I’ve noticed a lot of entrepreneurs lately that are hesitant about launching a website for their business. These entrepreneurs have an Etsy shop, or a Facebook page (or both), and think this is enough. They don’t know how to set-up a website, are intimidated by maintaining a website, or simply think they just don’t need one. The problem? They’re “living” on someone else’s land.

The problem with Etsy

Don’t get me wrong, Etsy is a great platform. I know many people who have built thriving companies because of Etsy. I’ve bought from Etsy sellers many times over the years! The problem is when a business owner relies solely on Etsy for their online presence. Why?

  • It’s harder to show up in Google results
  • What if someone links to you in an article? They only have your Etsy shop.
  • You don’t have your own, totally custom domain.
  • You’re playing by Etsy’s rules. (Algorithms, fees, etc.)
  • No landing pages, no opt-ins, no blog.
  • You can’t brand it. (This is changing with the new shop design, but it’s about the same amount of branding you can do on Facebook pages.)

The problem with Facebook pages

One of the first steps many entrepreneurs take is to set up a Facebook page. But, this shouldn’t be where we stop. Social media is a powerful tool for networking and finding clients, but we can’t rely on it to be our sole online presence — it’s just not smart. Why?

  • Remember how MySpace disappeared? The same could happen to Facebook.
  • News feed algorithms. Need I say more?
  • Very little branding capabilities.
  • No landing pages, no opt-ins, no blog.
  • Used as your sole online presence, it would be really hard to list services, testimonials, examples of work, etc.
  • No SEO help. (I searched “atlanta graphic designer” and didn’t see a single Facebook page in 10 pages of results.)

What to do about it

Set up a website — plain and simple. I’m not saying it will be super easy, but it will be worth it. Squarespace and WordPress are the two strongest platforms for building a website. If you’re wanting to set-up a shop, Squarespace or Shopify are the platforms I see most shop owners choosing, because it’s very simple to set up and get going.

You can (and should) keep your Etsy and Facebook pages — these are great platforms to utilize in addition to your website. In fact, if you don’t want to set up a second shop within your website, you could simply link to your Etsy shop in your navigation menu. Use your website to show off your personality and connect with your audience, list your services, and show client testimonials.

Why you should care

If you are trying to create and run a real business — not a hobby, not just a fun side project, but a business — you need to look professional. You want to be able to harness the power of SEO and drive more organic traffic to your site, right? You want to have the option of adding landing pages, collecting emails, blogging, etc.

“But, what if I’m not blogging? What if I’m not doing much in terms of email marketing? Wouldn’t it be bad to have a “stagnant” site?”

Doesn’t matter. You still need a website (and I can help). You don’t have to update your website every week. For your first website, you could start with Home, About, Services and Contact. Out of these four pages, the only thing that might need updating every so often is your prices, your packages, or adding client testimonials.

Still feel uneasy?

Don’t worry, I’ve got your back — fo’ free. Your website could be the most powerful resource in your business — doing work FOR you while you sleep. Who doesn’t want that?! (Or, get a website audit!)

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