What a lot of small biz people think is because they have a website and they have a location to sell their product, they are going to win eventually. A lot of people automatically assume that because something is good they will win. Entrepreneurs feel like once they’ve done the website and created the product that they should win and will. The honest fact is, like Dr. Seuss said, “sometimes you won’t.” Really the comment should have been, “most of the time you won’t.” When you realize that there are probably one hundred thousand other things like yours out there, then you begin to understand that just being up and available is the first step.
Sometimes it’s better to not have a website at all and just get out there and do the work. The problem is your area, where you are, has a finite amount of opportunities. If you are a photographer or graphics guy, there are only so many doors you can knock on – on your street. There are only so many streets you can drive down before you begin to incur the expenses associated with driving your vehicle to find work.
How do you track down the next client? How does the next client track you down? The obvious answer is to be where the client can find you. How do most people find who they are looking for? According to this article 72% of people trust reviews online as much as they do personal recommendations. This means that if you have a business you are going to have to have an online presence. More important, that online presence has to be more than just a webpage that provides information. I was having a Facebook exchange with this incredible bass player named Brandon Meeks. B Meeks is a member of the band Native Sun. Why do I bring this up? As a writer working on building the CBP brand, I know how hard it is to convert visitors into buyers of my fiction and non-fiction. However, my primary business is ARCH. With ARCH I have a shoe that is an unknown entity, but I’ve managed to sell a lot of my shoes. Why was I able to do this? (Mind you I haven’t made a killing, but seriously, how many people do you know who have their own shoe line and actually sold them?) I was able to do this because I didn’t simply build my website and share it on Facebook. I made sure it was registered in Google Webmaster, I added SEO plugins and made sure that I utilized keywords and tags in my posts.
Wait a minute, let’s backtrack. I wrote posts. Why is this important? Well I visited the Native Sun website. B Meeks didn’t ask me to do this. I do what’s called my 1 Hour to Wealth every day. I take this hour to work on something that allows me to enjoy the things I love. Those things in turn will develop into a residual source of income because I’m dedicated to my passion. I typically do some research or write an article. This morning (2/12/2015) I was sharing info on Facebook with Brandon. I then realized other people might benefit from this exchange and wrote him a personal inbox message and then began writing this post. Now he may have done this already and the band may have done this, but my goal in 1 Hour To Wealth is to help people. I said to someone a few days ago “even if someone already knows something, someone else may not know, so share as much as you can as often as you can.” That’s what I’m doing here. I looked at his website. This is something I do with my site on a daily basis. Here is my analysis:
1. Native Sun has a dope photo on the home page and then underneath the pic some information. They also have information pages: about, photos, music, videos, shows. While this is really good and the website is clean, people tend to be vertical scrollers since they are on their phones or mobile devices. It’s good to have these pages, but with a website or on a mobile device, these pages are virtually invisible. If it’s not on the home page, people don’t see it.
2. The about us page is good. You know what’s better? Having a sidebar with an Amazon Associates Ad there featuring the location to buy the music. As a matter of fact, on the homepage… I’m getting ahead of myself.
3. The photos page slideshow is dope. You know what’s even better? I’m getting ahead of myself, but add in the sidebar comment again and the link to the locations to buy the music.
4. The Music link on the page is a dropdown. You’ve just given someone an extra move to make. On a mobile device items in a sidebar show up at the bottom of a page. If the music was there, it would be available to click. Now here is the worst part about the music page: No Paypal button with an option to buy an autographed copy with artwork. No location to purchase on iTunes or Amazon the two most dominant players in digital music. When I drop down I can stream the music for free, or I can go to bandcamp. Question: Have you ever seen that commercial where the ballet dancer makes a purchase with a smart phone while dancing? I can’t do this on the Native Sun site. That’s not a good thing. More important, my info isn’t saved in bandcamp so I have to break out my wallet to make a purchase (which I did because I really dig Undeniable). This is not a good thing. I also don’t know if I can request the music on streaming music services like Spotify or Pandora. For that fact, I don’t know if these songs are licensed with BMI or ASCAP so I can get an agent to sell it to some commercial guys. (Insert Kermit the Frog picture sipping tea – that’s none of my business).
5. The Videos page I absolutely love. Why? Because they are using Youtube. Artists can monetize their videos on Youtube and a lot of people discover new music there now. What I don’t like? Each of the… I’m getting ahead of myself.
6. The Shows page should have a list of all past shows and … I’m getting ahead of myself.
7. I finally caught up with myself. The reason people began to see my shoes was because I began writing reports on ARCH. I have over 200 written posts about the process of making shoes and marketing the shoes. What I did was create daily content being shared directly from my website. More important every time someone went to my site and scrolled down there was something new. While I know a lot of people don’t like writing, if you have three band members that’s three guys who should be contributing something to the page daily/weekly. What can be shared as content? Each of the pictures should be used in a different post about making music. Each of the guys in the band should have an individual page on the site and a profile breakdown with pictures of each of them and their individual projects. Those projects should be promoted through the site bringing an individual set of fans to the group as a unit. Like Wu Tang, you shine, I shine, we all shine. I call my brother Sun because he shines like one. (See what I did there? Sun, Native Sun… get it) Remember I kept saying I’m getting ahead of myself? Keep reading…
8. While the Squarespace format is great I say this in One Hour To Wealth, turn your site into a WordPress or CMS site (update: Squarespace is actually a CMS the band is using the static page feature). You can still have all of your info pages, but now you have the ability to create posts and share those using social media plug-ins. All of the photos can be utilized in different posts created by the band. All of the videos should have their own posts and not be lumped into one page. More content means more items to be found in Google/Bing searches. Pingbacks are important. If the band uses a CMS then more than likely each post will have a sidebar. CMS Systems like WordPress automatically generate the same information on every page. This reduces the amount of work needed to update the site. All the guys would have to do is spend time writing blog posts. They will still have the dope picture at the top of the page but when you scroll down the content will be there and we all know Facebook has made us into a scrolling nation.
Just because you’ve built the website doesn’t mean that it is done. Developing content on a daily basis or at least a weekly basis will keep people engaged with you. This band is good and they are a band. That’s rare in Hip-Hop. They are also lyrically dope. If people go to your site, you have one chance to convert them into buyers. If I can’t buy something on that front page, then I’ve failed. Business isn’t a Field of Dreams. If you build it, they won’t come. However, if you do build it people damn well better be able to buy in 1 click. It used to be 3, but things are always changing.