Today, before contacting a provider, customers often do an online Google search to learn about providers and their products and services in detail. If the customers can’t find sufficient information about a particular provider on the internet, they are likely to assume that the provider is not a legitimate business. This means that, now more than ever, your digital presence is critical to your business success.
As an agent for an organization, let’s say real estate, your company “lends” you a web page (sometimes with you paying a monthly fee) so you can display your profile there. Year over year, you network to point people to that web page through your business cards and other promotional materials. But, what happens to that web page if one day you decide to switch to a different company or start your own business? All the exposure, awareness and “backlinks” you worked so hard for over the years while you were promoting that web page will be gone.
Many agents are often unaware that those web pages are just “rented” properties—and the rule of thumb is: “never build your assets on rented property.” A wise approach would be to build a personal website for yourself, with a link pointing to your corporate “rented” web page. You should promote your personal website first, in addition to your “rented” page. Over time, this will help build your own reputation at your own website.
Some might say, “Another website besides my corporate page? That is another expense I have to pay out.” Actually, that’s not really an expense, but rather an investment. Let me use this example to clarify the point: if you spend your money on a billboard advertisement or a Google Pay-Per-Click ad for a few months, those could be considered an “expense” because after you stop paying top dollars to the advertisers, your business exposure stops right there.
On the other hand, after you create a professional website for yourself and promote it over time, it will continue to serve you and your business success. With your web designer’s help, you will have organically created a spotlight on yourself, your products and services with backlinks pointed to your website that are shared through social sites, directory listings, email signatures and business cards. Even if you stop promoting your current business or move on with a new company, your personal website will still gain incoming traffic. That is why it is an investment, because it’s your online real estate which you own 100%.
In this digital age, your website is your online resumé. You want to make that first great impression with your own website—the one you can customize at all levels. Besides, the higher the transaction value of your products or services, the more detail your customers will require when researching prior to making contact or a purchase decision. Therefore, establishing your own website is the best way to present your digital resumé, highlighting your services and products along with your accomplishments, talents and expertise, and demonstrating what’s in it for the customer. Let’s face it: most consumers are expecting all of this in their searches now anyway.
Here are the 5 most valuable ways a dedicated website can serve you:
- You can customize your site at all levels to present an exceptional view of your industry, products and services.
- All visitors who arrive at your website are YOUR leads 100%, without the possibility of them seeing your competitors on the same site.
- You can use Google Analytics to see how visitors use your site and then make changes accordingly to improve your website over time.
- Your own website allows you to grow your business online to its full potential without being confined to the restrictions of a local directory or a rented web page.
- As you invest in your website, it is your asset and should increase organically in value over time. It’s your online real estate which you own 100%.
In conclusion, you have been spending a lot of time promoting your services as well as your expertise. Year after year, those actions have a compounding effect when it comes to brand awareness—YOUR BRAND as a professional. You should capitalize on the power of that business advantage by establishing a dedicated website for yourself.
Bonus: If you want to sell your website later to another agency, you should choose a neutral domain name for your website. For example, if you are a real estate agent, choose a domain name like BestRealEstate.com, AgentOkay.com, etc. instead of TomJohnson.com (because your name is Tom Johnson). People are not interested in buying a website for their real estate agency that has a domain name tied to you. They will buy a website with a history of visitors each month and a strong, but neutral, name that can transfer to them effectively. Here is an article that will show you how to choose a good domain name.
I hope you find this article helpful. If you do, please share it with other agent-entrepreneurs so they can benefit from it as well. I wish you all the best with your own dedicated website in the near future.