Have you been considering setting up a fan page on Facebook, joining a network marketing business, or getting into affiliate marketing?
If you have, then put everything on hold because that is NOT where you should be focusing your energy, time or money!
Whether you have an existing business, starting a new venture, or simply want to earn some extra cash on the side, your starting point and focus has to be your own website – a property you own and control, YOUR OWN BRAND!
With the Internet now firmly embedded within our lives, you need to establish an online presence, a place where people can find you regardless of what happens elsewhere … and use that presence to establish yourself in a changed world where job security and income are no longer guaranteed.
The online presence which you develop via or on Facebook, network marketing operations and affiliate programs are NOT a substitute for having your own brand / website as demonstrated by the following…
Your brand: yourname.com/
Facebook brand: facebook.com/yourname
Affiliate brand: sponsorcompany.com/aff/34376972f?
Network Marketing Brand: networkmarketinggroup.com/yourname
With the last three of the above options, all you are doing is sending the people you know to someone else’s website, in effect building their business, not your own.
Chris Brogan – one of the leading “thought leaders” on the Internet – consistently uses the term HOMEBASE and OUTPOSTS to reinforce to people that their initial focus has to be their own website, their Homebase … and that all other channels are simply Outposts which may / may not be around in a couple of years time.
For those with a passion for social media, his advice is simple: “No matter what, the very first piece of social media real estate I’d start with is a blog”.
Great advice – and there are many other commentators on the Internet who convey the same message.
Unfortunately, too many people have been engrossed by what is happening on the social media front and have forgotten the value and strategic nature of building their own website (or blog).
Francisso Rosales summarizes the shortcomings of social networks very well in 6 Reasons Why You Should NOT Put All Your Eggs In The Facebook Basket. All six reasons are compelling with one in particular – “Engagement is extremely low” – providing some incredible statistics which show that actual engagement with major celebrities on social media is at a staggering low of .001% – .005%. (Your personal situation may be vastly different, especially if your social media friends are indeed actual friends and associates.)
By comparison, email marketing can produce open rates of 10% – 40%, click thru rates of up to 25% and actual conversions (i.e. sales) up to 25% or more. Of course, this depends on your list and the relationship you enjoy.
It’s all about engagement and, on a social media site where your content generally appears in a stream alongside hundreds of other posts, the chances of engaging someone properly are significantly minimized.
By comparison, this website which contains a wealth of resources, is currently enjoying between 2.5 – 4.5 pageviews per visitor (varies on a daily basis).
If you have a business, then you need engagement if you want to generate sales as highlighted in a survey More sales leads stem from websites, not social media (survey) undertaken by ZDnet.
This survey found that 23% of online leads come from a website compared to only 3% from social media – a compelling reason why you should be focusing on your HOMEBASE.
Once you establish your own website, you have a place where you can:
- progress your passions
- express yourself in whatever way you want without anyone censoring your opinion
- control access through member areas and / or at the very least know who is seeing your material by requiring subscription
- experiment with new products and ideas
- build relationships
- create partnerships
- do business with people from all corners of the world
All of the above apply to anyone who wants to build their own business either as a primary or secondary income source.
The principles stated also apply to those who prefer to have a job working for someone else. When you have your own website, you always have a place / point of contact where you can refer potential employers to. It’s far more preferable to directing them to a Facebook page which, by its very nature, may contain some private matters you may prefer not to expose to a potential employer.
Of course there’s another bonus here as many employers actually look for people who can demonstrate they are doing things and not idly sitting back waiting for things to happen. Your website can therefore be used to demonstrate why you would be a good employee.
A final point: Many employers have banned access to Facebook and other social media services during company hours and some are now even installing special software which tracks employee usage of the Internet specifically to enforce rules such as this. Another reason to focus on a website which is considered business and not personal!
There are many Business Extension options available to help you fast track the building of your own business, including on this site. Look around as one or more of these may be the starting point you need.