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Growing your business is hard enough without trying to DIY your brand and website alone. 

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Why You Actually Do Need a Brand and Website: A Guide for Scaling Businesses

Biz Strategy & Growth

There’s a lot of talk in the online business space that websites and branding are unnecessary for success. And while that may be true to a certain level, business owners who are ready to grow and scale to multiple six-figures or seven-figures and beyond must be willing to invest in these core elements.

I’ll be the first to tell early-stage entrepreneurs that they should not invest a huge amount of their budget on building a premium brand and website. Why? Because your business is growing and changing at such a rapid clip in the early days that you’re likely not totally decided on your offers, messaging, and audience. 

That’s not to say that later-stage businesses can’t go through periods of growth and change, too. But, in my experience, it’s the newer businesses that are really working on determining what their long-term identity is going to be. 

Typically, by the time you’ve solidly achieved low-multi-six figures in revenue, you know who your people are. You know what you’re offering. And you know why people buy it. This is really the sweet spot for building an elevated brand and website that will help you get to your next level. 

As much as there are anomalies and outliers who can make a successful business without some of these foundational tools, they are the exception and not the rule. An overwhelming majority of consumers (83%) expect businesses to have a website but fewer than half (46%) of US-based small businesses actually do. 

So, if you really want to carve out more market share, investing in your next-level brand and website can be a fantastic accelerator of growth.

The Argument for Websites and Branding in Business Success

What can an elevated brand and website actually do for your business? A bunch of things! 

  • Attract and retain customers. One survey found that nearly one-third of consumers won’t even consider buying from a business without a website. There’s also data to support the fact that visitors will quickly bounce from a website they deem unattractive or hard to navigate. So,  your brand and website can go a long way toward building trust and credibility with your customers and prospects. I know that I, personally, correlate the quality and user experience of business’s websites with how professional or trustworthy they are. 
  • Justify premium pricing. If you don’t have a high-end look and feel, I’m much less likely to drop high-end cash on your offer. Think about it this way. If you’re not willing to invest in your own business to ensure you have a cohesive, polished online presence and client experience, why should I invest in you? Christian Louboutin’s trademarked red soles are a cliche for a reason. People are willing to pay a premium for them because of the quality and exclusivity they associate with that name and that color. Can you say the same about your business?
  • Build your visibility. Are you a leader in your industry or niche? Or are you a best-kept secret? I bet most of us would say that, even if we are well-known, we could always use more visibility. Not only does an SEO-optimized website help to drive organic traffic to your site so that more people are looking at your content, it’s also a great place to send folks who might be interested in featuring you on their blog, podcast, YouTube show, etc. Use your 
  • Communicate your values. I recently had a conversation with a client in which she was hesitant to include a certain phrase for fear of it looking like she was “virtue signaling.” But here’s the thing, that’s a major part of what you’re doing with good brand messaging and website copy. You’re helping people to understand what you’re all about so they can make an educated decision about whether they want to work with. Equally as important, you’re also weeding out those people you don’t want to work with because their values don’t line up with your own.
  • Drive revenue. Believe it or not, studies have shown that having consistent branding across all channels can increase your revenue by up to one-third. Likely due to the other elements we’ve already discussed above. When people feel like they can trust you, they’re seeing your face everywhere, and you come across as a high-end provider, they are more willing to pull out their wallets to pay for the privilege of working with you.

Why Some People Believe Good Branding and Websites Aren’t Necessary

As I mentioned previously, there are a lot of folks yelling from the rooftops that you don’t need a brand and website to be successful. As a brand strategist and web designer, I think that’s a short-sighted generalization, though. I do agree that the DIY creation of your brand and website should not be a distraction from starting your business and getting out in traffic, I do think there’s a level where most businesses will plateau in their growth without these core elements. 

There are two primary alternatives to building your brand and website I hear regularly — word of mouth marketing and social media.

  • Word of mouth and referral marketing are often touted as the best ways to grow your business. And while they can certainly be helpful levers to pull, you can’t build your business on them sustainably. Research shows that a whopping 83% of satisfied customers say they’d be willing to refer a business, but less than 30% of them actually do. That’s why it’s important to differentiate the ways that people can be introduced to your brand and business. Not only that, but your brand and website can actually support any word of mouth or referral marketing you’re planning to do. Want to put together a formal affiliate program? Put the partner page on your website. Give people links they can easily share to position you as a great resource for their contacts and you can exponentially grow this arm of your sales engine.
  • Social media is another common reference when people suggest branding and websites aren’t necessary. And while I believe social media is an important part of any well-rounded marketing strategy, it’s not enough on its own. First of all, to be as effective as possible, branding on social media is key. How many of us have stumbled on an account only to scroll through their old posts struggling to understand who they are and what they do? Secondly, we don’t own social media platforms, and as has been proven over and over again, we can’t control when they crash or update their algorithms for any number of reasons. Your brand and website transcend the variability and uncertainty associated with social media so that you have a solid foundation for all of your marketing activities, regardless of the whims of Mark Zuckerberg and his ilk.

The Importance of Investing in Your Brand and Website for Business Growth

Again, for early-stage business, I’m a huge proponent of the DIY brand and website. A minimally-viable product (MVP) can really get you quite a long way in your business growth journey. 

But if you’re really looking to amp up the potential of your brand and website as you scale, there’s no substitute for working with an experienced, knowledgeable expert who can help you get the biggest bang for your buck. 

Think about the things you outsource. Unless you have worked as a plumber in the past, when your toilet starts making a weird sound, you probably aren’t rolling up your sleeves to fix it yourself. You understand that there are limitations to your expertise and for certain jobs, you need to rely on the know-how of others more seasoned than you are.

For some reason, this logic doesn’t always translate in our minds to our branding and websites. Advances in technology have made the physical tasks associated with building these assets much easier (e.g., ChatGPT, Canva, Wix, etc.), but what you miss when you go the DIY route using this admittedly-awesome technologies is the experience and best practices that a professional strategist or designer brings. 

Time is another reason to work with a professional. Any time you have to learn a new tool or skill, it’s going to eat up precious time. Especially for multi-six- and seven-figure plus business owners, you don’t have time to constantly teach yourself new tricks. Your time is better (and more profitably) spent elsewhere. 

So, if you’ve got big growth goals for your business in the coming months and years, there are few investments you could make with the potential for a greater ROI than your brand and website. Take a moment to think about where you want to be this time next year and then determine how you can get there. I’ll wager your brand and website will play a large part in that trajectory. 

Want a few resources to help you navigate this topic? Check out my guide to upgrading your brand and website.