On the 4th of October 2021, instagram and facebook shut down globally, for the entire day. Those who relied solely on instagram to promote their business and (possibly) sell their products, had a serious problem. And although most people went back to social media like nothing happened, for some it was a wake-up call. Because social media isn’t the answer to your business. Your website is.
My ”official” day job is to design websites, (this is my humble company, the site’s in greek, but you can let me know if you want to build your own website 😉) and over the years I have witnessed again and again how a personal website can make your business thrive. I know first hand the advantages that a personal website has, and social media haven’t. So, when I say that you NEED a website, I really mean it.
And I do not say by any means that you shouldn’t be active on social media. Of course you should. In order to reach as many people as possible, you have to follow the trends. What I mean is the core of your business should be your personal website. The foundation upon which you can build all your social media. Let me explain why.
Social media come and go as they please
When I was at university, MySpace was the go-to social media platform. If you are under 30, chances are that you never heard of MySpace. Do you get my point? Imagine spending your time and effort to build your audience, only to see the platform “die” over time. Only your personal website will always be there for you. (Provided that you maintain it of course!)
You have no control over your content on social media
All your content has to follow the platform’s guidelines. Of course, these should definitely exist to a point. But the fact, for example, that instagram bans artists from showing nude drawings on the platform, can have a serious impact on their work and potentially their career.
Not only that, but no one can guarantee that your content will always be there. Recently I visited Myspace, for the sake of this article. And you know what? There was an announcement, ”As a result of a server migration project, any photos, videos and audio files you uploaded more than three years ago may no longer be available on or from Myspace”. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want my content gone, thank you very much.
You have no control over social media themselves
Just as I mentioned before, on october 4th, instagram was down for the day. Accidents can happen of course, (even on your own website) but the problem remains that many things can go wrong in social media that are out of your hand. And the least you can do is get your own website and minimize the risks.
A website increases your credibility
Not only a website increases your credibility but it also makes you look serious and professional. Especially if you are a business that sell goods or services. Just think, who are you most likely to buy from, who will you trust, a random person on Facebook, or a ”serious” eshop?
Unlike social media, your website’s content is archived
Your website’s content is archived, it is just like a book that you can open any time. People can find information about you, can search the internet and find a random article, even many years later. In social media… no such luxury. You scroll down, and poof the content is already gone. How many times you needed to find a specific instagram ”story” and it was gone after a while?
You can show your work just the way you like
Marketing is part of the art too. And in your personal website you can present your work any way you like, you don’t have to rely on a pre-made template, on a pre-made app that millions use in the same way. After all, people follow you because of your personality, not just because of your art or your business. And what better way to show your personality through your custom website?
Only real “fans” will follow you
I’m sure that some will take this as a disadvantage. But have you ever wondered what is the “real” number of your followers? Social media are not real. And I am not even talking about personal accounts, just business accounts, solely related to your work. People do not necessarily follow you because they like your work, they can follow you for many reasons. (Which I will not elaborate here, maybe on a future post!) As a result, the number of your followers is not real. But when it comes to your personal website, only people TRULY interested in you and your work will stick around. Which is the desired thing deep down, isn’t it? After all, the number of followers in social media doesn’t mean anything, it is just an ego-boosting mechanism.
Your website is your own haven
Your website can be the little corner on the internet, you pour your heart into. No joking. I use my website (yeah, this little crazy place right here!) as my personal “diary”, where I document my thoughts, my progress etc. Whenever I want to get something out of my chest, this is the place I go. And this way I feel I leave a mark in the world. No matter how small.
No hidden fees
In case you are selling your goods, services etc, your website is the only place that lets you keep 100% of your earnings. Unlike every other platform, where you need to pay multiple fees, (commission, advertising etc) in order to keep the sales coming.
I could keep on going for ever, but I think I will stop here, to keep it simple. Long story short: If you are serious about your business, you need a website.