In Marketing for developers

As a freelancer, you have various possibilities to be found online. Whether you use social networks to reach your target audience, write on blogging platforms or have your own website. Though you don’t have to utilize all those options to get your prospects’ attention, you should at least have a site in place.
Why’s that so? What advantages do websites have compared to social media? Why is a site essential for your business? Read on and get those questions answered.

You have endless possibilities

Social media networks are limiting you in presenting your business. What content do you need to let readers know more about you and your services? What colors and fonts does your business use? How are you integrating that into your social media profile? Of course, it depends on the service you’re using, but generally, you’re restricted with what you can do.
If you want to dictate how your online presence looks, you obviously need a website. Your possibilities are nearly endless and being able to code is a big help!

Want to start a blog? A page with all your videos and tutorials on it, sorted by views? Need a small shop for your ebook? Want to create an online course?
No problem! Do whatever you want and whatever you must to bring you closer to your goals.
Build a website you love, something you’re proud of!

Make prospects find you

Google and other search engines are ideal to consistently bring users to your website—once they’re there it’s up to you and your content to convert them into clients.
If someone searches your name on the internet, he/she will most likely find your social media profiles, but what if someone doesn’t know you yet? How are potential clients searching for someone like you? And how many of them are stumbling on your social network profiles?

Having a website allows you to optimize your pages for specific keywords. Do some research on what people search for in your field, integrate keywords into your site and experiment, analyze, and make improvements.
Clearly, you can’t do this on Twitter or Facebook (at least not to that extent).
True, it will take some time to get higher traffic from search engines, especially if you’ve never done SEO, but it will pay off in the long-run.

Old floppy discs arranged in a square.  Invest time and money into a website and own your data!
Photo by Florian Pérennès on Unsplash

You own your data

Imagine this: You set up a Google+ account a couple of years ago, post regularly, have many people following you and get most of your clients through it. Now, Google+ is going to shut down. All the work you’ve put into this platform will be in vain. Sure, you can export your posts, but what are you going to do with them? All your circles/fans will be gone, and all that’s left are contact information from people you actually did business with.

This could happen with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn—who knows?! And there’s nothing you can do about it.

To avoid this dreadful situation, you shouldn’t rely on such services and sites too much. Instead, set up your own website, and become the master of everything you do on it. You own the content, you have your own domain, a contact form and a newsletter which lets you save your prospects’ email addresses. The chances to lose everything are so much smaller, especially if you make backups and keep your system up-to-date and secure. Even if your site got deleted somehow, you’d still have all your, and your users’ data backed up!

I can’t stress this enough: Use all the services you like to boost your business but don’t rely solely on them! All your work could be gone in an instant!

Home, sweet home

For me, my website is my central hub. All social media channels and other platforms I use are extensions of this center.
Picture it as your home where you can do all the things you want, and the other sites are gadgets or tools you need to improve your place—they’re not essential but handy.
Using social media is rewarding and can boost your business if you know how to work with it, but I wouldn’t recommend relying on it too much. Who would have thought that Facebook will become such a big player who even repressed other biggies like MySpace?
New services and technologies come, and old ones go—it’s only natural. But make sure you’re not heading into a crisis if one of this services closes its doors. Invest your time in a website and make sure your data can’t get lost.

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