Lash-Ed Issue 3 October 2018 - Page 58

Why you need a Website

By Antony Knight, Lash-Ed Tech Director

Many small business owners need to run a lean and streamlined operation. It’s a necessity to save on running costs. You’re unlikely to have staff to manage your marketing or have a reasonable budget set aside for it.

About 70% of our Lash~Ed Editors' clients are from word of mouth referrals. That’s incredibly powerful as clients are her walking, talking adverts. Their family and friends are easily swayed and they’re passing on her name and number to strangers who randomly stop them in the street to ask about their lashes (or at the shop, gym, playground or pub!). Whilst those new clients came to you through a lash addicted client that you could also call a brand ambassador, there are those who want or will expect to see your website.

Where word of mouth and the power of social media has helped to attract new clients, it’s easy to see why some businesses believe that a website is an unnecessary luxury or think that they’re overly complicated or expensive.

Websites are a necessity. Building and maintaining one is easier and cheaper than ever before. There’s a vast variety of simple web publishing tools available so you could have your very own published by the end of the day.

Here’s 6 good reasons why a website is important to your business, no matter how big or small you are. . .

1. Social Media is not enough

Building your online presence through social media platforms is important but it’s not enough. They are third party platforms that you have no control over. You are at their mercy as seen earlier this year when Facebook changed how it ranks posts, videos and photos in our News Feeds. Their changes were designed to put friends and family first rather than businesses. If they decide to block your account then you can’t stay connected. If they decide to close your account then you can lose all your likes, fans and followers and you'll have to start over again. If you have previously paid to get your social media to where it was, this is all lost. In contrast, you are in control of your website, its content and the platforms are designed to serve you.

2. Put yourself on the digital map

A website can act as the hub for all of your important information that you can change in real-time. It’s also your digital brochure or up to date flyer as a means of advertising.

3. It’s what most people expect these days

According to the Guardian, 36 million Britons use the internet every day. More of us are using the internet to support the way we live, whether it’s entertainment, shopping, learning or browsing. People often use it to find local services and compare prices. You can optimize your website with relevant keywords to help search engines like Google to get your business in front of new clients. If they’re looking for ‘lash extensions near me,’ then key words like ‘eyelash extensions in Bristol’ is essential - if you’re in Bristol that is! You’re not relying on people stumbling by chance across one of your outdated flyers that many others have probably recycled the moment it was posted through their door or handed to them.

4. It’s readily accessible at any hour/any day

People can find out about you and your services when it’s convenient to them. They can ‘self-serve’ 24/7 and 365 with no effort from you. This is a win-win situation for everyone as it’s an instant customer support system, especially if your content is relevant, well-structured and up to date.

5. Grow your client base

You are able to reach and sway potential clients with easy to read and engaging content. You have the opportunity to influence their decision to choose you. You can also educate them on how to find a great lash stylist (you) and how important it is to care for their lashes. You’ll think of others!

6. Credibility

You can easily convince potential clients that you are the real deal and a professional business. You are more likely to be taken seriously and seen as legitimate. If you are genuine and authentic, they can get to know, like and trust you through your site and then they’re all yours.

Be mindful that your credibility can be harmed if your content is out of date, if your website looks old or if it doesn't answer the visitors questions like what you offer, where, how much and how to reach you. Think about sites you have visited where you moved on quickly as it didn't immediately appeal to you or answer your need quickly.

Credibility can be greatly enhanced with a business related email address. This is one that doesn’t have the providers name in it like julieknight@gmail.com. It’s more professional and memorable if it's business related like julie@lash-ed.com. You can get one with your website so it's easy to create.