When you launched your service providers business, were you mostly worried about getting clients and keeping your costs low?
After all, one of the great things about starting a done-for-you service business is that you can start your own business with little to no overhead.
What does that mean for your marketing? That means a lot of business owners start with creating social media accounts and don’t prioritize their own websites.
Why is that a problem?
The Importance of a Small Business Website for Service Providers
Do you remember when Facebook went down for 7 hours last October? My personal and business feeds were full of panicked small business owners who rely heavily on social media to grow their business and communicate with customers.
The big problem with a business putting all their eggs in the social media basket? They have no control of that platform. It’s not just if Facebook and Instagram go down for 7 hours. It’s the fact that you can’t control how your content gets seen. The fact that you can’t fully control your brand standards. You can’t control in what order posts get seen and how people interact with you or your content.
Having a small business website, customized for your business, gives you control over your brand story. It gives you control over how your story is represented and laid out. It gives you multiple ways to connect with and communicate with your target audience. There’s a reason why the website is the foundation to a business’s marketing – it’s literally the only piece that you can have full control over.
Websites Build Trust
Another key factor in all of this? A website builds trust. When you rely only on Instagram and other social media platforms, there’s always that concern in the back of the consumers’ minds that they’re actually going to get what they paid for. Social media pages can be thrown up quickly, can be taken down quickly, and you can take money without having to guarantee anything.
Without a website, you might be preventing your target audience from building that trust with you. Are you a real business? Will you be sticking around to deliver on the product/service you claim you’re going to deliver on? Will you take their money and run? Can you prove the results that you’re claiming you can help them achieve?
On the other hand, a website shows that you’ve invested into your business. It proves that you’ve taken at least some time and a little bit of funding to provide a better experience for your customers.
With a website, you need to ensure that you’re answering questions, working on building trust with who your business is, and using a custom domain name. These simple things show that you believe in your business enough to invest a little bit in it first.
I’m not saying that when a business is first getting started that having just an Instagram page is totally a bad thing, but it’s certainly better to not rely on only social media for as little time as possible.
Control Your Communication
When you rely only on social media, you run the risk of not being able to talk to your customers if something goes wrong with that platform. With a website, you can have multiple ways for a customer to reach you.
I think every business needs to have at least a contact form on their website that feeds into their email. However, I’d also highly recommend that you have some sort of phone number listed. Unfortunately for us introverts, the majority of people still prefer to be able to pick up a phone and call. You don’t need to list your cell phone number either; register for a free Google Voice number that can be routed to a cell phone.
If you provide a service where they might need to answer questions quickly, consider adding a live chat plugin to the website. Someone doesn’t have to be available all of the time to answer questions immediately, but it can help to give your audience a new way to get help quickly.
And never underestimate the power of an FAQ page. You can quickly answer the majority of a lead’s questions without them having to reach out for more information, either.
When Facebook and Instagram went down, a lot of small business owners lost their ability to be contacted. Don’t let that happen to you. Instead, make sure you’re providing several ways for your customers to reach out and communicate with you.
Google Likes Websites
The other important factor in all this? Google likes a full website over something built on a quick platform or social media account. You can’t be found organically through search and have your service providers business be built largely on Instagram or Facebook. While yes, Google somewhat indexes social media content, its ability to properly index that content is restricted by the social media platforms themselves.
Want your business to grow and be found long-term? Having your own website is simply the best way to do that.
A Business Should Be In Control of Their Marketing
Notice a pattern in what we’ve been talking about here? With your own website and multiple communication platforms, a business simply has more control over their own marketing and how it’s presented. You’re not constrained by how many characters you can use in a post. Algorithms and how much reach you can get don’t affect you. You’re not limited to the design aesthetics of the app you’re using. And you’re way less affected when the world’s largest social media platforms crash for 7 hours.
With your own website, your business gets to be 100% in control – of the look, the branding, the way they tell their brand story, and how you connect with potential customers. You get to choose how your customers can communicate back with you, too.
So yes, while you can build a business on a social media platform, you’re doing so on rented land. It’s not yours, it’s theirs. Don’t take that risk with your service providers business.