by Diane Holmes, (a) Chief Alchemist of Pitch University, (b) lover of learning, and (c) writer of fiction, non-fiction, and the occasional manifesto.
Why do you need a website?
We’re looking at the top 10 myths that writers buy into. The exciting hype of website ownership. The fear of what will happen if you don’t have one.
There are real benefits to having a website, of course. They’re hidden behind the myths. Let’s expose them together, by wielding our mighty Thor-sized, myth-smashing hammers!
#1 Websites promote you! Smash.
(Websites are passive by nature. Any customer-influencing will require effective, marketing-savvy content.)
#2 It’s the only way to find you! Smash.
(Turns out there are other ways to find you. Go figure.)
And next on our list: Website are open 24/7! I’ll make sales 24 hours a day, seven days a week. More customers! More sales! I’ll be rich!
Nope. A myth. If that’s your reason to get a website, then, my friend, you don’t need a website.
–> Myth: You’ll be open 24/7!
Reason #3 You Don’t Need a Website: More Time Doesn’t Equal More Shopping
Here’s where reality is much different than your perception of reality.
Adrian Ott, Author of The 24 Hour Customer: New Rules for Winning in a Time-Starved, Always-Connected Economy (Harper Business, 2010), has done research smashing this myth.
From Adrian’s article at Fast Company, “When I speak with many business executives, there is a common belief that 24/7 commerce has increased the amount of time that customers devote to purchasing goods and services. The reasoning goes that the ability to shop in slippers at midnight creates endless possibilities for promotions and sales.”
This is what this website myth is selling. However…
“The World is Competing for Less Than 3% of Waking Hours.”
Hey…. that’s not 24/7….
“The latest government research on Americans reveal that adult consumers on average spend a paltry 28.8 minutes a day in the act of buying–that’s less than 3 percent of waking hours! This activity includes researching and browsing products and services, weekly grocery shopping, and e-commerce in addition to the purchasing transaction itself.
“There are simply too many choices competing for too little time–often leaving us feeling overwhelmed by it all.”
So, more websites has not equaled more shopping. Instead it’s equaled mind-boggling competition for a very narrow window of time.
What you’re really competing with is NOT other products or services. It’s information overload. That’s your competition.
To gain some insight into what IS working, read Adrian’s article, 5 TRIGGERS THAT MAKE YOUR PRODUCT ADDICTING.
But back to websites.
If people are spending less time buying (and researching what to buy), why should you have a website?
#1 When well written, a website is a way to engage your customer (with quality and value) and build a relationship (human connection). So, it’s not just about buying.
#2 If you’re competing for time, then you can make your website into something your customer thinks is time well spent.
#3 You can create real and true reasons that coming back to your site is worthwhile. And by definition, fans are those people who seek you out again and again. You have an opportunity to create fans.
#4 You can make it easy for customers to get research they trust and shopping information that matters, so they can get on with their day.
#5 You can participate in creating value. Value can mean different things, but it usually comes down to outstanding usefulness, amazing problem solving, or ingenious fun.
You’ll notice something important here. The original premise was to sell things 24/7. That’s about you.
The real reason to have a website is to create something your customer will want.
It’s about them.
And they don’t actually want to shop 24/7. They’re doing the same (or even less shopping) despite 24/7. They’re having to make decisions and filter information from thousands and thousands of options/websites.
Don’t add to the noise.
Add to the benefits.
TO BE CONTINUED…
Diane writes two columns for Freelance-Zone: (1)Fiction-Zone: Leaps in Fiction Mastery and (2) Marketing-Zone:Marketing Yourself and Your Writing.