I would say that one of the most memorable movies in American culture is “Field of Dreams”. If you aren’t familiar with this movie, I will give you a short synopsis. You start with Kevin Costner playing an Iowa farmer, named Ray, that happens to be hearing voices. These voices tell him “If you build it, he will come”. Ray interprets the voices to be telling him to build a baseball field in his corn field. So, Ray against everyone’s advice builds a baseball field. Miraculously, the 1919 Chicago White Sox come to play on his baseball field. There is more to it, but you should watch the movie, as this is only a synopsis and I would hate to ruin the movie for you. Now you are wondering, why is this guy writing about a movie where a crazy guy builds a field because he heard voices say something.
Field of Dreams style marketing
Here is the point, most people think about their website like the “Field of Dreams” baseball field. They start their business, start making a little money and realize they need to get their marketing in order. So, what do they do? They find a web designer or a friend’s son, and say I need you to build a website for me. They pay whatever they pay for it, then sit back and wait for the rush of business, because if you build it, they will come, right? In a perfect world yes, but we don’t live in that world. We live in a world with the internet and as of when I am writing this there are 1,338,250,779 websites. While I typed that number 100 websites were added. But, you say, I am not competing with all 1 billion plus websites, I am just competing with the websites in my area that do similar stuff to what I do. In a way, you are still competing with all of them, and competing field of dreams style with local businesses isn’t going to work either. It is tough to hear, but if you build it, they are still probably going to the guy down the street, unless you do something about it.
What can you do about it?
What can you do about it? We have decided it isn’t enough to just have a website, that is a great start though. The next step is getting people there, that is called SEO (Search Engine Optimization). What is that? SEO is the process to get your website to show up when you type in keywords in Google. There is a lot to it, but the first step is content, content, content. Write blogs, articles, publish videos, post pictures all to your website, if you can’t do that on your website, it is time for a website that you can. Now, saying this, I must also say that if people get to your website and don’t have a clear understanding of what you do, why they should work with you, or how to hire or buy from you, then you are wasting your time. These three things are absolutely mandatory in a good website. So, before you do anything, pretend you don’t know anything about you or your company, or ask a friend to go to your website and be real about answering those three questions what, why and how.
So, long story short
The Field of Dreams is a great movie. If you start hearing voices telling you to build a website, call me first. If a bunch of dead baseball players show up on your lawn to play a game, be the one with the bat, those things might bite you. Remember that with a great website comes great responsibility. Baseball fields are a lot more work to build that you would think. Finally, when it comes time to put a business into action, hire a great creative expert, he probably has more tools up his sleeve than just awesome websites, ask me, I know a guy (for those that don’t get it, I am that guy).