leads me to my next point.
Think of your most expensive package or product and how much you charge for it. $30 pair of handcrafted earrings? $3,000-$5,000 photography package? $6,000 wedding planning package? Now think about what it would take to get your ideal customer to invest enough to buy that service/product from you. It takes reassurance and trust that they’re investing in the best option, right? In a world where there will always be someone who charges less than you, it’s important to tell your customers why your high quality (but more expensive work) is worth it.
There are so many options for how you can advertise your business, but a website design really is essential. Think of it as the storefront and home of your business. It’s a place that deserves attention and an investment (either of your own time or your money to pay someone else).
If you have questions about how a website design could benefit your business, feel free to reach out to me here.
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Brand photography by Enliven Photography except where otherwise credited.
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Designing out of Portland, Oregon for creatives around the world.