If You're an Influencer, You Need a Website - Here's Why
Gone are the days when we solely relied on blogging as a tool to share daily musings and grow our following. These days social media is all the rage, especially with the growth of platforms like Instagram that make it so easy to share content straight from your pocket. There are, no doubt, many benefits to choosing Instagram or Facebook as your Nr1 blogging platform, however there are some serious downsides to that. For starters - you have no say over what the platform introduces as features and how they allow your followers to interact with you and your content. You’re also entirely dependent on them and if for some reason they stop existing tomorrow, all of your followers will disappear with them. Just like that. Poof!
If that thought sends a shiver down your spine, my friend, then you need to start thinking about launching your own website.
Here are some of the benefits of doing that:
1. You Own Your Content
While it’s also true that Instagram and Facebook don’t own the content you post, you do still grant them very broad licence rights to use your content - i.e. re-share and distribute in any way they see fit. When you have your own website, you fully own the rights to all your site content - from the images to the copy and if you protect it with Terms and Conditions, you are in your full right to sue anyone, who uses your content without your permission.
2. You Can Collect Follower Contact Information
Having a lot of followers is the single most important currency that influencers trade. So what happens if overnight you lose them? Say someone hacks your account, or Instagram deletes it for violation of some policy? Or if the algorithm changes yet again and people stop seeing your content and unfollow? If anything were to happen tomorrow and those social media platforms stop existing, there is no way you will ever be ale to regain those contacts.
This is why building your own newsletter list is so important. Directing people to your website to sign up with you and collecting those precious email addresses as soon as possible will make sure that no matter what happens with your social media accounts, you will always have a way of contacting those people.
3. You’re Not Dependent on the Platform
If you’ve been on Instagram or Facebook for a while, you probably have witnessed them making changes to their platforms quite a few times. In an effort to make the billions of content accessible and visible to the millions on people on the app, they tend to make changes to the algorithm quite often. The algorithm is the logic behind what type of content you get shown, based on your interactions. So chances are, if your followers don’t interact with you as much or as often, at some point they might stop seeing your content altogether! Oh, he horror!
To get the latest update on Instagram’s changes, check out this post by Adespresso.
Now, what you can do is play along and follow Instagram’s rules and scream in desperation every time they change something and you start losing interaction and followers, or - you can start directing your followers to a platform where you are the one making the rules. Having your own website means you suffer none of this algorithm nonsense and building your own newsletter list means you will be popping in your reader’s inboxes whenever you decide.
4. You Control the Narrative
Here’s the thing - you can’t control what other say about you on social media. What you can do, however, is influence public perception by creating your own story on your own website. Your message, your vision, your personality and the essence of your personal brand will be shared in a way you decide and not distorted through someone else’s perception of you. People will always have nasty, hurtful or untrue things to say about you and your brand, but with a personal website you have much more control over the narrative.
5. You Look More Professional in the Eyes of Brands
If you’re an influencer, it’s likely you are working with brands and they pay you in turn of endorsing their goods. Most of the time what brands look for when working with influencers is more bang for their buck, meaning - if you are able to promote their product on more than one platform, they’re more likely to work with you. More platforms means more followers and more ways to share content - video, blogging, email marketing.
Even though everyone has turned to social media as their preferred blogging platform these days, don’t undermine the power of a website or a good old-fashioned blog.
There is, no doubt, huge benefits to having your own website. Luckily, you don’t really need to spend thousands of dollars on web design or rely on an agency for tech support. With platforms like Squarespace you can have your site up and running in a weekend and they take care of updating plugins and making sure everything is working in the background! Designing your site can be as easy as drag-and-drop and if you need help with the techy site of it - my blog is full of tips and tutorials and you can always give me a shout if you need help.
Don’t wait until Instagram changes it’s algorithm again and you start losing followers. Launch your website now and start growing your email list.
Trust me, you’ll thank me later.