The true value of a website is NOT in the selling of goods or services

11 March 2014
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The first ever website was published on August 6, 1991.

It served up a page explaining the World Wide Web project and giving information on how users could setup a web server and how to create their own websites and web pages, as well as how they could search the web for information.

Fast forward to 2014, and many businesses are still hesitant about launching their brand into the high traffic web-o-sphere. But even those who have decided to build a website to promote their business, often let it rot somewhere in cyber space failing to update it, share it and harness its power as one of the greatest communication tools ever invented!

StoryBy now you can tell that I am pro website. And following that statement you are left thinking to yourself, “Sure he is! He builds them for people and in turn gets paid for it!” And your statement would be correct. But as you also know, promoting a product which helps people just like me build their business, follow their dreams and move them into the future is not only profitable…it’s insanely satisfying!

Websites give a business the ability to share a massive amount of information quickly, easily and without restrictions. You can share your message with the guy sitting in his apartment right down the block, or with a young mother who’s checking her Facebook page in Bangladesh. The sending and receiving of information on this global scale means that your competition is no longer confined within a shared zip or area code.

Websites have become integrated with social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. This collaboration now offers the user to share information in seconds with their friends and connections which now range from a few hundred to several thousands.

But how does a website work?

Most people whom I speak with about web design query my approach because in their mind…”they have nothing to sell online.” But the true value of a website is not in the selling of goods or services. The real benefit is in the telling and the ability to share your own unique story of who, what, when and how you got into that business.

I love speaking with entrepreneurs whose eye’s light up when they reveal to me the events which motivated them to break the chains of their old daily grind, and head off into the scary world of small business ownership. You can almost feel their passion filling the room. Their hands move wildly as they gesture while reliving some of the most exciting times, the times when they knew that they were on the path to success! When finished, they appear to be almost breathless as they recover from that huge spike of enthusiasm.

I always walk away from those conversations both excited and saddened. I’m excited by simply being close enough to attract their attention as they chose to share their story with me. And then I am saddened because I realize that I may be just the second or third person this month to hear this vibrant tale of one’s relentless journey toward success.

When you explain to people how you got your start, you in essence remove the border between being a perceived wealthy business owner, and a human who made mistakes, took the wrong exit and only through the help of his friends and family, found a way to make it work. That story levels the playing field. You, the business owner, are now an influencer. A person who has the ability to inspire others to follow their dreams.

Can a website really do all that? Can it change the way people perceive me?

A website acts as your home base. A place for you to create content that can be shared with the world. Sure, you can sell products, promote services, add a “checkout now” button or pitch your next big book release, but what it’s really good at, is building a heightened level of trust between yourself and the customer.

I’m sure you have heard of terms like search engine optimization, blog or lead generation. It’s true that a website can supply the owner with massive opportunities to attract new customers, boost sales and help build massive mailing lists, but all of that stuff comes later. The first step you need to take before creating your digital footprint, is to sit down and write out YOUR story. Write about your initial fears, processes, mistakes, mentors, ideas and visions of the future. Talk about how your family influenced you to follow your desires, and constantly urged you to go ahead and “give it a shot!”

Tell your story like only you can. And then allow thousands of people to take a peek behind the curtain, to read, share, LIKE, tweet and +1 your message. Build your website to be a reflection of who you really are. Some of the greatest websites ever built introduce you to the business and the owner in way that when you physically meet them for the first time, you’ll feel like you’re reconnecting with an old friend.

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P.S. If you would like to schedule a time to discuss how we can help you tell your story, please give me a call at my direct number 815-441-2219.

I look forward to working with you to share your message! ~Andy

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