I’ve been working with a couple of entrepreneurial teaching programs, I’ve been invited on numerous panels, and I speak and conduct workshops. By numerous, I mean over 70 public engagements since 2009. (Not a record breaker, but enough to get a pulse on the trending topics.) Rarely am I asked—or even if I offer, is it accepted—to talk about websites.
Everyone wants to talk about social media, SEO, content, email marketing, and maybe even video or blogging, but no one wants to talk about websites. Why is that?
You are throwing a big open house to introduce your company. You want to generate awareness and of course get leads and new business. So you are inviting everyone you know, everyone they know, and putting out press releases, posting the event on LinkedIn and Facebook, and posting and tweeting everywhere. You are expecting thousands of people to come through your new place of business. And yet…
- You didn’t hire a professional decorator and the place looks like your uncle from the Ozarks picked the colors and bought the furniture.
- You didn’t hire a professional architect and so when people arrive, they are squeezed through a dark entryway and then find there is no place to stand and mingle or sit and chat.
- You didn’t hire a professional architect, so when people go to find the bathroom, they open the door, step in, and find themselves standing outside in a dark alley.
- You didn’t hire a professional engineer or electrician, so the lights blink erratically and sometimes just go dark for no reason.
- You didn’t hire a greeter or receptionist to have folks sign in or drop their business card so you have no idea who came.
- You didn’t hire a professional party planner so when your visitors leave they don’t have a goodie bag to take with them to remember you long after the affair.
Have I just described your website?
If I have, then let’s go back and start with: why doesn’t anyone want to talk about this? Why would you spend countless hours and money to send hordes of customers and prospects to an event such as the one described above?
So when I hear “I tried social media and it’s a waste of time,” or “Email marketing isn’t working for us,” the first thing I do is look at your website—that’s what the audience did. Maybe it isn’t the marketing tactics that aren’t working—maybe it’s your website.
Mardy Sitzer is a certified inbound marketing professional and president of Bumblebee Design & Marketing. Since 1993, Mardy has been delivering creative and innovative marketing solutions. An avid reader of all things internet and marketing, she also writes blogs, articles, and web content for industry magazines as well as for Bumblebee’s clients. She is an adjunct professor at Fordham University and instructor at Rutgers University teaching social media for business. Follow her on Twitter or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.