As a business owner, the most important thing when you get online is to own your online presence. Owning and controlling the assets you use to grow your business gives you more freedom and ultimately more opportunities for long-term growth.
Would you build the home you want to live in with your family on a sand bar?
Or would you rather build it on a solid foundation to give it the best chance possible to be a safe, secure environment?
In the physical world, the pitfalls of different locations are self-evident. Building on sand, or building on a base of rock are things we can look at and evaluate the pros and cons of. We definitely don’t want to build on sand, but that’s exactly what many people do with their business in the digital world.
Building on Sand
The equivalent of building on sand in the digital world is using a 3rd party social media platform as the home of your business. Just like building on sand, you’ve put your business in a place where things can change at any time.
Take what’s happening right now on Twitter as a prime example. A lot of people are worried the whole thing could implode at any minute. If you’ve builot up a reliance on twitter as your main or only income source, you’re facing a very uncertain time.
Many businesses rely on a Facebook page as their web presence, but this is far from ideal. As with all social media platforms, in the early days, it’s really easy to reach people with your posts. As more people join the social platform, fewer people will be able to see your content organically.
Shifts in the sands of policy, rules or algorithms are normal for social media platforms. Algorithms determine what so many of us see online and a change can mean content that reached say 10,000 people, now only reaches 1,000.
Why do We Build on Sand?
We build on sand because it’s easy. Social media platforms like Facebook take away the complication that is still inherent in building your own house on your own foundations and getting your friends over to visit. Facebook are offering you a rental property that’s finished, great to live in, has air conditioning, plumbing and roads to get there.
It’s very tempting and seems logical to use a social media personal or social media business page as your online storefront. The reason is that everything has been done for you and there’s an audience there ready for you to sell to. But social media websites can come and go like Google+ and algorithms change.
Control Your Online Presence
Take control your online presence through ownership of a website because that will give you ultimate control over the content and how you get eyes onto it. Social media and search engines will come and go, but if you own your website, you can always send traffic to it from any source.
Search engines are currently the most popular way to find websites, and Google is the one most people look to for traffic. If Google goes away tomorrow, there will be another search engine that takes its place. If every other search engine went away next week, the links you build from other websites will still bring you traffic.
With a website as an online presence you own entirely, you can develop multiple sources of traffic and mitigate fluctuations in traffic. You can work on your search engine presence, post content on social media or buy some PPC adverts. There now isn’t a single algorithm or single group of users you’re targeting who could be taken away in an instant.
Diversification of revenue streams is something you’ll understand as a business owner or senior manager. Instead of relying on one big customer, it’s better to have a mixture of customer sizes and if possible from different industries.
Create Your Online Presence Today
If your business is based only on social media, you always run the risk of being banned, the platform disappearing or an algorithm change drastically reducing your traffic. Now is the time to take control by developing your own website and diversify the channels you use to grow your business.
Ready to develop your own online presence or reduce your reliance on unpredictable 3rd party services? Get in touch to discuss your needs.