With the boom of sites like Etsy or Facebook, or Shopify, many professional crafters think they have their own website. But, in reality, Etsy, Facebook and Shopify own “your” website.
So what do I mean?
Technically, anything with a URL is a website, but effective marketing requires your own domain name and website for several important reasons:
1. You own it
2. You control it
3. It’s all about YOU!
In her article, Why Websites Still Matter, McKenna, goes on to explain …
You Own It
When I say, “you own it”, I mean that forever and ever, you have complete control over your domain. No one can change that. You can have one page or hundreds of pages of content, stories, blog posts, photos, products to sell, and even a shopping cart that you control. If Facebook makes a change to the layout of their page – YOU have no choice. If they make a change to how things work – YOU have no choice. If they decide to remove you from their site (it’s THEIR SITE) they can and you have no choice. Same is true for all sites that you do not own: Etsy, Ebay, Google +, Fine Art America, and many dozens more….
I am not saying that you should not be on those sites if they suit you for selling your work. I am saying that you still need a place that is yours, and yours alone, where people can always find you and have that more personal experience.
You Control It
You need to have your voice heard without the filters and agendas of the big “commerce/social” sites. Facebook brags that logging in to their site brings the average person 1500 pieces of news and updates available to explore. If you are trying to create a trusted relationship, do you think that level of distraction will bring you closer to your clients? Do you find yourself going on an endless hunt for tidbits of information. Do you think you are the only one that roams aimlessly?
Is there a sense of purposeful communication about you and your service or product available when people visit your Facebook page? Does Etsy let you bring people to “your” site and only show your products? No. They totally encourage people to go and look at similar work!
It’s all about YOU!
This is a repeat of much that has been said, but it’s worth repeating: When you have your very own site with your domain, and where you maintain complete control, it is ALL about YOU.
Don’t have a domain yet? Do a search on Hover or Go Daddy to see if the name of your business or even your own name is available. If it is, buy it immediately. You may not be ready to build your own site today, but tomorrow the name you want to use might get purchased by someone else.
So do you have your own website?